Sunday, December 28, 2014

Seasons

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Rambling post!

I was thinking about this song from ASOIAF, Seasons of my Love.
I loved a maid as fair as summer
                with sunlight in her hair.
I loved a maid as red as autumn
                with sunset in her hair.
I loved a maid as white as winter
                with moonglow in her hair

And...that's a thing I do. Too much. Probably like every other young writer, but still. I'm trying to figure out why.

It came to me earlier. I was thinking about Serena, my inquisitor from DA:I (which I just finished). I've grown to love her appearance a lot and I keep thinking about returning to it sometime in the future. I've only ever written one character with albinism, and I didn't go as into it as I think I should have...

Back in character design, I became a little too obsessed with her lashes. (I'm...yeah, I'm weird. But don't judge my weirdness). I wanted her to have dark make up because I'd already picked the black lipstick, but the eyeshadow and eyeliner options looked really strange if she didn't have dark lashes. I thought about changing them so I could have the make up, but I didn't think it was right to do so.

And I'm glad I didn't. Her eyelashes kind of stand out a lot more in gameplay--at least to me. I ended up giving her a nickname because of it, as I've done before. Back in Mass Effect, my renegade Shepard had red hair and green eyes, so I kept calling her Christmas Morning--which is not very original, mind you, but was amusing because I only called her that when she was being a jerkass. Here, Serena's white lashes were so captivating to me I started calling her Snowfall.

Yesterday I read a fanfic with an elf inquisitor, but I really loved one of the lines that went like "Scent in the air. Lavender like her dress, lavender like her eyes." (not a direct quote, but I can't find the fanfic right now and I just want the general point across)

And I thought about Serena. If some bard--even a really crappy one--from Thedas was writing about this particular Herald of Andraste, how would they describe her? Moonlight hair and lavender eyes. Lashes like snowflakes. Lips kissed by the midnight sky.

Does that sound corny? Probably. But if I stuck her in a fanfic, I'd find it difficult to get around that description. And it's not the first time I'd done something like it.

Back for my NaNo novel, I spent ages thinking about Amber's design. If she's the genetically engineered perfect woman of the 25th century, she'll end up with something a little different than a regular pretty face, whether or not that matters to her. She needed to have some sort of peculiar appearance, even if her facial features and bone structure were still slightly symmetrical and leaning toward conventional beauty. I've known her for years, but it's sometimes difficult to see her. I only really got a good description of her when Miranda saw her for the first time, and it was all nature terms. And--trying to be vague so not to give too much away--this almost ends up becoming a plot point. Her peculiar appearance becomes important to a certain robot.

In a way, it seems lazy, but also like it was brought on by something else. Like, you (random reader) know how everyone in fiction has blue eyes? Or green eyes? Or pretty much every shade possible but brown. And if it is brown, it's just not mentioned?

And you know how almost every white writer in the world struggles to write people of color without resulting to food metaphors? Y'know, the offensive ways in which a WOC's skin is described as being like chocolate, caramel, cocoa, etc? Basically, a woman's body as consumable goods...ugh.

I'm not the only one who ever noticed that. Few years ago, I read a post somewhere asking writers to please, please try to describe brown hair, brown skin, brown eyes just as poetically as other colors are described. The subtext was kind of there, even if it wasn't written out: POCs and whoever else need to know they can be just as beautiful as the blonde, blue eyed pale boys and girls of yesterday and today. So if blue eyes can be sea blue and sky blue, then brown hair can be like sunlight shinning on the bark of a tree, eyes like fine whiskey, skin an earthly brown.

And that's what it was. That post was all about the sun, all about the Earth. (Don't ask why alcohol got thrown in there, but I remember it for some reason). I guess it got stuck. Amber's race is kind of ambiguous, but she's definitely supposed to be a WOC, mixed raced and beautiful. And the only way I can think of doing that is through terms of nature. I'll have to find a way around this in the coming years. Not every pretty girl I write can be autumn and winter. And...pretty girls are actually not so common in my stories, so that's another thing to ponder over.

Believe me, these screenshots don't
do her lashes justice >_>
But why sunlight? The color yellow keeps coming back. It's not my favorite, but there it is, in Lilith's rain jacket and motorcycle, in Dream's hair, in Amber's eyes, in Silentium's cloak.

Sigh. Sometimes I get trapped in certain images and they don't let me go for a while. When I realize I've been using the same terms to describe a thing or a person or feeling, I write it down, bold it, force myself to stop, but it becomes more difficult than you think. Will Amber and Serena be the last of my nature beauties...at least for a while? A decade, maybe? Half a decade! no...cuz then I'd just be 24. That's too little time.

Maybe I do nature because other approaches are kind of disturbing. Nature is alive and flawed. Sometimes I see beautiful people being described as statues or paintings. Blue is the Warmest Color got a lot of shit because the lesbian sex scenes border on pornography, and when the director was asked to comment, he said he filmed them as what he found beautiful, "...so we shot them like paintings, like sculptures."

...lifeless. Objects. That's what it sounds like :/

Sigh. I don't know. I'll figure it out. My writer's view is still super limited, and it's really annoying.

Epiphany: these out of context posts never make that much sense unless you're me >_>
~Becky

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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.