Aside

Monday’s moon over Modoc County, taken just about 7 am. Not when I expected to see it.

For personal reasons, posting today isn’t going to work out.

And then I got all the ranting I wanted to do with my family—for once we were (nearly) all in the same room, so now it’s all out of my system. Which doesn’t leave much for me to talk about now.

I will say I’ve been getting some creative writing done: not much, but far more than I have in months. Maybe it’ll help with November.

Right this moment I’m watching NCIS. Yes, it’s your fairly stand police procedural drama, but it has humor and eccentric characters. I love it like woah*. And I remember telling my brother about how annoyed I was about the denial Tony fangirls have (like fangirls in many other fandoms) that he has any flaws whatsoever, and for some reason hate McGee. Since I think both characters’ best scenes are where they play off each other, I’m rather unforgiving of that attitude. So I ranted about it at my brother, and though he hasn’t watched nearly as much of the show as I have, he immediately came out with “but in the later seasons Tony adores McGee!”

He’s not a shipper. He’s not in fandom. It isn’t what he meant. However, it was hilariously appropriate because they totally have a big brother, little brother dynamic going on, and if you can’t take the snark, you should turn off the tv.

Which is why I love White Collar, they snark all over everywhere.

Oh look. For not wanting to talk about anything today, I sure found a lot to say. It’s a good thing I’m an introvert, or I’d never shut up.

 

*Misspelled deliberately, re: Urban Dictionary: “like woah”: an exclamation to add emphasis**

** woah: 2:“Woah, I have nothing better to do with my time than to look up the misspelled word ‘woah’.” ***

***I only first saw it today, so I’m using it too. And yes, I had to look it up.

 

And before I post, I just want to send my prayers to all the victims of Hurricane Sandy.

 

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Fan is Short for Fanatic, You Know

Not that it’s inherently a bad thing, of course, given that I’m a fan of a great many things.  I often cross the line into obsession, just a little bit. That doesn’t mean I blame other people for liking things I don’t. And that the creators probably have a different agenda than I do.

For an example I didn’t plan on using, Hawaii 5-0 (the new one) has decided to jump genres from quasi-police drama to extreme Super Spies! (this choice I don’t get so much).

However, many fans are complaining about the season premier of NCIS because they blew up the building last season’s finale and then wrapped up a plot line taking at least three months in less than an hour. While I missed the potential for character development and hurt/comfort, the writers aren’t thinking about it from a fan’s perspective. I also wonder if they understand fan angst after such a dramatic event: like that TV show that shot a main character and made the entire season a dream. It’s kind of a cop-out.

In the case of NCIS, though, a lot of time wrapping up last season’s plot probably would distract and tedious for regular television watchers. If you don’t obsess over a show, how are you supposed to keep all the necessary back story straight? The generally episodic nature of NCIS probably explains much of its longevity (and lack of on-screen shipping—offend no one, engage everyone!).

Have you heard the term ‘shipping’? I could link you, but you may want to preserve your innocence.

English: Shipping dock in Hawaii

Not this kind of shipping [Shipping dock in Hawaii] (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Suffice to say, it’s the point where many fans start slipping the line to fanatic. People get passionate about which characters have relationships and who they have them with. I find the intensity odd, but since I read primarily non-relationship works (called ‘gen’), I don’t bother with it. More insidiously, some less than level-headed fans direct their attentions to just one character. Of course, they’re writing fan fictions, or participating on forums, and they are incapable of sympathetic reasoning toward any other character, cannot under any circumstances recognize on-show teasing, and refuse to recognize their character could possibly have any flaws.

Perhaps this explains Twilight. Despite all the flaws written into both Edward and Bella’s characters, when viewed objectively (snobbery, jealousy, possessiveness), because they are never explicitly stated in-text as flaws, and indeed, are written as virtues, people who enjoy the series can’t stand to hear that anyone dislikes what they  love.

Clearly there is a failure to teach critical thinking.

Just because I like McGee, for example, best of the characters on NCIS, doesn’t mean I don’t recognize that all his flaws are non-existent. Like all the characters, he suffers from inconsistencies  what with all the years and all its producers, NCIS isn’t a show built for canon purists.

But so many people can’t seem to accept this at all. They attack other fans, other fan-works and they can’t believe their prejudices aren’t supported by evidence: to the point where they can’t even participate in a reasonable discussion. For instance, NCIS takes little seriously, it’s a funny show. But Tony fans take every single joke as an assault on his character, regardless of whether the character takes any particular notice. I should also note this trend holds steady with any show, any character.

Fans can be the best at the ‘question anything’ mentality, coming up with wild theories to make sense of plot holes or reused actors playing different roles. Critical thinking begins with asking questions, but when fans find a pet theory and stop asking, it defeats the purpose. It’s not ‘thinking’ anymore, it’s delusion.

Perfection and Writing: Two Words that Don’t Get Along

NCIS Filming

NCIS Filming (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

You know what I should be doing right now?

Writing.

Well, technically I am writing, but I ought to be working on more formalized, structured work that actually accomplishes something.

Storytelling.

Right now my only active project is actually a fan fiction (so low brow!) of NCIS. It’s been my most recent fandom; my obsessions of other people’s work cycle on about a bimonthly basis, so I’m about ready to move on from NCIS. But in the meantime, it has given me the idea for a mystery, and since I’m not all that great at plotting, mostly through sheer lack of doing-ness, using already established characters and being able to disregard a lot of research into technicalities (given that it’s an already inaccurate and glorified television show), I can rely on the conventions on the genre as I figure out how to structure a full-length plot.

So far, it’s both easier and harder than I expected.

I think I have the rough plot outline fairly well sketched out. (Enough qualifiers there, do you think?) But making sure it’s in a rational order while keeping track of plot twists and tension complicates things: I keep moving around certain discoveries, character responses, and am also trying to tie in to enough character development to make sure there’s a point in reading it—NCIS is hardly the most procedural show.

For once the scenes themselves are causing me trouble. Usually when I write I start with a character, throw them in a situation and see where they go. (Mostly the scene ends and then the story goes nowhere.) Two years ago, I did manage to finish NaNo with even less preparation than I’ve done for this fan fic, but I can’t say it ended well, especially since I didn’t do any revising. I still don’t know that it would be worth it. I very much want to finish this NCIS story before November, because I want to participate in NaNo again, and have the start of a plot—but at the same time I’m still trying to figure out my characters and how they’re going to start the plot, and make sure each makes sense with the other.

This writing thing is HARD y’all. I’ve only finished a few short stories and attempted a few terrible poems, mostly in classes. But I tell myself so many stories I may as well write them down! And preferably well, as I am a perfectionist.

I’m sorry, I just love linking to writing blogs about writing, mostly because I love reading them, and I do love the suggestions box.