Sunday, October 23, 2011

New Story Added - Innocent Deceptions

I decided to add the final story I have hidden away on my hard drive. It, like "Help Me Say Goodbye", was written for a fanfic site using the characters and situations surrounding the book and musical "Phantom of the Opera."

Playing with someone else's characters can be a unique experience that is both easier and more difficult than creating your own. On the one hand, for those familiar with the existing characters, there is little you have to worry about when it comes to development. The mere mention of Erik or the Phantom and many will know already that he's a deformed musical genius who hides away beneath a Paris opera house while obsessing over a lovely young soprano. A fan knows the era the story is set in, all the secondary characters, the motivations behind the actions... The mannerisms and descriptions are all set in stone and the writer doesn't have to worry about trying to decide on those things.


Those are the very things that make working with established characters more challenging. There is little deviation accepted, especially with a greatly loved characters and plots, which can stifle a writer's creativity. A unique twist on a storyline is often met with equal amounts of excitement and derision. Turn a hero into a villain and the natives get restless.

And yet...

I've found it to be a relaxing, less stressful way to restart the thinking process. I hadn't written anything in years, decades even, when I stumbled upon the fanfic site where my Phantom stories were originally posted. I simply read for a while, over a year at least, before I realized I'd fleshed out an entire story in my head. Another six months passed before I started to put it on "paper"...ok, I use Word almost exclusively, but the sentiment is the same. Once I started writing, it took just over a year for me to venture into 'uncharted' territory (read: all original material) but I still appreciate the kick in the pants I got from the fanfic site.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

"a plot isn't a device."

On another amateur writer's site where my story The Other Half is being posted, I've received some very kind comments, some helpful suggestions, notes concerning places where some clarification was needed, and the following comment:

"I would have enjoyed this chapter, and the rest of your tale......
But you spent far too much time fucking around, filling the page with banalities and generally indulging in stuffing around.

When are you authors going to fucking learn: a plot isn't a device.

Note to editor of these pieces: please cease all collaborative work, YOU FUCKING SUCK."

Now...all who comment have a point to make, an opinion, and it is as valid for those who don't like a story as it is for the ones who post nothing but sunshine and butterflies and praise galore. In fact, those who criticize a story can provide better aid to a writer than the ego stroking. Though, I admit, the ego stroking is more enjoyable even if less informative. However, the above comment provides nothing of use to the writer (me)...beyond a giggle.

Of everything that was written in the comment, the one thing that really stood out was "a plot isn't a device." Um...come again?

The plot IS the story; without it, there'd just be a listing of characters, places, and planned events. It'd be an outline. While I do have an outline, somehow I doubt anyone would want to read that over the fleshed out story. Then again, you never know.

Which leaves me to wonder if he doesn't approve of the main plot point: the Human-Others Summit. In today's political climate, maybe it's a bit too close to the stuff on the news? Or maybe, being that it's a site dealing with, primarily, erotica, he's upset that there hasn't been any 'hawt sex' for him to wank by? Who knows?

The only part of his little comment that I didn't find amusing was his last line. There was no point in taking a dig at Mokkelke. It was uncalled for and ruined a very nice, if laughingly confusing, comment.