It Keeps Going

I have read every Drizzt Do’Urden novel written by R.A. Salvatore. Well, all of them except for Boundless (the newest one) anyway, and (as of this writing) I’m halfway through it. To those out there that don’t know the character of Drizzt, that may not seem like a big deal, but it kinda is. You see, Boundless is the 35th book in the series.

R.A. Salvatore is one of my favorite authors. Everything of his that I’ve read has been good. His worst book is still better than most people’s best. And Drizzt Do’Urden is one of the most dynamic characters in fiction. He is guided by a morality that is deeper than any other fictional character I’ve ever read.

With all of that being said, I have one piece of advice that I would give to Mr. Salvatore: Please stop.

As much as I enjoy reading his books, it’s a little too much. It’s been going on far too long. All of the stories feel recycled. He does a good job of changing the details just enough to keep it interesting, but the basic stories are the same.

Also, with the exception of Drizzt (and one or two others), he has killed off every major character in the series and brought them back to life. Some of them more than once.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I’ll keep reading them as long as he keeps writing them. That’s how good he is at what he does. Despite these problems I have with his stories, I still really enjoy his writing. But, I stopped buying them a while back and now I wait until I can check them out from the library.

From what I have seen, there’s one more, the 36th in the series, that has been announced. I hope he ends it there. 36 books is more than enough stories about the same character.

The Directive

If you have Hulu, you have access to the movie The Directive. A few months ago, I saw an ad on Facebook about the movie. The premise seemed interesting so I added it to my list to watch at a later date. Last night was that later date and it was definitely not worth the wait.

Here is the description, as posted on Hulu: “In the aftermath of an incurable virus spread, a robot seeking to eradicate humanity deceptively guides a Red Cross survivor to sanctuary with the false hope of his family awaiting in Safe Zone 57.”

Did you read that one sentence? Good. I’ve just saved you two hours of time because that literally describes everything that happens in the movie. That’s it. Almost the whole movie is nothing but the survivor going nuts because of being by himself for so long and then walking towards the safe zone after finding the robot. Other than that, very little happens in this movie.

The sad thing? If they didn’t tell you that the robot was trying to kill the survivor in the description, this movie probably wouldn’t have seemed so bad. If they would’ve kept that one thing a surprise, and hit you with the betrayal at the end? That would’ve made a huge difference. It still wouldn’t have made it a great movie, because it did drag on pretty badly in some places, but it would’ve made it a lot better.

I might’ve even recommended that you watch it if they had worded the description better. I can’t do that now. Just by reading that one sentence, you miss absolutely nothing by not watching the movie.

Game of Thrones

It seems like half of my newsfeed on Facebook the past couple of weeks has been about Game of Thrones. Out of those posts, half of them were talking about how they’re excited for this new season, while the other half are bragging about how they’ve never seen a single episode. In fact, I think five different friends of mine posted the same picture that said “I’m part of the 1% of the population that hasn’t seen a single episode of Game of Thrones”. Given how many people I’ve seen share that picture, I doubt the validity of the math on that one.

I, myself, am in the latter group. I have never seen an episode of the show.

When it was only a season or two along, I was thinking about giving it a try. Then, in an ironic twist, it was somebody who was trying to talk me into watching the show that ended up talking me out of it. He said, and I quote, “You should watch Game of Thrones. It’s a good show, once you get past the incest.”

Ummmm…… excuse me?

Incest? No thanks. I’ll just be over here in the incest free zone.

Revivals

I just got done watching the third (and final) season of Dark Matter on Netflix (if you haven’t given this show a chance, you’re missing out) and I’m angry about its cancellation all over again. I would love to be able to give it at least one more season, if for no other reason than to tie up all of the storylines.

A few days ago, my team lead said something similar, except he would like to do a reboot of the show Heroes. He likes the first season, but the rest of the series kind of blows. His idea was to start completely over and to get rid of all the inconsistencies in the story that were added during the later seasons.

So, that got me to thinking: if someone from a TV network or streaming service, like Netflix, told me that they would let me develop shows based on any property that weren’t currently in use, what would they be?

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My First Fan Fiction

The very first thing I ever wrote in story form was a novelized version of the first solo campaign I ever ran in D & D. At the time, I thought it was great. Reading it now, it’s horrible. It is easily the worst thing I’ve ever written. The dialogue is boring. The characters are basic and/or carbon copies of other characters that I had read before. For example, one character was a half-elf named Roderigo (named after a Seven Mary Three song) who was nothing more than a mixture of the characters Tanis Half-Elven and Raistlin Majere from the DragonLance novels.

After that, I started writing my Dead Set series. I wasn’t really worried about the writing on this one as I was originally intending it to be turned into a comic book. Therefore, none of my grammatical errors mattered because they wouldn’t exist in an image of the action my words were depicting. It was great. I just wrote whatever came to me. Then, when it became evident that they would never actually be turned into comic books, I stopped writing it.

That didn’t stop me from writing comic book stories, however.

I came up with some characters of my own and drew the books out in my horrible stick figure-ish style, where they were only viewed by my closest friends (Before you ask, none of them still exist, so don’t ask me to post them). There were a couple of others that I wrote out in the same style as Dead Set too. One was called Haunted Angel, which addressed what happened to Father Michaels after he left Dead Set (though he wasn’t the main character of the book).

Another one was the very first fan fiction I ever wrote. It was an X-Men story. Although, thinking back on it now, while it may have been a story that had the X-Men in it, it was mostly a way to introduce three original characters of my own.

The basic premise was that there was a standoff at an army base between the troops and mutants. Professor X uses Cerebro to determine that there are two mutants there and dispatches Cyclops, Storm, Gambit, Nightcrawler, Chamber, and Wolverine to diffuse the situation. When they get there, they find that the two mutants are brothers and that they’re joined by their other brother, who was a soldier at the base.

The soldier brother was discharged from the army after a blood test determined that he was also a mutant. He was trying to talk to his superior officers to ask for a new test, because he had never shown any mutant abilities, when things predictably got out of hand. His brothers, who were there to drive him home from the base, stepped in to defend him and it ended up in a standoff.

There was no big X-Men villain, like Magneto or Apocalypse, in the story. The main bad guy was an anti-mutant army officer who tried to kill them all instead of following his orders to de-escalate the situation.

As much as I would like to post this story for you all to read, I can’t. When I originally wrote the story, I started it in one notebook, but ended up finishing it in another when the original notebook (which also had other things I had written in it) became full. Over the course of the many, many moves I’ve been forced to endure since I wrote the story, I’ve lost the original notebook. All I can find is the notebook with the final two chapters in it.

And, I’d like to tell you all about the brothers from the story, but I might end up repurposing them for one of the dozen or so story ideas I have kicking around my head at the moment.

I guess you’ll just have to trust me when I tell you that I think you’d like it.

Coming Back

Have you ever noticed that when you’re watching a movie or TV show about someone who either goes missing for a long time or comes back from the dead, their significant other always hooks up with the missing person’s best friend or family member? And it’s always the same story too. It’s always, “We didn’t plan for this to happen. We just got close while we helped each other cope with the grief of losing you.”

Maybe it’s happened before, and I just haven’t seen it, but I would like to see one of those scenes where the friend or family member doesn’t say, “I don’t know how to tell you this but… I hooked up with your significant other.” Instead, they tell the person who just came back, “I don’t know how to tell you this but… I haven’t seen them since the memorial service we had for you. We hated each other. We just faked it for your sake.”

It would just be a nice change of pace.