telophase: (Default)
Got to work late, as that migraine was still here this morning. (now mostly gone, except for a nagging ache in the back of my head, arg.)

[ profile] cicer used the AutoShoujo Title Generator to come up with a few titles and gave them one-line descriptions, and I again found that knowing shoujo story conventions, it's amazingly easy to come up with an expanded description. XD I'm reposting my comment to her here.

cut for story description )
telophase: (Near - que?)
This is the answer I posted in reply to someone on the DA forums who was asking about tips for creating original characters. I'm reproducing it here because I'm vaguely thinking of working up a tutorial of some sort on this type of character-creation process.

Ironically, I've never actually done anything with characters I've created this way. XD The characters I've done stuff with tend to accrete over a long period of time as bits and bobs of things I've read or seen or heard attach to each other in the back of my head. But I find this process fun to do, at least, and I can see where it might help others. Flexing the creative muscle always does some sort of good, even if you don't end up using the final product.

I've also got the vague glimmerings of the beginning of an idea how to make a random character-creator generator that would produce a reasonably well-rounded character to start with, and also give me practice programming Ajax, but I haven't sat down and worked any logistics out yet.

Read more... )
telophase: (mugen - bzuh?)
OK, so in this story whose rough draft I hammered out last night, I'm playing a bit with point of view, as used sometimes by people who attempt to write pompously academic-sounding essays/reports/whatever and who often fail hilariously. It's a sort of ... fake third person? for want of a better phrase. (unless one of you who Knows Better tells me what it is.) The characters are referred to in the third person, but "we" is used, and it's clear that the narrator is one of the group, and which one it is.

I know I've seen this used effectively before, but the only example I can remember is Kipling's Stalky & Co., where I think it's not obvious until near the end which of the boys is the narrator, and part of the fun lies in working out who he is. At least it was that way for me when I read it at the age of 14 or so - it might be obvious off the bat for everyone else. :D

I have no clearly-defined questions other than "what are the elements involved in doing this effectively?" but if any of you has any ideas, thoughts, or digressions on the subject, please post. :)

*goes to retrieve Stalky & Co. from the shelf*

ETA: Just grabbed S&C from the shelf, and I see I misremembered a bit - it's in pretty much normal 3rd up to the last chapter, which takes place much later with the students, now men, telling war stories and reminiscing about school days, and engaging in a bit of Where Are They Now? talk. It's told in first person, with the narrator unknown until the last page.

ETA2 I think the paranormal investigation report at fits sort of what I'm trying to do, only I'm making it funny (hopefully).
telophase: (Near - que?) how do people who write serial stories that are posted (or published) chapter by chapter manage to do it? I know I have to go back when something's done and clean it up to get rid of the cruft from previous mental versions that drifted in when I was writing it, and if I tried to do a serial, it'd be full of bizarre little things wandering off into nowhere and badly-managed red herrings and places where I fully intended to go somewhere with something-or-other but forgot all about it.*

(Thought sparked by reading the latest chapter of a fic posted to

* Ha. I talk like I've written lots, which I haven't. In my entire adult life, I've written a total of five stories that I've finished, only one of which I admit to, which is the Yuletide story. Doesn't mean there's not lots of stories littering my brain, just means I haven't committed them to paper.
telophase: (Mello - is going to hell // foamchicken) that when you have one idea to add flavor to the story you're writing that will take up, at most, one short paragraph (if that), you end up collecting four books on the subject and piling them on your desk along with the six already there on various subjects that will hopefully spark more ideas.
telophase: (Near - que?)
Now that Yuletide assignments are out and it's time to get down to the nitty-gritty of starting the story, I want to hear about other people's writing processes. Because (a) I love reading about writing and (b) nothing gets *me* inspired like reading other people writing about writing. :D I hit the bookstore at lunch today, but there was nothing on the writing shelves that I hadn't read other than stuff with cruddy writing exercises ("Describe your favorite memory!" "Describe a brilliant sunset!") and stuff that talks about writing in way too fluffy and inspirational tones.

So: what do you do when you sit down to write? It could be poetry, fiction, nonfiction, fanfic, from a prompt or not. Whatever floats your boat.

And don't worry about being long: I'm at the ref desk on Saturday and will have nothing to do but sit there and read your comments. :)


Oct. 8th, 2007 01:35 pm
telophase: (Near - que?)
* All Knowledge Is Contained In Livejournal.

Does anyone here happen to know of any books about the An Lu-shan/An Shi Rebellion of 755-763 AD that destabilized the Tang dynasty? I've got my hands on the book cited in the Wikipedia article about it (E. G. Pulleyblank, The Background of the Rebellion of An Lu-Shan, London: Oxford University Press (1955)), but it actually stops three years before the rebellion itself, with the author's hopes that a second volume would be published. Er.

Or, if not books about the rebellion itself, books that contain a chapter or so on it?
telophase: (Renji - twist)
...because you people KEEP POSTING STUFF!

Anyway, in the Enormous Gin Post of earlier today, [ profile] fmanalyst begged to differ with my interpretation of the villain of the Soul Society arc, and has posted an analysis.

Now to go read it...


Sep. 24th, 2007 11:27 am
telophase: (goku - yap yap yap)
This was SUPPOSED to be a short answer to [ profile] chomiji's question below, originally asked here, but it turned into a huge, rambling essay looking at a particular type of character and why I like that type, so I'm posting it in a new entry. Hopefully it'll spur some discussion. :D my current default icon is so appropriate right now.

[ profile] chomiji: Why do people like Gin, anyway? He gives me the creeps ... always has, even before we found out what he was really like.

Good question - especially because he hits a whole lot of my narrative hot buttons. :D So I've been trying to work out, exactly, what it is about him* that I like. Read more... )
telophase: (Mushishi - to see the unseen)
I find it somewhat odd that when I write, I seem to do it better with a male viewpoint character than a female. The stories in my head often have female protagonists, but if I pin it down in writing*, or try to make it into something more than just a personal daydream/fantasy, it twists around to view the woman from the outside. I think it's because when it's internal and personal, I'm putting myself into her place, but when it's trying to become an external story with a character distinct from me, I have to distance myself from her.

Note that in the fragments of a dream thing, it ended up from the man's POV, even though the dream and the overall story in me head is from her POV. I didn't even notice that until I typed it out and re-read it.** It's going to be interesting if this thing grows, because so far from what I understand, it needs to be her story and her POV, and I know more about her than him.*** Hm.

* Which I technically rarely do; I actually write in my head far more than on paper. For "writing", maybe you should be reading "composing".

** It's also in present tense, which I hate reading, but which helps me when writing to quell the internal editor somehow. I don't pretend to understand why. If I incorporated it into a larger piece, I'd push it into past tense, most likely.

*** I know enough to know jsut the edges of why you should be disturbed, rather than charmed, by the off-balance stuff in that snippet. XD But I do like the way that conversation took on two levels of meaning, without me intending it to.

(I'm reading Jane Yolen's book of essays on writing, Take Joy, at the ref desk right now, which is why I'm maundering on about the creative process.)

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