pauraque_bk: (Default)
[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.
pauraque_bk: (Default)
Since the new X-Files miniseries was announced, I've been thinking about what it's like being in fandoms with open vs. closed canons.

I've always struggled with writing in open fandoms, particularly TV fandoms, because I felt like there was never enough time, even during the summer hiatus, to finish exploring the existing canon before there'd suddenly be more and more and more. It wasn't only a matter of getting jossed, but also of feeling overwhelmed by how many things were happening to the characters, and spending so much time mentally processing the stories I was being told (and discussing them with other people in fandom) that it was hard to focus on writing my own. This is a large part of the reason that I didn't start posting XF fic until a few months after the show had ended; for the first time, I could write it without feeling rushed or fearing that the rug would be pulled out from under any story I came up with before I finished it.

Cut for length )

What do you guys think? Do you tend to be hungry for new canon or do you like a long hiatus to focus on fanworks more? Do you stick with fandoms after the canon is closed or do you tend to move on to something where there's new material to look forward to?

Crossposted from Dreamwidth. Feel free to comment wherever you're comfortable.
pauraque_bk: (Default)
Oh man, I haven't posted in a while, have I? Real life was doing a number on me, not in a bad way, just in a busy way. I am going to get to all those December meme prompts, too, but first... the Kinky Kristmas reveals post is up at [insanejournal.com profile] daily_deviant, so I can say that I wrote this, to [personal profile] songquake's delicious prompts:

Pomona Sprout and the Five Points from Hufflepuff [AO3]
(NC-17, school-age-but-probably-legal Pomona/Minerva, kinks including tickling, teasing, and embarrassment)

Speaking of which, I found an embarrassment of riches in my [community profile] fandom_stocking! There seems to be a glitch right now where I can't comment there without it being screened, but rest assured I love my gifts and deeply appreciate everyone who took the time to make something for me, including but not limited to:

- State-Transition Function by [personal profile] sineala (ST:TOS, Uhura gen with linguistics!)
- Your Move by [personal profile] moontyger (WoW, Anduin/Wrathion with UST!)
- For the Horde by [personal profile] hannelore (WoW, Thrall & Vol'jin gen with barely-subtextual D/s!)
- An Introduction by [personal profile] smallbrownfrog (HP, Luna/Minerva pre-femslash with Gilbert & Sullivan references!)
- Outstanding by [personal profile] chokolattejedi (HP, Hermione/Septima with power play!)
- Krycek and Scully art from [personal profile] ani_bester and another Krycek art from [personal profile] tarlanx! *rolls around in XF nostalgia*
- Uhura art from [personal profile] trobadora! Uhura! ♥♥♥

I really meant to do all kinds of things for this fest, but what actually happened was I signed up for it and then promptly forgot about it until the deadline had, in fact, passed. I suck, I know. Next year I'll do better. But due to the technical problems that delayed the fest going live, I managed a few icons for people, at least, and one ficlet, which is so tailored to [personal profile] hannelore's interests that it might be incomprehensible to anyone else, but here it is anyway:

The Terrible Secret of Warsong Gulch
(G, Venture Bros., 21 & 24 friendship)

Crossposted from Dreamwidth. Feel free to comment wherever you're comfortable.
pauraque_bk: (Default)
Since it's the last day of [community profile] kink_bingo and the last day of Rectober (whoever decided that was a thing... I never quite figured that out), here, have some KB recs.

Harry Potter
Schoolboy Blues by [personal profile] delphi (Explicit, Snape/Filch, kink: class fantasies)
author's summary: Severus Snape knows every shortcut at St. Brutus's Secure Centre for Incurably Criminal Boys, including a few of his own devising.
If that summary hasn't already convinced you to read this fic... well, then you're clearly not me! This is the best kind of AU, where this new way of seeing the characters lets us look into them more deeply.

Star Trek: The Original Series
Feel Fine by [personal profile] sineala (G, Spock & Kirk & McCoy, kink: emotion play)
author's summary: Spock finds that he wants to be happy.
A wonderfully thoughtful and astute portrait of Spock after the events of STIV, learning and re-learning how to navigate the space he inhabits between Vulcan and human. Just lovely.

Warcraft
Scarlet and Ivory by [personal profile] usefulobject (Mature, Interrogator Vishas, kink: torture/interrogation)
author's summary: Vishas fantasizes that deep down, those damned Forsaken really like what he does. You don't get to be Scarlet Interrogator by not being creepy.
I love how Vishas projects his own twisted thoughts onto his victims — because, of course, they're the perverted ones! This fic nails the tone of how scary things are presented in WoW, with a hint of macabre humor that lightens the grotesqueness just enough.

X-Files
Palliative by [personal profile] sineala (Mature, Krycek, kink: enemas)
author's summary: Alex Krycek deals with his oilien experiences in a unique way.
Longtime friends know that the oilien episodes hold a special fascination for me, so it was a real treat to find this post-Apocrypha fic from KB 2010. The way Krycek experiences the trauma of the possession and the way he regains his sense of control are so perfectly him.

This entry was originally posted at http://pauraque.dreamwidth.org/38307.html. Comment here or there.

squeeze

Jun. 21st, 2011 04:12 pm
pauraque_bk: (Default)
I normally never look at celebrity gossip news or know who the people are, but I saw the name Doug Hutchison and it rang an odd bell. If you're like me and you don't pay attention to such things, he's an actor who's in the news this week for marrying a 16 year old (he's 51).

He's better known now for being in The Green Mile, but I first heard of him when he guest starred as a serial killer on a couple eps of X-Files, a couple decades(!) back. I was a preteen then and watched the show regularly with my friends, most of whom were my age, but one was an older girl of about 16, who we knew because she was in my friend's choir, I believe.

Now this girl had a huge crush on Doug Hutchison after his appearances on the show, and she wrote him a fan letter. He wrote back -- not a polite form letter, but a warm and personal note. According to her, they continued writing back and forth for several months, and he wanted to meet her. When I heard of this, I was skeptical and wasn't sure if she was perhaps just making it up for attention, and when I asked whether he realized she was just a kid, she said something like "he says age doesn't matter to him and I agree with that".

This was not a close friend, like I said, so I have no idea whether any of this was true, or if it was, whether they ever met. I haven't seen her or thought about this in ages. But, um... yeah. Just saying that was a thing that happened.

o_o

squeeze

Jun. 21st, 2011 04:12 pm
pauraque_bk: (Default)
I normally never look at celebrity gossip news or know who the people are, but I saw the name Doug Hutchison and it rang an odd bell. If you're like me and you don't pay attention to such things, he's an actor who's in the news this week for marrying a 16 year old (he's 51).

He's better known now for being in The Green Mile, but I first heard of him when he guest starred as a serial killer on a couple eps of X-Files, a couple decades(!) back. I was a preteen then and watched the show regularly with my friends, most of whom were my age, but one was an older girl of about 16, who we knew because she was in my friend's choir, I believe.

Now this girl had a huge crush on Doug Hutchison after his appearances on the show, and she wrote him a fan letter. He wrote back -- not a polite form letter, but a warm and personal note. According to her, they continued writing back and forth for several months, and he wanted to meet her. When I heard of this, I was skeptical and wasn't sure if she was perhaps just making it up for attention, and when I asked whether he realized she was just a kid, she said something like "he says age doesn't matter to him and I agree with that".

This was not a close friend, like I said, so I have no idea whether any of this was true, or if it was, whether they ever met. I haven't seen her or thought about this in ages. But, um... yeah. Just saying that was a thing that happened.

o_o
pauraque_bk: (tng engage)
Happened to click onto [livejournal.com profile] flambeau's XF fic page, and for a glorious moment it was 1999 again. Between the hysterical intensity of being 16 and the searing joy of finding out fandom existed, that's where I read those stories. Even then I knew that I wasn't going to have the pleasure of this discovery again, and I had the sense to savor it. I'm so glad I can remember!
pauraque_bk: (tng engage)
Happened to click onto [livejournal.com profile] flambeau's XF fic page, and for a glorious moment it was 1999 again. Between the hysterical intensity of being 16 and the searing joy of finding out fandom existed, that's where I read those stories. Even then I knew that I wasn't going to have the pleasure of this discovery again, and I had the sense to savor it. I'm so glad I can remember!

ficlet recs

May. 4th, 2009 12:15 am
pauraque_bk: (Default)
[livejournal.com profile] maidenjedi wrote me a Krycek/Marita ficlet and it is totally perfect and might possibly have made me squee. In a grown-up sort of way. *cough*


And omg, people, did you see [livejournal.com profile] nopejr's three awesomely hilarious HP ficlets? Took me right out of a horrible mood and made me laugh like a loon.

ficlet recs

May. 4th, 2009 12:15 am
pauraque_bk: (Default)
[livejournal.com profile] maidenjedi wrote me a Krycek/Marita ficlet and it is totally perfect and might possibly have made me squee. In a grown-up sort of way. *cough*


And omg, people, did you see [livejournal.com profile] nopejr's three awesomely hilarious HP ficlets? Took me right out of a horrible mood and made me laugh like a loon.
pauraque_bk: (bird field identification)
I think what appealed to me about this meme was talking about our "personal fanon" for a character, which to me is different from what you may have written about them in your fics. Sometimes I'll write different versions of a character too, not explicitly or even noticeably, but in my mind they have differing histories. But certain things are just what I irrationally believe about a character because I've decided it, so to me that IS what happened. They can be major plot points or just uninteresting details that somehow stick.

The easiest character to think of answers for was also the one whose fandom I left the longest ago.

Alex Krycek )

Peter Pettigrew )

Argus Filch )


Oh, I don't have time to do any more now. I'll do the rest later. When I do them they have a tendency to want to become stories.
pauraque_bk: (bird field identification)
I think what appealed to me about this meme was talking about our "personal fanon" for a character, which to me is different from what you may have written about them in your fics. Sometimes I'll write different versions of a character too, not explicitly or even noticeably, but in my mind they have differing histories. But certain things are just what I irrationally believe about a character because I've decided it, so to me that IS what happened. They can be major plot points or just uninteresting details that somehow stick.

The easiest character to think of answers for was also the one whose fandom I left the longest ago.

Alex Krycek )

Peter Pettigrew )

Argus Filch )


Oh, I don't have time to do any more now. I'll do the rest later. When I do them they have a tendency to want to become stories.

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