Introducing Synth Saturday

Hey all I’m happy to announce that I will be retiring Serial Saturday and bringing a new medium to cover for Saturday’s in it’s place. It’s titled Synth Saturday and it will cover Fan Fictions. I will still cover grammar and basic things like plot and characters when I cover a Fan Fic, but I’ll also be looking into various stereotypes and fandom ideas that are used, like the fact that most Harry Potter fans see Dumbledore as a manipulative jerk. That was a real shock to me, but I also could see the reasoning behind it.

I will make a post that covers basic terminology used in Fan Fics, so various terms and phrases don’t confuse you.

Disclaimers: I do not own anything talked about in this column except what I write here which are my opinions and are subject to change on my whim. If someone is making a profit off the franchise or the fiction author mentions something like Patreon that is purely on them and them alone. This will be the one and only disclaimer for all future posts in this column. I’m too busy, and more importantly lazy, to write “I don’t own (Insert works name here)” every time I write one of these posts.

Bookish Wednesday: Tropes

This week for Bookish Wednesday I’ve got a topic that I’ve been stewing on for a while. It’s all about Tropes!

Tropes?: Well I’m not really referring to the original dictionary meaning “figure of speech”. I’m talking about the meaning as a “Motif” or consistent idea in a story. Tropes are not bad. In fact so many people think of tropes as a synonym for “cliché” that it actually pisses me off. That is not the correct usage and while public opinion can determine the meaning in the view of some people, it doesn’t mean that people should be upset about having tropes in their stories. This applies to every medium of storytelling and I frankly get pissed that so many people throw around the word trope instead of cliché. Or even worse condemn a series for using a trope. News flash people, every single story you have ever read, listened, watched, or played is made of tropes. EVERY SINGLE ONE.

There is almost no story that doesn’t have a trope that’s been used before and I personally haven’t seen one that doesn’t have some trope that has been used before. There may be the occasional few, but frankly every story uses them. They are essential to telling a story. You want a basic good vs evil story? That’s a very basic and broad trope. It covers so many different stories that I could probably write a title of one such story every minute and never be done writing for the rest of my life.

People do that?: Yeah, in fact a ton of my peers who review games and books constantly throw around the word trope. I hate it, frankly they are confusing clichés and stereotypes for tropes or worse condeming a perfectly good story that is incredibly worth experiencing just because it uses some basic tropes. Frankly, you won’t ever get a story that doesn’t have at least one trope you’ve experienced before. Yet I consistently see people put down a book, or a game, saying it’s too filled with tropes. It makes me want to scream and then proceed to throttle them.

But those stories are bad!: Yeah, if a story is bad, and that’s a completely subjective topic; much to my irritation when it comes to trashy series like Twilight, that is all due to them overusing tropes that are so frequently used. Another word for such things is “Stereotype” and frankly that’s the word people should be using. Tv Tropes is a great website, it lets you really dissect how a story is made. This is not in terms of “literary analysis” however; that is another topic which I find incredibly irritating, but that’s a subject for another day and post. However since it’s popularization Tv Tropes has been pointed to as a form of saying “See that’s bad because it’s been done before”. Everything artistic in nature has been done before, there really is no new techniques that haven’t been seen before. I’ve written about this before when it comes to Game Design and it holds true for any form of artistic creation.

That’s it for this week’s Bookish Wednesday.

Bookish Wednesday: Morningwood by Neven Iliev

This week for Bookish Wednesday I’m back with what might be my favorite work from a debut author of the past year. It’s Morningwood, Book 01 in the Everybody Loves Large Chests series, by Iliev!

Plot Synopsis: Large chests are said to encompass all manner of hopes and dreams. Men covet them. Women envy them. But one fact holds true – everyone wants to get their hands on some big ones. The same holds true for one intrepid adventurer – a strapping young lad by the name of Himmel. Armed with his grandfather’s trusty longsword and the dream of being the strongest, he sets out on the journey of a lifetime! It is sure to be a long and dangerous road, fraught with danger! And it all starts with a simple test – reach Level 5 in the dungeon called the ‘newbie zone’ and earn the right to become a full-fledged adventurer! However, such things get hopelessly derailed when his adolescent mind beholds an exposed chest for the first time. A fateful meeting that would inevitably lead his life in a direction he never even dreamed of!

Plot: Now hold on before you start thinking I’ve absolutely lost my mind and reaching for the shotgun or pitchfork.  I want you to really look at the two definitions of the word Chest depicted in the picture above. Got it? If not just read the first chapter, it’s pretty freaking short, so even if you read at a like 10 words a minute you’ll finish it in no more than 10 minutes. (I might be exaggerating a bit). Now hopefully with your hands free of any sharp or explosive implements, I want to say that this isn’t what you’re thinking. It sounds incredibly immature, and I’ll say that the author wrote that for his actual Amazon page’s book description, but he did it for a very good reason. Go read that first chapter, you’ll get it. Now with all that said and done, EBLLC is a masterwork of comedy that pokes fun at the LitRPG and Video Game genres as a whole and it’s a hilarious ride.

That being said, there are some really risque parts, and fight scenes can get detailed. So kids absolutely, without question, not read this. It is NOT for kids. It’s a fairly short book, but I loved every freaking minute, I recently listened to it again while I was sick right before the Christmas weekend, and was having to hold back my laughter to avoid starting a coughing fit. Let’s just say that Josh Hays does an awesome job with this book.

Characters: I won’t get into the cast, because that would be spoiler territory. That being said I like our Lead Character quite a bit. He’s absolutely not what he appears to be. And after reading the book please don’t kill me for that last sentence. Neither is the rest of the cast, but I will say I enjoy every main character.

Overall: If you love Video Games, at all, and you aren’t a kid, you have to read or even better yet listen to this book. It’s an absolute must listen to for any gamer.

For those who like: Video Games, Comedy, Action, Adventure, LitRPGs, Stupendous Plot, Superb Cast of Characters.

Not for those who don’t like: Any of the above, but serious it’s a must listen to.