Tag Archives: TV Tropes

You’re So Vain, You Probably Think GUESTLIST is About You #GLIST

Is GUESTLIST by Jay Fingers a Roman a Clef

Upon completion of a work, writers are always asked the same two questions.

The first is, “Which character is you?” or some variation thereof. It is constantly speculated that the story you’ve written is nothing more than a roman à clef, the fictionalization of real events and real people, a potentially damning bit of prose designed to humiliate those fucktards who’ve wrong the author in real life.

And that leads to second question – “Is [Character X] based on me?”

Or some variation thereof.

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Throwback Movie: Flesh Eating Mothers

Exactly what it says on the tin.

Co-written and directed by James Aviles Martin, this 1988 horror comedy follows the survival efforts of a group of people after the spread of a mutant venereal disease turns the entire township’s mothers into zombie-like cannbials. Terror + hilarity ensues.

What say you, Amazon?

It’s just another day in your typical Middle America town. The children diligently head off to school, fathers leave for the office and mothers spend their day working hard to make certain the family returns to a clean house and a warm dinner on the table. Today may begin like every other day in this town of good, solid values, but children become suspicious when their mothers begin developing some very peculiar appetites. “Flesh Eating Mothers” is a non-stop cult action/comedy that tells the story of a kid’s worst nightmare: becoming dinner! One by one, mothers are infected with an unusual virus that makes them develop bottomless appetites. When they run out of food they simply walk next door, not to borrow a cup of sugar, but to make a new recipe with the neighbors as the main ingredient. The children begin to realize that their mothers are preparing some of the strangest meals for dinner and react with mixed emotions. Should they run away or even worse, kill their own mothers to end the mayhem? Add a pinch of police corruption and a dash of a cover up in the coroner’s office and you have prepared a film deliciously destined to be a cult classic romp.

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Event: Touré – Who’s Afraid of Post-Blackness? Book Launch Party (Sept. 13)

Who's Afraid of Post-Blackness? by Touré

Whether you love him or hate him, one thing is surely true—Touré has a new book coming out, and you do not. The author/journalist has written Who’s Afraid of Post-Blackness?: What It Means To Be Black Now, which is about, well, exactly what it says on the tin. Touré attempts to explore what it means to be black in America in the age of Obama.

Examining the concept of “Post-Blackness,” a term that defines artists who are proud to be Black but don’t want to be limited by identity politics, Touré divulges intimate, funny, and painful stories of how racial expectations have shaped his own life, and explores how the concept of Post-Blackness functions in politics, art, culture, and more. The book also includes insights from a wide spectrum of contemporary luminaries, from Cornel West to Malcolm Gladwell to Kara Walker to David Paterson to Chuck D.

On Tuesday, September 13, Greenlight Bookstore hosts the launch of the book with a party featuring refreshments and music from DJ FRiTZO, along with a chance to meet and talk with Touré.

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Writing: Science Says Stories Aren’t Ruined By Spoilers

Spoiler Alert!

Don’t you hate when someone spoils the ending of a good book or movie before you’ve had a chance to read or see it? You’ll be standing around the water cooler when suddenly your colleauge decides to ruin the ending of some random story you’ve yet to experience (“ZOMG I can’t believe what happened at the end! He was dead the entire time! The butler did it! It was his sled!“) and so you scurry off, fingers in your ears while screaming “la-la-la-la” at the top of your lungs. It’s just the worst, right?

Well, maybe not. In fact, a scientific study at the University of California in San Diego claims that spoilers don’t spoil stories—they actually enhance one’s enjoyment of them.

Even ironic-twist and mystery stories—which you’d be forgiven for assuming absolutely depend on suspense or surprise for success—aren’t spoiled by spoilers, according to a study by [UC San Diego social psychology professor] Nicholas Christenfeld and [UC San Diego psychology doctoral student] Jonathan Leavitt of UC San Diego’s psychology department, to be published in a forthcoming issue of the journal Psychological Science.

Three types of stories were studied: ironic-twist, mystery and literary. Each story—classics by the likes of John Updike, Roald Dahl, Anton Chekhov, Agatha Christie and Raymond Carver—was presented as-is (without a spoiler), with a prefatory spoiler paragraph or with that same paragraph incorporated into the story as though it were a part of it. Each version of each story was read by at least 30 subjects. Data from subjects who had read the stories previously were excluded.

Subjects significantly preferred the spoiled versions of ironic-twist stories, where, for example, it was revealed before reading that a condemned man’s daring escape is all a fantasy before the noose snaps tight around his neck.

The study found similar findings for mysteries, saying that readers indicated improved enjoyment of stories even though they already knew whodunit.

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Writing: The Husband – My Script Frenzy Script

Writing: I'm Participating in Script Frenzy

As I mentioned before, today, April 1st, is the first day of Script Frenzy, the 30-day writing marathon that challenges you to write 100 pages of scripted material. Unlike past writing marathons, like NaNoWriMo and The 3-Day Novel Writing Challenge, I’m super-duper confident that I’ll be able to pull this off.

What makes me so confident, you ask? Looka here, man, I’ve been writing screenplays since I’m thirteen years old. I wrote my first short script on a Smith-Corona electric typewriter, so I was comfy with script format long before I had a wonderful computer program to handle that for me. I’ve also studied the craft of screenwriting; when I was in film school, screenwriting—not directing or producing or marketing—was my concentration. Not only did I write scripts for my own classes, I wrote, co-wrote and doctored some of my classmates’ scripts. I also read every script I could get my hands on. And before we had all these wonderful sites where you could download PDFs of produced and unproduced screenplays for free, I was buying shit from Script City and Planet MegaMall.

So, yeah. I think I have a firm enough grasp on the craft to bang out these hundred or so pages.

In the beginning, I toyed with the idea of adapting the graphic novel 100 Bullets for Script Frenzy. Adaptations are allowed, and I love the story, but ultimately I felt that it would be cheating. So I decided to roll with an idea that came to me the last time I was home visiting family. That idea is what I’m currently calling The Husband.

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