cloverr asks some OOC questions:
WHY did you start writing this blog?
Various friends were getting into LJ. I didn't feel like writing my own life up; I'm a rather shy and private person in many ways. beetiger and I had published World Tree a year or two before, so the world was very much in my head. My gaming group was in the process of disintegrating, and I wanted to some World Tree stuff -- and especially stuff that would be a bit public and keep the project alive.
WHAT things prompted you to keep writing here?
People who read it and liked it and told me they liked it! That's the fundamental currency for writers, really -- well, except for writers who get paid in real currency.
HOW does the LJ format and the commentary provided differ for you from the usual "read this and critique it".
Well, I don't do "read and critique" as much as perhaps a good wannabe author should do, even with novels. The way I do LJ, though, means that I do very little editing on Sythyry -- I usually write during lunch hour at work, which means I have only an hour to do everything I want to do in an entry. At best I get to read it once through after it's written.
LJ isn't really conducive to polishing anyways. If I don't like something I did two episodes ago, well, tough. Sure, I can go back and change it ... but most readers won't go and re-read the old episode. I could have Sythyry explicitly reinterpret or revise something that happened -- explaining zie got the events wrong -- but that's not going to look nearly as pretty as real editing on a real novel.
One small thing that has really bothered me about Sythyry is some names. I made up some names before realizing that the characters would be important -- Strenata's family name, for one -- and didn't pay attention to how they would fit in with the other names around. So, far too many names of important people begin with S. In a real novel (or real RPG campaign) I am very emphatic that the important names and other nouns all look and sound different. *sigh*
How has it helped and hindered the development of your characters and their story?
Well, both characters and story are sort of wandery. I know their basic personalities, but sometimes they go off and do something which surprises me. With only an hour to write, I usually go with the first idea I get, and don't think about it terribly deeply, and that can lead to some surprises. I think maybe this isn't a terrible thing for a slice-of-life drama: real people sometimes go off and do something surprising too. My characters aren't archtypal or symbolic or any of those hifaluting things, they're just people, and mostly not particularly important or historic people on their world. (I do have some historic-scale characters -- Glikkonen and Hezimikkinen and the Duke of Vheshrame show up in the World Tree sourcebook, and Vae might grow up to be historical -- but the characters who get most of the time on stage aren't that important.)
Do you write it with the big picture (novel) in mind, or is it just the life of Sythry as zi puts it forth?
It's about 11/12 "life of Sythyry". There are story arcs, places where I planned several episodes, or at least sort of knew where I wanted events to go: the introduction of Vae, Ficina's conception and birth, Sythyry's affair with Ilottat, and so on. I have a few long-term things planned -- which doesn't mean that I'm going to do them if something else between now and then makes them impossible. More often, I grab ideas from wherever. I sometimes reread old Sythyry entries, and think of things which might show up today. I have a file of notes of things that might be interesting to write about. I visualize Sythyry's day, and try to find something worth writing about there. Once in a while I steal bits from real life -- "Sallad of the Bad Cafe" was pretty much autobiographical. It's pretty haphazard.