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Medium Dawn Felagund of the Fountain

Writerly M-Type Thing

The (Cyber) Bag of Weasels

bread and puppet




"About as much fun as a bag of weasels"...when I first saw this Irish adage, it made me think of the life of a writer: sometimes perilous, sometimes painful, certainly interesting. My paper journal has always been called "The Bag of Weasels." This is the Bag of Weasels' online home.

Writerly M-Type Thing

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art lives
We got some of the snow from the storm to the south of us, just enough that schools were two hours delayed this morning. This meant that I missed teaching first and second periods, which were fully planned. Tomorrow is a half-day, so I only have to teach first and second periods. Which means that this is one of those rare moments in my life when I have no immediate planning to do.

So I'm going to do this writerly m-type thing that I've seen ... well, everywhere.

1. of the fic you’ve written, which are you most proud of?

I suppose I'm supposed to say Another Man's Cage, but I actually find that story (and its popularity!) rather mortifying at times because I can do so much better and so much of it really was self-indulgent purple prose. At the moment, my favorite of my fanfic stories are Reembodied, an alternate history of the awakening of the Elves at Cuivienen, and By the Light of Roses, which was a very emotional story for me to write and has some scenes that I think are still tops in terms of my ability as a writer.

O-fic-wise, it is harder to say. I have several stories that I like and think are effective and intend to try to publish. My absolute favorite at the moment is probably Cogs, which actually was published in the anthology Magic and Mechanica.

2. favorite tense (past/present/future)

Present. I got dinged for writing in present tense when I first started writing fanfic, but it remains my preferred tense and the one I slip into when I'm not really trying. I have to make the deliberate decision to write in past and work not to drift back into present.

Does anyone write predominantly in future tense?? (Like second person, this strikes me as one of those gimmicky things mainly undertaken to be DifferentTM.)

3. favorite POV (first/second/third/etc)

First person, although I do quite a bit in third person limited as well. I am often surprised at the vitriol directed against first person. I've seen literary magazines state outright that they don't accept first-person stories. Third person omniscient I don't really see working for me. I like to delve into a character's mind and motives, which seems to require focus on one person at a time.

4. what are some themes you love writing about?

In my fanfic, I love exploring perspectives that aren't privileged in the original works. That's how I ended up writing Fëanorians so much: I imagined what The Silmarillion would look like if it had been written by a loremaster of the House of Fëanor. I like exploring the idea of "truth" in literature, myth, or history.

I enjoy writing about the creative process. I like writing about characters who have mental illnesses or who are otherwise significantly different from "normal." I love revolutionaries and the themes they inspire about freedom and authority. I like writing about families, particularly messed-up ones, and how family dynamics influence people's personalities and behaviors later in their lives.

In my o-fic, which is mostly horror, I enjoy exploring the concept of fear at a psychological level. What is something that deeply horrifies us? Not jump-out-and-go-boo fear of the googly-eyed horror movie variety but things that are deeply uncomfortable to us for something deep, atavistic reason.

In my fantasy stories, there are again a lot of themes of rebellion and independence. The relationships between gods and mortals. Mortality and immortality. (My original fantasyverse, the Midhavens, of course has Elves. ;) The ability of the creative process to form and shape reality (what Tolkien might term subcreation). The lives of ordinary people, those marginalized by the mainstream narrative, and those generally thought unsavory. The highest-born character in my Midhavens!verse is a half-Elven agoraphobic dispossessed necromancer-turned-apothecary who is 738th in line for the throne of the Ancient Elves.

5. what inspires you to write?

Writing, for me, happens when something turns a switch in my brain that makes the stories seem to come to me. I say "come to me" because my impression is not one of crafting a story; the words just seem to come and the story sometimes takes its own direction without much input from me. What turns that switch can be many things: an image, a line from a song, a discussion, something I've read, something I've thought about. When I'm angry and opinionated about something, that will often trigger me to write in response to that anger/frustration. My brain just seems really good at taking the sum total of my experiences, perceptions, and observations, mashing them into a ball, and shaping it into a story.

At the same time, I am very good at making myself write, which is why I like to sign up for challenges. I play with an idea until I find an angle to pursue that seems so irresistibly interesting that *flip* goes the switch, cue mashing, and a story is born.

6. thoughts on critique

I don't personally use a beta, although I have been a part of workshops, both as an undergrad writing minor and through the Critters speculative fiction workshop (which I highly recommend). I am pretty thick-skinned. I like critique that tries to understand and build on what I'm trying to do rather than change my story to what the person wishes I had written. (The latter makes me quite angry, actually, and the few times I've snarked publicly in fandom have often been motivated by comments on my story that "critique" me for not writing according to the reader's personal vision.) I've found, through my work with Critters, that about 10% of critters don't "get" what I'm trying to do with a story. At all. Which could be my fault as a writer or theirs as a reader. I'm not assigning blame.

I once figured out that I have beta'ed/critiqued around 2,000 short stories and novel chapters. So I have more experience on the other side of the desk, and I try to be the beta/critter that I would want someone to be to me. I try to help the author toward her vision, not toward mine. The author is number-one, and my ego and my preferences have nothing to do with it.

7. Create a character on the spot…. NOW!

Okay, I've never written Turgon before ...

He listened to Nelyo speak and waited for his in. Something awry or at least suggestive of an error. He felt his weight padding back and forth between the balls of his feet in his eagerness to speak and watch his relatives' faces swivel to notice him.


8. is there a character you love writing the most? the least? why?

I love writing Caranthir. My decision to make him gifted in "mindspeak" because I thought it would be fun to write has turned out to be one of the best rash decisions of my creative life. He is incredibly fun to write, and it's also interesting to see how different readers receive him.

I enjoy writing Nerdanel, Maedhros, Maglor, Celegorm, and Finarfin as well. I still find Fëanor intimidating as hell. I've never gotten over that string of corrupted and deleted files associated with everything I wrote from his PoV.

9. a passage from a WIP

Oh lord. I don't really do WiPs. Okay, here is the opening paragraph to my Nerdanel/Fëanor novel (yes, the AMC prequel of which there are only two chapters, since the first four that I wrote and really liked became corrupted a few days later--see above about writing Fëanor). Nerds' PoV:

I run—run until the wind whisks all other sound from my consciousness. All but three: my feet pound the earth and my blood roars in my ears and my ragged breathing keeps time with them both. And of course, there is the wind. We are united, I think, in this moment. The wind and the earth and me.


10. what are your writing strengths?

I am best at characterization ... at least, this is what I get the most compliments about and what I enjoy the most in writing. I like exploring people and psychology through writing. I don't start with plots but with people. I ascribe to what I call the "characters in a room" technique of writing: throw a bunch of people in a room together, lock the door, and see what happens.

Someone once told me I was the most literary of the authors they knew in the Tolkien fandom. I think I am good at creating stories with layers of meaning. I love the many layers of meaning in a single word, for example, or how changing even small details in terms of structure and punctuation can create a certain effect. I love playing with symbolism and foreshadowing. I am very deliberate in making these kinds of stylistic decisions and enjoy when people pick up on it.

11. what are your writing weaknesses.

Plot. I am not a plot writer. Unless I have read a story several times (my own or someone else's!) then I will not remember what happens in that story. I remember characters or images or even lines from a piece but not the plot. I sometimes read stories with complex webs of plots and admire these. I cannot imagine being able to do this myself.

12. what’s your favorite place for writing, resources?

I can write just about anywhere. I have written at ice rinks and ski lodges, on the beach and in the car. I do a lot of writing in my head; I had awful insomnia when I was younger because I was always laying awake and thinking about stories. (I discovered that writing them down fixed this.) I prefer to type my stories at all stages of the process but can handwrite if I must.

Resource-wise, I am lost without Dictionary.com and Thesaurus.com open on my computer. Those are really the only resources I consult while writing. Like any Tolkien writer, I review my Tolkien texts before starting a story on a section of canon with which I am not familiar. I have a shelf over my desk in the study reserved for my Tolkien books, so they are always within reach (assuming that I am working on the study, which lately, I do not).

13. who are your favorite writers?

J.R.R. Tolkien, of course. Ursula K. LeGuin and Neil Gaiman. Margaret Atwood, John Irving, Barbara Kingsolver, and Joyce Carol Oates. W.B. Yeats, George Orwell, Virginia Woolf, Charles Dickens. Walt Whitman (my ultimate literary crush!) and Robert Burns (my other literary crush!). William Blake and John Keats. Miguel de Cervantes. The Gawain poet. The Beowulf poet. Whoever wrote the Epic of Gilgamesh, which proves more than anything I've ever read that we are all, to an extent, walking in the footsteps of those who came before.



This post was originally posted on Dreamwidth and, using my Felagundish Elf magic, crossposted to LiveJournal. You can comment here or there!

http://dawn-felagund.dreamwidth.org/330279.html
  • I still find Fëanor intimidating as hell. I've never gotten over that string of corrupted and deleted files associated with everything I wrote from his PoV.

    ORLY? He's reaching out from the Halls to put a stop to any unauthorized biographical writings, eh? ;)

    I find him intimidating as hell, also, and I'm nowhere near the Silm scholar you are.
    • YES! It was very weird.

      When I was writing AMC, there was one section (two chapters) from Fëanor's PoV.

      First, the first chapter was written with all kinds of random weird stuff that didn't happen. (Yes, I wrote the chapter but certainly hadn't pre-planned any of those things.) I had to start over.

      Then, a large chunk of the chapter was deleted and lost.

      Then, the disk on which Fëanor's chapters lived--I was still using floppy disks then!--corrupted. Thankfully, I'd emailed the chapters to myself but still.

      I started the AMC prequel one year at Deep Creek Lake. Got four chapters that I really like, alternating Nerdanel's and Fëanor's PoVs.

      The USB stick where I'd saved them corrupted later that week. <0>
  • I am often surprised at the vitriol directed against first person.

    Yes!

    I've seen literary magazines state outright that they don't accept first-person stories.

    No! D=

    First person is what I prefer to both read and write.
    ___________

    From what I've read of your Caranthir, I really enjoy him. =D

    • Thank you! :)

      Someone told me once that the prejudice against first person is because first-person tends to produce some horrid results. But the fact that many awful stories are in first person doesn't erase that some awesome stories are as well! It seems a silly thing to reject a story for without even reading it.
      • Nor does it erase the fact that many awful stories are in third person too!

        I suppose that, if the story is a badly-written self-insert author-fantasy, it may be somewhat more obvious in first person, but aside from that it seems to me that any POV has the potential for disaster (or awesomeness).
        • I've done editing for two (small) literary magazines in my life and certainly never noticed significantly more awful first person than third.

          Okay, there was the stack of porn stories sent into the university literary magazine when I was assistant fiction editor that were in first person and some of the most awful stories I've read (the author's name was Chris, and he liked to lean on the i-key when his partner called his name in bed), but they were all by the same person, so they're rather an outlier! :^P
  • You would be articulate writing this thing! You should read mine! Ha! Kind of a big long 'Duh!' I read yours and laughed at myself. Writing is very personal, so I am not even embarrassed that I have enjoyed these writerly M-things because they made me self-reflective.

    I love the many layers of meaning in a single word, for example, or how changing even small details in terms of structure and punctuation can create a certain effect. I love playing with symbolism and foreshadowing. I am very deliberate in making these kinds of stylistic decisions and enjoy when people pick up on it.

    I could have said that (obviously I could not, because I did not)! But I actually do that when I write. Not always that effectively apparently, because I often do use Betas and torn between loving feedback in that form and not liking that people want to give me a better word and suggesting the exact words or phrases that I carefully considered already and rejected because they did not contain the nuances and layers of my final choice of vocabulary or construction.

    Sorry about the fact that Another Man's Cage is so lauded and referenced (directly by praise and recs and indirectly by adaptation of oceans of fanon which first appeared there)--not really sorry! It is a seminal work. I agree you are a far better writer now, but it is still ultimately readable and holds all of its original charm and emotional tone. It was unique and hugely shifted the way in which many writers were able to think about Silm characters.

    By the Light of the Roses has been since I first read it one of my very favorite among your stories! I have to agree with you on it.

    Edited at 2014-01-30 02:29 am (UTC)
    • You would be articulate writing this thing!

      Ha! I'm glad you thought it articulate. It often felt like a stew of metaphors to me. :^P

      But I do love thinking about these things. I have my little pet theories. Usually only Bobby--bless him--gets to hear about them. Like the Language Layercake--that's a favorite. The Characters in a Room technique did get mentioned here!

      If I were to ever be successful in writing beyond fandom, I could be one of those annoying writers who writes a how-to-write book.

      I could have said that (obviously I could not, because I did not)!

      On that post, we certainly talked about making deliberate choices in our stories ... so you kinda did, if only in the comments. :) I don't remember if it was in the original post, so I'll trust you know better than me!

      Of course, your stories are among my favorites because they are deep and layered, and you don't say and do things because they sound kewl.

      (I wrote based on kewlness a lot when I was younger. Like I wanted to use a particular word or write a particular scene, so I put it in whether it fit or not.)

      not really sorry!

      I'm not sorry! I wouldn't undo it. There was a lot of heart put into that story. It means a lot to me personally, too, as it was a fragile point in my life and sort of pulled me out of the creative abyss.

      But I do have a little *groan* moment when someone tells me they're reading it because there are some bits in it that I've definitely outgrown! I tell myself this is a good thing, and if I still felt like my best story was something 10 years old, then I haven't done much with my writing life since then.

      And part of that is probably because it has become so much more normal to write Silm characters as I wrote them in AMC. So it's easy to forget my rationale behind some of the decisions I made in presenting that story at the time, in the context in which it was written.

      By the Light of the Roses has been since I first read it one of my very favorite among your stories! I have to agree with you on it.

      Thank you! I didn't know that. :)
      • Thank you! I didn't know that. :)

        I've said it before! Lot's of times--both that it is one of my favorites and my all-time favorite (I'm hedging at little on number one now, only because you have written some incredible stories since then). You just don't remember and I recommend it all the time.

        The thing about it is, whereas AMC was a fabulous escape for me into a world I did not even know I wanted people with my favorite Silm characters. Light of the Roses was initially a painful and disturbing story, but really has an underlying hopefulness to it, despite foreshadowing of things to come. There is a sense of it's not over 'til it's over. Now I am blathering. Erestor is a great character also and influenced the way I write my very different one. Your Telvo is such a fantastic character--so vulnerable and courageous at the same time. It has a cast of fantastic characters--the wives and Curufin. Even Erestor's parents and their marriage(!), seen only in his internal monologues.
    • I remember you finding it disturbing and darker than AMC! So I must be remembering the negatives and not the positives. (I do remember you complimenting it, just not that it was a/the favorite.) Sorry! My brain is crazy forgetful lately.
    • Here's part of your review on SWG:

      "There is so much that I could say, but just want, for now, to give this my highest recommendation."

      So I'm an eejit! :D
      • I am such a dofus! I always plan to come back to great stories that leave me speechless and give a proper review! I have given it proper reviews in recommendations, but damned if I know where to find them now.

        I know it is on my most recent "classic Silm fic" rec list and I only list four or five of yours there at most. Trying to not make a list of everything by only my three or four favorite authors!
  • I don't understand the hatred of first person myself. It's just another way to tell a story; neither good or bad in and of itself. And as someone who enjoys writing it, I try not to let the vitriol get to me but don't always succeed. (I actually mentioned in my answers to this that the SWG is the only place in fandom I've ever seen where first person fics are widely read and loved.)
    • Oh! You did this too! I need to go read that. :D

      I just mentioned to Huin that I've edited for two small literary magazines in my time and never noticed more awfulness in first person than in third. To me, PoV is a tool like any other in a writer's repertoire. Putting something off-limits that is the best choice for a particular project simply makes no sense to me.
      • I do have a prejudice against second person--it recalls bad horror fiction for me. "Desperate, you round a turn in the musty, dark tunnel when you hear the shuffle of footsteps behind you. You run faster and faster, but then you stumble, sprawling flat on your face. Before you can scramble to your feet, you feel its hot breath on your neck and smell the stench of its foetid breath!" Got that out of my system! That is the kind of thing that second person conjures up for me.
        • :D Not to mention all those CYOA Goosebumps books (good Lord, I used to devour those as a kid!) That said, I know it's not great literature, but Peter Lerangis manages a pitch-perfect and genuinely interesting Ducky McCrae in the Babysitters Club YA spin-off series California Diaries. Mind, those are written in journal format, so not quite the same as novels.

          It also... kind of worked in If on a Winter's Night a Traveller.
          • I do not enjoy many YA books (and did not read them as a kid). I have read and enjoyed a few extraordinary examples as an adult like Harry Potter, the Narnia books and the Winkle in Time series, so I had not read any of the first ones you mention. I looked up and read several reviews of a Winter's Night a Traveller. It does sounds intriguing and like I might actually really enjoy it or find it maddeningly frustrating. It does unabashedly admit to using the form as a device not really to tell a straightforward story but to cause one think about the experience of reading and writing. Thanks for the recommendation, I may try that one.

            Edited at 2014-01-30 12:00 pm (UTC)
        • Second person always strikes me as gimmicky--rarely appropriate but used to be DifferentTM. That said, every time I think something can't work for me in a story, someone writes something wonderful with it but of the time? No.
      • Maybe it's because first is fairly rare that terrible examples stand out more than the good ones? (And then people are scared off it so they don't get better at it.)

        POV is definitely a tool, nothing more and nothing less.
    • It's true and so upsetting

      I will probably post this somewhere else also. But I got annoyed thinking about that prejudice again, that I just took ten minutes and listed a very few of my well-respected first person novels as quickly as I could.

      A Few Great first person novels (in no particular order):

      The Sound and the Fury, Faulkner
      The Quiet American by Graham Greene
      The Remains of the Day (sorry, forgot the author--great book)
      I specialized in Henry James for a while early in my academic years— so The Ambassadors
      How about Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness (not only first person but that unpopular form, A Novella!)
      Someone else mentioned somewhere recently, maybe on my LJ comments on this topic, Mary Renault’s The Persian Boy (fantastic unreliable narrator!); she also did others which I liked even better in the first person like Mask of Apollo and The Last of the Wine (greatly influenced my Maitimo and Findekano in both style and content)
      Wuthering Heights
      The Great Gatsby
      Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier (if not great, then very, very good)
      Great Expectations and David Copperfield
      I cannot forget Marcel Proust! Crap I liked it so much that I read hundreds of pages of it in French (a labor of love; although most of it in translation—not only did he write in first person, but the sentences long enough to rival Faulkner, if not surpass him. So powerful that every time I eat one of those tiny Mexican sponge cakes (which are endemic to this neighborhood) I think of Remembrance of Things Past and him eating Madelines).
      Moby Dick!! Who doesn’t know the first line: "Call me Ishmael.”

      Edited at 2014-01-30 03:47 am (UTC)
      • Re: It's true and so upsetting

        Clearly, the body of English literature (and French!) would be better if those works had been rejected right off the bat simply for being done in first person.
  • I am enjoying this meme a lot, seeing what my friends and I have in common, and what's different.

    It's funny--with me, first person is unusual, and present tense is as well; but when I do use one, the other often follows. In fact, of my rare present tense stories, I can't think of one that's not first person.

    Your writing is always intriguing, and makes me think--especially about characters I don't think of often, and nearly always makes me want more.
    • Thank you. :)

      I love these kinds of memes--both doing them and reading others' responses to them. The creative process and how very different it is for each person endlessly fascinates me. I used to feel bad, as a young writer, when I would venture into the Writing section of B&N and pick up one of those books on writing advice, often by a famous author, and realize that I did little or nothing of what they recommended (write in the morning, force yourself to write at least 15 minutes a day, write plot outlines before beginning ...). I now know how different each writer is, and those advice books feel rather silly in retrospect.

      It's funny--with me, first person is unusual, and present tense is as well; but when I do use one, the other often follows.

      Hmm ... this might be true of me too. I'll have to look back sometime and figure this out!
  • Turgon: That makes me go all sorry for him, craving attention so badly. And then I realize what a pain in the neck he would be to have around, lying in wait for your mistakes to correct you!

    Feanor: You've written a very good Feanor more recently in Five Bells and Light Bearer. But also a very scary one.

    Nerdanel: More! More! What is she running from or running to?
    • My Turgon is a little nerd and a bit socially awkward! :D He is one of those know-it-all people in his youth that is kind of a pain to have around.

      You've written a very good Feanor more recently in Five Bells and Light Bearer.

      And nothing weird happened while writing those stories! :D Thanks for the reminder, which may help cure me of my superstition.

      What is she running from or running to?

      Toward a city and away from a house. ;)
  • In my o-fic, which is mostly horror, I enjoy exploring the concept of fear at a psychological level. What is something that deeply horrifies us? Not jump-out-and-go-boo fear of the googly-eyed horror movie variety but things that are deeply uncomfortable to us for something deep, atavistic reason.

    I vividly remember having this feeling of fear while reading your HPLovecraftesque "Hastaina". I absolutely loved that story. The fear of the unknown, of a primaeval evil buried in the ice... I could taste it.

    Like other comments before, I have no issue with 1st person. I wasn't aware it was a sort of no-no. I've used it and enjoyed to be close to the character. The only problem is that at times I miss the freedom of not being able to see the world through someone else's perspective, and I feel trapped inside the mind of that character when I'd rather be elsewhere. But hey, that's exactly what happens in RL sometimes. So why would it be wrong?

    You make it sound as though stories pour out of your pen/keyboard, all shaped up. Somehow it shows, because they flow, as full of layers of meaning as you describe above, plus you have the amazing ability to write anywhere. I am envious! :o)




    Edited at 2014-01-30 09:02 am (UTC)
    • The fear of the unknown, of a primaeval evil buried in the ice... I could taste it.

      That is high praise as this is what I was definitely going for! :D Thank you! There are things about Lovecraft that annoy the hell out of me (such as his repetition of certain words/phrases, like cyclopean masonry and eldritch carvings and Stygian), but what I do enjoy about his writing is that sense that something isn't quite right ... and I can't point to what makes me feel that way. The emotion seems to exist in the words of the story itself. It's quite incredible.

      You make it sound as though stories pour out of your pen/keyboard, all shaped up.

      I write a lot in my head. Many times, the actual writing process is more putting down onto paper/pixels words that I've been stewing over mentally for days, weeks, or even years! Other times, the story comes easily (not always though). I find this happens most often when I'm less emotionally inhibited, i.e., late at night or when I'm hypomanic.
  • Ah AMC... *thinks about the happy memories attached to that time 9 years ago* I could list them, but I think you remember those as well :) Just to think that dearest Isil pointed me to this story, added the comment that Dawn is a very awesome person (and Juno and Tarion LOL) and viola, the start of a very long friendship. Of course you have grown and I hope you will continue to discover more things, that you will continue to experiment and so on.

    As for 1st person, it is a personal preference for all, perhaps some literay snobbing and trend like how suddenly 8 years ago the passive was an absolute sin. What was it then: 'you cannot even ever use the passive voice in a story!' Awareness is one thing, but the passive can be an enormous tool to use in a story for effect, if you know how to use it.
    Back to 1st pov, it never is a deliberate thought where I say: oh I will write this story in that pov. It depends on the characters & plot and I only find out after a few lines or so.

    I love the many layers of meaning in a single word, for example, or how changing even small details in terms of structure and punctuation can create a certain effect. I love playing with symbolism and foreshadowing. I am very deliberate in making these kinds of stylistic decisions and enjoy when people pick up on it.

    Me too!
    • Just to think that dearest Isil pointed me to this story, added the comment that Dawn is a very awesome person (and Juno and Tarion LOL) and viola, the start of a very long friendship.

      I think of things like this too and marvel. :) That words put on a page could open up so many friendships, some of which have spilled into RL. (As I hope ours will someday! :) And connections, too, beyond me: I sometimes wonder how many people have become friends through the SWG who otherwise would not have known each other. (And the SWG's initial success was at least in part inspired by AMC.) That makes the hours put into all of this very much worthwhile.

      perhaps some literay snobbing and trend like how suddenly 8 years ago the passive was an absolute sin.

      I once believed in the "rules of writing" but quickly discovered so many wonderful stories that not only broke those rules, but were wonderful at least in part because they did.

      Passive voice is a grammatically correct verb tense, and it has its uses in writing, as well you know. There are times when switching passive to active would "break" that part of the story.

      I think it becomes easy for some people to critique a work by running down a checklist of the "rules of writing." It's easier than thinking about what effect the writer might be trying to create with a particular choice and evaluating whether that choice works well or not.
      • Well you know, when you mentioned that Denmark is on your vacation roster I immediately thought... 'oh I so hope I have a work trip to Copenhagen in that period' :D But if you guys ever want to visit Hanseatic League cities for example, we can tour a few here. ;)

        I once believed in the "rules of writing" but quickly discovered so many wonderful stories that not only broke those rules, but were wonderful at least in part because they did.

        I think we owe it to our profession to break the rules and experiment. How else can it evolve and continue to remain connected to society? Society changes and I see books/stories/writing as something that should be equally open for change. Be daring, be innovative! It's fun!

        I think it becomes easy for some people to critique a work by running down a checklist of the "rules of writing."

        True, and it is safe, predictable and not much is asked of you to think outside the box. This is what I miss the most about reading: to be pulled out of my current RL and just to marvel at what the author came up with. Does it break standards: whohoo, what a treat and it tickles my brain.

    • Isil! I haven't heard from her in ages...

      I remember the "no passive voice" rule, but then, teachers were always urging variation in sentence structure! I always found it maddening.
      • Her current job at Amazon is quite demanding, but I can nudge her your way :D :D She's so dear to me.
  • I keep rec'ing Reembodied to just about anyone who will put up with my nattering about how delightful it is. I need to leave an actual review, which I am ashamed to say I haven't yet done. But it absolutely should be one you take pride in!

    I love writing Caranthir.

    And we are ever so glad that you do, preciousss... I do get a little secret, amused smile when I see certain aspects of his character that I am fairly sure originated with you crop up in the fandom. ;)

    Fëanor is one I dislike writing too. Because it's Fëanor and I don't want to mess with that particular brand of explosive chemicals.

    I really need to do this one, but this week is kind of shite, so maybe Sunday or next week.
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