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till everything shines

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[misc] dreamers
Dipping my toe into the waters of actually using this journal again, as I keep intending to do, and how better than with a meme?

Comment with the title of one of my fics and a number (or more than one of either) and I'll witter egomanically about:

1) how I came up with the idea
2) something I deleted
3) my favorite bit
4) something I struggled to write
5) what the writing process was like
6) how I thought people would respond
7) how people actually responded
8) something I wish I’d done differently
9) something I think I did right

All my fanfic is at [archiveofourown.org profile] genarti.

Alternately, or in addition: tell me about a book you read recently, and I'll tell you about a book I read!

This entry is also posted at http://genarti.dreamwidth.org/164108.html. You can comment on LJ or DW, whichever you like. comment count unavailable comments at DW.

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I'm finally reading the Hunger Games books! I'm not often interested in YA, and I've been off fiction for a long time (not sure why), but my sister and I watched the movies (1 and 2) when I was in the US and I wanted to gain more depth in the HG world.

I'm loving it so far, but I'm only on chapter 2.

What are you reading?

Oh cool! I read and liked the first book, and watched and liked the first movie. I haven't gotten around to the others yet, though. I'll be interested to hear what you think!

I just devoured Shades of Milk and Honey by Mary Robinette Kowal, which is more or less Austen pastiche set in a world where glamours -- illusions of light, sound, scent, etc -- are considered a dainty feminine art. I 90% loved it to tiny pieces. I had a couple of minor quibbles, most notably that I could have done with a little more narrative sympathy for the mother's 'neurasthenia,' whether or not the daughters were fairly reasonably/ICly annoyed by it, but my main issue was that the ending felt rushed, not so much in the events but in the lack of breathing room for follow-through afterward. Still, it's the first in a series, and maybe the second one will do more of what I want as far as that goes. And I really, really loved the other 90%.

Edited at 2015-03-25 04:55 pm (UTC)

I'd never heard of this - it looks really interesting, thanks for the rec!

A hero at the end of the world is my next book. However I probably won't get into it for a bit.

How did I not know you had written all that dark is rising fic???? I read it all yesterday. :) I want to ask about that but I am on my stupid phone and I can't see the questions. However, most of those are kinda old. So, what is it like looking back on work you wrote years ago? Would you change them or do you still like them? How do you see yourself growing as a writer since then?

You probably didn't know because they're all really old! I wrote a lot of Dark is Rising drabbles when I was first starting to get into writing fanfic, and was sort of stretching my writing muscles after years of not having written anything. (In middle school and high school I was always the sort of kid who plotted out giant Mary Sue original-fic novels, got distracted a chapter or two in, and never finished anything. Drabbles were a great way to actually make myself write short stuff, before I stretched into writing longer stuff.)

I'm one of those lucky people who looks back at their own work with pleasure, rather than writhing in embarrassment about every word. (As far as I can tell, this has a lot more to do with personality than with writing skill...) It is a little weird to look back that far, though! For one thing, I don't really do drabbles any more, and a lot of those tiny ficlets are things that I'd expand now into something larger -- or I'd stick in a WIP and never get around to finishing, um. For a lot of those, the whole point of the fic is that moment of gutpunch angst; nowadays, I tend to feel I need more excuse for the moment. I don't know if it's better or worse this way!

The one that I'm simultaneously really proud of, and would change the most if I could, is my one full-length DiR fic, "To Remember For Always." That was my very first Yuletide fic, and I'm deeply proud of a lot of what I did in it. I like the turns of phrase, I like the density of symbolism, I like the characterization, and I'm really proud of coming up with a way for Bran to get his memory back that doesn't depend on Will doing things I consider OOC for him. But I wrote it Will/Bran because that was what I thought my recipient was asking for, even though I actually prefer them as friends -- and, based on the recipient's reaction and on later rethinking of the way Yuletide punctuated character names in 2004, I'm not actually sure they wanted slash. If I knew for sure that they wanted Will/Bran and were really happy to receive it, I could be more content with having written it that way as a present for them. As it is, I'd rewrite it to be gen now, to better fit the way I actually see Will and Bran's relationship. When I reread it there's a little portion of my brain always mentally rewriting scenes to fit. But I'm still really pleased with all the rest of it. The first time I reread that one in years was a year or two ago, though, and I was sort of cataloguing symbolism as I went through, to see if I actually remembered the layers of everything I put in, and I'm not 100% sure I do still remember quite all of it!

The Dark is Rising is one of my formative canons, though, and Susan Cooper's style is one of the few that I can consciously point to and say yes, definitely, that right there is an influence on how I write right down to the bone. I'll always have a fondness for it. I don't know how much I really have to say about it in fanfic form any more, because I've said a lot of it it already, between fic and RP. But if I did get an urge to write a new angle on something -- well, I'm never really going to leave that fandom, in a way. Every so often I think of details I'd like to play with, so who knows.

Also I really love your Narnia drabbles. Do you know why the Narnia books didn't inspire longer pieces?

Hmm, good question! And not one I'd thought about, so this is me thinking aloud.

A big part of it was that at the time I wrote those, I was mostly writing drabbles anyway, because I was easing back into writing stories and still sort of figuring out how to plot and how to conceptualize stories at a manageable size. And another part is that I was hanging out internettishly with a couple of friends who had very strong Narnia opinions, which meant that Narnia was on my mind (especially since the movies were new then too) but also meant that I didn't feel a strong drive to write major Narnia Manifesto kinds of fics.

What usually motivates me to write a fic is either a) contrariness against fandom trends I disagree with, or b) figuring out my take on some canonical issue that took a lot of pondering, and doing my meta on it in fic form, or c) writing it as a present to someone. Narnia fandom is big enough, and I was peripheral enough to it, that it felt to me like there were plenty of voices already writing lots of approaches to things. My one long Narnia fic, "Between," was both a present for a fic exchange and my Susan Pevensie Manifesto. Narnia's a canon I'd always happily return to, if I had a request, but I don't currently have any nagging unanswered questions or things I keep noticing people Doing Wrong (IMO, YMMV, etc.)

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