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I feel the same way in crowds, Kali.  That’s why at conventions, I stay behind the table as much as possible.  Crowds are scary.

Part Two of Monday’s Meme:

11. Would you consider yourself nice to your OCs?
Considering they are all pieces of my psyche, I would consider the misfortune that they encounter to be…self-inflicted.

Get it? Cuz…cuz they’re…they’re me.

No, I’m clearly the worst.

12. An OC you’ve killed

Poor Hans has died at least twice.

I do feel pretty certain he was Dead Dead at the end of SoG, but I like to think that he explored what being actually dead was like, got himself together, grew up a bit, and then came back again to give it another try. Maybe he discovers that Brand and David are still roomies, and they’ve started up a Pizzeria that offers free self-defense classes on the side. And Brand & Hans start over from scratch with an awkward friendship that slowly becomes comfortable and maybe something more. Or maybe Brand becomes Hans’ wingman and finds him a nice young man to settle down with. Or men. Who knows, maybe Hans is poly. Maybe he starts up a dance club. WHO KNOWS. HANS NEVER TELLS ME ANYTHING UNTIL HE DOES IT.

13. Are any of your OCs parents?
Sure they are. And they are all the worst. Do I have a positive parent character? Honestly, I can’t think of one.

Oh! Oh wait! Kali’s mother, Lita, is pretty great. Kompa from the same story is also a good dad. So there, I do have some OCs that are also parents that are good.

14. Are there any OCs you neglect?
I feel like with a cast as large as mine, there’s always somebody that’s being neglected. I mean, I could probably do an entire side comic about Pakku and Una. I did. It was called chapter 11, and it was 100 pages long.

Doing the vignettes does help alleviate that a bit, I think.

15. An OC that’s difficult to write/draw/RP

Hans and Una both have this quality where they tell me what they want to do, not the other way around. Even if I have to throw all my plans in a fire. And if I refuse, they ruin my life until I acquiesce to their demands.

16. Your tallest and shortest OCs

I’m just gonna isolate this one to my current project, because I do NOT have it in me to compare every OC ever. So currently I believe Zhiro is the shortest and Una the tallest.

17. Your oldest and youngest OCs
In Fae years Collin is very young, even though in human years he’s in his 40s… Of the gods in LeyLines, Zhumupuru and Nikiwa are the eldest, and they haven’t bothered to keep track of the years. 

18. Do you dislike any of your OCs?
For the Project Minotaur OCT I tried to create the absolute worst human being I could imagine. Writing for this character made my fingers feel slimy and gross. GUHHHD I hated him. But people loved this character? I don’t understand people. I mean, for one of the character documents I created some selections from his journal and it was painful. I tried to make him the most stereotypical horrible dudebro and people just…featured him in everything. NO. He is THE WORST. I wrote him to be THE WORST. WHYYYYY???

19. Have you ever made a self-insert?
I would argue that since all characters are born out of pieces of one’s self, regardless of whether we’re conscious of it or not, that ALL characters that a person creates is a partial self-insert? So…yes?

20. An OC Regret
My regrets are all pretty linked to what I was talking about in my blog last week. Writing brings out the shadow side of ourselves. The things we need to question. The tropes and stereotypes we haven’t taken apart yet.

If I was to write LL again, it would be completely different. I don’t know if I even COULD write LL again. It wouldn’t look at all the same. The same goes with SoG. I wish I’d known how much I was struggling with my sexuality, but I didn’t.

Making those comics, and making those mistakes, was how I brought those problems to the surface so I could challenge them. So without the things I’m ashamed of being a part of those OCs, I couldn’t have grown to have the perspective needed to regret those things in the first place. So do I regret that I was ignorant at that time? Yes. Do I wish that I could somehow become an omniscient person so I could have no regrets? You can install the GODMOD anytime, I am ready. In case GODMOD not forthcoming, I guess I need to accept being an idiot is part of growth.

And I guess that’s what this memory lane trip for all these old OCs is really about. We make OCs so that we can become better versions of ourselves. We practice and explore through characters so we can realize those aspects of our personality in our own lives.

That’s what makes creating stories so magical. Doing so has the potential to heal the holes in our hearts. We can weave ourselves into better people. On the flip side we can also craft ourselves smaller, echo-chamber coffins if we use this power to speak delusion instead of truth.

I’ll give you a hint how to tell one from the other: Delusion feels really good. It’s fun to preach. Being self-righteous is a rush, but it isolates. We become less secure. Truth, on the other hand, is scary as hell. It’s vulnerable. It’s wide open. And it connects us to others. I think I’m better at finding truth in stories than in blogs or conversation. It’s too easy to get on a soap-box when I’m speaking direct. (I feel a little bit like I’m on one now.)  When I’m working through stories, I’m utilizing my gut more. I have a chance to feel my way through things, until I can find the deepest heart of something and bring it up to the surface. Maybe that’s another reason making stories is so important to me.  I think they help me get closer to my own truth.

This concludes our memingful journey. As per my usual MO, I have managed to turn what was supposed to be a silly excursion into a platform for SRS MUSINGS AND PHILOSOPHY. I hope that’s what you signed up for, because as always, what I inevitably bring is THE HEAVY.


Children visit this site. Moderate your language accordingly.

They do say that stories are one of the oldest and greatest methods of sharing knowledge! I suppose it makes them even more special when they develop knowledge in the writer as much as they do the reader.

But it is hard to write something that’s fundamentally close to your heart. I’m terrible, have always been terrible, for stopping and starting. I get an inch in and have to change gears and start over. I struggle to ever really get into the heart of it, despite how strong my feelings about a subject might be. I think it takes a good amount of guts to be able to do that.

It is hard! I do think that even making the attempt, whether it’s in starts and stops or not, makes us better people.

In my own experience as a writer, I do hit psychological/emotional walls sometimes. It’s like I’ve swallowed a stone and it sits in my gut. And I know that if I want to get to the heart of what I’m trying to write about, I’m going to have to sink down and grip that stone. And doing so is going to hurt, and I may not like what I find. It’s not easy to do. I usually don’t even know how to access that material in the first place, although I’ve found stream-of-consciousness writing and doodling has been more effective more often for me than most other logic-focused attempts. For whatever reason, for my personality, this isn’t a logic thing. This is a sitting-on-a-park-bench-sobbing-in-the-rain-while-compulsively-doodling kind of thing. Man, the people walking by must have thought I was having some sort of mental break.

But I did crack the block! So I guess that’s something.

Ohhh, Kali, I feel you right now. I got separated from my group once at a concert in Orlando Studios and spent the rest of the night fighting through drunk weirdos to try and find my fellow 14-year-olds, so yeah. I hate crowds too.

Also, way to be subtle, Tama.

I think the good thing about stories versus soapbox moments is that you can always change stories in response to criticism or well-made points. (Though I also had an existential crisis on this subject the other day and IDK what to really tell you.)

Oooh noooooo your 14-year-old experience sounds like an absolute nightmare. Buuuughhhh! That freaks me out just imagining it.

And you make a fair point. Stories can be edited and redirected. Improved and fine-tuned. Although…for good and ill, that can kinda be done in life too. It’s just that we don’t have as much control over which draft the public sees, in life. Unless a book is published, with all that entails. I know that reading books in a series has often made me think about how that person is growing (or not) with the times as they go. They feel pretty hand-in-hand. Books are this strange combination of timeless and yet also deeply rooted in an author’s time. I can read The Tale of Genji by Murasaki Shikibu, the first psychological novel ever written back in 1008 AD, and think about how the very issues she explores seem incredibly familiar. At the same time, I can see how her perspective is deeply rooted in the class, gender, and cultural divisions of her time. It’s just…it’s wild. Writing is wild.

Ah, apologies. |D I, too, can miss the obvious.

In any case, I’d also like that GODMOD, but until then I can deal with partaking in the truth.

And I also like that conclusion re: self-inserts! ^^

I’ve always felt that the concept of a self-insert is odd to get upset about, because no matter what characters we write for, a piece of us gets into the mix. I guess the criticism self-inserts catch is in cases where the writer just doesn’t sufficiently cover their tracks?

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