Nothing is True. Everything is Connected.
Author: <span>Bob 2</span>

Are you not entertained?

What do you go see a film for?

Be honest here, okay?

We all WANT to say we go to see a great, deeply moving, character inspiring epic that stirs our emotions and inspires our lives.


Get real here.

We go to be entertained.

We go to be lifted out of our boring, routine, infinitely predictable little lives, and pay money for the privilege of a few moments when we can forget the bullshit we’re surrounded by.

Doesn’t get any easier than that, does it?

Whether we love sci-fi, historical drama, sappy romance, it’s all the same.

We want to be entertained.

Even if we think we just sat through 2.5 hours of total bollocks, we still want that moment when we can be anything, anywhere.

We might think what we saw was improbable, unreal, surreal, and ridiculous.  It might have plot holes big enough for a fleet of Autobots hotly pursued by Decepticons, to flee through several times over, but still we go.

Yes, we might write fanfiction afterward to correct the errors, we might bitch about it, and we might get upset at it all and claim we can do it better.

But unless we really do go out there and do it better, maybe we should shut the hell up and be thankful to all those hundreds of thousands of people who helped bring movies to life, and who cry every day of their lives…


Sylum is full of movies.

Some are pretty cool, some are totally awesome, some are butt squirmingly awful.  But they’re there.

Sylum is a place for equal opportunity offenders.

Movies are glorious.

Sometimes they even change us.

We never stop going to the movies, despite home cinema, Blu-Ray, surround sound, and glorious 58″ hi def.

Let’s never stop going.

For we all need to be entertained.

And we love it.

And now for something completely different…

So whilst trying to focus on the Frozen Bunny from the outer reaches of ‘Fuck You Bob You Sonofabitch’ – currently located somewhere south of the thriving metropolis of ‘What The Actual Crap’ and to the west of ‘Get The Hell Away From Me’ – I have a massive pile of fresh bunnies just arrived from the coastal plains of ‘Look What I Have’, which should be torched immediately.

Meanwhile on the riverbank of ‘Let Me Just Dangle This Little Nugget In Your Face’ comes Sanguen Vitae, which is already on the back burner three times over at least.

And up the mighty rocks of ‘Edit This Now Before You Go Up The Hill And Come Down The Bunny Mountain’ stands a whole growing shed load of other stuff that I don’t even want to think about despite all attempt at honest to God enthusiasm.

One day, I shall simply walk into Mordor and throw that damn ring the fucking volcano…

Wait.  Wrong script.

Where was I?

Oh yeah, there’s also an intriguing idea from the tar pits of ‘But This Person Needs A More Interesting Past Life’ that are bubbling into the craters of a Revolutionary mess that is more tangled than the proverbial briar patch.

Noooo! Please don’t throw me in the Briar Patch….!!!

Okay got distracted there for a second, somewhere around the spooky caverns of ‘Lost My Focus’ and the swampland of ‘But This Could Be Really Fun Over Here’.

I need chocolate.



Wait, alcohol first then chocolate.

And maybe 25 hours in the day at least, but that’s not going to happen until we reach the wooded hillocks of ‘You Have A Deadline To Make’ and the fetid marshes of ‘I Don’t Care If Three People Put That Comma In The Wrong Place I Want It THERE!’.

So off again to climb the rugged cliffs of ‘You Will Never Get That Done’ to the lofty peak of ‘Kiss My Ass You Evil Rabbit’.  And onward across the burning sands of ‘You Want To Do WHAT In That Clan’ to the clear, crystal lakes of ‘Where Is My Dictionary’ and the headdesking battle of ‘I Hate Microsoft Word’ and ‘Get Thee Behind Me You Piece of Shit’ to the welcome rest at last of the well of ‘So That’s That One Done Now What About Tackling The Other One…’

~This moment of insanity brought to you by Evil Bob2 who is clearly off his meds today.

Motivation – Need Some!!!!

Why do you get out of the bed in the morning?

Are you going to work?

Feeding the baby?

Running to the bathroom?

Heading to the shower?

Making coffee and lunches?


Need it, learn to love it, use it all the time.

It should seriously be one of the deadliest of sins for any writer to assume that their readers have clue #1 on what the hell is going on, and this is a fact as true for those who write original fiction as it is for those who write in fandom.

Hey, look just because YOU are utterly addicted to  a certain show and can channel the characters like it’s second nature, that don’t mean the rest of us have any damn idea what you’re blathering on about.

No, seriously we don’t.  That’s because we don’t all watch, read or listen to the same things.  And while the world would be very, very boring if we did, the only way you can get any of us interested in your little corner of the ‘squeeing’ world of whatever it is you’re writing about, is to tell us about it in the first place.

So, if your character has no sense of humor and suddenly develops one, we need to know the motivation for that or (s)he is going to sound like a moron who forgot to take their meds.

If your character suddenly smacks a bitch, we need a reason for it.  People who do that without one generally tend to get arrested, so unless you’re planning on that, give us motive.

Motive maketh character.  Character formeth motive.

It’s like saying ‘you are what you eat’ but you’re not really a tuna fish sandwich.

At least I hope you’re not, because if you are, why are you reading this and not sitting in my lunch bag right now?

Wait, where are MY meds while I’m on the subject…?

*pause for dramatic effect*

Okay where was I?  Yes, motive.

Everyone does everything for a motive.  Little is ever random.  Coincidence, yes but not random.  Coincidence is the plot device of last resort when you can’t find a motive, and if you use that too often you’re going to sound like a schmuck with no plot in the first place.  Having every goddamn Vampire on the face of earth Turned by some random rogue is unacceptable.  It’s dumber than mud and suggests desperation for lack of ideas.

So get creative.  Hell, get a little wild if you have to.  Whatever it takes.  Figure it out.  Post-It Notes are your friend.  So are whiteboards, research materials, bits of string and make-shift maps on the dining room table.

You want someone to know about Vampires?  Figure out how they know, even if you have to go back 5000 years in earth history to find out where, when, why and how.

You want someone to get up and go out, give them a purpose even its only to go pee in a dark alley.

You want someone to do the dramatic, angsty, flaily exit thing then give them a reason to go, and be sure that everyone knows it.

Writing is hard.

I get that.

But with a little contemplation, it can be a whole lot better than just vaguely stringing words together that might make sense in your own mind, but will make others laugh at you or run away screaming insanely into the night because they can’t figure out what the hell they just read.  People rarely come back to read more if they can’t make sense of your work, and knowing later on why you made a total lash up of it all really doesn’t help that much either.  Your readers don’t know that your car broke down, your work colleague is a bitch, your dog ate your harddrive or your sister just had a baby.

Though if that’s your plot line for your story you at least have motive.  It’s just  not motive for being a total dweep with your writing, unless you want to educate them on the definition of ‘how to have a nervous breakdown’.  And if that’s the case, then get a journal to record your personal thoughts in and get it all out of your system.  Maybe someone digging in the dirt a few bazillion years from now will find it, publish it as a research paper and use it to justify why the 21st Century was full of people who had no damn idea what to write any more.

Either that or it’ll be the greatest thing since you know who decided Vampires should be twee little girls who all sparkle when they bite you…

*eyeroll*  Wait.  I’m going off plot…  Losing the will to live.

Motivation required.

What was it again?

Oh right.  Yes.



Would I kid about this stuff??

No, I would not.  I’ve been doing it for years.  I don’t always get it right (the famous ‘where the hell did the brothers go in the midde of all this?’ conversation still gives me the willies) but practice makes perfect.

See?  Practice.  It’s a perfectly valid motivation to attain perfection.

*cue meaningful speech from Shifu to Po before The Kung-Fu Panda kicks the bad guy’s butt*

Even if you have no motivation yourself, you can always get it from others.  Characters do that too.  Remember those books you were forced to read at school for Lit class?  The ones with no purpose, no goal and a boring amount of very long words that send you to sleep?  Yeah, there’s no motivation.  No motivation to care about the characters because they have no motivation either.  They’re just there, hanging around, being.

And then after that there’s no motivation to read about them again.

Motive gets the hero from the beginning of his journey to his ending.

Just ask Luke Skywalker.

Or Han Solo.  He’s a little easier to determine on the motive front.  He starts out wanting money.  Great motive.

Okay so there’s motive for plot, plot devices, character and keeping your readers interested.


Need some.


Now where did that tuna fish sandwich go…?

Some Thoughts on Character

Every now and then, I find I run into something that makes me sit up and seriously take notice.

Generally this doesn’t happen at first. There might be a lot of eyerolling and sighing going on, but gradually it creeps up on you and in the end it’s so much in your face you can’t help but take a deeper interest than you originally intended.

Several moments hit me in the head just lately…

The first was seeing a new interpretation of Edgar Allan Poe in the movie The Raven. I was hoping for a horror film but got a damn good thriller that made me want to go back and reread what I knew of Poe and what I had first seen of his work many many years ago in Lit class.

It was so nicely done, with such a huge amount of respect for Poe’s work and for his desperately sad and grief stricken life, that he’s headed for Sylum.

The film turned him into a character that became somehow much more sympathetic and accessible. It gave him more layers than you’d first assume on perusing his materials. He was more than dark. He was difficult and weird and would have been a very interesting conversationalist if I could’ve sat him down and asked about his life.

The second moment of ‘flail! Whoa that’s awesome!’ came with reconsidering the film The Illusionist.

I’d seen it before and though based on a very so-so short story, it struck me as being worthy of watching more than once, and as that happened so Eisenheim’s character gradually came more and more to life for me in a complex and convoluted story that you have to not blink at or walk away from or you’ll miss the pointers.

He too is a complex man and he too will be heading to Sylum.

Y’see sometimes it’s all too easy to dismiss character, to gloss over it and to treat it as a two dimensional and shallow thing, especially in books and movies that are coming out just lately. Assumptions as to motivation, reasoning, speech, education, action/reaction, can be so weakly created and/or portrayed that in the end the audience is left with little but the feeling that what they’ve just read, watched or experienced is no more than a brief distraction in time with little impact upon their life.

Some might say it has a great deal to do with the ‘soundbite’ culture we live in, and the lack of attention span that is encouraged so much in mainstream media and the general social environment, but I’m not here to talk about that. I’m just throwing the thought out there is all.

The third moment that snuck up and hit me, came from Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter. Yeah, I’d dismissed this as silly. The idea was just too daft for words, but then I watched the trailer; very well edited in the extreme and with music and voice over to make you sit up and pay attention. Then came the movie and finally the book. Yes yes, I tend to go for books after the movie or risk being disappointed with the film because the book is stuck in my head. And in the end, despite there still being moments of ‘really are you serious?’ in both of them, it was character that leapt out at me.

Character development and creation was so painstakingly done, and so very well represented on the screen, that as a result I can say it was the most enjoyable movie of the summer for me. But it took a while to really hit me in the head.

Yes sometimes there are too many other distractions and it’s too easy to gloss over a book or a film or a play, or a show or something, and yet it’s not hard to see when things are shallow, at least if you look at it with better eyes than those of the ‘just distract me with the shiny for five seconds’ mentality that we all suffer from to one degree or another.

Take time sometimes to really watch, to deeply read, to seriously consider, and then do it all over again.

It’s actually worth the effort once you start to go deeper into your subject matter and you’ll suddenly find yourself encouraged to want to know more.

Make character worthwhile.

Your readers and viewers will love you for it.

Enter the Tiny Annoying Englishman

His name is Henry O. Sturges.

1 s on the end, and don’t ask what the O. is for.

He’s sneaky.  I mean it, really he is.

Who else could send his Mate in as a distraction while he himself herds plot bunnies in the back door?

If you have no idea who or what the hell I’m talking about, check out Abraham Lincoln – Vampire Hunter.

Or you could just sit back and wait for his Private Journals to show up in Sylum starting this Advent.

He’s chatty, at least on paper.

I leave you with this thought:

Abraham:  *shifts uncomfortably*

Henry:  *headtilt*  I like it.

Abraham:  I look old.

Henry:  *grins lecherously* It’s the thousand yard stare and the spread legs and the tension in your shoulders…

Abraham:  *flails* You are not turned on by that?

Henry:  Remember the time I had you in the…?

Abraham: *slaps hand over Mate’s mouth as people stare*  Not now Henry!

*falls over dead*

The next time Speed makes a suggestion that there should be something in Sylum involving a book, a film, and enough research to be able to do a guided tour around Rome with my eyes shut and my paws tied behind my back..

…I’m moving to Rome.

Teaser – unedited (because I’m evil and y’all need to learn to live with that!):

Saint Peter’s Square.

They had to be close to the end.

They hit another gate.



Also unlocked.

They were inside the city boundary itself, surely?

The noise outside faded off a little.

Still they ran.

A sharp turn to the right.

And without warning the Passetto simply ended.

A thick wall of riveted iron blocked their way.

Nick slapped his palms on it.

“No way!  Not after this!!” he cried, scrabbling around for a handle, a switch or a release mechanism of some kind that would give them access.

He felt like a rat in a laboratory maze, facing one too many puzzles before a wrong decision blew his constituent atoms into nothingness.

“Wait!  Wait, wait!!”  Langdon realised what they were facing, and totally understood the fury Nick was experiencing.  “Un Modo Portale!  A one way portal.  Architects call it a Senza Chiave.”

A keyless door.

For total security from the outside.

It was perfectly smooth.

No hinges.

No knobs.

No entry.

A surge of utter panic hit both Vampires square in the chest.

“It only opens one way,” the Professor explained, “on the other side!”

‘Demons and Angels’ – by Timothy Quinn, coming soon to Sylum Clan.

Demons & Angels is go!

Busy.  Busy.

Busy busy.

And did I mention I was busy?

Tim is totally going to hate the Angels and Demons movie and just about anything associated with Dan Brown by the time we’re done with this but you know what?

It fits too perfectly into the Sylumverse for it not to go in there, and now is the time to write it because it ties up threads that need to be knotted before we can move onto the next thing.

It’s tedious, annoying and painful to write because it’s taking elements of the movie script *eyeroll* (still can’t believe that writer got paid so much money for such a shitty ass script!) and elements of the book *more dramatic eyeroll* which in and of itself contains plot holes big enough to drive and entire fleet of UPS trucks through.

So, here at Sylum we correct these little errors, these momentary lapses of confidence, these faux pas moments, these ‘let’s make the good guy the bad guy because no one will ever see it coming’ nightmare plot twists from hell that make you want to headdesk ’til next Tuesday, and we put them to rights.

End of story.

Full stop.

What’s next…?

%d bloggers like this: