?

Log in

 

Canary In The Bitmine

About Recent Entries

The Golden Age by The Asteroids Galaxy Tour Jul. 21st, 2011 @ 03:54 pm

Originally published at fritz freiheit.com blog. You can comment here or there.

My Chris Hocking (some of you may know him better as John C. Hocking) turned me on to this music video by The Asteroids Galaxy Tour (love that name). While it’s a commercial, it’s not in your face about it. Enjoy the music. Enjoy the video:


Red Rook Progress Report #2 Jul. 19th, 2011 @ 10:01 pm

Originally published at fritz freiheit.com blog. You can comment here or there.

Just passed over the half-way point of 40,000 words on the Red Rook rough draft yesterday. I’ve managed to maintain a rate of over 1K words per day, which has been a pleasant surprise for me. If yo had asked me that I would could have turned out 1,000 plus words a day for 38 days straight, I would have said ‘No way!’. Hope to make it at least to the end of July at this rate.

 


Check out the ASCII diagram editor Jul. 16th, 2011 @ 09:17 pm

Originally published at fritz freiheit.com blog. You can comment here or there.

Check out the ASCII diagram editor at http://www.asciiflow.com/

   +-------------------------------+
   | Sometimes you need to draw    |
   |-------------------------------|
   |                               |
   |   With just plain ASCII       |
   |                               |
   |                               |
   |                               |
   |                               |
   +------+------------------------+
          |
          |
          |
          |          +--------------------------+
          |          |                          |
          |          |  ASCIIflow.com might     |
          +--------->+  be your answer.         |
                     |                          |
                     |                          |
                     +--------------------------+

Queen Latifa’s SF themed music video Paper Jul. 15th, 2011 @ 09:08 pm

Originally published at fritz freiheit.com blog. You can comment here or there.

Enjoy:

Can you name all the references?


Stephen Frey takes the Language Police to task Jul. 14th, 2011 @ 09:43 am

Originally published at fritz freiheit.com blog. You can comment here or there.

Stephen Fey takes the Language Police to task in this word illustrated video:

Other entries
» Link dump

Originally published at fritz freiheit.com blog. You can comment here or there.

For the full version of this blog posting, please visit http://fritzfreiheit.com/blog/2011/07/13/link-dump-93/. For the wiki version of this post, see http://fritzfreiheit.com/wiki/wiki/Link_dump_for_20110713 — Fritz. (contact: http://fritzfreiheit.com/blog/contact)

Link dump for Wednesday, 2011/07/13 after the cut. The wiki version includes a tag cloud.

Read the rest of this entry »


» Stupid Writing Rules: Watch Adverbs (link)

Originally published at fritz freiheit.com blog. You can comment here or there.

In the never ending crusade against stupid writing rules, I’d like to present this link Stupid Writing Rules: Watch Adverbs.


» Bruce Lee lights matches using nunchaku

Originally published at fritz freiheit.com blog. You can comment here or there.

An awesome (and I don’t usually use that word) display of martial arts skill by Bruce Lee:


» Batman Hates Sherlock Holmes

Originally published at fritz freiheit.com blog. You can comment here or there.

Batman Hates Sherlock Holmes

from Geeks are Sexy


» Red Rook Progress Report #1

Originally published at fritz freiheit.com blog. You can comment here or there.

This month was a good month. I’ve made good progress on the Red Rook, (sequel to Dispensing Justice, the first in my Nova Genesis superhero SF series) (and it’s from Penny’s viewpoint, rather than Michael’s) and it now stands at a bit over 21,000 words, which is a little over a quarter of the way to my 80,000 word goal for my first polish draft. What has been a little surprising is that I’ve been averaging slightly more than a thousand words a day. I think it’s because I’ve been bouncing around a lot, writing scenes and partial scenes as they come to me. Not sure how long that will last, but I’m hoping to keep the pace up at least through half-way. Of course, at some point I’m going to have slow down and fill in the gaps.


» Twitter Hashtags for Writers (link)

Originally published at fritz freiheit.com blog. You can comment here or there.

25+ Favorite Twitter Hashtags for Writers (clickable list)

For all you Twitterers, or those of you thinking about becoming Twitterers, here is a good list of tags/hashtags for writers that you can follow on Twitter.


» Why we love bad writing (link)

Originally published at fritz freiheit.com blog. You can comment here or there.

Why we love bad writing by Laura Miller : Stieg Larsson and Dan Brown novels are riddled with cliches, but for many readers, that’s a feature not a bug.

I found this to be a particularly cogent response to the British novelist Edward Docx’s article about the superiority of literature and if we could just show everyone what they are missing rant.  I particularly like the quote from C.S. Lewis and the idea that “flow” (readers ripping through a story) is a desirable trait for some readers.  I think the take away from this is that it is important to know what the expectations of your readers are.  Or, in other words, write to genre.


» Tropes – Part 1 – Shedding Some Light On Tropes

Originally published at fritz freiheit.com blog. You can comment here or there.

Tropes – Part 1 – Shedding Some Light On Tropes (wiki version)

Last week, at the Tuesday night’s AAAWG meeting, the topic of tropes came up. When I was asked what a trope was, I am chagrined to say that I didn’t have an immediate cogent answer and referred the questioner to tvtropes.org. While I was (and am) comfortable with my internal conceptualization of tropes — which is another way of saying that I could (and can) identify a trope when confronted with one — as well as being familiar with the dictionary definition, I didn’t have a definition that I could whip out and say a trope is X. Subsequently, another member of the writing group asked me how I defined trope, and I must thank Patrick McHugh for asking this question, challenging my response, and for participating in the lively discussion that ensued, all of which provided me the framework for clarifying my thoughts and conceptualizations about what a trope is. And rather than drawing things out, I will make the assertion that:

Tropes are the idioms of storytelling.

“Fine,” you say. “Back that up.”

Let’s compare the definitions of “trope” with those of “idiom”.

trope
A figure of speech using words in non-literal ways.
For example, a metaphor.
(http://www.thefreedictionary.com/trope)
(we’ll ignore the music related definition)

And one of the definitions of idiom (we’ll come back to the other definitions later):

idiom
A speech form or an expression of a given language that cannot be understood from the individual meanings of its elements.
For example, “keep tabs on.”
(http://www.thefreedictionary.com/idiom)

We can compare the two definitions as follows, starting with idiom = trope:

figure of speech = speech form or expression
non-literal way = cannot be understood from the individual meanings of its elements

There is a strong congruence of meaning between these two definitions. In fact, there doesn’t seem to be much of a difference between the two. Why do we have different terms at all? The distinction lies in domain. Idioms apply to languages and dialects, while tropes apply to stories, or in a wider sense, to “art”.

Another important distinction is that the meaning of an idiom is fixed in a given language or dialect at any given time. The meaning of a trope is allowed to vary from context to context. Or, as I will argue, from genre to genre. I’ll come back to this later. First, I want to expand the notion of trope to encompass more than language and line it up with common usage:

trope (definition part 2)
A common or overused theme or device.
A cliche.
For example, “The usual horror movie tropes.”
(http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/trope)

When we talk about tropes we don’t limit ourselves to the written or spoken word, we also apply them to visual media, such as painting or photography, and mixed media, such as television and film. Like storytelling, we typically do this in the context of genre.

cliche
A trite or overused expression or idea.
A person or character whose behavior is predictable or superficial.
(http://www.thefreedictionary.com/cliche)

Leading to a refined definition:

trope (refined)
The interpretation or meaning of a pattern or signifier that is not inherently contained in the pattern or signifier.

This is significantly more complicated to express, although not more complicated in practice. I’ve replaced the phrase “figure of speech” with “pattern or signifier” in order to go beyond the constraints of a spoken or written language and talk about “recognizable things” instead. For example, we can talk about visual tropes, such as the “idea light bulb“, or the “fire breathing diner” in cartoons, advertising, and movies. We can also talk about ideas as tropes, like genre conventions or cliches, such as “mystery stories are about finding out who committed the crime” or “horror stories are about which character will be left alive at the end”.

Tropes, like idioms are used to communicate ideas from one person (the author) to another (the reader). As both readers, but more importantly, as writers, we must be aware that language and tropes are dependent on context for meaning. In the case of language, it is the culture and the individual’s experience that form the basis for meaning. Tropes go one step further, adding genre to the mix, which will be the topic of Tropes – Part 2 – Red Herrings and Eye Candy.

To conclude Tropes Part 1, let’s look at how a simple car-related trope occurs in a story and how readers might interpret it.

Statement
“the car was driving down the wrong side of the road”
Interpretation 1
“the car was driving down the left-hand side of the road”
Interpretation 2
“the car was driving down the right-hand side of the road”

There is nothing in the original statement that tells you what the actual side of the road the car is driving on. If the reader of the statement is an American, then you get interpretation 1. If the reader of the statement is English, then you get interpretation 2. Neither interpretation is wrong (without further context), they are just completely opposite to each other. This may not matter, the story may proceed without a hitch without having to resolve which side the car is actually driving on. On the other hand, it might be critical and the author will have to disambiguate somehow.


» Link dump

Originally published at fritz freiheit.com blog. You can comment here or there.

Link dump for Thursday, 2010/12/30 after the cut. The wiki version includes a tag cloud.

Read the rest of this entry »


» Agent Advice – What is the biggest query mistake?

Originally published at fritz freiheit.com blog. You can comment here or there.

For those of you who are in the query process or are thinking about getting into the query process, you may find this quite useful.  J.M. Tohline consolidates the answers from agents to the question “What is the
single biggest mistake writers make when querying you?”

http://www.jmtohline.com/2010/12/biggest-mistakes-writers-make-when.html


» Link dump

Originally published at fritz freiheit.com blog. You can comment here or there.

Link dump for Monday, 2010/12/13 after the cut. The wiki version includes a tag cloud.

Read the rest of this entry »


» Dispensing Justice moving into beta reader phase

Originally published at fritz freiheit.com blog. You can comment here or there.

The first polish pass of Dispensing Justice is complete at 74,200 words and is moving into Beta.  Time to start soliciting beta readers.


» Dispensing Justice first (barf) draft complete

Originally published at fritz freiheit.com blog. You can comment here or there.

A quick announcement that the first draft, or as I refer to it, the barf draft, of my superhero science fiction YA novel Dispensing Justice is complete at 68,300 words. Now on to the polish phase.  Oh, and stay tuned.  It won’t be that long before it goes beta.


» Link dump

Originally published at fritz freiheit.com blog. You can comment here or there.

Link dump for Sunday, 2010/11/14 after the cut. The wiki version includes a tag cloud.

Read the rest of this entry »


» Megamind Megafun!

Originally published at fritz freiheit.com blog. You can comment here or there.

Taking a few hours away from my push to complete Dispensing Justice I went to see Megamind yesterday and was megapleased with it. It was the best supervillain movie that I have seen to date (Despicable Me being my second choice), although The Incredibles remains my favorite superhero film. In the pantheon of movies from 2010, Megamind rocks!

Megamind hits all the right notes, at least if you are interested in an action packed, animated spectacle. Did I mention that it was funny and sweet, too? I should note that I didn’t see the 3D version, but I plan on going back for just that. The only other movie to draw me back to the theatre this year was RED.

Megamind is well plotted, has excellent characterization, ripping dialogue, and engrossing world building. Megamind was fine tuned down to within an inch of its life. And in a good way. It even managed to surprise me a couple of times.

Bottom line, run, don’t walk, to the theatre and see Megamind.


» Link dump

Originally published at fritz freiheit.com blog. You can comment here or there.

Link dump for Tuesday, 2010/10/26 after the cut. The wiki version includes a tag cloud.

Read the rest of this entry »


» Link dump

Originally published at fritz freiheit.com blog. You can comment here or there.

Link dump for Wednesday, 2010/10/13 after the cut. The wiki version includes a tag cloud.

Read the rest of this entry »


» Link dump

Originally published at fritz freiheit.com blog. You can comment here or there.

Link dump for Monday, 2010/08/30 after the cut. The wiki version includes a tag cloud.

Read the rest of this entry »


» Link dump

Originally published at fritz freiheit.com blog. You can comment here or there.

Link dump for Monday, 2010/08/23 after the cut. The wiki version includes a tag cloud.

Read the rest of this entry »


» Link dump

Originally published at fritz freiheit.com blog. You can comment here or there.

Link dump for Monday 2010/08/16, after the cut. The wiki version includes a tag cloud.

Read the rest of this entry »


» Looking forward to the latest reading of Dispensing Justice at AAAWG tonight

Originally published at fritz freiheit.com blog. You can comment here or there.

Looking forward to the latest reading of Dispensing Justice at AAAWG tonight. It’s been a couple of weeks vacation from writing (more or less), and it feels good to be making progress again.


» Good to be back

Originally published at fritz freiheit.com blog. You can comment here or there.

It’s good to be back in Ann Arbor (as of Sunday evening) after a week in Norfolk, VA, and attending NASFIC in Raleigh, NC. I really enjoyed reconnecting with Joe, an old high school buddy and spending time with my daughter Merideth. While NASFIC was relatively sparsely attended, it was fun and I met some interesting people, attended informative panels, and, I should mention, Merideth won a prize for Best Recreation in the Masquerade for her Harley Quinn costume.


» Link dump

Originally published at fritz freiheit.com blog. You can comment here or there.

Link dump for Monday 2010/08/09 after the cut. The wiki version includes a tag cloud.

Read the rest of this entry »


» NASFIC here we are

Originally published at fritz freiheit.com blog. You can comment here or there.

First day of NASFIC 2010 is wrapping up here in Raleigh NC.  It’s been very hot and humid.  Lucky for the air conditioning.  Already run into Walter Hunt (who Merideth and I met at NASFIC 2007 in St. Louis) and Emily,  a friend of Merideth’s who we also first met at NASFIC 2007.

Anyone else here that I know?


» Two gaming music videos from the Guild

Originally published at fritz freiheit.com blog. You can comment here or there.

Here are two fun gaming music videos from the Guild (brought to you by the brilliant Felicia Day):

Read the rest of this entry »


» Blackadder as Doctor Who (or The Curse Of Fatal Death)

Originally published at fritz freiheit.com blog. You can comment here or there.

Blackadder, I mean Rowan Atkinson, makes a great Doctor Who.

Read the rest of this entry »


» Link dump

Originally published at fritz freiheit.com blog. You can comment here or there.

Link dump for Fri. 2010/07/23 after the cut. The wiki version includes a tag cloud.

Read the rest of this entry »


» Space Patrol Orion (Raumpatrouille Orion) 1966 German TV Goodness

Originally published at fritz freiheit.com blog. You can comment here or there.

Space Patrol Orion, or Raumpatrouille Orion, is some 1966 German SF TV goodness.  Check out this YouTube video:

Read the rest of this entry »


» Link dump

Originally published at fritz freiheit.com blog. You can comment here or there.

Link dump for Fri. 2010/07/16 after the cut. The wiki version includes a tag cloud.

Read the rest of this entry »


» “Dispensing Justice” halfway through barf phase

Originally published at fritz freiheit.com blog. You can comment here or there.

This week I made my thirteenth reading of Dispensing Justice at my Tuesday night writer’s group.

Read the rest of this entry »


» Link dump

Originally published at fritz freiheit.com blog. You can comment here or there.

Link dump for Fri. 2010/07/09 after the cut. The wiki version includes a tag cloud.

Read the rest of this entry »


» Avatar and the Three Pillars of Storytelling

Originally published at fritz freiheit.com blog. You can comment here or there.

I received an email from my friend Patrick this morning about the Avatar movie and some links to critiques thereof.  This sent me into rant mode.  So I thought I would inflict my rant on the rest of the world… (links are at the end)

Read the rest of this entry »


» Dispensing Justice cruised over the one-third mark this week

Originally published at fritz freiheit.com blog. You can comment here or there.

My short-story-now-novel Nova Genesis: Dispensing Justice passed through the third-of-the-way mark this week

Read the rest of this entry »


» Link dump

Originally published at fritz freiheit.com blog. You can comment here or there.

Link dump for Fri. 2010/07/02 after the cut. The wiki version includes a tag cloud.

Read the rest of this entry »


» Write about now…

Originally published at fritz freiheit.com blog. You can comment here or there.

On my home to (hopefully) commit a 1000+ words of mayhem to Nova Genesis:Dispensing Justice in preparation for my 11th reading of my current novel in progress.


Top of Page Powered by LiveJournal.com