Replaying Xena: Season 6 – A Backslide, Yet Still Ahead of Its Time

A reporter determined to get the scoop on Xena

A reporter determined to get the scoop on Xena

In time, all good things come to an end.

In a way, I could have said this at the end of the season 5 of Xena Warrior Princess, which itself wasn’t as strong as seasons past, in my opinion.

By season 6, much of what previously made the show great – Xena and Gabrielle wandering Greece and interacting with various gods and mythological figures – fell by the wayside.

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Replaying Xena: Season 5 – The Prophecy of the Twilight

Xena receives some unexpected news

Xena receives some unexpected news

In the second last season of Xena Warrior Princess, we have come to the climax of the overall arc of the story.

Up to this point, Xena has gone from being a former bloodthirsty warrior, newly repentant and wracked with self-loathing, to a devoted friend and fighter for good and justice, to a self-assured paladin following the righteous spiritual path known as the Way of the Warrior.

Meanwhile, Xena’s best friend and sidekick, Gabrielle, has gone from a plucky, idealistic peasant girl, to an unwitting Amazon princess and novice fighter, to an adherent of the nonviolent spiritual path known as the Way of Love, to an eventual apostate of that path in favour of becoming a warrior – no longer a sidekick – in her own right.

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Character Study: Cookie Lyon from TV’s Empire (it’s the bad that makes her so good!)

Like 17 million other people, I’ve been watching Empire.

And in keeping with the prevailing opinion, I think it’s a great show.

When I told my sister I was watching it, she expressed surprise.  Not an unexpected reaction given most of what I watch is either fantasy, sci-fi, historical, or about science and nature.

However, Empire, at its core over the first season, is a succession drama, which I always love and happen to be writing myself in a historical setting.  As well, I have a prior history with stories about record companies thanks to the 1985 movie Krush Groovewhich my sister and I watched together and both enjoyed.

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Sometimes Magic Just Works: 4 Q&As about my WIP

Ravenswing Dress - The Dark Angel Design Company, Photography - Lunaesque

The Dark Angel Design Company, photography by Lunaesque

Time to talk about my WIP again!

I never used to do this at all, as the thought of giving the dreaded “elevator pitch” makes my stomach churn like too much greasy pizza too close to bedtime.

But like anything bearing the label “dreaded”, said dread is usually lessened over time through devoting regular thought and effort to improving at the task at hand.

In other words, I need to practice pitching and promoting myself more.

Which is why, when tagged by my blog-buddy Eric J. Baker, to answer four questions about my WIP as part of the Writing Process Blog Tour, and I agreed to participate.

The four questions are thus as follows:

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Why I (Literally) Went Medieval on My Writing

There’s a restaurant in Toronto called Medieval Times.

When I was a kid, I would see commercials for it on TV. The gimmick of this restaurant is that it’s set up like a large medieval hall in which patrons are entertained by knights sword fighting and jousting on real horses, all while eating medieval-esque fare without cutlery and drinking out of giant goblets.

To my child self, it looked like the most awesome thing ever. Whenever the commercial (which was more like a movie trailer) came on, I’d stop whatever I was doing and imagine myself going to the restaurant.

Unfortunately, because I was living in Nova Scotia, I never got to go.  I still haven’t been to this day.

Now, I’m writing a novel set in medieval England.

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Who’s Gonna Read Your Book II: On genre conventions / unconventional genres

One of the most important and oft-cited tenets of marketing is to identify your target audience.

When it comes to books, an easy was to start doing this is through identifying your novel’s genre, thereby making your target audience the readers of said genre.

Many writers descry genre.  I’ve hear it stated that genre conventions impose limits to creativity and the possibilities a writer can introduce into a story.

Some also claim that genre is a means by which the traditional publishing industry pigeonholes the market by only publishing stories adhering to this or the other trend, which ultimately comes to define various genres as a whole (e.g. the dystopian trend in YA).

Yet, whether one agrees with the above statements or not, genre is the means by which readers have been trained to locate books within the publishing landscape.  Whether a book is traditionally published or self-published, it’s the GPS that helps lead readers to the promised land of similar content and fulfilled expectations.

According to bestselling sci-fi author Hugh Howey,

[W]riting within a genre is a huge first step in becoming discovered. No one is looking for you or your particular book. You are both unknown unknowns. So you better write a book that’s near a specific book….  Random fantasy books sell better than random randomness.

But what happens when your book doesn’t quite fulfill those expectations?  What happens when it meets some of the conventions of its genre, yet blithely disregards others?

What happens if your book is like my book?

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