January 16th, 2012

no tea

Down with Doormats!

So, it's Monday, and I didn't manage to finish the draft on Friday, mostly because I started trying to work and realized I didn't have it all figured out. I had a few breakthroughs over the weekend that may have brought it closer to something I might be able to write, but I still have a few things to figure out.

One breakthrough came from thinking about something I don't like in books. I was reading a book and getting increasingly irritated and realized that yet another one of my hot buttons is the doormat heroine (you almost never see a male character like this). I realize that the character has to start somewhere and presumably will grow a spine over the course of the book, but it's hard for me to care for a character who brings a lot of her problems on herself by letting everyone in her life walk all over her. It's even more irritating when she finally decides to assert herself and does it in a stupid way by disregarding the knowledgable advice from people who care about her well being as still more of the kind of control she's trying to escape and puts herself under the power of someone who's going to walk all over her ("You can't tell me what to do, so I won't read the fine print in that contract you're warning me about before signing it. See, I've learned to stand up for myself. Oops, I think I just signed over my first-born child and the rights to every thought I'll ever have, so I guess I'm stuck."). I reached the point where I had to skim the book (I needed to reassure myself that she'd grow a spine and a brain, so I couldn't just put it down) because reading it was too irritating.

Then while stewing over that, I realized that while my main character is in no way a doormat, she is a nurturer type who tends to put other people's needs ahead of her own, and the negative side of that is that she has a tendency to take control because she feels like she knows better than others, and then people get used to that and start expecting her to just do things for them. I've reached a situation where anyone would hit the breaking point and tell everyone to take care of their own messes because she's done with it, and I realized that's what this scene needed.

I still have one big event that needs to happen, but I'm wavering on when and why it should happen, but maybe I'll figure it out when I get there.

In other news, I watched Black Swan on HBO over the weekend, and I may not be smart enough for movies like that because I'm not sure I got it. I guess I figured out what was going on, but I can't figure out why anyone thought that would be interesting enough to make a movie out of or what they were trying to say with it (because it seemed like the kind of thing that was supposed to be saying something). And I can't believe there was ever any doubt about how much was a dance double and how much was really Natalie Portman because I thought it was pretty obvious. The only times they really showed her face when she was dancing were when they zoomed in on and circled her so that we only saw from the shoulders up as she frantically waved her arms. Not that there's anything wrong with that, since there's no way an actress who has not been primarily a dancer could possibly dance at the level of the kind of ballerina who'd have the lead in a major production of Swan Lake, and the "really, she did all the dancing herself!" campaign pre-Oscars just made them all look silly. And now I want to see a real production of Swan Lake and I have the score stuck in my head.

Meanwhile, in the last couple of days it seems like the spammers have decided my blog is a good place to sell handbags. I've been deleting tons of spam comments about handbags. Which is ironic because I've pretty much been carrying the same bag since about 2004. I bought a new one a little more than a year ago and sometimes use it, but more because of function than style. And I buy most of my purses at places like Target and TJ Maxx and refuse to use anything with obvious designer labels.

Now, to work, since I got a reasonably early start on the day. Buy purses now!