I'm with the Quendi

The 6th Largest Army

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It seems I never forgot my first love
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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I'm glad it's not just me. :) It's nice to see all the WTF looks though.

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