About Writing

Carol

In this post, I’ll be discussing spoilers for The Scion Suit. If you haven’t read it, I recommend you click the link and enjoy a free story.


The big reveal at the end of The Scion Suit is that the main character, Carol, is a “seed” for a bio-mechanical alien race, and she has a chip implanted in her brain stem that allows her to connect and interface with her mechanical body — aka the Suit. The idea behind her characterization is that she starts off as literally half of herself, and is consequently a fairly boring and one-dimensional individual. The more time she interfaces with the Suit, the more she develops into a full person.

With writing different story branches, I’ve had some time to emphasize that Carol doesn’t have much going on. She has no obvious hobbies or preferences, and can’t figure out how to occupy herself when she’s left to her own devices. Heck, she gets abruptly plucked out of her life and doesn’t miss anything about it.

I’m going to go ahead and confess something here:

I feel like I’m writing a normal, average real life person.

I want to believe that real people are more rounded than that, but unfortunately one of the poignant lessons of 2020 was that, when stuck at home with no where to go, a huge number of people will spend all day watching Netflix and not much else.

How disappointing.

But I guess that since this is my little fictional world, I can pretend that everyone is far more interesting than they are in the real one.

Photo by Julia Volk on Pexels.com
About Me, About Writing

Whining

The air conditioner broke. ‘Tis the season of dead appliances, apparently…

And the weather forecast is promising a heat wave for the next few days. This matters because we have to order the part in for repair. Ha ha.

It might be better for me to spend the afternoons out on the patio, where I can turn on the misters to cool down. I have terrible heat tolerance.

Anyway, that’s enough whining for now.

Actually, no, it isn’t!

I don’t have any sort of aptitude for marketing. In fact, it’s such a foreign way of thinking for me, that it leaves me so drained and cranky that I end up completely nonfunctional for the rest of the day, then lose all ability to “follow through” afterwards.

I made some queries about how to effectively advertise over the past couple of days, and currently I have e-mails sitting in my inbox that I just don’t have the energy to open. I badly want to retreat to the kitchen to bake something sugary, and forget about the whole subject.

So I’m going to pull back for now. I learned one important lesson about Kindle keywords (use phrases instead of words) that will henceforth be applied to everything I publish, but I’m not going to sacrifice my soul for this. Heck, part of my long term “marketing” strategy was to publish a novel every year, and that ain’t gonna happen if I kill my creative energy.

Not to mention, no one enjoys a cranky mama.

I’ll probably make no-bake cookies to avoid turning on the oven while the air conditioner is broken. Seems prudent.

Anyway, I haven’t finished polishing up Alice and the Warden for official publication yet, and I particularly wanted to fix up the final few chapters where I was *obviously* fatigued when I wrote them.

And I’m working on The Scion Suit MULTIVERSE edition, lol.

I need to stick with what works for me emotionally, since I’m kind of a finicky hyper-sensitive sort that burns out easily. Patience is a virtue, and all that.

About Me

The Program

I’ve spent the last month or so probing around, and I’m starting to suspect that I’m going to have to let go of my little malfunction.

So that’s it, I guess. It’s probably time for me to get with the program.

Though honestly, with the way everything is going, charging $3 for a book might as well be giving it away for free.

And we did spend 2020 together.

Anyway, I’m not going to make any moves this week. Still processing ‘n stuff.

And the nice thing about books is that they don’t have expiration dates. I could spend the next five years sulking if I wanted.

The thing is, I will write in a vacuum. I will write for one other person. But there’s still a part of me that wants to know what my full potential is, and that’s not going to happen without making some changes. This isn’t 2010 anymore.

Vague griping, lawl.

I guess I can’t help but feel a little bitter about pulling myself together too late to achieve what I wanted. Ten years ago, sure. But not today.

About Me

Dishes

Our house likes to eat dishwashers.

The last one died on Mother’s Day. After which, we discovered that the small business we had bought it from — for that personal touch and guaranteed warranty — had gone out of business because of … you guessed it! Queries proved that it was going to be difficult to find an authorized repairman.

So I bought a bottle of soap just for the new scent, and am now using the dishwasher as a horrendously overpriced drying rack. Because the only thing that works reliably is me.

Especially now that I haven’t had a single migraine since I started taking low dose aspirin. Ha. Ha.

The funny part is, I’m actually better at keeping up with the dishes when I’m handwashing them. I can easily slip into autopilot and scrub away while thinking about other things (usually my writing), and I don’t have to sort through what can go through the dishwasher and what can’t, or make sure that I’m loading everything in correctly, or blah blah blah. I just hate washing dishes. ‘Cause, you know, it’s the dishes.

So the other day I had a pan of cream cheese brownies baking in the oven, the baby was busy throwing cat food all across the kitchen floor, and I was scrubbing away at the sink with a particularly deep train of thought, when it hit me that since I’m writing a story with lots of different branches, I can easily invoke the multiverse and have the branches bleed into each other. Which one is canon? They all are!

Be still, my heart!

I know, I get excited over some pretty weird things.

BTW, the brownies were amazing.

The Scion Suit

The Scion Suit VN edition

I’ve been converting The Scion Suit into a script for an interactive fiction game, and I’m amazed at how well it’s translating over into second-person narration. It’s almost like I wrote the story for this purpose without realizing it…

I don’t remember laying it on so thick with the Carol/Lambert pairing, but apparently I did. Lambert’s seriously got the hots for Carol, but she’s too obsessed with the Suit to realize it, lol.

I wasn’t actually planning on starting this project right away, since I know full well that I’m committing myself to months and months of work here, but my husband can be so persuasive. He immediately jumped on getting me set up with Twine and Vim, supplied me with documentation, and appealed to my teenager years when I played with HTML for fun.

Tangent: Bit funny, really, but the only reason why I didn’t go down the web designer path is because one person flaked out and left me feeling stranded. I would have eventually quit to raise babies and write anyway, but it could have possibly spared me from developing a great deal of cynicism.

Let’s not kid ourselves: we’re here for the deep undercurrents of cynicism and alienation.

Back to our regular schedule …

It’s fun to type up things like:
<<Lambert “I yell at you so much because I secretly want to bed you, but I know I shouldn’t.”>>
”How do you reply:”
[[I love you too! -> Ooo_la_la]]
[[Who are you again? -> OUCH]]

Look at me! I’m programing! I AM SO SMART! LAWL.

Anyway

While I’m playing it safe and basic on the technical side of things, I’m feeling ambitious in terms of branching “what ifs” for the story. The whole point is to provide tons and tons of avenues to explore.

Including this:

Unfortunately, this isn’t the sort of thing that I can really share as I work on it, so you’re going to have to wait until I’m ready to publish the game. I know, I’m disappointed too.

About Writing

Thoughts on creative writing

I took my first creative writing class 18 years ago.

Technically, I guess I did three years of creative writing as a teenager, then majored in the subject for two years in University before dropping out.

Anywho

It rather leaves me speechless at how creative writing has “modernized” since then. Absolutely no one talks about literary devices, story organization, or how to utilize punctuation. Instead you get an onslaught of articles promising to teach you, “How to write an emotionally manipulative villain”, or, “The best way to avoid burnout” — not to mention, the standard attacks on adjectives, and the word, “said.”

(That’s like painting a picture without using any shades of green and blue. Yes, it can be done, but it’s pointlessly limiting. If the words exist, don’t be afraid to use them.)

The other day it occurred to me that I’ve developed my own style of writing to the point that I could publish a how-to book on it. Then you, too, could be a famous author like me!

Except not really.

Because if there’s one thing I’m really bad at, it’s marketing — which has more to do with popularity than quality does.

And, well, it’s my writing style. Even if I listed everything I do out with bullet points and detailed explanations, you would still never write like I do. Could I even reduce it down succinctly? Is it possible to teach others how to talk to people who aren’t real?

Not to mention, some of my most poignant lessons happened while my husband and I were living out of a car, and that has been a major influence on what I write. You can’t teach that through a book.

I’d much rather encourage people to develop their own process that makes them happy. Ultimately, that’s what writing should be about.

But I’m really starting to think that literary devices need to make a comeback, and someone ought to give that push.