Week two of Nanowrimo is okay. I am up to date on short stories (I have four done, including an extra for a contest). And I feel pretty good. This week's story was short (less than a thousand words) but that's probably for the best, as I am fixing my sleeping.
As I write, I notice things. And I thought, tonight I'll bring up two rules of fiction - specifically Sci-fi and Horror. Both are essentially the same rule, operating under different names, and the premise is the same: Keep an Open Mind.
The Sci-Fi rule (AKA the Jurassic Imperative)
Named for Crichton's Jurassic Park, it states: "If you own a multi-billion dollar dinosaur-themed park filled with deadly, extinct carnivores, DO. NOT. SCOFF. at the scientist who mentions the possibility of dinosaurs getting free and eating people. If you are inclined to immediately dismiss his claims as impossible, remember, cloning dinosaurs out of fossilized mosquitoes is also impossible."
The Horror rule (AKA Van Helsing's Law)
"If it looks, smells, and acts like a vampire, it's a vampire, no matter how many people declare vampires are impossible. Whittle stakes and stockpile crosses, and if someone calls you a crazy old man, take it as a compliment. At least you'll live to be an old man."
Both rules appear in their respective genres a lot, and both are violated almost instantly. It's become a cliche for someone to cry "Surely this cannot be!", as soon as they see a vampire/rampaging dinosaur/squid-shark hybrid. Forgiven, however, if Leslie Neilson shows up and says "It is! But don't call me Shirley."
Also, you should get "Superman: Earth One". It's good. I don't like Superman, but I like this. If you don't mind vague spoilers, it takes two assumptions about Superman and changes them. The assumptions are:
1) Superman wants to be Superman, and usually does. He came to Metropolis and started Supermanning immediately, because it was the right thing to do.
2) Krypton's death was an accident.
The first part of the book is the best, showing off a Kent who uses his powers as most people probably would - playing football and solving complex equations for money. Thankfully, this Superman is as strong mentally as physically, so the musclebound hee-roh, while still present, takes a backseat often enough for you to care about the character.
The book is like a nerd conversation put into print. Remember Kill Bill Vol. 2? Bill compares The Bride to Superman, as the everyday persona she put on after disappearing was her mask. In Earth One, Kent is the mask and Superman the real identity. Other topics - why the hell Krypton blew up, why Superman never has any decent enemies, why no one notices Superman and Kent are the same goddam person - are addressed, and while a few answers are given, the rest, along with Superman's future, are only hinted at. The art is good, the writing is good, and you should pick up Superman: Earth One or risk absolute destruction.