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Please close the door and switch on the fun without fail.

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So I finished it (some more)
As mentioned earlier: Eclipse in Fifteen Minutes went up a few hours ago.

And now: the new Eclipse-themed Made of Fail podcast that I'm on. (There is some very strong language here and there, so be warned.) At pretty much exactly 20 minutes in, we realize that KC has no idea what happens in Breaking Dawn. At 20:34, you can actually hear me rubbing my hands together in a brisk burst of evil. The next 16 minutes are a full game of Horrify the Twilight Noob: Breaking Dawn Edition recorded for posterity, underscored by unusually maniacal laughter from my general direction. We get to The Birth Scene (and, more to the point, What Happens Afterward. "Oh, don't worry, Jacob will look out for the children--" "No no no! No! No! Don't you dare! DON'T YOU DARE! I have to tell this, I have to tell this! Because this is my favorite game") and KC has the most incredibly epic reaction. I start laughing, first really loudly, and then so hard that sound stops coming out of my mouth. (God, I have such a weird laugh.) If you have ever wanted to hear a full explanation of what happens in that last book, this is your chance.

Also discussed: Kevin's thoughts on Airbender (I hadn't seen it at that point), the saga of Edward Cat, a sustained meltdown from Dayna, and later, a jewelry-nerd rage spasm from me ("That makes me so! angry! ANGRY!!") around 1:28:30. Apparently I was in fine, or at least somewhat manic, form for this episode.

Meanwhile: in case you are wondering why it takes so long to write Fifteen Minutes things nowadays, it might help to see what my process is like. First of all, a Twilight recap--or a Harry Potter one--is a bit different, because I feel like I'm in both of these for the long haul. So I can't really just do them on a whim, knowing that it doesn't matter if I finish or not. (Despite the fact that I never did Order of the Phoenix. I really can't even remember what was going on at the time that I couldn't do it.) And then you have the problem that--well, I'm always hellbent on the newest one I'm writing being the bestest one yet. I mean, seriously, who says, "Well, this one, I'm hoping it'll turn out kind of sub-par"? No! You always want to top yourself! That's just how it is! And let's face it, there's not a whole lot that's going to top the sight gag of "Bella, you should be wearing a lifejacket" upside down. I mean, forget me--not many movies are going to hand that to you.

So one of the reasons I decided to take that Sparklingasögur entry and expand on it was because, in taking a different approach to the parody, I automatically had a better shot of getting through it. And, honestly, the text narrative stuff between the dialogues is often pretty hard for me--sometimes you can think of a funny way to phrase it, but a lot of times it's just, "This has to be here to explain how we got from A to B for the people who aren't reading the books or seeing the movies, which is probably the majority of people reading this, actually." I try to get everything to at least vaguely hang together on its own, as a narrative, for that reason. And the faux-saga syntax I used this time--I have to tell you, I just really enjoyed that. So, while I was still having trouble thinking of how to condense everything, coming up with connective tissue was a little easier this time.

The only problem, of course, is that I can never, ever do it again. Well, maybe a couple of call-backs here and there, in the next Twilight things. Of course, "the next Twilight things" will be the two Breaking Dawn movies, so... I will probably have plenty to work with, no worries.

So. Anyway. I spent the first four days or so just mulling it over, which is something I've started doing--I used to come home and start writing as fast as I could, and maybe I should go back to that. I think I did that for Clash of the Titans. (Actually, I think I started jotting down notes in the car.) (I was not driving.) But with franchise movies, I seem to take a few days to process the whole thing. So on Monday, I started writing.

Last Monday.

The problem with writing humor, as I tell people every now and then, is that it's either funny or it's not. If I'm stuck on a prose something-or-other, I can just start writing whatever comes into my head and hoping that eventually something useful comes out. With humor, particularly in a format that, in theory, is not supposed to ramble on for the length of the original work, à la MST3K/Rifftrax... pretty much every line has to earn its keep. And it either does, or it doesn't. And you know it. So you sit there, eyes boring into the computer screen, willing it to be funny. Oh, dear God, please start being funny. Whyyyyy you not be funny yet? Etc. So you start writing down things that aren't terribly funny, but they've sort of got the overall shape of funny, and as you keep going over and over your draft (which I write out of order and gradually fill in the holes of as I go), you will eventually, hopefully, figure out how to fix it.

The Far Sunny Shores of Florida The Direct Sunlight of Florida

>> new scene title more pointed (and therefore economical) as to why Edward stays inside. Considered having an EDWARD: *waves* line, but this aspect isn't really the point of the scene, so: moving on.

RENEE: So... Is your boyfriend indoor-only, or something?

>> specific reference to Edward Cat saga, since it was on my mind from the podcast, and the reason I bothered with Edward here at all.

BELLA: Yeah... yeah, you could say that.

RENEE: Oh! I got you a graduation present! Look, it's a quilt I lovingly made myself from all the t-shirts we got from all the many road trips we took, just you and me, so you can remember all the good times we had when you're at the University of Secret Vampires Secret Vampire University!

>> left blank until final version of scene; last bit to come together.

BELLA: We did stuff together?

RENEE: Of course we did! I'm your mother! That means I'm involved in your life and occasionally remember I have a kid!

BELLA: Wow. Unexpected emotional involvement is unexpected. Shit Holy crow, ditching everyone I know to become a vampire might actually be hard.

>> "to become a vampire" added later; expletive changed to "holy crow" because that's how Bella "curses" in the books

(Not that this is particularly hilarious, but the revisions I made on this section are a good example.)

Now imagine 5000 words and several days of that. Which is not to say that I SLAVE OVER A HOT LAPTOP ALL DAY JUST FOR YOUUUU, but that this is what my writing process for everything is like. Movie parodies, TV recaps, fiction, and, to a lesser extent, casual LJ entries. Including this one.

Progress crept along for several days. Life happened, as it does. I got blocked. I spent more time than I intended hunting and pecking for the right screencaps. I went out and saw The Last Airbender, even though I had hoped I would have posted a 15M by then. In fact, I left the house two or three times last week. We got to this Monday, and I started to get desperate.

@cleolinda: Day 12 of writing the Eclipse thing. Ridiculous. Retreating to Fortress of Solitude until it is done.

@cleolinda: My frozen pizza spontaneously broke and now half of it is on the floor. I THINK IT IS TIME FOR A DAIQUIRI IN A BAG.

@cleolinda: http://twitpic.com/250fwl

@cleolinda: Actual product copy: "You can pour it in a glass or drink it from the bag!"

@cleolinda: About twice that size. RT @vancouvergrrl: @cleolinda Does the daiquiri come in a bag? Like sipping drinks, in which you insert a straw?

@cleolinda: "Alcohol Is In It!" wooooooo drafting under the influence

@cleolinda: In about five minutes, I'm gonna have a blood alcohol level of AWESOME

@cleolinda: PLEASE BE AWESOME RESPONSIBLY RT @JKerensky: "blood alcohol level of AWESOME" is the kind of thing you should be putting on t-shirts

@cleolinda: I'm starting to think it's taken me 12 days on Eclipse because I was sober for the first 11.

I will say, I held off on the daiquiri-in-a-bag today (Day 13) until I had finished. This is why I work at home, people.

For the record: the Jasper training/flashback bit was the last major "I know what to say but not how to SAAAAAY IIIIIIT" holdout. I had the middle of it done, but finally worked out the beginning and end this afternoon. Rosalie's big scene gave me a couple of fits as well, and I had a hard time figuring out where to put Seth and Leah, given that you need to have them there to explain who they are to people who don't read/watch the series--it's this combination of needing to establish incidental characters but not blow too much time/space on them. So. There you are. You do the best with what you've got and what you can come up with in a way that gets everything across that you need to get. Possibly, you turn to drink. It happens. 

And now, to bed. I have a feeling I will sleep very well tonight.

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And we all love you very much for doing these, Cleo.

Yes. Thank you, Cleo. :)

The slaving over a hot laptop is deeply appreciated though. It says something that when I go to movies sometimes I think "I wonder if cleolinda is going to do a spoof of this one". You bring a lot of smiles.

That sounded really brown nosey and wasn't meant to. I just mean it's appreciated.

Thanks, though. : )

I really don't want to be over here all like LOOK HOW HARRRRD I WORK FOR YOUUUUU, but... I guess I kind of want people to see what goes into this kind of thing before they start asking for more. Because, based on comments I've gotten from people being linked to my stuff for the first time today... I'm going to start getting more of that, it looks like. I'm already getting specific requests, even.

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It is distressing that my first thought about the daiquiri inna bag was "that would totally fit in my purse".

Wow, you're very thorough. It's cool to see your process; you work really hard on these and they're all so good. And if you need a damn daiquiri in a bag, then you get your daiquiri on. Enjoy it!

Yeah. For some reason, I keep going back over the actual flow of a sentence--the rhythm of the words, I guess. So you get lots of little tweaks, like you see in the example. And with humor, unless the point of the line is that it's fussy and mumbly, it helps to tighten it up as much as you can. So I'm constantly passing over the scenes I've already done, as I go through trying to fill in other scenes, eyeballing them some more and trying to adjust things.

The example's not the most exciting thing in there or anything, but I remember the revisions very clearly. Some of the other scenes went through several different iterations, completely different lines switched in/out, much more drastic rewrites. And you could say, "Well, you don't have to put this much work into it, you could just dash something off and we'd be just as happy." But I can't--this is just how I think. So I kind of need people to know that before they start putting in requests, if that makes any sense.

That is an absolutely fascinating look at the revision process, which I oddly love seeing. I think it's because it makes me respect the artistry much more.

I remember reading way back that a book with Dr. Seuss's writing and editing process exists. This author quotes part of it. What I remember is from The Cat in the Hat. His first draft was the Cat saying, "I can show you what to do". He changed it to "Let me show you what to do" and from there to "I will show you what to do", because with that change, from "I can" to "I will", subconsciously you concede that the Cat has more control. It was fascinating as well.

That was not supposed to be a lecture (wow, it's long), but I love this stuff.

Also: @cleolinda: I'm starting to think it's taken me 12 days on Eclipse because I was sober for the first 11. Ha ha!

Oh, wow. See, I love that kind of stuff, the can/will semantics thing. It's subtle, but it can really make a difference.

I love Daiquiri in a bag. "ALCOHOL IS IN IT!"

Wicked late to the party, but it made my life to see that "ALCOHOL IS IN IT!" was actually on the bag. It sounds like it should be a Simpsons sight gag.

...there are people who's writing process doesn't work like that? This is news to me.

Okay, it's not news, I know there are people out there who regularly turn out ten thousand words worth of AWESOME by the week, but I try not to think about them too often lest I give up all hope.

Heh, seriously. All I know is, there are apparently people who think I can sit down and bang one of these out to order, and could I do another one right now? And maybe part of it is that they would fully expect someone to revise that way on "real" work, but not on an internet humor piece.

I love this. It's like the commentary track for the M15M.

Have a good sleep!

Hee, we get a "making of" documentary too this time? <3

Anyway, I really loved it, I think you did top yourself again (although honestly there have been so many M15s that sometimes I can't decide if *this* one or *this other one* is actually better.)

That was my favoritest ever of all our shows you have been on thus far. So GLEEFULLY evil.

And ANGRY!!, apparently.

I'm sorry, I just lost it when KC started reacting to the Quil/Claire thing, because you know. YOU KNOW what you are about to tell her.

my mom is always talking about how since the invention of the computer we don't get drafts anymore, like with a lot of modern novels you can't be like look, here's the original first three hundred pages! the way you can with something like Mrs Dalloway. (I try to appease her by saving different drafts in different files, but it's just not the same.)

So thanks for the glimpse into your writing process. It will make doing academic research on your work in thirty years much, much easier. :-)

Yeah, I save tons of drafts--I just name it, like, story_2010_0713.doc, if I were to do it today, for example. Any really significant changes, I save a new draft. Hell, I did that for the Eclipse thing, too, although not as thoroughly. Part of that is in case I want to go back to something I'd written earlier, though, so it won't have totally vanished into the ether.

(Also: heh.)

Edited at 2010-07-14 03:36 am (UTC)

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I think that happens to everyone. You run out of breath to make noise with XD It certainly happens to me!

See, I love the behind-the-scenes stuff. I know I can't do "high art," never mind any kind of meaningful storytelling, with the webcomic... but any time I can add a new way to approach creative works to my mental toolkit, I'm delighted.

(Let's not go into how I've been mainlining diligently watching & listening to the Leverage DVD commentaries. Ahem.)

Also, apropos of something-something, the latest Marlowe is awesome and adorable: Team Moby. (It's, uh, not about the singer.)

For me, the best thing about your parodies, and mollyringle's LOTR parodies and other things of that nature, is reading them over and over so that when I watch the movies, I can't NOT think of them, and then the movie is exponentially more hilarious. You should see me during a LOTR marathon--I can't shut up. "That is no mere ranger! He is my boyfriend!", etc.

I also really don't think I'd enjoy Twilight fanthropology (thanks for that word) as much as I do if it wasn't for you. You bring such a great snarky/fascinated vibe to it, where most people seem to either LOVE IT OMG or HATE IT AND ITS FANS WITH A BURNING HATEFIRE. I was a YA book fan BEFORE Twilight came out, so I read it in the initial spirit of "hey, this is a pretty enjoyable standard teen supernatural romance" (Because it IS! If you forget the other books and the obsessive fans, the first book is actually just your average YA book!), and then it just sort of... exploded, and I've been horrified/fascinated/LOLing ever since.

So, thanks for writing, and for the record I enjoy your everyday posts just as much as your parodies. Don't feel like you have to justify what you write and how long it takes you, because you rock.

If you're interested in that kind of thing, there's a community around here--fanthropology. It's not a word I made up or anything.

I'm listening to the episode right now and I am struggling for air. I'm wheezing for air!