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30 days on writing: Entry #19: Angry young woman, grumpy Young Geoffrey - The Annals of Young Geoffrey: Hope brings a turtle [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
Young Geoffrey

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30 days on writing: Entry #19: Angry young woman, grumpy Young Geoffrey [Aug. 10th, 2010|09:43 am]
Young Geoffrey
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Being Phil:
Second-banana takes centre-stage, won't let go

I've actually been kind of surprised it hasn't happened more often lately; I know damned well that my journal ain't what it used to be. Almost nothing personal, even less sexual and not even a whole lot of politics or Doctor Who to keep folks interested.

So I've been a little surprised that the numbers on my F-list haven't been dropping, much. (Of course, if LJ's stats are anything to go by, there aren't many people actually reading what I write here/there any more anyway. Between summer holidays, natural attrition as people's attention drifts elsewhere and reading filters, I suspect my LJ audience to be around a dozen or so, maybe less.

Which is fine — well, not fine; my ego would (naturally) prefer that readers were flocking to me like cats rushing to the sound of a can opener. But I know that what I do here is primarily intended for me, as an exercise in writing, as practice, as venting ... as a journal, in other words, though I seem to be evolving away from that model as well, towards something that is little more or less than a promotional tool for Edifice Rex Online in particular and for me in general.

Of course, having so few readers means I'm doing something pretty wrong on the self-promotion front, aren't I? Must ponder ...

Meanwhile, occasionally the attrition is active. Yesterday, LJ notified me that a long-time 'friend' had ended our relationship. Normally, that is something I merely note; it happens, after all. However, in this case, the de-friending was by someone I've hung out with a number of times; we weren't friends, but we had a relationship beyond pixels, even if we had not seen each other in a few years and if he seemed to have more or less disappeared from LJ for quite a long period of time.

Feelings hurt, I dropped him a terse note saying, in effect, so long and thanks for all the fish. He replied that it was nothing personal but that we hadn't hung out in a long time, etc.

All quite true, of course, but for the "nothing personal" bit. Of course it's personal when you decide you know longer want to know someone. And frankly, when someone decides that about me, especially if we've spent time in the flesh, I think the classy thing to do is to say goodbye, not just to hit a delete button.

And now, back to the meme.

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

Phil was supposed to be a role-player, an enabler: the adoptive mother of Ash, the fictional counterpart to my semi-fictional stand-in Orson. I met her (Phil) in the midst of a bad sexual encounter with a stranger, followed by a vicious fight with her then boyfriend, and by the time Ash herself showed up (as an infant), there was no question that Ash's story would have to wait for another novel entirely.

Phil's was an angry, domineering and too-often a violent presence. She stomped around the novel with all the grace of an imprisoned elephant and when she left it she left behind a corpse and a mother vaguely wondering where her kid had got to.

I never wanted to hang out with Phil — would frankly have prefered not to even be in the same bar with her — but I found her fascinating and the only reason now that I still think of going back to try to fix The Valley of Shabathawan by writing yet another draft of it.

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?

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

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!

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!

This entry was originally posted at http://ed-rex.dreamwidth.org/15733.html. Comment there using OpenID, or here as per normal.
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Comments:
[User Picture]From: mijopo
2010-08-10 02:17 pm (UTC)
Yeah, LJ is dying, I'm afraid, everyone has flocked to FB. It's a shame really. I so much prefer reading LJ posts to what's usually posted to FB.
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: ed_rex
2010-08-10 03:51 pm (UTC)

I don't think it's dying

Granted that Facebook has taken away a good number of people who weren't really interested in LJ as a blogging site, but mostly as a social networking site, a place for keeping up with friends and relatives, I suspect that what you and I are seeing isn't so much LJ dying as it is the natural life-cycle of our respective F-lists.

If it's true that the average LJ user is a teenage girl, it makes sense that most people who come here aren't going to stick around all that long. Adolescence is a time of experimentation and most experiments 'fail', in the sense that they don't prove to be a permanent interest.

Since the fall-off in interest tends to be gradual, most people don't delete their accounts, but simply let them fall dormant.

I suppose the rational response — if we're concerned about the number of readers we have — would be to regularly post to a few add-me communities, so that we keep new blood a-comin'.
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