June 07, 2014

How I'm wrtiting fanfic?

 How I'm wrtiting fanfic?

I sit down to write. I have the themes, the concept, from which usually flows the structure and the style, I have some dialogue, a couple key scenes, and that's about it. I go back to my first paragraphs and start from there. I write the story from start to finish, usually in chronological order, with a few breaks [that never include work, ever, which doesn't endear fanfic to my colleagues].

The story takes over my life, and there's nothing to be done until it's written. There are a few exceptions. Well, it was difficult in that instance -- I tried to be as honest as I could, as open as I could, not hold anything back, or gloss over the mess that was John -- but the difficulty wasn't technical.
As soon as I'm done, I print the whole thing, and make edits on paper. The edits are mostly deletions (because I tend to ramble), and I go through each verb and adjective to make sure that each word is as close as it can be to what I'm trying to express. My thesaurus is my best friend, although I don't need it much anymore, which comes with reading a lot, I suppose. I also dislike using the same adjective twice in close proximity if I can help it. A lot of it is about rhythm, the number of syllables, the equilibrium of a single sentence, which translates into the equilibrium of a paragraph, and eventually the whole story. The words sound out loud in my mind. Sometimes, they even rhyme. It's important that the mechanics serve the content [sharp, broken sentences for action, run-on babble for a hallucination, etc...].

I send off to the betas, get it back and make the corrections [added to a few more corrections I've made in the meantime]. The only beta suggestions I probably won't take into account are points of characterization. That's not something I feel the need to have a second opinion on. I need beta for grammar, the typos, punctuation [waaay too many commas], a word here and there, and sentences that are much too long at times.

The final draft is never radically different from the first one. I've never had more than three drafts, including the final one. All in all, it's pretty straightforward. Not very intellectualized. The plot just comes. The structure appears out of thin air. Then it sort of writes itself.

So much for interesting insight. It's not unusual for the whole process to occur inside a week. Incidentally, it works exactly the same way when I write original fiction, although it's spread across a longer period of time.

May 03, 2014

Slowly weaning off the anti-anxiety meds

My brother is slowly weaning himself off the anti-anxiety meds, and he's relapsing. He should have asked me first. I would have told him to wait for the summer, and I would have explained about withdrawal. Of course, this sent my mother right back on her what did I do wrong? Although, to be fair, they're both getting better at handling the situation, getting some perspective.

My brother said he didn't feel normal, and I almost laughed, which -- thank God -- I didn't. Normal in mental health is only ever defined by the average, the majority, the bell curve, and I have no end of ontological and epistemological problems with that. From a purely subjective point of view, I'd be hard-pressed, looking around, to find someone, anyone, who hasn't been/isn't involved in some form of therapy, or hasn't been prescribed/isn't taking some kind of anti-anxiolytics or other antidepressants. That's when they're not self-medicating with weed. So if normal in Western society is the average, the common behavior, my brother is quite, quite normal.

Strange calluses. I can't look around and not see this. Then again, I'm the girl who goes to the pub and gets drunk by osmosis. I can't walk in the street and not pay attention. The casual hurts are inflicted like papercuts. All the time, everywhere, everyone. It's so stupid, could so easily be avoided, but never is. We are careless with each other.

Ironically enough, mental health professionals would not fit that curve. Not that psychologists and psychiatrists are less messed up than the rest -- quite the contrary, in fact -- but many of them intensely distrust therapy as a means to address their own problems, and so hide in plain sight. I'm spying on the enemy from the inside.

I don't know what it is. Perhaps, again, my Jungian blinders coming to the fore. Depression and anxiety as I observe them feel more like the internalization of an external (societal) malaise, than anything resulting solely from education, or individual stressors. And if some experience this malaise and others don't, it's because some haven't developed calluses, while others have.

You're used to dealing with it, so they can deal too. You ask a friend how his day has gone, because that's the way the conversation starts, but by the time he opens his mouth to give an answer, you've already moved on to something else. You think nothing of the perfunctory nod, the disinterested tilt of the head, but he notices, and it probably doesn't hurt for more than a second, before it's forgotten and swept under the rug. But it did hurt. It's dozens of those papercuts every day -- stupid, stupid thoughtlessness, and everyone knows the rules, and no one remembers how to object. By the end of the day, you're kind of sore. By the end of the week, you're bruised...