Chris Williams, Author Specializing in anthropomorphic speculative fiction

Independent Claws Episode 07 – Monsters

January 31

After a long holiday season and some real world issues, Sparf returns with the promised second part of his Horror episode. This time, the topic wanders from a couple of horror subgenres over to writing more frightening or realistic monsters.

 

Opening and closing music by Lee Rosevere and found at the Free Music Archive. Used under Creative Commons Attribution. For more by Lee Rosevere, visit this link:http://freemusicarchive.org/music/Lee_Rosevere/

Rogue One

December 16

I’ll be seeing it again on Saturday, but I wanted to get a couple of brief spoiler-free thoughts down.

I don’t think it’s as good a movie as Episode 7, but I don’t think it’s meant to be.

This movie is a different kind of Star Wars movie from the word ‘Go’ and it carries that difference all the way through to the end.

I’ve already heard some kvetching that the characters are flat with no growth, and I disagree insofar as it comes to our two principal protagonists. There is growth in both of them. As for the remainder of the ‘good guys,’ they’re stock characters for a war film. They’re jobbers. There isn’t a lot of growth there, but this is an ensemble movie in the way that Ocean’s 11 is an ensemble movie. There’s a little time for character development but not everyone gets a complete arc.

This is the first Star Wars movie that felt like it understood war and armed rebellion. In the past Star Wars has mostly been about machine combat. There are stormtroopers here and there, and rebel soldiers, but the foot soldiers exist to be slaughtered to show how powerful the machines are. There’s a little of that here, but there’s also the sense, for the first time, that the rebel soldiers are fighting for their lives against a nearly-unbeatable foe. I think that’s desperately important.

The galaxy isn’t just Jedi and smugglers and star pilots and cantina-scum. At the heart of it all is people, and when people choose to fight, there’s going to be infighting. There’s going to be collateral damage, and there are going to be visceral moments where the combat is bloody and close and painful.

So how well do they tie this movie into the original, A New Hope? Remarkably well, I would say. There are enough cameos and bit part hooks to place us back into the galaxy on the brink of civil war, but it also manages to tie up its loose ends. Nothing fails to make sense. Things that happen are tied up in such a way that there would be no need to mention them in Episode 4.

This is a prequel done right. If this had been the way the Clone Wars had been depicted in the film version, and a better story told, we wouldn’t be talking about the awful prequel trilogy to this day. We’d instead be talking about the dark turn Star Wars had taken. And sure, that’s not to everybody’s liking. Some people want philosophical battles between space monks with laser swords.

If you’re one of those people this movie is definitely not for you. However, if you’re the sort of person who would run a Star Wars tabletop RPG game and exclude certain character types in order to tell a different story in the universe, this movie will feel like home.

I definitely give it a recommendation and I look forward to seeing it again in a few days to catch bits I may have missed this go-round.

Independent Claws – Episode 06 – Dystopia

December 9

Wait, wasn’t Sparf going to talk more about horror? Well, that episode is still coming. In light of the opening of submissions for a new dystopian fiction anthology from FurPlanet, it seemed prudent to help get word out and talk about writing furry dystopian fiction, and some ideas to consider to make yours stand out.

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Independent Claws episode 05a – Snails, Razorblades…the Horror, the Horror

October 31

This episode, the first of a two-parter, Sparf talks about Horror: some of the core tenets, the subgenres, and a discussion of tips for writing horror in general

 

The next episode will deal with some items of anthropomorphic animals in horror, how to play with them, what to do, etc. So stay tuned for that!

 

 

 

Opening and closing music by Lee Rosevere and found at the Free Music Archive. Used under Creative Commons Attribution. For more by Lee Rosevere, visit this link:http://freemusicarchive.org/music/Lee_Rosevere/

Independent Claws Ep. 04: “Like and Subscribe”

October 22

This episode Sparf talks about reviewing: What you should do, what you shouldn’t do, and how to craft a helpful review article.

 

Here is a link to the article on Card’s ‘Ender’ series that is mentioned in the episode: http://johnjosephkessel.wixsite.com/kessel-website/creating-the-innocent-killer

Here is a link to this week’s recommended book, X, edited by Kyell Gold:https://www.sofawolf.com/products/x

 

Opening and closing music by Lee Rosevere and found at the Free Music Archive. Used under Creative Commons Attribution. For more by Lee Rosevere, visit this link:http://freemusicarchive.org/music/Lee_Rosevere/

RAWR Write-a-Thon, Final Tally

October 15

Hello everyone.

Well, it’s been a ride. Good warmup for the coming NaNoWriMo (which I’ll be participating in).

Here’s where we stand. I cleared my word goal of 35,000 words by just 121, in a last minute burst of writing.

My personal goal of raising $250 for the workshop was met with a grand total, after fees, of $282.56, or 113% of the target goal.

From the bottom of my heart, thank you so much for giving so generously, and thanks to everyone who donated their time and energy as well!

Overall, the Write-a-Thon raised $569.84 this time. That’s fantastic! I am a little sad that we didn’t reach Kyell’s story goals, but the fact that we did so well makes me very, very happy.

Where next? Well, don’t think I’m just going to go silent again. NaNoWriMo is coming up, and I’ve got the podcast to keep going with, so you have definitely not heard the last of me. for now, onward!

 

RAWR Write-a-Thon Update and Excerpt #5

October 11

Hey guys! We’ve got just 3 days left after today to get those donations in for the RAWR Write-a-Thon. You can donate with the PayPal button on the right of this site, or through the Write-a-Thon participants page on the site at http://wat.rawr.community

 

My current wordcount is 28,443 of my 35,000 word goal.

 

Below is an excerpt from the current novel project of Simon, our magically-inclined black and white fox having some one-on-one time with Cyril Understone, the Achilles Club’s librarian. This is, like all of the excerpts, a rough draft and one that I will definitely need to have looked over by extra sets of eyes in order to ensure fair and decent representation. For now, this is the scene.

 

PLEASE Be aware that this scene contains adult situations between two males. If this does not seem like something that interests you, please feel free to skip it.

 

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Independent Claws, Episode 03 – Bad Characters, Bad People

October 7

In this episode, Sparf gives his perspective on character flaws, flawed characters, and how to make sure you aren’t glorifying bad behavior.

Today’s Recommended Reading: Heretic, by Rukis: https://furplanet.com/shop/item.aspx?itemid=625

 

For information on RAWR: http://www.rawr.community

Opening and closing music by Lee Rosevere and found at the Free Music Archive. Used under Creative Commons Attribution. For more by Lee Rosevere, visit this link:http://freemusicarchive.org/music/Lee_Rosevere/

RAWR Write-a-Thon Progress: Excerpt 4

September 27

It’s been a few days, owing to some very recent personal news. Here’s where we stand currently:

My personal goal for fundraising is $250, of which people donating via my link have given $119.37(after those unfortunate Paypal fees), so nearly fifty percent.

Overall, RAWR’s fundraising goal is $3000, and the currently raised funds total $290.74(after fees).

I want to make a push to raise a significantly higher percentage by the end of the Write-a-Thon. Currently, any donation made until Midnight Eastern time tonight, the 27th, will be matched dollar-for-dollar for the first $100, and at $0.50/dollar for the next hundred. If you haven’t yet donated, and have been considering it, please think about doing so by tonight. Every little bit helps.

 

Now, here we have a fleeting scene in the Achilles Club’s library. This will be a bit more of an introduction of Cyril Understone, the Club’s chief librarian. I hope you enjoy:

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RAWR Write-a-Thon Progress: Excerpt 3

September 23

I’m currently around 13,500 words on the goal of 20,000. We’re still way behind our fundraising goal, though, so if you can donate, or spread the word, it would be most appreciated. I am currently at around 100 dollars of my $250 personal goal for fundraising. You can view the other participants, check out our current funding status, and more, here: http://wat.rawr.community

If you’d like to go ahead and donate, you can do so either on that page or on the right of this page with the Paypal button.

In the meantime, here is a different scene, starring the book’s primary protagonist, Simon.

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