Writer Workshop

(Posted by chris the cynic)

It seems like lately all our writers/artists have been busy with other things, should we put these weekly posts on hold until people are back to doing stuff that would lead them to comment in these threads?

With that question asked, I give you your regularly scheduled post.

Those of you who also frequent Ana Mardoll’s Ramblings will find this somewhat familiar.  Here, as there, it was requested that there be a regular post to talk about writing projects (and other artwork-creation). Thus this post exists.

Pencil by Elisa Xyz

What are you working on? How are you feeling about it? What thoughts and/or snippets would you like to share? How does your activism work into your art? What tropes are you hoping to employ and/or avoid? Are there any questions you’d like to ask or frustrations you’d like to vent?  Writing workshop below!


8 thoughts on “Writer Workshop

  1. christhecynic January 29, 2014 at 3:44 pm

    Most recent thing I wrote was in response to the prompt in the open thread yesterday: the beginning of an adventure story whose first words are, “I’ll have the salad.”

    I’ve been getting more Edith and Ben, Snarky Twilight, and Skewed Slightly to the Left done lately, that’s definitely good.

  2. AlexSeanchai January 29, 2014 at 6:08 pm

    I seem to be writing a Yu-Gi-Oh! post-canon fic (not to mention reviewing canon from the start, in my copious free time–though there is more of that since I signed up for the wrong time slot of CopyrightX and they can’t switch me so I told them to drop me). So far I’ve got half a plot and an opening line:

    Shah mat. The king is dead.

  3. depizan January 29, 2014 at 8:41 pm

    I just don’t feel like I have anything to contribute since I’ve mostly just had writers block for a while now. About all I’ve written are a few drabbles over on tumblr. Actually working on what I want to be working on doesn’t seem to be working. *sigh*

  4. Coleslaw January 29, 2014 at 9:28 pm

    I’m working on a review of a book I just finished, for my blog (which is the only writing I do), and I’m having a tough time of it. I loved the book, but I’m having a hard time conveying my thoughts in a way that would make anyone else want to run right out and buy it. I never know how much to tell when I review a book or a movie. I don’t want too many spoilers, but on the other hand, I have to give some sense of what this book is about, other than “It’s a mystery story set on a plantation in Louisiana.”

  5. christhecynic January 31, 2014 at 7:50 am

    So since Ana Mardoll’s writer’s thread and ours are on different schedules sometimes the coincide, or nearly do (hers was a day after ours.) No secret which site gets more traffic.

    Anyway, some stuff was brought up there that I think is of value for people here but not there. Though my general assumption is that people are at both places.

    The idea has been suggested in the past of fully creating a character and then deciding gender via random means (say pulling out the dice.)

    This accomplishes some good things. One is that it means that on average your stories will have the correct proportions of people without you having to fill out a quota every story. Another is that if the character is already fully created you can’t let any unnoticed sexism slip into character creation based on gender.

    On the other hand, I think it only works some of the time and has serious downsides at other times.

    Specifically I think it works if the story takes place in a completely egaletarian society, that has been that way the character’s whole life, or the story is one where both current sexism, and the character’s past experience with sexism cannot come into play.

    Otherwise gender does make a difference to what kind of a character someone is not because genders are inherently different but because characters of different genders have spent a lifetime being treated differently on account of their gender and (I am not an all nature no nurture hardliner) that will have changed who they are and how they react to situations. This is especially true if the character is non-binary or trans*.

    So there are some thoughts on that aspect of writing.

  6. Firedrake January 31, 2014 at 3:28 pm

    I’m told that, at least in her later books, Agatha Christie would write as far as the discovery scene and only then decide who the murderer was – so that she wouldn’t put in unwitting clues earlier. So there would seem to be places where this can work.

  7. christhecynic February 1, 2014 at 12:51 pm

    I have written a post on Joss Whedon’s trans*phobic gender existentialist tweet. For the record, his response to previous criticism was not to apologize but to say he wasn’t being serious and anyone who doesn’t like that should simply stop reading his tweets. (Because that will solve everything.)

  8. christhecynic February 2, 2014 at 7:03 pm

    Since I brought the idea from another thread, I should also point out that in that thread it was pointed out, quite correctly I think, that the dice rolling thing should work very well for minor characters (since they don’t get the chance to be developed enough for the concerns I brought up to come up.)

    Also note the thing where I already said I think it works if “the story is one where both current sexism, and the character’s past experience with sexism cannot come into play.” The “cannot” should be a “does not” but other than that there are a lot of stories, especially action adventure, where that can apply.

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