You are viewing mild_guy

Sun, Mar. 14th, 2010, 03:04 am
8-4

Got the first chapter of my latest fic done, oh, about two weeks ago now. It was over 10K. Ended with the line of: "And thus did Link pass through the gates of Outer Heaven."

Not sure if it'll be the real first chapter, or end up as background notes and reference. I've got too many choices for an inciting incident. Figuring out where to start a story is a fine art indeed. Late in, early out, as they say. But it's not always so obvious. Well, that's second draft worries. Still have to finish this.

I won't post desired goals and deadlines here, for fear I'll jinx them.

Finally going to get this sucker done. It's been too long, and I've held it too precious. You can't cope with a precious story. Writers great and small have tried. Tried and died. I let it go, tossed it away. And now I pick it up, all casual like, and I don't care if it doesn't end up my greatest work. Not that I do great work as a fan fic writer, but, you know...

One hard thing about writing every day, you have to face how much you suck as a writer every day. Can't keep putting it off until tomorrow, daydreaming about how awesome it'll all be and how far you've come as a writer. Nose to the hard, grinding reality of it. The cold splash in the face you never quite get used to. Feels like I'll never write enough, never read enough to get even half-way decent. Crawllllling in my skinnnnnn, etc.

It's not hard to write every day anymore. At least not most days. That's the good news. No, great news. Aside from cringing at my output, that is.

So.

I have a few stories more or less ready to post. I've mentioned them before. I don't want to release them all at once, but I hate the idea of allowing months to pass between new stories. Should I stop whining and post one of them now, and damn what happens later? Should I hold out until every last duck is in its row? Advice, anyone?

Sun, Mar. 14th, 2010 10:51 pm (UTC)
psychox

"These wounds they will not heal...."

Maybe you'd write better if you stopped listening to angst-ridden teen emo music.

Well, it's a good idea to let some time pass between when you write something and when you submit/post. Often times, you'll look back at something and see it differently than when you first wrote it. But you can't hold onto it forever because it's never going to be perfect. And the more you look at it, and more you'll want to change it, and at some point the changes you make won't be improving it at all.

I guess that's not really an answer. But it's something I learn only through trial and error.

Wed, Apr. 14th, 2010 07:28 am (UTC)
mild_guy

it's a good idea to let some time pass between when you write something and when you submit/post. Often times, you'll look back at something and see it differently than when you first wrote it.

That's been my standard operating procedure, and so far it's worked well for me. But then, as you point out:

But you can't hold onto it forever because it's never going to be perfect. And the more you look at it, and more you'll want to change it, and at some point the changes you make won't be improving it at all.

As time passes, writers change. The standards they hold their work to change. And thus one might hang onto a story too long, it becomes too precious, and all the life is sucked out of it. I know that from experience. I've got at least 2 stories now that I need to stop picking at and kick out the door already.

But I hate having months pass between when I post stories. Yet could it really hurt to finally post something new, since I don't have a real readerbase following me around (I think?)?

I want long-time-ago readers to show up, but then I'm terrified of disappointing them. "Mild's really fallen off," they'll say. "God, this asshole used to be good."

And then there's the terror of posting my first yaoi or yuri fic to the Pit. Will they reject me when I do something other than het?

It's stupid, because aside from you and maybe one or two others (all of which are pretty accepting of me, and I'm grateful for that) these long-time fans probably don't exist, but I have no way of knowing for sure until I post.

Geeze, when did I become so darn emo?

Thu, Apr. 15th, 2010 06:47 am (UTC)
psychox

I want long-time-ago readers to show up, but then I'm terrified of disappointing them. "Mild's really fallen off," they'll say. "God, this asshole used to be good."

And then there's the terror of posting my first yaoi or yuri fic to the Pit. Will they reject me when I do something other than het?


Can't be worse than coming out irl.

I guess that's not really encouraging. What I mean to say is that I used to be concerned about that shit too. Then I just stopped caring. The thing is, if someone gets offended and flames you, what's the worse that could happen? They track you down irl and shank you for writing about their favorite video game character in a bad way? Is it going to impact your life in some drastic form? Is it going to make you stop writing? I mean, I do understand that it would suck to have your image tarnished, even online, because there are still people on the other side, and your interaction with them is still an interaction. But if you create something that you are proud of, then I'd like to think that you would be able to stand by it, even in the face of angry Net people.

Sun, Apr. 18th, 2010 07:58 am (UTC)
mild_guy

Can't be worse than coming out irl

I hope never to have to write a blog post about that. Or how I willingly stepped right back into the closet and shut the door. Nope. Not doing it. NNNNGGGGAAARRGGGHHHH.

What I mean to say is that I used to be concerned about that shit too.

I have to admit, I have a hard time picturing it. You're intelligent, and mature, and there's an anger in many of your writings that seems to defy people, daring them to take their best shots. Maybe that's because I've read your later stuff after you stopped caring as much? Or I'm just projecting again...

what's the worse that could happen? They track you down irl and shank you for writing about their favorite video game character in a bad way? Is it going to impact your life in some drastic form? Is it going to make you stop writing?

Well, see, when I first began this crazy trip I knew that by posting something in a public place that any old crazy could come along and spew whatever gibberish they wanted. I accepted that as a risk, and though I've never been flamed or stalked, they never worried me all that much. Who cares what random strangers think? I'm no shrinking violet.

But having pleased a few readers makes it more challenging to be fearless. Because I gots peoples to disappoint now, people I didn't have to care about when I was a nobody (well, I still am a nobody since I rarely publish, but you know what I mean).

No, it's not the threat of rage or wankage that makes me sick to my stomach. It's me falling short, telling a boring, or mediocre, or just plain confusing story that makes me sweat blood now.

Sorry if I came off as needy in these posts. Not my original intent. I know this is all self-absorbed hand-wringing (because it is). I wanted more than anything to clear my head of as many distractions as possible.

Mon, Apr. 19th, 2010 09:12 am (UTC)
psychox

Or how I willingly stepped right back into the closet and shut the door.

It's okay, no one ever thinks to check the closet. You'll be safe.

I have a hard time picturing it. You're intelligent, and mature, and there's an anger in many of your writings that seems to defy people, daring them to take their best shots.

I'm glad I don't come across as immature, but I think if I were actually intelligent, I would have gone farther irl. The anger is real; I don't know how much of that is noticeable in my writing (blog posts are obvious, but fiction I'm less sure of). I started out posting not only at the Pit but also on a video game forum for competitive SSB. So I started out with an audience of male adolescent gamers. And I did it leaning hesitantly towards gay themes. Cruel Melee sucked was not overtly gay; Empty Hand Loser dealt with it from a distant POV (Master Hand trying to contain what was going on between Roy and Marth). By the time I got on Chase the Sun, I'd said "Fuck it." Distance sucks; avoidance sucks, and it makes the story itself suck.

But having pleased a few readers makes it more challenging to be fearless. Because I gots peoples to disappoint now, people I didn't have to care about when I was a nobody

Okay, I get you. Thing is, it may be hard to not think about your readers, but you may have to distance yourself from them a bit. When writing, it might actually be better to completely ignore the opinions of other people, their expectations, or what you think their expectations might be. When you're done, that's the time to get feedback from another set of eyes before you publish. If people start getting turned off by what you write, try to figure out what went wrong, and then channel it into the next project. Fact is, you'll never satisfy everyone all the time. If there's one person totally crazy about your work, there's probably another who doesn't like it. One day you'll get one and lose the other; another day, their positions might reverse.

Sun, May. 23rd, 2010 07:47 am (UTC)
mild_guy

I don't know how much of that is noticeable in my writing (blog posts are obvious, but fiction I'm less sure of)

Much more in blog posts, yes. With your fiction, it's more the characters being furious with themselves, and the ones they love most. That fury sloshes over into the character's view of the world a little.

I started out posting not only at the Pit but also on a video game forum for competitive SSB. So I started out with an audience of male adolescent gamers.

Ah, yes, the Smash Boards. I've lurked there a rare once-in-a-while since you mentioned them. I have an account I haven't used yet. I'm not sure if I'd fit in well or not, much less if they'll like my writing.

I see your point about male adolescent gamer core audience. Not, historically, the most tolerant demographic when it comes to homosexual romance of the non-exploitative, non-lesbian kind. That's what I assumed the audience was at the Pit.

Now, I'm not so sure. Yaoi aplenty shows up these days. But then again, romance has always been pretty popular, even in Smash Brothers. Not that women only write/read slash and romance, far from it.

Usually I don't think about the gender of my readers and fellow writers too much. I don't go around asking for a/s/l. I then learned sometime later that not only are many readers of professionally published fiction female, but so are many readers, and most fan fic writers and readers.

But how much does that apply to video game fandoms? Most TV, movie, and book fandoms are mainly composed of women, but video game fandoms are kinda on the fringe, and pretty small. But more women play video games now than ever before.

I really wish there was some hard data on demographics for fan fic.

But yeah, there should be more of an audience for your stuff more than ever.

By the time I got on Chase the Sun, I'd said "Fuck it." Distance sucks; avoidance sucks, and it makes the story itself suck.

Here here! (or is that supposed to be hear hear?)

Tue, May. 25th, 2010 05:28 am (UTC)
psychox

I have an account I haven't used yet. I'm not sure if I'd fit in well or not, much less if they'll like my writing.

Well, if you're interested, there's a fiction contest this month: http://www.smashboards.com/showthread.php?t=275387

I see your point about male adolescent gamer core audience. Not, historically, the most tolerant demographic when it comes to homosexual romance of the non-exploitative, non-lesbian kind.

Smashboards now has a sizeable queer demographic. Surprise, surprise. But some of the biggest compliments I got there came from people who said, "I normally find homosexuality unappealing to think about, but you make it interesting."

But yeah, there should be more of an audience for your stuff more than ever.

I don't know. The problem seems to be selling slightly darker, more violent material to yaoi fans, the majority of whom seem to like fluffy high school romances. And the counter to that problem is selling homo to fans of action/adventure.

In the end, I don't think my stories on this site are that dark or violent, and they're also not that gay either. Maybe I compromised, unintentionally.

I do wonder about the demographic at the Pit. What I've seen suggests mostly young, mostly female. But the guys aren't invisible or anything, since they seem to show up at the forums a lot. Maybe it's closer to fifty-fifty.

Here here! (or is that supposed to be hear hear?)

I have no clue. I'm ESL, man. They didn't teach us those things.