Seperis (seperis) wrote,

  • Mood:

external manifestations of angst

Last night, winterlive was kind enough to read a draft of a fic that weirdly enough, I ended up finishing, mostly because I ended up writing the main storyline first linear and am going back to write the non-linear bits in later. This showed me three things.

1.) I didn't need about three of the past scenes I'd thought I'd need--I'd covered those in the main text. This is a mixed blessing. They were really fun scenes and at least one was the reason I wanted to write the story. But they would have, in retrospect, added length without adding to what the entire thing is leading up to at the end.

2.) It's so much easier to finish something if I just don't bother getting up to eat and have a three day weekend. Bathrooms, however, are a requirement.

3.) At some point, I've translated my pov character into another part of the setting, with the same changes I make to setting to follow mood.

The third part of this was actually funny--she's still reading and I'm editing and she pastes me a bit of it and I look at it and frown, because every so often, there's something in the text that I have no idea why I put there, and that reminded me that I wanted to go look at about ten sentences on page twenty. No, really. Ten sentences.

For the life of me, I had no idea why that was there; it's a fairly pointless moment. However, it was something I'd been practicing randomly since Smallville, in using the external world to reflect the internal feelings of a character, and let me say, I'm not subtle about it. You may note the number of storms that pop up randomly whenever a character has a startlingly porntastic revelation on their feelings. Mostly, it's just fun to do. Weather == emotional state. Pretty much everyone uses setting to do it, so it's not like I was making magic.

One of my favorite examples of the universe conforming to a person's inner weather is Cartography by Touch by rageprufrock (and in a very different way, History of Maps), which was one of the most closely, damply claustrophobic stories I've ever read. I had to read it twice, because for a story where John's mentally stuck in a room of rising water, externally, it moves around a lot. That doesn't change the feeling of walking ankle deep and watching the water flowing in with no way out. It's also one of the ones that give me a vague aversion to the ocean for a while.

(this actually makes me wonder how many writers have this hard wired into them; after the color thing at VVC, I noted how much color work I do in writing that follows that pattern and didn't even know it. It has to be something about how we interpret visual media and translate to textual.)

I'm curious what fic anyone's read that had that feeling when you were reading. I remember rivkat's Clark/Lex always had a sense of background inevitability--no matter what anyone was doing, saying, or hell, just sitting there, the background noise was always roaring behind it, like every good decision was temporary and every bad one fated to last long after the decider was dead. Ruat Caelum can still make me twitch if I don't read straight through; I feel jittery for hours after. For both this and Pru's, it's not even just mood; setting combined with secondary characters acting as mood rings for the pov character is pretty damn cool. And I cannot get to my rec page right now and cannot cite more examples from memory, though dammit, I have several, especially in SV and SGA. Jesus, especially SV. I don't know any other fandom that really did shift the the universe on how Lex felt about his father on any given day.

ETA: And now I am re-reading Cartography by Touch. Again. *curls up* I really, really need a puppy.
Tags: meta: writing
  • Post a new comment


    Anonymous comments are disabled in this journal

    default userpic

    Your reply will be screened

    Your IP address will be recorded