Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Artificial Intelligence

Happy Tuesday!

I almost wrote happy Monday… and then I realized it is in fact not Monday, but Tuesday. At least I figured it out, eh?

All month long, we’ve been talking about books, television shows, and the occasional movie which have inspired me across my extensive writing career. We’ve talking about books that I do recommend and which I think most people won’t actually want to read, shows I think everyone can find something in to enjoy and shows I really think you need to find a niche for—and now, at long last, we’re coming to the end. Which means that I have two more inspirations to talk to you about.

Today, let’s go TV.



If you haven’t seen Humans, you really should. Unless you’re not great with high stress. Then maybe you shouldn’t. But it’s a seriously interesting show, which poses some great questions which I think are highly relevant in today’s society (through a roundabout kind of way).

Basically, Humans is a show about the use of androids, or synthetics, in everyday life. Everybody has a synth, a humanoid robot, who essentially acts as their housekeeper. Synths have no real consciousness. But then one small family in England gets one, and she turns out to have a mind of her own.

But what does it mean, for synthetics to have consciousness? They’re not alive, right? Or, are they alive, since they can think like a person? These are some of the questions Humans asks, as the status quo gets challenged over and over by one very small group of synths who want to free their kind from the bonds humanity have set them under.

As you all know, I write a lot of scifi. In fact, that’s what I’ve been primarily working on as of late. I like my scifi. I even have a book series which contains an android, who may or may not be fully conscious. Artificially intelligent. Which poses a lot of questions, as I’m sure you well know.

Humans was greatly inspirational to me, when writing my Earth-Space series. There were many questions I hadn’t even thought to ask, which we posed in Humans and made me think about my characters in a completely new way. I love things that can do that! We all know how much I love to think. ;-)

Essentially, Humans boils down to the politics of artificial intelligence, which, yes, is a topic highly explored in science fiction, but the way it’s handled in Humans takes it to a different level, in my opinion. It asks the hard questions, which a lot of television shows, movies, and even books struggled to ask in the first place.

For instance, can synths be tried for murder?

Definitely worth a watch, especially if you’re a fan of the artificial intelligence subgenre. Last I checked, there was at least one season on Netflix—but I haven’t checked in a while, so don’t quote me on that.


{Rani D.}

Thursday, July 26, 2018

Dragon Chases Shadow

Happy Thursday, everyone! I sincerely hope that your weeks haven’t been stressful in the slightest, because stress is annoying and I know we’d rather not deal with it at all. ;-)

All month long, we’ve been talking about television shows, books, and the occasional movie which have inspired me along the way in my writing career. We’ve discussed things like my personal favorites and the things that really inspired me to start writing to begin with, and today, we’re discussing something new. Something that’s only recently started to inspire me, because it hasn’t been around all that long.

Into The Badlands


There aren’t many shows I watch on AMC, but this is one I simply couldn’t do without. I’ve been watching it from the very beginning, and it’s been a really fun addition to my viewing repertoire.

Honestly, I can’t even tell you what it’s about. Because it honestly doesn’t always make any sense at all. But that’s part of what I love about it, since I’m not really watching it for love of any particular characters.

Yep, that’s right.

I watch it for the ridiculous samurai-style fight scenes. And there are plenty of them in every episode.

But you know what? People like those fight scenes. I like those fight scenes. I enjoy them, I get a miniature thrill out of them, and I love it. I love trying to translate those fight scenes into words on a page (though I’d say I haven’t quite mastered it at the level of Into the Badlands).

That’s what’s inspiring, to me.

I know, it sounds a little strange, but I’m inspired by things that challenge me, by things I know I’m not quite ready to do on my own. I’m inspired by watching a crazy television show that doesn’t always make sense, and by watching the characters in that show knock each other senseless every now and again.

See, there’s a reason why so many people gravitate more toward television than they do toward written stories. Television is easy. We can simply watch it and see a story play out before our eyes, rather than putting in the effort of having our imagination make the story appear within our minds. But that’s what I want to replicate in story. I want my readers to be able to see every single thing my characters are doing, and I want them to see it as vividly as they see the fights in the badlands.

That’s inspiring to me. That’s something I can strive for.

Also, if you haven’t watched the show, I do highly recommend it. It is a lot of fun, it’s crazy, and the story just keeps getting weirder—which is just how I like a story of this sort. Let me know if you start watching! I think the first two seasons are on Netflix. :)

Have a great weekend, everyone!


{Rani Divine}

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

A + M

Hey guys! I hope you’ve all had wonderful weekends and survived your way through Monday. Me, I enjoy Mondays. I usually don’t have as much on my workload, so I can take some extra time out for writing. Woo! I honestly don’t know how I got my week set up that way, but it’s pretty darn great.

Anyhoo, all month long, we’ve been talking about the things that have inspired me in my writing career. Things like television shows, books, and the occasional movie have frequently brought inspiration to my little writer mind, and I’ve loved sharing some of those inspiring things with you.

Today’s inspiring book series, for the first time in this series, is one that I won’t always recommend you to read. In fact, I’d only have you read it if you have trouble describing things which will be important through the whole of your book, or if you really like historical fiction.

Aubrey Maturin

Patrick O’Brian

Never heard of it? That’s fine, I wouldn’t expect you to. But if you’ve ever seen the movie Master & Commander, starring Russel Crowe, then you’ve seen a visual representation of a part of this series.

O’Brian wrote a series of historical fiction books, primarily taking place on the sea, and dealing with the characters of Captain Jack Aubrey and his friend, Doctor Stephen Maturin. And it’s one of the hardest book series’ I’ve ever started reading. I’m only two books in, and though I intend to read the next one, I’m also dreading it.


Because though O’Brian is great with descriptions, he needs a little more story.

But this post is supposed to be about something inspiring! So, let’s focus on the former.

See, O’Brian is amazing about descriptions, about teaching you something through his descriptions, and then never going back to those descriptions again, because he assumes you read it the first time and understood everything he was saying—and he’s actually right.

I’ll put it like this:

I did a ton of research on sailing ships when I was writing Dwr. I had to. Practically the whole story takes place on a ship, so if I didn’t as least know the basics, it wasn’t going to work.

But if I had simply read Master & Commander, I could’ve skipped doing all that research, because I would’ve known it.

That’s where O’Brian excels, and I find that highly inspiring. I would love to write something that teaches my readers, something that sticks with them long after they’ve finished reading my book. And that right there is why I’ll keep reading his books, even though they can be a little hard to read in other regards.

As we all know, I dearly love to learn.


{Rani D.}