Writing

Apr. 7th, 2013 07:14 am
elfinblaze: (me writing)
I finally posted that last fic of mine yesterday, if anyone wants to read.

I left the house for a couple of hours after posting, because I knew I would only wind myself up with anxiety, so I went to the city and started doing some research for one of my book ideas instead. Will probably have to go again to places I missed this time, but at least it's a start.

I ended up buying Angela Carter's Book of Fairytales, which my mother wants to read now too. I had no idea she loved fairytale collections too. I may have to raid her bookshelf to find her other collections now.

Interesting read for the week:

The Rape of James Bond
I have attempted to examine the “realism defence” of the rape of women in fiction and concluded that if “realism” is applied consistently, we should expect to see male characters raped or threatened with rape routinely, because fiction consistently places men in circumstances where the threat would be signifiantly raised above the baseline.

Writing

Jan. 10th, 2013 03:25 pm
elfinblaze: (me writing)
My currently in-progress fanfic spent the week:

1. Sprouting another extra couple thousand words.

2. Making me cry, when I had to write something sad. I don't know what the people who saw me writing and crying in the shopping centre thought of me. XD

3. Making me angry, when I realised how much work I had to do re-writing the entire back story of several characters to fit my themes better.

And 4. Making me excited, when things finally started falling into place.

Unfortunately, I'm still finding stupid typos, like "the" instead of "they", and "is" instead of "it". I'm on draft three and still finding these dumb typos! This doesn't bode well.

I'm torn between wanting to cuddle my story close and roll around in it because I love it so much, and wanting to beat it into a bloody pulp because I hate it so much.

Ah, writing. I hate it because I love it.
elfinblaze: (me writing)
- Hannah still needs donations to help with her surgery, so if you haven't donated yet and want to, there's still time. Alternatively share this link with other people to spread the word. Every little bit helps, even if it's only passing the word on to others.

- My sister has been telling me horror stories. She informed me that it's only 7 weeks until Christmas.

- Mr Joker: Did you see me walking down the street? Walking straight, shoulders back...
Me: We did!
Mr Joker: I think I'm going to need modifying of my personality. I'm going to tell every stranger I pass that they should be standing up straighter.
Me: I think those strangers will do the modifying of your personality for you.

Which made him laugh his head off. So no, I still have not learnt to tame my tongue, but I do like making people laugh.

- Did anyone else watch the ABU TV Song Festival? It's the Asian version of Eurovision, except it's not competetive, more like a gala. Most of the artists weren't anything special (just like Eurovision! Ha!), although it was still interesting to see the different representations of countries and cultures. I didn't know Australia's entrant, Havana Brown, but she was quite good. TVXQ (Korea) easily had the best performance, and I say this as someone who was never a fan of theirs, although I am familiar with them. Perfume (Japan) were good too.

I think everyone else had ballads? Which puts me to sleep at that hour of the night. I only got to catch up on YouTube with most of it because I couldn't stay up late enough to watch the whole thing, so there's some countries I still haven't seen.

- When I name things (blogs, stories, imaginary plants within stories) I tend to Google them, just to see if those things actually already exist. For example, mine is the only blog called "The Madwoman on the Computer" (in vague reference to the book "The Madwoman in the Attic"), or at least it was the only blog at the time I adopted the name.

Right now I'm working on a fic I've just named "Our Lady of the Stars" in reference to something that's said by a character in the story, so I decided to Google that too. Now I have to point out that my fic is not named after Our Lady of the Stars, by Coph Nia, although that's an awesome song (free download at the link). So I'm going to rec the music, stick with my title, but emphasise that I did not steal it from this artist.

- Spam poetry, courtesy of my inbox:

I can't take my eyes off of you,
I'm too shy to do this any other way.
I can't believe
I'm finally telling you this:
Coffee bean, that melts fat,
Keep the muffins,
Lose the muffin-top.

Writing

Oct. 5th, 2012 09:13 pm
elfinblaze: (me writing)
19000 / 19000


Can I brag? I want to.

Typically, I got hit by a story idea in my last week of holidays, so I had eight days to write the thing before going back to work.

I just finished. All 19,000 words. In five days.

I am impressed by myself.
elfinblaze: (Harry Potter Hermione)
I've just finished reading the most exquisite book I've ever read. Tipping the Velvet, by Sarah Waters.

Extremely short summary: it's the story of seventeen year-old Nancy Astley, living in Whitstable in 1888, who falls for Kitty Butler, a masher (what we would call a drag king today), and thus leaves her home and family to follow Kitty to London. The book follows the next seven years of her life in Victorian era London, with all its dizzying highs and bitter lows, and Nancy struggling, growing up, making a life for herself, and finding her place in the world.

It's incredible. I spent two years reading the book because I didn't want to finish it, and often I'd put it down just to savour the feelings. The writing is so evocative!

Especially the descriptions of the music halls in the early parts of the book. I was literally sighing with delight over some of the writing. You should have heard me.

Sometimes, in the afternoons or late at night, he and I would take a stroll through the dim and silent theatre, just for the pleasure of it. He had, somehow, acquired copies of all the keys to all the Britannia's dusty, secret places - the cellars and the attics and the ancient property-rooms - and he would show me hampers full of costumes from the shows of the 'fifties, papier-mâché crowns and sceptres, armour made of foil. Once or twice he led me up the great high ladders at the side of the stage, into the flies: here we would stand with our chins upon the rails, sharing a cigarette, gazing at the ash as it fluttered through the web of ropes and platforms to the boards, sixty feet below us.

Other parts of it made me laugh with delight because it's just so accurate. For example:

When, after half and hour or so, [Miss Raymond] went off to find the lavatory, Annie made us rearrange our places so that she might sit next to her.
"Quick, quick!" she cried. "She'll be back in a moment! Nancy, over there!"


That made me laugh because yes, that's exactly what girls are like, and that hasn't changed in over 100 years. It felt wonderfully true to life and real.

So much of it just feels so real, like you can almost reach out and touch the characters and hear and smell the places they inhabit. It sucks you in and makes you a part of the book.

Previously, my favourite fiction book was Anne Rice's Cry To Heaven which was similarly evocative of eighteenth century Italy. Because I love writing that brings to life a place I've never been to, and makes it feel real and alive. In fact, I used to keep a book full of my favourite descriptions of other places from the various books I read. Whenever a description was particularly vivid, or leapt out at me, I wrote it into that little journal. Now, I think I've found my new favourite book.
elfinblaze: (Default)
Last week, at work:

Mr D: What part of England are you from?
Me: I'm not from England.
Mr D: Scotland?
Me: No.
Mr D: Ireland?
Me: No.
Mr D: You're Australian??
Me: I'm German.
Mr D: Ahh. I couldn't place your accent.

This is the second time someone's mistaken me for British. This mystifies me. And amuses me.

My story was finally posted to both communities I submitted it to. Only took a week and a whole lot of stress. XD I think I'll nickname that fic the Headache Story, because it's given me no end of headaches. But now at least that stress is over, I finally feel like the story is complete and I can move on.

New resolution for the year: I will buy no more books this year (with the exception of Chris Colfer's and Tanya Huff's books), until I've reduced my "currently reading" pile to 4 books, and cleared my "unread" pile completely. Currently I have 8 books on my "currently reading" pile, and 4 on my "unread" pile. I think that's more than manageable.

Fic!

Apr. 6th, 2012 06:36 pm
elfinblaze: (WM Spears Write Hard Die Free)
My heart rate is getting a good workout. I finally posted another fic. Now I get to start biting my nails. It really is terrifying letting one of your creations go public. But if I didn't post it this long weekend, I was never going to post it and I would have kept tweaking it forever.

This is the story I estimated would be 10,000 words, turned out to be 14,000, got jossed, got cut by 5,000 words, re-written to make it canon compliant, thereby growing by another 5,000 words. And it only took me three months! *slow writer* And all day to post! *mutters about coding index pages*

But I'm glad it's done.

Now I can get another book read before Glee comes back! Maybe. If I read fast. It is 800 pages... Hm, can I finish this book on Tuesday and Wednesday at work? Given I only got 200 pages read this week at work, probably not. Damn work for keeping me from my reading.

I'm rambling. I'm nervous. I'm also shaking. Stupid anxiety. I suppose the coffee didn't help.

I'm going to go drown myself in chocolate.
elfinblaze: (Glee)
Before coming home today I intended to write just a short, sweet entry, which was this:

My current story smells of apples. My green correction pen is apple-scented, so now, every time I open my bag to take out my story to work on, it carries the faint scent of apples.

The irony is that the story has nothing to do with apples.

But after arriving home and watching Magda Szubanski come out live on national television, I have something else to say.

Magda Szubanski, you are wonderful. Thank you for making the world a better place with your courage and your words.

Babe wasn't the first movie I saw her in, but it was the first time I put a name to the face. I don't remember when I first became aware of her, but I don't remember ever not liking or admiring her. Now I just have one more reason to admire her.

Writing

Jan. 26th, 2012 10:54 am
elfinblaze: (WM Spears Write Hard Die Free)
I know I originally estimated this story would be 10,000 words...

13700 / 10000


But this is what it looks like at the end of my first draft.

When I write, I start off writing only the stuff that needs to be in a story, the skeleton, as I call it: the main action and dialogue. In successive drafts I then add details to the characters and setting, plus anything else I discover should be in the story, such as foreshadowing for things I hadn't planned on. So I'm one of those writers whose stories get longer with each draft. Usually by a couple thousand words.

It's anyone's guess as to how long this one will be by the time I'm finished.
elfinblaze: (WM Spears Write Hard Die Free)
Quotes from the day:

Me: *walking along street*
Guy: Hi there! What's you're name?
Me: I'm Regi.
Ed: Hi! I'm Ed. I just thought I'd say "hi" cause I thought you were really hot. D'you want to exchange phone numbers?
Me: Actually I'm gay.
Ed: Really?
Me: Yeah.
Ed: Bummer. I guess I'll see you.
Me: Yeah. See you.

Easiest coming out ever!

He was right though: I do look good in black. ^_^

The other quote comes from one of our patients. He used to live on a property with an outhouse, but he rebuilt the house and added an indoor toilet when his wife got tired of jumping Black Snakes every time she needed to use the toilet in the middle of the night.

"When I was young we were happy to crap outside and eat inside. Now everyone wants to eat outside and crap inside."

I love our patients.

And finally, I just need to share this.

12500 / 13000


Ok, so I suck at estimating final word counts, but I'm close now! Of course then I get to draft and re-draft and edit and rewrite. But still, first draft almost done!

Writing

Jan. 22nd, 2012 03:42 pm
elfinblaze: (WM Spears Write Hard Die Free)
I'm just going to leave this here:

10000 / 15000


^_^

10,000 words written this week, not counting e-mails and blog posts. Not bad for the slowest writer in the universe.

How to...

Jan. 16th, 2012 07:32 pm
elfinblaze: (WM Spears Write Hard Die Free)
How to write a satisfying amount on your latest fanfic:

1. Pick a character you relate to.
2. Get angry. Either get angry along with the character, or get angry at canon concerning the character. Preferably both.
3. Bring a big heavy book to keep you occupied and weigh down your bag, plus not enough pens and paper.

I have similar instructions on how to make it rain. They're much simpler and involve only one step.

How to make it rain:

1. Plan a picnic.

But seriously, I wrote 3000 words today! In a full day of work, while I actually got all my work done!

I am so proud of myself. Also angry. ^_^ But mostly happy. Yay me.

3000 / 10000 (30.00%)
elfinblaze: (WM Spears Write Hard Die Free)
Let's do this in point form:

- I am on holidays for three weeks! Hurray!

- I am currently reading Jane Lynch's memoir Happy Accidents. No, I haven't finished reading anything else yet.

- I'm trying to do some writing every day and I have come up with an insane monster of an idea. But at least it's keeping me from blowing our bandwidth while I'm at home every day.

- Yes, I realise I have other things that I should be getting done. Clearing up the paper piles on my floor? Cleaning out my cupboards? What?

- I have a new LJ layout, if you haven't seen yet.

And that's about it for the week. Expect no interesting posts from me while I am on holidays, I intend to be very lazy and boring and enjoy every minute of it.

InNoWriMo

Oct. 20th, 2010 07:54 pm
elfinblaze: (WM Spears Write Hard Die Free)
I was thinking about doing NaNoWriMo (which really should be InNoWriMo - International Novel Writing Month - considering it's online and not confined to one nation, or am I just being pedantic?) this year now that I a) remembered it was on, and b) don't have any exams at this time of year anymore. But although I'm probably going to try to write a story I won't officially sign up, because I have to write it by hand. I won't have access to a computer during my main writing time (ie, while I'm having breakfast), and you can't get your story verified if you can't electronically submit it. So.

But I do have a blank book! And more than enough pens! And I can count! So that I can count my words manually, I mean, not just that I'm awesome in general because I can count.

So it might be a nice challenge to do on my own anyway. I need a good kick in the pants to write something, and a looming deadline might be just the thing.

Is anyone else doing it? Does anyone else want to? I promise I won't spam this journal with my whining, because I know how annoying that can be clogging up your friends list. SMS and IM on the other hand... heheheh. Which is why everyone whose phone number I have should join in so you can all share my pain, not just be subjected to it. *sweet smile* At the very least you'd have something to pay me back with.

Note to...

May. 13th, 2010 05:59 pm
elfinblaze: (WM Spears Write Hard Die Free)
Dear people on the internet,

This is not a pre-school. Throwing a tantrum, yelling and screaming will not get you what you want. Not even on the internet.

This is not a primary school either. Calling people names will also not get you what you want.

Sincerely,

A fellow member of this space.



In other news, I think I've discovered the secret to my inspiration.

Anger.

There is nothing like fury to spur me into writing. In the past I've written stories when I was angry at certain people, angry at certain communities, and angry at fandom in general for not writing enough of what I wanted to read. XD But I need to be really exasperated before I get a move on with writing. More than a few of my stories (both fanfic and original fiction) have been written out of pure frustration and in fits of rage (one story I even nicknamed "the rage story" in my head because I was utterly furious with someone in my life when I wrote it).

The finished product usually shows none of that anger because it all gets personified and transfered into various characters, but it certainly gives impetus to putting pen to paper.

Nothing quite as inspiring for me as anger, apparently. XD



ETA: Marriage Equality Rally on this Saturday (15th May) at Sydney Town Hall, at 1pm.
elfinblaze: (Default)
I've asked my friends and family and we can't think of any more. Someone please tell me Australian TV isn't as glaringly white as it appears to me right now.

I can think of a grand total of four popular non-Caucasian actors on Australian TV. Jay Laga'aia, Deborah Mailman, Ernie Dingo, and Ahn Do. They're not the only ones, I know, but they're the popular ones that most people know about.

Please tell me I'm missing someone, because this is just depressing.

Australian TV, you fail.



And now for a writing update:

cut for people who don't care )
elfinblaze: (Default)
I can't write endings. They always give me problems.

I'm very good at beginings, but endings, not so much. *throttles story*

And I'm really hoping this doesn't mean they'll kill off Lucius in Deathly Hallows. It'd ruin the whole point of the Malfoy family ending, [spoiler: highlight to read] that they can slither out of anything and virtually get away with murder. Plus, I actually like the character. He's got what I call the Long John Silver Effect: he's basically a villain, but you're still glad he gets away with it at the end. Besides, there are enough deaths in it already.

After reading this though, I'm probably going to end up crying my eyes out. The book wasn't that bad, but movies and TV shows always make me cry. *shakes fist at Torchwood, Brothers & Sisters, and various others*
elfinblaze: (WM Spears Write Hard Die Free)
There's this article in the Sydney Morning Herald today about so called "post-dramatic stress" which actors suffer after they take on a dark role.

To quote:

Examples of actors whose roles seep into their lives abound in film and theatre, including Heath Ledger struggling with mental exhaustion while playing the Joker in The Dark Knight, a sobbing Daniel Day-Lewis quitting a production of Hamlet after seeing the ghost of his own father on stage and Robert Downey jnr admitting that playing a cocaine addict in Less Than Zero contributed to his own addiction.

It reminded me of an interview I read with James O'Barr, creator of The Crow comics, where he talked about writing something that was so dark, with so much hate and anger painted across each page. He said, "I was pretty messed up afterwards". And of course the site where I read it has long vanished, and Google is no help, but the quote stuck with me.

It got me thinking, even back then, about the effects that writing a dark story can have on a writer, and after reading this morning's article I'm thinking about it again.

It's been a long time since I've written anything dark, mostly I stick to adventures, romance, and a touch of humour these days, just fun stuff, but I do remember sitting down to write things that I knew would leave me shaking afterwards, and if I remember right, last time I made sure to write such a scene on a Saturday so that I could have the weekend to ground myself again. And this is why I don't like writing dark stories, because when I write, I try to make myself feel whatever the characters are feeling. I figure, if just a fraction of my feelings makes it only the page with the characters, I can be content. Hence no deep, disturbing, emotional stories from me, because I know they will mess me up. Yeah, I'm a coward.

It's made me wonder about other writers though, and how many of them have the same problems. And can anyone come up with a similarly catchy description, like "post-dramatic stress", except for writers? Because I'm sure there's a similar effect for writers, not just actors.

Writing

Nov. 14th, 2009 06:18 am
elfinblaze: (WM Spears Write Hard Die Free)
I was considering signing up for [livejournal.com profile] dracobigbang just because it would let me crack jokes about banging Draco Malfoy, but then I realised I'd have to write 20,000 words before March and realised it probably wouldn't happen. But if you love the nasty little viper as much as I do, go sign up so I have more to read. XD I may, however, sign up for [livejournal.com profile] harrypotterbang next year because I like the way it's being run this year, and it leaves me with more scope to write about. And then I can still crack jokes about banging Harry Potter.

Maybe a challenge is what I need to inspire me. I work best under pressure, as far as writing is concerned. (In other things I just go to pieces under pressure. XD)

That 60,000 word story I started last year? I'm 10 chapters into it, with 3 or 4 more to go, and I am so not motivated. Urgh. I'm not abandonning it yet though. Still want to finish it, even if I don't feel like doing the actual writing right now.

And that short story I wrote this year? It's now 13,000 words and on Draft 5. That one's almost done at least.

I miss being at university when I was a much more prolific writer. Every time I had an essay due I wrote a short story. Procrastination is very inspirational. Now I have no time anymore. Now I can only write during free time at work. So yeah, 20,000 words in three months is a challenge.

Editing

Aug. 3rd, 2009 06:59 pm
elfinblaze: (WM Spears Write Hard Die Free)
*headdesk headdesk headdesk*

Don't mind me, just doing some editing. Where "some" means "adding great chunks of plot I forgot about in the first draft". Writing is very much like choreographing: you have to make sure each limb is accounted for, and the more plot threads you have the more limbs... well, that's where the metaphor falls down. The point is, I once wrote a story where a character ended up with three hands because I forgot which hand was doing what and he ended up doing three things at once, thereby implying he had three hands. So now I'm just making sure I have the right amount of limbs accounted for and all the guns above the fireplaces go off before the end of the story.

(I also once wrote a character who was both sitting and standing at the same time. Note to self: try to remember what you wrote two paragraphs earlier.)

I also still need to work on the pacing too. I suck at pacing.

Basically, I'm hacking my story to pieces in hopes of improving it. Just the usual editing process. Just driving myself mad for fun.

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