Jan. 19th, 2007

reenka: (this is my life -.-)
Man. I just made a poll about this, and now it's come up in real life-- really awkwardly.
    To backtrack & for background, I'm trying to write a novella (novel??) in a month with my rl friend this January. We meet several times a week to write together, heheh, and so far it's been really effective at getting me to write (it's the writing-class effect). While I do finish a fanfic that's on my mind (eventually), with original fic it may take years for me to get to the end (or I'll just drop it 'cause I get bored). I dunno if anyone else experiences this phenomenon-- I guess I'm the same in original fic or fanfic, it's just that I get a lot more ideas for fanfic (or, I used to *sniff*), so even though I still quit on 80%, that still leaves a huge number of finished fics as far as I'm concerned. But anyway.

Yeah, so generally we don't discuss our stories much except to talk meta about the process a bit, though she (my friend) mentioned about how over-the-top everyone is in her fic and how she plans to fix that in the edits afterwards when I said I'm writing even though I'm pretty sure it sucks. And I'm like, 'yeah, though generally I don't think my work sucks'-- that's not why I have writer's block. Why do people assume that? (My mom's advice before I dropped my last creative writing class was 'writing even though you think it sucks'). I mean, I just have no inspiration-- why does that mean I have to think I suck? I know I don't suck :P When I do think I suck, it's because I do, and generally umm, it's not enough to stop me (good self-esteem, that would be me, yeaaaah.)

Somehow we got on the subject of melodramatic/cliched/flowery (bad?) writing, and that's when my friend started to get defensive. I said I sorta wished I could write in the 'popular' style, plot-wise-- that is, I sometimes get bitter & wish writing cliched romantic melodrama came easier to me, because it's certainly not hard, per se. I was trying to be understanding & saying that it's all good as long as you try to be good at what you do (in terms of genre/style), and she just kept repeating about how she doesn't aspire to "high literature" and how she didn't like Tolstoy. I mean. I couldn't get into 'War and Peace' either & I certainly don't tend to either write or read high literature, but what does this have to do with having standards & wanting to be Really Good at your craft? (Well, I know my friend is just personally v. either/or and hardline about her opinions, but still....)

    I was trying to be all mediating & compromising, and then she asked my opinion of writing like Mercedes Lackey, 'cause that's what she sees herself doing. And. Uh. I used to like her (when I was 14) and I said so, to which she replied she'd always liked 'young' writing, which she takes to mean clear-cut in theme & ornate in style. But style can be ornate without being repetitive & cliched & just PAINFUL TO CONTEMPLATE, like Mercedes Lackey certainly is :/ Her earlier work was intriguing, esp. to an overly romantic teenage girl who liked white horsies (SHUT UP), but now it's just embarrassing :/ :/ Why would anyone want to be like her -now-?

I dunno. Suddenly I'm doubting that over-the-top/flowery writing is necessarily bad (well, there's an audience for it, obviously, and apparently some writers who know they're like that & don't care). And yet. I dunno. I just think it's important to want to get better, to grow as a writer, and defensiveness about not writing 'high literature' has no place in someone (like my friend) who wants to write seriously & get published. How is it I'm more 'serious' than her in this sense even though I don't care about getting published? 'Serious' in quotes 'cause I know she's really serious about being a writer. I mean, this is especially relevant to me 'cause I wasn't just born writing non-ornately-- far from it; in fact, everything about me is naturally ornate (if not melodramatic); my HS writing teacher called my writing [too] 'ecstatic', and I've tried really hard to get past that. :/
    And then she said 'this is why I never show anyone my writing' -.-;; Ouch. *facepalm* I wonder if flowery-melodrama-writing people really are more sensitive and over-the-top themselves (I know my friend is ♥) hehe. (Though hey, I'm sensitive too, dammit... hmf.)

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