bITS 'N CHUNKS
So I've started becoming more sensitive about where I take inspiration from and why. I've admitted several times out loud, to myself, workshop guests, my cats my writing is a little overly theatrical sometimes. Like I'm just begging for a movie adaptation one of these days.
It sucks because it makes things hard to transcribe from a very lucid visual point to a very literary point. Simply put, you're not going to see exactly what I see nor am I interested in you having the exact same interpretation.
Now, there's things we have to agree on. When I say a character is a black female, she is. When I say someone has red hair, they do unless I forget continuity and suddenly they don't. What I'm saying is this…
In my fiction class in college one year, I introduced myself with stating I'm a film student and I hadn't read a book in a long time. That was pretentious but it was correct -- up to that point I hadn't really read any books, much of my college course material was books I'd already read and did not need/want to read again, and I'd taken more to watching a lot of Japanese cyberpunk and New Wave.
I think what happened was I needed a new template. At some point literally all I did was read, read two to three books at a time to the point where I was literally getting behind on my coursework because I was too busy doing other things (this became a thread of my life). When I decided to write, until I figured out my own style I realized I needed a template. The books I was reading served as that template, but it was a weird time because I was reading a mix of Victorian literature, Russian modernism, and the young adult assignments I had to read in class. So looking back, of course I was finding my way but I don't really feel like I was writing as a real person. I was inhabiting various historical figures and writing as they would. A myna bird, basically.
Then what happened was I got mighty pretentious about it. I was shy in real life but on the internet I definitely got the big head. At this point I was writing almost exclusively fanfiction and people were praising my work and I was getting massive views. It was hear I learned to…monitor my activity. That's right folks, writing fanfiction will teach you a few things. While keeping my dashed together "style" I also started catering to my audience. But instead of making connections I was snickering at other people's writing because I didn't think they were as good as me. Look, I'm classically trained! These other punks sounded like amateurs.
I got humbled when I started branching out to original fiction and I realized nobody was really following me there. I was reading other people's works and wondering why they were so much more successful. Well, there's a few reasons young me -- being able to put together a cohesive story, good dialogue, character development, plotting and pacing…I had to sit down and figure it out. It wasn't just enough to copy Alexandre Dumas but the point was to learn from him.
At some point in my wayward youth, I drifted into something pretty hardcore: the underground movie scene. Now, I've been watching b-movies my whole damn life but I didn't realize there was an actual internet community for them until I was like maybe thirteen or fourteen. Then I was obsessed. I was in a place where biker babes were good and you said "feelm" with as much irony or gusto as you dared. Also, the people were funny and had a similar sense of humor. At that point I was Misfits horrorpunk trash. I read a ton of reviews and I wanted to write my own, too. In doing this, I made new friends, gained some damn people skills, and more importantly found a new template.
Yes, I started copying schlock movies. Except better this time because now I understood the principles of writing.
As I watched more underground movies, that became my template for writing. It kind of worked for a while because at least I was new and fresh again, but it got a little stale and I started struggling again. I couldn't figure out what was wrong.
Recently, I did a little comparison on myself. I compared what was essentially a songfic to something I'd written channeling a movie more or less. The songfic flowed so much easier without revealing it's obvious influences, it was subtle and dare I say kind of good. The other piece…well, it was trying but it was too wordy. Too emotive. I had a hard time getting to the point. You know what that means…
I need to get out of my own head and stop overanalyzing.
Ia! If you've come this far, you're either looking for weird or you know you've found it...