July 9, 2008

The ruby explained

So, I'm supposed to be a writer and boy do I write :P but unfortunately most of it's general gab...thus the tag.

I post my fiction here sporadically, and lately I just haven't been in the mood at all to write. Anything. Until Sunday when I came up with the story of Rosette and her "ruby". That was the last thing I posted, the story of this little girl and the precious gift she receives.

In my Livejournal I explained this a bit more upfront than I did here, but let me be even more upfront: the ruby represents virginity and menstruation!

Yup. I didn't even play around with this story, I love to do symbolism, but sometimes I get too caught up in the nerdy, "tee-hee *giggle snort*" references and feeling superior :P

For once I just wanted my intention to be fairly clear. Where I was going, what I was talking about. I said in the intro to the post I felt a bit like "Angela Carter, Bob Dylan, and Col. Stinkmeaner from Boondocks".

Now, the Stinkmeaner reference was just a joke, but I've been reading the fiction of Angela Carter, most notably her short story collection The Bloody Chamber. I felt a little Dylan too because of how surreal the story came out. The imagery, especially the beginning description of the transition from Winter to Spring.

So, let me break the story down a little further then what inspired me to write it. Or maybe why I wrote it first :P

I wrote it, first and foremost, because I have issues. With...everything, but that day I had been thinking about women and how they are treated in society. How they've always been treated. Are they treated positively, negatively? All these questions sort of forming in my mind. I thought of how badly, it seems, that men want to control women like we're some sort of threat, we're inferior, we undermine their masculinity. Like we're just there to remind them that they are men and to be objectified, and we're...well, the "weaker sex". Now, all men don't think this way obviously, but the ones that do make me sick.

And so I wanted to express myself and my displeasure at this. I was inspired by how Carter, in the Bloody Chamber, took the essence more or less of popular fairy tales and basically rewrote them to expose the underlying symbolism. I thought, "What a great idea! I'd like to do that."

So I did more or less. I actually started with something simple: a little girl in a village. A little Red Riding Hood-ish. I then gave the girl a purpose, protector. I made the girl a young lady and finally a woman. I added in contrasting symbolism, her mother representing the repressed women and matriarchy, and the Father being the oppressor, the murderer, the patriarchy. The wolf representing lust with the rabbit in it's mouth, corruption. The frog, a guardian, friend, fertility. Spring and winter. I broke it down into all of this then I re-made it like a puzzle and pieced it together. Voila! Instant story, or not so instant, but the quickest thing I think I've ever written. I write slooooow.

And so, that was it. There's a second part of the story because I couldn't just leave Rosette hanging, she has to continue her journey and I have to see how it's going to end, but just getting that first part out was oddly therapeutic. It got rid of a couple of ideas I've had rolling around in my head, and to see what popped out of that cauldron-like space was actually kinda interesting for me. Sometimes, I just need to remember why I write in the first place to get me going again :D


  1. I am also an aspiring writer and recently read a fantastic book, Jane Wenham-Jones’ “Wanna be a Writer?” The book, as well as being very amusing, contained fantastic information on the art of writing itself – how to start, ways to form ideas, right up to getting an agent and being publihed. I found it very useful, I hope you might too!

  2. Thanks! I'll look for that book :D I shy away from writing manuals sometimes because they can be so dry and basic, but it never hurts to try.


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