Tipsday: Writerly Goodness found on the interwebz, Jan 29-Feb 4, 2017

It was another fantabulous week of writerly goodness 🙂

K.M. Weiland helps you find the exact right story hook. Helping Writers Become Authors

Nina Munteanu helps you make your opening count.

Over on Writers Helping Writers, Angela Ackerman writes about describing your character: making every detail count.

Jessica Stawser is acting out of character. Writers in the Storm

Cathy Yardley: writer, know thyself. Writer Unboxed

Donald Maass bid us add a touch of romance to our stories. Writer Unboxed

Susan Spann explains how to evaluate a publishing contest. Writer Unboxed

Porter Anderson: “… when authors hunker together to kvetch about “writing is so hard,” they’re romancing the career in a profoundly counter-productive way.” Writer Unboxed

Jo Eberhardt: be the encouragement you want to see in the world. Writer Unboxed

Janice Hardy: how to write a teen voice. Fiction University

Fae Rowan invites us to use the energies of 2017 to jumpstart our writing careers. Writers in the Storm

Naomi Hughes returns to Jami Gold’s blog with her top three scene issues.

Becca Puglisi delves into overcoming mental illness for the character motivation thesaurus. Writers Helping Writers

Gabriela Pereira interviews Shanthi Sekaran about capturing diverse experiences on the page. DIYMFA

Bess Cozby: three questions you should ask before committing to a revise and resubmit. DIYMFA

Michelle Chalkey lists five benefits of the writer-editor relationship. DIYMFA

Brandon Taylor helps you escape the slush pile. Electric Lit

Blake Atwood launches his new column, editorially speaking, with this post: how to find a book editor you can trust. The Write Life

David Robson introduces us to the untranslatable emotions we never knew we had. BBC

Chris Saylor reminds us how to use apostrophes properly. Marcy Kennedy’s blog

Meet the 2017 Canada Reads contenders. CBC

Ursula K. Le Guin writes a letter to the editor, responding to a comparison between “alternative facts” and fiction. Oregon Live

Andrew Postman’s father, Neil, in his book Amusing Ourselves to Death, posited Brave New World as our probable dystopic future as opposed to Nineteen Eighty-Four. It turns out, he was right. The Guardian

David Tennant, the eleventh Doctor himself, tells us everything will be all right.

 

Alisdair Stuart believes it’s time for Doctor Who to change television history for the better. Tor.com

And that was your informal writerly learnings for the week!

Stay strong until Thursday!

tipsday2016

Tipsday: Writerly Goodness found on the interwebz, Jan 22-28, 2017

A fair number of vids this week, just to appeal to the visual learner 😉

K.M. Weiland: six pieces of common writing advice you’re misusing. Helping Writers Become Authors

Kathryn Craft wonders whether your novel’s good enough. Writers in the Storm

Lisa Cron, the Story Genius, answers questions about backstory on Writers in the Storm.

Jami Gold: “Why?” is the most important question in storytelling.

Brunonia Barry helps you create your book talk. Writer Unboxed

Elizabeth Huergo, new contributor to Writer Unboxed, gets metaphorical: writing as tango.

Barbara O’Neal helps you recognize the signposts to your writer’s voice. Writer Unboxed

Heather Webb offers her thoughts on speaking your truth through fiction. Writer Unboxed

Becca Puglisi explores some lesser-known character archetypes. Writers Helping Writers

Sara Letourneau examines man and the natural world for DIYMFA. Later in the week, Sara is back with five things you should ask beta readers when they critique your manuscript.

Gabriela Pereira recaps her experience at this year’s Digital Book World (DBW) for DIYMFA radio.

Kimberly Brock: when the stories have all stopped. Writers in the Storm

Janice Hardy wonders, is a lack of action really the problem? Fiction University

Then, Bonnie Randall guest posts on Fiction University: juxtaposition in your story.

Chris Saylor shows up on Marcy Kennedy’s blog to advise how to format dialogue within dialogue.

Oren Ashkenazi shares some tips on how to realistically depict evil. Mythcreants

Naomi Hughes guest posts on Jami Gold’s blog: three common storytelling issues.

This is just fun! Jenna Moreci: writers do weird sh*t.

 

James McWilliams believes the physical book will endure, but will it endure for the right reason? The Millions

John Cleese on creativity. Brilliant man.

 

James Lizowski lists his top space colonization novels. OMNI

Cheryl Eddy interviews J.Y. Yang on her silkpunk series. i09

It’s the 40th anniversary of the Doctor Who episode, The Face of Evil (one of my favourites, by the way—Tom Baker was my Doctor). Watch this clip. Relevant, much? Beth Elderkin for i09.

Josephine Livingstone explains why Nineteen Eighty-Four is not the novel we need in the Trump era. New Republic

The Black Eyed Peas re-release Where’s the Love. THIS is why we must keep creating in dark times.

 

Sarah Slean: real love demo. Another sad but hopeful song that speaks to me.

 

Hope you’ve had your fill of informal writerly learnings this week.

If not, come back next week, they’ll be more 🙂

Be well until next I blog.

tipsday2016

Tipsday: Writerly Goodness found on the interwebz, Oct 9-15, 2016

Another harvest of informal writerly learnings for you 🙂

Moar Wordstock Sudbury 2016 news from Kim Fahner, Sudbury’s Poet Laureate. CBC

Emily Franceschini interviews Danielle Daniel for Our Crater.

This week’s #NaNoWriMo round up:

Eleana Sbokou guest posts on Kate’s blog: seven things you need to know about writing and editing.

Roz Morris provides a blueprint for keeping the reader gripped. Nail Your Novel

Juliette Wade guest posts on Janice Hardy’s Fiction University: backgrounding your world through point of view.

Veronica Sicoe continues her series on storyworld design with this instalment on communication technologies.

Gabriela Pereira interviews Amor Towles for DIYMFA radio: worldbuilding from the inside out.

The book monster, or, when writing gets hard. Kate Moretti on Writer Unboxed.

Allie Larkin writes about finding confidence. Writing Unboxed

David Corbett shares what he learned at the beach this summer. And I have another book for the TBR pile 🙂 Writer Unboxed

Lisa Cron explains where drama really comes from. Writer Unboxed

Orly Konig Lopez gives three reasons quitting is an option, and the one reason you won’t. Bonus: guinea pig pictures! Writers in the Storm

Steven Pressfield reminisces about writing “as if.”

Ok. I just can’t resist Harper Lee Hodges. The four steps cats use to explain how to do something. The Write Practice

Julie Phillips: the fantastic Ursula K. Le Guin. The New Yorker

Jamie Raintree shares her story: from agent to publisher, part 1.

Why is it so difficult to get an agent? Liza Dawson Associates

Kristen Lamb explains why we need a synopsis before we write the book.

Catherine Ryan Howard explores her hate/love relationship with writers’ workshops.

Susan Spann helps us understand advances in publishing deals. Writers in the Storm

Adrienne Raphel: a history of punctuation for the internet age. The New Yorker

Four writers share their stories about the search for happiness. The Telegraph

Claire Kirch reports on We Need Diverse Books new curated reading app. Publishers Weekly

The publishing industry risks becoming irrelevant. Tom Welson of Penguin Random House UK. The Guardian

Here’s a lovely bit of storytelling for you. Dia de los muertos from Film School Shorts.

 

And another  video on the role of geometry in visual storytelling. Now you see it

 

The indigenous science fiction film, Northlander, will be screened across Canada. CBC

Kameron Hurley digs into the first couple of episodes of Westworld.

Alex Cranz reviews the season premiere of Supergirl. i09

James Whitbrook says that DC’s Legends of Tomorrow is trying to be Doctor Who with superheroes, and that’s just fine by him. i09

Clara and Eleven were a couple. What we’ve all known, finally confirmed. Caitlin Busch for Inverse.

Katharine Trendacosta reviews the first Iron Fist footage from NYCC. i09

And The Nerdist shares the Iron Fist trailer.

Katharine Trendacosta shares what she learned about The Dark Tower trailer (leaked). i09

The Outlander, season two, gag reel 😀

 

I hope that you find some news you can use to help improve your craft.

All the best.

See you Thursday!

Tipsday

Tipsday: Writerly Goodness found on the interwebz, Oct 2-8, 2016

This week was just yummy 🙂

The Wordstock Sudbury 2016 schedule is up 🙂

Prism International interviews George Elliott Clarke, one of our Wordstock guests of honour.

Your #NaNoWriMo prep posts for the week:

Nina Amir guest posts on K.M. Weiland’s Helping writers become authors: how to get up close with your characters.

Chris Saylor guest posts on Marcy Kennedy’s blog: how to punctuate dialogue.

Roz Morris shares her insights on how to write emotions. Nail your novel

Donald Maass looks at four kinds of pace. Writer Unboxed

Joanna Penn: how to find and capture ideas for your novel. The Creative Penn

Janice Hardy guest posts on Writer Unboxed: a ten step guide to plotting a practice novel.

Therese Walsh explores dehumanization in fiction using one of my favourite movies, The Shawshank Redemption. Writer Unboxed

Cathy Yardley: just say yes. Writer Unboxed

Chris Winkle thinks the surprise kiss must go. Why? It’s a matter of consent. Mythcreants

Chuck Wendig offers some good writing (and life) advice: control what you can control. Terribleminds

Later in the week, he shares ten quick story tips to use or discard at your leisure.

Kameron Hurley shares her experience: five years a novelist.

Sarah Waters shares her ten rules of writing fiction. Aerogramme Writing Studio

Last Sunday I spent the day online in a short fiction intensive with Mary Robinette Kowal (!) Here’s one of the resources she shared on critiquing:

 

Carly Watters offers ten ways to personalize your query letter.

Kristen Lamb: what the dreaded synopsis reveals about our writing.

Anna Davis: how to prepare your submission package. Curtis Brown Creative

Awards news!

Ursula K. Le Guin has stopped writing fiction, but we need her more than ever. Zoë Carpenter for The Nation.

When Steven Musil reported that Amazon was cracking down on incentivized reviews, everyone panicked, until it was clarified that this policy change would not apply to ARCs provided for book review purposes. cnet

Sarah Gailey: why we write about witches. Tor.com

Lisa Rosman: what The Girl on the Train is really about. Signature Reads

Angelica Jade Bastièn says the price of fandom can be too high for women of colour. New Republic

Julia Alexander examines sexism in television in the microcosm of Adult Swim. Polygon

Shane Parrish: what you read changes your brain. Medium

If you can correctly pronounce every word in this poem, you speak English better than 90% of English speakers in the world. I must admit, I flubbed two or three <blushes>. The Poke

Ephrat Livni for Quartz: a linguist’s love letter to profanity and why it’s okay to swear in front of kids.

Dark Horse Comics will be producing the next two seasons of The Legend of Korra in print. Rob Bricken for i09. Moar Korra! Eeeeee!

Evan Narcisse talks to Greg Rucka about the reaction to Wonder Woman’s canon bisexuality. i09

Did you see the premiere of Westworld last Sunday? Here are a few pieces about it.

Michael Bennett Cohn looks at Westworld through the lens of the golem story. The Forward

Can Westworld do for science fiction what Game of Thrones did for fantasy? Charlie Jane Anders for Wired.

I’m watching and enjoying it. Phil, not so much, but then, he did see the original movie (which I haven’t) and he just doesn’t see how the writers can turn it into a series and so he’s closed to the possibilities.

Evan Narcisse explores how Luke Cage uses blackness for i09.

Netflix provides a release date (and teaser) for Iron Fist: March 17, 2017.

Outlander casts Marsali and adult Fergus. Entertainment Weekly

The Doctor Who Christmas special features superheroes (!) plus a wee teaser. Katharine Trendacosta for i09.

See you Thursday!

Tipsday

Tipsday: Writerly Goodness found on the interwebz, May 15-21, 2016

Fact and fun, all rolled into one . . . curation post 😉

K.M. Weiland shares strategies for writing faster (and why maybe you shouldn’t). Helping writers become authors. Later in the week she shares her number one tip for writing books readers can’t put down.

Chuck Wendig explodes more writing myths as he invites us to crotch-punch the creative yeti. Terribleminds.

Kristan Hoffman puts forth an argument for letting your creativity rest. Writer Unboxed.

Kameron Hurley writes about fame, publishing, and breakout books: dancing for dinner.

Jami Gold helps us understand how plot obstacles affect character agency.

Dave King continues to explore historical fiction pitfalls with this post for Writer Unboxed: sympathetic characters in unsympathetic worlds.

Carly Watters shares five secrets to publishing your debut novel.

Porter Anderson looks at book prices and writing value. Should we have been careful what we wished for? Writer Unboxed.

Five signs your novel may be sexist – against men. Chris Winkle brings a little balance to the table for Mythcreants.

The establishment has always hated the new kids. Kameron Hurley.

Monica Alverado Frazier wonders, do you know how to use a curandera?

Modern witches are so much more than Maiden/Mother/Crone. Natalie Zutter for Tor.com

Daniel José Older reads from Half Resurrection Blues. This man reads like a poet. I could listen to him all day 🙂

 

John Mullan explores how plots grip us, from Dickens to Line of Duty. The Guardian.

Women swept the 2015 Nebula Awards. Andrew Liptak for i09.

Five science fiction and fantasy novels that treat mental illness with compassion. Barnes & Noble.

This is COOL. Boston’s sidewalks are covered in secret poems. Atlas Obscura.

Lincoln Michel explains why fairy tales are magic for modern fiction. The Guardian.

Dig at the Curtain theatre unearths a Shakespearean surprise. Jill Lawless for Phys.org

Do overused words lose their meaning? Jonathon Sturgeon for Flavorwire.

CBS passes on Nancy Drew adaptation for testing “too female” for line-up (whatever that means). Carly Lane for The Mary Sue.

The BBC shares nine life lessons from Doctor Who.

Two of the shows I liked got cancelled. Fortunately, the end is only the beginning for Supergirl and Marvel’s Agent Carter. Alisdair Stuart for Tor.com

Honest trailers – Game of Thrones, vol. 1 Bewbs!

 

Come back Thursday for your weekly dose of thoughty!

Tipsday

Tipsday: Writerly Goodness found on the interwebz, April 24-30, 2016

Another lovely batch of writerly goodness for you!

First some Sudbury poet laureate news 🙂

Adriana Nicolucci interviews Kim Fahner for Our Crater.

More poet laureate goodness: it’s been a busy week at Sudbury’s libraries. Jessica Watts for The Sudbury Star.


K.M. Weiland asks, do you have a writing superpower (and why you shouldn’t)? Helping writers become authors. Later in the week, she helps us understand how to write scenes your readers will rave about.

Roz Morris shares tips on how to blend a parallel, allegorical fantasy plot into your novel. Nail Your Novel.

Bonnie Randall guest posts on Janice Hardy’s Fiction University: battling the block.

Marcy Kennedy returns with part two of her reading like a writer mini-series.

Chuck Wendig: What I’d like to say to young writers, part two.

Leanna Renee Hieber guest posts on Terribleminds: what to do when the bottom drops out.

James Scott Bell guest posts on Writer Unboxed: how to weave a message without pummelling your readers.

Steven Pressfield: I can’t squeeze my theme in! My favourite bit: “This is why writing (or the pursuit of any art) is, to me, a spiritual enterprise. It’s an endeavor of the soul. The stories we write, if we’re working truly, are messages in a bottle from our Self to our self, from our Unconscious/Divine Ground/Muse to our struggling, fallible, everyday selves.”

Later in the week, Shawn Coyne posts this: the designated driver. I’ve been listening to The Story Grid podcast and Tim Grahl has just finished his first draft.

Nina Munteanu explores the writer-editor relationship: editors preparing writers.

Stephen Stratford writes an essay on the dark arts of editing for The Spinoff.

Query Shark Janet Reid sounds off on why you should avoid querying services.

Author brands: Which kind of influencer are you? Carly Watters.

Martha Alderson guest posts on Jane Friedman’s blog and shows us how to use a plot planner.

Jami Gold looks at brain science from the perspective of how we, as writers, imagine.

I may have shared this before, but it’s a good article: how stories change the brain. Paul J. Zak for Greater Good.

This is long as heck, but Tor.com covers (almost) all the science fiction and fantasy adaptations in production and already on the air.

Charlie Jane Anders explores the moment when science fiction diverged from competence porn. i09.

Cassandra Clare created a fantasy realm and aims to maintain her rule. Penelope Green for The New York Times.

The secrets of medieval fonts. Medieval Books.

David Tennant as Puck. Just ‘cause it’s Shakespeare’s 400th 🙂

Shakespeare is dead: six hot takes. Literary Hub.

Rob Brydon shares Shakespearean phrases in everyday use.

 

The Doctor’s Long Story, a fan video with heart. Radio Times.

John Boyega and James MacAvoy to voice Netflix’s Watership Down. Comic Book Resources.

Nathan Fillion joins the cast of Guardians of the Galaxy 2, with more than just a prosthetic-covered cameo. Peoples Choice.

Electric Lit shares an infographic that explains the real history behind Game of Thrones.

Sarah Mesle reviews the first episode of season six for the LA Review of Books.

Until Thursday, be well.

Tipsday

Tipsday: Writerly Goodness found on the interwebz, Nov 1-7, 2015

First up: NaNoWriMo:

To temper things, Chuck then wrote that writing advice is bullshit.

The Query Shark CrimeBake 2015 effective queries workshop.

Common writing mistakes, pt. 45: Avoiding ‘said.’ K.M. Weiland.

What Katie learned about writing funny dialogue in the course of writing her novel, Storming.

Donald Maass offers his thoughts on positivity and protagonists on Writer Unboxed.

Marcy Kennedy guest posts on Jami Gold’s blog with five tips for finding POV errors.

Beth Revis builds a great first chapter on Writers Helping Writers.

Therese Walsh shares lessons from Breaking Bad on Writer Unboxed.

Matriarchies, patriarchies, and beyond. Mike Hernandez for Mythcreants.

Delilah S. Dawson writes for the Mary Sue: Everything I love is problematic.

Ellipses can be powerful or annoying. Here’s a guide to using them well. Lexicon Valley.

They’re adding more words to the dictionary again. The Guardian.

What your bookshelf says about your personality. Bustle.

How to judge people by the covers of their books. Bustle.

Literary address quiz, anyone? Ace it, and get a cheeky wink from Simon Pegg :)The Reading Room.

Levar Burton – Problems only book lovers understand:

Monstress: the fantasy comic about race, feminism, and the monster within. The Hollywood Reporter.

I didn’t mind The Golden Compass movie, but a series would probably be better. i09.

Lego Doctor Who? Eeeeee! i09.

Come back next week for more awesome. MOAR I say. Moar.

Tipsday

Tipsday: Writerly Goodness found on the interwebz, Oct 25-31, 2015

The NaNoWriMo posts keep on coming. I think we’re going to be neck deep in them the whole month of November (!)

K.M. Weiland explains how to win NaNo with totally doable daily and weekly writing goals.

Worried that your character isn’t likeable? Katie advises you to try this technique.

Carly Watters explains why perfect characters are a problem.

Angela Ackerman shows how your characters past trauma determines her character flaws. Writers Helping Writers.

Beth Revis explores the book of your heart on Janice Hardy’s Fiction University.

Chadwick Ginther interviews Julie Czerneda about returning to science fiction after a fantasy hiatus.

Then Julie appears on Jim C. Hines’ blog, answering the question, what do I call it?

Delilah S. Dawson (as Lila Bowen) talks about the silly ideas that grow into novels. Barnes & Noble.

Emily Johnson offers a step-by-step guide to home workplace organization on C.S. Lakin’s Live, Write, Thive.

Renovate you sentences with active phrasing. Chris Winkle for Mythcreants.

43 words you should cut from your manuscript immediately. Diana Urban.

David Mitchell is so over the genre wars. Salon.

More David Mitchell: In praise of Ursula K. Le Guin’s Earthsea. The Guardian.

If the novel is dead, so are we all. Junot Diaz on BigThink.

Is solarpunk the new cyberpunkpunk? SciFiIdeas.

Charlie Jane Anders reviews Maisy Williams’ guest appearance on Doctor Who. i09.

And then she took a look at Supergirl: dorky cuteness still packs a punch. i09.

Natalie Zutter reviews Supergirl for Tor.com.

Emily Asher-Perrin wonders if Marvel is shying away from a Black Widow movie because they know they’ll never get it right. Tor.com.

A short film offers a vision of post-apocalyptic Earth. Gizmodo.

And that is Tipsday.

Hang tight until next week, my friends.

And for those of you fighting the NaNo fight with me: keep writing.

Tipsday

Series discoveries: The fall 2015 season, so far

Since I’m at Can-con next weekend, and doing NaNo after that, I’m doing the fall season series discoveries today, even though not all of the fall offerings have debuted, or resumed.

I’ll have to follow up with another post later in the season . . .

The plan for today is just to go, day by day, starting with Sunday, and run through the shows I’ve watched, offering impressions so far.

‘S’all right?

This is going to be a long one. You have been warned.

Sunday

Once Upon a Time

I’m sticking with OUaT. The Emma as the Dark One story line is interesting, but I find that, as in past seasons, things are taking a while to get going. Also interested to see how the Merida (of Brave) and the King Arthur threads are heading.

In the pre-season special, the actors all praised the show as one in which anyone can have a happy ending. All the characters have both good and bad within them. Everyone has the potential to become a hero or a villain and, I have to admit, it’s interesting to see how that plays out. The message of OUaT is hope.

Sometimes that can come off as saccharine, but there’s nothing else, right now, that I want to watch in the same time slot.

Lost Girl

I mentioned this in my mid-season follies post, not realizing that the final season had already started (September 6). I caught up and am watching things through to their conclusion.

My main complaint is that events seem so scattered. Plot lines are ended because they are inconvenient or not popular. At least that’s the way I read things.

Gods are very powerful fae. Okay. I can live with that. The goddess Iris becoming the Nix (destroyer)? Not so much. It was really a nothing story line because Hades ends up dispatching her. Rather anti-climactically. A classic painting is the key to defeating the gods? Okay. Interesting. But the apparent defeat is not really a defeat at all and Zeus and Hera first reappear, and then choose docile retreat in the face of Hades and his plan of ultimate evil? Weaksauce. Doctor Lauren tests a serum (intended to restore the Morrigan, whom she turned into a human) on herself and becomes a fae mimic? Cool. But then, it proves to be too much for her human physiology and she creates an anti-serum to cure herself before she loses her mind and memory. Again, anti-climactic and weak.

Kenzie’s back. Good. Eric Roberts as Hades, A.K.A. protagonist Bo’s big bad daddy, is also good.

I can see the ultimate outcome, however.

Hades has murdered Bo’s mother and her grandfather, A.K.A. the Blood King, who literally rewrote relations between the fae with his blood, which, when used as ink, has the power to compel any fae. That bit? Also cool.

But, as he dies, Grandpa tells Bo that his blood also flows in her veins.

I’m so confident, I’m willing to write this here and risk embarrassment when things don’t play out as I predict 😛

Currently, Bo appears to have joined Hades and is actively pursuing the end of the world. She’s killing her friends (apparently) and preparing herself for world domination.

My prediction? Bo realizes that her blood has granddaddy’s power to compel and she uses it to defeat Hades, reconcile the dark and light fae, and becomes the new Blood King/Ash.

I’ll let you know if my prediction is accurate. It will be, in part, satisfying if I’m right, but it will also be disappointing. I prefer to be surprised.

Quantico

The writers of Quantico have taken a page from the How to Get Away with Murder book and are telling the story of the first season from two time frames.

Currently, a new FBI agent, Alex Parrish, wakes up in the rubble of Grand Central Station after a terrorist attack has levelled it and killed hundreds. She is accused of the crime and proceeds to seek the truth and the real perpetrator.

In the past, our protagonist and a number of other new recruits struggle through their training at the titular institution.

The story is interesting with a lot of surprising twists and red herrings. All of the main characters have secrets. The cast is diverse, featuring non-white, non-male, non-straight characters.

I’ll continue to watch.

Monday

Blindspot

I’m a little wary of this series because it’s based on a gimmick.

A woman with no memory, but covered in tattoos, is found in a duffel bag in Times Square, and is taken in by the FBI because the name of one of their agents, Kurt Weller, is featured prominently, in ink, on her back.

The FBI decide to call her Jane Doe, but eventually find proof that she’s Taylor Shaw, a childhood friend of Weller’s who disappeared when they were both children. Even that is uncertain as another forensic test indicates that Jane was also born and spent several years in sub-Saharan Africa. Both things cannot be true.

The tattoos all have some kind of significance with terrorist attacks and government corruption. The goal of whoever did this seems to be to trick the FBI into uncovering the corruption in the government. Why not release this information to the press, or to multiple security forces at the same time, or even on the internet? Surely the evil government conspiracy doesn’t have the power to shut down the internet, press, and state and national police forces at the same time?

I’m sure we’ll find out the tortured logic of this very complicated tactic somewhere along the line.

Because none of the tattoos are straightforward. They’re all puzzles that take genius-level intelligence to solve. Conveniently, the FBI have a genius on staff.

The other thing that bugs me is that, while the writers have attempted to maintain some kind of consistency (beyond episode one) in revealing Jane’s backstory, they were very ham-handed in the first episode.

Basically, the reason Jane remembers nothing is that she has been given a mega dose of a drug that causes amnesia. From what they’ve been able to tell, she may never remember who she was or what happened to her.

We generally get unclear snippets as Jane’s fractured memories start to resurface, but at the end of the first episode, there is a final cut scene showing the night that she took the drug. Having voluntarily been tattooed over nearly every inch of her body, she also volunteers to eradicate her memory with this drug.

The man with her resurfaces in episode two, only to be killed in episode three without having yielded any useful information.

I’m willing to see where it goes for a while yet.

Minority Report

The series picks up years after the movie, with no mention of Tom Cruise’s character and some rewriting of the events that led to Pre-Crime’s dissolution.

The three precogs were living on their isolated island, but while Agatha has chosen to stay on the island, Arthur, the older of the twins, has returned to the city and uses his precog talents to make himself a very wealthy man.

Dash, the younger twin, is the one that sees the murders (Agatha experiences them from the perspective of the victim, and Arthur receives names and other factual details). Dash can’t stand to let people do horrible things to each other anymore.

He wants to stop the murders from happening if he can, but, working alone, he can’t seem to figure everything out in time.

So he finds Vega, a police detective, who helps him to solve the crimes he foresees.

Enter Hawkeye, a system that, somewhat like the machine on Person of Interest, but without the AI, gathers information from the wired society and uses it to predict the likelihood of violent action. Dash becomes Vega’s Hawkeye analyst as a kind of cover, and has to continually convince his brother Arthur to help them.

Add to this Agatha’s vision that Vega will somehow be involved in putting all three precogs back in the milk bath in subservience to the police, and we have another futuristic, crime-of-the-week, conspiracy thriller.

Even though Agatha and Arthur seem perfectly accustomed to life in the world, Dash is awkward and naive. I’m not really liking that vibe.

I’m willing to give it a few more episodes.

Castle

I’m sticking with Castle mainly for Nathan Fillion.

They’re trying another stunt to keep viewers’ interest after last year’s near-ending. *rolls eyes*

A few seasons ago, Beckett went to work for the Justice Department. In short order, the writers figured out that the distance relationship would never work for the character or with the fans and reworked the story to get Beckett back to the NYPD. Clumsily done, people.

Then, Castle disappeared for three months on the day he was to marry Beckett. There was some resolution, but it wasn’t satisfactory. He knows he was involved in some big, world-threatening conspiracy, and that he saved and old friend, but it seems that he, too, was given a dose of the amnesia drug (mentioned in Blindspot, above) and he’ll never know, and nor will we, how awesome he was.

Castle and Beckett finally got married and seemed to be negotiating married life fairly well. Things were going too well, I guess. Time to introduce a Shamalanian TWIST!

But first, they gave Beckett some resolution with regard to her mother’s murder, allowing her to finally put away the man responsible, Senator Bracken.

Though he was personna non grata at the police station, Castle started his own detective agency and reinserted himself into investigations, and eventually the precinct.

So now Beckett, having eschewed running for governor, is Captain of the precinct, but three of her former colleagues at the Department of Justice have been killed and a fourth comes to her for assistance.

This opens up the Bracken conspiracy again (greater evil, higher up, even MOAR untouchable), and she leaves Castle because she doesn’t want to put him in danger (wha?). She knows he’ll put himself into danger regardless. It’s a ridiculous excuse for drama.

Castle continues to use the detective agency—and now his daughter, Alexis, is working with him—to interfere with Beckett’s cases in some attempt to “win her back.” He knows full-well she loves him and she’s told him point blank that while she’s working on this conspiracy theory, she’d going to stay away from him for his own safety.

It’s a whole bundle of stupid. Contrived stupid at that.

But, like I say: Nathan Fillion.

Tuesday

The Flash

I have two words for you: Earth Two.

Yup, they’ve gone and done it, introduced Jay Garrick, the Flash from Earth Two. The resolution to last year’s finale seems to be that the fabric between the realities has been torn.

And we’ve already been shown that Harrison Wells is somehow living in Earth Two and ready to cross back over to torment Barry Allen further.

Meh.

Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D

Daisy (I liked Skye so much better) is trying to save the inhumans cropping up all over the place because the catalyst was released into the ocean.

A new government agency is trying to capture them for study.

The monolith transported Simmons to another world, far across the galaxy, and when the team retrieves her, she says she has to go back, but, of course, won’t say why.

Hunter wants Ward dead crazy-bad.

May is initially MIA, but then joins Hunter.

It’s still early days.

Limitless

Another new show featuring our favourite police organization, the FBI.

A listless slacker, Brian Finch, is introduced to the drug NZT, which allows him to take full advantage of his intelligence and memories. He comes to the attention of the FBI who decide to take him on as a consultant.

Once he starts using NZT, Senator Eddie Morra (from the movie, reprised by Bradley Cooper), shows up and offers him a deal. See, NZT has this nasty habit of killing the people who use it in a terrible and painful way. Morra has an injection, though, that will allow Finch to use NZT indefinitely, so long as he gets a periodic booster.

Finch agrees to the devil’s deal without reading the fine print. Morra’s people (not Morra himself, of course) threaten Finch’s father, and if Finch tells anyone about his deal with Morra, everyone he loves will be killed.

Finch tries to reconnect with an old flame, but Morra’s people again put an end to that, and Finch is told to steal FBI files, which he tries to fake, then ends up delivering.

He’s in a tough place. I guess the series is about how he at first survives, and then how he gets out of that place.

It’s another gimmick-based series, but I’m entertained enough for now.

Wednesday

Arrow

At the end of last season, Oliver Queen leaves Starling City with Felicity Smoak. This season picks up with them living in domestic bliss, but it’s not sitting well—with Felicity, not Oliver. Olie’s actually happy, exchanging recipes with neighbours and dreaming of kidlets and contentment.

Felicity, meanwhile, has been stepping out on him with the rest of the Arrow Corps: Diggle, his sister, Thea, and his former girlfriend and current D.A., Laurel.

When this comes to light, Felicity drags Olie, not kicking and screaming, but stoically sighing, back to the renamed Star City, where the people still clearly need some help.

In the first episode, Damian Darhk murders what’s left of Star City’s leadership while the Hive descends on the rest of the hapless population.

Diggle has a hate on for Olie because to get out of his situation with the League of Assassins in last season, Olie kidnapped Diggle’s wife. Thea, resurrected last season in “the pit” is now becoming a blood-thirsty killer. Laurel, having taken up her dead sister’s mantle as The Canary, is still at odds with her father, and lost without her sister.

So, Laurel convinces Thea to return to Nanda Parbat, where her father, Malcom Merlin, is now R’as al Ghul, to see if anything can be done for her. Of course, she brings her sister’s months-old corpse to drop in the pit.

I think we can all see where this is going. I’m curious to see if Constantine makes an appearance and what role he plays in the continuing cray-cray that is Oliver Queen’s life.

Criminal Minds

This series is an old faithful for me. I still enjoy the human monster-of-the-week stories they come up with.

They can’t seem to keep the team stable, though.

They’ve brought in a new member every season, and then they leave.

Code Black

I watched the first episode and wasn’t impressed.

Thursday

Heroes Reborn

I liked the first season of the original Heroes enough to give this one a chance.

After a terrorist attack on a conference in Odessa, Texas, during which hundreds of evos (evolved humans) and humans lose their lives, including Claire from the original series, evos are blamed and subsequently hunted down.

Renautas, the tech company that bought out Primatech, is using evo powers to enact a plan that will save the world. I’m thinking they want to save the world for humans. They’ve been using Molly Walker’s locater powers to create evo detector glasses for law enforcement. They’re using Hiro Nakamura’s powers to send equipment and supplies into the future.

They’re dallying a bit, but if the payoff is good, I’m willing to wait. I like some of the new evos and their powers.

I liked Miko/Katana girl and am a little sad that she might have been a computer program and her purpose served in releasing Hiro Nakamura from his virtual prison. Teleporter Tommy is cool and fortunately, he’s just gotten past his “refusal of the call” stage of his hero’s journey. We should see some good things developing from his storyline.

Malina, the elemental mistress (as I think of her), seems to be the pivotal figure.

It was Hiro’s powers that ended up causing the story problems that sent the original series off kilter, though. I hope the writers have a solid plan for dealing with them this time.

Unfortunately Hiro has already taken Noah into the past to try to stop the terrorist attack at Odessa from happening.

We’ll see what develops. I’m intrigued for now.

Grey’s Anatomy

This series is another old dependable, and kind of a guilty pleasure.

It’s basically a soap opera set against the backdrop of a hospital.

I was shocked at Dereck’s death, and they usually have some big event or crisis to mark each season, but I wasn’t expecting that.

So this year, they had to bring in the doctor that, as Grey gracelessly said, killed Dereck, to stir things up.

I’m actually watching Heroes Reborn in preference to Grey’s, but catching up by watching the episodes online. I’m doing the same with Minority Report, which is on at the same time as Blindspot, which, for now, grabs my attention more.

How to Get Away with Murder

They’re keeping the same storytelling strategy they used last year, but this year, they’re giving more away much earlier in the season.

This show is full of spoilage. I still want to watch to find out how all the dots are connected, though.

It makes me think and surprises me, even though I know part of the outcome.

It’s tasty.

Friday

Nothing so far for me. So this is my catch up day for Grey’s and Minority Report.

Saturday

Doctor Who

I’m slowly warming up to Capaldi as the new Doctor. He’s loosening up a bit. Though he still has the stylish coat, he’s now wearing it with plaid pants and a hoodie. He plays the electric guitar and has turned in his sonic screwdriver for “wearable” tech in the form of classic Ray-Ban sunglasses.

This season, or series, as they dub it in the UK, seems to be about “old friends.”

Clara’s still hanging on, but I was quite happy to see Missy/The Master’s return. She’s a good character. Psychotic, but goooood.

Davros showed up for an interesting two-parter, and I just finished watching the second of two episodes featuring Maisy Williams. In the first, she was a Viking girl. The Doctor saved her life by giving her nano-technology. She’s technically immortal, though she could be killed. In the second episode, he meets up with her again 800 years later.

Though he left her with another nano-tech cube for her eventual partner, she hasn’t used it yet. She blames the Doctor for making her immortal and then stranding her in the world, alone. He won’t take her with him, though. She blames him for that, too.

At the end of the episode, the Doctor asks her if they’re enemies. She says, no, but as his friend, she’ll be watching out for him. Creepily, she shows up at the school where Clara teaches.

Might be good.

Other stuff

iZombie

We don’t get CW on our cable, so Phil and I are watching season two as is comes out on Shomi.

At the end of the first season, Liv used the only two doses of a potential zombie cure, one to make Blain’s zombie gourmet ambitions more difficult to achieve, and the second to cure her ex-fiancé, Major, after she infected him to keep him from permanently dying when Blain stabbed him.

Then, Liv had to refuse a blood transfusion to her brother, who was caught in the gas explosion that took out Blain’s operation, the Meat Cute.

Oh, and the new potential zombie love of Liv’s life was murdered by Blain just a couple episodes earlier. Her best friend and room mate learned she was a zombie and disappeared.

So, Liv’s family isn’t speaking to her. Major isn’t speaking to her and though she has a new room mate, the woman is a spy (more on that in a bit). Ravi is trying to make up another batch of the cure, but to do that, they have to track down some of the tainted drug that caused the transformation. Liv has to find Blain and convince him to find the stuff for her.

Meanwhile, Major has been recruited by the CEO of Max Rager, the energy drink that is the other critical ingredient in the zombie infection agent and therefore Ravi’s cure.

Because he’s had Liv under surveillance (new roomie), Vaughn du Clark (the CEO) learns that a side effect of Major’s being cured is that he can now sense zombies. Du Clark wants Major to rid Seattle of the zombie menace. Of course, he uses Liv as leverage.

This series is fun. Word play and homage abound. It’s based on a comic, and they use comics in the opening credits as well as to introduce every scene.

It’s all kinds of awesome.

Hemlock Grove

This just came out yesterday on Netflix. It’s the third and final season.

It’s all kinds of messed up.

And Phil and I have only watched two episodes so far.

So that’s your fall television review. Like I said up front, I’ll have to offer up a (much shorter) part two when I’ve seen the rest of the new and returning series.

Now, it’s time for bed (!)

See you on Tipsday 🙂

Series Discoveries

Tipsday: Writerly Goodness found on the interwebz, October 11-17, 2015

Have I told you how much I enjoy sharing all this Writerly Goodness? I LURVES it!

Roz Morris points out that gender is not the only agenda when considering equality in publishing.

Sheila Williams, editor for Asimov’s since 2004, guest posts on the Women in Science Fiction blog.

K.M. Weiland continues her NaNoWriMo prep posts with six tasks you’ll love yourself for checking off your NaNo pre-writing list.

Katie answers one of the most frequent questions to come across her desk: what’s the hardest part of a novel to write?

If your protagonist is always right, readers will hate her (or him). K.M. Weiland.

I lurve Chuck Wendig when he writes posts like this one: go big, go weird, go you, and fuck fear right in the ear.

This. Is. SO. True. And, so sad. The Kubler-Ross model of grief applied to editing and rewriting. Chuck Wendig. Terribleminds.

Last week, K.M. Weiland compared weak plot points to dimpled or hanging chads. This week, David Corbett looks at the Iran nuclear deal as an example of four corner conflict. Writer Unboxed.

Donald Maass writes about the magnanimity of the author on Writer Unboxed.

Porter Anderson looks at Amazon Crossings on Writer Unboxed.

Want to get your book published? Start here. Jane Friedman.

Man Booker Prize winner, Marlon James’s first book was rejected nearly 80 times. Hope for us all, people. The Guardian.

Will the Amazon scandal with phoney authors and fake reviewers result in a resurgence in print book sales? The Memo.

Kristine Kathryn Rusch tackles the latest Author Earnings report (cause she was a little late addressing the last one).

Has Sabaa Tahir written the next Game of Thrones? The Huffington Post.

Helen Marshall (whose short fiction collection Gifts for the one who comes after has been nominated for nearly every applicable award, and won at least one) is interviewed on the This is Horror podcast.

How’s this for book porn?

The earliest documented use of fuck (so far) discovered. The Daily Mail.

Flavorwire showcases a video game based on Murakami’s magical realism.

Wise Ink shares eight infographics every writer needs.

Buzzfeed presents jokes for book nerds.

Maisy Williams made her debut on Doctor Who this past week. It was a good episode. Space.

Emily Asher-Perrin wishes Hollywood would stop doing these five things. Tor.com.

Top up your tank and get writing!

See you Thursday.

Tipsday