The trick is that they’re all self inserts. Every character you write is an expression of some understanding of yourself, or desire for something better, or a million other things. It all comes from you.
There’s this weird tendency among fandom types where they’ll take a character, and insist that they are fans of them, before changing their design, age, pronouns, backstory, blood type, species, hometown, favorite color, zodiac sign, medical history, and every other facet of their being.
They will then violently insist that this version is superior to the canon one and act like they “fixed” them and it’s like. Buddy that’s not the same character anymore. That’s just your own oc commiting identity fraud. Like. I get the desire to experiment with different interpretations of a story. But first of all it’s okay to just make an original character if that’s what you really want to do. And second of all, are you even really a fan of the character you “fixed” if they’re a completely different person afterwards?
Like. Idk dude for somebody who claims to be a fan you sure don’t seem to like them as they are :/
Gonna remember “buddy that’s not the character that’s your OC committing identity fraud.”
The Blorbo of Thesus
okay, so here’s a thing i do that i never see talked about in writing circles: prewriting.
prewriting, for me, serves two functions: one, to stave off writer’s block and get me hyped up to write, and two, to make sure the tone of my writing stays consistent. i know we’ve all encountered that problem where we’re writing glorious purple prose, take a five minute break, and come back unable to write sentences more complex than those in a picture book.
prewriting is, in essence, any refresher of your wip that you look at before you start writing. my prewriting agenda takes about 15 minutes, and it goes like this:
For ~10 min i read a published book that has the prose i want to emulate (in this case, Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo)
For ~5 min I look at the WIP: moodboards or graphics i’ve made, my outlines, and most importantly, the chapter (or several chapters) that precede what i’m about to write. this is the most important step for me, as it reminds me of what’s going on and the flow of the story.
cons of prewriting: it’s very, very easy to get distracted by all the cool inspiration you have and not actually write. to prevent this, i set a timer. a loud one.
even though this might seem like obvious advice, consciously establishing a writing routine, including a proper setup, boosted my word count like mad, and i hope it benefits some of you as well. peace.
This is good advice! In various discussions of writing and word count and how long it takes to write a thing, I don’t very often see mention of all the prepwork that goes into writing, including planning, brainstorming, research, and reviewing what you previously wrote. I really love the idea of starting a writing session with a quick style refresher. I often have inspiration images open in tabs for this purpose, but don’t do it in this kind of organized way; I should try this.
welcome to the internet
See I don’t actually know who Bo Burnham is (or I didn’t) but this song came up on a YouTube playlist and I fast became obsessed with it.
Just the PERFECT song about… all this. Turns out there’s numerous parodies of it around YouTube so hopefully the real Bo Burnham doesn’t mind that I wrote a couple extra verses just for, uh, “fun.” Here they are. The internet in 2022:
Welcome to the internet
Clearly state your goal
You could meet your dearest friend or lose your fucking soul
We see you! We hear you! We understand strife
Just don’t you ever try that shit
In real life
Welcome to the internet
Try not to be mad
This is what you asked for
So we took all that you had
Can I interest you in everything all of the time?
Anything and everything all of the – CREATE A PAID ACCOUNT TO ACCESS THE REST OF THIS SONG
Comics, canon, fanfiction, mythology
Recent unpopular events in the Spider-Man comics (yes, even more of them) have got me thinking about the whole concept of ongoing comics as a storytelling medium. And then I have to stop and take out a word, because I don’t think what comics have at the moment is storytelling? Not in Marvel world, anyway, not sure about DC comics. If Spider-Man or Iron Man or Dr Strange aren’t allowed to grow in many significant ways, or to stay dead if they die, how can that ever work?
At the moment it feels like current comics “canon” is more just us the readers seeing people play with toys over and over again. There’s a lot of value in playing with toys, of course, but why should one person’s made up playtime story matter more than another’s? Can’t my fanfiction be canon too, especially in a world like Marvel’s where canon barely exists as is? Didn’t several of their characters fight in the Vietnam War until Marvel literally, and yes this is as bizarre as it sounds, replace the Vietnam War with a fictional war involving a sentient country? How on earth are you supposed to have a “canon” when stuff like that is going on?
At the moment it feels like Marvel comics are at best a testing ground for ideas that might make it into the MCU, and at worst a long and convoluted advertisement for Funko Pops and Fortnite skins. You can’t grow attached to any character because a retcon or shocking twist will inevitably happen and ruin them. You can’t appreciate your favorite toy because some other kid on the playground is going to rip it out of your hand and stomp on it, and good luck affording a new one. I’ve heard comics called modern mythology but they’re only mythology via capitalism, and thus not mythology at all, in the same way that a story which is forbidden to end cannot be a story.
Write fanfiction guiltlessly. Do it not only because it’s good practice, not only because you don’t feel like putting your energy into original stuff, but because you do feel like putting your energy into fandom. Write fanfics of epic proportions or tiny one-shots; write fluff or angst or cliches or tropes; publish the roughest version or keep the twelfth draft for only yourself. Do it without feeling bad. You owe no one anything; the act of creation is a gift in and of itself, and it doesn’t matter if you’re creating fanfic or original stories or whatever else you want. All that matters is you enjoy it, because why else would you do it at the end of the day?
Write fanfiction guiltlessly.
my dad–also a writer–came to visit, and i mentioned that the best thing to come out of the layoff is that i’m writing again. he asked what i was writing about, and i said what i always do: “oh, just fanfic,” which is code for “let’s not look at this too deeply because i’m basically just making action figures kiss in text form” and “this awkward follow-up question is exactly why i don’t call myself a writer in public.”
he said, “you have to stop doing that.”
“i know, i know,” because it’s even more embarrassing to be embarrassed about writing fanfic, considering how many posts i’ve reblogged in its defense.
but i misunderstood his original question: “fanfic is just the genre. i asked what you’re writing about.”
i did the conversational equivalent of a spinning wheel cursor for at least a minute. i started peeling back the setting and the characters, the fic challenge and the specific episode the story jumps off from, and it was one of those slow-dawning light bulb moments. “i’m writing about loneliness, and who we are in the absence of purpose.”
as, i imagine, are a lot of people right now, who probably also don’t realize they’re writing an existential diary in the guise of getting television characters to fuck.
“that’s what you’re writing. the rest is just how you get there, and how you get it out into the world. was richard iii really about richard the third? would shakespeare have gotten as many people to see it if it wasn’t a story they knew?”
so, my friends: what are you writing about?
Tolkien and writing
This is really, really good writing advice.
One of the things that’s really struck me while rereading the Lord of the Rings–knowing much more about Tolkien than I did the last time I read it–is how individual a story it is.
We tend to think of it as a genre story now, I think–because it’s so good, and so unprecedented, that Tolkien accidentally inspired a whole new fantasy culture, which is kind of hilarious. Wanting to “write like Tolkien,” I think, is generally seen as “writing an Epic Fantasy Universe with invented races and geography and history and languages, world-saving quests and dragons and kings.” But… But…
Here’s the thing. I don’t think those elements are at all what make The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings so good. Because I’m realizing, as I did not realize when I was a kid, that Tolkien didn’t use those elements because they’re somehow inherently better than other things. He…View original post
So I ended up writing a poem in honour of Notre Dame being saved. I submitted it to a magazine, let’s see what happens!