?

Log in

No account? Create an account
entries friends calendar profile Previous Previous Next Next
I'm watching the AFI Lifetime Achievement aware for George Lucas, and… - The Phantom Librarian
Spewing out too many words since November 2003
fernwithy
fernwithy
I'm watching the AFI Lifetime Achievement aware for George Lucas, and I'm so very much enjoying it. I can't think of any man whose indirect influence on my life was so huge. I mean, Star Wars, Indiana Jones... these things are the background and soundtrack of my childhood.

There's a question that occurs to me rather frequently, especially when watching something like this: Why don't I write the things I most love to read and view?

I mean, when I write, I tend to get into kind of small side stories. But I'm never satisfied with those as a reader or a viewer. As a reader and viewer, I want things that are big. I mean huge. Give me prophecies, princesses, knights, galactic fate, high level intrigue, religious movements, the nature of G-d, all of it. I'm not satisfied with less. This is a bit of a conflict, as I also always aspired to be an academic type, and academia tends to frown on big-bigger-biggest sorts of things.

So I end up writing small stories based in big universes, but never quite daring to do my own big universe. I mean, how could I create a character who would someday have a Pez dispenser, to use the cast's running theme on the show I'm watching? And if I did, would I spend the rest of my life trying to defend it to academics? And still believing in my heart that I was just doing warmed-over Lucas.

It's a quandary. Why don't I just write what I love?

Except that I do love what I write. I love having that big, gigantic overarching story, but then looking at the small things that are happening under that umbrella, the interrelationships among the people to whom all of these great, huge things are happening.

Hmmm. 'Tis inconvenient, cash-flow-wise, since the niche mostly involves playing in other people's back yards for free. But I haven't done well at making my own universe (yet). I really should play with one I have an idea on. See if I can make it work. Except that I've already thought of misreadings of it that I really don't want (I'm not talking crossed-wire pairings, I mean people thinking I'm attacking one religious group or another--or, G-d forbid, religion--with my bad guys, which is definitely not what I had in mind) and I am a gutless wonder about that. I guess it's about communicating clearly. And not being gutless about it.

I feel a bit...: happy happy
Soundtrack: AFI's Lifetime Achievement Award for Lucas

16 comments or Leave a comment
Comments
prettyveela From: prettyveela Date: June 21st, 2005 02:39 am (UTC) (Link)

heh

I'm a Steven Spielberg shipper yo!
sixth_light From: sixth_light Date: June 21st, 2005 03:52 am (UTC) (Link)
Well, even if it counts as a niche story because it was fanfic, "By the Grace of Lady Vader" was pretty "big" in terms of story.

But I know exactly what you mean - give me epics anyday, but when I sit down to write, it's all character-driven.
sep12 From: sep12 Date: June 21st, 2005 04:14 am (UTC) (Link)
I'm watching too! And you're right about big epics; they are wonderful to read, and I also love them, but as a writer, there are so many DETAILS to figure out and coordinate and I'm just not that organized. *rolleyes* I'm always amazed every time I read Lord of the Rings, because the massiveness of it, just boggles me that it was so totally laid out and organized and GOOD. And not just the main story, but The Hobbit and The Silmarillion and the Unfinished Tales and so on, they just all fit. And I think that you can create your own big universe, once you set your mind to it. From the work of yours that I've read, you seem a lot more organized than I am.
lazypadawan From: lazypadawan Date: June 21st, 2005 04:14 am (UTC) (Link)
I know what you mean! Sigh!

(Though I wouldn't take kindly to my wanky fans.)
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: June 21st, 2005 04:18 am (UTC) (Link)
(Though I wouldn't take kindly to my wanky fans.)

Yeah, I'd probably have a complete meltdown at some point, which is fine when I'm one of the fans, but wouldn't be so hot if I were the creator (think Anne Rice).
imadra_blue From: imadra_blue Date: June 21st, 2005 08:53 am (UTC) (Link)
I know exactly what you mean. I even wrote an entire original novel. it's sitting on my hard drive, rotting, as we speak. It's big, overwheening, and I hate every single part of it. *rips hair out* I have a near-finished one that's the same way. I hate all my original work so very badly. I hate my fanfics, too, but on the bright side, they're just practice. I'm the same as you, I love the big, epic storylines. Epic is my niche, my one true love. And I always feel like I'm just a crappy, twee version of Lucas or Dumas. *sobs*
wendynat From: wendynat Date: June 21st, 2005 10:39 am (UTC) (Link)
Except that I've already thought of misreadings of it that I really don't want (I'm not talking crossed-wire pairings, I mean people thinking I'm attacking one religious group or another--or, G-d forbid, religion--with my bad guys, which is definitely not what I had in mind) and I am a gutless wonder about that. I guess it's about communicating clearly. And not being gutless about it.

I think it's not just about communicating clearly - there are some groups who will read XYZ into anything and view some aspect of it as an insult. Even if the author has never even heard of said group and other readers are sitting around going, "wtf?"

But I do understand what you mean - I'm playing around with an original story and I have to force myself to stick to the larger picture in it rather than veering off into subplots of more minor characters. My world is set and the "rules" of the universe have mostly been worked out, but I keep ignoring the big players and wanting to play with the little people. ;)
merlinssister12 From: merlinssister12 Date: June 21st, 2005 01:53 pm (UTC) (Link)
I have to agree that no matter what you write some groups will read something unintended into it. However as to writing an original story, part of the fun is playing with the minor characters and seeing what happens. Herman Melville started writing "Moby Dick," found that the character he had considered to be the lead was not working and literally threw him overboard.
(Deleted comment)
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: June 21st, 2005 06:05 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: Babylon 5

It's odd, then, that the series left me entirely cold.
(Deleted comment)
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: June 21st, 2005 06:33 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: Babylon 5

Well, she did drive me crazy with it, but I'd watched it a few times before she got into it, and it just never especially caught me.
ladylavinia From: ladylavinia Date: June 23rd, 2005 08:54 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: Babylon 5

I LOVE "Babylon 5"! It's my second favorite science-fiction/fantasy saga, followinng "Star Wars".
(Deleted comment)
(Deleted comment)
parallactic From: parallactic Date: June 21st, 2005 06:36 pm (UTC) (Link)
Except that I've already thought of misreadings of it that I really don't want (I'm not talking crossed-wire pairings, I mean people thinking I'm attacking one religious group or another--or, G-d forbid, religion--with my bad guys, which is definitely not what I had in mind) and I am a gutless wonder about that.

IMO, people will interpret the work any way they will, but before they do,they have to be interested in the book, or have heard of it. So if JKR were a mid-list author, the Christian Fundamentalists wouldn't have heard of her enough to accuse her of writing Satanic works. Besides, sometimes symoblism doesn't hurt--Tolkien didn't think of his works as pro-environmentalist, but the modern day reader picks up on that.
16 comments or Leave a comment