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11 February 2008 @ 04:06 pm
Writer's 'blank'  
Hiya to neesha_dreamer, tartanshell and cuban_sombrero !  *waves*

Question time: do you ever suffer not so much from writer's block as writer's 'blank'?

They say write what you know, but a lot of us write what we don't know, especially in fanfiction.  I mean, I would love to have a magic wand and a teacher that could turn into a cat, but nope.  If I'm writing something I'm not familiar usually I just do a bit of research, then try to relate it to something I do know about, so I might not know what it feels like to be missing a leg, for example, but I know what it's like to limp. 

Yet there are some things that I just can't write, maybe because they're so outside my sphere of influence.  I've read some lovely smutty fanfictions (admit it, who hasn't?), but when it comes to romance in my own writing I get up to a bit of groping and then I hit a wall.  I don't think (or at least I really hope) that not all the authors I've read have actually done some of the things they write about, so I wonder if they just don't have that 'blank', or maybe they hit it when they try to write about someone learning to ballet dance...

So, I'm curious, has anyone 'blanked'?

Storytime: A Fred and George ficlet for you, just a bit of fun, only about 300 words and U rating - that's 'universal'. 

Getting Rid Of Leftovers From An Early Experiment


“Do you think she’ll notice?” George asked. 


He looked around furtively before lifting the roof of the hen house up, shifting it to one side a little and upending a large bag over the gap, making sure that the mouth of the bag was inside the gap so none of its contents landed outside the hut. 


Fred grabbed the bag above where his twin was holding it and shook it back and forth enthusiastically.  “Nah, she won’t.”


“Yeah, but it’s Mum isn’t it?”  George’s eyes kept flickering across the backyard to the windows of the house, checking to see that no one was watching.


“She doesn’t know everything,” said Fred, but he sounded less than convinced of his own words.  “She thinks all those explosions in our room are just us messing around.”


George rolled up the now-empty cloth bag and stuffed it up his generously-sized Weasley jumper, although technically it was Fred’s since it had a large ‘F’ on the front, but they always swapped.


“Coast’s clear,” he said, eyes still on the house.  “In the backdoor and straight-”


“-up the stairs.  Good plan.” 


They put actions to words, heading inside as fast as possible without going fast enough for it to look suspicious, just in case anyone was watching.


“I think we’ll need to work on them a bit more,” Fred said once they reached their room.  He flopped backwards onto his bed with a sigh.  “Maybe something to make the after effects disappear once the charm’s worn off.”


“Something like that, yeah.”  George pulled the bag out of his jumper and threw it at his brother’s head.  


(In their little hut at the bottom of the yard at the Burrow a number of chickens wondered why it had rained canary-yellow feathers, but chickens only have small brains and they didn’t bother thinking about it for long.)

A/N: An early version of the Canary Creams where the feathers molt, but then land on the floor and after all the experimenting Fred and George get up to that probably amounts to a lot of feathers....

feeling: curiouscurious
sugar_fey: horse2sugar_fey on February 11th, 2008 11:14 pm (UTC)
Bwahahahaha! Oh, how I love George and *sniff* Fred. It took me a while to warm to Luna and Tonks, but Fred and George were my favourites from the start. And I liked the chickens' thought patterns.

Have I had writer's blank? Yes. I can't write smutty fanfics for the same reasons that you mentioned. I also hit a wall when it comes to writing techno babble. Some people can write it very convincingly even if what they're writing is utter rubbish, but I just can't do it. And there are some fandoms where, as much as I want to, I can't come up with any plot bunnies. I may read fics for them, but I for some reason can't write any myself. Buffy and Angel are such fandoms.
inkvoicesinkvoices on February 12th, 2008 08:16 pm (UTC)
I had a soft spot for Fred and George from Philosopher's Stone where they promise they'll send a toilet seat home lol. As for the chickens, there's a short story by Terry Pratchett about some chickens trying to cross a road...they evolve and eventually cross in a wierd sci-fi machine powered by eggs, but their thought patterns are hilarious, if you ever get a chance to read it. It's in 'Once More with footnotes' I think.

It's nice to hear I'm not the only one who blanks! I can do techno babble, but not babble that makes any kind of scientific sense ;o) (Huh, and yeah, I read for some fandoms that I can't write.)
sugar_feysugar_fey on February 12th, 2008 09:24 pm (UTC)
'Once More, with footnotes?' Must check it out! Maybe it could help me in writing the thought patterns of a squid...

With smut I tend to lose my nerve more than anything else. I have at least three friends who know about fanfiction.net, so the idea of them stumbling on anything smutty written by me is too embarrasing to believe. Maybe with a journal that would change, who knows.
inkvoicesinkvoices on February 12th, 2008 10:25 pm (UTC)
Oh, you should. You should read all and everything by Pratchett. *fervent nodding* (Actually, doesn't he have a giant squid in a corridor at the Unseen Uni in 'Making Money'? But I don't think it thinks...)

Meh, no one really know I write online. One of my friends knows that I write fanfiction, but not that anyone reads it. My Mum hates that I 'waste time' on reading fiction and writing, so whilst she knows I posted on ff.net years back she thinks (with helpful hinting from me) that I've stopped.

There is something a bit nerve-wracking/embarrassing about the thought of posting smut, but for me it's more the thought of writing it badly I think. I signed up for weasley_fest the other day and after reading through some of the fic request kinks I think I may end up writing some smut this year regardless.
sugar_feysugar_fey on February 13th, 2008 05:57 am (UTC)
My dad knew I posted on ff.net years back, but he too now thinks I don't anymore. And I like to keep it that way.

I'm nervous about smut because I've read some pretty bad ones. I read an Eric/Christine in Phantom of the Opera that was so throroughly awful I was alternately staring in horror and laughing hysterically. I do, however, have the urge to write some Wash/Zoe smut someday in the near future...
Risie: proper grammarrisiepookie on February 11th, 2008 11:43 pm (UTC)
The ficlet was very cute... :o)

As far as "blanks" and "blocks", I don't tend to get either. At least, not in the way that I think you're talking about. Usually, I know what I want to say and where I want the fic to go. Finding the right words can be challenging. What I tend to do is move on and start writing something else and then come back to what I've got stuck on. I find that does the trick.

As far as blanks are concerned, your only real limit is your imagination. Just because you haven't experienced something doesn't mean you can't imagine what it would feel like or what you would prefer. I have enough experience to be able to write smut, but I certainly wouldn't go so far to say I've done everything I've written in my fics- not at all. Live vicariously through your characters and maybe those blanks might become a bit easier to push past...

Good luck!!! Let me know if I can be of any assistance. :o)
inkvoicesinkvoices on February 12th, 2008 08:27 pm (UTC)
Thank you :o)

And thank you for the advice!

I generally know where a fic is going, just not always how it's going to get there. And by 'blanks' I mean sort of when you're in a difficult conversation with someone and you don't know what to say, so your mind draws a blank. I do that when it comes to writing grief and smut espeically, but sometimes little things (like car repair) which I can miss out or skip over.

Pushing past sounds like a good thing to try. I might write a few truely absurd situations and then when it comes to writing something more down to earth it'll seem easier, maybe.

Thanking you :o)
♦ k a h l i a ♦: sockscuban_sombrero on February 12th, 2008 05:20 am (UTC)
*waves back*
I think the thing about writer's blank (deadly name, that's what I suffer from a lot), is just putting what you don't know into words. With the smut example, even if you're a virgin, you've still got a perception of what smut is, you just don't have enough images to extend on that and write a full scene, I guess. Does that make sense? We've got a basic idea, and nothing to add to that and create something cohesive. =D

And your Gred & Forge ficlet is awesomecakes. I love the line about the chickens, and the way it's a snapshot of time, nothing big, but it fits.
inkvoicesinkvoices on February 12th, 2008 08:31 pm (UTC)
Yep, makes sense! It's definitely an image type thing too, I think (almost like trying to write the actions of character when you don't have a clear idea in your mind of what they look like.)

And thanks :o) Usually I write at least 1000 words when it comes to a fic, but this was more of a 'moment photo' than a story. Heh, and I wanted chickens, no idea why! ;o)