How Hollywood would screw up… #2 – Animorphs

Sorry about the lateness on this one – christmas week, ya know. But hey, still Friday!

Everyone’s surnames will be revealed in the first 10 minutes.

All 54 main books will be played out in a single 2 hour movie. WITH the perspective switches. Yeah, and you thought The Last Airbender was rushed.

The role of David will be played by Shia Lebouf, and he will be perfectly justified in trying to destroy the other Animorphs.

Crayak will have the voice of the guy that did that metrosexual sea serpent from My Little Pony. And yes, with THAT voice.

The Yeerks will have their origin reprised: they worshipped the Andalites as gods, until a rogue sect of them turned atheist and decided to kill the gods. Seerow does absolutely nothing at all to uplift them. (The Law of Seerow’s kindness is still a thing, but is now called ‘the Prime Directive’)

The actions the Animorphs react to what they have to do to the Yeerks will make you think THEY were supposed to be the villians of their books.

The morphing sequence will be the worst looking CGi in the history of CGi. As in, Superman 4’s bluescreen effects will be LAUGHING at it. Which is especially terrible considering that morphing is kind of the whole dang point.

Elfangor would live and play the role of Zordon. Also, he would tell Tobias that he was his father when they first met.

Visser 3 won’t be voiced by James Earl Jones.

Hork-Bajir would be cannibalistic vampires. And they would sparkle.

The Animorphs B-Team would STILL not get to do anything.

While morphed into a Taxxon for an infiltration mission, Tobias would get out of eating one of the human prisoners by claiming he’s on a diet and NOBODY would question it.

Cassie would be white, smoke pot behind her parent’s barn, and she would delight in bloodshed.. Also she would be Kristen Stewart.

Tobias would have a perfectly reasonable and happy home life and still be okay with life as a hawk. On top of that, the ambiguity given to us in the series over whether or not he did so on purpose would be removed completely.

Marco will be the biggest stick-in-the-mud in the entire movie and will not crack a SINGLE joke.

The ant will be the team’s favorite infiltration morph.

Ax will be called a Prince in this movie because he’s related to Prince Elfangor.

Jake will attempt to strangle Cassie, a la the Doctor in the Twin Dilemma (one of the worst doctor who episodes ever, or so I’m told, and what little I’ve seen of it seems to support that) and Cassie will then make out with him.

The Ellimist will be played by Will Ferrel.

Ax will die killing Tom instead of Rachel. While in his mixed-ethnicity morph.

While I’m at it, Ax will be the only member of the Animorphs that isn’t white.

Rachel will be turned into pure, helpless bimbo damsel-in-distress eye candy instead of badass berserker borderline-psychopathic eyecandy.

I was about to put ‘M.Night Shyamalan would direct’ before I remembered that a slow pace and joyless tone would be just the kind of thing Animorphs would do well. So instead I’ll say ‘M.Night Shyamalan would direct but would NOT cameo as Visser 3’s human form.’

Tom will be a voluntary controller.

The Morphing Cube will be replaced by a blue pill/red pill scenario. No, this is not even a matrix parody, just a straight rip-off.

It will be impossible to remain clothed when morphing (even the skintight stuff).

Also, there will be a love triangle between David, Jake and Rachel and they will NOT change the fact that Jake and Rachel are cousins.

The scene where Erek kills will be shown.

The Chee will not help the Animorphs until their dog sanctuary is burned down by the Yeerks.

The Chee will have killed the Pemalites to prevent them from exterminating the galaxy, and sworn off of violence in an attempt to make up for that.

Cassie and Jake will end up together at the end, but the actors will have absolutely no chemistry and there will be no build-up to this payoff at all. In fact, for those amongst the audience who didn’t read the books, the scene where they declare their love and kiss will be the first hint we have that they even liked each other.

Visser 3 will have a change of heart at the end of the series and willingly surrender.

It will be a musical. Scratch that, it’ll be a musical and Visser 3 won’t have a song!!!!!

When you wish upon the mist

Prompt: Start a piece at the end and work backwards. Begin, as they say, with a bang (literal or otherwise). Start as big as you can.

He’d been lucky to get this mountaintop retreat for them both – his sister was being uncharacteristically generous, considering she didn’t approve of Olivia.

Mason deliberated for months on a way to properly show his love, but eventually just decided to keep it simple. He’d gotten on one knee and just asked, alone in the quiet woods in the mountains.

She’d been unable to get out ‘yes’ fast enough, it seemed. Mason had never been happier in his life.

The day after, a purple mist had passed over their valley and into the house. Mason had been awake to see it, though Olivia had not been. It had passed over them both, seemingly without doing anything harmful, before vanishing off into the distance, taking the noise of the animals with it. And this was BEFORE the earthquake.

It had certainly been a strange week for weather, but the two lovers were just glad to be going home at last.

Every year on Christmas Eve their local church held a mass, and the two attended, deciding to announce their engagement to Olivia’s family then, and Mason’s the next day.

There was no one there, and realization of this fact dawned slowly on them both.

They started ith the streets and country roads before moving deeper into the city. They looked through stores, big small and incorporated. They searched through buildings that still had power, through abandoned apartments and police stations with locked cells.

Not a single human being for miles.

Eventually he found an excuse to split up with Olivia – something about covering more ground – because he already had a guess of what was going on.

Words were echoing in his ears, and his heart was pounding.

“I’m not exactly financially secure right now, and Olivia… Her family won’t stop pestering me, and really, I don’t want to deal with them right now. I just want to spend time alone with the woman I love.”

The car door slammed in the empty woods. The path was largely undisturbed. Mason’s lungs were burning as he raced through the trees, remembering exactly where he’d gone.

He’d remembered a small passage in the tome about wishes going haywire if the spell was disrupted in some way, and given the recent earthquakes it was likely. So naturally, he was confused when he arrived. The ritual circle was completely untouched. Mason slapped his blood against the altar, too angry to think straight. The mist coiled again, and Clausan stepped from the parting mist.

“You called, Master?”

“What the hell have you done?!”

“What you asked.”

“This is-”

“-Quicker than you expected, I know. I’ve been busy. Only you, I, and the girl remain.” The creature grinned.

“What did you do to them?!”

“I did exactly as you asked.”

“How is this what I wished for?! I didn’t want the world to end, I wanted time alone with my love!”

It said only one thing as it faded into smoke.

“Did you think there were no consequences for services such as mine?”

And as he looked up, he realized with horror the mistake he’d made.

The sun and stars were gone.

Well for obvious reasons, it doesn’t look backwards to you. But I’ll write this one one sentence at a time in reverse.

Except for this: “Anything powerful enough to give you everything you want has the power to take it all away.” And this: “Great, I waited till the last minute again and am finishing a blog post at 2am. Bet this will be embarassing to look at later.”

Poorly written trash (and why I love it so)

One of the first lessons you learn as a writer is that there is a HUGE difference between what you find fun to write and what is actually good to write. Now bear with me here, I’m not saying that you shouldn’t write something you enjoy – in fact, you probably should. What I’m saying is that when you write, it’s very easy to write what you WANT to instead of what’s best for the story or characters, or makes the most sense.

As an example, one of the characters I’m writing (not to toot my own horn) is a well-rounded character with clear motivations and background. She’s a heroic being, but is not without flaws, and over the course of her story goes through serious moral struggle and trauma. As such, I would never make her put a banana split on her head, schreech “I WILL BE THE ONLY HIGHLANDER!” and use her daughter as a battering ram, despite the fact that it would probably be hilarious.

This is a bit of an extreme example, but there are much more damaging and much simpler traps to fall into. For example, any fan of doctor who is probably familiar with the fanbase’s hatred of a certain blonde teen in a shopping mall. Man I hate Rose Tyler. (Billie Piper’s awesome though, hope she has a great career)

This character is a rather unfortunate example of one such pitfall (unfortunate because she shows up everywhere, constantly, until Russel T. Davies is taken out of the head writer). Namely, this personal maxim of mine: “If it’s important to the character, make sure there’s a scene showing it.”

I can hear you scoffing now. ‘Well duh, David, of course the character needs to act likeable!’ Trust me, it’s nowhere near as obvious as you think at first.

See, when you make a character, you know everything about them – their hopes, their dreams, likes, dislikes, plans for the future, etc etc. You know them more intimately than anyone, exactly why they’re people you should like. Rose is a character that is completely unlikeable, being put into a position where the writer clearly wants you to think she’s absolutely wonderful (she becomes god-emperor for like a minute) and I personally think this is why. Russel T Davies already liked Rose, and thought of her as the Doctor’s best companion, so he didn’t feel the need to show us this. Instead we needed to see her act jealous towards Sarah Jane Smith almost immediately on meeting her, question the Doctor’s decision to try to kill a planet-destroying monstrosity that wiped out his entire race, and get pissed off at her boyfriend for moving on after she disappeared into a magic blue box with two hot guys (one of whom clearly wants to ride her) without him and disappearing for a year. (Or two. I don’t remember which, writing at 1am)

Russel T Davies may have seen Rose as a kind, caring person with a bit of an attitude, but we never got to see that. Instead, scenes were shown with her being a total jerk for no good reason, occasional love scenes with the Doctor and constantly being told by the show that we were supposed to like her.

The end result was a character so maligned by the fanbase that her very name is poison.

There’s many pitfalls like this. The one I fall into most often is the trap of what I choose to dub “logic screws”: essentially, things within the story that are so beyond stupid that the reader will probably just stare at you akwardly.

So there’s the first half of the title. Why the second half?

Well… quite frankly, writing absolutely stupid trash just for the fun of writing it is still fun! Call it a guilty pleasure, but I love writing insane, stupid shit that makes absolutely no sense. I think you should spend at least SOME time just throwing idea after idea on paper just for the fun of it, ignoring quality entirely, if only for the stress relief… and stuff. The trash is what helps you get through the hard work needed to make something good.

I mean I’m never going to show you guys scenes with Lone Star songfighting his way past an eldritch abomination in the shape of a horse while his split-personality girlfriend who’s pregnant with his baby and the baby of the other personality’s boyfriend, but that doesn’t mean it’s not fun to write.

… Okay. Finals are over. Next week, write something BEFORE 1:30 am on the day it’s due.

Minimum wage makes more per year than our military?! UPDATE: Short answer, yes.

*sigh* I don’t like talking about politics, I really don’t, especially not on here. But earlier my twitter feed showed me an image that stated outright that the minimum wage paid more than our military. Others stated that while this was not the case, it would be for a $15 minimum wage. And the idea that either would be true ticked me off to a fair degree.

So if you’re here to read the fantasy stories, I promise, this won’t become a habit. After finals this week, I promise to go back to producing regular content for my followers. You can go ahead and leave now, if you prefer.

Let’s break it down, shall we? Assuming 2000 hours (40 hours per week, plus two weeks with no pay or work) a wage of 7.25 an hour adds up to 14,500 gross income. According to goarmy.com, a private (as stated on the page, a new soldier generally enters as a private) with less than 2 years of experience earns $18,194 (though the website stipulates that the first few months of service pay will be lower, so make of that what you will).

A minimum wage of 9.097 would get you that same pay. So while no, the military does not earn less than the minimum wage right now, they’re less than 2 dollars an hour from it. (albeit before benefits)

While what exactly the minimum wage should be depends on who you ask, a big news item lately has been fast food strikes aiming to gain a wage of $15 an hour. That would add up to 30,000 a year. Earning 30,000 a year in our military requires you to be a Sergeant with four years of experience AT LEAST.

So… yeah. The minimum wage fast food workers want to flip burgers is more than many of our soldiers are being paid to fight and die for over four years… Albeit before benefits, and most fast food workers will work less than 2000 hours, but you get the idea.

I dunno about you, but I don’t find it fair to demand you get more money than our military for flipping burgers -_-

EDIT1: “Oh and your own argument about soldiers’ wages is wrong, soldiers don’t work a typical 40 hour week, they work much longer hours, so they get significantly less than minimum wage per hour.”-pynomrah

*shrug* Okay. But the point that minimum wage workers want more for a much less dangerous and vital job still stands.

EDIT2: So apparently this blog is popular enough I got a veteran to look at my stuff. Scroll down to the comment section see how incredibly wrong and stupid I am *facepalm*

EDIT3: More specifically, I made a few assumptions that frankly were dumb as hell. Primarily regarding work hours. Factor in how long a soldier generally has to work and it’s closer to 1 dollar. (The number was… 72 cents, I believe?) So yeah. The current minimum wage pays more than our military, too.

The Vampire and the Werewolf

This is a prototype of a scene I’m writing for a book (tentatively called “Vestiges of Evil”). This is meant to be the first scene in the story.

Idiot. Coward. Fool.

Child.

Lykos had heard all of those as insults before, and never had he been so convinced of their validity. He looked to his wrists, chained in old manacles made of cold iron. They’d done their homework, it seemed. Normal iron wouldn’t be enough to contain him, but iron mined from some of the deepest places on the planet? Lykos would actually have to cut his arms off to get out of this. Joy. He sat in the corner of his cell, the old stone hard and cold against his back. He couldn’t quite see out of the cell door in the darkness, but he could see the rusty iron bars. There was a barred window above that let the light of the waning gibbous shine into the cell itself.

He’d never hated that damn silver orb so much in his life.

Lykos heard the sound of leather boots on stone, followed by a woman’s voice. “Lykos Silvertooth.” Her accent was rich, old realm from the sound of it. There was a tinge of the drawl and dialect of the frontier – a clear indication she’d been in this town for a while, if the shiny sheriff badge hadn’t given it away.

“It’s jus’ Lykos.”

A leather boot kicked his shin, startling him to look up. “You might think so but like it or not, it’s your name.”

He hadn’t heard the door. Lykos felt sweat beading on his hands.

“And what a name it is.” The woman’s accent had a sneer to it now. “All the world thought the entire werewolf race was dead. Turned out, WOOPS! Entire clan of you scum left in the northern mountains. Awkward for the Regime, I’m sure.”

Lykos glared at her, momentarily forgetting the door.

“And then when the Regime went to purge them from the world, we were all told they were slain to a pup.” Her sneer faded to a frown. “And yet here you are.

“Yeah, the Regime lied. Shocker.”

“Oh I don’t doubt it, but I do doubt that no one would have looked for you.” She knelt, glaring from the under the brim of her hat. “And I also doubt that anyone could have escaped the battle itself. The Regime is quite efficient in its exterminations.”

Lykos said nothing through his frown.

“So I must surmise you ran.”

Lykos said nothing through gritted teeth.

“Like a coward.”

“The fuck would you know about me?!”

“Language.”

Lykos snarled. “Don’t you dare mock me, you piece of human garbage-”

“I’m not mocking you, pup, I’m simply surprised.” She lifted up the brim of her hat to reveal bored red eyes. “Werewolves aren’t exactly known for their self-control. And yet, not only did you run from what would surely have been a glorious final stand, no one you attacked on the full moon last month has changed.”

Lykos was quiet.

“Additionally, you didn’t change during our most recent full moon.” She tapped her chin, looking out the window to the waning gibbous. “The cold iron around your wrists probably helped with that – I’m told werewolves hate the stuff – but normally a werewolf will at least snarl and rage. You did not shift at all, and in fact, for a werewolf you were quite quiet.”

Lykos knew for a fact that this woman was the only person he’d seen that shared that sentiment.

“I find that… interesting.” She continued.

“Let’s cut to the chase, shall we?” Lykos smirked, lifting up his manacled hands. “I’m gonna need these off.”

“Excuse me?”

“Whatever you want from me, I want out of these stupid chains. Iron doesn’t sit well with my stomach.”

The woman cocked an eyebrow. “You are hardly in a position to be trying to bargain, mutt.”

“No, I’m not.” Lykos agreed, keenly aware of the cold iron around his wrists and ankles. “But you’re hardly the type o’ lady to be talkin’ about letting somethin’ like me go free.”

“You have no idea how true that is.” The sheriff tilted her hat down.  “Which begs the question of what preposterous notion entered what is left of your human mind that you could bargain your way into freedom.”

Lykos grinned wickedly, revealing that his teeth were all canines. “Yer here, ain’tcha? Ye came to me. And unlike most folk, ya didn’t try t’kill me on the spot.”

The woman’s smile was unpleasant enough that Lykos’ smile faltered. “You’re such a smart little mutt, aren’t you?”

The werewolf’s smile faded entirely. “I don’ gotta sit here and take yer insults, bitch.”

“Yes, you do.” She said, her voice ice and her frown iron. “Or did you forget that your cowardice cost you your packmates, and your foolishness cost you your freedom?”

Lykos snarled and lunged forward, straining against the chains. To the woman’s credit, she didn’t even flinch.

“But you are correct, in a way. I came down here precisely to speak with you and ‘bargain’ for your eventual release. You see, I want to propose an alliance between you and I. Despite your cowardice, your strength and remarkable self-control-” (Lykos sincerely hoped she meant ‘for a werewolf’) “-will prove useful to me and the others.”

“Others?”

The woman took off her hat, revealing skin as pale as the grave in the equally pale moonlight. “The werewolves are not the only ones near extinct in this so called ‘utopia’. Humans hunted many such creatures down to the last, and they believe they have won.” She glared, her eyes blood red. “But you and I know that that is not true, not for you and I. As long as one of our kind lives, we can still rise again. And while I will freely admit I still detest your disgusting race, the fact of the matter is that such outdated ways of thinking will not help anyone.”

The werewolf was quiet for a moment as what she was saying sunk in. A low growl arose in his throat. “Vampire.

“Correct.”

“You bloodsucking scum have done more to kill us off than-”

“Yes yes, attempted genocide, righteous fury, I’ve heard it before.” She waved her hand as if brushing aside his indignation. “But quite frankly neither of us have a choice. Your fear, Lykos, ensured you would be the last werewolf.”

He snarled at the vampire. “And what about you, bitch?! You left!”

“Lady Luna Astell, if you please, or Sheriff if you prefer. I saw the purge coming, little pup, and warned my fellows. They cast me out.” Her tone was darker now. “And I decided to try my luck in the only place left that the Regime’s reach was not absolute.” She swiped her hat to the side in a brief flourish, as if a saleswoman showing what she had for sale. “And I found quite the little bargain on the frontier. Drop all your finery and put on a Sheriff badge and you can go anywhere.” Her smile returned, no less sickening to the wolf as she put the hat back on. “And I absolutely adore the apparel.”

Great. Not only was he alone with a vampire, she actually cared about giant hats in a world where she was probably the last of her kind, too. Joy.

“I can survive, certainly, and for a time I was content. But the simple fact, Lykos, is that I can barely keep on the sidelines out here, feeding just barely enough for short-term survival with no real expectation of long-term survival. Sooner or later, I will make a mistake. The Regime will come here, or I will be caught while feeding, or someone will die.” Her glare grew darker. “I simply cannot work alone any longer, and my allies are in similar positions. And as you proved last month, an outright attack on the humans is met with enough resistance to capture even a werewolf on the full moon. We need numbers, Lykos, whether we like who is among that number or not.”

Lykos said nothing.

“Now then.” She adjusted her hat. “I’ve got the authority and the evidence to back up a claim that you were framed for the werewolf attacks. But I’m afraid I will not simply extend my help without expectation of your own in return, I have too few assets to squander them on freeing something that is my enemy through and through. Which will it be, little wolf?” She leaned closer, just out of reach. “Stay here and let the humans judge your cowardice? Or come with me and my fellows, and do something about it.”

Lykos was quiet for a few moments. Then he sighed. “Like you said, I don’t got much choice.”

“Good.” She turned to leave. “I will have to convince the populace you are not a threat to them. Do not attempt escape.”

Luna‘s form seemed to slide through the bars of his cell, a silver mist in the air for the briefest of instances.

…Oh, that’s how she got in.

Lykos sighed. The ability to turn into mist… Some people got all the luck.