Why I (Really) Hate Twilight (For Real)

Okay, I’m still learning to navigate this stupid editor and this is gonna be a somewhat long and more-seriou-than-usual post, so bear with me, but I’m gonna do my best because I think this is interesting and worth talking about.

I recently started watching Dominic Noble on YouTube. I don’t know how I got into the book review videos recently. I didn’t used to like it very much, but now I’ve been following a few such channels, his included. And when he recently announced he’s covering the Twilight books (RIP, Dom) he mentioned a section of Lindsay Ellis’ video on the subject. This video, if you want the full context. I’m not a fan of Lindsay’s style personally, it’s a little too serious for me, lol, but she makes good points and I’m definitely not making this post to dispute anything she has to say here. I do think she’s right about most of it, if not all. So, watch it if you want the full scope, but I’ll give the gist of it as I make my arguments.

I want to start off by mentioning where I think Lindsay is right in this video: I do think both Twilight and Stephenie Meyer received an insane amount of undeserved hatred. And yeah, I know, I’ve mocked Stephenie Meyer myself in my reviews a lot. Including in my argument that Bella is a self-insert, but a) I’ve been over the fact I exaggerate my anger in reviews a lot and b) I try to the best of my ability to only attack her writing, never her character.

I have a lot of respect for Stephenie Meyer; and I’ve also said this multiple times before. Not because I think her books are good, but because I feel her books are, good or bad, hers. They are what she wanted them to be and she wholeheartedly believed in them. As a creative person, as a writer, I can’t bring myself to criticize an author for following their vision just because their vision isn’t something that appeals to me. I can criticize how that vision was put into practice in the context of a review; and believe-you-me, I will… But I can’t criticize an author for following that vision.

But that’s not the argument that made me want to write this post. It was the argument that… And I’m gonna look this up in the video so I can quote it exactly as Lindsay puts it, just for those of you who don’t want to watch the video:

We, and by we I mean our culture, we kinda hate teenage girls. We hate their music, we hate their insipid backstabbing, we hate their vanity, we hate their selfie sticks, we hate their makeup, we hate their books and the stupid sexy actors they made famous and their stupid sparkly vampires. And then we wonder why so many girls are eager to distance themselves from being the object of societal contempt. (…) It wasn’t just that Twilight was popular, it was who it was popular with. Teenage girls and the mothers of teenage girls.

Lindsay Ellis – Dear Stephenie Meyer

Before I go into why I don’t fully agree with this statement, let me start by saying that… I also believe this statement to be absolutely true.  There is a lot of stigma in liking things like Twilight, YA, romance in general, swooning over fictional characters, and having nonsensical supernatural-based fantasies. I mean, I’m not saying the type of fantasy being sold by books like Twilight isn’t shallow and stupid, but… So are action movies. They’re shallow, stupid, and a tough-guy wish fulfillment fantasy. So why is it a problem to genuinely like Twilight or Nicholas Sparks books (more on him another day, maybe), but it’s super cool to like Die Hard? Because male fantasies are okay, and female fantasies generally aren’t. That’s a societal fact, it just is. And I very much agree that it’s a double standard that needs to go away.

So where do I fit into all this? Well, I was 16 when Twilight came out, around 17/18 at the height of its popularity here in Brazil when the movies became a thing and, honestly, when I first picked up a copy at a bookstore to browse I didn’t do it because I wanted to laugh at it. I did it because I wanted to like it. I never went into Twilight with the intention of hating it. And for the longest time I didn’t. I just didn’t care about it. But there’s a problem with that, see, because I was also, dun dun dun… A TEENAGE GIRL!

I recently wrote a post on Written In Shadows about writing relationships when you don’t like romance (I’m lowkey proud of it, so check it out). In it, I briefly touched on why romance doesn’t appeal to me as a genre, and a lot of my criticism of Twilight revolves around the romance tropes I hate. Which is why I opened the review series by warning that if you have any strong feelings for these books, my take on it isn’t going to be for you.

I was a demisexual teenager (even though I wasn’t aware of the terminology at the time) and being demi as a teen girl right at the height of this book’s popularity was a living hell to me. Being someone who grew up uninterested in the romantic genre as a whole around the height of internet virtue signaling (aka 2015/2016) means that I had the term “internalized misogyny” thrown at me too many times to fucking count. Because being someone equipped with a vagina who doesn’t want to read about characters whose lives revolve around a romantic relationship means I hate my own gender, anything in between, and am only interested in catering to male power fantasies. Because of course I like Die Hard, that movie is just the shit. I’m not exaggerating, these were things I was told around that time based on my criticism of Twilight and Fifty Shades. Thankfully people seem more chill about it now.

And again, I’m not saying that type of misogyny doesn’t exist. There are too many ‘not like other girls’ posts online that are 100% legit and yes, some girls, and some grown ass women even, try their hardest to distance themselves from the societal stigma of being ‘those girls’, but in the midst of combating said stigma, someone like me can get accused of perpetuating it by simply… Being. I’ve never mentioned ‘other girls’ in talking about things I like or dislike. I only ever mentioned me, but by expressing those opinions in the past I’ve also had those implications projected onto me. If I think Twilight is shallow and stupid, then I must have the same opinion towards people who like Twilight too, right? No. Okay? I love Friendship is Magic and My Immortal. I stood in line at a bookstore, straight faced, holding a copy of Fifty Shades of Grey because my mom wanted to read it. If you think I’m over here sitting on some high horse… Hi, you must be new here, welcome to my blog. This is a judgment free zone.

No. I understand why it appeals to people and I understand that it’s shallow and stupid by design. The things you like aren’t an extension of you, don’t internalize anyone’s criticism of a fifteen-year-old book and feel bad about yourself. It’s okay. I’m personally telling you: it’s okay.

So, back to this stupid ass book, lol. As a teenager my hate for Twilight didn’t come from hating teenage girls, it came from hating the teenage girl society wanted me to be. From being called out even by my friends for ‘only liking guy stuff’. Which I did… Because everything and anything marketed at my own demographic revolved around something I couldn’t bring myself to feel interested in. From once or twice being told I was ‘acting superior’ for wanting to say the stuff I liked was better. Because I genuinely felt it was better and I wanted to feel allowed to like it and talk about it.

Now, I mentioned the fact I’m doing the Twilight reviews because a friend called me on my bluff that I’d only review it if someone bought me the books. And even though she has said I don’t have to keep doing it, I still want to. I’ll do it at my own pace and I may not be able to cover the whole series at this pace, but I do want to look back on Twilight.

I want to talk about why Bella Swan never resonated with me, and why even though I agree with Stephenie Meyer’s sentiments that fictional characters should be role models, I think hers are absolutely terrible down to their core. But I also have to thank her, because her books are the embodiment of everything I didn’t want as a reader. And their popularity, this undying trend they set off, drove me to write characters I wanted to read. That I wish I could have seen at that age. It pushed me to start my own roleplay to get away from all the high-school vampire crap being played on Roleplay Gateway at the time. Hell, I might even go as far as to say that if it wasn’t for Twilight, there would be no Valcrest.

If you read Arc 2 of Shadows Rise you’ll see that it revolves mainly around a female cast and has a particular spotlight on a teenage girl. A girl about to turn sixteen who’s being trained to become an assassin, who has a world of responsibility weighing down on her shoulders, but she is at her core still a teenager with a childish side, with maybe a little too much compassion considering her future line of work, who wants to spend her time exploring the woods and playing with her younger sister, and feels like those freedoms are being stripped away as she grows up. Who doesn’t feel like doing her best could possibly ever measure up to expectations. Who has trouble communicating her feelings to her mom so bottles them up and says that she’s fine.

And while I don’t write my characters to be role models in any capacity, I do write them to feel as human as possible. To be as relatable as possible. I want to write a sixteen year old girl who any sixteen year old can relate to in some way, even if not completely, regardless of whether they’re interested in romance or not. Maybe the more romance-oriented teenage girl will want to yell at Dani for ignoring the cute boy flirting with her in that one chapter, or saying no when she’s being asked to dance at the party at another, but I hope they’ll still relate to her in other ways. Because, here’s my take on character relatability… No one is just  one thing. I don’t treat my characters as though they are and I don’t expect my readers to be either. That’s how I wish popular culture had treated me as a kid. I wanted to like Twilight, but Bela Swan wasn’t anything other than a generic teen girl, Twilight was designed to appeal to a general audience and let kids like me slip through the cracks. Do I blame Stephenie Meyer for this? No. She did what she wanted to do with her book, it became wildly popular, and the industry did what it always does. The rest is history.

So that’s my latest Twilight rant. Hope you guys found it interesting. If you haven’t yet, check out Lindsay’s video, I really did like it a lot. And I promise I’ll review chapter 3 as soon as I have the free time to read and make notes.

Later, Guys.

B.B

Death and Grief

Hey, guys. As the title suggests, I want to talk about two very prominent themes in Shadows Rise; death and grief. If you’ve been reading along and keeping up with SR, you’ll know some specifics. If you haven’t, I’m not giving away any spoilers by saying this. The premise itself gives those themes away. When you have a group of people seeking revenge on a clan of assassins… The death and grief part is very much implied.

I previously wrote a post listing all the stupid reasons I’ve killed characters in the past and if you’ve been following me long enough you might have been around for the April Fools where I faked a favorite character’s death in our RP just to mess with readers, but… The people reading at the time were personal friends; I knew them, and the other participants of the RP were aware of what I was doing. I mean, Wifey co-wrote that death post with me. It was an evil prank, but I’d always been the one who gets pranked on April Fools and that year I had something I could use for revenge. They forgave me eventually. >.>

With that damning behavior out in the open,  let me preface this by saying that killing off a character to, so to speak, take something away from my readers isn’t something I would normally do. And it’s not something I can condone. As a reader I hate plot armor with a fury. I genuinely think that if in the back of my mind I can tell myself “Pft, there’s no way they’ll kill the main character” every time the going gets rough in a story, and I know it’s true, it takes something away from the experience. On the other hand if I start feeling there’s no point getting attached to any characters because the author doesn’t think twice about dropping them like flies… Yeah, that’s a much bigger problem.

Continue reading

Mental Health Discourse

Hey, it’s Mental Health Awareness month or something.

I was going to write a post about my anxiety and, how it affects me and how I personally cope. HOWEVER, halfway through writing I realized that it was not only personal beyond the point I’m comfortable with, but also… It might come across as advice on how to cope with anxiety. Regardless of me saying it isn’t. Because this is the internet and people are generally stupid enough to believe anything that will keep them from seeing an actual qualified professional for some reason.

Here’s a tip for life: If you need to ask strangers on the internet if you should see a doctor… You need to see a fucking doctor.

And that’s where I feel things like Mental Health Awareness Month, and raising awareness for specific mental conditions can be a double-edged sword. I mean, yes, if you suffer from anxiety or depression or any number of other disorders out there, knowing that you’re not alone can be extremely beneficial. Especially with something like anxiety where, to people who never experienced it, it often comes across as something you can just resolve by fixing the trigger; if you’re lucky enough to have one. I mean, sometimes you wake up and your brain just decides “Guess what? We’re gonna constantly worry about death today!”.

Pointing out to someone with social anxiety that talking to people isn’t a big deal and that no one is going to be actually judging them, doesn’t make the thoughts and feelings disappear. Logically, we know that. And being consistently told that the thing we can’t cope with is ‘not a big deal’ just makes us feel more helpless and more like a failure. I personally don’t blame people for reacting this way, because I understand that it must be difficult to comprehend why someone needs to mentally prepare before talking on the phone so they won’t stutter or, worse of all; freeze up, due to sheer anxiety. Unless your brain is also wired that way, you likely won’t. You see someone struggling with something that you don’t even need to think about on a regular basis and you don’t know how to help them. You just want to fix it. It’s a very basic instinct driven by empathy, and I wish more people would understand it doesn’t always come from a place of condescension. My mom does it all the time.

But I digress.

Where I say that mental health discourse is a double-edged sword is that on one hand it can be extremely beneficial. It can remind people that they’re not alone and that what they’re going through isn’t as abnormal as it may seem sometimes.

On the other hand… The internet is a cesspool of ‘fake experts’ and misguided advice, especially in platforms like YouTube and Twitter where anyone who experienced some form of mental illness and has a platform is able to influence any number of people into adopting whatever they believe is gonna make them better.

And I get it, you suffer from depression or anxiety for who knows how long and you finally find something that works, you see your quality of life improve, and you want to share that. Great. But don’t. Especially if you’re someone with the sort of influence Jim Carrey has, when he goes around saying that people should turn to spirituality instead of medication and posting images like this on Twitter:

d4uk7zpvuaa-doo

This popped up on the Shadows Crew Twitter feed somewhere in April and I had to restrain from commenting on it then, but yeah. No. To all of this.

You know what this sort of advice can do? It can get people killed. Because here’s the thing about mental illness; let’s raise some awareness while we’re here… It can take a lot of time and a lot of concentrated effort for some people to admit something might be wrong with them. To admit that they need help. To seek out or ask for that help. And someone at that point in their life is going to read this and say “Yeah, I don’t need to be analyzed or medicated. This is perfectly normal. There is nothing wrong with me.”

Here’s the thing, you can call depression whatever the fuck you want. You can tell yourself it’s not a mental illness all you want… It’s not going to make it disappear.

Now, I’m not saying the answer is medication 100% of the time. And that’s the thing; different things work for different people. Each brain is a brain, each person is a person. If what works for Jim Carrey works for him; awesome. Good on him. Wish him all the best. Same with Mr. Jeff Foster there. But don’t push it on people like it’s a goddamn insta-fix. Because you don’t know them. Some people need medication. Some people have been saved by medication. But just like you shouldn’t pop a bunch of pills without consulting a doctor, you shouldn’t forgo the very notion of therapy or medication because some famous person found spiritual enlightenment.

Then there’s… The glamorization of mental illness. I know that’s a stupid concept when I say it like that. However, I… Tend to see a lot more people talking about how important it is to show each other sympathy and let people with the same problems as you know that they’re not alone than the importance of seeking out help and trying to feel better. And that can be an issue in itself when it comes to younger more impressionable people. Because to them having a mental illness becomes a means to garner attention and sympathy. And then attention and sympathy become more important to them than getting better.

Icon For Hire, funny enough, has these things on point in some of their lyrics.

Depression, anxiety, these things become labels to be worn like a badge of honor instead of what they actually are. Illnesses. Disorders. These words carry a stigma, but they also serve as a very important reminder that these things are more than just words. They are serious issues that negatively impact a person’s life in deep meaningful ways.

And as crazy as it sounds, sometimes it’s easy to forget that in the middle of all the discourse.

This song in particular speaks to me on a very personal level. Because when you’re not mentally well, it’s very easy to fall into a vicious cycle of doing the same thing over and over and telling yourself one day things are gonna get better. Maybe because it worked for someone else, or because you’ve been told it works. Or in my case, because trying something else might involve letting other people in. Trying something else seems like such a simple answer, but once you’ve entered that state it can feel like a mountain climb. And sometimes it takes someone else to pull you out. In that sense, Mental Health Awareness can be extremely beneficial. Not everyone has that kind of support in their family or in a friend. But it’s a gamble. People tell their stories and all with all their good intentions, they can’t know if they’re doing more harm or more good.

I’m not here to speak for or against it either. I mean, people mean well and they can help others in doing what they do. My opinion is just that… The whole thing is a lot more complex than people seem to give it credit for.

B.B

Why You Should Put Yourself Out There

I posted a while back about how I’m a Terrible Writer. In that post, I was talking in a more technical sense. I’m not the best at grammar and I have a shit ton of things I need to work on as a writer. And I’m aware of that. That was basically the point of that post. I wasn’t putting myself down with it because understanding that you need to improve is a part of life. That was kind of the point I was trying to illustrate then.

As someone who has a bit of a history reviewing and commenting on what is basically amateur writing, though, I feel that I need to get one thing very clearly across. One deep-rooted belief of mine: your enjoyment dictates how good you are.

I read a lot of fan fiction, as you know. And fan fiction is great because… If you’ve read enough of it, you’ve seen it all. All types of skillsets, genres, points of view. Variety exists in fan fiction where, sadly, it doesn’t anywhere else in the writing world. And that’s because there is a lot less pressure to conform in the fan fiction community. At least, as an outsider, that’s how I perceive it. When you think ‘fan fiction’ you don’t think of a particular writing style. Certain tropes might come to mind, sure, you may immediately envision come self-insert OC that has no business in whatever fandom the fic refers to and fails miserably at just being a character, because… That does happen plenty, but if you’re a seasoned fic reader like I am, you’ll know there is much more beyond that.

As someone who’s seen a lot of what the fan fiction world has to offer, I can safely say that a lot of my favorite fics weren’t the best-written things ever. A lot of the time I actually have to put in some effort into reading a fic because the author’s English skills aren’t great or they don’t do paragraph breaks or, freaking, put a new line of dialogue in an actual new line and then I have to try and decipher who the heck is saying what.

But I do it. I do it because sometimes it is worth doing when you can tell the person is actually trying. I spent hours reading a Sonic fan comic the other day that had some of the worst English translation I’ve ever seen, but the plot was actually well thought out and the writer was so excited about putting up a new chapter. Their ANs always said something like “wow, next chapter is my favorite chapter. You don’t wanna miss it!” and I was like “Oh, well, if you think so…” *clicks next* >.>

And, you know, I was actually a little sad when it ended. It was a pretty good story at its core. There was genuine love put into it. And I don’t know about the rest of the world, but that speaks volumes to me. If someone writes a story for the love of it, trust me when I say, it shows. It counts for something. Even if I don’t like it, I can respect a genuine attempt; real effort. Because I can relate to it.

So here’s the question: should you put yourself out there or not?

First and foremost: Do you want to? Are you committed to your story? Do you need to write it? Do you need it to be read? If yes to all. Then absolutely.

Your writing isn’t perfect? Welp, you’re going to be met with criticism sometimes. It is going to put people off from finishing even your first paragraph. Yeah, you’re gonna get a lot of ‘textbook’ writing advice on all the little writing rules you need to follow to meet standards of ‘real writing’. Assuming a lot of people read it, that’s guaranteed to happen.

Support isn’t. Support isn’t guaranteed. It may never happen. People might not read, they might never say anything if they do read; even if they like it and keep coming back. And you might continuously wonder if whatever views you’re getting are because your writing is good or because some line you put in somewhere keeps showing up on Google searches a lot. These are things I wonder a lot about this blog. Because I’ve become so inconsistent with posting, but I keep getting views on my fan fiction posts daily. The other day I got an email saying that my stats were booming. If you’re all keeping track, it’s been a while since I last posted anything. So, again, it’s not guaranteed and what you get might not tell you much about whether you’re doing the right thing or not.

Still, the title of this post suggests that my advice is to go through with it… Why?

Because these are all possibilities. And the reality of the situation, for you, is that if you never do it you’ll simply never know. I… I’ve been surprised in the past year and am constantly surprised with the amount of interest and support I received considering how little of Shadows Rise I’ve actively shared with people who weren’t beta reading it. The previews I posted on my deviant art are outdated at this point, even, but… Just the fact I’m on a computer writing this right now is proof that there were people out there who cared enough to put money into keeping me going.

And, let me tell you, even if we do have things like Patreon in the works for this when it launches, that was never something I expected. Even when I posted asking for donations I wasn’t expecting it to do anything, because why would it? I haven’t put out anything yet. There’s no payoff to any of this other than the promise you’ll be able to read something eventually. Still, apparently, people do want to read it. And that in itself is a pretty amazing incentive.

Do I still get criticism? Yes. I do. Plenty of it. Some of it was hurtful only because I’m aware of my limitations and I know that reaching the next level of skill might take me a little while. Simply put: I know this is the best I can offer right now. So when someone says they don’t even want to finish a chapter because it doesn’t meet their standards, that stings. It stays with you. And, at the end of the day, it’s not for me to say that just the possibility of support is worth putting yourself through it. That’s for you to decide.

My personal experience has been that yes. Yes, it is worth it. My take away from all of this is that people can and will surprise you if you let them. And maybe one day, enough people will tell me I don’t suck that I just might start believing it too. >.>

B.B

 

Artist Vs. Art

I had a discussion with Doomed a while ago about whether you should stop enjoying something if you find out the creator isn’t that great of a person or they’ve done something you morally object to. Things like that. Should the artist, as a human being, influence how much a particular work is worth to you or should it be able to speak for itself?

To me, that’s a complicated question. On one hand, I want to be able to appreciate a piece of writing, or a movie, or a song; whatever, without any form of bias, but… I think some things can taint my enjoyment.

For instance, I unsubscribed from Channel Awesome following the #ChangeTheChannel movement (?) started out and some of their practices became public. And I did it entirely in solidarity. Because some of the things described on the document they released were pretty serious and the channel’s response to all of it was, in my opinion, insulting as all hell. I think it’s one thing to run a business as a business and you can’t be everyone’s friend all the time when you do that, but… There has to be something along the lines of basic human decency involved there.

And if you don’t know what I’m talking about with this… A five minute Google search will put you up to speed. And there are thousands of YouTubers who talked about it so… Not hard to find at all. I read some of what the creators in that movement had to say and the entire Google document they released reporting their issues with the site and how it was run and some of it was pretty serious. So if you wanna know about it, you should look it up for yourselves.

All of that said, the Nostalgia Critic was one of the first internet review shows I really got into. Disneycember was the reason I started Disney Revisited in the first place because I realized I didn’t remember much of a lot of early Disney films and I never gave a second look to some of them. So I guess I can say, in a way, Doug Walker influenced me going into writing reviews. And because of that, recently, I tried to go back and rewatch the show from the very first season and… I couldn’t enjoy it the way I used to. Knowing the things that I learned, it left a huge bitter taste in my mouth. Especially in episodes where he would criticize things such as bastardizing Dr. Seuss to make shitty movies strictly for profit; something I’m 100% in agreement with. However, considering some of the things Channel Awesome did behind the scenes and put out there just for the sake of making money, hearing those words out of Doug Walker’s mouth rang hypocritical and hollow.

This was someone that, in a way, I looked up to. I thought he looked at movies in a similar way I look at writing. As a form of art. And, I don’t know, maybe I can’t say that he doesn’t believe what he’s saying in those videos. Maybe I can’t hold him entirely responsible for all the things in that document, but… I can’t look the other way and tell myself he was innocent or oblivious either. So if he does believe the things he said, he doesn’t really practice any of it. And either way, his words become worthless.

I believe that putting effort and heart into your work is what makes it valuable. It’s how I measure the value of the things I review independent of skill level. It’s how I measure my own value as a creator independent of my own level of skill. To me, if I say or write something I don’t believe in, for whatever reason, I’m less worthy of whatever audience I’ve built. And in that sense, I think what an artist does, and who they are, weighs pretty heavy on my ability to enjoy their work. Likewise, if they mistreat their fans or in some other way spit in the face of the people responsible for their success, it makes me far less willing to want to be one of those people myself. Especially putting into account the amount of support I’ve been given myself in the past couple of years. I don’t know how someone can get to a point of not appreciating the fact they owe their success to others. It definitely makes me sad to see that from people whose work I admire.

That said, I still have a lot of people whose work I enjoy and who influenced me as a writer and as someone who occasionally reviews things, so… Maybe I’ll dedicate a post to them one of those days.

Until then… Later, guys.

B.B

Twilight Review: Chapter 02

[First] [Next]

Disclaimer: I’m not a professional critic. This is strictly my (clearly biased) opinion and if you like this book; hey, good for you. Don’t read this unless you know you can take a punch and laugh about it. Also… Strong language ahead probably. I hate Twilight with a fury.

Twins help me. It’s this thing again. *sigh* Usually I’d say something like ‘better late than never’, but this is Twilight. I’m not fooling anyone with that.

Still… A promise is a promise is a promise. And I agreed to do this. When things are a little more stable concerning doing actual work and producing better-written things than this tripe, I’ll try to get these chapter reviews out more frequently. After all, we have a lot of ground to cover in this goddamn series.

The bright side is, I talked to the friend who asked me to do this and she agreed that asking me to be ‘nice’ about it was too much. She changed that term of our agreement to ‘be objective’, which as much as I curse this book, I always try my hardest to be. So no problem there.

I still need to try and point out a positive at the end of each chapter though. So. Ha. 😐

With that out of the way, let’s move on to Twilight chapter two, expertly titled…

Open Book.

Okay, whatever, I’m not good enough at titles to properly express my thoughts on that.

I’m moving on.

What Happens

Nothing. Absolutely fucking nothing. -.-

Continue reading

Why Do You Write?

I was watching “How To Make a Web Series” on the Night Mind channel on YouTube yesterday. And no; I don’t want to make a web series. As much as I enjoy the idea of building a story with some level of audience participation, I think that video is definitely not my medium. I’m a writer, I write things, that’s my skill set right now. And even within that skill set, I don’t feel able enough to pull off some things I’ve seen web series and ARGs pull off. Granted, writing serialized fiction; which is what we’re doing, can have some level of reader-participation and response, but nothing on that level.

But I digress.

I was watching the intro video on How To Make a Web Series and Nick Nocturne, the man/person/cat behind Night Mind posed the question: Why are you here?

Continue reading

I’m a Terrible Writer

No, this isn’t going to be one of those posts where I self-loathe-myself and wonder why I’m even doing this writing thing. Halt your eye-rolls right there. I mean it. I’m actually in a very good emotional state where my writing is concerned.

Why did I dare call myself a terrible writer on this post title then?

Because, for all effects and purposes, regardless of how I feel, that is technically true.

No matter how much I improve or how far I progress and how many people come to enjoy or, dare I say, praise my work in the future. To someone, somewhere, I’ll be a terrible writer. Someone, somewhere, is going to hate my inability; or unwillingness, to provide clear villains. Someone is going to hate my morally questionable characters, my floaty as heck “I can’t decide if this is omniscient or not” narrative, my stupid out of nowhere silly moments in otherwise serious scenes that you can read and know, for sure, I was laughing at myself like an idiot while writing, my love for sad flashbacks involving a character’s dead relative, the way I clearly don’t write with a defined ‘bigger picture’ scenario in mind 99.9% of the time… How vocabulary and my grammar need ridiculous amounts of work. Especially my stupid grammar. Fucks sake is my grammar shit.

I also don’t know how to edit to the point where my self-edited work will always look like a barely-polished turd draft and not a finished piece. I have no real understanding of structure and my pacing is shit sometimes.

Bottom line: I could fill a book of all the filthy writing habits I may never be able to completely ween out, or that have turned into guilty pleasures I have no intention of giving up. I’m sure someone would hate that too. And it would probably sell because people tend to be entertained when I torture myself *points are her ‘still somehow getting daily views’ fan fic commentary posts*

And these are all reasons Shadows Rise is not going to be the best-written thing you ever read. If you happen to be so kind as to check it out when I release it and start begging you all to ‘please please please look at this thing I did’ a few months from now.

And you may be thinking that it’s stupid of me to be saying this when, as a writer who wants to be read, I should be ‘selling my work’ and portraying it in a positive light always. Thing is, I’m shit at that too and I’m not gonna lie to you guys or anyone else. Shadows Rise is not a polished novel. Right now I’m not a good enough writer to produce anything that I may consider polished-novel-material. Shadows Rise is as web serial based on a roleplay and written in less than a year (you know, taking away the months I was unable to work on it at all). It’s going to be self-edited by me; the non-editor, and chock-full of all the little ‘wrong things’ that I love.

Because here’s the thing; there’s a lot of things my writing is not, but it definitely is, and always will be, 100% me. Right now, this is who am, so this is what I have to offer. It’s not perfect and it may even be a bumpy ride as far as quality goes, but it is undoubtedly my best.

And right now you may be thinking “You said you weren’t self-loathing yourself. This sounds really defensive”. Eeeh… Yes and no. I’m not loathing myself and I’m not defending myself either. In fact, of all the people who’ve read early drafts of SR, most had really positive things to say. And the ones who didn’t also provided me with valuable criticism that I was very grateful to receive. No one has hated on this and I don’t expect anyone to hate on this. I’m not justifying myself and being like “I’mma be me” or “haters gonna hate” or whatever the fuck kids are memeing these days.

The point I’m trying to make, in my usual rambling way, is that I’m comfortable being terrible right now because I’m not stagnant. I’m improving. I’m just improving at a pace where I have to accept my shortcomings in order to publish something. Or I won’t. Valcrest is turning seven years old this month. I’m not stalling this for seven more so that I can feel more capable. I’m diving the fuck in and learning as I go.

And if I ever feel able to produce a polished-novel-worthy work, I’m sure someone, somewhere, will think it’s shit. Because of course. 😛

TL;DR: The moral of the story is, as I’ve stated a few times before on this blog, just write it. Keep learning. Improve always. Never settle. But write it anyway.

B.B

 

I Don’t Care About “Boob Armor”

Another thing that keeps getting brought up to me.

“Oh, Bird, don’t you think ‘X and Y’ games have sexist armor design?”

No. I don’t give a shit. 

People assume that this is something I’ll care about because I’m a bit of a stickler for armor functionality. If I’m going to commission artwork for my characters I look for armor references that look good but a) are functional and b) make sense for them. I’m not outfitting my assassin characters with big badass metal boots and greaves because the entirety of Valcrest will hear them coming if I do. Looking awesome will not save you from getting stabbed in the face, unfortunately.

However, when it comes to pure artwork (say on deviant art) and game design, no I don’t care. People want their characters to look good. They have a right to want their characters to look good. Who the hell am I to impose on that? I may poke fun at it, but I’m not going to throw a fit about it. It doesn’t affect me. If you write it in your story or put it in your movies, I might call bullshit; but I’m not going to be angry about it. You do you, artists of the world!

Seriously. I really couldn’t care less. 😛

B.B

I Don’t Care About Who Wrote My Immortal

Wifey brought to my attention just yesterday the whole thing about… The supposed author of My Immortal coming forward. Since then, I’ve mentioned it to a couple of people and they asked me what I think of the whole thing.

Short answer: I don’t care.

Long answer: We’ll never know whether this Rose Christo woman wrote the freaking thing or not. Her whole story reads like shit writing. So even if she is lying about her background and why she wrote the fic in order to garner attention and sympathy… She could very reasonably have written it.

I’m glad her book deal got canceled, because honestly… This person has a shit ton of published books on Amazon. If you’re a published author who writes serious fiction, why would you want to cash-in on that trollfic you wrote a flipping decade ago? How desperate would you have to be? Yes, the book is still available for pre-purchase on Amazon, because anyone can sell whatever shit on Amazon without passing a background check. I’m not buying it.

I dunno guys. Honestly, I’m going to just enjoy My Immortal for what it is and just forget about all the stupid drama about who wrote it and why. I don’t care if Rose Christo wrote it, I don’t care if her story’s true or not and I definitely do NOT care if she’s mentally ill or Native American (although, this I doubt is true), or a goddamn attack helicopter. And I’m sure as fuck not reviewing any of her actual books.

B.B