Game of Thrones’ Endgame

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Watching Avengers: Endgame, I noticed the movie spent the first hour showing the characters reacting/processing what had happened in Infinity War. This makes sense. They just lost their biggest battle against their biggest foe and saw the biggest genocide take place in the universe.

Spoilers!

Compare this to Game of Thrones season 8 episode 4. In episode 3, the North were facing the biggest, baddest army of the dead. Every character lamented their looming deaths. Then the long night came. And went with the North victorious. Yay! Episode 4 begins and they spend the first five minutes burning their fallen heroes in massive funeral pyres. Great. Now let’s party it up and drink like it’s 1999. That’s actually what happened. They drank and drank, people fornicated, and a big blonde woman lost her virginity. Uh...

In storytelling, scenes should have consequences, good or bad. Otherwise, why show them? Then there needs to be an equal reaction to the weight of that scene. For example, if a guy get’s the date with the girl of his dreams, that’s great. However, the fact that he’s taking the girl of his dreams out on a date begins to weigh down on him. He might stress over how to dress, feel incompetent, or wonder if he can keep the conversation going. Worst yet, does he go for the kiss? If he doesn’t, he might look like a wimp. If he does, then he might be moving too fast.

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GoT episode 4 spends almost no time processing that win. No one talks about the health of their armed forces, takes account of their resources, or wonders if they are capable of beating their next foe. Taking the time to surmise the state of things can up the tension for the viewers and present problems that the characters have to tackle. They can still party and have sex, but save it for later though. Much later. At least let the smoke from the funeral pyres clear.

I was listening to a podcast about GoT’s recent episodes and how they sucked. Most of what they said could be argued either way. But a commenter made an important point: Good stories show “this happened because that happened”. Instead, the recent episodes showed that this happened, then this happened, then this happened, etc. In writing, there’s a structure in storytelling called MRU’s, motivation reaction units. The motivation can be summed up as a goal. Whether that goal is reached or not will result in how the character will react. Here the character spends time thinking about what happened and discovers the next goal, which leads to further action until that new goal is either met or not met. Another reaction ensues. And on and on. Using MRUs makes it easy to structure your scenes and helps the viewer and reader understand what’s going on. Because this is how we live life. We all have goals. We all celebrate our wins or lick our wounds. And then we move on. Hopefully.

Can a Man Write as a Woman?

Street food on the street

Street food on the street

Recently, I had gone to the San Francisco Street Food Festival. It’s a non-profit that helps the community. The smells of the dozens of food carts, trucks, and grills did a great job quenching everyone’s thirst and hunger. A great event.

I had gone with a friend from my acting days and met with a group of people I’ve never met before. If you’ve never been to the Mission in San Francisco, it’s pretty big. The food festival was no different. After walking and standing in lines the whole day, some of us decided to rest at an elementary school yard on long flat benches. Hard on the ass, but good for the feet.

No comment

No comment

The lady next to me flopped her sandals off, crossed her legs, and bumped her foot with the beat of the music. That was when I first noticed her feet. Let’s just say my calloused big toe was nice and pristine compared to her feet. My ex-girlfriend used to get on my case about my big toe, suggesting I use a rubbing stone to smooth it out. Like what is the big deal? I work out hard, and it’s just a side of effect of having a nice, Greek God of a body. OK. My body is not of a Greek God, since I'm Chinese.

But, now, I understand.

I became thankful of how the girls in my past took care of themselves. I still don’t know nor fully understand the effort they put in, but I definitely appreciate it. I just love clean feminine women. Is it right, wrong? I’m not qualified to judge. But I can’t deny what I love.

Am I sexy?

Am I sexy?

More and more, I've been observing what women do and go through. I think a large part of this was a review that I read, from a woman, of the Game of Thrones, written by George R. R. Martin. I wish I could link the review because she articulated this better than my memory could. One of her many complaints was that, as human beings, we don’t really know what it’s like to be the opposite sex. For me, I can try and write from a perspective of a woman, but I may not truly understand what it is to be a woman.

The reviewer quoted a passage from the book, a female character (paraphrasing): As she walked in, her breasts swished behind a sheer robe.

When I first read this, I immediately imagined a nice set of breasts swaying back and forth through sheer silk. What's wrong with that? Then BAM! The reviewer said a woman rarely thinks about her breasts unless she has to like when she's buying a bra or when a dude ogles at them. She then stated: Would a man walking through a room be conscious of his penis swaying?

I don’t. Unless, my thoughts pointed to swaying breasts behind a sheer robe. Then I’d be fully conscious of it, especially sitting here in Starbucks. OK. Time to get my thoughts away from swaying breasts. Give me a moment.

Best of the Best of the Best of the Bestest

Best of the Best of the Best of the Bestest

Several of my chapters are written from the perspective of female characters in my books. So I had to go back and make sure I didn’t make that mistake. As a former actor, we’re trained to really place ourselves in another’s shoes. Whether we’re successful or not as artists in that regard will be left to posterity. But I think we all do our best to do our work to the best of our bestest ability. And that’s all anyone can ask cause being asked to do better than our bestest of our best would only push our best to be better.

Uh. Yeah.