Saturday, May 5, 2012

This weekend we have a treat from guest author Mia Darien

This weekend we welcome guest author, Mia Darien and her interesting post Beauty and the Geek.

Mia has lived in New England all of her life and knows that no matter where she goes from here, New England is always going to live in her. Presently, she still lives in the land of snow and fast talkers, with her husband, her son and her pets. She writes a bit of everything genre fiction (horror, romance, mystery, fantasy and science fiction) and thinks it sounds like an odd joke: a unicorn, a space monster, and a pair of zombie lovers walk into a murder investigation...

Beauty & the Geek

Anyone who spends any time around the internet has probably heard the term RPG, which stands for Role-Play Game. It's used for many venues, but for me, I started out writing in "fandom" games by email and by message board when I was fifteen. I was already writing my own stories, but this was a far more interactive style of writing. I never wrote for canon characters, so I'm not quite in the usual "fanfic" world, but I did spend a lot of time in the worlds of Star Trek, Robert Jordan's the Wheel of Time and Anne McCaffrey's Pern. My characters and plots were always my own, however.

I am proud to say I've been a lifelong geek. I still do my RPG writing as my "hobby" writing, but I write almost entirely in original worlds created just for the game. I have written in worlds of swords and sorcery, paranormal, the old west, out in space, and after the apocalypse.

How has this shaped my writing? In more ways than you might imagine.

It's taught me how to work and write with other people, because I have written with all manners of people with all sorts of ideas and at all sorts of skill levels. Most people might think that this style of writing would attract "bad" writers who couldn't hack it somewhere else, but that's very far from the truth. It attracts people who don't want to spend all their time on the writing path alone, and want to write with likeminded people. I have met some of the most fantastic writers in my games. (Including my husband, who I think is a better writer than I, and who forces me to write more and write better.)

I have had to learn how to plot and write on the fly, and to accommodate unexpected changes. When you're writing with other people, sometimes they do things that you don't see coming and it does no good to throw yourself on the floor and have a tantrum. You just have to learn how to adapt your own ideas and roll with it, or learn the art of compromise.

This style of writing has fueled my imagination. It's taught me the value of other points of views, types of plots and characters, and styles of drama. It's helped me learn how to write different genres, perhaps stories I might not have tried before, and has given me challenges that have helped me grow as a writer.

Sometimes these challenges have been to write a character that I wouldn't usually, for the sake of someone else's plot. I'm forced to work and improvise in a character and plot that's not my own. It's stretched my creativity. Now I'm finding it's very useful in the Character Interviews I do on my site, allowing me to easily slide into the "roles" of In World interviewers in other people's stories.

These days, my writing for publication takes up most of my time, so I'm not role-playing as much as I used to. Still, a lot of my story ideas now have been influenced by stories I've written in my games. Ideas that never took off, or went in a different direction, or themes that I really liked have all resurfaced and been reshaped and written by me for stories I'm putting together today.

People may think of whatever they want of these types of games and of "fanfiction," but the truth of it is that a lot of writers start here or in places like it. It's fun and can help you grow as a writer, push you along the path of creative adolescence into the authorial adult you wish to become.

In the words of Alec Hardison (from TNT's "Leverage"): "Age of the geek, baby."

Live Long and Write!
Mia Darien 2012

Mia's new release Deeper than Skin is historical romance 
It’s 1767.
For three years, the province of GĂ©vaudan, France has lived under the terrifying reign of the Beast. The death count continues to rise.
It is into this Beast’s woods that Constance throws herself, desperate for escape from a life she finds more horrifying than the thought of her province’s monster. What she does not expect to find is a man.
Tristan, the half-masked noble from a neighboring province, is one of many young men come to hunt the creature. The last thing he expects to find is the beautiful Constance, but find her he does.
Can two wounded souls overcome the pain of the past and the trials of the present to find one another, amid a time of terror and blood?
Find the book on, 

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