And though I had slain a thousand foes less one,
The thousandth knife found my liver;
The thousandth enemy said to me,
'Now you shall die,
Now none shall know.'
And the fool, looking down, believed this,
Not seeing, above his shoulders, the naked stars,
Each one remembering.
--John M. Ford, The Final Reflection

The Asylum Director

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"The only thing I was fit for was to be a writer, and this rested solely on my suspicion that I would never be fit for real work, and that writing didn't require any." - Russel Baker

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Still Going...

...and I intend to keep going until somebody's teeth rots. Does not have to be mine.

I'm still writing my story, temporarily titled Sanctuary, though that is subject to change at anyg given moment, to any number if seemingly appropriate things. I've decided to take out any and all non-contemporary elements from the plot, save for the hints that the Asahina family's girls are not "normal" and that the possibly-but-not-exactly supernatural nature of the student in the Black Room. Since I've got a free day tomorrow, I'll likely upload the first segment of it in deviantART and FictionPress, as well as update LHFBW: Vae Victis on Tuxedo Jack's forum. I'll probably put up Sanctuary here, as well. Since I'm actually focusing on those two, I think it has helped me focus my creative energies on them.

Vae Victis is a refreshing activity for me since, in all my works and ideas, the LHFBW world is one of two where I feel I can play around to an insane degree, allowing me to execute some very strange concepts and ideas. The nature of the LHFBW setting makes it so that I can pretty much throw anything in and toss in a half-assed explanation and it'll still make perfect sense. The only other setting I've created that allows me that much freedom in tossing in ideas and concepts is my old H2GH (Hitchhiker's Guide To Hell) concept, which is a little something I use in private. It performs the same function, though none of the text of the H2GH file will ever see the light of Internet day, though some of the concepts (Vae Victis' Dimensional Barrens, Yuki's Diary's sociopathic Kanako Tohya) have been modified to suit my other works.

I've been doing a little research on Japanese mythological creatures, like the yuki-onna and the yurei. I don't think I'll be using that knowledge soon, though I find it comforting to know that they'll be somewhere in the Incomprehensibly Convoluted Data Sector that is my laptop HD when I decide to use it.

I think my technical writing skills are improving, though only slightly. Certainly, my ability to write articles is getting better but some of the conventions of writing articles and essays don't apply when writing fiction, particularly first-person fiction. I've always opposed adhering strictly to grammatical rules when writing first-person and character's lines. That's because I feel that by adhering to every rule of grammar there is in such situations, I take away a sense of natural-ness and huamnity from it. When people think, it isn't grammatically correct in every way. Thoughts are lucid and free-from, contrained only by enough grammar rules to make it easy for others to understand. Same concept applies to conversations. Is it any wonder, then, that I like first-person so much? Not only does it free me from a number of constraints, it also let me babble on incoherently, provided it falls within the character's personality and nature to do so.

Still, I do recognize the limitations of first-person, as well as the variety of pitfalls that a writer can fall into when using it. One aspect of third-person I've always had difficulty separating from when I write first-person is omniscience, or partial omniscience, in my case. It makes my narrator sound like a mind-reader when I do, though I have a tendency to do it without my even noticing.

Now that I think about it, consistency in POV might be a problem for me as well. I tend to jump between first and second-person whenever I am writing a story with first-person as the POV. That mainly happens when I feel like making the narrator conversational (to a degree) with the reader. Now, in Sanctuary and in Yuki's Diary, I'd immediately added bits and pieces to the early parts that signify that the narrators are aware that, at some point, someone else is going to end up reading what's been written down, giving me a sort-of-excuse.

Finally, I admit I have difficulty with tenses. When in third-person, I have a tendency to jump from past tense (which is the standard I use) to present tense, particularly when a character is doing something. While it is a forgivable and understandable error, considering the complex weave and nature of my fiction, I have difficulty tolerating it afterwards. When in first-person (which also uses the past tense, due to the diary format I utilize), a variant of this problem crops up. I have difficulty describing people and surroundings in the present tense. Actions are no problem when I write in first-person but descriptions? I always have to remind myself to write in present tense when describing something since, again due to the nature of my diary format preference, appearances are current, the "now," if you will. Yes, I know the last sentence did not make much sense. Deal with it.

Well, in any case, I haven't become delusional enough to believe I'll get any work of mine published anyway, so I guess I can relax my own personal standards a bit. Just a bit. Still, I feel like I owe it to myself to make them as close to perfection as possible, even though it'll hurt like Hell while I do.

***insert abrupt change of topic sign here***

My brother has become addicted to Front Mission 3. Finally, I managed to get him interested in a video game that isn't a fighting or adventure game. Nothing's wrong with fighting or adventure games but I do want him to get a feel for other, deeper genres. I'm convinced that his one-time addiction to Final Fantasy VIII was a fluke, as he went right back to the various Castlevania games (Aria of Sorrow, Harmony of Dissonance, Symphony of the Night, Circle of the Moon) I have after I uninstalled FF8. He showed an affinity for Final Fantasy Tactics Advance one and seems interested in Final Fantasy Tactics as well, not to mention playing an evil PC in Baldur's Gate II: Shadows of Amn but, by and large, he's preferred games like Halo and Threads of Fate over anything else. Oh well, at least I convinced him to give Metroid: Fusion and Metroid: Zero Mission shots.

As for me, I'm going to play fighting games for a bit, just to relax, before I go back to Final Fantasy VI. A little King of Fighters '98 (my favorite of the series so far) and Guilty Gear XX does a mind good. Not to mention a systematic destruction of my Final Fantasy VII CDs, which I can't believe I actually bought. The game is garbage.


For parting notes, I've finally re-watched the following movies:
1. Eko Eko Azarak
2. Battle Royale
3. Ring 0: Birthday

Much fun. And I introduced my brother to the phrase "bring on the ultra-violence!" Hehe. After having him watch BR with me, he's come to like Girl#11, Souma Mitsuko, too.

P.S. Pardon the ads. Couldn't help myself. Wanted to try them out.

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