Thursday, October 29, 2015

The Littlest Hobo is a Werewolf

Update: my Vampire Lore article appeared on Listverse today. Head on over and check it out.

So I just completed an article about werewolves and may have uncovered a shocking truth about The Littlest Hobo. Well it's more of a conspiracy theory really.

For those of you who don't know, The Littlest Hobo is the Canadian Lassie. He's a dog that wanders from town to town helping people solve their problems. So I guess it's more like a cross between Lassie and Kung Fu (the TV series starring David Carridine).

In the show, the dog shows human levels of intelligence. Actually he appears to be smarter than most humans. Hell, he parachutes out of an airplane and unhooks the shoot after he lands on the ground.

So how does this make him a werewolf?

In my research I came across an early werewolf in literature named Bisclaret. He wasn't your typical werewolf (werewolves then weren't like they are today). Whenever Bisclaret takes off his clothes he transforms into a wolf. The only way for him to become human again is to crawl back into the same clothes. Anyway his wife finds out he's a werewolf and instead of asking for a divorce she hides his clothes so that he can never turn again. She then remarries to a knight.

Bisclaret is trapped in his wolf form. He eventually solves his problem by using his human intelligence to befriend the king and defeat his wife and her knightly husband. The whole thing reminded me so much of The Littlest Hobo that I thought…

The Littlest Hobo must be the same kind of werewolf as Bisclaret. Maybe someone stole TLH's clothes, or maybe he burned them, trying to escape his gambling debts. Maybe he is Bisclaret, going around solving people's problems to try to fill his empty, broken heart. Werewolves are immortal, right?

Friday, October 23, 2015

Halloween Movie or Book Night

I just submitted an article to Listverse about the origins of vampires (the pirate article is on hold). In my research I came across some classic vampire literature and movies, all of which are in the public domain!


Greatest Gothic horror novel of all time. It should be taught in high school English class.

Dracula's Guest
The lost first chapter of Dracula.

The original vampire queen. Dracula borrowed a lot from this novella.

Varney the Vampire
A penny dreadful series that originated many vampire tropes, like pointy fangs. Read only if you're a hardcore vampire fan.

The Vampyre
Starring Lord Ruthven, who was Dracula before there was a Dracula.


Dark Shadows

Night of the Living Dead
(What's a movie about zombies doing in a list about vampires? Read the article to find out!)



Saturday, October 10, 2015

New Top Ten List + Upcoming List Preview

My new top ten list about ancient China was posted on Listverse earlier today. Head on over and check it out.

My upcoming list is 10 Epic Tales from the Golden Age of Pirates. Again, if this article doesn't appear on Listverse I'll post it on the blog. In the meantime, since I'm in a pirate mood, let's listen to some sea shanties!

Friday, October 9, 2015

Trap: Headhopping

Headhopping is when we switch between the perspectives of characters mid-scene. It's confusing for readers and can throw them out of the story.

Headhopping generally happens when a writer doesn't stick to POV guidelines. Here are some tricks I use in some of the more troublesome styles.

Third Person Multiple

In this POV we spend an entire scene or chapter within one character’s perspective. In the next scene, generally, we switch to the POV of another character. In each scene we see the world through the eyes of that particular character, and no one else. This includes the character’s internal feelings and reactions. A good example of this is Game of Thrones.

A quick trick I use to keep from headhopping in third person multiple (and third person limited) is to think of it as writing in first person:

"I threw a twenty on the table."

Only swap out the personal noun for something more distant.

"Mike threw a twenty on the table."

"He threw a twenty on the table."

Since you're locked to one perspective in first person it is impossible to headhop.

Subjective Omniscient

In this POV the story is told by a narrator who knows the inner thoughts of the characters. The narrator should be written as a character his or herself, and have a strong voice. Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy is an example of the Subjective Omniscient POV done well.

Think of it as a grandfather telling a story to his grandkids. His “voice” should come through in the text. You'd be in the grandfather's POV the whole time, so any headhopping between characters wouldn't feel unnatural.

Objective Omniscient

In this POV the narrator is all-knowing but doesn’t have a voice and is unable to relay the inner thoughts of characters. A distant, unbiased observer.

I tend to think of this POV as “movie-mode” because when writing I imagine a camera filming the action. We can see what the characters are doing and saying, but we don’t know what they’re thinking—it has to be guessed through physical cues and dialogue.