Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Writing Exercise

I've decided that the aspect of my writing I want to work on next is characterization, and so I've devised a little exercise to start with. I'm going to create five different characters from various backgrounds. For each character I'll write their introductory paragraph five times, each time with them in a different occupation. My hope is that this will help me see how the characters remain the same and how they change, given that one variable.

I think it will also give me a little practice introducing characterization through different methods. What is the character's essential view, and how is it expressed when tempered by or applied to different areas? A cop will see things differently than a crook, but a single character could be faced with the choice of going either way. How would that decision, as well as the occupation it led them into, change their characterization?

I hope to have some interesting results. I'm going to take it character by character, but I'll share the results on Friday, and see what I've learned from the experiment. At the very least, I'll probably get some story ideas out of it! :D

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Editing: Court of Scales

Last night I finished switching Court of Scales from first person present to third person past. It was a fiddly initial pass and I still have other things I need to do--making sure the story elements line up, making sure the characterizations come through, making sure everything is described so someone who isn't me can 'see' it, etc.

Then, all day today I agonized, because every time I sat down and opened up the story I couldn't think what to do with it. Literally. I just sat there staring at it, or avoiding staring at it. I couldn't wrap my head around working on it. I couldn't even get my fingers to type. They sat on the keyboard, poised, and did nothing while I stared.

I kept coming back to it though, over and over. Trying to figure out how to proceed. It's not the first short story I've edited and it's not that difficult a story. But something about it bothered me, and I couldn't figure out what.

Hours later, having come back to it several times, I got sick of it and deleted the entire first paragraph. And, lo and behold, suddenly the story made sense again! I had started in the wrong place, with the wrong thing, and because of that every time I looked at the story, I couldn't move past it.

The killer is that I knew this. In the back of my mind, where it waited fairly quietly until BANG! I had complained about the story to my fiance several times and every time I said things like "I just look at the first paragraph and can't get any further." *shakes head at self* Sometimes it goes that way.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Favorite Genres

I'd have to say my favorite is urban epic fantasy.

I love cities. Especially ones that have been around for a while, that have that sense of history free-floating in the air. Sometimes it's so thick you feel as if you could breathe it in. I love concrete, and crumbling bricks, and carved stone. And I love fantasy. I love hero/ines, and mythic creatures, and epic deities. Mostly, I love to shove the two things together as often as possible.

But, I also don't think it always has to be in a contemporary setting, or even one based on earth. Which is why urban epic fantasy is my favorite thing to write. I love the idea of the ancient city, a hub of politics, trade, cultures, and plots. It holds a mystery for me and I enjoy writing the characters as they navigate and explore.

I think it brings a modern feel to the story, without it being contemporary and without my having to be bound to one world. And the cultures are mine to puzzle through, just the way I like it. I'd like to explore some other genres, Steampunk for one, and eventually I'd like to do some modern re-tellings of myth and fairy tales. But I think urban epic fantasy will always hold a special place for me.

What about y'all? What your favorite genre/sub-genre, and what about it speaks to you?

Inaugural Post

Well, I'm still getting things set up, but here's my new web presence. :D It looks comfy here, and there's room to lounge, never a bad thing. I'll probably be fiddling with the settings and the look. I haven't quite decided what sort of content I want to concentrate on, other than "writing-related," but I'll figure that out as I go.

Wish me luck!