Anybody Here a Latin Scholar?

demon-clipart-free-vector-devil-dance-clip-art_117355_devil_dance_clip_art_hightI ask because I have to figure out the scientific nomenclature for demons.

“Homo” covers people, and “Homo sapiens” (“wise man”) is humans, so I need a “homo whatsis” for demons.

Technically, humans are “homo sapiens sapiens,” so I’m thinking I could go with “homo sapiens internuntia” EXCEPT that that’s a male noun, male adjective, female noun, I think, which I think means, no I couldn’t (my two years of high school Latin from decades ago are just ashes in a corner of my brain now). The “internuntia” means the “mediary between gods and men” or “go-between” (I think). (I’m annoyed at all the “men” stuff in there, but I’m more confused by the Latin grammar so moving on . . .)

Basically I need a Latin term that’s parallel to homo sapiens, preferably beginning with “homo,” that indicates that demons are the intermediaries between gods and humans, working in the background (that is, not seen or recognized as demons) out of the control of human beings, making checks on the human world at regularly scheduled times and also in response to disruptive events.

Technically Devils are demons, but they’re different. Homo sapiens diabolicus? And I suppose so are angels although they’re not intermediaries, they’re more upper management. And not part of this story.

The devil is in the details in this book and so are the demons.

Legends of Tomorrow Binge Watch: Episode 2-1 : “Out of Time” Rebooting/Revising A Team Story

legends-binge-logo-snartless The first season of Legends was flawed and often terrible. But if you isolated out some of its parts, it was wonderful. I sympathize; this is exactly how I describe my first drafts. So let’s look at how rebooting a flawed series with huge potential is like revising a flawed first draft with huge potential. And of course we’ll start with . . . Continue reading

Legends of Tomorrow Binge Watch: Episode 14 “River of Time” by Courtney Norris & Anderson Mackenzie, Episode 15 “Destiny” by Phil Klemmer & Chris Fedak, Episode 16 “Legendary” by Phil Klemmer & Marc Guggenheim: Crisis, Gotcha, Climax, Anti-Climax

legends-binge-logo-snartlessThe last three episodes of the first season of Legends of Tomorrow are: Episode 14: “ARE YOU FREAKING KIDDING ME?,” Episode 15: “Now THAT’S a Climax,” Episode 16: “Oh, Yeah, We Still Have To Kill Vandal Savage.”

I think the reason this series made me so nuts when I finally watched the first season this year is that it had huge potential. When it was on its game, as it is in “Destiny,” it’s just terrific. Unfortunately, it was rarely on its game because it had too many team members, too many of those team members were annoying, the writers kept trying to make two blocks of wood the Greatest Love Story Ever Told, the crap crowded out the good stuff (Sara, Mick, Snart), Vandal Savage was a cartoon, and Rip Hunter was the Worst Team Leader Ever. Also, no plot and that damn reveal in Episode 14 that made me insane with rage. How do you fix a series story like this? Kill it with fire.

Well, no, we want to keep Sara, Mick, and Snart. And the time travel premise. And . . . Yeah, it’s worth saving for a second season.

But first we have to clean up this one. Continue reading

Legends of Tomorrow Binge Watch, Episode 11 “The Magnificent Eight” by Greg Berlanti & Marc Guggenheim, Episode 12 “Last Refuge” by Chris Fedak & Matthew Maala, Episode 13 “Leviathon” by Sarah Nicole Jones & Ray Utarnachitt: Let’s Talk About That Third Act

legends-binge-logo One of the aspects of storytelling that makes teams popular is the fun you can have with them once the characters are established and the team is really working as a team. If you’ve written the characters as strong, contrasting individuals, putting them together in different pairings in different situations can create some great expectations (see Ray and Mick in a Russian prison, for example) and surprising reversals. And once the team has finally bonded, sending them out against a powerful adversary is more than fun, it’s like watching a Rube Goldberg machine in action, the individual moves of the team as exciting as the final outcome of them working together. Continue reading

Legends of Tomorrow Binge Watch: Episode 7 “Marooned” by Anderson Mackenzie & Phil Klemmer

legends-binge-logoThe Legends team did pretty well in Russia, and they were coming together nicely when they crash-landed in 2065, and Mick wanted to stay, and Snart pressganged him back onto the ship. That’s going to be a test of character-in-action in this episode as the two most dangerous team members face a break in their long-term partnership that endangers the entire team–

Oh, look, a flashback. Continue reading

Legends of Tomorrow Binge Watch: Episode 4 “White Knights” by Sarah Nicole Jones & Phil Klemmer, and Episode 5 “Fail-Safe” by Beth Schwartz & Grainne Godfree

legends-binge-logo This double episode is a good team story that’s mostly a lot of fun, but before we get into why, let’s talk about plot and subplot in team stories.

Team stories are naturals for subplots because the supporting characters of the team (assuming the team leader is the protagonist) are naturals for protagonists of smaller plots that support the main conflict. The key is “support the main plot.” The main plot of Legends is about saving family, changing the past and future, risking everything for an outcome that’s worth dying for. So any subplot should echo that to reinforce it, reverse it to act as a foil or contrast, or play off of it in some other way that enhances and deepens it. Let’s look at those potential subplots, taking one team member at a time. Continue reading

Legends of Tomorrow Binge Watch: Episodes 1 and 2: “Pilot” by Greg Berlanti & Marc Guggenheim & Andrew Kreisberg & Phil Klemmer


I don’t know when I decided I wanted to write a team story, but it was probably somewhere during my first watch of Leverage. And then the Nita story came along and it was clearly a team story in tandem with a romance, and I realized that I didn’t know how to write teams, and then I started watching Legends of Tomorrow . . .

The thing about Legends is that its flaws are so egregious that I can easily see what not to do, but once I peel those things away, its successes are so beautifully done that I can see how they work in contrast. So while I’ll be bashing the show a lot in these posts, I’m pretty sure I’ll always love the things it does brilliantly. It turns out, it’s well worth watching if you know what to look for.

So let’s start with the pilot. It’s mostly awful. Continue reading