Friday, April 30, 2010

When Life Impedes Writing

I don't mean this in the sense of, "Oh, I'm far too busy. I could never write a book." No, I mean this in the sense of, well, I'll just get on with it.

As I have mentioned before, it's quite possible I have very mild/high functioning Asperger Syndrome. If I don't, it means I have somehow entirely analogously developed traits identical to Asperger Syndrome. This can make writing very, very hard for me, as I don't really know how normal people behave. My image of "normal" people is probably horribly skewed, not only because of my own biases I inject, but also because the aforementioned issues make it hard. I mean, if you were to observe me...Think Seventh Doctor meets Second Doctor meets Fourth Doctor meets Sherlock Holmes. So in some ways I guess it's a good thing I do write fiction though, because I am very good at characters. People who are real enough, but no matter what they could never pass for being real; there's always just that thin sheet of ice there.

But! This creates much, much bigger issues. As I have mentioned before I have created a character who is intended to be a romantic interest, insofar as the hero is interested in her romantically. Still debating whether that relationship will develop. As I was writing the scenes with her, and even moreso now re-reading them, I have been banging my head in agony. Surprise surprise, I cannot write romance. Again, this is partially because I am kind of Sherlock Holmes and three Doctors snowballed into one entity, but more than that.

I cannot flirt.

At. All.

I am even worse at picking up on women flirting with me.

In January when I went to go get my iTouch, I brought along a friend because he wanted to get a new iPod as well. I went about my business thinking the girl behind the counter was just being personable. On the way out my friend pointed out she was flirting with me, and being that I was single at the time, asked why hadn't done anything about it. Outwardly, I just sort of shrugged. Inwardly, I was running through the whole thing trying to work out when she started flirting with me and how, exactly. It boggled me well through the weekend, and on Monday I had to basically run through the whole scenario with female friends to get their opinion. All four women agreed she had been flirting with me. And that's just the most recent example of it. Worse yet, I still can't see how what she was doing was flirting.

And oh dear lord do not get me started on my pathetic attempts at flirting. That's's just put one of those "Accident Black Zone" signs up over it, shall we?

Now, this is important because, Rocelyn is supposed to be flirting with Daniel. Instead, what she is doing is smiling a lot more than is natural. She has essentially turned into some kind of Toothy Tooth Monster from Toothville, Toothica, Toothworld. She gives a polite "hello" sort of smile when she walks in. Fine. But then she smiles at Daniel every other time they encounter each other. Whenever she spies him catching a fleeting glance at her, smile. Going into the elevator to go home? Smile. Walking past his desk? Smile. And the dialogue. Oh, dear heavens, the dialogue. The flirtatious dialogue makes my miserable attempts sound like Giacomo Girolamo Casanove de Seingalt.

So what we've got now are characters who are obviously characters, and the worst attempts at flirting in human history. Worse than those cheese-tastic chat-up lines like "You're so hot, your ass is on fire" or the just plain awful, horrendous, who ever thought this would work, "Come here often?"

Yes. I am so much worse than that. And my characters are so much worse than me. I feel like I should forcibly lock them all in chastity belts to ensure they can never, ever produce offspring with such bad skills, but then I remember they're so horrible they won't need chastity belts to keep from having sex.

Alright, well, to be fair, I'm not always worse than that. Usually I am sometimes so much worse than that. But sometimes I such a big ball of cheese I make the 80s look like Pluto. For example, in a pathetic attempt to "woo" my third girlfriend, and dear Lord I to this day have no idea how this worked, well...

Yeah. Sang every bit of Sinatra's parts of that song. And that's me at my best. God forbid me at my regular or my worst ever see the light of day again.

I think I might just completely wipe Rocelyn from existence. Save everyone the pain of this...stuff, if you can even call it that. So, so painful.


  1. This is JUST A SUGGESTION but it could help.

    People are always telling me write what you know. With that in mind I was wondering whether you've considered making either Rocelyn or Daniel slightly like you in flirting as well. I don't mind if you completely chuck this idea but think about it for a moment. They don't have to be totally Aspergic if you don't want, you can make them the way you want them.

    I guess what I'm trying to say is that if you made one like that then the whole romance would be more touching and perhaps more authentic. You feel have personal experience with Asperser's Syndrome and so the writing will be more authentic? Some of the best romances out there are either painful or written from a very different POV. That's what makes them so interesting.

    Again, it's really just a thought.

    I hope you find a way through this :~) And Fish custard!!

  2. I should add I could write it realistically beyond the initial flirting stages, because really at this point Rocelyn + Danny boy wouldn't be seeking a real relationship, and I've never gone looking for anything beyond company and carnal pleasure except in the case of the first girlfriend, and that was just...let's not go there.

    Flirting I might just find a way of transposing cashier lady. I dunno. Rocelyn has disappeared for now at least. Has her own case to deal with somewhere. And if she knows what's good for her she'll keep the hell away *angryfist*

  3. i think that an awful lot more people are rotten at picking up on romantic clues than are suave. that being said, i sort of think that if you just wrote your scences naturally without trying to force the flirtation (aka your conversation with cashier girl) i think it might come across.
    romantic scenes are difficult for me to write as well. but my genius critique partner gave me some great advice (which you are probably already doing seeing as your such a clever chap). she said that she writes the scenes from both perspectives first. that way she knows exactly what each character is thinking and that way the actions come from somewhere. as you said you are good at getting into character's minds. maybe you should spend a bit more time in rocelyn's (love the name by the way) mind.
    anyway, been meaning to check out your blog for awhile. you have the funniest comments at nb's forums, but you know how time goes. and always great to find other doctor who fans! (although i admit i've never seen the old ones... chris eccleston on) ok, this is too long! sorry!

  4. toothville, toothica, toothworld.
    Hahahaha, unwittingly youve made my day, its actually bed-time but still.