Thursday, July 18, 2013

Um, there IS an 'i' in Abnegation

I'm not selfless. 

But because I said that, you probably think that I mean the opposite. So I am selfless.

Random blog reader: Wait, what?


But moving on, one of the most interesting things I learned from Divergent was the connection between selflessness and bravery. That in order to be selfless you must be brave. And in order to be brave you must be selfless. To an extent.

But the greater idea I felt that came from the comparison of two very different virtues was the effectiveness of either one in society. As in, if you fully commit to one--specifically in choosing to be selfless--what good does that actually do?

The Abnegation seem to be the "nicer" people compared to their faction counterparts. Yes the Amity are peaceful, but they seem more delusional than kind. Whereas the Abnegation are expected to put aside their wants and desires--even going as far to sacrifice their needs for the better good of servings humanity. Sounds like you'd want them to be your friend.

Need something? Gray best friend to the rescue!

Except they wouldn't use an explanation point. But just like there is an 'i' in Abnegation, there is also an 'i' in life. So how can I be selfless without compromising the own quality of my life? I can't.

And to some extent, I'm fine with that. It feels good to sacrifice my needs for others. Sometimes. But if I did it all the time--with no question, ever--wouldn't that be selfish? To myself?


Divergent is a dystopian novel due to the attempt to create an utopian society. Even selfless intentions are flawed. Even though I'm trying to sound like I'm making sense, not everyone is going to follow what I'm saying. This world is corrupt. Sadly, most efforts to fix it only exposes new problems.

So we try to be better people. Selfless. And then the corrupt cycle repeats.

Look at how happy I am.

 But you're not happy.

I'm going to throw this at your face, Peter.

And then you leave your faction. And then you throw your sweater at Peter. It's okay to throw your sweater at Peter.

And now I'm beginning to sound like a Direct TV commercial.

A bit overdue, but still a cause for celebration

I just finished the first manuscript I've ever considered for publication. Like almost a month ago (June 27th to be specific). Anyway, I made this face.

Victory is mine, witches!
And I am proud of this face.

Now. Finishing something like writing a book is one of the most relieving, fulfilling experiences out there. At least to me it was. And I'd like to think of my written works as my literary babies. I mean, I was there for them when they were only a simple thought in my rather sporadic head. It's an extension of myself, and I am eager to share it with the rest of the world. To show how great she is. Yes, The CR is a girl .

So, even though I have no children of my own (I'm a soon-to-be sophomore in college, so please don't judge me), I'd like to think about the initial completion a manuscript (before the revisions, the 300 pages of un-edited word vomit you're so proud it's almost gross) as the moment a kid graduates from high school.

They're pretty much done in terms of solely needing your overprotective guidance. It's the same with books. I know some people have friends look over their work as they write it, but for me it's sort of a race to the finish. I just have to get it done. Because even if I try to waste my time by editing (though, I will edit little things--necessary things--that come to mind so I don't forget) I'm still going to have to edit later. Like, a lot.

So now that your work can officially be called a "complete manuscript", just like a child has graduated from high school, they're out in the free world.

You can't protect your manuscript from scrutiny (beta readers, critique partners) if you want it to get better. Just like you can't keep your kid at home forever if you want them to make their own mistakes and grow from there. But it still hurts to see your manuscript/child being attacked--I mean, helped.

I'll write another post about my reaction to my beta readers and having to grow a thick skin. I'll also go into some of the specifics of things that tend to be wrong with manuscripts. My manuscripts. And something Divergent related.

Remember. The manuscript will always be your baby. The CR is mine.

But nobody likes a wimp, and once the glow of writing something that is yours wears off a little(usually a month later), you will grow to see the flaws that everyone else tried to point out to you.

And then you'll be crying to your mama.

Don't cry to your mama.