sophinisba: Gwen looking sexy from Merlin season 2 promo pics (pippin cheeky by danachan)
Sophinisba Solis ([personal profile] sophinisba) wrote2009-01-07 01:45 pm

Fic I wrote in 2008

Here are two fic year in review memes (adapted from [ profile] rubynye's version), plus commentary on my Yuletide stories.

Leitmotif of the year: Small fandoms, minor characters, and unusual crossovers. Sometimes I worry that this is a way of giving up or withdrawing from bigtime fandom, like saying, "I know my Frodo fic will never be as good or as popular as ***'s, so I'll just go over here in this corner and write some Pippin/Marigold, and if no one comes to read that's just because it's a rare pairing and not through any fault of mine." However, most of the time going with the new characters feels like the right thing to do, in order to say something that's new and interesting to me. When I try to write Casey/Zeke or Frodo/anyone these days I always feel like I'm repeating myself, as well as repeating all the other fics I've read about those characters. On the other hand, a few weeks ago I wrote a fic about a character who appears in just one chapter of a book that to my knowledge no one else has ficced before. I really loved doing this.

This year's fics are mostly shorter and in particular there are a lot more in the 500-1500 range, whereas it used to be almost everything I did was either 200 words exactly or somewhere over 3000. I did not start any new WIPs, which I guess is good. Nothing here is very ambitious, which is good in that it didn't lead to any great disappointment but bad in that it didn't lead to much great fic.

My best story of this year: I don't know! By the number of comments Nine Steps in a Circle wins hands down, but there were special Yuletide-y circumstances for that one. I am proud that Homecoming is finished. It was written with less care than some of the others but there are things about it that I really like.

My favorite and/or truest story of this year: I'm very happy about Just to Keep It, though not sure how much of that is for the story itself and how much for [ profile] paceus's incredible feedback.

Story of mine most underappreciated by the universe, in my opinion: Research (Nowhere Near Nirvana Mix had a wonderful comment from the remixee but none from anyone else. I think Dean Winchester/Mohinder Suresh pairing is made of awesome and hot, and I love the way [ profile] emmademarais's ficlet and mine complement each other because the two characters' perspectives on what's going on are so different. I think almost all remixes are underappreciated by the universe, really, but I love them so I will keep writing them!
Non-remix runner up: Six Times Cho Chang Screamed instead of Crying, but this is my fault for not cross-posting at communities.

Most fun story to write: The crossovers in general, and in particular the Lost crossovers I did for [ profile] purimgifts, the Casey/Jack Harkness, and the NewsRadio fic in which two of the characters are X-Files fanfic writers.

Story with the single sexiest moment: Gosh, there was so little porn this year…Love Like Lightning was pretty sexy for a drabble though.

Most "Holy crap, that's wrong, even for you" story: Again, I was mostly pretty tame this year! De prisa, de prisa, rumbo perdido has incest in it, so I guess that's something, but not nearly as wrong as some of the stuff I wrote in 2007.

Story that shifted my own perceptions of the characters: Almost all of them, since so many were about characters I'd never written before, but let's go with It's Still Me, my Remus/Tonks story that remixed a Harry/Ron/Hermione story. I liked the way the original story had Hermione feeling like her life and relationships were just a remix of the Marauders, and that was a really cool angle for me to look at Remus.

Hardest story to write: Put Aside Your Doubt, my Frodo and Faramir story for the Frolijah challenge in the spring. What I said before about feeling like I'm repeating myself whenever I write about Frodo? This fic, omg. So difficult.

Biggest disappointment: Probably Running in the Library, my first Doctor Who fic. It wasn't a great fic and I knew it had no chance of being popular because of the characters, but I was expecting to hear from the person for whom it was written, and I was sad when I didn't.

Biggest surprise: Other People's Stories, my Day Zero drabble set. I knew I liked it but no one seemed interested at first when I said I was working on it and asked for a beta. But then I got a wonderful, tough beta from [ profile] absolutefiction and I ended up getting a bunch of comments, not only from people who don't normally read my fic but also people who hadn't seen the film! This was very flattering!

Most unintentionally telling story: I don't know about unintentional, but Homecoming and Just to Keep It were probably the most personal.

Story I haven't yet written, but intend to: There's an unused Yuletide prompt that I really love for one of my favorite movies, The Motorcycle Diaries. It makes me a little nervous because it's on the edge of RPS, being about historical characters and all, but I really want the fic to exist, so I'm going to try. Also, while putting this meme together I came across an unfinished genfic about Frodo visiting Lobelia post-Quest that I would like to try to finish.

Fics listed by month:
Summit, LotR, Frodo and Aragorn, G, 744 words.
Homecoming, part 5, The Faculty, Casey/Zeke, PG-13, 1146 words.
Homecoming, part 6, 1816 words.

Too Much Attention, LotR, Frodo, Boromir and Aragorn, G/PG, 1625 words.
De prisa, de prisa, rumbo perdido, Heroes, Maya/Alejandro, PG-13 (plus incest), 2175 words.

Casey Connor Talks to His High School Guidance Counselor, The Faculty, Casey/Zeke and OC, PG, 1545 words.
Three Travelers that Never Landed on the Lost Island, Lost/Aladdin/Buffy/Pushing Daisies crossover, G, a little under 3000 words.

Other People's Stories, Day Zero, Aaron, PG, 500 words.
Put Aside Your Doubt, LotR, Frodo and Faramir, PG, 2434 words.
[ profile] remixthedrabble round 4:
-Fragments (The Tattered Pages Remix), Heroes, Nathan and Peter, 102 words, remix of [ profile] takethesky87.
-My Kind of Dream (The Sharing Is Caring Remix), Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Buffy/Faith, 200 words, remix of [ profile] sinandmisery.
-Witness (The History of Violence Remix), Harry Potter, Augusta and Neville, 200 words, remix of [ profile] amathela.
-His Hands (Returning Remix), M*A*S*H, B.J./Peg, 300 words, remix of [ profile] iamsab.
It's Still Me, Harry Potter, Remus/Tonks, PG-13, 2938 words, remix of [ profile] tyleet27 for [ profile] remixredux08.

May - nothing

Homecoming, part 7, 1150 words.
Homecoming, part 8, 2248 words - finished hurrah!!

July - nothing

I Wrote Myself a Song, LotR, Pippin/Diamond, G, 1343 words.

Running in the Library, Doctor Who, Jenny/Lee, PG, 3925 words.

Love Like Lightning, The Faculty, Casey/Zeke, PG-13, 100 words.

November (Thank you, [ profile] wrisomifu!)
Six Times Cho Chang Screamed instead of Crying, Harry Potter, Cho/Ginny, R, 600 words.
October, 2002, The Faculty, Casey/Zeke, PG.
Outside the Circle, LotR, Frodo/Legolas, PG, 100 words.
Night Watch, LotR, Frodo/Aragorn, PG-13, 100 words.
Antibodies, The Faculty, Casey/Zeke, PG.
[ profile] remixthedrabble round 5 (reposted in one post):
-Among the Stars (The Night of Love Remix), LotR, Galadriel, Arwen/Aragorn, PG, 200 words, remix of lindahoyland
-Bright Angel (The Devil's Playground Remix) The Faculty, Casey/OMC and Casey/Zeke, R, 200 words, remix of claudia603
-Never Knew (The Sucks to Be You Remix), Doctor Who, Tish and Martha, G, 150 words, remix of studyofrunning
-Springs and Circuits (Star-Crossed OT3 Remix), Doctor Who/Firefly crossover, Nine/TARDIS/Kaylee, G, 200 words, remix of lotus0kid
-Research (Nowhere Near Nirvana Mix), Supernatural/Heroes crossover, Dean/Mohinder, R, 400 words, remix of emmademarais
-Delivery (In from the Cold Remix), Heroes AU, Maya/Sylar, PG, 500 words, for razycrandomgirl

Following, LotR, Pippin/Faramir, NC-17, 150 words.
Interruption, The Sentinel/Homicide crossover, PG, 574 words.
Trading Tales, The Hobbit/Harry Potter crossover, Bilbo and Hagrid, G, 630 words.
Getaway Plan, Doctor Who/Lost crossover, Martha/Ana Lucia, PG, 682 words.
Next Time, Doctor Who/LotR crossover, Sam, Frodo, Gandalf and Ten, G, 390 words.
Just for Tonight, Faculty/Torchwood crossover, Casey/Captain Jack, R, 800 words.

The Dead Tree, The Faculty, Casey/Zeke, PG, 250 words.
Nine Steps in a Circle, Little Miss Sunshine, Frank and Dwayne, PG-13, 5731 words.
The Key, Fur: An Imaginary Portrait of Diane Arbus, Diane/Lionel, PG-13, 1090 words.
The E-mail, NewsRadio, Dave/Lisa + ensemble, PG-13, 2555 words.
How Does Your Garden Grow, Rapunzel (fairy tale), PG, 1000 words
CQD MGY, Titanic, Harold Bride/Jack Phillips, PG, 1000 words.
Just to Keep It, The Hours, Kitty-centric, PG, 903 words.

Oh my goodness, I have a lot to say about my Yuletide stories. The thing is, I feel like I had about as good a Yuletide experience this year as a person can have (apart from having limited Internet access and reading time those first few days after the fics went up). I mean, I know my writer enjoyed her assignment and I loved the story she wrote. I got a great assignment and I wrote a lot of stories. All five of my recipients had really nice things to say. The fics that were in widely known fandoms got read by a lot of people, and the ones in more obscure fandoms got a few really appreciative comments from the few people who knew them, which I figure is more what Yuletide is really about. I didn't rush through anything like I did last year, and I am happy with all the things I wrote for the challenge. Whoo!!

Nine Steps in a Circle
First of all, I got this lovely assignment. Not what I was expecting (I thought I would get The Motorcycle Diaries) but a movie that I like and that I could review quickly, a recipient ([ profile] speccygeekgrrl whom I didn't know but who makes public posts every day so she was easy to stalk and to like. Even more importantly, she wrote a specific prompt (Frank helping Dwayne express himself with words) that made it easy to get started right away. I worked on that fic steadily for about a month and ended up being mostly happy with it. The thing I'm not satisfied with is how I handled that whole writing coach issue. I think that could have been a great opportunity for saying something original but what I said was mostly too general and trite. Also I think the language in most of the story is pretty plain, which I guess is fitting with the movie but maybe I could have worked harder on that.

But there are other things I like about it a lot. One nice thing that happened here and that barely ever happens to me is that I came up with a title I liked. I'd had it as a line of dialogue and then I thought about making it a title, and then I was really excited when I realized I could also use it as a way of structuring the fic, breaking it up into nine scenes and juxtaposing Richard's self-help language with what was actually going on with Frank and Dwayne. I also feel like I did well with those two characters. I saw a rec by someone who was impressed with how much my Dwayne sounds like Dwayne, considering that Dwayne barely speaks in the movie itself, and that made me feel really good. I couldn't be more pleased with the response this fic got. Actually I'm pretty sure it's had more comments from more people than any other fic I've written in any fandom, and of course that has a lot to do with it being a popular fandom in a popular fest, but wow, it was a really great feeling.

The Key
[ profile] speccygeekgrrl also asked for a fairytale retelling of Fur: An Imaginary Portrait of Diane Arbus. I'd heard of this movie but hadn't seen it, so I decided to check it out and see what I could do. I wasn't crazy about the movie and decided I wouldn't write anything for it, and then a few days later I woke up with an idea for it and wrote this very quickly and painlessly. I asked [ profile] baranduin to beta it since I knew she was into fairy tales and women's stories, and she was also interested in the movie so she decided to watch it so she could beta. This sure wasn't something I ever expected to fic but I'm really glad I did.

The E-mail
I found this request by clicking through the Dear Yuletide Writer links at [ profile] yuletide and it was fun going back and watching the early episodes of a show I hadn't seen in many years. I was brainstorming things that could happen in an office and since the show started in the mid-90s I started thinking about everyone starting to use e-mail, and from there thought of Lisa being a fanfic writer who accidentally outs herself. I wrote half the fic right away and was having a ball with it but couldn't really decide whether it would be hilarious or just tedious, and I'm still not really sure. I mean, fanfic about a character who writes fanfic is pretty darn cliché, but then there isn't enough NewsRadio fanfic out there for people to be tired of NewsRadio fanfic clichés, right?

In the four comment pages of beta offers at [ profile] yuletide no one had offered to beta this fandom, and Claudia didn't know it at all, so I worked up the nerve to go to the Yuletide chat room and try to find a stranger to do it, and in the end I lucked out and got a great beta from my remix buddy [ profile] iamsab, who for added awesomeness also knows X-Files and its fandom. I am especially grateful that she helped me with Catherine's voice because I think the character voices, rather than the fanfic story, were what really sold the fic for a lot of readers.

How Does Your Garden Grow
I was really impressed with [ profile] msmcknittington for indexing the links to DYW letters and also for the letter she wrote, which gave a really good idea of what she was looking for and gave links to extra resources on the fandoms, including interpretations of fairy tales, so I thought it would be nice to write an extra treat for her. I thought Rapunzel could be an interesting story to work with because of the whole ginormous complicated Women and Their Hair issue, but when I went back and read the Grimms' version I was really struck by what a raw deal Rapunzel's mother gets and by the fact that she disappears from the narrative after the first couple paragraphs. So I decided to go with that. I wrote most of this at the same time Claudia was writing her Gone with the Wind fic, and we were each doing a set of ten drabbles, so we kept e-mailing each other back and forth to report how many we'd finished, and then we betaed for each other.

I am really happy with how this turned out! I got a lot of comments that were variations of "Ouch" but I know to take them as compliments -- there was another one saying that fairy tales used to be like that, to have brambles and pain in them, and that was what I was going for. Also, [ profile] rosemaryandrue did a post at [ profile] yuletide indexing all the fairy tale fics by source and she mentioned that in general a lot of these fics were bringing out the voices of women who had been silenced. That was definitely what my fic was about and I like that it was part of that bigger tradition in Yuletide and fandom.

Just to Keep It
This is another one I'm really happy with! I really like the language in it as well as, again, creating a story for a woman we barely get to know in the canon. And, well, this fic gets at an issue that's important to me, which is that compulsory heterosexuality and conformity also hurt straight people (though they hurt queer people a lot more), but without being too anvilicious about it, I hope. I do wish I'd come up with a less stereotypical setting for Kitty and Jeannie to meet in than a munitions plant and that I'd written out a description of Jeannie as I saw her in my mind, but otherwise I really love this one.

This was the only fic I started and rushed through after the main deadline, when the huge batch of recipients needing pinch hits went out. I didn't try to grab the official pinch hit (who needs that kind of pressure?) but I wanted to write something extra for Claudia. She had a request for any characters on the Titanic and just a few weeks before that she'd been e-mailing me about these two wireless guys who had a couple scenes on the DVD. I watched them on YouTube and we agreed the way they looked at each other was very slashy, and she told me some of what she'd been reading about how close these scenes were to the true story. I was just a wee bit uncomfortable slashing them since I don't usually do RPS, but I also enjoyed reading more about their story and putting it into a set of drabbles (a favorite form of mine in case you hadn't noticed). Of course, Claudia knew right away that I'd written it, but that was even part of the fun.

I am embarrassed at how long this post is but Claudia has promised to comment so it will be okay. Hooray!

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