"Welcome to Japan, folks. The local time is . . . tomorrow."
- from 30 Minutes Over Tokyo, The Simpsons, Season 10

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Movies and Inspiration

I have this habit that when I watch a movie I really enjoy, I usually have one of two reactions.
1. That is the best movie in the world, I wish I could write a story as good as that.
2. I want to write something like that.

The last movie this happened with was Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End. So I spent about a month outlining a pirate novel, called The Emerald Dragon. It's about a girl named Teague, the youngest dolphin shapeshifter, and the Emerald Dragon, a statue that controls fate. Of course I didn't get much past the first chapter because I went back to working on Kitsune.

The newest movie this happened with was She's the Man, and I kind of got two stories out of it.

The first story's about a character I played in a fantasy role-playing game about a young noble lady who gets mad at her parents for trying to force her into a marriage with a proper noble. She's not too keen on the idea, so she uses a magical medallion to disguise herself as a man so she can enter the jousting tournaments.

I've been wanting to work on that story since we stopped playing that game because I really like the character. Unlike most of my female characters, she's very strong in a quiet sort of way, at least while she's female. But, when the game ended, she was in the Afterlife after having carried one of the other character's dead body out of some underground vault. I don't remember exactly what was going on, but I do know that it was very important for my character to win the other character's respect. Mainly because he was the closest to seeing through her disguise, and she didn't want anyone to know what was really going on until she was ready to reveal it herself. (Which if she had her way wouldn't be until she found a man worthy of her.)

But rather than starting that story at the beginning, with the girl getting upset about her parents trying to set up another arranged marriage for her and then her using the medallion to disguise herself as a man, I wanted to start the story closer to where we stopped playing the game. Which is in the Afterlife. Only something went wrong. Because instead of being a female in the Afterlife, she's male. And she finds herself falling for the rogue-assassin whose dead body she had carried until she died.

The best title I have for this right now is We Fell in Love in the Afterlife, but I think it's a little too long.

Though for whatever reason when I start putting it to paper, I ended up making the main character a high school girl from the 21st century who somehow travels to this fantasy world where this young noble lady lives. And in the process of figuring out how to get out of the girl's body and back home, she ends up needing to learn how to joust and falls in love with the rogue-assassin. I don't think the two character concepts mesh very well, but my brain seemed to think so.

The second story I started working on is called Catfight, at least for the time being. It's also another story I've been wanting to write for quite some time. This one has to do with high school, tae kwon do, love letters, and girls fighting over the same guys. Unlike pretty much every other story I have ever written, this one has absolutely nothing to do with the supernatural, sci fi, or fantasy.

I haven't written much in either. But I want to work on Catfight until June, when I plan to go back to Kitsune.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Writing Prompts

Mostly cross-posted from the Den of Shadows.

Angel Love, Demon Love is a story about angels and demons. It started from a short story I wrote during college when I was in one of my moods where I just needed to write something and have it finished. Then I took a creative writing class and the story just exploded.

Rather than outlining the expanded version of Angel Love, Demon Love like I normally do, I thought it would be fun to take the vague idea of plot from the short story I had written and write the story based on writing exercises and prompts. This actually wasn't my idea to start with. I hadn't planned on it being more than the short story that it was, and all I was going to do with it was maybe revise the short story and try to sell it. But then, like I said, I took that creative writing class.

For the first short story or chapter of a novel that we were supposed to turn in, the teacher gave us a prompt to write some part of our story or something about our characters. At first I thought it was really stupid because by writing based on some prompt, I thought it would eliminate my creativity. Instead, I found the opposite to be true. And I found out there was a lot more to Xander and Cortillya's story to tell than what I wrote in the original short story.

But now, I want to write their entire story (or the vast majority that remains of it) based off of writing exercises and prompts.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Writing Again

It's been a while.

It's Golden Week. Which means no classes, no school, no work for a whole week. And while I had planned to spend the week cleaning and writing, I didn't get as much done as I wanted. Well, actually, I haven't gotten any writing done. But, I've been thinking about the last bit of stuff I wrote about two weeks ago, and have decided that maybe those few pages aren't as bad as I thought they were.

Like usual, I wasn't really thinking about what I was writing, and just sort of wrote some complications for my character that I hadn't planed on. So I was going to get rid of all that, and start the scene over. Only now, as I dread redoing the scene, I'm thinking, hey it might not be as bad as I thought it was. I reread the last sentence of that scene a little bit ago, and I thought, hey, I want to find out what happens.

In other news, I finished my synopsis for Kitsune, which I sent (along with a query letter and the first three chapters) to my mom so she could send it to the SHOMI writing contest for me. I was afraid that it wasn't going to make it since it needed to be in by April 30th, and my mom didn't send it until the 28th. But it arrived.

Now I just have to wait until July 1st to see if I'm a finalist or not.