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Tag Archives: Star Wars

Greetings, Bearers!

Before getting to the heart of my post, I wanted to let you know that Bastards’ Road, my short story set in the Game of Thrones universe, has been posted to  Click here to check it out and please support this cool site!

Okay, on to my post. While this is not something I haven’t talked about before, I’m going to make a fairly strong statement about it now, and make it clearer than ever.  If you are a writer, and you want to write a great story, do yourself and all of us a big favor: write a good story.  What I mean by that is that the purpose of the story is the story.  It’s meant to entertain, to take your audience on a rollercoaster ride on a track of plot, character development, action, and emotional contact. After their eyes finish skimming the last word on the last page, the people who read your work should be setting it down with the satisfaction of having read something that they loved, much like a person who sits and eats a perfectly portioned, perfectly flavored meal. They should have loved the story, should have loved each high and low that you took them on, and they should have eagerly anticipated the climax while being reluctant to get there because they’re enjoying the ride so much.

In a nutshell, it’s about a good story, period. It’s ALWAYS about a good story.

But when you sacrifice telling a good story for the sake of exalting your worldview or your politics, or because you want the story to be more about your ideology than the composition and construction of characters that are colorful and fully developed, you’re killing the story.  And you shouldn’t be surprised when somebody doesn’t like that.

The joy of the story comes in the putting together of something that weaves creativity with a point of contact that reaches as many people as possible.  Take, for example, the Beatles song “I am the Walrus” written by John Lennon. Lennon basically wrote the song because he learned that a teacher in his old school was having students analyze the lyrics to Beatles songs, which inspired him to put together the nonsensical and gibberish-laden piece now immortalized as one of the more popular tunes on the Magical Mystery Tour album.

By his own admission, Lennon was just having fun with it. The song isn’t about anything. Yet when combined with the musical orchestration and other little “surprises” in the song supplied by the Beatles and George Martin, the song is now one of the Beatles’ most popular.  Why? Because it’s a well-crafted song, not because the lyrics have any “deep, hidden” meaning to them (Sadly, even though Lennon himself indicated that the song is ultimately about nothing, there are still “intellectual” people who refuse to take his word for it and insist that there is more to the song, thus ruining it via literary deconstruction).

Now, Lennon–who in his later years was certainly more politically volatile and outspoken–could have simply written something more straightforward about the whole matter in a more activistic manner and put together lyrics that would have been a bit more poignant (for a more extreme example, see Guns ‘n Roses’ “Get in the Ring”). But Lennon didn’t.  He made it about the song and the enjoyment of artistically crafting a well-composed piece. And while he “addressed” the matter of lyrical analysis. He did it in a way that still made it about simply sitting down to listen to good music first. Lennon did not sacrifice good music for the sake of an issue; he wrote good music and in the process dealt with the issue in his own, humorous way.

In another manner, the same thing could be said about J.R.R. Tolkien and his epic “Lord of the Rings” series. Tolkien despised allegory, preferring “applicability” instead. Tolkien’s characters, plots, and themes might have had applications which could have been used (my particular favorite being that of the One Ring and its application to the lust for power), but the story of Frodo’s trek from the Shire to Mount Doom is just that: a story. Tolkien essentially wanted to take people on an adventure, not primarily to make a point about war or politics or society. If there was any influence from Tolkien’s political or religious beliefs (he was, after all, a devout Catholic), it was more or less incidental to the point. The point was the story, not the commentary on societal issues that might or might not be gleaned from its elements.

What this comes to is the modern idea that everything has to be seen through a political worldview. This has come to light especially in the last few years, in light of the fiasco that was “Gamergate” and the release of the horrendous Ghostbusters reboot which generated controversy, and now arising again with concerns about the female Doctor being introduced in the upcoming Doctor Who series and the characterizations put into play in the new Star Wars films (I’ll include links on these below, in case you’re not familiar with what’s going on in each of these).

Now here’s the crux of the matter: hold whatever political or societal viewpoint you wish: it’s a free country (and I hope a free place where you live if you’re outside of the U.S.).  But when you turn your story into nothing more than a propaganda piece for your politics or worldview, or when you’re so attached to your worldview and politics that you think your story will suffer unless you stuff your worldview in there in such a way as to emblazon it across every key facet of your plot and character development, you will almost always inevitably kill your story and lose your audience.

As I’ve already run much longer with this post than I had intended, I’ll cut it short and leave the video links below to explain more.  But the point is that you as an author must RESPECT THE STORY FIRST. You must make your story good, make your characters good (not necessarily morally, but appealing), make your fictional world good, and all will work out.  But if you refuse to do this, if you refuse to alter your story in a good way because it may impede on your politics or activism, if you create a story, a movie, or a video game dominated by the fear of the “politically correct,” or if you refuse to respect the source material if you’re captitalizing on an already established scifi or fantasy world, then you’ll get what you deserve, and that’s negative press for turning your opportunity for creativity into a political sermon.

So there.

Whew! I hadn’t planned on writing that much, nor did I intend to make it quite so negative at the end.  Be that as it may, sometimes you have to be negative in order to bring about a positive result, right? 😀

Okay, back to work.  In the meantime, check out these links below my sigline for futher thoughts. They illustrate the problems you get into when you make your agenda more important than your craft.

See you in the Vein!

J. Dean

Greetings, Bearers!

So there I was last night, running up to a car parts store, and I happened to see something that brought out a laugh in me.  So, in deference to J.J. Abrams’ upcoming Star Wars film (which, btw, I have been trying to avoid any information about like the plague so as to keep it a surprise), I give you my homemade meme based upon my adventures from last night.

Enjoy, and see you in the Vein!
J. Dean



Greetings, Bearers!

I have some good (almost great) news: The Summoning of Clade Josso cover reissue is now complete, and is available for ebook on Smashwords and Amazon! Check it out, and if you’ve been waiting to purchase it, now is the time!

And I GREATLY appreciate the feedback about the MUCH IMPROVED cover! People are loving it and drooling over it! That’s good!

“Wait, J.” you may be saying, “Why is that good but not great?”

Because I’m still waiting on the cover to be taken by Barnes and Noble :(. Not sure what’s going on with it, but I’m trying to get that squared away.

However, if you get it on Smashwords, you’ll still get a readable version with the new cover. So check it out and enjoy!

And on to the second piece: the Star Wars teaser. Yes, I realize that I’ve said to family and friends that I didn’t want ANY glimpse of anything from J.J. Abrams’ upcoming film. I said that I would stand firm and avert my eyes and ears from any clues and images that would give away spoilers and ruin my anticipation.

But I caved. Sue me. 😀

If you’ve not seen it, check it out. It’s pretty much available anywhere, like Youtube and what not, so sit back and enjoy a little taste of what I hope to be a Magnum Opus that occurs in a galaxy far, far away…

(Now, if there happens to be a polar bear or a smoke monster in the movie…)

So get out there and watch it.

See you in the Vein!

Ha! This is a first for me: two posts in one day!!!

Check THIS ARTWORK out from JakeMurray.  You Star Wars fans will especially appreciate this!  Enjoy!

Greetings, Bearers!

I wanted to take a moment and wish everybody a very happy Easter season, including this Good Friday.  Tomorrow, I will be posting another entry from the Vein omnibus, so you can enjoy another tidbit of information about the World of the Vein.

I also wanted to add that, if ever you have questions about the characters, creatures, or just the Vein world in general, feel free to ask!  I’ll try to answer as best I can, and even though parts of the storyline are “works in progress,” there’s plenty that is already set in stone, even if it’s not set on paper or computer file (and unlike Mr. George Lucas, I have no intention of botching it up via over-fiddling with it).  So please don’t hesitate to ask me anything; whether the question deserves a personal or public response, I’ll be happy to oblige you with whichever one fits the situation!

Okay, back to writing.   And Han shot first.

See you in the Vein!

J. Dean