Friday, 28 October 2011

The art of the Short Story.

I've been trying to figure short stories out for a long time. I've got a few volumes of short fantasy and horror stories knocking around my flat, and I've spent enough time reading them to have tried my hand at writing them.

But I also have my fair share of issues with short stories. The problem I've always had with a lot of short stories I've read is that they seem to forget they're actually a story. My issues with Booker Prize winners nonewithstanding, that style of writing doesn't fit the short story for. At the end of the day, a booker prize winner has a whole novel to tell their touching tale of a young Asian man scarping a living working as a prostitute on the back streets of Tamworth whilst simultaneously trying to act as the surrogate mother to a Panda cub they stole from the zoo.

Feel free to steal that one, by the way. It's as good as most of the pompous crap that booker prize winners come up with.

But when people try to fit those Oh-So-Clever ideas into a short story, then they end up being dull and disinteresting. Maybe thats the goal. Maybe they like subverting the genre. Maybe they lie pissing me, personally, off. A lot of short stories are like that, 'touching' tales of hardship, usually about people who have been touched. Either way, I read enough of that in University to know I don't like it.

So, horror and fantasy. They're the two Genres I primarily read short stories in, but the problem is that a lot of the time, especially in the horror genre, you seem to get writers who are more interested in showing how cleverly they can write than in telling their - usually quite interesting - tale.

So I've been thinking of some of the key points that I feel are useful in the construction of a short story. To come up with these, I revisited some old friends in the form of The Two Steves: Stephen King and Stephen Donaldson. This is just personal opinion, but I believe these two writers to be masters of the short story form in Horror and Fantasy respectively. I'll be making some references to their work in this little rant, and if you're interested, I suggest you seek them out, they're all good stories.

So, without further ado, here's Bendanarama's guide to the short story:

1) Length.

This may seem like a blindingly obvious point to make, but short stories need to be, well, short. AS far as I'm concerned (and this is something I disagree with Donaldson on) 50,000 words is way too much for a short story. 50,000 is well into Novella territory and, given the existence of "Tuesdays with Morrie" a borderline novel in itself. In my opinion, a short story is potentially anywhere from 1000 words to 25-30,000. That looks like a lot, but is actually quite a small amount of space, which leads me onto:

2) The Premise.

Again, it seems obvious, but it's very difficult to tell an epic tale of the wars of men in a short story. Pick a relatively simple premise, something that allows you to tell a story, but forces you to wrap it up in a short timeframe. In Stephen King's "Nightmares and Dreamscapes" collection, almost all the premises are simple: A couple comes to stay in an out of the way town, a finger begins to poke out of a drain, a vampire with a pilots license. All simple premises that give room to stretch the imagination.

3) The Characters.

You're characters will need to be clearly defined from the start. You don't have a hell of a lot of space to play with their backgrounds and motivations, so give us someone we can associate and recognise clearly. Don't be afraid to use the odd cliche here and there. Cliche's are what they are for a reason, and can be used just as effectively to your advantage as to your detriment: think cowboy movie: The Town Sheriff, The Unnamed Drifter, The Local Businessman. All recognisable archetypes of the Genre, all of which allow you to stretch them as characters in a short amount of space. Give your reader something to latch onto, and they'll repay you by paying attention to what you're writing. In Donaldson's story "Penance" the Main character is a remorseful vampire. You're damn right it's a cliche, but it's one played to brilliant effect in a fantasy environment.

4) Keep it Simple, Stupid.

Stop trying to impress people with your flowerly language. Seriously, this is one of my big bugbears - you've got a limited amount of space - use it to tell your story in a  manner that won't have your reader going "eh?" rather than trying to make the English language perform somersaults for your own self-gratification.

So yeah, I hope this little rant helps some poor person who chooses to stumble upon this blog after a random google search. It happens. In the meantime, I'll be writing my "Cowboys vs Werewolves" short story. Lets see how that works out.

Tuesday, 27 September 2011

Falling out of the story.

So. Writing. That thing I'm meant to be doing. Yeah.

I'm not going to deny it, I'm fairly inconsistent when it comes to writing to targets. I've struggled with Time and Tide over the last few months, and now that the autumn months are coming round, I'm finding it a real struggle to focus on the story I'm trying to tell.

Primarily, this is because I have a fairly serious aversion to planning my story out. I tend to stick with a looser guideline - I know whats going to happen in the beginning, I know what the characters are going to be like, and I have a pretty solid idea of how they're all going to end up. My problem is whats colloquially known as the "bit in the middle." You know. The stuff that fills up all the pages.

I love writing. I really do. It's one of my favourite things to do. But I've written six chapters of Time and Tide now and I've hit on the problem that hits me with all my writing at some point: It's started becoming a chore. I sit down, look at it, and go "I can't be arsed right now." I love the story and I love the characters, but at the end of theday, I'm not in the mood.

So, what to do instead? I could pull my usual nonsense by slacking off and playing video games. I could do what I'm currently doing and carry on trolling people on Omegle's spy mode.

Or I coulc get off my ass and write something. Last year for NaNoWriMo, I wrote a motorsport story. I've been meaning to do something more with those characters. What better time than now?

Incidentally, the whole Omegle thing? This is the best response so far:


You're now watching two strangers discuss your question!
Question to discuss:
Last night, I creapt into your house and spat, gently, in your ear. How do you feel about this?

Stranger 1: I actually enjoyed that. I thought it was the loveliest of dreams.

Stranger 1: Now I know it was real.

Stranger 2: o.o

Stranger 1: Woah! wait, who are you?

Stranger 1: I thought it was this other man who had come to me, now there is this stranger talking to me?

Stranger 1: What is this?

Stranger 1: How could you do this to me??

Stranger 2: Imma woman ...

Stranger 1: Are you the one who spit in my ear?

Stranger 2: no

Stranger 1: Did this being who is watching us come to you as well?

Stranger 1: He must have, if he sent us both here...

Stranger 2: nope

Stranger 1: We were chosen for something.

Stranger 1: no?

Stranger 1: hmmm...

Stranger 1: interesting.

Stranger 2: well i dunno i was asleep

Stranger 1: Did you wake up here?

Stranger 2: ive been out all day ? its like 7:25pm were i am


Stranger 1 has disconnected

Monday, 22 August 2011

Monday Mumblings: God is in the Mask.

So, here I sit, cup of tea in hand, trying to work on my Novel, and failing dismally. I don't know why, because I have a lot of enthusiasm for this project, but I seem to have reached, at this point of the sixth chapter, what can be referred to as "The fiddly bit."

See, the problem is, my characters aren't omniscient. Well, most of them aren't. There's one exception, but I wouldn't want to spoil it for you. But the point is that most of my characters aren't all knowing, so at some point, they have to figure out how to get to each other. This is difficult. Bex describes the story as being a bit of a King Arthur fanfiction, and theres a certain element of truth to that, but there are a lot of places I have to take the characters before I pack them in the back of their Skoda and trot them off down to King Arthur country.

So instead, I'm having to rely on my witty dialogue and the sneaky use of Deus Ex Machina. I've always been kind of fascinated by the Sutton Hoo Mask, so given that I'm having my villain and his anti-heroish compadre are currently breaking into the British museum, I couldn't think of a better historical artifact to send them on their merry little treasure hunt. I'm also sort of playing assassins creed Brotherhood multiplayer, but I'm not really paying attention so it isn't going well.

Blogging, writing a novel, and playing video games all at the same time. Who says blokes can't multitask?

Tuesday, 16 August 2011

This isn't the game I remember.

I came to a horrifying conclusion recently. It hit me quite hard, and made me just a little depressed. I came to the devastating realisation that my beloved Gillingham Football Club will never play in the Premier League.

Now, I'm pretty sure that will come as a shock to precisely no-one, but what got me the most is that even if we had the players, ground, infrastructure, sponsors, training, management and chairman to get to the premiership, theres no way in hell that Gillingham FC can afford to compete in the premier league.

What brought it home was a line in Shortlist Magazine from Robbie Savage. He was talking about Fernando Torres' move to Chelsea and said "He looks more like a Fifteen Million pound player than a Fifty-Million pound player."

And I thought to myself "Holy hell, what has the world come to when being said you're worth fifteen million quid is meant to be a derogatory statement."

I'm pretty sure the Gills entire squad isn't valued at fifty million pounds. Hell, I'm not even sure they're valued at fifteen million pounds. Fifteen million quid goes a very long way in the third division.

And I'm still not entirely sure when football started becoming more about the money than it was about the game. Manchester City is currently having it's sponsors investigated by UEFA - the European Regulators - to see if theres any financial misconduct. In 1999, Gillingham lost to Manchester City in the division 2 playoff finals. I still find that slightly surreal given that they're now the richest club in the league.

It's like the premier league exists in another plane of existence. One where theres infinite money, and no-one bats an eyelid at players earning £200,000 a week. And everyone is asking the question "When will this bubble pop?"

A lot of the people I work with tell me that this money needs to be paid to keep the league competitive and attract talent. But I say that the world of football needs a wage cap - Let the talent come for the game, rather than the money. Let players play for the love of their club, not the size of their wallet.

Cesc Fabregas left Arsenal this week to play for Barcelona. When you read what he was saying, it was clear that he went to Barca for love of his hometown club. Back in the premier league, Wayne Rooney walked out on Everton, his hometown club, to take the big paycheck at Manchester United. Sadly, there are more players acting like Rooney than acting like Fabregas, and whilst the clubs bank balances swell and the players get bigger cars and bigger paychecks, I sit there watching the results on Saturday, knowing that my club will never be top of the top.

Because we can't afford it.

Wednesday, 27 July 2011

I find myself in a very odd position.

We all know how Internet trawling goes. You start on one page, you click on a random link, and you end up going to strange and weird places of the Internet that you never expected to. No, this isn't a porn rant. Get your mind out of the gutter.

This is the strange tale of how I found myself in the incredibly strange position of defending Paris Hilton. Still not a porn rant.

So, this morning, I clicked on a random link from F1 Fanatic, and a couple of clicks later, I ended up on this video:

Okay, I'm not the biggest fan of Motorbike Racing, and I can't stand Paris Hilton, and on that basis I was fairly indifferent to the clip, although I thought she sounded very supportive of the team she's backing - Blusen's by Paris Hilton Racing (Catchy) - and very supportive of the 16 year old 125cc racers she's helping race on the MotoGP circuit.

Then I made a critical error.

I looked at the Comments.

Dear. Sweet. God.

"wtf,why she was there? for sex or something?"

"okay....stick making porn videos...."

"What a d**k! I bet she only wants a bike because its something else big and throbbing she can have between her legs!"

"would she give me a blow if i let her drive my bike?!"

"shouldn't this c**t be in the kitchen making us all a sandwhich? lol"

I'd really love to say I cherrypicked the comments here. to an extent I did. But if you don't believe me, go and look at the comments on that video yourself. It is genuinely disgusting. As I've said, I'm not a fan of Paris Hilton, but no-one deserves to be spoken about in this method. I was raised to not talk about people like this, and I'm willing to bet most of those commenters were as well.

A lot of the resentment on there seems to derive from the fact that the commenters seem to believe that she has "no right" or "doesn't belong" on the video from the Grid.

Heres the moment when I pick a fight, because I hate to break it to you, but she has a hell of a lot more right to be there than most of you keyboard warriors out there. I do hope that some MotoGP fans end up reading that and pour hatred out at me.

Your hate tastes like candy. It feeds me.

But the fact is that Paris Hilton is probably pouring a not insubstantial amount of money into supporting two young 125cc riders as they go to different races worldwide. No-one objects to Vijay Mallya, Tony Fernandes or Richard Branson being interviewed on the F1 grid, so why does Paris Hilton, who is essentially a team owner, deserve this abuse. Is it because they command more respect, more prestige?

Or is it because they aren't a 30 year old blonde heiress who once appeared in a porn video.

It's very easy to go for target like that, isn't it? Very big of all of you.

Wednesday, 13 July 2011

That "I am the Doctor" Moment.

One of my things when I'm writing is that I write to music. I'm pretty sure most people who write do the same - certainly most people I know do. But one of the things I do is I tend to associate music with certain parts of my writing.

Those three sentences were just background, by the way, they have nothing to do with the meat of this blog entry.

Okay, Im sure you glanced at the title of this blog and went "What the hell is he talking about?" Well, I'm a Doctor Who fan, and since the Regeneration into the Eleventh Doctor, the fine folks at the BBC have used a certain musical refrain to indicate moments where the Doctor is about to be exceptionally awesome. This is that piece of music:

Its a live version, so there is the occasional giggle from the audience, but you get the idea. Now, what we have there is a musical cue. If you watch a program long enough, you begin to associate these cues with pieces of action. Another example is the Indiana Jones theme tune. Throughout the movies, when the music begins to kick in, you know that it's about to become a "Indy Kicks Ass" scene.

Now, the Audio Cue of "I am the Doctor" is a bit different, primarily because of the difference between Indiana Jones and The Doctor as characters. Indiana Jones is an action hero, whereas The Doctor is, essentially, a none-violent character. "I am The Doctor" is not an action Cue, but it is a quintessentially triumphant piece of music. Of course, an Audio Cue is nothing without context, so here's a scene from Matt Smith's first episode that illustrates exactly how the audio Cue of the initial strings riff on this track works:

Okay, so now we're all briefed up on the concept of the Audio Cue, what does that have to do with the way I'm trying to write my Novel?

Well, that kind of Crescendo moment is something that I've been looking to try and develop in my own work, and I've been looking for examples in other places of how it works. Now, some of these won't work exceptionally well out of context, so you're going to have to trust me on them. I'll try and explain them as best I can.

The first example, I've got, is one that, somewhat fortuitously, I came across today. I'm pretty sure that most people who've read a book... well, who've read a book will have heard of The Hound Of The Baskervilles. If you haven't, you're physically a disgrace to humanity.

But, having heard of the book isn't necessarily equivalent to having read it, so to give you the background to this section, and brief summary of the plot so far: Sir Charles Baskerville has died in suspicious circumstances, and Sherlock Holmes has been commissioned by his Heir, Sir Henry Baskerville, to investigate both the circumstances of Sir Charles' demise and the mysterious warnings that have been sent to attempt to discourage Sir Henry from taking up residence at Baskerville Hall. The Mystery deepens when the Baskerville Family legend of a demonic hellound stalking the family seems to be involved, with the footprint of a Large Dog having been found near Sir Charles' body. Holmes, for various reasons, elects to remain in London for the first part of the story, and sends his Erstwhile companion, Doctor Watson, to Devonshire with Sir Henry. To complicate things further, a notorious murderer has escaped onto the moors, and is involved with members of Sir Henry's household staff. While he and sir Henry chasing down Selden, the escaped convict, Watson spots a figure highlighted against the moon watching them. During his own investigations the next day, Watson has the trail to this second figure's hideout pointed out to him by a local busybody. Following the scent to a group of Neolithic houses, Watson finds a note from the Boy who has been carrying supplies to this mysterious figure...

"Dr. Watson has gone to Coombe Tracey."

For a minute I stood there with the paper in my hands thinking out the meaning of this curt message. It was I, then, and not Sir Henry, who was being dogged by this secret man. He had not followed me himself, but he had set an agent—the boy, perhaps—upon my track, and this was his report. Possibly I had taken no step since I had been upon the moor which had not been observed and reported. Always there was this feeling of an unseen force, a fine net drawn round us with infinite skill and delicacy, holding us so lightly that it was only at some supreme moment that one realized that one was indeed entangled in its meshes.

If there was one report there might be others, so I looked round the hut in search of them. There was no trace, however, of anything of the kind, nor could I discover any sign which might indicate the character or intentions of the man who lived in this singular place, save that he must be of Spartan habits and cared little for the comforts of life. When I thought of the heavy rains and looked at the gaping roof I understood how strong and immutable must be the purpose which had kept him in that inhospitable abode. Was he our malignant enemy, or was he by chance our guardian angel? I swore that I would not leave the hut until I knew.

Outside the sun was sinking low and the west was blazing with scarlet and gold. Its reflection was shot back in ruddy patches by the distant pools which lay amid the great Grimpen Mire. There were the two towers of Baskerville Hall, and there a distant blur of smoke which marked the village of Grimpen. Between the two, behind the hill, was the house of the Stapletons. All was sweet and mellow and peaceful in the golden evening light, and yet as I looked at them my soul shared none of the peace of Nature but quivered at the vagueness and the terror of that interview which every instant was bringing nearer. With tingling nerves but a fixed purpose, I sat in the dark recess of the hut and waited with sombre patience for the coming of its tenant.

And then at last I heard him. Far away came the sharp clink of a boot striking upon a stone. Then another and yet another, coming nearer and nearer. I shrank back into the darkest corner and cocked the pistol in my pocket, determined not to discover myself until I had an opportunity of seeing something of the stranger. There was a long pause which showed that he had stopped. Then once more the footsteps approached and a shadow fell across the opening of the hut.

"It is a lovely evening, my dear Watson," said a well-known voice. "I really think that you will be more comfortable outside than in."

Okay, so the trick when reading that excerpt is to imagine the music coming in at the line "Then once more the footsteps approached and a shadow fell across the opening of the hut." The whole trick of this section, which Conan-Doyle plays magnificently, is that we are as blind to the identity of the stranger as Watson is, but from the moment he speaks, we realise that it is Holmes and that the day is saved, because the Hero has arrived on the scene. We know, from the moment Sherlock Holmes appears, that the endgame is upon us, and everything will be alright.

However, this moment of Triumph and sudden security is not the only way a "I Am The Doctor" moment can be used. Another example is this recent comic from Sluggy Freelance. I apologise for linking to the comic and not putting the image on here for convenience, but I refuse to steal Bandwidth from one of the most popular webcomics on the net.

I'm also not going to explain too much of the backstory here, because it is ENORMOUSLY complicated. Medical Nanobots are involved, as are alternative dimensions. To fully explain everything would far too long, but the brief notes version is that Riff - the guy in the trenchcoat - has been living in an alternate dimension for two years, and his friend Zoe - the girl at the end of the strip - was transported there with him. due to various reasons, Zoe's mind was wiped, leaving her with no memories or any kind of function; not quite vegetative, but somewhere in between.

Now, heres where the other side of the "IATD" moment comes in. This is a slightly different concept where the hero gambles everything - life, sanity, health and wealth - to achieve one single goal: in this case, restoring Zoe to her original buoyant state. These plots and gambles are, by necessity, highly convoluted and complicated, as the explanation given by Riff in the comic shows. With comic strips, you have to imagine the time delay between frames to give yourself the sort of cinematic flow. The place for the Audio Cue to kick in in that scenario is slightly different - rather than a buildup to the reveal, its the buildup to the Victory, the true triumphant moment, where the gamble is shown to have paid off - when Zoe reappears as herself, rather than in her vegetative state.

These are just two examples, but when I was reading both, I was playing the piece of music in my head as I read them. Now, it's easy to spot this kind of moment on TV or film, but writing them in prose of in a comic the way Conan-Doyle and Pete Abrams did in these examples, is to me one of the best - and most difficult parts of trying to write a story, and something I aspire to be able to do. If I ever read back over what I've written and get the little buzz of anticipation burst that piece of music gives me, I know I'll have done good.

Wednesday, 6 July 2011

Kids these Days.

Okay, I'm a gamer, and I've been known, on occasion to talk about motorsport on this blog. So naturally, being both a gamer and a Motorsport fan, I was pretty happy to see news of F1 2011 appearing in the gaming media, more specifically, this Developer Diary:

I want the steering wheel Ant Davidson uses in that video SO much.

Now, I first came across that video on a gaming site. As you tend to with Video Game news. What I then did was make the mistake of looking at the comments. Most of it, to be fair, was the usual mix of vitriolic hatred and enthusiastic responses. The one that caught my eye, though was a comment related to the footage from about the 1:45 minute mark of the video, at the VIP developer event.

As you may notice if you look at that video, a lot of the people trying the game out are rather young, which prompted some enlightened soul in the comments to ask:

"That's stupid, what the F**k do kids know about car handling?"

I have, of course, corrected the spelling and grammar.

Now, at first glance, the commenter has a point. What does a young person know about the intricacies of car handling and physics? What could a young teenager know about Racing a car? What could a child know about competitive motorsport and how a car handles under pressure?

What could this 15 year old girl:

(Picture Courtesy: BBC)

know about car handling and physics? And what does this nine year old child:

(Picture courtesy: Youtube)

...Know about how a racing car handles? Look at the pair of them? What could they possibly know about racing car Handling that some gamer commenting on a website doesn't? Everyone knows kids don't know anything!

Tell me, gentle reader, how good are you at spotting incredibly loaded questions?

That first picture? The fifteen year old? Her name is Sarah Moore. In 2009, on Live British Television, she won the Ginetta Juniors championship, one of the best Junior GT racing categories in the country. She was the first female champion in it's then five-year history. She won five races and had ten podium finishes in the 20 race season. Now aged 17 and racing in the Intersteps series, Her ambition is to compete in the Le Mans 24 Hours. She also has her sights set on being the first British Female F1 driver.

Just to illustrate that this series isn't just kids playing around, here's some footage from the 2008 season, as Ginetta Junior footage is disappointingly difficult to find:

Oh, and I bet you're wondering about the young nine year old boy in that photo. Well, that picture was taken in 1989. I cropped it from this footage:

Twenty years later, that nine year old boy did this:

Yeah. Thats Jenson Button. The 2009 F1 world Champion.

So whats the point of this blog entry? The point is that Racing drivers don't just drop into the seat at the age of 25 and start winning races. The point is that Motorsport, like everything else in life, is a craft that needs to be learned.

The point is that some Gamer posting a comment on a website doesn't know more than that 15 year old girl and eight year old boy. They have probably forgotten more about car handling and physics than you will ever know. Sarah Moore is a veteran champion racing driver at the age of 17. Jenson Button has been racing for over 20 years, and is only 31 years old.

So, "What the f**k do kids know about car handling and physics?"

The answer? In the case of some of them, A hell of a lot more than you.

Tuesday, 21 June 2011

The wheel deal...*lol*

About six months ago, I picked up a Microcon MC2 Steering wheel from Argos, because - as you may have noticed - I am a fan of motorsport, and that extends to the videogame world as well. So, y'know, after having half a year to get used to the nuances of my favourite gaming accessory, I've decided to give a bit of a product review on how its turned out.

Now, there are quite a few people on sites like F1 Fanatic and The hardcore motorsport gaming sites insist that the only gaming wheels anyone should ever use are the likes of the £295 Logitech G27 and should only play a "proper racing simulator" like Rfactor.

Those are the same people who don't get that games like F1 2010 have to appear to a wider audience than the hardcore simulation crowd, and in fact have to work to appeal to the widest fanbase of F1 to recoup the money spent on the game in the first place.

I play games because I want to enjoy them. And that's precisely what I've been doing with the MC2. So, Thinking about it recently, I've subjected the MC2 to what I'm calling the "Five Game Test."

In order to see how best the wheel works, I've needed to use it on a variety of games. This being me, I have a pretty decent selection of racing games, so the ones I've chosen are:

Race Driver: GRID

F1 2010

Need For Speed: Shift

Sega Rally Online Arcade

Forza Motorsport 3.

Firstly though, a bit about the wheel itself. "But Ben," I hear you say "It's a steering wheel. It goes round and a car turns. what more do I need to know?"

Well, it's never quite that simple. The Minicon wheel, as the name suggests, is built to be smaller and a bit more portable than a wheel the size of a logitech - which is generally 1:1 scale with an actual car steering wheel. it works very well for this reason: the wheel fits very easilly on your lap, and comfortably as well. The base of the MC2 has a pair of fold out struts that can wrap either side of your legs, but to be honest I've never had any use of them - they push your knees together very tightly if your sitting on a chair, and the moulded base means you don't really need them to prevent the wheel slipping. The pedals that come with have an accelerator and a brake, but no clutch as there isn't a gear handle. It also has three suction cups on the base for if you want it to stick to a table.

Now, the wheel is wired, and has about 2 metres of cable, but it wouldn't be ideal for someone who has their lounge and xbox set up for Kinect usage as you'd probably have to sit on the floor in front of the TV. The pedals have about 4 feet of cable, so have a decent amount of space for taller people - unless your planning on driving standing up, which would be silly.

The wheel itself has a good solid feel to it, with a decent amount of tension on it's steering column, with both lightness of movement and enough resistance to make action an actual physical effort. The back of the wheel has two paddles within easy reach, and these are primarily there if you're into manual shifting. for the purposes of this review, I'll be doing just that.

Onto the games!

---F2 2010---

Car: Mclaren MP4-25

Track: Istanbul Park.

Lap Time: 1:26.733

It took a me a good while to get back into the swing of F1 2010 when I plugged the wheel in I haven't played it in quite a while and I'd completely forgotten that driving an F1 car around the track is completely different to any other kind of racing game. For a while I found myself pretty much missing every single apex on the track, and given it was my first time using a manual shift I hate to think just how many times I would have blown up a £100,000 F1 engine. When I did finally hook together a lap though, I felt absolutely brilliant. Using the wheel was intuitive and fun. Flat out through Istanbul's infamous Turn 8, I had no problem holding the wheel to the racing line and shifting up at the same time. One worry I did have was that, given the options like wing angle and engine setting are selected from the D-Pad in the centre of the wheel, it would be difficult to do all those things at once, but once I'd gotten into the habit, I selected a higher engine setting without any great difficulty. While I doubt I'm ever going to be a great threat to Seb Vettel (lets face it, who is these days), I was able to bring home a pretty decent lap time in the end.

---Need For Speed: Shift---

Car: BMW M3 GT2

Track: Brands Hatch GP

Lap Time: 1:39.099

Now, this one was certainly a bit more... Interesting. Given that it's intended as a more arcadey game anyways, NFS:Shift's cars come with a handfull of oversteer that it takes a while to get used to. I know the Brands Hatch Circuit pretty well, but it took me quite a while to hook up a half-decent lap, as I was too busy trying not to bin it into the gravel. I started with a Nissan GT-R, but it was so slidey that I decided to try with the M3 instead, and found it much better. to be honest, I've always struggled to find Grip in shift, and using the wheel didn't help much as the inherent nature of the game meant the wheel felt very sensitive. Once I'd adapted to that, however, it was pretty good - I was nailing the corners pretty well, if a little bit driftily. The earlier twitchiness did mean that out of habit I found myself shifting down a gear too far on the high speed corners, which probably accounts for my fairly slow lap time. The once fault I had with the wheel is that the Brake pedal seemed to switch suddenly between very light and very heavy with no inbetween, but again, this might just have been my heavy left foot. Once I'd gotten used to the game mechenics, it was decent fun. thank god for the runoff areas though!

---Race Driver: GRID---

Car: Chevrolet Lacetti Touring Car

Track: Donington Park National

Lap Time: None Set

Oh Dear. Oh Very Dear. The game and wheel both fell down very hard on this one. I've enjoyed GRID a lot over the year since I got it (I've only had the Xbox about 14 months) and both offline and occasionally online its been a good, punchy Arcade racer. But not with this wheel. If NFS:Shift came with a handfull of Oversteer, GRID came with both hands, legs and it's mouth full of it. I tried playing with the settings for the wheel in the games menu, I tried being less sharp with the wheel, but a typical corner went "slight turn, slight turn, slight turn, MASSIVE OVERSTEER, Spin." No matter what I did, the car simply wouldn't turn in properly to a corner, as even on front wheel drive cars like the Lacetti, the rear would step out and I'd spin the bastard. I didn't even get around a full lap of Donington before I gave up and Rage Quit. Very dissapointing.

---Forza Motorsport 3---

Car: Ford Focus ST

Track: New York Circuit

Lap Time: 1:33.771

The wheel definitely took a round back with Forza. I picked the Focus as a baseline car, and it worked pretty well, although since it wasn't race tuned, the steering felt very heavy at times, and I ran out of pedal lift before being able to brake at some of the sharper turns. The steering was still quite responsive and the gearshifts felt realistic without being clunky, and I was able to access the telemetry screen using the D-pad without any major dramas. I do have to say though, for anything like livery design and storefront on Forza, stick to the joypad - the wheel is not suited to it.

---Sega Rally Online Arcade---

Car: Skoda Fabia RS

Track: Alpine Circuit

Lap Time: 1:12:38

The wheel works, to be frank, pretty damn awesomely with this game, but to be fair, it is a very forgiving game - except when you clip a wall. Manual shifting worked as close to perfectly as you can ask, and the steering had just the right balance of sensitivity and rallying-oversteer to allow me to flick the car into the corners. I had the accelerator buried to the floor most of the time, and the brake pedal barely needed more than a dab, but I've been using the wheel both offline and online and it's won me victories in and of itself by giving me the chance to be smoother through the corners and sharper on the gearshifts. One weird bug though is that the force feedback locked on after the race and turned the wheel into a constantly vibrating presence in my lap, and I had to exit the game before it stopped.


4/5 games. A good score, but given that one of the games it's said to be ideal for on the box is one of the ones that let it down, make sure that you're not buying the MC2 specifically for one game, becuase if it turns out not to suit it, you're going to have a large £35 paperweight. I'd still have it over a £295 logitech paperweight any day though!

Wednesday, 18 May 2011

I ain't afraid of no ghost(writer).

The other day, BBC 1's The One Show ran a piece on how "dishonest" the labelling of a kids book as "Enid Blyton's The new Adventures of the wishing chair" was. The reason for this is because the book was written by a ghostwriter.

Now, I've applied for work as a ghostwriter before. I've spoken to some people who have done ghostwriting. It is hard graft for very little reward, but it is also very definitively a skill. Now, the morality of supposedly making it appear that the book is written by Enid Blyton aside, personally as an ex-freelancer I feel there is a bigger issue at work that the one show didn't pick up on.

Now, for a lot of freelancers, a lot of work comes in because of reputation. and the like are a great referral service, but the best freelancers I've seen on line are making money because people are coming to them with work.

The last ghostwritten book I bought was Eddie Guerrero's autobiography Cheating Death, Stealing Life. WWE have always been very fair to their ghostwriters, since from what I gather, they become 'one of the boys' when they're on the road with the wrestlers. You'll notice on the cover of Eddie's book that Michael Krugman, the ghostwriter, is given a cover credit. Same goes for William Regal's Walking a Golden Mile (Neil Chandler), and Ric Flair's To Be The Man (Kevin Elliot Greenberg).

Moving away from wrestling Biographies, James Hunt's Against All Odds gives Eoin Hunt fair credit for writing it, as did Robbie Williams with Somebody Someday. In the case of a lot of these, its a hardcover credit on the inside of the sleeve, with a small passage from the ghostwriter. The book is primarily credited to the celebrity, which is fair enough - thats who people are buy the book for.

For those of you unfamiliar with the Ghostwriting process, for a lot of writers it consists of interviews, spending a lot of time with the subject, a Dictaphone and a notepad.

But recently, I've noticed what, to me, is a rather disturbing trend: ghostwriters not getting a proper credit. what the one show pointed out, was the ghostwriter was named only as a dedication in the 'Enid Blyton' book.

Katie Price - better known as Jordan - has supposedly written four Autobiographies and a string of fiction novels. Except she hasn't. All the books were written by a ghostwriter named Rebecca Farnworth.

I'm sure that this doesn't come as a surprise to you. I'm pretty sure everyone figured out that Jordan trying to write would be like a dog quoting Aristotle. Also, I'm fucking AMAZED that Farnworth managed to stretch Jordan's life to four books.

Random house, Price's publisher, released a statement saying beforehand that "Rebecca Farnworth's name is clearly credited on the copyright page of the books."

Really? have you ever tried reading a book's copyright page? Its legalese blurb in the smallest available print. It's very difficult to wade through.

Now, before you think I'm slagging off celebs, I'm not. Ghostwriter's provide a valuable service by writing books people want to read. Katie Price has fully admitted she isn't a writer. She does come up with the ideas for her fiction books, but she doesn't have the ability to write them, so Farnworth does it for her. That's fair enough. Ms Farnworth has also been allowed to describe what working with Katie Price is like. It's a fascinating read, as Ghostwriters have to spend so much time with the subject.

But surely she deserves a bit more credit than a single line on the copyright page? how difficult is it for the publishers to do what WWE does and have KATIE PRICE in big screaming letters and "with Rebecca Farnworth" underneath? I have to say, it was incredibly difficult to find out who ghostwrote Steven Gerrard's book.

I don't object to the practice of Ghostwriting the way the One Show do. But I'm of the opinion that Ghostwriters deserve a fairer amount of credit for the work they do. And I'm very VERY glad I'm not one of them. In a way, writers like the one's mentioned above are luck, in that their names are getting out there. For new ghostwriters coming in, this won't be the case, and thats the kind of thing that can make or break careers.

Saturday, 14 May 2011

Bendanarama And Leila Live-Blog Eurovision!

So, last year, completely randomly, my friend Leila and I ended up in an enormous facebook thread about the Eurovision song contest, as it was happening. This year, we decided to do it again. And midway through, Bexychan's sister Inky turned up!

I've tried to edit this into something semi-readable. I may have failed.


Bendanarama: Well, I've got a horrible feeling that opening performance was the highlight of the evening.

Leila: XD Hah hah! That was a catchy version of Satellite.

Bendanarama: Catchy like Syphillis.


Leila: Is Finland the result of Justin Beiber and Jedward colliding and giving him music lessons with Mylie Cyrus?

Bendanarama: You know I was just thinking that

Bendanarama: Bexychan think's he's sweet. I want to stab him.

Leila: He looks like the kind of boy you'd bring home to meet your mother.

Bendanarama: He looks like the kind of boy you'd bury in a shallow grave.

Bosnia and Herzegovina

Leila: What's Bruce Forsythe doing singing maths?

Bendanarama: Oh Dear sweet Jesus.

Leila: Is that dancer meant to be there?

Bendanarama: A Guy that age singing about going to school usually involves promises of candy and a windowless van.

Leila: AH HAH! Someone mentioned he looks like Eric Idle! It's almost uncanny!

Bendanarama: This event hasn't been the same since Terry Wogan stopped taking the piss out of it.

Bendanarama: and I never thought anything would make me miss Terry Wogan.


Bendanarama: Are they Mass cloning Jedward Now?

Leila: I was just thinking that - they obviously share a stylist.

Leila: And got the same singing instructor as Finland. It sounds too much like his.

Bendanarama: This is Bitterly Torrid.

Bendanarama: It's like, Busted level rock.

Leila: Even Busted had more fire in them than this.

Bendanarama: I do hope it's not all gonna be songs about hope and love. Those suck. Give us death and destruction.

Leila: Bring back Lordi!

Bendanarama: YES,



Leila: Four songs in and nothing decently bouncy and cheesy yet? Are they actually taking their entries seriously this year?

Bendanarama: You're implying they EVER take it seriously.


Bendanarama: Bexychan: "Generic Eurovision Diva."

Leila: Laila: "Kate Bush"

Leila: Is she subjecting the poor deaf people to her singing as well?

Leila: I'm still waiting for her to go into Wuthering Heights.


Leila: Retro pop? Big light up jewellry? NOW WE'RE TALKING!

Bendanarama: ‎"Big Light-up Jewelery." There is no god.

Leila: My mum has a ring that size.

Bendanarama: I choose not to make a rude joke at that statement. I hope you appreciate this.

Leila: I am disappointed you didn't take the bait, Bendanarama.

Leila: Okay, so far, Hungary has impressed me.






Bendanarama: Well Shit, Nietzche was right.

Leila: Lady Gaga called, she wants her wardrobe back.

Leila: In fact, I'm imagining Lady Gaga singing this now. So much better.

Bendanarama: Did no-one in Germany think to bring a fucking sniper rifle? No-one?

Leila: Apparently not.

Bendanarama: Everything about this evening thus far has been a hideous abortion of music.

Leila: Shit, the Eurovision facebook is exploding!

Bendanarama: I'll take your word for it.

Leila: It took me the whole song for my comment to get through!

Bendanarama: If only Eurovision would explode.

Bendanarama: In an Enormous fireball.


Bendanarama: Oh Christ.

Leila: ‎.....I think I know him.

Bendanarama: This is like, the theme tune for the horribly deluded.

Leila: I'm sure he was dressed as a Pokemon on Thursday night.

Bendanarama: Bexychan: "POPULAR. LOVE ME."

Leila: Can I have his shirt?

Bendanarama: No.

Bendanarama: Just No.

Leila: Ah least he had the decency to have hot dancers.

Leila: Please?

Leila: Or one of his dancers?

Leila: Is he going to emulate David Blaine?

Bendanarama: Feel free to the dancers. Given your recent misadventures, I think they're right up your alley.

Bendanarama: or each others.

Leila: Hey, I can still watch :p



Bendanarama: ‎"She's a big star in Estonia."

Leila: Holy shit, what is she wearing?

Bendanarama: Isn’t that like saying she's the best looking patient in a burns ward?

Leila: MAGIC!

Bendanarama: ‎...I wouldn't.

Leila: Eh, not much to comment on here for her.

Bendanarama: she has manjaw.


Leila: High hopes for Greece

Leila: Hope now wavering.

Bendanarama: I didn't know David Beckham was the greek entry this year.

Leila: This sounds like a funeral dirge crossed with a military march.

Leila: My Chemical Romance will be all over the cover for this.



Leila: Oooo, okay Russia has my interest already.

Bendanarama: And Mine has already been lost.

Bendanarama: DIE.

Leila: Oh look, Kinicky from the T-Birds.

Leila: is the token black guy wearing a skirt?


Leila: Now you see, this is appealing with the teen girl in me who collected A1 songs.

Leila: Actually, don't they look a lot like Blue?

Bendanarama: The teen girl in you, as I recall is still fairly similar to the girl outside you.


Bendanarama: So. this is the french favourite. Allegedly.

Leila: Ah, but the teen girl inside me wouldn't dream of getting kissed by drunk gay men dressed as Team Rocket.

Leila: Okay, I am impressed by France.

Bendanarama: That's a lie, and we both know it.

Bendanarama: We're twenty seconds in. I ain't holding my breath yet.

Leila: I dunno, he's holding interest so far.

Leila: And with his voice!

Bendanarama: Okay, I can run with this.

Bendanarama: It's a bit like Nessun Dorma.

Leila: Well done to the computer graphics geeks who did his backdrop for him.

Leila: I was trying to remember what it sounded like.

Leila: FIRE!

Leila: He gets my vote.


Bendanarama: Ooh, Italian Jazz. I'm sold.

Leila I want to sit in a smoky bar somewhere now.

Leila Ow, that note screeched a bit.

Ben Myatt That's Jazz, baby.

Leila I think I'd prefer that song if he didn't sing.

Leila: Okay, Switzerland are packing a cello. I'm curious now.


Bendanarama: That is the weirdest fucking green room in creation.


Leila: Something relevant to your blog now!

Bendanarama: That's the worst pitstop in history.

Leila: I feel they need some hula dancers there.

Inky His grin, on the bass, :D


Bendanarama: taking the piss out of shit TV is relevant to my blog

Leila: I want that background for a screen saver.


Bendanarama: Na

Bendanarama: Na

Bendanarama: NAAAA

Bendanarama: NA

Leila: Her singing?

Leila: I'm more entranced by the background.

Bendanarama: Yes.

United Kingdom


Bendanarama: dammit, why couldn't we get the Aston Martin.

Bendanarama: we get fucking rowers.

Leila: Go Blue Go!

Bendanarama: that sucks.

Inky I'm ashamed to say that Mam and Dad voted for Jedward...

Leila: Blame the English who are living in Germany

Leila: ‎......

Bendanarama: I'm feeling the cold fingers of another shit year already.

Inky: I would like to make it clear that we had no part in that

Leila: Oh dear Inky Oh dear.

Leila: What? Why? This is a good song!

Leila: Ah, this sounded better on single than it does live.

Bendanarama: I'm not quite sure how to feel about this,

Inky It's not very catchy D:

Leila: I like it!

Bendanarama: Your definition of a good song and mine are startlingly different, arent they?

Leila: You only just twigged this?

Bendanarama: like a flying knee to the testicles.

Bendanarama: WORST. PYRO. EVER.

Leila: Seriously, the studio version sounded so much better.

Bendanarama: That's like saying Herpes is better than Gonnorhea.


Bendanarama: oh, dear sweet jesus.

Inky: oh god

Leila: ‎*is currently laughing and pointing at the TV* GNOOOOMES!

Inky: I love the flying spinny gnomes in the bg

Bendanarama: I wasn’t aware ripping off the strokes was acceptable in Eurovision this year.

Leila: Oh look, as if they don't look mad enough, have a fairy on a unicycle!

Bendanarama: ‎...

Bendanarama: actually... this is pretty catchy.

Bendanarama: it's gnome-ska.

Leila: ‎......

Leila: I can NOT stop laughing.

Leila: ‎....he has a monocle!

Bendanarama: MONOCLE.


Leila: Has Germany got sperm for dancers?

Bendanarama: How far are we in? I don't have any booze, and the evening is starting to blur.

Leila: 16‎ songs in.

Bendanarama: I would.

Bendanarama: Definitely.

Leila: Germany's returning champion in to defend her title.

Leila: I'm sure Bexychan would too.

Leila: Geez, how skinny is she?

Bendanarama: Bexychan here. All I have to say on the matter is BOW CHICKA BOW WOW. Gotta love me some sexy Germans :D

Leila: This is reminding me of an 80s song.

Bendanarama: ‎"Taken by a stranger." We're back to windowless vans again.


Leila: Whoo, County Durham boy for you Bexychan!

Bendanarama: ooh, it's Bexychan and Inky's local boy.

Inky Aw yeah :D

Leila: Traitor, singing for another country

Inky Apparently he's been living there for about 5 years

Leila: Okay, this is kinda peppy.


Leila: Anyone else bopping along?

Bendanarama: No.


Bendanarama: And Austria's latest horrific contribution to the world is...

Leila: Okay, an A Capella start sounds interesting.

Leila: Alexandra Burke?

Bendanarama: And she's already up there with Hitler and Fritzl in terms of Austria's exports.

Inky: Not too bad, got me swaying along

Leila: Eh, it's not grabbing me.


Leila: Running scared? Think they're confident?

Leila: Somewhere only we know, somewhere only we know~~

Bendanarama: Who let Azerbaijan's cheap clone of J-LO in?

Bendanarama: IF this doesn't end with live fucking on stage I'm disappointed and they have lost my vote.

Bendanarama: VOTE. LOST.

Leila: Looks like they lost your vote.

Leila: And they're supposed to be the favourites this year.


Leila: I want her gloves.

Bendanarama: That eurovision heart looks a pair of throbbing testicles.

Leila: ‎*covetting those boots*

Leila: Can I mug her for those boots?

Bendanarama: Seriously, enormous pair of nuts.

Leila: I'll catch them the next eyecatch.

Bendanarama: sure. go wild. just make sure you kill them all.

Leila: I think each of them has an item of clothing I want. Easy enough.

Leila: You must have a weird pair of nuts.


Leila: Iceland isn't too bad.

Bendanarama: I can run with this one.

Bendanarama: Is that James Corden?

Leila: Could very well be


Bendanarama: Spain will suck. They just will.

Leila: I'm dancing already.

Bendanarama: Yup. Sucks. Balls.

Leila: I quite like this.

Leila: This is a nice light hearted summer song.

Bendanarama: You Would.


Leila: Did he just say Ukraine's Got Talent?

Leila: ‎!! I recognise the sand artist!

Leila: She skinned a poor bird for her dress!

Leila: That artist is so awesome.

Leila: Okay, hands up if you paid more attention to the arty background as opposed to her singing?

Inky: Was mesmerised by the sand painting that I ignored the song

Inky: Yeah, that XD


Leila: ‎....

Leila: I'M SOLD.

Bendanarama: I see Serbia are catching up to fashion trends sixty years too late.

Leila: I want the green dress

Inky: Ok, this one is great

Bendanarama: And I want to drink until I'm unconscious. I guess we're all losing today.


Leila: Who needs alcohol when that screen is enough to send you loopy?


Leila: Georgia are dressed interestingly.

Bendanarama: Oh God. I smell sweat and despair

Leila: Flashing lights? Haven't there been enough already? Why warn now?


Bendanarama: WINNING.

Leila: It's Linkin Park rehashed.

Bendanarama: Georgia does Linkin Park!

Leila: With Amy Winehouse on vocals.


Leila: I'm sticking with France this year.

Leila: I might like this song if it was a gravelly male voice.

Bendanarama: Yes. Just. Fucking. YEs.

Inky: The skirt of her dress is awful.

Into the Voting

Leila: So Inky, who are you voting for?

Inky: Moldova :D

Inky: Parents have voted for Ireland, Italy and Romania

Bendanarama: Georgia. It's on.

Leila: France, Russia and Hungary.

Leila: I will be very sorely disappointed if France doesn't get top 3 at least.

Bendanarama: georgia, iceland, moldolva.

Bendanarama: Bexychan is having a freakout. Graham Norton is talking on the TV AND ON HER PHONE.

Leila: XD

Bendanarama: WINNING.

Leila: Why is there a Turkey flag there? Turkey didn't get into the final.

Leila: How many UK voters will have voted for Jedward, you think?

Bendanarama: too fucking many.

Leila: This is going to be interesting.


And in an update, Azerbaijan went on to win. Despite the lack of on stage fucking. It was a entertaining year, despite a severe lack of booze, and it was mainly tolerable because I spent most of the evening sitting there taking the piss out of it.

Wednesday, 11 May 2011

Possession is nine tenths of the law.

For a few years now, I've had recurring nightmares about being possessed. I don't know why.

Normally, they follow watching a film or reading a story about demonic possession, but not always. The other night, Bex told me I'd been shouting in my sleep. I know for a fact that I was dreaming about being possessed again.

It's weird. It's also terrifying. I don't know where it started, but I know for a fact that Demonic possession is one of the single scariest concepts for me on the face of the planet. The idea of something taking you over, corrupting you from the inside out. That horrifies me. That and werewolves.

Werewolves freak me the fuck out.

But anyways. The dreams I've been having have always had the same creature in them. When I was doing a podcast about three years ago, I described a pair of vivid green eyes that I kept seeing in my minds eye. I used to imagine them for years, and I always used to associate them with a very specific place.

When I was a lot younger, My family and I used to stay at my Grandma's house for a couple of weeks every year in the summer. It was quite an oldish house. There was a long corridor between the bedroom me and my sisters stayed in, and the bathroom at the back of the house. That corridor scared the living shit out of me. I have no idea why. Probably, this whole green eyes thing was me mentally giving some kind of visualisation to the feelings of fear that I had. The corridor was probably only about ten feet long, but it was like the impending chasm of Doom.

Recently though, the dream changed from just being the eyes to a more creepy image of a skeletal figure crawling up the bed and looming over me, staring with those same green eyes. Often as not, this occurs when I'm still lucid, so I'm hanging just between sleep and wakefullness, completely conscious of the shape of the bed around me and the setting of the bedroom. That's probably what freaks me out the most. Other than that vivid mental image, it seems to take all the traditional symptoms of the Nightmare.

So Yeah. That's what I've been doing lately. How about you?

Sunday, 8 May 2011

Just one of the many pitfalls of Fanfiction.

Well, despite the exceptionally busy weekend timetable I posted on Friday, I managed to get both the third chapter of Time and Tide and the Eighth chapter of Critical situation completed last night. This was good, because it meant I could watch the excellent Turkish Grand Prix with impunity without the obligation to write fanfiction hanging over my head.

And yes, I do consider it an obligation. When I get notifications telling me people signing up to the mailing list to receive updated on the story it tends to guilt trip me into writing more.

I finished the fanfiction chapter at about quarter to one last night, and posted it up straight away. I was pretty damn proud of this chapter. I know that sounds stupid but whilst I'm not proud of writing fanfiction (because, well, it's fanfiction) I am pretty proud when I write something that I know has been written well.

Anyways, I got up this morning, and as is my want, I check my reviews. And lo and Behold, theres this gem:

"The fic looks interesting but why you had to put TK drunkenly having sex with another girl? good thing he and Kari weren't dating so no harm done but still it was that really necesary for Kari and him to realize it wouldn't work? I mean wouldn't have simply better that they realized they're like brother and sister without having to add TK having sex with another girl after telling Kari that he loves her? o.o"

Now, I know the guy who wrote this review. He's a nice guy, but like a lot of people on FFnet, he takes his fandom a leeeetle too seriously. It should also be noted that English is not his first Language, so please forgive his grammar.

Now, the mention of TK's drunken Sexcepades was literally one line. Maybe twenty words out of a 2000+ word chapter. Yet this is the line he chose to focus on and complain about. I don't normally respond to reviews, but I decided to in this case.

"Because It adds tension, and because that "Realising they were like brother and sister" shit is dull. what it also illustrates is that this fic is different than usual and that none of the characters are their usual paragons of virtue. On top of that, I also mentioned that there was a bitterness betwen Kari and TK In chapter 4. This is the source of that. It's not a "TK is a bastard" Line. It's a "TK is Human and made a mistake that poleaxed his and Kari's potential relationship" Line."

And there I thought the matter would rest. I had given an explanation of why the line was in there. a few minutes later, I got a message back:

"Yeah but still why TK has to be the one making a mistake? why not Kari herself for a change? is just that in most Daikari fics whenever they include TK and Kari dating it always it TK the one making the mistake that causes the break up, that is so overused that it is as dull as the brother and sister thing, believe me, I have seen that a lot. That's why I kinda didn't liked it much since I felt it was the same cliche, only that you didn't had them dating, just TK telling her that he loves her. Still Kari herself said it, he was drunk, how do we know if it wasn't the girl the one getting him drunk to get him? You know how there are girls that aren't precisely angels and would do anything to get the guy they want.

Still dunno, I didn't liked it much, also it is really necesary to have TK in love with Kari and then making a mistake? Why there has to be a tension? as far I saw it really didn't added anything to the main plot, just with using the TK studying outside Japan was enough actually.

You're a great writer man, that was the reason why I reviewed that chapter of your fic, because you can do it better than that, there are a lot of other tension sources you can use.

Also TK made a mistake so what? in that sense then the one wrong was Kari. TK was drunk, he wasn't concious of what he did and yet she begruded that o.o

Sorry if it sounded a bit rantish, is just that I felt it a tiny bit like attacking Takari, but maybe is just me."

Okay, after this one, I was starting to get a little pissed off. The problem with writing fanfiction is that you have to deal with fandoms, and the digimon fandom has more splinter groups than a Terrorist convention. My annoyance stemmed partly from the fact that I've not only gone out of the way to not attack other fandoms, I've made an issue over people from my Fandom attacking others, because it's fucking stupid. What really ground my gears, though, was the "It didn't add anything to the main plot" line.

Excuse me? I wasn't fucking aware that I'd told you the entirety of my plans for this fucking fic! making an issue over fandom bullshit is one thing, primarily since I don't care about it, but deciding on the basis of one line what affects the plot and doesn't pisses me right off. So yeah, response time.

"Oh, for God's sake ****, Give over.

1) In my personal experience, nine times out of ten it is a bloke who who goes out, gets off his face and shags someone.

2) I need Kari to feel hurt for the purposes of the story. Pretty much every character in this fic is damaged goods

3) How do you know it doesn't add anything to the main plot. we're still very much in the early stages here. You're assuming an awful lot about this story there.

4) It was nothing to do with attacking Takari. Takari is a none-factor in this fic. I made that very clear early on.

5) A lot of your message comes across as the usual "I don't want to see my favourite character have a flaw" nonsense. Kari will have flaws that will be explored later in the story. TK have flaws that are being put out of the way here. I get this same line from Daikari fans every time I have Davis be a fuck-up in my stories, so I've seen it before, dude. I know you like TK, but please don't assume there isn't a purpose in the plot for what I'm writing. With the exception of "As Long as She's Happy" - which was a piece of shit story with no redeeming features - I've never had throwaway moments of TK being an Arse, so please don't assume this is one.

Now this response may come across as a bit Rantish, but I don't like that it feels you're trying to impose your personal preference of TK as a paragon of Virtues on my fic. I also don't appreciate that you see me making a line about TK where he makes a mistake that poleaxes his relationship with Kari, and you assume it's an attack on your fandom, since - barring my early days where I was a ranty teenager - I have a very good record of not attacking your fandom, unlike a lot of other Daikari authors.

I appreciate you taking the time to write your concerns, but please do not assume that I'm making a random attack on TK, or that you know where this story is going. What I'd like you to do is ask yourself if I had said that Kari's boyfriend, who she loved dearly - but was not TK - went and cheated on her, would you have the same reaction."

So yeah, slightly snarky response there, I have to admit. But as I'm sure you can see, this was something that annoyed me. I genuinely felt this guy was trying to impose his own version of the character on my own - and worse, made it clear in his response that he felt my writing was worse for not adhering to his definition of what the character would do. That really made me rather angry. I'm trying to write a story, and I'm told that basically, a big part of it is shit because I don't view someone's favourite character as the paragon of all earthly virtues. Fandom shit has always been something that pisses me off. I'll admit, I went through that phase, but got out of it very early on. I started writing fanfiction ten years ago, and this guy was still doing this same stuff then.

It's this constant attitude that I should compromise what I'm writing to cater to the people reading it. It's also this apparent assumption that I don't know what the fuck I'm doing when it comes to my own goddamn story.

Word to the wise. I'm writing it. I've planned it. I've researched it. Please don't fucking assume you know better than me what I'm going to write. I'm quite happy to accept criticism, when there is some basis for it. Just because you don't like what I've done with your precious favourite character, doesn't mean something is poorly written.

Grow the fuck up.