Manna
15 January 2013 @ 03:41 pm
 
Okay not much to report. My hands hurt like a bitch today.

I did my French homework though. Even though my professor thinks I'm great at the class, I know better: I'M KIND OF AWFUL. However, since I have to slog through four classes already, and a minor is six classes. -_- I should probably just get a minor in French. Uhm...still thinking about it but really, they have culture classes and a cool professor who does a conversational French class.

--

In better news, this creative writing class is the coolest shit ever. In fact, it's so cool that I finished all assignments (10min of writing per class, we don't have to finish, read it aloud, or even prove we wrote anything more than "I LIKE CHEEEEESE" all over our papers). I think the professor knows we're there because we WANT to be, so he pretty much lets us do whatever we want.

I'm considering reading my third piece aloud tomorrow but I don't know. :(

ANYWAY, I'm so excited about this class making me write ABOUT MYSELF (autobiography HERE I COME!!) that I decided to spruce up a community here to post my stuff at. Since things are original it's under a member-lock but you can join the community if you want to. It's at [community profile] professoring. :) I would drop my writing here but I don't want it crossposted and I don't want it dropped on people who give no shits, so go join that community if you want to read it, and don't if you don't want to. :D

(Sorry LJers: I seriously hate that site now and their new layout just makes me angry. I'm about to stop posting at my communities there, they're so aggravating.)

--

I had a dream I found this shepherd puppy that was all black and super soft and had this giant ruff of fur around his head. The dog was just the cutest thing ahhh I love shepherds. Anyway, it wanted love so bad it tried to grab my hand with its paw to make me pet it, and then I realized that IRL Tiny was being obnoxious and making me pet her in my sleep (DAMN IT CAT) and she's super soft and black so it infiltrated my dreams.

Tiny is probably actually a dog because she carries sticks around the house like a dog. Not sure why she does this. She's odd.

But dat dog man. SO CUTE.
 
 
 
 
Manna
02 August 2012 @ 11:52 am
 
Have I ever said that the immigration west sorta just blows my mind, even now? I'm pretty sure I have.

Either way, I decided to pop in my documentaries on the gold rush/oregon trail and BAMMMM I remember that awful novel I started and I start getting ideas for it again. Well, maybe I'll pick it back up and redo it for NaNo this year. >_>

Pretty sure [personal profile] forcedsimile was the only one I inflicted that thing on.

Anyway, gah. It seriously does blow my mind. The crap people went through to reach a dream. Most of us these days are too lazy or scared to even try. These people gave up everything they had to get to it.

Not that they were always smart in doing that, but still. I think if I could be an expert on The Oregon Trail or some shit, I would totally do it. It's pretty much the most fascinating thing ever, even cooler than learning about the Titanic.
 
 
 
 
Manna
22 July 2012 @ 02:16 am
Raphi made a pretty good point in my last post, re: romance, so have this (hopefully) quick post on it.

Since I began writing, I've received PMs in nearly every fandom from various people asking me how to write romance. I find this to be pretty funny because, honestly, most of my early 'fics were the slowest-building romance known to mankind.

That said, depending on which fandom I ventured into, my 'fics were mostly friendship-centric, with romantic undertones.

I'm not going to brag on my own 'romance' 'fics, because let's face it, romance means different things for different people, so what might be romantic to you or I might not be to other people.

That said, I think I do have some thoughts about writing romance that make it easier for me, at least.

1.) Observe other people. Observe your characters. People-watching (and paying attention to work/school stories from your mates) is a valuable tool for writing.
a. Ask yourself questions regarding the characters you want to write. Is A outgoing? Shy? If you have two shy characters, things will be difficult. If you have to overzealous people, they might send mixed signals to one another, et cetera and so on.
b. Decide how A feels about B, and compare it to how they feel about C, D, E, et cetera.
c. Who is most likely to make the first move? Who will crack under the pressure/tension? If someone is holding back, why? Don't just answer why, answer WHY!*

*Remus Lupin is a great example. We know he was against a relationship with Tonks because he was "too old, too poor, too dangerous", i.e., not good enough, but that's not enough information. If you're writing a romance between Tonks and Remus, then those things need to MEAN something!

2.) Don't rush. Don't dawdle.
a. Nothing is as dull as a 'fic that is rushrushrush, and nothing is as anti-climatic as a 'fic that drags on for so long it makes you wanna puke. As fun as romance and suspense are, you really, honestly, truly need a balance between the two or readers will be turned off to your story.
b. Don't over or under-explain things, either. This is true for every writing, but if you explain too much, or get too into minor details, the main story will lag behind and you will bore your readers.

3.) If you're writing something short, focus on the VERY important scenes. Are you writing a flashback-sequence type of a story? Don't piddle around writing scenes that don't really have an emotional impact on your audience. Remember: People read romances for the same reason they read other stuff-- to FEEL SOMETHING! Even if you are writing a long, drawn-out dramatic romance, focusing too heavily on scenes that don't mean anything (and aren't foreshadowing) is a big no-no.
a. Pick the important scenes. Having a short scene where the character speaks to their mother, has tea with a sibling, etc, is fine, but when it has zero impact on the storyline, the plot, or the readers' emotions, then it's something that should be cut out.
b. Don't skip important scenes unless you plan to flash back to them later. If you're writing a lovely romance and you skip the main characters' first kiss, your readers might hate you. You can get away with it as a storytelling technique but don't be lazy and skip scenes that might be a little more difficult to write; the overall story will suffer for it!

4.) Love *OR* understand the characters.
a. Loving characters helps you see inside their heads very well. Is Kent going to make the first move, or is Lyndis, because the tension between them is obvious to the reader in your story, they're just dying to know who will be the first to say/do something to further their relationship.
b. Hating characters leaves you writing with blinders on, and it's not a great experience. However, if you don't love the characters you're writing about, but you've made an effort to understand them, than that usually works.

5.) People always do things for a reason. From Where the Heart Is:
Why does anyone lie? Cause we're scared? Or crazy? Or maybe just mean?... There's a million reasons why a person lies... But sometimes, you tell a lie so big... that it changes your whole life... Lie's so big... it makes you think...

a. Don't forget that your characters have flaws. Romance is not smooth sailing even in real life. People argue over the dumbest things, they don't let go of grudges, they remember every bad thing you've ever done, and everybody thinks and acts differently and for different reasons.
a. Back to Remus Lupin-- people do things for a reason. Do you think he was against a relationship that he WANTED because he was loltoopoor? No. There are always Reasons. Because Reasons. Everyone has a reason for everything they do or say, so everyone will react differently to a theoretically-same situation. Remus is poor and old and dangerous in his own eyes, but it goes so far beyond that. Many people in the Harry Potter fandom can't see past how "silly" they think that reasoning (Remus's reasoning, that is) is, but if they'd stop and try to understand him, they'd see exactly where it is he's coming from, and then maybe they would be on his side.

6.) The story is not over because the main characters have kissed, had sex, or procreated.
a. That's not to say you can't end the story there, but there is no such thing as a Happily Ever After. Pick a good, happy moment to end, and end there. Or a sad moment. Or whatever moment is going to have the biggest impact on the audience and also tie up and end the story successfully. It's easy to shock people with stupidity like, "It was all a dream hurrrrr!!", and it's easy to end it with a kiss/fade to black/wedding ceremony/etc, because those are easy to imagine as really big stopping points on the Road of Life. A bad ending in a story can ruin the whole thing, just saying.
b. It's okay for your characters to have problems with one another, or the things they say/do/etc. We're not perfect, why should we expect other people to be? But not everyone enters into a relationship realizing this. Sometimes people fight and one person is wrong. Sometimes they fight and they're both wrong. Sometimes they fight and NEITHER ONE OF THEM is wrong. Your characters aren't perfect, so neither is their relationship(s)! THIS INCLUDES FRIENDSHIPS TOO!

7.) My last tip I've used is this: Make it sound natural. Model relationships off of ideal relationships you've seen in your life. Maybe there's fighting now and then, one of them is miffed at the other when they go to bed, maybe someone leaves for a week, whatever. But when a couple has been together 20, 30, 40+ years, that's saying something. Don't ignore what the old married couples have been telling us all along: Don't go to bed angry, Things won't always be perfect, Try to work it out calmly.
a. However, your characters may or may not know all those things. Part of the fun of writing a romance is that it's a very involved relationship and it takes place over a long period of time as feelings develop, et cetera. It's nice to help your characters come to realizations about themselves and their partner!
b. Sex =/= love. Love =/= sex. They are not mutually exclusive. There are millions of ways to love someone, even when we're talking about romantic love. Not everyone shows their love of another person through the same means or by saying the same thing. While one person might do the grocery shopping for their significant other because they know they hate doing it and want to do something nice, someone else might make dinner, or do the laundry, or weed the flowers, or plant flowers, or buy flowers, or make the bed, or buy a gift, or bring them a lunch at work. If you write all of your stories in the same Meet, Talk, Fall in Love, Kiss, Have Sex, Get Together order, it will get dull fast. Some people will have sex right after they meet someone, while others wait for marriage and still others just wait until they feel safe doing it. (And some won't at all.) This bounces right back up to 4 though; figure these things out about your character, don't just blindly write stuff you see in the movies, because believe me, it's not believable 95% of the time.

And just as with anything:

If it's believable, people will probably like it more.*

*I don't mean a parody/humor story obviously, but if people don't find the relationship you're portraying to be believable, they'll put less emotional investment in it, and possibly enjoy the story you're trying to tell a lot less.
 
 
 
 
Manna
18 January 2012 @ 03:33 am
 
Was gonna post this to [personal profile] snapdragon but I am too lazy since I'm already logged in here.

Here's my list of things I like and don't like in fiction. It's slightly fanfiction-slanted and it's long as heck. I've forgotten a lot of things, too. But whatever, that's me, forgetfulasaurus, forgot that it ate meat and died of starvation.

Anyway, enjoy this insane list:

Under a cut because it's long. )
 
 
 
 
Manna
18 January 2012 @ 02:05 am
 
I finally found my way off of Tumblr. Good God.

But I saw this while I was there:



I would probably piss myself if I saw this guy IRL. I want to watch the Buu saga again so badly hahaha.

Anyway I am working on A List. Sorta a mix of my old NaNoWriMo exercise to write what you like to see (and don't like to see) in fiction and what Ammie did with her tiers of elements she likes to see in fiction/characters (and what she doesn't like to see).

I think sorting by tier sounds like more fun, so...yeah. You'd think this would be an easy task. Alas, it is not. I keep remembering my old NaNo original piece...and also my first ninety attempts at novelizing FE7. (Manna says NO. NOT GOING TO HAPPEN.)

Anyway, I can't find my DS Lite. I can't even remember where I had it last. :( Maybe if I'm lucky it's still in my purse. BUT THEN. WHERE IS THE CHARGER?? I distinctly remember my dad redoing the wiring in the charger... Hm.