Opinion Piece

1
Why comments are so important.
2
When Music Fuels the Magic
3
In defense of fantasy and sci-fi
4
Recent TG in Movies and Games

Why comments are so important.

I know, I know, it’s just so much work to comment, right? It takes ten whole seconds to share your thoughts. It’s just soooo exhausting. 😛

All kidding aside, yesterday after I posted the latest part of Virtually Twisted, I received a comment and you know what? It happened to be pretty darned helpful. The person in question ‘Calamity’ pointed out that I hadn’t provided any physical descriptions for either Jim’s best friend Megan or her cousin Allison.

Though I’m a little embarrassed that I neglected to include these descriptions it does help drive home just how important comments are to people like me. Not only do they help encourage us writers to continue it does sometimes give the readers the chance to influence the story or provide critical feedback that can improve the story.

I know some readers don’t like commenting because they don’t feel they have anything beneficial to add, but for me any comment is welcome. Yes, I like thoughtful reviews, but even comments like “This is great, I can’t wait for the next part” are encouraging to me. It let’s me know that someone’s reading the story. I’ll take what I can get. Hell, just using the like buttons is better than nothing.

Yes, this website tells me how many people visit a particular page, but it doesn’t tell me if they actually read what’s there. Actual feedback, is what I want.

Now, before someone stops in and says, ‘you need to write what you want and not worry about what other people think,’ please don’t go there. I understand the argument, and I disagree. I write because I want to share my stories, I want people to appreciate them. I want them to enjoy them as much as I enjoy writing them. Yes, I write for myself, but with the intention of sharing them with our tiny little corner of the internet.

That’s just my two cents, but what do I know?

PS I made changes to part one and part two of virtually twisted adding descriptions to the aforementioned characters.

Have a delightfully demented day,

Daniel A. Wolfe

When Music Fuels the Magic

There is just something about a good tune that really gets me pumped. Often, after a stressful day at work, I’ll crank up the ol’ car stereo and get the tunes blaring. It helps me forget my worries and relieve stress.

I often listen to music while writing, it can help me get in the mood for certain scenes and in some instances has helped me get past a particular block. The type of music varies on the sort of scene. Fight scenes are generally accompanied by energetic metal or rock, larger scale battles tend to be backed by more epic songs, sometimes this is symphonic metal or just straight up classical symphony music. Okay, granted damn near everything I listen to is either rock or metal, but considering how diverse rock and metal are I can find music to fit pretty much any mood.

I’ve had others tell me that they feel music has too strong an influence on their writing if they listen while writing, but to me the only thing a tune does is set the mood. When I’m writing, I’m not paying attention to the lyrics, the music become part of the ambiance of the story. It relays the emotions of the characters or helps set a mood. It is not, to me, a distraction.

There are of course those instances I writing in silence, but that can also help set a mood. If a character is feeling contemplative or a keen sense of loneliness, that too can help set a mood.

What are your thoughts? Does anyone else feel this way?

Everyone have a delightfully demented day,

D.A.W.

In defense of fantasy and sci-fi

I’m a nerd. It’s something I make no apology for and feel no shame. I am what I am, and my interests are varied and diverse. I am passionate about those interests and am often baffled by the attitudes toward some of them. One of the things that so frequently irks me, is that Fantasy and Sci-fi are so often confused with one another when, to my eye, they are very different genres.

Science-fiction came about largely because some of the first authors in the genre imagined what technological feats humankind might one day achieve. Some ideas aren’t even remotely feasible and would basically shatter our ideas about the laws of science if they ever came to fruition, but some are more than feasible. The first flip phone designs were largely inspired by the Star Trek communicator and early science-fiction authors like Johannes Kepler and Francis Godwin imagined space travel centuries before it ever became a reality. Granted, their ideas were largely influenced by the scientific theories of the times and aren’t a realistic representation of what a trip to the moon was actually like, but I think it should show, at least, that some science-fiction ideas do become a reality in one way or another.

Fantasy on the other hand, could never became a reality, but I think people who fail to see past what they deem as silly spell-slinging, and don’t suspend their sense of disbelief never manage to look deeper. Both fantasy and science-fiction have long been a vehicle for social and political commentary and often illuminate the human condition. Terry Brooks, one of the biggest names in Fantasy, has set his most popular series, Shannara on a future Earth that was nearly destroyed by nuclear holocaust. In the future, humanity survives, but the world has been reshaped and magic has taken hold where technology once ruled supreme. Throughout the series, we see the battle for supremacy between the forces of magic and science play out. I dare you to tell me that Mr. Brooks isn’t trying to tell us something with these imagining.

I admit, some stories are just fun romps through an imaginary world, but you can find such stories in damn near every genre. Why, then do fantasy and science-fiction are met with such derision.

You even see similar attitudes prevail in the tg community. I’ve seen many people complain that stories involving magical or science-fiction transformations as unrealistic then turned around and promote a work that involves a big burly man who is over six-feet tall and broad-shouldered, cross-dress and managed to create a convincing facade of a beautiful woman. It’s ever bit as unrealistic and, face it, more than a little silly. Most of these stories involve wish fulfillment , either because they satisfy a sexual fetish or because they help the author work through gender their gender dysphoria. I find nothing wrong with either sort of story, but lets be honest with ourselves, the number of realistic stories on the various fiction sites are few and far between.

I write what I write, because I wanted to bring a different sort of story to the table. I wanted fantasy and science-fiction tg tales with believable characters and exciting plots. I can’t say how good they actually are, as I am anything but objective, but I like to think they at least entertain the folks who have read my stories. Again, there is that element of wish fulfillment in my tales.  Some follow many of the tropes we see so often on fictionmania, bigcloset or tgstorytime and I would be lying if there weren’t fetishistic elements, but I’ve at least tried to portray trans characters in a more positive light. One thing is for certrain, I sure as hell included more than just a little social and political commentary if you know what you’re looking for.

It’s time for me to get going. Everyone have a delightfully demented day, and be sure to check back tomorrow when another one of my stories is posted.

Daniela A. Wolfe

Recent TG in Movies and Games

So, this last week I had the occasion to watch the tg-themed action film The Assignment which was known as (Re)Assignment or Tomboy at various points in its production and you know what? I really can’t say I’d recommend it. Production quality was much better than the vast majority of tg films out there, but that’s about all I can say in favor of it. The acting just felt so wooden, even from veteran actor Sigourney Weever and sadly, her character’s motivations were stupider than hell. As for Michelle Rodriguez, she tried to come off as this bad-ass killer for hire type, but the voice killed it for me. It was very obvious she tried to make her intonations seem more masculine and husky, but to me it just sounded like she had a slight cold. Though she wore facial cosmetics, she mostly just looked like a woman wearing a fake beard.

I won’t spoil the plot for those that still wish to see it (please spare yourself), but if you are viewing the show for its tg elements you’re probably best off just watching the scenes leading up to and just after ‘Frank’ wakes up in female form.

The worst part of the film, isn’t the bad acting or the idiotic plotline, it’s mostly the implications behind the story itself. By forcibly giving the assassin ‘Frank Kitchen’ a sex-change operation as a punishment, it puts forward the notion that he has somehow become less than what he was before. That is an insult to both ciswomen and transwomen and frankly that perception needs to change.

Speaking of tg in other media, how many folks out there are gamers? I’ve been playing through Mass Effect: Andromeda this week and noticed a trans character in the story. It’s one of those blink and you’ll miss it sort of deals, but she’s there for better or for worse. If you’re curious, you can view it by clicking here. Be warned some of the comments are pretty nasty.

There is some question of whether Bioware is just including this character as a token transperson, but it seems to me they were at least trying to present this character in a positive light. They’re delivery could be better, but given that there are so few transfolk in video games I’d say it’s at least one step in the right direction. Please, feel free to share your thoughts and opinions below. I’d love to read them!

Everyone have a delightfully demented week, or rather what’s left of it,

 

Daniel A. Wolfe

 

P.S. The final part of Ragnarok Rising gets posted tomorrow. I hope you all enjoy reading it.

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