it's day three and i haven't written a WORD yet. AUGHH why is it that nano was a zillion times easier when i was in college than when i am an 'adult' with a set routine?
ok, at least i did grocery shopping and laundry recently and don't have that looming over me. (fresh undies are very necessary to write, trust me on this.)
i re-read some of the sections i wrote within the past few months and they didn't suck. am having a hard time transitioning into the next phase of the story as i didn't really establish a certain character strong enough. that character needs to die and his death needs to be fairly disturbing -- but right now i'm wondering why the reader would care that this guy is gone? the characters will be sad but the reader won't be there with them. and that's bad, mmkay.
so i am not going to give in to the temptation to go back and 'fill in' those reasons just now. i'm going to plow ahead pretending i've established his character enough that all else will fall into place. it's perhaps a false assumption but i just gotta go with it for now.
writing the 20 questions for phantom thing yesterday really helped me do some writing yesterday evening (another 5 pages or so, sweeet) so i'll probably do a pacifica one today if i can. just climbing around their brain spaces and writing extended somewhat-in-character dialogues help. i tend to skimp on the dialog in my story, which i'm not sure is a good idea, and can find it really difficult to get into pacifica's voice especially, as she's a bit of a chameleon. phantom's always stilted, didactic, archaic, that kind of thing, doesn't use many contractions, has perfect american-sounding english but speaks it like he was taught it as a second language, which he was. to me that's actually easy to write because it's kind of artificial.
pacifica's a toughie. her normal way of speaking is very normal for an american teenager/young woman, but she can "class it up" if need be. she doesn't say "like" every other word (as i do sometime, which is weird) but her attitude is generally really cavalier towards everything. very little in her world needs to be taken seriously. so, yea, an extended dialog of hers will be... challenging.
strangely, very strangely, of all the characters i've had to write, dieny is by far the easiest, because he's a sarcastic asshole. THAT is can do. he'll hear phantom talking and be all "BLAH BLAH BLAH PHANTOM, YOU ARE BORING ME! let's ditch this fuckface and go eat :D :D :D :D" and then later deliver a sophisticated missive on duty and loyalty ... while massively hungover. hahah. oh dieny.
i also realized that my story is kind of a chronological mythological triptych, as my characters all inhabit three different worlds that exist concurrently. it's like each word is exactly 1000 years apart from the other as well. and no, i didn't plan this XD
there's the world of 0, where the heros of the time were the gods of the pantheon. there's the world of 1000, where the heros were the knights and lords and all that good stuff. and then there's 2000, where the heros are superheros, larger-than-life crime fighters. so, i have a feeling if my story has an epilogue (if i ever GET to that point!) it might bring up this theme. just 'cause.
inspired by ger's 20 questions with her main character -- here's one with phantom! i had fun doing this :)( i can has interview?Collapse )
the BBT section got a thorough going-over, which is exactly what it needed, thank you for the feedback :)
basically BBT#1 is done in the novel, i have to write the final face-off part, but the main conflict is over. i'd been dreading BBT#2 since the premise was pretty weak to begin with, so it's for the best y'all suggested i axe it. definitely a good idea and i'm going to do just that.
*zephyr can fuck up somewhere in here
*arbiter gets killed (this is ridiculously important)
*frostbite comes in!~!!! yatta!
*something's gotta happen to V and M. oo, maybe they could get transferred to a different AS branch? like in the middle east or something (they're both middle eastern-american, enjoy eating lots of imambaldi j/k j/k)
*i like the idea of more down time in here, Pa and Ph going about their duties as originally planned, nothing too extraordinary happening. kind of a fermentation?
*BBT#3 in some way as originally planned or as krys suggested, which was a great suggestion. Ph going from self-centered to altruistic, backfiring in a bad way? that i like a lot, and it's not ZOMGANIMEANGST ... unlike the one i wrote in the previous entry.
main objectives through the whole story
1) extraordinary abilities as a backdrop but not the crux. amazing powers are not crutches for poor character development, instead they enable some interesting growth. i hope.
2) medieval-fervor-level of devotion to ideals, oaths, honor -- backfiring. unquestioned loyalty to a cause eventually leave both Ph and Pa in the dust.
3) everyone manipulates each other for their own ends. not just governments, not just coporations, not just any other easy and big target -- everybody. teammates, friends, family, lovers. i don't mean XFiles-level manipulation to the point of death, dismemberment, etc; but emotional manipulation is my favorite :)
my personal story style
1) people robbed of chances for revenge. i see revenge-getting as a very Uber American Hollywood type thing as pretty tired. it's cathartic in blockbuster movies i supposed but it's not realistic. very rarely can anyone strike back at the forces against them, and it rings hollow to me when someone gets that great counterattack and beats The Man.
2) no attempt to hide the classical and modern influences here. greek myths, biblical lore, and modern comic stories are all majorly referenced, lots. i'd like to be transparent about these as major points of inspiration and don't see why i can't blatantly reference them (since arguably all works reference each other anyway). my characters live in the modern world where these same ideals are forces on their lives, as they are on mine.
3) contrast is the keyword i'm going for here. tons of quiet moments peppered with 2 or 3 massive events. it's not everyone's style but it's more tasty to me. the story doesn't come in a steady stream of action.
hopefully that helps clarify a bit of what i'm going for here? i don't intend to give anyone a fun happy ending, and i'd rather some things not have easy ways out. i like to think of this as if this was a movie, it'd be an indie film shown on a tiny screen that no one goes to see, as opposed to a giant blockbuster movie. my taste in story style is odd and i know readership will suffer for it, but i'm ok with that.
it took long enough, but here they be, the soundtracks for my main characters. you can download each "album" at the end of the tracklists. these songs are not necessarily what pacifica or phantom listen to/perform, but rather these songs are soundtracks of their lives.
[descriptions purposely semi-vague and not necessarily in chronological order]
please let me know if you downloaded these and gave them a listen :) thanks!
passionately painful -- the soundtrack of phantom (rock and near-middle eastern sounds. mellow)
- The Verve - Bittersweet Symphony -- Regal but melancholy, this is Phantom's theme song if there ever was one. Describes his first flights after the initiation ceremonies, where he realizes he is now freer than any human alive, but fettered like never before.
- Muse - Bliss -- Time to get down to business. After the formal introductions to his new squadron, Phantom finds he doesn't much like his teammates, commanding officers, or his partner Pacifica. Much to his chagrin, the feeling is completely mutual. But his life depends on theirs, so they have to cooperate somehow.
- Coldplay - Spies -- He grows isolated from the life he knew in idyllic Sept Cites, he shuns the public eye, he grows ever more secluded in the tiny world that insulates Pacifica and himself. Phantom abandons himself to his life of duty, thinks of nothing else. Anything and anyone else is mere distraction.
- Catherine Wheel - Black Metallic -- Turmoil surrounds Phantom, but he knows he has one refuge -- one immature, strongheaded, sometimes terrifying refuge -- where he may not be respected, but he is at least understood. One out of two is all he can ask for.
- Hurricane #1 - Only The Strongest Will Survive -- As the years in the squadron continue on, officers and comrades fall in combat again and again. The loneliness takes him by surprise, and conjures up memories of an abandonment long ago.
- The Smashing Pumpkins - Crestfallen -- Broken promises from friends and supposed caretakers. Twice over his life nearly ends, both at the hands of the two governments he serves. He survives only because he trained Pacifica to never quit.
- Anouar Brahem - Khotan -- Oud solo. Memories of long-gone summer evenings on the balcony, picking out little tunes on his oud with an eagle feather risha.
- Xaik Yiazitzian - Antonis Aperghis - Firewalkers Dance -- Phantom and his childhood friends' favorite song. As teenagers they sometimes performed it at taverns for small change (to buy drinks they oughtn't!) Two ouds, a doumbek, and a dancer in a sometimes-skimpy dress?
- Children Of The Revolution - Broken Pieces -- A deceptively upbeat-sounding song. After a life like Phantom's had, can you blame him if he hits the bottle once in a while? ... or even more than that?
- Haris Alexiou - With Blessings -- The inevitable separation from old values, of mystical devotions and oaths taken at an age when he was too young to understand the consequences. Enough is enough. Phantom finally breaks away, loses his wings but gains his freedom.
- Giannhs Savidakis - H Thalassa -- The sea is the source of his strength and the embodiment of his unrelenting devotion. Phantom fears drowning but is still drawn to the waves. It is where his and Pacifica's life truly intersect.
- Bonus Track: WA-M - 情景(ほたる) -- A dirge. The ephemerality of life, the tiny bursts of light from fireflies, a cycle doomed to repeat.
- Bonus Track 2: North - Pacifica -- Too eerily appropriate to not be in this list. The music is so-so but the lyrics are quite nice.
***** download phantom's OST
painfully passionate -- the soundtrack of pacifica (mostly pop and techno sounds. intense)
- Doves - Sea Song -- Everything is as constant and repetitive as the crashing of waves. With one death Pacifica is given a new life, with one success comes a great downfall. Balance and counterbalance, all in cyclical rhythm. She follows in the footsteps of others like her, others raised and trained in the same manner who all failed. All unbeknownst to her.
- Real Life - Send Me An Angel -- She doesn't want rescuing, she doesn't need rescuing. But she asks for an angel anyway. Instead, she gets a ghost with wings.
- Natasha St-Pier - Un ange frappe a ma porte -- Pacifica's life unconsciously begins to revolve around her guardian. The closer they become and the deeper she digs, the more she is both repulsed and mystified. She is filled with pity for someone so proud who only comes to her aid reluctantly, and would rather die than ask for hers.
- Mary Mary - Shackles (Praise You) -- In the city of her birth, she becomes an accidental queen. Publicity, intrusion, acknowledgement and flattery, she accepts it grudgingly but relishes the unrestricted life it seems to give.
- Kanye West - We Don't Care -- Childhood wasn't exactly school o' hard knocks, but she was the only survivor. We weren't supposed to make it until 25, joke's on you, we're still alive! Not that she escaped her young years without a life sentence.
- Jay-Z and Linkin Park - Numb/Encore -- A lifelong debt to repay, obliged to repay, she dives into it. Training, education, conditioning, sparring. Everything, she becomes a virtuoso in everything. And even when her skills can't get her by, she still leaps in. Not just because she has to.
- Daft Punk - Human After All -- Growing up in complete isolation, Pacifica has no reference for social norms. Everything comes to her through a medium: tv, books, magazines. Anything said is something she heard somewhere. Anything experiences is something she was told she had to try. (Perhaps she's not so different from the rest of us?)
- Madonna - What It Feels Like For A Girl (DJ Duane Thamm's Extended Dance Video Remix) -- Most of her squadron is made of women, but there's no love lost there. Gender sensitivity, gender roles, gender double standards, she is a complete tabula rasa with no expectations.
- move - blue jewel -- Two amulets shift the balance of power in her partnership. She is forced to relinquish her complete domination and command over a man sworn to her service and divvy up half of everything she can do. The playing field becomes terrifyingly equal.
- Underworld - Dinosaur Adventure 3D -- Passion and Intensity, she knew, everyone knew she has those. But devotion? A loyalty unrivaled? It takes even her by surprise. No matter how many (figurative!) bullets she takes, she persists without hesitation.
- Everything but the Girl - Walking Wounded -- A partnership she took for granted, he took for granted. It's time to go separate ways. A violent split lead to an undirected and vague future.
- Coca & Villa - La Noche -- She is the leader of her squadron, an indispensible tool, a media goldmine. The adrenaline of the chase, sometimes unstoppable, often not intentional or desired. A magnificent power that cannot be restrained.
- Michael Hutchence - the Passenger -- In the end, even when she tries to leave her city, it pulls her right back in.
- Bonus track: The Calling - Stigmatized -- A song that she and Phantom share. Stuck in rush-hour traffic out of the city, they switch on the radio. Ginger ale and cheap noodles in the cup holders, pop rock on the speakers, gridlock for three hours -- they are forced to converse.
***** download pacifica's OST
(~100 MB)the download links will be deleted in a few days, so after that point, buy the music yourself!
PLEASE COMMENT IF YOU DOWNLOAD! :D thanks!
music: Real Life - Send Me An Angel
designs for phantom's initiation ceremony:
first design, based on indian sherwanis
not too great, interesting though.
second design, by sarah, which is entirely awesome:
much more in keeping with the mode of sept cites. i like it TONS :) thank you sarah :D
music: Kagen no Tsuki - 06. Fragrance
This is a little bit of the second showdown in the Dieny saga. I wrote it about a year ago and saved it, and it's taken me this long to finally get to this part.
There is some stuff missing (in the middle) and, hilariously enough, I'm not sure how to bring about the ending. Pacifica can't actually die in this part, and I've not a clue how to extricate her from this. I dug this hole, and, well, xDDD she's fucked right about now.
I'll let you guys read and tell me what you think should happen.( Dieny snippet.Collapse )
............... yea. She can't die xDDD And Phantom is not in the mood to be swayed by words or tears, only his conscience. I'm thinking he glances at Dieny practically drooling all over himself and realizes he's not as different from his rival as he'd like to think. And then, he steps even further back and goes "whoa, wtf am I thinking?" Does that sound too "convenient"? Honestly, any other alternative (someone coming in to save Pacifica, Pacifica somehow saving herself) doesn't work. Any ideas?
Just to clarify here, I'm not going for a nice neat Hollywood ending to this scene. IE the following are no-nos in my mind:
1) Phantom saving Pacifica ("I was just pretending, har har!") NO!
2) Any weird deus ex machina, like a tree falling through the ceiling or something O_o
3) Dieny is NOT going to go "NO WAIT I LAUF HER HNOOOOOOS"
4) And neither if Phantom, because he's not pretending to hate her. He really is prepared to kill her.
5) Pacifica is not, um, fake bleeding. Unlike what you see in crazy films, a deep slash like that that is bleeding liekwhoa! has her close to unconsciousness, no lie.
I know that eliminates the easy choices, but neither Ph or Pa are going to come out of this very happy with each other. And that's fine. It's not conflict I want to avoid, only Pacifica's early death xPP
music: l'arc~en~ciel - new world
hi everyone -- today the weather up here in massachusetts was about 101 degrees during the day, so i took my flash drive and laptop down to the cooler part of the house and did some serious editing and writing.( an excerpt of what was written today.Collapse )
i'll be going home tomorrow, which means ample access to a scanner and tons of free time on weekends, so expect to see lots more posts here.
what i'm planning for this summer:
a music video (it's true!)
some more comic book style shorts
maybe more completion of the novel version
stay tuned :D