Day 202: Prelude To A Serial of Sorts

English: my typewriter

English: my typewriter (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I have had a work in progress in my head for about a decade now. The original seed idea came from a short story assignment in tenth grade English class. It has gone through many rewrites already and I am not even through with the first draft. I was forced to start from scratch twice because lightning struck the computer I was using at the time. Since then major draft changes are emailed to two very good friends who back up their hard drives frequently.

My characters have distinct voices in my head. I have told this to some people and they seem to think I’m crazy, but that’s how my writing process works. I’m currently trying to settle an argument between everybody about how the story should proceed. The problem is that they are all talking very loudly! I have spent weeks trying to make sense of the babble to no avail.

An my mom’s suggestion I have decided to write a series of vignettes featuring each of the principal characters and what happened the day before the novel starts in the hopes that it might get them to stop trying to talk over each other. I have decided to post them to the blog to get feedback. This will be the first time this story, even little tiny bits of it, has been seen outside of a few people and hope it’s well received.

Day 75: Why I blog… Revisited

The English alphabet, both upper and lower cas...

Image via Wikipedia

I have been fascinated with journals, diaries, and paper letters since I was in elementary school, also cursive handwriting. I’m not exactly sure why, maybe it was because at 26 I have failed to completely master the simple task of printing. My hand jerks at unexpected moments leaving letters like K and P and R without a strong leg to stand on at times. I refuse to even attempt a lowercase F because the result is so convoluted it’s very nearly painful to see. I don’t think I was much good at staying in between the lines when coloring in kindergarten and first grade, my teachers forgave me but I never could. It is true that your most unforgiving critic is often yourself. Someone gave me a blank journal in the third or fourth grade, the pages were not dated and it had flowers as a border in the top and bottom right-hand corner of every page, it even closed via a small Velcro patch instead of the standard strap or lock. So I picked up my pencil and wrote  something, don’t ask me what it was now I don’t remember. I think I believed that this beautiful book would magically transform the squiggles which were representative of my penmanship back then  into beautiful script that even Emily Post would envy, just a little bit. (I will admit to having only the vaguest notion of who Emily Post was back then, all I knew was that she had been someone who had encouraged graceful handwriting and handwritten thank you notes after most social gatherings.) Needless to say, I was horribly disappointed. I only wrote in that journal a total of maybe three times. I was so ashamed of my squiggles that I tore the pages on which I had inflicted my horrible scrawl out rather than look at them. In spite of the fact that I only set pen or pencil to it rarely, it was six months before I grudgingly consented to transfer ownership to my younger sister.

I blog in part because I love beautiful stationery and even though the original editor is plain white when everything is said and done my words seem to have more emphasis, character, and meaning to them they would if they were only printed with the white screen of standard word processing programs. The second part of why I blog I have probably mentioned several times at various points, the reason why I choose to keep a public blog. I am rather introverted, I am not sure all whether this is entirely due to my disability or whether I would still be this way if I could walk but I’m pretty sure the disability exacerbates the introversion to some degree. I am not completely a shut in but when I do go out it takes a fair amount of planning and advanced warning so that whoever’s driving remembers to leave space enough for my manual chair in the trunk. I only get to take my motorized chair if they happen to drive a pickup or a van which is less likely, especially now with fuel prices being what they are. In a lot of ways my blog, or I should say blogs because I have two now is my way of reminding the world not to forget me just yet.

Fan fiction as a writing tool

Harry Potter

define:Fanfiction – Google Search

Fan fiction (alternately referred to as fanfiction, fanfic, FF, or fic) is a broadly-defined term for fan labor regarding stories about characters or settings written by fans of the original work, rather than by the original creator. …

There are hundreds, if not thousands of fan fiction sites dedicated to writing based on numerous book and television series. If you have heard of this phenomenon but have never read any of the wonderful stories it has produced you may believe that fan fiction is written solely by teenagers whose time would be better spent studying the grammar of the English language as some of the truly awful stories I first came across nearly convinced me. Happily this is not always the case. Many well educated adults, and teenagers, write fan fiction as a hobby. Why, you ask, might a writer benefit from writing fan fiction?

  • The “hard” work is already done for you. Because the characters you are writing about are not originally yours you do not have to spend untold hours creating the major settings and background history for the characters , leaving you more time to focus on the actual storyline you wish to write though of course your story will divert from the original author’s in some way however, if you wish to place an orignal character into the world you are responsible for their background etc.
  • There is far less pressure to complete it. If “real life” gets in the way you can stop. Your livlihood does not depend on seeing this piece through to publication . Your only deadline is the one you impose and those can modified easily.
  • It can be a tool with which you can overcome writer’s block. If you get  stuck while writing an original work take a break to play around with fanfiction. Because a lot of the work has been done for you you can let your mind go almost anywhere it likes. Maybe if your lucky it will spark an idea to put into the original work.

It has been my experience that writing fan fiction can just as rewarding  as writing an original work, sans the possibility of getting paid. They are lots of people out there willing to leave reviews that will help sharpen your craft. A final word of caution though, like paid book critics not every reviewer of fan fiction leaves kind, or even constructive criticism, a review saying your work sucked without giving any reasons says more about the other person’s lack of education than it does about how well a work is written.