Pinned toot

time :)

I'm Aria, I'm going to use this account for some of the writing I've been doing lately. I'm working on what I keep saying is a teen transgender urban fantasy.

I read a ton of science fiction, and have a complicated relationship with fantasy. I'm hoping I can build a world I like. Other people too, we'll see.

So who likes magic systems, video game references, ensemble casts, and thinks teenagers are actual people?

I have decided that all writing advice involving 'show not tell' is anti-helpful and entirely designed for literary fiction writers writing hyper-realistic stories, not genre of any sort and certainly not humorous narrative.

" One of the functions of art is to give people the words to know their own experience. There are always areas of vast silence in any culture, and part of an artist’s job is to go into those areas and come back from the silence with something to say. It’s one reason why we read poetry, because poets can give us the words we need. When we read good poetry, we often say, ‘Yeah, that’s it. That’s how I feel.’ "

— Ursula Le Guin

"I Sexually Identify As an Attack Helicopter"

This might be among the best stories I've read in a while. There are some seriously erudite bits buried in there. Just :chefkiss: delicious rebuttal to everything and a damn good story too.

I wrote a blog post about how I cputer, and where I am running in to limitations.

I'll update a few more times on this topic this month, and post some pictures.

Job interview pro tip: when the interviewer asks if you have any questions, ask what the company's five-year plan is. Where does the company want to be in five years?

The answer will tell you a *lot* about whether you want to work there.

I'm inordinately proud of the intro scene for my antagonist. (

The worldbuilding in this thing has taken so many turns from where I started. This story is weird, going to stay weird, and I've decided to just roll with it. Teenagers-with-powers superheroish A side vs magical but cyberpunk post-collapse dystopia B side. Two worlds collide.

What would your character give up to to try for freedom?

Steven Universe is super even-handed about doing this to every character who appears regularly, but even so there's some who persistently have storylines around how they don't fit in.

Amethyst. Peridot. Lars. Pink. It's one of the themes of the show to a huge degree.

But interestingly, these groups don't overlap very much. Arguably Steven is in multiple, but mostly the groups are discrete.

Buffy is interesting in that there aren't a lot of separate groups until S4. It's always the Scoobies vs the current Big Bad.

But in a given season, I bet seeing who is 'in' and who is not fitting in would show a lot of the structure of the show.

I wonder what other stories would yield insights when analyzed this way.

And Alison is sometimes too much of a neutral point of view, I find. So I need to find where she has conflict and show it. Turns out she _wants_ to be part of the martial arts crew and have a home in the dojo. A home that feels like a home at all would be amazing but she's not finding it there. It's too complicated, the friendships and camraderie. There's her conflict.

But she's a bilingual witch with a temper. She's _not like_ the others, and until someone changes, she won't fit. That's a story. Someone changing.

In this case the nerds grow up some and Michele softens some and they realize they have a mutual antagonist. Oh hey. PLOT.

Going back to the story I'm writing though I'm using it to find characters that need more aspects to them, or the natural alliances with an interesting story.

The comic book reading game-playing nerd crew are the heart of the story, but Michele doesn't fit with them despite being maybe the most ubernerd of the bunch.

And so too, the sheer amount of conflict within the First Order/Empire in Star Wars always seemed like an unacknowledged weakness. It wasn't usually the rebels being amazing that won the day, it was the conflict within the Empire. Just look at that backstabbing!

But some of the classic Star Wars characterizations show here. Han is ill at ease in the rebel base. C3PO is not at home on a desert outworld. Rey is. Finn and Rose's stories are both of not just conflict with but active rejection of the group they were a part of.

Luke's arc is one of finding and then turning away from a group.

Some of this is very satisfying, and the places I find it not so are the places it should have been done more.

One thing it doesn't capture is inter-GROUP conflict. I wonder if there's a way to do so.

Here's a Star Wars version.

Note how Maz and Leia don't have conflict with the nature of the groups they're in. They only have conflict with other groups.

Some of this exploits the very structure of story — if the characters and groups don't overlap, you have vignettes, or separate stories.

If there's nobody who is ill at ease where they are, there's no conflict and no story at all, just a bunch of characters hanging out.

So I just came up with this interesting way to approach story characterization that I'd never seen before. Sort of a way to visualize potential for conflict within and across groups, and at the same time can function both as a character balancing and story balancing tool.

So instead we have cocksure heroes, a predictable 11th hour, and a predictable but late win but no actual consequences from the characters for their success.


Show more
Wandering Shop

The Wandering Shop is a Mastodon instance initially geared for the science fiction and fantasy community but open to anyone. We want our 'local' timeline to have the feel of a coffee shop at a good convention: tables full of friendly conversation on a wide variety of topics. We welcome everyone who wants to participate, so long as you're willing to abide by our code of conduct.