ravenswept: (Default)
Anyone remember that YA thing I was working on, Butterfly Massacre? Anyone? No? Really?

Well, can't blame you, as I've been pretty mum about... well, most everything lately.

But as I think I've finally gotten most of my computer issues worked out - finally - I've been able to get back to poking at like one pokes a dead body with a stick. Namely, from a distance, ready to hightail it the moment it becomes the zombie you know its going to once it feels the prod of woodenness.

Angela, my fairly anti-Twilight anti-heroine, I've discovered, is very angry. As in, she doesn't just not suffer fools gladly, she'll go for the throat at the first acceptable instance - which, if she had her way, would normally involve a preemtive strike.

*total side note: Only Love on the Bombay Dreams musical is pretty haunting. Thank you, Pandora*

Okay, enough of that tangent. Angela; always ready to defenestrate someone. And you wouldn't want anything to happen to your fenestrates, would you? (bonus points to anyone who gets that reference).

Part of getting steady internet back is getting a mass of different blogs back, and small part of those were YA situated. The YA-female, like almost always, is constantly *ooooh, Van Canto's Pathfinder... sorry* being accused - usually with merit - of being weak willed, jelly-spined, and more than willing to move aside so the male-love interest can handle everything off screen during that important chapter where the female passes out somehow.

And in my head, amongst all the other voices, I see/hear Angela in similar situations; at school, one-on-one, whatever, and she is... wow, the girl has some *cough*hell*cough*fire in her.

Also something that's been a topic that I missed (or at least it seemed to be brought up a lot during the time I was going through stuff) was that of the Broken Bird. Trope it, I already lost a weekend to it and was not made better for it. Essentially, the BB is, nomially, a female who puts on the shade of a badass, but who trully is yearning for boy-parts to make her whole; be those parts simply his heart or more south is deteriminable by how quote-unquote shocking said work is trying to be.

But the main part is that BBs have a troubled past; something that, apropo, "broke" them. The thing they hide so later they can reveal it in a dramatic and soul-healing way to the love-interest to show how much they've bonded/trust him/how damaged she is so the dude can kiss it all better.

And this is important to me, because, if you tag-search past BM posts, Angela has a... *ahem* past. But what I want for her is to not have it define her; well, to the point that it already does. She doesn't share the story, but really, why should she? It's hers, and it's a hell of a story. Not only is it personal, it actually is the purpose to her hunt. And what I want to get across is that, this broke her long ago - but, she's already accepted and gotten over it.

She's been on Earth as a demon for, I gather, about 70-odd years. That's not counting the centuries spent in Hell, where she first got her bad news (no, going to Hell was not the bad part (you know, mostly)). So she's had, you might say, a bit of time to ponder and navel-gaze about her situation. So by the time my story commenses, she is well aware of the ramifications. She know's exactly why it happened. And she accepted it.

What she doesn't want, or even need, is someone to think that her anger, pride, and forthright want to knee people in the sack when they annoy her is that it's a show, a mask to hide insecurity or hurt. That simply by exposing herself, either literally or figuritively, in a moment of tension or weakness it can all be made better. It's simple; people annoy her. She's been alive - or at least, existed - long enough to just be exhausted with the multitude of stupid shit people do in the name of... whatever. And while she doesn't hate everyone or everything, she's bored with the act of not saying or acting upon how she feels.

Which is what drives the (BIG quotes here) "relationship" between her and Victor; she'd rather she be able to just kill him, take the penalty, and keep moving rather than deal with his douche-y act and presence. He brings nothing to her table than someone to protect, because he cannot handle what her world is about. And that pisses her off just a mite.

Which'll be good drama (I should be writing this downoh wait-) for them. But my writer voice, the one that only I hear, keeps whispering "broken bird syndrome" and I get the brain-hives thinking I'm following the trope by trying to not follow it.

But then I just tell myself, "Don't fucking write her stupid then". Also, "Get a Chipolte burrito", both being sound advice. And that's what it'll come down to; writing the story, and character, in a way that you can see why she's annoyed by most things around her, and having a full, steak-burrito filled stomach.

My fears for the character are only my own, and I have the ability to make sure she doesn't come off like so many others. To let her enjoy and relish her anger, her cynical bite, her wan-ton go-to impulse of "punch it first, ask it questions if it survives/finishes crying". And not make her unlikable. Because I'd hate to go so far to the other side of anti-Bella that I circle back on the problem.
ravenswept: (Default)
    "What is Heaven like? Imagine you're trying to solve a Rubix cube. Only the Rubix cube has an infinte amount of sides made up of thousands of millions of squares that are not squares. Each side is made up of M.C. Escher's Relativity, and each piece will only fit with their specific side. No matter how hard you try, you cannot actually touch the cube. And the cube is made of smoke."

By its definition, you are unable to define Heaven in terms that actually make up its property. It is a place of contradictions and constantly folding in on itself. Timeless, yet aged. Beautiful, but without description. Walking forever, and still never going anywhere.

When one tries to describ what Heaven is, they are limited to words and physical limits that cannot be used in a secular way. Because Heaven is what you make of it. It is what you want, because it can be anything you want.

Time does/not pass by. Upon entering, one's grasp of the concept of time leaves them, because it is no longer needed. How long they've been there could be hours or years or centuries and it would have little meaning either way. Angels who travel to earth only experience time on earth, because that is the only place it truly exists for them. When an angel is sighted multiple times, for them they may not even notice that years have gone by, or maybe even if they haven't been on earth before. They could very well be there at one point and then again twenty years early with neither being "first" for them.

Those in Heaven can become angels, but will not be reborn to the human plane should they do so. Angels can be killed (they cannot, really, "die") and they can return to being an angel or choose instead to incarnate.

    "Hell is defined by the passsage of time and senses you have; what's the point of unending torment if you don't know it's happening or how long?"

Hell is hard. Concrete. Once there you experience whatever it is that will fill your unlife for as long as you deem it. You will can lose track of time, but you know it exists there, because you know it is happening.

The kicker comes when one realizes that their time in Hell, or however one labels it, is that they bring themselves there and decide their own "punishment". Some go because they truly belong, but many send themselves because they've seen themselves to have "sinned", regardless that many strikes as defined by man are not equivicated in the afterlife. Satan is not your tormentor, mearly the landlord.

Demons are those whose time in Hell have worn against their being so long as to remake them in its image. Not that the longer your there the more monsterous you become. Not even that you even will become demonesque. But if you feel that you should or that you can or will not fight Hell's presence, then one can easily begin to absorb traits that would easily label one a demon or devil.

While a demon could gain or grow wings, they would only be extensions of their arms or feet or some appendage. Only true fallen angels will have wings in addition to arms and legs.
ravenswept: (Default)
In my attempts to finish up the plot outline for Butterfly Massacre so I can finally start actually writing the damn thing, being spurred on by [personal profile] tangledaxon and her host of posts, I realize I haven't talked much about the characters. Or at least not anyone else besides Angela (I think that names gonna stick). The pretty-boy love interest, who still goes unnamed (I'm open to suggestions), has had a bit of words to his (unknown) name, but as he's not the focus in any respect I don't mind.

But then there's the geneuine love interest, because PRs always have to have love triangles. Dane (pronounced like the dog breed) is the male lead's guardian angel, tasked to protect the dunce for heavenly reasons; reason I still need to figure out. Not everyone has one (else they'd be everywhere) and he'll need to be special in some way to require Dane appearing as often as she does.

I mentioned in my random BM though list that while angels are androgynous, they do have sexual organs in either respect. So Dane is very much "female". I'm still trying to figure out some of her physical characteristics, primarially skin tone, but I get the general sense that she's fairly tall with short, slicked back white-ish/blonde hair. Something reminsient of Tilda Swinton from Constantine, only without the curly hair or the crazy.

"How insane are you right now?" Oh, I'm up there.

Also my angels are described with double sets of wings and more phoenixesque coloring.

I'm also trying to figure out her basic personality as well. Stand-offish isn't the word I want; she's not cold, really, just kinda removed from it all. She's not human, so she doesn't care so much about that aspect of things beyond keeping her ward safe, but she's not a total bitch either to just let things go that don't immediately affect her. As a holy entity, she "loves all" but that doesn't mean she has to particularally has to like them all.

Somewhat according to rote, I think Angela is the one who falls first, and at least she recognizes it's mainly a physical attraction. Dane hits all the right notes for her; independantly strong (strength not tied to anyone expect herself), can handle herself in a fight, not bad looking, and a host of other little intangibles. I do think Angela will be the pursuer in any relationship they have, Dane is both not able to pursue a relationship due to duties and as it isn't love at first sight, won't immediately see Angela as anything more than a demon (admittedly a demon trying to do good).

There's more I may need or want to figure out, like how or if Dane wasn't always an angel, and various other little things that are gonna bug me as I come upon them. But for now, I think I might have enough to keep me going.

And for S&Gs, My Little Quetzalcoat
ravenswept: (Default)
For the moment, I think I'm gonna try focusing more on one story and keep a few others as background/distractions. I know I've said before I was gonna choose a few stories to work on, but I figured that that wasn't quite enough. Having so many, going from one to another isn't going to exactly speed up the process if I'm just jumping between projects. So one will be the main goal while the others are there to bounce off of until the main one gets its issues together.

As for what story gets that headliner treatment; well, thinking on what I have, its really down to two projects, either Tigress, which already has its basic storyline worked out, or Butterfly Massacre, which I think I have enough to really go at and make headway on. The side stuff, I'll figure it out when I get to a road block.

Ever since [personal profile] tangledaxon posted it on a links list post, I've been combing through the Slushpile. There's a lot there that's good to know, and it's done with personality and not just deadpanned. When she reviews books, one feature she mentions is the first line, and how important it can be to both the author, reader, and the agent queried. Sometimes it's good, sometimes it's average, and sometimes it's just a sentence.

As always, there's never one way to go about it, but she does say it's better to have a good first one if you can. To that end, I've been thinking about some of my first sentences and how they play out. Most of 'em suck eggs. One (luckily I no longer have) I remember from a seventh grade writing project was so bad it would've been eligible for the "Dark and Stormy Night" opening sentence contest it was so over rot.

But I've been thinking and I believe I may have come up with one for Butterfly:

When I got myself sent to Hell, it was under false pretenses.

Sets up quite a bit; the character is in Hell, she condemned herself, knowingly, and that it was because of a mistake. The problem with that is, to me, I risk revealing why she went to Hell too early. While you can easily find out by clicking on the link above, story-wise it's not something I want to put out there in the first chapter, let alone the first page. It's a decision she's extremely bitter over, and a cause of a lot her selfinduced downward spiral to becoming a demon in the first place. I like the sentence, but now I'm staring at it trying to make sure I don't blow my literary wad early before it really means something (sorry about that mental image there).

She knows why she was sent to hell, but she didn't know how wrong she got her reasoning. It's a very stark and hard moment ([personal profile] limiinal even said it gave her a small jolt when she read it) and I love the power behind it; but it's a power that I want to keep hidden. And the first sentence of the story, as good as I think it may be, may also be too much a lead in to explaining it before it has that same power behind it.

Something to sleep on I guess, I'm not ready to dive into major wordage yet anyway. More outlining to be done; I need to not hate the potential love interest enough to make sure I don't kill him off... maybe. Yet. Too soon to tell, he's an annoying little bugger and I don't really have a strong reason to keep him around beyond the Twilight/paranormal romance/stalker boyfriend joke he's meant to be.



I just thought of reason.
ravenswept: (Default)
Well, this isn't going away, so might as well ride the ride.

  • Angels aren't very white; their coloring is more reddish/gold, almost phoniex like
  • Angels have double sets of wings
  • How long you've been in Hell does not inversely corrilate to how much a demon you've become
  • Angela killed her two brothers in their sleep because she believed they were going to rape her and her sister, having already raped their mother; she was hanged
  • It wasn't until several decades later (in Hell) she found out her mother was actually the sexual abuser, who moved on to the sister once she was dead
  • There is an essence that demons can feed on, but they are not directly after one's soul
  • Being a demon does not mean you are bad; being an angel does not mean you are good
  • If a demon is killed while attempting a second chance, they become full demons in Hell; there are no third chances
  • A demon can sense when another demon is within a certain proximity; however, it is not specific
  • The more people in a small area, the harder it is to sense anything
  • A demon on the outs can return to and leave Hell willingly, its just a horrendous process to do so (and tricky, dependin on how many fellow demons you've sent back)
  • Unless from an actual holy spirit, crosses and holy water don't do shit
  • Cemetaries are the closest thing there is to neutral ground/truce, but that's not a solid rule
  • Heaven is a mass of contradictions; formless yet beautiful, timeless yet aged, shapeless yet constructed
  • Hell is ruled by the finite; it's not unending torture, but it's not a pony ride
  • You cannot control a demon, you can at best convince them to act parallel to you
  • Magic is real, but you're probably stupid to consider using it
  • Demons and angels are fully capible of reproducing with humans on earth; it just may not be a good thing
  • Angela knows what her demon tally is, but is unsure of the exact civilian crossfire count
  • If you want to willingly spend any more time in high school than you really have to, get reincarnated; until then, it's just for the job
  • ravenswept: (Default)
    A very nebulous idea at the moment, but one that might have potential down the line. At the moment, I just fear it's genre.

    Butterfly Massacre is looking to be a paranormal romance, and by god I hope it pulls a [personal profile] limiinal and transmorphs itself into something more before the end, because PR is not a genre I thought myself apt to write. I'm helping it along by trying to avert the romance as hard as I can, because I don't really think, as it is now, that superpowered A is going to fall for normal B without a lot of concession, not just for 'teh luvz". Also, I'm hoping to play (successfully) with comes PR tropes.

    No names or anything of substance yet, just a bunch of ideas. But I kinda like what it's looking like. Our hero is the female half (I'll call her Angela, because that seems rightly cliche), and she gonna be a hundreds-year old demon. A straight up hell-spawn, no half-assed pansied curse shit. She comes from the Hellz. I never really got why the girls in these things always had the be the weaker sex, so right off the bat I'm avoiding that. And there's no soft, weepy story of woe and such; back in some teen numbered century, Angela commited a sin of some kind (to go to hell you'd figured it be a biggie) and got sent to the basement. There's some background demonology stuff about how the longer a soul is in hell the more demon-like they become, with the level of sin speeding or slowing the process. So, yeah, our girl's not exactly a sweet meek princess.

    The guy is a normie, your basic squishie human. And he's annoying (to her at least). He crushes hard on Angela when she shows up at his school, and being a stupid male thinks that he can impress her by trying to protect her. Really, all he's doing is putting himself, and more imporantly her, in danger. She'd like to just let him be taken down, but because of rules she can't let civvies die under her watch. But for the most part he's more an annoyance to her than any real help. I'm tempted to keep him like that and just avert the romanace altogether, but something says that wouldn't quite work. Maybe.

    I'm making sure there's a reason a demon of hell is in high school as well, it's not just happenstance that she's there to kill time. It's sure not for gym class. The reason Angela is out and about is she's trying to get a second chance. It doesn't happen often, and the rules to do so are numerous, but she's still trying. To get out, she has to kill one hundred loose demons, whose whereabouts she isn't quite sure of. She got word that one was hiding in a high school, having it's way with a few students already, and is trying to track it. So loverboy is getting in the way a lot when she'd rather be hunting. Part of the annoyance is that if anyone dies while she tries to take a demon down, her tally is added to; three steps forward, two steps back.

    If the story goes beyond just one part, the thing would be to take her out of school. She has no reason to be there once the demon is taken care of, and she cares more about clearing her record than staying until graduation for a boyfriend. Also, to keep those like her from just lolly-gagging their time on earth, there's a limit to how long she can just not do anything. She doesn't have to get a kill by a certain time, but she does have to have some effort to show; it's kinda like welfare, you don't have to get a job (per say) but you still have to put out applications.

    There's some more to iron out, but that's the jist of it. I don't plan on attacking it right now, but it'd be something to diddle with now and then for fun.


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