Thursday, May 30, 2013

Chekhov's Gun

A. P. Chekhov once said in conversation "if in Act I you have a pistol hanging on the wall, then it must fire in the last act".  This principle is universally known as Chekhov's Gun, one of the foremost rules of foreshadowing.  Basically, any object noted in a story that isn't at first directly developing plot, characters, or setting must later become so.  Brandon Sanderson has a companion rule: anything of importance in a story should be foreshadowed at least three times.

My ninth grade English teacher didn't teach me a whole lot, but she did open my eyes to the strength of foreshadowing.  If a character mentions something it must become important later.  For example, if Roy the blacksmith says "I could have sworn there was a horseshoe in the furnace before I used the chamber pot" someone or something must have stolen it.  Either that or Roy has some mental ailment.

The principle of Chekhov's Gun is one of the reasons I try to keep my prose tight.  If I start padding my word count with description I'm bound to mention things without any intention of them becoming plot points.  Some things can slip by, such as setting details, at no concequence.  I use those as wisely as I can manage.

In cinema, Chekhov's Gun almost doesn't apply.  There are so many things littering the scene that nothing in the background can violate the rule.  However, if the camera pans in on something specific, the principle becomes applicable.  Prose lacks this problem/situation since most peripheral aspects can and should be left out.  The principle originally referred to plays, so obviously it applies to them.

Chekhov's Gun, and other foreshadowing rules, should be respected at all costs.  The only excuse is the use of a red herring, an intentional attention deterrent, although those are tough to get right.  Do you adhere to Chekhov's Gun?

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Mithridates, He Died Old

Nancy Kress is the winner of five Nebulas and two Hugos.  However, her short story "Mithridates, He Died Old", published in the January issue of Asimov's Science Fiction Magazine, fell flat for me.

The writing itself wasn't too much of an issue.  The sentence structures were layered fine, created decent pacing, and didn't make me stumble.

The plot was quite dreadful.  First off, there were fifteen individual scenes over the course of seven pages.  This means that the POV changes for a few paragraphs with little to say, then comes right back.  Five to seven scenes would be plenty for this story.  Dr. Turner, one of two viewpoint characters, continually mentioned some Phineas Gage guy.  I figured it would be integral to the plot. 
(Spoiler) It wasn't.  He was some Civil War man who was injured and had brain damage.  Dr. Turner thought (for some reason that wasn't fully explained) the other viewpoint character, his patient, was going to turn out like Phineas.  That whole ordeal should have been cut.

As far as characters go, it could have been worse.  The patient was okay, along with the characters in her POVs.  Her daughter and son-in-law in the other POV were kind of annoying, leaving me with little of the sympathy that I believe was supposed to be brought out.

"Mithridates, He Died Old" comes in at about a 58/100.  I'm sure I've read worse somewhere, but I can't think of anywhere off the top of my head.  I wouldn't bother reading it.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Archetypes Abound

     Seth tried to raise his arm from the cold marble floor.  Pain erupted in his elbow.  He writhed, releasing the hilt of his sword.
     "How did you ever expect to defeat me, field boy?" said the emperor, laughing.  Green silk hung over his torso.  A red-stained slit ran down the side of his breeches.
     “Samothet promised me strength,” said Seth.  Blood slid from the corner of his mouth.
     “The False God?  How quaint, a farmer smitten with idols.”  The emperor strode forward.
     “I saw him, the real Samothet.”  Seth clenched his teeth.  “He told me to slay the emperor at all costs.  The Shadow Lord is rising and our only hope for survival is to restore the Royal Bloodline.”
     The emperor spat into Seth’s ruffled brown hair.  “Prince Harold is a fool.  He couldn’t lead our country against an ogre, much less the Shadow Lord.”
     “Liar,” Seth growled.  “Prince Harold is a far greater man than you.”
     The emperor smiled.  “Your little Prince is locked in a tower in Thebe guarded by a thousand of my strongest infantry.”  He picked Seth’s sword up from the floor.  “No one shall stop the Shadow Lord from rising.”
     Seth gasped.  “You snake!  The Shadow Lord shall kill us all, especially the one who helped bring him back.”
     “No, boy,” said the emperor.  “You shan’t live for him to kill you.  A pity.”

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Major Arcs

Today I will be making up another new literary term: major arcs.  I was learning about major arcs in Honors Geometry (basically, more than half the circumference along the outside of a circle) when I realized that the concept could be brought into writing.  Draw a circle, label the top with one trait, such as "Good", label the bottom with an opposing trait, such as "Evil", and shade along the circle from the top to the bottom and beyond.  This is a major arc in which a character underwent a full transformation, but later drifted back toward his original condition.

Few books that I can think of use major arcs.  Sometimes characters appear to have changed when they really haven't, which in some ways is a major arc, at least to the readers.  Massive weight loss is a decent real-world example.  You lost two hundred pounds and then gained fifteen of them back.  A swimmer might steadily become less afraid of water from infancy, only to become terrified of it after nearly drowning.

While most books probably wouldn't benefit from having major arcs, the concept is pretty cool.  I might give it a try some day.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Emily Rodda

Emily Rodda, born Jennifer Rowe, is a great MG writer.  She produced the Deltora books, a total of three series each with three to eight books for a total of fifteen.  I gobbled them up when I was younger, save the last five, which I read just two or three years ago.  Her prose reads very smoothly and her characters are memorable.  Adventure became, at the time, my favorite genre because of the Deltora series.  If you like MG adventure, look up Deltora Quest.  The first book is titled The Forest of Silence.

On a separate note, this is my 200th post!

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Never Impressed (Ch. 4-7)




A groan came from the room’s corner.

     “Don’t be moaning, girly,” said George. He spit in that general direction. One of his hands grasped a beer as the other slammed the mini-fridge door. “I’m the nicest kidnapper around.”

     “Why are you doing this?” the girl said.

     “Note to self,” George muttered, “gag them next time.” He picked up his voice. “The President’s niece ought to fetch a nice ransom, don’t you think?” His teeth were bared in a grin.

     “And then you’ll go to jail,” said the girl. “Loser,” she whispered.

     “What was that, girly?”

     “Lysol.  This room stinks.” The girl stuck her tongue out.

     “You little…” George trailed. “Definitely gag next time.”

     “I’ll bet the FBI will be busting down your door by tomorrow morning.”

     “We’ll see about that.  It’s been what, three weeks now.” George laughed quite maniacally.

     Suddenly, a metal blade pierced through George’s chest. Blood dripped from his mouth.

     “Idiot,” came a robotic voice.






Strauss Walked behind the Youth Theatre’s stage. He toted a suitcase in one straw hand. The other held a magnifying glass.

     Through the glass, he examined the walls, the floor, the doors, everything that might reveal something important. He stopped.

     Strauss opened his suitcase and pulled out a small metal device. A wide blue beam shot out as he pressed down on a button. The machine beeped. Thousands of faces flashed on the small display. Eventually, it stilled. A pudgy man with dark hair and a tattoo just below his neck stayed on the screen. “George Terror,” a metallic voice said.

     “Address?” Strauss asked.

     “101 Dalmatian Street, District of Columbia.”








“Who are you?” asked the girl.

     “I am Flat-Model Robot 57. You can call me FR57.”

     “Why did you save me, Mr. Robot?”

     “It is FR57. Do not tax my patience, child.”

     “You didn’t answer my question.”

     FR57 rammed the equivalent of his palm into the equivalent of his face. “I did not save you. You are yet to be ransomed.”

     “What use do you have for the money, Tin Can?”

     “Why didn’t that imbecile gag you,” FR57 said at a lowered volume. “I want to be a real man.”

     “And you figure that with enough money you can buy yourself a body.”

     “That is correct.”

     “I thought the last guy was bad…”







THE CIA, FBI, MPD, MBL, NAMBLA, YMCA, AND SEVERAL other organizations with acronyms flooded the front yard of George Terror’s house. The jig was up.

     Strauss pounded on the door three times.  “DC police. We have you surrounded. If you surrender now you may get a chance to see A Rod.”

     A deep whirring sound seemed to be coming from behind the door.  “Alex Rodriguez?” said FR57.

     Strauss spun FR57 around and cuffed the equivalent of his arms. He felt cold. He was cold.

     Strauss led him into the back of his vehicle. “Well done,” said FR57.  “I have been defeated.”

     A classic McKayla Maroney “I am not impressed” look played across Strauss’ face.  “I know.”

Thursday, May 16, 2013

First Sentences

First sentences range from formulated literary manifestations to frenzied statements born of a muse's dictation.  They can make or break a manuscript, whether the consequences are worthy or not.  Nobody has perfect knowledge on how to write their "hook", as some call it.  An assortment of factors contribute to success or failure on page one.

The first sentence can have a huge impact on your first draft, especially if you are a discovery writer.  A bit of character, setting, or plot can be a seed destined to become a sprawling tree.  Plant one of those seeds in the ground and set your frenzied fingers on your keyboard.  Emotion and wonder are the gardener's till.  When you strike the earth, you'll either unearth a brilliant story or hit stone.  If you're plagued by the latter, wait for something else, try a plot a few acres over.  Seeing a girl weilding a claymore in some funny little cloud as you break the earth may very well thrust you into a journey through medieval Scotland via the mind of a tenacious young heroine.  The rest will fall into place if the wind is right.

An outliner's lead must be a cornerstone, despite the nonsensical architectural notion.  Every word should serve a purpose.  Don't waste words.  What you do with your first sentence is up to you.  Is the setting what will get my readers to turn the page?  Or is it Marcus, the selfless paladin from a merchant town in the hills?  Whatever it is, exploit it.  Make your readers feel familiar in your world, but with an inkling of enthusiasm toward touring "the strange".  Having your story fleshed out within your imagination can be a great help in reasoning what will need to be included.

My process for first sentences is rather plain.  Occasionally I'll have an idea that must be written forthwith, riddled with passion.  These tend to fall flat, too powerful for me to contain.  It takes a weightlifter to pick them up.  Usually I'll simply start with a name, have them do something, and the rest is history.  Character is my go-to.  From there some aspect of plot is likely to push me into a grand adventure or a serene setting may set my eyes to twinkling.

Revisions are rarely kind to first sentences.  If they aren't completely replaced by your final draft they've likely been reworded and reworked until they hardly resemble their influencial ancestor.  That isn't to say the original is a waste of time to write; the effects of it are huge.  However, once you've reached the end of a tale the beginning never feels quite the same as it did before.  New life springs into a polished first sentence, driving the direction of numerous subsequent edits.

The first sentence to one Mary Robinette Kowal novel was omitted in its first printing.  Some may find that problem a small one, yet that is far from the truth.  Without a book's first sentence it has lost much more than a handful of words thrown onto paper.  It has been rid of its soul.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

First Blogiversary

I posted 196 times in my first year on Blogger.  I've had some crummy posts and some great posts, but nearly every time I said that I would post I did.  In one year I only went on one hiatus and posted despite vacations several times.  I suppose 41 followers is a reasonable accumulation in my first year, starting from the ground up.  My goal is 100 by my second blogiversary.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Read My Story

"Read My Story" is a short fiction piece published on The Story Shack.  It wasn't a terrible work, but it felt very childish.  The wording is like that of MG for the most part.  The genre is tough to place.  I would almost venture to call it literary because of its use as a device to make a point and do little else, although there were slight fragments of what you could call romance and The Story Shack calls it sci-fi.  Thoughts are well-implimented for the most part.  I give it a 3.2/5.

What do you think?

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Never Impressed (Chapters 1-3)




The Sixth District Substation was the definition of chaos. Police officers milled wildly. Lieutenant Greaves moved just as haphazardly. But he had a mission.  Cross the room and drop off his file while resisting temptation: his eleven-thirty donut.

     The room seemed to stretch as Greaves stalked forward, dodging boxes from the local bakery. Commander Strauss’ desk could have been a mile away. Time slowed.

     Strauss was polishing off a glazed when Greaves arrived.  The Lieutenant threw down the file and hummed a few bars from Rocky.

     “What’s this?” Strauss asked. He wiped off the straw fibers surrounding his toothless mouth.

     “The Meriwether Case. FBI wants you to report to Langley by one.”

     Strauss glanced down at his watch.  “Challenge accepted.”







A burly man sat on his coach. An empty apple pie tin sat on the table beside him, along with a Redskins bobble head signed “to George”. He pulled a pocket knife from the chest pocket of his XXL flannel and dug the grime from his fingernails. Bits of rope were amid the usual dirt.

     A strange noise hit George’s ears. He glanced around, then locked his eyes on the door to his basement.  Patiently, he traversed the room, opened the door, and stomped down his fur-lined stairs.

     Sixty gallons of water filled the aquarium taking up the back wall of the cellar.  Half a dozen plants seemed to dance as they were buffeted by the bubble-maker on the tank’s gravelly bottom.  A single fish thrashed near the surface.  A red herring.

     George nodded self-assuredly and tossed a soda from a mini-fridge beside his Ping-Pong table into the corner.







Strauss knocked on the door of a humble townhouse a stone throw from DC. The man who answered the door looked both gaunt and puffy. His cheeks clung tightly across prominent cheekbones, yet the skin beneath his eyes was black and swollen.

     “DC police,” Strauss said, flashing his badge. “I’m here to ask some questions regarding your daughter’s disappearance.”

     By now a woman had appeared as well. Her face was coated thickly with bronzer and vanishing cream. “Please, come in,” she said, not sounding too excited about it.

     “When did you see your daughter last, Mrs. Neeson?” Strauss asked once he was seated at the dining room table. He pulled a pencil from behind his ear and opened a notepad.

     “Two days ago, during her dance recital,” Mrs. Neeson said.

     Strauss nodded. “And when did you notice that she was missing?”

     “Sh-she,” stammered Mr. Neeson “didn’t come back on st-stage to take her bow. It was always her…always her favorite part.” He took out a handkerchief and blew into it loudly.

     “Where was this dance recital taking place?”

     Mrs. Neeson answered, “at the Youth Theatre on Shifty Street.”

     Strauss looked up from his pad and gave each of the Neesones a look. “Thank you.  I’m on it.”

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Scenes and Acts In Prose

Before I started listening to the Writing Excuses podcast I had never heard the terms "scene" or "act" in reference to prose.  Plays or musicals are broken down into acts and scenes very definitively and movies have scenes, but prose is generally left at chapters.  The truth of the matter is that prose has scenes and acts as well, they're just a little less straightforward.

Scenes come in many flavors.  Genre plays a huge role in the length, purpose, and structure of each scene.  In thriller novels, scenes are typically very short, each placing a tiny piece into the "plot puzzle".  More involved works have longer scenes that either move the plot forward, develop characters, or reveal the setting.  Calculated manuscripts may contain "sequels" to scenes, a cooling down period that helps to develop narrative rhythm.  Most scenes come from a single viewpoint, although examples, such as Dune, exist in which multiple characters have viewpoints within the same scene.  Scenes are separated with either a line break or the ending of a chapter.  Epic fantasy chapters often have multiple scenes, whereas lighter reads usually use chapters as scenes.

The most common narrative outline using acts is the Three-Act Format.  I saw a horror movie shortly after discovering the Three-Act Format.  The fact that it was a movie played a part, of course, yet it was funny to find how clearly the acts began and ended.  I could predict events that would happen based upon the Format as well.  Unfortunately, the movie was somewhat boring after being dissected...First Acts are what you would call "rising action" in school.  The Second Act has more escalation, sometimes character failure at the brink of success, and occasionally the climax at the end.  "Falling action" makes up most of the Third Act (assuming there is "falling action"), with the climax toward the beginning if it didn't happen already.

Hopefully nobody's mind has been blown too hard.  Scenes and acts in prose?  The concept is a tad strange, but it makes sense and the notion can really help you with your writing, especially if you are an outliner.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

The Dragon Reborn (Midpoint Analysis)

The Dragon Reborn has had its hills and valleys over the first three hundred and some pages.  The premise is still amazing, picking up where the first two books in the series let off, and the elements that make epic fantasy one of my favorite genres are used in perfect amounts.  A few places could have used a touch more editing.

Robert Jordan was known for his massive amount of viewpoint characters.  It's an incredible strategy to world-build and assemble plot points by throwing in viewpoints from tertiary characters when we need to learn something from them, especially if it can be done in a page or two, which Jordan often did.  Some authors abuse the strategy, however, bringing us to the brink of a sub-plot only to shift over to a different viewpoint.  Jordan knew exactly when he could cut a viewpoint short and come back later.  He varied the voice of each character enough that we always knew who was the POV character in the first paragraph of any scene and got to see a variety of perceptions from people of different pasts.  Brandon Sanderson pointed out that the similes and metaphors that each character uses are in direct correlation with their background.

One of Robert Jordan's funniest uses of character thought is brought to a head in The Dragon Reborn.  Perrin, Mat, and Rand each think the other two are better with women than they are!  It shows that even if the three of them are confident individuals, they're still everymen.  He also handled the subject in a clean manner that I can appreciate.

Several times while reading the first part of a certain chapter I thought to myself that Jordan was having a poor day when he was writing "this".  Then I hit the climax of the scene.  I was blown away.  [Spoiler] Mat defeated two people training with the Warders in swordplay using a quarterstaff.  It really sunk in then and there that things don't always turn out as you would originally expect, even while preserving logic.  Farmers with large sticks could defeat swordsmen in legitimate fights.  Everyone's a hero sometimes.  Robert Jordan needed an everyman, in this case Mat, to convey a little snatch of theme.  He did so brilliantly.

A few times while reading I've noticed small typos.  I read just below the surface, so throwing me out of the story isn't a huge deal for me, but it could be for some.  Granted, it's a huge book and there are bound to be an error or two.  I'll consider it a forgivable offense.

I can't cite anything specific off the top of my head that has thrown up a red flag for me.  In reality, they're more like pink flags anyway, and it's near to impossible to keep up five star quality page in and page out.  A few places felt a little dry or redundant perhaps, nothing huge.

Overall, The Dragon Reborn is panning out to be one of my favorite books.  It isn't a flashy, heart-shaking tome, yet everything has fallen into place and the prose is serene.  To end as cliche as possible, this is "Jordan at the top of his game".

Sunday, May 5, 2013

The Note

     I can’t help but fidget with my coat zipper.  Margret left a note for me?  Why?  How?  I don’t believe this.  Yet there it is, taped to the inside of my locker, written in blue, glittery ink.  I knew the handwriting immediately.
     It’s a joke, I think.  A cruel joke.  I take my history book from the bottom of my locker and start down the hall.  Margret is still at her locker, just a few feet from my class.  Her platinum hair falls in ringlets to the shoulders of her pale lavender blouse.  I feel my face turn hot.  My shoes look nice today too, I decide.
     Margret glides into Mr. Travis’ room a moment before me.  She turns to go to her seat in the nearest column of old, oak desks.  I march to the other side of the room, taking the seat furthest away.  My eyes start darting where I don’t want them to go, so I crack open my textbook and delve into a passage on Pickett’s Charge.
     “Reading ahead?” says Mr. Travis, hovering above me.
     “Previewing,” I say.
     Mr. Travis bends down toward my ear, his thick grey beard almost grazing the skin.  “Avoiding Margret again?”
     I jump.  My face heats up even hotter than before.  “How did you know?”
     “When you’ve taught at a high school for as long as I have, you learn a little about freshmen crushes.”  Mr. Travis stands straighter.  “See me at the end of class, Thomas.”
     The class rings out with mocking “oooh”s.  I don’t hear Margret’s voice.  “Yes, Mr. Travis.”
*   *   *
     “Would you be interested in doing some tutoring after-school?” Mr. Travis asks me.      
     I bite at my thumb nail.  “I’m not sure that would be,” I begin, but Mr. Travis cuts me off.
     “It’s for Margret.”
     I shiver.  “Tutoring Margret?  I…suppose.”
     “She’s barely holding on to a “D” and I think it could really help you out, socially and with your self-esteem.”  Mr. Travis looks me square in the eyes.  “Give it a thought.”
     “Yes,” I say, almost immediately.  “I’ll do it.”
*   *   *
      “Wh-what do you seem to have the most trouble with?” I stutter to Margret.  Today she’s wearing a snow white dress that falls to her knees.  I train my eyes on her eyebrows, trying not to leer into her pale green eyes.      
     “The names and dates get cluttered in my head.  There’s no way I can remember them all,” Margret replies.  Her tone is light, calm.
     “Have you tried using little tricks to get yourself to remember?”
     “Tricks?  Like using acronyms to remember the colors of the rainbow or orders of operation?  I’m good at those.”  Her sudden smile forces my eyes to her glossy lips.
     I clear my throat.  “Yeah, exactly.”
     Margret knits her eyebrows a fraction.  “You’re acting really odd.  Is something wrong?”
     I swallow hard and take a deep breath.  “Did you put a note in my locker a few days ago saying you’d like to see a movie or something some time?”
     Margret’s cheeks flush.  “I…I didn’t.  But…”
     “I don’t understand.”
     “Martha must have put that note in your locker, pretending to be me.”
     The tile at my feet looks really plain today.  “So you don’t want to.”
     Margret runs a hand across the curls on each side of her head.  “Actually I do.  I wasn’t brave enough to ask you myself.”  She pauses.  Iron Man 3 is playing at six tomorrow.”
     “I’d love to.”

Thursday, May 2, 2013

"Illegal" Magic Systems

Brandon Sanderson’s Second Law of Magic states that limitations are greater than powers.  Anyone who writes or reads fantasy knows how wondrous magic can be.  However, often times you remember what could not be done with magic rather than what could be done.  As Brandon Sanderson mentioned in his essay “Sanderson’s Second Law”, Superman’s powers do not make him unique, it is kryptonite, his greatest weakness, which does.  If a magic system lacks limitations, a problem arises.

“The Lord of the Rings is not, when you boil it down, about Gandalf's magical powers or even Aragorn's orc-slaying skills.  It's about the Hobbits, arguably the weakest (physically and magically) of the people in the books.  It's about Aragorn's struggle to become king.”  This quote from Mr. Sanderson’s aforementioned essay perfectly illustrates Sanderson’s Second Law.  Epic fantasy is built around familiarity within “the strange”.  Most epic fantasy protagonists are everymen, characters with seemingly ordinary qualities, at least at first.  Readers can relate to their weaknesses because they share some of them.  Therefore, if a magic system has infinite potential, the same sense of familiarity is shed.  On a separate note, having limitless magic results in two possible methods of problem-solving: a deus ex machina occurs (Latin for “god from the machine”, in which the day is saved miraculously at the brink of disaster) or readers are left baffled as something other than a deus ex machina occurs.  Both of these are inherently negative.

For a magic system to adhere to Sanderson’s Second Law, one side of the overall equation of the Law must change.  Either limitations need to be put in place or powers need to be stripped.  In some cases, placing a limit on the magic will involve stripping power.  Brandon broke down the term “limitations” into “limitations”, “weaknesses”, and “costs”.  The self-named sub-set of “limitations” represents the subtraction of power, while adding “weaknesses” and “costs” represents an addition to the original limitations, in reference to the Law’s equation.

Sanderson summed “weaknesses” up better than I ever could (it is his law, after all).  “Weaknesses are things that enemies can exploit—rather than being things the power cannot do, they are things the power is vulnerable to”.  The easiest example is kryptonite.  If you want Superman out of the way you need only to find some kryptonite.  Weaknesses are sometimes generically called “kryptonites”.  In this way, you could consider kryptonite an archetype.

Costs are far simpler.  The Dungeons and Dragons system of costs is one of the best.  For example, in version 3.5, to cast the spell sequester you must have a few “material components”.  These are: a basilisk eyelash, gum arabic, and a dram of whitewash.  A clever mode of using costs is bringing your characters to a point where they are very close to resolving the conflict, but one last thing stands in their way.  It cannot be this simple, of course.  In order to overcome the final obstacle, a costly action must be performed.  The quest is not over, folks.  We need to find some elbow grease and newt eyes to make an acid strong enough to break the chains holding back an ancient demi-god.  Costs can therefore be used not only to make a better magic system, they can also create brilliant plot points.
Slashing powers will get a broken magic system out of a rut faster than perhaps anything else.  This does not necessarily mean that the powers themselves must be cut, only that the total power of magic in the world is lessened.  In my current work-in-progress, magic can only be performed under two conditions.  You must have a magic prism and there must be some source of celestial light (sunlight or moonlight).  Few prisms exist, keeping magic in check within my system.  Also, seven varieties of prisms exist, each with their own power pools.  The need for light can be considered both a limitation and a weakness.  Magic does not work during the time when neither the sun nor the moon is up, a limit, resulting in the possibility for exploitation, a weakness.
“Illegal” magic systems can very well ruin your manuscript.  If your magic system strains against Sanderson’s Second Law, you would be wise to consider putting in limitations, costs, and/or weaknesses.