Monday, March 16, 2015

30 Week Writing Survey - Week 27: Apperances

Now Playing: Ivan Torrent - Dandelion

First, some updates!

1) I'm back at university. Semester's drawing to a close so I'm having a bit of a panic. Pulse is getting distributed tomorrow (I almost ate all the pages at my house trying to print the 18 copies of the thing) but I'm not going up for workshop till the Tuesday after that. I'm already nervous, unpleasantly so :/ Because in a way, I don't know what's really wrong with the manuscript. Not in the sense that I think it's perfect. Far from it. Just that...there are some components that I'm not sure how will be received. I have an idea of what might be said, but that's because my imagination is running wild. I actually don't know at all. I have no clue what does or doesn't work.

I've loved the writing process, but it's also been really frustrating. And painful. I went to my mom's work on Friday to work on it, and at one point when things didn't go right, I freaked out. In fact, I started crying (silently, but still) and kind of impulsively hit a table out of frustration. I was in the conference room. My mom went in to see what the hell I was doing after she heard that. The offices had been empty all morning but her boss showed up a little after 3 pm. He was in his office on the phone when I started freaking out. There was a bit of a distance between the conference room and his office so he didn't hear me--or if anything, he probably thought I dropped my laptop or a book or something.

But still :/ Just because it didn't escalate doesn't mean it couldn't have taken the turn for the worse. I wouldn't blame my mom if she decides never to take me with her again to her workplace, even when it's empty.

I might talk more about that later...just because it's something I need to write out and think over. Hopefully so it never happens again. I'm still embarrassed it did happen.

Point is, I should not be throwing tantrums at the ripe old age of nineteen. It's ridiculous.

2) For next week, I'm going to clear out Tuesday's afternoon. I'll do all my Wednesday homework on Monday, and do all my Tuesday homework on Wednesday. Why? Cuz I'll probably just want to head home and curl up on my bed. (Sigh. I just realized this is directly related to the thing from above).

I kind of wish I had critique partners/beta readers whom I was friendly and close with, that way I could, in some way, know what was coming. (Or how the criticism would be delivered). I have no idea with this class...

But I guess I'm doing some preemptive suffering. This is the path I chose, yo, I need to suck it up and deal with whatever comes out of it.

Maybe I should write about Tuesday. After workshop. I'll probably be in the mood for a rambly entry then. We'll see if I post it at all.

3) Saw Fifty Shades of Grey with Ren and Silvia last Saturday. Ren was in New York City for most of spring break, so we only saw each other during the weekend. (She got us presents from NY! A cute Pokemon plushie for Silvia, and a shot glass and an aqua green wallet for me). We had also wanted to see space Cinderella movie (Jupiter Ascending, the one that has Ned Stark) and almost saw the actual Cinderella movie (new one, the one with Robb Stark), but ended up going to lunch instead before seeing 50 shades.

And aside from the usual complains people have about that book/movie/franchise (that I have as well), I found myself really annoyed at one thing in particular: Ana got naked wayyy more than Christian. There's full body shots of her constantly throughout this movie, and the camera lingers and pans up and down her body a lot. WHY? How is it that even on an erotic film explicitly aimed at women, the dude's nakedness is still significantly toned down? He was in jeans for like 80% of the sex scenes @_@ Dude, what the fuck? This does not cut it.

4) Speaking of romancy stuff (and this one's much better), I've been watching this drama called My Love from the Star, and I'm realizing it's the nicer, rom-com counterpart to Under the Skin >.> Idk. More aliens should wander around in human bodies. Maybe I should move on to that in my writing projects--alien and human romance. Y'know. When or if I ever need a break from robots.

QUESTION 27: Do appearances play a big role in your stories? Tell us about them, or if not, how you go about designing your characters?

Hmm. I think sometimes they do. I've written about a lot of street kids so they might be malnourished and frail looking. Real prominent, ugly, often facial scars are common with me, because I hate the idea that Good Guys get Good Scars, like the one cut over the jaw that doesn't mar their features. Pfft. And then the villain is, like, super deformed.

Some characters start out with them. Anne has pox scarring all over her body and side of her face since she fell ill when she was younger. In the RPs and novella, Dragon was burned all over his face, chest, and arms, and Cervantes has a weird, discolored patch over his cheek--the skin there got ripped off a few years ago. Redemption's Nikki and Vlad start out heavily scarred--Vlad especially--because of a violent life. And Dream, Bellatrix, Sonya, and Lilith are marred visibly at turning points of their narratives.

In some of the drafts of The Night Kingdom, the witches have distinct appearances. No matter skin or hair color, father's genes, whatever, they all have black eyes with rings of red, and originally also had naturally black colored lips. (Which I may have changed in rewrites). It's what makes them easily recognizable and contributes to their persecutions. Humans have come up with a million different myths for the reason behind the witches' appearance--though none of them have any evidence to deem them truthful.

I also have a thing for ugly or plain characters. I hate the cliche of "she's beautiful and doesn't know it". I'd much rather take the Jane Eyre approach. Pretty much the entire cast of Redemption was average or unattractive, or had some unflattering traits. The one exception was Marcus, but that was mostly because he was toned, tall, and had traditional masculine features. It was a family thing since Bellatrix had said masculine features too--and really wide cheekbones--so she wasn't exactly pretty. She was also malnourished, as was Erick, who was a scrawny, lanky kid who hit an awkward growth spurt before the series began. Madeleine was cute, but that might have been mostly because of her youth and red hair. Nikki and Vlad were good looking but, as stated above, heavily scarred. And my heroine Hitomi was ugly by most people's standards. Her nose was big and crooked, she had fishlips, was mega flat chested and muscular, small, with long, greasy hair that tangled up a lot though she kept it in a high ponytail. Her best feature was her eyes, though. They were a pretty jet black color. And she ended up cutting her hair to chin length at the end of the first novel, so there was some improvement.

Lilith is also not a beauty (and is also flat chested, tiny, and a tad muscular--though not as much as Hitomi) but I think she's a bit cute. Wendy, her twin brother Vincent and mother Tabitha, as well as Ansel, are said to be really good looking, but it's not significant to the plot.

I have had characters with eccentric appearances. Especially since I'm a lover of all things neon hair. In First Impressions, Ed has chin-length bubblegum pink hair which she redyes electric blue later.

I can't remember if anyone was rather good looking in Ataraxia. I don't think it was ever mentioned, but their appearances did contribute to parts of the story. Xuan had albinism, with pale blue eyes and white skin and hair. Sonya has purple pixie hair for the first half of the novel, but it grows out a little bit and she dyes it brown again when she needs to impersonate her sister.

Appearances also played a part in Anne's story. While Anne wasn't considered a particularly beautiful girl, she had really dark brown skin and hair, and had deep blue eyes. She's super recognizable later on. Jane managed to pass off as a boy in her earlier years because she was about six feet in height. After she became a known female pirate, she grew her fiery hair to her waist, which looks pretty against her olive skin and milky brown eyes. This visually connects Anne and Jane to their mythological dragon (blue scales) and phoenix (red feathers). Which is totes lame I admit, but I loved it too much to care >.>

I've written a couple of robots or A.I avatars with really odd appearances or at least peculiar ones. Cuz why be truly human looking when your robotic platform can look totally awesome? D:<

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