Easy Road to Conflict

I try very hard not to be the guy telling anyone they’re doing it wrong.  Who am I to determine what works and what doesn’t?  I’m just one writer, and not a very successful one at that.  I get by, and I’ve written enough that I feel comfortable sharing my opinions on writing.  But it’s all just so much random chatter in the end.  Nobody knows what works, and if they tell you they do, they’re lying to you and probably themselves as well.  Nevertheless, I’ve grown sick by the number of people, artists and audience, who simply lack the imagination to write interesting stories that defy expectations.

Posted in Blog, Comic Books, Writing | Leave a comment

Just Playing

Playing is severely underrated.  The therapeutic effects of just playing, no pressure, no requirements, are so important that I don’t know if anyone would really argue with that.  That’s why I find it so frustrating at how little playing we’re allowed to do.

True, we have plenty of games we can play.  Video games, both online and off, are more popular than ever, and my own personal obsession of tabletop gaming is experiencing a boom of its own with a few famous advocates for the hobby.  But I’m still struck at how often these experiences have been transformed from moments of play to serious work.  I enjoy League of Legends, but I dislike the whole culture that has robbed the game of much of its fun.  I feel the same way about Magic: the Gathering and pretty much any other game that has a formalized ranking system that players strive to climb.

Posted in Blog, games | 1 Comment

Relatively Grim

Everything is relative.  Humans do not measure in terms of absolutes.  Instead, we measure by comparison.  Probably my favorite example of this is found in the wonderful book Predictably Irrational by Daniel Ariely.  People were asked the following question:

You go to a store to buy a suit for $300.  When you arrive at the store, you discover the suit is actually priced $312 dollars.  Do you buy it here, or go to the store inconveniently across town that has it cheaper?

Most people buy the more expensive suit.  Then comes the next question:

Posted in Blog, Writing | 6 Comments

Action Force Mailbag: Plot vs Everything Else

Been a while since we’ve dipped into the ol’ A. Lee Martinez Action Force mailbag.  I don’t actually get much fanmail.  You can reach me on Twitter (@aleemartinez), Facebook (A. Lee Martinez), or even via e-mail (hipstercthulhu@hotmail.com).  Drop a line, if you have a few minutes to kill.  Or don’t.  We’ve all got lives to live.

Today’s letter comes from Tibor Kovac:

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