Writing Wednesday (belated)

So, its Friday, not Wednesday but it doesn’t have the same aliteration. Fiction Friday? It could work but sounds more like a recommednation post. Either way, here is my writing exercise for the week.

To explain the context of this bit, I have been working on a novel for years based on the myth(s) of Persephone called Lady of Shadows. It was a more sci-fi/fantasy take on the myths, deciding that the Greek, Norse and Egyptian gods were actually another species of Human that was more advanced and practically immortal. Cronus/Saturn is the leader of an organization called Titans, INC that the rest are fighting against because they are using the business to manipulate and use the regular humans (so Cronus is the big bad). All of his kids other than Zeus are adopted/fostered so Hera/Zeus is not quite as incesterious as it is in the myths, and neither is Persephone/Hades. So this challenge is me trying to explain the family dynamics.

 Challenge: 15 minutes, scene from one of my novel WIPS.

Hades pinched the bridge of his nose, attempting to stave off the oncoming headache that often accompanied dealing with his younger foster brother.  He loved Zeus, he really did, but Zeus was at times hard to handle.  He supposed it was better that he was there rather then then Posiedon who frankly rarely had the patience.   Posiedon had the shortest fuse of the family, which is probably why Zeus went to Hades rather then the other.

Their family was complicated.  Cronus and Rhia had only one biological child, and that was Zeus.  They had struggled to have children for years, opting eventually to foster and adopt to fulfill Rhia’s desire to be a mother. Whether Cronus wanted to be a father was less certian but for all his sins, he loved his wife.  He was largely out of the picture, prefering the children barely seen and not heard, although he liked to show of Zeus when he was younger till Zeus figured out the type of man he was and rebelled.

Hades had been the first son, but the fourth taken in.  When he arrived he gained an older sister in Hestia who was never happier then when she was caring for someone.  She was his favorite sister still, partially because she was the one to try and connect to him first when he arrived and partially because they were the two with the most patience and even temper.  Then there was Ceres, who was almost as dramatic as Zeus was when he was upset.  She wasn’t quite as oblvious, however, and actually could tell when he was on people’s last nerves.

Hera had been his age, and sometimes people had mistaken then for twins.  They had a simular look…dark hair and eyes.  But while Hades had been more introverted, Hera was an extrovert.  She had ambition enough for them all, and often the skills to back up anything she did.  She did however have a temper to rival Poseidon.  

Hera had left the house as soon as she was old enough, out to case her dreams.  She kept in contact with Hestia and Hades, but not so much with the others.  Zeus had been only a baby when she left, and didn’t have the same sibling bond he had with others.  He had been surprised but not shocked when it turned out his baby brother had a crush on the driven sister.  She was more like a family friend then a sibling to zeus.

He had been more surprised however, when it turned out Hera had returned the interest.

Fandom Writing: Writing the Opposition Badly

One of my pet peeves when reading fan fiction is when a character, usually someone who is the other possible love interest, is villanized to make another character look good or to make a ship seem more plausible.  Not only does it often come with out of character writing for said character, it makes me feel like the person who is writing is not all that sure in the ship they are writing.

You do not have to villainize a character to make your main character, or main ship, look better.  If the character is a villain already, then at least there is canon backing to your character being a villain.

My most recent example of this was in the Arrow fandom.  I am a big fan of Felicity and Laurel, and of Olicity.  However I found way too many fics that villainize Laurel.  Laurel has her own character set-backs, but she is no way a good choice for a villian in an Olicity fic.  And I’ve seen it likewise when people decide that Laurel/Oliver should happen, and make Felicity into a villain or an unhealthily clinging person.  None of it makes sense with the characters we see on-screen, who are in fact friends and strong women.

Another example is found in Doctor Who.  Martha and Rose are alternative villainized depending on the ship choice of the writer.  Honestly if you don’t like a ship, don’t write it.  I’ve found most of the time the ships resolve themselves around each other and you can avoid the other alternative fairly easy without villainizing a character. If you must deal with a ship that you dislike, resolve it between the characters and move on. Most of those reading are most likely already fans of your ship, and you don’t have to prove to them why your choice is better than the alternative.  That is best left to fandom meta essays.

I’ve also seen this with just characters.  Most often female characters, but occasionally male characters.  They will exaggerate bad qualities to the point of OOCness or completely villainize a character to make their favorite look better.  Your favorite character can be awesome all on their own.  That is why they are your favorite.  You don’t have to miswrite a character to make your fave look better. Again, most of your readership most likely already thinks your main character is awesome.

For a good example of how to deal with a love triangle, there is The Hunger Games.  The love triangle in that series is between Katniss, Peeta and Gale.  Peeta and Gale don’t fight each other over her, and both characters are allowed to have flaws and good things about them without comparing to each other.  In the end there is a little comparing when she finally makes a decision, but for the most part all three characters are allowed to exist on the same side.  Neither is completely villainized either.

My suggestion is if you really don’t like a character, have them take a trip, or be otherwise out of the picture of the story you are writing.  If you feel you can write the character well, and not villainize for the sake of making them look bad, go ahead and write them.  Take a look at canon.  Be honest with yourself as to why you are writing the character the way you are.

If you are just writing angry fic about a character you hate, label it as such so fans of the character know to avoid it.  And people who may hate the character but prefer to stick to canon can know that going in. For example, bringing back the Arrow fandom, I have seen people post “Anti-Felicity” or “Anti-Laurel” as a tag, letting me know that their story is not favorable to that character.  So I can avoid those stories.

Even in original writing, take a moment and think about the different features of the character.  Are you writing a well-rounded character or are you just focusing on bad parts so its clear they are the wrong choice?  Are you trying to make a compelling villain or just make your other characters look better?

Consider your characters and your readers before writing a character simply to be the anti-choice.

Lady of Shadows: An Introduction

Many of those who know me know that for the last few years (probably longer then that, honestly) I’ve been working on an original novel that takes the myth of Persephone and turns it into something a bit more Scifi-ish.

I’ve written different drafts of it for Nano over the years, scrapping quite a few.  The original novel was actually taking place in Ancient Greece.  Then I made it have no connection at all.  The current draft, which I wrote primarily for Nano 2014, is a midway tale.  In it, the Mythological characters are in fact humans, just another ‘breed’ if you will.  They live almost eternal lives and live in pocket spaces to co-exist among their less advanced and shorter lived counterparts.  Cronus (sometimes known as Saturn) has been evicted from the pocket worlds for essentially being an evil scientist and using regular humans in experiments.  The thought was that without his technology and laboratory, he wouldn’t be able to cause harm.  But he persevered, and has power within the regular spaces of Earth. Since then his adoptive children and one biological child, Zeus, led a rebellion of sorts trying to keep him from taking over the Earth with his corporation, Titan, Inc.

Continue reading “Lady of Shadows: An Introduction”

A writing exercise: 3 daughters

( I don’t know why I wrote this.  Basically this is the youngest daughter (I decided to make the 3 daughters, 4) talking to a therapist, although maybe its just a friend.  Don’t know.  Might not even use this.  But it was a way to start reconsidering the characters and thier place in the story.  I forgot the name of the boyfriend of Becca’s, so its Chris Phillips now.    I also don’t have a name for sister #4, and I’ve thrown out Chloe and Zoe as they are too close to the name of the actress I was pictureing for the role (Zoe  D. is now Sister #4, while Terri Hatcher or whatever her name is from Desprite Housewives is currently Rebecca, I might change that).

“Describe your family.” Continue reading “A writing exercise: 3 daughters”

My Writing: A Self-Analysis

I made myself promise to write in this blog at least once a day.  I plan mostly to write about my writing, and my artwork/graphics and not my personal life since I already have an online journal for that. 

So what about my writing?    I write mostly fanfiction, and a little original.   I’ve been nominated for awards twice, but haven’t won, both for the same fandom (Stargate SG-1/Stargate Atlantis).  Most of what I write is one-shots because while I can have full length novels running around in my head, it has a hard time translating to words on a piece of paper or Word.  I sometimes write better when I’m on a computer then when I have a blank notebook in front of me.

I’ve always liked to write.  My earliest stuff that I can remember were poems and homework assignments for Creative Writing class (Short stories) in 9th grade.  I think the first story I wrote that I still have is a story called “The Wing” which was in responce to a challenge in CW to write a horror story since it was almost halloween.  In my story the main character moves to England and finds her next door neighbor, and the father of the guy she likes, is a Vampire.  Its not that good (It goes too fast), and one day I’ll rewrite it into a better and longer story.

Continue reading “My Writing: A Self-Analysis”