andothersuchphrases: Dialogue from Descant. (Angels don't have windpipes)

One of the characters in Eden (or whatever the hell it'll be called when I'm not in "name the verse after my current favorite song" mode)? Is a pathological liar. She lies even when she knows that Sam can tell when she's lying. She honestly can't help it.


....I do that plot a lot, I think. I have an irrational obsession with heroes getting pulled into conflicts that they don't want to be a part of, getting close to the people they're fighting with and starting to believe in the cause, and then finding out, "Oh yeah, by the way? YOU WERE ON THE WRONG SIDE ALL ALONG." I have an obsession with gray and gray morality and worlds where no one is good and the thing you're fighting might well be the lesser of two evils. I mean, the whole plot of Palaceverse is essentially a disgruntled teenage girl gets pulled into an agency that only exists to keep the government in control, disguised as a wholly dark, but seemingly righteous group, only to eventually find, just when she's starting to grow up and become a really big part of the whole thing, that the agency she's working for is what really needs to be kept in check.

And that's... Pretty much what Eden is. Except it's about a man who wants to just wants to walk the fuck away from a sordid past that he can't remember anyway, and just keeps getting pulled back into the world he's trying to leave, because he might have a key to taking down the Big Shady Organization. I'm sure there's more to the story there, but I need to figure it out. God, I suck at plot so much. I can nest in characters forever, but PLOT ELUDES ME.

Mrmph. I hate this. I have so many ideas, but almost no real motivation to write them or get the plot down. Bah. >.<
andothersuchphrases: (Your sudden violent death)
From the worldbuilding document of this new verse I'm playing with:

Sam Marshall:
(37) A sheriff's deputy from Nashville who manifested his ability (when people lie around him, he experiences extreme pain) during a major court hearing he was presiding as bailiff over, thus revealing the defendant (a noteworthy man in politics at the time) to be a liar. Unfortunately, no one would believe his claims and he was eventually shamed and sacked for the accusation and the man was allowed to walk free. Sam, eventually, was picked up by Panopticon's support team- a group of people with abilities that aren't flashy enough to market, but still useful. Being penniless and jobless, Sam agreed (pretending he even had a choice) and eventually worked his way to become the leader of the group... Which wasn't hard, considering the people in it. Sam's a mouthy, sarcastic, cynical little bastard who will smartass his way out of everything. While typically calm and casual, even in the face of horrible doom, and not easily angered, he has a short fuse for bullshit, and he always knows when you're bullshitting him. He's also an unrepentant alcoholic and pill-popper- his pain management techniques suck and he knows it.


(Yes, I did borrow Rift!Sam Tyler's power for the occasion. That doesn't begin to touch his Samosity.)

andothersuchphrases: Woman's silhouette on stage (I'll top the bill. I'll earn the kill.)
I was looking for something in my GoogleDocs and found this. It's a bit of some freewriting I did, experimenting with just what came out and... I badly want to expand it into a verse. I'm not sure what to do with it yet, but I figured it belonged in here with the other original stuff, lest I lose it.

He ate my heart... )
andothersuchphrases: (Your sudden violent death)
Fayette turned on her heels to compare Ashley's cool veneer to the one he just wore in Darius's chambers when he'd casually agreed with him to have her killed. They were one and the same, and something about it chilled her to the bone, but she merely chided herself for feeling that way. Ashley was one of the Agency's finest, for all that he was just some Noble they picked up and groomed to make a perfect spy. The combination of the casual apathy of a Noble with the merciless attitude of an Agent seemed like a horrible thing to fall in love with it, but that stupid, foolish, schoolgirl love she had for him was what led her to ask a stupid question.

"Would you have actually done it?"

Ashley bridged the gap between them, capturing her chin in his hand and forcing her to look up into his deep blue eyes. "I would have eviscerated you and draped your entrails around Darius's neck like a wreath, if  he asked me to. Don't take it personally, darling. We're very much not in this for love. We're in this for the job and the job is making sure Darius never suspects anything. If I'm to continue to be his friend and not arouse suspicion, then there is absolutely nothing I can't do if asked. I'm certain you understand that."

Surprisingly, she did.

And Ashley's one of the good guys.

...Yeah, I got nothing. This scene from the first A Palace Cracked book has been running through my head, and it reminds me of how much I LOVE fucked-up heroes. It also reminded me that there's pretty much NO ONE in that 'verse who isn't fucked-up in some way. .....I like horrible things.

....I was going to turn this into a huge meta about What the Hell Hero? moments and why I love them and why there need to be more of them, but... Then I didn't feel like it. One day, I will totally write... My version of meta. Maybe.

andothersuchphrases: The moon obscured by clouds (Bad moon rising)
Last night I had an epiphany about where I wanted to end the Descantverse saga.

You see, before City of Woe existed, the stories were just... The stories of three people in the same 'verse, which is all well and good, but part of the reason I was so quick to jump on the idea of a trilogy like CoW was because it offered the chance to tie them all together, and then I came up with a plotline for CoW that was simultaneously EVIL and just brings everything back around.

And, hell, I love stories that end where they began.

Last night, I sort of... Figured out how the story was really ending. I know the very last line of the entire series, even if everything else changes, that line will be the last line.

And I'm being so cryptic, but it's EXCITING to know where something is going to end. It makes me sad that I have to trawl through nine other books before I can get to the last trilogy, but... It's nice to know that I have a trilogy that deals exclusively with the mythology of the 'verse and ties everything together and then ends everything in a way that makes me FLAIL.


andothersuchphrases: Woman's silhouette on stage (I'll top the bill. I'll earn the kill.)
This just came to me while Jae and I were having our nightly writing war, because I've been nesting in 'verses I have no business nesting in.

Have an out of context rough draft snippet, guys. Don't say I never give you things. (Misha's name is subject to change. This was just on the fly writing to get a feel for this 'verse.)

I am dropping a bridge on that character in this trilogy. I swear to God. BRIDGES WILL BE DROPPED. )

I'm not lying. There will be SOME SORT OF BRIDGE-DROP ON HIM. Hopefully, by now you know which one I mean. :|
andothersuchphrases: Figure in shadows (Shadows where I stand)
I think I just need to start the first draft of Lights over again. This isn't like Descant, where I sped through the whole first draft in, like, less than a month and then let it sit for two years before I figured out how to fix it. I've been writing this draft of Lights for a YEAR and it keeps changing WHILE I'M WRITING IT and I still don't know if I'm EVER going to have a stable plot for it. And, also, I seriously need, like, a HOW TO WRITE MYSTERY NOVELS tutorial or something, because I'm eating it in that respect.

Buh. I'm frustrated. This would be a lot less annoying if I didn't keep ADDING ELEMENTS to it. Or, you know, if I had managed to just sit down and write the fucking thing in a month, so I could replot it from that and know what I hated and what needed to go. Right now, I'm missing a HUGE CHUNK of it that hasn't even been written and... Agh. Just.... Agh. >.<

This is frustrating.

andothersuchphrases: (I'm sorry I stabbed you)
Ages ago, I swore to God that after I'd went through hell with how the main villain of Lights kept changing every time I replotted the story, I would stick with the version I finally came up with.

I... Lied.

The thing is, I got stuck on a section of the story, so I started writing a huge part of the climax and as I was writing the big reveal of the main villain, I realized that it... Wasn't that good of a reveal. I mean, Dawson was always meant to be the villain, but she's SET UP as the villain from, like, the second chapter, and in the rewrite, I could fix it, make it more ambiguous, but that's not NEARLY as good as setting Dawson up to be the villain from the start, making the audience meeble over whether she is or not, and then have the villain be someone completely random.

So I went down a list of characters in this draft that could feasibly be Lilith (the true identity of the main villain) and came up with a character who would be PERFECT, because it would hurt more. Des never liked Dawson, so the emotional impact is kind of... Lacking. Granted, the emotional impact of the scene as it stands is playing out the same way it would have if Dawson were the villain, but that's because I'm writing it out of context and... I kind of wrote the new villain in right in the middle of writing it. The rewrite should be more of a gutpunch.

...I hope.

I really want to be done with this first draft. It sucks so much, but I'm sure once I figure out what I need to do to make the mystery an actual mystery with real suspects and some real stakes and shit, it will be... Better. God, I wish I didn't suck at this kind of thing. I need big, scary books.

And there's my babbling. I don't use this journal enough.

andothersuchphrases: An open door. It's creepy. (Duct tape makes you smart!)
I hate happy endings.

This statement is not entirely true, but I thought it would be  a good way to begin this post. I've been thinking of doing this for awhile, but a secret over at RP!S just drove me over the metaphorical bridge and I have this self-deprecating problem where when someone doesn't like my opinion, I have to justify why I like my opinion and explain my case, even if the situation doesn't call for it... Usually I don't, because debate makes me spazzy, but I have the urge anyway.

The truth is, I don't like happy endings unless they're earned and sometimes not even then. I can understand that when you've put your characters through absolute hell to have everything not end happily just seems cruel, but that's not how life works to me. You reach the top of the hill after everything's falling apart around you, you learn something about yourself, but that doesn't mean that life is suddenly going to suck less just because you came to an understanding with your soul or got the girl or killed the dragon or whatever. If there's anything realistic about the way I write, it's that. The journey doesn't end with hearts and flowers just because I kicked the main characters' asses down seven different flights of stairs and killed their dog- I can settle for a bittersweet ending at best, usually, but it's very rare that anything ends with hearts and flowers. I'm just not that kind of writer.

What kicked this whole rant off was that there was essentially a secret in RP!S (which is roleplaying, yes, but this is true of my actual writing as well as my RP and since this journal is for writing/rambling about fiction, that's what I'm focusing on) that complained of people focusing too much on trauma for character development. As someone who does enjoy trauma as a means of character development, I found that a bit unsettling. Yes, there are ways to develop characters that have nothing to do with trauma. I have done it. I have written characters who slowly came full circle thanks to a morality pet and characters who shifted their entire worldview because they spent too much time with one person who was a good influence on them- I'm not saying that other ways of character development are wrong, just as no one ever said my way of thinking is wrong, I'm saying that sometimes you just have to hit the trauma button repeatedly if you want to tell a good story.

I'm a huge fan of Greek tragedy. I like characters who have pride or a fatal flaw who go through hell and get broken repeatedly and overcome that flaw by the end of the story (and then they usually die). Never mind that I'm the kind of person who is happiest when her favorite characters are suffering. I feel more for characters who get hurt, who get broken, who get put through the emotional wringer, and God knows why. It's fascinating, I guess, to see how they come out of it, because even if ALL ANGST, ALL THE TIME gets a little crazy, no one person handles angst the same way as another person. I like breaking people and then seeing how they piece themselves back together- what parts get sacrificed, what parts get gained, who do they get closer to, who do they push away. It's so brilliant to watch and write and I just don't get the same emotional satisfaction from watching people grow from non-traumatic situations. Maybe I'm just overtly dark, but I'd rather have dark themes and torture and trauma than shiny, happy character development. I want to feel like people have been dragged through hell to get to where they end up, so that they're either better for it or worse. The point is the change and the point is that the change needs to feel real and come after a great moment of self-realization and a lot of self-realization happens after trauma (not all, yes,  I know, but still).

I offer Space: Above and Beyond as a perfect example of the kind of fiction I adore. It's a gritty show that's sometimes painful to watch- oh sure, it has its lighthearted moments, but it's about a war and it doesn't let you forget that for a second. It's about a bunch of kids in the middle of a traumatic situation growing up and fighting and breaking and becoming a team, and I would not adore it nearly as much if those kids were in a less traumatic situation, because it wouldn't feel as real to me. The show develops its comraderie so perfectly that you can see when the characters stop being at each others' throats to when they became true friends. And the show, and you'll have to forgive me for the vague spoiler, ends badly. Why? Because it's war. Wars don't end with hearts and flowers and everything being okay. Sometimes they don't even end. Sometimes you go through absolute hell with a bunch of people you love and you wind up still standing in Hell at the end of it. It's beautiful to me. It's real and it's moving and I feel so much more for characters in situations like that than I feel for characters who went through the same amount of hell and got their shiny, happy endings that feel tacked on just because the audience needs the pick-me-up.

The surest way to piss me off in a work of fiction is to give me a happy ending I don't feel is deserved. If I don't think the characters have suffered enough by the end of it or if the happy ending seems tacked on and ridiculous, then I'm not going to accept it and will spend a great deal of energy finding ways to break it just for my own sanity. I hate the way Alias ended, because I don't think Sydney is capable of leaving the CIA/APO- I think that's her curse and I think the series should have ended with her realizing that. I love the girl so much and I understand that she's suffered so much, but it's not realistic that she'd be able to leave the life she wasn't all that fond of- not when they've said that she's too hardwired to be a spy. LOST hasn't ended yet, but you can bet your ass that I will be gnashing my teeth if it ends happily, albeit for a different reason- the show has been established as a story about death and rebirth.  It just doesn't make sense to me for it to have a happy ending. It's not my love of trauma talking, it's a storytelling thing, especially with whole plot devices being built around the concept that once you achieve some sort of understanding or acceptance, you die. More besides, I, honest to God, get pissed off whenever I leave a horror movie that doesn't end  with either everyone dead or the killer still out there, because horror was not a genre that was ever meant to have happy endings.

And this whole ramble has totally gotten away from me and I'm not even sure if I'm on the point anymore, but the original point stands: Trauma is good in fiction. And yeah, there are people who like their trauma in small doses or people who need fluff and bunnies and I get that- I love Disney movies as much as the next person and enjoy fluff on occasion, but I also want ROCKS FALL, EVERYONE DIES and torture and people dragging themselves out of the hole (literal and metaphorical) or hanging onto sanity by the skin of their teeth. That's how I write and that's how I enjoy a lot of my fiction. You don't get many happy endings from me- like I said, bittersweet is about all I can manage in the best circumstances. 

And, of course, the standard disclaimer is that I am not the be-all and end-all on this subject and, hell, what I've just written is all a matter of personal taste and preference. I honestly know I'm overreacting to something that means nothing, but I always meant to write about my obsession with unhappy endings, so at least it gave me a reason to flail. I admit that I'm a dark and morbid person and that not everyone can stomach angst the way I can, but... Yeah.

EDIT: XD And wow. Reading this again has made me realize how horribly fucking cynical I sound. Hilariously, I have not had a shit life that makes me all "LIFE SUCKS THEN YOU DIE." I really do just find darker fiction to be the far more fascinating medium. I have no idea why. Maybe my life is just too happy and contented or something.
andothersuchphrases: An open door. It's creepy. (And the merry-go-round goes around)
Yeah, yeah. I said I'd never use this thing and now two entries within minutes of each other. Go figure. This is for original writing flailing and I am flailing. Also, I'm kinda flaily and nesting in IDEAS makes me... Less so. ... For a little while anyway, until I get through all the worldbuilding and come up with the characters and all that and then realize that I have no idea where to go from there. Meh. I'm annoyed with the universe right now- I can stand to be a little more annoyed.

So anyway. Last night, I had bad insomnia, because my internet was dying repeatedly and I was pissed off at it, so I just went to bed before I was ready, which meant a lot of tossing and turning and I have a tendency to play out little scenes in my head to get to sleep, because... Head-movies are fun, honestly, even if they annoy me, because I get my best dialogue when I'm half-conscious and if I wrote down everything that was said, I'd never sleep. So... Yeah.

Anyway. I had a character around- a new guy whose name I didn't know- and he was pretty resistent to me trying to drag already-established characters to the front for my amusement, so I just went "to hell with it" and tried to figure out who he was, despite this not really doing much for my insomnia.

From that one character, I somehow managed to come up with some weird historical fantasy set in an alternate universe where magic has always been in the public eye and universally despised ever since the advent of Christianity and the constant rain of "MAGIC IS BAD" getting shoved in the general public's face. The actual bulk of the story takes place in the 1920's, which are my favorite decade in American history, hands down. I would actually enjoy the amount of research I'd have to do for this story just because I freakin' love the 20's so much. 

Anyway. The idea is that mages (or... I dunno, I may find a better name for the magic-users) post-WWI are starting to get a few more rights, but are still considered second-class citizens, but they have skills in dealing with things that other people don't, so the police forces in large cities have taken to hiring groups of mages to deal with threats posed by their own kind. Mages who sign up for this tend to wind up as social pariahs- they're unappreciated by the greater public for being mages and other mages hate them for hunting down and killing their own kind. 

As of right now, I have three characters. The kid who was lurking in my head last night who is the main character and first person narrator (I swear to God, everything I write these days is first person), the guy who runs whatever random magey police force they've got going on, and some chick. I imagine there will be more, since I always randomly wind up with a million and a half characters by the time I'm finished worldbuilding.

...And you know how ideas sound a lot less awesome or original when you put them down on paper/blog? ...Yeah. Rawr. I'm still poking at it, because I don't have brain for my tags or actual writing right now. I just want to nest in universes and escape reality for a little while.

Rrrrh. Maybe once I find a PB for the main character, I can make a journal and take out my interest in his universe on prompts or something.

...I need a song for this 'verse. Most 'verses come out of songs. It's so hard to find a song after the fact. Dammit.
andothersuchphrases: An open door. It's creepy. (Reality is overrated...)
Okay, so I've officially decided to take a page (or several) out of Aubrey ([personal profile] mortalcity )'s book and use this as my space for original writing... You know, when I actually remember what writing is. I've been on the unproductive IDEAS (but no drive to write) side of things for awhile. It sucks.

So yeah. My LJ will still be the place where I spend 98.8% of my time, because I'm not ready to abandon LJ. (ALL MY STUFF IS THERE, WAUGH.) But DW seems to be a better place for a "professional" creative blog, so... This is what this is.

And because I don't have a profile yet where I can put all this stuff. The stuff that you can expect to see here is mostly going to be related to Descantverse (you can see the- sadly incomplete- wiki for it here), which is a half urban/half contemporary fantasy (it depends on which trilogy you're reading). It's my magnum opus in a way- consisting of two different trilogies and a lot of little one-shot books set in the 'verse. Beyond that, I have a couple of random novels that I'd like to work on at some point when I'm not working on Descantverse books, such as Cleanse This Farce With Fire, a dystopian fantasy; a superhero-type story set in a weird dystopian world; a sci-fi sort of thing based on a retooling of an old 'verse from my younger days, and a new 'verse that I came up with last night that I have to do a flail dance about. (In another entry.)

Like I said, I am a wellspring of ideas, but I have almost no drive and motivation to actually get to the storytelling part, because I have a hard time figuring out plot and the like. Le sigh.
andothersuchphrases: An open door. It's creepy. (Default)
This is an introductory post/placeholder. Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to ignore this post and go about your day. See? It's easy. Just... Ignore the post.

...And if you have no idea who I am and are wondering why the hell I just friended you... You are a silly person. Or you know too many people named Chris. Or something.

My username is obnoxiously long.


andothersuchphrases: An open door. It's creepy. (Default)

December 2009

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