Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Rain

Now Playing: Vangeils - Rachel's Song and Tears in Rain (Blade Runner OST)

I ended up deciding my best course of action to stop my anxiety: return to RolePlaying with Dream. I spent a couple of hours fixing up her tumblr page (and then, with the joy of copy-pasting html related things, fixed this blog). I messaged a few people to start RPs right away. A few weeks back, someone with a Tron-AU character asked if I wanted to do a cyberpunk tale with the atmosphere of Blade Runner.

I said yes without really letting him know my knowledge of Blade Runner was vague at best. Thankfully, because I have the DVD of the director's cut in the house, I sat to watch it the Friday before an overnight trip.

I had seen Blade Runner before. But it was the theatrical cut, and I was very young and easily bored by slow-paced films. I was also really sleepy during the viewing, and probably drifted off a number of times. I didn't remember anything except half a second of the final fight scene and the horrendous voice over narration. (Insert here my delight when I learned the director's cut had no narration).

So I watched it. And it was beautiful. And a reminder that I want/need to get back to sci-fi and A.I's sometime soon--though I'll read some P.K. Dick and more Asimov before that.

(It kind of sounds like I'm rambling, but I'm about to make my point).

The story has stayed with me as I've edited Millennium Girl.

I cheated and didn't wait four-to-six weeks to look at my manuscript. In a fit of panic and exasperation, right at the three week mark I said NO MORE and yanked it out of its blue paper bag (because I have no drawers to speak of). I'd been slipping in little notes and reminders into said paper bag to myself in the waiting period. On that Tuesday night, I emptied the contents onto a table and pored through note after note, page after page.

And it's bad, as expected, and I'm not the least bit surprised in how bad it is. Every problem I imagined would be there is there, and most of them are consistent throughout. (Uh...yayyy?)

As I was editing, I decided that around my third draft or so, I'll start putting things up for online critiques. So I joined Critique Circle a few days ago. I want to gather a lot of points before I start to submit the future-edited excerpts of Millennium Girl, so I'm trying to write a critique a day. So far, I've failed, but I always open up the site every morning and do some poking around.

It's helped to review and critique other people's writings--whether it's in the Circle, or stuff friends and Absolute Write people send me. I try and keep my criticisms of other people's works in mind as I write, though it's obviously easier to see the flaws in other pieces than on my own. I've already caught a lot of things, so I guess it's working.

While writing, I've been thinking about the closing monologue in Blade Runner. (Spoilers hereafter--and believe me when I say you don't want me to ruin this for you).

If you don't remember or don't know (and don't care. Shameeee), these are the last words of Roy, near the end of the film:
"I've seen things you people wouldn't believe. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. I watched c-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhäuser Gate. All those moments will be lost in time, like...tears in rain. Time to die..."
Sometimes, when I'm watching a movie or reading a book, or playing a video game or whatever, I'll get hit by a line that makes me stop. I'll isolate it in my thoughts, and repeat it, thinking about it to an obsessive degree.

While I was watching Blade Runner, I didn't stop to think about that soliloquy. The movie stayed with me, but as a whole, without real thought of the tiny components. I went to bed whilst listening to the soundtrack, thinking about the ending and the Replicants. It was only when I came back to it the next day, reading up the wiki page, that I remembered Roy's closing words. There was a separate article on wiki, which intrigued me.

In the article, it cites the documentary of Blade Runner's making, and how that monologue was written and changed constantly. At one point, the actor, Rutger Hauer, thought it was turning to opera babble rather than delivering any emotional impact, so he modified it without Ridley Scott's or the writer's (David Peoples) knowledge.

I read through the original novel by P.K. Dick, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? while on the road. I spent some time noting the differences and similarities, remembering P. K. Dick's documented reactions to his adaption, and the soliloquy.

I don't have other people who can look at my novel and change the lines that go on for too long, turning to meaningless dribble. Hopefully in the future I can take suggestions from others and try to implement them, but no one can come in and put words on the page I haven't created or won't modify. It's kind of terrifying to know writing is such a lonely thing, and I may never find the perfect words for the perfect moment. But it's also quite lovely to be reminded of the beauty in simplicity. And how nothing's ever perfect in the beginning.

I'm still pushing through Millennium Girl, discovering things about Lilith, Ansel, Yuki and Wendy, and Vincent that I never thought I'd find. It's strange to think I knew so little about them even when I typed the very last word of that first draft. But even if it goes nowhere, or the publishing industry collapses somewhere between now and my final edits, even if everyone hates it or thinks my ideas are silly, or that the characters are a bore, or that the concepts (immortality, the importance of memory, the nature of love and companionship) are only shallowly explored, I'll always be happy they found me. And I'll find my voice one day, through everything I see, everything I read, and all the people I write. Maybe one day I'll have something like Blade Runner/Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? to call my own.

Been doing more reading too. It's slow, but it's helping me.
~Becky

2 comments:

  1. It really is astonishing how Blade Runner looks even by today’s standards, the oppressive pyramids of mega-corporations looming over a gigantic city spewing fumes into a desolated atmosphere bring a mixture of awe and dread one gets looking at a primal force like a hurricane, except in this case that force is human beings!

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    Replies
    1. Yeah, that movie's really beautiful, full of neon lights underneath rain and night. It's so definitively cyberpunk--so amazing~

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"Science and science fiction have done a kind of dance over the last century... The scientists make a finding. It inspires science fiction writers to write about it, and a host of young people read the science fiction and are excited, and inspired to become scientists...which they do, which then feeds again into another generation of science fiction and science..."
- Carl Sagan, in his message to future explorers of Mars.