A meme with 30 questions, stolen from [livejournal.com profile] rubynye

Nov. 14th, 2011 10:42 pm
tahariel: (not obsessive)
[personal profile] tahariel
So I am gearing up for another evening of wrangling Everyday Love in Stockholm into submission, and instead of writing I am going to do this meme which I have stolen from the lovely [livejournal.com profile] rubynye! Then I guess I better do some writing ¬-¬

1 - How did you first get into writing fanfic, and what was the first fandom you wrote for? What do you think it was about that fandom that pulled you in?

I got into fandom when I was twelve, which is literally half my life ago, when I got interested in anime. I'd watched Dragonball Z on Cartoon Network (I was super cool, admit it) and wanted to know more about the show, so I googled it. And in the middle of the information websites and pictures and message boards... was fanfiction.net. What was this, I wondered, and clicked. And got TOTALLY OBSESSED. These were stories! For free! About Dragonball Z! I've always been an avid reader, and the idea of being able to read MORE STORIES online was - a revelation. And then, of course, naturally, or so it seemed, I started to write my own. I branched out into other anime fandoms later on, and eventually into the mostly Western media fandoms I'm in today.

2 - Name the fandoms you've written in, and how much you've written in that fandom, and if you still write in it.

Let's see. Chronologically... Dragonball Z, Gundam Wing, then for a long time original work... Harry Potter, Fullmetal Alchemist, Stargate Atlantis, then original again... then, while still doing original writing, Star Trek XI, Let the Right One In, and now, currently, X-men First Class. I pretty much never write in more than one fandom at a time, and it's been a long time since I've written much fanfic at all. Which has of course recently changed.

3 - For each of the fandoms from day two, what were your favorite characters to write?

Dragonball Z - Trunks, because I thought his purple hair was pretty hot.
Gundam Wing - Pretty much all of them? But my favourites were Heero and Quatre.
Harry Potter - always Harry. Especially because my Mum died around the time I was writing in HP fandom so I overidentified a bit.
Fullmetal Alchemist - Edward Elric, same.
Stargate Atlantis - Rodney McKay, the bitchy scientist of my heart.
Star Trek XI - Spock
Let the Right One In - Elie
X-men First Class - Erik Lehnsherr, the silly bear of my heart. (Only [livejournal.com profile] ionaonie will understand that reference.)

4 - Do you have a "muse" character, that speaks to you more than others, or that tries to push their way in, even when the fic isn't about them?

Not really 'pushing their way in', but I pretty much always have one character in any fandom whose voice is just natural for me to write in, and it's hard for me to write from anyone else's point of view. For instance, I could never have written 'Asymptote' from Kirk's POV, not least because it's a fic that's really about Spock but because his character fits my style much better than Kirk's does. Similarly I adore Charles Xavier, but I'm not convinced I could write from his POV. Maybe something to try after I've finished Stockholm.

5 -If you have ever had a character try to push their way into a fic, whether your "muse" or not, what did you do about it?

That's never happened to me in fic, though in my original novel project The Night Tower Landon Harrier unexpectedly - from being a bit character - ended up being such a huge and outrageous personality that he wormed his way right in there. I pretty much let him run with it and just directed him where I needed him to go without overwhelming poor Halley, my heroine.

6 - When you write, do you prefer writing male or female characters?

It's funny, because I always used to write male characters, but I think that was more to do with the preponderence of male leads in the media I absorb every day. I made a conscious decision to go with a female lead for Night Tower and it really clicked with me that I could write women if I wanted to. So now I try to do half and half. That said, in fic I tend to find that I write from the POV of the character I'm most attracted to. Is that weird?

7 - Have you ever had a fic change your opinion of a character?

YES. I never gave a damn about Gaila, really, until I read Lunch and Other Obscenities by [livejournal.com profile] rheanna27, but it completely turned me around on her. And I love seeing what other people think of characters I'm ambivalent about or even ones I love, for the opportunity to read the backstories and motivations they give to the characters and think more deeply about them. Fic informs so many of my opinions it's probably 50/50 in influence with the canon.

8 - Do you write OCs? And if so, what do you do to make certain they're not Mary Sues, and if not, explain your thoughts on OCs.

I... don't write bad characters? I don't go to any special pains to do so. I think OCs are useful, interesting ways to expand upon a universe and explore it in ways you can't always do with the main characters, to open up new facets of a world. PTSD as a way of life by [livejournal.com profile] ethrosdemon is a wonderful example of this, a STXI fic from the point of view of the Enterprise psychologist, and it does a fantastic job of seeing our main characters from an outside point of view. Another wonderful fic for this is my BFF [livejournal.com profile] ionaonie's Merlin fic I'd Be Dropping No Eaves, which again is a great way to explore a relationship from outside of that relationship.

Not writing Mary Sues is not something I have to "make certain" of, you just have to make sure ALL your characters - canon and original - are well-rounded, interesting people. You should be doing that whether they're original or not.

9 - Pairings - For each of the fandoms from day two, what are your three favorite pairings to write?

I'm only gonna do the last two fandoms or this could get long:

Star Trek XI - I only wrote two complete fics, both Spock/Kirk, but I also like reading Kirk/McCoy.

X-men First Class - Charles/Erik, Erik/Raven, Charles/Erik/Raven :D (I do what I like and I like what I do!)

10 - Pairings - Have you ever gone outside your comfort zone and written a pairing you liked, but found you couldn't write, or a pairing you didn't like, and found you could?

Nope! Not pairing-wise, anyway. Whenever I'm writing I like to challenge myself to do something new that I find difficult, so for instance my last novel project, Dragonbird, involved an awful lot of travelling, which I am terrible at writing, which was a conscious decision I made because I knew that way I would push myself to learn to do it better. Similarly Stockholm is the longest fic I have ever written and in a new kind of style and flow for me.

11 - Genre - do you prefer certain genres of fic when you're writing? What kind do you tend to write most?

I like to write romantic stories, but I'm a big fan of the slow burn so I like to draw it out. My fics are pretty much always slow and image-intensive, or at least the ones I think are best are. I like to get deep into the main character's psyche and view the story from inside their head.

Alternatively, I write shameless porn and post it to kink memes anonymously to avoid embarrassment. There are some really dirty dubcon, noncon and threesome fics floating around out there without my name on them. If you find one of them and correctly guess it's me I will give you a cookie, but I bet you never do :D

12 - Have you ever attempted an "adaptation" fic of a favorite book or movie but set in a different fandom?

Nope, though I was trying for a while to work out a way to make an XMFC version of The Princess Bride work. Unfortunately Erik is so clearly Inigo that I couldn't make Charles be Buttercup, and I got stuck.

13 - Do you prefer canon or fanon when you write? Has writing fanfic for a fandom changed the way you see some or even all of the original source material?

I like to use a heady blend of both, so using bits borrowed from the canon but also the wider range of ideas and choices that fandom brings to the table. Writing and reading fanfic always influences your view of a source material - how can it not? That's what it's supposed to do.

14 - Ratings - how high are you comfortable with going? Have you ever written higher? If you're comfortable with NC-17, have you ever been shocked by finding that the story you're writing is G-rated instead?

Ha ha ha, see my answer to 11 above. I'm happy to go to NC-17 in a fic. If it's part of a longer fic then I have no shame in posting it under my name, either, it's only the PWP stuff that I tend to tuck away anonymously. I don't know why, it's not like any of you guys would bat an eyelid.

15 - Warnings - What do you feel it most important to warn for, and what's the strangest thing you've warned for in a fic?

Being in fandom among so many highly-educated and intelligent, caring women has really changed my view on all sorts of things, one of those being warnings and triggering and PTSD. I think anything that has the potential to trigger someone should be warned for, because I would hate the idea of somebody being upset and hurt by something I'd written and not warned for. Generally I don't have to write warnings, but Stockholm is a fic all about dubcon and Stockholm Syndrome, so it's splashed liberally with warnings for those.

16 - Summaries - Do you like them or hate them? How do you come up with them, if you use them?

Generally I just steal a quote from the fic and have done with it. If it's a kink meme prompt I'll also use the prompt. I don't like writing summaries for myself because they never seem to me to encapsulate the fic well enough, I'm always worried the fic will sound lame and people won't want to read it. I'm more confident in my prose so I use that.

17 - Titles - Are they the bane of your existence, or the easiest part of the fic? Also, if you do chaptered fic, do you give each chapter a title, or not?

I HAVE to know the title to start writing something, or I just can't do it. However luckily I usually know what the title is right from the start. On the odd occasions I don't I will mope around and whine for days until I come up with something, and even then I'm never happy with it. Good titles are intuitive or don't come at all.

18 - Where do you get the most inspiration for your fics (aka "bunnies") from?

Everywhere? Other fics, TV shows, images, sudden connections of disparate thoughts that snap together like magnets and leave me standing there going 'OH. YES, OF COURSE.' There are things I love in stories that I go back to time and again, like protective, strong men and fear of intimacy and dead parents (WHAT'S THAT DOCTOR FREUD? SORRY I CAN'T HEAR YOU LA LA LA LA LA!) Also, naturally, prompts on kink memes that grab me by the metaphorical balls and go WRITE ME!

19 - When you have bunnies, do you sit down and start writing right away, or do you write down the idea for further use?

I let it percolate first, turning it over in my head and considering it, thinking about what I can do with it and if I'm sure I can write it (and keep writing it, and complete it. So many of my projects have withered away because I didn't have enough plot to write a whole story.) Some of my best ideas I've been holding onto since high school, and I still pull them out from time to time to have a look and see if I can find anything new about them.

20 -Do you ever get bunnied from other people's stories or art in the same fandom?

All the time! I pick bits and pieces here and there that inspire me, that I love, but I make sure to make them my own instead of taking them wholesale. It's all about metamorphosing the same idea into something that's mine.

21 - Sequels - Have you ever written a sequel to a fic you wrote, and if so, why, and if not, how do you feel about sequels?

I never have, more because my stories have been complete in themselves or have always been intended to be part of a series (The Colours series of HP fics I wrote years ago is a good example of this.) I love to read other peoples' sequels, but only if there's enough room to make a whole new story out of it. If it's just because it was popular and they don't want to let go of something that's finished, then I'm not interested.

22 - Have you ever participated in a fest or a Big Bang? If so, write about your favorite experience in relation to one. If not, are there any you've thought about doing? And if not, why not?

I have on one or two occasions, but I'm terrible at writing to a deadline and of the two times I can recall, for one I never finished my fic, which I felt terrible about, and the other I had to rush it to get it finished so it wasn't as good as it could have been. So I'd love to take part in fests but I don't feel like it would be fair on the recipient/s.

23 - When you post, where do you post to? Just your journal? Just an archive? Your own personal site?

I cross-post to my lj, links to my lj on the fic comms for that fandom and also to my AO3 account. Username is the same over there :)

24 - Betaing - How many betas do you like to use to make sure there aren't any major flaws in your fic? Do you have a Beta horror story or dream story?

I've never really had a full-on beta reader. The lovely [livejournal.com profile] ionaonie reads everything I write for me - sometimes ad nauseum, I'm sure, because I get pretty anxious about posting anything until someone but me has read it and told me it isn't crap! - but she's more of a cheerleader and sounding board, which is equally vital.

I do all of the editing myself. I'm pretty self-sufficient, mostly because I've had people offer to beta-read for me before who've never really given me the up-to-the-elbows, grease-smeared-across-their-cheek from getting right down into the mechanics of it with me kind of editing I do for myself and for other people when I beta for them. It's always such a crapshoot, asking around for a beta, that eventually - after a series of disappointments - I gave up.

25 - Music - Do you listen to music while you write? Do you make playlists to get into a certain "mood" to write your fic? Do you need noise in general? Or do you need it completely quiet?

It really depends - I usually have music on in the background that suits the mood of what I'm writing (for Stockholm I'm currently obsessed with Turquoise and Crimson by VAST, which is an album made up entirely of songs that ARE Erik Lehnsherr in my 'verse), but sometimes everything has to be silent so I can really focus.

26 - What is the oddest (or funnest) thing you've had to research for a fic?

Hmm... 'what does lotus smell like', I once noticed in the searchbar on a screenshot of my desktop. I have no idea what that was for.

27 - Where is your favorite place to write, and do you write by hand or on the computer?

This is going to sound weird, but... in the corner behind my sofa, wedged in between the bookcase and the window. It's small and cozy and isolates me from the rest of the flat so I can't get distracted, and it's away from the places I use to procrastinate. It works for me!

28 - Have you ever collaborated with anyone else, whether writing together, or having an artist work on a piece about your fic?

No, sadly not, though I'd like to! Someone once drew a picture for Asymptote, which was gorgeous, but I've never really worked with someone on something like that.

29 - What is your current project or projects?

Everyday Love in Stockholm, a Stockholm Syndrome AU XMFC fic where Charles is and always has been human, and Erik keeps him locked away in his bedroom to keep him safe from the rest of the world. Of course, it's more complicated than that... but, as above, I suck at summaries! Here's the prompt:

Magneto is the ruler of the posthuman world.

His only secret? Charles Xavier, the human he's kept locked in his bedroom ever since his right-hand woman, Mystique, came to him pleading for mercy for her stepbrother, who accepted her mutant form and protected her as a child. The human he started fucking after Mystique was killed in battle, despite the guilt he feels at contaminating even this last promise to the woman who was integral to his life's work and happiness.

And a bit of prose:

"When Erik wakes in the middle of the night Charles is sitting at the windowseat again, the curtain drawn back to show the stars like pinpricks in the pitch black sky, knees hugged to his chest as he stares at the outside world, breath half-fogged in the cold air. When Erik strains to hear he catches Charles’ murmur, but only just, reading his lips more than listening as he mutters, 'I count the dismal time by months and years, Since last I felt the green sward under foot, And the great breath of all things summer.'

'What’s that?' Erik asks, but Charles doesn’t reply."

30 - Do you have a favorite fic you've written? What makes it your favorite? And don't forget to give us a link!

I'm currently totally in love with my Stockholm fic. I think you have to be most in love with whatever you're writing at the moment, more than any other project, to do your best work, especially one that keeps growing on you! You can find it here: Everyday Love in Stockholm, currently 38 parts long and about 25-30,000 words. Eep!

Date: 2011-11-15 02:36 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] rubynye.livejournal.com
I am a bit regretful to distract you from your epic awesome fan novel (which I mean in honesty -- when it's done I'm going to make myself a printed version of that story), but I really love your answers here!

Date: 2011-11-15 07:16 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] tahariel.livejournal.com
Hee, that's okay, I needed to warm up my brain for writing anyway. And that's super flattering, thank you! I'm planning on tidying it up as a whole and posting it to AO3 when it's done so you can get a nice PDF of it then :)

BTW the New York section will probably be going up tonight or tomorrow night. Thank you so much for your help on it, I hope I haven't made any terrible boobs (only sexy boobs allowed around here!)

ETA: damn you, autocorrect!
Edited Date: 2011-11-15 07:17 am (UTC)


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