05 November 2012

+JMJ+

Blank Page 1

I once read a writing manual that suggested committing to a certain word count target each day. So if you have nothing to add to your actual writing project, you should write about why you have nothing to add to your actual writing project. LOL! The idea is to be so turned off by the alternative task that you force yourself to do the original assignment. And it seemed like a good enough discipline when I decided to try it . . . which was when it backfired.

The fact is that I was so turned off by having to do it that I dropped the entire project then and there. I haven't attempted another novel since--although I do pretty well with blog posts . . . and the occasional poem . . . and even a Fan Fic or two. =P

But I'm serious about doing some creative writing this month--and apparently, that means serious enough to subject myself to that discipline again. If I can't produce at least four "Bad Pages" this month (one for each week of November), then I will produce four "Blank Pages" that will explain why.

Aside from the fact that I can't figure out how to get a good idea I do have to work, I've been exacerbating the problem with some good old procrastination.


Hull AreYouAfraidDark, Source: http://www.sydlexia.com/phantomcab.htm Hull StudentBodies, Source: http://article.wn.com/view/2012/06/26/IAG_names_Matthew_Cody_as_general_manager_of_AMI/
From This . . . To That!

For me, the real selling point of Are You Afraid of the Dark? was not the Horror, but the Hull. I had the hugest crush on Gary, the putative president of the Midnight Society played by Ross Hull.

After the show was cancelled, Hull joined the cast of 90s high school sitcom Student Bodies, playing a character as different from nerdy, bespectacled Gary as he could get. I didn't mind the totally new direction, though I did mourn the loss of his glasses.

Anyway, one thing I've been doing when I haven't been working on my FF is watching episodes from the first season of Student Bodies. And now I'm glad I'm doing these "Blank Page" posts because now I get to write about one early episode that surprised me with its quality. (Apparently, the advice is backfiring again--but in a completely different way. LOL!)

In "The Bully" (Season 1, Episode 3), Hull's character Chris gets in trouble with the school bully and tries to avoid a beating by dressing in girls' clothes. His fashion sense is terrible--and I'm not even talking about the wig--so the visual comedy would have been funny enough without the added twist of his two worst enemies not only failing to recognise him, but also being powerfully attracted to him. (Excuse me while I ROFLMAO again . . .)

What I like about this is the subtext, which, it must be spelled out, is not "gay." Chris's rival editor is not secretly in love with him, nor is the school bully sublimating some romantic desire for him. But they're both willing to be nicer to him when they think he's someone other than his dork self.

This story plays out inside a framing device that satirises high school stereotypes, which--let's face it--all these characters are. Yes, even the leads. Chris isn't just dressed as a girl--which is to say, any girl. He has also put on the very specific role of Pretty Blonde New Girl . . . and he turns out to be as good at it as he is at being his opportunistic, annoying real self! (Once more . . . ROFLMAO!)

And we know that the writers were going for more than just some cheap laughs because they give the bully a monologue in which he reflects on his own role not as something he made up for himself, but as some kind of higher calling. I came to realise something myself when I returned to my alma mater to teach for two years: all high school is a stage, and all the students and teachers merely players.

I like reflecting on this now because the bubbles of the different blogospheres are also stages on which I love to play different characters. A few months ago, my character had a dramatic fight with another character, and it was explosive enough for us to seem as if we could never be friends in real life. But I don't think she knew I was wearing my Angry Advocatus Diaboli Activist wig--if only because I myself had forgotten I was wearing my Angry Advocatus Diaboli Activist wig. =P We might not have been able to get along in the blogosphere where we threw down, but I have a good feeling that we will like each other in the more neutral zone of Horror movies, 80s and 90s nostalgia, and boyband music. I have extended the olive branch to her and am waiting to hear back.

Now please excuse me while I work on my FF some more. I just had a new idea! =D 


Image Sources: a) Ross Hull in Are You Afraid of the Dark?, b) Hull in Student Bodies

2 comments:

Jenny said...

I don't know if I could handle that. Good luck, though. I should probably try it with my blogging. I'm having such a hard time lately.

Enbrethiliel said...

+JMJ+

Thanks! I'll admit that I regretted announcing my FF writing project less than one day after the post went up. I didn't think I could manage even four stories--even if I admitted openly that they would be "bad." But making a public commitment is kind of like a magic spell (Hmmmm. Is there a story in that, too, I wonder?) and I was able to write a decent first draft in longhand. I'm sure inspiration will strike you again really soon! Good luck to you, too! =)