Author has written 20 stories for Doctor Who, Lie to Me, NCIS, Firefly, Stargate: SG-1, and Castle.
Doctor Who breaks my heart.
And then stomps it into little pieces.
Because it's about the most incredible man, with the most incredible people, and just when you've come to love them...
They change. Or are left behind. Or lose their memories. Or die.
But I can't let go.
Because the Doctor is worth the monsters.
Doctor Who: Tonight's the Night
This is a short scene set on the TARDIS that gave the winner of a design-a-monster competition the chance to appear on Doctor Who. And it is absolutely, amazingly hilarious. John Barrowman and David Tennant guest star. After watching the scene, make sure you stick around for when the winner is first given a tour of the TARDIS. There is a surprise...
It's seven minutes long. You will laugh out loud. And then you will cry cold tears of envy that there is an ordinary person in the world who got this opportunity.
Worlds in Conjunction by Marylane
This was one of the very first Doctor Who stories that I read, and it remains one of the few that left me staring at my computer screen, in awestruck wonder, feeling like the world was suddenly a different place.
It's beautiful and heartbreaking and amazing. Read it. Right now. You'll be glad you did.
“Why us? You seem to have a decided preference.”
If you're wondering where the name Pelman comes from, it's the name of the lead character from the book trilogy Pelman the Powershaper by Robert Don Hughes. This is an amazing fantasy series written in the late '70s through early '80s and it's definitely worth a read.
Stories shouldn’t show us what is real. They should show us what is true.
Death Blows in Fanfiction
1. Authors apologizing about their summary...in the summary. If you're already apologizing there, why in the name of Rassilon would I want to read your story.
2. Authors apologizing for their story...in their story. We've all seen this. It goes something along the lines of "Yeah, m story is so bad. But plz reveiw !!
3. Author notes...that are practically longer than the story itself. If it's absolutely vital to understand what you've written-put it in the story; trying to explain everything in the footnotes is a sign that you're not doing your job as an author. If it's still an absolutely vital piece of information that for some reason can't be put in the story-put it at the end, so people who don't want to read it don't have to. You are allowed a note of introduction at the beginning of a multi-chaptered story.
4. Shamelessly begging for reviews/Threatening not to post if you don't get reviews. Yes, I like reviews as well. Yes, I will ask for comments/critiques on my stories, although not all the time. But reviews are not a right. And you should be confident enough in your writing that reviews don't make or break you. If you continue writing, and your stuff is good enough, people will notice.
5. The wanton destruction of grammar, plot, characterization and other trademarks of good writing. Sometimes I think that fanfiction.net is inhabited by a bunch of Twilight Zone people who live in a world in which there are NO BOOKS. Because while I am certainly not the best writer out there, I've read enough to know that there are certain standards that should be followed in order to make a piece of writing intelligible. Just because you're "doing it for fun" is no excuse not to make sure your writing is up to snuff. Have some pride, man.
6. Song Fics. Enough said.
7. The appearance of body zombies. Characterization is king, people. Fanfiction is, at its heart, an attempt to transcribe characters that we know and love onto the written page. If all you're doing is using their name and physical description...something's wrong. Everything doesn't have to be canon, but everyone does have to be in character. This is perhaps the most challenging aspect of writing fanfiction. If you're not willing to at least make an attempt at keeping characters in line with their actual portrayals, then you're better off writing original fiction.
8. Stories under 1000 words. Note the word "stories". A story is a self-contained idea with a plot. Drabbles are an entirely different matter. And this is not to say that writing a story that is under 1000 words is impossible...you just have to be very, very good to pull it off. And those less-than-1000-words need to be very, very well chosen.
9. Abandoned Stories. Yes, there are exceptions to every rule. And perhaps I'm expecting too high a standard of professionalism from this site. But if you are going to post a multi-chaptered story, and it is not completely written when you first start posting, you better at least have a good outline of where everything is going. No matter how talented you are, a story will always be better if there is a master plan guiding it. I was able to do a substantial amount of foreshadowing in my story Memories because I knew what was going to happen. It makes for more depth, which equates to a higher quality story. Themes also grow out of knowing the complete storyline and knowing what is going to be important.
10. Excessive Reliance on Dialogue. One of the first "cues" that determines whether I take the time to read a story (this applies more to multi-chaptered works) or not is the amount of dialogue the author uses. If I click on a story and it largely consists of dialogue, I probably won't read it. Why? The first rule of writing is to show NOT tell. Good writers captivate you; they make you forget that you're reading words on a page, all with their words. Style counts. Dialogue on its own is not nearly enough to write a good story. Character's thoughts and feelings, physical descriptions, actions, settings, and other descriptions are the glue that holds a story together. And the best authors mix these together in a magical way to create something that feels real.
This list will be added to when I have more time. Feel free to e-mail me your own suggestions. Or just commiserate.
Five Movies You Probably Haven’t Seen (But Really Should)
1. The Scarlet and the Black- Gregory Peck as a (Irish) Vatican Priest rescuing escaped POW’s and Christopher Plummer as the Gestapo leader trying to stop him. What’s not to love?
2. The Iron Giant- You’ve heard of 'The Incredibles'? This is by the same guy, and it’s possibly even better. A giant robot crashes to earth and is discovered by a young boy named Hogarth Hughes. But since it’s the middle of the Cold War, government agents are awfully anxious to learn what that mysterious light in the sky was…
3. Searching for Bobby Fischer- It’s a sports movie…about chess. Great acting, great script, great characters, great cinematography. And a cute little boy who you can’t help but love. With the added bonus of: Tony Shaloub! As a grumpy chess player!
4. Galaxy Quest- Okay, you might have seen this one. But if you haven’t, you should. A group of actors from the television show Galaxy Quest are mistaken for a real alien-fighting crew and taken to outer space. Probably the funniest movie I have ever seen, the pacing on this one never, ever slows down. It’s just one laugh-filled ride every single minute. Hey, this movie also has Tony Shaloub in it!
5. The Winslow Boy- If you’re one of those people who enjoy telling others how much you love to read Dickens and listen to classical music, then this movie is for you. But even if you aren’t, this is the best movie I have seen examining the issues of Truth and Honor. A boy is expelled from a naval academy for (allegedly) stealing five shillings. His family risks everything to prove that he is innocent. Plus, they’re British!
The Only TV Shows I Have Ever Become Addicted To (in time order of addiction)
1. Hogan's Heroes- A show about a group of POW's running a sabatoge and rescue operation under the German's noses during WWII- and it's a COMEDY! That's pure television gold right there. Plus, the Hogan's Heroes Fanfiction.net page is probably the most civil, interactive, classy community on the entire site.
2. Star Trek: The Next Generation- Watching the first two seasons, I'm always amazed this show survived because some episodes were so bad. (The Last Outpost, anyone?) But watching the last five seasons, I'm so, so glad it did.
3. Stargate: SG-1- This show is so cool because it takes place during the present time. Everything's the same as in our world, except for the tiny addition of a stone ring that allows people to travel through worm holes to other planets. Plus, it's snarky!
4. Monk- Monk is actually the show I consider closest in theme to Doctor Who. When you've got an OCD detective who loses his wife to a car-bomb, and then spirals out of control before gradually beginning to solve crime again, all with the intent of eventually finding his wife's murder, the themes of loss, and loneliness, and pain are pretty prevalent.
5. Psych- Join Shawn Spencer, the fake psychic-detective, and his friend Gus. Laugh. A lot. And always remember to ask yourself, "Are you a fan of delicious flavor?"
6. Chuck- Let's see. Chuck is a drama, comedy, thriller, spy, action, romance, mystery television show. The only thing that comes close is "Princess Bride." Chuck is an ordinary guy who accidentally gets the entire cache of government secrets downloaded into his brain. Yikes!
7. Doctor Who- Nothing else like it. And that's all I have to say.
8. Lie to Me- Two words: Tim Roth.
Books You Probably Haven't Read (But Really Should)
1. The Attolia Series by Megan Walen Turner- Follow the adventures of a thief named Eugenides, as he gets caught up in the political manueverings between the countries of Sounis, Eddis, and Attolia. A fantasy series set in a landscape reminiscent of ancient Greece, you read the first book, and go, "Oh, that was pretty exciting. And a decent read at that." You read the second book, and go, "Whoa! I did not see that one coming." You read the third book, and go, "AAAAHHH! THAT WAS SO GOOD! I WANT TO READ IT AGAIN RIGHT NOW!"
2. The Sparrow/Children of God by Mary Doria Russell- Father Emilio Sandoz is perhaps an unlikely character to grace the science-fiction backdrop of these novels. Yet to call them sci-fi is like calling The Lord of the Rings fantasy: superficially true, but in both cases the stories transcend the genre. These books are hauntingly beautiful. They make you think, they make you feel, and at times they make you weep. The mark of a good book is how firmly it entrenches you in the world it creates, and in this respect The Sparrow and Children of God are remarkably compelling.
3. City Watch Series by Terry Pratchett- Okay, you might have read these, but Sam Vimes is too good a character to not include these books on the list. The series starts with Guards, Guards! and is currently up to Thud, and each book just keeps getting better. How can Terry Pratchett take a fantasy series set on an imaginary world called Discworld and turn it into the best analysis of human nature I've ever seen?! It's like he has a magic microscope that connects straight to the human soul.
4. Elantris by Brandon Sanderson- Brandson Sanderson has to be the best new fantasy author to hit the market in the past couple of years. His stories are awesome, his characters are great, and man does he churn out the pages. He's the author who was chosen to write the last Wheel of Time novel, if you're familiar with that series. Anyways, if you want to read really epic page-turners, with really original magic systems, that fully emerse you in a world, and have you re-reading each book to pick up all the things you missed the last time you read it, then Sanderson is your guy.
5. Cyrano de Bergerac by Edmond Rostand- This is a French play, and make sure you get the translation done by Brian Hooker because it's the best one out there and is considered one of the best English translations ever done. This play is awesome. To quote the synopsis, "Set in Louis XIII's reign, it is the moving and exciting drama of one of the finest swordsmen in France, gallant soldier, brilliant wit, tragic poet-lover with the face of a clown." Basically Cyrano is this super-awesome-tragic guy who refuses to compromise on anything.
6. One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovitch by Alexander Solzhenitsyn- Written in Russian (kind of obvious given the names), make sure to get the translation done by Ralph Parker. Solzhenitsyn has to be one of the best Russian writers of all time, and that's saying a lot. This book, just as the title says, takes you through a single day in Ivan's life. His life in a Gulag, a Russian political prisoner camp. And you become emersed in it. Solzhenitsyn's genius is allowing you to experience exactly what it was like living under Stalin. And he writes from personal experience- Solzhenitsyn spent eight years in a labor camp because he "allegedly" made a derogatory remark about Stalin.
7. Lizzie Bright and the Buckminster Boy by Gary Schmidt- Actually, you should just read every book Gary Schmidt has written. Because he's just that good. If you like the tone and style of the stuff that I've written, then you'll like Schmidt because he does what I do, but much, much better. And he's the best author I've ever read for making you feel exactly what his characters are feeling. I never ever cry while reading books, but I did when I read this one. Because Schmidt's writing is just that powerful.
I'll add more later.
"I always think the more you emphasize "lonely Doctor," the more you come back to what the heart of the series is now, which is a man, traveling through time and space, in a box."
-Russell T. Davies