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04 February 2005 @ 02:03 am
Hey, is that my navel?  
Being sick turns me into a horrid human being -- a perpetually whining five year old, with more than a touch of absolute pathetic misery. I am one with the drama of my reactions to things, but the issue is that I pretend I'm not sick and pretend I'm not sick until suddenly walking across the room is sort of an effort. This is, probably, why I get sick so often. I mean, if I'd give in to it - take my medecine, get some sleep -- I'd probably do a whole lot better.

One day I'm going to learn that sheer will power does not actually have the power to cure, no matter how good a metaphor it may be.

Anyway, speaking of metaphors, norah asked about writing style in her post earlier today. (See that ham-handed segue? If I wasn't sick, I would have been slicker about it. You can bet your boots on that, cowhands and cacti.) She asks if people feel as though they have a style, and if so where voice comes from, and many writerly things of that nature.

Often times, when I think about my stories, I feel like -- all I do have is a voice. I mean, I definitely would say that I'm a writer with a very recognizable style. In fact, there are times that reading my own fic becomes deeply repetitive to me (both thematically and in terms of my favorite words) and then I want to go back and slap myself many times for it. But my point is that there are days where I feel like a lot of what I write is atmospheric to the point of being empty of all else.

Let me unpack that a little. 1) Yes, I think that I do have a voice. 2) A very large component of that voice/style is a tendency to spend a long time describing atmosphere, so as to inform the character motion in a scene, 3) I feel like my obsessive tendencies over atmosphere sometimes block my ability to see other, possibly more interesting, dynamics at work even in the stories that I, myself, am telling.

I think a large part of that is that fiction is relatively new to me. I mean, I've been writing stories off and on my whole life, but for a really long time, the emphasis was placed on poetry. In my writing, I think that translates a lot to a concern with rhythm and detail and structure of my fics. I tend toward being very imagistic in my fiction writing, trying to convey a very distinct and exact sense of things -- to the exclusion of charging items and objects with emotion.

This isn't always true, of course. My yuletide story was something I agonized over for days before even begining to commit it to paper. I felt like trying to play in Shakespeare's sandbox was an audacity that even made me blink, and so I thought everything through long enough to have a couple of strong images that I wanted to place at certain points in the emotional development of the fic. I also had a kind of "metronome image" I was using - the door thing -- and that helped.

Writing that story was just really interesting, and some day I'm going to have to sit down and type up a little thing about it - possibly a DVD track, but in a lot of ways I can't tackle the telling of that story in pieces, it has to be as a whole. However, I digress, self-indulgently.

But I think a really good example of what I'm talking about in terms of me writing things so *precisely* that I didn't maybe give them the electricity they needed to live up to what they were in my head are Rappeler (Horatio Hornblower, HH/AK) and I Shall Not Want (Smallville, Gen).

I feel a lot of the time like I've gotten an image - a line, a story - right, if I can make one stark snap shot speak for itself, by describing itself. Sometimes that happens, often it's an unrealistic hope.

Actually, right now, I think I'm going to stop blathering. Perhaps I'll come back to the topic later, but if I keep typing, my brain will explode becuase my sinuses are trying to force it out through my ears.
Current Mood: sicksick
Current Music: my own sniffles
Adoable Frunk: goodpodlyra_sena on February 4th, 2005 07:38 am (UTC)
I definitely think you should write a DVD track to Waste Our Lights, because that fic just had so much thought, form, and structure poured into it. It was a fascinating process that I loved seeing firsthand and being a part of, and it'd be cool to let people know how that fic came to fruition.

3) I feel like my obsessive tendencies over atmosphere sometimes block my ability to see other, possibly more interesting, dynamics at work even in the stories that I, myself, am telling.

Waste Our Lights really reflects your awareness that this is something you want to change -- and I'm glad to see your awareness is making you grow as a writer and think about how you can make the fic retain the core qualities that are "your voice" and yet be even more.

Your strength lies in atmosphere, no doubt. You have many strong fics to back this up, but they are, as well, filled with emotion that occurs because you've set the atmosphere. They feel rounded and full because of how the reader gets wrapped up in the words.

But! You recognize what you want to change, and I think you know how to change it, and I love the idea of looking more toward objects for motion and emotion rather than atmospheric surrounding. For instance, when Mercutio is sitting against the wall and his sword scrapes the stones, and they crackle and spark. (I don't recall the exact quote). But anyway, that's one concrete example of how you are using an object (in motion) to create the emotion that you desire.

I have no doubts that your next fics will reflect this growth in your writing, as Waste Our Lights proves.

*tucks you into bed with hot tea and kisses*
byobbyob_kenobi on February 4th, 2005 10:56 am (UTC)
This is interesting to me; I love hearing other people talk about their writing. I am so new to the whole process that it's all still a mystery to me.