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30 Days of Non Consecutive Writing - Day 1

posted Sep 30, 2012, 12:34 PM by crystal carroll   [ updated Sep 30, 2012, 12:41 PM ]
1. Tell us about your favorite writing project/universe that you've worked with and why.
This question is a bit like which is my favorite child. Pats my various stories. Okay, so they don't have feelings, but I do have feelings about each of them.

Of course, some stories are the result of a casual afternoon bit of typing and some are labors of much thought. Sometimes passionate creations the flood out of me. Sometimes hammer and tongs and when will I be finished with this poor story.

Highlights then.

"Pins of Bone, Six by Ten" was incredibly intense to write. Because it was for a fiction exchange and the person making the request had provided quite a bit of information, that helped prompt a number of ideas for what that person would like in a story. I find it's often simpler when writing to imagine pleasing one specific person (even if that person is yourself) rather than trying to imagine pleasing everyone. Mainly because you can't please all the people all of the time. If a story can manage to be an intensely good experience for one person, then that story has a purpose.

Pins of Bone is also a topic that I've written a number of short stories on, i.e., the Epic of Gilgamesh. While not actually the first story (that honor arguably goes to an earlier set of stories featuring Gilgamesh's father (for which I've also written fic), it is both an alien country of the past and incredibly human. Gilgamesh is arrogant and selfish and frightened and brave. Also, a surprisingly funny story. I love, love, love the scorpion dragons, who give rather amusing travel advice. Thus, they make an appearance in "Blood Maiden" in addition to Pins of Bone.

I particularly wanted to write women's perspectives into the backdrop of the epic. Gilgamesh's hubris in commanding the women of his city (no woman safe) to his bed made for an interesting parallel with his later confrontation with Inana. A very emotionally draining story to write. It felt (as stories sometimes do) as if I was writing down a true thing that hadn't been written down yet.

"City Stories" - This actually encompasses quite a bit of territory, but to date it's my favorite playground. I've always enjoyed juxtaposing opposing concepts in stories, so an urban landscape where literally any story can meet any mythology, all in the context of the humdrum everyday it catnip. Crystalnip. Something. Some of my best pieces have come out of the city.

"City - Chrysalis: A Love Story". My First City story. A modern retelling of the legend of Psyche and Eros. Dealing with a number of my issues with the original story (I mean seriously, her sisters were right - if she's sleeping with the guy she needs to know who the heck Eros is) and the same time playing with all the tropes. Psyche isn't a virgin. She isn't pretty or small or sweet. She's sharp edged, but she has strong female friends (my own trope - girl friends, good for help with with clothes, love life and epic quests).

"City - Queer as the Fork When the Knife Ran Away with the Spoon"- What if Beauty from the Beauty in the Beast was a black, gay man with magic abilities and a velvet fetish and a thing for roses. I've done this both as a short story and have a partially finished novel length version. Inverting stories is fun and Beauty was a sweet hero. Figuring himself out as much as figuring out the romance.

"A Little Goddess". My foray into children's stories, aka a retelling of A Little Princess in Ptolemaic Egypt with magical realism. Girls being supportive of each other. Kindness having a real effect on the world. Making the world's soul shadow grow. I'm not an unhappy writer. Not really an unhappy reader either. I may write horrible things that happen to my characters, but in the sense that fiction stretches us and informs a part of us, I have no real interest in writing works that ultimately don't yearn toward random acts of kindness. 

This story was wonderfully fun to research (I didn't use half of my research on the period) and dustily real to put down. Something I'd love to flesh out into a novel length piece some day.

"Bloody"- Since I was soppy with the last one, a horror story. Although, questionable as to horrifying for who. A retelling of Bluebeard, if crossed with Carmilla. Slight hint, another trope of mine is stories where the villain turns out to be slightly less badass than they think they are. Evil Gurl power set to eleven.

Hmm... that's enough I think.