The Five Commandments of Writing as decreed by JMcHotdog are:
Jeff’s Writing Commandments:
1. Thou shalt not wait for “inspiration”
2. Thou doth need sacred space
3. Thou shall shun all distractions
4. Thou shalt not edit during the first draft
5. Thou shall share thy work for the betterment of it and thyself
These make my life difficult. They really do. However, I feel as though I am learning. As
you all know from my last learning project blog, my first exercise was a prompt about setting. The goal was to “show” and not “tell.” When working with words, this is a difficult task, particularly when you’re as dense
and as stupid as I am. With that goal in mind, JMcHotdog gave me the task of describing my happy place. I did get the chance to surprise him, as he thought I was going to write about something nonfictional. However, I instead wrote about an adventure with Franz, my dragon, so it was clearly just a figment of my imagination, but don’t tell me that. The picture I’m using is by KeryDragon on Deviantart (very good artist, check out his shit here!)
Anyway, I found out that I needed to work on a few things. I have this tendency, as aformentioned, to. Break. Things. Up. Because that’s how I talk. With the help of my teacher, I found ways to do that, while still keeping a thought going. He’s training me, as hard as it is on my self-esteem. I have this tendency to want to be good. However, as I’m teaching him how to speak Mandarin, I get mine too. So HA. Anyway, I sent the exercise to him, and he returned it with very welcome criticisms. I felt like I was actually learning, which is more than high school ever taught me. I rewrote it, sent it to him, and am waiting a response.
In the mean time, I was given another writing exercise. This one was to reflect different character’s and their personalities. However, he wanted me to convey this using dialogue, something his own favorite author (H.P. Lovecraft) struggled with. Luckily, when I can find anyone else as dweeby as I am, one of my favorite things to do are text-based role-playing games. It’s pretty much like one of those “round-robin” games played as a kid, but a bit more complex. However, dialogue is a major part of writing. Obeying the first commandment, I couldn’t wait until inspiration took hold. I had to write when I sat down. So, I wrote about the first thing that came to my head (naturally), Final Fantasy XIV. Both of us have created characters, and as true nerds, have both made up a (loose) backstory for each. Using these loose backstories, I assigned personality traits to each and went from there. My character is a miqo’te by the name of Gwendolyn Sah’rit, his a human by the name of Kassius Redbird.
Gwen is generally a happy go-lucky goof around type character who likes to tease the more grim/serious Kassius, calling him Kass despite his wishes to not address him as such. It’s (what I like to think) kind of funny.
Still awaiting my criticism on this…and maybe I will do alright on this, but we shall see. I may add my first writing exercise as an addendum to this later if I get even one request and JMcHotdog permits it. I’m trying to obey the Fifth Commandment here.