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[personal profile] maidenjedi asked questions #5 & #15 about Oil, an X-Files genfic from the POV of the black oil alien, written in 2003.

5: What part was hardest to write?

I remember going through many revisions of the last few paragraphs. Knowing what note to end a story on is critical, and since this fic is so weird it wasn't easy. Some of the obvious choices for thoughts to end on wouldn't have worked. The main character as we've known it essentially ceases to exist by choosing to give up its individuality, but doesn't die. There's no concern for what happens to Krycek because in this POV humans are not very relatable. The alien doesn't end up caring much about those things. What stirs its emotions is something we don't consider a "being" but more of a process — Earth's water cycle — because the alien also exists as a process, so it feels kinship there. I considered that the heart of the story and wanted to leave the reader thinking so too, but I had a hard time putting it into words in the way I wanted, and was repeatedly told by beta readers to stop overexplaining and trust that readers would get it. As usual, they were right.

15: What did you learn from writing this fic?

A lot. I had so much less experience in writing at this point that I was still improving by leaps and bounds with every attempt. I remember [livejournal.com profile] bardsmaid patiently explaining how less can be more — how too many details are cluttering instead of clarifying. This took time to come to grips with ("what, you mean I have to take whole sentences out? but I just wrote those!") but became key to my writing style and process.

It was also a lesson in not being too wedded to early ideas or too proud to change them. The story actually has its roots in a piece of original fiction I wrote to Keladry's offhand prompt "The Life and Times of a Cherry Coke", which explored the concept of what it would feel like to exist as a liquid. I actually submitted the story to some literary magazines that published oddball stuff and was turned down. Fortunately I was able to overcome my dented ego enough to have the thought that maybe the story didn't work, but elements of it could still be salvaged and made into something better, and eventually that grew into "Oil".

The reason "Oil" works where the Cherry Coke story didn't is that intriguing concepts and pretty descriptions alone weren't enough; they needed a compelling character and situation, and something at stake. The oilien storyline in XF met that need perfectly and gave my earlier ideas direction, and to follow that direction I had to give up my attachment to something I'd already worked on to the point of submitting it profesionally, and be willing to basically start over. We all know you're supposed to kill your darlings, but I think this marked a turning point for me in putting that advice into practice.

More to come! If you want to check out the rest of the questions or pose one of your own, the original meme post is here.

Crossposted from Dreamwidth. Feel free to comment wherever you're comfortable.
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[personal profile] gracerene asked question #10 about Heat Wave, a Sirius/James fic from 2005. (And yes, actually remembering the writing process might be tough on some of these, but I'll try!)

10: Why did you choose this pairing for this particular story?

It was for a fest and the pairing was specified in the prompt ("Sirius/James, Dom!Sirius, bondage, drawnout pleasure until James can't take it anymore. Playful, cocky, smirking Sirius"), so why did I choose this prompt?

I got interested in James/Sirius after OotP, which really shifted my mental image of the Maurauders. Since PoA there had been a fannish assumption, which I shared, that Sirius and Remus were the closest friends (possibly already in a relationship), and James was the leader. To me, OotP changed all that. It seemed clear to me that Sirius and James were the ones who were close, both from the way they interacted in the flashback and the fact that Sirius went to live with the Potters; his living with Remus or Peter was apparently never even considered. I also realized that Sirius was more of a leader type than I'd thought, and that to some extent James was taking cues from him, which makes the way the Prank played out make a lot of sense.

In light of all this, pairing them up began to seem a lot more interesting. I know I'd already started to write some J/S fic but hadn't gotten very far, and seeing this prompt was serendipitous since it gave some specific direction to stuff that was on my mind but still kind of nebulous. If the prompt had been Dom!James I doubt I would have taken it, because what I wanted to write about had to do with Sirius having the dominant role in their friendship and that dynamic progressing into a sexual relationship. Sirius feels like James will follow him anywhere and keeps pushing it further, and this prompt fit that concept perfectly.

And I mean, yes, I know it's a PWP and maybe I wasn't completely successful in getting all this background out onto the page. But it's what I had in mind when writing. There's still a small part of me that thinks I'm going to finish the other fic in this universe that I started on, because there's more I wanted to say about this pairing and what I thought would happen as they got older and realized there might be places they weren't comfortable going with it, not sexually but emotionally. (I remember an astute reader commenting with distress that they never kiss... There's a reason I wrote it that way.)

Anyway, that's one down. I'll have to get to the rest of these another day! And if you want to check out the rest of the questions or pose one of your own, the original meme post is here.

Crossposted from Dreamwidth. Feel free to comment wherever you're comfortable.
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It's been a joy to see so many people popping up and posting for the first time in a while, despite the less than optimal circumstances. I've been adding or adding back anyone whose name I recognize and/or who appears to be in fandom, and trying to comment a bit more than in the past. I'll try to be better about posting, too. Here, look: A post!

But posts about posting, while perhaps better than silence, may not be the best at holding people's interest. To get me going, would anyone like to try out this meme I saw at [personal profile] maidenjedi's place?

Pick a story of mine, choose a question from below, I will answer.

My stories.

1: What inspired you to write the fic this way?
2: What scene did you first put down?
3: What's your favorite line of narration?
4: What's your favorite line of dialogue?
5: What part was hardest to write?
6: What makes this fic special or different from all your other fics?
7: Where did the title come from?
8: Did any real people or events inspire any part of it?
9: Were there any alternate versions of this fic?
10: Why did you choose this pairing for this particular story?
11: What do you like best about this fic?
12: What do you like least about this fic?
13: What music did you listen to, if any, to get in the mood for writing this story? Or if you didn't listen to anything, what do you think readers should listen to to accompany us while reading?
14: Is there anything you wanted readers to learn from reading this fic?
15: What did you learn from writing this fic?

Crossposted from Dreamwidth. Feel free to comment wherever you're comfortable.
pauraque_bk: (Default)
Just had a thought while reading people's posts about the LJ situation — is anybody still in contact with [livejournal.com profile] bardsmaid's family? It might be wise to create a backup of her journal if that has not already been done, perhaps a DW mirror so that we could still look back at her posts if the original account were deleted for some reason.

I don't know why I didn't think about this before, probably just a false sense of permanence since LJ's been around for so long. Something to consider at this point for any of us who's lost a fandom friend, I think.

Crossposted from Dreamwidth. Feel free to comment wherever you're comfortable.
pauraque_bk: (Default)
And in other news, I wrote another [insanejournal.com profile] daily_deviant fest fill, just a quick little thing:

Love Letter (R, Ginny/Luna)
Prompt from [insanejournal.com profile] carpemermaid: Character A likes to pet and stroke and tease Character B while they sit in their lap.




Both members and watchers are welcome!
Click the banner to go to our birthday card!


Crossposted from Dreamwidth. Feel free to comment wherever you're comfortable.
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I've been crossposting for many years — longer, now, than the span of time when I was exclusively posting on LJ — but with the latest botheration (and how many times have I said that in the past eight years?) I suppose it's a good time for a reminder that I'm also [personal profile] pauraque on Dreamwidth and will happily add anyone who adds me (t)here. It does everything LJ does (often better), it's free, it's fandom-friendly, it won't present you with mysterious ultimatums in languages you don't understand or delete your account for no reason.

The fact that the old guard of fandom has stuck with LJ for so long I think speaks to the awesome power of inertia. It certainly doesn't speak to the quality of the service LJ provides.

Crossposted from Dreamwidth. Feel free to comment wherever you're comfortable.
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I wrote a thing for the [insanejournal.com profile] daily_deviant 11th birthday comment fest:

Once (R, James Sirius/Lily Luna)
Prompt from [insanejournal.com profile] tryslora: It'll be okay, just this once, right?


You too can fill prompts, or read fills, or whatever floats your boat!



Both members and watchers are welcome!
Click the banner to go to our birthday card!


Crossposted from Dreamwidth. Feel free to comment wherever you're comfortable.
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I still haven't finished reading all the Kinky Kristmas fics that were posted while I was out of town, but I can at least point to my own entry:

Nine Ways of Looking at a Book (R, Hermione/Minerva) [AO3]
Hermione has come back to Hogwarts to teach history. She finds herself looking to the future, too.

Now, this is a double-blind fest in which you don't know whose prompt you're picking, but how I didn't guess I was writing for [personal profile] kelly_chambliss based on the characters and kinks, the world will never know! I never got around to prompting anything and I wasn't sure I was going to write either, but come on now... Hermione/Minerva with book kink? How am I going to pass that up? :D

Crossposted from Dreamwidth. Feel free to comment wherever you're comfortable.
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I realize belatedly that I never posted that I was leaving, since I hadn't been posting much anyway, but I'm back! For the last three weeks I've been visiting family/housesitting on the west coast. It was tremendous fun. It rained a lot... like really a lot, like most-rain-in-ten-years a lot. But it was a treat compared to the 9 million feet of snow that I guess we missed here in Vermont. And in a rain-free moment, [personal profile] hannelore got to fulfill her lifelong dream of hanging off the side of a San Francisco cable car. Pictures later, perhaps.

And now back to the real world, with its many put-off responsibilities and concerns. Though on the fun side, I do get to read all the rest of the Kinky Kristmas fics I haven't seen yet! I see that reveals have already happened, which I am guessing is why I've got a few new folks reading along. Welcome!

I also notice that a large number of people I've known on LJ forever have all friended me on DW within a few days of each other. Did something, uh... happen?

Crossposted from Dreamwidth. Feel free to comment wherever you're comfortable.
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What a great [livejournal.com profile] hp_halloween it was this year!

I got this sweet & lovely drabble from my sweet & lovely wife:

The Moon And I (PG, Luna/Hermione) by [livejournal.com profile] _hannelore

And I had the privilege of writing again for my friend [livejournal.com profile] dexstarr:

The Fall (G, Narcissa, Andromeda) [AO3]

I would encourage anyone who has some time to check out the entries if they haven't. Since they're all double drabbles it doesn't take long, and there are some real gems. Every year I'm amazed at the depth and beauty writers are able to pull off in 200 words.

Crossposted from Dreamwidth. Feel free to comment wherever you're comfortable.
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I'm glad to have a clear result that reflects the will of the voters, even though it disappoints me personally.

Though I'm worried the next four years will go badly, I hope that I'm wrong.

While I disagree with nearly everything he stands for, I don't hate him, and I don't hate the people who voted for him. It's one of my deepest beliefs that when we hate, we only hurt ourselves.

I love you guys.

Crossposted from Dreamwidth. Feel free to comment wherever you're comfortable.
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I always used to post about new books before I'd read anybody else's reactions. Never thought I'd get to do it again!

spoilers )

Crossposted from Dreamwidth. Feel free to comment wherever you're comfortable.
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The masterlist for [livejournal.com profile] severus_snape's annual fest is up! I wrote this ficlet:

By Now Should Be Antique (G, Filch & Snape) [AO3]
Argus doesn't know where Snape comes from anymore.

It's just a little thing, but I was pleased to be able to contribute. ♥

Crossposted from Dreamwidth. Feel free to comment wherever you're comfortable.

catching up

Jan. 7th, 2016 12:39 pm
pauraque_bk: (Default)
A shamefully long time ago, I received this lovely gift in the [livejournal.com profile] hp_halloween drabble exchange:

Carry My Soul Into The Night (PG-13, Narcissa) by [livejournal.com profile] flyingharmony

It's great and just what I wanted, and I'm so sorry I didn't point to it until now! Better late than never?

As for me, I wrote for [livejournal.com profile] reynardo:

Red Ribbon (G, Hermione & kids) [AO3]

Do read it on AO3 if you read it, since a typo somehow made its way into the LJ version. >_<

In more current news, [livejournal.com profile] severus_snape's annual fest starts posting on the 9th (naturally), and I've got an entry in there. And claiming has started at [livejournal.com profile] hp_kinkfest, which I hope to participate in, health permitting and all.

How are you all doing? I try to stay positive but life doesn't make it easy some days, does it?

Crossposted from Dreamwidth. Feel free to comment wherever you're comfortable.
pauraque_bk: (xmas bird)
Thank you to those who sent cards! I received a lovely one with an ibis from someone whose RL name begins with M, but I'm afraid after racking my brain all day, I can't figure out who sent it. Help? :\

Very related: I am still having health problems. I've been to a lot of doctors but haven't found a definitive diagnosis so far, and at this point I'm reluctant to even say what the current theory is, because all previous theories have eventually been proven incorrect, and it starts to feel foolish to have to keep correcting myself. But whatever it turns out to be, the biggest issue right now is cognitive — I'm struggling with memory, concentration, and ability to do mentally strenuous tasks without becoming totally exhausted.

There are still rewarding things I can do with my time despite these challenges, and I'm grateful for that, but fandom is not really one of them. I'm trying to figure out a way to participate, because I miss you guys. I can still read my flist and comment sometimes, but I am afraid soon my comments will begin to be met with choruses of "who?" since I have disappeared otherwise. (My gaming friends, conversely, are probably getting sick of the sight of me, since actiony/repetitive tasks are something I am a champ at right now.)

In summary, I am really behind on everything AS USUAL, but I have a pretty good excuse this time!

I hope those of you who are celebrating holidays around this time are enjoying them, and I hope to be around more in the new year, if I can. ♥

Crossposted from Dreamwidth. Feel free to comment wherever you're comfortable.

fly-by psa

Oct. 11th, 2015 09:45 am
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Today is the last day to sign up for [livejournal.com profile] hp_halloween! It's an exchange for 200-word ficlets, so the commitment is minimal, and such a fun variety of things always get written.

I really owe an update here, and replies to a bunch of people. I'm hoping to get caught up next week, health permitting.

Crossposted from Dreamwidth. Feel free to comment wherever you're comfortable.
pauraque_bk: (Default)
So this was my dream last night:

It took place at Hogwarts, but it was a cartoon, not live action. Hermione said something implying that Slytherins were terrible, and Pansy overheard her.

Then cartoon!Pansy launched into an elaborate musical number called "I Will Dye My Hair Slytherin", singing about her Slytherin pride and magically turning her outfit (and hair) into various Slytherin designs as she danced all over the Great Hall.

I'm deeply sorry to report that I don't really remember how the song went. I think the tune was something along the lines of "It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year".

Unfortunately, the rest of the dream descended into the usual dreamlike incoherence after the musical number. But when I woke up I had the alarming sense that I might actually be a musical and/or animation genius, and only the insecurities of my conscious mind are holding me back from realizing my potential.

Crossposted from Dreamwidth. Feel free to comment wherever you're comfortable.
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Tomorrow we're leaving on vacation to Washington DC for a week -- yay! The trip was planned before I started having this health issue, and after discussing it we decided to still go, with adjusted expectations of course. DC is a very walky place to visit so I might not be able to do everything, but whatever I can do should be fun.

It's been a long time since I was there last. It was actually in December of 2001, so some things were closed for security reasons. It was part of a trip I took with my then-girlfriend to visit some fandom-related places (the DC part being associated with The West Wing) allegedly for fic research purposes. As an extremely cynical and proudly unpatriotic 19 year old, I was a lot more impressed with the capital and all its monuments than I expected to be, and it pushed me in a direction of being more interested in American history, as well as being less of a little shit in various ways.

I'm excited to go back. I'm such a different person at 32 than I was at 19 (well, you'd hope so, wouldn't you?) and it'll be cool to revisit a place that, in retrospect, marked a real turning point in my turning from a dumb kid into a less-dumb adult.

Also, it'll be my birthday on Wednesday! Whee! :D

Crossposted from Dreamwidth. Feel free to comment wherever you're comfortable.
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I am really, really, really behind on everything. I'm sorry! My health is only improving gradually and I've had to continue severely rationing the energy I'm spending on things, but I hope to catch up with online stuff soon.

Apropos of nothing, I was supposed to have a gold crown put on at the dentist last week. Supposed to. And almost did. Until the key moment when the dentist was about to fit it on, but lost her grip on it and dropped it directly down my throat, whereupon my swallow reflex triggered and the crown was gone for good. I didn't even register what was happening until it was over.

The dentist was extremely apologetic and offered to pay for everything, and the nurse I called assured me that swallowing a small piece of gold was very unlikely to be harmful. (Apparently gold is sometimes used as a supplement for arthritis sufferers?)

So that was my excitement for the month.

Crossposted from Dreamwidth. Feel free to comment wherever you're comfortable.
pauraque_bk: (Default)
I'm afraid I'm still pretty ill and not able to keep up on things as I'd like to, but I had to share a little laugh I had this morning while doing my Norwegian lesson on Duolingo. I've just started and am still struggling with every word, which I think made it even funnier to me when I figured it out.

It... rains... Wait, what? )

♥ to all.

Crossposted from Dreamwidth. Feel free to comment wherever you're comfortable.

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