March 10th, 2009
|01:16 pm - wot is fanfic?|
I was having a discussion with artistsonly about what the difference is between fanfic, soap and more 'literary' fiction. Then I found this Observer interview:
"[A] Belfast writer, Anne Devlin, once made the point that this technique - of seeming to tell one story while actually telling another - is the central function of literary fiction.
It makes the reader reassess what is taking place on the page and so think ethically."
I loved that. 'Seeming to tell one story while actually telling another'. That's the kind of story I like, with layers built in, especially when the seeming story is simple and the underlying story is a lot more complex.
Funny, I keep hearing that the literary metaphor has gone out of fashion. I sincerely hope not. Because what is being described there is metaphor, pure and simple - or at least a lot of subtext.
Also, subtext may be the function of literary fiction but it's certainly not confined there. Sci-fi and fantasy in particular are full of it. After all, you'd hardly call Lord of the Rings, Star Wars or Doctor Who literary, but they're built on endless layers of commentary about our society.
May 29th, 2008
|06:43 pm - Sex and selling|
I was watching an entirely junk piece of telly recently. In it, a young teenage girl had to make the difficult intellectual decision whether to go into glamour modelling or not. Oh, and while we're at it, there's a euphenism for you. Because lying spread-eagled and icy-nipped in an improbable position so men can get their jollies off to it at a later date - why yes, certainly my definition of glamorous.
Anyway, the most interesting part of the documentary was at the end. The girl hadn't seem to grasped that once she stepped into the world of 'glamour' modelling she could never go back to the 'commercial' modelling she'd already been doing. And she'd been a pretty successful child model so far, buying herself a horse, a car, clothes, and lots else. She naturally assumed, as many others would, that doing the topless shoots, going that step further and selling out would bring even more money. But nuh huh. As the glamour models she talked to told her, there wasn't much chance of her making a living at it out of the many trying to do so. After all, there's thousands of girls on the net who'll take their clothes off for nothing. So how are you going to compete with that? The key, they told her, in being successful, was not in baring all but in keeping herself exclusive.
I find these same kind of assumptions when I tell people about my writing. "What do you write about?" they say. "Well," I say, wondering how to put it, how much they can take. "There's a lot of sex in it..." And sooner or later they're telling me I should try to sell my stories. That sex sells, and there must surely be a market. They wonder why I'm sounding so reluctant.
I'm not quite sure either. Perhaps because I din't include the sex in my stories so that I could sell it. That sexual exchange was not a commodity. I meant it as a gift.
May 26th, 2008
|12:21 pm - Thoughts and plankton|
A lot of the reason why I don't write more, or at least in my journal, is a lack of belief in the value of my thoughts.
I think pretty much all the time. I have these great swirling theories in my head and they're very important to me. They keep me alive. Yet I hesitate to put them down, as if by setting them in concrete they'll be somehow diminished. Or more likely, my ideas will turn out to be a lot more rubbish than I thought they were. Perhaps I like their potential more than their reality.
Ultimately it's a self-defeating thing to do. If I don't set down my ideas and make them real, I can never set about honing them, testing them, and slowly getting better at having them. I'll always live in an amorphous grey cloud of possibilities. I need to crystallise them into their true potential, no matter how flawed.
( More, mostly about why I haven't been updating any of my fics because of my lymph nodes )
January 31st, 2008
|03:46 pm - Oops|
I haven't answered any of my LJ comments for a couple of days and I now have about 40. That's more than I can handle arrgh. I only have the one brain.
So I've just stopped posting to LJ comms (especially BSH). There's too much Booshslash about at the moment, anyway. It's a glut. I'm still writing fic, and posting it here to my own journal, but nowhere else.
Only about three people ever comment here, so I'm kind of safe.
Although I just got a really, really sweet comment on LJ to part 3 of Truly, Madly, Fishy - that they'd just discovered The Boosh, and mine was the first Booshfic they'd ever read. I feel so amazingly honoured when people say that.
(Edit: I just realised I've written/posted SIX(!) fics in the last week and a bit! That's obviously why I haven't had time to keep up with comments.
Fossil Funtime, Oblivious Crimping, Like Putting On A Glove, Completely Normal, one anon to the Boosh kink meme, and one I'm about to post on blue_boosh (I suppose I really should post there, since it's a prompt fic, damn).
Okay, now I understand. Duh! But on the other hand, go me!)
January 16th, 2008
|08:07 am - How to Beta|
I've been having a discussion with artistsonly about beta, and how valuable it is. Here are a few of my favorite links.
1. By innerslytherin - Beta Reading
Specific feedback is more helpful than saying something is "good" or that "I like it."
Lots of good, practical, step by step advice on how to do or ask for a beta. Also a list of further beta links (one of which is below).
2. By schemingreader - The Helpful Beta Reader
If you are the writer--you got free editing. The proper response is "thank you." I think you should probably warn your beta if you aren't going to do everything she suggests, so that you don't wind up making her feel like she worked for nothing. But aside from that--"thank you."
A good rundown on some of the different aspects to doing a beta - SPAG, canon, characterisation, POV, description and probably most important of all, encouragement.
3. By laeladair - The Beta Reader - Unmasked
In general I recommend having at least two or more betas look over each story you write before it’s released to the public. In the best case scenario this gives you a few different opinions to draw from, and in the worst case it gives you a backup if one (or more) of your betas is too busy to get back to you.
Not all of your beta’s suggestions are going to be good. In fact, a great many of them will probably miss the mark — DON’T BE DISMISSIVE.... What you want to stay away from is scaring them into censoring their own feedback. Beta-readers are just as self-conscious as authors are and don’t like to be ridiculed or harassed for their opinions. My recommendation is to take everything they say with a smile as if you were going to go home that instant and act on every suggestion they gave you. Then, at a later point, you can decide what you will and will not use. Not only will this encourage your betas to be open and honest with you at all times, but it will keep you from talking about the story and influencing what they have to say through debate or discussion. Be honest and humble.
A nice long entry with lots of tips. I especially related to this one:
Post-criticism - Seethe in silence
The best thing you can do after getting your critique is, that’s right, nothing. Don’t act on it right away and, for the love of God, don’t respond with a comment, email, or IM unless you are 150% sure nothing negative or defensive is going to come across. Some people can transition flawlessly from the firing squad to the healing process but my guess is most people reading this can’t, myself included.
Oh, me neither. It usually takes me a couple of days before I'm out of my post-beta shellshock. But it's always worth it in the end.
January 15th, 2008
|05:38 am - About Writing|
I've come across a couple of really good posts about writing recently.
1. By minisinoo - The Glory of Plot
There was so much I learnt from this post. For example:
"Always show (don't tell/summarize) scenes that further the plot. Don't be afraid to summarize (or let occur off-camera) scenes that don't."It's so obvious, yet I'd never realised it before.
And it came at just the right time. I was struggling with a story, wondering why the start wasn't working at all. And then I realised - I was trying to stick a scene in the start that didn't actually further the plot. No wonder it didn't feel like it should be there and I'd been having so much trouble! At the same time I'd only mentioned in a few lines, off camera, an event that really did have a big influence. I'd done it the wrong way about!
So simple, yet so useful. There are loads of tips like this in the entry. Totally recommended.
2. By schemingreader - More About Writing Orgasms
"all descriptions of sexual acts must be narratives in microcosm"An interesting idea, with many quoted examples. And being schemingreader, the digression leads this way and that. For example, she's found the patent pending for an Orgasm-Measuring Probe. And guess where it's inserted? Yes, this is where the orgasm begins! I learnt new things about human anatomy, I can tell you.
Plus I got into a discussion about show versus tell in writing.
3. Not about writing. But I found a diagram of the clitoris at last! I was looking for one for ages. And of all places, it's on the BBC news website.
Quote: "The clitoris rivals the penis in size.... The vaginal wall is, in fact, the clitoris," said Dr O'Connell, who is based in Melbourne. "The original anatomists weren't interested in the clitoris. The penis was much more interesting. It was bigger and you didn't have to wear your spectacles to see it."
LOL. But now I have a diagram to point people at! Yes!