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20 January 2012 @ 10:42 pm
Creativity and inspiration  
I did this Manga Studio drawing with the reasonably successful aim of loosening up my style and improving the realism of my facial features. My hair remains stylized, but I like it that way. Pen doodling is the shit when you have an undo button.

I'm back to planning Arise, my modern day legend of Cao Cao. The NaNoWriMo draft got me some great scenes and broad strokes of subplots. Its general concepts are sound, but the motivations and conflicts need to be sharpened and finalized before the next draft. This involves a plot brainstorming file and a list of questions and sticking points. Some fundamentals of the story appear in my head as fuzzy and dreamlike - believable at viewing distance, but as yet hollow. I need to bring them into focus with full confidence in what lies beneath the surface. Rough drafting can flesh that out to some satisfactory initial extent, but NaNoWriMo taught me the limits of writing on the fly. Prose and conversation can and should be banged out - scene ideas can be explored and set aside if needed. Threads can be sparked with a rough idea, as in when I sent my main man to mahjong and wound up with a segue into his real estate endeavors. Yet their full realization requires more thought than I'm in the mood to bullshit without structure in mind.

On the subject of fiction, you may recall that I overhauled Tempered Will for hopeful inclusion in a wuxia fiction anthology. Said anthology fell through, but I got this lovely comment in response.

Thanks for your submission. It's a good story, from someone who obviously knows the subject. Have you submitted it to any magazines? I think it would do well.

I just might take him up on that suggestion.
Current Mood: relaxedrelaxed
Current Music: Darksyde Phil swearing at Metal Gear Solid 2
See you later, instigator: Metal Gear Laws - Governmentoudeteron on January 21st, 2012 10:47 pm (UTC)
That's a pretty good drawing! The hair may be stylized but the detail just captivates the eye.

Good luck on all your planning for this novel; it sounds like you know where you're going anyway. I'm envious of the fact that you can be busy with creative writing since I've spent the last couple months doing assignments!

And wow, that's not even a real disappointment when the anthology falls through but you know that your piece wouldn't.
The Heavy Metal Matador: Yes Manrydain on January 22nd, 2012 11:37 pm (UTC)
Thank you! It didn't take me that long to do, either - 30-minute rough pencil + 3 casual evenings of dinking around with the ink work. A fair amount of that time was experimentation rather than active screw-ups.

I remember senior year of university as one big stretch of arrgggggh. I played piano in my spare time because it was easy to fit into my schedule on a lark, but I didn't have much creative inspiration for anything else. I'm lucky that my current schedule allows me plenty of brain time. How much longer do you have to go with school?

Yep - I was thrilled that Tempered Will passed apparent muster. My main disappointment is not getting to see the anthology at all. It would be awesome to have a collection of wuxia on my shelf and enjoy some other authors' works. At least I got to fix all the cruft that was bothering me, and I learned some repetitive habits of mine to watch out for in the future.
See you later, instigator: Toshioudeteron on February 9th, 2012 05:18 pm (UTC)
...holy shit, I'm sorry, this is a belated response.

I'm just heading for my final BA semester (if all goes well and I do all the exams on schedule). The workload isn't that much worse than I had in my first few years - to be honest, in some respects it's easing off - but I guess it's just been too long doing the same kinds of tasks. Also, I have to decide soon whether or not to apply for a Master's, and I feel like I'm in a headspace that won't allow me to make this decision fairly on a short notice. /sigh

Should get back to the piano, now you mention it! I attended classes for over a decade just until last year...

Yep, the idea behind that anthology sounded awesome. Good thing that you benefited in any case, though - I find weeding out repetitive strategies to be one of the hardest things when you've been writing for a while. It doesn't tend to be repeated words (for me) but repeated constructions, and while to some extent that's inevitable, there is a level where it just starts to bother me to know the repetition is there. XD