Author Archives: rieishere

About rieishere

I'm Rie. There's nothing overly exciting about me. I'm studying for Early Childhood/Elementary Education and Music. And that's about it. I have an amazing group of friends, but sometimes... we get a little... band nerdy...

Posty Post for Middle Earth

The Middle. Heh. How can I write on the Middle, if I can’t even write beginnings? Apparently, most people know where their stories start and end, but they have trouble with all the Middle Things. All the Middle Ground you have to get through. Me? I’d rather be given a Beginning, write the Middle, and have someone else write the End. 

I like the Middle. Done with the exposition nonsense that I can never get right, and with no worries for the loose ends I’m sure to leave at the End. The Middle is where I find comfort in killing characters, causing drama, and doing all kinds of other things that are neither Beginning nor End appropriate. 

So I’m going to tell you to come to terms with the Middle. I’m one of the odd ones that actually enjoys the Middle, but I believe everyone should come to terms with the Middle Earth, if you will.


Scripting. Wait. What?

Personally, when I was confronted, by dear Hunger no less, by the thought of Scripting for Screnzy, I was a little terrified. Still am, and it’s four days into April. I’ve been in plays, and I did solo acting in high school for speech. So I have performed scripts, read them, interpreted them. But I’d never given thought to writing one. Now I have.

For my Screnzy I’m writing short 8 to 10 minute monologues/dialogues that can be used as speech entries. This is impressively harder than I had thought it would be. Not only because I’m no longer in the head of my character, which is something Lectin pointed out, but also that I can’t describe things.

The lack of ability to describe setting, facial expressions, props, clothes is what gets me. That is what makes it almost impossible to write a script.  I write prose with a lot of dialogue; it’s just how I write. But when I’m not writing dialogue I’m world building, or describing everything. And with scripting I can’t do that. And that is why I gave up Screnzy, four days in.

So, short post. But I don’t have much to say about Scripting. Enjoy your day.


I’m A Writer. Why Am I In A College Composition Class?

I’ll start with a short rant about my Comp TA and class, and then get into decent post-ly things. My TA is an English grad student. The first day of class he showed up five minutes late, in ripped up jeans, and spent another five minutes trying to determine if he was in the right classroom at the right time. Then he proceeded to call us illiterate idiots, if not in those words. I wrote a poem for our first free-write. He called it a creative list. I expect, and maybe I expect a little too much here, that an English grad student has a wide enough vocabulary to not swear in front of class every five or six sentences. Maybe I just expect too much.

He is unprofessional in more than just his language. He wears ripped jeans on a regular basis, old t-shirts, button down shirts with the top three buttons left undone and no undershirt, and I’ve seen him come into class in sweatpants. So his unprofessionalism bothers me.

Onto what bothers me strictly about the way the class is set up. We read an article and write an essay response. This, I like this. I like that we have two drafts due and then the final paper. It bothers me that the drafts aren’t used to make your writing better, just to make sure you have been working on it. They say we’re supposed to be given an idea and can write our own idea from this. Our first article was about male modeling in advertising. I, personally, don’t watch much tv, or read magazines. So I turned to the place I see male modeling as advertising on a regular basis: romance novels. It was a very original response-lens to the article, and so of course my TA didn’t know how to respond to it or how to critique it.

The point of College Comp 1 is to make you a better, more alert writer, but it’s just been making me angry, because no one in the class, including the TA, understands the importance of writing the way I do. And no one in the class seems able to make their own opinion on a topic and be able to support it with more than historical facts, a.k.a. they’re lacking true opinion and voice. My TA continues to be surprised that I will A) disagree with the article we read, and B) pick what seem like the hardest points to disagree with. Both of these stem from my different way of thinking and not wanting to just be another paper.

Our latest article was about the good of literate arts, which I obviously feel very strongly about, and how there really is nothing that will ever be truly great again. This angered me. To the point I had to set the article down and go write for twenty minutes just to make it ok for me to keep reading that. So what do I do? Disagree with it, of course. But I disagree with it in a way that is through NaNo, also something I feel very strongly about.

But anyway. I will read the article, and write the paper. I may have to force myself through it, but that’s part of learning. Sometimes you don’t like it, and sometimes you do. But it’s never really your choice, no matter how “open” the question is.

You just have to do it. It’s not a choice, it’s just a fact of life. You do things you don’t want to do because you’re told to.


Inspire Me, Small Voice, Inspire Me.

Before I begin my post for this topic, I’d like to say a few things. First, thank you to everybody who has been, or is, reading this. The four posters take a very great deal of pride in this blog, and we try to provide you with only the best we can muster. We spend a lot of time thinking about each post, and each topic, weighing the pros and cons and our own ideas.

Second, I may be helping start another blog similar to this with my school’s Creative Writing club (aka The Unhappy Gopher Club). I will let you all know when that blog gets started if we get it started. I am the official “WordPress liaison” and will be helping get it set up and organized. I can only hope and encourage that the lovely people that follow or read this blog will follow me over there as we begin making intelligent posts.

And now onward towards Inspiration.

Inspiration is very unorganized idea. It’s different for every person, how you find it, how you hone it, and how you create from it. My inspirations come from many different places.

For a story, a line from another story, or something someone says, or a line or verse from a poem, or a line or verse or chorus of a song can inspire me.

For a poem, the same kinds of things can inspire me.

For a blog post, well, there’s usually Hunger on top of the other things I’ve mentioned.

I can also find inspiration from looking at a picture (a really great way to write flash fiction, honestly), or a passing thought, or something I see that isn’t a picture.

I enjoy painting nails, and my designs always turn out different. Always interesting, and always different. I’m not sure there’s always inspiration for this kind of creativity, at least not from one place that can be pinpointed. But this blog is about writing and not nails, so back to business.

Inspiration is sometimes the hardest part of a story, poem, or song. That doesn’t mean it’s something to be scared of.

Here are some tips to hone where to find inspiration, if this is a place you don’t know where to start:

– use writing prompts. Prompts can be found by the hundreds on the internet in different places.

– use a picture. Sometimes a picture will give you inspiration for a scene, and a scene can become a whole novel.

– listen to your favorite song or group, and pick a line from one of your favorite songs. Make it a line that a character says or thinks, and viola, a story idea, or at least somewhere to start from.

– use the next thing you overhear somewhere as a title, and see where it takes you.

– pick a name, from anywhere, and develop a character. Once you have a character, stories or poems will evolve on their own.

I hope these help, and even if they don’t, I hope you realize that inspiration can come from truly anywhere. Inspiration may never come from the same place twice, and if it does, the end result will always be different.


Format Change, Just An Important Note.

Hi, everyone. As a group, the four of us have decided to slow down our posting. We’re all busy people, and we want to keep this as time efficient as possible. We’re splitting us so we only post twice a week for two weeks, and then the cycle starts again. So, Hunger posted yesterday, Raven will post Wednesday, and next week Lectin will post Tuesday and I will move my day to Thursdays. We’ll all still post about the same topic, this block’s being Inspiration, we’re just spreading it out a little.

Rie.


Perspective, It’s All How You Look At It

While my cohorts around here talked about point of view (POV) from the author’s perspective, I’m going to take a different look at it. I’m going to talk about the point of view of the reader instead of the author.

Perspective is an important aspect of reading that people often forget about. It seems less important, because you, as a reader, expect the author to tell you how to view a story. Whether a given story is written in first person, or third person, it can be commonly expected of most readers that they will take the view they are given. But I tell you that reading from your own view helps make the story your own, even if you can’t do more than go along with the story.

For example, do you read first person as yourself acting in the story? Or are you a reader who reads first person without making the character personal and reading it as if the narrator is telling you and you are simply a friend or confidant all the way through? Also, do you read third person as if you’re a person in the action, but quietly watching and observing from the sides? Or do you read third person as if you are watching from above, not involved with the story personally, just along to see what happens? Or do you read third person critically, noticing every plot-hole and every spelling or grammar mistake?

I read first person as if I am the narrator, seeing things through their eyes and their experiences. This helps me shape the idea of the story the way the author saw it, through their character’s eyes. Reading this way, personally involved in the story, helps you connect with the people in the story, and I feel this is extra important when reading stories set in different countries or cultures than your own. I read third person as if an entity floating around a character’s shoulder, involved in the action and seeing it first-hand, but not interfering with what’s going on. When I’m not reading as if I’m a fly on the wall or the narrator, if you will, I’m reading very critically. I read as though I am editing the story, looking for anything that could be pulled and looked at differently, or seen in a different way.

As a writer, I write first person as though I am the main character, discovering nuances , pet peeves, and nervous tics that I hadn’t originally planned for. I write third person the same way I read it, as a fly on the wall watching everything that happens.

One of the most important aspects of reading, I feel, is to be able to read critically. To take a step back from what’s happening in a story and be able to comment on it as if you were involved, even if it’s “I would have phrased this differently”. To be a critical reader takes practice, and a lot of it. Being a critical reader is best when editing, or if you must make educated remarks as to the piece you have read. To read critically, you must allow yourself, or force yourself as the case may be, to step away from the piece and keep it from becoming personal. I find this best accomplished on a second or third read. Critical reading is, simple stated, being able to have a conversation with a piece while you are reading it, without turning it into something it’s not.

The hard, and sometimes fascinating, part of critical reading is that no two people will ever have the same conversation with the same piece. Everyone will view a piece differently, attach themselves to a different aspect, phrase, or idea and that will become the frame in which they view the entire piece.

There are definitely things that can be seen as advantageous to a writer in the difference between writing in first person and third person. And there are things that can be viewed as helpful to a reader when reading in different ways. So there may not be a “correct” way to read or write something, but you can choose your own “correct” way. Depending on how you look at it, at least.


Romance, Or, I’d Say Lack Thereof, But I Like It.

(Disclaimer: This post is simply because I haven’t had time to post in forever, and I can’t allow for Silver Pens to go 16 full days without a new post. So, meh.)

 

I read romance. I write romance. I live romance, even if the romance I live is the long-lived unrequited kind of romance. I dream romance. I breath romance. And yet, nothing seems to work for me.

I get a hold of these two wonderful characters, allow them to carelessly fall in love, and then rip them to shreds. Because it’s fun. It’s not that I’m masochistic or anything, just if I can’t be happy, neither can my characters. Ok, so maybe I’m a little jealous when my characters have a happier love life than me. But I’ve resigned to keeping my love life simple and unrequited. It really is easier. Not that I’d really mind a change if it came along, but I’m not going to push anyone into anything.
I should clear something up now. I read romance. And yes, some of is the steamy, erotic romance that everyone thinks of when they think adult romance. And yes, some of it is young adult romance, the stuff of trivial high school relationships. And they all end happy. Blarg. Just once, I’d like to see one end badly. Just one, that’s all I ask.

So I write it that way. I write it where it doesn’t work out right in the end, like having the main character die a painful death caused by poison. I write generally young adult fiction, the stuff of high school relationships. But as I’m growing up and maturing, I’m beginning to touch into some of the steamy romance, though this is harder due to lack of real experience in this area. And I feel like there’s nothing wrong with that.

I know most people on this blog don’t think much of romance, or can’t bring themselves to write it, and I’m fully ok with that. I can’t write fantasy, or sci-fi, or anything else, really. I write romance. Even upon attempting something different, love and romance finds its way into my story, and becomes a driving force in the plot. Raven, I believe, said that romance in a story was okay, as long as it didn’t overpower the general plot. Or something along those lines.  I personally really like stories that the plot is heavily driven by romance. It’s what I write, and it’s what I read. Though not the only thing I read.

Here, this is part of the first chapter of a story I’m working on. I start at the end and work backwards through a series of flashbacks, see:

“If only a different time, maybe a different place,” he said as he tried to say goodbye the night before he graduated. I could feel the tears trying to escape as he said goodbye in every way he could without saying the seven letter word.
“You know, Aaron, maybe it just panned out wrong. This is right, and maybe you’ll realize it someday.” I said, my words sounding slightly more confident than I felt. He shrugged and tried to smile through the obvious pain he was feeling. “I gotta go. Dad’s having me drive the first hitch of the vacation drive.” I stood, but refused to let go of his hand. I saw the reluctance in his eyes as he stood up behind me. I felt his fingers try to let go, but I wasn’t ready to let go – I knew I never would be ready to let go of him. “Just one last walk home?” I heard the pleading in my voice, more evident than I had hoped it would be. I smiled weakly and held on tighter. He nodded gently and fell into step next to me.
We walked back to my house slowly, solemnly almost, and quietly. We stopped outside my front door. I knew my family was waiting in the van in the garage behind the house, waiting for me. They knew I had to say my goodbyes to Aaron, but they didn’t realize the goodbye we were saying that night. I hadn’t realized it until I saw his face as he walked toward the library steps. At least, I hadn’t accepted it.
He looked at me, standing outside my house, and I just stared for a second, the thoughts in my head of what I could say to change his mind. I still hadn’t let go of his hand, and somehow I knew that if anyone saw us right then, we’d look like a scene out a movie, standing under the porch light, not wanting to say goodbye. I pulled him closer to me and wordlessly wrapped my arms around him, holding him as tightly as I could, knowing that as soon as I let go, he’d leave and never walk back into my life. So I held on. I held on as long as I could. “I love you.” I mouthed, knowing I had to say it, and knowing that I couldn’t let him hear it. It was the one thing that might have changed his mind, but it was the last thing he wanted to hear. I slowly lifted my head off of his shoulder, turning my face to look at him, trying desperately to memorize the look of pain on his face – that one look that told me he didn’t want to say goodbye. I kissed him gently on the cheek as I gave him one last tight squeeze, before I grudgingly let him go.
“Bye,” I whispered, the first actual tear starting to fall. I pulled away completely, letting my hand follow from his shoulder down his arm to his hand, squeezing it one last time, trying to remember the amazing feeling of his touch. I turned my back on him and went to reach for the door, but turned to watch him walking down the sidewalk away from me. I called to him, not caring if he could see the tears on my face in the unforgiving porch light, “Hey,” he turned to face me, his face half hidden in the shadows, “keep in touch, okay?” I asked, trying to smile.
The smile I got in return seemed lacking more so than I had ever seen it before, and the amazing light in his eyes seemed a little drained. But that might have been the darkness, but the darkness could never truly hide it. I knew it had changed. He nodded and turned to continue down the sidewalk to his house. I turned and walked into the front hall. I grabbed my purse and backpack, and headed out the front door, hitting the light switch on my way out, locking it behind me. I whispered, “Goodbye,” to myself, turning to glance back at the darkened porch.

 

And there was all of that. And I love that story. Seriously. It’s one of my favorites.

So it is known to the general public, I care not if I’m judged for reading and writing romance. If you’re immature enough to say it’s not real literature, I can be mature enough to ignore you.