Horror Writing.

H.P. Lovecraft started his writing process by defining the emotion he was going after. Then drafting until he would illicit that feeling his subjects..ERH..um.. readers. But H.P. Was a heavy plotter.

Stephen King started with a concept and built around it until it was horrifying. And if he failed in giving the scene the sense of horror intended he would go to the extremes of gross to make the scene at least uncomfortable giving it a more horrifying weight in the readers memory as they would be unnerved to recall such passages. Mr. King was a pantser and started with a concept and characters then followed them through the plot as needed to write his book.

I think that when telling a horror story whether on film or the page. You should at least keep in mind the types of and stages of horror.

Unknown, Uncanny, Unstoppable

are at least three of the most common.

Unknown

is the easiest to do right because it is the most commonly done wrong. Darkness itself is not scary, it’s when we can see or hear or feel the edges of what lies in the darkness that begins to press the panic button. It’s when a shadow’s fold over themselves in the corner of the room to make the outline of death himself patiently waiting without breathe for your eyes to close here in this world be you are claimed to his. It’s the darkness of space where stars no longer grow but the eyes see a tint of something else blocking the depths from truly being seen. It’s the shifting at the bottom of a lake, past the searcher’s reflection and the clear sky waters that refuse to let the Autumn clouds above take shape as easily as they do in the sky because something is disturbing the water’s hold on them.

When starting with the Unknown each time it appears it must become more defined, otherwise the subject will place their guard between the satisfaction of knowing and the terror of finding out. The most common mistake is going from 10% reveal to 100% reveal before the third act. The audience expects to find out slowly, manage their expectations against the needs of your story.

Examples:

Friday the 13th

IT by Stephan King

Uncanny

is when something is not quite right. I’d venture that in cinematography this is used by accident and because of form rather than by a deliberate attempt to unnerve the audience.

The best examples are often dolls, painting, ghosts because they are so common and illicit uncanny speculation since they are suppose to fit within a box but changing small details between scenes or in scenes makes them uncanny.

Inanimate objects that move when the viewer isn’t viewing them directly create the start of uncanny horror. “Julee, now three, was about to have her baby sister sharing her room. The sweetest and nicest child according to the neighborhood girls who babysat on our monthly night out. We had set up the crib in the space that was formerly her “High” tea area, where she held here tea parties, passively she may have been throwing us signs that she was upset but she was very outspoken and happy. All the dolls and animals that she gathered around her table were now leaning up against as the wall as if in time-out, all except her porcelain kamacha doll her favorite. She would sit on the edge of Julee’s bed watching the other dolls. Julee was nothing but happy when we talked about her sister coming out of my belly and home soon.”

Ghosts are often given descriptions and visages that would make them human but one detail is wrong. “It may have been they open window but the temperature had fallen and the room was now cold enough to start my shivers. Even over a boiling pot of stew I feel a draft when she walks in the room. Except for a floorboard creak her feet never fall hard enough to hit the ground with sound. “AS A Lady should..” god I’ll be hearing that for the rest of my living days.”

You can start on either side of the Uncanny valley but you must slowly move away from your starting position to build a sense of progression. Dolls with dead eyes and human hair must become moving, talking, demons with soft flesh beating under their immobile outer shell. Ghosts can start as whispers and wind and become the outstretched hand clutching at it’s victim with intend to drag them through the looking glass OR Ghosts can start as people who drift further from humanity as the story unfolds, giving up breathe by never moving their chest, staring off into thought for inhuman stretches, translucency, transparency, incorporeal. The longer something remains in the exact definition as it’s starting point the more familiar that thing becomes and fear begins to remove itself.

Unstoppable

is the pretty clear as in being self defined BUT it does not mean indestructible. There must be hope however small that it can be stopped removing that hope creates certainty and certainty is the enemy of horror. If your monster has eaten a grenade explosion and hasn’t even lost a tooth then his immortality is certain.

A cockroach can be crushed and defeated, a thousand is a challenge, a million is a certainty.

A lumbering zombie can be outsmarted, outmaneuvered, or defeated with brawn. You can out run a zombie but you can’t run forever and while you rest your fragile warm body more gather outside waiting for you meet another demand be it food or fresh air.

Death will come for you. The hope is not today or until the end of your earthly works but that is never a guarantee. You have illusion and hope that your choices have some impact on whether he knocks tomorrow or sixty years from now, eat healthy, avoid stress, go to the doctor all of these are well and good but they do not still the reapers hand forever.

I just want to wrap this up with how Friday the 13th uses all three of these to great effect. But when watching a good example its hard to see why it is good. As an artist you’ll learn more/faster from the mistakes you make and the mistakes of others than from works without mistakes.

With love and hopefully better dreams than me,

HngyHngyHppo

Manufacturing Credibility

Credibility is defined as the quality of being trusted and believed in.

But it is not the same as being true.

Who is more credible on the subject of writing?

The college professor who has published in scholarly journals

OR

The New York Times best selling author

The rational would say that it depends on the advice or the subject. The emotional will indicate that it depends on their proximity and relationship to the subject.

R: The professor specializes in Russian Long form and Eastern European poetry, so as long as that is the realm we are discussing then they are more credible than The NYT bestseller H.K. Rowling but on the subject of YA or scholastic fiction Rowling’s is the more creditable source.

E: I loved the Harry Potter books and they inspired my own journey into writing fan fiction then novels, H.K. Rowling’s is the more creditable source. But my teacher has shown me the finer points of the finer technical points of long form novels even if they were written by some Russian ages ago.

The answer I’ve been trying to find is just how does one manufacture “Credibility”

I know it’s been done before and I’ve seen it done a few different ways.

The first is

“FOAF”

or friend of a friend

the poem “Ozymandias”, Plato’s description of the fall of Atlantis, Star Wars’ opening crawl.

Each use this with great effect to provide a creditable foundation.

It is thought (incorrectly) that because a story is removed by time, space, and even told third hand that it becomes less creditable but there is a blind spot in our psyche’s in the factor of three.

“I met a traveler(1) from an antique land(2).

Who said(3):…”

Ozymandias

In Plato’s Dialogues Plato(1) writes that Socrates(2) called three men to meet him. Socrates(2) asked the men about Atlantis Critias(3,) told them of a story he heard from his grandfather(1A) who heard from the lawgiver Solon(2A) who brought tales from Egypt(3A) about Atlantis.

Plato uses the FOAF technique twice. First to give himself credibility (that this meeting happened and these things were said) then again to give the speaker Critias credibility (that the city/country of Atlantis was indeed a real place).

For the rational this is too far removed to be trusted, but for the emotional with ties/respect for Socrates this is only one use of FOAF and likely creditable.

And of course Star Wars opens with

“A long(1) time ago in a galaxy far(2), far(3) away.”

Each modifier here adds distance and with FOAF gives enough credibility to narrative about to crawl across the screen before the star destroyer appears.

Now of course it’s just a fairy tale nod.

“Once upon a time(1), in a kingdom far(2), far(3) away.”

but with less modifiers the story’s required suspension of disbelief is at jeopardy from over scrutiny of the audience. With more modifiers like Plato’s Dialogues the relevance to the target is called into question and the information can be judged objectively on it’s merits.

“A long(1), long(2), like really long(3) time ago, in a far(4) away place, like further(5) than you’ve ever been before in your life far(6).”

This preface will be ignored and the story will have to stand on it’s own merits

Or

“A while(1) back, a few(2) towns from here.”

This story can be investigated. It’s too recent and too close someone else would need to corroborate that the story is true.

The Second Method of manufacturing creditably is through association. This is target specific and what gives you credibility with one group may make you worth skepticism from another.

Is the Professor from Oxford, Harvard, Yale, the ivy league, Any-town College, or Community College.

Those I’ve met who’ve topped out at a High School diploma provide less credibility the higher up the Academic ladder of Prestige one has climbed. But for those with less than a High School Diploma or more the higher up on Mount Olympus one has climbed and degrees authority from the more credible they are.

Is the best selling author recognized by the New York Times, Publishers Weekly, Goodreads, or Amazon.

The NYT list is a curated list and lends itself to a higher amount of credibility to those outside the publishing industry. Publishers Weekly list is mostly data driven and objective but there are clear cases of advertisers (cough Disney, big 5) consistently placing high even when there numbers may* not be reflected by Amazon’s sales numbers of the same titles. But Amazon has many different categories and in order to have a best seller author’s may have in the past incorrectly categorized their works and personally bought just a dozen copies to claim the top spot and become a number one best seller. Which is why it ranks lowest in credibility even if the top spot was truly earned for a hard category like Fantasy or Romance, it’s impossible to tell those Amazon bestsellers from Fictional Johnny who listed his fantasy novel under Contemporary Fiction.

-IMPORTANT Aside-

Amazon is currently testing Amazon Author Rank as a replacement for their individual category best selling lists. Which means that going forward if the system will be much harder to game but the damage to their reputation will be persistent. This is a good thing for Amazon’s reputation but a bad thing for upcoming Authors who are now competing in the back pages of for potential readers attention. It means that J.K. Rowling will be the Most Popular Fantasy Author even if she never writes another book in here life. Her work will rank at the top spot for decades to come because if this is how readers are introduced to the fantasy section they may just start from the top and give her eight points over her nearest competitor. Sad times really as independent authors job to get notice just got much harder.

-Aside over-

The last method I’ve found is introduction and vouching.

“Have you met my friend Jane she is a classically trained Pianist.”

Now it doesn’t matter if any of that is true. It doesn’t matter if my and the Target are friends. All that matters is someone has vouched for Jane and her credibility. Even If I am a known liar and Jane looks disheveled and perhaps homeless. What matters is the Jane’s credibility is TWO v. ONE. And the target’s resistance to the group is all that stands in the way of Jane being the an authority of whether Handel’s Messiah can be played with only the left handle.

This is credibility through group authority. Essentially the more people you have one your side the more credible you are. A tactic of politics, Head cheerleaders, and Ceo’s who have more than one assist in entourage. The more people eyes nodding in agreement the higher the credibility of the speaker.

Did you hire a cameraman to follow you around, How about a whole camera crew.

Those are the method’s I’ve learned about Manufacturing Credibility.

TL;DR

I heard it from a friend of a friend that this is true.

As a Harvard professor: “this is true.”

“Meet Jane she’s an authority on the subject and she says that this is true.”

but none of these are in themselves true though they are highly credible.

With love,

HngyHngyHppo

How to Have a Successful Self-Employed Day

Simple: You decide before the day whether it’s going to be a success or not

Then

at the end of the day decide whether or not it was successful.

Simple?

-NO

Truth is it is very hard to judge yourself whether the day was successful. Whatever your field, their will be landmines.

I’ll tell you about mine-field then boil down that experience and hopefully it will help you flip your houses, sell your Amway, or make sweet vapor-wave beats like Fwenzy.

I am a writer, publisher, marketer, manager, blogger, husband, nutrition enthusiast, philosopher, game theorist, mechanic and a video game addict.

I can’t do all of these everyday. There is not enough hours and as little as I sleep, my dreams are filled with workflow processes and Javascripting stacks.

But when I have my “Days off” I have to decide what will make a successful day before I go to bed the night before.

Thurs-Fri are my typical “Days off” ergo these are the days I get to pour hours into my company.

I start with a word count goal typically 2k-3k.

Some days I only get 500 words toward my finished work. Those are sad days but they happen. It’s not that I didn’t try on those days. I spent the time at the computer with Word Open, I went to the gym, I wasn’t too full or too hungry. Typically I painted myself into a corner and sense I write from the hip meaning I do very little plotting, I occasionally run into a scenario where the characters have to solve some challenge but it has to be in a believable way.

I can’t have the honest paladin steal a set of keys to free his friend who got locked up for sleeping with the captain’s daughter. I can’t just magic a solution from the barkeep who happened to be an Ex-mage. The lover can’t just turn her objections into affections because the sex scene would really slip in well here, no the characters have to be true to themselves. Because unlike real life fiction has to make sense.

When you work for yourself you decide whether or not your day was a success. But you need to measure not just yesterday but the day before and the day before that. Each day looking back with the knowledge you have now and evaluating exactly how successful that day was.

This Little Blog

has yielded not a single book sale I’m aware of. So is it worth maintaining?

Yes, Blogging helps me write by getting over myself and getting a lot of the junk out of my system. And while most days I get only a single view. Since regularly posting each week starting in March:

I’ve garnered over 20 followers, 12 of which I’m certain are real life robots

I’ve gotten over a thousand unique visitors. Two of my posts regularly appear in google search results.

I’ve even been referenced over on KiwiFarms as a source of red pill authority

-Quite the feather in my Fedora-

{Blatant Sarcasm}

{}About the Fedora{}

Now my current game-plan is no secret, Once I have Three more Novella’s in the Chamber. I’m going to push The Duke and The Dragon Hard as every read should yield my an ROI of $35. Finally writing will be profitable. Hopefully by Jun 2021 It will be my full time gig.

I have been writing for three years. And every single November has been a dead month. That’s three November’s without a single word written. What’s that random #writingcommunity stranger #NaNoWriMo is November where people write a 50k novel in a single month and my novella’s only Average 40k. Well then, FUCK YOU, -straight-en’s choker- I mean clearly my muse is busy helping others that month.

But I’ve looked at the trend and I have to say. I’m taking next November off, regardless. That’s right random citizen author I’ll be on Vacay while you’re cramming at #NaNoWriMo. Because It’s had no measurable negative impact on my writing quality or my works in progress. November is filled with family issue’s events and surprises from the woodwork. Was it a successful month? If I just looked at this past November I would say no, But since I have 2018 and 2017 to look at as well. I have a different view, Was 2019 November a success? Yes, I am quite refreshed and ready to work.

In Three Year’s I’ve written Three Books. In Four I’ll have Written Seven or Ten. If I can make this my full time- gig. I’m looking at clocking Ten a year.

When you are working for yourself, you have to take all the data step back as far as possible from where you are, so you can see both where you are going and where you came from.

Some day’s i do feel like shit because I’m not working “HARD” enough then I remember how much harder I am working now than when I started and I feel a little better. Also I my blogging skills are improving

-except for putting pretty pictures up-

{I don’t care for that level of Aesthetics}

SO has you’re day been successful?

Compared to this time last week?

This time last year?

This time last decade?

If the answer is no

What needs to change?

That is the only other question you need to ask.

With Love,

HngyHngyHppo

I have a pattern of breaking myself

I just received a text from a fellow trying to leverage the courses his paid for to become a real estate investor. He’s been attempting to break free from the 9-5 life for almost a decade and he asked me a question.

“What I don’t understand, is why don’t we always do the things that are in our best interest, and none of the things that don’t serve us.”

-Future millionaire friend post the year of our lord 2019

The answer is simple… well simply complicated. This is a broad question and their are very specific answers for very specific patterns of behavior or unserving bad habits. Generalizations are not going to help here.

But that’s not what I wanted to talk about in the first place.

I first asked this when I was maybe thirteen. I thought at the time I was clever and I could figure it out. I was after all a smart boy, educationally bored and problems like this I could dwell on til I had an answer I deemed suitable.

First I made the question simpler

“Why am I doing things that I don’t 100% want to do because I know aspects of them are bad?”

Things like

Why am I teasing my friend for his failed attempt to draw ghastly? Why don’t I answer all the questions on the quiz? Why don’t I like eating vegetables? Why did I steal that thing? Why do I occasionally drop everything and focus everything on one specific aspect of a task like an annual retentive accountant? Why am I thinking dirty thoughts instead of focusing the math homework?

What I understood then was that each of these things that I was doing was in service to a need that I had but not all my needs as a person. Stealing got me the object of my desire but left me with guilt becuase god says it’s wrong so now I feel bad. Bee tea dubs stealing is wrong unless its inspiration or art or method.

So this is when I broke myself apart to figure out why half of me could be fore something and half could be against it. Or in some cases how twenty percent could take control and do it anyways.

I took the general motivations I as best as I understood them and created a council room within my mind for them to meet and discuss the business of life. I sit as always at the head to my left sits the first chair but all chairs are equal. (This bugs me that even as a child with no knowledge of military seating etiquette. I managed to solve the problem of having a rectangular board room table but distance from the head of the table did not create an implicit rank between the board members. By leaving the chair on my right side empty for guests every member present was equally separated and not therefore equal in voice, votes, and authority though a standard meeting starts from left and ends on the empty or guest chair.)

Well, the first chair sits myself in a leather jacket, long rebellious hair, and a quite curt demeanor. He is in change with aspects of myself that pertain to image, social influence, status, reputation. Basically the Fonz of my brain letting me know how a given course of action will affect me socially. The public relations officer if you will.

Then to his left sits myself rather thinner wearing glasses, a lab coat, a short unkempt but regularly trimmed haircut. His role is to simply tell me the odds of success, cost benefit analysis, and general inquiries needed to raise the quality of data available for future decisions or more accurate predictions. This is the head of my R&D division.

To his left, and at the tail of the table, sits myself bearded in robes with a funny hat and fluctuating religious adornments. Sometimes deacon-like color schemes or wearing a Buddhistic piety cut. His appearance is never static. His role is guide me morally, ethically, and righteously through life as any spiritual advisor would. His arguments come largely from christian teachings but he will incorporate all other available religious teachings as well. Unfortunate Corporations don’t have souls and therefore moral guidance does not have a seat or position within a company’s board room. So there is no corporate equivalent job title but as far as a military command he would literally by the Chaplin.

To his left, now ascending the right hand side of the table. Sits myself in full military regalia, a five star general, military fade cut weekly, the most muscular build of myself, as well as the rudest. He speaks for authority, discipline, and how to concisely achieve victory. The chief of operations or COO would be the corporate equivalent. General Order is about stratagem, resources, and whether or not a course of action is lawful.

To his left is my penis, an unimaginative representation of myself wearing a mushroom capped flesh toned German M35 steel helmet. Yeah I was going through puberty at the time and providing representation to the hormonal screams of my body was and still is important. Otherwise ignoring his thought process leads to unexpected outcomes when shareholders vote over a given course of action. Because he is a strong shareholder within the boardroom of my brain. Suffice it to say his advice will often be “Fuck it!” or “Fuck it hard!” or “Fuck it gently.” or the classic “I don’t give a fuck.”

Then there sits an empty chair and beyond that at the head of the table sits myself, without body.

This helped me discover a few of the reasons why I did things that I shouldn’t be.

Why did I steal that?

Because now you have another item that adds to your social status. It’s what’s cool

It was very likely to succeed. I saw no cause to raise the alarm.

I was out voted. Don’t steal.

While success was likely the consequences of a failed attempt would have been disaster. Don’t do that again without first consulting us.

Nice. Fuck that guy am I right.

Well there you have it a peak behind the framework that I use to deliberate future courses of action when I have time to internally debate whether or not any idea is a good idea or bad one.

Did this solve the ever present problem of long-term self destructive behavior. NO, each behavior must be analyzed and dealt with individuality. There is not blanket cure-all one pill solution to apply.

Much Love,

HngyHngyHppo

Never accept Responsibility without Authority!

I learned this lesson ages ago. I was a lifeguard for a popular water park. I held a position of responsibility for the safety of guest, was a face that represented the park and helped shape the guests experience.

It was a great responsibility. During my two summers I “rescued” a small child and an elderly man whose panic had kept them under water and in danger. But the average day was entirely uneventful and that was a blessing.

However, their existed a class of guests referred to as “season passers”. Some parents rather than have their kids be bored for summer or send them away to camp purchased season passes for their kids who would come to the park once or twice a week, more if the children wanted to master the wave machine (a boogeyboard surf jet). Since the life guards and other staff saw these faces so often, we knew amongst ourselves who was trouble and who wasn’t.

But we only had the illusion of authority.

If the rules were broken, exiting a tube early, cutting in lines, raft stashing, or harassing/taunting life guards who can’t leave their station. Our only course of action would be to blow our whistles and hope that they stopped. But doing so raises awareness of the other guests who are busy enjoying their day at the park. If we wanted to eject someone from the park, the offense must have been bad but also and most importantly the offending party must be 100% compliant and freely agreed to standby the lifeguards station ’til our roving position could come to the station and escort the guests to leave. But if they ran… then they were gone forever. Stories were common they waited for ten minutes then just walked away and I couldn’t leave my station so UGH!.

This is responsibility without authority.

As a lifeguard we had the authority to execute the primary responsibility of guest safety. “No, I’m sorry your to short to ride this buddy.” “Excuse me I’m going to have to ask that you gentlemen leave before I have security escort you out.” or we could jump into the water and “rescue” a 4 foot tall child who doesn’t realize the water is 3 feet deep. We had that authority.

We also had the responsibility to enforce the rules. The rules ain’t there to ruin peoples fun, some of the rides can be dangerous if you are out of your tube and you could hurt yourself or others. Most injuries result from breaking the rules or running carelessly. Climbing and diving from a feature that was aesthetic and not for diving.

Which is why in my second year I taught the new generation, to recognize the season passers and to turn a blind eye to their antics. Because rules or broken in inches, every time a season passer gets away with breaking a rule because the life guard didn’t see it. They assume that if they had been called out it would have meant trouble.

BUT what was important to teach the lifeguards was that if a season passer was called out on a minor rule violation and they realized that “hey the lifeguard can’t leave. I’ll be out of the park and back tomorrow they won’t even remember what I did if they are here too.” leads to major rules violations because now they know for certain their is no penalty for breaking the rules. It’s better to let them think they are getting away with something rather than to expose the truth that they could get away with everything.

Because eventually the summer would end and if they were breaking the rules by inches then hopefully they won’t have caused harm to themselves or others. But if they broke the rules by miles, someone would get hurt.

I knew then that I could not in the future accept a responsibility without the authority to make sure it happens.

Ask yourself do you have the authority to enforce the responsibilities you’ve taken.

Are you responsible for hiring candidates? Do you have the authority to negotiate pay scales?

Are you responsible for meeting the overnight’s production schedule? Do you have the authority to hire staff and use company resources?

Are you responsible for leading a team of sailors through an extended maintenance period on the ship’s diesel engine? Is it within your authority to use command resources to incentivize complaince or dole out reprimands for non compliance? No, the answer is almost always no. The military does have the threat of Non-Judaical punishment but that is extremely rare. No, the military gets things done in a similar fashion to the free world, based on the illusion of authority not it’s actual existence.

It is America’s respect for the illusion of authority that is the root answer as to why drivers in America follow the rules of the road and stop at red lights. I hope we never lose that respect. But I hope you go into the future with the knowledge that if you accept a responsibility without the authority than your as effective as a goat being lead to the alter tasked with making the rain. Either you get lucky and it rains before your burnt or you don’t and are offered up as an appeasement sacrifice.

Much love,

HngyHngyHppo

How to do a Lyrical Breakdown

What is “Bad Guy” by Billie Eilish about?

That is what the thorn I was going to remove from my brain today but..

But while crafting that analysis and researching if anyone else has already created such a work, the reality that no one one the first three pages of google has anywhere near a decent analysis is a far greater thorn.

If you don’t understand the language of a song

then you are listening to this song

and if that is the case all you should concern yourself with is the mathematical patterns in the harmonics… the deviations in the scale and the chords used… phonetically you can ignore the lyrics

but if you think in the same language as the song be it Thai, Portuguese, Pigeon, or Engrish

then listening to that song whether you are actively paying attention or passively distracted is almost the same as having those lyrics as your own thoughts.

This is why lyrical analysis’s are important. If you don’t think in the language of the music then the song is gibberish

But if you do…

And you want to ask someone what these thoughts mean…

That is not an unreasonable request.

As with any Art there will always be at least three meanings.

The first is the Author’s intent

This song is about taking power in a relationship

The second is the Listener’s personal interpretation (in this case mine)

This is a song about sexual abuse and the victim trying to take control of their victimization by trying to convince themselves that they wanted it. While struggling with the shame of being both a victim of the abuse and being socially punished for attracting such abuse.

Then there is the general interpretation

using as much data as is possible what does this song mean to a typical Gen Z, Millennial, or the population at large. What culturally relevant shared experiences do these demographics have that would frame the piece of music in question?

This is the type of breakdown I was going to do…

I’m not because it bothers me more that either no one knows how to do this type of breakdown

and no one even bothered to even give out there own personal interpretation.

Because if I had a few Gen Z’er’s personal interpretation and a few Millennial interpretations plus the Artist’s intent then a general interpretation would be relatively easy for me to triangulate.

SO FINALLY

here is how you analysis a song with your personal interpretation

First let the audience know what the Artist’s intent was. This will build credibility for the argument that your personal interpretation is the correct one.

Now present your interpretation

“Bad Guy” is about the singer pretending to be meek and girly in order to attract strong men who have fragile ego’s and can’t handle a real powerful woman.

Then using the lyric’s provide evidence for your position.

If you are actually and objectively trying to answer the Question

What is “Bad Guy” by Billie Eilish about?

Then you will need to provide as many frames of reference as possible.

Gen X will see this song very differently than Gen Z

and then explain what it would mean to them and why

Gen X many of them might remember listening to Aqua’s “barbie girl” for the first time at their child’s birthday party and being horrified to hear their child singing along.

Baby Boomer’s haven’t heard this song

Millennial’s have an awkward position

and Gen Z likely knows about the Artist’s other works and how her process is not just herself but she comes from a musical family… which has impacted the shaping of her lyrics significantly. Billie Eilish is a master of her vocal craft but the source of her lyrics is highly collaborative.

that is the type of analysis I wanted to write but limited on the resource of time.

This is all I can offer at this point.

I tell you what though

If this post gets 100 likes before the end of August 2019

I will carve out the estimated 8-10 hours to do a proper analysis on

What is “Bad Guy” by Billie Eilish about?

Or leave a comment asking for an analysis of any song in the Engrish language and the first to get 10 likes I will give my personal interpretation on.

With Love,

Hngyhngyhppo

Why I’m using Acts instead of Chapters

A typical 300 page or 80k+word novel will have anywhere between 30 and 60 chapters that cover the typical beats of a 3 act story structure.

Now there is nothing wrong with this. This is fine and I’m sure plotters get a lot of use out of it. But I’m a pantser and I’m writing pulp

My novellas follow a 5 act structure to cover the 40k word count or 150 pages.

Each act should be a self contained pulp fantasy western story

Conflict introduced – Conflict resolved

Act 1

The Duke and The Dragon

Mouse is a hired gun for the Duke’s hunting party

The hunt is Dangerous

Mouse fights wolves

The Duke hunts falcons from inside the safety his hired and loyal men create

Conflict introduced

Mouse and the men risk there lives to protect the duke who doesn’t come close to danger. But the duke’s personal bard sings of the duke’s heroism and skill in hunting and the men who haven’t faced danger cheer the story

Conflict resolved

Mouse and the men have a private meeting with the duke where he learns more about them and their pasts, their families, and shows that he actually cares about the men under his command both the temporary hired and the loyal men from the kingdom

Act 2

Conflict introduced

Mouse and the men need a plan to hunt a specific bull of the duke’s choosing but they don’t know which bull the duke will want to hunt

Conflict resolved

They “red team” each others plans and come up with a plan for each of the wild herds prize bulls

and the hunt starts

Act 3

Conflict introduced

The duke has trouble with ladies and Mouse offers him bad advice (get really drunk)

Conflict resolved

The duke becomes so drunk that he almost challenges Mouse to a duel. Which if he lost Mouse would become the Duke of Rose-Scent…

So the duke’s tutor casts a magic spell to distract the duke.

She creates an illusion in the sky to make a thunder cloud look like a dragon. The duke passes out before he can finish his challenge.

Act 4

Conflict introduced

The duke says he had a prophetic dream last night that they will meet a dragon in less than three weeks and he offers extra gold to any of the hired guns willing to stay. After testing the duke’s memory of last night, Mouse thinks that this is clearly the duke misunderstanding the magic from last night and there is no dragon.

Conflict resolved

As they march north it becomes clear that there is a strong magic caster killing virgins. They are attacked by a flame avatar of a dragon. There might be a dragon involved…

Act 5

Conflict introduced

Yes there is a dragon

Conflict resolved

Yes they fight a dragon

In the Duke and the Dragon

This final climax is the hunting of a dragon. But it is not the focus of the any Act except Act 5. Act 1 is an introduction to the dangers of the Freeland and the Duke’s hunt. Act 2 shows how Mouse navigates as a scout and a ladies man. Act 3 is where the story turns from Mouse being competent to Mouse losing and the final conflict is spelled out for the reader. Act 4 is resolution of logistics necessary for the final conflict as well as a minor conflict that feeds into the climax. Act 5 uses as many tools from the previous acts to bring about a satisfying resolution to the novella.

Each act consists of as many scenes either written in traditional format or in vignettes as is necessary to give a successful resolution to the introduced conflict.

Because this is a western I do not linger on descriptions or world-building. If a scene does not contain conflict-resolution then it will be rather short.

The best part about this structure it’s really easy for me as a pantser to use and create a constant quality novella. Each Act is roughly 8k words of minor conflicts and resolutions one major.

Act 1 introduction

Act 2 Rising confidence (the readers confidence in Mouse)

Act 3 The Turn (The Final conflict is revealed)

Act 4 Regaining competence (Mouse adapts and prepares to face the conflict)

Act 5 Climax conclusion

If this was a wonder women comic

Act 1

This is wonder woman (introduction)

Act 2

See how she beats up a bad guy (readers gain confidence)

Act 3

Oh No! She has been tied up (readers worry)

Act 4

She hears the evil plan (readers regain confidence and are excited about the resolution)

Act 5

She could have escaped the whole time.. She saves the day (hurray)

that’s what I have to say about that,

With love,

Hngyhngyhppo