Young Geoffrey (ed_rex) wrote,
Young Geoffrey

30 days on writing: Entry #10:

More memeage: In this edition, Young Geoffrey expresses dissatisfaction with question 10 and complains about the previous four and makes somewhat gratuitous use of the word disillusionment after using Google to remember how to spell it.

Before I attempt to answer it, though, I want to talk about something almost related to yesterday's questions about creating characters. In thinking about it, I stumbled across a story I wrote back in September, 2006 (and which I linked to on Livejournal with this entry, if you want commentary from people who knew me in person).

I say 'stumbled' because I had very nearly forgotten that it existed. That is, I remembered it when I saw it, but had I not seen it I would not have remembered it.

And frankly, though it's a little creepy, I think it's a pretty damned good story, if you like stories in which the only action consists of a middle-aged men climbing over a cafe's fencing between itself and the sidewalk. (You should read it. I took a few extraneous lines out of it and corrected a half-dozen typos and re-posted it to Edifice Rex.)

Self-promotion aside, I was struck by the character of Lawrence. To be honest, I was looking for an antagonist, or rather a foil, to my regular stand-in Orson, and pulled the mannerisms and physicality of an old friend right off the shelf. I wasn't concerned with creating an original character, but only a believable one, one I could picture in the conversation depicted.

(I should probably add that I haven't hung out with Lawrence's real-life counterpart on a regular basis for many, many years and that I have no reason to believe he ever chased after pubescent girls since the days when he was a pubescent boy. The story is entirely fiction and the only the surface traits of the character are based on anything approaching reality. Well, that and the environs of the Java Hut. Onwards.)

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

This really is a pretty silly question, for anyone who isn't writing pornography or adventure fiction, isn't it? But maybe, as with journalism, there are no dull memes but only dull meme answers.

Whatever. Most of my characters just hang out and drink (and smoke) and talk. Sometimes they have sex, but more often they just suffer because they're not having sex.

But, I suppose the most "weird" situation a character of mine ever got into was when Ashera went to visit a hermatose Orson, who she feared was cracking up. She brought with him (for reasons I don't quite remember) a couple of slabs of granite on which she had carved some sort of message which she hoped would wake him up.

Things didn't end well, in that story, but I am suddenly curious to read it again after probably 20 years. It was called "The Existential Messiah" and I remember the very odd, nearly surreal experience of hearing a couple of friends discuss it and especially its symbolism as we walked along a street in Montreal.

What made it so surreal was that I had intended none of the symbolism they pointed out ("That tree wasn't a symbol, it was a tree! I just wanted to add a little atmosphere at that point!"), but that almost everything they pointed to as a symbol made sense to me.

Almost all of the critical "discoveries" were utterly plausible. None of them were true, but they mostly made for pretty stories.

For dramatic reasons, I wish I could point to that conversation as my disillusionment with academe, but that was a process, not an epiphany. I digress.

I'm going to pull out "The Existential Messiah" and see how it holds up. If it's not too embarrassing, I'll post it to Edifice Rex. Meanwhile, if you haven't before, you can always visit the fiction section there. It's not over-flowing, but there are a few stories there.

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.

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!

This entry was originally posted at Comment there using OpenID, or here as per normal.
Tags: 30 days on writing, fiction, random gloats, shall we walk?, the existential messiah, writing

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