megwrites: A pair of brown glasses on a worn wooden table with a shadowed white wall in the background. (glasses)
[personal profile] megwrites
1. We're in a state that I'd call "mostly settled" here in North Carolina. I say this because I've finally got all my books in the house and mostly accessible to me. I think it should say something that I was more worried about my books than most of my other things.

2. I've got a bunch of reviews to post, since two weeks and change of limited internet access gave me a lot of time to read. I'll get around to them eventually, but don't be surprised if you see review spam sometime soon.

3. For your geekish glee: Neil DeGrasse Tyson interviews Nichelle Nichols. This is relevant to all interests ever. Neil DeGrasse Tyson, people. My favorite real life geek ever. And Nichelle Nichols. I mean, really, do I even need to educate you about Uhura? Because I will. I will tell you all about Uhura.

4. To get the pot stirring again, I thought I'd try something called "True Writer Confessions", in which I confess some things which aren't really all that secret or guilty or anything, but are fun nonetheless.

- I hate Shakespeare. I cannot stand to read or see performed things by Shakespeare, and if I had to pick the most overglorified, overhyped body of work in the English language, I would pick all of Shakespeare's works. This is probably partly because I had a lot of him rammed down my throat in high school. People have made lots of comments why he was a genius over the centuries, but frankly? He bores me, the plays aren't that spectacular plot wise, and the language is either incomprehensible, dense, or lip-curl inducing to me.

- I can't name characters the same thing as people I'm close to. I don't know why, but it weirds me out to name a character, even a minor character, after a relative or close friend. And since my family has rather common names for the most part, that means I have to be creative. I think it goes back to the fear that someone will think I am secretly writing about them and get angry at me, or think that it means something. For instance, if I write a romance where one of the people shares a name with someone I know, that person will think it means I'm secretly in love with them.

- I don't understand writers who don't like fanfic of their works. I try to respect the position, since I know coming from fandom means I'm biased. Still doesn't mean I understand it or like it. For me, it's like disdaining when people throw roses and pearls and money at your feet. Sure, some of those roses are badly written, full of purple prose, and make you wonder if you and the fan writer were even reading the same text. But, come on, they're giving you free advertising and admiration. It's not like they can claim it for their own (the simple act of telling what "fandom" you're working in means the original must be credited!), and no amount of fanfic ever changes even a single comma placement in the original work. People have been writing oodles of Tolkien fanfic, for instance, and Lord of the Rings is still the same as it was in 1954. So the "creative control" idea is lost on me.

Furthermore, I'm suspicious of people who seem not to mind if folks write non-fictional things about their works (ie - papers, reviews, theses, etc) or if they chatter away non-fictionally in discussions about what could, should, and would have happened, what they want to happen, what they think of the books. But if they put those ideas into fictional form, suddenly it's a terrible affront to the writer and "stealing".

I won't get into the writers who's positions seem to be "as long as you don't write slash with my characters". That's a whole other can of worms, because I don't think "ewww, gross, no buttsex!" is a particularly valid position. Suffice to say, I would love one day to find that people are (with full credit) writing fanfics based on my works, and if those fanfics are pure porn and nothing but buttsex, I will smile all the more.

- I don't get the seat-of-your-pants vs. planning thing. I've seen so many interviews with authors asking if they "pants it" or plan. I never got why those things are mutually exclusive or why that seems to be the only two methods. As a writer, I use a mix. Sometimes I plan parts of a story and leave others to chance. Sometimes bits are neither really planned but not really spontaneous, either. It depends on the project. I guess I don't like the idea that there's a dichotomy to writing, when really, there's very little that's consistent from writer to writer. Everyone's different, wildly so.

- I can't write sex scenes if I'm in a romantic/sexy mood myself. I don't know if this makes me weird or normal, but the minute I start writing a sex scene, the frisky goes away and my analytical brain turns on. For me, the scenes are not all that different from action scenes, because I'm more focused on getting emotional, physical, and practical details right than anything. Also, I try very hard to keep track of what and who is going where, otherwise I'll end up with a scene that doesn't work unless someone has three legs or two mouths or a spine made entirely of rubber and flexi-straws.

- I refuse to write banter during fight scenes. I take violence seriously, even fantasy violence, because I think it's one of those things that is truly serious business and I'm more than a little uncomfortable with how beautified and romanticized it often is. The reality? Getting hit hurts, it can injure you. The right hit at the right time with the right force can permanently disable or kill you. The act of hitting hurts, too, sometimes. And it takes a lot of energy and concentration. In fact, doing it so that you don't get killed takes pretty much all of it. Plus, every time someone takes the time/breath/brain power to wax wiseass during a scuffle, I keep wondering why their opponent hasn't used the opening to punch them in the mouth or something. I just can't write a scene where I truly am invested in making a fight real to my readers and then throw in something that makes it clear that it's really just for show, that it isn't a real danger to the protagonist. It makes the whole thing feel like a rigged game to me, so when the protagonist wins, it doesn't mean much.

- I can't name characters after people I know, because it feels creepy to me. Even if they have a very common first name, I just can't do it. I think it stems back to the fear that the person I know by that name will pick up my story and think I'm not-so-secretly writing about or to them. For instance, if I write a romance with a character sharing their name, they'll think it means I'm secretly in love with them. Which, yanno, eep!

So, do you have any secret writer (or reader) confessions you'd like to share? Comments are always open.

Date: 2011-07-21 03:51 pm (UTC)
holyschist: Image of a medieval crocodile from Herodotus, eating a person, with the caption "om nom nom" (Default)
From: [personal profile] holyschist
I definitely use a combo of pants and plan, although I'm leaning more towards plan these days. And WORD on sex scenes and fight scenes (both of which are haaaard, but at least during sex you can have banter).

Date: 2011-07-21 11:01 pm (UTC)
yifu: (young mustang)
From: [personal profile] yifu
Some movies seem to think bantering in the midst of a fight makes a person look cool. To me it smacks of trying too hard. My characters tend to get heated up during fight scenes, because I feel anger is sometimes conducive to helping your mind stay sharp.

Date: 2011-07-22 06:26 am (UTC)
st_aurafina: Rainbow DNA (Default)
From: [personal profile] st_aurafina
I don't understand writers who don't like fanfic of their works.

I don't get this either - and it particularly stings when a creator of works that I only discovered through fanfic in the first place has an anti-fanfic tirade. I understand when they just make a statement up front. I don't necessarily agree, but I get it. But the ill-informed tirades make me sad.

- I can't name characters after people I know, because it feels creepy to me.

Ugh, yes. Also makes me twitch when it happens in fandom. Gender-swapped X-Men is producing a lot of Erika-fic. And I know a really horrible Erika, so it makes me flinch. (Apologies to any nice Erikas reading this!)

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