Consistency vs What I'm doing
I would like to start off by saying that at no point has anyone, at all, complained. It has been mentioned in a few reviews, but the reviews never came off as negative. They only ever seemed to be letting people know and that it is. For that, I thank you. That tells me two things: you're okay with it (at least the fans and the reviewers are) and it's working. Now, to explain what the heck that paragraph was about.
For those of you who haven't read any of the books, I'll explain from the beginning. The Chronicles of M series is mostly written in first person perspective. For a lot of people, this is odd. Most books are written in a narrative style and that's okay. Book 4 "Hitori" is written in such a way, but there's reasons for this that I'll get into in a bit. As far as the previous 3 books, and mostly like the next 2 trilogies where M is central to the story, it'll remain first person, most of the time. Here's why.
When I started this series I KNEW I wanted to go first person with it. I wanted them to tell their own stories and be more than just some weirdos on paper to laugh at. Certain back stories would have fallen flat, or maybe never happened had I told it from a third person view. Uhler's story (I won't spoil it) would have been completely worthless from any other point of view. It HAD to be told from his own. Had I done it differently, then the entire purpose of his backstory would have been lost out on. You simply can't understand the personal hell he went through during his transformation without seeing it as he saw it. If that isn't enough, knowing his back story the way the reader does, it becomes pretty clear why he's taken this direction with his life in the present. After all, his story is the BEST case situation. The worst case, the things horror movies are made of, are why he does what he does.
The second reason for first person is, in a way, a two-for-one deal. I knew these characters would change over time. These stories aren't a small section of their lives, it's their entire lives. Sure, there will be gaps of time I won't cover, but it doesn't mean that time missed didn't effect the character. So, by doing it from their point of view I can really show how much they change. Sometimes characters will do the same actions over and over again, but for different reasons. I feel this is a negative to modern cinema that I'd like to avoid, if I can. I'm getting off point here.
The other reason is simple. I'm new to writing. I'm not going to say this was planned. In truth, it was a happy accident. It wasn't until was 1/2 through writing the 2nd book that I realized just how much my writing had changed. Some of it was simply more experience, some of it was experimentation with style (camera angles and such, there's a blog posting on it), but either way it had changed. Even in the third book the style has changed. I feel it's more of a mesh of 1 and 2's style, but we'll see how the reviews come back. What first person allows me to do is to develop my own style through the character's perspectives. Since they are growing/changing as well, so too would their perspective. Where M may take a more poetic noir style now, he may take a more clean, logical style later. It all depends on him and me.
As for Hitori, I went with first person for a couple reasons, but for this topic only one matters - the reader doesn't need to be in her head to get her. In this book, she is (roughly) in her 90's. Since she was 14 years old, she has been the ward and hunter-in-training to Bishamon, god of war. So, for the majority of her life, she has been singlely minded. Her actions speak far louder than her words. When she does speak, she speaks plainly. As such, there's no reason to be in her mind.
By the way, since this has come up a couple times now. Hitori IS Mai. You really think a 1400 year old demon slayer hasn't had a few names in her lifetime? The real question should be WHY is it Hitori, why not her given name and where did Mai come from? Hmmm... :P
Research and Hitori
As you know, I have decided to make CoM book 4 a standalone novel. A book that is detached from the main plot, but focused on a minor character who won't be so minor in the next trilogy. For this book we go back to 8th century Japan. As such, I have to learn about 8th century Japan. Japan has always been interesting and odd to me. When the US was taming the west and gold mining it up, Japan was Samurai/ninja time. Well, roughly..let's not get caught up on these things.
I decided on 8th century for no other reason than the main character is originally from ~660 AD and I knew she would need some time to...come in to her own. For no other reason than picking a number out of the air, I chose sometime around 740 AD. The novelty of going this far back in time is that I don't have to give an exact date, I can fudge a year or two because info in this time isn't exact...mostly.
What I'm finding interesting is just how lucky I got with this choice in time periods, which is why I decided to write this blog update. Let me give you a short list. A few decades of time before the story, several things have happened: a couple history books were issued (Kojiki and Nihon Shoki), a form of currency was introduced (prior to that, they traded in mostly rice and arrowheads), Buddhism was widespread and, basically, Japan was developing an identity of its own. It was still influenced by China, but it was a start.
All of this really doesnt matter as far as a fiction piece goes and I'm def not going for historical fiction, but I would like it to at least feel real on some level. What makes contemporary fiction fun is that these wild things are happening now in our time. I want to put the reader in 8th century Japan so that it feels how contemporary fiction feels. We'll see how it turns out.
To top it off, I've been reading a massive amount of folklore/mythology, some before and some after this the time frame of the story. Two reasons for this: 1. folklore gives you an idea of how people thought back then. their ideas of what was important don't always come through in their history. 2. I'd like to base some of my story on what already exists. I'm not going to copy a piece of folklore and simply toss my characters into it, but I will toss their folklore into my story. The Tengu are a good example of this. *hint hint*
First, some updates. A first round of edits has been handed to me, approved and sent back to the editor. So, we are almost at publication. Yes, it ends the main plot of the first trilogy - that being the situation known as A'loc. No, it is not THE END by any means. Did I write this so you can pick it up and not read the previous books? No, not at all. There is some backstory here and there, but only to help those who follow the books remember what has happened.
Second update: The day Book 3 (CoM: A'loc) is published, there will also be a trilogy set. It'll be a dollar less than the books seperately ($7.97) and it'll include some "behind the scenes" type of stuff, like how the idea for Uhler came about. There will also be the 3 different book covers for book and possibly anything else I think is worth adding in (if you have any ideas leave a comment on here). I've always enjoyed those extras that come with dvds/blu-rays, but I don't think you should be charged for it. Also, if you have been purchasing the books 1 at a time all you have to do is email me and I'll give you the extras in whatever format you'd like (.doc, mobi, pdf, etc).
Third update...well, nothing really. so HA HA.....ya, idk.
Actually, unless I get terribly sick of all this book stuff (lol, right) I'll probably get a table at the next Comicon in KC, if not the surrounding area as well. All depends how easy that is to accomplish. I was going to go this year, but I didn't even know i could until a week ago and I need more than a month to plan that properly. What with buying paperbacks to sell and a big 'ol poster to put behind me.
I am a gamer. Not as hardcore and obsessed as I was when I was younger, but I still play video games in the wee hours. I have 7 consoles, 11 if you count the fact my genesis has a 32x/sega cd attached to it and my ps3 is backwards compatible with ps1 and 2...and then there's the computer. So, to say I have games is putting it very, very mildly.
Recently, I started posting reviews of books and movies I purchase on the world wide interwebs (mostly Amazon) - these things are related as they are the influence to my madness...i mean imagination. They rarely give me a direct influence; usually more of a "I wonder if zombies eat cheese" sort of thing that spins off into a twisting slide of insanity and ends up turning to...something... Uhler for example. So, it's semi-related.
I have been considering doing video game reviews as well. My question (and this is where you give your opinion in a comment below) is this: should I do the reviews and post them to THIS blog, create a seperate blog/area on this website that can be accessed above, or should I create a new site to handle those exclusively?
Keep in mind that I can easily categorize the reviews seperate from everything on this blog, and it can be segmented by the menu system to the right of the screen. So, it's not as though it'll be a cluttered mess. Anyways, thanks in advance for whatever opinions I get. Don't be shy, say what you think. :D
Review: Tales of Old Japanese
I've read these stories a few times since purchasing the ebook. All the stories are well written, engaging and charming. As an American who has never visited Japan, I still feel these stories are very relatable and it's fun to see how similar we all really, truly are. I would love to cite particular parts and discuss the stories more specifically, but I don't want to ruin any of it for someone else. So, I will simply say buy this book, it's well worth it.
Review: The Dark Knight Trilogy (Batman Begins / The Dark Knight / The Dark Knight Rises) [Blu-ray] (2012)
I bought this because it was exactly what it says, the newest batman movies w/ some bonus discs. What I didn't expect, and maybe I simply missed it in the fine print, was the additional digital copy of each movie via VUDU.
The additional content is great, as every other review states, the picture quality is what you'd expect from a blu ray. i'm not going to pretend I can see some clarity flaws b/c of this or that. Even if I could, it's a cheap collection of great movies - get over it.
My only complaint is The Dark Knight. I don't know why, but the screen will change from a full widescreen (no black bars) to having bars while it playing, during change of scenes and such. It doesn't do it all the time, but often enough that I noticed. Begins and Rises did not do this, all of which were watched on the same tv, ps3, etc.
One last minor gripe. Begins sound is...different from the other two. Not to say it's bad in any way, but it took some tweaking of settings on my amplifier to get to be as nice as the other two movies.
Review: The Thanos Imperative
Having only read the infintity gems series before this, I knew there would be a huge gap in story. Happily, it didn't matter in the slightest. This set starts off at a great point and moves in to the meat of the story fast and hard. Normally, I'd probably have said something about not recognizing many of the characters in this and finding it hard to keep up - not this time. Not only did they think to list the name of characters as they appear, but there's a nifty Biography for each of them at the back. Not only that, but there's a history Thanos to read through.
In short, if you haven't read any Thanos based stories before this, it's okay. This was a great story with some awesome artwork.
Review: Infinity Gauntlet
I've been wanting to read this for some time and I've to say I wasn't dissapointed. I sat down and read this in one shot; to give you an idea how engrossed I was. The story moves really well, they did a great job of juggling huge list of characters and using them appropriately.
That being said, it does have it problems. If you are reading this as a standalone, then some of the characters may/may not be familiar. There was a few that I knew by name, but really knew nothing about (Cloak and Adam Warlock are good examples of this). The art is also not my cup of tea either. I grew up reading comics of this era and wasn't a fan of it then - color in what's important and leave the rest b/w. Be as that may, the book itself is as well put together and as well printed as anything coming out now.
How old is Batman?
I was watching a video on youtube for the upcoming game, Injustice. In case you don't know its DC comics based fighting game, made by the people who made Mortal Kombat. The video was detailing the author's hopes for characters from the "batman family". You see, over the course of Batman's career, he's had SEVERAL robins; 5 to be exact, 6 if you count Frank Miller's piece when Batman comes out of retirement..bla bla bla. The video got me thinking - how the heck old is Batman? I did some half-assed research (internet).
I am not an avid Batman reader. I know a good chunk of the main plot lines and a few tid bits from here and there, that's about it. To answer this little question I set forth and, more or less, pieced it together.
The easy part. Bruce Wayne became Batman at age 25 (I've also seen 26). The hard part - where to go from there. The easiest route was finding out how long he kept each Robin around. So, here we go, in order.
Dick Grayson (becomes Nightwing) was Robin for 9 years
Jason Todd (dies, comes back as Red Hood) 3 years
Tim Drake (Red Robin) 7 years
Stephanie Brown (became Batgirl) roughly a year - she trained for several months and did a couple cases with the bat
Damien (at the moment he's dead) roughly a year - I'm guessing that because I could find much info on it.
As you can see...not exactly conclusive data, but enough to show something interesting. Based entirely on this, Bruce Wayne is roughly 46.
This is saying that he had Robin from day 1 of being Batman AND there's no gaps between Robins. Chances are there was some time at the beginning without a Robin and some time between each, so I'm betting he's over 50. Pretty spry for an older gent! From what I've read, Batman has fallen into a Lazarus pit, that Ra's Al Ghul, has a couple of times, making him younger, better, faster, stronger...sorry...Daft Punk tanget... Fun little waste of time