seryn: water drops (footprints)
I've been sort of thinking about stuff. Not like intellectually, but shifting the ol' brain box out of idle.

One of my favorite things in life is that "Nailed it!" feeling. I don't write much because I know I can't consistently produce things that hit with that kind of accuracy. The ironic part is that writing like bread baking is something that succeeds more often the more often you do it. Bread baking works better in kitchens that have had a lot of bread baked in them. Some of it is the experience of the baker, but even a complete novice does a lot better in a serious baker's kitchen. A lot of that is that yeast floats ambiently in the air and the kinds of yeasts available in a baker's kitchen are more conducive to baking. I think if you never write, the authorial equivalent of yeast is not as well adapted to the task.
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One Day In the Life

Thursday, 26 August 2010 10:02 am
seryn: quill pen (quill pen)
You know what I'd like to read? Probably not book-length, maybe just a short story, but I'd like to read something where nothing outrageous happens to the characters, where the characters themselves are not overtly foolish or inherently moronic.

Normally if I wanted a book where nothing happens, I'd just pick any non-genre fiction book off the library shelf. That's what happens when you write about everyday life with everyday characters. The characters get caught up in the minutiae of everyday life to the point that they create their own personal drama tornados. But the problem is that these characters are inevitably stupid.

I'm reading the new Jeanienne Frost book (the title escapes me and I'm too lazy to go find it, but it's the Mencheres/Kira one) and Kira can't find her missing man, so she goes out to strip clubs where she knows women have been assaulted and abducted. In the context of the book, this almost makes sense, but it's still idiotic.

In the standard non-genre fiction book where people manufacture their own drama (like real life teenagers do about the whole boyfriend/girlfriend stuff because they don't have friends with cancer or a looming divorce that will require them to sell their house that's underwater) the characters are still stupid. They always seem to be the people who lose their car keys or forget to buy milk or who can't remember to pay their electric bill.

I'd like to read a story about someone who is adult and responsible and who doesn't do things that are the emotional and social equivalent of shooting themselves in the foot. Someone who sees the world without needing it to have added drama because they've had their own personal drama and recognize how nice it is when the day-to-day world is calm.

I read One Day In The Life Of Ivan Denisovich by Solzhenitsyn and the whole matter-of-fact attitude throughout was really soothing even though the situation described was completely intolerable and extraordinary.

It would probably be boring if it went on too long when nothing happened, but I think it could be this post-literary conceptual idea, people would be expecting a twist like an O Henry or a Shirley Jackson. To a certain extent that's what these over-share journals can be or what the ridiculously excessive twits do on Twitter. But I want it to be fictional so it can be edited and controlled by a god-like author who cares about the quality and focus of the narrative.

I want to watch Sherlock Holmes updated for 2010 on a day when he doesn't have a case and isn't wrapped up in nostalgia. I want to see a tremendously bright character have a normal day where nothing happens.
seryn: flowers (Default)
Grr. I'm absolutely sure that there should be a ban on fanfic including my pet peeves. (I hate "pet peeves" as a description too. Because obviously the things that bother me are wrong and making them sound unimportant is not helpful.)

1) People should not have accidental babies they don't want and raise them themselves anyway while forcing the other responsible party to help. That's never going to work. At best everyone is merely content but knowing there was something better and they missed it. At worst it's going to be an inescapable situation with on-going abuse.

2) Fic that doesn't show the sex cannot show the childbirth scene in any more detail. If it squicks you to write the ooey-gooey kinds of sex scenes, then you cannot include graphic descriptions of placentas splatting or squeezing blood from the cord into the baby or ripped vaginal walls that require surgery. That's just ghastly and I'm sick of women who write this shit saying semen is gross and they don't want to mention it ever.

3) If you have to include blow-by-blow descriptions of childbirth that make it sound like it's one of the go-to methods at Guantanamo, I want to see there being some resentment. Someone should get blamed. And it shouldn't be the female character saying, "You are never going to touch me again." I don't like the association that all sex causes pregnancy or that women don't want sex when they don't want to get pregnant. That's not the point of being a woman. And it's not the point of a loving relationship. If the laboring character wants to scream, "I'm going to weld a condom onto your dick! You'll never get it off again!" That, I would find amusing.

4) Stories should always mention that the characters took precautions, even if it's not harped upon because otherwise it makes it sound like once you're a grown-up contraception magically happens. It's irresponsible and it's a bad plot device because we all know when you don't say something about the precautions, you're going to make the character pregnant.

5) As long as we're living in a fantasy world, why can't people have to do something deliberate to conceive instead of prevent?
seryn: quill pen (quill pen)
There was this image today, from an event that actually happened though not quite like this, where a man offers a woman a bundle of green onions, proffers like a teenage boy with a bouquet of flowers.

Last time I was at the kitchen stuff store, I went up to the counter with a bouquet of spatulas.

At the Farmers Market they had $3 bouquets of actual flowers.

So I think of flowers as being dreadfully expensive but possibly my alternatives are more dear.
seryn: flowers (Eryngo)
Some funny things. John Scalzi and Wil Wheaton are having a contest to benefit some organization and people are supposed to write about this cartoon-ish caricature picture of them as an orc and a unicorn. 1) They're calling it a fanfiction contest. 2) It says, "No slash" in the instructions.

1) It's not fanfiction if you look at a picture and write your own story to go along with what you imagine unless the original work is part of a fandom. Scalzi and Wheaton are not fictional characters in a world owned by someone else. It is, Real Person Fiction if someone were to write about them by name, but I do not approve of RPF--- it's making shit up about real actual people and telling everyone.... that's libel for all normal people (only famous people are prohibited from complaining about that. If someone writes RPF about me and the yoga instructor or something... I can sue.)

1a) The picture they've proffered for inspiration looks like a Shrek ripoff. So the contest is already in violation of fandom rules--- someone (their chosen charity) is going to profit from creative works originally derived from copyrighted and restricted material.

2) No slash. Um. If you call it the John Scalzi/Wil Wheaton whatever contest, you've pretty much guaranteed that's what people are going to be thinking of. Convention says Harry/Draco is a story with a romantic pairing between Harry Potter and Draco Malfoy.

2a) Supposedly Scalzi issued a clarification that says they meant no explicit sex, not that there couldn't be slash. Scalzi clearly does not understand the conventions. It should have been, "No squick, no explicit sex, no non-con, no drug use, no illegal actions." Or "PG-13 rating, maximum." Or something which specified the warnings. Not all slash is explicit.

Given how idiotic they've been about this, I will suspend my boycott of RPF and my anti-preference for slash.
seryn: water drop (crystal ball)
I need to write more. I should do at least one 30 minute thing per week. If you want to suggest a prompt, feel free, but I'm not writing for a fandom I don't know.

---

I cannot draw a cartoon sheep. I suspect this has more than a little to do with not having a good image of what a sheep looks like to hold in my imagination while I exaggerate its characteristics.

I wrote a child-appropriate story about sheep and it just cries out for illustrations. I both want to share and want to keep it all to myself. No one is going to love this story like I do and I'm afraid to send it out into the world like a three-legged kitten missing an ear. So I said that I would work on the illustrations and then see.

--

I went back and looked at my orig fic tag and realized I haven't done much more with Julian. Honestly I know where that story is going and I can't find a way to tell it. I'm not sure how much there is going to be since every vignette is showing the same thing. We're just waiting for Julian to clue in.

I find it enjoyable watching Julian see the same cues repeatedly, but either there's not going to be plot or the plot is going to be very skeevy. I sat down after writing 3 vignettes for Julian and asked myself what the overarching plot is. I had no ideas. So, bitterly, I asked myself what's the worst thing that could happen? How can I show something truly monstrous as a natural outcome of the situation as we have all seen it?

---

I don't want to write more fanfic. I never pimped my stuff and no one noticed me. I have some fanfic ideas, but I'm not completely sure it's stuff I'd want to share because I have some warped ideas. Like, I'm pretty sure Molly Weasley cursed Hermione before the World Cup with a dark curse for fidelity. I imagine the reason Narcissa Malfoy was wrinkling her nose is Hermione's reeking of dark magic. Various scenarios have played out in my head, none of which are tame.

I would like to see a fic where Neville and Luna are getting married and Luna gives him a tie made from the gum wrappers his mother kept giving him.

I'd like to see a time travel fic where Hermione goes from the end of fifth year at the Ministry battle to being a sixth year (good thing she was ahead of all her work) cotemporaneous with Lucius Malfoy and instead of hatred, he falls for her and is disowned so there is no incentive to join Voldemort and V has no access to the Malfoy coffers.

---

I had this idea for a mystery. I have the crux point in mind... that one niggling detail that the detective knows and everyone else could know because it's everyday knowledge that no one pays a lick of attention to. There was an Encyclopedia Brown story where EB talks about how the door could not swing that way because doors swing toward their hinges. As if everyone knows that. Well, everyone could know that, but 98% or more of 10 year olds do not bother with that kind of thing. Mine has to do with clock winding.

Can't decant my brain.

Thursday, 11 March 2010 09:04 pm
seryn: flowers (Default)
This week's episode of Chuck was great. I really liked it. What I liked most was that all the characters stopped being bitchy to each other. The writing was really tight too. A lot of recent episodes have been slovenly. Like they expected Superman could carry everyone then hired the Kent guy from Superman Returns.

I have this urge to write. I'm not sure what I would write or where I would start. Usually when I get a story, it jumps into my brain and does a touchdown dance. The hardest part is writing fast enough that what gets highlighted is what actually tells the story. I have written something by pushing it and it's mediocre at best--- I can see glimpses of what I wanted it to be, but unless you live in my head, you're not seeing the story shake its ass.
Read more... )
seryn: quill pen (quill pen)
How do the ancient vampires stand the modern music?

Can you imagine a Shakespearean times vampire rocking out to Lady Gaga? (Do "kids these days" still say rocking out?)

And yet, I can tell within a handful of years how old someone is by having them name 5 bands they really like.

When I meet people online, they usually ask what kind of music I like. It's really a useful question because it dates a person so you don't end up talking to jailbait accidentally, and it's useful because if someone is incoherent and grammatically slovenly when talking about themselves you know they're not going to be any better talking about you.

I, um. like Def Leppard and MatchboxTwenty. So I tell people: "I like rhyming lyrics done in trochaic tetrameter sung by men, preferably in a major key with minimal guitar influence." What does that tell you about me? It tells you I don't listen to modern music much (which is true, although I don't listen to any music much), that I am overly conscious of it, and that I am willing to alienate people who want to define me by a non-interest of mine. But I'm not a vampire. My continued existence does not depend upon my being able to blend.

Seriously. How would you stand it?

I keep thinking that vampires would be an awesome historical and societal resource. Of Promethean value.... bringers of light in the darkness. Think about the kinds of medicine and research and linguistics and agricultural knowledge that was stored in the Library at Alexandria. But I think we'd kill them now. Not for any sort of religious reason, though there are enough of those kinds of people too, but because society already ostracizes people who keep to themselves. And now we have a test for it... "what music do you like?"
seryn: flowers (Eryngo)
As an aside to another conversation--- largely irrelevant so not cited-- I think one of the largest problems with our current culture is the mismatch between what people believe is a unique experience.

Think of the phrase, "Laugh and the world laughs with you, cry and you cry alone." Except it's not true. Humor isn't very universal. Even among peoples who share a language... there's a line in the movie Bottle Shock where Alan Rickman's character says, "You don't like me because you think I'm an arsehole, but I'm not. I'm British." Most Americans don't think the British have humor because they see Stephen Fry as a dramatic actor.

Now remember how it felt to be a teenager. No one else had ever had a bad breakup like yours. No one else had ever lost a pet like yours. No one else has ever been misunderstood like you are. Everything bad that happens to you hurts so much that it must be unique. And yet... when someone dies we send sympathy cards because we're all expected to have personal experience from which to sympathize. I don't think there are people who haven't had a bad breakup or lost someone special... and I seriously suspect that everyone is still misunderstood, it's just that once you get to be an adult you're not expected to be a clone of everyone else and differences are tolerated.

We act like tragedy is unique, but it's not. That's why so much literature has its basis in tragedy. It's universal. Everyone gets it. It's easy to make an emotional connection with a remote reader if you kill off a beloved character. A durable emotional connection over time is what makes something "literature".

No one even tries to have a sustainable emotional connection via joy. So the height of our literary culture settles for mediocrity.
seryn: quill pen (quill pen)
Elsewhere there was a question about what word to use for the scattered things around one's home, like knick-knacks.

This is my response:
If I want to convey what's in a room, I usually go for specifics. There is almost no time where the kinds of things collected are not a window into character. Using a catch-all word is wasting an opportunity. If you say knick knacks, it's not the same as saying figurines of oddly misshapen children each on its own hand made doily. If you say things, it's not like saying dusty bobble-head dolls waiting to laugh at the slightest breeze. There's nothing like saying "an entire shelf of Star Trek action figures" to tell you about a 40 year old man who isn't married and bounces from job to job. Even saying "Unidentifiable things lovingly dusted and secure behind glass doors" is better than knick knacks.
seryn: fountain pen nib (screed pen)
There's a poll on Dear Author (the blog) asking if grammatical/spelling errors are a serious problem to you the reader.

They are largely talking about true typographical errors, not the kind where the author can't bloody type, but the ones introduced by the printing process--- which is still the case, they still typeset even in this era, and apparently they do so by OCRing the manuscript. That's fucking ridiculous and a stupid method that obviously needs to be addressed with better software linkage.

But I hate errors in published work. What's the difference between fanfic and published work? From here, published work costs a significant amount of money and is much more inconvenient to obtain and often impossible to comment upon therefore the author never hears back about what does and doesn't work for you the reader.

I am somewhat tolerant of mild errors in fanfic. I'm irritated, of course, but free is free. Even so, persistent errors and a refusal to address those mistakes will get me to stop reading anything by an author, especially the ones who say the story is more important than arbitrary grammatical rules. You can't ignore the medium entirely without leaving the impression that your oil painting is a kindergartner's crayon drawing.

When I have paid $9 for a paperback and there are continuity issues, character issues (like a woman who says she never eats vegetables and orders a salad on a date without any explanation), I blame the publisher for letting an untested author off the leash. When there are grammatical and spelling and typographical errors, I truly wonder what I am paying for.

I have some expectations that a professional publishing house will actually do their jobs. That means actual editing, oversight, and getting a handle on the caveats of their process. If they're not going to be professional about it, then I don't see why I should pay them full price.
seryn: quill pen (quill pen)
I got up out of bed last night so I wouldn't forget the idea I had.

I keep thinking I should love poetry, but I almost never do because it always reads like someone's half-assed outline to a story they're not actually going to write the rest of.

So I've been thinking about what kinds of formal poetry would be really interesting, what kinds of poetics would apply to modern American English.

I came up with several ideas. 1) fore-rhyme. I grew up in the midwest where almost every unstressed syllable is schwa. Lots of things sort of rhyme when the accent is like that. But it's really rare for the first syllable of something to be unaccented. I think we should come up with a fore-rhyme method, where "crying" and "bride" are considered to have fore-rhyme.

2) Combination/expansion of other poetic formats, that might take advantage of word processing/layout effects.

I'd like to see, for example, a haiku written vertically, one word per line... but the rest of the poem fills in each line. Preferably with the haiku part in the center. And perhaps with style points given for using fewer overall lines in the poem. (So longer, multisyllabic haiku words would be cooler.) But it has to actually make sense and have its own rhyme (or fore-rhyme), meter, alliteration, assonance, metaphor, etc. It has to be an actual poem, but there could be a super-imposed structure restricting the format.

I guess my problem with a lot of poetry is that we're told over and over again that the poet is restricted and couldn't come straight out and say something coherently. But when it's non-rhyming, non-metrical, non-formal, free verse... it hardly seems like the poet was restricted at all. It's not poetry because that's the best choice, it's poetry because the poet's an asshole too ignorant to even be pretentious.

           the briar patch was
               shaped like a 
               triangle. it was
               shorn down to
           dry grass and
               shrubbery which sadly
               writhed under
       shining sun while
               prying hoes 
shoveled weeds away.

seryn: fountain pen nib (screed pen)
I just read something interesting by Jennifer Crusie.
http://www.arghink.com/2006/09/25/confessions-of-a-reformed-quote-whore/

I hate those quotes on book covers used to sell books. All of them. If I find a quote I agree with, then I can sort of understand it, but some of my favorite authors read particular sub-genres I find unappealing. (Which is the polite phrasing of, "You read that? It's pure crap.") But I've always known that Steven King doesn't read 500 books in a year, so after the 10th book someone's got their name tagging a quote on, I know that's not someone's who is recommending the book.

Probably most authors don't read the things they're quoting for.

The post (linked above) says authors want to help each other out. I understand that since it's hard to get an agent without an established author vouching for your completed book. It's hard to get a publishing contract without an inside pathway. It's hard to get your foot in the door anywhere if you're not a social git whose extroversion swamps any intellectual accomplishments you might have. So basically authors' first loyalties are to themselves, their family, their story, their editor, their publisher, their agents, other authors, the industry supporting them, people who can get them inside the bubble....... it's not until somewhere just above frog spit that readers even register with authors.

To quote for a book without reading it is to lie to readers.

I have assumed, for a very long time, that all of the quotes were lies. I try, whenever I see an author's name quoted recommending the book, to not buy that author's books. Really.

This is quadruply true whenever a book has no summary on the back and just quotes. Like Sunshine by Robin McKinley. About half that book was decent-ish, but the other half is a completely different book that is unrelated and incoherent. EVERY SINGLE PERSON who is quoted as loving that book is WRONG. It's not just that I didn't like Sunshine, it's that no one could have liked it. It should not have been published without someone reading the whole thing through and realizing it was half of a book and the rest sounded like a cold medicine induced delusion. Sunshine doesn't have a summary anywhere, probably because the author forgot what the book was about and then wrote that. The front cover has 5 quotes, the back cover is all filled with quotes. They even had to put in extra pages before the story to fit all the quotes.

I never put up Yelp reviews. I don't write reviews of Amazon items. Simply put, if I cannot say anything negative, then they are telling me what to say and I think they should write the comment themselves and leave me out of it. Publishers aren't going to include quotes unless they're wholly positive. So they might as well not bother having someone read it, they'll just write the quote themselves and ask someone famous to tie their name to it.

I figure with that kind of situation, no matter whose name is tied to it, anyone who is quoted on the book is lying. Chances are they didn't read the book. Chances are they didn't even write the quote their name is on. So whenever I see an author's name quoted as liking a book, I think that author is someone who doesn't give a shit about their own reputation or the quality and truth of their words. If an author is known to not care what they say, why would I read their books?

If an author is quoted on the front of a book recommending it. I might still buy the book, but I haven't read a single thing in 2 years which was worth staking a professional reputation upon, except the brand new book I read when it was new, The Warded Man, which did not have any quotes. I am holding every quote against the person whose name is tagging it.

If you quote for a book you haven't read, you have no interest in the quality of your words and I am not going to buy your books.
seryn: sad face sheep (sadmiro)
I was asked how there could be story without heap-big plot elements:


A lot of the non-genre fiction I've read has nothing that happens beyond the everyday normal stuff. People grow up, they do kid things, they grow up more and do adult things, other characters cycle in and out... but there's not a big war, no big tragedy, no gigantic crisis that defines the whole of that character's life. It's [supposedly] interesting in its banality.

It's like reading first person historical drama set in a time before all the people are dead.

I will be the first to admit that I cannot find a decent non-genre fiction book to save my sanity, but really, all of them have been like that.

I don't get the point. If I wanted to read about everyday things happening to everyday people, I'd, you know, make actual friends and have actual conversations with real live people.

But when I'm reading a science fiction book or a fantasy book, the author has invested so much effort into creating the "everyday" aspect, I just think it's a waste that there's always a war on. Or some danger of mass imminent deaths.

It seems like we could spend whole books having a tour and meeting the people who have banal lives in a world where the gods walk among the people and there are talking animals and the sun sets in a purple sky with 3 moons overhead.

And it seems like there's no point in reading yet another Garrison Keillor book where not only is everything banal, you could go there (or somewhere so incredibly similar as to be indistinguishable) yourself and live an equally trite existence.

Stuff doesn't need to change in order for it to be interesting, but it does need to be different. Tons and tons of non-genre fiction proves that all the time. And I think it's backward. Books about the now starring regular people should have to have plot to justify their existence because otherwise there's nothing different there.

I know it's almost impossible for authors to imagine how to show what's different without a plot framework to stretch the world around. But I'm tired of reading about people who have much much bigger problems than I do. My problems are sufficiently insoluble for me and when I can find an hour to relax, I'd rather have a family of talking animals wondering if it's going to rain on their picnic or shapeshifters seducing mundane women where they're given a handbook on how to fit in to the new culture because everyone wants them to feel welcome.

Everything I read is so violent or so tragic or so damned hard for the characters in the stories, it's just exhausting.
seryn: tea (virgin tea)
Is there a place one can go to retrieve memes when one has no friends who do such things?

Some of them look fun, I particularly like the discussion ones. Where, instead of it being telling all about one's self, it's something one thinks about a relatively innocuous subject and one's friends can jump in and share their opinions.

I am, however, extremely wary of things that ask seemingly innocuous questions and generate your "go-go dancer nickname" or whatever. Name of first pet, name of street where you grew up, name of first grade teacher... those are all things that are asked for security questions in various places like banks to verify online transactions.

----

I'm tired of sex scenes where it's first base, second base, third base, oral sex, then Tab A into Slot A. (I try not to read too much of the Tab A into Slot B kind. And very very little of the "rub Tab A against Tab A from the second kit.") I've read sex scenes where they skip the kissing--- which is immediately followed with some discussion about whores (I didn't know that whores don't kiss clients, so it seemed like some myth fic writers created to generate imaginary conflict.) But I haven't read any erotic fiction where they skip the breast/nipple play. I'm sure there's some M/M stuff but I admit it does nothing for me and I don't read much of it; the little I do read seems to be written by middle-aged women with too many children and they are obsessed with talking and foreplay... I don't think all women like the same erogenous activities, but breasts aren't optional and I don't understand it. I've read erotic fiction where they never go below the waist but everyone gets off. But I have NEVER read erotic fiction where a female character's breasts don't matter. Most of the stuff written in the sex scenes would leave a woman's breasts covered in bruises and I just don't understand it. For a while, ~10 years ago, it seemed like all erotica was foot-obsessed. Just about every sex scene had toe-sucking in it. I remember my friends asking me if I thought it was erotic. Lately it seems like lots of writers are into spanking and light bondage. I see so much of these things that it's stopped seeming kinky.

I'd like to see a sex scene where a woman who has had a double mastectomy could still read it and be titillated but not feel inadequate.

--

I felt less than inadequate today. I taught a bunch of people with whom I share no common language knitting skills. And I sucked less at it than last time.

I also went for Japanese food at a different place. I'd stopped eating there and now I remember why. They've got truly abysmal service and the menu prices do not match the prices charged. Food was good today, but I didn't get what I ordered. I ordered several kinds of sushi and received similar items. Not like I ordered veg and received fish, but like I got mushroom instead of cucumber. That's lame. But I might go back once more since it wasn't crowded.
seryn: fountain pen nib (screed pen)
I was discussing Nancy Kress elsewhere. Apparently she's written several books of advice and teaching for authors. I have only read her fiction.

In one of the books this girl, who spent a great deal of time preceding this scene explaining to the reader how much of a good person she is. Then, rather suddenly, she beats someone to death and plucks out their eye. This eyeball is carried with her to defeat the electronic sensors.

It has been my personal experience that people who view themselves as good people either hide their practicality or are mentally incapable of planning viciousness despite its practicality. If you could ask women on the street, of the ones who honestly think of themselves as good people, 100% of them will say they cannot imagine a scenario wherein they would carve out someone's eyeball after beating them to death.

Perhaps it is a gender bias or a cultural bias, but modern American society does not laud practicality (home owners associations that ban clotheslines) nor does it applaud violence done by women.

I knew it was meant to be shocking when I read it. But I didn't think it was shocking at all, of course if you need to defeat eyeball readers, you take the eye of someone with the appropriate clearance. How stupid would you have to be not to do the useful thing?

But I am extremely careful not to say that in public, especially amongst other women because I am already alien at heart, I do not need to prove that I am unwelcome as well.

Peggy not Mary

Saturday, 25 July 2009 01:51 pm
seryn: flowers (Eryngo)
I dragged my ass out of bed in the middle of the night so I could write down what was in my head.

It's starting out with a crazy lady who talks to cats.

Now in the full bright light of afternoon, I'm worried that people will accuse me of writing MarySue.
seryn: quill pen (quill pen)
I hurt my brain with a plot bunny.

[Started with EA torturing its booth babes, which went to Dungeon Keeper and the annoying noise the NPCs made, STU!, so clearly boothbabes drop from the ceiling.]

Then I realized how awesome it would be to be a decently dressed lesbian woman who loved games.

(It wasn't bad being a decently dressed straight woman who loves games either, but it's not a place to pull because the attendees don't tend to be eligible-- unwashed, jobless, living with mommy, obsessed with "graphics" over substance; or usually all of those. If you're 44-55-40, don't tell me you won't even consider a woman who's a size 10 and short. [it's been a while, I cannot wear a size 10 anymore])

I can feel the bunny ears flapping in my head. Now I just need to wind them up and feel it take off like a helicopter in a Bugs Bunny cartoon.
seryn: flowers (Eryngo)
I've been thinking I should start writing. Then I could post stuff to the various writing groups here on DW. Responses to prompts and whatever. Then I would be visible and I would see more people myself. Alain de Botton wrote an entire book on the premise, "You get out of things what you put into them." so maybe I should actually participate.

But just because it's a good idea doesn't make it easy to start on.

All the prompts lately haven't been inspirational. I might as well be using WOTD things.

I've got snippets of things in a notebook, but nothing really stellar. I wrote an essay from the vampire's perspective of dealing with an anti-vampire bias. It's one of those things that functions as a controlling paragraph; when I read that, I know what that world feels like. I don't think it works as something other people can read.

I attempted to write a sequel chapter to "Lindy Hop" [must go find link, pls wait], but so much of the original is out of date already, it seems really bizarre. There isn't a good way to build on that since it's not making the same kind of connection it did when those referents were current pop culture.

I've almost got something else from my interactions with the local cats. But nothing has gelled in my mind. Of course the danger is if something completely sets, I don't have any need to write it down. I tend to write because I want to know how the story ends and I don't mind sharing it with you all. But if I know how something goes, fuck the audience, they can write their own.

Last week's disgust with the fanfic was almost enough to draw me back into that, but I need a new fandom before I can be bothered. I know it's not right to say that the canon poisoned things, but that's how I feel and I don't want to play in someone's catbox even if you give me a shovel and pail.
seryn: fountain pen nib (screed pen)
Apparently I have successfully divorced myself from all fandoms. I was oblivious to the kerfluffle about whether fic should have warnings.

Heyla! This is excellent. I can read fic and don't have to deal with any of the drama.

I have been a proponent of warnings for a very long time. I think actual books should have warnings (and this is one of the reasons why I prefer fic to published books, though the overall balance between them is more neutral and I still buy books.)

It started because when I was writing, I only wrote stuff that was intended to stab the reader in the emotions. I wanted it to hurt because that was easy for me and I had realized readers equate emotional-connection with quality. It doesn't matter whether the emotional connection is a positive one or if it makes you want to run screaming into the night... the ability to reach people remotely is what makes something art.

However, I do not want to feel like I've wandered into a cave with a pissed off saber-tooth tiger because it's that kind of fic, so I don't read things marked "horror" or "torture" or even just "dark"--- I appreciate knowing in advance too.

I assumed if I'm writing about a woman killing her child by watching it crushed against rocks by the ocean... there are a LOT of people who are going to be damaged if I'm successful. In a fandom full of angsty teens, I didn't want to be the nth writer who described suicide and becoming that proverbial last straw. When you start by writing a suicidal character who makes a big show of it, you have to believe in warnings.

I have problems with some of the warnings on some sites though. A lot of writers are now using "angst" and "dark" on everything even when it's not well enough written to be anything other than laughable. I'm also really offended that slash and threesomes require warnings beyond the adult-ness of the restriction. But writers put graphic graphic childbirth scenes in fic "suitable for all audiences" all the time. I find that really squicky and I think it should have the same adult-restricted nature that most sexually-related activities involving bodily fluids do---- but I don't think it needs a specific warning label.

If we had warning labels for "graphic violence" and accurate genre tags (so I can avoid the horror ones) and character lists that only list paired characters (so those who never read het, never read slash, or never read poly could tell what they were getting into), I think I could go for that kind of generic warnings.

I never want to read stuff like the first Terry Goodkind book Wizard's First Rule, where the main character, Richard, is graphically (on the page, written out) tortured for several chapters in the middle of what is otherwise your everyday epic fantasy. I never want to read something like The Iron Dragon's Daughter. Those kinds of books look like your average fantasy book from the outside, from the summary on the back, etc. There is no way to tell from the outside that it teaches how to hurt someone mentally and physically until the damage is permanent. There is no way to tell that the book teaches the reader how to enjoy hurting people. If those had been fic, people would have been screaming to the mods for warnings but I got them from my public library because the librarians had no way of knowing from the catalogs that the content was so vile.

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