Squib #2: Retrospective


Life has just been so TIRING lately, and going back over “Syncope” has been surprising… both strange and refreshing.

I’ve never been in a position like this. Do all creative authors reread their work after a long period and think, “Man, this is fecking weird“? [scratches head]

Well, I’ve certainly written a lot of other technical papers and whatnot, but those are things based on experiments, data, research, and other “solid” things not dependent on artful craft to get a point across. And certainly no dialogue.

I had mixed feelings while rereading. ^^ On one hand, I was astonished that I managed to craft a poetic piece of text here and there that accurately conveyed my own beliefs and feelings about the series’ characters. There’s that momentary swell of pride. On the other hand, the sheer weirdness of thinking “I can’t believe I wrote this” took hold more than half the time. But that was in neither a good nor bad way. (It’s hard to describe!)

In any case, I need another plan of action to get back into the writing game. (This could be a bad idea, actually, because I’m supposed to be busier than usual. But doesn’t your head just shut down after a while of “OMGcan’ttakeanymoreofthis”? Maybe I just need a break.)

Here are some interesting things that stuck out to me upon rereading:

  • The paragraph in Chapter 1.4 beginning with “In the end, they came to a better understanding” is my least favorite section ever. Actually, it just pisses me off, and I don’t know what to do about it precisely. I’m tempted to write an omake about that point (Yukino and Natsuki); I might even remove the entire flashback to avoid the awkwardness.
  • I need to get rid of more “adjective-girl” appellations, but using only names could get annoying, too.
  • Despite all the angstful pain the dialogue caused me, my favorite parts of “Syncope” so far are: Natsuki-Mai talky bits (1.3), Shizuru-Mai talky and Shizuru-Natsuki flashback (1.6), Natsuki’s nightmare and Nao-Mai-Natsuki talky (1.7), Shizuru-Reito talky (1.9), and both omake. Interesting.

Things to do:

  1. Review Mai-HiME (somehow)
  2. Go over paper version “Syncope” and compare to LJ notes/comments and make final edits (source of review)
  3. Review outline and begin brainstorming again
  4. Attach research items to the outline (I hadn’t done this before, and I think it’ll be easier this way)
  5. Start small: omake are easier to write because I don’t have to keep track of too much plot, so it might be better to start out with one.

No, there’s absolutely no timeline at this point. ^_^;

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8 thoughts on “Squib #2: Retrospective”

  1. I’ve never been in a position like this. Do all creative authors reread their work after a long period and think, “Man, this is fecking weird”? [scratches head]

    I just had my second Creative Writing class today, and one of the first things our professor told us is that the first iteration of any work is rarely ever the same as the last. During writing of her first novel, the first paragraph of the first draft wound up turning into the entire first chapter of her last draft. Everything had to change. Because you’re writing it in a way where each chapter is published as you write it, you don’t have the same opportunity to go back and revise and change the way things are happening before people read it.

    So no, it’s not strange. It’s perfectly normal.

    Best wishes on continuing your writing!

    Sorry for the teal deer ^^;

    1. You bring up a very valid point. Writing a fanfic as opposed to other forms seems to be much more “interactive” and therefore publicly iterative, which is both good and bad.

      On the plus side, for inexperienced authors like myself, getting instant feedback before delving too deeply helps us improve on the fly and prevents writing a larger piece of crep, perhaps. There’s the instant gratification thing, which in turn can become its own writing stimulus. On the other hand, it may be tempting to bend to the will of a “popular vote” as opposed to writing something truly from the heart (ye gods, that sounds so sappy).

      Hm.

      WHAT TEAL DEER? :O!

  2. It’s not just creative authors who do that. School work essays come out the same way sometimes. Hmm, you seem to like the dialogue more. It does seem to be one of the stronger points in Syncope. I wish you the best of luck in writing!

    1. I suppose I didn’t flesh out my comment about the “other papers;” the essays and papers I’ve written in other subjects can, the way I see, only come out a certain way given the facts I use and argument I present. So reading old “nonfiction” work like that doesn’t feel very weird to me. An example would be a physiology lab report: There’s really not much room for “craftiness” in present a point of view there.

      On the other hand, a creative fic edit could involve complete changes in dialogue or narration or both. Interesting process, anyway!

      And yes, it turns out I’m still satisfied with my blood-sweat-and-tears-wrought talky bits, which is a good sign, I think. ^_^

  3. I can’t really comment on the creative process, as I’m as inexperienced as you are (if not more so), but I do have a suggestion for reviewing Mai-HiME:

    veoh.com.

    you may have to join to be able to see them all, but one particular user (yipeskop1) has uploaded all of the episodes, and that’s how I’ve been going back through them. the nice thing about veoh is that you can watch any of the videos fullscreen without it just looking like a mishmash of pixels. here is yipeskop1’s list of videos, if you’re interested.

  4. It’s good to see you are back on track. It looks like you have a lot of work to do – but I think the result is worth all the waiting ^^.

    Hopefully you can find some free time to make your project going.
    Good luck :).

  5. I’m glad to see you mention the story. I miss it a lot and I’ll be waiting for the day where I see another update :D.
    I wish you the best thought. I do write and am not a good writer as many but when I have a writing block, I tend to get stuck for the longest time. And when I go back and read, I don’t even know where I am anymore.

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