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Banging my head against the desk...

I'm always slightly curious as to why people I'm not aware of having "talked" with - in the comments here or on a comm - friend me. Flattered, but curious. Because whatever it is I did to attract you, I want to keep doing it. More "pondering" posts? More info posts? More rants?

This being a smaller fandom than Sherlock, though, when factual errors in fics/art niggle me, it's likely to be more obvious which specific works I am talking about, which are really annoying me for no good reason and which maybe I am the only person to notice. And do errors really detract from the overall merit of the work? (For me, they do - in published historical fiction I've been thrown out of the book spitting and fuming, when I happened to come across a ship called the Queen Adelaide before we had a Queen Adelaide; and a writer who managed to confuse a bearer of the Royal title "The Duke of Cumberland" with, possibly, The Duke of Clarence. It is very difficult to take seriously a writer who has "Butcher Cumberland" as the *brother* of The Prince Regent, when in fact he was the brother of Prinny's *grandfather*.)

I am alive, by the way. WAY behind on both reading and commenting on BB stories. Even further behind on the NaNo/WriSo project I discussed with a few people of getting my BB-that-wasn't finished this month.

Yeah. That is unlikely to happen.

I only have until the New Year to make bingo on my H/C bingo square, too. (See sticky post.)

I'm struggling, not with a lack of words or ideas, per se, but with a lack of *stories*. Situations and scenes? Yep, no problem. A coherent narrative with a structure and a point? Not so much.

I'm actually wondering whether I'm meant to be writing fiction at all, or whether I should just put opinion pieces of my meta, head-canon etc up here for people to tear apart and attack that way. Though I am aware that some people delight in jumping on people's heads because they have opinions. (It's happened to me in Sherlock-dom. But then people in Sherlock-fandom were not especially interested in getting anything *right*. "Since most of the fandom are American, what use/point Brit-pickers." I'd love to see their reaction should a Brit site Capitol Hill in NYC or something similar....)

Comments

( 11 comments — Leave a comment )
theemdash
Nov. 12th, 2014 03:00 pm (UTC)
I'm struggling, not with a lack of words or ideas, per se, but with a lack of *stories*. Situations and scenes? Yep, no problem. A coherent narrative with a structure and a point? Not so much.

That is exactly the thing I've been struggling with. I can write characters doing a thing, but that thing doesn't really relate to a plot and even if I'm at 2,000 words of characters doing a thing, it's still not relating to a plot. It's pretty frustrating!!
hagsrus
Nov. 12th, 2014 04:03 pm (UTC)
My own perpetual problem. Hence vignettes *g*
natsuko1978
Nov. 13th, 2014 05:03 pm (UTC)
Well what seems to be counted as "literary" short fiction doesn't seem to go in much for plots per se, does it? Thinking of Carver and Joyce and Chekov... I've often read anthologised short stories and wondered what the *point* was, you know, let alone the plot? So it rather depends on what you are intending/trying to write - and why you are writing it. There's a place for epiphanies and vignettes and a moment-in-time/slice-of-life: stories where people go to a production of "Peter Pan" and the male character has a heart attack and dies while the audience claps Tinker-Bell to life, etc... Personally, I don't get it. :(

Even "How To" guides written for university creative writing courses and written for those trying to write commercially for magazines etc differ *enormously* in their advice.

My secondary problem is inadbility to *think* "short". I don't get ideas for the moment N realises he's in love, or an addict, or whatever; but raher ideas about the 20-year psychological history of *why* and *how* N is who he is. You know?
theemdash
Nov. 13th, 2014 05:11 pm (UTC)
Regardless of how much is identifiable as plot, there's still rising and falling action in a story like what you outlined. Also, it's about more than going to Peter Pan, it could be about the death of innocence or the ways in which audiences are callous or unobservant (clapping while a man is dying). There's more to it than just the plot or lack of plot. Something happens, a character changes, it's not a story if it's just a moment of nothing happening—and that's something that relates to both literary and "commercial" fiction.

Even though the advice is different, that doesn't mean that what makes a story is any different.


If you're more interested in writing meta, you should write that. You can write things that are just character explorations, though. A character musing on something and changing? That's a story. And fanfic is beautiful in that it allows for "stories" in which there is no change, so you can do that, too.
hagsrus
Nov. 12th, 2014 04:06 pm (UTC)
Getting things right:

"Where ignorance is bliss, 'tis folly to be wise"

One of my pet visual peeves is period dramas where people run around outdoors without hats (never mind gloves).

natsuko1978
Nov. 13th, 2014 04:10 pm (UTC)
Yes! to the hats - my grandmother (a bit like HM) had a hat for every outfit into the 1970s. And the "Ladies Luncheon Society" in the town to which my parents retired only removed the hats and gloves dress-code 20 years ago (some of the members *still* wear hats and glove to the luncheons, even so).

As for my folly, are you advising me to put up and shut up? *G* I mean I know that's the best move, but I do get soooo het up about these things. Beastly anachronisms, factual errors and breaches of etiquette!
hagsrus
Nov. 13th, 2014 04:40 pm (UTC)
Alas, it's almost impossible to un-know a thing. I just have to overlay my knowledge with a touch of Alternate Universe to enjoy.

I'm completely ignorant of Chicago, so I take for granted shows set there are accurate, and it doesn't bother me that they are actually filmed in Toronto.

But NYC shows had better be accurate - suspension of disbelief is very delicate.

And medical shows like Chicago Hope (RIP) had damn well better not confuse bacterial with viral infections!
natsuko1978
Nov. 13th, 2014 05:14 pm (UTC)
Exactly! I lived (and went to school and, more recently, worked) in London for 30 years. My grandparents were Londoners, my Mum's a (North) Londoner and Dad grew up on a Council Estate that while physicially in Essex was LCC overflow housing for the East End (his Dad and brothers were Thames dockworkers) and worked in London all his life. A V2 landed at the bottom of my Dad's road in WW2 and in 1992 the IRA blew up the building where he had an office (which is now where the Gherkin stands).

I am also the sort of person who not only collects, but reads and memorises books of facts and delights in knowing the answers to questions on QI.

For both BBC Sherlock and Pros fandoms, this seems to be an actual disadvantage!
hagsrus
Nov. 14th, 2014 06:09 am (UTC)
We gathered a bunch of Pros background and usage information at http://hatstand.slashcity.net/
a while ago, but probably the people who most need it never consult it.

But there are non-British Pros writers who take enormous pains to get Brit checked. Even I do since I've lived in NY so long that I've become somewhat transatlantic-ised. Some interesting things crop up.

And I cannot use the word "pants". It gives me a sort of mind-wrenching twist between under- and outerwear, especially with the time shift involved.
natsuko1978
Nov. 14th, 2014 12:38 pm (UTC)
I'm with you on "pants" - underpants, y-fronts, or boxers/boxer-shorts, or (facaeciously) knickers.

I have all the background and reference stuff at the Hatstand in my bookmarks and various bits printed out and in my Pros dossier. So thanks for that! :D

Writing Pros fic scares me silly, not only because there's over thirty years of it and my usual worries about writing men as men and keeping them in character, but because I'm the wrong generation (see username) and a total Soft Southerner, so fret endlessly about the speech rhythms and colloquialisms of main characters who aren't, even if they have all lived in London for years. My knowledge of Liverpool, for example, is limited to the films and plays of Willy Russell and Carla Lane's TV shows (Liver Birds and Bread) :(

This fandom scares me, if I'm honest. In some ways even more so than the vast sprawl of BBC Sherlock.
(no subject) - moidocksgaterk - Nov. 13th, 2014 08:03 pm (UTC) - Expand
( 11 comments — Leave a comment )

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