Thursday, April 2, 2015

Writing for Myself

First and foremost, I am a reader. I love words and I love the way people can string them together to make meaning. When I first began, it took a long time for me to see what the appeal was but it snuck up on me slowly, until one day, I couldn't image an Amber without books nearby. It didn't take long after that to realize that reading was simply not enough for me anymore, that my stories are just as important to me as the ones told by my favorite authors. The difference was that mine had yet to be told.

There is one issue that I face above all when it comes to writing though. I write for the reactions. It's not necessarily a bad thing, I don't think, but it definitely puts the pressure on me to perform well. I don't want to waste my time with something that I won't share with the world. One of the most important factors for me is that it will make my audience feel something. I don't care if it's frustration, or anger, or love, or anything. It's just empowering to know that I'm capable of influencing people's thoughts like that.

It all sounded good to me until I boiled it down a little more and considered how my thought process was really affecting me and my work. Suddenly, I built a wall of expectations that I forced myself to hurdle every time I picked up a pen. It wasn't fair to me that every word has to be perfect or have a purpose. It wasn't fair that I need to make sure there is foreshadowing and metaphors and literary devices galore. It wasn't fair that I'd forgotten how to write for myself.

The first story I ever finished was about three elves in Santa's workshop trying to stop a Christmas disaster. The first story I ever shared with the internet was a cheesy Harry Potter fan fiction (that for some reason seems to be doing quite well right now, considering I wrote it about five years ago). And lately, almost everything I write has gone unfinished or has disappointed me beyond measure. This is unacceptable. High standards are one thing, but I know I'm not writing shit and I'm acting like it is.

So that's why I have commenced writing a Peter Pan fan fiction - literally the opposite of everything serious I've been doing lately. There doesn't need to be anything in it except for my humor and thoughts and everything I ever wanted to happen to Peter. Also, Hook could really use a love interest, and if it happens to look and act like me, then who am I to complain? I'm writing for myself right now and none of my ridiculous expectations are going to bar me from that. I'm actually going to embrace every typo and grammar mistake I make and it feels liberating. 

And yes, Hook is going to be an exact clone of Colin O'Donoghue.

And yes, Peter and Wendy are most definitely going to be together forever.


Monday, March 30, 2015

An Open Letter to Mary-Sues

Dear Mary-Sue,

I think if I ever decided to found an intelligence agency, you would be my first pick for super-spy. You would also be my first pick as head chef in my kitchen. And the frontrunner in my band. And the seeker on my quidditch team. Hell, I'd beg you to be the leader in my knitting circle.

Wanna know why? Because you're perfect.

Hideously, despicably perfect.

And my goodness gracious I am so happy that I don't live in your universe because if I was there the first thing I would tell you is:

Then, everyone would undoubtedly beat me up because you have the backing of the entire planet, since you can seduce them with your innocent face and beautiful hair. The men would especially enjoy taking a swing at me because I dared offend your precious, delicate sensibilities, because they are all hopelessly in love with you. The women act unreasonable as well. Despite the fact that you have stolen the entire male population from them, they find themselves unable to hate you, because you are simply too sweet and understanding.

Oh, I know you don't mean to be so absolutely amazing. The author is purely at fault here. I know sometimes you are an accident, a broken condom in the mind of a usually sensible writer, but they should have known to use protection. Every single person is born with a natural inclination to prevent disease, so you should have never spread. I think I just compared you to an STD. And that's okay (for me, anyway).

The saddest part is that even after this nice little heart to heart we just had, you're still going to run around telling everyone:

Dishonor on you and dishonor on your cow,

P.S. - I just want to make it abundantly clear right now. Miley isn't lying (as long by "me" she means ME, Amber). I'm the one you need to make happy. It's time for some reform.

Monday, March 2, 2015

Expectations Shmexpectations

I'm going to preface this by saying that I give every book the benefit of the doubt. With nearly everything I read, I expect it to be good because it's published or because I spent my money on it. This is called trust, folks. I probably have too much of it. (Alright - not going to lie. I hate YA dystopia so I go into it believing that it will be an utter work of failure. Phew. Got that off my chest.)

Lately, I've been consistently disappointed by nearly everything I read. I believe the hype. I rave about how DESPERATELY I need it on my shelves. I research it to the point where I've spoiled myself without actually realizing it. Although, I'll admit sometimes I do that on purpose since I don't handle surprises well. And here, with all this build-up, all I want is one mind-blowing book every few months. Not hard to deliver considering I give so many chances up all the time, you know? Come on, books. I want a good ratio. Maybe every 1 out of 30 is so fantastical that I actually want to shit myself. Is that too much to ask?

I know what you're all saying:

Well, SUCKS because I want amazing ALL THE TIME and I think we can all understand that.

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