danalwyn: (Default)
So, I feel the need to be creative, more to distract me than for any other reason. Unfortunately, I don't have much to be creative with right now. So here's some background reading for your perusal, an overview of some parts of Tempest, a city I created for a very...peculiar...science fantasy I am usually working on. It's not very well written because I don't have practice with these sorts of things, but it is what it is.

(It's also not done, but that's because I'm lazy)

A Guide to Tempest )
danalwyn: (Default)
So a while ago I came up with a female character. For reasons of randomness I named her Keigo, because I wasn't quite sure how the naming conventions would work in that particular part of the story. That was some time ago.

Over the intervening time period the names for her ethnicity have slipped toward Japanese convention (this happens with certain ethnicities for me).

Keigo is a Japanese name, but Keigo is normally a Japanese boy's name (or so my sources tell me).

So now I am presented with the option of either a) having a name that makes no sense in context, or b) changing the name of a character I've been thinking about for some time. Either way I think is going to screw me up for a bit. I hate it when that happens.

(I know I could change the name to Keiko and keep the sort-of shape of the name, but to me Keiko feels like the kind of name Westerners come up with when they're asked to make up a Japanese name. Apparently I have strange standards.)
danalwyn: (Default)
So, I'm trying to write some stuff more regularly because I'm beginning to think that my writing's not improving. Part of this is that I've become embedded in longer works, which have nothing that can be released piecemeal, so this leaves me in a long stretch without anything to challenge myself with. For now I'm trying to present something at a writing group (which is another event which I have a hard time evaluating fairly), but I figured I might as well put it here too so people can mock it.


And The Clock Struck Midnight )
danalwyn: (Default)
If the only thing that happened during Halloween was that people messing around with the occult messed around with the occult, then there would not be too much of a problem. After all, there’s only so much occult to go around, and generally the efforts of a bunch of confused amateurs only collide with each other. If a dozen people perform sacrifice rites to make themselves rulers of the world everything tends to get tangled up in itself, and you end up electing the governor of Texas or something.

No, the problem with Halloween is that the surge of magical energy ends up amplifying the powers, the senses, and the appetites of those who are already in tune with the rhythm of the outer spheres. Now, normally the word appetite is accompanied by a great deal of wink-wink nudge-nudge innuendo due to its implications, but when it comes to werewolves, vampires, sirens, goblins, gargoyles, dust bunnies, tooth fairies, and everything else that hides in little kids’s closets, this is normally accompanied by a large amount of time in the coroner’s office sorting the right remains into the right bins.

Of course, when you expect something like this, all sorts of people can take advantage of your expectations.

I'm Still Not Paid Enough For The Gratuitous Death of Extras )
danalwyn: (Default)
I had a dream last night.

Normally my dreams are somewhat distorted versions of reality, but this one was clearly cut out of whole cloth. Very strange whole cloth. Since this happens so rarely, and may indeed be my brain trying to tell me something, I'm writing it all down.

But really, I think it's just a plot bunny trying to weasel it's way out.

My Subconscious Hates Me )
danalwyn: (Default)
Sometimes I do research for my own edification and my amateur attempts at writing. Recently I've been trying to learn about riot control tactics and techniques for large-scale protests.

This is surprisingly difficult. The United States has changed a lot of its crowd control doctrine since the Battle for Seattle to focus on either riots or demonstration protests, and in both cases the doctrine is mostly defensive. If a riot gets too large to be dispersed, contain it, and let it burn itself out. If a demonstration protest becomes large, you intercept its march route, or you contain it, preventing it from entering the area where a meeting is being held for instance. In either case it's the police who stand on the defensive, mostly utilizing the power of barricades to defend themselves, confining the crowd to a restricted area until the event is over and people disperse. The concept of having to disperse a crowd that is itself on the defensive, having barred itself into a large area of the city and showing no sign of dispersing, similar to the "Revolution" protests that swept the world, doesn't appear to have engendered serious thought in the US. The implication is that solving that problem is a political job, and the police shouldn't be coming up with specialized plans for dealing with it.

This is probably good for the US, because it indicates that people are finding easier ways to solve problems then starting urban civil wars. But it's bad for me, because I can't find anything to indicate what they would do when confronted with such a situation.

So now that both Kyrgyzstan and Thailand are swamped with protests, I'll be watching how the police there respond. Although given the possibility of brutality, I doubt that they'll be letting many people take pictures. And it just feels weird (not to mention immoral) conducting research by watching what could be an atrocity in progress.
danalwyn: (Default)
Every November I try to keep up with you-know-what, just to keep myself on track with something. This year I got through over 71,000 words, which is pretty good for me. Now I just have to keep going for what I guess is about 150,000 more and I'll be done with story arc number 4 (probably the longest of this particular work). Although why anyone would read through something that long is frankly beyond me.

I think I need to take a few courses in succinctness.

But at least my heroine finally got to completely freak out over discovering the periodic table.
danalwyn: (Default)
Just an idea that popped in my head not long ago. I didn't have anything better to do with it, so I wrote it down here. I don't know if I'll do anything with it (I doubt it), but would anyone bother reading a novel that started like this?

Hunting for Abel )
danalwyn: (Default)
I just came back from a trip to Fermilab (to give a talk at the Collaboration meeting), and I noticed, on the plane from Phoenix, that the woman next to me was reading a book.

Now, I, like most readers, have the ability to judge the genre of a book based on the cover. Sometimes it's obvious, like spaceships, and pirates, and kilt-wearing Scotsmen with their shirts unbuttoned, but sometimes, it's more subtle. It's in the way the words are written, the expressions that are allowed on the face, even the way that the author's name appears in conjunction with the title. This set off a bit of the romance warning for me, but also another sensation that I rarely experience in regular life. The cover illustration was simply drawn, there was no information on the binding, or on the cover other than the title and the author; only the bareness of the book's cover testified to its uniqueness.

Although it is always bad to judge a book by its cover, this one was screaming Vanity Press.

I don't see Vanity Press work on a day to day basis, so this aroused my curiosity. I caught a peak of the back as she was getting off the plane, and discovered that she was reading Pride and Prejudice fanfic. This Pride and Prejudice fanfic to be precise. Once my access to the internet was restored, I quickly discovered that this author has already produced other various works of P&P fanfic. And furthermore, there seems to be a whole industry devoted to the concept.

Now, I shouldn't find this very odd, considering that my choice of literature has never exactly been accused of good taste (in fact, Pride and Prejudice fanfic may be considerably closer to true literature by virtue of association), and furthermore I try not to malign other people's choices, but does anybody besides me find this vaguely disturbing? As if a piece of the internet, where I normally find fanfiction, had intruded on real life?

I don't know why this bothers me. Perhaps it's just because all those times when I was telling people to try making their pseudo-fanfic into an original work, I was apparently giving them the wrong advice.
danalwyn: (Default)
Here's how my Christmas went.

I never woke up at two in the morning when I was a kid. Hence I was not happy at waking up at that ungodly hour now that I'm older, so it took the phone multiple tries to get me out of bed.

"It's two in the morning," I finally managed. "Whoever is calling me better have a damn good reason."

"It's Alice," said Alice who, because she had spent the better part of a day complaining that Christmas was just a bastardization of ancient pagan celebrations, had drawn the Christmas Eve shift, "We've had an incursion problem."

I swore. Incursions happen every once in a while, often at inconvenient times. Groaning, I propped myself up in bed. "Was it serious?"

"No. Defences were on auto, and detected an unauthorized and stealthed entry. We intercepted him at range and knocked him down. Then we confiscated the hardware. Standard procedure."

"Then why are you calling me?" I asked grumpily.

Alice actually sounded a bit nervous when she answered, which magically dispelled my sleepiness. "Er...because I've got this fat old elf and some reindeer here asking about whether they can get their sleigh back."

Whooping alarm sirens began to go off in my head. "Wait a minute. You SHOT DOWN Santa Claus?"

"Well, it wasn't exactly me. You see, the defenses were on auto because..."

"I'm coming in. Don't leave the office," I ordered. Yes, this was going to be one of those Christmases.

Read more... )
danalwyn: (Default)
For those of you who dabble in the art of writing, have you ever had one of those moments while you were researching something for a story where you think "You know, if I weren't doing this for the purposes of fiction, I would be a pretty sick bastard"? In my case, this is usually followed by the thought "Nope, any way I look at it, I'm still a pretty sick bastard".

I had this feeling today when I was trying to figure out how many lashes with a judicial whip it would take to kill a fourteen year old undernourished girl. It disturbed me enough that I put down the story and haven't been able to pick back up where I was.

I absolutely hate it when moral qualms get in the way of writing something.

You can all de-friend me now and run away in horror if you choose and I won't take it personally
danalwyn: (Default)
Just me complaining. You can ignore me.

Last week, because everyone else was doing it, I counted up the number of words that I wrote in November. It turns out that I should have joined NaNoWriMo, because I crossed 60,000 with a bit of a margin. Despite this, I've come to the conclusion that my plot is boring and slow-moving, as evidenced by the fact that not many major events happened, nor were there many "wow" moments. To add to this, the story is pointless because the characters feel shallow and not well developed, and the dialogue just drags, as does the language. It feels like real authors have a much better way with words, and actually know their characters. I always feel like I only have a vague understanding of the people in my head, and that I spend too much of my time thinking of what I would do instead of what they would do, and just generally getting in the way of my own story. And to add onto this I can no longer read anything decent without wanting to rip it to shreds out of envy.

Bah, whatever. Probably my story just sucks on its own accord. I'm going off to commit Internet Suicide* now.

* Internet Suicide is defined as the act of leaving a tearful farewell message (e.g. "OMG U guys R so MEEn!1! I going 2 go KILL myself now! Hope to C U in HELL!11!!"), followed by a period of voluntary separation from the internet which my last as long as sixty minutes before the user returns either under a different screen name, or claiming that the opinions of insiginficant people don't matter to them, or pretending that they remember nothing.**

** Warning: Internet Suicide is against Internet Law, and is thus an Internet Crime. Commiting Internet Suicide without approval from your physician/psychologist and/or Tom Cruise may result in you being arrested by the Internet Police, having to obtain the services of an Internet Lawyer, and possibly being tried in Internet Court. If convicted you could face a fine payable in either cookies or Internet Money, as well as time in Internet Jail. Now you know; and knowing is half the battle.
danalwyn: (Default)
Haven't posted much recently, mostly because of problems at the "other job".

Bad Prank Gone Wrong )
danalwyn: (Default)
My subconscious is not listening to me at all.

I've got one of those story ideas - you know how it is - that I've absolutely, totally, completely and utterly decided not to write on because it would be a monstrous sink of time which would absorb all the writing potential that I have, and it would only produce a:

1) Monstrous work of un-editable fanfiction

that would be

2) A crossover of such epic proportions that the chances of someone actually knowing all the fandoms would be low.

So, given that I have made the perfectly reasonable decision to never pursue this line of work, why have I spent my free time in the past week trying to figure out which fandom character should enter Middle Earth to take Gandalf's place in the Lord of the Rings?

My suspicion is that I'm an idiot.

RTF check

May. 14th, 2006 09:21 am
danalwyn: (Default)
I'm experimenting with the rtf interface right now (since I habitually write in word or other processors in .rtf format), and seeing how well it works. So far, I must confess it seems to be eating up a lot of my CPU. It does seem to overcome the standard problem, where the window I write in gets larger and larger as I write until I'm frantically scrolling both left and right.

 So anyway, because I haven't done anything worth reading in a bit, you get a strange snippet of a fairly disturbing story. I think both characters are rather weak, but tell me what you think. In the meantime, I'll be checking to see how the .rtf transition went.

 ETA: Boy did that not work.  Cuts went all to hell.  Dealing with the source is a pain.  Finally fixed 'em

Apologies to anyone whose friend's page got eaten alive.


danalwyn: (Default)

August 2017

2728 293031  


RSS Atom

Most Popular Tags

Style Credit

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags