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It's not writer's block, it's a raw lump of marble. That fell on me. - Diary of a Necromancer
Excuse me, I'm making perfect sense, you're just not keeping up
robling_t
robling_t
It's not writer's block, it's a raw lump of marble. That fell on me.
Despite the part where it is now noticeably getting dark earlier and earlier, my mood is somewhat improved from the previous post by the temperature having risen back above, oh, fiftyish. Hypothesis: my seasonal blahs are a function of how many layers of clothes I have to put on rather than raw light-levels. I'd move somewhere warmer, but I rather doubt anywhere does have a stable enough climate anymore anyway.


The Muse is... ticking away in the background, not unlike unexploded ordnance; the latest problem she's trying to drag home on the side is "hey remember you were thinking about writing up Cecily's origin story there's A Thing that could be relevant to submit that to", to which end she's already dragged home a pile of materials from the library. I keep trying to explain to Muse that the problem with Cecily is that she doesn't entirely know What She Wants As A Character, which makes it kind of hard to, y'know, protag with her...

Does "umm, not to be considered property?" sound like a hook to hang a plot on? I worry that my initial 'that'd never fly here' impulse is, once again, that "that's a girl's story hence not Artistically Valid but you can't give a girl a 'rather be hung for my own damn sins' storyline, especially without it going all rapey in one way or the other", and maybe there is a story in there just because of that resistance, but... Yeah. Kind of at the "oh god how does anybody word" stage of this theoretical project. Help me think out loud, here, guys...

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feeling: thinky

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ashnistrike From: ashnistrike Date: September 27th, 2014 02:01 am (UTC) (permalink this entry)
"Not to be considered property" seems like a pretty good motivational hook for plot, assuming there are actions she can take toward that goal. They don't even necessarily have to be successful, just result in movement. (I don't think you need movement in mainstream fiction, but it's kind of nice in genre.)

"Try to figure out what I want as a character" can also be a decent plot hook, if you can have the rest of the world push them into movement. Then they have to figure out whether they like the direction they're going or not. (See frex The Hobbit.)

Are you thinking about the disability-themed anthology, or one of the others?
ankewehner From: ankewehner Date: September 27th, 2014 03:23 am (UTC) (permalink this entry)
Agreeing on the "not to be considered property" thing. It's something I feel strongly about.
robling_t From: robling_t Date: September 27th, 2014 04:34 am (UTC) (permalink this entry)
As would most people today, but the problem is that the story would be set in the 1200s; personal autonomy is kind of a recent ideal, and for women it's even more recently that the idea of wanting separate identities has gained any sort of momentum towards being a given. :( There's this whole weight of What Her Society Expects Of Its Members that I have to figure out if she can even see, much less think of pushing against...
ankewehner From: ankewehner Date: September 28th, 2014 12:10 pm (UTC) (permalink this entry)
Ah, right. That's why I stick with fantasy for the most part.
robling_t From: robling_t Date: September 27th, 2014 04:29 am (UTC) (permalink this entry)
assuming there are actions she can take toward that goal

That's sort of the big underlying question I'm tripping over: given the setting, is it actually even reasonable for her to be thinking in that way? Or is it too modern of an idea for someone in the 1200s to be thinking about what she wants from life? There's got to be some way to get to "...fuck this, I'd rather be a vampire" without it reading as some variation of putting on trousers to join the army (which is actually the sort of thing Cecily would do, but only to amuse herself!)... I've been trying to figure out which Disney Princess besides Mulan she is, strictly for subversion purposes you understand :), but I'm starting to think she might be one of the villains instead! (...Hmmmm...)

If the disability-themed book is the one I'm aware of, it seemed like it was strictly SF, which isn't a channel my writerbrain seems to be running in ATM (pity -- couldn't come up with anything for 'alphabet of embers' either because nothing was gelling) -- what I'm thinking of here is that there are starting to be rumblings about doing another LH-style collection, with the specific subtheme of protagonists who are under 18, so C is basically what I've got for that sort of restriction within the areas that I seem to feel like working in lately. If you know of other anthologies coming up, my ears are always open...
ashnistrike From: ashnistrike Date: September 27th, 2014 04:47 am (UTC) (permalink this entry)
Women having agency, and not liking to have it sat on, is not only a modern thing. Which doesn't, of course, mean it always played out with the standard "I really want to be a 20th century girl" attitude that is the trope failure mode. Maybe the best route is to read a bunch on women who actually did "fuck this I'd rather be X" around that time? Kameron Hurley's "We have always fought" and Scott Lynch's rant about the realism of female pirates both have a bunch of good links of that sort, as I recall.

Haven't heard of any relevant open anthologies other than the ones you mention, I'm afraid.
robling_t From: robling_t Date: September 27th, 2014 05:00 am (UTC) (permalink this entry)
the standard "I really want to be a 20th century girl" attitude that is the trope failure mode

Which is the thing I'm worried about. It's got to walk that line of depicting just what it is about her life that makes the 'fuck this' the better alternative, without tipping over into either 'meh, find me my tiny violin while you're looking for some Big Girl Pants' or Gratuitous Grimdark...
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