Monday, August 25, 2014

30 Week Writing Survey - Week 1: Favorite Project

Now Playing: Pharrell Williams - Happy

Yeah, I know, I know, I never finished the last survey. But, as my last semester of college begins, I've decided now's the time to start another blog challenge! I'll try and try and try to keep up this time and be on time. I've moved the date to Monday because Swankivy/Julie--the creator of this challenge--posts all her blog surveys on Mondays. (That and I only have one class on Mondays during Fall semester so I'm free the rest of the day. Heh. Gotta love college).

And I'm totally gonna finish this one because I premade some of the posts with the link and the titles and some answers. And seeing that on my blogger every time I open up is going to be so annoying, I'll just have to do it! 8D Can't have 30 drafts just sitting around there cluttering up the space forever.

So here I go!

QUESTION 1: Tell us about your favorite writing project/universe that you've worked with and why.

Hmm. I've always loved my projects for different reasons, and none of them have a ranking. Even some of the stuff I'm embarrassed to remember (mainly my early fanfiction) holds a special place in my heart.

I thought a lot about this, and decided it'd come down to the novella, Enkindled With Chains. It's short, and not really finished, but I've rewritten parts of it a number of times and had some of the most fun coming up with scenarios. Getting Dream to befriend a doll, fly on a dragon, fight another dragon, fight an odd organ collecting jester, and get help from a robot with an oily-heart--well it was really fun. The world of Enkindle made almost anything possible, and Dream was constantly in harm's way. It wasn't a whimsical paradise as I expected; there were creatures there that wanted to harm her. Just the world itself is slowly but surely trying to make sure she can't leave, and she needs to leave, less she lets Spirit stay in the hands of the Watchmaker.

I loved that this story laid some ideas and concepts for Millennium Girl. I can't go too far into it, because if I polish and publish either one of these works, then, you'd get some massive spoilers. But it really feels like Dream and all of Enkindled With Chains influenced my past and my future.

Among one of the reasons it's my favorite is also because I love the feeling that this is just a chapter in everyone's story. Most novels should feel that way--a character shouldn't be a blank slate before the story starts, less they were born in the first page--but in novels, I, of course, have to focus on the more interesting chapters of their lives and fully explore them. Here? It was more like this is one weird thing that happens to them, they have to survive, they have to fight, but once it's over, it's not really over. Because they've faced strange things in the past and will continue to face them in the future, whether or not I get to tell those stories. It's why Rhyme and Reason, from the novella, are the principal characters in my fairy tale. It's why Dream could appear here and then hop through every possible RP and universe I could think of shoving her into. When she finds Cervantes in Enkindle, they've both already had a long and lengthy history, as professor-and-pupil and friends. The Watchmaker is such an old individual, he's had multiple encounters with the human characters. And Enkindle is said to have existed for thousands of years. Muñequita, Dream's doll in Enkindle, has had a hundred companions, Amadeus, the jester, has had plenty of time to track down newly arrived humans, Kangjŏn, the dragon, has been protector of the realm for who knows how long--but he too has a complicated, old history that's only vaguely implied rather than thoroughly discussed.

It weirdly enough deals with innocence and whether or not suicide is an ethically wrong choice. The only way to get to Enkindle is to either pass away as a child or commit suicide. In Enkindle, Innocents are never harmed, but all other humans are persecuted or shunned away unless they can become part of the world quickly enough. When The Watchmaker informs Dream of this, and even though she might technically be a child, her age of thirteen plus the deeds she's committed imply her innocence is long gone. And though she's often mistaken as an Innocent in Enkindle, her true status gets some varying reactions from the Enkindlers upon discovery. Anything from confusion--like with Muñequita and her robot friend, Victor--to downright rage--as it happens with Amadeus. I think I was trying to figure out these questions for myself as I wrote, but I've never really come out with answers. Still, I'm glad I thought about it.

The novella also has some of Dream's best moments, especially at the end, when she goes against Cervantes's plan and finds a way to a) bargain with the Watchmaker, b) Get Spirit back, and c) Keep Rhyme and Reason from being destroyed. It feels like she's actually growing as a person, less inclined to let people come to harm for her causes while thinking of clever ways to get out of situations. It's part of the reason that--though Dream ages along with me--my "set" age for her is thirteen. It's one of her greatest, most pivotal years so far.

I get really happy thinking of this novella. It might never be polished enough for the public to see, and even it is, it might always be completely and ridiculous strange to anyone who reads it. But I've seen it grow, seen the writing get better, and have loved every weird minute of it. It's my most colorful project without it being silly, and among my favorite chapters of Dream's life.

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