The Warrior

Chapter 5

It was raining today, and water droplets slowly dripped down off Peter’s face. His clothes were wet, and for a moment, he thought it might be blood. He was standing several feet from the Myriad, a nightclub owned by John Divoon, the person who without a questionable doubt ordered the execution of Connell Knight. John Divoon lived near the gas station where Connell was shot and was one of the chief members of the Wolf Men which meant that he would be in charge of collecting the debt that Connell owned him. Peter had asked Rodrick and Alison about John Divoon, and they told him not to confront Divoon prompting him to lie about what he was doing tonight.

A large man stood by the door. He wore a night, black sweatshirt and sunglasses that made him blend into the surrounding darkness. His face was concealed by his scowl, and he was twice as large in the belly as Peter. A hood hid his hair, and Peter could see the man’s muscles through his sleeves.

“What brings you here?” The man’s voice boomed so loud that Peter was confident he could have heard it if he had stayed at Alison and Rodrick’s house. “Club’s closed tonight.”

“I’m here to talk to John Divoon,” Peter replied undaunted by the man’s size and tone.

“About what?” he asked with an uninterested expression. “What’s your name?”

“Tim,” Peter answered for he knew he couldn’t use his real name. If someone knew that Peter used to be part of NOTCH, he would be gunned down before he got within ten feet of Divoon. “Timothy Knight. I’m a cousin of Connell Knight, and I’m here to settle his payment.”

“Do we know a Connell Knight?” the man asked into a mic that stretched down from his sunglasses, and his question was followed by several minutes of silence. Eventually, the front door swung open to reveal a skinny man in a black suit and tie.

“Pat him down,” the smaller man ordered in a voice that did not carry, but the bigger man understood him anyway and immediately stepped forward. Peter extended his arms horizontally as the big man’s hands ran up and down Peter’s body.

“He’s clean,” the big man said as he stepped backwards, and the smaller man motioned for Peter to follow him inside. Peter obediently did as he was bid while the bigger man remained outside to guard the front door. Inside the Myriad, there was a small hallway that led to a large, circular room. The Myriad was four stories tall, but the only doors were on the first and third stories. A small staircase to the left led to the third story, and to the right stood a bar with nearly every type of liquor one would expect to see at a club. On the third story, there were only two doors. One was to the right next to the top of the staircase, and the other was on the opposite side of the room. There was only one path to the second door, and it was across a large, metal bridge that stretched diagonally across the circular room. In the center of the bridge which was also the center of the circular room, there was an empty DJ booth.

Three men were spread out inside the circular room. One was standing guard at the bottom of the staircase with a gun in his hand. The second was pacing back and forth in the center of the room just under the DJ booth. The third was slouching against the far wall with a bottle of some alcoholic beverage clutched loosely in his right hand. From the looks of them, only the guard at the stairs was currently on the clock for neither of the other two were armed. Peter could have taken out all of the men in the room, including the skinny man who was currently leading him, but he did not come to kill replaceable thugs. He had come to help people, and the only way to do that was to kill John Divoon.

The skinny man led Peter up the staircase and across the bridge, the metal creaking upon every step that Peter took. When the two reached the wooden door at the far end of the room, the skinny man knocked three times lightly. The door swung open to reveal three people. The first person was a large man that looked like he had been in the army. His hair was neatly shaven in a blond buzz cut. His fingers were curled in a way that it looked like he was strangling someone. His dark, blue eyes showed nothing but malice. He wore a white tank top and a pair a light, blue jeans. A small, red scar ran along his right cheek, and Peter suspected it was from a knife wound.

The final two people were wearing black suits and ties that matched the skinny man’s outfit. They were both physically fit, but Peter could take them both on in a fight. One stood by the door while the other stood next to the first man who appeared to be the leader. The one closer to Peter had a saddened frown on his puffy lips whereas the other one looked indifferent.

“So, you’re a friend of… what’s his name?” the man with the tank top said as he stepped behind a glass desk that was littered with paper forms.

“Connell Knight,” Peter stoically replied.

“And he owes us what… 12,000 dollars?” The man’s bottom lip scraped back and forth against his two front teeth.

“Yes, I have come to pay his debt since he no longer can,” Peter responded as he reached into his jacket pocket and pulled out a group of ten 100 dollar bills. Peter had split up the money into twelve different stacks in order to keep the guards at the front from finding the stacks. He tossed the first stack onto the glass desk in front of the man. “I assume you’re John Divoon.”

“And I assume you have the rest of the money,” John Divoon replied as he eyed the cash on the desk, greedily.

“Yes,” Peter said calmly as he emotionlessly withdrew two more stacks from his jacket and set them down on the glass table. “And I am willing to pay more if you tell me the name of the person you hired to kill him.”

“What?” John asked with a puzzled expression.

“Connell Knight,” Peter replied with an ice, cold gaze. “Who did you send to kill him?”

“He’s dead? Well, perhaps it was for the best,” John chuckled and gestured to the skinny man who stood next to Peter. “After all, had I got to him first, he probably would have turned out like Snake over here.”

Snake lowered his head in response to John’s comment, and at that moment, John noticed that scars ran up and down the man’s face and that half his fingers were missing. A single tear dripped out of Snake’s right eye, and upon seeing it, John smiled.

“Come on, Snake, is that any way to behave in front of our guest,” John chuckled mockingly, and after several seconds of silence, he turned his attention back to Peter. “Snake used to be one of my most reliable assets until he forgot his place as my pawn.”

“What did you do to him?”

“I simply made him repay his debt with blood and…” John started as he leaned back confidently in his chair, but he was interrupted when Peter lunged backwards and slammed into the guard to the right. The guard was caught between Peter’s right shoulder and the wall, and the impact unleashed a loud cracking sound as his left ribcage shattered. John Divoon was slow to react, but the second guard drew his gun almost immediately and pointed it at Peter. However, Peter had already predicted the guard’s actions and grasped the jacket of the incapacitated guard. Before a shot could be fired, Peter hurled the guard’s body at his comrade who was able to get off a single shot before the bodies collided. Fortunately for Peter, the bullet sent from the guard’s gun found its mark in the head of the guard that Peter had hurled across the room covering the velvet carpet with a puddle of crimson blood.

The standing guard made a pig-like grunt as the blood coated body of his comrade crashed into him sending him staggering back into the wall behind him. Peter advanced on him as John Divoon arose from his chair with a foot-long dagger in his right hand. John took a stab at Peter’s exposed side, but Peter lurched to the side causing John to stagger awkwardly past him. With nothing between him and the guard, Peter sprang forward and slammed his closed fist into the guard’s gut. The blow caused the guard to hunch over into Peter’s left fist which was aimed to deliver a finishing blow. The room became filled with the sound of bones cracking and blood being forced out the guard’s nose as Peter’s fist connected with the guard’s face. Although the guard weighed at least fifty more pounds than Peter, the impact lifted his body a full foot off the ground. With a heavy crash, the guard’s body plummeted onto the ground, unconscious. Peter whirled around to face John Divoon who had a look of pure terror and surprise on his face, but even in his most feeble state, he was still a bloodthirsty monster. Peter advanced on his foe who desperately scrambled out the door. Before following John out the door, Peter wrestled the gun from the unconscious guard’s grasp and cast a quick glance at Snake who had curled up in a corner, whimpering.

Peter emerged onto the metal bridge to see that John had rallied the four people who Peter had already seen, and they all had handguns pointed up at Peter. Peter did not pause to aim and randomly fired a shot in their direction. Although the shot did not make contact with one of his enemies, it served its purpose which was to frighten the men reducing their accuracy. Peter dashed across the metal bridge with his gunned aimed at the large guard who had greeted him at the entrance to the Myriad since he was the biggest target. Peter’s finger closed around the trigger, and the man’s shoulder exploded in a mixture of blood and chunks of flesh. The man collapsed onto the ground as Peter dove behind the DJ equipment giving him a little bit of cover.

For a moment, everything was quiet, and then, abruptly several gunshots rang overhead, and several bullets crashed through the DJ equipment, all missing Peter. Most people would have stayed in cover until their enemy ran out of bullets and had to reload, but amidst the gunshots, Peter heard the very miniscule sound of metal creaking which told him that one of the guards was making his way up the stairs to hit Peter from the side. Peter was ready though and turned his gun towards the spot where the staircase ended. The second the man’s head appeared, he was dead, and his body limply tumbled down the stairs. With three opponents left, Peter waited for another bullet to be fired in order to use the sound and angle to determine the position of the person who fired it, and then, he sprung up and fired two shots at the spot where he assumed a person would be standing. As fast as he fired the two shots, Peter ducked down behind the DJ equipment and quickly received the sound of John Divoon screeching in pain.

The sound of John’s cry of agony filled Peter with a feeling that felt like happiness, but it also filled Peter with grief for he knew the sound would soon stop. Peter remained behind the equipment for several seconds before emerging out of cover with his gun raised. He quickly found that John Divoon was rolling back and forth on the ground, and the other two had fled. Slowly, Peter crept across the bridge and down the stairs. Peter advanced toward John Divoon whose white tank top had been dyed red by his blood. Peter put a foot on John’s chest, and John yelped in pain. Peter leaned forward so that John could gaze into his eyes.

“Justice is served,” Peter uttered as he raised a gun to John’s head.

“You’re dead, punk,” John spat with his painfilled voice. “He’ll hunt you down for this. He’ll kill you and everyone you know.”

“Who?” Peter asked to draw out the moment for he already knew who John was talking about. “Who do you work for?”

“Rex Darkstar,” John answered, and Peter saw a glimmer of hope in his demon-like eyes. “If you let me live, I can keep him from going after you.”

“I’m not afraid of you. What makes you think I’ll be afraid of him?” Peter pressed the gun to John’s head and, after a moment of silence, pulled the trigger.


Creating and Implementing a Character

Hi, so as a quick introduction, these are the three stages to creating a character and implementing them into the story that I use while writing.


Each character has something that makes them different from the others, even if it’s only slightly. If they are a one off character, then they’re personality can be forgettable and don’t necessarily need to continue this step, but if they are a recurring character or a main character, then the creator needs to establish what separates them from the others in terms of personality. To do this, I suggest making a list of every other recurring or main character’s dominate trait such as anger, greed, love, intelligence, strength, bravery, or leadership. If characters have multiple dominate traits, that’s fine, just keep the amount sort of short so it doesn’t get confusing. Once that is done, assign the new character a dominate trait that differs from the other dominate trait and determine how to best show that dominate trait. The simplest way to show the dominate trait is to have a “defining character moment” when the character is introduced. This is where a character makes a decision that either goes against what the people around him or her are doing or what the other main or recurring characters would do in the situation. Some examples are Deku from My Hero Academia when he runs in against the sludge villain holding Kacchan because of his pure desire to help people, L when he tricks the “protagonist” into giving away information that no one else had obtained yet, and Captain America in his first movie when he defends the troops and then refuses to surrender while being beaten by a bully.


Next the creator should determine where the character should appear in the story. This is best done by creating an outline of the story and determining what is needed at each point in the story and how it is related to the character’s traits. For example, you should insert a character with an antagonist personality into a scene requiring an antagonist. Once you’ve marked down all the places, you not only know where to put the character, you now know the character’s role.


Finally, the creator should determine why the character, on an in universe level, is there. That means why the character is in the position on a story level. A repeated complaint of some stories is that side characters and less important main characters just seem to appear where the plot requires without them having any motive or reason. A good way to fix this is to try to tell the story from the character’s perspective. Now this does not mean it has to be a stand alone story with its own beginning, heroes, villains, arcs, and climax, but there should be a train of events that make sense and connect to each other. This is also a good tool for world building.


Once again, thanks a ton.

The Warrior

Chapter 4


Peter’s eyes were stiff, and his head hurt. He had stayed with Alison and Rodrick for over a week, and nothing much had happened aside from Peter sparring with Rodrick for Alison’s affection. The white-water rafting trip had been enjoyable, but Andrea Jarvis was not. She hadn’t been unkind or dull, but she was not for Peter. Still though, she had been one of Alison’s closest friends for over two decades and had even been one of Alison’s bridesmaids, so Peter could do little aside from playing his role as the kind, sincere friend who neither showed attraction nor distaste. Even with such constrictions, his performance had been brilliant, and he had eluded Rodrick’s attempt to dispose of him. However, it was only a matter of time before Rodrick tried to get rid of him again, but Peter was smarter and knew the game better than Rodrick. Rodrick had already started talking to Alison about people who they could pair with Peter, but Peter could hear them through the walls and had already put pieces in motion to remove all the girls that Rodrick and Alison had considered for him. From faking an email of an ex-boyfriend to convincing a wealthy employer in another state to offer a job too good to pass up, Peter had countered Rodrick perfectly, and Rodrick had no idea that he was behind it.

Upon Alison and Rodrick’s request, Peter had taken a temporary job at Rodrick’s Seven Eleven. The pay was mediocre, but the hours were good. He left at the same time as Alison and Rodrick, but he came back two hours before Rodrick and one hour before Alison. Rodrick always arrived home at six, so it was left to Alison and Peter to cook dinner. Alison had cooked alone the first night, but Peter learned quickly and had assisted her the other nights. She was elegant when she cooked, and she was more elegant when Peter helped her.

Living with Alison and Rodrick had allowed Peter to learn things about them. Years of living with Rodrick had caused Alison to lose her sense of adventure, but Peter knew that he could restore it. All he had to do was prove to her that she loved him more than she loved Rodrick. Each day, Peter found himself in a new argument with Rodrick, and most days, it was Peter who Alison supported. Alison occasionally sided with Rodrick, but Rodrick was playing against a man who was his superior in every way. Yet sadly, it was Rodrick who shared Alison’s bed and Peter who was forced to suffer in silence. He had spent many long nights staring at the ceiling wondering how the world could be so unjust to both him and Alison, but the white ceiling of Edward Steed’s room had given him no response. In truth, there was no response that justified the unjust situation, but Peter was used to unjustness. Peter’s time at NOTCH had taught him how to fight the wrongs that the world forced upon him. He had lived his life a good man, and it was time that he was rewarded. He wasn’t asking for any help. He never asked for help. He just wanted to feel like the world wasn’t against him, but perhaps, it was for the best if the world was against him. It had been against him his entire life so it was fitting that it was against him when he finally triumphed, and Peter’s time of triumph was almost upon him.

He could feel Alison growing closer to him every time they talked. Each long, heartfelt conversation they shared lingered in Peter’s head, and he knew that the day when he would take Alison’s hands in his and tell her how he felt was drawing near. Neither Rodrick nor the heavens could stop their passion, but Peter welcomed them to try with all their might. He was ready. Soon, Peter would finally fulfill his mission in life to rescue Alison and…

Peter’s head became a daze, and he suddenly found himself in the kitchen. His feet were sore, and Peter was left wondering how long he had been wandering about the house. He glanced at his watch and saw that the hour hand was near five. He knew Alison would be home within fifteen minutes unless something went awry at her job. Perhaps a fire had broken out, but the odds of that occurring were small. Still though, Peter had his phone gripped firmly in his right hand in case someone called and needed something. Sadly, no one called, and to pass the time, Peter started reading the local paper. What he found startled him.

Near the back of the newspaper, there was an article about a man who had been killed at a local gas station. The article said that the police have no leads on who the robber was who shot the man, but Peter knew something the police did not. The dead man’s name was Connell Johnson, and Rodrick had mentioned him in a conversation that he and Peter had shared several days prior. Connell Johnson was a gambler who owed money to a group called the Wolf Men. The Wolf Men was a mob-like organization that was spread out amongst several towns and cities in the western states.

Peter immediately found himself hacking into the local police’s database, a skill he had learned from his time in NOTCH. Once inside, he found the information regarding Connell Knight’s murder. Upon reading the information that the police had collected, it was clear that Connell was targeted. The security cameras had captured a man in a black hood walking into a store and demanding that the cashier give him the money, but when Connell Knight emerged out of the bathroom and tried to make a break for the door, the robber turned and wildly fired three shots. Two bullets found their way into Connell’s skull which was a surprising ratio for someone who was firing randomly. In addition, after Connell was killed, the robber forgot about the cash and stumbled out of the store. All evidence pointed to Connell being targeted, and undoubtedly, Connell’s only daughter, Jessica Knight, was about to be targeted for she was the sole inheritance of Connell’s life savings. If Peter did not interfere, Jessica would suffer a similar fate as her father.

The sound of a door slamming drew Peter’s attention, and he meandered over towards the front of the house and found Alison hanging her wool, white coat on a coat rack. Work was hard on her today for her appearance was ragged, and for once, she looked her age. The lack of life in her eyes told Peter that she did not want to cook dinner with him, and after Peter welcomed her home with a hug, he told her to go upstairs and get some sleep before dinner. As Alison wandered upstairs, Peter went to work on dinner. However, his mind was elsewhere as he crafted a delectable pan of Meatloaf. Where his mind had once held Alison, it held a new image; the image of Connell’s lifeless body.

Although it pained Peter to leave Alison in Rodrick’s clutches for even a single night, Peter knew that he had to protect Jessica Knight from the Wolf Men. Once again, the world was throwing another obstacle in the way of Peter, but perhaps, Peter could use it to his advantage. If he told Rodrick and Alison about his heroic venture, they would see him in his true form, a hero. By stopping the Wolf Men, Peter would make the world a better place for he would be avenging Connell, protecting Jessica, proving himself to Alison, and stopping the Wolf Men from hurting any other people. All Peter had to do was attack one hideout, and the message would be sent. The Wolf Men might try to fight him, but Peter was not afraid. In fact, he welcomed it.

Quick thoughts on Thor Ragnarok

Now, this is going to be longer than any other reviews I’ve posted, and I was going to make this a much shorter post until I saw that a lot of reviewers disagree with my verdict. Thus, I felt that I should elaborate on each of my points to help explain my thoughts. As always, if you disagree with me, that is totally fine. I am probably in the minority, and the thing that’s great about humans is that we all have different opinions, and no opinion is right or wrong. Of course, there are going to be spoilers, and I am talking big spoilers because a lot of important events happen in this story. Additionally, this is going to be a mostly negative review even though I did enjoy it, but I feel like everything positive I could say has already been said.

The main things I’m going to focus on is the story and the characters, and to do this, I’m going to do a quick summery to get everyone caught up. So, it starts off with Thor chained up in a fiery dimension by some fire demon that wants to bring Ragnarok down on Asgard. To do this, he needs to get to Asgard and do something with his crown. Thor defeats him and takes his crown to Asgard where he meets Scourge, a human who is kind of supposed to play the coward but more on him later. Thor heads up to the center of Asgard and uncovers Loki disguised as Odin. Loki takes Thor to find Odin on Earth, and while there, Thor has a fun but somewhat pointless encounter with Dr. Strange (yes I loved the scene but if Loki had just taken Thor to the island, nothing would’ve changed.) When they find Odin, he tells them that he is ready to die and that when he dies, their sister the goddess of death who did a lot of bad things with him will be released, and then, he dies peacefully. Right then, the sister appears, and Thor tries to attack her with his hammer. She catches it in her hand and destroys it. Loki tries to get the portal to open up, but the sister knocks them out and goes to Asgard herself. At Asgard, she kills Thor’s friends from the first two movies, except the girl who strangely isn’t in this one (like they couldn’t even give her a throwaway line,) and all the guards, and a man named Scourge starts to follow her around.

Loki and Thor are taken to another planet where Loki becomes friends with Jeff Goldbloom’s villain character who runs a gladiator ring. Thor gets captured by Valkyrie and has to fight the Hulk. Thor wins, but because of a shock collar, Hulk is able to beat him. After this, Hulk and Thor stay in a champion suit of some sort and befriend each other. Thor also befriends Valkyrie who is apparently already best friends with the Hulk. After a lot of talking, Thor breaks out, and Hulk follows him. They reach the ship that brought Hulk to this planet and seeing Black Widow’s video message turns Hulk into Bruce Banner. Bruce and Thor sneak around for a while and then run into Valkyrie and Loki who decide to help them. They escape by taking one of Jeff Goldbloom’s ships, but Loki tries to betray them so Thor leaves him behind. They escape through a forced butt joke and get back to Asgard.

Meanwhile, the sister, Hela, revives her skeleton army and wants to use the portal machine to spread her influence. However, Heimdall steals the sword and hides all the Asgard civilians that he can. Hela tracks him down and comes close to getting the sword when she is suddenly drawn to Thor. Thor says he’ll fight Hela by himself while his friends evacuate the civilians. He fights Hela and loses an eye. During this fight, Banner transforms into the Hulk off-screen after belly-flopping from a height that should kill him. The Hulk and the Valkyrie fight off the skeleton army, but the civilians are trapped. Loki returns in a large ship with the other gladiators that were fighting for Jeff Goldbloom. They assist in fighting the skeletons, and Scourge switches sides and sacrifices himself by protecting the citizens. During this time, Thor gets the idea that releasing Ragnarok is a good thing since it’ll kill Hela and only Asgard will perish so he gets Loki to revive the fire demon from the begining of the movie. Everyone escapes while the fire demon blows up himself along with Hela and Asgard. At the end, Thor is takes command and says they are heading to Earth to build a new Asgard.

So, what is there to say about the story? Well, it was kind of confused. It didn’t seem to know which of two stories it wanted to tell. The first part of the movie centers around them finding Odin and Hela defeating Asgard. Then, it divulges into another story about Thor and the Hulk becoming friends and Thor becoming friends with the Valkyrie and trying to escape Jeff Goldbloom. At least a third is spent on this section, and aside from adding the Valkyrie and Hulk, nothing really happens. Sure, it explains where Loki got the ship and his men and gave Thor some allies to fight Hela’s army, but considering that Loki could’ve obtained a ship from nearly anywhere and battling the skeleton army could’ve been done by nearly anyone, it felt rather pointless to waste so much time just to add a few extra characters to the roster. In addition, certain plot points never seem go anywhere. One example is the fact that Odin used to be semi-evil and work with Hela. This is brought up by Hela multiple times, but it never changes Thor or impacts him in any meaningful way. During one scene, he sees the painting of Hela and Odin, but it doesn’t have any significant impact on him. Another example is Thor’s friends. During the first two movies, Thor is shown to have a close companionship with them by taking them on adventures and reminiscing with them. Thus, having three out of four of them die should have been traumatic for him, but they are literally never mentioned after they are killed. Granted, he never saw his bodies, but not once does he even ask about them and this makes him seem rather unlikable. Another plot point that I had a problem with was the Ragnarok part. This is not because it was dropped but because so little time was spent on it. It appears in the first scene and then goes away until the climax. Considering that the movie is called Ragnarok and it was so important that Thor was having dreams about it, I personally feel like it should have been mentioned more times, and while I was watching the movie, I kept thinking, “So, where is Ragnarok?”

There were other plot-points that I didn’t like, but I don’t want to ramble too long so I’ll get to the characters starting with Thor. Thor’s journey honestly felt rather static. He starts off rather cheerily defeating the fire demon, and then, he takes Loki to Earth. He meets Odin and is sad when he dies, but then, his hammer is destroyed, and he is sent to Goldbloom’s planet. Once there, he stops being sad and becomes cheery when he sees the Hulk. He spends most of his time on Goldbloom’s planet trying to escape, but it never seemed like a giant urgency to him. He always had time to crack jokes, smile, and befriend people. Hulk brings up that losing the Hammer was a big deal but we’re rarely ever shown that since Thor is as cheery as ever. Honestly, I think a big missed opportunity was to have Thor call his hammer and not have it return since it would’ve reminded him what he’s lost. When he returns to Asgard, he fights Hela and loses an eye and is forced to destroy his home to save his people. Everything considered, he has lost a lot in this movie, but never once does he seem too broken or sad. After destroying Asgard, he has a scene with Loki where he says he’d hug Loki if he was there, but I don’t recall seeing Thor hug Loki after it turns out Loki is there. Thor takes the leadership position and declares Asgard’s new location to be on Earth. He seems rather uncertain and shaky as leader at first, but seems more confident by the end. Overall, Thor was a very happy character who was fun to watch but was impossible to connect with considering his lack of feelings towards his father dying, his friends dying,  his hammer being destroyed, his father turning out to have a dark side, and his home being destroyed. Yes, he does appear sad for a little bit after each one of these events, but five minute later, he returns to his usual confident, cheerful self.

Loki’s story started with him badly impersonating Odin which made everybody in Asgard seem like idiots. Keep in mind, magic is not uncommon in Asgard so it made me wonder why only Thor was intelligent enough to see through him. Continuing, Loki watches his father die and reacts how I assume his character would react. He befriends Goldbloom and acts how I assume he would act. He helps Thor escape only to turn around and try to capture him which is expected, and Thor talks to him about how he never changes. Loki decides to help Thor and evacuates the citizens. He follows his brother’s plan to destroy their home and decides to stick by his brother’s side in the end. Overall, his story was probably one of the bests of any character’s. It started with him being his usual self, and it ends with him changing his ways. The end scene with him and Thor cleverly contradicts an earlier scene with him, and I’d say the weakest part was that we didn’t get to see more of it. We got a lot of Loki acting like himself, but we didn’t get very many scenes of him acting like the newly reformed him.

The Valkyrie’s story started with her being a person who hunted new combatants for Jeff Goldbloom, but she is also the person who attends to his favorite combatant which should be a roundabout job. I know it’s a nitpick, but it’s still nonsensical. So, she doesn’t want to return to Asgard because she lost her comrades fighting Hela in the past and knows she’ll die if she fights Hela. After being shown her comrades’ deaths by Loki, she decides to help Thor. She fights with Thor to escape and then fights against the skeleton army. After that, she fights against Hela with Thor but doesn’t succeed in much. Finally, she flees with the others and becomes a part of Asgard. Overall, he story is about a woman overcoming her fears and fighting back and this part is executed fairly well, but the problem lies more in her contribution to the story. Looking back on this character, I think they just wanted a female protagonist because she honestly could have been cut out without much changing. If someone else had captured Thor and if Loki went alone with Thor’s plan without her encouragement, not a lot would have changed. She assisted in the fight against the skeletons and Hela, but the skeletons were rather obsolete and Thor could have bought enough time on his own. Her only other contribution was her connection to Hulk which didn’t impact the story since Hulk turned into Bruce who didn’t remember her for the latter part of the story and her story of how her comrades died which was also unnecessary because we already knew that Hela was really powerful by seeing her destroy Thor’s hammer and soloing Asgard’s army. Overall, I didn’t hate her but a lot of time was wasted on her, and I wish it could’ve been spent on other characters like Hela.

Hulk’s story is probably the second or the best, tied with Loki’s. It starts with Hulk loving Goldbloom’s place because he is loved there and hated on Earth. However when he and Thor spend time together, he realizes that he would rather stick with Thor. He has an emotional breakdown when sees Black Widow, and that’s pretty much it. In summery, Hulk’s story is about Hulk realizing that friends are better than fans and deciding that he’d rather stick by his friend than be loved by Goldbloom’s planet. He also feels guilt for leaving his friends on Earth and that causes him to turn into Banner, but my main problem with his story, besides his butt, is that is that is where his story ends. Overall, he’s pretty good, but he still doesn’t contribute much to the final plot aside from fighting the giant dog which honestly could’ve also been removed since the dog literally did nothing aside from fight Hulk.

From there, lets go onto Banner’s story. So, his story starts with him realizing he was gone for two years which terrifies him, but he goes along with Thor’s plan just so he can escape to Earth. When he gets to Asgard, he very willingly turns back into the Hulk even so far as to try to do a fancy entrance. Honestly, his story is bad. It starts with him fearing turning into the Hulk, but by the end, he is ready to turn into the Hulk. Now, this isn’t a bad story, but the problem is nothing happens that causes him to grow as a character that would lead to him choosing to willingly turn back int the Hulk, and he never seems to lack any doubts about turning back into the Hulk at the end. Overall, he failed as a character, but I don’t think he was really supposed to succeed as a character anyway.

Next up is Scourge who I feel deserves a mention. His character starts with him ignoring his job to impress two girls, and Thor ruining it. He next appears when Hela arrives, and after watching two of Thor’s buddies die, he decides to serve her with doubts. He next appears when he is ordered to execute a woman. He hesitates but eventually decides to do it. However, Hela is called away before he needs to finish so he doesn’t kill her. He later switches sides to Thor when everyone is escaping and hides on the ship while everyone else fights. However, he changes his mind and decides to help the heroes, and thus, he gets killed by Hela. Overall, not a terrible story, but nothing remarkable. His story seems to be about a coward becoming selfless, but a major thing holding his story back is that his actions, aside from right before his sacrifice, never seemed too cowardly. Considering he joined her right after watching several better warriors get killed, he wasn’t left with a lot of options. He also seemed to lack any interactions with any other characters which kind of made his character rather pointless in terms to the overall story which wouldn’t have been a big deal if characters like Hela didn’t have so little screen time.

Also, I feel I should also point out that Odin contributed a lot to Hela’s success due to the fact that he gave everyone almost no warning until the point where he died which gave Hela a giant advantage over an unprepared Asgard. This is mainly a problem because Odin didn’t seem to mind dying all that much despite apparently knowing what would happen if he died. Overall, he came off as insensitive and unlikable.

Finally, lets talk about Hela. Her story starts with her being released after Odin dies.  She breaks Thor’s hammer and jumps into the portal to Asgard. Once there, she kills Asgard’s army and Thor’s friends. She then goes into the treasure vault and makes a big deal about the eternal fire which she uses to revive her skeleton army. She then searches for the sword to open the portal, and threatens to kill until she finds it. This convinces someone to tell her where it is located so she goes to retrieve it. However, she is distracted by Thor tapping Odin’s staff on the ground so she goes to fight him. She cuts his eye while her army gets defeated by the Hulk, the Valkyrie, and some extras. She defeats Thor, but then the fire demon gets released, and she dies while everyone gets away. So, what is there to say about her? Honestly, she suffers a lot from lack of screen time. She accomplishes a lot in the movie, but at the same time, she comes of as a side story villain. This is in large part due to the fact that Thor spends the majority of the middle of the movie focused of Jeff Goldbloom’s villain character. This doesn’t make her worse, but it weakens the connection between Thor and Hela because less time is spent on their conflict. You see, as a story progresses, the tension and conflict between the protagonist and the antagonist should rise until we reach the climax where all the tension that was built up is released. The problem with this in Thor Ragnarok is that, in the middle of the movie, the tension building is instead wasted on Jeff Goldbloom’s character. As a result, we only have half a movie of tension built up for this major villain. In addition, the climax of the Thor vs. Goldbloom’s character happens right before the climax of the whole story. This is bad because it gives the audience even less time to get excited for the Hela vs. Thor battle, and as a result, the battle seems hollow. Overall, she was a decent character but not nearly enough time was dedicated to her. This combined with lack of buildup to her climax made her seem relatively lackluster and forgettable. In addition, her skeleton army was not very intimidating and was defeated fairly easy which made her seem weaker because she seemed to believe that they were powerful based on how she bragged about the eternal flame which revived them.

Now that the characters are out of the way, lets talk about the main theme of the story. So, the theme appears to be that home is determined by people and not by the place. This is stated by Odin multiple times, and at the end, Thor sacrifices Asgard to save his people and says Asgard is wherever they live. Now, this isn’t a bad moral, but if the thing that matters is the people, then it is rather peculiar that Thor never asked about his friends, the people that should mean the most to him. This is also weakened by the fact that Thor doesn’t grieve for his father much despite him also being very important to him. Overall, the theme is passable, but it is greatly muddied by Thor’s lack of concern for his friends and father and the fact that it only comes up during the final battle.

Those are my thoughts on Thor Ragnarok. Overall I would give it a 7.5/10. I would recommend watching it for entertainment, but it is nowhere near a masterpiece or the best Marvel movie that other people claim. If you disagree, that is fine. I must confess I have only watched it once, and I might have missed somethings so you can let me know in the comment section if I missed anything or if you disagree. Thanks a ton and have a great week.

Song/Poem: The Maiden in the Fire

Oh, the Maiden of the fire roams the dark

Against the Father night, the Maiden fights

The men and women rejoice in her sight

The Maiden watches them with ember eyes

She shields them from her Father’s cries

Oh, the Maiden of the fire roams the twilight

She listens to men and women praising her light

She calls to them singing proudly

Her life is nearing its end sadly

Oh, the Maiden of the fire roams the light

Against the blades of the sun, her time has come

Her flames rest and her fight is done

Goodbye, oh, fair Maiden of the fire

1st person vs 3rd person POV

There are three perspectives one can use when writing a book, 1st, 2nd, and 3rd person. Now, for the sake of making things brief, I will not talk about the 2nd person point of view and primarily focus on 1st and 3rd. First some background, 1st person point of view is when a story is told from the perspective of a character with words like “I” and “we.” A third person point of view is when the story is told from a perspective that is not active in the story, and it uses words like “he,” “she,” and “they.” For this article, I’m going to discus how these different perspectives affect the audiences connection to the character and the story as a whole.

If you’re writing in first person, the story follows a specific character putting the audience in his or her shoes. This causes the audience to experience what the character experiences, and thus, the audience is able to relate to the main character with greater ease. Now, how this affects the story is that the audience is less likely to disagree with the point of view character. By putting in words like “I” and “me,” the author creates a connection between the readers and the point of view character, and their minds become linked. By doing this, the story becomes the point of view character’s story, and the reader sees the story the way the point of view character does. This makes the reader less likely to form opinions that are not the point of view character’s because they are being forced to think like the point of view character. In terms of plot twists, I find this is useful when I want to surprise the audience.

If you’re writing in third person, the audience becomes a watchful eye over one or more characters. The way that this differs from 1st person is that the audience is less inclined  to think like a specific character and more inclined to think like themselves. This enables them to see the story, the characters, and the world from their own eyes and create their own opinions. In terms of plot twists, I find this is effective if I want the audience to suspect a plot twist before it happens.

See my post on the two extremes of plot twists in my writing advice column for information regarding plot twists.

The Warrior

Chapter 3

Peter’s hands were steady, and yet, he had been driving for sixteen straight hours with only five stops for gas and food. He had left his brother’s house after a delectable lunch where he gave his brother a check for almost 2 million dollars. His brother’s face had been a mixture of shock and awe when he read the number on the check, and his wife, Melisa, thought Peter was playing a joke on them. Life was too short for jokes, and Peter had explained to them that he had approximately six million saved up in his bank account and that he had very little use for it. Without any sons or daughters of his own, Peter knew Isaac was the most appropriate person to inherit his wealth. No doubt, the check would more than make up for the pain Peter had caused by staying at his brother’s house. At least, he was out of there, and he no longer needed to worry about burdening his brother.

As Peter neared the location where the house that he had seen in his vision the previous night was located, he attempted to recall his time in high school. Unfortunately, his memories were fuzzy and near nonexistent for the entirety of his time in high school had been uneventful. He remembered the names of his classmates and several faces, but he couldn’t remember what it was like interacting with any one of them. There wasn’t an event that was significant to him in any way or one that he remembered fondly. To him, high school just felt meaningless. Thinking about it didn’t make him angry or sad, but it more made him depressed that four years of his life could be overlooked so easily. In fact, the only people outside his family that he remembered well from high school were a puzzling boy named Timothy Ryan, his best friend, Rodrick Steed, and the love of Peter’s life, Alison Reach… Alison Steed.

Timothy Ryan was a small scrawny boy who Peter had only seen twice. The first time was after a football game. Peter had stayed behind to put away the equipment and had found Timothy waiting for a someone to pick him up. He had taken Timothy home, and during the drive, all Timothy talked about was the world of Middle Earth from Lord of the Rings. The second time Peter saw Timothy was at their high school’s yearly play. During that time, Peter had asked why him why he was so obsessed with the non-existent world of Middle Earth, and Timothy had responded that Middle Earth was the world that he always imagined he lived in. Timothy told Peter that he hated his life in the real world because it felt meaningless. He explained that in Middle Earth, every life was meaningful in the battle against Sauron. He said that by pretending he was in Middle Earth, he felt satisfied with his life and could be happy with himself. It was strange that after thirty years, Timothy was one of the people Peter remembered, but perhaps, Peter was overlooking something.

Rodrick Steed and Peter met each other in eighth grade. They both played football and shared several classes, but they only became best friends during 10th grade when they accidently got left behind after a football game and were forced to hitchhike. Rodrick was far from an intelligent man, but he did have his moments and was very aware of his limitations. He had been the runner up for class president their senior year, losing to some nameless kid who Peter did not care about. Peter had only seen Rodrick once after he joined NOTCH. It was a bitter memory for Peter, but a happy one as well. It was a memory that Peter had only recalled the previous night while he laid awake in his bed. It was the week that Rodrick had married Alison. Peter had been one of Rodrick’s groomsman, and he had done his part. He had smiled while standing next to the other groomsmen. He had assisted Rodrick in preparing the wedding. He had given a toast to the couple when the best man passed out drunk. He had danced with dozens of wedding guests and had even gone to bed with one of the bridesmaids. All of this he had done as part of his friendship to Rodrick, but it was not what he wanted. Looking back, he realized that he had most certainly gone to the wedding trying to win Alison’s heart.

Alison Reach was the person who Peter had known the longest. They had first met in a summer camp between fifth and sixth grade. Alison was from Nebraska and Peter was from Arizona, but over the Summer they discovered more about each other than they thought possible at the time. Alison was born from a wealthy family with five older brothers and sisters. She was raised elegant but had a knack of getting her hands dirty. She taught Peter how to row a canoe, and he taught her how to build one. She was his first love, his first kiss, the first one who mattered more than himself. That summer was the best summer of Peter’s life, but because life’s a cruel puppeteer, the summer ended and they didn’t see each other again until it was too late. Alison Reach’s family moved to Peter’s town during Peter’s Junior year, but by the time Peter had found out, she had already been there for three months. Even worse, she was dating his best friend. Alison and Rodrick had been paired up as lab partners in their chemistry class and had instantly taken a liking to each other. Of course, Rodrick had mentioned her a few times to Peter, but Peter had no knowledge that their Alisons were one and the same. Peter even suggested that they go on a double date which was the first time he saw Alison since the summer camp. He remembered being confused and then being overwhelmed by emotions too numerous to count. Sadly, although he remembered Alison, she didn’t remember him forcing him to keep his mouth closed. Despite her lack of knowledge regarding their past, Alison and Peter had still been close during high school. At one point, Alison had almost broken up with Rodrick to be with Peter, but something went wrong causing her to be more devout than ever to Rodrick. Peter had only seen her once after he joined NOTCH. It was at the wedding, and they had talked about what they each wanted to do with their life. At the time, Alison had wanted to have children and raise them with Rodrick while Peter wanted to have adventures with NOTCH. However, Peter no longer worked for NOTCH, and who knew what Alison wanted with the rest of her life? Perhaps, she wanted her life to stay the same. Perhaps she wanted to move back to Nebraska. Perhaps, she wanted an adventure. Perhaps, she wanted him.

Peter parked the recently bought Toyota Hybrid that he had acquired between breakfast and lunch, alongside the sidewalk that ran parallel to the front door of Rodrick and Alison’s house. He waited in his car a good fifteen minutes to take in the surrounding landscape. The house was in a good location up on a hill allowing Peter to gaze out in all directions. To the east, Peter could see the white tips of mountains that would no doubt be good for skiing during the winter. To the west, a fairly compact town lay, and to the north, there were several rivers that looked like they could be used for whitewater rafting. Peter smiled for this seemed like the type of place where Alison would want to live, and he knew he was at the right house.

The door to his car swung open, and Peter stepped out into the street. The ground was hard, or maybe, the pedals were soft. Peter had been driving so long it was hard to tell the difference. He took several minutes stretching his arms and legs before making his way up to the oak door which had been repainted a dark red. Although Peter’s feet continued to move forward, he seemed to stay in the same spot on the sidewalk while the house moved closer to him. When he reached the door, he took a long sigh and rang the doorbell. A minute went by and nothing happened. Peter rang it again wondering if they knew he was coming. He had left a message on their answering machine the night after he visited the convenient store, but they had yet to call him back. Perhaps they weren’t home. Perhaps they were home. Perhaps they didn’t contact him on purpose. Perhaps, Rodrick knew why Peter had come to their house.

Peter’s worries were put somewhat at ease when he heard the sound of the door unlocking from the inside. The door swung open to reveal Rodrick looking the same as he had in the picture that Peter had received three years prior. He stood at six foot seven with a head full of blond hair that had started greying. He was in a pair of bright red boxers and a white tank top that was so thin that Peter could see his pecks and six pack abs that he had somehow managed to maintain since high school. His face belonged in a commercial, and his dark, brown eyes exploded upon seeing Peter.

“Peter?” Rodrick asked after a moment of silence and rubbed his eyes. “Am I still sleeping?”

“No,” Peter replied slowly. “I called you guys last night and left a message.”

Rodrick starred at him blankly for several moments and then exclaimed, “Oh, that makes sense. Alison and I were out of town visiting Christina. We just got back last night.”

“Christina’s in college now, eh?” Peter asked even though he had already done the math in his head. Alison and Peter had two children. Their oldest, Edward Steed, was twenty-two and was about to graduate college. Their youngest had a birthday in December so she would have just recently turned nineteen. “Seems like just yesterday you and Alison were getting married. Now, all your kids have grown up. How does it feel.”

“Weird,” Rodrick mumbled as if thinking for a more precise way to put it. “They make your life terrible, but you still want and need them. Trust me, man, you dodged a bullet by joining… what was that place called?”

“NOTCH,” Peter answered. “It stands for National Organization for Terrorist Combating on the Homefront.”

“Well, if I was in charge of it, I would call it A.S.S. for Anagrams Sure do Suck,” Rodrick chuckled, and Peter laughed with him. After they stopped laughing, Rodrick invited him inside the house and hustled upstairs to get dressed after making a joke that Peter was lucky Alison had recently bought Rodrick a new pair of boxers. While Rodrick got dressed, Peter stayed motionless for Rodrick or Alison might get offended if they found him wandering about their house. Rodrick appeared at the top of the stairs several minutes later in a black and white stripped sweater.

“Alison is getting dressed. She’ll be down in a few minutes,” Rodrick said as he descended the light, brown, carpeted stairs. When he was on even ground with Peter, he led Peter into the dining room. It was a fairly small dining room with only two entrances and exits, one on each side, and the only furniture was a small, black table with enough space for four people. Peter assumed through basic deduction techniques that if he went through other entrance, he would find the kitchen.

“So, what brings you here?” Rodrick asked as he sat at the head of the table, and Peter waited a moment before answering as he took his seat at the tail end.

“Well, I am no longer a part of NOTCH,” Peter responded collectedly. “No more adventures for this guy.”

“Isn’t retirement exciting.” Rodrick chuckled as he leaned back in his chair.

“Very.” Peter leaned forward and rested his elbows on the table. “So, what’s new with you?”

“Well, I’m the manager of a Seven Eleven so that’s loads of fun.” Rodrick shrugged sarcastically with a look of disappointment in his eyes. “I got a job coaching the high school football team. We won state two years ago.”

“And they say high school only lasts four years,” Peter chuckled lightly. “So, with a house this big, what does Alison do?”

“She works at a paper factory,” Rodrick replied, and Peter burst into laughter for the thought of Alison working at a paper factory was too much for him to bear.

“Well, that’s intriguing,” Peter said when he had finished laughing, and he heard the sound of footsteps descending the stairs and knew that it must be Alison. He straightened himself up as the footsteps entered the room behind him, and suddenly, a soft, pink hand grasped Peter’s shoulder. He turned his head to she Alison standing over him, her short, brown hair wet from a recent shower and her dark, blue eyes full of life.

“Such a shame that she has to be wasted with Rodrick,” Peter thought to himself before he opened his mouth to say something. “Hey, Alison, it’s been a long time.”

“Too long,” Alison smiled as Peter stood up, and she hugged him. With their bodies so close, Peter could feel her heart beating in sync with his, and he knew what she wanted. “I’ve missed you.”

“And I’ve missed you,” Peter smiled as they withdrew from each other. “How’s life been treating you?”

“Not bad,” Alison replied as she took her seat in between Peter and Rodrick. “So why are you in town?”

“Well, I quit NOTCH, and I figured I’d stop by and catch up,” Peter answered.

“So, where are you planning on staying?” Rodrick asked curiously.

“I’m not sure,” Peter answered after a short pause for strangely he hadn’t put any thought into where he was going to stay.

“If you want, you can stay her with us,” Alison offered after exchanging a quick glance with Rodrick. “We got two free bedrooms now so it’s not like you’ll be intruding.”

“Yeah, at least until you get a home of your own,” Rodrick smiled friendly, and he stood up out of his chair. “Can I get either of you two something to drink?”

“Coffee please,” answered Alison, but Peter shook his head, no. Rodrick slowly sauntered out of the kitchen, and when he was gone, Peter turned to Alison.

“So, paper factory,” Peter awkwardly began.

“Yeah, it’s not ideal, but it pays for college,” Alison chuckled. She had a beautiful laugh, and it fit her. “You can see why I needed a vacation.”

“Your life must be pretty boring,” Peter smiled as he heard the sound of coffee being poured into a mug, inside the kitchen.

“Well, everything else is pretty fun,” Alison replied somewhat defensively. “You would probably have a blast if you went white water rafting with my friends and I.”

“What are you two talking about?” Peter raised his head to face Rodrick who had reentered the room with a glass of water and a black, coffee mug. He handed the coffee mug to Alison and then took his seat across from Peter.

“I was just trying to get Peter to go white water rafting,” Alison answered, and she turned her head back to Peter. “A group of our friends are getting together Saturday if you want to come.”

“Oh yeah, I almost forgot your friends were coming with us.” Rodrick donned a sly smile and turned to Peter. “Peter, you’re single, right?”

“Yeah,” Peter responded warily.

“You know, Andrea Jarvis is also single, and she’ll be there this weekend,” Rodrick said, and Peter began to see something in his dark, brown eyes. It was something that Peter used to see in the eyes of the terrorists he fought. “What do you think, Peter?”

“I’ll think about it,” Peter responded distantly, but he had already thought about it and reached a conclusion. Undoubtedly, Peter had underestimated Rodrick, and Rodrick knew exactly why Peter had come to their house and was now trying to ensure that Peter did not complete his mission. Quietly, Peter thought to himself, “Alison isn’t right for you, but if you want a fight, I’ll give you a massacre.”