Log in

No account? Create an account
16 February 2005 @ 02:32 am
I have work to do, so obviously now is the right time for a meme.  
From pearl_o: Ask me one question - any one - about my writing, then post this in your LJ so I can satisfy my curiosity about yours.
Current Mood: melancholymelancholy
Current Music: Redemption Song-Bob Marley
dolimir_k on February 17th, 2005 09:47 pm (UTC)
How do you approach a story?

(Not real questions. Just clarification questions. -- Do you start with an idea, a situation, a locale, the characters involved? Do you think most of it out before you commit to paper? Or do you decide to write something, sit down and have it spring from your head?)
pure FORESHADOWING: broken supermannifra_idril on February 17th, 2005 10:01 pm (UTC)
Honestly, and this is going to sound like a cop out, but it really varies from story to story. Often, I'll have an image in my head -- or just a metaphor -- and a story will spring up from that. A lot of the time, I'll sort of have an image and a tone/feeling that I'm going for. A lot of what I write is really atmospheric, so the tone is an important thing for me to have nailed down before I start writing, and sometimes it can be hard to articulate what I mean in terms of tone/atmosphere.

For example, my Yuletide story started from a tone and an image. I wanted to somehow recall the feeling of a Vermeer - the sort of vulnerability that his models had, the pale feeling you get when you look at people he paints, and the dark edging in around them, and the fading light. The image was of the Romeo-shaped-door, opening and closing. Which, I have to tell you, seemed pretty cracked out when I thought about it, because in my head it was really weirdly literal. *grins* Thank God I downplayed the literalism of that, right?

More often than not, though, I don't know precisely where I'm going when I sit down to write. Sometimes I have a vague idea, but that vague idea can change and usually does. This is going to sound unbearably pretentious, but I like to let the story take me where I'm going. I feel like if I know too much -- or am too rigid in what I expect of a story -- it stops being true to me. I had a writing prof who told me that 'writing is a discovery', and I think that's very, very accurate to the way that I write. If I know down to every last detail what I want to have happen in a story, and don't allow it to take on a life of it's own, I loose interest.

Which can get really annoying, because I'll get these ideas that are fully formed, and then kaput. Nothing. Becuase I don't have to write it, to learn about it -- I already know it. So it has ceased to interest me.

That doesn't mean that I don't usually turn a story idea over and over in my head before writing it; I do. It's -- I wrote a post sometime last year about how starting a story is like starting an orange, and that's the best metaphor I can give for it. I roll it around in my hands, and get the shape of it before diving in.

*grins* I always feel like such a jackass when I talk about my writing; I seem to be unable to do so without being criminally pretentious. Please feel free to beat me up for it.
dolimir_k on February 21st, 2005 03:23 pm (UTC)
No, this was fascinating.

Thank you for answering the question.
thecaelum on February 17th, 2005 09:51 pm (UTC)
Of all the things you have written in terms of fan fiction or meta, which is your favorite, and why?
pure FORESHADOWING: charisma!nifra_idril on February 17th, 2005 10:14 pm (UTC)
Ack! Okay. Hmm. *thinks* The thing with me is that I'm not really often completely happy with anything I've written, and weirdly I don't feel like I've actually written much meta. But I'm going to break this down into a couple of categories, to answer it fully.

Meta: My essay about the First Amendment. I feel really strongly about that issue, and I think I managed to communicate myself really clearly, and present a cogent argument there. So, yeah. I like that.

Fanfiction: Oh, Jebus. I -- gahd. I can give you a handful of favorites, but maybe no one in particular.

Waste Our Lights in Vain - I'm really kind of ridiculously proud of that story, though it's way not what I expected at all.

Prelude - It gives me shudders, and creeps me out, which makes me feel like I did good.

Come Unto These Yellow Sands - It makes me want to eat mangos, so I feel like I probably made it kind of a tangible experience. Plus, it makes me feel like I'm clever.

Arise, You Sleeper (I Am Your Dream) - This story...okay. I think the reason I like it so much is that it was kind of me explaining Clark to myself. It's sort of a road map of who I think Clark Kent is, and a lot of the time I'm tempted to write more dreamfics. I really like the magical realism they allow, and the way they let me dig into character's psyches. So, yeah. I like this story so much because it's a roadmap to my Clark Kent, and I gave everything a symbolic weight that I think it managed to hold up, and it was brief and vivid.

HOWL - It's not pretty, but I feel like it's pretty honest and realistic and it's something that happens to people, as hard and ugly as it is.

pure FORESHADOWINGnifra_idril on February 17th, 2005 10:21 pm (UTC)
I totally forgot to give you a link to my First Amendment essay: it's here. Doh!
thecaelum on March 4th, 2005 06:30 am (UTC)
I'm sorry it took so long to respond to this. I wanted the chance to read all of the stories you linked.

I think what sticks out to me the most is two-part, the visual aspects of how you write and the very strong emotional context in which you put those visual elements. You work magic with a descriptive phrase, using just enough to convey a visual image of the scene. At the same time, the words used and structures in which you place them all lends itself to the feel of the story... the emotions being conveyed, the ideas and metaphors being used.

I wanted to stop by again and say thanks for your answer and I really enjoyed reading all of the stuff you linked. It was particularly interesting to read fiction in fandoms I have not previously visited, like Due South.
too many shiny glitterlifeinwords on February 18th, 2005 03:58 am (UTC)
I'm pretty sure that my question would be 'but how can you write so fabulously,' and yours would be along the lines of 'so when are you going to finish something, biatch,' so I'll pass on that.

But I did want to say that you've been in my thoughts, and I'll miss you this weekend. I hope you're getting all of the love and support that you need. It's usually awkward for me to express commiseration and empathy with people online--especially people from LJ/fandom--because I'm never sure what to say. Which is never the case in real life. But anyway, after the fact, I send hugs and tissues and strength.
You're out of adventures :(claire on February 18th, 2005 11:44 am (UTC)
Why aren't you writing lots of porn, right now?

Errr. I apologise for that, it wasn't me, it was the Chocolate Malt Schnapps.