Sunday 13 October 2013

Author Explains: Word Wide Web

Pic by Errol of Debs and Errol

IN BRIEF: "Taylor's Polynomials" is a web serial which includes math, urban fantasy, pop culture, and wordplay. If you like some of those things, hopefully you're already on board. But if you need more convincing, let me break it down for you... post by post.

I previously explained about the math references. Then about the setting, including how I incorporate mashups from popular culture. It's now time to veer away from the content, to deal with my writing style. Where my plea to writers is very similar to the one for the math geeks - keep me honest!


Here's a Tangent: A Day in My Life,
 as told in first person plural.
If you haven't done so yet, the first thing I'll do is encourage reading the prior two posts. Quick recap either way: The conics are "eccentric", because that has a mathematical context beyond the english definition. Logan's ship is larger in the subscript, as it's his "base" of operations. Are you catching my drift? I tend to incorporate a lot of these puns into the serial because that's the way my mind works.

Most straight out math puns were used early on. I've now started to create characters outside the basic high school functions. In particular, I'm now playing with the names.

Pictured: Howie Mandelbrot
Julia Set mashes up with Julia Child to make Julia Childset. The Vicsek fractal pairs with Vic Fontaine from 'Star Trek: DS9', generating Vicsek Fontaine - he owns the Overline bar. And you haven't seen her yet, but I'm rather pleased with how my diplomat, the Dr. Elizabeth Weierstrass function is turning out. (Her hair is continuous, but not differentiable!)

The episode titles themselves are also word riffs of one sort of another.
-"I Now Pronounce You" was the entry involving the ?(x) and [x] functions, (which are hard to pronounce), where we learned that they were married.
-"In Security" was the entry where Cosecant and Radik clashed over ship security, and their own insecurities. (You can't handle the truth tables!)
-"Cut Vertex" was the entry where the depressed Parabola pricked herself with a knife. (Do we not leak?) I grant she was not in vertex form at the time. It did inspire this post on my other blog, Why I Write Series 5.

I suppose in my mind, I'm a bit like Terry Prachett, just nowhere near as good. But give it a few years, I might reach J. K. Rowling levels. (Daigon Alley, ha ha! ... She wins.)


Honestly, that's about all I have to say about the writing. It's not ALL about twisting words - for a short story sample of my writing see "Time for a Superheroine" (on my other blog). I'm now hoping YOU might have more to say, in the comments. You can also comment on my drawing ability, hopefully it's been improving too?

Alternatively, send fan art. That's
a MichelleScribbles commission.
Part of the reason I hope for commentary is to get a sense for what you (the audience) are anticipating. Or want to see. As far as plot goes, I write in a very linear fashion, meaning I don't have a clear sense of how an arc will wrap up when I begin, only vague ideas. That's the nature of a serial.

There we have it! Three posts later, I've explained what I've got to offer you. Still not sold? I demand that you tell me WHY! Comment, oh my god, someone, ANYONE, IS ANYBODY OUT THERE?!? HELLLOOOOO???

In all seriousness, let me take the opportunity of Canadian Thanksgiving to thank everyone who's already been reading. Extra thanks to those who've let me know:
-@MorganBallantin who also wrote me this guest post;
-@mrburkemath for giving me a shoutout on his blog for my "Makin' a Graph" parody;
-@ed_realist and @davidwees for their blog comments;
-@jensilvermath who's remarked at me through Twitter;
-Carl Joshua Quines, who comments occasionally on the Facebook page;
-And an extra shoutout to my math colleagues at school for their occasional remarks, not to mention putting up with the crazy teacher in their midst.

I'll conclude by saying that if it's the constant TEXT aspect you don't like, we may have to part ways. But not before I can point you at two mathy-cultural webcomics, in place of me! They're currently publishing, and I quite enjoy them:

Actually, check those out regardless!

As for me, Series 6, Stat Us, starts this Wednesday, with the "Babble On Project". (I really need to get on with my drawing.) Maybe I'll see you here again? It's less than 5 minutes out of your day, you know. It might be nice if, in a sense, we could spend that time together?

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  1. "And you haven't seen her yet, but I'm rather pleased with how my diplomat, the Dr. Elizabeth Weierstrass function is turning out. (Her hair is continuous, but not differentiable!)"

    Fun! When I grow old I shall spike my hair!

    1. It's all about the hair! Spiking is one option. You can also get the "Secant" haircut, as the singer for the 80s band "Flock of Seagulls" demonstrates here:

  2. Trying again. Why does it not like me?

    I never understand what's going on--I found this post to be quite helpful! And I love the artwork and the zany nature of it all.

    1. I have no idea why blogger posting is an issue... maybe that's why I don't get more comments?

      So glad this post helped - decided I'd better write this (and the two previous), because it seemed like many people were coming here, just going "what?" and leaving...