Friday, January 8th, 2010

Year in Fic: 2009

Eight days late, but whatever, it's mostly for my benefit anyway.

Fannish Stuff What I Made in 2009

Fic )

Fanmixes )

Q&A )
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Wednesday, August 12th, 2009

meta_writer meme

1. How often do you write a week?

I try to write every day. Sometimes it's a paragraph (most of the time), sometimes it's a chapter (ha, yeah, I wish). It's easier on me as long as I do it every day, though. Part of the routine.

2. Do you carry a notebook with you? Is it full of stuff to do with writing?

Yes, and sort of. It's got some writing stuff in it, but most of it is just scribbles of dialogue or random doodles or the occasional class notes or... well, yeah, it kinda is all to do with writing, but that's because everything has to do with writing.

3. Do you only write when inspired?

LULZ no. If I waited for inspiration I'd never get anything done.

4. Can you self edit?

To some extent. I'm an English-major ninja with grammar and spelling and I can notice big "WTF" sins that I've committed, but for the small stuff, I need outside eyes.

5. How do you feel about critique?

I love it beyond belief, as long as it is honest and well-meant.

6. How do you feel about rejection?

Eh, I don't love it, but I don't hate it either. Rejection happens. Shrug, save it if it's a good one, rejoice if it's not a form letter and submit the story to the next one.

7. Are you misunderstood?

Frequently, usually when I make bad puns.

8. Is your writing misunderstood?

Uh... what? If it is, I screwed up somewhere.

9. Do you consider writing a craft? An art?

In some respects, yes. It certainly can be, especially if you approach it that way. But it's also a hobby, a business, a fun thing to do, a job, a strain, any number of bloody things. It's writing, it just is.

10. Have your relationships suffered because of writing?

Not... really. If anything, they've improved.

11. Has your job suffered?

I sort of occasionally pay more attention to what's going on in my head than what I'm supposed to be doing at my job, and thus screw up. But that's very infrequent.

12. Do you ever get smacked with inspiration?

Occasionally. Usually in the form of bits of dialogue, an image, or a brief scene if I'm lucky. Never anything longer.

13. How much of writing is talent (%age), inspiration, and hard work?

10% talent, something like 5% inspiration, and 85% hard work. Or more hard work, possibly.

14. And most importantly - do you enjoy writing?

Of course! If I didn't enjoy it, I wouldn't do it.
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Tuesday, June 23rd, 2009

I feel the need to froth for a bit. Bear with me.

Okay, guys. I am so fucking sick and tired of "it's just a show" or "it's just a book" whenever somebody says "it changed my life." Guess what! ART CAN DO THAT. I would argue that the entire point of artistic endeavour is to affect someone, emotionally, mentally, sometimes even physically (porn, for example*). If something doesn't affect you, if it is, in effect, just a book, then it's not art, and I don't think I have ever read a book that didn't make me react in some way. Even if I hated it (Twilight), it still made me react.

Everyone who creates is trying to affect somebody out there. One of the greatest compliments I recieved on any piece of writing was "a tremendous gut-punch of a story." It was not a happy story, and I'm sure the feelings evoked were not happy ones, but I was not trying to create happy feelings, and I affected my audience, which is the real and original goal of creativity.

I'm sure this is why people beg for reviews so shamelessly, why authors and musicians and artists love to hear from people who've read/heard/seen their stuff, and I know it's why I don't like to write fic for certain people because I know they don't respond. Artists have to know they're creating an effect, any effect. Attention-whoring? Perhaps, but I don't think so. Without response, how do you know you're not screaming into the void? How do you know that there's any point and purpose to what you're doing at all?

In short, don't ever dismiss something as "just" a show or book or movie or whatever. Somebody, somewhere, has been affected powerfully by that show or book or movie. I guarantee it. Your dismissal trivializes their feelings and, if it gets back to the artist, makes them feel trivial. Because the worst thing you can ever say to an artist regarding their work or to a person who loves that work is "meh."

*If anyone leaves comments arguing about the artistic value of porn, I will hunt you down and murder you in your sleep for spectacularly missing the point.
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Saturday, November 29th, 2008

The line to kiss my feet starts over there.

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Thursday, October 30th, 2008

I just realized two things.

1) Spite is excellent motivation for writing.

2) I figured out why I ship Aral/Cordelia so much. There seems to be this trend lately in fiction and movies of marriages that don't work. That irritates me. I feel that there can be fully as much drama in a marriage that does work as in marriages that don't, and having lived through the implosion of a marriage in the past three years, I don't want to read about/see it. I want to see couples who fight and bicker and still love each other. It is possible, Hollywood-types.

I feel like more fiction depicting such couples might cut down on the number of divorces, if only by demonstrating that it is okay to fight with someone you love. Lois McMaster Bujold gets it dead to rights with Aral and Cordelia. They hurt each other all the time, but they forgive each other and move on. More positive depictions in fiction might help replace the Harlequin romance stereotype.

To explain 1: I got so sick of seeing all these stories in my Fiction Workshop II class about marriages that imploded or otherwise didn't work, so I wrote a story about one that did. Pretty much just because.
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Wednesday, July 16th, 2008

Writing Meme!

To pass the time for you while I reread His Majesty's Dragon and sequels and finish Victory of Eagles.

Post the first lines from your last twenty-five fics and see if there's a pattern (or something like that).

Here we go, in reverse order. )

Hmm. General patterns seem to be me playing with language more and more. I start out messing around with Space Between the Seconds and by the Dalek Invasion of Discworld I've nearly gone overboard. Thank you, darling beta! A few of these, namely all the Dresden Files fic and The Dalek Invasion of Discworld are me consciously trying to mimic the author in question. Interestingly, I've only started out with dialogue in three fics; I was under the impression that I did it a lot more. I also seem to start out right in the middle of the story and explain things later. Very Doctorlike of me, I think. So! What do you think?
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Thursday, July 3rd, 2008

I Have a Books! Icon!

This is inspired by the Big Read meme going around that prompts people to select 'classic' books from a list that they have read. With that in mind, I'd like you to list the ten books that have had the most influence on YOU, personally. It doesn't matter whether or not they're classics, adult books or YA. This meme is not asking you to be a literary critic. These are the books that have made an impression on you, that stay in your mind, that have had an impact on your life. The books that taught you how to write, that molded your ideas about life and love. The books that you *always* have a copy of on your bookshelf, and invariably read until the binding is falling apart.

1) The Fire Rose, Mercedes Lackey
Lackey has a way with language that always strikes me, even when she's writing about certain Mary Sues I could name (Vanyel, anyone?). She's splendid with description, and even when her plots fall flat, which this one doesn't, the language carries the day. I also love Beauty and the Beast, and this reinterpretation of the legend has the benefit of being impeccably-researched historical fiction as well.

2) Persuasion, Jane Austen
Guh. Just guh. One of the best love stories ever, and a wonderful, wonderful book. Jane Austen makes some of the most memorable characters I have ever read. A pitch-perfect romance.

3) Proven Guilty, Jim Butcher
Plot! Jim Butcher teaches me about Plot! Proven Guilty has the added benefit of just being fun.

4) American Gods, Neil Gaiman
Likewise plot. Neil Gaiman weaves everything together skillfully and near-seamlessly. I will admit to having problems buying the climax, but I'm just too in love with his concept and execution that I simply can't care.

5) His Majesty's Dragon, Naomi Novik
WOW. Amazing language, great plot, a climax that never fails to make me tear up, wonderful characters, just wow. Seamlessly weaves dragons into British history. This is precisely how the Napoleonic wars would have gone had Napoleon in fact had dragons to deploy.

6) Magic and Malice, Patricia C. Wrede
See above. Wow. Also has a wonderful love story that His Majesty's Dragon doesn't. Both take place in the Regency; a coincidence? I THINK NOT. So does Persuasion. I'm terribly fond of the Regency, so having so many of my favorite novels take place there is a bonus.

7) Crown Duel, Sherwood Smith
Some of the best damned worldbuilding since Tolkein. Tolkein and I don't really get along for various wordy-related reasons, but Crown Duel is so wonderfully written and just right with the world.

8) Matilda, Roald Dahl
Roald Dahl is a master storyteller, and Matilda is my favorite story of his. A bright little girl and the people who believe her, the people who don't, and her revenge on the idiots of the world. Clearly Roald Dahl was at some point a bright little kid, because this book resonates with me so much. Hands up, who else tried to move chalk with their eyes after seeing this?

9) A Little Princess, Frances Hodgson Burnett
I don't know. I love Sara, I love Becky, I love the coincidences, I love Miss Minchen and Amelia Minchen, I love the whole book. It's just so well done and such a childhood memory. Maybe that's it. Either way, the binding on mine is kind of dead.

10) The Killer Angels, Michael Shaara
Oh, Michael Shaara. A heartbreaking story of Gettysburg. The language is exactly right for the time. The men he's writing about are so right for their time and yes. Amazing story.
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Monday, April 28th, 2008


Ten Times Trouble got recc'd on Calufrax!
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Monday, March 10th, 2008

Snagged from awanderingbard

When you see this, post a little weensy excerpt from as many random works-in-progress as you can find lying around. Who knows? Maybe inspiration will burst forth and do something, um, inspiration-y.

Here' lot of stories. A lot a lot. Guess the fandom. Also, let me know if any of these intrigue. Some of them are perilously close to being abandoned.
I really need to get some of these finished. )
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Monday, January 14th, 2008

Kyrie annoyances

I've hit a brick wall in Kyrie. I know where I want to go after this, but I've got a scene to write between "now" and "then," and I have no idea what I want to put in it. Small talk, presumably, but it has to be story-significant small talk, stuff that hints Maggie has secrets and stuff she's not willing to talk about. Presumably Malcolm does too, though he's a much more open person than she is.
Hmm. Maybe if I look at the scene as character development. I can show some of Maggie's recklessness and some of her evasiveness, and give Malcolm a chance to show off that godawful sense of humor of his (what, you thought Harry got it from nowhere?).
Still. Rrrgh.
Also, which is the more annoying faux-endearment? Crumpet or dumpling?
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