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16 May 2004 @ 12:27 pm
Your Horoscope for Today: commentary track  
I don't know why I was compelled to write this, but it's how I've spent the better part of the last two or three days. The commentary is almost completely focused on my own writing techinque, such as it is. Despite the risk of coming off as self-aggrandizing, I thought it might be useful for newer writers. May not be of interest to everyone.


I wish I had a cat. I would go lie down on the couch and place the cat on my chest, and allow it to anchor me there, all fuzzy and warm and making those breathy little brrrrrrt sounds.
Barbrahirah on May 16th, 2004 02:00 pm (UTC)
(melts into puddle of writerly adoration)
namastenancynamastenancy on May 16th, 2004 02:03 pm (UTC)
I really enjoyed this and found it very insightful. You could teach creative writing but then, you wouldn't have time to entertain us with your stories.

namaste nancy
all right, so you're nonchalant: wish you were hererunpunkrun on May 16th, 2004 02:13 pm (UTC)
I have cats, and they still don't work like that. That's the main problem with cats.

Also I'm only on the first screen of your commentary, but I'm already learning good things. Thanks for posting it.
Kat Allisonkatallison on May 16th, 2004 02:18 pm (UTC)
This is completely fascinating, and like Punk, I'm learning plenty. (I'm also finding some comfort in knowing I'm not the only one who struggles with broken dialogue sentences: "Like if you--" Anna hesitated. "--well, like this." These make me insane, and yet I do them allllll the time.)

Thank you so much for posting this!
Doyledoyle_sb4 on May 16th, 2004 02:32 pm (UTC)
I love this. Simultaneously stuck between being happy that it taught me a lot and whimpering because I'm 3000 words into an Angel Book of Days fic that I'm now convinced sucks *g*
Flurblewigflurblewig on May 16th, 2004 02:36 pm (UTC)
Wow. Thank you - this is insanely useful :-)
sottovoce10 on May 16th, 2004 02:43 pm (UTC)
Fascinating read, Eliade. A richly doubled pleasure, reading the story under the commentary--must go back and read it intact--and seeing your writer's reasoning, choices, occasional struggles, and warnings. I'm newish at fanfiction writing and found it incredibly valuable. Thanks for doing it.

p.s. or stop reading the commentary and read the story properly. Ack, stopping now. Off to read the story.
sottovoce10 on May 16th, 2004 04:11 pm (UTC)
Oh, ah. Well. Can't believe I was so far into the commentary--it was really interesting--before I backed out to read the story itself. Wonderful, funny, sexy, impeccable voices but much more than, just terrific story. I realize also that I've already read your stories when I started reading fanfic and loved them. But forgot, and now am reminded. Brilliant stuff.
Joseysangpassionne on May 16th, 2004 02:48 pm (UTC)
That was absolutely fascinating. Thanks for posting it.
kittygoslingp on May 16th, 2004 08:42 pm (UTC)
I loved this story and the commentary too.

Apart from its being useful and helpful, it's also nice to read someone's commentary and realize that some of the really perfect sentences which ring so true that you can see the actors performing, may have been laboured over; the author is not simply a conduit for phantom dictation but has resorted to dictionaries and thesauruses and spoken her dialogue aloud to hear how it sounds, etc. You are so very talented that it is genuinely (non-writer here, obviously) surprising to be reminded that just because you're talented doesn't mean that you don't have to work hard too to keep us satisfied.
Erin: Daniel w/glassestingler on May 17th, 2004 02:31 am (UTC)
Can fix you right up with a cat. Loved the Spander story. Was doubly pleasured by the commentary. It's kind of like one of those businesses with the glass windows so you can see the behind-the-scenes magick of how the donut/pizza/exquisite rocking chair is made. Would have your babies, but got that part turned off. Will share body organs, though, should the need arise.
(Anonymous) on May 17th, 2004 11:44 am (UTC)
Awesome to read your commentary on the whole process.

Some specific thoughts...

[quote] You can only say "the blond vampire" when Buffy is talking to two strange vampires, both men, and she doesn't know their names, and hair color is the only useful thing to distinguish them. [/quote]

Yeah, I get really annoyed by constant reminders of characters physical traits. If I'm reading a Buffy fanfic, I probably know that she's blonde, and a Slayer, so calling her 'the blonde Slayer' doesn't really tell me anything. Similarly, referring to Willow as 'the Wicca,' or making reference to her red-headedness or her Jewishness, when they aren't important to the story, also turn me off, since I'm either a fan who knows all of this stuff about her, or I'm not and don't care if she was born Jewish, if it isn't part of the plot...

[quote] the place could use a good dusting."
Buffy obliged him [/quote]

I missed this the first time and was taken out of the narrative for a second wondering why they let the vampire live... Cute.

[quote] With the decisive action that marked her the slayer [/quote]

Don't like this bit at all. Sounds like something Giles might think, not Xander. While the scene wasn't technically Xander's POV, enough of the story was to make it jarring when it began to sound all pretentious and Giles-y.

[quote] "That's...that's very incenting." I don't know if incenting is an actual verb and don't care. [/quote]

Doesn't matter. It's something Xander would say, so it's being used correctly, even if it isn't 'correct.'

[quote] Dead snakes make the best pets. [/quote]

Best line in the whole damn fic. Perfect nonsense. Perfect Xander.

[quote] With accompanying sign language he tried to convey cake and Spike and a balanced diet of both, but his hands were empty. [/quote]

I can just see NB-as-Xander doing this, as he talks with his hands constantly. Very cool bit there, making the scene feel so much more real to me, since I can see it.

Very neat getting to see the 'behind-the-scenes' making-of documentary here. Can't wait for the E! special on the backstage fights between the cast. :)

daddy's not done talkingros_fod on May 17th, 2004 04:20 pm (UTC)
Oh, I loved this. I still tend to think in action-thoughts when writing (this happend and then this happend and then that occured as a result of it), and this is really helpful in terms of showing the thought that goes behind the other aspects of storytelling, everything from word choice to research to character motivation and so on. Bookmarking.

Also - I am furless (er...that's not a TMI infraction, I mean, in the covered from kitty ears to kitty tail...er...no, I'll just stop right ther and keep moving on), but I could totally make purring noises. You would only have to leave me some milk in a dish and pet my - fuck it. There's no way to say this without crossing some borders. :)
Deepa D.deepad on May 18th, 2004 03:16 am (UTC)
if you put everything you cut into a document file, you can at least pretend to yourself you'll use it someday even if you never do. It's comforting

::grins sheepishly:: Its the only way I can bring myself to take stuff out.
Trepkostrepkos on May 25th, 2004 03:44 pm (UTC)
""Got to keep your nob off the table or they won't serve you." Spike. Ever the voice of wisdom.
Nob: I research British slang and sprinkle it carefully where I can and then cross my fingers and hope that real British people won't mock me."

As a British person, I love this - its a reverse double entendre! The rude meaning is the obvious one and the main intended meaning is the one you have to do a double take for!
Truly we are not worthy.
The sad "authors" who write the official Buffy novels should have your commentary branded onto them, somewhere they can see it while they are "writing".
Zyryazyrya on May 26th, 2004 06:16 pm (UTC)
Heaven. Inarticulate with admiration and joy.

Thank you.