Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Writer's Block Presents...I Interviews Myself

To commemorate the recent 100th Chapter posted on Twisted Tales, we had our ever-eager journalist I sit down for a talk over some buttered bread and tea with esteemed Twisted Tales founder, Myself. Some textbook formalities and complimentary chitter-chatter later, here we are:

I: First off, Mr. Myself, what do you think makes Twisted Tales different from the multitude of blogs we have out there?

M: Different? Of course my blog is different! You dont' see any other blog where the blogger talks to himself via a fictional interview, do you? (chuckles to self) But seriously though, I wouldn't call my blog totally one-of-a-kind. True, you don't see many other guys posting continued stories as 90% of their blog's content, but this sort of thing has certainly been done before in other formats. To answer your question then, I'd say my blog is more marketable than regular blogs. Marketable not in the sense of ripping off cash, but it's less personal and more accessible to both people who know me and those who don't.

I: Umm...you're not earning any money from this, are you?

M: On good months, I can get up to fifteen thousand bucks, but June was pretty poor - less than six thousand. OF COURSE I'M NOT EARNING ANYTHING, BOZO.

I: Where did you get the idea to start Twisted Tales from?

M: Now that's tough to say. I became aware of the blogging culture only a few months before my blog started, mostly from friends who pestered me to visit theirs. Few months later, and I was half-torn between starting one myself, but I quote a collegemate: "Oh no, you're starting one too? I swear, 80 percent of the blogs of our friends are all about 'Stress/ Exams/ Backstabbing'. That's when I knew I had to do something different. Couple that with my recently-surfaced intention to start writing stories again, and you had this "slog" (story log) thing coming up. As for the "random stories with characters that appear out of nowhere, with everyone adding in their two cents' worth" element, I credit that to my friend Tommy who related much about his D&D (Dungeons and Dragons, a pencil and paper role-playing game) endeavours to me.

I: How much time do you spend on your blog? It does seem like you spend most of your online time blogging.

M: Can't deny that, I do spend a lot of my online time blogging. Maybe it's unfair to say most, but a lot is true. A good Chapter usually takes at least 45 minutes, depending on inspiration and how much effort I'm willing to put in. However, sometimes I get away with less than 20 minutes for dialogue-heavy Chapters - which are much easier to write and fill up the "Space Quota" faster. On the other hand, some writings stretch out over a period of days - for example the recent "Tammy And The Mirror". Just between you and me, those darned reCAPPENINGS are becoming quite a nuisance too.

I: Wow! 45 minutes for a Chapter? How do you go about writing it anyway?

M: Hohoho, I bet you're thinking I plan it out nicely on paper, do bits of research from books and the Internet, write it once, then tidy up a draft. Neh-heh! That's what professional writers do, and yours truly's not even sure how to spell "professional" correctly. I take so long because I have a terribly short attention span, what with MSN, checking mail, surfing, homework, and the phone. I know, I know, I should lock myself in a room and get into "the zone" if I'm serious about writing, but we can't all be that disciplined. I do, however, run through my drafts at least once before posting them.

I: A reader recently asked where you get your ideas from, and you said the bathroom. Do elaborate.

M: Wasn't it clear enough already? You can't do much but think while you're bathing, can you? Singing's not really my thing, unless there's no one at home.

I: Maybe I should change the question to "Where do you get your ideas from?".

M: (clicks tongue) A predicatable question like that deserves a predictable answer: Ideas aren't things which pop into your mind when you snap your fingers, they require a step-by-step thought process, coupled with a clear intention to get ideas in the first place from stuff you read and see. This process is what many people just refuse to call creativity. The more often you engage in this mindset, the more creative you become. In my humble opinion, of course.

I: Interesting. Now, what's this about you thinking Ghostopia has flopped? You're not going to just ditch the whole story, are you?

M: Good gosh, no, I never said anything like that. Maybe I did imply in some Writer's Blocks that some parts of Ghostopia were flawed or lacked something, but in no ways it has flopped. It still, I'm sure, will turn out the strongest story I've written yet. It's just that we're now at the middle part of the story where the novelty is lost, and the end is nowhere to be seen yet. It's kind of like Lord Of The Rings: The Two Towers, it ain't too good or too bad, but you just need it to pull through. If there's one mistake I've made with Ghostopia, it's making the story too big for it's own good. Not enough character development to go round for everyone.

I: It has been observed that the language used in your stories is excruciatingly "clean". What say you about this?

M: Just shows how creative I am for using clean words to do dirty jobs, huh?

I: All right, we're gonna have to do a last question here. You're not going to stop writing so soon, are you? Where do you hope to go with Twisted Tales?

M: That's two questions, isn't it? You lousy interviewer. I can't make lofty claims of running Twisted Tales forever, seeing that there's nothing at the moment preventing me from stopping. I mean, I could just end Ghostopia in the next Chapter, leave the site idle, spend the rest of my life playing online games, and there wouldn't be much of a squeak.
There was this recent article in The Star on famous blogs, and surely there's this hollow in my heart that wishes I get featured in one of those someday. But nahh...if you do it for fame, then you're not passionate. And if you're not passionate, you don't deserve to earn fame. Hmm..I'm talking in circles again, am I not?
Perhaps Twisted Tales is to me what a sketchbook is for an artist - he sketches pictures of beautiful things he comes across, then brings it home to refine on canvas. The stories on Twisted Tales are mightily ripe for improvement, seeing how the format of a Chapter per few paragraphs isn't at all conducive to continuous writing. So yah, sometime in the future those 43 Chapters of Blogspot and 25 Chapters of The Secret Room might end up being refined into an actual story. Who knows?

I: So you mean Twisted Tales might not make it big, but the ideas that result from it could?

M: In a springboard sort of way, yes. My, my, amazing what talking to me has done for your intelligence. You should hang out with people like me more often.

I: Will try to, Mr.Myself. Well, thanks lots for your time, I'll get this written and posted up in no time. Now let's do the Handshake Of Mutual Respect thing they always do after interviews.

M: Beh, get lost. No way I'm shaking hands with myself.

Isn't it sad what happens when you run out of ideas for your blog?

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