original_lavi: girl wearing mask with hair curling (I win)
I am obscenely happy about this story.

I was anxious about it, of course; the only thing I truly liked was the climax; but I was anxious about the majority of it in the middle, which I thought might be vague and pointless building-up which did nothing; I was (justifiably) anxious about the ending, which I thought was totally inappropriate and trite and not at all doing anything to address the main issues of the story. I'm still going to rewrite it and lots of bits, I have feedback which I have not yet incoporated, I'm only changed some typos and wording here and there.

But my professor was extremely complimentary about it, and he is not usually one to go overboard with compliments, etc.; and I mean to work on this story until I'm ready to submit it somewhere. :)

SO! Concrit, yeah, bring it all on.  I know lots of things need lots of tweaking...if you want me to send the Word file to you so you can make comments/corrections throughout, I'll totally do it. :)


Punctuality )
original_lavi: girl wearing mask with hair curling (doorknob reflection)

Something I just finished AN HOUR AGO. SERIOUSLY.

Because it's not like I'm posting stuff here that I'm ready to submit to publication. This was intended to just have my desperate attempts at original stuff, half-finished stuff and really bad stuff (*cough*lastsemester), etc. So I just wrote this.  I had a very certain mood I wanted to capture, and it took me a little while to get into it, but I think I managed it in parts.

It is creative nonfiction. Oooooh. I'm taking a class on it this semester, and we have a great anthology with pieces that are just amaaaazing and really inspirational. (Side note for the story essay beneath: it was an essay from that anthology I read before falling asleep. "High Tide in Tuscan" by Barbara Kingslover. Not my favorite, but still quite good, and I love The Bean Trees. On a related note, my anthology for my Short Story class [Randall Jarrell's Book of Stories] has just really weird ones that, apart from a couple exceptions, only leave me going, "WTF?" to some degree. Even the ones I like, like Gogol's "The Nose," are WTF. The story I read yesterday, for today's class, was "Her Table Spread" by Elizabeth Bowen. Just, no.)
 

On Deciding to Skip Class )
original_lavi: girl wearing mask with hair curling (intense stuff)
OKAY, I don't completely hate this.

The one thing significantly different about this story, compared to my others, is that as I wrote it (in three periods, the first at a reasonable time and the second two in the evening/late at night, the two nights before it was due) I kept in mind that I was not turning this into a writing professor; instead it was for a history professor (I submitted it for our material culture project). I don't know if that's what made all the difference; perhaps.

Anyway, this was challenging. Again with the first person, along with a specific, likely rather pretentious style for the ancient setting. I took a Roman History course this semester (though the project was actually for a different history class, which also made it less stressful) and learned a lot from it (including Suetonius' lively details on emperors' reigns, and this awesome sourcebook for all kinds of nifty miniscule details) which I used in the story. It was actually fairly easy to write, until the end.

Arria's story is not fictional; one of Pliny's letters mentions her, her husband, and the story of how she dealt with her son's death during her father's illnes, and then the circumstances of her own death, along with her last words. The rest I filled in; for instance, we don't know the names of any of her children except her namesake. So emotional scenes are emotional, and the simple facts called for a lot, up to which I know I didn't quite meet. But I don't feel too bad about that, since they obviously were quite challenging. I did my best, hopefully they don't suck completely.

Oh, and it's obviously really long. Longest short story I've written yet.

Comments, feedback, please.

Arria (A Woman's Duty )
original_lavi: girl wearing mask with hair curling (open a vein)
I had high hopes for this story; I thought I had a really spectacular idea for it, which is especially unusual since it was an idea for an original story. But as usual, I think I failed in my execution. It seems much shallower than it should be. The ending is dead corny and the only reason I don't change it to something else is because I think I still had a point there, and I'm not sure if it's so dead corny because of my own history with Harry Potter, and maybe it might work for someone who didn't know me. Who knows.  Also, it's worth noting that I can't remember the last time I wrote something in first person, so that was rather experimental as well.

Again, though, I would really appreciate feedback, specific comments on what isn't work and what does, however miniscule.

The Good Kind of Voices )
original_lavi: girl wearing mask with hair curling (bring it on)
My first story this semester for my independent study. I really, really, really don't like it. I think it's empty and pointless. But I would really appreciate feedback, especially of the specific kind relating to what's wrong with the story and what it needs. As well as anything that happened to work.


original_lavi: girl wearing mask with hair curling (I win)
ZOMG.

I just wrote something. (Original.) And I freaking like it.

(When has this happened before? Pretty much never!)

It's for an assignment - due tomorrow, naturally, though I actually wrote the first two parts last week (the night before I thought it was due). I'll put the part I'm excited about on top, though.

(Do not ask any questions. There is no backstory developed. I have no clue what's going on and probably won't expand it. All I know is that it's actually rather exciting and interesting and may actually succeed with creating some interesting voices and interest in, you know, the story. Also, it's only a little over 300 words. I have really low standards right now.)


examples of the three types of dialogue )

Meanwhile, I did write two longer stories of about, um, five thousand words each.  I meant to post them here, but right now I can't stand to look at them, though I suspect those feelings are more habitual justified.  I have to revise them anyway eventually.  I should post them.  But not tonight.

No sarcasm

Sep. 26th, 2008 01:43 am
original_lavi: girl wearing mask with hair curling (doorknob reflection)
 There's something charming about having "fuck" as the first word of dialogue in a story.
original_lavi: girl wearing mask with hair curling (beginnings)
 ROUGH DRAFT AS IN I JUST FINISHED WRITING THIS WITH ONE READ-THROUGH.

I think it'll be a fairly lengthy short-story; maybe even three short stories.  I don't know.  This may be the beginning or it may be in the middle somewhere.  I have very little idea of what's up with anyone, especially Jackie.  I just desperately don't want her to become a Mary-Sue of any flavor.  But please please please give me some initial feedback.

***

untitled as of now )
original_lavi: girl wearing mask with hair curling (doorknob reflection)
Hey, let's post something else which I wrote a year ago!

This is interesting. It was written as my black belt thesis, when I was testing for my black belt. It's true (and rather awful) that I deliberately refused to angst about every word as I normally do, because I wasn't turning it in to writing professors, but the head of the school. Not that they don't know good writing from bad, but the story mattered much more than the writing of it.

Therefore, re-reading it now, I see a bunch of flaws, simple and large - overall, it's not very subtle. ...But I do like the overall story; I think the ending's cute and it is, as a whole, a Heart-Warming Tale.  It fulfills its purpose of demonstrating my understanding of being a black belt and shows a new black belt working her way out of multiple difficult, challenging situations.  My karate masters liked it too. It is supposed to be quite similar to my own karate school and how it works, though all the characters are completely fictional. Though Lisa does have a lot of similarities to me with her insecurities, the way she works and things - that's intentional too.

Not Just Another Color )
original_lavi: girl wearing mask with hair curling (everyone matters)
My last "full-length" short story for the class. I just got back my critiques this morning, but it really needed the least amount of work of any of my short stories this semester. Also, about an hour ago I finally figured out a way to do what I had been pondering all evening (develop a couple characters before I kill them off). Yay.

It's inspired by something I wrote in eighth grade, which I frequently think of as the best thing I've ever written. Not really true...fortunately...but still damn good for eighth grade, and I often wistfully think of the easy, simple way I wrote it. I re-read the original before starting this, and it was hard to break out of the same lines and characters. One in particular slowly, unintentionally, ended up quite different from how I had her in the original - I hope it's read as a subtle and smooth revelation of her true state of mind. Hem.

Just for clarification, it is half-parody. I say half because it started off fully meant to be as much of a parody as the original was, but it ended up being much more serious and dark than I had expected. I also nearly lost sight of my original theme, but fortunately some help of my classmates pointed me to the way to tie it all together.

I don't think I've ever realized before that there are branches and leaves in the background of this icon. W00t.

original_lavi: girl wearing mask with hair curling (open a vein)
NaNo: I got to 38,000 words. And as a sign of how much pure determination counts, that was my word count the 27th, when I realized I had too much to do and felt too unmotivated to push out the words so I couldn't catch up to reach 50,000. Maybe so, but I really meant to write at least another couple thousand words to say I reached 40,000. But no, once I gave up, I didn't write another word. *shakes head* Next year, though! I will outline and ponder ahead of time, attack it with a will, and get to the goal.

Meanwhile, more things from my writing class. Some of them are still being edited for the portfolio (my ants-and-acacia-trees will be too...I might replace what I have in this journal with the edited version), but here's what I've finished revising/am not changing.


The prompt was Girl, by Jamaica Kincaid. It was pretty much the most awesome thing I've read in a while. It was hard not making my version too personal to turn into my professor, though. This is what I finished with; it's still quite honest. And YES, I quoted icons in it. Eh, the ending was more poignant last night.

original_lavi: girl wearing mask with hair curling (inside)
Our professor gave us a prompt to "capture a picture" - show the entire narrative behind it, in just a couple pages. It's funny, I started mine about one a.m. the day it was due - and I had also just started my NaNo novel (yes, I'm doing that for the first time), so it was an abrupt switch and I actually had to catch myself: WHOA, this is not just for word count, this is for CLASS and a GRADE. Nevertheless - something really interesting happened, and my professor told me afterward that he really thought it was excellent. I do too now, reading it again. It was a little worrisome at first because the theme is so dramatized!high school - but I think I pulled it off. I really like my last three paragraphs.

Also, there is very subtle slash.

About the picture - I do watch [profile] foto_decadent  , though I don't have a large appreciation for the really strange stuff in it. I best like the classy, well-done portraits of everyday life. Like this one - it has a number of favorites in it.



original_lavi: girl wearing mask with hair curling (doorknob reflection)
This proved muses really do work best at 2:30 a.m.

Prompt was only pure dialogue.  I love dialogue.  This made me never want to write narration again.

It's interesting - I began this with the vague intention to do some clever parallel work, so at the climax I would cleverly draw out the story of what brought her there - and then as it went along, I realized that wasn't necessary at all, and that the aim of the story was to make as many Hannibal Lecter references as possible.  Whee.

The Giver

Oct. 10th, 2007 07:36 pm
original_lavi: girl wearing mask with hair curling (everyone matters)
So my first real short-story was due on a Thursday - a week or even more in advance, I began an idea (which should appear here later) - and then that Monday in Biology, I heard something fascinating.  So inspirational.  And I decided I had to write it.

There were some difficulties - I had two plot ideas, wanted to use them both, but wasn't sure how to tie them together.  I sort of think it worked; the end gives an idea of their constant lifestyle, anyway.  But I agree with many reactions in how I should have ended it really as it began.

(I do love my beginning, though, and so did my professor.  He applauded it as "cinematic, inventive, and bold."  I was just tired of everyone's wishy-washy openings.)

Oh, and I had no idea my title was already taken.  Was informed by a peer who had written "not an original title" on his copy.

original_lavi: girl wearing mask with hair curling (necklace interesting)
Another short writing exercise.  Prompt was...a moment that seemed ordinary to everyone around, but to the central character, was huge.  And to demonstrate that.

I didn't really succeed; should have thought harder of a way to do it without requiring backstory, but at the time, it seemed necessary.  Anyway, I do like the tiny bit of dialogue at the end.

Nita )
original_lavi: girl wearing mask with hair curling (ordinary is the best)
Just wrote this a few weeks ago for my Writing class.  We were restricted to two to three pages (double-spaced), and our prompt was change: as subtle and creative as we could make it.  I thought long and hard, and am rather proud with at least the idea I came up with.

original_lavi: girl wearing mask with hair curling (inside)
This one is partly written from a self-insert perspective, though not as much as one would think. 

I like Joseph's morbid, cynical sense of humor.  And I really like how I did the ending.

Joseph )
original_lavi: girl wearing mask with hair curling (I win)
And now I'm actually going to post something more than a hundred words!

If only it was written more recently than a year ago.

Nevertheless.  I like them and want them here.




What I particularly like, re-reading now: The second half of the fourth paragraph, as it gets into identities and things.  And my aversion from too many literally romantic issues.
original_lavi: girl wearing mask with hair curling (doorknob reflection)
Dignity is not speaking.




One who is truly popular, secure, charismatic, never has to repeat himself.

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