Tuesday, April 19, 2011

That Age Old Battle...

That's right, folks. Good versus Evil. So what of it?


We all know it is out there. We all use it in our writing no matter what we write. We all make a conscious decision every single moment of every single day: Am I good or am I evil?

Personally Evil is just plain, freakin' lazy. That's right. L. A. Z. Y. I can't spell it out any simpler than that. Don't want to work? Sell drugs, rob a bank, mug someone. Don't want to be a nice guy? Lash out, beat the wife and kids and drink yourself senseless rather than doing something productive to earn a good night's sleep. Want your kingdom to obey you? Rule with an iron fist and have a legion of people do the killing for you when someone disobeys or disagrees.

To be good... now that is the challenge! That is where you are a Rebel, baby. You don't turn a blind eye to someone in distress, you take the risk of being hurt emotionally or physically by offering a hand. You smile, you help an old lady carry her groceries to her third floor apartment. You WORK at being good. Plain and simple. And when it comes time to lay your head upon your pillow, you sleep well knowing you did a good job and tomorrow is yet another day.

I was going to sit here and outline the old school Dungeons and Dragons Alignments. You know, Lawful Good, Chaotic and Neutral Evil.... there are nine total options, but in the end it breaks down to this:

If you are good, you are good. Lawful Good means you feel responsible for the safety and well being of all those in your care. Neutral Good means means taking a risk to save the lives of the few and the many and Chaotic Good means that you will save only who you deem pure.

Neutral is pretty much that. You are free, you fight for the underdog. You fight for the rights of those who cannot fight themselves. You don't care either way if you live or die.

Evil, well Evil is just all about control. You are either controlled and manipulated by a higher source, you do their bidding. Or you are willing to do just about anything as long as you get what you want in the end. Which is usually death.

Lots of people tend to confuse Evil with Chaotic. A truly Chaotic alignment/personality is someone who is not good or evil, not even neutral. They don't do anything for anyone unless it somehow will benefit them greatly in the end. This is something it took me a while to learn.

So what does all this mean? Does this mean I want to meet every Saturday afternoon and spend hours rolling dice, eating chips and drinking Mountain Dew with you? No. I just find these things useful when writing fantasy. It is also something I like to keep at the forefront of my mind as I am creating a character and developing the personality type. Their structure is absolutely crucial to their role in my story. But this doesn't just describe personality types for fantasy, it can be used for development for any genre.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Working Out the Kinks...

It seems my creativity has ebbed over the past several months and there hasn't been much I have done about it. Picking up a book is a good sign that some of it is coming back. It means that I may actually have my stuff together enough to get back to writing, use it as my tool for escape rather than hiding out in the World of Warcraft. Hehe.

Role playing games, online games... they're all well and good for a distraction, but more often than not, they were my hideout. The online, text-based role playing game was THE BEST for sparking my imagination by far. The fact that the screen rolled with text and you had to write out most of what your characters were doing helped keep that creativity flowing. If you were not going to be on for any length of time, months would pass in the game, so you ended up leaving short stories in the forums to explain absences.

Sadly, playing a game like World of Warcraft doesn't spark or trigger the imagination quite like that other game did. So when I sink into it and pull the blanket over my head, I don't get much satisfaction out of it other than killing the opposite faction. Repeatedly.

Now I am back on the fence with the direction I should go. My instant gratification keeps kicking in and has me thinking of shorts and self publishing those instead. It seems that is where my strength truly lies. I have attempted to write novel length works, but in my mind, I seem to fall short. I tried writing out a string of short stories and then tying them together to form the novel and it worked to a degree, but not entirely.

Perhaps this is something I need to grow into rather than jumping in all at once with my clothes and shoes on. The squishy noise of wet shoes can be irritating. :D I also seem to have a short attention span, so focusing on something so lengthy sort of drives me crazy and I drop it entirely. But I have not been able to drop writing about my world completely. I write in spurts and then come back to it. Can you say A.D.D.? Ooh shiny!

Friday, April 15, 2011

Moving Forward...

Despite all that is going on in my life, I have to keep moving forward. I cannot just stop blogging, believe it or not, I miss it! I need to get back into the swing of things, I need to write or at least attempt to edit.

Several things are happening in my life that, let's just say... suck. My husband and I are well, our daughter is working and her boyfriend is trying to stay on the right path so that he may continue to date our daughter.... Let's leave it at that, shall we?

Things are moving forward and now, I must as well. Bear with me while I get my feet back in the pool. Posts might be sporadic at best, but I will do my best to get back into the blogging world, keep my website updated and running and get back to editing.

One of my favorite things about writing is the opportunity to mold and shape characters and circumstances. Does that make me a control freak? Probably. I am a member of WDC (Writing.com) and every so often I log in to check out the newsletters sent by people of the community there to help inspire other writers. One of the topics this time was of "Show vs. Tell".

People began arguing, apparently, that it is too hard to show and not tell. But if you are going to tell a story, shouldn't you be in front of a fireplace in a damp, noisy tavern with serving wenches bustling about as they try to keep their bosoms from exploding out of their bodices? With telling, you are able to use hand gestures, facial expressions and change the emotional tone of your voice to fit the story. This is what the author of the newsletter was trying to get across. Showing in writing may be difficult to do at times, but it certainly is possible. Don't make excuses. I've been accused of telling and not showing. So I try to go back and rework what I've done. It doesn't always work mind you, as there are times when I have my mind set on a certain way a thing is written, but I have to work at being more flexible than that and stop being such a control freak.

Hope everyone has a good weekend!