Monday, February 23, 2015

30 Week Writing Survey - Week 24: Death

Now Playing: James Newton Howard - Healing Katniss (The Hunger Games ost)

>_> This university does not want me to graduate. It keeps trying to eat my A.A and shove me into a lab. Grrr. It caused me problems on Friday and I almost blew up in my room out of rage. Explosion of the head. My face was red and I was crying out of frustration, and when I went to see my adviser to talk about it and she found some problems, I almost started crying again. She shoved a box of tissues at me >_> And I can't quite figure out if she did it to be nice, or to have some kind of shield between us.

The rest of last week hadn't been too bad. I finally got some workshop stories from Seth--dude who had the small group workshop with me--and this girl called Deanna. She wrote a fantasy story, which makes me happy because it means there are at least three speculative fiction writers in my class :D Counting me and Savannah, because she kind of but not really but maybe promised me her workshop story is going to be about aliens. (And gay people. Double awesomeness). In fact, after class, I showed Savannah my second home, aka Dunkin Donuts, since it's about a minute walk from the Williams building. We had donuts and milk and talked for a few hours. We're going up for workshop at the same time, and the writer we're reading for that day is Margaret Atwood. So of course we have to write science fiction >.> It's fate. I spoke with her a little bit about Pulse and she gave me some good ideas. I'm so excited to write the story--I started already :D (more musings on this later).

I also finally saw Interstellar last Friday. Carla and I were wandering around for ages and we wound up at the SLC on the way to my apartment. We were about an hour from the 6:45 pm screening, so we decided to stay and hang out there for a bit. And I really liked it. Was kindaaa bored in the middle portions and philosophizing about love and the role of man as explorers, but it was still kinda super cool. Especially the ending. I loved being in a theater full of people who could not stop crying and gasping. Good job, Nolan :P I texted Silvia about it later since she's been pushing me to watch the movie, so we finally got to talk about it. (She probably still hasn't forgiven me for not watching Gravity >.> but least I saw this one).

Now, back to the survey...

QUESTION 24: How willing are you to kill your characters if the plot so demands it? What's the most interesting way you've killed someone?

So willing and yet so pained by it.

It's why I sat in a cafe for hours writing the ending of Ataraxia, debating and fighting with myself every other sentence. It took forever because I was terrified of who was going to die. I knew two out of the six were safe, but the other four were giant question marks. (Which made The Four of Us Are Dying as a theme choice so perfect as I neared the finale). Redemption, because it had the biggest cast, had the biggest death toll. I don't remember how many I was planning to ax off exactly, but it was a couple dozen. More than half the expanded team was going down, along with two or three critical characters from the original team.

I've been a lot nicer in most recent novels, but I've made a promise to rectify this in the near future. Not that I think death and tragedy is always a necessity in stories, but my characters are so often in perilous situations, the danger might start to feel trifling if everyone always makes it out alive in the end. Besides, GRRM left a legacy all of us speculative fiction writers are contractually obligated to follow >.> Well not really. That'd be dumb. But shhhh I pretend I'm contractually/hypothetically obliged to follow it.

It sure will piss my brother off though :P Every time I start to wrap up a book, he's all DON'T KILL THEM even though he has no idea what I'm doing or where the plot is going. He just hatesss it when characters die in fiction. It's why he refuses to finish GOT; he already knows people are going down. He tries to convince me out of killing characters by shouting stuff like, "But when it becomes a best selling novel and you're rich, you'll want to milk that cash cow. Think of the sequels! The prequels! The spin-offs! The cash!"

Never mind the fact that I've never written a sequel in my life >.> Nor do I plan to. But it's a nice sentiment.


  1. Anonymous8:03 AM


    1. Que? @_@ You judging me once more for the Gravity thing? Dx


"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.