Friday, March 26, 2010

SOTD: None again, and a ramble about fiction

So, my Perfume Brain seems to have gone temporarily idle, as evinced by the high frequency of short perfume posts. I expect it to be back soon. But meanwhile my Fiction Brain seems to be creaking to its feet. So why not talk about that?

I love fiction. In a sense, I've been creating fiction my entire life.

I just haven't actually been writing it down.

I've been creating plots and scenes ever since I was a kid. If I wasn't reading, I was daydreaming stories. My Skipper doll went walkabout in wilderness that only I could see.  When my book of the moment turned out to be boring, I spent schoolbus rides directing action in my head, maybe creating something new, maybe adding a little danger and chaos to that old Monkees rerun that I saw the day before. Murder, mayhem, adventure, mystery - I'm not, and never was, one for the peaceful and uplifting in fiction.

I created fiction every single day. But I hardly ever wrote any of it down.

When I got to college and Himself introduced me to roleplaying, I fell in love with the 1920s world of Call of Cthulhu. Professors and private eyes and antiquarians and flappers and, of course, unspeakable monsters and crazed cultists.  I "wrote" adventures, in a sense - I created plots, and character descriptions, and maps, and described the world and the goals of the bad guys, and I lured in the good guys, and I refereed what happened, and I played many, many characters in the fictional world. 

It was so much fun. But I didn't actually write a story, just the outline. The story was created when the players got there. So I was doing my part in creating fiction, but it was a momentary thing, nothing but memories when it was over. Great memories - I may well value those games more than I'd value writing a book - but nothing permanent to pull off a shelf.

After everybody graduated from college and we moved to the adult world outside the dorms, the roleplaying shifted online, to chatrooms, MUSHes, MOOs.  Dozens of people creating collaborative fiction. No automation, at least not if I had any say about it. Just roleplaying, people writing a cooperative story. But even though it was in words and you could save the log, the log was still just a shadow of the experience. It really wasn't much more permanent than the face-to-face roleplaying.

But that was years ago, and online roleplaying is essentially gone, as far as I'm concerned. It's all code, all very high quality video games. More people seem to enjoy it more, but it's not for me.

So I need my fiction outlet. So it may finally be time to...

(ominous music)

... write some.

Now, I've written some. I did do NaNoWriMo last year. I've written stories now and then. But the fiction that really captured me was the daydreaming and the roleplaying. The rest was... meh. An experiment. I think it's time to figure out how to put some heart into it.


  1. The beginning of your post reminded me so much of me. I use to read and daydream all the time when I was little (and I hope it's not very noticeable but at the moment, I spend more time reading than sniffing and writing about that). :)
    I'm sure you will find a way for your creative writing to come out in writing. Sometimes I wish I could write too.

  2. I never could get into the role-playing websites. I have dabbled in fan-fiction, and have it under a pseudonym so no one will discover just how geeky I am lol...

  3. I'm in the same boat. I write all the time, and so little of it hits real or virtual paper. I'm personally trying to correct that, too. Maybe we can end up reading for one another. :)

  4. Hey, Ines! You seem to be keeping up with the writing very nicely, however much reading you're doing. :)

    Howdy, Kyna! I loved roleplaying, and really miss it, but it's essentially gone these days. Fan-fiction is something that I've thought about, actually, to get me going. Though the characters that I'd tend to write about would make me weird even in the world of fan fiction. (Quincy, say, or Columbo. :))

    Greetings, Diana! Yeah, why is it that it just sort of fades away when it's threatened with paper? At least, it does for me - all those lively characters in my head just give me a Look and walk away as soon as I get to a keyboard. But I did get NaNoWriMo done, so apparently I can write _something_. (Whether it's something good is an entirely different question.)

  5. I used to love roleplaying. I never played Cthulhu, but I did play plenty of others.

    The best thing about writing is it just gives a rationale to daydream a whole lot more.


    Publish or Perish