szzzt: Naruto crouches, kunai in his mouth, forming a ninja hand sign. (bamf)
So I have been reading some books!

Also I have not been turning the computer on very much. Not sure why. Possibly I developed an allergy to it. I am still away, but possibly I will come back soon--partly because I have read a lot of books and I am now somewhat out of books to read and eyeing GWAddiction hungrily.

But, let's talk about the paper books I've been reading. Liquor and Prime by Poppy Z. Brite: not books about vampires, but books about cooking! (Sadly, unlike Sunshine by Robin McKinley, not about both at once.) In fact these are excellent books about cooking, with a truly sweet relationship between two chefs at the center of the story. Unlike all fic ever, Being Gay causes them no angst. They are too busy running the (*#$&(ing restaurant. (Being filled with chefs, these books have lots of swearing. I was impressed.) Liquor is better than Prime because it has the origin-story advantages, but I will happily read the third book and misc short stories in this series if I ever find them.

And you know--

There are lots of manga that are about finding something you love and learning how to do it really, really well; most sports manga qualify, as do 'career/calling' manga like Hikaru no Go (playing Go), Gaku (mountain climbing), Kami no Shizuku (wine tasting), etc. I hear there was one some years ago that was about a vet practice and caused a huge bump in the number of vet school applicants. I find these stories fascinating. Passion for craft is passion for craft, and this story could be retold a million times and be new every time, because the details of every craft are different, and this story revels in the details. The funny thing, though, is that this story doesn't seem to be told very often in English-language fiction; not in fantasy or scifi anyway. Why? It's so awesome! Am I missing a genre somewhere?

(A quick mental search for passioncraft books just turned up China Mountain Zhang and some Heinlein juveniles. Surely that can't be all!) Maybe a single novel is just too short to tell a passioncraft story properly, compared to manga with thousands of pages to lavish on it. Liquor doesn't attempt to tell the entire story, for sure; it elides a lot and picks up right mid-career for the two protagonists, tossing the reader in with fine disregard. A manga would have started at age 12 to wring every bit out of coming of age and finding the love of the cooking, but Liquor realizes quite well that it has to pick its timespan, and uses good old third-person omni recollection to sneak in the most important early scenes.

Someday I want to write a story about a tower crane operator, set on a tower crane. Man, I really do. There is like nothing on the Internet about tower crane operation. I'm so curious. Immigrant tension on a construction site...mafia graft...amnesia... Okay, so that story was gonna be a Koori no Mamono AU fic and might still be, but it's firmly in "ofic with fandom stamped on" territory, which is fine with me. Gots to write the ofics someday.
szzzt: Sepia-toned and androgynous, an angel crouches, its braid and long earring swaying. (Default)
'As for an end,' said Martin, 'are endings really so very important? Sterne did quite well without one; and often an unfinished picture is all the more interesting for the bare canvas. I remember Bourville's definition of a novel as a work in which life flows in abundance, swirling without a pause: or as you might say without an end, an organized end. And there is a least one Mozart quartet that stops without the slightest ceremony: most satisfying when you get used to it.'

Stephen said, 'There is another Frenchman whose name escapes me but who is even more to the point: La bêtise c'est de vouloir conclure. The conventional ending, with virtue rewarded and loose ends tied up is often sadly chilling; and its platitude and falsity tend to infect what has gone before, however excellent. Many books would be far better without their last chapter, or at least with no more than a brief, cool, unemotional statement of the outcome.'

'Do you really think so?' asked Paulton, looking from one to the other. 'I am very willing to believe you, particularly as the tale has reached a point where... Nathaniel, may I beg you to read it? If it really will do without any beating of drums, or if you could suggest the first notes of the true closing passage, how happy I should be! I could escape from this cruel, desolate, corrupt and corrupting place.'

'I should like to read it very much,' said Martin. 'I have always liked your pieces.'

--Patrick O'Brian, The Nutmeg of Consolation, p. 301

What a lovely peek under the hood this is--the moreso in that it's only the second such fourth-wall passage I recall in fourteen books of the Aubreyad. (The first such is also earlier in Nutmeg and consists of Stephen extolling the virtues of the novel as character study, for which potential, he says, it excels any other form.) Unlike Dorothy Sayers, who uses her mystery novels peopled with genre-savvy mystery writers to play racketball off the fourth wall, Patrick O'Brian keeps it close to his chest. Except here.

I did intend to quote less than the entire page, but it's hard to pick and choose from abundance swirling without a pause.
szzzt: Zack smiles. At least, once he notices you're there. (zack_animavvie)
I don't give updates
about writing; either I am
writing or thinking

or trying not to
think of writing; to say so
would be tiresome.

But today I wrote
through to THE END (of a scene)
and of the things left

unsaid, those we need
will keep until day two of
stuck elevator.


Edited 2011/01/04 for better counted syllables
szzzt: You know Wufei is appalled. Oh NOES! (wufei_noes)
This is most of my personal GW fic rant, which is not so much a manifesta as a drinking game.

I really only posted this to try out my new icon. Please don't anyone make a voodoo doll of me...When I eventually release some GW fic into the nets, you will see I commit plenty of infelicities of my own. Just not these particular ones.

GEM COLORS: Because eyes are not eyes, but jewels. )

THE AUTHORITATIVE FANFIC POINTS CALCULATOR )

PHRASES THAT EXIST )
PHRASES THAT DO NOT EXIST BUT SHOULD )
szzzt: Naruto crouches, kunai in his mouth, forming a ninja hand sign. (bamf)
No seriously, they are. They're in league with the semicolons. I hear them plotting at night--to stab me in my sleep with their little pointy points. >_> COMMAS AND SEMICOLONS WHY WON'T YOU BEHAVE

What's the difference between a colon and a semicolon anyway? They're both like duct tape for joining sentence fragments right? Right! But two semicolons in a row would be weird, so clearly you're supposed to alternate them. And so, how many can you have in one sentence before you're Patrick O'Brian or Naomi Novik channeling Patrick O'Brian? Is three pushing it? How many semicolon-containing sentences can you have in a row? Because...given a free hand, and look it is free, I would write ENTIRELY in sentence fragments. Joined, if three words or less, by commas; if longer, by semicolons/colons. Uh-oh. Is that, uh, is that okay? Too late.

Who needs to use the word 'and' when you can use a comma anyway. I'm sure commas can't stab very hard. I write in quite small type.

And another thing! Let's say you're writing in reasonably tight 3rd person, and your POV character is doing things and thinking things. How do you avoid every paragraph starting with POV character's name? I look at current story and it's like:
Wufei Heero "I" Wufei Heero "And" Heero "I'll" Wufei He When Shit. Heero "If" Heero The Wufei Heero Damn. Heero "When" "That" "What" Wufei "Hn" "You" Heero Wufei "You" Wufei Heero "Ready" "No" "You're" It Heero "My" Heero Wufei "Are" Wufei Heero

Oh man, I laughed so hard writing that out. But it proves the point! I looked at one or two real books today, and they don't start more than half the paragraphs with a character name. Maybe I use too many active sentences? Maybe I need lots of passive descriptive sentences.
...Nah, not in this fic. Maybe I'm crazy and no one cares about first words of paragraphs. Or maybe it's a tip-off to claustrophobic writing--which is actually fitting for this fic--but is something it would be nice to be able to turn on and off. Maybe I should go to Absolute Write or somewhere and get actual answers for these questions, but it's more fun to just blather here.

It seems unfair that the little mechanics of writing are just about as hard as the big things, like figuring out what you want to happen in the story and how to make it happen. I guess I'm more prepared to sweat over those big things, 'cause duh, yanno that stuff's important. And if it was easy writers would never complain. But being unable to write because I can't figure out how to structure the sentence, that's just gratuitous.

Don't even get me started about bladed weapons and braided pilots XD

Oh yeah~

Mar. 1st, 2010 11:41 pm
szzzt: Wufei the scholar is perplexed. (wufei?)
So on Saturday, the file holding the Current Story tied and then surpassed the largest file in my Written For Fun folder. (And that formerly largest file is not a story--it is a giant hoard of poems and fine quotes I have found trolling the Nets.) 94KB! Someone give me a cigar.

Did you know that 17,500 words is the length of a very short novella? I'm there. Plus there's another 1500 or 2000 words I haven't typed in yet... Oooh... *rubs hands in glee* (Those of you who are prolific, ignore me wigging out. I'll just be over here adoring my first story-shaped thing of length some more.)

I also have the lion's part of a lemon. I'm not sure what to think about this, but since I knew it was coming and was a bit worried about making it convincing, the hindbrain has settled on massive glee. I tell the hindbrain, "You can't tell if it's convincing! Besides, you need to write the lead-up scene now currently tagged only as 'something SPECTACULARLY KICKASS,' once you figure out what it is!" The hindbrain doesn't care. The hindbrain wants to write lovingly detailed explosions that conveniently kill off the bad guys and trap our heroes in an elevator with nothing but a futon, or something, yeah maybe I will tell the hindbrain to go take a hike for that scene, except of course for judging the correct degree of spectacular kickassery.

[personal profile] kkamagwi, you may be pleased to note that nowhere is "koi" used as a term of endearment in said lemon. That will not actually decrease its average prevalence in the fandom. *cries*

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szzzt: Sepia-toned and androgynous, an angel crouches, its braid and long earring swaying. (Default)
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