Monday, August 16, 2010

With the Ears of a Vampire

Okay, I've been re-researching vampire stuff, y'know, and there was one question that really bothered me and that I could not quite solve: can I imitate that fancy Draculanian accent Lugosi pulled off so beautifully?

You see, I have a general problem with accents. Whereas I usually have a very good ear for languages, when it comes to any sort of funny gibberish, I find myself lost, er, in translation. Now, that said, I'm sure there's a perfectly good reason why people always suspect that I'm from Texas (which I'm not. At the very least, no Texan ever thought I was Texan; I've never met a Texan though. Writing this feels very weird somehow. I feel very weird. I'm an artistic person, so I figure it's okay, but still, from now on I shall not eat, er, things offered to me by people who smiled at me weirdly as they were offering said, er, foodstuff. I shall return my life to the Zen way. Or Zen-ish way at the very least. And world peace. I'm definitely all for world peace.)

Man, don't you just love parentheses? I sure do. Yeah, moving on.

So, the accent. I am not good at those. And since I know that I'm not, I'm uncomfortable practicing them in front of others, which I suspect is the reason why nobody ever thought I was related to his bloodiness, the always stylishly dressed Dracula. All that is left for me is to practice in my dreams... (no, not in the shower and not in front of the mirror in combination with funny faces either.)

Also, I would like to propose that Dracula actors be judged by their respective performance in the accent field. Just because.

Now, from a writer's (that's me!) point of view, I am not so sure about the whole accent business when it comes to Dracula. I mean, if I ended up sounding like a Texan gal, how reasonable can it be that an immortal aristocrat lives through all those many years without getting rid of this most tell-tale of dead give-aways, like, yeah, that husky stress of the consonants? I just don't think that's likely.

However, in general, as a writer, I find giving people accents very challenging and also very rewarding when I did it just right. Right in that case would be for you as the reader to have that same feel you'd get if someone what's-upped you on the street with that most nightly Lugosian twist of tongue, just it has to be brought to you not via your ears but via what you read. See? Challenge.

Friday, August 6, 2010

...Writing A Vampire Story

Yes, well. I guess it had to happen sometime. Actually, I like good vampire stories, but obviously, not all of them are. (Surprisingly, you can write a whole series of bad vampire books and sell them too. You'd guess it was black magic...) I know that editors in general prefer not to find vampire stories in their inbox because most of them do the same thing over and over again, supported by only mediocre writing. Really, I understand. I just like the classics, y'know...

Well, of course I try to make it not one of these stories. In fact, I find that I have trouble getting more vampire into my vampire story, because at about 2,500 words, no blood has been sucked yet; no dark cape has been a-fluttering and no helpless idiot-damsel has gotten herself into trouble. Perhaps my story will not be a total disaster after all.

I shall go back to writing about the undead now. I did some research a while back, but I'll have to re-acquaint myself with a few of the, er, juicier facts. Oh, how I delight in google's efficiency.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Exploring Addiction

OMG. I have never considered myself especially prone to any sort of...ah...drug. Well, yeah, there have been books that I just had to read without sleeping, but that's normal, right? If you'd told me I'd find a vice pretty soon, I'd have laughed at you. Had you suggested I might spend hours with a browser game (a browser game!!!) I would have done my best to subtly insult you with my comeback. But all that was before I discovered Echo Bazaar.

This little browser game (to which, I am afraid, I am addicted like a prisoner to honey) works hand in hand with your Twitter account. When I first laid eyes on the game, I thought it didn't look like much (and remember: me, I didn't play browser games before). But then I started reading, and I soon was hooked (it actually felt like swallowing the hook whole and being pulled towards land by a relentless fisher, fast).

The whole thing is actually quite simple: develop your character's abilities (Dangerous, Watchful, Persuasive, Shadowy) and master different challenges, which for the most part, you can choose yourself. While at it, avoid going mad; I did enter A State of Some Confusion once, and although it was fun in a way, I am not exactly looking to repeat the experience. I think you can also do some fighting, but I'm a peaceful gal and hence, I have as of yet not undertaken such sweaty business.

The story is set in Fallen London. The atmosphere is painted deliciously dark and told with snippets of delightful tale. You glimpse a little of the whole here and there, run into strange characters/creatures and more than once I found myself thinking that I'd been caught on the pages of some Gothic novel. I hear there are countless places to go yet, and I see a candle burning over there. I should be off now, talking to cats. It wouldn't do for me to tell you everything either, Fallen London has to be explored first hand. Just remember to deal with your nightmares before they deal with you, 'kay?