Hi! Welcome...

Diabolical Plots is a Sci-fi/Fantasy zine that covers virtually every media related to the genre from books to movies to video games. This site also features regular content related to the craft of writing. Take a look around!

11 June 2009 ~ 0 Comments

Princess of Prose: Alethea Kontis

kontisI was raised in a family of storytellers. And when I say that, I mean that we put most voice actors and stand-up comedians to shame. You only have as much time as everyone plans on sitting around the dinner table, and you only have the floor for as long as your voice carries over everyone else’sâ€so whatever you choose to impart to the group, it better be GOOD.

09 June 2009 ~ 0 Comments

Interesting advice…

When I first started this writing thing I often read that it was a lonely craft. So many people wrote about how they felt like no one really wanted them to succeed and that if they did succeed, no one would notice. I thought this was interesting but dispatched it as not my problem. Well it has become my problem. Maybe it’s just me but I feel that more and more, no one around me really cares about my writing. It is frustrating.

09 June 2009 ~ 0 Comments

A Year in Rejections

Almost to the century mark for rejections. Lately the trend seems slightly more positive–I’ve actually gotten a few “almost” replies, and one that’s being held for consideration for an anthology. I’m hoping that’s a continuing trend and not just a shallow peak.

Tags:

07 June 2009 ~ 0 Comments

“Beats” in dialog

To me, beats serve three main purposes:
1. attribution: lets you know who is saying what.
2. characterization: actions speak louder than words, this can betray a lie, show nervous habits, convey more subtle communication between characters, any number of other things.
3. pacing. A longer beat conveys a longer moment of time between speech.

06 June 2009 ~ 0 Comments

X-Men Origins: Wolverine

wolverineOverall it was okay, but some of the character motivations were thin at best, there were several characters that were clearly only included so they could be part of merchandising later on. That aspect wasn’t as bad as X-Men 3 (thank God) which included dozens of characters that were only on camera for seconds, just long enough to say their name and show their powers.

06 June 2009 ~ 0 Comments

When is a Writer a Writer?

Does someone have to like your writing to make you a writer? What if you’ve shown your writing to some people, but none of them have enjoyed it in the slightest. Must we seek a seal of approval to call ourselves writers, or should this writer declare his title regardless if anyone cares for his work?

Tags:

03 June 2009 ~ 0 Comments

Cinematic Descriptions

Trying to imitate cinema in prose rarely works very well, IMO. Prose can never imitate cinema well in this respect, and concentrating on this weakens the other aspects that prose can be better at. Cinema allows you to watch amazing events happen, but well-written prose allows you to experience it.

02 June 2009 ~ 0 Comments

Google Precedence–number 5

Just for fun, I did a Google search for my name to see where I rank these days. I’ve now moved up to #4, and even passed up one of my unsavory name-doppelgangers that has thwarted me for a long time–the web page is titled “Is David Steffen and elitist bigot?”

30 May 2009 ~ 0 Comments

A Dozen Story Ideas a Day: David Farland

farlandI recall reading from a Roman historian who complained that on one night, some 40 men were dragged from their beds and eaten by wolves. He said, “The only thing worse than the wolves are the wild Scotsmen themselves!” I was thinking about that, and suddenly my subconscious said, “Hey, I’ve got your magic system!”

28 May 2009 ~ 0 Comments

What Lies in Wait Beyond the Next Branch

How different would my writing career be nowadays if I had sent that first manuscript off to ESP instead of Tor. I probably would never have started writing short stories, so I wouldn’t have come across critique forums like Baen’s Bar. I never would’ve made the awesome friends I’ve made, and I would be left slogging through the revisions of that novel (or ones of a second novel) with little or no feedback to help me understand what works in stories and what doesn’t. ALL it would’ve taken would have been a different address on that one envelope, and this would be so different.