Literature, Writing

Architects and Gardeners

“I think there are two types of writers, the architects and the gardeners. The architects plan everything ahead of time, like an architect building a house. They know how many rooms are going to be in the house, what kind of roof they’re going to have, where the wires are going to run, what kind of plumbing there’s going to be. They have the whole thing designed and blueprinted out before they even nail the first board up. The gardeners dig a hole, drop in a seed and water it. They kind of know what seed it is, they know if planted a fantasy seed or mystery seed or whatever. But as the plant comes up and they water it, they don’t know how many branches it’s going to have, they find out as it grows. And I’m much more a gardener than an architect.”
― George R.R. Martin

Dear Vinepire,

I have stumbled upon this fascinating description of writing styles by the author of the Game Of Thrones series. I usually hear the terms “outliners” and “those without outline”, but find the image he offers us much more accurate. What do you think of his explanation, do you agree with the imagery he uses?

Thank you for reading,

Your Vine Vampire

PS : Are you more of a gardener or an architect?

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Films, Literature, Vampy times!

Unconditional Love

Dear Vinepire,

One of the reasons the vampire is such a versatile symbol is, in my mind, its connection to family life. And please don´t worry about my childhood here! I will explain.

So when we think of vampire romance, it gets easy to get the kinds of love involved all tangled up and get confused. See, if you had to move to Forks and get involved with the hottest guy in town, who also just so happens to have the urge to jump to your throat, it is likely you believe your love for that sparkling creature to be unconditional. Bella loves Edward despite who he is, but that is far from unconditional devotion. See, if he stopped behaving like a gentleman from another century and treated her even more badly than she already lets him, if he showed cruelty towards her family, she would (hopefully) not feel that way anymore.

Now look at her father. Despite having been a responsible parent, he got cut out of her life because she could not stand the weather in this part of the country. He forgave her the moment she needed a place to stay, and since, tolerated patiently her dependent and risky behaviour. He supported her during her break down, and went as far as tolerating the presence of the vampire who left his daughter in that state, just because it made her cheer again. He loves her despite the way she treats him (and she went as far as reenacting her parent´s break up), because of whom she is : his child. If she were the kid next door, he would not care, because he loves her conditionally.

Now look at the families around you. Parents love their children no matter what they were to do, but what about the partner? They do not love each other because they are in this union, but because of the kindness, generosity and respect they showed each other in the good and the bad times. They love conditionally in each case. So why does the first kind of love we ever experience seem so superior, more reassuring and giving than a steamy romance? Maybe, because we did never have to actively earn our family´s affection, it was enough to be born. In addition, we can be sure that we will be loved until the end of time, no matter what lifepath we choose. I loke to think of this as a gift, and of the love of our romantic partners and friends as a reward. We got the frist, because it gave people happiness to make us happy, and the second, because we have made others feel this way.

While I see both of those loves as necessary and am thankful for their presence, I can´t help but feel like there would be more joy in relationships if we were more open to give presents to, rather than award our loved ones…

Thank you so much for reading,

Your Vine Vampire

PS : What do you think about these kinds of love?

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Literature, Vampy times!

Adopt, don´t buy.

There was a cat,

Asking for a pat,

It was a stray.

Into my house

It brought one dead mouse,

I said : „Please stay.“

PS : Every year after the holiday season, many animals used as gifts end up in shelters. To make living presents is irresponsible. Please adopt animals instead of buying them, they are just as good companions, I know it first hand.

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Writing

You can´t judge the quality of your own writing.

Dear Vinepire,

Did you know what those other writers are saying behind your back? Because I do : you don´t know the true quality of your work! Now don´t be shocked, but I think it might be true…

Here´s the deal. Your words spill out from under your fingertips in a stream so vivid, you can almost feel your ideas flowing. No matter how thoroughly you edit, there will always be some of that heat in your work, forever. And that is probably my favourite thing about the craft, which allows the everyday person to create that sort of hocrux for their imagination. The downside, however, comes into light the moment you compare your take on the book with other´s.

They have not carried those images inside of them, did not let them into the world with as much anguish, and so lack that emotional attachment to the words you so cherish. Don´t hold a grudge against these poor souls, they don´t know any better. Instead, do the only thing in your power and step back from it all. To pass the time during the first storm of readers following your books début (be it in the family circle or on the best-seller list), sit down and remember which work Dickens thought was his best, then laugh about it.

Now whether you decide to open to criticism or not is your decision, but I recommend to trust your opinion the most, even when you´re probably wrong. You will see things that aren´t there, ghosts of talent, shadows cast by mistakes. That´s the price for the privilege of writing what you think, how you think it should appear on the page. So, when those same illusions have set the creation-machine into motion, why should you walk away from something so effective? Trust your erroneous beliefs, and let them become the only ones with the power to make you accept constructive criticism. You´ll stay confident and become more open for advice. And in the end, you can´t know how good your book really is (let alone how long this label will stay with it as the years go by), so you can as swell stop bothering about it altogether.

Thank you so much for reading,

Your Vine Vampire!

PS : Do you remember by how many editors Harry Potter got rejected? That´s something that boosts my writing-confidence!

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