allchildren: CAPTAIN benjamin sisko wearing an sf giants cap because he is my husband (☄⁹ bye bye baby)
Amy Ponds of the 99% ([personal profile] allchildren) wrote2010-04-27 09:41 pm
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also: hello new people!

Oooh, a writing meme! Stolen from the excellent [ profile] affectingly. I am too lazy to link all the stories I talk about, so here's the cheat sheet.

1. How often do you write and how do you feel about your output?
Not nearly enough! It's not like I feel morally obligated to write moar, but the fact that I do have a lot of ideas and several WIPs means that a lot goes undone. I should really adopt a daily writing routine, because I don't really see ever finishing stuff like the Jim/Bones comedy of remarriage fic I started 11 months ago without it. If anyone's looking for a job as Taskmaster Who Bugs Me About Writing, I've got an opening.

2. Where does your inspiration come from? Where do you get your ideas?
I'd say there are three main categories of inspiration: naturally cracktastic thinking, strong emotion, and strong sense.

I first discovered back in BSG fandom that I have apparently endless generative abilities for goofy ideas so that's a lot of it. My brain is like velcro for ridiculous ideas, and the next thing you know Lee and Kara are high school students playing spin the bottle and Kirk and Uhura are shopping and gossiping about boys and Alex and Izzie are superspies. It's like falling out of bed.

If you have followed my fic output for the past several months, you may have noticed several short pieces about Star Trek ladies, including really obscure ones like Sarek's second wife and the ensign who saved the Enterprise in one episode and was never heard of again. Obviously I write those in part because of Where No Woman, but the fact that WNW exists at all is a symptom of the same strong emotions that fueled those particular fics: I'm fucking enraged, and intensely sad, that the stories of women are so rarely told, that so many of them don't have names and exist only to die, to make some man sad. I wrote Year-Long Romance for Susan Pevensie because I've shed real tears for her and I needed to know that she would be okay. And when I write for my friends, I write out of love.

And finally there are senses. I have an Who WIP that was born totally out of an image that came to me out of the blue, of Amy Pond just-so. When I was struggling with Of Punishing Light, I kept going back to smells (both real and imagined). Which is why I was thrilled when more than one person called the fic "pungent."

Practically speaking, when I am low on inspiration, I take a bath. Splashing around in water (taking a shower and swimming are also great) almost always helps lubricate the flow of ideas.

3. What are the first things you write? Dialogue? Sex? Something else?
It works best if I start at the beginning and write through to the end -- I have a better track record of completion that way -- but when ~inspiration~ hits, I do try to immediately record that bit, even if it's unconnected to anything. Having Scrivener makes me a lot less married to linear writing.

4. How have you improved this past six months/year?
Well, I've grown somewhat better at giving fic a chance to marinate and me a chance to clear my mind for better editing, rather than going for the instant gratification of posting before I've really perfected it to the best of my ability. And thanks to WNW I've brought drabbling back into my life, which does grease the wheels some. Uh, I think I'm leaning more on the sense part of inspiration, which I find fun and makes for lusher descriptions. Also less afraid to write porn?

5. Why do you write?
~it's my gift and my cuuurse~

J/K. I love language. That is my root, I think, the pleasure of twisting words around for expression, for sound, for impact. I remember reading a survey of my writing friends when I first entered fandom and they were all going on about the worlds and stories in their heads -- I was alarmed, because I didn't have that. Overall I write to express truths and emotions that are intrinsic to life, not to spin imaginary tales. (Which is why I used to say I wasn't actually creative at all: I see writing as recording, not invention.) And I'm a verbal, sequential thinker, so if I don't write, I don't process. This is the "can't not" part of the deal. In terms of fanfic, I write it because that helps me engage with the characters that I love, address the problems I have with the text, express meta ideas that are hard to articulate in normal words, understand characters that elude me, and, as time has gone on, even because I DO have tales I want to spin!

6. Do you go through highs and lows? What are the triggers?
Hobvs, and, I have no idea. Feelings...? I have a lot of feelings.

7. Do people in RL know you write slash?
Several do know that I write FIC. FIC which is much more likely to be het, gen, or femslash than boyslash.

8. Where do you write?
Wherever I do my normal computing, so, on my bed cuz I don't have a desk, or in the living room on a couch if nobody else is around.

9. Does music help or hinder?
It depends. Of Punishing Light (the hell in their mouths remix) is named after two songs, both of which were listened to excessively as I wrote that fic. It was actually a playlist I first threw together while writing never-to-be-completed Pushing Daisies, consisting of only eight songs. And this year's Yuletide fic was ALLLL about the music -- my recipient made a point about it, and the source text has an interesting soundtrack, which featured a David Byrne song, so I made a playlist of the soundtrack and the Talking Heads album I felt tied in mood-wise to the movie and story I wanted to tell, Remain in Light. I was even going to name the fic after one of the songs ("Houses in Motion"). But! My story did not come together. So I scrapped the entire thing and started over, and then Talking Heads no longer worked for the new story, and I switched to St. Vincent, in particular her older album Marry Me, and alternated between that and the score tracks from the soundtrack.

But sometimes I just need to write in complete silence, so that happens too.

10. What are your props?
Just my trusty lefthand wrist brace and sometimes a pillow for my laptop to sit on. Also the bath as previously discussed.

11. How seriously do you take your writing/ the writing process?
I don't know, what is the range? Pretty seriously? I take most things pretty seriously, but I also lol at them, and don't expect anyone else to feel the same way, and most of my fic really should be loled at, because it's ridiculous. But I do make an effort with every fic, and some of the ones I care the most about are the silliest-seeming or shortest, because they are ~from the heart.

12. What are your strengths?
Voice and comedy, definitely. And I'd also guess ... imagery/sensory description, and I guess basically just prose? Prose is a thing I value. When I say voice I mean in a couple of ways: dialogue is something that often comes relatively easily to me, as long as I can hear the characters talking in my head; but also, I have a strong native authorial voice, which I generally tone down for fic, but I can turn it back up and match other styles pretty well. Which would be more useful if I wrote in book fandoms anymore, but eh.

Now I want to ask others what they think my strengths are. WHAT DO YOU THINK?

13. What are your weaknesses?
PLOT. Oh geez. I have no sense of events, can never think of little interstitial things to insert between the big ones, can't sustain a story long enough for there to be real passage of time, etc. etc. The idea of writing a casefile type fic in any fandom is boggling to me. Which is sad because sometimes I do have epic ideas, but erghhh why can't everyone just have clever conversations, some feelings, take a bath, and then make out? That's more my speed.

I am also really self-conscious about any descriptions of action and, because I tend to go for non-linear structure and insert complicated timelines whereever I can, am basically the worst about tense. I try hard to police it but sometimes errors escape me.

In general I often feel like I just don't get the INEFFABLE THING about fanfiction in particular that makes it good. I try, and since I have gotten progressively better about editing and drafting and letting things wait perhaps I am coming closer, but I still feel like there's some overall ingredient for completion that most of my fic is missing.

14. If you beta, what do you get out of it?
I have a great love of the red pen. I used to tear apart my friends' papers for them in high school. It gives me a great sense of accomplishment, to help put one tiny piece of the world in better order. And in the case of my friends' fic, these people are really good writers. So to help a fic reach its potential is very satisfying to me. I've kind of retired from the beta game because it's not fun when I have to hold back or don't really believe in the fic and also I'm lazy, but there are still a few people *pointed look* whose work I ALWAYS want to beta and am very sad when I don't get to.

15. What do you write? Aus, crack, PWP, threesomes, crossovers, etc.
Clever conversations, feelings, baths, and outmaking. Basically. Very often AU, occasionally somewhat cracky (but as I get older I am less and less amused with that term), often rather meta, occasionally a bit sexy! But, uh, whatever genre where very little happens and many emotions are expounded upon, is the one I subscribe to in my heart.

16. Which fic have you written that felt like bungee-jumping – you really had to feel the fear and jump?
Terra Nullius. Not only did I wait until less than a week before the due date to even track down the source I would use (when I knew at least parts of the three others) and write the fic for a strange story in a total panic, but AFTER the deadline I deleted the entire thing and wrote an entirely new fic hours before the reveal. I was editing in AO3 in one window and keeping an eye on Yulechat because at any moment it was going to go live.

Contentwise, Of Punishing Light. Pushing the post button-wise, Four Consequences.

17. How do you feel about comments?
I ... like them! Who doesn't like them? But years ago I realized the audience for the "very little happens, lots of emotions, maybe a little outmaking" type of fic, which is usually about a lady, which is usually not porn, which is usually rather short, which is usually in a small fandom ... is not a large audience! So while this makes me value the comments I do get all the more, I also have reached acceptance about my niche audience and don't really get hung up on comments/lack thereof as validation except from a core few friends.

18. Do you give other writers feed-back? Why/why not?
Yes, but I don't actually read much fic! So my silence should not be taken as implicit "hated it." And sometimes I am lazy or just didn't like the fic enough to bother. But I do want to encourage the continued production of things I think should exist, and when it is a niche fic I especially try to drop by and go yay.

19. What is the indicator for you that your fic was a success/worked?
I guess it's just a matter of being able to reread it and enjoy it.

20. Do you write in the genre you like reading the most, ie crack, AU, angst etc?
See above re: read very little fic. But...kinda, kinda not. I like reading plotty or sexy fics but can't write a lot of those.

21. Do you write a straight through draft or is your first attempt bits and pieces?

22. What is it about this fandom that is eating your brain?
What fandom? What?

23. Is this your first time, or are you a serial monogomar with fandoms?
Rather than try to make sense of this I am just gonna go MONOGOMAR and move on.

24. Do you do drabbles, comment fic, challenges with deadlines – and how do you get on with these?
WNW drabblefests are good times. Challenges with deadlines! Hoo boy! I am the worst at those. BUT I LOVE THEM Nobody should ever leave me alone by myself.

25. Anything else?
This took me approximately nine thousand hours to fill out, jesus damn christ.
shopfront: Source: One Tree Hill. Peyton, drawing a giant heart on the ground, sitting. (OTH - peyton's arte)

[personal profile] shopfront 2010-04-29 01:51 am (UTC)(link)
Totally stealing this meme by the way. *g*

I've been pondering the daily writing re-enforcement issue myself, and have to admit to kind of wanting to start a comm for it. Daily check-in posts for any sort of writing, yum. Modding inspirations aside though, I could totally use a daily writing buddy as well if you think co-dependent bugging might work for you, heh.