23: Weekly writing update and other random ramblings

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Mood: amused
Music: Meet Virginia - Train

First on the writing front, I had one of those moments of epiphany last night when I was sitting there at my current WIP that I hope to submit to Phaze's summer contest. The story I had decided was going nowhere. I had no real black moment. I had no real plot. Other than that one hot guy meets another hot guy and they hook up. Well, I had more than that, but you get the general idea. Originally I had an idea for more the traditional story, a girl meets a guy on vacation and things heat up. I have a black moment. She has only six days and she has to leave. Sort of a take on How Stella got her groove back. Elizabeth, goes on a week's vacation to Hawaii. She's 27, but acts way older than her years. There she decides to let go and let loose. Her first night there she meets a man and they have a fling of sorts. The first night is more of a game of cat and mouse and not much happens. Not until the next night. I'm still working on ideas, but last night I was happy to get four pages in before something distracted me, and then it got too late to go back to it, and I went back to bed.

Last night, I was pleasantly surprised to get an email on one of old fan fiction stories. I had a fan fiction site, and it is still up somewhere in cyberspace somewhere right now. I know not many give fan fiction much credit, but it is where I first began to write my gay fiction, and I did develop quite a following with my stories and site. I've had some give me quite a negative response when I mention I used to write fan fiction, and occasionally still do if an idea comes to me. I've heard some say that it isn't considered real writing, and most fan fiction is quite teenie and poorly written, but there are fan fiction writers that begin with fan fiction and move on from it like I am doing. It was nice to know that even though I haven't updated much in the last year or two that people are still reading and enjoying. That is what the purpose of sharing your stories is. Sharing your words with others and having them either enjoy them or not. My site has had nearly 100,000 hits since I opened it a couple of years ago, so I must be doing something right with my fiction writing.

After I received that email I began a quick surf through fan fiction sites I used to know from those days I wrote it, and I found some still up and running. I read a few stories, and I was amused to say the least. Everything you are told not to do in your writing can be found in fan fiction stories, and yes I found a few that made laugh out loud. I even downloading one to read over time. One of those long epics that just goes on and on forever. i keep getting into the story, and then there is one of those moments where you are like ... what the hell is this? Then you start laughing cause it is so very bad, and you know if this was a story written for a publisher you would never even something like that in a story.

It made me think of Lynn's entry which I saw before I went to bed last night. We all have things that we just don't like to see in our reading or in our writing either. I have my own. Things that just make me laugh when I see them, and I guess reading through some of the fan fiction I used to read just showed those to me so clearly. Here are just a few.

  • Poorly written sex: Yes, we all know what I'm talking about here. Purple prose is one term that comes to my mind. sex so unrealistic you are left wondering how that was even possible because surely it doesn't happen in real life. Yes, fiction is an escape from reality, but fiction should have some basis in reality. The man that can go all night like the energizer bunny is just not going to happen. If you find him though, can you send him to ... kidding!

  • Unrealistic characters: A man is not going to fall to his knees and cry over and over throughout the story. Especially if he is your strong alpha male. Yes, there is such a thing as your strong but sensitive type, but come on! Try to stay true to the type of character you have created.

  • Cliches: Yes, we all have things we see in stories over and over. Whether they be plots, characters or word choice. From one book to the other, they are similar, and you can't escape them. To me, I think the trick is to take those cliches and make them different. Make them new, so that they don't look cliche. Add something else to it. Something unique and all your own.

I guess that is what our job as writers is to do. Create stories and characters that are fresh and new so that readers want to read. No matter what the genre or sub-genre you are writing in.


Audrey Shaffer said...

Hey Gina, if you run into that man who can go all night, I'd be interested in checking him out.

I wanted to let you know that I've been reading your blog. I just didn't have time to comment until now.

A man who could go for a couple hours...nah, I'm still dreaming. ;)

Jill said...

I guess that is what our job as writers is to do. Create stories and characters that are fresh and new so that readers want to read. No matter what the genre or sub-genre you are writing in.

Amen to that!

Lynn said...

What? You mean big bad dudes don't kick massive butt while wearing biker boots and riding their Harleys and then dissolve in a flood of tears over the old long distance commercials? Rats.

WOO HOO on your epiphany! I just love those light bulb moments.

And it just boggles my mind that people can say writing fan fiction is not real writing. Does that make it fake writing? Fan fiction writers are only pretending to write, but in reality they're dancing on the bar at the newest Coyote Ugly?

Gina said...

Thanks for stopping by, Audrey! It's nice to know people are reading! A man that can go an hour needs to be locked up and tied down, as in marriage. Yes, marriage. No bondage reference there. Not at all.

Sometimes the job is hard though, isn't it Jill?

Haha your comment made me laugh, Lynn. I was just reading this one fan fiction story, and everything is oh so dramatic and the abuse of the exclamation point is so evident. Everything is something to cry over, and the person in real life is so alpha male that if he did cry it wouldn't be every five minutes.

As for the fan fiction and calling it not real writing, I was on one list a year or two ago and I mentioned I was coming off from writing fan fiction for a couple of years. Not to mention I also had a successful weekly column for a year and a half, but if I wrote fan fiction I was just a hobbyist. I didn't stay long on that list.

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