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I started to prepare to post another chapter of Home Out In The Wind way early, as a pick-me-up for how terribly my Friday went, but in the proofreading I wound up adding on over 1k words to the chapter and another good big chunk on the next one. Which is even better, and reminds me again how very different a thoroughly-edited work I’ve had time to contemplate is from a post-as-you-write it work that no one has seen but me. 

wittering about writing process behind the cut: (ha I had to wait for xkit to fail to install again before I could fix the horizontal rule and make it properly a cut, sorry for anyone who had to scroll past it in the meantime)

Sometimes it’s readers’ notes that prompt these changes, and the initial round of edits all were, but this most recent one is mostly me noticing that in the first draft, I was super into Poe and less into Finn. Which is often the case when I’m writing long things with multiple POVs– there’s one that’s a treat to write and wallow in, and the other that I use just to frame the first one really because the first one is my *~darling sweetheart~*, and on the second pass I’m realizing that (duh) it’s all more interesting if Finn genuinely has his own motivations. And indeed, his own motivations are the parts in the posted chapters that people are reacting to most! Clearly, whether you read this pairing out of Oscar Isaac thirst or not (they’re related conditions, c’mon), it’s a more rewarding story if Finn has inward monologue that’s not just about Poe. 

And I knew that when I wrote it, but a lot of times the first draft is just this race to get it down and make it form a structure before you forget where you were going, before you get bogged down in details. And there was one scene in particular that I was absolutely racing toward the switch over to Poe’s POV, in fact I’d already written his POV, I knew what I wanted to happen (and it was going to be so juicy) and I just had to get Finn to a position where he could start the Poe POV scene and that meant establishing why he’d be there, and I literally stuck in a sentence and marked the scene done in my head, and it was no kind of resolution and he was inappropriately upset about the very minor thing I’d given him to be upset about. 
And it wasn’t until the last-minute proofreading of the scene that I hit that sentence (which betas had reacted to! not particularly negatively, but people had, and I thought, yes that’s a fine scene ending, sure) and realized that it was a placeholder and I’d surely meant to put a lot more here once I had a better handle on the character. 

That’s the other thing; I wrote this entire epic, for the first 50k words or so, in three documents, one from each character’s POV; I instantly realized that Rey’s POV did not start until well after the first two, and she became the draft of the second story. (The second story was literally called “Rey” for a really long time. The Finn POV was called “Finn”. And the Poe POV? Well, indicatively, it was called “SWTFA”. I had not yet realized, or maybe I had, that I was so overwhelmingly interested in Poe above all.

And that’s fine, you can focus around one character. Some of it, as a ficcer, is who I think I can sort of own. I am totally unwilling to touch Rey’s backstory; I know for a certainty it will be revealed in the movies and any story I tell will be outmoded by those revelations. Likewise, I shy away from Kylo Ren and his redemption or not; they’ll absolutely handle that. (I’m going to have to at least mention the character, I get that, and in fact he will appear and will play an important and possibly more ambiguous than originally conceptualized role.)

 Poe, I realize, will be getting a tie-in comic and already has a background and all, but those are comics. That means they won’t be doing it in the movies. Comics, you can kind of brush aside a little. Very few people will read it, and if they do, they won’t absorb it the same way. Comics are awesome and I incorporate them where I can. Movies, though. Movies obliterate your work. 

Finn may or may not get a backstory. I’m not so sure about him. 

But anyway. Poe was clearly the most appealing for me, and I feel best about filling him in, and that’s fine.

But Finn has POV scenes, and that’s a decision I made. He therefore needs to be a rounded character. And for some reason making him do that is something I have had to mull over a lot before I could do. 

I’m just glad I have the chance to do that. 

Anyway, chapter update will probably be Wednesday as originally scheduled; I have to shake it really hard to make the new bit settle properly. I got another 2k into the next chapter too, it was kind of rewarding. All of it is Finn. 
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I spent a shitload of money today, which is fine, I had the money to spend, and that is a thing to be thankful for. Most of it was on my car. Well, okay. Some of it was on my car. I bought an enormous camera lens, used of course, a discontinued model someone traded in, because it was a phenomenal deal and also I have a fond vision of using my little yurt as a wildlife blind and seeing what kinds of fascinating creatures I can shoot. The farm has a pond and there’s a great blue heron that basically lives there, among other things (many turkey vultures, too). So. I didn’t have much by way of telephoto representation in my lens collection, and it was a really good deal, I might repeat. 

Then I spent slightly more than that again on my car, getting the highly overdue state inspection (whoops; it’s amazing I’m not in jail) and also getting a roof rack put on, because again, farming, and what’s the point of having a Lesbaru if you’re not going to exercise the utility options? 

And then I went to TJ Maxx and bought myself shirts, because I’m fat and have outgrown much of my wardrobe, and Amazon has been being a dick lately. (They sent me a coupon, then refused to honor it, what the fuck. Like, a junk mail literal actual physical coupon, that they then disavowed all knowledge of. What the everloving fuck?)

And of course, groceries. But all in all it was like a month’s pay. It’s fine. I have it. 

I just feel sort of– weird! I got a lot of writing done in the car dealership waiting room, though. There was a soap opera playing on a TV I couldn’t see, and it was kind of funny, because I could see all the people sitting in front of the TV, and not one of them was watching it, and like, a character was in the hospital dying and the music was very dramatic and some woman was crying close-up (from the sound of it, anyway), and there were just all these disinterested people reading their magazines, unmoved by it all. 

Well. Not a lot of writing. Not as much as I’d’ve liked. But. 

 And there was a woman in Stormtrooper armor, with her helmet sitting next to her, and her hands on her head, and her eyes perfectly blank with terror, kneeling on the ground next to a TIE fighter.

“Thank you for calling me,” Finn said, watching the woman. She had reacted to his presence, shifting slightly to look at him out of the corner of her eye, but she didn’t move, and didn’t change her expression. She could be a trap; Finn was glad there were three X-Wings in orbit, scanning for incoming ships, and a fourth had landed next to the shuttle. Jessika Pava had climbed out of it and was standing a little back, next to Snap Wexley who’d piloted the shuttle, and both of them were staring really oddly at the Stormtrooper.

Finn glanced questioningly at them, and Pava made a face. “I’ve never seen one without the helmet,” she said. He stopped and stared at her for a moment, and her eyes suddenly went wide. “Shit! I mean–”

“I know what you mean,” he said, “but don’t forget again.”

He’s a finnamon roll but he’s also pretty sharp and self-assertive. 
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I wrote this bit and I was like LOL self, that’s so fucking stupid, that’s totally not going to make the final draft. But I kind of. I can’t make myself delete it. It’s like. It’s my ship manifesto. It’s the clearest vision I had of what it’s like to be a Stormtrooper. (OK, this, and the snuggle barracks bench from the French & Indian War-era fort near my house, where it’s just a six-foot-wide bench along the wall that everyone sleeps on, and Stormtroopers are totally used to that. A snugglier form of space travel.)

IDK. Finn has no personal boundaries. This is my most enduring headcanon. 

“So this is really weird for you people, huh?” Finn asked, when he figured enough time had passed.

“We really don’t shit socially,” Poe said. “It’s not just me being a prude. We’re pretty much all gonna think it’s weird.”

“Huh,” Finn said. He looked around. “So I’ve had to learn a lot of new stuff here, and I think this? This might be the weirdest thing. It’s a bodily function! It’s a thing literally everyone does! Why do you have to go do it secretly?”

“It’s probably the most intensely private thing we do,” Poe said. “Nudity, most of us get over that. Sex, whatever. But I don’t think I’ve ever in my life been in the same room as another adult while taking a crap.”

Finn thought about it a moment. “Babies, though! They just shit themselves all the time, don’t tell me that freaks you people out?”

“Oh, fuck me,” Poe said, “you just made me think about the fact that Leia fucking Organa has changed my shitty diapers in my life, and a big part of what I do here in the Resistance is avoid thinking about that.” He was laughing helplessly again.

“I can’t help what I do,” Finn said, amused. “I mean, I guess that gives me context, though. She has dealt with your literal shit, and you’d die for her. That’s a hell of a bond.”

“That’s not why,” Poe said, indignant but also possibly dying of laughter.

“No, no,” Finn said, “that’s totally it. The shit-bond. It’s sacred to your people. I get it now.”
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god help me why am i wondering about the sanitary facilities on x-wings? and the probable side effects of the stimulants you’d have to take for a multi-day mission, and how you’d definitely experience GI side effects? 

“So um.” Finn had not contemplated the logistics of being in an X-Wing for more than a few hours. He knew they wore compression gear under the flight suits, to keep circulation to their extremities even without gravity. But he hadn’t really thought about anything beyond that.

“There’s no lavatory,” Poe said. “You gotta wear a piss bag. It’s not as glamorous as it looks in the holos.”

“Four days,” Finn said.

“You don’t want to know what my digestive system’s like after all these years,” Poe said. “I don’t know that I really want to have this conversation in the nominal presence of food.”

“Holy shit,” Finn said.

“It’s really not,” Poe said.

[…]

Poe grabbed one of Finn’s hands with both of his, and his hands were freezing cold and shaking. “Hey. Hey, it’s okay, man. I do this a lot. It’s– I’ll let you know if anything happens that isn’t totally normal. I’m gonna– I’m gonna go to the shitter now. You can go on about your day. If you want, come check on me in like an hour. I might have passed out in there. Okay?”

“I could come with you,” Finn said.

 “You don’t want to be anywhere near this when it happens,” Poe said. “It’s sweet of you to offer.”

“I’m a stormtrooper,” Finn reminded him, “we have literally no notion of privacy. I cannot tell you how weird it is for me to go into a room by myself to shit. I’m used to doing that socially. We had, like, schedules.”

“Don’t make me laugh,” Poe said, giggling helplessly. “Oh– oh no, don’t make me laugh.”

“I’m dead fucking serious,” Finn said. “If you want me to come hold your hand while you take a monster shit that is not in any way weird to me and it weirds me the fuck out that it is to you. Stormtroopers never went through that shit alone. Literally. You were never alone.”

“Shit,” Poe said, “if you make me laugh any more I’m not going to make it.”

Finn stood up and held out his hand. “I will get you there,” he said. 
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I was tagged by @popkin16 in that WIP meme. What is it? Go to your current WIP and go to page 7 and go down 7 lines and copy over 7 sentences or so? Then it wants you to tag people which is how these continue but I have no idea how to know which of the people I follow are actually into this sort of thing, which is unsurprising given that Tumblr doesn’t actually really allow you to interact with your dashboard except by copying it? so uh? anyway? 

If you read these entries and you write, and you have a WIP, I am serious, consider yourself tagged if that is relevant to your situation. Because I don’t know how else to figure out how to tag someone.

But! Anyway, less crankily: This is my Sooper Seekrit project  (WITH ART!) with @artgroves that has like eaten my brain, and that y’all got the first peek at yesterday, and I’m only doing this because the page in question is hilarious for this. (And on GDocs there are pages; on Scrivener, there aren’t.)

You get ten sentences.

Finn had known there was a New Republican Academy and that most of the soldiers in the Fleet had been trained there, but he had sort of absent-mindedly assumed it was much like the various facilities that had trained him, and it was really startling to sift through the information holopacket the General had almost absent-mindedly dropped in front of him.

Recruitment materials, course curricula, write-ups in media, and so on were fine and dandy; Finn picked up that people didn’t go to these Academies until they were nearly grown, and still maintained contact with their families, and still had a lot of individual freedom. But the real treasure was when he flipped to a folder full of candid holos labeled “student life”, and it was just all short holovids and still holopics that students had mostly taken of one another.

The General was in the room, having a desultory discussion with various other officers whose names and faces Finn had already memorized, and going through briefing materials of her own, when he found it. There had been a number of holopics of students who were clearly off-duty and intoxicated, obviously celebrating; Finn gathered that this was condoned behavior, and facilitated the development of lifelong social bonds these soldiers would rely on in the future through their careers (some of that rationale was hinted at in the written materials, while some, Finn had had to infer). This holopic was of a young student, male, shirtless, on a table with a bottle– and it took Finn a long moment of admiring the student’s slender, arching torso, curving red mouth wrapped appealingly around the bottle’s neck, and dark, promising eyes before he recognized it.

“Holy shit,” he said, startled into speaking out loud.

The General laughed immediately, turning. “I was waiting for you to find that,” she said. 

Yes, it’s the same pic that I described of Poe from the video thing yesterday, hush. Yes yes I know, I’m being elliptical and telling the same bit of story over and over, but I just have this fascination with the role of media in storytelling and like, it’s a problem. I know.

Also I clearly have a hankering for that to be the illustration for the thing but I wouldn’t even begin to know where to find a reference image for it. (Thanks, though, Bucky, I was thinking of this picture when I wrote it.)
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ok so the first thing star wars related i want to gush about is of all things john boyega’s hips? like? he has like– in the black spandex under armor suit thing? he’s just got this thick lower body and like, little hip bulges, not even fat but just extra thickness? and he’s just? adorable? I’m putting all these question marks in because I was not aware this is a thing and actually my very first response to seeing a still of the pose where he’s like cresting a sand dune or whatever in all black was oh that’s not a flattering outfit but seeing it a couple more times and then seeing the movie with him in motion I’m like– I don’t think I’m particularly like, attracted (bear in mind I’m demisexual so I’m very rarely really like revved at shit like that, it happens but often like, only with a lot of repetition and I gotta be ready for it) but I’m just so charmed, is probably the word? I’m charmed. Charlie Cox doesn’t have hip bulges. Chris Evans doesn’t have hip bulges. Sebastian Stan at his thickest, which is not particularly thick I don’t know why people get so amped about that he’s a pretty skinny dude, doesn’t have hip bulges. John Boyega has hip bulges and just super solid thighs, his legs are like goddamn tree trunks. He is a different body type. He’s not inverted-triangle. His shoulders are reasonable, his waist is slim, he’s not pudgy, but his hips are not as much smaller than his shoulders as we usually get in action stars.
I dunno, nobody’s outfits were particularly sexy or form-fitting, there aren’t a ton of full-body shots of him out there to really examine. But I’m just– enchanted. 

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