Sunday, July 12, 2009

Writing and Whatnot

What I'm Listening To: Breaking Benjamin - The Diary of Jane

What I'm Doing: Putzing around, mostly.

Hey, I live! Again! HAH, I AM JESUS. *coughs* Um, well. Yes. Okay! The long absence this time was unfortunately NOT due to writing. In fact, much of my time was occupied with watching a great deal of television (and the most amazing movie I've ever seen. XD It's called Wasabi Tuna, and I found it on Logo, which should tell you at least a little bit about it.) (for those that don't know/don't have my range of channels, Logo is the 'gay' channel.) and playing alternating games of solitaire, spider solitaire, and pinball on my computer.

My stepdad decided that he was going to 'fix' my computer, and proceeded to take up vast amounts of time just dicking around with it, and in the end was revealed to have ulterior motives of wanting to make the wireless card that was in my computer work, so that he could take the wireless USB thing it had been using so that he could hook the 360 up to the internet.

So, he totally effed up my computer. 83

When I finally convinced him to make it work again, I was goofing off with it, and put a password on my account. He apparently didn't like this, and so changed the account (which is currently at 'limited access' which basically means I CAN'T DO SHIT.) password to something different, locking me out of the computer entirely for several days. I'm still frustrated as all hell about the computer, because while the internet is working again, and that I have access to it at all is good, it's still a limited account, so I can't install any of my messengers or the other things that I'm accustomed to having, and worst of all (at the moment) I can't update Flash. So I can't do ANYTHING, because pretty much everything on the internet these days is flash based.

Anyway, enough about me. This is a writing blog, so I'm going to talk about writing. I was reading over the blogs I've missed keeping up with, specifically The Blood-Red Pencil, and the writer of this particular day was talking about a writer's voice.

She said this:

How do we help a writer develop voice? First, we peruse their work. How do they structure sentences? Are characters unique, well defined, and do they remain true to their previous actions? Is the dialogue realistic? Does it vary from character to character? How does the author use punctuation? Do we find consistency in style? What kind of flow propels the story forward? Does it move progressively toward a logical climax?

And it got me started thinking about Eversong, which Mami (my new patron saint of writing) gave me some insightful comments on (without giving away any of the details she's thinking of) the other day. She said it's not terrible, which was a terrific comfort to me, as I'm convinced the whole thing is awful and is going to need extensive rewriting to make anything sensical out of it. (hush, sensical is a word because I say it is.)

But, in particular, I started thinking about my four main characters, Vicky, Jesse, Daemyn, and Faye. "Are characters unique, well defined, and do they remain true to their previous actions? .. Does [the dialogue] vary from character to character?"

Well, yes, it does, but I wonder if it seems contrived.

Vicky is emotional and calm by turns, depending on her situation. She's a 'make the best of it' kind of girl, so when she finds herself in a new world, she's like, "Okay, I can do this, I just gotta find a way out of here."

Daemyn doesn't talk much, but when he does, he speaks... formally. He does not use contractions, and I picture him as somewhat reserved.

Faye is the exact opposite, and often has verbal diarhrea, and is constantly like OMG! Hey guys she totally just did loop the loops! Is that okay? Do you think she'll do it again? How does she do that! That's so amazing that I can't even describe it to you!

Jesse's got anger issues. He blows up over small things, and this often leads to fighting between him and Vicky. This doesn't really become apparent until the second book, as he doesn't get much screen time in the first, though I'm going to work on his irritability in the edits, so that when he starts freaking out in book 2, it's not such a surprise.

These seemed to me to be just the normal personality conflicts between four extremely different people, but now that I'm thinking about it, I wonder, does Faye seem too excitable? Is it contrived and fake seeming? That's just the way she is in my head, but I don't know how it comes across in words.

And I'm wondering about it in Eden. Eden's getting some extensive revisions to add in scenes from other people's POVs - instead of being exclusively Zander's POV, there's a section when Zander's completely out of commission, but I had to interject what was going on with the others during that time, but it was the only time I did that, so I'm going back and adding it to other parts of the story so it's not all like... "OMG where did that come from!?"
(I did that in Eversong as well, but I may end up taking that part out, as I'm not willing to go back and write in tons of other people than Vicky just to make that one section make sense; I believe it can do without it.)

But, I wonder if the characters are diverse enough. I didn't start Eden with any sense of what the story was about, who it contained, or what they were going to do, and didn't find any of that out until I was halfway into it. Dominick's a complete asshole, but he puts up a nice front, but where does Rafe fit in? He's like Jesse, he's got issues, but do they make sense? Or is it just... random? His issues spur from the fact that he's totally in lust with Zander, and is jealous of Dominick's attention to Zander, and Zander's attention to Dominick, and doesn't know how to deal with that, and I'll make sure to point that out when I do his 'scenes' so that when it's Zander's POV again, Rafe's odd moods make sense.

Having written Eversong with pages and pages of notes and long outlines that weren't exactly detailed (one chapter's outline said "The fight between MC and D.Elf King" - and that was IT. XD) and then going straight into Eden with absolutely NOTHING, I've come to a pretty good spot with Wish, my newest idea. Wish takes place in the far future, and the backstory is a girl is born a "WishMaker" - someone who makes a wish and it's granted. Any wish at all, although there's a limit to it. Things that have unpredictable results won't be granted (say she wished for the oceans to dry up or to flood the earth - it wouldn't happen, because it's just SO far reaching with unpredictable results.) but pretty much everything else is. She wishes for little things, like a new bike, good friends, lots of money, long hair, nice clothes, all those sorts of things, and she also sets up the story - she idly (almost jokingly) wishes for World Peace.

It's granted. The global wars end, and the leaders of the world come together in a sort of Global Council, and govern the Earth peacefully for many years. But of course, power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely, and before long, the Council begins unraveling.

The last thing that Thalia (the original WishMaker) wishes for before she dies is for everyone's wishes to be granted, turning everyone in the world into WishMakers.

Decades later, the Council has enacted laws to prevent people from Wishing, and people suspected of WishMaking are hauled off and never seen from again. Gradually, people stop using their power, for fear of being taken away, and one of the Councilmen makes a wish that NO other wishes will ever be granted. Since no one Wishes anymore, they don't notice that they're not granted, and it keeps the council in power because they still go on as if people could Wish, effectively removing anyone suspected of anti-governmental actions.

Much of this isn't stated in the book itself; it's all backstory, and relatively useless, except to me. The protagonist is Nalia, another born WishMaker, but she doesn't know about her power.

The funny thing about this story is that the idea behind it - the WishMaking - was spawned in another story idea about Zombies. XD I was trying to figure out how zombies could be overrunning the Earth without using any of the old themes (a viral infection, most notably) and decided that a kid wished for it and it happened, but then I realised that the idea of WishMaking was bigger than just a zombie apocalypse and Wish was born. An alternate title is "The WishMaker" in case "Wish" falls through, but for now, Wish is the working title.

1 comment:

  1. Wow ... nice "outline" for Wish! I'm not sure if it's the genre I'd typically read, but it sounds really interesting. Definitely looking forward to hearing your progress on that one :)

    Isn't it great how ideas pop up everywhere, so much so that it's possible you'll never get to write about all of the ideas you come up with along the way? Ahh, the life of a writer ... :)