This one goes out to the regulars – I have a question

Hi there folks, welcome.  And a brand new hello to the recent followers, nice to see you!

Today’s post is less about writing and more about your expectations of this site, and an idea I have recently had.  And whilst I can certainly do what I please regards this website, it is a foolish writer that ignores their readers.  So, I want your opinion.

This website has been operational for just under a year.  In fact I got the domain renewal notice the other day.  And, despite a brief gap in posting it has been consistent and follower numbers have grown.  I appreciate that more than you realise.  What you may also not realise is this is one of two websites I have.  The other website is a hobby blog where I talk about gaming.  I review stuff and explore educational and social benefit of the hobby.  Some of my posts from there have been shared here and some from here have been shared there.

Now, it occurs to me that having two websites has two readerships when in fact I really want one set of readers.  Granted, on their own merits each site is doing reasonably well for a first year site.  However, I believe that they will become stronger if they were to merge.  I have tried this in the past, and it has been a bit unsuccessful.  Which would lead you to rightly ask, what has changed?  If it didn’t work before, then what makes you think it will work now?

My answer is related to purpose and format.  Previously the format of the site was a blog roll.  And I treated it like a niche blog, except it had two distinct and discrete areas.  And I feel that is what caused the blog to have an issue with identity leading to its ultimate failure.

This time my intent is to run a website as my author website.  On Sharp Writing I have shared my thoughts on the craft of writing and storytelling.  I have spoken about things that I feel have helped me that I believe will benefit others. As I said, I want to merge the two websites I have and have a single author website.  It would have a static landing page describing the site, and me and it would contain both of my blogs.  I don’t believe this will cause an issue with site identity.  If I have an author site then it is reasonable to talk about my writing work, my writing thoughts and also share all of my public writing – in this case, my hobby Blog.

My question to you would be – does this make any difference to you as a reader?

I will break that down.  Would a site that talks about fiction, writing and my hobby feel weird to you?  Would the additional content make you less likely to stick around?  And how would you feel if the content was good, but the primary URL changed?

That is it, over to you.  Please, I appreciate your thoughts!

 

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Genre – The Importance of Knowing which voice you are using

Hello everyone

Today I wanted to talk a bit about genre and voice for the purpose of creating the intended response.

When I was at University a large portion of my degree was spent sitting in a classroom reading other students’ work, and then providing feedback.  As you can imagine, there were lots of different styles, loads of stories and, as you might expect, varying skill levels.  By my final year, everything that I read was of a reasonable standard.  Not all of it was of interest, but the rookie mistakes were few and far between.  One day I was working my way through a pile of drafts and I found one whose title caught my eye.

Wendigo

Knowing that a Wendigo is a carnivorous, if not cannibalistic, spirit from North America I thought, “Great, a horror.”

I started reading a story about a bachelor party come hunting trip  gone horribly wrong, which made for a very good setting.  However, the tone and language read more like what I might expect from part of “The Hangover” series of movies.  It felt more like black comedy.  I was disappointed, however, it could easily have been intended as a Black Comedy and my expectations were unreasonable.  As was my responsibility,  I gave my feedback and noted that the tone was less horror and more comedy than I had expected.  I suggested, that if the writer was going for horror, they needed to change some of their language and the dialogue.  And that was that.  I never got to read the finished piece, which is a bit a shame really.  I hope the writer went on to produce a good piece of fiction.

It got me thinking.  In this case, Genre was defined by language and dialogue.  So, I started wondering, can we use this?

And the answer is, of course we can.  I attended University in an English city called Lancaster, which is about a thirty minute drive from the Lake District – a national park of hills, fells, mountains, and a lake.  Fun fact, there is only one lake in the Lake District.  The rest are Waters, Meres and Tarns.  The differences between them…are utterly irrelevant to me.  However, the Lake District is an idyllic setting of rolling landscapes, lush greenery and sparkling water.  Why am I telling you this?  Because the Lake District can also be cold, wet and blustery, isolated and dangerous.  The context of the place changes very drastically with a slight change of language.  Now, I am not for one minute suggesting that when you are writing about something grim and horrid, you simply change the background to reflect that.  That is pathetic fallacy, it is cliche.  The point I am making is that the same thing has multiple ways to describe it and the emotion evoked by differing descriptions is likely to be quite different.

A tree can be grand or looming.  A meadow can be peaceful or silent.  Fire can be warm or destructive.  A thesaurus is your friend when looking for alternative ways of describing things, though, a word of caution.  Don’t overdo it.  You’ll probably need to learn via trial and error to find the right balance, however I would categorically state that too much description takes us into the realms of overwriting.  To use a gardening analogy, seed a few descriptive words in your prose and let the emotional impact grow in the minds of your readers.

Seed a few descriptive words in your prose  Allow the the emotional impact to flower all by itself

Use words that evoke specific responses and let the reader do the rest.  Plant too many, and they fight for light and water, and diminish one another.

I think that is how you turn your voice to the genre you want.

What are your thoughts on this?  Have I overly simplified it?  Complicated it?  Have I forgotten something crucial?  Or do you agree?  I’d love to hear from you!

The Formula for Success

Hello folks.  today I wanted to talk about something that can benefit your writing, tangentially, but is more appropriately a life lesson.  I am going to talk about my formula for success.

This is my blog post about how to harness success

Years ago, I worked in a call centre as a team leader.  It was may job, with one other person, to manage a team of nearly 40 people.  The team members had various targets including handling time of calls, and sales.  Calls came in from outside and were routed to the first available agent, which meant that whoever you spoke to on any given day was random.  I tell you this as it was where my understanding of success came from.  One morning, I was going through the figures with my co-team leader.  He was a salesman of the old school called Alan.  We were looking at our figures for the previous day’s performance and I was despairing over one team member who habitually performed on the lower end of the spectrum.  Alan and I were discussing how we might help the individual improve as we got into bother when stats were down.  I said something along the lines, “It is the luck of the calls.  What can we do?”

His response was the less polite version of, “You are talking nonsense…”

He then quantified his statement.  We looked at the individual’s performance over a longer period.  It was consistently lower than average.  We then looked at other team members.  They were consistently higher.  He then challenged me, “Is person A unlucky and person B lucky?”

I had to admit that was unlikely.  So we listened to the calls of each individual to see the difference.

Person A offered the sales, but was inconsistent.  They didn’t offer every time, and because they didn’t offer every time, it didn’t sound natural.  Person B was the opposite. They offered every time, and as a result developed a way of pitching that they were comfortable with and that people responded to.  Person B made the most of every opportunity.  And they were good with every opportunity.

This gave me my first two parts to my formula for success.

Ability

Opportunity

I realised, or perhaps I already knew but had never said it before, that being good at something increases the odds of success.  And the more times you try, the better you get at it and the better the odds you will eventually achieve your objective.  Perhaps I did understand that but never put it into a sentence before.

However, I wasn’t satisfied as that didn’t account for everything in the success equation.  Sometimes “Bad Luck” happened.  I don’t actually believe luck is a particularly useful concept as you can’t quantify it and you can’t control it.  I modified my thinking to “Sometimes, random things happen.  These could affect the outcome positively or negatively”.  That didn’t cover everything either, because sometimes there are other factors that contribute that are not random.  They are situational, they are environment and the people who can help or hinder.

I eventually developed the theory that success was a combination of ability, opportunity and circumstance.  Ability is something you can control.  You can practice your skills, your crafts and become a master.  Opportunity is something you have a lot of control over.  It is up to you if you make the most of presented opportunity.  It is up to you if you want to go looking for other opportunities.

Circumstance is a bit harder.  Some of it you can influence, for instance the location and people who can help or hinder are within your ability to influence.  Unfortunately, sometimes things just don’t work.  There are things you can’t always account for, and sometimes things will simply go awry.  However, this is not the end of the world because if you are unsuccessful, you have missed an opportunity.  There is another one and another and another if you want to make the most of it.  Circumstance may be harder to control but if you make the most of your ability and take every opportunity then you will always have another chance.

This proved to be of benefit to me recently as I managed to get a writing job that is ideally suited to me, as it is within my skillset and of interest.  I recently started freelance writing for an independent game designer, writing content for their new up and coming product.  Some people might call it luck that I landed such a well suited role for me.  I call it the result of five (or more) years effort.

Ability – I have spent years honing the craft of writing.  I graduated last year with an Honours Degree.

Opportunity – Once graduated, I did a course on proofreading and a course on blogging professionally.  I always knew that players of wargames and roleplay games were a large portion of my target audience so I made many connections in the gaming community, both in my home area and at University.  I formed positive, lasting relationships so that even after I left people still knew my name.

Circumstance – By taking the courses and building links with the community that my intended fans were from, I was able to go to the places they were and get my name and skillset known by them.  I had thought that I would be able to get a few interested people from this niche to help spread the word about anything I wrote.  I was just as happy when one of them came knocking on my door asking for my help.

Success is about ability and opportunity, or perseverance. I failed University the first time round but completed it the second. This represents success for me

So, how can this benefit you?

Well, if you want to be a published writer, then you owe it to yourself and to the reading public to be the best writer you can be.  Practice lots.  Go to writing groups.  Read blogs.  Read books on the subject.  Read books for fun.  That is your ability.

Opportunity can just as easily be described as perseverance.  It isn’t enough to talk about writing.  You have to do it.  You have to do it regularly.  And then you need to refine it until it is ready.  Then you can send it to agents.  And if you get rejected, send it to another agent.  And another and another.  Or self publish.

Your circumstance is being known by your market.  Do your readers congregate anywhere that you can participate?  Go there.  Make yourself known.  You probably don’t even want to mention your novel at this point.  You are just making people learn your name.  Do that, and you’ve achieved an emotional link with your potential fan base, so when you have something to sell, your audience is more receptive.

What are your thoughts?  Have you found any killer formulas that help you be successful?

Editing – A Sharp Writing Guide

Hello everyone, welcome.  Today I am going to share my thoughts on editing

In later posts I will talk about feedback, and that should be a buddy or group situation.  Today, however, we focus on solo editing.

Editing is an important part of writing.  It is with editing that we refine our drafts into the fluid prose we need to engage the reader, and cut the excess/unnecessary words. Writers, to one extent or another, are perfectionists and egotists.  On some level we want our work to be as good as it can be, and for it to be read or heard.  This is fine insofar as it goes, however it also generates a problem.  In our quest to produce the perfect sentence it is very easy to write something and then stop, and edit as you go.  You’ve done it, haven’t you?

We all have.

It’s time to break that habit.  The processes of writing and the processes of editing are creation and destruction.  They are opposites, and thus use different parts of your brain.  You slow yourself down when you edit as you go.  Besides, and I will come back to this point when we get to feedback, you can only really do a proper job if you can see the full picture first.  You can’t foreshadow or plant subtle hints early on if you don’t know what happens later, after all.

So, first we need something to edit.  Something you have already written would do the job, however it is worth you getting some practice writing without editing as you go.  I am going to suggest you do some freewriting.  That is write in response to a prompt for 15 to 20 minutes without stopping or editing yourself.

Too many people try to edit as they go. This is a mistake and gave rise to the mantra, "You don't have to get it right first time, you only have to write first time."

Below there are 4 prompts or kicker lines.  They are there as starters or aids.  You need to write in response to them, either using them as your first line, writing a story that incorporates them or just write what one of them makes you feel.  Slavish adherence to the prompts is not what we are going for here

The kicker lines are

It was the largest [Blank] I had ever seen

This is the story of how we got a [Blank] for a pet.

When I went to the dump last week, [Blank]

When I went to the woods the other day, I [Blank]

Or

Just write something spontaneously.  The Kicker lines are only there as prompts, if you have an idea by all means, go for it.

Once you have your prompt or idea, start writing for 15 to 20 minutes without stopping, without editing yourself.  Then come back to the post.  I’ll be here.

Welcome back.

It is my observation that some writers will write their first draft and then immediately share it with peers for feedback.  There is certainly validity in seeking a second set of eyes to give a new perspective and to spot the mistakes that you could not.  However, it is precisely this reason that I do not like sharing my work at this point.  This is not a fear of judgement.  It is a respect for people giving their time and feedback.  I want them spending their time spotting the things I missed.  They shouldn’t be spending their time highlighting the careless errors of spelling and language that are inevitable in my first drafts.  So, that is why I always do a couple of edits on my work before sharing.

Some writers will write their first draft and then share for feedback. This is a mistake. You want people offering their time giving you useful feedback, not catching the careless errors of a first draft.

 

So, now we get to editing.

Firstly, Spelling – In this day of computers, there is very little reason for most spelling mistakes to survive the first draft.  If you are typing your work using a word processor, chances are it has a spell checker.  Your first redraft should include running the spell checker.  This will clear up any careless errors that creep in when you are writing freestyle.  Then, have a look through your writing.  Are there miss-spellings the checker didn’t get?

For instance confusions of same sounding words, with different meanings.  Here are some examples:

Two, Too, To

They’re, There, Their

Know, No

Your, You’re

If you think you are likely to be muddled by one or more of these groupings, keep a list of the various words and meanings so you can keep yourself right.  Many word processors have a search function that allows you to find specific words, meaning you can actually check every one if you so wish.

I also have Microsoft word set up to detect use of passive voice, which isn’t strictly an error, just weaker writing.  You can do this by adhering to the following instructions:

  1. Display the Word Options dialog box.
  2. Click the Proofing option at the left side of the dialog box.
  3. Click the Settings button.
  4. Make sure there is no check mark next to the Passive Sentences option.

 

For more detail on passive and active voice you can check out the Learn English British Council Page.

Next, read your work aloud.  I cannot stress enough how important this is!  Reading your work aloud forces you to slow yourself down, and even to an extent stops you skipping over parts and filling in blanks from memory.  It also is a good way of spotting clumsy language, and word repetition.  By this point you will also have a feel for your story, and if there are things that need to be adjusted or included, which you can go ahead and do.

This sounds like a lot of work to do for an early edit, doesn’t it?

That’s because it is.  Writing is often said to be 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration.  A significant amount of time spent writing is actually reworking a draft, rather than simply writing it.  Writing can be a long haul.  This is normal.

At this point you are probably almost ready to share your work for feedback.  However there are four habits you should consider getting into for the best quality feedback.

First – Know what you are trying to achieve.  This ranges from as broad as what Genre you are writing in, to what effect you want to have on a reader at a specific point.

Second – Ask those feeding back if you achieved what you intended.  People providing feedback will undoubtedly provide more, however this is the first opportunity for you to find out if you are having the intended impact.

Third – Be open to the feedback.  You may not always like what you hear, however going through the process will improve your writing and help build your resilience, which is a necessary attribute for a writer to have.

There is a fourth habit, however, I will deal with that in my next post on giving effective feedback.

So, let us summarise what we have covered.  Once you have a piece ready for editing

  1. Run the spell checker
  2. Look for same sounding words
  3. Read it aloud
  4. Repeat as often as needed
  5. Know what you are trying to achieve
  6. Ask those feeding back specific questions about your work
  7. Be open to what they say

 

Just a short list of the process I go through when editing

I hope I’ll see you here next week for the post on effective feedback.

 

 

Pathos – the Ally of Writing (not to be confused with the Porthos – Ally of Athos…)

Hello everyone, welcome.  Today I am going to scratch the surface of something that can help your writing.  Disclaimer, this post contains affiliate links.

Have you ever noticed that when you are reading a story or watching a TV show something just clicks in it, and even though part of you feels like it is rubbish, something is just working for you?  I get that when reading stories or watching stuff that has a modern setting, but that links back to the past in some way.   Stargate SG1, the TV show, does this in that the antagonists style themselves as deities whose advanced technology looks archaic.  The Vampire Diaries TV show (and presumably books) have a contemporary story with a plot thread set in the past.  The Katharine Kerr Deverry series of books is a High Fantasy Series set in one period, that frequently loops back to the previous incarnations of the main characters.

It occurs to me that I have nostalgia, or even romantic notions, related to the past.  The reasons why aren’t really important, only that it is true.  Nostalgia is the reason I watched three seasons of the Vampire Diaries before becoming utterly bored.  Nostalgia is (one of) the reason(s) I am on my third complete run through of my Stargate SG1 DVDs.

I watched 3 seasons of the Vampire diaries before I got bored. My interest was sustained by nostalgia. I also have old school pictures of Frys Chocolate hanging in my kitchen for the sam reason

For me, a link to the past is appealing as a plot device.  The plot tugs on my emotions, overriding sense (not necessarily in a bad way) and gives me a pleasurable experience in consumption of the media.  Nostalgia is the ally of the Writer against my resistance.

It is an ally any writer can make use of.  The theory is simple, and should be something a writer is doing anyway.  It is part of your audience research.  Who are your audience?  What do they like?  What do they have fond memories of?

More importantly can you legitimately get any of that into your plot?

Nostalgia engages the emotional centers of the brain, basically a pathos appeal. Writers can use this pathos appeal to build loyal fans and engage people in their writing

At its most basic level, you are using the Pathos appeal of Rhetoric.  You are communicating to the emotional centre of your reader.  (Classic rhetoric holds that there are three types of appeal, Pathos, Ethos and Logos.  Pathos is emotion, Ethos is the credibility of the speaker, and Logos is content of what they are saying.  And, arguably, Pathos is probably the most effective when used properly)

How do you do this?

Ask yourself, who is your audience and what do they hanker for?

For me, it is what I perceive to be simpler times.  Even the romanticised version.

For others it could be romance itself, the story that clearly has a happy ending.

Maybe it is having a character (not necessarily protagonist) that shares common values that your readers can relate to.

On a more visceral level, if you are writing a screenplay then it could be about getting the music just right (I love the movie Delta Force, with Chuck Norris.  It is about as good as most of his movies, however the musical score is done by Alan Silvestri, one of my favourite composers which means I have vastly greater enjoyment than I should.  This theory also applies to the old show Airwolf…click and have a listen.  It is more addictive than it has any right to be)

I am very much aware that this post may appear vague.   I consider it a starting point, as I do not know who your audience is.  Let’s have a chat in the comments.

 

Was Marvel’s Iron Fist Netflix Series Bad? A look at criticism and feedback

I am a Marvel fan, and a Netflix Subscriber.  So, when they announced Daredevil as a TV series a few years back, I was excited.  Watching the series was no let down.  It was fast paced, well cast and had a great story.  Riding this success came Jessica Jones, Luke Cage and now, Iron Fist.  Three reasonably well known heroes in the comic world, (possibly four – I never really heard of Jessica Jones early story, so if I am misrepresenting her, I apologise) brought together to form the Defenders series given the popularity of the Avengers.  Iron Fist came out on Friday, so for me, Friday was Iron Fist day.

 

I enjoyed the series, and according to Meta-Critic User reviews, and Rotten Tomato Audience reviews, so did the general viewing audience.

Critics slammed it, citing problems with the acting (Hammy), Lack of originality, pacing, and a few just said they didn’t like it.  I am not going to attack them.

You can make your own decision by watching the series and reading the criticism on the Iron Fist Metacritic Page.

I am going to examine some of it, and there is a purpose to this – bear with it.

Critics said it was unoriginal.

I suspect the rich kid, presumed dead and taken in by monks/learning a deadly skill and having an obligation sounded quite familiar.  It is the basic plot of Batman, Green Arrow and Iron Fist.  All orphaned.  All declared/presumed dead.  All super-rich.  All returning with deadly skills.  The statement that Iron Fist is unoriginal is factual.  But it ignores context.  Iron Fist, and all of the others are Comic Book characters created in a time when stealing elements of your rival’s work was common place.

For instance, take the Nova Corps and Quasar from Marvel.  Put them together and you get something resembling the Green Lantern Corps.

Take Black Panther and Moon Knight from Marvel, put them together and you get something resembling Batman.  I could probably find other examples.

Next criticism – it is hammy.  Truthfully, I didn’t notice that.  But perhaps if your normal fiction doesn’t involve a living weapon, then perhaps it is factual.  However, again, it lacks context.  It is a comic book character.  Hammy is expected, and I personally enjoyed the journey from socially awkward tramp, to socially awkward billionaire to social justice ninja, to the Immortal Iron Fist.

Pacing – The pacing was a bit slow in the early episodes.  I have to grant that.  They were necessary, to set up the main character’s attitude towards inequity.  Having read some critics, who reviewed the show over a week before general release, I learn that they didn’t see the whole thing – just the first six episodes.  I thought the first three were slow, but worth it.  Maybe critics would be kinder if they saw the whole thing?

Some critics said it managed to stand on its own merit.  Some said it didn’t.  I will now arrive at my point.

For any writer, feedback and criticism is part of the deal.  And if you are supplying feedback you can have as profound an impact on the writer as if they were hit by the Iron Fist at full power (you’re losing more than teeth to that punch…).

As a person feeding back your enjoyment is irrelevant.  (I have said before, I will say again).  You are feeding back for purpose.  You are not reading for pleasure.  So, push your bias out the window.

Then, ask yourself (and if needs be, ask the writer), what is this piece trying to accomplish?

I once was asked to feedback on a piece of writing whose title was that of a flesh eating spirit.  I read the title and thought, “Supernatural Horror.”  When I read the piece, it read like black comedy.  I had to ask, “Did you intend that?”

Once you know what the writer’s intent is, you can feedback impartially.

You don’t like sci-fi?  That is fine.  Your writer is trying to communicate a sense of civilisation falling to dystopia.  Are they achieving that?

You don’t like romance?  No problem.  The writer is trying to communicate that the protagonist is in an abusive relationship, but doesn’t realise it.  Are they achieving that?

If start thinking about the purpose of/context of the writing, you can give significantly better feedback than simply writing, “I enjoyed this,”, “You should rewrite this sentence,” or “Word repetition.”

Iron Fist – Purpose to tell the origin story of a Marvel Comic book Character with fidelity to its history, whilst tying it into the extend Marvel Netflix Universe, setting up the Defenders.  Didn’t like it?  No problem.  Did it achieve that?

Yes.

Everything else is technical, and you can judge on its own merits.

all the best.

Can’t wait for the Defenders.

Chicken Run – A Study in following your own rules

In a previous life, I was a student officer at University.  Which meant it was my job to nag the University about stuff.  And in order to be successful at nagging, I had to build relationships with University staff.  The hardest of the lot was the Vice Chancellor.  I am not sure he was entirely comfortable with folk under the age of 40.  However, I eventually managed to build that rapport and the point where I realised this was when I was on schmoozing duty at Students’ Union’s Awards Ceremony.  I was talking to the VC, and I said to him, “I have a major problem with Chicken Run, the film.”

His response was the same as everyone’s response.  “You mean that it has talking chickens?”

This was going to be a long night.

“No, Peter,”said I, for Peter was his name.  “I have no issue with that.  It is established in the narrative as a rule of the world that chickens talk to one another, that their feathers can act as fingers and it is perfectly reasonable that intelligent chickens with pre-hensile feathers can build a flying machine.”

Disclaimer – this conversation took place 2 years ago.  The words might not be exact.

This usually confuses my audience.  I have declared that there is a flaw with Chicken Run, but none of the above bothers me.  Here is why, and this is also why it should bother any writer.  Or at least be noted by any writer as something to learn from.

All of the above follow the accepted rules of the world.

Stories, in any genre have internal rules and logic. If a wizard can cast a spell, then other wizards can.  If casting a spell tires the wizard, then all wizards tire when spell casting.  And so on.  That is a simplification, but it works.  You might be skeptical if spell casting caused major exhaustion for 90% of a story, and then suddenly a wizard casts a spell without so much as a wheeze.

“No Peter, my problem with Chicken Run is that it breaks established rules of the world.  Rules of supply, demand, profit and loss.”

That was the point I lost him.  But I am persistent.

“The plot of Chicken Run revolves around a bunch of hens kept as egg laying hens by an evil Farmer’s Wife.  She has no affection for the hens.  They are simply a means to profit.  When chickens stop laying eggs, they are for the chop.  Not worth keeping them.”

Peter nodded sagely.

Disclaimer.  The sageness of the nodding may have been exaggerated.  As may have the nodding have been.

“The Evil Farmer’s wife gets frustrated with the chickens not laying eggs and costing her money.  So, she hatches a plan…”

I am quite pleased with ‘Hatches a plan’.  I am pretty sure I didn’t say that on the night.

“She buys a chicken-killing machine.  A giant metal monstrosity designed to kill all the chickens.  In order that she can sell them as pies to the pie eating public and make a profit.”

More (potential) sage nodding.

“That’s my problem with it.”

Blank look.

“Her business plan makes absolutely no financial sense!  How on earth is she going to make a profit this way?  She invests all her money into the chicken-killing machine to slaughter her entire stock of chickens, (This is a vital plot point.  It necessitates their escape plan) to make pies.  Then what?  All she has is a chicken-killing machine and no chickens.  No bank in the world will loan for that business plan! I isn’t sustainable!”

He actually chuckled at that, and confirmed that there was a certain element of logic to my thought process.

 

Ok, so I have made that story slightly more ridiculous than actually happened.  And I accept that Chicken Run is a kid’s movie, and most kids don’t necessarily think this deep when it comes to elements of plot.  But a writer should.  If your audience’s average age is greater than 5 months, things need to be logical, reasonable and follow an internal logic, even if the logic is of the fantastic.

Until next time