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11 October 2003 @ 04:27 pm
I know I'm smack-dab in the hormonal stew when the "Get every American a job" speech in "Dave" makes me cry. *eye roll*

I posted a comment in josselin's LJ on a subject dear to my heart, which is about how to describe specific tones of voice and line deliveries in a way that make you hear the characters; but it also extends to other things like facial expressions. "Looks, laughs, lines"--that's what I'd name a writing challenge if I were motivated enough to devise it. I'd pick 10-20 expressions, laughs (or just non-verbal noises in general) and line deliveries from BtVS episodes and anyone who was game to try would have a week to describe them, to try to capture their essence. And then we could see what we all came up with. More of a writing exercise than a challenge. I think the comparisons would be fascinating though.

Too bad I'm so lazy!

I'm still thinking about kinks too. I have so many dark kinks I don't write about. It's weird. Would you believe there are actually lots of things I *don't* overshare? And on that note I'll just shut up about it. Heh.

Thinking about characterization, too, as it relates to kink, and how I always choose to fall for characters who are bottoms--emotionally, physically, psychologically. Or, you know, I *render* them so. I don't fall for the leader types--Angel, Buffy, Skinner, Kirk. (I'm leaving SG-1 characters off my musing list, because my responses to them feel like the exception to every rule.)

I admit it: I really get a kick out of taking a character like Spike, all sharp edges and aggression, and running him through the wash to soften him up. "The wash" being not a whitewash but a tumble, a trip through rough river rapids--whatever circumstances I can devise to alter him to my template. And I say "template" but what I mean is the deep, atavistic pattern in my head that conditions my response to romantic assholes. I wouldn't want to impose a cookie-cutter pattern on a character in a way that distorts him. But I *like* making Spike a slave, poor bastard. Just like I did twenty years ago to Spock. (My kinks really never *ever* change.)

The trouble is that some of these guys have certain hard, rocky edges that it seems like only eons of rushing water will wear them down and reshape them. Which is why I leave so many fantasies unwritten, as I see them requiring several hundred thousand words of story in order for my devices and desires to become at all plausible. Spike can't wake up one day and say, "Cor, blimey, I'm going to go kneel to the whelp now--god I miss my daddy!" It wouldn't take mere minutes, days, hours, or weeks--it would take *years* of pressure before his neck bowed down to the level perfectly calibrated to meet my exacting needs.

Because I do want canonicity. I hate when I look back on a story and feel that I've gotten a character wrong in some way. It makes me sick and angry, either because I've let my will sway my words, or my words weren't good enough to express my will, or worst of all, I thought my will and my words were aligned in rightness when in fact they were utterly, tragically *wrong*, my vision askew. Which really isn't something beta readers will always catch either, as you can easily have a hundred people around you who share your kinks and inclinations. Kinklinations.

I'm rambling. I just realized earlier that hey, wasn't it just January? January, yeah, and I was just posting an installment of noir, and now it's OCTOBER and the year is simply fucking GONE. With so little to show for it. I mean, really. What! The! Fuck?! Time is not on my side.

Close by recommending chase820's post on how we create gods. Yes, yes, yes.
Sizequeensizequeen on October 11th, 2003 04:32 pm (UTC)
Hey, if you like submissive Spike, then you'll love this story by Kuzibah:

twitwistingflame on October 11th, 2003 04:56 pm (UTC)
Kinklinations. New word of the day.
rubywisp: by zyrerubywisp on October 11th, 2003 05:00 pm (UTC)
Kinklinations. Brilliant word. I think I'm adopting it. Er, if I remember, which I frequently do not. But my intentions are good! (If not always pure, thankfully.)

And I think the meme idea is an absolutely marvelous one. That need to find different ways to describe a look, a gesture, a sound, is something that I despair of every time I write a fic, the thing that whacks me the hardest. It's also one of the things I love best about your writing; the way you do it (IMO) so well.

it would take *years* of pressure before his neck bowed down to the level perfectly calibrated to meet my exacting needs.

Tuesday Has No Phones: glassesthebratqueen on October 11th, 2003 05:24 pm (UTC)
Spike can't wake up one day and say, "Cor, blimey, I'm going to go kneel to the whelp now--god I miss my daddy!"

And the thing that makes you different from many writers is that unlike them, you don't write stories like this ;)

Dave is one of my fav movies. It makes me happy everytime I see it. My fav is when he does the opening pitch. I heard that the shot was real, and Kevin Kline's reaction was his actual joy of being able to throw the ball that well.
gwynnega on October 11th, 2003 05:29 pm (UTC)
"Looks, laughs, lines"--that's what I'd name a writing challenge if I were motivated enough to devise it.

I find this stuff so much more difficult in fic than in original fiction - I guess because in original fiction, they're totally my characters so I'm creating the looks and expresions etc. from scratch. It's harder to cheat that stuff in fic. Sometimes it completely breaks my brain trying to come up with a fresh way to describe, say, some little half-smile of Xander's! And sometimes I'm just lazy about it.

Sophia: my fandom (fannish)sophia_helix on October 12th, 2003 01:22 pm (UTC)
Getting the characters across can be downright impossible, I've found. hesychasm and I were talking the other day about whether Spike would actually "sneer" -- I think that's fanon, she said. And at first, I said that it sounded perfectly in-character to me, until I realized that I was thinking of all the times I'd *seen* it in fic. While watching the show, I'd never think of his facial expression as an actual "sneer."

Or there's the Anya story I was working on the other day, with the following bit of dialogue:

"I don't have any money, Giles. I put aside my strong capitalist beliefs and attempted to benefit from the public assistance offered by this country's socialist government, but unfortunately, they have this crazy residence requirement. So I'm broke, and I need a job."

Right before "unfortunately," I want her to make that exasperated little "uh" exhalation she does, and "crazy" needs to be "crrraaaazy," with the "aaaazy" higher pitched, and at "residence requirement," I want her to do that thing where she rolls her eyes up and does this fast little side-to-side head shake, and do know how HARD all that is to convey in dialogue?

I've tried to approximate it with Giles looking up in time to catch sight of her up-rolled eyes and impatient head shake, but it's just not cutting it.

Long way of saying -- a challenge would be interesting, and insanely frustrating. :)