Recent blog posts in the category Uncategorized / General:

From Something, To Something

With your sources for a story, it ain't where you start, it's where you end up, and how you get there.

By Serdar Yegulalp on 2020/08/08 17:00

Sorry, busy week, hence the silence. In re a discussion of Charlie Kaufman's Adaptation:

Setting Expectations :: Matthew Buscemi

... the film’s ending isn’t so much a mockery of subservience to an audience’s expectations, but rather a depiction of how a skilled writer can construct meaningful purpose from even the most banal expectations and formulae.

It ain't where you start, it's where you end up, and how you get there. I had the lowest possible expectations for the likes of John Wick, and not only did I get rocked back on my psychic heels three times in a row (and soon it'll be #4 and #5), but I ended up taking inspiration from it for at least one, possibly two, other works. But I suspect people would struggle to connect the finished work with the inspiration, and that's fine — that's the sign the inspiration is working as fuel and not as a template.

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Tags: creativity  inspiration 


Stories Of The New Weird Normal

How to seek out stories that intelligently confront the moral complexity of the 21st century.

By Serdar Yegulalp on 2020/07/30 17:00

Good essay, great closing lines:

Censorship and Genre Fiction—Let’s Broaden our Broader Reality - Uncanny Magazine

Narrative is not the power to choose outcomes, but it is often the power to tip the scales when someone is hovering between action and despair. You can find hundreds of images of protest signs with lines from Orwell, but a few years ago when Japan hosted a world peace summit, the organizers hung a very different sign in the main hall: “We Must Make a Future That Would Not Make Astro Boy Cry.” So many tools that galvanize resistance come from fantasy and science fiction. We who, with Tezuka and with Le Guin, explore imagined worlds, alternatives, and other ways of being must not narrow that larger reality, not when it has so much power to shape action, hope, or surrender. So let’s keep broadening our broader reality, so we can also broaden the possibilities of this one.

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Tags: Science Fiction Repair Shop  morality  science fiction  storytelling 


I Liked The Movie Better. No, Really.

Sometimes adapting something, as one form of remaking it, can do it a favor.

By Serdar Yegulalp on 2020/07/29 17:00

The other day we got to talking about when remaking something actually does it a favor. I deviated from the original ideal a little and thought about how adapting something, as one form of remaking it, can do it a favor.

Many mediocre books can be turned into good-to-great movies, for instance, by stripping away everything that doesn't need to be there (turgid prose, irrelevant "atmosphere", nonsensical convolution) and replacing them with the directness and elegance of visual storytelling. I'd rather see a good movie version of a bad book than a bad adaptation of a good one. But that doesn't mean I'd rather see people never attempt to adapt a good book into a great movie, and only go for the low-hanging fruit.

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Tags: adaptation  books  movies  remakes 


Let's Not Try To Understand All This Too Quickly

In a conversation with a friend, about the way our crazy moment in time is shaping our creative decisions, I kept coming back to a phrase I've said to myself before: "Let's not try to understand all this too quickly."

By Serdar Yegulalp on 2020/07/26 17:00

In a conversation with a friend, about the way our crazy moment in time is shaping our creative decisions, I kept coming back to a phrase I've said to myself before: "Let's not try to understand all this too quickly."

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Tags: creativity  these troubled times 


You Deserve To Know What's Up, Late July 2020 Edition

Much hard work ensuing here at Chez Infinimata, and on multiple fronts: current book, new book, software.

By Serdar Yegulalp on 2020/07/24 17:00

Much hard work ensuing here at Chez Infinimata, and on multiple fronts:

  • The Fall Of The Hammer has come back from my readers with high marks all around, and so now it's on to the final production phase: creating the cover, finalizing the interior, etc. I also have to set up a page here on the site for it, as per the previous books, so you can expect that in the next couple of weeks. I will also be lining up a series of articles that delve into the history of the work and its ideas, along the lines of the series I did for Always Outnumbered, Never Outgunned, and which I have in mind for all the other books I've done when I rework them to feature the new Infinimata branding.
  • I've also been working on the rewritten version of the software that powers this blog. I'm further along than I realized; a big part of the struggle will be recreating the templates I had before. But the underlying engine is running well. Faster, too, and not by a little!
  • I'm also slowly preparing the next release of Folio, my personal wiki software, which I've been using to write Fall Of The Hammer and will be using to write all my future works as well.
  • That includes Unmortal, the next work-in-progress, which is already in progress.

No, I'm not a workaholic, why do you ask?


Tags: Folio  Infinimata Press  The Fall Of The Hammer  Unmortal  future projects 


Down These Mean Streets

How much of a debt I owe not to science fiction or fantasy, but another genre: the hard-boiled noir.

By Serdar Yegulalp on 2020/07/20 08:00

Looking over what I have so far for my most recent work, and the notes I assembled for Fall Of The Hammer and especially Always Outnumbered, Never Outgunned, it hits me how much of a debt I owe not to science fiction or fantasy, but another genre: the hard-boiled noir, or the crime drama generally. (I pitched AONO to some folks as "GoodFellas meets Strange Days".)

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Tags: noir  writing 


Kauffmann Syndrome

The problem with much criticism: it proceeds from the flawed premise that art is hierarchical.

By Serdar Yegulalp on 2020/07/19 17:00

On a whim I checked out a compendium of Stanley Kauffmann's writing on film. Most of the reason I bothered with it was to find out about movies from his time that I might have missed, not because I like Kauffmann's criticism as such. The experience ended up being more of a window into certain attitudes held by cinematic tastemakers of his day, most of which have dated poorly.

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Tags: Stanley Kauffmann  criticism  critics 


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