Dramatic announcement

Building another site didn’t work out the way I wanted but I’ve reached the point where I don’t want to fight it anymore. Success?

Anyway, I am moving the Ela-stories and my occasional thoughts on whatever to https://rocketcat.productions/ and this site will no longer be updated. Sidenote if anyone wants to buy the elatheexpert domain name the price is $1.6 million or best offer. Any English Language Arts experts out there? Does anyone know Andromache?

I’ve posted a super secret sneak preview of the next chapter of the Ela-pocalypse on the new site site.

I’ll probably poke at it occasionally and try to make it better, but I doubt it will change much.

To anyone not making the jump thanks for reading, although probably you won’t see this either.

To all the bots, 01110011001101110111101 – LOL RIGHT?!

To everyone else, see you on the other side.

And its rider’s name was Death

Years back I read a book about writing screenplays.  It claimed that screenplays are usually 80-120 pages.  Google agrees that around 100 pages is standard for a screenplay.  When I had the idea to do the Grace in-universe wildly out of character screenplay that a fan wrote about her I figured 80 pages would be no problem. 

The end product was only 60 pages.  Obviously doesn’t matter since it’s just for fun, but it got me wondering about the actual process of writing a screenplay, specifically one with a lot of action.  What I read is that a screenplay with a lot of action can be shorter, but I think that’s where the 80 pages comes in. 

If we go by the loose rule that everyone agrees is not right, each page is about a minute.  So I got a sixty minute movie?  Even the Walking Tall remake was longer than that. 

Side story – I was at a movie theater to see something else when people were getting out of Walking Tall and they were PISSED.  Several people thought that there had to be a reel missing (movies used to be on reels you see).  And here’s the thing, I’ve seen Walking Tall, and for what’s there it’s TOO long.  It’s a 79 minute movie that somehow drags in the middle.  It’s uncanny. 

I think what happened there is that the Rock was sort of becoming a thing so they wanted to make this movie and then they were like “oh this dude can’t carry a movie yet” so they kept things short.  REAL short. 

Anyway, it got me to wondering how a real screenwriter figures out how much action there’s going to be.  How long is the screenplay for Die Hard?  How much time in an action movie is spent on action?  I’ve seen tons of action movies and I have no idea.  In a two hour movie is there an hour of punching and shooting and car chasing?  Half an hour?  Fifteen minutes?  In Mad Max Fury road I feel like the action in most of it, and there’s like 15 pages of dialog. 

And how do you know how much time action is going to take as you’re writing it? 

I glossed over all the action stuff because I don’t like writing action stuff and I don’t think people like reading it either, and also because I’m lazy, but what I’ve read is that in a real screenplay you would do the same thing. 

A REAL screenwriter told me that a big mistake people make with action screenplays is trying to detail out all the action.  His example was to think about Saving Private Ryan, if you tried to write out everything that was going on in just the first scene you’d have hundreds of pages just on that.  And it would be insane and unfilmable.  The actual script is very much just some bullet points about what the scene should be, leave the rest to the stunt coordinators and the director and whatnot. 

What I wonder is how does that look on the page?  Do you put in some details about action scene 1 and then put how long it’s supposed to be?  There has to be some guideline right?  I don’t think you just start filming and see what happens. 

The other thing I wonder is when you’re a real writer and your screenplay is too short what do you do?  Because if there’s one thing I think I know about writing is that when you’re adding stuff just to have more stuff it’s always bad.  I believe that whatever story you envision when you’re done that’s how long it is.  Trying to make it longer is never going to work well. 

Not exactly the same, but that’s a lesson I had to learn as a GM/DM/whatever with roleplaying games.  Sometimes when a campaign was going really great and everyone was having fun I didn’t want it to end so I’d add more stuff before the end.  And that’s always when the campaign started to suck.  Because the story got derailed by other crap and things got muddied. 

I listen to a Star Trek podcast hosted by two TV writers and I have learned (according to them) that 95% of the time when you see an episode where there’s a weird scene that makes no sense it’s because the episode was short X minutes so they had to write more stuff. 

I’m really curious what a real screenwriter would do if they were 30 pages short.  How can you approach that in a way that gives you a chance not to just bolt on something stupid? 

Joke or not, I think the structure of A Pale Horse is what it’s supposed to be.  Opening scene establishes who she is, magic lady who wails on people and saves the world.  Then we have the problem, her friend is dead, a woman is missing, someone is up to no good.  Then we have the end, where she finds out what’s up and wails on some chumps to save the world. 

If we pretend this is a serious thing what should be added?  I love interest?  That’s not always part of an action movie, and if it is she usually dies without having done much so the hero can freak out.  I will admit in the original draft, since the idea was that this was a screenplay written in-universe by one of Grace’s fans there was a sex scene.  I took that out for you fine people that might actually read it.  I suppose in a real movie you’d put that in.

The ending does seem a little abrupt maybe?  Maybe what you would do is put in some scenes of the bad guys to show what evil stuff they’re up to.  I wanted to keep it all focused on Grace, but maybe that’s what you’d do. 

I did try writing a “real” screenplay years ago and I had the same issue, ended up too short.  That’s why I never finished it, I thought the story was good and any time I tried to add anything I thought it made things worse. 

I suppose in the world of movies and TV you just add more stuff anyway because you have time to fill even if it’s not going to be good. 

Anyway, I enjoyed writing it.


The move to the new site was slow and boring but things were going well. UNTIL one of my uploads got screwed up and now everything is a mess. As an IT man I know it’s probably user error but I’m going to blame the DUMB machine anyway.

I’ve been going through trying to clean it all up, and then I want to give up because one is going to read those old posts anyway, but then I remember what my grandma told me when I got my first job at 14 sorting microfiche for an insurance company so they could transfer that data to this new fangled thing called a COM-PU-TOR

“Don’t quit, give it another day. And if you still hate it after tomorrow, give it one more day . And you just keep going like that. Forever. That’s what working is.”

It’s not quite as inspirational as “never give up, never surrender” but people of that generation were more no-nonsense.

In other news two years ago I started the Grace blog.

In other other news one year ago I started the Ela-pocalypse story. I had no idea that was so long. That probably means it’s great.

If only I had started the whole shebang in September, then I could have a triple anniversary.

Thanks for reading, or for skimming, or for pretending to read, or for being a bot. I appreciate you all very much.

Unified blog theory

I’ve been making slow and painful progress on One Site to Rule Them All – https://rocketcat.productions/ – as of now I have not moved/set-up my two active stories but I have posted Super Ela, Ela Halloween special, and random other stuff.

Very still much WIP – I know that probably lots of things don’t “work” but any feedback would be appreciated.

Note for whomever, I had a “secret” blog where I expressed feelings and opinions, that stuff is on there too. If you read it and decide you hate me that’s cool, you can just stop reading, we don’t need to talk about it.

One thing I learned is that because my girlfriend was an editor on my old blog(s) before she got overwhelmed by my deluge of CONTENT and rage quit WP thinks editor=author, so now there’s fun comments where it looks like I’m commenting on my own posts and than responding to those comments myself again like a loon.

The advice I got from my tech-friends was that WP sucks and I should use Square instead but I like WP because it’s got a weird kind of captive community of WP people. I think 100% of my readers, sometimes readers, and non-reader courtesy follows, are from me liking or commenting on their site, which I found via the WP randomly shows me stuff feature. If I just had a website floating free in the world I doubt I would “connect” with anyone.

The great debate is if I’m going to import the first Ela story, some of it is okay, but a lot of it is a slog because it was a procedurally generated solo RPG that went on for way too long.

In conclusion I find something very satisfying about tweeting out to my almost no followers about my wattpad story with one reader. I don’t mean that sarcastically, I sincerely find something comforting about it. It’s like telling your cat a secret, it’s technically meaningless but somehow it isn’t?


I’m thinking about creating a new site where I post all my writing instead of maintaining separate blogs for separate stories and randomly putting in out of character stuff.

The documentation for merging sites seem okay. Has anyone done it? My main question is do the followers get brought over the new site? I’d hate to lose my 2-7 loyal readers and my 200 bots.

OOC – How sweet the sound

Every 6-11 months I drop a hint to my friends about my blogs. Then I immediately hate myself for crying for attention like a zoo orangutan begging for a mango. Sure, orangutans are much stronger than me and are better climbers and they have fiery red hair like Christina Hendricks but they can’t drive cars.

I have some new art for Grace, the character in my other blog and I think it’s cool so I’m sharing it here as well.

Credit – instagram.com/jdirenzo

I’ve also started re-writing and posting that blog from the beginning on wattpad – https://www.wattpad.com/1239343099-the-shine-hello

I think wattpad might be an even worse way to attract readers but on the plus side it keeps track of where you are in the chapters which is the excuse some people have given for why they don’t read my blogs.

OOC – Questions are just friends you haven’t met

Yesterday when I was brushing my teeth I decided that my toothbrush was done and I would throw it away afterwards.  Then I realized that the toothpaste tube was as empty as it was going to get as well. 

I don’t know when parents start making their kids brush their teeth so I don’t know how long I’ve been brushing.  I’m going to guess to guess at least 40 years.  That has never happened before.  Brush and tube “running out” at the same time? 

Now I’ve seen it all. 

It bugs me how much toothpaste must be left in the tube no matter how much you squeeze it.  One time I tried ripping the tube open and scooping out the clinging paste but it didn’t work well.  I want there to be some way to get it all.

I follow a lot of blogs.  What I think is a lot.  One time another guy talked about all the blogs he follows and it was hundreds.  Sometimes the authors of those blogs ask for feedback.  Usually no one responds.  I feel bad about it.  But I also don’t respond. 

Some of these questions are related to my other blog. 


It’s massively popular and will probably be a show on Freevee soon. 

When you enjoy fiction do you prefer for it to be fiction all the way down or do you like it when real life people pop in? 

Example, if Bessie Love the old timey actress was revealed to have been a magic monster hunter in her day would that be “cool” or “lame”? 

In that example does it matter one way or the other that Bessie Love is a fairly obscure reference?  Would you feel differently if it was say, Jennifer Lopez?

Does the inclusion of real people make things feel more real or hurt you suspension of disbelief?

Decades ago in the early times of the internet I was a writing site and I hated it when people had their characters interact with real people.  But I think that’s probably because they were shitty writers more than anything. 

If someone writes a story in a world that has well established canon do you like it if the major characters show up or would you prefer that they be absent? 

Example, if I write a Star Wars story would it be “dope” or “gross” if Darth Vader showed up? 

Scenario one – straight up murder.  Scenario two – the protagonist uses magic to unbind a spell that someone else was using to live beyond normal lifespan which makes them die of “old age”. 

Logically these two actions are the same.  The main character did something that resulted in someone else dying.  But they feel different to my feelings.  Do you have different reactions to these?

When a character doesn’t kill bad guys does it bum you out if it comes back to bite them in the ass?  Is it annoying when they talk about their conflicted feelings about it all the time?

When a storyline doesn’t have a solid conclusion does it make things feel more “real” or does it seem lazy and crummy?  Or something else?

Do you like pumpkin pie? 

OOC – How to be a better writer by becoming Big Time Wrestling world champion

I don’t read as much as I did when I was young and full of life – this full life evidenced by the fact that I spent a lot of time in my bed reading – but I still read books.  This makes me super smart and better than people that watch TV or play sports.  Book snobbery amuses me.  Most books are trash.   

I used to read when I took breaks at work back in the days when I went into an office for work.  People would often come up and take the book out of my hands to look at it.  Or they would ask me what I was reading and then 100% of the time follow up with “Never heard of it”.  It was super annoying.  Why would you start talking to someone who was reading? 

Even though I read a lot because I am super smart there aren’t many authors I like.  I have a bad habit that when I find an author I enjoy I read a bunch of their books in succession and then I don’t like them anymore because here’s a spoiler – most authors write the same book over and over with variations.   

One author I do like is Elmore Leonard.  I don’t remember where we are in the cycle of authors being hated and then loved and then hated again with him but a few years ago people liked him.  I think now he’s on his way to hate land.   

I saw a tweet the other day that told me about Elmore Leonard’s 10 rules for writing.  I thought I’d talk about that because I’m running out of steam for the current story and still want to write.   So this is it.   I’m not trying to give advice, these are just my thoughts about these rules.  In the words of Bender Bending Rodriguez “I never wanted to hurt anyone, or help anyone.” 

Never open a book with weather 

That does seem kind of hackey.  It was a dark and stormy night.  I wonder where that came from.  Apparently it’s from an old book called Paul Clifford.  I should read it, that would give me all kinds of snooty book cred. 

Avoid prologues. 

I can’t explain why exactly but I also find prologues annoying.  Probably for the same reason I don’t like the “three weeks earlier” storytelling device.   

Never use a verb other than “said” to carry dialogue. 

This probably relates to the secret eleventh rule, it makes you sound “writery”.  

Never use an adverb to modify the verb “said”…he admonished gravely. 

This one I find interesting.  These rules are part of a whole book on how you should write stuff.  I wonder if there’s more explanation.  I’ve be curious to know more about this one.  I do it ALL the time in my super awesome writing.  

Keep your exclamation points under control. You are allowed no more than two or three per 100,000 words of prose. 


Never use the words “suddenly” or “all hell broke loose.” 

I’m interested in this one also.  I suppose the idea is that most things just happen, it’s not really sudden? “Suddenly” this thing happened.  Or did it just happen?  What made it sudden?  This one is amusing because people say this IRL not infrequently.  “There I was at the bank and suddenly all hell broke loose!”  I write reality sir.

Use regional dialect, patois, sparingly. 

No problem here, I don’t really know any.  I wonder if this is because you don’t want to annoy people who don’t understand that dialect or for a more writery reason like it’s dumb.   

Avoid detailed descriptions of characters. 

Heck yeah buddy, I don’t describe shit!  I’m terrible at describing things.  

Don’t go into great detail describing places and things. 

Seems like this could have been combined with the one above  

Try to leave out the part that readers tend to skip. 

This one is funny because it’s actually necessary.  I would say only twice in my life have I actually tried to write something “for real”.  One was a movie script and the other was a novel.  In both of these experiences I found myself with really weak sections because I was writing stuff just to bridge from one thing to another.  I’d have plot thing A and plot thing C and then I’d try to fill in some crap for B and it was always terrible.  I think if you’re writing something just to write it and it has no value itself get rid of it.  Although I say that have never finished either of those works so its easier said than done eh? 

Then there’s a secret 11th rule –  

My most important rule is one that sums up the 10.   If it sounds like writing, I rewrite it. 

Here’s a story about this rule.  My first Ela story, the worst of the bunch, I re-wrote the opening scene three times and I never got it “right” because it always sounded “writery”.  I think that’s different from purple pose but it’s a real thing.  Maybe overwritten is what I mean.   

In wrestling there’s a term “overbooked”.  See matches are “booked”- who’s going to win, what the story is supposed to be, generally what’s going to happen.  “Overbooked” is when there’s just too much stuff thrown in.  It often happens when they’re trying to “protect” someone.  Wrestler X has been built up to lose the title in a big match but now Wrestler X is going to be in a new movie and the studio doesn’t want them to lose on TV but you promised Wrestler Y they were going over and it’s in their contract so . . . a bunch of stupid shit happens.   

But it’s wrestling, isn’t it all stupid?  Yes, but also no.  Wrestling is storytelling and good stories pay off.  Some people, you know the ones I mean, will tell you that the reason wrestling sucks now is that the very simple story of “bad guy is bad, eventually good guy triumphs” doesn’t happen anymore.  Bad guys don’t sell merch so instead you have a bunch of cosplayers who randomly win and lose based largely on non-wrestling things. 

And overbooked match is, in essence, one that doesn’t pay off the story.  Like the end of Lost.   

Example, SummerSlam 2009.  John Cena beats Randy Orton by DQ, which is already kind of bullshit because DQs are lame.  But then the match is re-started because of reasons?  A fake DQ is actually kind of okay, because now the good guy is going to win for real!  But no, Randy leaves and we get another DQ.  Super lame.  But then the match is restarted again for no reason!  This better be it.  Uh-uh!  Randy wins with bad guy trickery!  But then the match is re-started because another referee saw him cheat.  Because unlike every other match for 200 years this one has instant replay?  Now John is going to win, but instead a “fan” runs into the ring for another DQ.  But the match is started again and Randy wins quickly.   

This is overbooking.  John Cena was supposed to win by the “story” but instead that couldn’t happen for some reason so they tried to snow it under a bunch of stupid stuff.  I suppose in a way it works.  No one remembers that there was no payoff.  Everyone just remembers that the match sucked.   

I don’t know what overwriting is exactly, but it’s first cousins with overbooking.   

OOC – The spy who just liked me as a friend (content warning, lady boobs!!!)

Also god-butt.

This blog https://sarahholz.com/2022/05/20/of-pirates-and-persians-chariton-of-aphrodisias-callirhoe/ made me aware of this painting. 

It’s called “A Girl Defending Herself against Eros” by William-Adolphe Bouguereau.  Eros is (was?) the Greek god of love who shoots people with love arrows to make them fall in love. 

I imagine in this scene that Eros has already tried to shoot the girl a few times and she ducked and dodged and/or kung-fu chopped the love arrows out of the air so now he’s coming at her stabby style.  She’s not into it, she doesn’t want to be in love, she has things to do. 

I’ve been showing this around and one person asked why Eros was trying to kill the girl and I explained that it was “just” a love arrow stab not attempted murder.  It made me realized how messed up the power to make people fall in love would be.  “Oh, you’re in a relationship, well WHAM now you love this other person!  How you like that?!”

My first thought was that it’s a violation of free will it is!  But that’s not right.  Because you don’t choose who you love.  Or maybe you do sort of but it’s still not cool to love-arrow people. 

I vaguely remember a guy in Marvel comics who had some kind of love power.  I think he was in the She-Hulk universe.  He just used the power to sexually assault ladies though.  Mainstream comics don’t normally touch on those sorts of things but they throw you a weird curveball every now and then like that whole Dr. Light thing.

Or when that guy hypnotized Superman and Barda into making a porno so he could blackmail them afterwards.  Which makes no sense because if you can hypnotize Superman and Barda why do you need to resort to blackmail?  Maybe the subtext is that his power was that he could only hypnotize people into making porn.  There’s definitely weirder powers in DC than that.

A person told me that the most unrealistic thing about my writing is that Martialla and Ela make jokes about porn.  No woman would ever do that, they said. 

Taylor Tomlinson has a funny bit about how proud men are of themselves when they fall in love.  She really got me with that one.  I do kind of feel proud of myself sometimes.  The other half of the joke is that in contrast, women congratulate themselves on not falling in love with a guy on the first date.  I don’t know if that’s true but it was funny also. 

Anyway, I’ve explained love to you all so now you know.