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Mistakes, Directions and Paths

Rating: 8 votes, 5.00 average.
I don't do these as often as I might wish, though I would really wonder if I really would have much interesting to say if I did it as often as I wanted. However, Christmas vacation ends for me after two weeks and so I sort of felt like putting things down. Like always, I start off with just thinking about events and then I get to a subject of discussion. And I always think I don't have anything to discuss, but I always end up with something. And I figure another one out for this one.

So anyway, status update. In the last two weeks, I made significant progress on my writing. Though due to other circumstances I didn't get everything done I did nearly everything I wanted. And I ponder had I not had the distraction how much I could have gotten done with all that time freed up. It'll be a question without an answer. But I'm fine with it, I'm pleased with my work and that is good enough.

So what did I do? I did the math, I wrote roughly 115 pages at about 70,000 words. This was spread across a lot of different things. A small chunk of that, but still a good chunk was the 6 game reviews that I wrote. They averaged around 4 pages give or take with only the Ar nosurge review being really long and throwing the curve off. So it's like 25 pages just on reviews. What's the rest?

Depending on how much you actually take interest in my writing, you'll note that what I wrote and the numbers here won't add up. I am including naturally the three chapters of Shift I wrote, the episode six of AESIR and chapter 10 from Twin Moon, but only half of it, since I wrote the other half of chapter 10 months ago. Shift chapters average 5, AESIR was 21 and Twin Moon 15, but only counted as 8. Which leaves a heavy chunk unaccounted for.

Well one of my main goals that I had for writing was to finish something that I got started this year. It was an odd pet project. And it is finished, though I did go through quite a lot of different emotions and thoughts while I wrote it. It's a complicated piece that is both direct and not direct. I wrote it with the intent that I wasn't going to spell everything out and that it was going to have some left up to the reader to figure out. It is still fairly straight forward, but the longer I wrote on it the different thoughts that I had while writing it.

Depending on how interested you are in something completely new that I wrote, which I don't know how many readers I actually hold around here, you probably have one big question followed by a lot of other questions. The first question you have is "If you wrote something new why haven't you posted on TFF? You post everything you write here." That's a largely accurate statement, I have withheld a couple of other things, but that's neither here nor there.

To answer the first question, why I haven't posted it. It's not because it is too long and I haven't finished editing it. All the stuff I post here are rough drafts, not the completed works anyway. So it's not that, if I wanted to post it I would have. Probably wouldn't have finished Dragon Age tonight, but I would have posted it. Anyway, the main reason that I haven't posted it is because I'm a little unsure about what I've written. While I find it a compelling if not dark story, it is both very different and similar to other work I've done. Different in that it is a pretty bleak story overall. So tonally it is very, but not really enough to make me not want to post it. Not really sure if I should post it.

I am I haven't decided a title for it. It is still called by my placeholder self-descriptive name. I'm also not sure if I want the last chapter or not. The last chapter is what really can be a massive mood killer in a way. It is the darkest of the chapters as intended when I was planning. Though it is going to be how the reader interprets it if they feel that it is a good or bad ending, I'm more of the bittersweet side myself. However if I dropped off the last chapter things would seem good, but also be even more bleak and surprisingly I feel a worse ending when you think about it. It is actually the bad ending I would saying, in the visual novel terms. It seems like a good ending if you're only looking at the surface. But once you start thinking about the reality, it is actually really grim.

So yeah, it's a very weird and interesting piece that I wrote. It sort of got me pushing to write my other novel. But besides that, it oddly just comes down to me being uncertain if people will actually want to read this story. I don't necessarily think it would scare people away, possibly offend, but it just may not be something of interest to people. So I've been thinking of just keeping it to myself even though I spent a good chunk of my vacation writing. So I figured I'd leave it up to those that read my blog and they can answer if they want to read this. What follows will be a summary of the story.

The working title, in that is not even a title, but self-descriptive is Dark Gender Bender. I did say that it was bleak, right? ^^ Yeah, when I set out to write this story I had a single idea in mind. How much are you willing to suffer for a world exactly the way you want it? And that is at the heart of it. It is a very dark story, though it starts out looking fairly normally. The brief summary, is that a boy that enjoy crossdressing and believes that he was meant to be a girl is granted his deepest wish, a world in which he was born a girl. Given that wish, everything seems perfect, but every wish has a price and he must live with the price he paid.

The interesting thing about the story, is that I set it up to look like every other gender bender story out there. The only major twist is that unlike any of the other stories, where is an unwanted transformation this one is desired. Because it is wanted, it makes you wonder where is there a story if he gets what he wants. And that is the price, the story is about the price and the price gets dark. And that is where things get surprisingly interesting. I wasn't thinking about it at the time, but as I wrote it and was thinking about it while I was sleeping on what I wrote, I realized something. I had written a deconstruction without really intending it.

Because I intended to write it with the idea that it was going to be a normal gender bender and everything seems good and right, then twist it goes dark. I didn't really think too hard about all of the choices I had made. And as I wrote what needed to be written, I realized I was doing a deconstruction. All of the gender benders out there that I read, will usually be a comedy. They make light of both the change and the impact over all on the character. While they'll have their moments of drama or angst, they typically end up accepting that they were really meant to be a girl. Look at the rules of gender benders on tvtropes.

Commonly, the boy now girl, gets an amazing body, usually more popular, well liked and over all loved than their previous boy version. All of this is usually done in comedy or for drama sake for them to see they are better off as they are now. I take all of those expectations and then placed them in more realistic coloring. Popular, good looks, love it's all there, but it is twisted. A piece of the price as it were. Popularity isn't always what it is cracked up to be. And being a girl isn't always the best thing in the world, as any woman as likely back up they go through a mountain of things and I'm not just talking physical, but social, harassment, prejudice, discrimination all of the things that have to be dealt with on a day to day basis. Books make it seem great, but they're sort of forgetting a lot of the reality of things. While all of those topics are more than I have time to explore in 6 chapters. I do explore what I can and try to look at the reality of what it would mean to be a highly popular and basically a supermodel like appearance in a high school setting. Not well as you likely already figured out. Any other story would make that an ecchi comedy, but mine is a dark, exploration of what comes with it.

So it's interesting. I find it a rather compelling thing personally at least. It is something different. I didn't plan on a deconstruction, but that is really what it turned into. It deconstructs the magical gender bender transformation. Yes, it is a Japanese oriented like rest of the things that I write. That hasn't changed. In this case it actually more sense to do it that way.

Let me know if this is something that you're interested in reading and I'll work on getting it edited. Like my short stories, it is actually first person, not third. It is very different, so maybe that'll be the reason people will want to read it.

Anyway, moving on from that brings me to some thing related. The reason I wrote the story was because I had a thought one night. If you wanted a massive wish granted it can't just be done for free. Realistically it probably just not going to work that way. You're going to have to pay something in return for it. Would you take the wish knowing what you'd have to give up something equally as important for it? We all have wishes, impossible things we want and that was where my thought came from. Wishes aren't free.

But depending on how well you know my history, the subject matter of gender bender is actually something rather important to me. A number of the stores I have written actually touch on the subject in one way or another. It's a bit of a case of putting something personal or something of yourself in what you write. It happens with quite a lot of writers. You work from something familiar. The funny thing is that when I first did in my first story, I thought I was being original. You can chalk that up to be gender bender being a largely unexplored subject in the general media of the Western world. Japan however it's an entire sub-genre with more literature than you can count about it. That was rather surprising when I discovered that, but since I found it rather fascinating it was an exciting world to explore. From an entertainment side, I do enjoy it because I find the comedy out if it to be very entertaining even if it is often predictable.

But you can find that The Inner Man and Twin Moon it is pretty much the central plot. At least one of my RPs here had it, which was based loosely off a fantasy novel I'm working on, written as that first time, a short story and now this one. I also have a contemporary story I'm planning on writing that actually is an exploration of gender identity in the age of the internet, something that is very important to me, and then another lighter comedy that is more played straight. I write about it a lot.

Those that known my full history on TFF will be somewhat aware of my stance on things. Back when I first join TFF, I was largely new to the internet community. I wasn't a stranger to the internet, just interacting with the anonymous others on here. So I really wasn't prepared for what I found and discovered. I approached things the way I would in real life. Which is why I'm polite and professional around here, because I'm an Admin so I need to be professional. Though I know how to joke around, but that's because I'm comfort with the place more than anything. But back then there was a lot of confusion about my real self, something that I really didn't understand fully. It was the internet, why were people worried about who I was behind the computer? Initially, I was honest in my answers.

However, a certain incident caused me to change my approach. Said incident is thanks to an innocent mistake that Shadow made. For anyone today, one of the larger ambiguities about me is my gender. You can thank Shadow for that. Before him, I was very honest about it. But he believed someone else and not me when I honesty answered. So for the fun of it, since I couldn't convince him otherwise, I went with it. And so for a couple weeks, maybe longer, it apparently before several member's goal to figure out which gender I actually was. ^^; So then I saw some fun to be had. If they were going to make this into a game, I might as well play it like a game. So I stopped being honest and went coy with my answers.

Eventually, Shadow did realize the mistake, how he found out was pretty entertaining when I think about it now. At the time, well I don't know. But thanks to all of that, I started playing around with my answers. However, everyone had different thoughts and reasons. My avatar, my name, the way I typed/spoke, whatever, it all gave people different notions. Despite the internet being anonymous, it seems that people still need to know if they're talking to a man or woman behind the screen. It is rather interesting. People need a gender to be able to identify someone. But by the time I reached that point, I stopped caring. Some believed me a man and others believed me a woman. And I was asked or had people correcting others a decent amount. So I just stopped and took up the gender neutral stance. It's the internet, my gender identity has no importance on what my words are saying. I'm just another person.

That's the founding start of my interest. Even today, I still keep a neutral stance on things. People identify me how they wish and I just let them. Naturally, plenty of arguments can be made for this being a bad idea and how gender identification is important and necessary. But it's really just another prejudice I think to judge people by. Words are words, if you believe or disbelieve them, it shouldn't come down to what you think of the person behind them. The internet can be a dangerous place, but it can be a very interesting place too where the purest idea of the individual can be seen without any of the very easy prejudices that come from just seeing an individual in person. It's quite a fascinating sort of thing that happens.

Some people do know the truth and when I reveal the truth, it is always interesting how people react. But no I still don't plan to stick behind a gender on the internet. If you want to know me, gender shouldn't be getting in your way.

Though that's not to say it doesn't come with it's problems. The biggest is definitely when people make assumptions on my identity and develop feelings for that assumption regardless of whether it is true or not. It makes MMOs especially complicated, but that is completely different story. And one I've likely told enough times already. Since I do stick to the neutral stance it does make things rather complicated. In romantic involvements, gender is very important and I understand that. And that would be where I would be honest, but I'd have to find someone that I actually returned the feelings that I have for me first. I haven't found that someone yet. But yes, it gets me into more trouble than I expected at the time. Hasn't changed my stance. Sort or works back to that notion of wishes and prices, huh? Yeah, that wasn't intended.

But thanks to my experiences on TFF they have generated three different stories that I wrote. The worst period that I was in was when I wrote and posted my first story on TFF. In the way that some people write poetry to work thing emotions or put their feelings down, which I've actually done as well. That was a really bad case of romantic matters that made those poems. But the stories, I've only wrote two of the three, that contemporary novel is planned to be my third, though it is second in creation. They have all helped me work through matters. The first one the most. It helped me actually identify something that I didn't actually understand about myself until I started writing it. It was a very strange thing. But writing actually let me more objectively look at myself in a way that I never could. It was odd, but really helpful. It's rather sad story as is probably expected to need to be working through something. But it is what you get. It's another one of those depressing sort of stories. Wow, I have a bad habit of making depressing stories when they're coming from myself. ^^;

The funny thing is that I've really gotten off planned topic. It is the reason that I don't write these very often. I end up taking way to long on things. @.@ But, the original planned point of all of this after I got on that distraction was to talk about my writing. The biggest point is that I went to college to be an artist, 3D, but yeah artist. And now I'm writing. Well I've actually always written, since 5th grade. Lately, I've come more to accept that I'm someone that likes creating things in what way I can. I like making stories and worlds. I like populating them with characters, ideas, plots and everything else. And one way to do that is to write. Another is to make 3D models or draw. I do all of it, though not in equal portions.

I spent all of this vacation writing or playing games, pretty good balance of both actually. None of it was spent on my other pursuits. I knew that going into it. I planned to do those once I got back into work. I don't know why, but it feels more natural to do my models after I come back from work. Not a clue on why. But I have been more productive in writing than any of the other sides that I also pursue.

Which makes me wonder at times how much of a mistake it was to go to college to be an artist if I'm writing all the time. I wonder if I should tried to go for creative writing instead. I'm not sure which is better at this point. I want both to succeed. I want be published, but I want a job as an artist. At the end, I'll take either so long as I'm doing one of them. Honestly, I want to do both. So if I got to do one I'd be very happy. Trying to evaluate if I would be happier writing or making models, I don't know. I love both, though I do not have the absolute confidence in my modeling skills. I don't have confidence in my writing skills either, but the window is a little more freeing. I can see the necessary goal as an artist more clearly on what is needed. I believe I have it, but not always sure how I'll get there. It's complicated. I have more confidence when I write. Even if I know I haven't tried to get published yet. Though that should hopefully be changing this year, the trying part.

I prefer not to think of what I've done as a mistake or a regret. It is something that I've used and can use to get a good job. I just need more work and time with it. But with all I write it is certainly hard to question why I'm still doing something else. I'm pretty prolific as a writer with what I produce. While I can't say the same thing for my art.

So this year is going to be a year of some possible changes and new directions. I'm finally getting off my butt on a bunch of stuff. I'm going to be testing to be an artist. I'm going to be submitting work to get published. I'm going to be actually working on my game finally. It's a lot of things. If any of them pan out my life is going to be taking some new courses. I look forward to see how things play out. On any of the directions I will be happy I know that much. So it is matter of what bares fruit. Though it is not going to be an easy thing any of them. It is going to take a lot of time and effort, but that is something that I already know and am familiar with dealing with.

How long has this gone for now? This might be one of the longer blog posts I've made. It's always a bad idea when I decide to do this because it just never ends. Anyway, lots of heavy talk. No real answers, but talk. Good talk.

~~Andromeda the Kitty~~

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  1. Andromeda's Avatar
    I've decided to start posting the Dark Gender Bender story over at another location rather than here on TFF. Just get in contact with me if you wish to read it.