Friday, November 20, 2009

Writing with mana

Writing's going slow. I love doing character background sketches, figuring out the world the story takes place in, the cultures and religions, etc. But when it comes to actually sitting down and wordsmithing it from the movie clips in my mind to print on a page, there's all these rules I have to wade through. Keep it in third person limited. Show, don't tell. Is this line clear enough? Does this scene happen too soon or does there need to be more set up? I'm really happy with my creative abilities. Just not happy with my writing ability. I don't just mean the tons of weird typos I make all the time(the ones spell check doesn't catch). I'm sure this blog is litered with them. But I mean, I never feel like my words really capture exactly what I mean, at least not without a lot of work.

I don't need a company. I need minions. Minions that will take my storyboard ideas and turn them into novels, animated movies, and computer games. See? I'm not unsuccessful. I'm just under staffed!

I found a new writers group. This is good because even the most famous writers in the world usually still have people critique their work before they publish it. My last group fell apart after ten years. Seemed like everyone kind of disappeared at the same time. The one other sword and sorcery fantasy writer seemed to have a nervous break down and snapped. I talked to her years, and she's fine now. Another got married. Another was asked to leave because he kept submitting work but never spent much time reviewing ours. Our leader, I think, kept getting pressure from her husband to get a real job and help out, so she stopped. And lastly, one member stopped coming after he told me he was undergoing gender reassignment.

Awesome group, just disintegrated over 2007. That last guy, I don't know if he wanted to quit or if he thought things would be too weird. To be honest, I don't understand transgendered people. To me, if you have a Y chromosome, you're a dude. The end. I can understand people feeling like they're more comfortable with ideas from one gender or another, but these ideas aren't all genetic. Clothing, hair styles, make up, diction, labor roles... these are all cultural distinctions. None of that is biological, nor is it universal. When women pull the "I don't have to be responsible, I'm a girl," crap on me, I don't put up with it. I take that as a person saying, "I'm not responsible. You can't count on me." I'd act accordingly no matter the gender of the person saying that.

As for biological... isn't that kind of arbitrary? I mean, if you have an innie or an outie(technical terms, heh) it's just a biological structure made to accomplish a goal. Does that really dictate who you are? I will say, the whole being able to stand while I pee thing is pretty useful--especially while camping / hiking.

But, despite me doubting this, I have to accept that trans people generally go through a lot of crap. They lose friends, family, sometimes their jobs, and face a lot of discrimination for the rest of their lives. If gender was arbitrary, no one would go through the hell of changing it, if it wasn't really that important. So, as strange as I think it is, I have to simply respect it, even if I don't understand it.

When that guy told me, I emailed him back a few questions... mostly out of respect. He was a really cool guy. I hung out with him at his place a few times. At one point, I sat on his bed in the dark watching a movie on his computer. I was in complete shock when he told me. Seriously, I never saw it coming. I thought, "Wow, he seemed so normal." I guess that sounds a little homophobic on my part. But I also think that it sucks I don't still hang out with him. He was a pretty cool guy. I think if I ever saw him dressed as a woman, I'd get over the shock of it and be fine.

Why would I be shocked if it's all arbitrary to me? Well, the voice of society imprinted on my brain is hard to ignore. The Hawaiians used to believe that we had more than one soul. The Hawaiian religion is actually pretty fascinating, and too bulky to cover in this entry. But one aspect of it, they believed in the lono and the ku. There were more parts of the soul than that, but just to focus on the parts of the mind... the lono is the part of your soul that is the thinker. This is not your common sense, exactly, but more the means to coming up with new ideas. The ku is your gut reaction. Society teaches us things. The ku has no filter and accepts all information as true. All gut, primal reactions from the ku are based on good and bad information. The lono can filter this information, but isn't the part best used for making decisions. I mean, if you rely on the lono all the time, you sit around philosophizing about everything without ever doing anything. If you rely on the ku all the time, you live on common sense and gut reactions even if it means living in ignorance. I mean, after all, common sense tells you that the world is flat. Education tells you it's round.

My point, is that society tells us what to like, love, hate, and fear. If you live by the ku, you become a product of it. If you live by the lono, you become an outcast of it. Somewhere there's a happy medium. Heh, ok, enough stalling. Back to my book. I'm still finishing the prologue. It's a lot of weird concepts at once. This is going to be hard trying to ease them in without being too jarring.

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