Same old, same old

October 26, 2015

Literature and movies have much in common. Some of the most popular and cherished movies came from books, as did some of the worst, most forgotten ones. While both have writing in some way shape or form, movies are much more visual, but need to tell a story at the same time.

So why is it that some movies are so terrible, visually, audioally (huh? I know it’s aurally, so lay off), and storywise?

As you know, I’m smitten with the sword and sorcery genre. Maybe it has to do with my love of Masters of the Universe, or maybe my affinity for Robert E. Howard’s Conan stories. Whatever the case, there’s a lot of great S&S work out there.

There’s also a lot of shit.

I mean, a lot. Like, more than a lot. More than there should be, unfortunately.

Over the past few years, I’ve tried to make an effort to watch as many S&S movies as I can. Some are fantastic. Ladyhawke, anyone? Conan the Barbarian, both of them, of course. Dragonslayer! The list goes on.

But the bigger list is the crappy ones. The other night, I watched one of them, and just couldn’t stop shaking my head.

“The Warrior and the Sorceress” was just over an hour long, so I figured I’d give up some time to watch it. Hey, it had David Carradine and Anthony De Longis in it. Not only are we going to get the smooth, kickass action of Kane from Kung Fu, but the expert, badass weaponry and fight coordination of Blade from Masters of the Universe. Hells yeah!

Yeah…not quite.

Without going into a lengthy diatribe, let me say that this movie should have been called “How Not to Make a Movie.” Everything was bad. Seriously, there was no redemption.

Go ahead and watch it if you want. But I’m fairly certain you’ll agree with me.

Anyway, the point I want to make is, it just accentuated my belief that every story is the same. From what I’ve seen, most S&S has one of three beginnings:

  1. A group of guys are getting ready to go kill another group of guys. Then they do. The end.
  2. A wanderer who just so happens to be the greatest swordsman in the history of ever is just wandering and he stumbles upon a nefarious villain who needs to be put down. Hijinks ensue. The villain is put down. The wanderer continues wandering.
  3. Someone or a group of people are hanging out in a tavern waiting for people or something to happen and then it does.

I’m trying my best as a writer to do something different. While I can’t reinvent the wheel, I can give you a story that you’ll enjoy. Hey, who knows, maybe you’ll even see it as not the same old thing!

Currently, I’m working on a story for an anthology. I realized about two pages in that it was going the same way as always. So, I started over. After watching some of these terrible movies, I think I’ve got something that won’t be the same as always.

Who knows, though. Maybe I’m just hoping for a live action Ken Kelly or Frank Frazetta or Boris Vallejo painting. You can’t deny, the artwork of those men (and thousands of other talented, amazing artists) was beyond badass, and more than a little inspiring.

I know I shouldn’t compare my short stories to movies or paintings, but let’s face it, they’re a good start. I read a lot, and for the most part, things start out the same. So maybe if do write “the same old thing” no one will care? After all, what works, works, and history can prove that one.

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It’s the life

October 12, 2015

There is so much going on right now. In fact, I probably shouldn’t be writing this blog, but how else would you know what is going on in the wide world of Myke Edwards?

Books! I’ve been reading lately, more than I have been. It feels good to lay back every night before bed and read for an hour or so. Mostly to unwind and prepare myself to ease into bed and sleep, but also because hey, reading is what I do. For some reason I didn’t read as much as I should have this summer, but it’s okay. We’ve all been there.

“Transhuman” by Ben Bova was a random selection. I went to the library to drop off something and decided to check out the sci-fi section because, why not? Ben’s name caught my eye and I checked out the book…not bad. An interesting story, definitely, but I’ve got to say that Ben breaks a lot of “rules” in writing. As someone who has had it drilled into him and every orifice you can imagine on how to properly craft a sentence, it is disarming to say the least when you read a book (published by an actual publisher, no less) that has a lot of these “sloppy mistakes” in it.

But I digress. It’s the story we should be concerned with, hmm? I didn’t want to put it down at times. Ben created characters and a plot I actually gave a shit about, and wanted to read. I stayed up a bit late some nights while reading, but it was worth it. Definitely check it out. While some characters and small events within the story are cliché as hell and rather predictable, it’s still great.

Interesting thing, about me. I’d never read anything by Ben Bova. His name was one that I’d known since high school (way back in the 1990’s!), and someone I’d always planned on reading. His book “Mars” was high up on my list, but for some reason, I never read it. It’s back on my list now, so hopefully I get around to it. I guess I was so enamored with Kim Stanley Robinson’s Mars trilogy that I had enough Mars for one person. Whatever the case, I’m looking forward to it.

These past few weeks I’ve been reading some of the new Star Wars books. Again, the writing is sloppy but the stories are…okay. I can’t argue because some of them are for little kids, and I guess the thought is that kids will eat up anything with the Star Wars logo on it. They’re supposed to have clues leading into the new Force Awakens movie, but I can’t imagine what they are. Maybe characters, maybe a mention, or maybe nothing! Maybe they just said that so you buy it!

Well, I didn’t. Thank Glob for the library.

Lately, I’ve been dying to read some Conan stories. Naturally, I want to read the ones I don’t have at the moment…

Ugh. Anyway…

Other stuff! So I mentioned that my editor was done with “In the Pale Moonlight” and I’ve finally got my novel back! I went through it and cleaned it up a little, and poof! As far as I’m concerned, it’s done. Now I just need to get off my ass and get it sent out to agents! Then, hopefully, the good stuff.

That will let me get “The Third Tower” finished, as well as all the other books I plan to write. In fact, just the other day I got an idea for a new novel that’s making my eyes water. I’m sure you’ll all love it.

Also, there’s a contest story I need to get around to writing soon! It’s due in a few weeks, so what am I yapping away on here about?

Not to mention all the stories I need to edit and workshop and submit and everything else…

Sigh. Too much to do. Would I have it any other way? It’s the life!