sophinisba: Gwen looking sexy from Merlin season 2 promo pics (gwen by infinitesunrise)
Sophinisba Solis ([personal profile] sophinisba) wrote2010-01-21 09:56 am

Happy birthday slightlytookish and the fic year in review meme

Happy birthday, [ profile] slightlytookish! Thank you for helping lure me into Merlin fandom. It's been great having a familiar friend around and getting to know you better this past year as we've both been trying new things. I'm glad your mathom was released in time for your birthday. :) I hope you have a great day.

Now I get to do the giant fic year in review meme! I love this meme and I always look forward to it, but it wouldn't have made sense to post it before I could claim my Solstice fic, which was more than a third of my writing for the year.

I had a good fic writing year! Most of my fics were very short but there was that one long one and I think I ended up with more in quantity (words) than in 2007 or 2008, though probably less than 2006. (This is the first year I've totaled up wordcounts though so I don't know that for sure.) I'm happy to have found a place in a new fandom where I'm (sort of) comfortable and enjoying reading and writing. I feel about as good in my online life now as I did back in 2006, when I was really settling in with hobbit fandom.

So, for the first part of the meme I have links to the fics I posted each month. I've listed the fandom for everything except the Merlin fics.

Five Families Who Watched the Inauguration of the 44th American President, various characters from Homicide: Life on the Street/The Faculty/Doctor Who/Harold and Kumar/Heroes, 2300 words, PG.

Pieces of the Year, Slivers on Your Tongue Victoire and Bill Weasley, 1000 words, PG. [Harry Potter]


There's Another Dance, Faramir/Éowyn at Minas Tirith, 450 words, PG. [LotR]
Night Busting Open, Mary and John Winchester, 700 words, PG. [Supernatura/Buffy/Thunder Road]
So Heroes Get Made, Buffy/Harvey Dent, 750 words, PG. [Buffy/Batman (TDK)]
Yes I'll Go with You, Gwen and Morgana are mermaids, 200 words, G.
Revived, Edwin, 400 words, PG.
Unnamed, Merlin and Morgana, 300 words, G.
Keep Your Head Down, Merlin/Uther noncon with implied Merlin/Arthur, 500 words, PG-13.
Just Friends, Merlin and Gwen, 823 words, PG.

The L Word, Luna/various, 1000 words, PG. [Harry Potter]

Done Dreaming, Gwen/Lancelot, 100 words, PG-13.
Trapped, Arthur and Merlin, 100 words, G.
Donna Noble's Memory, Donna and various, three drabbles, PG. [Doctor Who]
A drabble post:
-Love Match, Uther and Arthur, 100 words, PG
-Intact, Morgana/Gwen, 200 words, R
-Testimony, Mordred, 100 words, PG
-The Motive, Morgana, 100 words, PG
-Years, Merlin, 100 words, G
-Illumination, Gwen, 100 words, G
-Supposed, Arthur/Merlin, 100 words, PG.
A drabble post:, various characters, 600 words, PG. [Children of Men]
A ficlet post [Harry Potter]:
-No Stopping, Dumbledore/Grindelwald, PG, 200 words
-De rien, Fleur and Luna, G, 150 words
-Swan Song, Cho, G, 100 words.
Always Wanted, Ginny/Draco, PG, 100 words. [Harry Potter]
seven and a half drabbles, Martha and various, PG. [Doctor Who/Torchwood]

A ficlet post [The Faculty]:
-Slow Ride, Casey/Zeke, 100w, PG-13
-Limits, Casey/Zeke, 150w, PG-13
-Chicago, Stokely, 150w, G.
A drabble post including
-Fading (The Prelude to Incest Remix), Uther/Igraine, 100 words, PG-13.
-When It Rains, Nimueh (implied Nimueh/Igraine, earth/sky), 100 words, PG.
-The Shape of Her, Gwen/Morgana PWP, 200 words, PG-13.
Wonderland Tour (The Morning After Remix), Omar/Johnny, 100 words, PG-13. [My Beautiful Laundrette]
Walkin' After Midnight (The Slow Dance Remix), River gen, 100 words. [Firefly]

A post with three Merlin/Arthur AUs, 200 words each, G/PG:
-Insufferable (the hitchhiking AU)
-The Deadline (the newspaper AU)
-Hunger (the surfer AU)
I Shall Certainly Come, Frodo/Merry, PG, 200 words. [LotR]
A True Friend, Merry, G, 100 words. [LotR]
Storing Up for Winter, hobbit OFCs, PG, 150 words. [LotR]
A Game of Chance, Frodo/Men, PG-13, 200 words. [LotR]
I Know My Place, Gwen, Morgana and Nimueh, 300 words, PG.
Steps on the Slow Path (The Brokedown Dancebeat Remix), Doctor/Reinette, implied Doctor/Rose, ~2700 words, rated PG. Remix of [personal profile] aralias for [community profile] remixredux09. [Doctor Who]


The Opposite of Work, Gwen and Morgana with hints of OT4, ~700 words, G.
Safe As Houses, Gwen/Arthur, 100 words, PG.
And Give a Taste to Me, Morgana and Merlin, 100 words, PG.
Hiatus, Merlin and Gaius (implied Merlin/Arthur), 535 words, PG.
Soon Enough, Gwen and Arthur, 1070 words, G.
Hers to Keep, Morgana and OFC, 1313 words, PG.

The Time for Secrets, Merlin/Morgana, 1439 words, R.
Souvenirs, Gwen/Arthur, 200 words, G.
The Second Wedding, Gwen/Arthur with implied Arthur/Merlin and Gwen/Arthur/Merlin, 2034 words, NC-17.
Change for the Better, Gwen/Morgana, 825 words, PG-13.
Another Beginning of the End, Gwen/Morgana, 750 words, PG-13.
And You, My Love, Are Gone (The Promise Not to Promise Remix), Suzie/Toshiko, 200 word, PG-13. [Torchwood]
From Darkness (The Witches Will Be Dangerous Remix), Nimueh/Morgana, 400 words, PG-13.
Sparring Partners, Forridel/Morgana, 810 words, PG.
Here and Now, Forridel/Hunith, 1230 words, PG.
A Body (The All We Are Remix), Ana-Lucia and Sayid, 100 words, PG-13 [Lost]
With a Great Effort He Concealed It (The Shadow Remix), Frodo, 100 words, PG. [LotR]
A drabble post including
-As a Token, Arthur/Lancelot, 200 words, G.
-How Easy It Could Be, Arthur/Merlin, 100 words, G.

Nothing – I was writing though!

Under Darkness, Arthur, Merlin, Morgana, and Gwen, 500 words (4 by 125), G.
Another Night's Work, Frodo in King Uther's Court, 200 words, G.
Dandelion, Merlin/Gwen, 200 words, G.
Noticing, Arthur/Morgana, 200 words, G.
But This Is My Home Now, Five times Mouna Khalil was right where she wanted to be, 5422 words, PG, for Yuletide. [The Visitor]
On This Shore of the World, Alberto/Ernesto (or gen), 1100 words, PG, for Yuletide. [The Motorcycle Diaries]
Sick, Kee and Miriam, 1007 words, PG-13, for Yuletide. [Children of Men]
The Love You Kept Inside, Hunith/Nimueh, 25,191 words, R, for [ profile] camelotsolstice.

Total words: about 63500 (43220 in Merlin fandom and 20280 in others)

Next comes the part of the meme where I get to ramble!

Leitmotif(s) of the year:
Lesbians, moms, and lesbian moms, especially in the last few months. I've written more femslash and gen about lesbians than in past years. Three of my four holiday challenge fics were about mothers, and I did several others this year, despite getting into a fandom where mothers are mostly absent. I've been thinking about fandoms I might nominate for next year's Yuletide and I would like more Children of Men Kee/Miriam, the Argentine movie Leonera (mothers with young children in prison), the Brazilian movie Antônia (four women in a musical group, one of them a single mom), and the Sinéad O'Connor album Faith and Courage -- though probably by next fall I'll have gotten interested in something else. I don't have kids myself and don't think I want to, but this has been very much on my brain lately.

All the POV characters in those last four fics were living or traveling in foreign countries – a Palestinian woman in Syria and the US, an Argentine man in Peru, a Ghanaian woman in the UK, and a woman from, um, one fictional medieval kingdom in another fictional medieval kingdom. In real life I travel outside my own country most years but I didn't in 2009.

My best story of this year:
"The Love You Kept Inside", I think. I always find this question hard to judge for myself and usually let comments do it for me. This was one of the less commented on fics at [ profile] camelotsolstice, but the people who did read it responded in a way that let me know I'd succeeded at what I was trying to do, that it had complicated, flawed characters and emotions and dealt with a lot of issues we'd found troubling in the show as far as which characters had moral authority.

Something that people didn't really comment on but that was a big deal to me was getting to play with that whole thing where magic is a metaphor for gayness. It's such a part of the way I've watched Merlin's story from the beginning, but it was fun for me to change it around and make this a story about the joy of discovery rather than secrets and shame, at least in the first third or so of the fic. Things go badly for the characters in the end and I don't know how much of that is me repeating tired clichés of tragic lesbians, how much is my general tendency to write angst (no matter the gender and orientation of the characters), and how much is plain old canon compliance, what with one of the characters dying on the show and all. Anyway, one of my goals for 2010 is to write more femslash with happy endings.

My favorite story of this year:
For the reasons in the previous question and the "most fun" question.

Story of mine most underappreciated by the universe, in my opinion:
"But This Is My Home Now" took effort and was not popular, but the fandom isn't well known so that was pretty understandable. I was disappointed at how few people read "The Second Wedding", which was porn for a sort of popular pairing in a very popular fandom and was posted to the appropriate community.

Most fun story to write:
"The Love You Kept Inside" – OMG you guys, I got this assignment just after I'd written another short fic about an OFC for [ profile] themadlurker and she so totally got what I was trying to say in that fic, it just made me feel awesome, and then she wanted me to write rarepair femslash and I dove right in and I had a ball with it, especially in the first two or three weeks. It got more difficult later as I was trying to tie everything up, but in general I really enjoyed it a lot and I got a lot of satisfaction from finishing a long fic and from knowing it really fit with what she was hoping for with her request.

Story with the single sexiest moment:
Hmm. Personally I get most turned on by boyslash but I didn't write any of that beyond PG-13 this year. D: I thought the sexiest thing I wrote was "The Second Wedding" but readers seemed to prefer the somewhat less explicit "The Time for Secrets". There were a couple sex scenes in "The Love You Kept Inside" but I think they were less sexy than, like, affirmative of lesbian identity. Another one of my goals for 2010 is to write more porn, and I already have something up at the kink meme that I think is sexier than anything from last year, so I feel like I'm on the right track.

Most "Holy crap, that's wrong, even for you" story:
Eh, I did a wee bit of Uther/Merlin noncon in "Keep Your Head Down", but I don't think anyone who knows me was too shocked by that. Wrongness is something else I might try to write more of next year because I like seeing that kind of thing out there. I should probably not put it up for a vote though (like I did with the Merlin/Freya dubcon at Finishathon) because that can just be discouraging.

Story that shifted my own perceptions of the characters:
Both the Nimueh stories I wrote, "The Love You Kept Inside" and "From Darkness" (my short remix of [ profile] woldy's Morgana/Nimueh fic), gave me a more sympathetic view of a character I hadn't cared for when I watched the show. Challenges are nice for that, for taking on characters and pairings one wouldn't normally think to write.

Hardest story to write:
"But This Is My Home Now", my main Yuletide story, was a big challenge because I was writing about cultures that I don't know much about. I did research and had some good help, but I was anxious about the possibility of getting something majorly wrong. I'm still sure I got some things wrong but hopefully there wasn't anything too offensive. I was also sort of creatively exhausted after the Solstice fic so I probably didn't put as much into Yuletide as I could have.

Biggest Disappointment:
I didn't have any huge disappointments this year, though Yuletide was anticlimactic. I defaulted from the Harry Potter fest [ profile] springtime_gen, and that was the first time I'd dropped out of a fic exchange. I think defaulting early was the right thing to do; it seemed to be easy for the mods to get a pinch hitter and I'm sure that person did a better job than I would have. But it hurt my confidence and made me feel bad about myself. I also felt bad for not finishing the Merlin fic I'd signed up to write for [ profile] lgbtfest, also in the spring. (It was a bad time irl.)

Biggest Surprise:
I was surprised at how much Merlin fic I ended up writing this fall, and especially with how big "The Love You Kept Inside" got because I had sort of figured I was done writing long stories. I'd watched the first season of the show back in January and read a lot of fic but struggled to write anything, but finding like-minded people including those at [community profile] camelot_fleet helped my confidence and enjoyment of the fandom a lot.

I was pleasantly surprised at how many people read and commented on my RemixRedux fic "Steps on the Slow Path" and my Yuletide Treat "Sick" – of my three Yuletide stories it's the one I spent the least time on and in my opinion the worst in quality, but I think people like the character (Kee from Children of Men) and that makes me happy.

Most Unintentionally Telling Story:
Hard to say, lady, hard to say. I think every year I answer this question by saying that it wasn't unintentional – I was pretty well aware while I was writing "The Love You Kept Inside" that there was a lot of self-insertion going on, at least emotionally. At times I referred to it as the Hunith Sue fic. :)

That fic has a lot of things that I write over and over, but just last week I realized that one of those things is explicit het involving gay characters. I don't know what's up with that or what it's revealing, but I'm a little bit disturbed by that it and this seems like the place to mention it.

Story I haven't yet written, but intend to:
Right now I'm working on a long Gwen fic for the [community profile] camelot_fleet Finishathon. I'm heading into a really busy time irl and I'm not too fussed about any other bunnies right now, but I intend to keep participating in challenges at that comm and to write a short Merlin fic for [ profile] picfor1000. I hope to get inspired by new prompts at [ profile] kinkme_merlin and [ profile] lgbtfest (if it happens again). I've joined [community profile] kink_bingo and [ profile] kinkelot but I don't know whether I'll participate. There's some possibility I might sign up for [ profile] reel_merlin, [ profile] thelittlebang (multifandom femslash Big Bang) and/or [ profile] boxofmagic (Merlin Big Bang) if they run them again. Come summer I will probably do Femslash10 (a fest I haven't done before) and RemixRedux10 (a fest I've done 3 times before).

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