rustydragonfly: Photo of a penguin standing in a snowy landscape (penguin)
That moment when you trip over something in your writing and go "oooh, I'm clever!" and then you remember that's just stuff you came up with my accident. And you shrug it off anyway, because come on. Clever!

This is approximately 90% of coming up with stuff.

December 29th and [profile] aeron_lanart asks: Favourite desert item - sweet/savoury or both. And: Favourite thing to cook or have other people cook for you (I've had a lovely boxing day meal where my friends came round and took over my kitchen).

I'm lumping these two together because they can be answered with one thing. The only thing that matters. Cake!
rustydragonfly: Dragonfly in flight (MFS/FIM - jen pony)
Also I think I should just rename Manifestations into the "Two Guys Get Locked In A Room And Shout At One Another Show" already. Cause seriously. Boys. We have got to stop meeting like this.

28th December and [profile] aeron_lanart asks: Favourite/least favourite December weather.

Favourite: aw you know me, I love snow. I think at some stage in your life you're meant to start hating it, but I never stopped loving a nice big snowfall.

Least favourite: what we've been having a lot of lately. High winds and freezing rain all day. Ugh. Can't go outside, and I kept on fearing the power would go out. It didn't, but there were a nervous couple of days for a while...

May have room for another question or two if anything's burning.

Also I made a list and realised I could fill it, so! For January I will be doing a variant on [personal profile] drazzi's 100 Characters Meme, just this time, it's 31 Characters. Rules are simple: for each day in January, post a short blurb and some cool facts (and art if you have any) of an OC of yours. It wasn't that easy for me, and I ended up making up the numbers with AU counterparts, the characters from my totally unrelated NaNo '14 bunny, and at least one vehicle. But I think it all worked out in the end. If you want to join in, please do. I love reading about other peoples' OCs!
rustydragonfly: Drawing of a giraffe from, captioned "standard giraffe: 5 meters" (xkcd giraffe)
"So an immortal from before the end is in the office. Okay. What's for lunch?" - notes excerpt.

"Though it's a little awkward when your dream guides keep on snogging." - another notes excerpt.

December 27th and [personal profile] pointytilly asks: Your favorite thing(s) about making maps, and the thing(s) that make you want to throw the tablet pen aside and yell CURSE YOU WHOEVER INVENTED THIS "MAPS" THING?

Favourite things: the act of drawing a map is what brings a world to life, or as close to life as you're going to get without some serious time/space manipulation that I don't have the budget for. This is part of why I love atlas style maps, even though they're rare in fantasy and wouldn't represent what maps actually look like in-universe, but they do lay out the land in such a way that I can think of it as a real, living place, and not just a story setting. When I draw a map, I imagine I can go to that place and walk around. It's the closest you can get to being there.

Not so favourite things: the lack of any decent software I've managed to find. It might exist, but I've not seen it. What my dream mapping package would give me is:

-The ability to draw directly onto a globe, instead of having to work out the projections myself, to be able to zoom in and calculate distances, and then project and export as needed.
-The ability to draw in my own style, instead of using predetermined schemes and symbols.
-The ability to draw my own landforms as I want them.

So far I've been unable to find anything that fits these specifications. The closest I've come is Fractal Terrains, and whilst the globe/projection system is everything I could ever want, it relies too heavily on generated terrain for my tastes. It does have the capability to let the user draw their own landforms, but it's ridiculously clunky and I gave up after a while on the idea of ever managing to import my existing maps into it. There's some other, very nice pieces of custom mapping software out there, but most of them assume you're drawing something in the medieval fantasy vein. So in the end, I went "sod it" and went off to do everything by hand in GIMP so I could have full control. But I still want that damn zoomable globe.

Okay, now that's over, be cool like me and go listen to this.
rustydragonfly: Photo of a starfield (SPACE)
"And there's lots of news. Maybe some of it is foreshadowing. And can whoever keeps sending cats in boxes please stop?" - expert from my notes. I love Scrivener too.

26th December and [profile] aeron_lanart asks: Who was your first Doctor? Do you regard that Doctor as 'your' Doctor (if you have a Doctor you regard as your own)?

My first ever Doctor was Nine! I'm of that generation that never really had a childhood Doctor to call their own. Well, I was around during the end of Seven's run, but I doubt I'd have gotten much out of it. Look, I can't even tell what Ghost Light is about now, I wouldn't have had much chance when I was six.

So when the new series started in 2005, that was my introduction to it all, and I fell, hard and fast. There are those very rare fandoms that you engage with, and right at the start everything is wonderful, and perfect, and you fall in love right on the spot and there's nothing you can do to help it. And that was Doctor Who, for me. By the time "Rose" was over, that silly little show had worked its way into my heart and in all the years since, it's never managed to let go.

I'm less certain about my first classic Doctor, but it was probably either One (via An Unearthly Child) or Three (via The Three Doctors). Either way I have a big soft spot for Three because I watched so many of his stories early on.

That said, I don't think I have a Doctor that I would call " mine" - maybe owing to the fact that I didn't have one to grow up on. Funnily enough, I was chatting with my mum about this over dinner earlier tonight, she states hers were Three and Four. But I'm kind of left out of that. I have some that I'm more attached to than others, but none that I would say are really my one true Doctor.

Buuuut. That said again, I have a certain softness for Eleven. Cut for mentions of the most recent episode, even if it's hardly a spoiler I like to be courteous here )

So maybe "my Doctor" is Eleven after all. It's a little nontraditional, but it works.

I'm nearly out of questions - ask me one! I'm having so much fun with this meme, I don't wanna stop. Hell, ask one even if you've asked one before, I don't mind.
rustydragonfly: Photo of a penguin standing in a snowy landscape (penguin)
I gotta admit, I get all jealous at everyone being happy over seeing their Yuletide stuff. Like maaan I wish I could get cool stuff too, but it's all rude to want art or fic of your origfic characters. Even if let's face it, everyone who has them wants that. But it's not a bad sort of jealous. Maybe I should comb through what's there because even if I don't play there's bound to be something interesting and I love seeing all the unusual fandoms. I wonder if someone ever did xkcd Time this year. I hope so!

25th December and [profile] niee87 asks: Favorite holiday and why!

Any where I get time off. That was easy!

Okay, really, though, while I don't have much of an attachment to most official holidays (they're fun and all, but none of them really stand out as a favourite) there's a post lying around the internet somewhere about the concept of NaNoWriMo as a holiday and... I think I am cool with this and who cares if it isn't one? I've probably observed NaNo more diligently over the last ten years than any "real" holiday. My autumn/winter is planned around it. People in my life know I'm doing it and they know why I always take November 1st off. NaNo is a holiday. NaNo is a way of life. NaNo is the only thing that matters.

Anyway, you lot all have a great day and keep an eye out for partridges, we wouldn't want any more incidents.

And if you're around, maybe ask a question for what's left of the year?
rustydragonfly: Dragonfly in flight (MFS/FIM - dhaymin pony)
Sunday? There's no such thing as Sundays!

I wish someone had warned me about the weather here earlier. Yeah, I really love having the contents of the Channel dumped on me via screaming, relentless wind. Thankyou, weather!

22nd 23rd December and [personal profile] boosette asks: Where do you get your ideas Describe the planning and execution process for your writing - are you an outliner? a seat-of-the-pantser? How many arcs ahead do you plot out/do your people do things like nope out of a planned course of action you'd intended to write?

I nick them. All of them. There's something kind of dishonest about origfic, when you think of it.

Whoo. This is a tricky one.. well, more like really long. It depends a lot on the story and even more on what I feel like at the time. I don't have a single best way of working, but it's a rough split between how I handle NaNo novels, and how I handle an ongoing project such as Manifestations. So...

NaNo projects

Actually this is variable, but I'm usually a moderate pantser. My typical strategy is to have an idea that consist of a start, an end, and some things that happen along the way, and to go for it. I think some year I would like to do a completely pantsed novel (i.e. start on November 1st with no idea whatsoever what's happening) but that's never happened before. The only awkward thing about this method is the resulting draft is very messy, and to this date I've never cleaned up a single one, though I have some that are deserving of attention. Especially the MFS Real World AU novel, if only because it's the one people seem to want.

Once or twice I've either outlined or attempted to outline. I did a partial outline for my 2009 novel and while the outline itself never got finished as much as I'd like it to have been, the end result was one of my best attempts (and also my longest, reaching about 72K). I attempted one for this year's, but it never really got very far so it ended up in the mostly pantsed file. Next year's is going to be outlined. I know this because I have a giant pile of outline documents sitting in Scrivener, staring at me. Staring, I tell you. The fact that there's 11 months to go hasn't stopped a thing. Needless to say when November 2014 rolls around, I will be ready.

And I've always been curious about whether or not the results I got in 2009 are consistent. FOR SCIENCE. We like science around here.


This is a tricky one because MFS is written in prompt comms, and as such a single prompt can spawn a whole idea. But there is definitely forward planning going on. I have three major mytharcs roughly sketched out in my mind, and I have an idea of how and when the whole thing will end. At the same time, the strategy is similar to how I normally do NaNo. There's no rigid planning. Some arcs I have in my head for months before they get written. Some arcs are made up the night before I start them. It usually depends on how important they are. The pivotal ones like 6 and 11 were in my head for a long time, or at least the big stand-out scenes were. Arc 10 was made up at the last minute to replace an idea that wasn't working out. Arc 2, which ended up being really important because it introduced Vesin? That one started out on a dare to have Jen crossdress, until Vesin walked onto the stage and decided she fancied a bit of Dhaymin.

So it's kind of the same as my usual NaNo process, but a whole lot scarier, because you can't go back. If you cock up, everyone will see, and you look a prat. And that's why I'm kind of in a state of being perpetually terrified by it all.

For "Series 2" I have a few arcs planned out, including Numbers' triumphant and very trollish return, the MFS equivalent of Love and Monsters, and Weird Stuff Happens To Dhaymin, Well Actually Everyone, But Mostly Dhaymin. Not sure how they all fit together, yet. But they will.

And as is probably obvious, the characters take it where they will all the time - see Vesin's example. They're usually more often going "I want to do this!" than NOPE, but the sentiment is still the same. Usually if I scrap an idea that's my own decision, because it's not working. Fun fact: in an early idea, Dhaymin was going to turn out to be tarnished too, until I decided it didn't work - Jen is the tarnished one and Dhaymin has a whole other load of Things which I'm starting to touch on. Having them both be tarnished didn't work out at all.

But they will pounce on things they want all the time, and I can only listen.
rustydragonfly: Drawing of a giraffe from, captioned "standard giraffe: 5 meters" (xkcd giraffe)
It is not November. There's an idea in my head for next year's NaNo and it won't go away. But it is not November.

Can you tell I'm a bit fictionally frustrated? Go away, idea, I have MFS to write.

21st December and [profile] aeron_lanart asks: Which House in Hogwarts is the best fit for you? If you do any of those sorting quizzes, are you in a different House every time or do you get consistent results? I always end up as a Ravenclaw, including in Pottermore.

It's a toss-up between Ravenclaw and Hufflepuff. Definitely not the other two, but which of them is a bit fuzzy. I never did any quizzes or sorting comms so the answer's all in my head.

I like to think Ravenclaw, but that depends on whether or not I'm as smart as I think I am, and let's be honest here. Hufflepuff is the real coolest house.

Since that was a bit short it's worth pointing out that I have a habit of sorting people I write into houses... and they all seem to end up Hufflepuffs. Everyone. Well, okay, I think Rosa is a Ravenclaw, but let's face it, Jen and Dhaymin are totally Hufflepuff. And Mr Tildeworth, one of the guy's I'm poking for the Idea That Will Not Go Away? So Hufflepuff it hurts.


However I have no icons of badgers so you will have to make do with a giraffe.
rustydragonfly: Dragonfly in flight (MFS/FIM - jen pony)
[profile] nathskywalker asked: If you read, then what are your favorite books? Are your tastes in reading similar to your tastes in other media or not at all? If you don't read, then why is that so?

Ooh. Well now. To be short here, the answer is "fantasy" but there's a bit more to it than that.

My reading as a kid was mostly animal stories. Particularly ones where the animals talked and were characters in their own right - I remember having a few horse/pony stories, but those didn't engage me as much as Watership Down, which I probably read at a way younger age than I was supposed to. That's still one of the books I re-read frequently. From there, I moved onto Redwall after a classmate recced it, and that got me into straight up fantasy. I don't read Redwall anymore, but those books were my childhood and were filled with so many things to love. I think they were one of the things that got me into fantasy mapping, too.

So I read a lot of that, but the weird thing is, despite the fact that fantasy is my genre of choice, I don't read an awful lot of it anymore. So much of it just... bored me. I used to think it was the same-y settings, and in a way it was. I wanted beautiful, otherworldly places, not mud and medieval Europe. But I think a lot of it is that most fantasy protagonists just don't do anything for me. So many of them seemed to be the sort of guy you're meant to root for because he's the main character, and beyond that there isn't much to say about them. It's something I've tried to avoid in Manifestations - I want you to know and love the characters, and if you do, that's my job done. I admit to a lot of mud and (very)pseudo-medieval European settings, but that ended up being a conscious choice - I tried more fantastical settings and people complained that they were too complicated, so this time I'm starting generic and moving up to something a bit more interesting.

Well, that's my excuse, anyway.

So I think overall I'm the sort of person who likes to read, but I've been turned off by so many crap novels that I don't read as much as I'd like to admit. Most of my reading these days is Pratchett because I know I'll get a good story and characters I can enjoy out of his work - with anyone else I won't normally touch it unless I have a good rec from somewhere. Which is sad, because I miss the days of poking around bookshops and looking at the fantasy/sci-fi section thinking how cool they all look. Thankfully there's always the internet, and I've diverged a lot thanks to fic and places like [profile] runaway_tales - the latter has actually gotten me reading some modern day, non-fantasy work, which I wouldn't have thought of until a few years ago.

I must admit my tastes are still firmly rooted in fantasy, and failing that anything with a non-everyday setting, but to be honest, I think the deciding factor is strong, likable characters you can take with you after the book's closed. And, I think, a dab of humour. The story doesn't have to be a full-blown comedy, but I find that stories where nothing funny ever happens, even characters exchanging amusing one-liners, falls flat. When I write MFS, for example, the storyline is serious, but the characters have senses of humour because they feel more real to me that way. I think if I've made you laugh, that's half my job done.

As for my favourite book in the whole world, it's a three way tie between Watership Down, Good Omens (the one book that I re-read religiously each year), and the entire Discworld series because I can't pick just one and there's never been a Discworld book I didn't like.

Ask me a question! I have plenty of dates left.


rustydragonfly: Dragonfly in flight (Default)
evil northern overlord

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