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Thinking about writing...

I'm pretty sure I won't be able to pull NaNo out of my butt this year. Possible, yes, but at the expense of other things that NEED to be done, and I'm not going to ride myself too hard. Even if it is year FIVE of failing, and I just watched Ursula do it in a week.

I will be bitter and feel guilty, but I'm somehow not shocked.

Ho Well.

But what really brought me to a halt... I was thinking the other day about Kaz plots and Resla, and I caught myself thinking: "And that will neatly pull together all of her storylines and wrap everything up." And it wasn't just that, but that I was genuinely thinking of putting her away... like a toy I've grown out of. Finalizing all of her stories and walking away.

It made me so... sad.

I adore Resla. Resla was one of my first fanfiction characters. (No, I don't count my gawdawful Belgariad story as fanfiction. That was Evil We Don't Speak of... the kind of stuff that makes me painfully glad I didn't have Internet at that age.) She grew out of all the people I knew and admired, and was all the strength and centered peace I wanted to have. And I liked her SO much better before I thought I had to throw drama and romance at her to have something to write about. Seriously - she was a 'nothing' character who had a lot to offer, and I sometimes feel like I mucked her up. I'm still toying with more future angst - there was the idea of killing off her family in a shared future plot, and the firelizard plague was going to take at least one of her firelizards. But... I'm sort of tired of torturing her. I honestly want to give her a little peace and closure, not throw any more at her! It's not that I feel so bad for her, just that I feel like it's getting a little... fanfiction-y. More angst than realism, anymore, and I really don't want her to lose any more of that sweetness and kindness that has been so much of her personality - and it wouldn't really be realistic for her to maintain that endlessly, and I don't like how she writes when I get an angsty need to instill plot for the sake of plot to write about.

Eh. Just thoughts. Maybe I'll pursue the story I was thinking about that ties stuff up and see where it goes. I'm not killing her off or anything, so it's not like Final Acts, just... it had a certain note of closure and full circle that made me stop and think.

I'm having a dickens of a time writing anything for River Twine. I mean seriously, brain blocks. I'm finding myself far more fascinated by the coding of the site and gritty setting bits and details than I am in the stories or the characters. Just, not getting excited. I'm not sure why - certainly the group is a massively talented bunch with just scads of potential and it ought to be really exciting to be involved in it, but... it's like putting on clothing that's not quite dry. It's not bad, and it's not really uncomfortable right away, but it's sort of nigglingly wrong until it actually gets all the way dry.

I'm trying to figure out what I need to do to metaphorically get out of my clothes and throw them back into the dryer for a few more minutes without having to stand around naked in the laundrymat.

Probably, that metaphor didn't need to go that far.\

I'm going to go figure out where to go next on my nano story, because I am, BY GOD, going to at least make the halfway point, and if my current level of awakeness holds, I may even have something respectable to report.

But don't hold your breath. I'm feeling in general pretty rargh awful about my writing, so I'm not sure this is the best mood to write in. It may also indicate that I have more crap to get out of my system, and hey, an arbitrary wordcount sure can take care of that.

Maybe I'll write about the Northerners coming to the capital city, or flesh out that battle scene I'd roughed out three years ago. Or... bah, just start writing.


( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
Nov. 26th, 2006 11:26 am (UTC)
You have, however, written twenty-five thousand words this month, which is not an accomplishment to be sneezed at. As for Ursula, I too am staring at her in sort of bitterly horrified awe, so, y'know. Ain't just you. :)

*hugs* Seriously, Ellen. You do huge amounts of stuff. Getting 25K written amidst your other projects is worth being proud of.
Nov. 26th, 2006 02:01 pm (UTC)
I write at the expense of sleep, I can't seem to get writing done at a decent hour, and tend to stay up until 1....
Last night I typed with my eyes half way closed, not even really looking to see if I spelled stuff right or not. I am scared to read what I wrote last night. >_<

And now it is time to go to work...
Nov. 26th, 2006 02:48 pm (UTC)
To echo mizkit, it isn't just you. I've been quietly boggled by Ursula's progress, because even at my most fingers-flying inspired I've only ever managed two days of intense wordcount before my brain needed a break.

It's interesting to me to read about how you feel like it's time to stop writing this old and beloved character, because while I haven't really felt that with any of my story characters, I've definitely felt very similar feelings with some of my freeform RP characters. I had one in particular I just adored, but after a point (and moving him to a branchoff game) I couldn't make him go through any more. I couldn't throw any more crap at him or get him to interact with the other playables much; I got a very strong feeling that he just wanted to be left alone already to work at a tamale stand and just live a very quiet, very peaceful, and very boring life. I wasn't happy with this at all, as he was one of my best-developed and most interesting characters, but it was obviously time to move on.

This line of thought led to a tangential thought about how writing fanfiction is sort of like a one person freeform RP. The fanfiction writer has this predefined world with a specific set of rules and established characters with specific personalities and past histories, and to make new stories about them (with or without original characters) work, the writer must operate in the boundries of all of this established stuff and can't force the established characters to do something out of character, just like a role player can't force the other players to interact with them in only the ways they want.

Well, in theory at least; I'm sure we both know of lots of people, fanfic writers and role players alike, who try to force the world and established characters to do their bidding and act out only what they want to happen. Power gamers, Mary Sues, and plain bad writers/storytellers create for bad fanfic and bad RP sessions. In both cases it in part comes down to an inability to follow rules and play nicely with others, even if the others are fictional.

*ahem* Tangent aside, please keep writing. I've liked what I've read so far, although I've been poor at keeping up since my class began.
Nov. 26th, 2006 03:08 pm (UTC)
*cough* Oh, jeez, Ellen, don't feel bad--I didn't do crap for that whole week except open a vein over the keyboard. You actually DO stuff.

Besides, some of us are creative sprinters, and some of us are long distance. I can tear up the track for a short distance, but if anybody ever needs to run from Marathon to Athens to tell 'em the Persians have their novels finished, I'm nominating you.
Nov. 26th, 2006 04:23 pm (UTC)
I wouldn't considering it failing. Failing is not trying at all.
Nov. 26th, 2006 09:34 pm (UTC)
If it helps, Ellen -- I don't think you mucked Resla up. But I can well understand the need to rethink what you've been doing with a character; and maybe a need to put a beloved character aside for a while. I've gone through many sets of characters over the years in fandom. Often, I would find that I was still interested in writing, but I felt like I'd followed the characters I had for as long as I viably could. Most of the time I was able to put those aside, and find a new set to be interested in -- and to make me look at the world I was writing for in some new way.

So in my experience, it's fairly normal for characters and their stories to have a sort of... natural lifespan. My inspiration for writing any given set doesn't extend indefinitely. The trick may be to be *able* to kind of retire them, and to figure out how to move on to the next thing.

I think you're right to step back and maybe realize that the direction you decided to take the character was okay for a while, but it isn't what you want to keep doing with her. But then, I don't think that angst and adversity are the only things interesting that one can do with characters. It *can* be really interesting, of course. It can be interesting to do for a while. But it can be as much of a challenge to write about things going well for an extended period of time, and to keep it interesting. Why do we so often have this idea that the only "interesting" stories to read are those in which characters experience adversity?

The bottom line for me was figuring out a while ago how to find new things to do, and new characters to write, when I realized that the old ones weren't quite doing it for me any more. The biggest hurdle to overcome is to not allow coming to the end of the road with a character or set of characters to feel like you don't have any more stories to tell at all.

That's my way of looking at it, anyway. *hugs*
( 6 comments — Leave a comment )

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