Apr. 1st, 2009 07:10 pm
girlyswot: (legends always)
My contribution to National Charlie Weasley Month has gone up here. It's horribly angsty and I hated writing it - it even gave me nightmares at one stage. But it's done and that's a good thing.
girlyswot: (doom)
Rarely has this icon felt so appropriate. I'm sure that the flying shadow appears in the video somewhere.

So, yes, I know most of you have already seen the epic awesomeness awfulness that is Shine. (If not, make sure that you have no liquids near your computer when you press play. Some brain bleach would be a useful thing to have handy, too.) If only there was just a hint of irony. But no.

Anyway, I think it's time we had some fun around here, so I am issuing the Shine Fic Challenge. You may choose any or all of the incomprehensible scenes or 'storylines' from the video as your inspiration. Bonus points for explanations of the disappearing moustache.

Prompt me?

Feb. 22nd, 2009 10:57 pm
girlyswot: (canon arms)
I would like to be writing but I have been struggling for inspiration for months. I'm not promising more than a drabble, though it's possible something might work out longer.

Prompt me with an image (or a link to one), a line from a song or a poem, a cliché, or something else that you think might be inspiring. If you want to specify a fandom (that you think I know), a character or pairing, or ask for original, you can do that, or you could leave it up to me.
girlyswot: (couple)
My Harlequin Romance

First comes love, then comes forgiveness...

But a widowed cowboy struggling during the Depression doesn't have much faith in either—until he meets feisty Ros in the Australian Outback at the boardinghouse they share. She's an award-winning writer who could love his boy and heal his own heart. But how can Charlie trust a hopelessly romantic woman in the profession he blames for his greatest loss?

Ros understands Charlie's pain. She has her own secret anguish, and believes her dreams of a husband and child are beyond reach. Still, she can pretend when he asks her to play his temporary fiancée to protect his son. And if God would grant her one miracle, He knows exactly what her hopelessly romantic heart is yearning for....

Now come on, you'd read that, wouldn't you? I certainly would. *giggles*

Go here to 'write' your own. And here to download a free Harlequin eBook (various formats available). I chose the one with Marlboro Man Charlie someone in chaps on the front cover.

Someone stop me now... )


Jan. 16th, 2009 04:33 pm
girlyswot: (novel rules)
I've been thinking about this subject for a little while and then last week I started reading Ian McEwan's Enduring Love which crystallised some of the thoughts I've been having.

It seems to me that a lot of advice to writers at the moment focusses on the 'point of view character' rather than the 'narrator'. The point of view character is usually (always?) part of the action and indeed the advice is often to choose the character who is most affected by the action, to give the greatest dramatic impact to the writing. Stories written in this way are often very good at drawing the reader in, so that we feel as if we are living the events of the story ourselves. This can be extremely effective indeed. The 'book' disappears and the 'world' is created instead.

What has irritated me is the implication that this is somehow the only way to write a story, or the 'best' way to write a story. Yet, when I look back at the books I most love, I find that very few of them indeed were written this way. I like books that give me different perspectives. In fact, I really like books written by that most-maligned of characters, the omniscient narrator. I like stories that offer a reflection on the events they relate. I like knowing more than the characters sometimes. I like being reminded that I am a reader. I like to be told a story, without being expected to live through it.

In Enduring Love, there is a first person narrator who is at the centre of events. But there is a very clear sense that he is relating this story with the perspective of hindsight, offering us his later reflection on the events. So he says things like:

What idiocy, to be racing into this story and its labyrinths, sprinting away from our happiness...

Knowing what I know now...

What I describe is shaped by what Clarissa saw too, by what we told each other in the time of obsessive re-examination that followed...

He's telling us his story, not as he experienced it in the moment, but as he thinks of it now, at some later date, after he's talked it through with others and thought about it. He can draw us in with his hints of things to come. He can give us different perspectives - not only what he saw, but what Clarissa later told him she saw. He can be conscious about the process of editing and shaping a story out of the events of his life. He's not completely omniscient, but omniscient enough (I haven't got very far through it yet; this may change and he may prove to be an unreliable narrator).

In Francine Prose's 'Reading Like A Writer' she talks about the problem of knowing the implied reader. I think this is a thing McEwan does well. There is a very strong sense in his books of these stories being told in specific situations to a specific audience. We know (by the end, at least) who Briony in Atonement is writing her story for and that shapes the story throughout.

So here's a little challenge. Who are your favourite literary narrators (named or unnamed)?
girlyswot: (curiouser and)
Review of 2007

Summary of what I wrote in 2008 )

My resolution for 2009 (though it may become redundant after today's news) is to go back and tag my LJ entries properly. The fic is all more or less accessible through [ profile] roswrites and the tags/masterlist there. But everything is disappearing in a morass of frivolity and I would like to be able . to find things more easily. I shall begin with this post. ;)
girlyswot: (doom)
When I was a teenager, everything I wrote sounded like whatever book I liked at the time. After I read The Mists of Avalon I wrote an Arthurian book and after I read the Anne Rice books I wrote about vampires and after I read Ender's Game I wrote science fiction and it was all very derivative and silly. But it was still good practice. All writing is good practice and individual voice develops over time. I can't count the amount of letters I get from teens saying they're writing a book about a girl in love with a vampire. Aha. So you love Twilight, and that's great. It's wonderful when you love a book so much. But it can also be helpful to look under the surface of what it is that you love about a book. Is it vampires you like so much, or the idea of eternal, immutable yet impossible love? — i.e.: maybe it's the dynamic of the book that truly moves you, and there are all sorts of ways to ring changes on that dynamic, and make it your own. Often that comes over time — influences never really fade, but by the time you're an adult writer, you'll probably be a varied amalgam of all your influences, and mixing them together is a great way to come up with something entirely new. Go ahead and be influenced, just be aware of how and why.

Oh, the hollow laughs? Well, this advice comes from the LJ of the infamous [ profile] cassandraclare. Who knows better than she about the fine line distinguishing original work from 'influenced' work? Okay, almost everyone.

(HT: [ profile] ankaret)
girlyswot: (Ros writes)
Inspired by a comment here, I have attempted to compose a list of Heyer novels for each of Ronald Tobias's plots:

1. Quest: The Talisman Ring
2. Adventure: The Corinthian, The Reluctant Widow
3. Pursuit: The Foundling, Friday's Child
4. Rescue: Charity Girl, Beauvallet
Read more... )
girlyswot: (Default)
For 2006, I wrote:

Favourite fic: The Squib. I really like these characters and this situation. And since it's 'next generation' I like the freedom of not worrying too much about canon.
Least favourite fic: My holiday drabble for the fluff thread. My Molly and Arthur feel so cliched I can't bear it.
Hardest to write: Harry Potter and the Spoils of Annwn. Why did I ever think that epic poetry was a good idea?!
Easiest to write: Marriage. This flowed so easily, without deadlines or threats and I loved writing it.
Greatest risk taken: Posting fic on the internet for other people to read for the first time ever.
Greatest risk not taken: Telling people in RL where they can find my fic.
Writing Challenge for 2007: To write something I'm proud enough of that I can link to it from my RL blog.

Looking back on 2007:

Favourite fic: Skipping to the End.  What?  You want me to choose one of mine?  Hmm.  There's something about Witch Seeks Wizard that really appeals to me.
Least favourite fic: At the moment, it's the Regency Romance.  I like it and it's fun to write, but it's not really something I'm particularly proud of.  I know it's lazy writing, but then that's sort of the point of it for me.
Hardest to write: Picking up the Pieces.  Oh, and Gotterdammerung.  Fie on you, rhetoretician for sending me out of my comfort zone all the time!
Easiest to write: Meeting the Weasleys.  So much fun.
Greatest risk taken: I guess this would be the forays into original fiction.  Oh, and I did 'fess up to my writing on my RL blog.  I posted a general link early in the year, then a specific link to Picking up the Pieces, which a number of friends and family have now read.
Greatest risk not taken: Ah.  Well.  Hmm.  I think this would be something to do with submitting work for publication.  Aside from one little online magazine which rejected me very promptly, this isn't a world I've wanted to enter.
Writing Challenge for 2008: To keep enjoying it!
girlyswot: (Ros writes)
At the start of the year I did two writing memes here.  And while I'm not quite ready for a round up of 2007 (there are still 4 good writing days to go!) I was interested to see what I was thinking about a year ago.

There we go.  It's interesting to see how focussed I was on fanfic a year ago and now my original stories have taken higher priority. 


girlyswot: (Default)

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