Apr. 13th, 2016 11:54 pm
dhampyresa: (A most terrible case of the Star Wars)
I've been writing a lot of Star Wars fic lately and have come to the conclusion that I structure them slightly differently than I do the rest of my writing. It's not anything obvious or that anyone but me would notice, but it is there.

It's a bit more circular, a bit more mirrored and relies a lot on tripled patterns.

It's also more visual, but I think that's a consequence of me having fallen back into the tried-and-true (for me) habit of visualising things like comic pages. It's a thought pattern I occasionally fall back into, not least because I do a lot of drawings of whatever I'm writing at any given time (one sketch a day is hard to come up with ideas for, just saying) so the combination of words and ideas lends itself logically to switching to comics mode.

I like comics mode, don't get me wrong. It allows me to see things from a different angle and that can be very useful.

It's just that comics and plain text are not the same medium, and sometimes I run into problems like trying to translate "this scene is a double-page spread" into prose.

I think I have something that might work, though. It's a difference of emphasis.

The difference between a single panel in the right uppermost corner of the right-hand page (right-up-right and left-down-left tend to be the most overlooked areas of a double page spread when reading left-to-right) and a double-page spread is not the difference between:
His lightsaber flew into the girl's hand.
The Force sang like it had not sang in years; it was a deep, resounding note that dug into your bones and echoed there.

It reminded Anakin of Mustafar, the perfect clarity of it.

Out there in the forest, out there in the snow, his ancient lightsaber, the accursed, bloodied thing, had flown through the air into the girl's hand and the Force sang.
but it's pretty similar.

The actual, physical ACTION is exactly the same (and it's also exactly the same as what happens in the movie, starting at 00:56). What's different is the emphasis put on this moment.

In movie form, that emphasis takes the form of a wide-shot and a swelling soundtrack. In comics form, it's a one-panel double-page spread. In written form, it's -- more words, basically.

Not just any words either, but extended metaphor. Here it's the-Force-as-music, which is how I tend to write the-Force-as-perceived-by-Anakin but it doesn't have to be. A bit of repetition on occasions doesn't hurt and it's no coincidence it both starts and ends with "the Force sang". (I'm also really fond of "the accursed, bloodied thing" for reasons.)

Watch me have to cut this because it doesn't fit the tone of the rest of the fic, lmao.

dhampyresa: (Wrisomifu)
[livejournal.com profile] cherrytide : And/or the difference between writing fanfic and original fic?

The biggest difference between the two, imo, is that for original fic, you're alone. It's just you and your blank page.

I don't mean that just in the way of "fandom is a community that will support you and brainstorm with you and beta read your fic and a thousand other little things to help you write and post your fanfic". That's part of it, but not even the most of it. In case phrasing it that way makes it sound like I'm saying fandom doesn't support people original ventures, I will just say that is a filthy lie. I don't know if I would have written those three novel first drafts without support from people in fandom. (You know who you are and you're all amazing. <3)

No, what I mean is that, much like when you and your fandom friends find yourself in different fandoms, your friends are missing some of the context. Because half the worldbuilding only exists in your head. Or you're trying not to spoil a specific plot point. Or you added that character at the last second and you'll go back to edit their subplot in any day now.

I mean, maybe it would be different if I actually let anyone look at my draft-zeros as I write them, but I don't. Like with fanfic, I write original fic in a draft-zero that no one will see but me (this allows me to actually write, because only I will see if I fuck up and need to scrap a whole scene or whatever) which I then clean up and send to beta as a (finished) first draft. Because my original fiction writing is novels and my fanfic writing is short stories, it takes a lot longer for me to be done with a piece of original fiction, so I do sometimes end up feeling like I'm the only person invested in it. Obviously YMMV on this.

On a storycrafting level, though, you are also all alone.

As far as I'm concerned, stories have three 'objective' elements: characters/settings/plot (order deliberate, btw). Now, in my head, I conceive this as the three vertex of a triangle that provides the base for two pyramids with a triangular base, the last two vertexes of which are theme (below) and tone (above). But 'theme' and 'tone' are very 'subjective'. Characters/settings/plot are concrete, so I'm going to talk about those.

I always phrase it as "characters/settings/plot", in that order, because that's how I build stories: plot happens at the intersection of character and setting and at the intersection of character and character. So, (character + character) + setting = plot, basically.

The difference between fanfic and original fic is that all three of characters/settings/plot come from you, not from outside. In fanfiction, at least one of the three is from outside.

(Themes and tone are pretty much always personal. I'm tempted to say the combination of the two is what makes "voice", but we have talked about the part where I have no formal writing training, yes?)

Most people read fanfic for (and as a consequence most fanfic is written about) the canon characters. A lot of fic is also written in the canon setting (or close enough). Some fanfic (fusions) even borrow the plot from another source.

(Apart from possibly the plot, I categorise anything that borrows character and/or setting from somewhere to be fanfiction. Neil Gaiman's A Study in Emerald is fanfiction. Published, Hugo award-winning fanfiction, but fanfiction nonetheless.)

Actually, Study in Emerald is a very good example of a story that wouldn't work as original fiction. It's a story that relies on the reader's familiarity with the works of both Arthur Conan Doyle and HP Lovecraft. The reveal about the narrator, his detective friend and the criminals they are hunting would have no impact if the reader wasn't already invested in ACD's characters. The entire thing, including the adverts, relies on the reader going 'I see what you did there' for entertainment value. I would say "replace the names and see how well it holds up", but it would hold up, because it's good fanfiction and everyone is in character, including the setting.

That's the thing: original fiction and fanfic have different sets of goals and problems. When I'm writing original fiction, I make the rules. If, halfway through the book, I decide that the character who is non-binary isn't alone and in fact part of that society's third gender, I can! (I have.) When I'm writing fanfiction, I can't. What I can do, is rely on my readers' pre-existing affection for the characters to get them to read a story that's driven not by "what happens next?" but "how did we get here?", ie, a story told in reverse chronological order (I'm talking about Retrograde, if you were curious). That's one extreme, but I like to think that all my fics would fall apart if you took away all references to the original canon.

And now I am going to talk about how I Do Fandom Wrong.

A lot of people read fanfic solely for the characters and the (often romantic, often sexual) relationships between them. There are people out there who are able to write 100K+ stories that are only about Alice and Barbara getting together. I don't know how they do it and it kind of blows my mind. I can't write without plot. That's why there's always shit going on in the background of even the character pieces (of which I have, like, two). I'm not claiming my plots are any good, I'm just saying that I can't write for shit without them.

I need all three vertexes of that triangle, or else it collapses on itself and I end up stalled. I can't tell you how many ideas for settings or characters or emotional arcs or whatever I have just lying around, waiting for a plot (or to connect to something else to make a plot). So I write things with plot (I basically have to approach that part of the fanfic writing process like I do for original fiction). I've seen people talk about not wanting to read fanfic with plot "because I have canon for plot". On the other side of things, I've seen people outline a brilliant plot and then dismiss the above as essentially worthless with a "I ain't writing no gen fic here". (As someone who is mostly a gen writer, it's nice to know that the reason people don't read my fic not because I write in small fandoms but because people aren't banging. /sarcasm)

Another difference, I think, is that in fic you know your reader picked your fic for a reason. That reason is often that they like the characters you're writing about, but not always. Whatever the reason, though, they're already invested. You get some leeway to get to the interesting bits, because your reader expects you to get there eventually. They trust you.

In original fiction, you have to build that trust. It's not easy, but it's challenging and exhilirating and I love it.

I love fanfiction too. I can love writing and reading both, the same way I can love jumping from the 10m diving board and having hot chocolate with friends. They're different things. One isn't "better". I can like making shit up and I can like poring over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore (the glamourous life of writing for comics canons). I can love both and I do. What I don't like is people pitting the two against each other. Whichever side you're on, you sound like an asshat when you do that.

Basically, I feel like the difference between writing fanfiction and original fiction is that writing fanfiction is a shared activity while writing original fiction is not. (For me, at least. It could be!)

Next time, I'll be talking about an achievement I'm proud of, which might go under f-lock depending on how it turns out. (The Meta Monday Masterpost is here. If you want me to talk about anything, let me know over there.)
dhampyresa: (Quit killing people)
Hi! Welcome to Meta Monday, in which I go tl;dr about stuff.

[livejournal.com profile] cherrytide : the experience of writing a novel?

I'll be honest: I waited until I'd finished the desert novel before writing this, because I felt having three novel first drafts would be better than having written 2.95 novel first drafts.

Disclaimer: I've only been at this since November 1 2013. I've never been published. I only have three first drafts finished, so take all this with however much salt you feel is reasonable.

I have a tag, that I mostly use when I use when I hit milestones in my original writing. All but two of the posts in that tag are f-locked, but the gist of a lot of them is that I have no idea what the fuck I'm doing. I'm not A Writer. I don't have a PhD in English or a Masters in Creative Writing or any sort of qualifications.

All I have is a computer and the stories I want to tell.

Words and a picture )
Long story short: the experience of writing a novel is a lot of writing, getting things wrong and then reading things months later and thinking 'you know, that wasn't actually that bad...'

And you know what? It's a hell of a lot of fun and I love all those characters so dearly (even/especially when they can be such idiots).

Next time, I'll be talking about writing original fiction versusfanfiction, ie: how I'm Doing Fandom Wrong. (The Meta Monday Masterpost is here. If you want me to talk about anything, let me know over there.)

dhampyresa: (Sad Cassie is sad)
Hi! Welcome to Meta Monday, in which I go tl;dr about stuff.

[livejournal.com profile] ladymercury_10 :Maybe your favorite/least favorite things about [Young Avengers]? And/or how your feelings differ between the different runs?

My favourite thing about Young Avengers is probably how hard all of them try to do the right thing and how brave they all are. My least favourite thing is the deaths.

I have a lot of varying feelings on the different runs, though.

I don't have feelings; And I don't hold hands. )

Which reminds me. Does anyone know where Eli got to?

Because it's been ages since I saw him in a comic. Even the recent Battleworld AU/whetever we're calling this current Marvel event didn't have him in the Young Avengers issue. (Everyone ever appears to be pretending Jonas never existed. Boo.)

Also, my favourite Young Avengers fic has now been Jossed, but remains forever amazing, so I'm going to rec it once more.

reclaiming her star (6582 words) by NightsMistress
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Young Avengers
Rating: Teen And Up Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Characters: Cassie Lang
Additional Tags: post volume 2, shameless fix-it fic

It's not the coming back to life that's hard, Cassie learns, but adjusting to what has happened after she died.

I hope that at least somewhat answered the questions!

Next time, I'll be talking about writing a novel. (The Meta Monday Masterpost is here. If you want me to talk about anything, let me know over there.)
dhampyresa: (This is my life)
So! Meta Monday is basically me going tl;dr about stuff on Mondays.

Right now I'm working my way through the questions from the December 2014 talking meme, but if anyone wants me to talk about other stuff, leave a comment on this post and I'll add it to the list.

The Once and Future Meta Monday )

I reserve the right to move the order of subjects around or answer under f-lock or whatever.

dhampyresa: (Gwen Stacy)
Hi! Welcome to Meta Monday, in which I go tl;dr about stuff.

[livejournal.com profile] ladymercury_10 : Wanda Maximoff and House of M

House of M is the first comic I read with Wanda Maximoff in it. It showed me how kind she was and I've loved her ever since.

Let me explain.

9 images below the cut )

So those are my thoughts on House of M, [livejournal.com profile] ladymercury_10!

Next time, I'll be looking at more comics, in the form of Young Avengers.
dhampyresa: (SCIENCE SMASH)
Hi! Welcome to Meta Monday, in which I go tl;dr about stuff.

I very nearly titled this "AUs are gold" but I figured no one wanted to deal with Periodic Table of Elements jokes at whatever time it is wherever you are.

So, way back when these were supposed to be a December Talking meme, wordsofastory asked "Favorite types of AUs! Or just your general thoughts on AUs."

Yeah. I have thoughts.

In which I take a while to explain the title )

Hey, you know what would be amazing? Eurovision AUs! Any canon, no explanation needed. Eurovison needs no explanation. (Don't tell me you don't want to know what a Doctor Doom approved Eurovision entry would look like.)

Next time, I'll be looking at feedback, especially as it pertains to me.
dhampyresa: (SCIENCE SMASH)
Hi! Welcome to Meta Monday, in which I go tl;dr about stuff.

Today, I coined the term "ficframed", which is to fic ideas what earwormed is to songs. They dig into your brain and won't leave.

Well, that was an easy meta post to write.

More seriously, I'm going to answer [livejournal.com profile] taiyou_to_tsuki: "Since you've read a fair bit of stories based on mythology-- how do you feel about translating characters from a mythic to a literary narrative? Are there any cases where you have felt a deity/other mythical being to be misinterpreted by the author?"

I've read a lot of mythology books and books based on mythology. Most recently, Rick Riordan's Percy Jackson and the Olympians and Heroes of Olympus series(es?) and Joanne Harris' Runemarks series. I'm not counting things that are only distantly related to myths like the Asgardian side of the Marvel Universe, but I've read a lot of that, too.

How do you feel about translating characters from a mythic to a literary narrative? )

Are there any cases where you have felt a deity/other mythical being to be misinterpreted by the author? )

Sweet Tanith, this got long!

Next week, I'll looking at AUs.

(I need some sort of meta icon.)
dhampyresa: (Quit killing people)
I’m going to explain how I go about making battles, using the Second Battle of Tapae as my case study. Why? Because the Wikipedia article article is 100% unsourced and thus no one can tell me that my battle plans are wrong.

Disclaimer: I’ve no formal training in this sort of thing. I read too many books and spend too long looking at battle plans and so am essentially self-taught. Consider this the online equivalent of scribbling on the back of a cocktail napkin.

I’m assuming that there are only two armies fighting, or at least only two sides with one general each, because otherwise things get very complicated very quickly.

There are five things you need to think about before you can plan your battle: Where, When, Why, Who and What, not necessarily in that order.

Where )

When )

Why )

Who )

What )

How )

That’s my story, anyway, and I’m sticking to it.

dhampyresa: (Default)
In this post, I'm going to take a look at the genetics involved in the inheritance of Bending ability in Avatar: the Last Airbender (AtLA) and Avatar: the Legend of Korra (LoK).


TL;DR Bending is a dominant gene and Katara's mom was a waterbender.


dhampyresa: (Default)

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