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03 January 2006 @ 12:47
2005 Fanfic Year in Review  


Stories completed this year: 17

Looking back, did you write more fic than you thought you would this year, less, or about what you'd predicted?
Less, but that was mainly due to this year being incredibly stressful, and not being able to finish a lot of what I started this summer and fall.

What pairing/genre/fandom did you write that you would never have predicted in January 2005?
Omg Doctor Who. While I adored the original series as a teen, I never once wrote in that fandom and didn't even read fanfic for the series. But the 2005 series just sparked my imagination and took over my life.

What's your favourite story of the year? Not the most popular, but the one that makes you happiest?
Probably Sin of Omission, despite the fact that most of my theories re: the Time Lords and the Daleks were shot completely out of the water, canon-wise, by the season finale. I could probably very easily rework it to reflect a 'verse where the daleks were common knowledge for guys like Roderick... But the heart of the story (the portrait of the Doctor, and his relationship with Rose) is something I'm still happy with.

Did you take any writing risks this year? What did you learn from them?
I learnt that I still have trouble with pacing and momentum in anything over 20,000 words. Mostly in terms of me as an author being able to follow through. Also, I need to stop falling back on the same bags of tricks, in terms of language. With most vignettes and short stories, I have strong starts and weak endings, or vice versus. I need to stop falling in love with "gut-punch lines" and work more on genuinely affecting people's emotions by finding the truth at the heart of something and then carefully drawing attention to it, instead of cheap tricks. Also, I need to be a little more sparing with dialogue, instead of constantly pandering to my inner Sorkin and Sherman-Paladino. There are times when banter works--and there are times when I'm just too damned talky.

Do you have any fanfic or profic goals for the New Year?
Keep writing. Write better. Finish more. I have a Jem novel that I got stalled on and really need to return to, one Doctor Who novella that ahs been sitting, 1/5th done and fully plotted ever since May, mocking me, and three ficathon stories that I desperately want to finish. I'd also like to see if I can't sell some short stories this year.


Completed:
The Art of Lying (vr.5)
Um.. dark. Very very very dark. I meant, when I first started it, to be sexy rather than quite so bleak, but December was not a happy time for me and I think that affected this story in ways I couldn't quite predict. In retrospect, it does seem a bit off that Sam's reaction to everything is to, well... have meaningless and occasionally desperate sex with Oliver. That said, I really want to revisit this universe more often, cos I've gained a whole new appreciation for the series as I watched the source all the way through again for the first time in 10 years.

Snow White Lies (Doctor Who)
This was likewise a lot bleaker than I'd intended. I see Nancy as being very selfish where Jaime is concerned, and I can't blame her one bit. He is the centre of her life, she lost him once, she'll hold onto him all the tighter from now on. And I think it's important that she puts him ahead of her own happiness at all times, even when she doesn't have to. It's just second nature, denying herself. And I did picture her having a good life. Just not a life where she lived it as fully as she could have. This was also very much an experiment in structure--it's a story you're meant to hear and over-hear.

At Last (Doctor Who)
Another story blown out of the water by canon, in terms of continuity, but I knew that going in. I watched a lot of my friends for whom this was their first regeneration grieve, and a lot of that found its way into this story, as Rose grieves for Jack as a way to grieve for the Doctor, despite the fact that he's still there, and is frustrated even as he's compassionate with her.

Times Like These (Doctor Who)
I had to write this. Had to. For one, I loved exploring Jack's role in the TARDIS trio, and how his relationship with Rose changed so radically from the Moffat 2 parter to RTD's "Boom Town". I was intensely frustrated by him being sued solely as yenta in a lot of stories, yet I couldn't deny that he never flirted with her with intent after "The Empty Child" and I like the idea that it's not just because he's quick on the uptake and didn't need a sledgehammer to the forehead after the Doctor's little machismo display of "This is mine. Hands off." in the tag of "The Doctor Dances." But because he genuinely cares for her, and he won't take advantage. Also, I love the fact that the Doctor would never tell Rose that Mickey had his chance and turned it down, and would prefer to let her blame him for the way things went, rather than herself. Cos he so would. Also, it was nice to explore Rose as a 19 year old girl, with all the flaws and faults that entails. She did take Mickey for granted, and she is guilty of treating him like nothing, and I do think she's more upset about him thinking ill of her than she is actually losing him (especially since it's quite clear she hasn't lost him--that no matter what he says, he'll always be waiting for her. And the kind thing would be to let him go, but 19 year old girls with 19 year old girl egos aren't kind).

Sin of Omission (Doctor Who)
It was a bit like balancing on a knife's edge--too easy to slip off one way or the other. Too much angst, too much sap, and the whole thing would have felt cheap. And I do love the relationship we saw in canon, which is very much romantic love, but also deeply platonic, with I still think yearnings on both sides for erotic love, but all too keenly aware that that's the least vital part of the equation, and too afraid to sacrifice the closeness they share by a mis-step. SO they're both sort of frozen in place by their feelings, which I like exploring. I didn't want pat. I didn't want "will they or won't they?" For me, it's more interesting to explore the "why don't they?" Because I think the series has a really lovely understated way of dealing with the fact that they love each other and are in love with each other, but that that's not the defining aspect of their relationship. There's more to it. They need one another. And the Doctor needs Rose more than he's ever needed a companion before. Which fascinates me.

Not a Busman's Holiday (Doctor Who)
I cheated with this story. A lot. My poor ficathon recipient wanted plot and exotic locales, and I gave her Australia (of the future!) and no plot to speak of (tho I did start off with a tale of an escaped teenaged shape-shifting alien prince who spent 90% of the story as a mouse in the TARDIS, that went away), and I suck. But I did like exploring Rose's idea of the Doctor, versus reality, and where the two don't quite match up. And I like the idea that the Doctor likes a quiet day more than he lets on. I don't think he could ever actually be bored by anything, because he has a childlike innate curiosity that makes even the most mundane situations potentially adventures. Even if it's just a day at the beach, and a kid with an ice-cream.

Odd Man Out (Doctor Who)
Pure self-indulgent fluff, which I never would have written had it not been a birthday present for a fellow Whovian writer whose work I really enjoyed. I had a blast writing it, because once I decided I was going to do it, I had to really think about exactly how it would work and still be in character.

A Little Piece of Home (Doctor Who)
Blame the Blue Peter clip of the bit what got cut (when the emo!dalek exploded, rather than imploded) for this one. I remember watching the episode and just feeling as if the camera ought to have come back to the Doctor and Rose there, after Rusty suicides. That there should have been something between the Doctor being completely shattered, standing there with the Rob Liefeldian gun, and his composed yet still bitter "I won." And I also wanted to see fallout of the situation for Rose, who has never witness wholesale carnage before. Once the adrenaline wears off, I could see her freaking out a fair bit as well. And I like continually pointing out the Doctor's alien-ness to Rose, because she keeps reacting to him (and developing expectations of him) based on human behaviour, because it's her only frame of reference. And the fun of the Doctor as a fictional character is that as an alien, you can use him to explore the best parts of humanity. And I like the ability of the characters to go from darkness to light in the space of one line of dialogue. That's one of the things about the characters on-screen that I keep trying to capture in prose. How naturally they can make those mercurial transitions.

Support Undergarments to the Rescue (Doctor Who)
This was written for nostalgia_lj at 3am in an IM, with the caveat that I wasn't allowed to edit it other than spell-checking it. So it's a first and final draft. And it was a huge amount of fun to write. I don't do out-and-out humour a lot, but when I do, I have enormous fun.

Ten Seconds (Doctor Who)
As nutty as this may sound, this is probably one of my fave stories I've ever written, just cos I am fascinated by how the Doctor just flees the scene. I know I probably read a lot more than RTD had intended into that, but I think it's heartbreaking, how Rose is torturing her mother like that out of love. It made me fall for Jackie in a way I never would have imagined, in "Rose."

Ivory and Horn (Doctor Who)
I am still in the middle of DVD Commentary for this, so I'll probably end up repeating myself a lot, but I'm surprised that so much of what I extrapolated from the first 3 episodes of the series actually still holds together in the end. You can tell it was written very early in the series still, but I really loved exploring the chemistry between the two characters. I'd started it off intending it to be one sort of story, and ended up with something I liked much better. And I'm still amused at how both sides of the Doctor & Rose relationship argument take away different things from the same story.

Woolly Jumpers, Choices, and Lemonade (Doctor Who)
Had I known what was coming with the whole "12 months, not 12 hours" thing (I was completely unspoiled at this point) I probably never would have written this, but I must have watched "End of the World" about 4 times through (it was the first ep that really hooked me) and couldn't stop myself from writing. I lost a lot of the original dialogue due to not being smart enough to sit down and copy it out, as much of it came to me while walking from work to the train. I still keep meaning to come back to the "It doesn't work the way you think it does" exchange about the universe. Also, this started the trend of gratuitous Shareen references. She's become my Delaney Sisters. I almost hope we never ever actually see her on-screen, so we can all create our own Shareens.

Her Little Secret (Jem)
A Yuletide New Year's Resolution fic for sadisticferret, who wanted Kimber and Stormer. I actually had always wondered what Kimber would have written about Stormer in her diary. I mean, we get to hear what she thinks of Pizzazz and Roxy, but Stormer is curiously absent. And I could completely see Stormer being very curious--as well as deciding Kimber should be able to get her diary back. It had never quite tracked for me, that the Misfits would have told Kimber what they were going to do before they did it--and Stormer going behind the others back anonymously fitted in so well with the instances in canon where she'd done so before. So voila! Instant character motivation...

Bad Penny (Sin City)
After seeing the movie, I was slightly obsessed with the Shellie/Dwight/Gail triangle--particularly where Shellie fits into it. And I like the idea that Dwight gets something from his relationship with Shellie that he can't have with Gail, and so he needs Shellie, and Shellie settles for being needed because that's just who she is.

Chivalry (Firefly)
This is the only remix story I've done that I actually think works, partially because I had so much freedom since the original was a drabble. I think the first few times I was just too cautious, and by the time I got to remixing tafkar's Bite Your Tongue, I learned how to take an idea (in this case, a line of dialogue) from the original and craft something new from it that's still in the same spirit. And I do love fleshing out Mal's backstory a bit more. It's funny--I have this rep as a big Simon/Kaylee writer, but the majority of my stories really are about Mal. The S/K tends to be B plots in the longer works, while Mal is always at the heart of the A plots. Mal is easily the only time I've ever actually loved a lead in a Whedon series as much or more than the supporting characters. While I can't stand Buffy and tend to be bored by Angel, I am riveted by Mal.

WIPs
Painted Blind (Jem)
Okay, so you all know how I feel about posting WIPs. As my life was etted by Who, I lost momentum on the Stormer/Riot novel that I'd started for Deirdre last winter as a sequel to How Stormer Got Her Groove Back, and so I started posting the chapters that were finished and beta'd, in the hopes that the pressure would keep me on track. While I have written bits in the last 6 months, I haven't been able to get back into the same place with writing. And I am soundly mocked by my failure. But I still have hopes of finishing this novel this year, because I hate leaving the story stranded in the middle. And sometimes, you just need a giant animated romance novel/soap opera.

Unnamed Susan story for loneraven
When loneraven first asked for Susan fic, I had the genius idea that when Gallifrey Go BOOM, it caused a catastrophic shockwave through the higher races as the timeline was re-written. And my thought was that the shockwave would have hit the 60-something Susan Campbell full on, forcing her to regenerate. I loved the idea of her waking up in the revised timeline to discover that the daleks never invaded, she never married David Campbell, her children and grandchildren were never born, and she's got now way to find her grandfather. Until some Time Agents show up, to contain the Temporal Anomaly (i.e. Susan) and she steals a ship--and a Captain. And it was going to involve 2 Jacks, the Blinovich Limitation Effect, the Controller's high-powered Transmat at the Game Station, and ultimately spirally off into decided AU territory with the Ninth and Tenth Doctors. I got about the first 5000 words written before I realised I needed to see all of the Susan eps, and then I wandered off and got distracted...

Unnamed Ninth Doctor & Rose novella
i.e. "The intergalactic bike messengers story." It has aliens, clones, the Doctor and Rose crashing a royal wedding, a really cool Herald species, and kissing that isn't what you think. I started plotting it while I was still finishing "Ivory and Horn" and it has an outline and chunks of dialogue written, but not much else. I can probably still manage it--by setting it in-between episodes, before Jack gets there. Probably between "Aliens of London" and "Dalek."

Unnamed Jack Harkness Ficathon story
not_vacillating is going to want me dead, I'm so sure. I started and stopped this story about 12 times, and just when I thought I had a story that was actually story-shaped, it all went pear-shaped, and then I got hit with writer's block for 3 months. But I refuse to give in and give up completely.

Unnamed OT3 story for rhipowered
This is another story which I can't quite get a handle on. Once I find a plot, I'll be off and running.

Unnamed Helena/Valentine story
Short little post-Mirrormask vignette. I got 2/3rds of the way through it, but am now waiting for the DVD before I go any further...

Unnamed Pizzazz/Jem femmeslash for charabok
I staretd this as a "thank you" fic for my fantastic yuletide story from last year, and then got stalled. Obviously, I suck. But I would like to finish it, not just cos charabok deserves a pressie, but also becasue I was having a lot of fun before I got stalled.
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Kathryn A: anachronismkerravonsen on 3rd January 2006 20:59 (UTC)
Oooh, that Susan story sounds really cool! (makes encouraging noises). I've just been reminded of Susan again after re-reading rj_anderson's "Communion" (the last 11th-Doctor story).
mswyrrmswyrr on 4th January 2006 00:06 (UTC)
Reread a couple of my favorites. Beautiful work. You are a gift to any fandom.
mswyrrmswyrr on 4th January 2006 00:10 (UTC)
...and by gift I meant blessing.
Love Doris: Simon by Smugglers_Prizestormkpr on 4th January 2006 00:15 (UTC)
I haven't yet begun reading Firefly fanfic (I want to watch all the eps first and have been allowing myself only one per week) but when I do, yours will be the first I look up. And I love Simon/Kaylee.