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beyond the rain

Hey guys, it's negative nancy, here with some good news (seriously, where is this positivity coming from?)

For my final year i was meant to be writing a script. I'd heard lots of things from past students on what to do and what not to do, and in the end I had vague aspirations that lead to giving up on my degree and marrying into money. But I trudged on, creating an extremely political scary world with some fairly eccentric characters thrown in. There was just one problem: I hated it. I hated my plot, I hated my characters, and I hated that it felt like there was no one on my team - because no one understood it. So I scrapped it! Now instead I'm writing a piece about age, sexuality, and family secrets...and it's not so daunting. 

I always saw original fiction as some strange next level writing - because with FF for me it was just playing. I touched on serious topics like dementia, anxiety, and adultery - but the characters were ready made. I had my own spin on a few, but the challenge was to present them in character. In original fiction, the rules are yours...which should be liberating - but to me it wasn't. I felt like I had to create an exciting new world because so many had already been created, wizarding worlds, Narnia, Gallifrey - and I thought by making it 'normal' I'd be boring. I thought that if my play wasn't challenging then I was writing it wrong. I don't think I'm that creative, most ideas never make it out of my brain and onto paper because I don't have the determination to complete it - and I was trying to defend a world and a setting more than an actual plot. It was like if JKR had created the wizarding world, and just gone: here you go, have fun. Rather than giving us the chosen one, or Voldemort and his death eaters - and all these families that we love, imagine if Rowling had just given us the world. It's still magical and exciting, but it isn't enough. My piece seemed half baked. I was trying so hard to remould it, and make it what other people wanted, until I realised I wasn't enjoying myself anymore. Which naturally meant it wouldn't be my best work. The best thing I ever wrote was a piece called In the Mourning, a short story about Harry and Professor McGonagall, and if Harry had visited his parents grave before the scene in deathly hallows. Or Storge, my one shot about Ariana Dumbledore and her death. The reason I think that they're probably my best, is because I loved them. I planned them out from start to finish, and put so much love and care into them...which is why I like them anyway. With my initial script it was just like, I need to get this done! It was about pleasing others, and not myself. 

I think that original fiction is very similar to FF really, and I'm not sure why I had it placed on this metaphoric pedestal for so many years. I don't think I could write a book myself, but from what I've written so far - I had to enjoy what I was writing. I had to be comfortable with my idea. I want it to be entertaining, and insightful. I want to make people laugh, and cry, I want them to be shocked, maybe even uncomfortable - but I want them to feel. Which I think is what every writer wants, original or not. 


Maybe my initial experience is completely different to other people's, but this is my first time writing original fiction, and my first time writing a play! Once I liked what I had the words kept flowing...though maybe that was because it was 2am, and now I'm up to 600 words! I know I keep going on about it and you're probably getting sick of it, but this really is a huge milestone for me. Obviously I'm far from done...in fact, I've come up with a list! This is the most basic list, that I'll have to edit as I go along, but I thought you might like to see in case I'm missing something obvious, or if you'd just like to take a gander! 


OF List: 

  • fully flesh out characters: 1/6 
  • understand plot 
  • have a timeline (halfway there) 
  • know the beginning 
  • know the middle 
  • know the end
  • come up with a title 
  • create a summary/blurb 
  • pitch it to other people 
  • have set/costume/props in mind


anyway, I think I've bored you all to death by now - and I have a scene to finish! :)



beyond the rain

First blog posts are usually so uplifting, full of energy describing excitement to start something new or talk about all the great journeys that are about to begin. My journey is less uplifting, more being pushed off the edge of a very tall cliff with a promise of sharp rocks and quicksand at the bottom. Today, and possibly every other time I write a blog - it will be a rant shared with the few that dare to read. 

My brain is currently in six places at once, and instead of tackling all 99 problems, my mind has shut down, it's offline for maintenance, or more likely - it's left the building altogether. I've seen a lot of friends start their first year at university, and I'm hit with an unfamiliar pang of jealousy. Would I like to go through the process again? Probably not. I've faced too many sleepless nights and 12 hour days filled with thoughts like 'what the heck am I doing why didn't I just find a 9 to 5 job like everyone else' - to want to do all this again. But there's something so exciting about starting something new. They're yet to know how close they'll become to making a deal with the devil and wishing they could sell their soul to get any sort of grade, let alone a good one. 

For anyone who's considering uni, I almost always tell them to go for it, or at least apply. Yes there's debt, yes there's deadlines, but you have a degree. Graduate jobs are an option, and it opens you up to a new way of thinking. I can't watch a film, a play or a television show without being somewhat analytical now. If it's a show with context, even better! But. University isn't for everyone. For some it's a way out, avoiding the eventuality of employment and actual life. My gran keeps telling me I need to get a job for life skills. Personally I find the money a lot more appealing, but I suppose she has a point. The end is drawing near, I'm nervous, terrified I won't be a success...but am I sad? The short answer is no. The long answer is, I'm done with education. And if you were done with education at 18, then don't do university. I don't want someone judging me by how I write an essay, or standing up in front of 50 something people with my heart in my mouth as I try explaining something with certainty that we've only had an understanding of for a few weeks. I want to be judged on my talent, how I am as an actual person. I don't want to be seen as a customer, or another number. I want to be of value. I want to feel great about myself! 

I have a presentation tomorrow, my car broke down again, I'm writing a script for my final year project and my idea has been branded vague, uninteresting and too complex. I'm close to looking for the next flight to the other end of the world and staying there because if I'm going to be lost, stressed, and confused - I'd rather be battling a deadly trio like that in the sun and be upset with a tan. I'm far too pale to be dealing with all this! But such is life. Another thing I will say is, I know it'll get better. Life goes in cycles, if you'd asked me how life was going at Christmas this blog would be a lot cheerier - and shorter. I think this long winded rant is necessary to accept that crap has happened, I'm going through a lot of bad stuff right now, but I need to accept it. And this is how. 


In a year's time I'll be in a totally new place, with new problems and things to be mad about. But by then I can guarantee I'll miss university and wish I was back. Would I do a masters? There's as much chance of that happening as Neville Longbottom joining the death eaters and becoming Voldemort's favourite. Next to none. But this is my introduction - hi, this is me, cynical, grumpy and stressed - there are no other emotions. For anyone else who's stressed with work or education,  feel free to join me on this ship - it's a sinking one but eventually we'll rise from the (ashes, no surely not) watery depths and come back much like Captain Jack Sparrow: with a vengeance. 

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