aesmael: (friendly)
 Of course I ended up going to bed shortly after finishing that last journal entry without having posted it anywhere. A lag time of at least a day seems currently endemic. Did end up staying home. Even managed to get docted - got some advice (rest, lots of fluids, don't fill this antibiotic prescription unless certain conditions are met), and a note of incapacity to work for today and tomorrow.

Am feeling a bit better. Feeling like resting today and tomorrow will give me a good chance of not over-exerting myself on Wednesday, which is normally only a light day at work anyway. Feeling like I've been sick a lot this year, or much more than is usual for me. Worried this is a foreboding sign and hoping it not to be.

But for tonight I think I can do some simple things. Revise liner notes maybe, or back up files from this computer, or write some character speeches for Pathfinder, or make yet another attempt at finishing the frequently interrupted Scrivener tutorial.

Right now I'm watching this video of a talk on interactive fiction by Emily Short which is inspiring the desire to add yet another layer to my never-quite-started THC project. Television series, Pathfinder module, ... text adventure?  That one at least we shan't be starting tonight. Laptop is in big need of replacing and I've been telling myself not to try any IF stuff until after that's taken care. Not because interactive fiction is so demanding on the hardware (is it?) but to keep myself from taking on too much at once and then feeling like a failure when that inevitably collapses on me.

aesmael: (probably quantum)
I need to write something. That's a small determination within my power. I believe it is? Even though I'm putting a lot of my personal-time energy into getting to grips with Pathfinder and making that game happen I should be able to spare at least some time this week to compose words. That doesn't seem like too much to ask of myself. Next weekend, a week from now, I want to be able to say I've written some fiction. Even if it is only a handful of words. Even if they get deleted or replaced the very next time I open a writing implement.

Otherwise, what am I? Just someone who "wants to" and never "does". I need to do something and to feel that I am doing something.
aesmael: (it would have been a scale model)
 If I were inclined to write fanfic rather than 'original' stories, would people like my stories more? If they had some prior investment and interest in the characters and what they get up to?

But this train of thought is rapidly derailed by the reminder that unless I actually write stories, no one is going to have opinions on them no matter whether they hypothetically would be fanfiction or not. So I should worry about making words happen at all before I worry whether and how people like them.

It also gives a bit of a lie to telling myself it's just me and what I want that I write, and the enjoyment of others is incidental. Probably the resolution to that conflict is I want to write things that please me, and for others to also tell me it's good.

aesmael: (nervous)
For a while I have been thinking about the fact the people I am emotionally close to are rather geographically dispersed, and do not seem inclined to address this error for my convenience. And it is long since I gave up my ambitions of selling my stories and being a 'successful' author. The odds are against anyone who tries, and I think the sorts of stories I want to write are not so much those liked by the science fiction or fantasy markets anyway[1].

I'm thinking more about trying to make some money from my writing in the future because it would help to have a source of income that doesn't tie me down from spending time with people I love. I can't yet write anything worth being paid for, but I'm practising again and maybe I will get there. These days even if I can't or don't sell to a traditional market there are other options, such as setting up a patreon or similar - assuming I show myself well enough that enough people like what I do enough to put some money into one. That is a lot of enough, and no guarantee it can be done even if I do improve my skill a lot and manage to produce stories on a regular basis. But if I could, even if it were not much, it might help.

I also write smut stories as well as adventure stories, and wonder whether I would be best served, or if it is even practically doable, to make those into distinct identities with their own subscribers. I don't know whether those audience-support sites let you split your work like that, but I do worry there wouldn't be much crossover in audience interest, and that the one might complicate the other. And on the topic of potential complications, I've been more interested in writing fan-fiction works the past few years but I suspect it would be inadvisable to take money for writing any such thing, so I might have to do those 'off the clock' or twist the inspirations into something I needn't worry about making available.

We'll see after I'm done with school, whether any of this can go somewhere or if it is just idle dreaming. In the meanwhile, practise and get better.

[1] Plus, and don't tell this to all the world but, they are so far not very good or interesting either.
aesmael: (Electric Waves)

I think the opening paragraph of this story, so far titled "By The Window" needs a lot of work.

    Sometimes prospects in person grow thin and it seems necessary to turn to online realms for that freedom of self-disclosure without people taking immediate flight. So it seemed to Lucy, yet still most who found her from her profile were discarded for getting on her nerves. Or turning creepy. Or not actually reading her profile and then running.

As part of an introduction to Lucy, her relationships, and what she gets out of them, this repetition of people running or taking flight evokes images of self-satisfied "I am kinky and therefore too weird to handle" attitudes that I strongly dislike.

Discussion of process on a work of erotic fiction, not explicit )
aesmael: (haircut)
Put in my last assignment of the semester the night before last. Not best pleased with the job I did, but at least I got it done.

Now I have time to devote to other postponed life activities like enrolling in important school stuff before it is too late (hopefully it is not too late), seeking professional development opportunities and being prompt and organised for next semester's classes. Which are not showing up on the student portal yet, so I haven't yet failed on that one.

Also, making myself follow up on the offer of support services from the beginning of the semester, even though I have no idea what a disability accommodation that would actually help me might be.

Also also, entertainment stuff. Been aspiring to see more movies at the cinema and most of the recent ones I might see haven't stopped showing yet. Plus a series of concerts featuring Beethoven's piano concertos at the Opera House. I suspect these will exhaust my reserves for spending money on myself for a long while, but I've been looking forward to them for a year, so I suppose I had better try and go.

Feeling tired again just thinking about trying to do stuff.

I wrote a lot (for me) in April, but had to stop again through May because school and deadlines. Would like to do more of that again. Would be satisfying. Think there may have been more I wanted to ramble, but don't remember it now.
aesmael: (sudden sailor)

Feeling lately I would love to devote more of my time to writing. Wanting to put big chunks of days to making stories and delving into them, instead of just sneaking an hour or two before bed.

I want to approach writing as a dedicated craft, I suppose. But even if I did not have a job and school to worry about this would likely remain wishful thinking, as I am rather lousy at time management and would not balance it well with sociality and other things I would like to do - to the detriment of all, most likely.

Still going to want.
aesmael: (nervous)

Conversation today had me realising how much longer it has been since I wrote much. If asked I would have said the last time I got much writing done was 2010, which is plenty long ago as-is.

But I went back and looked at my old writing logs.

2007: 49,251 words, about half of which went into writing the only (short) novel I've ever actually done.

2008: 19,523 words, mostly going into finishing aforementioned parody novel and an abandoned serial project from the previous year - should try reviving that someday.

2009: 43,367 words. Split between a novella written for NaNoWriMo and an erotic fiction novelette earlier in the year.

2010: 1,279 words recorded as written.

2011-2012: no longs kept.

2013: 4,155 words total. Resolution made to get back into writing and to have written some substantial amount for 2014.

2014: 4,314 written so far, mostly on sword and sorcery serial started last year with intention of being 'easy to write'.

That helps me feel a bit better. Did not realise had already surpassed last year. Shall strive with determination.
aesmael: (haircut)

Been feeling tired the past several days, and consequently not written much of anything. Tired and upset sort of thing. Did have two weeks of being called into the library as if I were some kind of 'works every day' type person. Which apparently took a toll on my ability to engage in much mental activity. Also it has been hot, like right now.

So that means my NaNoWriMo attempt so far consists of one evening's writing that fell several hundred words short of the target. So on the 'bright' side I am not a whole week behind on posting that 'story' when I get up to doing so.

[note: I don't know what happened to the rest of the month as I made no further journal entries. did not really write any more fiction either.]

aesmael: (it would have been a scale model)

Ouran High School Host Club: Episode 4 “Attack of the Lady Manager!” ... this show still confuses me. Very emotionally extravagant. Whole lot of structured around deliberate sexualisation of men, which is unusual. This episode structured around stereotypes of violently romantically aggressive women. Show seems to revel in the presentation and play of stereotypes so maybe I shouldn't hold this against it. Does seem rather silly overall.

Doctor Who S06E01 “The Impossible Astronaut”. I will say one thing for Moffat as showrunner: he really likes to work in and with the time travel elements.

"We're his friends. We do what the Doctor's friends always do: as we're told." That doesn't sound like friendship.

Been thinking past couple of days, seems like the latest stretch of episodes are infantilising the character of the Doctor. Lot of focus on things like fizzy drinking straws and repeated conspicuous confusion at other people romantically kissing.

Doctor Who S06E01 “Day of the Moon”. Continuation of previous episode.

Weird seeing a British program associate triumphalism with US gun culture.

Spooks S09E07. Season coming to a head. Blackmailing and threatening a person who is blackmailing and threatening a regular character. Lots of Women In Peril this week. Also, mysterious backstory! Various musings on the dreadful things that spy-work does to the soul.

Taggart S11, episode 107 “Silent Truth”. Rarely do I see Scottish folk so heavily represented. On the other hand, lead investigator resenting having someone with various languages on hand for community liaison on this case. Also Iranian family whose son was murdered, being deported. This sort of topicality seems common for British crime shows of the period. Not that it's a bad idea for shows to address structural racism and asylum or migration.

The guy playing the role of sleazy community property-holder does it very, very well. Unpleasantly smiling and cheerful in a skin-crawling sort of way.

Doctor Who S06E03 “The Curse of the Black Spot”. Filler episode, does not especially make sense within itself.

Dear subtitler, I don't think the Doctor said 'protein circuitry'. I suspect you will find he said 'protean circuitry'.

Also apparently spousal consent / authority over medical treatment is a rule of the multiverse.

Star Wars: The Clone Wars S4E19 “Massacre”. Hey, back to this Ventress plot that's been lying fallow for about a month.

Star Wars: The Clone Wars S4E20 “Bounty”. Are we in one word title land now? Bad sign. Also, now that Dooku has destroyed her homeworld, Ventress turns to bounty hunting. This episode is surprisingly touching.

Reading over subject outline for the unit I will be taking over the summer, which begins in a few days. Since it is a social networking unit one of the requirements is to maintain an online study journal. This should not be tricky in itself, as despite my laxness over the past few years I do have a history of blogging and approximating some form of self-reflective learning.

However, I would like to keep that relatively disconnected from my existing online presence. That seems like it would be prudent. So I need to find somewhere to host m'self that is not my existing things. Maybe use that account I have at PBWorks and make a little wiki specialised for purpose. Couldn't make public pages of the one I already use because the URL would be indicative.

On the other hand I will probably mirror my posts for that 'OLJ' (Online Learning Journal) to my regular haunts, which is hardly a judicious application of secrecy. Will have to think of a professional sort of Twitter handle to use also.

While I had the course site open - actually originally trying to retrieve a citation for a reading I'd been trying to go over - figured I may as well check my grades, which I am very frightened to do. Looks like my overall mark for the information literacy unit is 50.0, which I am hoping means a pass. No grade back on my second assignment for the other, introductory unit, which worries me as the return date was a few days ago. I know I don't deserve to pass these units but I am desperately hoping I do anyway, as so much of my plans and hopes is bound with this course and trying to graduate.

I wonder if I could still move and do this course slower. If I do fail, if I do find two units per most semesters is too much for me.

Bawden, D. (2001). Information and digital literacies: A review of concepts. Journal of Documentation, 57(2), 218-259.

First attempt at catching up on readings post-assignments, but terribly undisciplined I am have still not finished this. Got to press harder.

Musings from original reading pass:

"The first and simplest meaning implies only the ability to read and write. The second certainly implies this ability, but also requires something beyond it. ‘The concept of literacy goes beyond simply being able to read; it has always meant the ability to read with meaning, and to understand. It is the fundamental act of cognition’ [23]." Can one be said to be able to read without meaning?

"‘Literacy can be defined as having the skills one needs to make the connection to the information necessary to survive in society’" In an inequitable society literacy itself may be insufficient; may also require luck. Further question: how does this relate to a society where the information needed to survive does not exist? Particularly, even if we are regarding information as not a 'thing', if you do not yourself possess the skillset to create that information.

Literacy as a term for fluency or competence in a field of study or practical endeavour.

Sword & Sorcery story. Bit silly of me to think of writing one, when I have not experience reading them. How does one target a genre one is not familiar with? Maybe the cultural idea of sword and sorcery will do. Plus, not like genres of fiction are immutably bestowed upon humanity from some higher authority. What I want to capture is a feel, a style, and maybe that will turn out to mesh with the sword & sorcery that is an accepted genre, and maybe it will not.

Meant to be a 'quick writing' story, something I could make up stories for easily and at length, unlike all the mulling and musing and prevaricating I tend to do when writing. So in that regard it would seem the perfect tale to make a NaNoWriMo run with. Especially since the plot is as vague and alike as any story I ever do - “Here are some characters, they travel and have adventures together”.

The idea quickly attached itself to a setting I had been vaguely mulling for several years previous and enabled them both to develop detail more confidently. Main idea behind the setting was to try and be a bit more fantasy in my fantasy, something I have a history of being bad at. Main signature idea (of setting) for me personally is the realisation of “this is fantasy, it is not actually required that, for example, living beings function according to biology as she is normally told”. Like, there could be vitalism. Some sort of magical life force. And then you don't need internal organs, right? So there we go.

Characters I don't remember so much how those came up except that I probably wanted a change from defaulting to human as I tend to do. Which is silly in some sense because what is there to write about but humans and their manity?

aesmael: (tricicat)

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. S01E01. Don't like the opening narration. Feels a bit full of itself. Trying too hard to force a sense of awe, mysticism, that sort of thing. So far finding this show painful and aggravating.

Hey a Harry Potter (Hermione reference) slipped in as casual aside. Apparently that's where the world is now. Actually probably the fault of that Joss Whedon fellow, so ah well.

Oh also hey, character takes a shot at cosplayers. This is going well. ~.~

I tend to think of myself as having low to non-existent standards but... that was bad. Ugh. Formulaic, unexciting. The only traits it has to distinguish itself from other shows are

1. Tie-in with a film which was fun, but which is connected here in an indifferent manner which does not actually contribute to the show (and the show seems to be trying to distance itself from the Marvel film continuity, not referencing anyone by name, and using technical terms which I've been led to believe are not the terms in use within the Marvel universe)

2. Story for this first episode features a poor black guy, a factory worker who receives powers via experimentation thinking his intentions matter and that he can be a hero, stand up for people, do good, but who is 'actually' within the story dangerous and in need of being taken down by a team of white, well-funded governement agents. Incredibly tone-deaf.

This is disappointing.

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. S01E02. I reckon this show is liable to be the Torchwood to the Marvel films' Doctor Who.

Ouran High School Host Club episode 2 “Beware the Physical Exam!” This show is cute and very inexplicitly sexual (not actually inexplicable - it is a harem anime with a female lead instead of a guy.

Making some plans about what to write for this year's NaNoWriMo failure. Mostly trying to outline potential stories. Fortunately I've had a sword and sorcery thingy on the backburner for a few months that I've been trying to design as easy to write, so maybe I can get somewhere with that. As back-up there's a space fantasy series that was designed as porn but for which I keep forgetting to conceptually include the sex.

Outcasts episode 1. No particular thoughts. Waiting for sleep. Bit frustrating deliberately refraining from writing until the start of NaNoWriMo but it does not really matter, as I will not get far no matter where or when I start. Just the form of the thing is to be observed.

aesmael: (friendly)

Finished watching the first season of The IT Crowd. Fun show, bit like a hybrid of Black Books and Dilbert. And particularly similar to Dilbert in that while many episodes entertain me with hijinx, some just make me cringe. Case in point: final episode of the first season was an extended joke on menstruation and femininity stereotypes.

Watched final episode of Whitechapel, season 2. Didn't watch the first season because I did not think I would be interested, regret this now. Rather especially like that the character DI Joseph Chandler has OCD. Don't often see that treated in fiction as a serious, life-affecting condition. So far feels overall well-written, with awareness of genre tropes and displaying discretion in when and how to deploy them.

Also after much frustrated searching resolved a problem I had been having in my attempted adoption of LyX for document editing. The problem was simple - representing cancellation in mathematics - and so was the solution. The hard part was finding a tutorial such that I could follow and work from without having to master LaTeX formatting overall. Been trying to get the hang of LyX by copying out some of my old study practice notes.

Still unsure what to use LyX for. At first I thought it would be a great way to lay out my assignments for my classes. The only formats the university interface claims to handle are RTF, DOC and PDF, and while LyX's finished output is PDFs, feedback on one of the assignments I submitted earlier asked me not to submit in PDF format in future for the markers' convenience. Bit awkward, as I've not had Microsoft Office installed on a computer that I've owned since an old hand-me-down a decade ago. Does get to be an ongoing frustration schools not accepting documents in any of the formats I actually work in.

Right. Unsure what to use LyX for. PDFs for submitting assignments is apparently out, a shame as LyX appears to be built primarily with academic documents in mind. Maybe ask the unit coordinators each time. Might be able to work it for my self-directed study writings, especially now I've resolved the cancellation issue. LyX seems much better suited to handling mathematical input than LibreOffice, which I'd previously been using. Journal posting, maybe.

As an experiment I am writing this post out in LyX. My main concern is what will happen with the formatting when I paste text from this editor into the post editors at deninet and Dreamwidth. Also being intended for transposition into a different environment means most of LyX's semantic features are off-limits. Shall see how this one goes; quite possibly will go back to drafting these posts in Notepad++. Meanwhile for fiction I will probably stick to using tools intended for that purpose such as yWriter.

Watched Doctor Who S5E11, The Lodger. Kind of nice episode, not especially great or terrible, a bit sweet. Was a bit amused to notice, right where one of the guest characters touches a bit of alien discolouration that causes him to fall deathly ill the music briefly echoes the theme from Close Encounters of the Third Kind.

aesmael: (nervous)

(but didn't want to post it until I'd caught up on the present. which I have.)

Essay-writing. Stressful, awkward. Combination difficulty of writing to meet the word count, yet also constrained by - although I find it difficult to get these assignment essays completed on time, to spec, etc., if I were writing a serious article on the topic given, I would be wanting rather more space in which to develop my arguments and discuss examples. Likewise with referencing. Targetted numbers + kind of references, I find difficult to meet within the time and other constraints given, but also because as a student I am unaccustomed to doing the work involved. Not in habit. But the target number of references to meet is also quite obviously insufficient if one were attempting to address the topic with seriousness.

But at least that has me thinking and learning. Considering the combination of "this is too few to properly address it!" with "I am having difficulty juggling and re-locating them when needed" helps inspire plans for resolving this in future. E.g. when considering a source and a point occurs, I should be not only jotting down that point for future reminder, but also tagging with at least the source if not a quote or page number. Actually I've been trying to do something similar already, but being unaccustomed I may not think of 'the thing I want to get down' until later, or be able to think of a way to encapsulate it.

Still, we get somewhere. And this early in a course, really that is the primary goal - sure, pass the actual subject, but also learn techniques for engaging with the material so that in later units we won't be completely at sea.

Originally published at a denizen's entertainment. You can comment here or there.

Been trying to write a post each day this month, but didn't manage one yesterday. That was not because I am sick at the moment, nor for having no intended post. Rather, I was wrestling with a disappearing bookmark problem that has only just been resolved. And now I am busying myself with organising those and clearing away nearly a decade of bookmark clutter and duplicates that have crept in.

What I was going to post was a link to an image of Torchwood as various anthro-animals and use it affectionately as an example of why I invented a semi-shapeshifter species for my Unified Erotica Setting. Mainly because as much as a variety of anthro folk can be nifty and useful it tends to bug me when used in stories, whether everyone is sorted into families by base species, or designed according to personality, or whatever - I think I have a hard time with suspension of disbelief over that many individualised people-species running about, or the ecology of the whole thing makes me twitchy. So I ended up inventing a species that could give a similar effect without me having to worry where that species of bear-people came from and why we haven't seen any before if I decide to suddenly introduce one in a story.

Incidentally, I found that image from reading the thread on fanficrants which inspired it.

Originally published at a denizen's entertainment. You can comment here or there.

I wanted to start some proper, on record outlining of some new hopefully-quick writing projects (but aren't most of mine intended to be that, really?) using Scriptito, which meant I 'had' to finish putting up my in-progress projects first to clear the way. And I could do that because a while ago I'd had some technical difficulties with the site, which is a sort of euphemism for an 8,000 word project got vanished, and that took I think a couple of weeks to fully resolve. Meanwhile I was given an upgraded account to play with, meaning a lot more space for separate writing projects.

Currently I have 137,173 words of fiction up on that site, but roughly 50,000 of that is duplicate and will have to go. So only in the neighbourhood of 90,000 words, mostly written in the past ~3 years. Not as much as I would like it to be, but I hardly wrote anything at all last year, and that was a pain.

What we have up there now

Two versions of the Epic Fantasy story thing. One of them isn't going to get worked on, and is mostly up there so I can squint at the site's import process and wonder why that one has a different word count to the one I imported by hand. Cleaning the auto-imported one up narrowed the gap to it being only ~100 words longer, and there don't seem to be any omissions or additions to the text of either that I've noticed yet. Maybe I should export them both and feed them to something that will display the differences between them for me. Am suspecting it lies in HTML. That duplicate story is most of the padding on the wordcount, since they're each approximately 47,900 words in length.

A group of erotic short pieces and series bundled together when I only had space for 5 projects on Scriptito. Have started moving the longer separate stories to their own projects now I can, intending to keep the original still as a collection of shorter pieces. That has ~8,500 words and is about 2,000 longer than it should be, now that I've copied the part of A Library Fox it holds to its own project and imported the rest to a proper location.

A Library Fox itself, uploaded tonight and counted as 10,323 words. Like Epic Fantasy it is basically waiting for editing to be finished before I act on making a final version available to anyone as cares to read it.

Last project on there so far, Shadow of the Empire, at 22,486 words. Again, the story is supposedly 'done', which means like A Library Fox it is a first draft and needs work before being seen anywhere. I hated most of it while I was uploaded, but for some reason liked the last part. My current hypothesis is that I skipped over a lot of not-rushing-through-it-ness the first time and the story needs, not to linger, but to be filled out with more substance so there is a stronger sense of person, place, purpose and tension. Was supposed to be an actiony story and the actionyness of the last part was good, so more of the story needs to be that sort of thing. It was supposed to, and I tried to make it so, but I did my usual thing of skittering away from the bits I was trying to build up to (and the building up to them) so it came out flimsy and faint instead. Writing is often work, and that work needs to be done if we're to end up with a decent lump of fiction at the end of it.

I still think I can turn it from mostly rubbish into mostly not rubbish. Am looking forward to getting to do that. But, need to finish up Epic Fantasy first, because that needs to be done with even more.

What we don't have up there, yet

tSOW. Am creating a project for that and filling in the skeleton with characters and other stuff as I can. Been talking about tSOW for a couple of years now and I would really like to see some actual words written for it during my lifetime. I still feel good about the project, made plans for imminent work on it more than once only for life to intervene against those opportunities. If I lay out a framework in which I can sit down and write a few words of it whenever I am inspired to, then something might get done. Currently it's a biggish project that keeps getting pushed back because of the time I spend working on other biggish projects, when its nature actually lends well to writing in smaller bursts.

I keep wondering if M/M should be folded within tSOW, since they both fall within the genre of superhero fiction, but I think I have decided not. The setting for M/M has different rules and the plot, while not explicitly prohibiting other superpowered characters, is probably stronger without them. I can always import the characters to tSOW later if I want, because they're my stories and I can do what I want with them, that's why. Just another case of the identically named alternate universe twin, 'sall.

Also undecided whether to put Serial B and / or Raven Zemaire up for working on. They originally were intended to be very gameish stories and the options I'd have for tracking stuff like stats, combat logs and dice rolls on Scriptito would be very ad hoc and feel awkward to me. Then again, I suppose I would have to do much the same for those no matter where the stories were written and hosted, and I might even end up avoiding the gameish route altogether. That might be a shame. Not many stories I know of leave the protagonists' survival up to their saving throws - but I always have LJ for that.

Since I have the space, there are a couple of untitled riffs on intersections between epic fantasy and science fictional science fiction that should go up so they can get background work and hopefully accumulate critical momentum someday. Have described both of them in public posts at some point previously, I believe. Not in a position to do so again just now. That's the trouble with untitled works (or people's names) - I can have a grasp on the mental shape of it, but no concise ability to reference it to others. Ah well, ah well.

There are themes. Character is something I'm bad at writing, so I tend to believe I should make more attempts at focusing on it and hopefully improve. Romance and erotic fiction are two (separate) genres I've had growing fascination and interest in exploring as years go by, mostly hybridised with genres other than realism or whatever that thing is (those things are) called that I don't write. Raven Zemaire is one of the two earliest stories I later decided might be considered a romance, since a major focus is the growing relationship between major characters, about as important to the story as anything else they get up to or involved in. The other one might need more work before it can be worked, sadly, due to my changing ideas of what makes a plot worth storying.

Some have placeholders already in the generalised erotic short placeholder project, and just need to be moved out into their own context.

The Magic Club is one. An old idea which is basically my imagination's version of a hentai series (since I've never seen one). I'd kind of like to do something with that, even though it is a bit silly. A group of girls, whose names all end in -a, form a club at their school to investigate anything they think might be magical. Each member of the club has her own tropes. The newest (and mostly audience-perspective member) always ends up the butt of whatever they find and of course it is always slanted as sexual.

Emerald Green is supposed to be the final in a triplet of erotic stories including Winter Gift and A Library Fox. Starts with the protagonist being turned to stone for trespassing on a faerie circle, and I'm not sure where it goes from there, except that frequent ethical lapses are involved.

The Waters of Life is a placeholder title for the queer poly kinky possessed erotic detective series I've mused about previously. Main problem is writing a good mystery plot.

Pandora is an erotic adventure series starring a now-anthro-snow-leopard woman cursed with the power of rock, an orc princess, and their associates. Mostly just need to work out how to get them to run into each other on the space station or starship at the right moment.

Most of the ideas I am calling romance are still to vague to get much out of being described. They are more like concept seeds which will hopefully become stories someday. The trouble with trying to do things and call them romance is I don't feel interested in reading category romance as a genre for its own sake, although if I am presented one and am told it blends a good mystery and / or sff story I'd be willing to read it (and I know there are plenty of those out in the world). But if I am not reading in the genre and attempt to write it, it is entirely possible, nay, probable that I'd be covering old ground, be standard or even retrograde where I think I am being edgy. It's a thing, when outsiders think they can come into an unfamiliar field and innovate. Solutions I'm thinking of are either 1) become familiar with the genre, which is mostly not something I'm interested in doing or 2) don't pretend I'm innovating anywhere but in the field of stuff I've written or am writing. For all I know they wouldn't much resemble proper romances anyway, but as long as I'm happy with what I put out, well, I'm happy.

I say all this because one of the two recentest ideas, which prompted me to do this, has been going in my head by the label 'reverse romance' because it is a convenient summation of the concept, even though I don't know the genre well enough to know if the use I put it to would make sense to fans or writers there. It just works for me, based on cultural ideas of what romance novels are and reading the backs of some in the charity shop. Married man, anxious about his fading looks and lack of excitement in life, is drawn to an out of town professional woman on Serious Business, gets drawn into aforementioned Serious Business and, although there are sparks, it doesn't work out and he more or less goes back to his life. Main ideas going into that were 1. have a heterosexual male character in the role we stereotype culturally as the role of the female lead in a romance novel, with stereotyped feminine concerns, worries and situations, whose life is shaken up by a woman playing the stereotypically masculine role with stereotypically masculine qualities and 2. no happy ending to the romance component of the plot (which, admittedly, probably seriously damages its standing as a romance story, but since we're calling it a reverse romance that's fine, right?).

Am confident in saying it is easy to find romance fiction that doesn't subscribe to the formula we're supposedly reversing above, and I've no intention of being aggressively ignorant about the genre just because I don't have any in mind right now that appeal as much as what's already on my lengthy to-read list, because I'm very curious about romance as a genre and its workings and trends, and consequently have been leaping on blog-shaped opportunities to learn about its current shape. Also remembered in the writing of this, have actually read a few maybe-romances in the past couple of years, although they were by men and seem to be considered literary, which feels like cheating.

Last one, borrowing the title Shadow War of the Night Dragon for it, maybe. Am calling it an erotic epic science fiction fantasy. The protagonists are a squad of mostly elves with powered armour working for a morally repugnant colonialist power which exploits a Stargate-like network to expand its territory, who don't particularly question the morality of their society or mission. They are sent to punish and pacify the populace of a planet which had the temerity to possess a weak automated defence system the people didn't know about, but get caught up in the planet's own Dark Lord problem and hook up with a local whose plurality is a source of confusion. After a lot of sex and violence everyone dies at the end. There, don't think I missed anything.

Thanks for listening, especially you.

Originally published at a denizen's entertainment. You can comment here or there.

Last night I read a blog comment in which someone claimed ey otherwise enjoys reading A Song of Ice and Fire, but are frequently thrown out of the story by too-modern word use on the part of the characters. Specific example used being the word 'fuck'.

I would be all on board with this except that:

(a) According to the sources I've checked, including the Online Etymology Dictionary, the word dates back to at least the 1500s and

(b) A Song of Ice and Fire is not actually a series of historical novels, nor even historical fantasy. It is a fantasy series set on a fictitious world with no connection to ours, and is under no obligation to be period accurate in the words used by its characters. I would say 'period accurate' is a nonsense phrase when applied to such settings, unless one is referring to a historical period within the setting.

This is, yes, a pet peeve of mine that some people seem to believe fantasy fiction set in fictitious settings is under some obligation to conform to the history of our Earth in whatever specific details they nominate. Presumably, the bits that don't have sorcerers, dragons, non-human peoples, unearthly deities, continents that never existed on this planet, political units that never existed on this planet, languages no human has ever spoken (sometimes no human could speak), or climatic arrangements that would be unbelievably improbable if not impossible in the real world. But most of the characters live under a feudal system of government and haven't discovered steam power yet[1], so they better not say 'fuck' when they cuss, 'cause that's unbelievable.

So long as the setting is consistent with itself, it is probably fine.

[1] I don't recall any, although it has been about 10 years since I last read the series.

Originally published at a denizen's entertainment. You can comment here or there.

(trying to sleep. maybe letting some words out will help. no longer the case, having fallen asleep then and finishing now days later.)

Worlds have to come from somewhere. Either you start with something from nothing - divinity or not is detail - or your world is eternal, infinitely old.

Most of my worlds do not have their origins decided. Some do. Others ought to, unless they're for something like a self-contained short without room for that to matter, so long as the setting is. Sometimes the story of the world is the story, like the story of our world is physics and chemistry and contingent biology and history - no over-arching metaphysical dictation or plot, just a bunch of stuff that happens. Of course I may be biased like a fish because this is default. Other worlds, their story is strongly shaped by their origin, their nature - or vice versa - enough to trivialise telling other stories there. Middle Earth, for example, always felt too filled up by its stories to me to have room for others.

I should not complicate this too much with tangents. Mostly I was being struck all over again by the thought that a world's origin and history are probably very important parts of its present. Don't seem to see that often addressed in stories, but usually the characters don't have access to that information either so perhaps it's only to be expected.

Originally published at a denizen's entertainment. You can comment here or there.

Found time and made self do a touch of writing, trying to sort out that kink in the Epic Fantasy that's been bugging for so many months. Might have even actually done it, which is a very pleasant shock. Going to try moving on to the next editing step and see if it all is working now.

Tempted to try and promise a deadline on that, but learning better now. Would really like to be done with this thing sooner rather than later, and that means putting some more work into it for a while. And then I get to write some new-fun stuff, right?

Originally published at a denizen's entertainment. You can comment here or there.

At Tess's encouraging, and since yWriter is much trickier to get working under Linux, I have recently attempted adoption of Scriptito as a writing platform. Especially having been told the interface is similar, and I've grown accustomed to that.

Spent a long while examining Scriptito's import options, then went and exported most of my projects from yWriter into HTML, transferred them over to the new laptop, and ran the import procedure. Didn't quite get the screens the tutorial promised, and when the import was finished the project was empty but otherwise fine.

So I went back and exported from yWriter in every format it could export to. Importing to Scriptito from *.txt worked better, although I was not quite happy with the final processed result. Don't recall if some is due to my inexperience, but much definitely isn't. Main issue I might be to blame for is all three parts of the story being filed under an unnecessary sub-header.

Aaafter the plane and subsequent crash, finally felt up to doing some more work and imported my 'novel' manually in a more yWriter style, creating a separate text section for each scene and copy-pasting. Took a while, but came out decent. Will need to label each scene since unlike yWriter I don't get a text preview on selecting, and that makes drag-and-drop rearrangement a bit trickier. But it does do drag-and-drop rearrangement, and that makes what I was in the middle of before switching over much easier.

Having two versions of the story, went back to compare the one imported directly to see which would be better to work with, seems very clearly the one done manually is the winner. That's already broken up into chunks at the scale I was working with and the other one needs a lot of line by line formatting - paragraph breaks have not been preserved.

Not the best transition from yWriter to Scriptito so far, but it at least has been working. Expect it will be easier the next time I start a work from scratch. Meanwhile, going to keep poking at to find out if I will want to pay for expanded space when I need it, or move on to a different tool.

This probably came across as a fairly negative piece, but I am feeling optimistic about Scriptito. Am looking forward to finishing a few pieces with it. A bit wary of what I start, mind, since the free version is limited to 5 projects and 5 MB of data total, but optimistic.

Originally published at a denizen's entertainment. You can comment here or there.

I nearly finished de-plotholing my 'novel' by the end of August, the latest self-imposed deadline. I thought I had, but then inspecting the rearranged scenes encountered a further tangle in the tricky chronological anomaly. Ended up an hour late in bed talking to Pazi about that problem, and maybe had an idea that would salvage it, so hopefully can attend to that today.

It does go a bit against writing advice I've read, the approach I came up with. The more canonically good practice thing to do would be to rip up the scene however much I like most of its current incarnation, and put whatever bits are important in a new context. But I think I can get another joke out of the current form, so I am going to try that first.

This also means after all my shuffling of scenes around in the past few days, they end up mostly in the same order they started.



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