Saturday, March 24, 2007

Equilibrium Recovered

Today's obligatory photo shows that snow
has returned to the Catalina Mountains

I think Ficlets has served its purpose for me, at least for now. I wrote a third one tonight, a sequel to "The Birthday Race" titled "Transformation." But that's it. John can rest easy. This isn't the start of yet another obsession. I'm done. Probably. Sort of.

In Ficlets, prequels and sequels aren't quite the same thing as in longer fiction. Each ficlet is a tiny vignette at best, but a bunch of them will often be strung together into a larger story, sometimes with more than one author for the larger series. That's part of the point of the site. It's social networking in the form of interactive fiction.

So I wrote a second part to my story about a heavily fictionalized, futuristic version of my friend Sara, and then two regular contributors to the site continued the story with a sequel each. To be honest, I don't like what they did with it. Their version was much darker than what I had in mind, with a big planetary threat making a quick and devastating entrance.

That's perfect valid; there's nothing wrong with what they wrote or the fact that they wrote them. But I've come to the conclusion that I don't have the temperament for round robin fiction. Round Robin Photo Challenges, yes, because nobody comes in afterwards and changes my photos to suit themselves. But fiction is something else again. Even in these few teeny tiny snippets I've developed a proprietary interest in the stories and the characters. I hate to see someone else muck about with them, even if they did it well. Never mind that the child in "Do You Want to Meet a Pirate?" is heavily based on a certain well-known writer's Pluto-defending daughter. That one got sequeled, too, and I didn't like that, either, through no fault on the part of the sequel writer.

It doesn't matter, though. I wrote a little short fiction to a certain specification, showed myself that I can do it, and had a bit of fun. That's enough to restore my confidence and perspective after this week's disappointment. Now I need to go back and get past this paragraph in which the otherworld King Jor argues, with an ironic subtext, that it's a good thing he wasn't kidnapped 15 years ago. So far he hasn't managed to communicate the gist of his argument to me, but we'll figure it out. There's a version of the paragraph in my handwritten draft, but Jor misses his own point entirely in that bit. At some point I'll extend my version of the crystal woman story, but I'm not in a hurry about it.

News of the Weird tonight, courtesy of Julie, is that literary agent Barbara Bauer is apparently suing practically everyone who has ever been less than complimentary to her online, with the possible exception of individual Wikipedia editors and such. Wikimedia Foundation is among the many named defendants. If it ever goes to trial, will they call on me as one of the people who worked on that article? If so, will they pay my airfare? Hey, I'd love an excuse to go Back East for a visit.

In the morning I try to give blood again, and then I've got to get on with the emptying of the office. And before the weekend's over I hope to get a few more queries ready to go out. Meanwhile, now that I've spent the evening and half the night watching Doctor Who, I think I'd better go to bed!

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