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balefultickle Below are the 10 most recent journal entries recorded in the "balefultickle" journal:

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October 27th, 2008
01:55 am

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When writing about something that is not human (or no longer human), one has to design it so that the reader, who is human, can somehow relate. Otherwise the disconnect can alienate your reader, or at least become a wall they must climb.

So how does one do it for a monster protagonist or character without going the obvious route of angst? If they are not your villain, what are the other options of presenting a personality the reader can empathize and connect with?

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March 22nd, 2007
06:12 am

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I just finished "Stranger than Fiction".

The actual greatness of the movie has nothing to do with this post. Nor the message of the movie, as it hits too close to home. Also I have some issue with stories that weigh heavily on destiny and free will.

Instead, I would like to make a case study of the characters presented.

First you have Harold Crick, Will Ferrell's character who is like Ed Norton's character from Fight Club: he has no life. He is routine, the perverbial cog in the machine. And this man who has not lived must find himself and live.

The problem that I see in the presentation of Harold Crick from the perspective of looking at the character, I find that he is a little dry in the sense of unaged wine. We understand that his life is numbers and precise incriments of time. It is his past; he has none. The only thing we learn about his life before working for the IRS is that his mother did not bake, he only had store bought cookies. So we do not understand how Harold became Crick.

What truely struck me on this conversation of characters is actually the love interest Ana Pascal. When first we meet her she is presented as a tattooed radical who refuses to pay the 22% of her taxes on the grounds that the 22% of her taxes would go to fund government programs she disagrees with. The movie could have ended her characterization there, but it threw a curve ball.

When discusing how she became a baker, we learn Ana actually was in Harvard's law school, purely on the grounds of the essay she submitted on how she would make the world better. During study sessions, people would come over and she would make cookies so they would stay and snack. People loved them. As the days went by she tried new things, more creative things, hunted recipies, spent the day in the kitchen among the warmth. More people came, her recipies got more elaborate and fancy. She wound up with 27 study mates, four books of recipies, and a D average. She decided she would make the world better by making people happy with cookies (and we often see her giving away her baked goods for free to homeless and the downtrodden).

This is a human being. This is a person. People's lives take unexpected turns. They are truely people when they are not one thing, but many. Everything, everything in the world, in people, has a reason for it being there. And thus the motivations and mechincations that make up the person have points of origin, and these things make up individuals due to their variance. If Tim is a dick because Tim has always been a dick, and Jim is a dick because his life left him for another woman and his transmission fell out, we the reader can see Jim as a more human individual, for his flaws and demeanor are organic. He is a person, not a puppet to merely say his line, be a strawman for an argument or a plot purpose.

More importantly, and the premise of Harold Crick, is that people who are the same at the beginning as they are at the end of their lives, are boring entities and do not make interesting characters. Only the extraordinary when mixed with the mundane do you get interesting; the Joe Schmo dropped into an unfamiliar and exotic situation, or Joe forced to adapt to a a new stimuli that makes him grow.

Stories are constructed of people, not of things.

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February 4th, 2007
10:22 am

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Two posts in a row! GASP!

I was thinking. What trends and thoughts undercurrent most if not all of my writing?

Acceptance. There's often a character who's an outsider or is insecure. And inevitably they are accepted by someone despite their oddity, or perhaps because of that oddity.

Taboos. Anything that can make it seem dirty, inappropriate or socially wrong. Not only does this add to the tension, but it leaves a residual feeling of wickedness. The story stands out as distinct or unique because it's against the grain.

Public sex. Something steamy in public, not for the threat of being caught, but the thrill of actually getting away with it. It's a source of tension.

Being used. Taken advantage of in a pleasant, or at least acceptable way.

Anonymity. For some reason, strangers doing it is hot for me. It is the ultimate signature of passion; claimed by the moment.

Powerful women. I like dominant girls. The assertive, the strong willed, the aggressive. Mm.

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10:19 am

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Just realized I hadn't posted on this journal in forever. I've been prodding at several stories for a while now, and they're progressing rather slow. So I thought I'd just mention what I'm toying with.

Badges and Bedsheets:
Sequel to "Handcuffs and Lace". Essentially the Next Day.

Comfortable Sins:
Muslim teen on preacher's daughter. The main confliction naturally being religion, and several tense moments when they're almost caught mid-coitus and she must talk to her dad through the door. But I think I'm just beating the reader over the head, and I am doubtful of how interesting it would be.

The View from My Knees:
An arrogant, narcissistic wolf top gets put in his place by a slick male fox. I admit I'm writing this for FurNation, because they only accept material that hasn't been put on the net first.

A White Rose on the Wayside:
A story about the mistress to the Czar, and the starcrossed affair with her guard. I've yet to actually begin this one.

Unnamed Novel Project:
Ortega, apprenctice to the Oculis Sinister cabal has escaped with their prized test subject, a slave girl whose talent is useful for the cabal's practices. He runs aground with a traveling Oathbinder and her guards, who unwittingly end up protecting him from the enraged sorcerers. I've yet to begin writing this because, while I have all the characters in mind, I have no overall plot, nothing to throw them at.

Unnamed Short Story
A firebrand, chaste preacher of some religion is shipwrecked along the coast of the New World, and finds himself being chased and used by lupine amazons. This has just been rattling around in my head - not been put to paper yet.

I'd also enjoy writing something with a nun. You know me and my love of taboo-bending.

As a side note, I posted two stories recently. A Thousand Touches of Pleasure and Pain and Just Another Saturday, two drastically different tales.

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January 23rd, 2007
12:40 am

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Hey! I got published in FC's conbook! :D :D :D :D

They misspelled my name though.

This is the story, btw.

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January 17th, 2007
12:52 am

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Noir for Dummies
It was a Tuesday. Quarter til four. Early spring - the trees were just starting to green, that youthful promise unaware of the inevitable deep chill that waited for them in September. I remember it like it was today, because it was yesterday.

There I was at my desk, waiting for something to come across my lap to perk my interest. The phone had been quiet all morning like a cat sleeping in the windowsill under rays of sunlight, just waiting for the most inopportune time to come up and scratch you when you're not looking.

That's when she walked in.

Like some sharp mountain road, she was all long stretches and narrow, dangerous curves. Dressed like daddy's little secretary, with a pristine pressed blouse and her hair up nice, you would have had to look twice if you caught her hand in the cookie jar just to make sure she had red hands. But I knew better; the prettiest roses have the sharpest thorns, and there's usually a chummy bee lurking around somewhere. Not to mention the pollen, which is hell come allergy season. Her lips were red as though she'd just finished kissing a cherry, and-

"Sir? Can you help me?" There was a tinge of confusion, if not hesitation, like she wasn't sure she was talking to me.

I stood up straighter and smiled. "I can try my best, miss."

"Yeah," she said, flipping her hair just so. "I was looking for something."

I smiled and leaned forward a little. "Well, you've come to the right guy. I find things out, give you the answers to the unanswered questions you need."

"Right, uh... has "Bloody Crown" by Haden Thomas come in yet?"

I checked the computer. "In next Wednesday."

"Thank you." She left me like a car peeling rubber. Just in earshot I heard her say, "Weirdo." The answer I'd given her wasn't up to snuff; she wanted what she needed and it wasn't now, and no woman likes to be denied.

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October 23rd, 2006
12:55 am

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I'm going to be published!

A month ago I submitted a few stories to Sofawolf Press. They publish a little furry magazine called "Heat". In the last issue they printed a comic by Adam Wan.

Well, they picked one of them up. It's going in the next issue. They want to make a few edits, which is fine, but it's been selected!

I checked their submission guidelines. They pay about $.005 a word, and if there are no drastic cuts that's going to come around to $17. Which is satisfying to me.

Speaking of stories, I have a new one up.

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September 25th, 2006
02:28 am

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Furry Erotica - My Picks
I'm usually posting my stories, but I thought I'd list some that I like.

The most recent series that I sat down and read was Carnal Combat. Inspird by Mortal Kombat, done smutty, furry style. Now, while that sounds really gimmicky and dorky, the series itself is rather good, and deviates far from MK beyond the initial Tournament and a few homages. The plot has actual intrigue and characterization, and the fight scenes are well done.

Next, one of my favorite furry erotica writers is K.M. Hirosaki. Really, anything by him is good. Everything I've read of his I like. Though, I'm a particular fan of Wick and Hot and Fresh, Right to Your Door, Guaranteed. My only complaint is that he only writes male on male stuff.

A unique story that became one of my favorites is The ISWA Semifinals, 2006. Where Carnal Combat is fighting + sex, ISWA is sexual competition. What really won me over about this one is that the entire story is told by the dialogue of the announcers. Neat idea.

Eye of Aphasis is hot. Fantasy porn is, I think, some of my favorites.

Tales of Perissa (and the sequel) by Brock Hoagland. It's not exactly porn - there's no explicit sex (except for a very poetic, more glanced over scene), but both books are very ribald, and the stories are good. Even if the author has some habits I don't like.

Honorable mentions: Silence is Golden; more fantasy porn, and also has anonymous sex. Total win. Wraithspider is worth mentioning. Not furry, but definitely if you're into rape and such. Hot drow protagonist. There's an offshot sequel that I fancied more than this series outright, but I will have to track down the author.

This is just stuff I've ran across in the last few years, but I thought I'd suggest.

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September 23rd, 2006
02:26 am

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Mental doodling
A new story up.

This one is a pure fantasy of mine. I just wanted to get it out of my system. It's fun and flighty and, as one person said, "Has spirit", but it's purely raunch.

As someone told me, artists doodle. They draw things for practice, to get their juices flowing, to change things. Not everything they produce has to be fit for publishing, fit for being held up - in fact, a lot of what they draw isn't their best, or a representation of their finest stuff. Not everything goes in their portfolio. But writers don't do that. So to just shoot something out there is quite all right.

On a side note, I'm going to be creating a website for school. Said website is going to be themed around a story series I'm writing. I'll have links to a writeup of the main characters, the setting, the mythos/religion, etc etc.

Tags:

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September 11th, 2006
11:35 pm

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Story ideas
Dominant fox. Not big or forceful, but by force of personality. "Presence." Persistance. Submissive wolf. Not submissive by willingness, but by desire over pride. He's headstrong, but steadily bucks against every command. A very rocky seduction.

Martial arts sex.

Ortega, his familiar and the medium run across a caravan transporting the diplomat.

Rabbit with Kusari Gama or Kwan Dao. Mustelid with punch daggers/knee/elbow spikes. Bear with bracers.

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