fireez: (Misc - sanity via plotbunny)
Got this from [personal profile] anactoria .

Put a number in the comments and I’ll answer accordingly.

The mission for those of us who answer the questions, should we accept it, is to stay positive about our writing and ourselves, but to also be fair about our shortcomings.

1. Of the fic you’ve written, of which are you most proud?
2. Favourite tense
3. Favourite POV
4. What are some themes you love writing about?
5. What inspires you to write?
6. Thoughts on critique
7. Create a character on the spot... NOW!
8. Is there a character you love writing for the most? The least? Why?
9. A passage from a WIP
10. What are your strengths in writing?
11. What are your weaknesses in writing?
12. Anything else that you want to know... (otherwise known as Fill in the Blank)

fireez: (Marvel Movies - Loki say whut)
Yesterday, my bb and I had a very interesting discussion about interpreting fictional characters, and stories in general.

The whole thing grew out of me having a rantfest about how fed up I am with pretentious SJ wankers on tumblr insisting that they have the one true interpretation of a character, and everyone who denies that is obviously not only wrong but a social justice sinner.

And I'm sitting over here making a face not unlike the one in my icon and thinking to myself "have you people ever heard of things like literary theory? Of authorial intent and reader response? How can you stand there and proclaim that your interpretation is the only valid one when there are so many other ways of seeing this?"

Saying "it's obvious that the author meant X" is being pretentious to the extreme. For one, the only person who knows what the author meant is the author himself. And if she or he is dead, good luck with asking them. And even if you can ask them, authorial intent is not the be all and end all of literary interpretation. Once you put a story out there, you are inviting others to see it through their eyes, to see it with their subjective and personal point of view. To them, the words you wrote might have an entirely different meaning than to you.

That's also something people often seem to forget. Interpretations of literature depend a lot on the person doing them. On who they are, what experiences they have had during their life, their age, the country they live in, the times they live in. The interpretations of a 20-something from the US are going to be vastly different from those of a 40-year-old Englishman in the 1890s, simply because times, values and society are different in every country and every decade.

So sitting there with your interpretation and declaring them the obvious truth is not only silly and pretentious, it's also pretty sad. You're robbing yourself of the chance to assume a different point of view, a different perspective on things. And here's where the disrespectful from the header comes in. I think it's disrespectful to any piece of literature to reduce it to one "obvious" interpretation. You are doing the story, the characters and the author a disservice if you don't at least try to see things in more than one way.

And really, what are stories if not gateways into the minds of people who are not like you? Why do people read, if not for going places, times and circumstances that they would never be able to go otherwise? It's... sad, seeing people adhere to this "one right way of seeing this" school of thought. It's what a lot of teachers in high school do. They give you marks according to how well you parrot either their own or the interpretation du jour. Doesn't matter if you can actually back your own interpretation of things up with arguments. It's not the "right" one, so it doesn't count.

Which is exactly what those people on tumblr and other platforms are doing. They're stuck in high school. Bad high school. Where there's one way of seeing things and all the others are wrong.

It's one thing I really loved, and still love, about the Watchmen fandom. You were able to have civilized, mature discussions about how the characters might be interpreted. Some people are of the opinion that Adrian is clearly a sociopath who doesn't really care about humanity as much as he cares about his own glorification. Others, like me, see it differently. And both sides can back their interpretation up with arguments. I might not be swayed by them, but I don't deny that you could see it that way. I don't insult people for thinking differently.

It's similar, only a lot more vitriolic, in the Berserk fandom. Is Griffith a sociopathic monster or not? Most people think he is, some think he isn't. But civilized discussion is a lot harder because people refuse to be, well, civilized.

So far, I've been quite impressed by the Hannibal fandom on this account. There's a discussion going as to if Hannibal cares for Will on some level, or if he's just using him as an interesting experiment, like you would a guinea pig. Or maybe he's doing both at the same time (my own interpretation) because the way thinks is just so far removed from "normal" that he can actually do both. His moral compass is so off, it doesn't even exist any more.

Basically, I think that people are robbing themselves of a lot of fun by clinging to one interpretation when it's obvious that there might be different ones. But then, I prefer intellectual excercise over intellectual masturbation.

Must read

Jun. 9th, 2013 04:29 pm
fireez: (Default)
Over the last few days, I've been devouring "Among Others" by Jo Walton. It's won both the Hugo and the Nebula award, and I can really see why. It's an amazing book, a magical realism coming of age story about books, reading and finding yourself. And unlike some other stories about books, it's not about "proper" literature or "the classics", but about SF and Fantasy (though mostly about SF). Thinking about it, that could have played a role in why it won those awards :P. Anyway, I highly recommend it. It's one of those "oh I'll read a bit and oops it's 100 pages and an hour later" books.

Also, there's a few quotes I really liked

In here )
fireez: (Quotes - Geek Fangirl no apologies!)
Apologies to those who see this twice. X-posted from my fic journal [personal profile] sermocinare 

Fandom: Les Miserables
Title: Nothing to regret
Pairings/Characters: Enjolras/Grantaire, most of the other Amis are along for the ride
Rating: R (lol)
Summary: None of this would have happened if Enjolras hadn't gotten drunk with Grantaire, of all people. Then again, maybe it had been a good idea after all.
Warnings: Drunk sex, self-esteem issues
Notes: All of this grew from a friend's prompt of "Enjolras and Graintaire, drunk sex, regrets, 15 minutes late with Starbucks and a happy ending". I love my friends :P.

In the end, it all came down to the fact that Enjolras didn't drink.
fireez: (Marvel Movies - Tony tech)
Stealing the idea from anactoria:

I'm giving out free kittens ficlets to anyone who wants one. Just give me a fandom, pairing and whatever else you'd like to see in the fic. I'm also doing original fic, if you give me your general idea (for example "I want robot unicorns!").

The fandom you can choose from are:
- Watchmen
- Avengers and associated movies
- X-Men: First Class
- Star Trek: Deep Space Nine (though I haven't written for that one in at least 10 years)

I'm also doing crossovers between said fandoms as well as tie-ins to any of the fics I've previously written (@sermocinare, if you want to take a look at them)

fireez: (Default)
Some of you have already expressed a willingness to go through the first draft of my feminist victorian lesbian romance novel (with serial killers!). Now that I've put all the pieces in (hopefully) proper order, I'm ready to send it out, if you are still willing to recieve it.

Stuff I'm interested in regarding feedback at this point: the big picture!
Do the characters work? Are they believable?
How's the story? Is the story believable, or are there truck-sized plot holes that throw you off? How's the flow? Too fast, too slow, where does it need to go faster, slower?
Anything you think is missing?
Anachronisms! There are a lot of them! Help me find them!
What are your favorite parts? What parts are your least favorite?
...and everything else that comes to mind. Don't bother too much with stuff like spelling and grammar, that's for the next round :P.

Also, this really is the first draft, read, unchanged since NaNo. I wanted some feedback before I go fucking around with it.

Comments are screened, so if you want to read it - even if you don't want or can't give much feedback - put your e-mail in the comments, and I'll send you the file (it's .doc, but I can turn it into any other format).

Thank you in advance for doing this :)
fireez: (Default)

The novel stands at 50.078 words, and still has two big scenes to be written before the first bit of editing can begin.

But today I'm going to bask in the glory of that badge up there.

fireez: (DS9 - Made of awesome (Julian go me!))
45.125 words. I wrote 1.600 words today. AFTER WORK. Yeah, I feel pretty good about myself right now. And fuck being humble, I'm officially showing off.

(Normal commenting service shall resume when my brain isn't all splat from work and my other work)

fireez: (Avatar - Aang meditating)
Stats under the cut ;) )
I'm trying a new approach this time. Instead of writing from start to finish, I'm doing some important scenes, things I already have mapped in my head, first. Pretty much in random order. I have the beginning, I have the end, now I'm doing some points inbetween. And then I'll play connect the dots. Put some flesh on the bones. I'm hoping that this will keep me from losing steam too early in the game. And I kind of like first person POV. It's great for rambling, heh.

Also, I've been happy the last two days. Really, genuinely happy. I haven't felt this way in a long time. Part of it is being on vacation and being able to de-stress, but a lot of it is also down to me writing. Because writing makes me happy. Sure, sometimes, when I have a block or don't know how to go on with the story, it's frustrating. But overall, it's the one thing that gives me balance. It makes me feel alive, healthy, myself.

I'm immensely relieved, too. See, I was afraid that due to being on meds, my creativity would die. That it would vanish along with my episodes. And for some time, that really seemed to be the case. I haven't written anything much in months. But it didn't die. It's still here, and it doesn't need extreme moods to surface. What it does need, though, is energy. And well, first there was school, then there was the breakdown, and then I had so much fucking stress at work that I was basically dead inside. There wasn't enough energy left for this kind of self-care. For me, just doing normal shit is really hard at times. Turn up the heat, and I'm burning mental, emotional and physical energy at the rate a hummingbird burns sugar.

It feels so good to finally feel like myself again.

fireez: (Default)
I love Fridays. Because what follows is the weekend. Less work, more play.

The weather was really nice today, and I spent the whole bicycle ride back home coming up with terribly florid metaphors for my surroundings. If I wrote them down, I'm pretty sure people would either think "wow this is awesome" or "wow this person is a complete hipster". Anyway, it inspired me to write, and my still not finished crossover fic now has another scene to it. It's short, but hey, we're getting somewhere again!

Yesterday, I came up with the idea to make a nice detailed spreadsheet to keep track of my moods. I used to do it via, but the problem with that one is that it doesn't keep track of ALL THE THINGS on the form. And I want to keep track of ALL THE THINGS. So I'll devise my own. Which has the added bonus of that I can keep track of things that are specific to me. Or might be.

I bought some retro games recently, and have started playing and breeding Creatures again. I used to spend hours with that game back when I was still living at home, and during my first few years at university. Before I got into the Sims. It's a fun little game, and hey, it was cheap. I also want to re-play all the Ultima RPGs. OK, all of them from IV onwards, because the first three ones are pretty much one long dungeon crawl with hardly and story and really retro (as in, almost nonexistent) graphics. They're still my gold standard for what a computer RPG, or any kind of RPG, should be. Complex story, moral dilemmas and fun times killing things.


Oct. 3rd, 2012 10:15 am
fireez: (Misc - flood of ideas)
So I've declared October to be NaNoPlanMo, National Novel Planning Month. Meaning that I will use this month to do some serious planning of possible novels. Characters, setting, plot outline (from which I will deviate like hell because that is what I do).

I've pretty much dropped idea 3 for now, since I need to do more soul-searching for it to work.

But I just developed a neat twist for idea 1 (the Anti-Twilight). In Twilight, we get Edward being all creepy and stalkerish, but the way the actual danger that being with a vampire (being killed and sucked dry) is handled is done very poorly. We know that Edward and his family are harmless because we are told this over and over. There is no real threat, and the whole "woe, you cannot be with me because I am dangerous" thing isn't anything more than the author being coy. And that's something that has always bothered me about those books. You never think of Edward being an actual threat to Bella.

So in my story, that threat is going to be very real. As in, this guy actually kills people. I'm not entirely sure yet if I'm going to add a supernatural element or just have him be a sociopathic serial killer, but yeah, that guy really is fucking dangerous. But he's also charming and knows how to play people, so our main character will at first fall for him. Hard. And then people will start dropping dead and shit will get real, because he is obsessed with our main character.

The more I think about this, the more I like it. Mostly because I think that pure romance novels are boring as fuck, so I needed to come up with an element that actually interests me, and well, I like killing people :P. 

fireez: (Quotes - become a pirate)
I'm going to do NaNoWriMo again this year. I missed it last year, since I had too much else on my plate, but this year, I've taken half of November off to get a head start, and plan on at least giving it my damndest to reach the 50.000. Because NaNoWriMo is awesome, and writing makes me feel good.

I've got three rather vague ideas for what my project's going to be. I plan on doing all three of them. Not at the same time, of course :P. But one for NaNo, and then I'm going to tackle the others.

Idea 1: The Anti-Twilight (and 50 Shades and all those other despicable romance novels)
One girl, two competing lovers. One's an Edward type, read, he's a stalker, an asshole and an overbearing twit. But he's also really hot and mysterious and everything. The other is a nice person, a friend to our heroine. And in the end, after some confusion, she chooses... the decent one. Because she sees that this hot, mysterious guy is in fact a total asshole, and realizes that she deserves something better than him. I'm thinking about making the decent one a girl, because hey, why not. The world needs more bisexual protagonists.

Idea 2: The Apocalypse, with Zombies and Angels.
This one already kind of exists, at least in my mind. So the Biblical apocalypse happened, but kind of not exactly how it was described. The dead rose as zombies, and the Angels are genocidal assholes, since they believe that everyone left on earth is a sinner (too bad NO ONE got zapped into heaven) and that they should rule the earth from now on. So we have our intrepid band of survivors avoiding the zombies and the angels while trying to find a way to stop it all.

Idea 3: The Psychological Horror Novel that is ttly not autobiographical
This one is the least developed idea. All I have is this idea of a girl who gets sucked into a parallel dimension with monsters and dark magic. She gets pulled into a war between two factions of that world, both of whom are trying to win her over for their cause. It turns out that both sides are playing her, and she has to find a way to destroy them both.

Right now, I'm most tempted by Idea 2, since that one is the most developed, and I've wanted to tackle it for a long time. Tough Idea 1 is probably the easiest to pull off. I guess I'll decide around mid-October, and see if I can come up with rough outlines for all of them until then.
fireez: (Misc - flood of ideas)
Stuff Fireez is no longer allowed to do at work )

My desire to write is coming back. Just a low tickle at the back of my mind, but hey, that's something. Also, I've finally come up with an idea on how to make that Berserk/Watchmen crossover work, so there might be some fic forthcoming.

I am going to do NaNoWriMo again this year. I'm taking two weeks of vacation in November, so it should be doable. Even if I don't actually win, I remember that it's always been fun. I'm thinking of writing a horror novel this time.

Last but not least, one of my Avengers fics has reached almost 1200 views and 86 kudos on AO3. Since I come from a small fandom, this makes me feel like

And speaking of fanfic, albeit the horrible kind: 50 Shades of Holy Crap this is Bad has reached Germany. What makes this actually funny instead of horrible is that the book is being sold by a company that is owned in part by... wait for it... THE CATHOLIC CHURCH. Yup. The Catholics are selling bad BDSM porn. The snark during lunch breaks at work has been epic, I tell ya. Especially about the part where some of the outlets put little signs with "Company Name is distancing itself from the contents of the book" next to the stack of porn. Yeah, pull the other one, it's got bells on it. If you distance yourself from something, you DO NOT SELL IT.
fireez: (Marvel Movies - Cap)
Small things can make my day worse. A sentence, a word, even a look.

But small things can also make my day better. Like getting a comment or a kudos on one of my old fics, the ones where I'm surprised people are still reading them. And what's best about that is that I know it's actually a give-give thing. Someone is giving me the warm fuzzies by leaving a note on my work, and I've given someone a story that made their day better, even if it only was for the 10 or so minutes it took them to read it.

Sometimes, I think the real reason why I write is that I want to somehow give back what I got - the enjoyment I got out of reading a good story, and the minutes and hours for which I was able to escape whatever trouble I was having and slip into a world that wasn't this one.

Reading and writing is escapism, but I don't think that escapism is a bad word.
fireez: (Marvel Movies - Loki)
“I have to say that if you are a reader that just wanted your favorite characters on tap forever, and never cared about the creators, then actually you’re probably not the kind of reader that I was looking for. I have a huge respect for my audience. On the occasions when I meet them, they seem, I like to think, to be intelligent and scrupulous people. If people do want to go out and buy these Watchmen prequels, they would be doing me an enormous favor if they would just stop buying my other books. When I think of my audience, I like to have good thoughts and think about how lucky I am to have one that is as intelligent as mine and as moral as mine. […] The kind of readers who are prepared to turn a blind eye when the people who create their favorite reading material, their favorite characters, are marginalized or put to the wall — that’s not the kind of readers I want. So, even if it means a huge drop in sales upon my other work, I would prefer it that way. I mean, there’s no way I can police this, of course. But, I would hope that you wouldn’t want to buy a book knowing that its author actually had complete contempt for you. So, I’m hoping that will be enough.”

- Alan Moore on fans who buy Before Watchmen.

This confirms once and for all that Alan Moore is a huge douchecanoe who has reached levels of arrogance and detachment that are honestly astounding. I might actually comply with his wish, not out of respect for him, but out of disrespect for someone who thinks they are so high and mighty that they can insult the people who pay for their bills. Because yes, without us, the readership, Mr. Moore would just be another failed artist who drives a taxi and dreams of being famous one day.

Then again, I might not, because I don't actually give much of a fuck about what the author of something thinks of me. I'm pretty sure that a number of authors would have contempt for me, if they knew who I am and what kind of beliefs I hold. But that does not give them the right to dictate if I buy, read and enjoy your stories. If you put your story out there, well, you better be prepared that EVERYONE reads it. Even people you personally wouldn't touch with a ten foot pole.

Another thing that irks me is how he paints himself as some kind of martyr. He wasn't marginalized or put to the wall. He was asked, several times, if he wanted to be involved. He declined. Did he really think that DC would just bow down and say “okay then, we'll never do anything with this HUGELY FAMOUS AND POPULAR universe and characters that we own the rights to”? And they do own the rights to them, like it or not. Yes, the way they obtained the rights was a tad shady, but I think I've mentioned before that other authors have been fucked over way worse. Also, this is pretty much the way things are in the comic book business. Characters aren't property of their creators, but rather of the publishers. Else, we wouldn't have 60+ years of Superman, Captain America etc.

I don't think that me buying the prequels somehow makes me less intelligent and/or moral than if I wouldn't be buying them. This has nothing to do with intelligence or morals. It has to do with loving a set of characters and wanting to see what other people might do with them. Same reasons I read fanfic, really. But yes, I don't care about the creators. I care about the world and the characters. With some authors, I really do buy everything they write just because I think they're brilliant. Alan Moore is not one of them. Usually, I buy books for the stories, and not because I give a fuck about the person who wrote them. That's how this storytelling thing works. You are not as important as your story. If you can't deal with that, well, you should've become a different kind of celebrity. If you want personal fame, writing is really not the way to go. With writing, your stories will always be more famous than you. People will care more about your main characters and their lives than they care about you or your life. Deal with it, or choose a different profession.
fireez: (SPN - naughty Dean)
Spammage! Because I forgot to do this last year and was sad about it :(.
The 2011 fanfic meme )
fireez: (Marvel Movies - Cap)
Yes, I'm spamming. I know. But I can't not post about this.

So I was listening to the amazing Writing Excuses Podcast while cooking dinner, and I was hit by an epiphany of the "angels sing hallelujah in my head" kind.

See, ever since I'd written last year's NaNo project, I have been agonizing about it. Because while I love the characters and the setting/atmosphere and think that they are quite awesome, the story... well, let's not pull any punches, it kind of sucked. It had huge plotholes, and no matter how I tried to fix them, it just didn't work. But I didn't want to throw it away, because, you see, I had these awesome characters.

And then I listened to the podcast about trunk novels and it hit me: those characters would fit really well with my steampunk project. Which has a world and a story that actually kind of makes sense (well, up to the point where it goes down into "stuff happens" territory), but I was kind of struggling with the characters. So I think I'll do a character transplant. Which isn't too far fetched, since in its original form, the world the characters are from was a lot more steam/dieselpunky than it ended up being.

I kind of feel like a mad genius right now.

Also, my husband's comment to this when I came barging into his room telling him? "And you only came up with that now? You do that all the time when roleplaying!". ...sometimes, I really hate him :P.
fireez: (Marvel Movies - Tony booze)
I'm sad about not being able to do NaNo this year. And feeling kind of faily for it, because I did manage to do it while having a job that actually had more hours than the one I have now. But then, for reasons I have some tentative clues about, 41 hours at the museum weren't half as mentally and emotionally exhausting as 37,5 hours at the book shop. And I didn't have a correnspondence course. Also, my mental health was better. Why yes, I am never out of excuses.

Still, it sucks. I love NaNo. It makes me feel alive. I feel best when I'm writing.

Well, I fully intend to at least start an original project this month (hooray, it's not like I have two and a half abandoned ones lying around :P). I need to get back into writing original stuff.

It's going to be steampunk. With airships. And possibly love triangles. And revolutions.

Also, I bought a book on writing horror. It sounded interesting.


fireez: (Default)

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