I-suck

All posts tagged I-suck

IWSG – I forgot! (Again!)

Published May 4, 2017 by Iphis of Scyros

Somehow, I ended up forgetting my post for the Insecure Writer’s Support Group again.  Ugh.  (But at least it wasn’t twice in a row!)

What’s bugging me right now as a writer (and yes, I realize it’s pointless to go into it when I’m a day late, but…I’m doing so anyway) is that it seems like I’m more interested  in dreaming up scenarios than I am in writing out the stories.  I’m still working on the same project I was this time last month, and have gotten very little accomplished on it in the past month.  (Though in my own defense, I did have to spend half the month working on class projects, to the exclusion of all else.)  Meanwhile, I’ve come up with a bunch of other plots I’d like to explore.  (One of them just hit me today, in fact.)

I don’t know if it’s just the way my brain’s wired or what, but it’s starting to get frustrating.  The feeling that I can’t ever finish anything because I get tired of it and want to work on something else.  (Even though I do actually finish a lot of first drafts.  But only first drafts.)  Which is one thing when I get snatched away by different characters (it’s always the characters that compel me into whatever I’m writing, not the story), but when it’s just the idea of putting the characters in a different situation…it starts to feel very counter-productive.

Though I guess my writing is always counter-productive, since it’s taking away time I could spend on actually productive activities like cleaning my horrific house.

About April…

Published March 24, 2017 by Iphis of Scyros

I’m sorry to say that this year I won’t be taking part in April A-to-Z.  I already had a plan in mind for this year’s A to Z by the time last year’s ended, but I kept putting off working on it, and consequently instead of it all being done by January, I still haven’t made even half a start to it.  And I’ve got a take-home test and a research project due in April, so there’s just no way I’d have time to do it on the fly.  Not unless I was going to abandon my plan and just post anything, willy-nilly, that happened to have to do with the letter of the day.  That I could do, but I’d feel like I was being half-assed, and I wouldn’t like the results.

But I’ve done a little bit of the pre-work for what I was going to do this year, so if I keep building on that, I should be able to do it next year.  So I’ll go ahead and tell you what I was planning, as a long-range preview.

Last year, my thing was comparative mythology, with no post-titling myth one that had been represented in video games, using the Shin Megami Tensei series as my guideline about what had made it into games and what hadn’t.  (Because if it hasn’t made into a MegaTen game, it’s probably not in any game.  Very heavy mythology and folklore basis to those games.  That’s part of what I love about them.)

So what I was going to do this year was the reverse:  I was going to exclusively look at mythical beings that are included in the Shin Megami Tensei series (limiting myself to the games that have officially come out in English) and compare what the game says about the original myths to the original myths themselves.  And then looking at how else the myths have been treated in popular culture otherwise, where applicable.  I got most of the way through compiling the list of possible subjects, but no further than that.  And there’s a lot that was going to go into it just from the list to the final selection, since I wanted to make sure that every major region of the world was well represented, and to make sure I had some decent sources for the original material.

And I guess that’s about all I have to say in this post.  I’m only just barely beginning to actually recover from my cold/bronchitis, so things have been pretty dull around here.  And I haven’t been able to go into the library to do the ludicrously massive amount of research we’re supposed to do for the take-home test, either.  (Which really, really sucks, let me tell you.  That take-home test is evil.  It’s brain-dead, parroting busy work, appropriate to low-level undergrads, not graduate students.  We should not have to put up with this garbage.)

IWSG: Conflicted

Published March 1, 2017 by Iphis of Scyros

So I’m back to being insecure again.  (This, I suppose, should come as no great surprise.  If I wasn’t prone to insecurity, why would I be taking part in the support group, right?)

After some SNAFU stuff on the NaNo forums regarding my nearly submitting my 2013 NaNo novel for self-pub, I made a pledge to myself that “screw it; I’m never publishing anything, and that’ll teach those jerks!”  (And no, that didn’t entirely make sense even at the time.  And the people in question were not trying to be jerks.  (Most of them weren’t, anyway.)  But it’s one of those heat-of-the-moment resolutions that becomes firm and feels permanent, because you feel like you’ll have lost if you go back on it.)

After that, I took the smart path of withdrawing from the NaNo forums for the next couple of years, but I don’t learn too good (poor grammar intended), and so I’ve been active on the forums again.

And this time the guy really was trying to be a jerk.

Basically, he said that I’ll be a racist if anyone in my entire novel has a different skin color from everyone else.

Yes, he was advocating an entire planet of uniform skin color.

And he thought that was somehow less racist than having a diverse world.  Ugh.  (And keep in mind, I neither said anything about nor intend to introduce any ethnic stereotyping or prejudices.  It’s a world very unlike our own, without our social construction of “race”.  They have some prejudices, of course, but they’re based on culture and nationality.  (Read any 19th century work wherein the English discuss people from other European nations, and you’ll see the kind of thing I mean.)  But really even those prejudices are unlikely to come up much, because it’s a steampunk/fantasy adventure with heavy doses of m/m romance.  They’re going to be much too busy flying around the world looking for the pieces of the McGuffin and flirting/having sex for weighty social issues to come up much.  Because I write light escapism.)

So, because he said all this crap about the world I’m trying to put together for a series of novels I haven’t even begun to start writing yet, I feel like “now I have to publish it just to prove that f***er wrong.”

But that is in direct opposition to the 2013 doctrine of “never publish anything ever no matter what!”

Which puts me in a weird emotional bind.  All the more weird considering I haven’t even named the main characters yet.  (Well, it kind of grew out of an AU fanfic idea, so for my plotting purposes I’ve been using the names of the movie characters.  Though at this point there’s not much similarity between my characters and the movie ones.)

It’s probably a moot point.  I’ll probably finish the first draft of book one (assuming I ever start writing the thing) and go “wow, this is irredeemably terrible” and go back to writing other stuff.  (That is, after all, what usually happens.  Like my 2012 NaNo novel, the last time I tried to spin an original novel out of a fanfic idea.  I was enjoying writing it at first, but by the time I was done I was just like “ugh, I never wanna see this piece of trash ever again!” and I haven’t opened the file since.)

Anyway, amusingly enough, this all kind of ties in to this month’s optional question

Have you ever pulled out a really old story and reworked it? Did it work out?

Because that 2013 NaNo novel?  It was the result when I finally got around to writing something I’d been planning since I was 18.  (So the idea was almost twenty years old.)  I think I had actually started writing it back in the summer of my 18th year, but…not sure what ever happened to the manuscript.  (And I guarantee it had zero similarity to what I eventually wrote.)

IWSG – Detail-oriented

Published November 2, 2016 by Iphis of Scyros

I’ve been thinking about some of my problems doing research for historical fiction (whether set hundreds of years ago, or just a few decades back) because it’s always sort of irked me that I, someone studying history in a post-graduate setting, have so much trouble with writing period pieces that actually feel period-appropriate.

If you asked someone what it takes to write — or research — a good piece of historical fiction, they’d probably tell you that you need a detail-oriented mind, or at least strong attention to detail in your research.  And I always feel like I’m pretty detail-oriented in my research, so why do I have so much trouble?

I think I finally figured it out.  It’s because I’m too caught up in the details.  I spend so long looking into one little thing that I miss the big picture.  (The same applies to researching a location as the setting for a story.  I’ll be so caught up in what the architecture should look like or what kind of trees grow there that I’ll miss big, basic stuff like the general lay of the land.)

Unfortunately, I haven’t the foggiest what to do about the problem.  But I guess since I long ago decided that I didn’t even want to publish my writing, it probably doesn’t really matter.  If no one’s gonna read it, it can be as inaccurate as I please.  (Not that it pleases me to be inaccurate, but if I missed something in my initial research, then I’m probably not really aware that it’s inaccurate, right?)


This post has been pre-written last week, ’cause I’m busy working on my NaNo novel right now.

IWSG – The NeverReady Story

Published October 5, 2016 by Iphis of Scyros

Please don’t kill me.  I know it’s a lame post title.

So for once I actually looked at the monthly theme for the IWSG post, and it was “When do you know your story is ready?”

I actually have two answers to that.  One for my original works, and one for my fanfiction, which I’m sorry to say has completely taken over my (writing) life since I allowed myself to return to it for July’s CampNaNo.

The original works answer is easiest, and the reason for the post’s titles:  they’re never ready.

There was a time when I thought differently.  When I thought they could be polished up and presented to the world.  But then I stopped and actually looked at what I was writing, and realized that no, they absolutely could not be.  So, I write them, and maybe polish a little, make a few changes to things that really bug me about them, and then I just let them be.

I know it probably seems like a terrible waste of time to write hundreds upon hundreds of thousands of words with no intention of ever letting anyone else read them, but…since no one would read them even if I released them into the wilds of the Internet, what would be the point?  It’d be a much bigger waste of time to go through re-write after re-write, trying vainly to make dull stories and uninteresting characters into anything other than what they are, only to fail spectacularly and only sell one or two copies (at $1.99 or less), and even then only to friends and family who would only give very polite “how nice for you” responses.

Now, for fanfiction, it’s a bit different.  Because there’s no expectation of perfection in fanfiction (although I wish other writers would at least edit their stuff before posting it!), no one’s going to criticize for a mistake or twenty, and even major characterization errors can go uncommented upon.  Plus there’s a built-in audience in the form of other fans of the original work, so a few people will actually read what I’ve written, unlike what would happen if I tried self-publishing my original fiction.

And, of course, for fanfiction, I’m in 100% control, so I can always go back and change something even after I’ve posted it online.

So for fanfiction, it’s easier to decide something is “ready.”  I’ve developed a process:

  1. I let it sit for a little while, and write something else.
  2. I give it the once over, looking for major mistakes, and places where whole sections might need to be torn down and replaced.
  3. I give the twice over?  Well, whatever you wanna call it.  I look it over again for mistakes and needed changes.
  4. Let it simmer a while longer.
  5. At least two more passes looking for errors and changes.
  6. Edit something else.
  7. Return to it, and if I can read it two or three times without wanting to change anything, it’s probably ready.  That’s when I run the spellcheck….which is complicated in this new fandom, because I like to change the dictionary setting so that the English character’s POV uses English spellings, and the American character’s POV uses American spellings.  Kind of weird, yeah, but I’d feel like it was lacking all attempts at verisimilitude if my British character (inside his own head) was talking about “color” and “honor” instead of “colour” and “honour”.
  8. Then I read it over one last time as I’m posting it online.
  9. Then I sit back and watch people ignore it.

Of course, that’s for short fanfiction.  I’m not sure yet how to handle the novella-and-longer stuff.  (July’s word tally was 155k.  And I’ve got another about 55k that I’ve written since.)  It’s going to be a variation on the theme above, I guess.

Missing Letter Monday – No “R”

Published September 26, 2016 by Iphis of Scyros

Well, that lets out most of my topics.

Uh, I mean, most of the topics I actually kinda wanted to talk about.

I guess I could tell my museum tale if I used “desktop” instead of “compute*” and maybe…uh…well…hmm…I guess I could just use…no, that’s got one, too.  Dang, that’s just not gonna happen.  Not today.  (Pity, it was kinda funny…)

What else could I talk about?

School?  No, too stultifying.

My house?  Ugh, too much of a mess!

The election?  God, no!

My fiction?  No, too pathetic.

The blog?  Way too pathetic.

Ugh.

Maybe I should just put the blog on hiatus until such a time as I actually have things to talk about again.  This is just getting sad now.

I suck.  Big time.


MLM icon init MLM R

Missing Letter Monday – No “Q”

Published September 19, 2016 by Iphis of Scyros

Dang.  When it’s an easy letter like this, I feel even worse about the fact that I’m late and have absolutely zilch planned.

I think I caught a cold from my co-worker over the weekend, though.  Does that count as a good excuse?  I mean, I’m better now than I was last night (my sinuses were so clogged I couldn’t lie down, even) but it still goes all fuzzy when I try to finish up my class reading for tomorrow, and my attempts to finish up my paper tomorrow have been laughable at best.  I mean, I did finish it, but…it’s pretty pathetic.  Even for me.

BTW, in case anyone is actually reading this, sorry I flaked out last Thursday and didn’t post a myth.  It was…uh…actually, why did I flake out?  I can’t even remember.

Ugh.  My whole blog’s been like this for months.

I gotta straighten my life out.

Er, that sounded bad.

I need to figure out what I’m spending my time on and start parceling it out better, because I seem to be neglecting literally everything except my writing and gaming.

Which, I suppose, explains where my time is going.

Ergh.  I don’t really wanna have to cut out either of those, or even particularly cut back on them.

I wonder who I could petition to get longer days?  Or longer weeks.  I’d be good with longer weeks, too.

Enh, no, what I really need is a time machine.  Or better still, a machine to stop time until I want it to move again.  Though perhaps that could have some negative side effects…

Missing Letter Mondays – No “O”

Published September 5, 2016 by Iphis of Scyros

Fanfic

Sadly,
It has taken charge in my brain
After all.
I lack any strength,
Can’t prevent further abuse.

It’s fun, naturally.
Sexy guys,
Dancing in my head,
At a tune that is in my imagining.
Maybe…
A bit lacking depth.
(Me and what I’m writing.)

But…
Everything else I write
Lacks depth as well,
Thus what’s the difference?
(Except these guys have
Real faces.)


MLM icon init MLM O

Missing Letter Mondays – No “M”

Published August 22, 2016 by Iphis of Scyros

Wow, I suck.

I was really gonna post on Thursday.  I even checked the Gantz book for the story I wanted to tell.  Only it turned out that Arachne’s story isn’t recorded until Vergil and Ovid.  That kinda killed the enthusiastic interest that had only barely burbled up in the first place.

So…yeah.  This week.  Really.  For sure.

Also, I was gonna post on, like, Friday or Saturday, ’cause of…well, I’ll post it the day after today (stupid forbidden letter words!) and that’ll actually have a degree of sense, hopefully.

Anyway, I didn’t post then ’cause I was working all day and ended up exhausted, in the head as well as in the body.  Wasn’t up to blogging.  (Strangely, I was okay to write fiction.  I guess that uses a different part of the brain.)

Anyway, the solitary class I will be taking this unit is starting this week.  (Specifically, on Tuesday.)  I do not anticipate enjoying it in the least.  But it’ll be useful for the new career (can I call it a career when I’ve been working there for less than half a year?) so it’s good that I will be taking it.

I hope to start posting regularly again this week.

Though I guess I said that last week, too.


MLM icon init MLM M

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