I'm with the Quendi

The 6th Largest Army

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It seems I never forgot my first love
magsbeach
maelipstick
The reason I haven't been here is for the last six months is I have been mundane. Just trust I like you all too much to subject you to posts in which I bitch about my flat no longer being watertight or my minor successes in cooking things without causing an e.coli epidemic.



You probably don't need to know that thanks to a beardy man from MIT I now think e.coli are very cool indeed and too be loved and cherished.

So to break out of my Mundanity I enrolled on a Kwickspell correspondence creative writing course. The first four weeks are all fairly simple "stimulate the unconscious" freewriting stuff, which I turned out to be ridiculously good at:

Your freewrite demonstrates that you have a real talent for generating inventive and vivid imagery. I've awarded full marks for the former, as it has admirably succeeded in achieving the spontaneous 'leaps and jumps' of thought characteristic of the technique, and has produced some excellent raw material for future use.

Also I turned my wife into a yak.

The downside:

your narrator - even by the end of the story I still wasn't quite sure of his/her gender!

as discussed in relation to the pieces you submitted to our forums, you need to give the reader enough help (see (7) and (9) on the script) to understand what's happening, and when. Subtlety is good, but too much obliqueness will lose the reader's attention.

So essentially it's all very pretty but nobody has a clue whats going on, not even if the characters are boys or girls least of all the characters themselves. I was a little bit perturbed by this as it wasn't what I expected to come out. (I had expected to write fantasy.) What I was actually writing was reality-challenged hick ends up in the big city and has brain explosion. I thought this was all a bit odd.

Then two days later I realised I was writing fanfic again, and it had completely snuck up on me without warning. One of the reasons I completely failed as an EngLit student at Uni was I had discovered my first fanfic crush. I didn't know it at the time, I just thought my odd compulsion to fill A4 pad after pad with existential discussion and messy buttsex was just another one of those things that I should never ever under any circumstances reveal to another person ever.

It also formed one idea that is very much still with me. I think fanfic operates much better as litcrit than about ninety percent of all the lit crit out there. As EngLit module exams did not offer a "Write a fanfic to adequately describe the role of gender in A Farewell to Arms," option however, this minority opinion really didn't get me very far.

And it reminded me of just how narcissistic writing really is. It seems whatever you set out to do you always end up coming up with a mirror to reflect your own experience in. It's almost getting a crush on yourself. This seemed to be a very bad thing at my age when I was supposed to be contemplating becoming an adult.

I think this is how I started getting in to queer theory. That's not true. It's how I invented queer theory. I didn't read it in a book. Here's what it was I was filling those A4 files with:

If you fall fifty feet onto the ground you're pretty much dead. But if you fall fifty feet into water you are in with a fighting chance because it is a fluid, it moves to accommodate. Identity works in the same way. Rigid identities hit back too hard as the psyche brushes against them, they bruise and snap. Fluid identities can hold and transform. When I stopped identifying with land and started identifying with water, well the least that can be said is that I no longer felt obliged to have every thought that had ever been in the world ever in my head all at once.

I still feel kind of weird fessing up to my Canadian Med student and his schizophrenic lover's curious attempts to put the world to rights by having sex a lot and telling each other crazy stories. Note I still can't bring myself to give their names as if it will destroy some of their magic. Also these are high art boys. If word got out that they had been slashing about like tv series characters, their reputations would be ruined. Whatever. They've pitched up in my psyche and aren't going anywhere.

I wonder if there is a layer of my unconscious that doesn't contain fanfic muses.

also available at dreamwidth here

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Also, isn't it always this way: no one talks about the liberation movements that would most free us.

I think it is because they are the ones that can be the most frightening because they often invlove letting go of so much that we use to navigate life by. We are kind of a neurotic species we need our rules to stay safe much like a person with OCD needs to wash their hands twelve times a day to feel right. But maybe I'm just a neurotic person so overdiagnngnose it in others.

Who Joanna Russ?


Why did it take me so long to discover fan fiction and, you know, everything?


It took me a long time to 'fess up to fanfiction in public, but I think I'd been doing it since I was a kid Mary-Suing myself into Tolkien.

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It seems whatever you set out to do you always end up coming up with a mirror to reflect your own experience in.

*nods* I was told years ago in a writing class that your 'first' story will always be autobiographical, well disguised, but ultimately traceable to your own experience, and only then can you move on... but more often than not, you will keep on writing that same story - different people, different places, different times... but peel back all the frills and you're back to a core concept you keep gnawing at with all the persistence of a hungry dog.

I didn't really want to believe it or acknowledge it - but yes, when I looked, I'd done pretty much exactly that. Logical really - ones writing is holding up a mirror to the world as one sees it, be it a fantasy or otherwise, there has to be some 'you' in there as well. The depressing bit was when I analysed some other stuff and realised that even in my thrillers, ghost stories and sci-fi epic.... yep, I'm still writing the same story. Still writing about 'an unsuitable love' - be it unrequited, unappreciated, or an unlikely partnership... they all boil down to that one thing.
*shrug* Still... that single theme thing... its served Woody Allan well enough for all these years!

I didn't really want to believe it or acknowledge it - but yes, when I looked, I'd done pretty much exactly that.

You see I think this is quite positive. Maybe I'm a one church a hundred times person, but I think looking and looking at a situation so you can see all the way around it, one that fascinates and inspires is the best way to get it out there to the world what these situationa are like.

I think that's one of the things I like about Tolkien he had this thing about telling the same tale in different registers.

To be fair, 'an unsuitable love' is quite a broad theme though. And if you are going to create strange worlds, don't you need an emotional anchor of experience to make them come to life.

That sounds familiar. When I would take a writing class in college, all my reviews for my stories were all pretty much "It's very pretty but we have no idea what's going on."

I'm glad it's not just me. :) It's nice to see all the WTF looks though.

I'm all in favor of gender fluidity for everyone, to whatever extent they like. Except for sorting out who's got the sperm and who's got the ova for purposes of combining the two, I don't see that gender roles serve any purpose anyway.

... and it's nice to see you here again; seems like it has been a while - welcome back!

I don't see that gender roles serve any purpose anyway.

No, apart as you say from the biological mechanics of making more people they strike me as completely pointless. I think the same can be true of a lot of roles people take on in society. I understand why that causes problems for a writing teacher though - how do you teach character development to someone who does not see the main external ways we express "character" as valid?

Thanks! I never really went away I was just to dull to report.

Once a fanfic writer, always a fanfic writer!

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