Autumn 2014

I posted precisely nothing in November. I’ve been trying to get something up every month, but last month I didn’t even come onto WordPress. There was a reason for this, it was actually planned; I was doing NaNoWriMo, so all my focus was on that. I would have mentioned it in my last post, but last year I failed miserably, and I didn’t want to mention it in case I did again. But I didn’t, as it was, I actually did quite well, I feel.

Anyway. I’m going to try and do at least three posts this month to make up for it. And since we’re now in December, I’ll do my seasonally ‘photos from last season’ post first.

So, I’ll do these in date order. A couple of random pictures to start with:

This is the best picture of a heron I have ever managed to get. I'm not an amazing photographer.

This is the best picture of a heron I have ever managed to get. I’m not an amazing photographer.

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Naming Characters

I have a bad habit.

I have more than one bad habit, in fact I have many. But the specific bad habit I was referring to is in regards to naming my characters.

I’ve always had a fondness for interesting names. Rare names I found by going through a name dictionary, or object names, or things I just flat out made up.

I don’t think there’s a lot wrong with doing this sometimes. After all, some parents do give their kids unusual or unique names. It’s fair enough that the occasional character would have such parents. More than the occasional character; I don’t think it destroys believability to have a bit of a higher rate of unusual names than in real life.

There are, however, a few things which I think ought to be taken into account when deciding whether to give a character a standard name, an unusual name, or a name that is just flat out unique.

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Three Short Breaks

I’ve been posting up pictures from the various places I’ve been since I’ve had my camera, but I’ve been on quite a few short breaks too, where I didn’t do a whole lot, and that don’t really merit their own photos post. So here’s three in one.

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Let’s see YOU do better!

Scenario time!

So, one day, for whatever reason, you fancy eating out. Going to a pub or a restaurant or a little cafe. Just going somewhere where you will not have to cook. So you order your food, you get your food, and there’s something obviously wrong with it. Maybe it’s not what you asked for, maybe it’s missing something, maybe it’s undercooked or burnt, or just generally disgusting.
So you say something. You complain. And you get a response. The response is: “Let’s see you do better”.

I’m hoping most people could see why that situation would be absurd. If someone has paid for a product, and the product is bad, then whether or not that person could have done a better job of it themselves is irrelevent. If you’re willing to take someone’s money, you should be willing to take their criticism. But it seems to be an uncomfortably common response when people’s writing is criticised.

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I usually write about writing, because a writer is what I want to be, but this post is about my drawing. Except it isn’t really, it’s about improvement, and how you may not even notice it. I’m just using my drawings for it. And yes, I am going to put some in the post, just to demonstrate my point. And because I want to, and it seems like a reasonable excuse to. Mostly that.

So, I’m not the greatest at drawing, and mostly I only draw my own characters. I don’t even give them a background most of the time, because I’m not good at backgrounds, and often they’re just stood there. But I am improving, even if it’s not at a tremendous rate, and I know this because one year ago I began keeping an art scrapbook. Because I like drawing, I like scrapbooking, I had just bought a scrapbook I had no use for on the basis it was pretty and needed to justify my decision… yes, it seemed to make sense as something to do.

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