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Showing posts from May, 2024

YMMV: Stop Bashing Popular Things

🥊 'Cause I've Still Got a Lot of Fight Left in Me... Some months ago I found myself in a bar sitting between two groups of people involved in separate conversations. On one side, someone was talking about how Hamilton  is overrated. On the other side, someone was talking about how the CW show Supernatural  is overrated. Now, I'm a huge Hamilton  fan, but for some reason the Supernatural  conversation grated on me more. Because I'm pretty sure that show is exactly  correctly rated. No one watching Supernatural  after fifteen seasons is under the impression that this is high art. It is monster-of-the-week melodrama. But, it is exactly what its fans want, and they enjoy it exactly for what it is--which is why it ran for fifteen seasons! Now, I've never seen it, so I can't personally attest to the quality, but the point remains... Stop Bashing Popular Things I promise, this will eventually circle back to craft. When E. L. James's  Fifty Shades of Grey  hit the

Geekway to the West 2024 Redux

🎲 It Might Feel Good, It Might Sound a Lil' Somethin'... It's the middle of May, and that means Kurt has once again devoted an entire extended weekend to discovering new board games and socializing with people even nerdier than I am. There was a lot of stuff in Play-and-Win that was new to me, and here they are! Barcelona This one I'd seen at Geekway Mini but hadn't been able to get time on. It's a medium-to-heavy weight tile-laying game about the "Eixample" district of Barcelona that was built in the 1860s. You draw two tokens every turn that represent people in the upper, middle, or working classes and place them in the neighborhood in order to trigger game effects. Then you erect buildings based on which class of people are at the intersections. There are some side objectives you can use to gain more points, a cobblestone board you use to expand storage, a trolley to manage, intersections to build... it's got a lot of moving pieces. It's go

YMMV: Edit for Aesthetic Third (Line Editing, Part 3)

💄 Your Purple Prose Just Gives You Away... This is the final installment in my trilogy on line-editing. If you want to see these ideas in action, you can check out a demonstration I did several years ago for Flights of Foundry  in which I apply these principles to the opening paragraph of Fifty Shades of Grey . Edit For Aesthetic Third It's tempting to think, since aesthetic is third on my list of things to edit for, that it's not all that important. So let me clear the air right up front. Aesthetic is extremely  important. In fact, you might say that it's more important than everything but clarity and word-economy. This is because the word  aesthetic  is covering a lot of ground here. Style and tone? Aesthetic. Format? Aesthetic. Genre conventions? Also (often) aesthetic. It's a broad umbrella, but all of these have one thing in common: a key part of your story is the way  you tell it. This extends to the aesthetic of your writing because the way you write your sente