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30 days on writing: Entry #8: The comfort of the strangely familiar - The Annals of Young Geoffrey: Hope brings a turtle [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
Young Geoffrey

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30 days on writing: Entry #8: The comfort of the strangely familiar [Jul. 29th, 2010|10:25 am]
Young Geoffrey
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More memeage: In this edition, Young Geoffrey ponders genre and the comforts of the familiar.

0. Explain yourself! In which Young Geoffrey explains the meme and his reasons for exploring it.

1. Tell us about your favorite writing project/universe that you've worked with and why.

2. How many characters do you have? Do you prefer males or females

3. How do you come up with names, for characters (and for places if you're writing about fictional places)?

4. Tell us about one of your first stories/characters!

5. By age, who is your youngest character? Oldest? How about "youngest" and "oldest" in terms of when you created them?

6. Where are you most comfortable writing? At what time of day? Computer or good ol' pen and paper?

7. Do you listen to music while you write? What kind? Are there any songs you like to relate/apply to your characters?

9. How do you get ideas for your characters? Describe the process of creating them.

10. What are some really weird situations your characters have been in? Everything from serious canon scenes to meme questions counts!

11. Who is your favorite character to write? Least favorite?

12. In what story did you feel you did the best job of worldbuilding? Any side-notes on it you'd like to share?

13. What's your favorite culture to write, fictional or not?

14. How do you map out locations, if needed? Do you have any to show us?

15. Midway question! Tell us about a writer you admire, whether professional or not!

16. Do you write romantic relationships? How do you do with those, and how "far" are you willing to go in your writing? ;)

17. Favorite protagonist and why!

18. Favorite antagonist and why!

19. Favorite minor that decided to shove himself into the spotlight and why!

20. What are your favorite character interactions to write?

21. Do any of your characters have children? How well do you write them?

22. Tell us about one scene between your characters that you've never written or told anyone about before! Serious or not.

23. How long does it usually take you to complete an entire story — from planning to writing to posting (if you post your work)?

24. How willing are you to kill your characters if the plot so demands it? What's the most interesting way you've killed someone?

25. Do any of your characters have pets? Tell us about them.

26. Let's talk art! Do you draw your characters? Do others draw them? Pick one of your OCs and post your favorite picture of him!

27. Along similar lines, do appearances play a big role in your stories? Tell us about them, or if not, how you go about designing your characters.

28. Have you ever written a character with physical or mental disabilities? Describe them, and if there's nothing major to speak of, tell us a few smaller ones.

29. How often do you think about writing? Ever come across something IRL that reminds you of your story/characters?

30. Final question! Tag someone! And tell us what you like about that person as a writer and/or about one of his/her characters!

8. What's your favorite genre to write? To read?

As I've re-discovered through the process of working through this meme, I started off writing SF as often as I did so-called mainstream stories. That shouldn't have been any surprise.

The first "grown up" fiction I read was Stanley G. Weinbaum's "A Martian Odyssey" in The Science Fiction Hall of Fame and I've been reading science fiction (and some fantasy) ever since. Not exclusively, far from it, but a plurality of my reading has been of those genres.

I suppose what should be surprising then, is that I pretty much stopped dabbling in genre.

Until I began working on my latest unfinished novel, The Valley of Shabathawan, which was very consciously a juvenile SF story in the spirit of Doctor Who, I've mostly written character-based fiction. Slice-of-life short stories and sociological/psychological coming-of-age novels.

More recently, I've dabbled in smut or, if you will, "literary erotica". Stories that are intended to engage the libido but that are also still, y'know, stories.

As for reading, well, I still read a lot of F and SF and much of that is, frankly, comfort-reading, the familiar in the strange, as it were. I haven't sunk to Star Trek or Doctor Who novels, but I rip through Analog every month and generally enjoy the comfort that comes from genre, even a genre as varied as science fiction.

I tell myself it is better than vegging out to sit-comes every afternoon, but Infinite Jest has been waiting for me to crack it open for a while now and it's about damned time I challenge myself again.

Which is not to say that all SF is pabulum. It isn't. There's genre and there's genre, as it were, just as there are romance novels or soap operas and there is Pride and Prejudice or War and Peace.

But just as I have done too little hard writing in recent years, so too have I done too little hard reading.

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