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December 27th, 2005

You ARE Mr. Whiskers!

I’m due to go through the comics and do another set of revisions. For example, I need to fix the part where Avery’s roommate is said to be playing Halo when he was realy playing Skyhowl Legacy. There’s a few tiny errors here and there I need to clean up. I also expect to retcon a few comics… I think the whole train station scene with Betty, Anne, Michel and Marshall is far too short and the time Anne and Shea were talking about it is far too long. However, adding more scenes discussing Anne’s relationship with Betty, as well as Betty expressing (or NOT expressing) her fealings to Anne is a little difficult to pull off. Here’s what I mean.

I can’t seem to put my finger on it, but there seems to be a threshold between the trivial/superficial and the important/serious. More specifically, I seem to be fairly adept in writing scenes involving superficial conversations. This whole Mr. Whiskers sub-plot is really just a tool to provide entertaining examples of the quirks in Moose River, but it holds no real significance to the main storyline nor does it, I feel, provide something serious for the characters to show off their real selves. Frankly I could just skip it all and I don’t think it would change much in the story. But… I’m still gonna do it, ’cause maybe there IS some real significance to this sub-plot that even I’ve missed, and I should not NOT do it just because I don’t think I have anything to gain from it.

Anyways, when it comes to writing serious shit, like a whole “I see your TRUE colors” thing, I feel like I fumble a lot. It’s as if I can’t break through that threshold. At least that’s what I think.

All around me I see a lot of the kind of seriousness I’m trying to write about. I see that there is this front people have, a sort of outer shell, that everyone puts up when they interact with each other. It’s a very abstract concept (I guess), but like… this outer shell is only capable of saying stuff like “how’s the weather?” or “did you see that movie?”, all superficial banter. It’s all about lies, tricks and fake… fakeness. A lot of stories have that too, inevitably; in Ghost World (the graphic novel), the bits where Enid and Josh go to Adam’s II was all just superficial padding, sort of slopped on like a coat of paint. A fake coat of paint, to hide something underneth (which in the case of Ghost World, a story about how Enid lost her viginity).

But there is an inner core to people, a source of who they really are. Their “true colors”. It’s also an abstract thought, but the words that pop into my head are “root, core, true, reality, human, emotion, raw, tender”. It’s certainly what the outer shell is protecting. I presume my goal in writing is to stick a knife into that core and twist it…. but I guess I need to get people close enough for me to do it.

Right now though, I feel that everything I’ve been doing with Moose River Regular has been watching Anne, Shea and Avery interact with their environment from a very superficial point of view, be it a physical object (like Mr. Whiskers here) or a mental vision (the stories each character has been telling). “Oh yeah, there’s a funny story about that!” Bah! It’s just silliness just to keep you reading. True, I’m only one third of the way through Chapter 2, so I really aren’t in a position to do much while I’m still doing character development.

But what I’ve TRIED to do with the whole Anne/Betty thing is try to maybe poke at the inner core a little bit with a toothpick, see what kind of emotions I can envoke with seeing Betty pine over her ex-lover and Anne trying to make heads and tails over why Betty acts the way she does. Now while I don’t think I’m TOTALLY incapable of bringing you something that does hit that inner core, I do feel as if I didn’t do a good enough job of being convincingly realistic. I mean I can’t envoke much emotion when what seriousness I through into the story isn’t believable.

I dunno, maybe I’m just being too critical about my own work. Or maybe I’m AM doing what I want to do with the story. I dunno. You tell me? Or maybe I should just wait until I’m done with MRR before asking that question again. I mean, it’s not like I intend for this story to be my masterpiece or anything, it’s all just practice. (But then again, what’s the point of practicing if you don’t learn something from it?)

PSST… if you want to give me a reply, why not give the message board a try? 😀

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Moose River
by
Philippe Van Lieu
--Reborn September 4th, 2005--

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