captain91: (moral vampire - red)

People say 'write what you know,' so maybe that is why there's such a plethora of stories out there about writers? (And gay vampires)
What areas of personal expertise do you incorporate into your chars? Or do you take the opposite point of view, and deliberately try to write about chars who are unlike you, and have radically different experiences from your own?


If you're writing chars who have personal experiences that are drastically different from your own, how do you get into their heads? Do you exhaustively research their backgrounds and professions, or write in a fantasy realm so you get to create the world from scratch?

Well, I breed and train horses, fight mythical creatures most days, forge my weapons and run a farm. That and I live with a witch and a tyrant. So yes, my life is pretty much identical to a lot of my characters.

 

...Wait, what? Computer games and living with my parents doesn't count? Well damn, I guess my life is nothing like my characters. Ok, I think I should start with my parents aren't that bad… most of the time. Well, I say most of the time...

Let me explain a bit about my life. I'm nineteen, disabled and bedbound. I have been for several years now. I conduct my entire life online, I'm on here all day, and a lot of the night writing, reading and playing games. I've always had an interest in writing, but lately I've begun to consider it as a more serious potential career. I know I am nowhere near publishing level yet (for one thing I've been writing mainly fan-fiction until now) but I plan to learn.

I'm slowly trying most genres out, but sci-fi or fantasy are the ones that call to me the most. I guess it's part escapism, and part practicality since I'm not restricted to accurately depicting lifestyles and locations I can't see for myself. The novel plan I have in my head started out as a daydream of a bored girl - I think I was reading a fantasy novel and thinking about aspects I did or didn't like - when it said to me "Earth to Laura, you've just plotted a damn novel in your daydream, write it down and share it!"

'Write what you know' is a kind of limited concept for me, since I haven't been in the world at large for most of my recent life. That said though, I do have areas that I could draw on to make an accurate and serious tale:

  • Being the only kid in a wheelchair in a school not well adapted, and with unhelpful staff and students alike
  • Being bullied for something out of my hands
  • Being constantly in pain and having to watch people do the things I wanted to do
  • Hospitals; stays away from parents, having the final say in my care from when I was eleven (my parents always gave me the truth about what doctors said, regardless of what they suggested. I really appreciated that as it was my body and life that were affected, but it meant it also put more stress on me)
  • Dealing with the rifts it's caused in my family, having to live this way

Those are just a few of the issues I could put into fiction to make an interesting story, in my opinion anyway. I've had ideas before, but it always makes me feel really awkward, like I'm laying myself naked on the page. They never get far, but maybe that will change when I get more confident in my writing. I think I also sort of live vicariously through my characters; I can't go out and do things, but they can, which is a possible other reason why I don't write what I know more often.

And finally, the core experience that we here all share is that we are in some form, writers. Are any of your chars writers, or does the thought of putting pen to paper bore them stiff?
If your chars are writers, what do they write?

 

I don't think any of my characters are writers, at least not as their main profession, but I guess that again could be to do with me living through my characters, therefore they wouldn't do the same things I do.

captain91: (so glad i met you)

Hi again guys,

[livejournal.com profile] charloft  cross-post and Yep, we can do them completely out of date order or on the wrong days.



Today we present to you a brief survey on critiquing. Answer as many or as few questions as you like.


1. How open are you to critique?
I’m open to critique, as long as it’s presented in a useful manner. “I hate it” does not constitute useful

2. Would you prefer to receive constructive feedback on your work, or solely praise?
Firstly, I like to receive any comment on my work, because it means somebody read it. It can be very disheartening when you post something then don’t get any comments. That said, I like praise, but I know I can always improve, so constructive criticism is always very welcome.  A comment that contained both is always most welcome, and while I won’t always implement suggestion, I always consider them.

3. How do you handle it when someone has a negative reaction to your character, roleplay, or story?
When you’ve put a lot of work into a piece it can hurt when somebody doesn’t like it, but at the same time that work that’s been put in is a backbone for me. it means I’ve decided this character is ding this thing you don’t like, but I know the background and the story, so I understand why even if it may not make sense to you or be apparent at that time

To take a very minor example I wrote a doctor who one shot a few months ago and people were divided on the last line. Some said they though it took a lot away from the story, others liked it. Had it been the vast majority against it I may have considered adapting it, but at the end of the day I had a reason for doing it. I will one day get around to writing a sequel that will hopefully explain my point of view, but for now I haven’t figured out how to play it.


4. How often do you offer critique to others? Do you feel comfortable doing so?
I admit I feel awkward giving critique on somebody’s work, but it’s something I’m working on. I do always at the very least try to remember to leave a comment even if it’s just a short “I liked it”,  or a reference to a character situation in it.

I’m more likely to leave constructive criticism if it’s an author I read regularly or if they state in their notes they are happy to receive it.  I’ve considered doing some form of role play group actually to hep me get comfortable with replying to people and such, but I haven’t made it beyond the idea yet.

I think my other issue with leave constructive criticism is that sometime’s I’ll know I wasn’t particularly affected by this bit or felt this was awkward, but I can’t figure out why, so I figure my comment wouldn’t be helpful, and more likely read as hurtful (even though I’d never intentionally leave a hurtful comment)

5. What do you feel constitutes constructive critique?
I think it has to say not just that you didn’t like this or you felt that was wrong, but why and maybe a way you felt it could have been better. After all, I don’t think there’s a writer in the world that wouldn’t want to improve, even the most famous authors are still learning and adapting throughout their career, so offering a way to improve can only be a good thing.

Sweetening it with a remark on something you particularly liked is also a good strategy.

 

So overall, leave me a comment on fic and I’ll love you whether it’s praise or constructive criticism!

captain91: (Default)

Long time no see, hi all!

So, I got back from hell respite some time ago, but I’ve been flagging a bit on the whole doing stuff thing. I got out of the swing of things. I think I’m more in tune again, and hopefully you’ll see me more soon.

One of the tings I recently did was to join [livejournal.com profile] charloft . I’ve had a rough couple of weeks so not much has been posted yet by me, but I like a lot of the prompts that I see so I think I’ll be doing more of them as time goes on. For those of you that don’t know they put up a prompt of some sort every day. The Monday one is for the author to answer, the rest of the week you answer as one of your characters.

I figured I’d post my prompts here as a cross reference and so this place has a bit less tumbleweed floating around! So, onto my introduction post:


 

Monday Third of Janurary 2011 Writing Goals )

 

 

 

And to everyone out there who still remembers me, yes, I am alive! Drop me a line and let me know how life’s been treating you, new storiues you’ve been writing etc

 

Take care

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captain91

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