The Captain Marvel Kerfluffle

Or, How Captain Marvel‘s Writing Team Showed They Really Don’t Know Their Craft.

There wasn’t supposed to be a post today. In fact, I am slamming this out in-between a work shift, a very important errand, work on book projects (my email box is FULL of comments, fixes, and changes from the awesome Alpha and Beta Readers I have), and then a big social event tonight. But this warranted a post.

Okay, backstory: This last weekend, with Marvel’s Captain Marvel about to come out on Blu-Ray, the marketing team released an extended version of a scene from the film.

Okay, fine, not worth commenting on so far, right? Well, this came with an additional caveat. It was marketed as “see a hero taking on toxic masculinity.”

Oh. Oh no.

As I pointed out in my thoughts on Captain Marvel, the largest weakness of the film by far was the writing. And … that’s come back to bite folks again. Badly.

As you can imagine, the internet exploded.

Hang on though. We’re still in backstory. The scene in question is an extended version of the scene in the film where—minor spoilers—Vers steals a guy’s bike and some clothes. In this new version, rather than her simply eyeing the bike and stealing it (which is justifiable in character at the moment), we instead get a scene where the biker hits on Vers in a pretty sleazy manner, only to get his conceptions crushed by Vers. She shakes his hand, then crushes it (you can hear bones crack and pop) and tells him to give her his bike and jacket or she’ll remove the hand.

Again … a bit more sinister, sure. Except … then the writers had to step in and explain that this was Captain Marvel being a hero and striking a blow against toxic masculinity. And … well, you can imagine how the internet has taken it. Both sides have, as you can predictably guessed, gone up in arms. Both make some good points, and both make some bad points.

However, the reason I chose to take some time out of my crunched day to post about this was because at its core, the argument Disney’s marketing team and the writers of Captain Marvel have claimed is … well, wrong.

Vers isn’t a hero in that scene. Not by any definition of the term. And to see people so aggressively defending Vers actions as “heroic,” even the writing team? Well … I think that’s in part why the Captain Marvel had the problems it had.

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Memorial Day

There will be no Being a Better Writer post today in honor of Memorial Day.

Or this week really. After recovering from exhaustion this weekend, and with a hefty load of editing fixes, changes, and whatnot to get to as soon as my work resumes tomorrow, slipping another spinning plate into the rapid juggle just is not possible. I need the break.

On the plus side, there’s a lot coming down the pipeline (hence the exhaustion; I worked a little too much these last few months).

But for now, folks, enjoy your holiday. And don’t forget the fallen.

How Marvel’s Movies (and Others’ Products) Have Changed Storytelling

Pop quiz for you. Don’t worry, it’ll be easy to answer. Have you ever read any licensed literature? Like Star Wars books, or Star Trek, or Warhammer, or … Sands, really any licensed property? Or maybe seen a tie-in TV show to a movie? Played a game of a movie or a book?

Basically, anything that could be considered “secondary canon?”

Right. I can already tell I’ve lost some of you. So let’s back up. Let’s say you are a movie producer. Better yet, you’re one of those producers like James Cameron who often writes, produces, and directs your own movies. And you’ve just made a hit.

Now, with this hit on your hands, someone has come to you and asked for a chance to expand on the universe! They want to write a trilogy of books that tie into the movie and extrapolate a bit after it! Awesome!

But … you don’t want to write a trilogy of books. You want to keep making movies.

“No problem!” says the publisher with the contract. “We’ve got an author lined up! They’ll write all three. We just need some notes on the movie, for you to answer some questions, and that’ll be all we need!”

So you sign the paper, and the trilogy comes out. You collect a small licensing fee, and a bunch of fans of your movie go on to read the book and form excited theories and ideas.

Except … a year or two later, when you sit down to write the sequel, you’ve got a bunch of ideas that don’t quite mesh with the world and liberties the author of the book trilogy took to flesh out their story. Not that you know this: You probably haven’t read them. Or, if you did read them, you’d know the score as being thus—

The movie came first, therefore the movie is the final word.

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Penclash

Hey readers! I just wanted to give you a heads-up on a new writing site I learned about through the circles I’m in: Penclash!

Okay, so it’s not a site yet. And, legal disclaimer: I am not in any way affiliated with Penclash outside of having heard about it through the writing circles I hang out on. I’m not affiliated with the site’s owners or developers or anything like that. I just heard about it, and immediately realized this was something that could use some more publicity.

So, what is it? Well, Penclash is a writing competition site. That’s right: A whole website dedicated to short story competitions. If you’ve ever hung around online writing sites you may be familiar with these: Folks (sometimes even site hosts) will put up a challenge or a prompt, give a submission date, and on on occasion even offer a prize of some kind to the top stories, and away people go. There are judges, submissions … it’s a pretty common feature of online writing sites to have these contests.

So then what’s Penclash? It’s a site built for these. With integrated features for other fictions sites, easy-to-create contests, monthly site-wide contests … and more!

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Endgame (Yes, the Marvel Movie)

First of all: NO SPOILERS.

I mean, really readers? I wouldn’t do that to you.

But I have just returned from Marvel’s Endgame. Yup, my birthday gift to myself was a ticket for opening night. Kind of. It’s 4 AM here, so you can guess how late I was at the showing. But …

Here’s all I have to say. Again, no spoilers. None. I simply couldn’t.

If you’re at all invested in the Marvel films, just go see it.

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Monday Will Be Wednesday

Hey readers! Just a really fast post to let you know that this week’s Being a Better Writer post will be Wednesday rather than today. I have family visiting today, and a bunch of doctor’s appointments tomorrow, so I’m taking the smart route and just giving the post until Wednesday.

Until then, if you’re still hungry for some Being a Better Writer to read, there’s a massive backlog of it on the site to peruse!

Have a great Monday. I’ll see you all Wednesday!

Another Orbit Complete

Hey readers. It’s … my birthday! And, despite some stressful things going on that I alluded to yesterday, I’ve decided to celebrate a little bit.

Especially as my wrist is healed enough that I can mostly go biking without issue now.

So I’m going to celebrate by going on a nice long bike ride. And cooking a ginger-orange pork stir-fry for dinner. And playing some Borderlands 2, I expect.

I’ll resume normal operating hours tomorrow. But right now? I really could use a break for me.

On a side note, if you’re in the gift-giving mood, you could always leave a review or rating for one of my books on Amazon or Goodreads, help me along to that goal of 400 by year’s end! In fact, I woke up to another five-star review on Colony this morning, so that was a nice pick-me-up at the start of my day!

Or just grab one you haven’t read yet for yourself, as a gift to you. Or someone else, even! You can do that!

Anyway, I need to get riding. I hope you all have a wonderful day, and I’ll be back at work tomorrow.