Archives for the month of: February, 2013

If you’ve been reading my previous blog entries you know that I’ve been considering writing a story that involves chemically engineered angels, lesbians and a very corrupt government. The first part of it(most likely the prologue) is posted here under the title “First Impressions”. I’ve revised it, I’ve had a good think, and I think it’s something worth doing.
To give you some background on the story:

Riley is one of the victims of an aggressive government experiment that leaves her invisible to virtually everyone. But the purpose of this invisibility is to enable her and the others like her to help and protect people who are valuable to the government. Those people are the only ones who can see her.

Having been like this for three years, 22 year old Riley comes across a girl called Jess. She is not Riley’s charge, not meant to be protected, but still Jess can see her. Puzzled and thrown, Riley goes to the government and demands answers, none of which are given.

Riley keeps meeting Jess, who gets increasingly curious of who Riley is and why she’s invisible to everyone else. As her snooping becomes more and more personal, and by proxy a threat to the government, they decide to take her out.

If Riley saves her and hides her away, the government will surely use their trackers to find Riley and kill her instead(or possibly something even worse), but if she doesn’t, she will have to watch as they kill Jess. The only person who has cared about her for the last three years, the only person who has made her feel something other than what the government programmed her to feel, dead.

If only there was a hidden third option.

What I’m wondering now, is whose point of view should I tell the story from? Should I tell it from Riley’s POV and explain who she is and why she’s like that from the get-go, or should I tell it from Jess’ POV and leave it a mystery for half the book? That is the question.

If anybody has an opinion, I’d love to hear it!

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I don’t know if you’re familiar with the term iTunes Drabbles(or occasionally iTunes Challenge), but the gist of it is that you put your iTunes on shuffle and write one short story(80-150 words) for every song that comes up. I haven’t done this in a long time, but I felt really full of ideas today and anxious to write something. Doing this helped me get some stuff out.

**

The characters I used were original ones that I’m just getting to know. They’re all young(19-23) and called Emery, Olli, Hayes and Spencer. These stories have nothing to do with each other, and I’ve used the characters in different ways with different relationships while still trying to retain their individual essence and feel. Also I haven’t proofread them terrible thoroughly, so you’ll have to excuse any errors.

1. Professor Umbridge – Nicholas Hooper(Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix soundtrack)
Emery opens his eyes to darkness. The last time he awoke there was darkness too, but there was also a warm body beside him. That warmth was now gone, and the darkness much more poignant and thick. He sits up in the bed and calls for his… friend? Lover? Partner? Olli. He calls for Olli, who he can’t define. He knows that’s part of the problem. Only silence answers him, and he knows abandonment will always be his problem, if his Olli doesn’t return. A sliver of light cuts through the inky darkness, and silently he is swept up in an embrace of warmth. Love now coexists with darkness, both in this room and in his heart.

2. Mine – Taylor Swift(Glee Cast Version)
Hayes looks out on the pond. The image of the sky is reflected in the water. He feels happy, though a little anxious as he waits for his boyfriend. Spencer was always late – he shouldn’t worry. Sprawled out on the grass, he watches the clouds. Taking a deep breath to expel his nervousness, he doesn’t realize the fitful sleep he falls into. When he wakes up there are sirens drifting through the air, and his best friend Olli is shaking him awake. There has been an accident, he shouts. Why is he shouting? The warmth of the summer day rushes out of his body, as another friend runs down to them, bringing the news of death. Flash-forward to a funeral, the funeral, where everything, even the roses, are black. Until Hayes looks out on the pond, and Spencer is walking up to him, hiding something behind his back. “Is this real?” Hayes whispers, and Spencer kneels down beside him to give him a life-confirming, reaffirming, cementing kiss which leaves no doubt in his mind. Spencer pulls out from behind him a brilliant, red rose.

3. A Death Waltz – Jay Brannan
Their eyes met across the dance floor, not for the first time that evening. The old-fashioned ball had appealed to many people, but especially to Olli, who couldn’t stop his eyes from flickering from person to person, their brilliant period clothes the attraction that commanded his eyes. Until him. There was no one dressed as brilliantly as him, but his clothes were far down on the list of why Olli couldn’t tear his eyes away from him. The man’s eyes, his sharp features and his confident gait were all things that commanded attention, and Olli could feel himself move onto the dance floor as a waltz started playing in the background. As if on cue, the man met him in the middle, the couples swirling around them nothing more than background fodder, a picture with the shutter left open for too long even for the most avant garde photographer. With no words exchanged, they held each other and moved in unison to the music. Olli would find himself in the arms of this handsome, mysterious man many times in the future, not sure if his dance ever conveyed the words he couldn’t say.

4. Runnin’ – Adam Lambert
There was never a bottle so compelling as the bottle of whiskey on the table in front of him. Hayes had always been innocent. Well-behaved. The nice boy mothers loved to be introduced to. Then he had met Spencer, who had turned his world upside down. The world of girlfriends and studies and having said girlfriend’s mothers fall in love with him was over. There was only Spencer, that man and his dark eyes and all-knowing smirk. He was kind when he needed to be. So charming and protective and Hayes hadn’t been able to resist. Redefining everything he thought he was had never been so exhausting, and the escape the bottle provided was too valuable not to take advantage of. He didn’t yet have the energy or the courage to face the tall, dark and handsome paradigm shift in his life, and running was so much easier.

5. All time low – The Wanted
After finding Emery in a pool of his own vomit on the floor of his apartment, Spencer, Olli and Hayes decided they couldn’t let this go on. They wouldn’t let their best friend destroy himself, so they cleaned him up, took care of him, and told him the only way left to go was up. They were curious of what had led their friend to this all time low, but they didn’t feel like they could ask. Until Emery himself told them when he woke up for the second time. They were loved. All of them. In different ways and from different points of view, but loved nonetheless. But they were leaving, all moving away, and Emery couldn’t handle it. Their family split up, it was unbearable for the broken boy looking up at them from the bed. Shameful tears burned in his eyes and his black hair sticked to his face with sweat, but he was still swept up in a heart-crushing hug by his family. They reassured him, as best they could, and promised to take care of him wherever they went in the world.

6. Aftermath – Adam Lambert(Glam Nation Live version)
Coming out hadn’t been Olli’s decision, but the situation seemed to take the choice out of his hands. His parents found him in the hospital, holding the hand of an unconscious and to them foreign boy, which by itself would have been explainable. The fact that it was after the bank robbery and Olli himself had dried blood all over his clothes – some of it his own – and that he was clinging to the boy with desperate tears in his eyes, made the whole thing a little more conspicuous. His parents fought with him, but he stayed by the hospital bed until the boy woke up, his red-rimmed, blue eyes looking up at him. Olli smiled through his tears, and leant down to place a soft kiss on the other boy’s chapped lips. Warmth was exchanged through their intertwined hands and love, Olli thought, didn’t have far to go before it too would reach them.

7. Another One Bites the Dust – Queen
The club was teeming with excitement, and the loaded atmosphere as they waited for the main act of the evening never failed to fill Spencer with anticipation. He knew this night’s main act. It was his best friend’s band, and it was the first time he would see them perform. The curtain rose and the music started, and a small smile spread on Spencer’s face. Hayes was standing in the middle of the stage, ridiculously tight leather pants hugging his legs and a ripped shirt on his upper body. Spencer had never seen him look so hot, or hot at all come to think of it, since Spencer wasn’t gay. As soon as Hayes started dancing, though, he knew he would have to reevaluate that assumption. Hot was definitely the right word, and he resolved to tell Hayes that as soon as the show was over, and worry about his sexuality and the integrity of their friendship another day.

I like writing fanfiction. In a way it’s easier than writing original fiction, because when you’re using characters from a film or a tv show or a book, then the characters are already there. They’re already done. All you need to do is put them into an event or a storyline. It leaves you free to focus on writing style and action, instead of expositioning the characters and explaining their lives and relationships. The reader will already know the character, which means all you have to do is stay true to the original characterization when you write the story. Unless of course you want to take an evil/annoying character and put them trough something that will change them for the better. Or an annoyingly good and innocent character and change them for the worse. There is just so much you can do, and the template is already there. It’s like when you were little and drawing in a coloring book. You got to choose your own colors for the image – sometimes they would be obvious and boring, but sometimes they would be completely crazy – and you were able to put your own stamp on it, pour your creativity over it, while still not having to think of everything yourself. And you all remember being children with coloring books, right? Sometimes you completely disregarded the lines. That’s what fanfiction is. And the possibilities are endless.

Personally I’m not that good of a fanfic author. I’ve written many that I hate with a burning passion, I’ve written some that I tolerate, and I’ve written a couple that I allow myself to be proud of. It’s just a matter of getting a good idea, holding on to it, and executing it well. I have no problems coming up with concepts. And they rarely let go once they’re in my head. My problem is with the execution. Usually with fanfiction I write a scene or two, sometimes even a chapter or two, but then I get stuck and move on to the next idea. I don’t think there’s necessarily anything wrong with this – I guess I reckon that if a story really doesn’t want to be written, maybe it wasn’t such a good idea from the start. But you can’t give up too easily. You have to invest your time into it, to get anything back. And it’s the same with every kind of writing. Another good thing about fanfiction is that if you’re writing in at least a moderately popular fandom, people will want to read it. You will get a few likes or kudoses or favorites, and probably a review or two as well. And for me, at least, it really helps to know that people other than myself and my friends are going to read it. It gives it a whole other purpose, not to mention the kick you get from hearing someone tell you how much they love something you’ve written. A complete stranger.

I remember one particular review – on the fic that I’m probably the most happy with – that was from the author of Kurtofsky classic “Strange Currencies”. I basically stared at it, smiled, and burst into tears. This person took maybe fifteen minutes to read my fic, and another five to write the review. But it completely made my day. That’s why I try to review as much as I can, because I know that even a small positive comment can cheer someone up immensely. Fanfiction is therefore, an exchange between writers of all kinds – teenagers, aspiring authors, actual published authors, people who have writing as a hobby, etc – of talent, happiness and tears, and perhaps most importantly, feedback.

When it comes to my writing, I have a lot to thank the world of fanfiction.