Ask Correia #13: Ripping Off Ideas

John’s thoughts: I talked briefly about this in a writing group I am in. This is more in depth.

Monster Hunter Nation

I got this posted to the comments a few days ago. My answer got really big so I turned it into another Ask Correia post on writing! 😀

Mr. Correia, like the poster above, I, too, am interested in a career in writing, but I have a bit of a different issue. Back in December, either Ace of Spades HQ or Instapundit (quite possibly both) linked to “An Opinion on Gun Control” and I duly read it. Having never heard of you or your work, I kept poking around your site and then picked up a copy of the Monster Hunters omnibus, partly because the series sounded awesome and partly because there were some vague similarities to a book idea I’ve been working on off and on for a couple years now (work and life have intervened, but I have somewhere between 20-30 pages of outlines and about the same…

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Ironing out stuff on WordPress

I was checking out wondering why I haven’t gotten much comments on my blogs. Well the spam filter was working overtime. I had 16 recent ones. I approved most of them. The other few were genuine pork product and deleted them.

So I discovered that there were a few hundred comments put into the spam folder. Those are lost. Darn it. I thought I had it working so people can comment as they please without my approval. I can always delete them later anyways.

Oh, well. We will see how it goes.

Edit: Upon thinking about this, I just have to check out my blog on a daily basis to check on things.

Changed my theme and title

Today or this morning, I decided to change my theme/look of my blog. I found some colors and stuff I liked, but the title of the blog looked goofy. So I took out the word sporadic in the title. A little bit of editing. I might change it again later if I find something that I happen to like better.

This blog post was about nothing important.

Knowing who your audience is

Years ago, one advice given to aspiring writers was to know who your audience is. It went into one ear and out the other. I was questioning that piece of advice since how can I know who my audience is? If I happen to finish a book, I know at least a few people that likes it, other than me.

So that piece of advice was ignored by me for the most part.

Until last week.

I reblogged a post from Larry Corriea’s Monster Hunter Nation a few days ago here. A book bomb to help out a fellow writer in need. Anyways, I looked at who the writer was. His name is David Wolverton. He also goes by the pen name of David Farland for when he writes fantasy as to not to confuse his audience. I have read a few of his books over the years.

The thing is that he has trained other writers and they have done well. Names like Brandon Sanderson (Wheel of Time), Stephanie Meyers (Twilight) and quite a few others. Say what you want about Twilight. Even though I haven’t read the series, it apparently made Stephanie some money.

Anyways, David Wolverton/Farland put out a few ebooks on writing. One was Million Dollar Outlines for $6.99. I picked it up for my nook.

When I started reading it, my mind was blown. There were things that I have heard before, but never explained. The part of knowing who your audience is a very important factor when planning out your book. Example is age groups. A young boy is looking for something different in a book than, say, a grandmother. Each are looking for a different emotional impact the story gives out. A teenage boy is looking for sexual stuff and adventure. Teenage girls are looking for romance (Twilight). When you read in a genre, what do expect to get out of it? THAT is what you look for when writing. Emotional payoffs. There is more to it than that, but hopefully you get a glimmer of what is needed in a story.

I came across an example of this today:

Why is Elizabeth a Sex Object (Bioshock Infinite video game)

The poster, self-proclaimed female, complained about the obvious sexual references to character Elizabeth. Big boobs and big eyes. Mostly big boobs.

Why? The answer is simple. They are marketing towards teenage boys and men. A big part of their customer base. Another case is Lara Croft in the Tomb Raider games. Check out her polygons.

Another example is J.K. Rowling: Just take a look at the different ages and ethnicity of her characters across her books. She catered to everyone. She put out a wider net for her audience. She just didn’t focus entirely on young children for her audience. Something to think about.

So I do recommend getting Million Dollar Outlines. I also picked up David’s ebook Write that Novel only found on his website It is $20. Upon reading Write that Novel, I thought I bought the same book as Million Dollar Outlines. Bringing up both books on my computer, it was then I noticed the differences. The Write that Novel goes deeper than Million Dollar Outlines. I haven’t fully gone through the book yet, but I expect more gold to come. I also plan on getting his other book on Resonance writing.

When funding permits, I plan on getting some of the Superstars Writing Seminars mp3s  here.

CHARITY BOOK BOMB! Help out the Wolvertons.

Monster Hunter Nation

Last week Ben Wolverton, 16, was in a really bad longboarding accident. He’s been in a coma ever since. The details are here: You can also donate directly at that link.

Ben’s dad is Dave Wolverton, who many of you know as Dave Farland, author of a whole lot of different books, including Star Wars and his own Runelords. Dave even wrote the story of Starcraft. Dave’s an all around good guy, and he’s like one of the godfathers of fiction in Utah, always ready to lend a hand and help out aspiring authors. He was the creative writing teacher at BYU for along time, and has taught like 200 people who’ve gone on to be authors.

So now a bunch of those authors are holding a book bomb today for Dave’s books. The medical bill’s for Ben’s accident are going to be astronomical.

This link will go to one…

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What would it take to actually skydive from Space?

I’m working on a sci-fi adventure story where the main character is stranded in space. I was researching ways for a person could do a somewhat safely re-enter the atmosphere of a planet (Mars).

The Rocketry Blog

Yesterday’s jump by Felix Baumgartner was an incredible feat. He jumped from approximately 24 miles up. Space starts at the Karman Line or about 62 miles in altitude. So the jump was not even half way to space or to quote Neil deGrasse Tyson’s tweet from yesterday – “A corresponding fall to a schoolroom globe begins 1 millimeter above its surface. I’m just saying”

What would it take to survive a real jump from space?

There are several requirements for actual space diving. The space suit like Felix’s would have to protect the diver from temperature, no atmosphere, pressures etc. There would need to be some means of heat protection from the reentry phase. If the astronaut was diving from orbit then the friction of orbital speeds would require some sort of heat shield protection.
G-forces would be tremendous on such a diver.

In the 1960’s, under contract from NASA, General Electric…

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The 2nd Amendment

Edit: I found out that the link I put in was not liked by So I took it out and put in the content I had in my other blog (which is a site). Go figure.

Here are my thoughts on the 2nd Amendment. It isn’t a comprehensive, know it all post. I hope it gets my point across.

As read from my pocket The Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the United States of America (Cato Institute):

“A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”

Now, I try to be well read. To think for myself. I was taught in school that the first ten amendments are the Bill of Rights put in to protect the people from their government.

I would think that it is a good thing.

Currently there is a raging debate going on that has a great many people arguing about the individual’s right to bear arms. Do they or don’t they have the right to bear arms?

It is a simple yes.

Now, people have argued that the people cannot possibly resist the might of current military forces and thus is a nail in the coffin for the people clause in the 2nd Amendment.

Really? Then why are we still fighting over in Iraq and Afghanistan? The fighters over there are not an organized military force like the U.S. Armed Forces and other nation’s forces. Yet, they are not defeated. They still fight on. What gives?

Here is an in depth look at the creation of the 2nd Amendment. It is well worth the read.

Conclusion for of above is:

“As the constitutional debates prove, the framers recognized that the common
public purpose of preserving freedom would be served by protecting each individual’s right to arms, thus empowering the people to resist tyranny and preserve the republic. The intent was not to create a right for other (pg.1039) governments, the individual states; it was to preserve the people’s right to a free state, just as it says.”

More information about the 2nd Amendment

Believe in what you want. It is a Free Country after all.