Get some perspective!

The Writer’s Digest prompt for the week isn’t up yet.  I have no idea what to do with myself (isn’t it funny how quickly something like that can become part of your essential routine?).

SO…

Perspective is a funny thing, isn’t it?  I look at SO and the chemist in me thinks silicon monoxide, and wonders where the other oxygen got to.  Some people just see a capitalized “so.”

[A]…

And this one… this means the concentration of A, and I naturally expect that is in moles per liter.  Some people just see that part of a quote has been altered to fit the purposes of the quoter.

Janus…

Two-faced Roman god for whom a month is named or an extremely nifty type of nanoparticle?  (Or the Judge Council’s secret project?  Link is a spoiler!)

Where I saw giant fighting robots in Transformers, my graphic designer friend just saw a ponderous number of polygons.

The examples go on and on and on (and on and on and on); who we are shapes what we take away from our experiences.

SO… it’s essential to get some perspective.  Quirky little observations are a simple sentence or two and really help immerse you in the person you’re reading about.  If someone makes a comparison of fabric to the fur of their Persian cat or their mother’s homemade dresses, it gives us a very simple, very identifiable way to characterize that person.  A link to a profession can really help develop a fuller view of the world, from that character’s perspective.

BUT… (a four carbon chain… connected to what, I wonder?)

Don’t overdo it!

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And the winner for favorite month goes to…

Well, that, for most people I know, is December.  But I also know a lot of Christians.

For me… I don’t know… December cheats.  It has so many good things in it, like my birthday and Christmas and New Years Eve (and actual vacation time, yipee!).

But my favorite month, not including December, which I hereby classify as a “super-month,” is October.  The fall is my favorite season, with its beautiful leaves and colors.  And October has Halloween.  Given that I like to think of anything but reality, what better holiday than one where you get to dress up like someone else and eat candy like it won’t ruin your figure?

But my dad hates fall.  It means everything looks like it’s dying and that winter will come soon.

So what about you guys?  I’d love to know what the general consensus is.

I’d also love to know your reasons- comment away!  I think this will provide useful information for developing characters.

Critique- constructive or destructive- welcome here.

Well, I said I’d post about my adventure, and here I am.

Yesterday, I got my first critique!  Oh, you should read it- it was scathing and horrible and broke down into misspelled swears and accusations about my personal life in just three posts.  And to that gentleman, thought he may never read this, I say…

Thank you.

This was an inevitable step along the bumpy path to becoming a writer.  I won’t please everyone all the time.  My own boss hates fantasy, so I won’t have a fan there, and there are plenty more like him.  There will be people who hate my style (with my *long* sentences and my occasional fragments- which I will endeavor to clean up and clarify).

But you know what, that’s okay.

We don’t write creatively to make an bland row of all-the-same-shit on the bookshelves.  We write to make some variety, and that takes all of us.  Tolkein’s writing is downright painful, whereas LeGuin keeps it shorter and simpler.  And yet they both have fans.  We can’t all write with the same voice, or we’ll only be writing for one group of people.

So I’ll try to improve.  That’s what I’m here for, and that’s why I’ll keep posting on WD.

Love eternal,
Svapne

Why do we write?

I only just started posting on Writer’s Digest, and I only just started this blog… but the community is just so amazing, creative, supportive, and helpful that I have found it so profoundly easy to become attached.

A member of that community just lost his father.  And how do I know this?  Because he wrote a beautiful story about it, and shared it with us.  It’s a reply to the Never Ending Dream prompt, and you can read it here.  I was touched, just reading it, and then I realized…

I’ve always had a habit of skipping over numbers.  I don’t know why I never read numerals, but I don’t.  I re-read them.  The story was posted yesterday, the very same day that his father died.

I’m not sure what I will do when I lose someone that dear… I will cry and scream and cry and cry and cry and beg the universe to undo it… but write?  I never thought about it before.  But every time I’ve lost someone dear, I’m flooded with emotion, and what better way to express that than in prose or poetry or song or art?

So why do we write?  I think it’s always to release something, whether that be pent-up creativity or persistent emotion.

So to Tim Smith, I say, thank you for sharing your story.  I hope it was just the catharsis you needed, for that moment.

Ruminations on Death in Literature

The Never Ending Dream prompt from Writer’s Digest spawned my last post, and, as usual, generated a stream of amazing responses on their site.  This one is without a doubt my favorite.  The author and I then entered a small discussion about death in literature, and it got me thinking about the subject.  And so here I am, typing away.

Spoiler alert: in my writing, people tend to die.

My acting editor/enslaved boyfriend can back this up: he knows exactly what I’ve done if I tell him “I’m a bastard.”  It means I’ve written another death, and it was probably someone we care about as readers, and I made it sad.

The following are a few points on death and dying from my personal experience, and my writing habits.  I’d love to hear your opinions: please comment away.

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Beginning […] The End

I know, usually, where I’d like to start.  I have my point A.

I know, usually, where I’d like to end.  I have my point B.

For me, it’s only natural to write what I know, and wait for inspiration to show itself so I can write a part here or there.  The Worldtree Trilogy is a mess of sporadic passages and half-finished chapters, written whenever the mood strikes me.  (My poor boyfriend is my acting editor, and he no longer has any idea what the timeline of events is like because of this.)  I’ve been trying very hard to write in a linear fashion; The Bizarre is the first project written mostly in order.  But I recently had a huge bout of inspiration for the end, and, so as not to waste it and forget everything, I fell to temptation.  I wrote the end.

So, I ask you, how do you write?  Is it a bad habit to write the beginning and the end and fill things in as you think of them?  Is it bad instead to try to force things in a linear manner only to be disappointed by the course of things later?

Am I weird, or is this normal?

Character Development

Back in 8th grade, I had a bunch of creative friends and a few of them decided to allow friends to create characters for their stories (this is cool in some ways, but also gets you things like Kokuei, whose hair color I couldn’t just leave simple… “black hair… with green bangs… with blue streaks… and white tips”).

I decided to take this a step further since my parents had a nice new computer and printer, and I made up a form.  I started having friends design characters for… the project devoutly-to-be-hidden-away-from-the-light-of-day (my boyfriend is supposed to love me.  Even he laughed in my face.  If it were a drinking game where you do a shot every time you laugh, you’d be hospitalized by page 10.  More on that here, if you like.).

I have long since lost my character development sheet, but it was to the effect of:

  • Character basics: name, race, age
  • Character-istics: height, hair color, eye color, tattoos, scars, etc.
  • Character quirks: accent, rampant phobia of butterflies (seriously, why did anyone let me make characters for them?), etc.
  • Character favorites: food, drink, color, etc.
  • Character back story: origins, goals, motivations, etc.

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