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Things Learned While Going Through a Pile of Interesting-looking Sci-fi/Fantasy Books in B&N Tonight (or Why I Love Snap Judgments):



- If you're going to be a hard-boiled Noir anti-hero cop with a (very) hidden heart of gold, by three-legged Christ, please be sarcastic. Or self-deprecating. Or something. There's nothing more hurtful to The Mystique than an anti-hero who takes his bullshit angst Oh So Seriously.

No, you don't have to be a Boy Scout to be sympathetic (far from it), but being a sleazy douchebag isn't so helpful either. And no, no one cares that the poor widdle hard-boiled sleazeball has a shaky hand that's embarrassing and doesn't fit 'the image' of a corrupt cop slash thug. Oh, why do I even try. -.-

- If you're going to be the oh-so-fearful and badass wizard to Strike Fear Into The Hearts of Men (and Chickens)-- anti-hero Version 007.2.0-- it would help the reader if said badass stopped wanking to his own (huge! yet "vulnerable") ego throughout the story. I mean. Eventually it does start to smell and that it not sexy.

- If you're going to write Yet Another Fantasy Epic about a streetwise orphan with hidden magic powers (yes, AGAIN), it really helps if they have an easily identifiable personality, quickly distinguished from Another One of Those(tm), so that the reader may actually remember which book they're supposed to be reading. Otherwise said reader may "drift off", or perhaps simply "forget" to keep reading about Anonymous Spunky Orphan-girl #98020983 and her inevitable journey to Respectability and Bitter-sweet Coming of Age, etc etc and so on and so forth.

- If you're going to riff on the currently (unfortunately too) popular genre of Christian mythology rip-offs, please remember that actually setting your work within something recognizable as that mythos is not optional; a few references combined with ridiculous new 'twists' do not automatically a 'fresh new approach' make. If in fact you want to write about sexy demons doing sexy-demon-PI type things, please do your readers the courtesy of not getting their hopes up with smatterings of actual Christian mythology, where, you know, demons are fallen angels (from HELL) and that's kind of the point; the point is not that they're like, these supernatural beings, right, and they're otherwordly and good at kicking ass and getting chicks.

Keeping to some logical constraints in the basics of your source material isn't the same thing as keeping up with some black-and-white view of mythology you're no doubt rebelling from. I know, I know, I'm old-fashioned, what can I say.

- Okay that genderfuck book was actually cool.

But. There's just something about single 'issue' or 'provocative' fantasy books that bores me after I figure out what it is that's supposed to be shaking my worldview or whatever. Let that be a lesson to you all: I want to be stirred (not shaken), like a proper martini. Or if I'm there's shakin' goin' on, at least have some real fun with it, and not have it be a bunch of persecution and social commentary (on "ancient cultures"), more persecution, some sex, some non-fun violence, some more persecution, and then some more of the first-person narration.

Ah, forget it. "Actually cool", whut? I can criticize anything, especially when I get in touch with my inner 14-year old boy! :P

In other news, I saw Die Hard 4, and it was fun. It was also the first Die Hard movie I've seen so far :>

Date: 2007-07-06 10:17 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] whatistigerbalm.livejournal.com
Excellent post!

Date: 2007-07-06 07:42 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] yourpoison.livejournal.com
Hehe. Making fun of things is fun :D :D

Date: 2007-07-06 10:30 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lasultrix.livejournal.com
Reena! Just in time! We need HP meta and we need it bad!

Date: 2007-07-06 07:42 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] yourpoison.livejournal.com
Hehe, yeah, once I can get myself to finish book 1-- and book 2-- again, it should start rolling. I've been being very easily distracted, especially since I set myself the deadline of book 7 coming out to finish my post-HBP Death Eater!Draco novella and of course I'm procrastinating madly, etc :>

Date: 2007-07-06 11:32 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] amalin.livejournal.com
Have you stopped HP-talking with me :( Sorry, I am needy when it comes to Harry Potter these days. Also, I'm on 74 pages you know! This is getting far longer than it was supposed to get.

Date: 2007-07-06 07:06 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] yourpoison.livejournal.com
I was going to get to it once I cleaned my desk so it didn't smell of garbage, but as it is I'm being lazy (and easily distracted). :S But thanks for keeping me on target, and wow, for keeping yourself on target! :"> That really is getting long :D In my experience, fics kinda grow when you feed them, little monsters that they are :>

Anyway, I totally haven't stopped. It was more of a break to do things I of course didn't actually do, and eating foods that are bad for me so I currently have a stomachache right after waking up, as is the nature of my life :>

Date: 2007-07-06 07:26 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] amalin.livejournal.com
Haha, well I have turned into a whiny little child who grabs hold of anyone who shows the slightest interest and gabbles about HP for freaking ever.

Also, you should take care of your life and not feel obligated to feed MY monster of HP-obsession! I've only got two more weeks really though! So I feel justified.

DID YOU SEE THAT JKR CRIED. I mean, I would have too, obviously, but :(( She has to let go too :((

Date: 2007-07-06 07:38 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] yourpoison.livejournal.com
I'm hoping she cried because she's done & not, you know, 'cause she killed half the characters ^^;; But yeah. Man. ;__; I remember feeling like that only once, when I had a 'false finish' (AND I BELIEVE IT WAS WITH THE DE!DRACO FIC, LIKE 2 AND A HALF YEARS AGO -.-) heh. Well, I was more happy yet freaked out yet happy yet emptied. And then I realized 'wait, wait, uh.... OH NO I CAN ALREADY THINK OF EDITS). But the euphoria lasted for at least 5 minutes :> I don't remember if I had beer and danced around. I think I danced around. :">

And dude, I love HP and also don't actually have a life, plus I need you to keep me motivated & on target for the fic(!) so no worries. However, it won't all end in 2 weeks (is it really 2 weeks?? I think I saw 16 days in the countdown at B&N yesterday but it didn't really register). I've decided that if I'm not done by the time the book comes out, I'll keep the book hostage, not go online & finish it and then read, so >__>

But there'll be even more squeeing after the book, at least for several weeks, what are you saying :"> We'll have to talk about new canon, then!! I'm pretty sure -I- will, anyway. Once, y'know, I read it ^^;;

Date: 2007-07-06 07:50 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] amalin.livejournal.com
I know, but then there's nothing new to guess about really! I mean, there is, but like . . . not to look forward to as new canon. I don't know. It's the end of a HARRY POTTER DECADE. WAH.

I think I just felt exhausted and terrified after finishing Transformation but I still feel proud about finishing it, so there's that.

I think there is too much Hermione and too much Hermione sympathizing with Malfoy in my fic now but I can't help it. Ahhh I really don't have all that much left to write but it feels like a ton. You can do it! I asked Aja to do a readthrough this weekend, so that is giving me pressure to finish up.

My movie marathon starts tonight! They're all going to be so little, I'm going to cry.

Date: 2007-07-06 09:32 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] yourpoison.livejournal.com
I KNOW :( Although there'll be a warm fuzzy feeling (one hopes) from knowing a lot of fan-wanky asshats were wrong :)) OR MAYBE THAT'S JUST ME. :O What I mean is, it's all about perspective. Let's face it, we were already nostalgic about HP for awhile now, and this just puts a lid on what's been coming for several years. I've never really liked going too far into the future anyway (in terms of post-Hogwarts), and I've never liked people's more 'serious' predictions of canon in terms of fic (it always seemed either off in terms of characterization or spirit or not slashy enough, hehe), so all the futures still exist in parallel just like they always did. Maybe fandom could refocus on what's important, but something tells me they won't ;P I suspect the shushing effect HBP had on me qill be quite magnified, though, so yes. :S

I have bits of terror already, mostly about people's reactions and how it'll be stupid releasing right after DH when no one will care, but if I released it right before, no one would have time to read it, really, and of course no one will read it or like it anyway, etcetc -.-;;;

I've actually seen the first movie 3 times by now. *___* BUT MAYBE I SHOULD WATCH IT AGAIN *____* I have the DVD and everything. One of the handful I own, too, haha. Oh man. I think I have it memorized by now, seriously. If I close my eyes, I can already see half the scenes. Maybe if I can get Sara to come watch it with me, but then she's into bandslash now. *wibble*

Date: 2007-07-06 12:04 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] amalin.livejournal.com
Also, because, hey hey, it's Friday! And we've only got one more Friday before it's kind of too late. I'm going to try to finish this weekend, but eek.

Date: 2007-07-06 07:40 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] yourpoison.livejournal.com
I'm hoping that as the deadline looms, I start to feel enough pressure to do one of my patented Reena sprints to the finish (where I'm late anyway, but at least I'm done within a reasonable time of the deadline). I will DEFINITELY have to write today or I lose all my dignity. I swear I need someone to sit next to me with a gun and be like "...Reena...." and I'll be like "BUT I WANT TO GO SHOPPING. AND CLEAN THE HOUSE. AND COOK LUNCH. AND TAKE A SHOWER. AND WATER THE GARDEN. AND MAKE A WEBSITE. AND AND MAYBE I CAN REORGANIZE MY CD COLLECTION...." *facepalm*

Date: 2007-07-08 03:28 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] amalin.livejournal.com
I'm done with the first five sections? Three more to finish up?

Now I'm in the stage where I'm like, "Augh, it's all stupid, I want to get rid of everything!" though. But I watched CoS and it made me happy. How could I have forgotten how much Draco there was! It was like all fandom talked about during summer 2002!

Date: 2007-07-08 04:57 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] yourpoison.livejournal.com
I could've sworn I had the HP DVDs but apparently my mom nicked them at some point & I had to get them all over again. >___> But. The while third movie's my favorite, the second has the most Draco wubbage. I always wanted to say 'wubbage', btw. I remember watching CoS with fandom people and [livejournal.com profile] addictedkitten making me write couch!porn for CoS!Draco... where he like, nicked things and lounged around and Harry was like "...the LEATHER COUCH! and MALFOY IS NAKED! ON THE LEATHER COUCH!" :D

Um. I sort of have the 'stupid' problem no matter what, so if it helps, I think it's like, a given that you'll think everything is stupid, especially if it's not. But editing is best left to the professionals. Like sayyyy, me. *eyebrow waggle* Just write it all down as much as you can and take a break until you can come back & look at it with some distance. If you wanted advice, which... I mean, possibly you didn't. But still.

...I am tired. :( But I have potpourri, because obviously that's what I needed to do. Go get potpourri!! :>

Date: 2007-07-08 02:04 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] amalin.livejournal.com
We're watching the third tonight! I can't help it, though, I'm in love with the fourth forever. I don't know, I really feel Harry in it, he's so earnestly vulnerable but getting tough, I see pieces of both Book 5 and Book 6 Harry in him, and I love that. And I love the last departure, this quiet, still lake, like a quiet reflection before the gathering storm really hits.

OMG also Lockhart ♥ I forgot how much I secretly love CoS, as bad as it is. And the way Tom Felton talks, haha, like he can't really open his mouth wide enough. Love it.

Eek this is going a lot slower (the writing) than I thought, wah. I wrote 99,000 words in a month, I should be able to do this! :))

Date: 2007-07-08 05:59 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] yourpoison.livejournal.com
I love the fourth too!! But the third was the first HP movie I loved :( It was so pretty and shiny and Remus-Sirius...y :( I loved the Harry in movie 4 too, though! Everyone seemed to love the Harry in it, though. Heheh Maaaalfoy and Ceeedric and... well, Krum liked Hermione :>

Plus. Harry got buff. :3

Date: 2007-07-06 08:57 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] scoradh.livejournal.com
Huh, you're lucky you have a pile to go through. The biggest bookshop I know lumps things like Pterry and JKR into Fantasy; there's not much chance of finding anything to judge. D:

The thing about the demons - do you mean that you should just make up your own demons of whatever origin, or make them more parallel to those in the Bible? I confused.

Date: 2007-07-06 09:09 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] yourpoison.livejournal.com
That's why we have Amazon, ne? hehe If I could, I'd transport my B&N over to you 'cause it's only draining my wallet & not replenishing my spirit. Or something. heh. The sad part it, whether I read these things or not really depends on my level of desperation more than anything, probably :>

Hahah I'm not sure what I'm saying about the demons myself. ^^;; Not unusual for me :> But yeah, one or the other. Some people write 'demons' but make it pretty obvious that's just another name for 'scary horrific things' or 'sexy things with batwings' (usually horror stuff or manga, respectively), and I have no issue with that. Indeed, I have no issue with perverting mythologies, come to think of it (manga is so cute that way). But that book was just... it quoted some parts of the Christian myths re: levels of heaven/universe and so on and the the demons were cool kick-ass dudes or whatever.... Like a manga except not as shameless :>

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