Monthly Archives of: August 2009

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Stefan: you never left my heart, you undead idiot

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Let me take a moment to talk about the new Vampire Diaries series, because it’s going to be SO, SO TERRIBLE, and yet I’m SO EXCITED about it that I may actually vomit on myself.

In my wildest teenage dreams, I never could have hoped that one day they’d not only make a TV series of Elena’s adventures in immortal love, but they’d make one with IAN SOMERHALDER as the bad vampire brother. VAMPIRE BROTHERS. FEUDING OVER HIGH SCHOOLERS. ON THE CW. Teenage me is having a seizure inside my soul every time I think about it. It’s going to be like SWEET VALLEY WITH HOTTER BOYS. WHO ARE UNDEAD. UNFFFFFFFF.

It’s like the CW is just lifting their programming straight out of my wet dreams (see also: Supernatural, although that maaay have a different sequence of cause and effect). If they screw this up like they screwed up the 90210 remake, I’m going to lose my shit.

Anyway. I’ve been watching True Blood all week. I was undecided after the first season, and may have been heard ranting to more than one friend about how sick I am of toothless, tortured vampires who want to kill people (but don’t), and feel really, really bad about it. See also: the whole cast of Moonlight, a show that I will never forgive for bringing Jason Dohring back into my life and then MAKING IT SUCK. This sentiment also goes for Heroes/KBell, but that’s not relevant to my current point.

(Note: Angel is not in this category. Angel was awesome. Angel was badass. Sure, he had issues, but he dealt with them by being freaking cool and decapitating stuff. I still operate under the delusion that Seeley Booth is Angel post-Shanshu, and after the fade-to-black in the finale everyone sat down and had a nice cup of tea with Wesley, who was just kidding around.)

Bill Compton is obviously supposed to be True Blood’s Angel, if Charlaine Harris/Alan Ball hadn’t missed a few key details (see above re: awesome, badass). Bill is like Angel, if Angel was really boring. And annoying. And had no particular reason to be so angsty. And didn’t fight crime. Or have a cool coat and a weapon collection. Or do anything much except fall in love with blonde girls and feel bad about stuff. Every episode Bill tries to stop everyone from doing whatever it is they want to do, and every episode everyone ignores him. As they should: he serves basically no purpose except getting Anna Paquin naked early and often. Which, sure, is valid on its own, but he could seem happier about it.

Luckily, they’ve made up for this by introducing Eric. Delicious, nutritious Eric, who rips limbs asunder for fun and couldn’t find North on a moral compass, but can still cry tears of blood when the moment calls for it. A vampire’s vampire who has both cruel and super hot down pat, but with just enough repressed emotion that you can’t help but think maybe the right girl could save him. (Also, in confidence, that the right right girl would be me.)

Eric is not a pussy. He is what vampires should be: ruthless. Sexy. Charming. Kind of gross. Not a pussy. The whole appeal of vampires is in the moral sinkhole they represent: danger, blood, power, the nature of evil or the evil in nature. Whatever. There’s supposed to be conflict and grey areas and moral quandries and buckets and buckets of blood. Even Sookie thinks Bill needs to stop being such a baby, since she doesn’t listen to him anymore either. Plus, Eric has bitch-slapped him for whining like six epsiodes in a row now, so True Blood has officially redeemed itself. It could still be improved if Bill were to, say, die in a fire, but as long as Eric is looming around looking all tasty and blonde and snacking on people (and as long as he doesn’t start feeling really, really bad about it), it has my vote.

Also: Lafayette and I should totally be besties. And Sam Merlotte needs to call me.

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Things that disturb me

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  • How often I end up on celebrity-babies.com.
  • Driving while talking.
  • The level to which shoes > porn.
  • The tingle I get from a page covered in red pen.

So, I’m going to admit it: editing kind of turns me on. I did a lot of it in my previous job; the most satisfying feeling I get, professionally, is taking something complex and wordy and difficult and trimming and squeezing and shaping it into something simple. I dare anyone to turn a page of dense tax-related legalese into a set of one-syllable bullet points and not feel slightly attracted to them afterwards.

Turns out, editing my own work borders on indecent. Livejournal would put an adult content warning on it and hide it from the general public. I already knew I felt that way about short stories, in which I usually end up cutting more than I leave, but (so far) it’s exciting to know that editing something novel-length is just as delicious. It’s long, and it hurts, and I have to ditch stuff I liked, but watching this rambling word-monster of a manuscript get pruned and tugged and tightened into shape… well, it wets my noodle (even more than hyphenating things, which is my second-favourite new hobby).

I read a thousand books on writing, and they said a thousand different things, the most useful of which was Stephen King’s, which I think more-or-less (hyphenation!) boiled down to: do what feels right. So that’s my basic strategy.

Accordingly, I’m editing from the midpoint out and then the start back in. I already know the bulk of re-writing is in the first couple of chapters, but I’m not altering anything that affects later events, so it’s easier to start in the thick of things and go back to the beginning later. We’ll see if this works when I come back around.