Monday, 30 June 2014

Dear Bronies: An Open Letter to My Little Pony Fandom

By Mj Baker

     I was browsing around on Netflix last night looking for a new documentary and “Bronies: The Extremely Unexpected Adult Fans of My Little Pony” turned up as a suggestion for me from the Netflix Wizards. My initial reaction was a snort and an eye roll. I’m going to be honest; like many others, I have definitely participated in the joking about Bronies and their deep love of My Little Pony (henceforth referred to as MLP) fandom. After the eye-roll though, I realized that when all was said and done; I honestly didn’t know anything really about MLP or the Bronies. How could I in good conscience make the jokes then? The answer to that was that I just can’t. I don’t want to be that person. I hit ‘Play’ and you know what? I am so glad that I did!
     I realized that Bronies are no different than any other fan base for anything else. That should be obvious right? I feel ashamed that I hadn’t thought about it like that before. Being a geek and having some cos-play good times myself, how could I not realize this? I hadn’t given it any thought and was quick to judge. As I watched the documentary and saw so many young men being interviewed said  they felt like they had to hide it from their parents. They were scared to tell their family, they were scared of getting beat up by other guys, they were scared what their friends would think. As a queer individual I was shocked by hearing such familiar sentiments. I had just never given it any thought. Seeing all of the Bronies at BronyCon just made me smile and my heart happy. They were in a safe space where they all had something in common, which was how I felt when I went to my first Pride parade and it’s how I feel whenever I go to a ComicCon.
Pictured: Menaces to Society and Gender Roles
 I also hadn’t thought about how terrible it is that we are faulting boys for liking ‘girl’ things! I mean seriously, the show is called ‘My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic’ and promotes the values of generosity, kindness, loyalty, honesty and laughter. How could we not want to encourage these things in everyone!! Some make the argument that Bronies  are creepy/perverts/weirdies and turn MLP into something dirty. You know what? There will always be some who do that with anything. Rule 34 and all that. Why paint everyone with the same brush? Some argue that the shows target age is for kids, and I reject that. I never get tired of watching Sponge Bob and Bugs Bunny. Has the world forgotten that The Transformers was a kids cartoon? Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles? Maybe the lesson is that if Michael Bay reboots it, grow-ups can like it too. If you want to see some of the ‘creepy/perverts/weirdies’ that make up Bronies then I encourage you punch “Bronie fundraising” into your Google machine. The Bronies have done an incredible amount of fundraising for a wide variety of causes including sick children, international aid, and setting up a permanent scholarship fund at CalArts for aspiring animators
Those Inhumane Beasts!
I guess ultimately what I want to say to all the Bronies out there, I’m sorry. I’m sorry I judged you when I had no understanding about you or MLP. I was completely wrong and I see that now. I’m currently watching an episode of MLP while I write this and you know what? You guys are right! This show is awesome! It’s not even a guilty pleasure because a guilty pleasure is something you feel bad for liking and I don’t. Not one bit. I think maybe MLP has actually made me about 20% cooler.

MJ Baker is a baker (no lie); she owns Bake It So! Bakery, a custom-order bakeshop in Ottawa. She is also a lifelong geek, first and foremost a fanatical Star Wars fan. Her head holds more geek and science trivia than Wikipedia. MJ is the co-star of Capital Geek Girls' YouTube show, 'Two Girls Talking'. She loves fireflies, coffee, and books of all sorts.

Sunday, 29 June 2014

Looking Back at Lexx

 By Marie Victoria Robertson

A love slave, a security guard, an undead assassin and a robot head steal a ridiculously-overpowered, phallic spaceship. Oddly enough, the only thing they never did was walk into a bar.

They’ve destroyed a universe, destroyed heaven and hell, and destroyed Earth, though each completely by accident. Really, they just wanted to go about their lives, find a nice place to live, and hopefully have a bit of nice, casual sex along the way.

Does that sound utterly ridiculous? Congratulations, you’ve been introduced to Lexx, a joint Canadian/German production and one of the cultiest of all cult TV shows to air during the late 90s. And yes, it was completely, unapologetically ridiculous, which is probably what made it so darn fun. A cult television show is a show that, due to its nature, quality, quirks, etc. never quite appealed to mainstream audiences, but nevertheless inspired a rabid fan-following. My cult favourite will always be Lexx, and the reason why may not be what you expect.

The appeal of Lexx comes mainly from its characters, and its silly (lack of) premise. The titular Lexx is a city-sized, dragonfly-shaped ship with the self-awareness of a small child.  Zev/Xev Bellringer (Eva Haberman played the first Zev, who was killed and later re-grown as Xev, this one played by Xenia Seeberg) grew up in a box, was transformed into a love slave with a raging libido and cluster lizard DNA (a lizard got stuck in the love-slave-making machine). Stanley Tweedle (Brian Downey), the most ineffectual security guard in the two universes, is also the captain of the Lexx, due to accidentally receiving its key from a much more capable hero who was busy been eaten by another lizard. Kai (Michael McManus), the last of a race of warrior poets, has been dead for two thousand years and reanimated via ‘protoblood’ as an assassin for the Divine Order, the ruling force of the show’s universe. 790, a robot who lost his body, is crude, abusive, and is first madly in love with Xev, later Kai.

The first season, actually comprised of four made-for-TV movies with the alternate series title of Tales from a Parallel Universe, was arguably the most ‘normal’ of the four seasons, with a story arc involving the defeat of the tyrannical Divine Order. The disjointed (but still awesomely irreverent) second season was responsible for giving Lexx its reputation as a silly sex-obsessed series, though seasons 3 (involving planets standing in for heaven and hell) and 4 (where the crew found Earth) also had their share of wink-wink-nudge-nudge. While Lexx was not the softcore porno its advertising made it out to be, sex, along with hunger and boredom, was often the catalyst for an episode’s plot.

And that right there is why Lexx has such cult appeal. Unlike other famous sci-fi series of the time, such as Star Trek and Stargate SG-1 with their broad themes of humanity and exploration, Lexx was all about crude, flawed humans being human and using a stupidly powerful ship to joyride and have fun. Nothing about this show was clean and polished; the writing, acting, and set design was often met with healthy doses of “wtf??” and yes, sex was a recurring theme. The main female character was a beautiful, lusty woman, after all. But despite the potential for such a character being misused in a grossly offensive way, I love Lexx because it took things the other way.

Xev was no busty, brainless bimbo. She was a kind, smart, badass woman who happened to love sex, a lot. She was able to separate the enjoyment of sex from romantic love (for a long time, she nursed a crush on the asexual Kai), was selective about her partners, wore a short skirt because she liked it, was never slut-shamed for wanting and enjoying sex, and was only ever portrayed as being free and happy about her sexuality. 

Think for a moment about how often you see such a highly sex-positive female character on television. As a young woman, it was great to have a role model like Xev, who showed me you could totally be a compassionate and intelligent person and still love to have sex because you damn well wanted to. 

But don’t worry; Lexx maintained its status as a cult favourite with ludicrous things like carnivorous plant-ladies and talking brains and anal probes shaped like carrots and crazy musical numbers about planets blowing up. Not to mention Kai’s insane hair. Lexx just happened to be a lot more progressive than people gave it credit for. 

Marie Victoria Robertson is a published speculative fiction writer and playwright, as well as the board president of Jer’s Vision: Canada’s Youth Diversity Initiative ( When all the other girls wanted to marry Johnny Depp, she wanted to run away with Worf on the Enterprise. She enjoys giant robots, time-travel paradoxes, and forcing her son to watch Futurama.

Thursday, 26 June 2014

Ode to a Nightcrawler

By Emily Towsley

What do you think of when someone asks you about your favourite superhero? Superman, Batman, Wolverine, maybe even a few people in the Wonder Woman camp, or even the HULK comes to mind. But no one expects Nightcrawler to be at the top of someone’s list. Kurt Wagner, more commonly known as Nightcrawler has always been my favourite superhero. When anyone asks what superpowers I could want, I always pick his teleportation. I also consider his zippy sense of humour part of a package deal.  I could go into a long, convoluted history of the character, but instead I will give you a short run down of all the reasons Nightcrawler should BAMF up to the top of your list, and into your heart. 


Not the acronym we’ve all become accustomed to, though I do think of Kurt as a BAMF. I will admit, I do have a bit of a man-crush on ol’elf-ears,  but BAMF in the Marvel world is the sound of Nightcrawler’s teleportations. See, Kurt doesn’t just appear then re-appear, as the son of Azazel, the demon lord, Kurt has the ability to “port” in and out of the demon world, which does not share the same space and time as our world. By doing so, he can appear in one place in our world, then seconds later in another, leaving a trace of the otherworldy smoke and the shocking sound of air closing behind him. BAMF: The onomatopoeia of champions. 


Just as impish as Wolverine’s nickname for him, Nightcrawler is my favourite comic relief. Not only is he a kick ass superhero that can hold his own in a fight, with incredible acrobatic skills he learned in his years in the circus, he can give the enemy’s ego a thorough beat down, while literally BAMFing in circles around them. Kurt is probably every class clown’s idol – not only does he get to say all the funny and insulting things he wants, he gets to disappear right before the enemy’s punch lands. Double Score. 


As a blue skinned, three fingered (and toed), German speaking, Catholic, demon-spawn acrobat, Nightcrawler doesn’t fit in even with the misfit group of X-Men. Here is a group of superheroes that do not fit in with their fellow man, and Kurt Wagner stands out even amongst this ragtag group of mutants. Growing up in an industrial city, with strongly liberal views, in a catholic school, I had found my own bunch of ragtag misfits to band together as a super friend group. However even amongst my fellows I felt different. Alas, the plight of the teenager. Thusly, Nightcrawler also embodies the outcast feelings of every pubescent who doesn’t own the high school hallways. Sidenote, it’s also just super awesome to read Marvel’s “German style” speech bubbles for Nightcrawler. Just the best. –fangirl swoon-

In conclusion, Nightcrawler is the mutant for whom every geek should long. The ability to teleport at will, incredible flexibility and acrobatic skill, a razor sharp wit, and a delicious German accent all just adds to the fine, fine package that is the blue skinned elf man named Kurt Wagner. 

Plus, as a teleporter, you’d never be late again. CASE DISMISSED. 

Emily Towsley, can be found either teasing her cat, or philosophizing with a customer over coffee in her second-life as a barista. Messages of support regarding her addiction to Netflix, and news of vintage teacup sales can be left on her twitter.  Her spare time is spent reading copious amounts of books, or working on her latest blog

Wednesday, 25 June 2014

Geek Girl Reviews: Ottawa Fringe Festival

By Courtney Lockhart

The Ottawa Fringe Festival kicked off its 18th season this past Thursday taking over 16 performance spaces downtown for 10 days of awesome, exciting theatre.  Being a former theatre kid and current theatre lover, this is the start to my summer every year.  I managed to pull myself away from the various keyboards in my life to check out a few shows this past weekend and can honestly say that while I was surprised by some of the shows,  I was never disappointed.

Audience Participation can change this show from really neat to phenomenal. These two talented ladies from Vancouver  use shadow puppets and ever evolving music to  tell the dreamlike story of a man trying to follow his heart. If you are not in the mood to play along and be a little silly, you might want to avoid this one.

This show was not what I was expecting but turned out to be really fun anyways. Jenn Hayward and Rebecca Reeds are stand-up comedians who wrote this show as a way to tell the jokes and stories they aren’t able to get away with in comedy clubs.  From complaint letters to dating woes and bodily functions this is not one for the squeamish types.

A highly entertaining look at what watching way too many romantic comedies can do to a girl’s brain. Fitzpatrick’s turn as Annie Miller will leave you laughing, cringing  and  wanting to reconsider your Netflix queue.

This was another example of a show not being quite what it’s festival guide write up leads you to believe.  A dark drama based behind the scenes of a traveling freak show, Kuriosities has impressive performances and enough moral ambiguity to leave you talking about it long after you leave the theatre.  

 This was my favourite show of the whole weekend. The high energy and very charismatic Lizzie Tollemache & David Ladderman take you through the tale of famous New Zealand Mentalists/scam artists Mr and Mrs Jones while giving you a taste of their popular vaudeville act.  I recommend getting to the space early for this one.  It has been one of the top selling shows and seating is limited.


As always, there were shows that I didn’t get to catch in person but sounded really good. They included: 
-          Iredea, a post-apocalyptic dance performance with a completely original score.
-          Who Killed Gertrude Crump,  to quote the enthusiastic cast member I spoke to “ It’s a mystery… WITH PUPPETS!”
-          Kitt and Jane: an interactive survival guide to the Near-Post-Apocalyptic Future, Two teenagers hijack a school assembly to teach the audience how to survive the approaching end of days
-          Dicky Dicky, a naughty, nerdy sketch comedy show from a creative team with an impressive resume of fringe hilarity including last year's Die, Zombie!, Die!

The Ottawa Fringe Festival runs until Sunday June 29th.  Tickets are generally $10, after the purchase of a $3 fringe button.  

 Courtney Lockhart lives in the west end of Ottawa with her husband and step-cat.  She is polishing her skills to pursue one of her dream careers as either a costume drama character, Torchwood operative or executive assistant to a billionaire vigilante. You can follow her daily mission to DFTBA on Twitter @corastacy.

Monday, 23 June 2014

Geek Girl Review: How to Train Your Dragon 2

By Sandi Moser

On a rainy night this week, I decided to treat the kids to a weeknight movie - How to Train Your Dragon 2. I picked them up after work and headed to the theatre for my favourite supper - movie
theatre popcorn with butter-like topping and licorice. I have not seen the first movie, so I have nothing to compare this to. The kids have watched it, but I had only seen bits and pieces while passing through the living room.
However, the commericals looked good and it seemed more appropriate for my kids than the other option, Maleficent.

The movie starts 5 years after the first one. The Vikings of Berk are living peacefully with dragons, enjoying their new favourite sport of dragon racing. Hiccup and Toothless spend their time exploring and mapping far away lands. During their expeditions, they discover a secret home of wild dragons and learn about a new baddie, Drago (since I’m deep in Game of Thrones withdrawal, I kept imagining him as Khal Drogo), who is assembling a dragon army. Hiccup and his friends, human and dragon alike, have to work together to protect the peace they worked so hard to establish.

As far as kids movies go, How to Train Your Dragon 2 was not my favourite, but it was certainly not the worst. The story felt like a follow-up movie who was only made to
capitalize on the popularity of the first. With that said, the plot was still was solid enough to make me want to watch the first.
I think one of the things I liked most about this movie was that there were real-world decisions and consequences. Not everything always ends neatly, surrounded by sunshine and lollypops. The addition of fantasy elements like dragons helped to deliver this message to the kids softly in a form they could more easily digest.

There were some slightly scary dragon battle scenes, but I didn’t have either child crawl into my lap. Mini Geek Boy (age 5) did bury his nose in my shoulder at one point, but I think it was more related to the sound volume than to what was on the screen. To put it on the scale of recent films: it was no scarier than the Ice Monster in Frozen and definitely better than the bear fighting scenes in Brave.

How to Train Your Dragon 2 was a movie the whole family enjoyed. I wouldn’t recommend missing a warm, sunny summer afternoon on it, but it’s good rainy-day option.

Sandi is a 30-something environmental engineer and mother of two from the metropolis of Stittsville, Ontario. Writing for Capital Geek Girls is a new adventure for her, with previous writing experience limited to technical documents, briefing notes and Facebook updates. In her spare time, Sandi enjoys playing board games and video games, reading books, watching movies, and crocheting. She looks forward to sharing her geeky endeavours with you, as well as reporting on the next generation’s response to those endeavours.

Thursday, 19 June 2014

Geek Girl Fun: The Vintage Variety Vaudeville Revue

By Courtney Lockhart

Have you been watching too much Midnight in Paris? Wish you had a TARDIS or Holodeck on hand to travel back in time? This Sunday at Cafe Nostalgica a group of talented performers will return to an era of entertainment class, fancy duds, cocktails and timeless variety.

The evening will include performances by CGG's own Critical Miss and her partner in crime Retro JoadInternational Recording and Performing Artist, ÁLI, Local Burlesque Performers Rhapsody Blue, Kamie Lyann and Koston Kreme, Crystal Basement Comedy Crew and More.

Tickets are only 15$ for this one of a kind show, and are available for purchase at the Comic Book Shoppe at 228 Bank Street as well as at the door. 

Wednesday, 18 June 2014

Cosplay at Anime North 2014

ANIME NORTH 2014By Thea Nikolic

I have been going to Anime North as a vendor for nine years, and it's always a great time. The largest Anime convention this side of the border and one of the largest in North America, AN is a convention ripe with very talented and fabulous cosplayers. So if you want to see some insane creations, this is convention you want to try to attend at least once.
Now being behind the table for the whole weekend usually means I won't see some of the crazy huge costumes that are not able to come into the dealer room but we get our fair share of great costumes. So between selling plushies and pillows and My Little Pony bags, I was able to snap a few pics of some of the costumes I enjoyed this year. 

Thea Nikolic aka Critical Miss has been cosplaying for several years and has just recently started hosting panels at various conventions about cosplay. She is also an actor, so she loves to play and act like her various characters that she loves. You can follow her cosplay shenanigans with her costuming husband at their Facebook page You can also follow her on Twitter @HarleyQuinnBabe as well as on Instagram harleyquinnbabe. 

Tuesday, 17 June 2014

Geek Girl Picks: Laptop Bags

By Katie Bonnar

Yes, we are really doing this. We are talking about replacing your ratty, beat-up, dropped-in-the-mud, covered-in-coffee-stains, college/uni leftover laptop bag. Why? Because that bag is probably not who you are anymore. I’m not saying you’re defined by a bag – we’re can’t all be Jane Birkin, but even us geeks like to have a little chic in our lives. Am I right? If I might be even the teensiest bit correct, then here we go: the hunt for a fashionable laptop bag!

Here are the things I believe about laptop bags: They should last in both style and durability – preferably longer than the laptop they’re toting. They should be smartly and stylishly designed, keeping in mind their purpose. They should HOLD ALL THE THINGS.

I have scoured the farthest corners of the “Will Ship to Canada” Internet to come up with these contenders, ranging from total budget killers to cheap and cheerful chic.


If you fall in love easily, walk away now. This Daame laptop tote is a complete splurge, but if you’re a mobile office, investing in a sturdy, high-quality bag with some serious design appeal can make sense. Not only are these bags made in the USA, Daame also donates 5% of all profits to partners that further the education of girls. This is, as the name suggests, the Everest of fashionable laptop bags. Daame produces their bags in waves, as demand dictates – there is currently a waitlist for their newest model, Naked, while Everest is currently accepting orders.
Daame Everest 15” Leather Laptop Tote in black, $465.00 USD, photo from


Mamtak – now, here’s a brand that’s new to me, but speaks my language: quality, affordability and run by designers based in Amsterdam and Tokyo. Mamtak’s offering is the Aya, made of leather and comes in four colour combinations. What gets me about this bag is the handles – padded and wide – perfect for hauling around your precious cargo without killing your shoulders. The classic shape and very purse-like appearance make this a strong contender for the laptop bag most likely to double as a convincing purse if your work day takes a more social turn.

Mamtak Aya 15.4” Laptop Bag in green and white, $201.75, photo from

Not so keen on using leather? The Eco-Friendly Tote from Mobile Edge might fit the bill: made with an eco-friendly natural cotton (using DuPont’s Sorona polymer fabric) and available in a variety of colours, this bag has space to spare. Fitting a 16” laptop or 17” Macbook, this tote is big bang for your buck at a very pocket-friendly price and goes from chic to oh-so-sweet depending on the colour you choose – just promise you’ll remove the clip-on cell phone pouch. Currently on sale in several colours on Mobile Edge’s own site.
Mobile Edge Eco-Friendly Tote in Blue, currently on sale for $49.99 USD, photo from


Here’s another leather-free gem: the Classic Tote from Solo. Be mindful, this bag has a vinyl body, so let’s not put too much stock in this one going the true distance, but with the low price point and the paisley interior lining (I’m a sucker for a good lining fabric), this might be a bag worth trying. One feature that hits the mark is the key clip – having one secure location for your keys in a big bag is a huge bonus and a thoughtful feature that more companies should be adopting. If you’re not ready to make the leap to a leather bag or prefer not to use leather, the Classic might be the tote for you.

Solo Classic 15.6” Tote, $44.99 USD, photo from

This colourful tote for Kailo Chic is available in six different patterns in canvas with faux leather edging.  Kailo Chic does recommend giving their bags a quick seal with Scotch Guard to keep them looking fresh and clean, but at the price point, that’s acceptable. Stuffed with features and pockets, this bag can handle whatever you throw at it (so long as you Scotch Guard first). Their bright, fun fabrics definitely take top billing, but where features are concerned, their back pocket with the bottom zipper is absolutely worth coveting. The pocket opens at both ends to allow you to slip the tote over the handle of your suitcase when travelling. Anyone who has struggled through an airport, feeling more “bag lady” than “business woman” will immediately know this feature is brilliant and necessary.
Kailo Chic Green Circles Laptop Tote, $79.99 USD, photo from

Lo and Sons The O.M.G.
Part of me regrets ever finding this site because they DON’T SHIP TO CANADA yet. But if you’ve got magical United States superpowers, here’s a contender that is probably a touch large for daily use, but if you’re also going to the gym or away for the night, may I present, The O.M.G. Yes. That’s the name. Let’s ignore that for now. This bag comes across like a Tardis where space is concerned – watch the video on their site to see what I mean. And with several colours to choose from, this Lo and Sons style can suit just about anyone. Bookmark the site if you’re a patient soul who can wait for their Canadian shipping expansion.
Lo and Sons The O.M.G. in plum exterior with light gold hardware, lavender interior and brown handles, $275.00 USD, photo from

Katie Bonnar is a modern renaissance woman, which is reflected in her interests. She is a seriously devoted fan of music, art, photography, arm chair economics, fashion, culture, language and My Little Pony. She's an early adopter and, while obsessed with the visually stunning and well-designed, she's also on a quest to minimise the ephemera in her life. You can find her on Twitter at @iamkatiebonnar

Monday, 16 June 2014

Bavaria's Castles and the Romantic Road

By Sandi Moser
Neuschwanstein castle
While all the cool kids in Ottawa were attending Comiccon, we were on our first family vacation to Europe – Germany, to be exact. Why Germany? After making a shortlist we left the decision up to my 8-year-old daughter. A travel geek in her own right she made the final decision based on the number of castles to visit.
We began the Castle portion of our trip in Schwangau in southern Germany. Schwangau’s main attraction is Neuschwanstein, Walt Disney’s inspiration for Sleeping Beauty Castle. What I didn’t know before planning this trip was that this castle, like many others in this region, is relatively new. 
Hohenschwangau Castle
The construction of the area’s castles started in the early 19th century, when King Maximilian of Bavaria restored the ruins of a 12th century fortress to be used as a summer home. Hohenschwangau is a pretty yellow castle, full of paintings and statues of knights, lions and swans (schwan = “swan”). There was a certain homey, family feeling to the castle. It’s easy to see why Maximilian’s son Ludwig fell in love with the region and began his own castle-building endeavors.
By the time Ludwig became king the position no longer had real power over Bavaria. To compensate, he built a fantasy world for himself through his castles. In the mid-19th century, he ordered the building of Neuschwanstein, his pride and joy, on the mountain next door. 
Being the Disney fan I am I could see the similarities with Sleeping Beauty’s castle in every tower and courtyard. While the exterior of the castle is complete, only 15 interior rooms were finished before Ludwig’s death. Being there, I was struck by the similarities between Walt Disney and King Ludwig II – they both desired to completely recreate and immerse others in a romantic fantasy world.
Linderhof Castle
Our final castle stop in the region was Linderhof Castle, another of King Ludwig II’s creations. Linderhof is the smallest of the castles, and the only one of Ludwig’s to be fully completed before his mysterious death. I’m not sure if it was the relative coziness of Linderhof or the extensive gardens, but it was my favourite of the three. 
From Schwangau, we made our way through the medieval villages along the Romantic Road to Rothenburg ob der Tauber. Rothenburg is the most preserved medieval town in Germany, with its fortified wall still fully intact. The city was founded in 1170 and remained a free city until the early 19th century. The Night Watchman tour was very informative and helped us to understand the history and how it was so well preserved. The reason? They were defeated in a siege then hit by the Plague, and were too poor to do anything more than recover. 
While I agree with my husband that Rothenburg is very touristy, there were still many interesting nooks and crannies in which to daydream myself onto a Carcasonne game board. And once the day-trip bus tours leave, you have the cobblestone streets almost entirely to yourself.

Sandi is a 30-something environmental engineer and mother of two from the metropolis of Stittsville, Ontario. Writing for Capital Geek Girls is a new adventure for her, with previous writing experience limited to technical documents, briefing notes and Facebook updates. In her spare time, Sandi enjoys playing board games and video games, reading books, watching movies, and crocheting. She looks forward to sharing her geeky endeavours with you, as well as reporting on the next generation’s response to those endeavours.

Sunday, 15 June 2014

Writing the Geek Novel: Part Two

Hello fellow Geek Writers! As you may recall, last month we covered creating your characters for your novel. Today we will work on environment.
Now before you get all excited about your newly created world, I need to stress that your world is NOT more important than your story.  As cool as you can make your world, whatever wonderful things it has, including purple unicorns that grant wishes but steal your fingers, is not your story.  Your story should be able to be told anywhere, regardless of the world. That being said, let's have some fun:

Is it completely different than ours, like Middle Earth? Or is it our world, but different, like Hogwarts?  The cool thing about Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is that it's our world in the 'now'. Nothing is different. Except people have crazy powers and can blow things up with their brains or things shooting out of their brains. Or arms.  Is it different place but can be accessed, like through a wardrobe or a portal?  
If you're looking at medieval times, you need to get the facts down of how they lived and what they wore. If you're looking for a 'Noir' novel, make sure you get the type of gun and bullets down pat. If it's the future - utopian, dystopian -  how did that happen? Also, dystopia is very crowded right now. You might want to give it a few years and try again later. 
Does it change who they are/become?  The character's history up to this very point, will affect the created world.  How does this world challenge your characters? How does your protagonist view the world?  Look for internal and external obstacles. Frodo was challenged in leaving the Shire.  And then every bloody thing created in Middle Earth tried to kill him. 

The rules of magic, the rules of punishment, the rules of leaders, the rules of logic, gravity, time-travel, space speed and mind-reading.  You need to be very firm on your created rules and do NOT change them.  Because then your reader will accuse you of 'copping-out' and throw the book across the room.  Do not preach or  spend too much time directly comparing your world to the real world. Your job is to make the readers come away satisfied, and maybe appreciate their own surroundings just a little bit more. 

Next time we will cover plot. Happy writing!

Jenn Kelly is a writer is on hiatus because she's discovering the world of board games.

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