Wah!

4 Dec

I don’t think my muses like each other much. If one story’s going well, I can’t seem to get any work done on the other. I try, but the story won’t flow.

*bangs head*

Right now, baby boy’s being a royal bitch, and his undead sister is, too.

*kicks them*

27 Responses to “Wah!”

  1. cornerofmadness December 4, 2004 at 8:10 pm #

    That’s always fun when that happens. All those Christmas ficlets that were pestering me during the writing of the nanomo novel are now totally silent in spite of my notes

  2. neshaffer December 4, 2004 at 8:20 pm #

    See, this is driving me mad. For three months, all I’ve wanted to do, all I’ve *cared* to do, was write The Destroyer. And I still have plot bunnies for future episodes writing themselves. But I have to finish episode 9 first, and episode 9 had to wait until I finished Season 6 episode 4. And Season 6 episode 4 got delayed two weeks because I couldn’t get my Angel muse to write a damned word.

    And now that 6.4 has finally been written and gone to beta and I have time to work on TD9, all of the sudden, I’m having my first writer’s block for TD ever.

    I suspect I’m just *really* tired of writing and need a break.

    But…but…my public!

  3. cornerofmadness December 4, 2004 at 8:23 pm #

    Breaks can be good. I’ve done very little writing this week probably as a reaction to the frantic November challenge and then this stupid pill is killing my creativity (not taking it tonight. It’s making me way too ill)

    Sometimes those schedules we make for ourselves end up creating blocks, at least for me.

    Right now I’m pissed because I can’t find my beta for someone’s stuff and my own. I did it together and I’ve torn apart the house. I give up. I’ll have to do it again.

  4. neshaffer December 4, 2004 at 8:29 pm #

    I figured I’d get my break at Christmas. A week and a half with the fam, which, barring the elder nephew’s spaz attacks (he might not even be there), is usually very relaxing (now that we’re all adults, my family has gotten very mellow). And perhaps a break during the first of January as well.

    But I have to co-write Season 6 ep 5 and beta ep 6, and I want to finish up through TD 10, all before Christmas. Then comes the break.

    *dies*

    Sorry about the pill icks. That totally sucks.

  5. cornerofmadness December 4, 2004 at 9:26 pm #

    I figure to take my month off for the holiday and do a lot of writing. I’d like to slack off now that I have just one week of class and finals to contend with but then none of my holiday gifts would get done.

    And yeah you have work cut out for you!

    THis pill thing sucks. I’m just not taking it. My stomach has been killing me all day even with my meds for that and I do not want to ulcerate through it

  6. skipthedemon December 4, 2004 at 10:42 pm #

    Oh, man. Sounds like break time to me.

    :waits patiently:

  7. neshaffer December 4, 2004 at 11:07 pm #

    That’s my problem, I never know when it’s smart to stop.

  8. buffyannotater December 4, 2004 at 11:21 pm #

    Beware of muses!

    Just saw that episode of DS9 the other day where the muse tries to force Jake to write himself to death. *Creepy!!* 😉

  9. neshaffer December 4, 2004 at 11:24 pm #

    Re: Beware of muses!

    Oh, I love that episode! I love Jake being a writer, I love that his first and best novel came to him while that woman plucked at his strings. She was creepy, and she did almost kill him, but she also brought that novel out from inside him.

    And that is the pure essence of the muse. If they don’t kill you, they create your best art.

    DSN gets the metaphor prize for that one.

  10. buffyannotater December 4, 2004 at 11:34 pm #

    Re: Beware of muses!

    Oh, yeah, and I loved the continuity…I got chills at the end when he named the book “Anslem” and I remembered his future from The Visitor!

    The Sandman comics also had a great issue about the muse metaphor, a short story called Calliope about a man with writer’s block who kidnaps a muse and keeps her as his prisoner, telling her that he’ll release her after he has one successful book. But of course after the first is a huge bestseller, he can’t let her go then, so he continues to force her to help him write masterpieces, and as he reaps the benefits of her inspiration, her captivity over the years slowly starts to make her sick and weak. Kind of the opposite of the DS9 ep, in how he turns the tables so that he’s the one in control. That’s shown as a bad thing, too, of course.

  11. neshaffer December 4, 2004 at 11:49 pm #

    Re: Beware of muses!

    Doesn’t work for me. The muse is always the one with the power. She (or he) is fickle, beautiful, and mysterious. You can’ t capture a muse, or force a muse, because the very act of doing so will make them disappear into vapor. A muse can become enamored of you and rain her blessings down on you, but the minute you take her for granted, she’s gone. Muses are imps; they like to appear at the moment inconvenient moment, or keep you awake at night when you’re exhausted.

    Muses are never victims. One wonders if this guy was writing his fantasy scenario. Vengeance on the muse.

  12. buffyannotater December 5, 2004 at 12:09 am #

    Re: Beware of muses!

    Muses are never victims. One wonders if this guy was writing his fantasy scenario. Vengeance on the muse.

    Yes, it definitely has that nuance to it, particularly since he physically rapes her on a regular basis (as opposed to the metahporical rape that her capture was). That aspect isn’t even kept subtextual, but clearly shown. So the violation of the muse, and his taking out his aggression on her is definitely there, and his resentment of her, that he can’t come up with masterpieces on his own.

    Also, fittingly, as she is kept in captivity, the muse slowly begins to wither and die, and the quality of his work starts to suffer until by the time he releases her, if I remember correctly, he is no longer a respected author. Being released rejuvenates and heals her, though.

  13. its_art December 5, 2004 at 3:36 am #

    I definitely know what that is like. I have three stories on the burner and my brain will only let me obsess about one of them. I think if I were to try to write one of the others…. Well, I’m sure if I forced it, Harry Potter would be trying to slay vampires and make witty pop culture references. And I’ve got episodes of my own virtual series just DYING to be written, but I’ve got to finish the first one– and all of the lovely set-up exposition– to finish first. It’s such a bitch.

    I suggest taking a break. It’ll come back to you. It’s better to have a short hiatus than to try and force yourself to write something and have it come out shoddy.

  14. neshaffer December 5, 2004 at 9:04 am #

    Hi! I noticed you friended both my Destroyer fic and my LJ, so welcome to both!

    Both The Destroyer and my Season 6 series are my first forays into fan fic (if you don’t count a little Fanged Four joint effort I was in a couple years ago). All of them are Buffyverse stuff, but they focus on such different characters and situations…OK, different situations. Definitely AU to each other and so not feeding each other. Which is a bummer.

    But writing’s like a compulsion to me. Even if I was “on a break”, if a sudden snippet of dialogue or a plot point or a line of narrative pops in my head, I’m going to write it down.

  15. its_art December 5, 2004 at 12:26 pm #

    Hi! I’m Emcee. I’ve actually been a fan of yours for a while– All Things Philosophical is one of the first place I go for canon info. And you love Connor, which so completely endears you to me. I have to admit, I was a bit mad when I found out your virtual series was called “The Destroyer”, since that was the original title of mine. But your story is so good I just couldn’t stay mad. And I’ve become very attached to my new one (“The Nyazian Prophecies”), so it all worked out in the end.

    I definitely know what it’s like having writing as a compulsion. I’ve been writing fan fiction for ten years and every time I get writer’s block… Well, let’s put it this way: A sphere of infinite agonies would be more pleasant. I really don’t blame you for not really wanting to take a break.

    I don’t know how far ahead you’ve plotted in your series, but if you haven’t done a whole season, maybe you want to work on the arc of it. It can be easier to know what to do where you are now if you know where you’re going to ultimately end up.

    Good luck on breaking your writer’s block. I know it can be a real bitch, but it will break eventually. If you need help, feel free to contact me. Us Connor writers have to stick together.

  16. neshaffer December 5, 2004 at 3:44 pm #

    writing stuff

    Hey! Glad you enjoy ATPo. And “The Destroyer”!

    I admit after the first few episodes of the series I started wondering if I had misnamed my series. “The Destroyer” was originally supposed to be a sort of “superhero” alterego name for Connor, and then he strongly resisted any attempts I made to turn him into a superhero. And rightly so. I began digging into who he really was post-NFA (or post-Origin) and discovered that The Destroyer is sort of more his “Angelus” alter-ego. Like Angel struggles with who he used to be, his son must also struggle with who he used to be and integrate it into who he is now.

    I haven’t plotted the series too far ahead for a number of reasons. First, my best stuff always comes to me spontaneously. Sort of “it comes when it comes”–I can’t force it, or it won’t be my best stuff. So to plan too far ahead is to force a story out before it’s ready to reveal itself to me. I recently got a very interesting idea for episodes 12 and 13 that I never would have gotten if I’d outlined the season in advance.

    Plus, I sort of like not knowing what’s going to happen, either. Makes it more interesting for me.

    And one thing I’ve found is that the process of writing a particular episode, or reading feedback from an episode, often changes the course of the story. Because it brings up points you hadn’t considered until you were forced to come up with details. My notion of what episode 10 will be, for example, totally flip-flopped after getting feedback from readers on episode 7 and 8. And I think episode 10 will be more interesting for it.

    But I know your point. Sometimes when the story’s not flowing, the best thing to do is sit back and work on big-picture stuff. Which is actually what I’ve been doing lately and part of the reason it’s taking me so long to get ep 9 up. I was flying with my ep 12-13 plot bunny.

    Another part of the reason ep 9 isn’t coming easily is precisely BECAUSE I had it outlined before hand. It’s a continuation of ep 8, so I already knew what should happen. And let me tell you, my muse shrivels up like a *bleep* in a cold shower if it must follow an outline. So I have to sit back and let the episode come to me more organically.

    That’s just how my brain works. ; )

    But yes, Connor-lovers must stick together. So, friended you.

  17. midnightsjane December 5, 2004 at 4:29 pm #

    But…but…my public!
    Don’t worry about it, Masq. Connor’s story will come to you, and as part of your “public” I can assure you that we will be here when it does!

  18. neshaffer December 5, 2004 at 4:36 pm #

    Thanks, Janey.

    Part of what’s bugging me is that writing this series feeds the fantasy of being “a television writer”, and so I want to do ten episodes in the Fall portion of the “season”.

    But now that I think about it, Angel the Series did ten episodes in the Fall only in the early seasons. Then we had to contend with only seven episodes before the holiday break, followed by two months of nothing, not even reruns.

    I would never be so cruel, though. ‘Cause I get to be writer, producer and television executives all in the same fantasy.

    ; ) ; )

  19. its_art December 5, 2004 at 4:37 pm #

    Re: writing stuff

    Well, “The Destroyer” is definitely a sweet name. And you’re on the right track when it comes to ME. I think if they were to make a Connor-centric series, there’s no doubt in my mind it would be called “The Destroyer” no matter what Connor acts like. I think you’re right on the money with the Destroyer being his Angelus alter-ego. I also equate it to the first season of Buffy. Connor knows what he is and what’s out there. He knows that when push comes to shove, he has to fight. But most of all, he wants to maintain a normal life.

    I really admire people who can work spontaneously. I whole-heartedly cannot. I’ve got my whole arc planned out and the plots of most of the eps in my head. Little details may change along the way, but for the most part, it’s all up there. I have never been good with spontaneous.

    If you don’t want to plot too far ahead, another thing is to go back and read what you’ve done so far. I find that can be great for kickstarting the old brain. You might find a point that you made in one of the other episodes and realize, “Hey, you know, this is something I can pick up in the current story.”. Then if you pick it up, you’ll look like a continuity goddess.

    Yay! Always glad to have more Connor friends. I know too many people who dislike him. I will never for the life of me understand why.

  20. neshaffer December 5, 2004 at 4:57 pm #

    Re: writing stuff

    I think if you didn’t sympathize with Connor’s lost-boy sweetness, you might have found his brattiness and hostility too much to take. I have a thing for that type of character, myself. Most of the main characters in my original fiction are hostile, bratty, and screwed up. And so naturally, two of my favorite characters, and the stars of my show, are Connor and Faith. ; )

    I agree with your Buffy Season 1 analogy. That’s where Connor is, too–resisting being a hero–but for different reasons than Buffy. Buffy always had a normal life, in fact, a pretty NICE normal life with popularity and friends, and her calling came out of nowhere and she resisted it because it meant giving all that up. She had to learn how to accept the inconvenience of being an extraordinary, exceptional person when she was content to live the rest of her life just being shallow and ordinary.

    Connor, on the other hand, sees his ordinary life as a gift. After his old memories returned, he suddenly realized what he had–the family, the home, the privilege of college and love and comfort. I suspect that post-Home, pre-Origin Connor may have fancied the idea of being a superhero a little, read comic books and such and thought fighting demons was kind of cool, but when he remembered his old life–that he grew up fighting demons just to survive, that his parents were demons, that his biological father was obsessed with being a “champion” he lost interest in all that.

    But I think there’s a part of him that feels some connection to his real father, and that part of him sent him to Faith, who is a friend of his father’s he remembers from his past. Well, that and the need to survive in L.A. sent him to Faith. And I also think that Connor’s demon heritage gives him a natural tendency to agression he can’t just ignore.

    But he doesn’t want to be dragged into the champion lifestyle for so many reasons–the danger, the trauma of the past, daddy issues, etc. He’ll keep resisting it, even though he is a good and heroic person with super-powers. He needs to find his own reasons to fight.

    Anyway, I do prattle on, don’t I? Connor is a topic I can go on about for pages.

    I keep intending to go back and re-read my episodes to date and I’m having trouble finding the time. Plus, every time I *do* go back to quickly look up a detail in the scripts or in a reader comment, I find stuff I’ve forgotten. “Oh, crap! I have to deal with *that* don’t I??” *bangs head on desk*

    As for spontaneity, I can’t write any other way. Outlines stop my writing cold in its tracks. The sure-fire way for me to have writer’s block is to plan something in too much detail or too far ahead.

  21. its_art December 5, 2004 at 7:37 pm #

    Re: writing stuff

    I suppose you’re right. A lot of people don’t like the hostility. Myself, I’ve always really liked it. And the poor kid was kicked around pretty much from birth. I think he had a lot of good reasons to be hostile. And big word on screwed up characters. They are just so much more interesting.

    Again, I completely agree with what you say. I could see Connor Riley fancying the idea of being a hero, and then when he found out about his past, it suddenly didn’t look so good. I also think Connor realized how much Angel sacrificed to give him that normal life. He knew Wolfram and Hart was a terrible place, but Angel made a deal with them for him. So, in a strange way, the only way he could ever accept his father’s love was to be someone else’s son.

    There is definitely a Champion in Connor that is undeniable. Even when he said the whole hero thing wasn’t for him in “Origin”, he came to help Angel against Hamilton. And I firmly believe he would have stood with Angel until the end if Angel hadn’t sent him away.

    He does have to come to it on his own terms. He can’t be the same kind of hero Angel is. I don’t think he would allow himself to be that kind of hero.

    I also feel very strongly that Connor has to find people who can accept who and what he is. Most of his problems stemmed from being shut out of the Fang Gang. I think his smile in “Deep Down” when he was fighting the vampires with Fred and Gunn was genuine. He truly seemed to enjoy that. There was also the constant reaching out to Angel. When he says, “Dad?” at the end of “Habeas Corpses” my heart just breaks. He desperately wants Angel to accept him back into the group, but then Angel is an idiot again and kicks him and Cordy out. It’s only through the separation from the gang that Cordelia is able to get her hooks into him. I think things would have turned out a lot differently if the gang had just been a little more accepting of circumstances. Faith is a really good choice for a companion for him. She understands what its like to be divorced from a group. I think she also wanted to be accepted.

    Of course, I went in a different direction with my series. Which I supposed is a good thing, since we don’t want to be writing the same thing!

    Yes, you do prattle on about Connor. I do not mind in the least. It’s nice to find someone who likes to go in-depth with his character. I go on myself when it comes to the boy.

    Oh, I know what it’s like to realize there’s a plot point you have to deal with. That is such a pain in the ass. But then, sometimes it’s a good thing because it’ll give you something to write.

    I think I had the spontaneity beaten out of me by too many writing teachers crying, “You have to plot out everything! You have to know where you’re going!” Now if I try writing spontaneously, I curl up in the foetal position.

  22. crimsonsenya December 6, 2004 at 6:31 am #

    Museconflict??!!!

    How did you date go? Did it happen?? I’ve been away and now I’m totally dropped out on Masqnews! *shudders horrifyed*

  23. neshaffer December 6, 2004 at 6:38 am #

    No, it didn’t happen. You know, she called me on the 26th to chat and make a date, and we decided to get together on the 5th at 11 am, but neither of us knew where to suggest to meet. So I chatted about it with you guys, and came up with a venue, and left a message to her about it and she never got back to me. As the week went on, I realized I really wasn’t all that upset about the fact that she wasn’t getting back to me, so I didn’t call her back, either.

    I sent her an email saying I assumed the meeting wasn’t going to happen because I hadn’t heard from her. Yesterday morning I came home to find her # on my caller id but no message. Not sure what that meant.

    Anyway, no biggie. I was really only going out with her for lack of anyone better to go out with, she really didn’t interest me at all, and I’m currently corresponding with two other women I find more interesting.

    This is pretty normal for internet dating, 90% of the people you write to blow you off or vice-versa.

  24. crimsonsenya December 6, 2004 at 6:43 am #

    Sorry to hear about the canceled date, because of the trouble you went through finding a place and stuff. But at least, you will be able to use the coffee house for other dates!

    I’m currently corresponding with two other women I find more interesting.Anyone liking Ats/BTVS?

  25. neshaffer December 6, 2004 at 6:47 am #

    Anyone liking Ats/BTVS?

    Alas, no. I had dinner with a friend Saturday night, and I joked that if I ever *did* meet anothe single lesbian Buffy fan, I would propose instant marraige. She’d be a rare find.

    : )

  26. crimsonsenya December 6, 2004 at 7:00 am #

    What’s wrong with single lesbians? They are missing all the good stuff! 😉 😉

  27. neshaffer December 6, 2004 at 7:03 am #

    Yeah, you’d think, just statistically, I’d run into a fan every once in a while. It’s frustrating not to.

    But I’m working on it.

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