M Harold Page

M Harold Page

  • Commented on Character and Exposition are Plot: Why most pop critical terms aren't useful to writers
    LOL. I failed to cite it for the same reason you don't want to go look for it! I think it was Sharpe's Tiger....
  • Commented on Character and Exposition are Plot: Why most pop critical terms aren't useful to writers
    It is partly down to definitions, though. What's an Adventure-with-a-capital-A? I'd say as a benchmark, only those stories worthy of a full length Bernard Cornwell novel where the protagonist really is a protagonist and not just caught up in something...
  • Commented on Character and Exposition are Plot: Why most pop critical terms aren't useful to writers
    > Besides, those folks who do have a Real Adventure in their lives (def, by Tolkien: you in a comfy chair, with a nice drink, by a fire, reading about someone else risking life and limb a thousand miles away),...
  • Commented on Character and Exposition are Plot: Why most pop critical terms aren't useful to writers
    Or else they are two views of the same structure, which is what I believe. Yes, the character ends up in the reader's mind, but what they have is the same as we have from real people: a mental model...
  • Commented on Character and Exposition are Plot: Why most pop critical terms aren't useful to writers
    > Come on - in SF, esp. hard sf, how much is driven, not by character, but, how shall I say it, "The Cold Equations"? In that story, it's the equations, and the pilot and the girl show character... but...
  • Commented on Character and Exposition are Plot: Why most pop critical terms aren't useful to writers
    Ah but Character is also Plot... The way I see it, structurally, (a) anything that DOES stuff is a character and (2) revelation counts as doing stuff. So in... > Some of the best SF and fantasy is about describing...
  • Commented on Character and Exposition are Plot: Why most pop critical terms aren't useful to writers
    Wonderful! Your example does seem to demonstrate that Mary Sue(-like) status is determined by plot, not character....
  • Commented on Character and Exposition are Plot: Why most pop critical terms aren't useful to writers
    Ah but that prompts the question: Were Robert E Howard actually writing Clark Ashton Smith fan fiction, would Conan *then* be a Mary Sue?...
  • Commented on Character and Exposition are Plot: Why most pop critical terms aren't useful to writers
    And little pseudo historical quotes opening a chapter - I did that with Swords Versus Tanks. I wager all of these, when they *feel* right, still partake of the structure of the story, and if long, are little mini tales....
  • Commented on Character and Exposition are Plot: Why most pop critical terms aren't useful to writers
    You make a good point. I suppose what I'm trying to say is that all the elements are part of the plot, and thus work, or not, according to the laws of plot. What I haven't said are what I...
  • Commented on Character and Exposition are Plot: Why most pop critical terms aren't useful to writers
    > I'm not sure whether to thank you or curse you, but either way, well said. :) Yes, the muse is a mixed blessing. Sorry!...
  • Commented on Character and Exposition are Plot: Why most pop critical terms aren't useful to writers
    > Agreed. These days I tend to put books down when I hit the dreaded wall of text that begins with "As you know....". Life is too short. Yes, and the same goes for other "elegant" ways of seeding exposition....
  • Posted Character and Exposition are Plot: Why most pop critical terms aren't useful to writers to Charlie's Diary
    Why isn't Conan a Mary Sue? Because one of his legs is both the same like Dumarest and Dr Who and Roland and the screen Wonder Woman, he faces worthy opponents and perils and victory is often bitter sweet. I wrote about this at length for Black Gate (still no Hugo, but we now have a World Fantasy Award, by the way). If you dialled back the opposition and, say, had Conan settle down in Tolkien's Shire to protect the hobbits from each other and the fallout from the Ring War, then he'd suddenly be this all-travelled, super-cosmopolitan, uber killing machine; an embarrassing Mary Sue (using the looser definition of the term*). The same goes for most competent characters who protagonate. It's the plot that makes a Mary Sue, not the character. This is because plot is character...
  • Commented on Bad Writer Dad?
    Thanks for sharing that. I think I might have it printed on a T-shirt....
  • Commented on Bad Writer Dad?
    > And for a followup - how does parenthood change one's perception of Darth Vader's experience in Episodes V and VI? Darth Vader is like the alcoholic birth father who somehow manages to squeeze in some late life redemption. I...
  • Commented on Bad Writer Dad?
    > No. You were WORKING AT A JOB, and they interrupted you AT THE JOB. :) It is true in that case. And in general, the kids are good at leaving me alone. However, in general, until I have quite...
  • Commented on Bad Writer Dad?
    > we didn't have our children so that we could farm them off to someone else's care while pretending that life > could carry on as before. A very positive story that strikes a chord! My experience of the brain...
  • Commented on Bad Writer Dad?
    Yes indeed! And we got to take our daughter to see the new Star Wars at the same age as I was when I saw the original. Wonderful moment....
  • Commented on Bad Writer Dad?
    > Those oxytocin highs are pretty incredible, aren't they? :-) Yes. My advice to new parents is don't fight the gooey feelings. Without them, you're still sleep deprived and covered in poo. And, if you don't suddenly become all Authority...
  • Commented on Bad Writer Dad?
    That figures. And the time can actually be memorable: Kurtzhau first watched the original Star Wars trilogy when he was 4. We both had flu, and I was sick of Thomas the Tank engine, so we ended up cuddled up...
  • Commented on Bad Writer Dad?
    That's such an intense story I have tweeted it....
  • Commented on Bad Writer Dad?
    Isn't that a bit like formula milk but a zillion times more complicated? A robo nanny would have to give off the right scents to match emotions, the right non verbals, the subtle inflections... babies are little learning machines. It...
  • Commented on Bad Writer Dad?
    > Sorry, I don't see why a nanny wouldn't be a specialized servitor in the baby-rearing context. Explain, please? Baby-rearing involves human-human interaction. That's the point. It's all - god help me, even stepping in poo at 4am - quality...
  • Commented on Bad Writer Dad?
    (I'm enjoying hearing about other people's upbringings by the way.)...
  • Commented on Bad Writer Dad?
    I think it depends on your definition of quality time. Changing diapers is actually a moment of interaction and closeness. Same with baths. Food prep less so. However, a lot of "conversation" and interaction goes on during the things you...
  • Commented on Bad Writer Dad?
    A good measure! I get invited to join in Halo, so that's a good sign, right? Plus they are happy for me to referee Traveller....
  • Commented on Bad Writer Dad?
    Well as I said, there has to be some kind of pay off between pursuing a profession and being a good parent. I think "successful" was the important part. I think it's entirely possible to be a successful novelist *after*...
  • Commented on Bad Writer Dad?
    > Does Peril Panda wear Joo-Janta 200 Peril-Sensitive sunglasses? Actually, that's what I thought of when Morgenstern came up with the idea! She'd been watching Walking with Dinosaurs - I think she was 5? - and suddenly declared, "This is...
  • Commented on Bad Writer Dad?
    A question authors like to hear, though! Epub available here: http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/MHaroldPage...
  • Posted Bad Writer Dad? to Charlie's Diary
    You ever seen that experiment where you get somebody who swears they never dream and you wake them up from REM sleep? And they say something like, "But the giant chickens are genuflecting"? Well...
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