tori_angeli: (fanficwriter)

The problem with fanfic writing is the fact that many canons, sooner or later, simply run out. In the case of TMNT, no worthwhile new stuff besides a few sporadic comics has come out since the last movie. It's pretty much been a two-year dry spell. After that much time, writing from the same material over and over again starts to feel a little stale. Ideas run dry, and authors lose interest when all inspiration is two years old.

Ending this fandom famine is beyond the power of the fans themselves—at least, we cannot influence each other enough to revive the fandom as a whole. The event that will inspire TMNT artists and writers again will be the introduction of new, quality TMNT canon. The upcoming movie might do it. I doubt Turtles Forever, as good as it looks, will do it because it's barely even advertised, and the only people who will know to watch it will be kids and hardcore fans. It's only showing once, to boot.

I wonder what would happen if fans started sending letters and emails to Nickelodeon, expressing hope that they will take the franchise in the right direction and specifying what that right direction would be, citing examples of the first comics and the new animated series' first four seasons. I wonder how they're supposed to know the Turtles fanbase has grown up unless we tell them.

I wonder how many people would be interested in a spam project like that. I could do a little research to find contact information, write up a couple generic letters for people who have no time to write one of their own, things like that. The hardest part would be getting the word out. Still, if it's spread to enough people, it might yield some interesting results.

As older fans, we still remember the sense of mystery and imagination the turtles' adventures on the shadowy streets of New York City inspired in us when we were children. I know we want to have that again.
tori_angeli: (fanficwriter)
I was trying to figure out what is wrong with my TMNT fanfic-writing mojo.  I'm getting excited about TMNT again, what with some new issues of Tales that are amazing as well as the new anniversary special.  But when I try to write fanfic, it feels like touching burned skin to make sure it's healed and finding it still hurts.

That made me plunder my head for the reason I write fanfic, and the reason I keep despairing at writing for TMNT.  It occurred to me that I really don't consider a creative work successful until it means something to someone else.  For about a year, probably longer, most reviews received in the fandom are short "I like it!  Update soon!" reviews that give no indication of whether or not the reviewer remembered the fic after they navigated away from the page.  Getting practically nothing but those kinds of reviews really started leaving me cold, like I'd lost my touch, or like I was no longer needed--obsolete, somehow, or at least I'd lost any sort of unique fingerprint.

But then there were those few reviews that really sounded like they were interested in the fic.  I need to focus on THOSE readers and write for them.  That would get me back in the game, even if I was just writing for two or three people.  I could really ENJOY writing TMNT if I remembered that I was writing for people who found meaning, or at least entertainment, in my stories.  The fact that those people are vastly outnumbered by "Update soon" people just made it harder to remember they were there, and I really apologize.

...I have FIVE multichapters to finish--three in TMNT, one in Star Trek, and one in Elfquest.  But Endgame is SO CLOSE to being finished, maybe I'll start with that.

New fic!

Nov. 12th, 2008 07:37 pm
tori_angeli: (dadday)
Title: The Vessel
Summary: Only a few know the truth behind Splinter's earliest beginnings, or how an ordinary rat had the ability to shape the world.  Splinter is not among them.
Notes: Betaed by the amazing and illustrious DeeMG.  THANK YOU, DEE!

tori_angeli: (notimpressed)
There was this LotR fic I once peered at entitled "Recaptured."  In it, Merry and Pippin are recaptured after they escape from the orcs.  After that, it's just like a conglomeration of every single form of torture the author can think of.  Merry is raped by Saruman, Pippin is struck deaf and dumb and Merry is struck blind, one of them is put in a circus (and it has nothing to do with Saruman), Pippin gets captured by Mordor orcs and raped, etc.  It goes on for well over a hundred chapters.  It's about the worst fic in the universe.  Why?  Because the author is so addicted to angst, she drowns herself, her characters, her readers, and everyone else in the world with it.  The sheer level of angst has an impact on parts of the world that don't even know about the fic.  It's that crazy.

Let me show you an example.

Let's say Don, the current Angstbunny of the fandom (unless it's Leo again...hrm, or Mike, not sure) is captured by an enemy, like Hun.  Now, just being a prisoner is stressful and terrifying and grounds for some solid angst, especially if Hun is making threats.  People who are kidnapped are often traumatized even when nothing else happens to them.  Now, if Hun keeps threatening to, say, break Don's arm, the anticipation of excruciating pain and recovery will be bad enough to raise Don's stress levels like crazy.  If Hun actually breaks Don's arm?  That's even worse, and it adds even MORE stress because now Don knows Hun will carry out his threats.  If Don were to get rescued at this point, he'd spend some days in shaky recovery.  His imagination could make things worse, even, although I see this being more of a problem for someone like Mike.  But if his capture continues?  Hun could start making worse threats, creating more anticipation and stress because Don KNOWS they will be carried out.  Say Hun threatens to cut off his hand.  That's a life-changing event right there.  If that kind of maiming happened, Don would have nightmares and flashbacks indefinitely, even go into depression of a decent severity.  What about the current favorite: rape?  It's one of the most traumatizing, evil things that can happen to a person.  The threat would be traumatizing in and of itself.  The act?  Another life-changing event.  Multiple rapes?  Go read testimonies about prison rape--it's UGLY.  Gang rape over a period of minutes is bad enough.  Hours?  Crippling.  Days?  Weeks?  That could cause someone to go catatonic.

Once angst gets to the point where the characters aren't reacting realistically to it, it's absolutely ridiculous.  Once it's piled up so much that a reader can no longer believe in it, it's overdose.  If a character suffers more than one life-changing trauma in a fic, it's probably too much.  Remember, angst is not a natural state for a person.  People don't want to be miserable.  They find a way to cope, or try to, at least.  They shouldn't just sit there full of their own woes.  There's denial, anger, and all that.

There's the opposite, too, where a character OVER-reacts to a trauma.  If Mike gets his hand broken, he's not going to wake up screaming and crying from nightmares about it--he'll move on, being relieved that nothing worse happened, and probably use the injury to get himself out of responsibilities.  Mike especially isn't easily traumatized, just easily scared.  He doesn't have nightmares or flashbacks about Raph almost braining him in a fit of rage; in fact, things are back to normal between the two of them very quickly, and Raph is more hung up about it than Mike is.  Sometimes, when this happens, I want to scream out to the wangsting character, "Oh, get OVER it!"

Trauma done right and used sparingly is VERY effective.  Showing some light in with the dark shows how dark the dark is, and overusing angst just makes everything uniform, until you don't know exactly what else is in the story BESIDES the angst.  One trauma is enough.  Adding trauma upon trauma isn't going to increase my pathos for your favorite character a mite more.  In fact, it'll just get annoying.
tori_angeli: (dadday)
More thoughts on NT

Nano )
tori_angeli: (leotux)
I rewatched A Better Mousetrap and Attack of the Mousers, and here are my thoughts.

tori_angeli: (girlyscream)
Stuff I noticed rewatching this ep.

1. Leo =  Ceiling Turtle
2. First interaction we get sets up the conflict between Leo and Raph.
3. Random fly is a wonderful wordless way to demonstrate Mike's personality.
4. Mike catches fly.  The ground shakes.  I love it.
5. Leo is the first to notice Splinter's difficulty and rallies the others to help him.
6. In the first five and a half minutes of the show, we see Leo be responsible, Raph smash things, Don use technology, and Mike be easily distracted.
7. I love how the relationship between Raph and Mike is set up so quickly and simply, Raph occasionally bullying Mike, who takes it in stride.
8. Raph says "Follow my lead."  Raph REALLY wants to be in charge.  But we see in a few minutes how that turns out--he's too independent, not team-oriented enough to lead.
9. Serious situation and Mike still finds opportunities to make jokes.
10. I love how laid back Don is here, a little playful.
11.  "If we run like crazy."  "Is there any other way to run?"  Love Mike.
12. These jokes are so close in-between, Mike has to live his whole life like this.  It's a way of life, not just constant attempts at being funny.
13. Where did Mike come up with that piece of paper for the fake ticket?
14. Don looks so devilish when he whips out those screwdrivers.
15. Those little mousers have a lot of personality.
16. There is no such thing as a double phoenix punch, is there?
17. I tell you, Splinter's not THAT good!  He improvises!  He fakes it!  He falls into a hole and pretends some inner sight led him to the perfect lair when the boys come back!
18. Okay, so Raph was trapped in the back of that truck, but now that they're escaping with it, there's no wall or anything between the front and back.  Continuity girl!  Where are you?
19. Leo, as usual, is the first to follow Splinter into the unknown.  He also speaks for them all.  "We couldn't agree more, Master Splinter."
20. First thing we know about the Shredder?  He's Bad News.  He sits there and calmly drinks tea before slaughtering an underling.  Awesome.
tori_angeli: (leotux)
While TMNT remains my one true fandom, Usagi Yojimbo has spawned more music-writing from me in the past two days than TMNT has since I first loved it as a child.  Yesterday it was a song inspired by UY issue #93.  Now it's a little orchestral theme for the character of Usagi.  I wanna write the music for an Usagi movie so bad.  If they can do Kung Fu Panda so well, why not Usagi?  Granted, I'd prefer Usagi to be more mature.  And a series on Adult Swim rather than a movie, because really, how could you possibly fit all the awesomeness of Usagi into one movie?  But if there's ever an Usagi movie, I want to write the score.  That'd be a real dream.

In the meantime, my boss is insane.  It makes me really want to write a humor fic where the turtles are members of society and have jobs, just so I can write them in Dilbert-esque office settings like the one mine has become.

Planning on rewatching NT.  Again.  I do this now and then to touch back on canon and fall in love with it all over again.  It's a nice refresher course.  This time, I think I'll jot down my favorite little things about each episode an post them here as thoughts to share with other fans.

Also, it's official: I'm planning a trip to Disney World.  With Winnychan and her boyfriend, and hopefully another friend.  Looks like it'll be a four-day excursion.  I can't wait!
tori_angeli: (UziDon)
If you truly love someone, even if they don't love you back, you don't rape them.  I don't care how in lust Leo is with your irresistible OFC.  Rape is a degrading act of dominance and violence.  It's usually done by men who want to prove their power over women in general, or a specific woman.  It also happens between men a lot more often than people say, and not just in prison.  And yes, despite what people tell you, women CAN rape men.  It's a horrible, completely selfish and traumatizing act, and if Leo loves your irresistible OFC, he won't try to hurt her.

Now,  if you show me the process of Leo slowly going mental and BELIEVING that your irresistible OFC has consented, that might be more interesting.  But despite the impression you have from all the smut fics bouncing around, sex is not the only way to express love.  In a healthy relationship, it takes a little bit to work up to the intimacy involved in sex.  'Cause, y'know, it feels weird to go from "no physical contact" to "grabbing each others' crotch."  Those places are really private.  So if Leo is totally head over heels for your OFC, show him being jealous, and self-conscious, and trying to hide it, but don't show him going all OOC and getting violent.  Chances are, your OFC isn't THAT charming, and he wouldn't really want to complicate his life by becoming a rapist.

If you DO insist on having a rape or attempted rape, for heaven's sake, don't make her get over it in two seconds.  Even attempted rape is extremely terrifying and traumatizing.  She's probably not even going to let boyfriend Raph touch her, let alone bed her for the healing power of consensual sex.  Once again, sex is not the only expression of love, or even the greatest--it's just the most physically intimate thing we are capable of.

And y'know, I think I'd actually pounce on a well-written fic where sex was not the ultimate culmination of the characters' love for each other, let alone the sole motivation.  I say I don't like romance, but the truth is that I am simply very, very picky about the romance I read.  There is so much more to a relationship than the physical stuff, and I would get so excited if someone went into that in a fic.
tori_angeli: (Default)
My friends, I am now employed.

The best part?  It's an 8-5 FULL-TIME switchboard job with a bank.  I get to dress like a GIRL, in PRETTY clothes.  I talk to people on the phone all day.  Then, I go home and have a LIFE.  Hopefully.  I WILL be eligible for benefits!  I WILL have weekends off!

In short, this will be the best job I've ever had.

Had a nice two days visiting college friends.  Got feedback on writing for touring opera companies.  Bought a beautiful teapot for 8 bucks and, somewhere else in the market, a matching Asian-style teacup for 1.  Just had WAY too much tea in order to break said china in (perhaps a poor choice of words).  So if anyone comes to visit, I'll have a special teapot to serve you with!

Also sifted through BAZILLIONS of TONS of comics, and the only TMNT-related things I could find were the parody of it with hamsters and the boys making a guest appearance in another series.  This person had a metric ton of Marvel and DC comics--Fantastic Four, Batman, Superman, blahblahblah, all kinds of stuff.  I mean, there were about ten STUFFED boxes of comics, and NOTHING from TMNT.  No Usagi Yojimbo, either, which I'm also on the lookout for, since my next "big project" is partially set in Usagi's world.  So.  Amidst Captain America and some REALLY cheesy-looking things, there was nothing but that one little guest appearance in that one little issue.

So.  I start work on Wednesday.  And soon, I will have an INCOME!


tori_angeli: (Default)
Tori Angeli
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