Enjoying Doctor Who

Hey there, Strangers! Here’s what’s on my mind:

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Doctor Who

I like Doctor Who. I enjoy watching it. I mean, I really look forward to watching it. I go into each episode hopeful that it’s going to be a good one. Thinking about the show brings a little joy to my tired, battered little heart. It may not always be the ‘best’ show on TV, but it’s always my favourite. Oh sure, there are some eras I prefer over others, and I’m not blind to faults, but every season has good stuff in it. Even season 24. Honest.

I just really like Doctor Who.

I know, to some sections of Who ‘fandom’, those opening few sentences WILL NOT COMPUTE. Doctor Who is something they love part of. A show that they now endure because…. because…? Because there is that part of it they used to love. And they hope it’ll be just like it was again for that specially selected period of time. But a little heads up: it probably won’t be like that again. Not quite. It can’t be. It’s not just one thing this show, it’s been made by too many different people, people who must bring themselves to it. Who must steer the ship in a slightly different direction.

So some fans claim it as their favourite show, but because it won’t conform to their specific taste anymore, they feel like they are justified in ‘hate watching’. In identifying themselves as a fan, but then putting nothing but negative thoughts about the show out into the world. Retweeting others who share their opinion in an attempt to show they very rightness of their opinion. “Look! Look! Someone else on Twitter didn’t like it, therefore I am right and justified!”

People want to moan. Pick at. Belittle. Pretend what they just saw was the worst abomination ever created. Nothing bad, or illogical, or underwhelming, or just plain awful ever went down on their show for the period they deign praiseworthy. But NOW? Stone me, the show can do no right. It’s an end to end crap-heap.

What happened to the pure joy of sitting down to watch this daft, fun show?

Let’s be clear, just like in the 80s, there are people who consider themselves fans who would dance a delighted jig and laugh in the faces of people who watch if the show were to be cancelled. Because then that would somehow be proof that they were ‘right’. Not that Who doesn’t work for them anymore, but that it was objectively terrible. They point at the ratings joyfully each week and make claims of the audience deserting the show. They WANT the audience to desert the show. They’d rather the show died than carry on as something that has stepped outside of their own personal tastes. Selfish? Entitled? You betcha. They don’t enjoy the game anymore so want to take the ball home. Doesn’t matter that it’s not their ball and plenty of others are happily kicking it around.

Doctor Who fans can just be THE WORST.

I’d like to think if I ever became so curdled, I’d step away from the show, because why put myself through it? ‘Oh, the old if you don’t like it you shouldn’t watch it anymore argument. How shallow, how silly, how…’ SHUT UP. Watch it if you want. Complain and complain if you have to. But by gosh, it’s a strange way to want to carry on.

In our bid to poke at, critique, bash, highlight ‘problems’, and declare it imperfect, many of us forget to simply revel in the sheer joy of this daft, scary, goofy, bold, unique show. We think it’s more important to scold its imperfections, or decry it for failing to squeeze into the tiny mold we decide it best fits in. In our rush towards the disdain, we give short shrift to the praise. Too much ‘I want it to do this and it won’t’, and not enough taking the show as presented.

No, jerk, I’m not saying we should not critique the show. Just realise that Who not being exactly like you want it to be does not automatically mean it is terrible.

Now maybe I’m easy. There is no era of the show that I would ever put the word ‘Hate’ close to. All of it has moments to treasure. Stories to cheer for. Yeah, I even like BOTH the RTD era and the Moffat era. I KNOW! Incredible. I am a special and unique flower.

Watching Doctor Who should be fun. If it isn’t for you, then that sucks, but it can’t always be what you demand of it.

‘I just want my show back!’ Some of the slack-jawed miseries screech as they stamp their feet. Sorry, bub, but it’s not your show.

Oh, one more thing: I LOVE Doctor Who! It’s often silly, often scary, sometimes it’s even brilliant. I hope I always have more joy than misery for it.

Writing

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Okay, that was a bit on the long side, so a quick update:

I’m a few weeks away from handing in Apocalypse (something or other) in to my editor, and about two-thirds of the way through the second book in the three book mini-series. As is usual at this point, I’m swinging wildly between ‘Some of this is awesome!’ and ‘God, this is awful, should I scrap it and start properly on that NEW EXCITING SHINY THING?!?!?!’

Oh, and there is a NEW EXCITING SHINY THING. Oh yes.

But I’m getting ahead of myself there….

Speak soon, Strangers!

@MattStottWrites


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Release Day!

Hey there, Strangers!

Well, looks like I’ve got a shiny new book out there. The Increasingly Transparent Girl is new in my Tales From Between series. Although it’s a series, each stands on its own; you don’t need to have read the others, or to read them in any strict order. Just grab one and enjoy!

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You’ve probably seen that cover before, but by heck, isn’t it lovely? This story is a little more fairy tale than the last, and was really fun to write.

Here’s the links for the eBook:

AMAZON U.S.              AMAZON UK

If you fancy it in paperback:

AMAZON US PAPERBACK         AMAZON UK PAPERBACK

I hope you dig it, and feel free to spread the word.

Thanks, nerds!


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Covers & Batman

Hey there, Strangers! Here’s what’s on my mind:

Batman!

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Batman was really the only ‘superhero’ comic I read as a kid. Mostly collecting graphic novels, but for a few years I would collect individual issues, too. I loved Batman because he didn’t have any super powers; he couldn’t float and shoot lasers out of his hands. He couldn’t run super fast or stick to walls with his hands. He was just the worlds greatest detective and could kick your arse.

This meant he could have brilliant bad guys, and a hero is only as good as his villains. Not being super strong or invulnerable or any of that malarkey meant that he could have a fantastic villain whose only ‘power’ was that he was completely crazy. A Superman can swat a Joker away, you have to go even bigger with a hero like that. It’s not as interesting. Batman can deal with ‘realer’ seeming threats, and so just connects more immediately with me. I don’t believe in giant space robots that can travel through time, I do believe in crazy people who want to cut your face off and wipe their bum-bum with it.

The latest trailer for Superman Vs Batman dropped, and it has some SUPER-SEXY-HOT Batman action. The opening fight scene is just awesome. This film is getting a lot of flak, partly because of Man of Steel disappointing, and partly just because a lot of people have a thing against the director, Zach Snyder. I’m not a huge fan of his myself, and thought the way he chose to cut up the narrative of Man of Steel basically stopped the viewer becoming emotionally attached, but I’m not going to damn this before having seen it. People were slating this film before a frame had been shot.

Duh.

As I said, I think Snyder’s films often look better than they play, but I am a fan of his Dawn of the Dead, and I thought Watchmen was pretty darn good, all things considered. But yeah, lots of people just want to slate it, or poke fun at the darker tone.

Not everything has to be Iron Man or Guardians of the Galaxy, okay?

It’s just ‘cool’ to bag on DC films, The Marvel-Marvel-rah-rah-rah crew seems to only want one type of superhero movie, and it’s the Marvel way.

Anyway, I’m hopeful because I love a bit of Bat’s, and Affleck looks like he’s nailing it. Snyder is a visuals guy; if the script has been nailed, then this will work great.

Writing

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This week I’ve been playing around with parts 2 & 3 of my Apocalypse mini-series, getting the beats in good shape to start writing, whilst I allow the latest draft of part 1 to sit un-fiddled with for a little while.

Aside from that, I now have the paperback ready to go for The Increasingly Transparent Girl, and I just commissioned a NEW COVER FOR A NEW SERIES!

WHOOP!

It’s for my new Strange Stories series of stand alone weird stories I mentioned recently. I want to get a consistent brand for the series, and I can’t wait to see what ideas my designer comes back with. This is one of the best parts of indie publishing, developing an ace visual to sit up top. If it gets nailed, and the stories are good enough, people should want to snap up the next Strange Story, and the next. They’re no longer stand alone, they’re a cool series to grab all of.

Well, that’s the idea at least….

Okay, that’s it for now, Nerds. Stay tuned, because I have a new release coming!

@MattStottWrites


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Strange Stories & The X-Files

Writing

writing-a-book

Hey there, Strangers!

So I’m just waiting on my paperback cover for The Increasingly Transparent Girl to come back, then I’ll be gearing up to release. Which is nice. I’ve been wondering about doing special editions for the Between books, too, with a few full-page illustrations. That’d be pretty swish.

Stand alone stories are a hard sell in the Indie world, it’s one of the reasons I decided to turn the Tales From Between into a series, even though each book is its own thing with different characters. Series are what sells. That being said, I don’t only want to write in strict series, and I’ve already got one stand alone novelette out there, Sixty-Six. So! I’m going to rebrand that, and put any future stand alone stories, be they shorts like Sixty-Six or full length novels, under the A Strange Story series banner. A series name, and some consistency with the covers visual branding, and suddenly it’s more likely readers will start picking them up. Hopefully.

I’ve got a second Strange Story novelette ready to go, I’ve started on a third, and I have lots of ideas for others. So that’s something I’m going to keep ticking over as I work on other series. I think working on these shorter works also just helps me improve as a writer, so whether or not they’re big sellers, they’re worthwhile.

I’m also thinking about doing audio versions for the Tales From Between. I understand that longer audiobooks are better, and these are short books, so I might put out all three as a collection.

The X-Files

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Well the new limited run series of The X-Files finally started up here in the UK, on Channel Five of all places. This may be the first time I actually made a point of watching something on Channel 5. Weird.

I’d heard all the jabber about this first episode not being…well…the greatest episode in the shows history. I can certainly understand why most reviews were on the negative side. This wasn’t a smooth or triumphant return to the world, it was kinda awkward as it strained and stumbled to lurch the thing back to life. It has, after all, been a long time since the people involved made any new adventures for the show; let’s just ignore that Billy Connolly featuring second flick. Seriously, what was Chris Carter thinking with that?

CARTER: “Hey, you know what X-Files fans like…?”  

NOT CARTER: “Hm…aliens and monsters?”  

CARTER: “Bingo! Let’s not give them any of that, they’ll love it!” 

NOT CARTER: “…”

Personally, for this new series, I would’ve broken viewers in a little easier and given them a kick-ass, scary, monster-of-the-week episode to start with. Drip-feed the conspiracy stuff over the first couple of weeks.

But you know what? It was great to have it back, and I did enjoy watching it. From what I understand, the next two get better and better, and you can take it as read that I’ll be tuning into Channel Five again next week. CHANNEL 5!!

Doctor Who

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Over on that ace site Genre Reader, I posted a big ‘ol post detailing my MUST SEE episodes of modern Doctor Who.

NO, YOU’RE A NERD!

Check it: Must See Episodes of Modern Who

Okay, you can leave now.

@MattStottWrites


 

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Finishing the Draft & Transparent Girls

‘What’s the matter, Bill? We did good, didn’t we?’

Writing

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Hey there, Strangers! Well howdy-doodly-doo, looks like I just finished the latest draft of Apocalypse Book 1…!

*does a little dance, gets down tonight*

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I wanted part one to be forty-five thousand words, and somehow it came out at exactly that. That seems to happen A  LOT when I give something an arbitrary word goal to work towards.

So yeah, first hybrid draft done. First draft halfway between the original story and the fresh take. Now I can have that sit for a week, before diving in and really making it into something.

In the meantime, I guess I should start shaking Part 2 around, and working out exactly how this whole thing is going to play out in Part 3…

Tales From Between

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I just had the third Tale From Between book back from my editor, which means it’s almost ready to unleash upon an indifferent world. It’ll probably be out there to buy in around two weeks time.

This might, might, be it for the series. Let’s wait and see. It’s not as though they’re flying off the digital shelves, so how enjoyable they are to write aside, there’s no pressing reason to add further tales to the line. Now, that could change of course. Now the third one is ready, I’m going to really up the promotion for the series. Really look for new ways to show it off, for new places to throw it at. I think the books are pretty good, they’re fun, and they deserve a chance to be seen.

Who knows what form this promotion will take, but I’m going to try to do my best for the series, and see if that, coupled with a third release, will really bring the Tales From Between series to life. If it does look like it’s working, then there’s no reason for me not to revisit every now and again and put out more tales in the series. One reviewer likened it to a modern-day Goosebumps, and it would be awesome to see that become a reality. To see an audience really take to Between so I (and perhaps others, even) can carry on adding more spooky goodness into the series.

Anyway, we’ll see. I’ll let you all know (repeatedly) when this third book in the series is available. If you’ve read Monstrous, this one may or may not see a familiar face or two return.

Alright, that’s it for now, Nerds!

@MattStottWrites

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Lost Themes & Rivers

“The Yellow Man approached.”

Writing

writing-a-book

Hey there Strangers, what’s shakin’?

I’m almost there…! I have around three or four more scenes to write, then the latest draft of book one in the Apocalypse miniseries is finito. I really can’t wait to get it done, because then I can really start knocking this hybrid draft into shape. At the moment it’s halfway between the abandoned zombie (well, not ACTUAL zombies…) take and this new fantasy direction. So that’ll need kicked around the room a bit to make sure all is well and good. But I know there’s some really hot-to-trot chunks in there.

I think I’ve found a good way to stay focused whilst bashing my dumb fists against the keyboard: stick my earphones in and blast some music to block outside distractions. I already (well, sometimes….) use an internet blocker so I can’t get tempted into hitting that browser when I hit a snag, but lately I’ve found music helps block out distractions and get me in the flow. Yesterday it was John Carpenter’s Lost Themes that pulled me along. Spooky-ass music to help write spooky-ass scenes.

Reading

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I can be a slow reader sometimes, which is bad. By slow, what I really mean is I don’t slot enough time into my day to tackle what I’m currently rubbing my eyes against. Sometimes days can go past, or I’ll snatch a quick ten minutes before going to bed.

I want to change this, because a) I LIKE READING STORIES, and b) if you write stories, you should read stories. Obvs.

Last month I finished the third in the Rivers of London series, Whispers Underground, by Ben Aaronovitch (who is responsible for one of my FAVE Dr Who stories, fact fans). Rivers is just a super fun, easy to read series. Like the second book, Whispers doesn’t have the greatest of endings, but the whole experience is so enjoyable that it doesn’t matter too much.

I’m planning to start my own urban fantasy series this year, set in my home county of Cumbria, so reading this series kinda counts as research, too. My own series will be darker than Rivers, but it’s always a good idea to scope out what’s working in a field you’re entering. (And to see which bits you can shamelessly steal.)

That’s it for now, nerds!

@MattStottWrites

Get a FREE BOOK!!! Just Click HERE NOW!

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