Three’s

Hmmm, why three’s? After all we are bipedal – two feet, two legs, two hands and arms, two ears and eyes, so why is three coming up so often? One would think that it would be either two or since we have one mouth that it would be one. Ah, then someone would say, but that is not true. We have 10 fingers, and 10 toes after all. But then while the statement is true, it is not really the correct answer. The correct answer would be we had 2 fives in each case. Five on the right, five on the left whether you want to talk about hands, or feet. So it is 2 pairs of fives.

There are the three laws of scientific prophecy, the three laws of robotics, the three sides to create fire, the three basic rules of relationships, and of course, the most important the Trinity. The three laws of science say: 1. If I am conservative in my predictions of the advancements of science and the time line, then when this time is reached these predictions will fall way short of the actual advancements. 2. If I predict accurately both the advances, and timeline, then this will be ignored as fantasy. 3. If a culture is advanced enough, then a primitive culture would consider those advancements as magic. (These 3 laws are from Author C Clark.)

Isaac Asimov is responsible for the three laws of robotics. 1. A robot may not allow a human to come to harm either through action or inaction. 2. A robot must obey a command from a human as long as it does not conflict with the first law. 3. A robot must protect itself, unless it conflicts with the first two laws.

Fire – a rapid oxidation of materials. Fire can be created if these three things are present – fuel, oxygen, and a heat source great enough to cause ignition. The three basic rules of a relationship from an unpublished pamphlet that I created, titled “Relationships 101”. The three sides are: 1. Communication. 2. Trust. 3. Intimacy. If any of these disappear then eventually the relationship will end. In a relationship each hold a greater importance at different times.

Then we have the Trinity: Father, the great I Am. Son, Jesus Christ, and The Holy Spirit that indwells all Christians. And when we look at us from this perspective again we are two – the physical, and the spiritual.

But why stop there? After all we see threes in other things too. Take the english (american) language for example. We can look at words like “good”, and know that it is the first of three, followed by “better”, and then “best”, representing different levels. Or how about “great, greater, greatest”, or “small, smaller, smallest”.  So again as we become aware of this oddity, why threes, and not two’s or five’s or ten’s? I myself have no answer, and if I’ve left you thinking, then I’ve done my job.

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Published in: on February 25, 2012 at 9:05 am  Leave a Comment  
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Gaming, A Layman’s View Part 2

This week I want to look at the basic genres within the hard-core gaming world. There are others out there, and I am sure that there are those who might complain a little because their favorite may be missing from this list. As in life there are no 2 people alike, and there are no 2 gamers that are alike either. This led to the development over time of different styles of games and game play, and as time passed with gaming becoming more popular, different categories were developed.

Like every other medium out there, gaming was attacked as the work of evil, that leads our children astray. It is responsible for crime, murder, and all sorts of mayhem. If this sounds familiar, look back in your history and check out comic books, and you will see a familiar pattern develop. Then the cry was comic books were corrupting our children leading them away from what is right and good! In all of these cases, with no true facts to back them, and only riding on the roller coaster of emotion the cry was, “There needs to be a law to ban, to control . . .” And in all of these mentioned examples the media that was under attack, came before congress for congress to do just that. Of course comic books were not the only media to face these attacks in the past, but is one that is easy to research. Fortunately cooler heads prevailed and we still have our graphic novels, comic books, and digital gaming.

Now if you are new to gaming then what I state below may help you in deciding what to try. But remember this, if you enter a multiplayer game where you have no experience, then expect to lose heavily, and be called all sorts of things. “Noob!”, is probably one of the least offensive terms you will hear. But don’t let it bother you, as in all things there are people (peeps), and more so on the net, that seem to want to make it difficult for any and all who want to try their hand at something new. Mostly they forget, and many times they are around 12 years old, that at one time they were “noobs” also. “Noob”, is a shortened version of “newby”, or new to the game and one who doesn’t know anything. Now let’s get to it.

Action: As the name suggests, any action you perform in the world has direct consequences. And as the genre has matured, the environment has become destructible, so one can see more results from the actions you, as your avatar, do. Here there are two main sub-genres, FPS, and Third Person. FPS stands for First Person Shooter, and is set up to make it appear that you are the one walking through the environment, just as you do in life. An example of this is the one that in the end defined the genre, and that was Half Life. Third person is an over the shoulder view, and an example of this would be Gears of War. In this genre hand-eye coordination is critical. Just a thought here, and I feel an important one – I have found that by playing these games that in real life you can recognize things developing much quicker, thusly responding much faster. An example for me, I was driving home on a 2-lane backcountry road, and some one passed into me. I saw it developing and reacted very fast, and avoided a possible collision.

Adventure: Many hard-core gamers do not consider this to be worthy. It is less frantic, and more casual in its approach. These games usually deal with some kind of mystery or horror that must be solved. The action is based on finding clues within the scenes and solving puzzles to move the story along. The Syberia series is an example of this genre.

MMO: Massive Multiplayer Online. WOW (World of Warcraft), and Everquest are the 2 biggies out there. Based on the RPG genre (which I define further down), they allow players from all over the world the interact, battle, form guilds, and such. While it is about gaming, it is also about social interaction between the players. It is one of the influences that has helped in shrinking the real world. Instantly one can talk and game with anybody from almost anywhere in the world.

RPG: Role Playing Game. Almost all MMO’s are role-playing games. Unlike an Action game, you choose at the beginning what your character will be. Many allow you to even create the way your avatar will look to everyone else within the game world. Most often they are based on fantasy, and are in the 3rd person. In this genre, you are playing a role. And while it appears that damage is being done to an enemy with the actions being presented, if one looks at the time of the strike, whether it is a cast spell, or a weapon strike, you see negative numbers roll off of the target. These represent hit points, and are determined by the level, experience, and the power of the weapon being used. Experience points are called XP. As an avatar in the game you have a health bar which allows you to see what condition you are in. Then there is a power bar which in some games requires mana to recharge, others it will slowly recharge over time. This bar provides the energy necessary to cast a spell, or to add power to a strike. Through a complicated system within the engine that runs the game, this back and forth will eventually kill either the enemy, or you. The game thrives on quests, and is usually an open world. Meaning that you can go almost anywhere you want to explore. In RPG’s you have real-time, and turn based games. An example of real-time would be Elder Scrolls, and an example of turn based would be the Final Fantasy series.

Simulation: This is where the real truly hard-core gamers exist. They demand realism in their games, and usually have the peripheral equipment that simulates the real thing. Most often found in military style games, and especially flight games, the only thing missing is the feel of the “G’s”, as they take their fighter into a tight turn to face an enemy. A couple of games that fit this category is Janes, and MS Flight Simulator. Although most of the MS Flight Simulators deal with private aircraft, and only the expansions have the military fighters.

Sports: This genre covers all the popular sports out there giving sports fans a chance to either play as a member of a team, or to manage a team.

Strategy: This genre is an over the top view. In these games you must build, collect resources, manage and protect your bases, build your defensive and offensive weapons, seek out the enemy and use your strategy to defeat them. Here you control all your forces as a general might, but unlike a general, you have the view of the battle field. Although the enemy can enter the map from beyond what you can see, they as you are limited by what they control, how much resources they can gather, and then the manufacture and deployment of the weapons. Again in this genre there are two types, RTS, Real Time Strategy, and Turn Based. Turn Based simply means you take a turn, and I take a turn – very popular when computers were underpowered. Turn Based strategy is almost dead and gone, for obvious reasons, and the RTS has become king. The Command and Conquer Series is one of the best known and is a RTS.

The last I am talking about this week has to do with the blending of certain genres which may lead to a creation of a new genre. What we are beginning to see is the blending of the FPS, and the RPG, taking elements from both and creating a fresh view and play. Examples of games that are doing this are: Borderlands, and Fallout 3.

In the last part of this article we will look back at a bit of history, returning to the bad old days of DOS.

Published in: on January 21, 2012 at 8:38 am  Leave a Comment  
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Gaming, A Layman’s View Part 1

For many out there, understanding gaming is very difficult. In this multi-part article I want to first look at games from what transpires on the screen, and how it comes about, followed by part 2 where we look at the genres within the gaming world. Here I will be using and defining terms so that a basic understanding will emerge. Remember that the ones who create these worlds are always trying to balance game play, the environment within the game world, with the computing power available in both the CPU, and Video Card, and insuring that the gamers can have a great experience within these fictional worlds. So in this first of three parts, we will look at maps.

When you look at the world that the gamer is participating in, this present area is called a map. These maps can be large or small, and usually when a loading screen is reached, then the player is being moved from one map to another. Within the map exists all the terrain, buildings, trees, plants, and whatever will remain consistent within that world. To make this map work, there is a number of things that has to happen. First off let me say, that one cannot depend on what you know about the real world to create the maps within the games. After all a computer doesn’t have any idea what laws dictate the real world. The computer will only do as it is told. So if the program says that trees must grow from the sky, then that is what it will present. So here is the basic list.

Let’s look at collision. Now when most of us think of collision it is traffic accidents, running into something or someone, or having something fall on us. In the game world collision has to do with anything the avatar (your in-game character) makes contact with. If collision is not there, this in-game character will be able to walk through a solid wall, and fall through the floor or ground. If this has been programmed poorly, then falling through the ground, which has happened to me in the multiplayer maps in Halo, or getting stuck in an object and not being able to get out can easily be the result, as in the game Gears of War.

Remembering that each area that one inhabits within a game is a separate map, then the programmer has to make sure that the player stays within the map boundaries, but at times there are places within the map that are also blocked. This task is normally handled by walls. These walls are usually set up along the perimeter so that one cannot get outside of the map world. Some companies do a great job of blocking and others leave gaps that can be found. The nice thing about the software used to create these walls, is that they  start out visible, and then are made invisible after the walls have been checked. In the first STALKER game, the company did not do a very good job, and I have been able to get outside of 50% of the maps. I was also able to get outside of one map in Fallout 3, and the demonstration map Lost Coast.

Now why would leaving  the map world be so important? A very good question, and the answer for me is simple. From there you can see how the map was created, and once outside you can normally walk around the whole map and view it from the outside in. One of my favorite things in these games is exploring. I love to find what the creators have placed in their fictional worlds. But once outside you can see the shortcuts that the programmers took, more to conserve CPU power than shortcuts to speed the process. After explaining the next subject I will revisit this.

Eye candy! What the heck is eye candy? Simply stated it is the visuals that one sees within the game environment. But just because you can see it or touch it, does not mean you can interact with it. This item or object can be there to help make the scene as real as it needs to be, and this includes areas that are off the official map playing area. After all, if you are in a forest and looking out into the distance, then you expect to see it continue even beyond the playing area. If it just ended at that point then there would be an obvious end, and break the immersion within this world. Eye candy is what makes the world “sweet” to the eye, just like candy is to one’s taste.

Now I will revisit exiting the official area of the map. Here you can see much of what is used to create the map world. One of the first things you find is that collision is turned off. So if you were to try to walk across an obvious bridge you would simply fall. You then find that many objects out in this area are 2 dimensional sprites, and many times are not even anchored to the ground. But from within the game world you cannot see this. The buildings that may sit out in these areas only have walls that are visible from the game world itself. If you look at them from an angle that would not be visible from there, they simply disappear, cease to exist, and yes, they are 2 dimensional, with collision turned off. And those large piles of rubble of a collapsed building – from the other side is just a hollow area, like when you used clay as a child to make an impression of something. Again all of this is done for efficiency and keeping the frame rate up. After all, no one wants a slide show. “Got to conserve wherever one can.” Then when get beyond what could be seen from the map world you run into the mesh that the map is built upon. A flat plain, that in some maps has collision, and in others none. Here you can see where water areas just end, or in others a gray area leaving one feel that they are standing on the edge of a great abyss. Yet the weather effects, time passing, and even the NPC’s (Non Playing Character), continue to roll in from beyond this map world. And according to where you are standing outside of the map, as an example, you can see a solid hill with houses built on it, and then by moving the hill completely disappears, and the houses are now floating in the sky with nothing supporting them.

So if you look at it, when a map has problems, then the game will have problems. Of course you can say that for any portion of a game. Yet the map is the world, and everything within the game must use that map, and it is from here that all things within the game happen. Of course there is much more that goes into maps, but here I am just wanting to give an overview, and a brief understanding of a game world map. I have no plans on getting into the actual programming of games, since each genre has its own set of problems. Next week we will move on to part 2, and look at the different types of game play that is out there.

Published in: on January 7, 2012 at 8:31 am  Leave a Comment  
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Another Year Past

Another year is reaching its end, and as we look forward, we always hope that the new one will be better. Although I never understood the mentality that one had to get drunk to bring in the new year. To me that was always a bad way to start, to what is supposed to be new beginnings. As a child to have the privilege of staying up to get past the magical hour of midnight was a privilege, but now it is just another night, and just another day. As it has been stated in many different ways, “Any day above ground is a good day.”

As I have gotten older, I find that the years fly at such a terrific rate, that it seems that I go to bed in January, and then wake up and it is the end of December. Still we face the changes that a new year brings, things like cleaning out of last year’s files, setting up one’s personal books for the new year, and of course for those who do, setting and keeping those new year’s resolutions and goals. Then our governments must get into the act, and when a new year arrives, many new laws go into effect, and  these will have some affect on us all.

If we were to look back on 2011, overall it has not been a good year for many. With a worldwide depression there were many lost jobs, homes, and the chaos that comes with these times. Yet one is always hopeful that things will improve. This reminds me of a comment that went something like this. “I was sad, and things were bad, bills to pay, leaking roof, and no money. A friend dropped by and said, smile for things truly could be worse. So after he left I thought about what he had to say, and had to agree, so I smiled, and surely, things got worse.” Now I am not serious about that statement, but it has always brought a smile to my face.

It is said that we must learn from history. Yet, it has been shown that this is the one thing we seem not to do. But from generation to generation continue to repeat the same mistakes over and over again. I wonder why this is so? With our abilities now for information overload, and much researched history before us, why do we just go and repeat it? Of course I have no answer to that question. If I did, and so many of the others out there, I wouldn’t be just a poor writer out here passing on what little wisdom I have through a minor blog. Yet all of us have something to contribute, and to help others that pass through our lives. So if the opportunity comes along to help, please do. It’s a part that makes us human and who we are. Remember history judges us not necessarily from our accomplishments, but from how we treat and help one another.

So as I close this week, and this year out, I guess I can say that this blog today, has been one of ramblings. And I promise that as I post other short stories, as I will do now and then, that they will not necessarily be sad. I am not saying that I won’t, I am just saying that they will cover many different things, and will give any out there who follow a good idea of how I write. And if it is something that you enjoy, then I can thank you. After all the goal of any writer is to get said what he or she wants to say, to entertain, and to leave the reader thinking. If I can do that, then I have done my job. May the new year 2012 be a great one for all out there. F D Brant

Published in: on December 31, 2011 at 8:45 am  Leave a Comment  
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“If”, Oh My

This week I continue in the vein of words. Before I cover this great big word I want to comment that we as writers sometime look for the special large word that would demonstrate to the world that yes we are good. Just look at that word that I used, forcing the reader to go to a dictionary to figure out just what you were saying. It was stated somewhere in my past that most books are written with the view that a 6th grade education should be enough to read a fictional story. Of course if you are an English Professor, or major, then this view probably would be considered in error.

Last week I covered that very large word “I”. And this week I am doubling my letters and looking at another so small word that has a great impact on all of us, and that word is, “if”. If I identifies us, who we are, and is probably the most used word in the english language, then if has to come in as a close second. It is a word that is used in flow charts, “the if-then statement, we use it to identify two possible realities. “If this happens, then we will do this, but if that happens we will have to change our direction.”  And when we worry the “if” word is prevalent. It is such that it can prevent us from following the path that we should. We have painted ourselves in a corner because of the imagined outcome. And if you were a child, and who of us were not at one time, then you probably remember the statement given by your parents, “No if, ands, and buts, allowed.”

So like I, if follows you from just about as early as you can remember, and will be with you until you pass on. So as a writer you must be aware that once again that such a small word has impact on everyone in the real world, so it must be there with your fictional characters. Again like the “I”, it is what helps make them believable, and makes the reader feel for them. After all the reader has had similar things happen to them, those doubts that “if” seems to bring forward. The hesitation, that if brings about, followed by the indecision as something imaged plays against the reality of the situation, as your protagonist asks “What if?” – just as you do every day of your life.

So, what if I don’t get an agent. What if nobody ever sees this blog. What if . . . It has been stated that you can “what if” yourself to death, freezing yourself into inactivity. Worry will always be with us, and so again to make your characters real, they must second guess themselves, and at time “what if” themselves. After all that how we are, why should they, our fictional heroes, be any different?

Published in: on December 17, 2011 at 8:07 am  Leave a Comment  
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The Woman in the Snow

The Woman in the Snow is now available as an e-book at Amazon. I must admit that the road to publishing this book, and the others that will follow, has been  long and difficult. When I first started this walk, I believed that publishing a work was simple. As any who have tried, whether successful or not, this is neither easy, or simple. So below is both a link to the Amazon page, and an a brief description of the story. The genre is Contemporary Woman’s Christian Fiction.

Cathy was excited, it was Saturday, and a weak storm had just left signaling the end of winter.  She was on the road to see her fiancé, who had been away at college. He was home for a short time and it had been at least a month since they had seen each other in person Yes, there had been the emails, texting, and phone conversations, but it just wasn’t the same. The roads she was traveling were remote backcountry roads, just cleared of the snow from that weak storm, and in her mind, easy to travel. After all, she had made this trip a number of times – she could almost drive them in her sleep – so what could go wrong?

She was an unbeliever, one who did not believe in God or Christ. Even though her family and her fiancé’s family were all strong Christians, she just could not see how anyone with a brain could fall for these gods that had been created by first century man. It simply was a way to explain things away that they did not understand. But God had other plans for her. And these plans would interrupt her trip and make her face her unbelief.

Suddenly she found that she was, lost and alone. Would she die? And would she face her lack of faith as she fought for her very survival?  After all she was a city kid, and loved that life. But now she was lost in a wilderness with a snowstorm raging, with no experience at all, and only God to turn to. In the end, would that be enough?

http://www.amazon.com/Woman-Snow-ebook/dp/B006K4U68Q/ref=sr_1_cc_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1323560772&sr=1-1-catcorr

Published in: on December 10, 2011 at 3:52 pm  Leave a Comment  

I, the Shortest Word in the English Language

Before talking about the subject I wanted to cover this week, I felt that I needed to continue from last week’s blog on your characters. In the example I used, the protagonist became aware of things that she was even hiding from herself. Realizing for the first time that the special bond that can exist between a mother and her grown daughter would never happen. This showed us her humanity, and vulnerability, something that at times affects all of us in the real world. Thus the character becomes more real, and makes us want to care for who she is and what happens to her. These moments strengthen the character, and at the same time strengthens your story.

I, probably is one of the most important words that we have. It identifies us. Without I, we do not exist, we are not unique, and we are not who each and every one of us has become in our short lives. If you were to do a search on the most used words in the English Language, “I” would probably be close to the top. Just for fun try saying a sentence and leave “I” out of it, or any reference back to yourself. I think that you would find that it isn’t as easy as you may have thought it would be.

As I have stated, again, in an earlier blog, everything we see, do, think about, and move through, is from an internal perspective. Absolutely everything in the real world is colored by our internal history. So in truth the world we live in is not the true world. So this makes the idea of “I”, even more critical. So it must be with all of your actors in your books. Again, like you, if they do not have a sense of “I”, then they do not seem real.

One of the most difficult things you do as a writer is create unique characters. It is easy to be blind to the fact that you can accidentally create mirrors of yourself in your characters and when someone outside sees these characters, the comment is, “Well, to be truthful, I didn’t see much difference in them.” Again it is that “I”, that makes each and every one of us different. As we own that uniqueness and revels with joy that it is this way. After all what a boring world this would be if all of us were the same, and this can be applied to the stories that we write.

Published in: on December 9, 2011 at 11:50 am  Comments (2)  

Personal Thoughts and Observations

Today I would like to view two different subjects, starting first that as a writer one must be continually observant. While that is an obvious statement, it still makes it true. For example in “The Caves of Steel”, by Isaac Asimov, he shows the differences between men and women in the use of a public restroom setting. If one were to observe the women’s the first thing that would be obvious is the continual talking and socializing, and then when observing the men’s quite the opposite where very few words are spoken, business is taken care of and then they leave. This example is something that is common and would easily be overlooked since it is such a commonplace happening. This always brings to mind that we, locked in our culture have a very difficult time stepping outside of it. And stepping outside of it is the responsibility of the writer. In the second unpublished book of the Discovery Series, I use that point exactly when one of the minor characters realizes that he may be applying solutions to the dig site that is tied directly to his culture and not to what they are uncovering. He then asks how can one separate what he has accepted from what they are discovering.

The second is something that I feel is a tragedy in many ways, and that is the loss of knowledge. Who truly knows where we would be if the great libraries of the past were still with us. Even now with the digital age and the supposed backing up of all the data, the possibility still exists that it could all disappear. If we look at history we can see time and time again how this knowledge has been destroyed. Whether it was because of a conquering race, a religious purging, or natural disaster, the results are the same. With the digital being the way of saving information now, it is the sheer volume that threatens to cause us to lose that knowledge.

The other portion of this is the experiences and learnings that each and every one of us have had over our lifetimes. Yet because we are locked within ourselves we can never really pass on what we have. Yes we try with the inexactness of language, and words in books. But these cannot really present what we have. So when we pass on all that we were, all that we learned, and that could be a benefit dies with us. This was probably one of the reasons that verbal histories were started. So that not everything that a tribe knew would be lost. Yet time and time again you could see where things were lost when through some tragedy that the person responsible for passing on this vital information would die before he or she did, resulting in having to rediscover it all over again. At least at this time there are no real answers to these thoughts and concerns as we still have not been able to break the barrier of the individual. And not in a way that is an intrusion that every government out that would love to do, but where we could truly share what we really have. Yes we still have those who would want to be dictators and such, and ones who would want the control. We surely have enough books and movies showing that very thing. It has been conjectured that at one time that we had the ability to talk mind to mind, and for those Christians out there, this was lost with the fall in the garden. And no I am not a Socialist or any other “ist”, and this is just about as political as I will get. After all I am an observer, and try in my simple way to write on what I observe.

Published in: on October 29, 2011 at 9:17 am  Leave a Comment  

A Reunion Past

This week I attended the 40th high school reunion of my wife. I cannot say that it is my first such 40th, as I am older than my wife, so I attended mine a few years ago. In a sense, like she was when she attended mine, I was an outsider. Yet, by being an outsider, it gave me the chance to observe and think about what was transpiring around me. And here simply is my observations and thoughts as they came to me.

First let’s look back to when we either graduated from high school or college, and the friends that we had made during that time, and the promises we made once we were leaving heading into our individual unknown futures. One of the most common was to remain in contact with each other, and probably one of the first, in most cases, that did not happen. As life has a tendency to get in the way of promises, and goals that one has set for themselves. So then the reunions start, with the first milestone being the 10th. Here for the ones who attend most appear to be as they were when they left school. Then as time continues, and the reunions come and go, every time you attend, it then very briefly brings back those early days when life and things were much less complicated, and the only worries were those tests and classes you had to pass.

As people circulated through the much smaller crowd you could see them look at the name tags that had the pictures of each when they were seniors. Time to many had been kind, but to others not so. Then with recognition came excitement and joy when finding that old school buddy. They would converse for a period of time as each brought the other up to date, and of course promises to remain in contact, before moving on to find another lost friend from that time. For an observer it was both a happy and sad time. Happy because these lost friends had a chance, even if briefly to find each other again, and sad because it would for most only be here at this moment that this closeness would be felt, as time and distance would once again intrude, separating once again these old friends.

Then there is the one identifying trait that showed the age of the particular participants in this reunion. And with this it brings a smile to my face, even if it is once again a sad one. After all, age does take its toll – after all the participants were in their late 50’s, which meant for most that to see anything close required reading glasses. So as each name tag was read, you could see, all through the crowd, the reaching for those dreaded reading glasses, and aid that they would prefer to do without, but couldn’t.

Still it was an enjoyable evening. One that was much too short, and even though it wasn’t mine, I would not have missed it for the world.

Published in: on October 9, 2011 at 10:49 am  Leave a Comment  

An Observation and Excerpt

I start this week looking at an observation of books and some movies. It is probably more pervasive than I have noticed, but is something that is used often enough to elicit a comment The first time I discovered its use was in the book Oliver Wiswell, by Kenneth Roberts. This is a fictional story placed in the time of the revolutionary war – an excellent read by the way. As you follow the main character through the story he has a companion that performs necessary actions behind the story allowing the main character to be successful in his endeavors. You find the same type of setup in the movie The Green Beret, starring John Wayne, Peterson was the scrounger in this setting. In David Drake’s RCN series there are actually two who perform this service, and in David Weber’s Honor Universe there are two, but only one is active within the story at a time.

By creating these secondary characters much that needs to be accomplished to keep the readers immersed in the story can happen in the background and still keep the story believable. If the main protagonist had to do everything necessary then the stories would either have to get much less complicated or would need many more pages to complete the adventure. So like the sidekick in so many of the movies that are out, let us praise these minor characters who keep the story moving, and continue to allow us, the readers to keep our concentration on the protagonist. To the many writers who use them I give you a great big thank you.

To the second part of this post – here is an excerpt from the manuscript, The Woman in the Snow. Again this is Contemporary Woman’s Christian Fiction – enjoy!

She slowly awoke and found herself in an awkward position, had she fallen out of bed?
What had awakened her anyway? Then she realized that it was very dark and very cold, and it appeared that she was dressed. So she couldn’t be in her room. At the same time she realized that her bladder was aching. Maybe that was what had brought her to life. She shifted a little and then realized that just about every muscle in her body hurt. What did she do? As she shifted something moved across her chest, and then she realized that it was a seatbelt. Had she been in an accident and had she been knocked unconscious? That thought almost caused her to panic.

Then it came back to her in a flash. That probably was exactly what had happened. She remembered driving down the remote backcountry road eager to get where she was going, and realized that the sky had become ominous, as it appeared that a new snowstorm was approaching rapidly. She could see that it was getting colder. The storm was something she hadn’t expected or prepared for. After all one had just ended and it was very late in the winter so she thought that the one that had just left was the final storm. So she was eager to get on the road and see her fiancé who was ending a semester in college and lived just about a day away.

Looking at the developing storm she became worried, and then she had hit that black ice which immediately sent her car spinning. She remembered desperately trying to get the car back in control and saw the edge coming up quickly. She screamed when she saw that there was no way she was going to stop the car from leaving the road. She felt the car fly off the road and knew that she was in the air. Grabbing the steering wheel desperately she braced herself and found that she put out a quick prayer to be safe. Now if she didn’t hurt as much as she did she would have laughed. While her family, and even her fiancé were Christians, deep in their faith, she thought it was stupid, something that belonged to those first century people. But had nothing to do with anyone with any ability to truly think. After all these religions had all been created when man had created gods to solve things they did not comprehend or understand.

So why had she prayed? She remembered her dad stating that there were no unbelievers in the foxhole, and thought maybe when she faced a possibility of death that she like those soldiers just reached out.

Published in: on October 1, 2011 at 3:55 pm  Leave a Comment  
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