Archive for February, 2014

Proof, Proof, Proof, or Prove that You’re Human

We’re all guilty of it.  I anticipate doing it as I’m writing this post, and catching it shortly after I publish.  

We make mistakes in our writing, be they typos or simply grammatical kerfuffles that we overlook because our brain is mush, bashing out words without taking care to ensure they all fit harmoniously together.  Sometimes it’s because we’re in a rush, other times because we just didn’t know any better, and usually because we’ve been reading and re-reading the same passage over and over and over again that we’re just skimming things now.

People have written about how you should always proofread, always, always, always.  Go ahead, type “should I proofread” into Google and see how many articles you pull up.  A lot of them will tell you never make a mistake.  Polished pieces of writing don’t go out with mistakes.  Of course, that’s not true, sometimes they do.  The really honest articles will tell you to just try not to make a mistake.  Proofread your work several times and then have a few friends proofread it too.  I always grab my sister for my editing needs, she’s a proud grammar Nazi.

As writers, we should strive for our writing to be as polished and perfect as possible before sending it out the door.  We tout ourselves as professionals at this, so everything we write should be par excellence.  Right?

But sometimes, we don’t have the time or it just isn’t logical to proofread something we’ve written that many times. I will admit it, I have sent out Tweets on Twitter that were garbled messes it’s a wonder readers were able to begin understanding my meaning (but they do!).  I mostly blame my “smart” phone and it’s oh-so-awesome autocorrecting technology (yes, that sarcasm is dripping).  Ultimately, we’re only human.

So what is the solution? Does it matter all that much that the blog post I hammered out between homework assignments in an effort to remind the digital abyss I still exist is littered with typos that should’ve been caught my third draft were it a manuscript?  Is it hurting my reputation as a storyteller that I tweeted “twat” instead of “twit”? 

Oh well, it’s what editors are for.  There are a lot of other things in my writing that people will have problems with outside of that silly typo that slid right by.

Will Fantasy Casts Always Be Just Fantasy

For the first time yesterday, I fantasy cast a character in a story I’m working on.  I wasn’t going to mention to anyone my current writing project, at least until I finished the first draft, because I’ve been doing so well on it and talking about how well I’m writing something tends to be the nail in the coffin of that trend.  Therefore, I won’t mention how many words I’ve written or give too many details.  

The only thing important to note is that I fantasy cast a character in the story.  Well, he won’t appear until the end of this book.  It’s a serial fantasy story. He’d feature predominately in the second book.  

If you’ve never fantasy cast before, and have no clue what it is, well, it’s sometimes recommended as a cure or preventative measure against writer’s block.  Basically, you think about your story hitting it big, being made into a movie, and cast Hollywood actors into the part.  Some writers fantasy cast as a part of their character development, give them an image/personality/attitude/speech style/etc. to model their character off of, but that’s not something I recommend doing.

Like I said, I’ve never done it before.  I don’t like doing it, because I don’t like the potential of associating a celebrity to a character and influencing the way I write that character.  I don’t want to limit myself, I want a blank canvas.  

Yet, out of the blue yesterday (or maybe not, roommate was watching “Perks of Being a Wallflower”), I realized I would really like to see Ezra Miller as the primary form of a shapeshifting character referred to in the story as “Morpheus” — which I anticipate that reveal getting me all kinds of flak and eye rolls, to which I respond, don’t judge a book by the name of a character in it

Anyhow, Ezra Miller actually has the look I wanted for the character, dark hair, dark eyes, sharp features, a kind of melancholy beauty.  I know, it sounds generic at this point, but the features are meant to contrast with another character who he’s most closely affiliated with throughout the whole story, that other character has more of a rugged look with golden hair and stormy eyes. Why am I defending this here? Need to get over the writer self-consciousness issue. I don’t need to justify anything to you people!

Back to Ezra, he’s a great actor.  His personality as Patrick in Perks of Being a Wallflower wouldn’t really fit my character at all and I haven’t really seen him in anything else so that’s all I’ve got to base this critique off of, but I thought to myself deep in the fantasy…er, or as deep as I’d let myself go without actually starting to visualize the actor playing my character for fear of perverting my original vision, I thought it would be interesting to see what Ezra Miller would do with the role. 

Anyhow, not long after making this decision, I realized, by the time I finished writing the book or how ever many of the books it takes, begging a publisher to publish it, getting it popular or noticed enough to be made into a movie, the actor would be too old to play the part. This is, of course, not even bothering to dwell on the very likely probability that none of what I mentioned ever happens (no publishing, no popularity, no one seeing it as a viable movie), or the less likely probability due to the high likelihood of the former probability, that he might not even want the part if it did happen (given his filmography, I don’t see him interested in getting into a genre movie). 

Of course I was depressed.  What’s the point of fantasy casting if it’s only ever going to be a fantasy?

I don’t know. I think I’m done playing that game. I’m just going to get back to writing.


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