I would play the heck out of Mass Effect, if it were on a holodeck. There are more avenues for imagination in a holodeck (in holonovels as portayed in Star Trek. TNG & Voyager). I would have my brown Shepard, who could be gay, male or female, or transqueer for that matter. I could have it set up to my likes, so I wasn't stuck shooting things for effing ever (the parts I find really boring and not immersion and best played at a distance via a screen). I could have lovely lovely friendships and romances of myriad kinds; romantic and/or physical, not all this heterocentrist ingrained stuff with the big big MONOGAMY ONLY. It'd be like (non dairy, low cholesterol, very yummy) BUTTAH.
I'm feeling the story, I'm liking certain characters, I'm intrigued by the world building (lore) but also so frustrated by it. Why isn't the Saladarian Ambassador female? You're telling me being on the council is NOT political? That it's not one of the most political appointments helping to shape the face and form of the galaxy? Seriously? Where are the Taurian females? Where are the more androgynous looking Asari? Where are the butch Asari for that matter? A world where there isn't one body type end after end.
I think Mass Effect may make me feel fannish because there's so very, very much I want to damn well fix. I remember Zvi mentioning in an essay many years ago that it's a balance between intrigue and 'Oh I can make it better!' that can appeal strongly to fannish sensibilities. Which makes me laugh now, cause in my head I'm all 'I can bring it INFRASTRUCTURE!. Except...except I really would be in a fandom of one. Writing to please myself, not willing, I think, to share it with anyone. Not wanting to be known for it or my words in anyway. Because then someone will say something stupid and I just don't have the energy.
The thought of writing fic exhausts me. I have all this excitement and no where to put it. And I don't actually want to spend money on the games when I wouldn't enjoy playing them. When I can't modify various characters, when the heterocentrist nature is rubbed in my face every minute (I mean really? Opposite gender peril implies possible romance? Seriously?!).
There's something in me also that feels profound guilt at the thought of diversifying the monocultures of these aliens, at diversifying the alliance so it doesn't read like 'Everyone's white under their skin' (so much white people privilege everywhere, regardless of skin colour, now hidden under 'human supremacist ideology'). I know I'm shoulding all over myself. And inspiration is inspiration and if something gets me interested in creating again.... and yet, there's this LOCK, this FREEZE - what am I doing? Why am I not going towards 'original work', though a snarkier side of me thinks that the things I want to fix, changes I want to make, reality I'm seeing between the lines would in fact make this whole thing very very different. But it's not enough for the lock and squeeze and freeze and internal shouting about wasting my energies. As if, as if the things I've been through have pulled me away from writing because I enjoy it, into I must write, because someone has to and there are themes that MUST BE EXPLORED and I get tense and claustrophibic and it feels like sitting an exam, and you (I) MUST NOT FAIL! EVER!
And crap, my stomach and chest cramps up just thinking about it.
This credit to your race, shut up and deal, create your own shite, stop whining and bringing up inequalities, do your own shite and leave us alone stuff creates some seriously messed up head stuff - like. whoa. Like I'm going to single handledly write the great PoC Western Masterpiece that illumates everything. Or gives untold members of the unicorn herd a place to point at and....
I know it's not all on me. I wish my brain would get that. And let me write for enjoyment again instead of insta-locking me up that if I can't write what I'm supposed to write then I can't write anything.
Should should should. ALL over myself. Drippy eeewh.
And I can just about feel the enthusiasm slip away as I type right now. The more I think about it, the more involved I want to get, the more I focus on the parts that make me unhappy and what would make me happy.
Hmm, maybe that's why particular types of RP became ok - it was permission to enjoy myself. It was so obviously recreational and involved another person also having fun, and thus involved responsibility. I recently had a chance to re-read some cowritten/rp stuff and the depth of it, the broadness of it, the characters and scenarious, the research I did all amazes me. Especially when to me, that year is basically a blur. And yet I managed something creative when I gave myself the freedom to be (to not be perfect, to explore, to play? I don't know).
I got set homework at therapy today. Luckily it was something I was already thinking about - up to hemming and hawwing yesterday in fact. Right now I'm still hemming and hawing. I like the no icons, saved drafts setup of Blogger. But I miss community comments. However I loathe Discus and Intense Debate is apparently buggy and both of those are basically bringing the community idea of Danga and DW to Blogger, WP, etc...
My therapist thinks I should try actively writing non-fiction about the things that have been frustrating me. He thinks book. I think.... I have problems seeing myself as a non-fiction writer, far less one who's writing about stuff wherein my expertise is as a reader only. So I'm thinking a journal about why I'm so arrauuugh to write recently. The little things that needle me specifically.
But where oh where shall I write it?
Note: Media Player has been found. Things had been put ontop of it. And I didn't realize when I looked at them, that something was underneath them.
So it's reached the point wherein my therapist (TNG aka Dr.Yoda - and huh, I only just realized The New Guy is also The Next Generation / TNG. Hee) has to remind me to use my journal to deal with current mental health difficulties. That journaling could help.
And then I stopped and realized my journal is adding to my anxiety (the new flavour in my Mental Health. I've moved from Blue Depression to Orange-Red Anxiety).
And I stopped because iJay feels less and less stable with all the sales (dear squeaky iJay needs hands-on-deck- to deal with spammers & fixes, not new servers to take up the slack every couple of months) and DW doesn't let me save comments using LJ-Archive and yeah, figuring out what's wrong with my account (having transferred over my LJ entries) isn't a priority because it relates to a third-party device.
Yeah, I'm going to be bitter about that for a long, long, long, time. I can like Denise and still positively despise how journaling as a therapuetic tool and thus needing archiving isn't a priority to her unless she and hers create the archiving tool.
Of course it means having conflict over posting and hesitance over where is safe to post and get into dialogue to work through issues with a support network etc, has meant I just haven't been posting my thoughts freely the way I used to. Heck I haven't even been commenting the way I used to, because it means interacting on a site wherein I tend to feel like crap that my own words aren't stored there.
And everytime someone friends/adds me over there, there's another wave of ugh - cause they can't read my past history - I had to shut off comments completely so I wouldn't lose conversation. They can't read current history because I dont' post there. They're just basically trying to say they'd LIKE to read me - but they won't, because it's troublesome to click an post on another site. And it doesn't help that iJay has problems with openID (it doesn't notify openID comments have been posted and it doesn't notify OpenID accounts that they have replies - so much for email verification).
The point of this wasn't to complain about the crappy situation. But to admit the crappy situation has stopped up my writing. There's all sorts of emotion and emotional baggage and tension etc when I got to journal my thoughts now.
So what's the solution? Give up my name and history on DW and try for another journal? Asking, maybe, that my comm be turned back into a singular journal? Except, that I deleted all but specific journal entries I'd wanted to save, so would I have to make a request to clean out the entire journal? In which case it wouldn't matter to have it saved on LJ-Archivel. I'm getting cramps in the stomach just thinking about wiping out my history like that.
Yeah, the solution might just be to find another journaling site. Except I loathe blogger for personal things and interaction. And I went through it all before - the hunt, the search. I could turn back on specific entries on LJ and keep the history there, and let them make whatever money they can off my words - which... is another set of stomach intense sensations.
This is a complete surprise to me, but then again it isn't, because it's been building for a while. I just didn't realize it. I don't miss the cliques and I don't miss the never ending celebrity comms (oh heavens no - if we all could be spared that forever, cause really a million seeming people all wanting to be Paris Hilton is just dead wrong).
What I miss is how GJ stretched me. I can recognize that part of what I'm going through with my writing at the moment, or rather the lack of writing, is stress. And juggling stress shuts down the part of my brain that's creative in a certain way. Heck these days even suspecting there might be stress shuts that part down. 2009 has been exhausting. I write this out now because I'm liable to forget in three days just how exhausting it's been; break down in tears tiring and done and gone and y'all can have earth and the stupid cause I can't take it anymore exhausting.
But GJ stretched me in amazing ways. I was so angry at some of what was going on, and so fed up with never seeing certain kinds of characters that I created them. And I was looking for something today on my computer and found myself searching through old files and it's begun to hit me just how creative* I was then. I'm staring at these character profiles and the faces I'd found for them and I don't know if there's a place for them in anything else I write, but I'm suddenly so grateful that I thought them up.
There's a whole mess of characters of colour and characters over thirty, one char in a wheel chair (for which I'd researched Boston's public transportation system and then forgotten that I was aware that Boston's subway system sucks for anyone needing mobility assistance). There are gay teenagers, a latina model, a band with albums, album covers, and I believe song titles. A band! There's the teenager on the autistic spectrum, the male character dealing with Fibro & Lupus, and the Hawaiian girl who was half South Asian, half East Asian (hmm, does the term hapa apply there?).
And of course a multitude of Xmen characters, some genderswitched, and the usual assortment of deities, demons and demagogues (huh that should be a story title). The tomboys and just plain bois. And... I totally forgot I had a transexual character - probably because no one accepted said char to any game.
Hmm, I'd probably be second guessing myself if GJ were still around, at least this year because it's been that kind of year. But that doesn't make me miss GJ any less (or at least the positive aspects of the experience) or feel less grateful. It'd odd to realize that it was part of my baby steps towards a particular kind of activism. If no one was going to recognize that the whole world wasn't white and tab and cis and het, then I would. And whether or not I ever made anyone slap themselves on the forehead for not thinking of the possibilities beyond WTaBCH, I felt better for breaking up the visual monotone.
This was a nice counter to 2009. I need to remember it when the next strain of foolish runs around that has me despairing that anything I write will ever make a difference.
*ETA: Creative in terms of the multiple characters and in depth background & histories not in any terms that suggest it is creative in itself to ever think of/up social/ethnic minority characters.
Should I feel elated at managing 5-7 paragraphs on something that's been nibbling me as I tried to lock it down, for the past two weeks or so? Or should I give in to the frustration at reaching brain blockage already?
Yeah, not a long post at all. Just me sighing a lot. And reminding myself that it takes as long as it takes to bounce back.
I'm an idiot.
( Writing Thoughts )
ms_treesap wrote here about her feelings of dissatisfaction with Reboot!Trek fandom. And I found myself replying to it. My reply c/p-ed behind the cut tag. Please note that her original cut-tag mentions possible offensiveness to K/S shippers so please click her link with that in mind.
( My thoughts... )
The phrase inspired me to write this entry. I was in the middle of a conversation with Zvi about something in my writing brain that I'd been wanting to tussle with before my functional/emotional/mental health needs took over and hogged space. They're still hogging space, by the way, so this entry will be relatively brief.
Include these three words. Write a story associated with this particular title. I remember those kinds of assignments in school. I was brilliant at them, twisting the title around in unusual ways, writing things teachers and my friends didn't expect. I loved those assignments, the blank page never seemed more inviting. The world and more was possible with just a title to guide my way.
Recently I read a bit from a group of Star Wars fans. They were discussing a particular writer and how inspiring his tie-in novels of the Expanded Universe were, how much he got the mythos and the characters and the world. But how his original writing fairly stank up the place. And the main poster in the space said that maybe some creative types just need a box to fight against. The more you box them in, the more they find way to stretch it, and shift it. They need to box in order to write outside the box.
The statement got me thinking about the blank page, and role playing, and alternate universes (and AUs of AUs of AUs) for that matter and my own writing and what possibilities I may have been tossing to the side instead of embracing in order to redefine, or just put my own spin on.
ETA: Thought I forgot. Fanfiction and the amazing things that can be done by writers wanting to explore more of characters (especially supporting characters) and the premise of a universe. Which is why I'd rather read mithen than the paid writers for DC, who seem to have forgotten the freedom and creative wellspring of writing within the box.
|09:34PM | Fri, April 10th | 2009
I think maybe I stopped writing fanfiction because I couldn't do huge long opus style stories. Or rather, I tried and didn't finish/ lost confidence in my idea and other things. Looking through stuff now for posting to Archive Of Our Own - and my stuff is all drabbles and 300-500 word fics. Maybe.
And I'm using the personal tag of 'character introspection' a whole damn lot.
This is interesting. A lot interesting. It's changing how I look at myself as a writer. I'm really kind of stunned. These are all little snippets I just ran off because I wanted to get the scene out. And then when I look at rp - my focus is on the character arc and or the world building. But when I sit down to write, I'm not sure I play to those strengths and thus end up frustrated at a blank page or even more frustrated a pargraph or two in.
I'm not saying I need to be a short story writer. I... just think I've never studied my own writing style. I don't think I've looked at myself and seen where I've come from in... years.
Is realizing that I wrote DOLLHOUSE 5 years ago for an Original Ficathon. DOLLHOUSE in space, but dollhouse all the same. And it's been one of my favourite stories. One that I've considered using as inspiration for a novel, if I could only figure out the story I wanted to tell.
And yeah, I'm up. I'm STARVING. Tried eating a peanut butter sandwhich hours ago, but that wasn't enough. Left me headachy and stomach achy and feeling sick. And the only meat I've got needs serious defrosting and then hours in the crockpot (whole chickens). So I've found some eggs and am boiling them - got no attention span to scramble them.
And I'm looking at one of the stories I'm most proud of writing - seeing mistakes, places I could flesh things out better. And realizing that it's DOLLHOUSE.
I'm full of whoa and navel peering.
What does it mean when your backstory feels more interesting and engaging than the story you want to tell NOW? What if you can't even figure out what story you want to tell NOW. You just know how the backstory goes. But the reason you don't want to write it, is because it's all been done before / it's areas and topics that have been crossed before / you're bored with reading all this done before stuff.
I don't want to re-invent the wheel!
And yet as much as I want to know what happens NEXT (or in my case 10 years later), I don't have any story ideas at all. I've got one 'And then he comes home'. And after I describe that? Poof. Nothing.
But my head goes sparking off for the back-story, seeing layers and possibilities and how it relates to other characters in that universe.
It's very.... odd.
Is it fighting the story that wants to be told? Is it hard headedness?
I'm currently home. The house smells of cinnamon. The cat mews pitifully and demands I go nowhere she cann't paw at me and demand 45seconds of laptime. As usual, she didn't eat as much as she usually would. I think she lost a pound. Living room looks alright - just natural kitty mischief overturns.
ETA: Have just had dinner. Wish I'd thought to bring something foodlike home with me. But the thought didn't enter my head. Had a good Thanksgiving all the same and got an early Christmas present - Harry Dresden compendium book 1-3. Read Storm Front last night (my stomach decided to threaten divorce proceedings and got my intestines carried away in the enthusiasm). I noticed that Harry doesn't use some things he'd used before. But at the same time the sense of Harry was right there. I could recognize the older, wiser man I'd just read this year, with the younger man starting out. I could go 'Oh yeah, I remember when he hadn't curbed that / realized that/ been affected quite like that / '
It also made me appreciate nods to the early books in the later books in terms of hints of Harry's past and emotional, physical, mental and magical scars he bears on his person.
I realize I read Harry Dresden more for Harry himself and his growth than for the magical fix he's gotten himself into in the new book. And my interest in Thomas is also about Thomas' growth; how he's coping. I think it's safe to say that I'm very, very, character driven. I liked 'Women of the Underworld' because of the growth in male characters I liked primarily, but also a few female characters.
*pokes the revelation to make it do something*
Nee Edit: Left my traveling toothbrushes with zvi-likes-tv.livejournal.com. No idea what I'll take to my Dad's now. The whole point of traveling toothbrushes is so you don't actually forget your own someplace else.
Just sent a friend my WiP Sentinel Fic.
I started it in 2006 and added to it January of this year. But Sentinel is my first slash fandom. It's comfort fic/comfort food/comfort reading. And I'm not sure I ever will finish any of my fics to put them up anywhere for other people to read them. How odd is that? So I guess I'm nervous at sending it out to someone curious enough, when I mentioned I tried to subvert a bit of a trope.
Maybe I don't think of myself as a fanficer anymore - that it doesn't count if I'm writing just for me, or writing gift fic for a friend.
ETA: She liked it. It made her laugh. And I'm fairly certain she'd have mentioned if she felt it was OOC.
One of my favourite fanfic writers got discovered by one of her students. So now of course things have been deleted and renamed but she's also going to go cold turkey on posting until 2009 and start up again with a whole new fannish name and a whole new site.
She's being incredibly responsible about it now, especially since it was a discovery of the fannish name, not of the fannish works (as yet). But she's still so bumed because, well, even though it was a random, easy choice, it's become her 'name'.
I'm gonna absolutely miss her writing over these next few weeks. Not only is she a writer I enjoy reading. But I love when something she writer moves me enough to comment and start up a conversation. Plus, she was one of my few links to a fandom where I don't interact with the source material anymore.
But, it's got me to thinking outloud, as it where since it's here in this journal, about something I've been thinking about for a long while. Which is the fact that when I start promoting my own work for publication (aren't I being positive? :)) I definitely need a pseud and it can in no way connect back to this journal or my old livejournal, or even, unfortunately, my comic blogger presence. It will have to be a completely new identity since so much of my life and family is wrapped up in this journal and despite the name change, the comic blog was once a linked livejournal so again - no big secret to who I am in that regard.
But, on the few occasions recently when I've realized I had readers I have gone 'Awwh man'. Because in this day and age, it can actually be a bit of a help to have 'readers' who might be interested in your other types of writing. And I've seen for myself how eagerly fandom backs 'one of their own'.
Still, I don't and won't regret this journal, no matter what happens in the future. It's just been too important to me to share with a potential audience of other DID diagnoses and suffers of chronic depression that they're not alone in the world.
PS: My current default icon comes the closest to the name I'd originally wanted all those many many years ago 'RedWillow'.
To all who answered / replied my rambling thoughts on the process of writing combined with my weirdo brain - thank you. I'll either post something in general to each of you when I'm less tired or respond to comments. I'm not sure which it'll be yet. However, I did try and cover this in therapy and it brought up some things - plus some possible solutions that may help. And I was told my solution wouldn't be detrimental to my psyche. So there's a plus.
I also picked up a book from the library today that's sort of doing one of the things I want to do and so I've realized that at least part of my dissatisfaction wasn't 'confused brain' but 'critical/judgemental writer' who realizes I wasn't doing what I actually wanted to be doing and continuing down that course from the start would send the whole thing wrong.
Tired now but I'll give a hazy random example. It's the difference between:
Once upon a time in a land far far away in a Kingdom where icicles were red like strawberry and tasted of candy...
Ice red as blood. The brave say they taste like strawberries. Blood of ancient gods preserved forever made sweet by ambrosia. Yeah, this is a place far away from anything most of you have ever known.
I definitely don't want Sin City Disney
. Or a lot of information dumping. Part of me recognized that and was unhappy.
Note to self: Need to Icon "Deadly Little Jasmine"
“Every great cause,” Eric Hoffer wrote, “begins as a movement, becomes a business, and eventually degenerates into a racket.
Or y'know, as The Dark Knight put it:
Harvey Dent: You either die a hero or you live long enough to see yourself become the villain.
The first link above is to a conservative for Obama. But I'm more struck by his ending thoughts and that quote and how I've seen it play out in my life recently.
Livejournal; cause, business, racket.
Paypal; cause, business, racket.
There are others, some fandom related, some not. There are enough that I can't even begin to think of them right all right now and some I'm leaving out because I'm far too bitter. But it all ends up with me thinking about the world and the essence of corruption. I want to think it on some more - not just from the point of view as a writer, but as a human being living on Earth.
Ok, I just found a webcomic with a Star Trek parody where the female officer is a white blonde. Is she a parody of Yeoman Janice Rand? Or did they screw Uhura in this comic strip?
Seems like a simple thing, doesn't it. But I'm instantly repelled at the thought that Uhura gets erased in a parody. And of course there's no background drawn CoC either. Lately I've been wondering if I wouldn't be just screaming if I continued writing on something I'm currently working on and made all the principles PoC. It seemed as if I'd be giving myself unnecessary work in having to explain why.
But this webcomic hit me all over again with the fact that there's never an explanation of why those created worlds DON'T have PoC. Why am I so hung up on providing an explanation for why my Robin Hood Character or Fairy Godmother isn't white? I have this elaborate scheme in my head with family trees I'm drawing out, but in doing so I'm still left anxious about how many of my characters aren't white and will the story track and will people be able to handle tales they grew up with having PoC Characters. And it's just.....
There are no words to describe the frustration I feel that legends and tales which have become my legends and tales too, due to slavery and colonialization and which also tend to have international copies all over the globe - make me feel as if an explanation is necessary if the Merchant's Daughter in Rumplestilskin isn't white.
There's nothing like the rain to get one depressed. Though part of it is that even my new regime can't much help two days of rain. But I'm not in agony and that's pretty damn cool.
Rain's made me curl up and read. One thing led to another and I came across a photograph of two actors which led me immediately to thinking of an old rp which lead me to thinking about the once_upon_a_friend. And now I hurt all over again. It's just so sad to read a time when you were so simpatico you made two character's believable; with chemistry and backstory and inner life and intensity (and given how often Actors on Film can get it wrong, that is saying a lot).
And now here I am having never heard back about feeling abandoned - thus making it official. And it makes the storyline I'm reading so achingly bitter sweet.
I wonder if that's part of my last few fears about writing - some confused tumble of emotions about how I might never be able to get 'THAT' again far less on my own. I suppose it's just a pall over a collaborative effort that had me trusting my writing so much.
BUT I'm well aware that I've not drifted away from everyone I've written with and they poke me and hug me and send me delightful cheering up / house warming gifts. So I do have perspective.
Still, it's one of those things where you see the perfect imagery and you just WANT to tell that particular person and it's not going to happen now.
I'll get over it. The sky's just grey today.
Oh. And GIP.
Oh this is aggravating. Sometime within the last month I had a breakthrough on something in my writing that I hadn't at all been confident or sure about. I can remember writing it down and even having to squeeze some bits in under the last line of the page.
What I can't remember is quite what I wrote.
And I can't find the damn thing anywhere!
I thought I'd set up a system to be organized when something hit me. I keep a book by my bed and one by the tv, so I can write down thoughts if I'm inspired by an image, or if something filters into my mind before I fall asleep. The first step is always to input it into the computer the next day - if it's very important.
I even have a program I use with flow charts to help the info make a kind of sense despite being disjointed.
But apparently that's not enough - because I can't find any sign or notes that this breakthrough ever existed. I can remember lying down in bed and writing, but it's not in the bedside notebook, or the livingroom notebook. It's not any notebooks I've just frantically dug through boxes and found, it's not in my pocket notebook - for writing out thoughts when I'm on the go. It. is. nowhere.
And yes of course I can just 're-create'. But I'd really liked the decisions I'd made. Re-creating means trying to remember, or having to make decisions all over again. And right now I can't remember why I made the decisions I did - but I do remember making NOTES to myself explaining.
I feel as if there's no system I could ever come up with that would help me stay organized in my writing!
x-posted to writers_whinge
My search for a program that will help me organize my writing notes and help me have a sense of calm to begin writing continues. I've realized life is too stressful for me to write. But I do have snippets and notes and ideas and it'd be great to use this time to outline. I usually hate outlining. But maybe this is an opportunity ti develop my own style of outlining without actually chomping at the bit to write the story proper.
The Literary Machine 2000 1.1 seemed like it might be it. Except for one little problem.
There doesn't seem to be open up a new project. What I mean is, there's this lovely listing of terms and concepts that right now all relate to how to use the program. But I can't create a new blank listing just for my project. It seems as if all the tags will be jumbled together.
That's not helpful to me.
It'd be one thing if these were only help files and all my writing tags were jumbled together. But this is stuff like data base application and word processor and I just don't need them there.
My other gripe? The tool buttons don't have text assigned when you hover over them. No wonder the damn program needs screencasts and all this crap about how to work it. People can't figure out what a button does just by hovering over it. How the hell is that intuitive?
( More, including Cayra and Personal Brain (my once upon a time love) )
Ellora's Cave is one big no, for oh so many reasons; editorial problems, covers at the last minute that don't denote the content of the story - I bet they'd put white people up for my black characters. And freak out if someone was blue and furry.
So no. No no no and also no.
Do you hear me self? We say no.
I have a friend, M, who's a pretty cool guy. He works in a comicbook store. He lives and breathes comic books, comic book lore and scif-fi fantasy. He's recently started writing his own comic book saga, but as a novel. The only other time I've even heard of this, has been Wild Cards by George R.R. Martin. And truth be told I didn't enjoy my first attempt to read in that series.
I am however enjoying M's work. I like his synopsis and I like his character backgrounds and I like that he's taking the time to do a time-line. I like how involved he is in creating this world.
I've had an idea for something similar myself. But I realize now I wasn't approaching it as a comic-book without the art. I was approaching it as a fantasy novel using comic-book heroes. I say this because I didn't take into consideration the things M is factoring in. Things like superhero teams, and the evolution of powers and the legend and history of having certain villains.
There is a length and breath to his initial workings that just read so comic book. I'm amazed and awed and really proud that he trusts me enough to read his burgeoning creative process. I think I'm going to learn a lot from this, and from him.
What I have learned already is that while I enjoy comics, and through my love of comics I've come to enjoy animation, I don't think in comic book terms. There's nothing wrong with that, actually. And it's good to realize now that I don't so I can focus on what I am good at and how I do think. It's just a little bit sad to realize that I am not a super hero comic-book storyteller, at least not at the moment, even if I do enjoy superheroes and would like to write about them. It makes me wonder if there are potential superhero comic book novelists out there who keep trying to fit the role of so seeming regular fantasy or scifi or urban fantasy novelists and fail and think it means that novel writing isn't for them.
If this is happening, it's a loss.
I actually logged into livejournal to post this as a comment on Lashers. It's a little pathetic I found it that important. Though I'm aware it had more to do with me missing the interactions there. I tried fang and fur but it didn't top Lashers.
( Anyway, here's my version of Dallas - Bobby In The Shower )
Recently I've realized that I do have my own unique and particular writing process and that it is in fact the same for short stories and novels. The problem was that short stories take less time to work on, so that when it came to writing novels I've been doubting my process because of the time periods involved.
I analyze a story before I write. I build outwards from a scene in my head, asking questions about the world, the emotional context, the culture, the family situation and anything that could lead to that moment.
But one of several problems involved with this when it comes to novel writing has been my not accepting that this questioning and eventual answering is natural for me and as a novel is larger and longer and more intricate it will take more time. And, believe it or not, remembering all the thoughts I've been so diligently thinking on.
I used to write them all down in a notebook. I still in fact keep notebooks all over the house for this purpose, from the bathroom to beside my bed. But a short story is a focused concept from beginning to end taking maybe a month at most if that long. I can remember all the questions and world building I've done.
A novel is much larger and grander and if I forget what's written where in what notebook, or worse if I find the notebook but I cant' read my own handwriting I'm lost.
I've recently found a software program to help me organize my thoughts. It's a flow chart. I believe I've mentioned how helpful I find flow-charts. But I have fear in relying too much on this program and on my computer. I would love to have my ideas also written down on paper. Moreover what happens when an answer hits me on a bus or somewhere outside? It's very easy to scribble away in a notebook unobtrusively. Pen and paper are cheap.
I love typing. I type between 80 and 100 wpm. I can keep up with my own thoughts when I type. It all flows out of my fingertips. When I write, the formation of the letters seems to take ages. My mind is already on the second or third thought when I'm still writing the first. The faster I write, however, the less well formed my letters become until trying to read back what I've written is an exercise in puzzle solving.
( Pens, Pencils, Paper )
Quick random question:
Has anyone ever wondered, whenever they read fantasy stories with prophecies just where the hell the prophecy came from?
I mean how does that work? Who says "And in the year of ___ there shall come ___ who will ___ and ___ our _____ "
I admit it, some of this is triggered by seeing online vids and ads for Playstation 3's newest game: H E A V E N L Y S W O R D . But that was mostly because of the phrasing:
It was written that 23 years ago, in the year of the FireHorse, a deity would be reborn in the body of a mortal man, a saviour destined to unite our people and show us the way to the promised land.
But fantasy stories, a lot of fantasy stories have prophecies about, .. and one day a king shall come... a warrior ... a noble from the house of... the monks shall take in a child...the sword shall choose the victor...blahblah cakes and jam!
My memory occasionally sucks, so maybe I've just forgotten who gives
these prophecies and how they come about. But right now I'm inclined to think they're nothing but plot tools that are never properly explained. That the author needs for their hero to be 'the chosen one
' and they forget all about attaching the prophecy into the world they've built.
Where did this trope come from? I know I've got the extremely college educated and curious occasionally reading my rambles, so please? A little help?
I've never thought of putting prophecy into any of my stories because it seems like such a cop-out.
"Oh the hero's destined to win, because they were destined to be born and destined to find the weapon/weakness/information that will free us all.
Where's the suspense exactly? Is it in which side-kick doesn't make it to the end? Why don't prophecies say: " Hey, that guy with the bum leg and the blue eyes who ascends the throne in the year ___ will go stark raving mad and eat his children. You should bump him off in two years. And never let his bloodline near political power again.
Sometimes I feel not only far away fromn life in America, but far away from the life, culture and lifestyle I lead as a child.
I grew up with neighbourhoods like this. Little brightly coloured houses up on blocks, reached by dirt and stone tracks.
I'm not nostalgic for being hungry or having to shower outdoors (cause spiders - eewh). But I looked at another picture today, a panoramic from one of the highest points in Barbados where you can see practically the whole island. And I remember how large I thought my second homeland was. It still moves something in me to be able to picture myself on a hill and see land stretched out green and lush and dotted fields for farming and at the end - the sea.
Surfing Caribbean blogs I found out that a hotel I loved as a child was scheduled to be demolished, if it wasn't already. I learned to swim in the ocean on the beach behind that hotel. My swimming lessons were thorough, pool swimming and ocean swimming; competition and how to save your strength with the current.
Maybe I'm missing my innocence? Maybe I'm missing times where it felt like driving through the hills put me in a different world and the most exciting thing in the world was being attacked by crabs, late at night, having a moonlight picnic.
It hurts to think that progress will come and my memories will become rare things as the older generation dies. It hurts to think that there aren't enough Caribbean writers to preserve bright flowers and coconut water and bake and akees and school uniforms and playing in the street and bouncing off the pailing and propping up the windows and competing gardens of riotous colour and dark brown skin, and fisherman hands and bright white grins and the flicker silver of a machete.
One of many reasons I've never read a thing to do with PoTC fandom. I might have smacked people left, right and center with how wrong they were getting it. Just reading meta about people complaining, I could tell how wrong they were getting it. They weren't mentioning sounds and the taste of the sea on the air, and the smells of green and earth and flowers and the buzz of insects and the wind in the trees and the rain on the roof.
I want to preserve my memories of my home. I know that my memories are a myth - they're warped, they're tempered. But I want to preserve that and I have no idea how to do it.
I can think fantasy plots and I can think of my memories and have words to describe them. But somehow I can't seem to marry the two together. And it hurts and it sucks and it feels depressing.
Do I have a block somewhere that says I can't do this? Why does it seem so impossible? Maybe that's why I admire The Twelve Kingdoms so much, because it so obviously incorporates a myth and mythos of China in a fantasy setting. It's not history. But it captures a mood? A heart picture? A hope?
I want to write of home so badly.
But I have to wonder if all the reading I did them, with all the themes I love so much, made it really seem as if nothing happens in the Caribbean but reality or duppies and soucyant.
G'damn how damaging was it all that I can't even imagine a black protagonist with the proper accent dealing with the impossible.
I'm not explaining myself well.
Can't stop thinking about The Twelve Kingdoms. There's a touch of awe involved as well as just plain liking and admiration of common sense in the author's (Fuyumi Ono) world building. She's said in interviews that she didn't consider herself a fantasy writer and had never done anything like it before and so she went at it as a historical piece about a fantasy world, basing several bits on mythology of her region (Asia, specifically China I believe).
( More writerly thoughts about world building in fantasy here. )
|09:49PM | Fri, August 31st | 2007
Would the Space Opera, Fantasy Saga, Urban Legends, Secret Societies and Warrior Librarians please stay in the correct mental lines? I don't write crack fic comedies.
Are people deleting comments they make in my journal? Or is IJ eating or hiding said comments?
Today it rained. And rained. And rained.
I spent half hour grooming the cat until I couldn't take the fur blowing in my eyes anymore then I kicked her out of my bed.
Then it rained and rained - so I went to sleep and slept and slept. So much for my plan to talk to building management.
Right now I'm trying to persuade myself to make food.
Maybe on Wed the therapist will have some advice to yanking myself out of this noose of depression.
In more news:
It frustrates me to have people whose lives I care about still be on LJ, because I can't always comment on flocked posts. And I want to comment. And I'm rather irked at having to use LJ to skim or in any manner because I'm so skeezed.
Yesterday I got maybe half a page of thoughts done on a universe. Now I find myself very confused about if I like/want to write mysteries.
Too many universes. Too many thoughts in my head. Either is the confusion of being a writerly minded person or it's that plus being multiple.
Oh yeah, I have cousins looking to get back in touch with me. My mother sent me a pic of one. it so knocks out of my head my last mental image of them as kids (of him as a kid). I feel old. I wonder what they want to talk to me about. And I'm not sure I'm mentally ready to deal with any sort of people whatsoever.
And now I want to make a comm for Writers of Color writing Characters of Colour. Mostly so I can have an audience to ask questions of like:
Am I cracked in the head if I randomly decide that all Nordic inspired mythological beings - Jack Frost for example - are gonna be black just cause I say so? I know I'm the writer and my word is law. But wtf is my mind on crack?
Can I do that?
Also I'm slightly disturbed at my sudden over caution against making any character white. Is "But they do things with snow!" a good enough reason when in Australia the Aborigines have a legend about the Seven Sisters (The Pleiades not the colleges) and how they ended up in the sky sending down icicles that smash and become rime frost?
And yes, in this particular instance I need to use "Jack Frost", it's not a situation where I can create my own world with my own nature creation legends.