Thursday, October 29, 2009

Love, Vampire Style

Yes, I am on a crusade.

This is the love that a vampire has: it doesn't cool with time or circumstance.

You want proof? Victoria.

You want proof? Marcus.

Two perfectly normal, balanced, healthy vampires ... when they had their mates ...

... and when they didn't anymore?

Marcus went bye-bye so much so that he's been on suicide watch for the last fifteen hundred years.

Victoria enacted a plan a year in the making that included sacrificing Laurent (ripping him away from Irina), and included taking a newborn lover (Riley) she planned to discard as a sacrifice to Edward so she could punch out Bella's heart because Bella was collateral to James' foolish self-destructive behavior.

The kindest thing you can do to a vampire's mate is to destroy it when the beloved is destroyed, because if you don't, her (or his) love for the lost mate will eventually do just that ... but that self-destructive path usually so lights up the night sky with collateral damage that the Volturi must come in to clean up the mess (cf. Eclipse).

"Ooh! But it's so neat and romantical, being a vampire ... isn't it! Gee, I wish I were one! Bite me, Edward!"


Do Rosalie and Edward feel that way?

Rosalie, redux

Rosalie ... nobody likes her.

Okay, we know that Rosalie is a real ... well, you know ... in fact, you've just left me a review on a little story from her perspective that I've written telling me exactly what she is.

That Rosalie.

She's just so difficult and just really a pain in the ... well, you know ... to be around or to have a conversation or to coerce into agreeing to a course of action ...
R: "But that's just wrong! Have you considered that ..."
Everybody: "Rosalie, just shut up, okay? We're trying to get this done here!"
R: "Even if it's wrong, and I'll never agree to it?"
Everybody: "YES!"
The irony of it all? She's always right about the problems coming up, but nobody every acknowledges that or thanks her.
R: "Hm. Associating with a human girl? Doesn't anybody else see a problem here?"
Everybody: "NO! For crying out loud, Rosalie, give it a rest! Sulky Edward's happy ... finally! Besides what could possibly happen?"
... then James, then the Volturi, show up.

When did anybody ever say: "Hey, Rosalie was right all along! Maybe we should listen to her next time"?

No, they don't say that. They say: "Hey, let's turn Bella before she has a baby, because ... how could she have one, anyway?"

Then the baby is on its (her, in this case) way. And Rosalie says, "I'm standing by Bella on this one, too. I don't care if I have to stand against the whole world: I'm standing by what's right."

And everybody's furious because Rosalie, again, is standing in the way of what everybody wants to do to Bella and the baby: a baby that nobody wants ... besides Bella, but who cares about what she wants, anyway? She's just a stupid human after all.

A baby that nobody wants ... that is, until the baby shows up. Do they thank Rosalie then?

No. "Oh, Rosalie's hogging the baby, playing mommy ... when do I get my turn?"


What a pain in the ...
Why does she always have to block what we want to do?
Why is she such a bitc-... well, you know.

Why is she always right?

Friday, October 23, 2009

Canon and the New Moon Volturi Fight Scene

So, my story MSR is character study of the canonical characters in a different setting.

There seems to be this distinction in fan-fiction: the canon line. It seems that canonical stories are to be treated with more respect than the AU ("alternate universe") ones. One measure of a story is how strictly it adheres to the canon.

Is that necessarily a good thing?

Yes, I argue that it is. But, on the other hand ("there are five fingers"), there is much that can be learned of the canon by AU exploration, and I do that, too, in MSR.

Why the preamble?

Do you like the movies?

It seems that a measure of the worth of a movie adaptation is how closely it follows the books.

Is that necessarily a good thing?

No, I argue that, necessarily, it is not a good thing. A book and a movie are different media, and one can say things in one that saying in another is clumsy or awkward.

And then there's the whole Jane Austen thing.

Jane Austen is this pretty good writer; she has her fans and her moments in her writing.

But ...

But she always, doesn't she, she always-always-always has to have the moment in the light for the ne'er-do-well. "Oh, Wickham isn't all that bad because of this!" "Oh, Willoughby is actually caught in the middle because of that!" "Oh, ..."

Oh, please.

The Jane Austen movies these days are improvements on the originals because they make the wise decisions to cut out that unnecessary and unhelpful exposition.

Silence of the Lambs was an improvement on the original because ... well, you can't have all this internal monologue in a movie (Adaptation notwithstanding) ... and it was Hannibal and Hannibal and Clarice that was compelling, not the whole drama of our FBI director back home.

Blade Runner is an improvement on "Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep" because it improves on ... well, everything. Phillip Dick was certainly visionary but he was a little too paranoid/fanatically religious in his writings for his own good.

What do all these improvements teach us?

Do they worship the source material?

Yes, they are loving adaptations.

But no: they look at their sources with a practical, pragmatic eye, and cut what needs to be cut.

Let's look at the purely canonical movies of Twilight and Harry Potter (the first one).

Are they canonical? Yes.
Are they loving adaptations? Yes.

But these are not the "failings" of these movies (can a vehicle that spawns an industry of more than one hundred million USD be considered a "failure"?). These movies do not fail because they are canonical. No, they fail because they adore their sources. Cutting something, anything, is anathema, and the directors where told their jobs (the directors were "directed" ... that must be really hard when somebody tells you what to do and how to do it when you are at the top of your field): Keep it Faithful.

Harry Potter and Twilight were not movies: they were holocausts ... "whole burnt offerings of worship to G-d." I mean, really, how many full-on sepia-toned close ups of our leading lads and ladies looking reverential must we stomach?

So: the scene were Bella is to be murdered and Edward and Alice fight with the guard. Not canonical. Not by a long shot. Not even realistic, given the Volturi's might and our Cullen representatives' lack.

But that's not why I don't like this scene.

I don't like this scene because it shows it hasn't gotten over the adoration phase of the books.

You know what I think that needs to happen?

Thanks for asking me that.

What needs to happen is about fifty or so years need to pass, and then somebody needs to do a movie of the sources, so the movies can be adapted worshipfully, yes, but with a good, healthy, respectful distance of years that mortals in time seem to rely on o-so-much.

My story has canonical characters ... goody for me and pat me on the back. The new New Moon Volturi fight scene is not canonical ... boo on them, but not just because of the departure from canon.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

"Get a life! It's just fan-fiction."

"Hey, folks, it's just fan-fiction; chill the [edited] out."

I've seen this on more than a few profiles. The author(esse)s spout this phrase to justify any and all things, because, after all: "it's just fan-fiction."

Yes, I know: "it's just fan-fiction," but one conforms to what one reads and what one writes, and the author(esse)s that thoughtlessly write this dismissive motto, I believe, have not looked deeply into the meaning of the words they write.

"It's just fan-fiction." So I can write about rape or coerced or forced abortion callously or even gleefully, says the author(ess).

"It's just fan-fiction." So I can murder an annoying character, says the author(ess).

"It's just fan-fiction." So I can proxy racist or sexist language, says the author(ess).

"It's just fan-fiction." But the author(ess) has written those words, and the author(ess) has thought those thoughts.

But "it's just fan-fiction" so there's no accountability to those words, and I, the reader, who take their meaning seriously need to get a life.


It may be "just fan-fiction," but, silly me, I can't read stories that treat characters as objects or ends. Au contraire, I prefer to read and to write "just fan-fiction" that encourages me to think about things more than "just fan-fiction."

But that's just me, silly me, a bear with little brain, and, after all, it's "just fan-fiction," isn't it?

Or is it? Are you writing "just fan-fiction"? Or are you writing literature? Are you indulging in gratuitous ... whatever ... or are you writing about something that make you laugh so hard you cry, or cry so hard you [well, in my case, cry more] have to laugh at yourself. Are you writing "just fan-fiction" that encourages our girls to think of themselves as just objects in order to receive any love at all ("Oh, in the fanfics I read Edward sexes Bella all the time, so for my BF to like me I have to put out")? Maybe you can write "just fan-fiction" where the girl is the heroine? Where the reader sees [predominately] herself as a person of worth and with self-worth: as a writer or poet or Amelia Earhart or Jane Austen or Bella Swan or ... herself ... the person nobody else can be: a person of value, a lovable person on her own terms, just as she is.

Nah! Who am I kidding? After all: "it's just fan-fiction" so I should just get a life.

Or is my getting a life the point at all? Ever?

If somebody reads my fanfic, and they not only get a life, but they ...

... start writing their own essays and stories?

... start seeing hope in their bleak work-a-day world?

and they ...

... stop thinking themselves as a victim of ... something ...

and they ...

... don't take their own life ... what's the worth of that?

Is the point of your fanfic for me to get a life?

I hope so.

I sincerely hope that your fanfic is so compelling, so touching, so meaningful, that I find, in it, a reason to keep breathing where I had no reason before.

Just fan-fiction? Yes. But it also can be Art, it also can be Literature.

For someone, it can be more than "just fan-fiction."

That all depends on you, my dear author(esse)s.

MSR: summary sux, plz read!

"Writing a story about something."

Do you know what I hate? I hate it that many fan fiction author(esse)s write "[blah-blah-blah]; summary sux; story defiantly better inside, rly, so read it, eh?"

If you're summary "sux," and that's a synopsis of your story, I'd want to read your story for which reason?

Oh, and are you going to misspell "definitely"? Just curious.

Why the above rant?

Because, I, too, am "writing a story about something."

Is it fiction? Well, yes, ... and no. Is a relationship fictional? Perhaps. Is this one? Perhaps.

Is it an angsty piece? Well, yes, defiantly (did I get the spelling of "definitely" au courant?) ... and no. Is life all sweetness and light? No. Is this piece? No. But is life lived in pure bleakness? No. Does this piece wallow in it? That answer depends on you, my dear reader.

Is it fan-fiction? Well, yes, ... and no. My Bella (now just a girl without a name yet) and my Rosalie are Twilight canonical characters, researched thoroughly (in the canon, I might add), represented accurately as a real human teenage girl with ... well ... with "self-image" issues, and a "real" vampire girl with a tanker truck-load of baggage. A "real" vampire girl with a real problem of dealing with real bloodlust, all the time, while she's really determined to understand this mortal that she has resolved that she must murder. Well, "kinda" resolved.

Is it femslash?

How do I answer that one? Is there sex? No. So it's not femslash, right?

My cara spoza, reading this story says that the feelings between the two protagonists ... well ...

So, defiantly not femslash because there's no lemonade at any of the meals served in Bella Fourche, SD, ... right?

And, anyway, is that all that people do all the time? Do you and everybody you know sex it up all day every day? [Don't answer that, please, where — o, where! — has the bedroom door gone?] So, when you meet somebody who so blows you away, do you throw caution and care to the wind to throw her into bed? This is The One, now, not a one night stand. You screw this up, and you've really screwed it up for yourself and for her, for realz, yo.

That's me: keeping it realz, yo ... in the fiction-y, angsty, femslash-y way that I write.

So, I'm "writing a story about something." It's called "My Sister Rosalie." It's on and under my nom-de-plume geophf. It's helped some people and offended others. Maybe the imagery in the story will give you some ideas for your art? I'd love to see them.

So, but, yeah. I sympathize with you ... I really do. Writing a summary is hard, and you're working so hard to make your story just right, so why bother writing a good summary ... no ... why bother writing the perfect summary?

I'll tell you why: because your summary is the doorway to your story. You write a summary that "sux" ... then what does that say about your story? What does it say about the writer? If you will not expend the effort to make the only thing most people will ever see about your story ... do you really wish for people to read your story? If you think your summary "sux" because you say it does ... what does that really say about your story?

P.S. Please, please, please remember, my dear author(esse)s definitely to use the word "definitely" when you are certain about something. I know you are a defiant young person and all, writing fan-fiction, but, really, you did pass fifth grade English, haven't you? The only way you can answer this question credibly? Proper word choice, spelling, grammar and punctuation. I have readers from all over the world; I choose to represent the best of myself and my country of origin. Do you represent yourself with any pride in your self-worth?