Back to school, part 2

Back to school, part 2

The California Creative Writer’s Conference continued through the week and ended yesterday.  In addition to more great panels, there was an Editor Happy hour.  This was an informal Zoom gathering where attendees could speak and ask questions of editors Deanna Brady, Helga Schier, Stephanie Kelly and literary agent, Steve Hutson.   This was the closest a virtual conference could get to sitting in a restaurant or bar with professionals and network.

Being a screenwriter, Thursday was particularly of interest to me.  There was PREWRITING YOUR SCREENPLAY with Michael Tabb, WRITING SCREEN DIALOGUE, “HOW TO DEVELOP A GOOD EAR” with Sarah Ann Fox and FROM SCREENPLAY TO NOVEL – GIVING LEGS TO YOUR LEGACY, with Deborah Pratt.

The list goes on for Saturday, but here are a couple of things, both brought up by GLAWS Vice President, Nic Nelson, that I’d like to share.

PLOT ARMOR:  I have never heard of this before.  Ever wonder why Luke and Leia can run down a Death Star corridor being shot at by twenty storm troopers and never get hit?  Or how Indiana Jones can escape from a truckload of German soldiers without a scratch?  Are these stormtroopers and Germans that bad at aiming?  No.  Luke, Leia and Indy all have plot armor.  In other words, they are too important to the plot of the story to get killed early on in the film.

Science fiction, fantasy and horror are often considered genre literature or films.  Nic Nelson had an interesting definition of these.  In fantasy, we use to kill the monster with swords and magic.  In science fiction, we kill the monster with lasers and space ships.  In horror, the monster doesn’t die.

As a writer, I’d like to add one other thought not from the conference.  David Gerrold has often quoted someone else, and sorry, I can’t remember who, but basically, “There are books I want to read, but no one has written them yet, so I have to write them.”  This is a philosophy I have carried with me since high school.  Recently, GLAWS president, Tony Todaro, put up a meme on Facebook that said, “Write the book you want to read, because you’re going to have to read it 75 times”.  Now that I am editing my first steampunk novel and second steampunk screenplay, I know exactly what that means.

Dennis Amador Cherry

104st blog completed.

First Steampunk novel:  72,191 words.

First Steampunk screenplay:  Need to update with notes from the novelization.

Second Steampunk screenplay:  174 pages.

Second Steampunk novel: 0 words.

Third Steampunk screenplay:  38 pages.

Tried two new recipes:  Deep-Fried Tilapia  I thought it came out great.  Kris liked it, too, although she said she couldn’t taste much fish in it.

The second one was Beef Stroganoff  Both these recipes were easy and used few ingredients.  Both these recipes are Iron Fly approved.

2 Comments on “Back to school, part 2

  1. I love the Iron Fly! There must be a story behind it… where did it come from, and why is it part of your life?

    (It makes perfect sense that it would be a food critic, but besides that— a mystery!)

    • When I was between two and six years old, my parents and I lived in South Gate, CA. We had an elderly neighbor, Mrs. Reinheart. Even after we moved, my parents would sometimes go back and visit her. She was always giving me things, this fly was one of them. So, I’ve had it since I was six, maybe seven. I named him Vincent Reinheart. He lived on my bookshelves for years. Then when I got married, he took up permanent residence on my stove. Doing some research recently, I found that in the late 1800s and early 1900s, companies would give these out as promotional items. Most have a company name across the wings. Google image it some time and you can see them. The wings open to hold matches. They were made of cast iron because of cast iron stoves at the time. People needed matches to light the pilot lights on the burners.

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