Flame war

Nov. 29th, 2015 10:59 am
thewhitelily: (Lily)
Woke up this morning to what I would call, if the original poster hadn't disappeared from the scene, a flame war going on in the comments.  Apparently the readers have rallied behind me--the moment in question was clear, her manners were unacceptable, and oddly enough I did actually manage to sleep.  I feel much, much better.  :)  
thewhitelily: (Lily)
Someone sent me a flame on my new story.  It was inevitable with something edgy like this.  Unreliable narrator, sexual assault, and disturbing relationship parallels...  I can see where she was coming from.  But she wasn't polite.  Apparently it made her want to vomit, and I didn't spend enough time on the pairing she preferred, and she hated the ending because the place the hope came from was sick.

It's ridiculous.  I mean, I know she's wrong in pretty much every respect about this - for starters she'd clearly chosen the wrong story to read, and for the rest of it, the line that made her want to vomit obviously made her start skimming and skip the resolution of that because the next few lines pretty much fix exactly the things she complained about.  Or maybe she read it, she just didn't understand because my narrator doesn't specifically point out his next few lines completely invert the meaning of the first one.  Perhaps she should have gone for a story where the characters were magically turned into kittens and everyone is completely emotionally aware all the time.

Unfortunately for her, all of my plot bunnies turn out to have fangs and go straight for the throat.  This one more than usual.

The feedback on this story has been unexpectedly effusive.  Words like genius, extraordinary, mind-blowing, intelligent, spectacular, truthful, and unique--to the point where it had finally overcome my ambiguous feelings about the happenings therein and reinforced what I knew in my gut to be true: this is a brilliant story, well worth sharing.

I don't mind constructive criticism--I love constructive criticism--I love to hear which bits have worked for someone, which bits havn't so I can do more of the things that worked and less of the things that don't, so I can get closer to that perfection which is every moment working for every reader all the time.  (Ha!  Even I know that's impossible.)  If I can work on them, that is.

It's not even like I think she was right.  She didn't have a point, not about anything she said. She'd clearly misunderstood the line that was her main complaint--she got exactly what I wanted out of it, she just didn't keep reading to get the kick in the guts fixed. And it's not even like she went after the vulnerable bits that I already felt a bit queasy about--she went after my favourite bit of one of the most perfect and necessary portions of the resolution, and what was essentially the central tenant the whole story, which if she didn't like she could have stopped reading at chapter 3.

But now, here I am, having panic attacks, dreading going to bed because I know as soon as I let my mind stop being intensely distracted in the moment, this horrible feeling in my chest will spread all over and try to drown me. I should have been asleep two and a half hours ago to catch up on the sleep I've been missing writing this story.

I need to go to bed.  Wish me luck.
thewhitelily: (Lily)
Hello everyone!  I'm sure no one's watching this any more--it's been five years, but I think I might have somewhat started to emerge from the fog of mothering very young children.  I'm writing again, and so here I am, writing about writing, and about my life.

It's funny, because in the last two months I've somehow managed to write an entire, stunningly brilliant 60,000 word fanfiction novel, and I've talked very little about it.  I've been obsessed; I've been consumed; I've given up eating and sleeping and talking to anyone who exists outside my head; I've lost over 10% of my body weight, which is usually the sign of a good story for me.  And I've created something extraordinary.  It's turned out to be little like the evil adult love-child of His Son's Father and Mother of Invention, and it's in the BBC Sherlock fandom.  Come on, there's so many geniuses in that fandom--you knew I couldn't stay away.

Yes, it's fanfiction, which is not the direction I had decided to go with my writing, but I guess I must write where inspiration takes me.  Speaking of which, it's... disturbing.  And explicit.  And very gay.  And did I mention disturbing?  None of which was really where I wanted to be heading with my writing either, but I haven't been able to leave this story alone--it's just too good.  Did I mention it was also powerful, and hopeful, and thought-provoking, and tense, and emotional, and packed with vivid characters, and absolutely laden with layers of meaning and genuine things to say?  And it has a happy ending?  The comments I've been getting seem to confirm it; it's not just me.  This story deserved to be finished.

You know the thing of which I'm probably most proud?  I know it's not perfect.  There's lines, there's whole scenes, there's words that aren't... exactly right.  Words that I could spend hours or days on, obsessing over, trying to find exactly the right fit.  But I'm not doing that.  I'm not saying I haven't done that at all, because I have.  One sentence ended up with an essay and a flowchart to sort out the six layers of meaning I was trying to convey with it--but I'm doing my best to save it for the moments that are the most important.  For the rest, I'm doing the easiest 99% of the job, and letting the other 1% go. And I'm posting it anyway.  99% perfect is actually pretty damn good.  

In any case, at this point I'm about to post the tenth and final chapter, and I guess I'm coming up for air.  I'm thinking about what I've done, and what I'm going to do next.  And I'm thinking about how I'm going to do it, to make sure that I keep this momentum--keep finishing things, keep creating things that are worthwhile, and keep doing things that are important to me, not just as Mum, but as me.

I've still been checking in on Futureproof regularly, and it's progressing.  It's had a lot of good work on it, and I'm going to go back to working on it, or perhaps have another go at starting something else original, as soon as this current story packs itself and its assorted outtakes up and vacates my brain.

I've come to terms with the way I work on things.  It takes me a long time to write something good, it needs to bake in my brain.  Bursts of all-consuming obsession interspersed with vacations--it's during the vacations that some of the most truly extraordinary things happen to the story, so I'm not worried--when I do get back to Futureproof, there'll be something amazing there waiting for me again.  If there's not, I'll give it a brief spring cleaning to make sure nothing's hiding under the beds, and then work on something else for a while.

So here's my question: does anyone still read this?  Or am I still stuck in my head, talking to myself?


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