hrhrionastar: (Default)
Day 1, 2, 3, 4+5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14+15, 16+17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23+24, 25+26, 27, 28

29 – What is your current project or projects?

Princess Rahl, Some Kind of Miracle, and the story I'm working on with [livejournal.com profile] meridian_rose, as well as any fests I end up signing up for, the hiatus challenge on [livejournal.com profile] legendland, and the bits and pieces of stories I'm still hoping will coalesce into some kind of finished product someday.

30 – Do you have a favorite fic you've written? What makes it your favorite? And don't forget to give us a link!

I like almost all of my stories (with a few notable exceptions). Some of the most fun I've ever had while I was actually writing was for The Unravelling or the Perils of Powerful Magic; intellectually I found Lady Rahl and Undone to be important, since I feel they explore issues and themes I thought were implied in the show without being stated; Master and Killing with Kindness were both really hard for me because they're so dark, but they wouldn't leave me alone until I'd written them; Wedding Anniversary was hard because it was my first real NC-17 fic...(okay, so that's kind of a lot...)

My current favorite is probably Hope. During this meme, I've mentioned how the best stories are the ones that insist on being written, for whatever reason. As soon as I saw the prompt, the idea for Hope was in my mind, but it took me awhile to be able to articulate what I wanted to do even to myself, and then it was quite hard to write, to the point where I was convinced it wasn't any good at times - and I was terrified of not being a good enough writer to realize my vision. (This probably sounds silly to non-writers, but it was a real struggle for me.) So that's the story of which I'm most proud.

(I also wrote quite a bit for Harry Potter; Evans the Mudblood is probably my favorite of my HP fics - it's second person, which was difficult, but worth it, I think.)
hrhrionastar: (Default)
Day 1, 2, 3, 4+5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14+15

16 – Summaries – Do you like them or hate them? How do you come up with them, if you use them?

I think the summary is one of the most important things the author does, after the fic itself of course. It can give the tone for the story, as well as being a kind of unofficial way to warn for content or genre - in the mood for Richard/Nicci fluff? Cara angst? Look no further!

The hard part about summaries is giving just enough away to get a reader's attention, without spoiling the plot of the story. I find it helps to pick a line, often of dialogue, and use that instead of 'read more...' as a sort of supplement to the summary.

17 – Titles – Are they the bane of your existence, or the easiest part of the fic? Also, if you do chaptered fic, do you give each chapter a title, or not?

I wouldn't go so far as to say titles are the easiest part of the fic for me, but I always use them, including for chapters of a longer story. Like the summary, the title helps frame the story, letting the reader know which things are important. I often base titles on song lyrics or quotes I find interesting or profound, to present the main dilemma of the story. (I get a lot of these from Lois McMaster Bujold's books, which I strongly recommend, especially the whole Vorkosigan series.)

It can be fun to set up a classic saying, like 'what doesn't kill you, makes you stronger' or even, say, a book quote, 'enemies are the price of honor' and see where it takes the characters, whether or not they agree...

rest of the days )
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Day 1, 2, 3, 4+5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13

14 – Ratings – how high are you comfortable with going? Have you ever written higher? If you're comfortable with NC-17, have you ever been shocked by finding that the story you're writing is G-rated instead?

I've never been shocked at the eventual rating of a story. Of course, I don't tend to rate anything G, even stuff that maybe could be - to stay on the safe side, I tend to use a minimum rating of PG-13. A lot of the darker stuff I write is R, and I have written NC-17, but I wouldn't say I feel that confident about it.

15 – Warnings – What do you feel it most important to warn for, and what's the strangest thing you've warned for in a fic?

This is a related question for me, since what I mostly warn for is violence. Character death, non-con, and dub-con seem to be the main things people warn for, but I think graphic or even just strongly implied violence is just as serious. I also warn for torture, and for incest.

Since I write about things that strike me as potential triggers, I also use a blanket term, 'disturbing concepts' or 'dark themes' to refer to something one might not warn for, but that strikes me as serious, like discussion of infanticide, or Stockholm Syndrome.

Thus I don't have a fun, weird thing I've warned for - although I will sometimes note something is intended as a parody, which is a sort of round about warning for silliness and light treatment of serious topics.

rest of the days )
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Day 1, 2, 3, 4+5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12

13 – Do you prefer canon or fanon when you write? Has writing fanfic for a fandom changed the way you see some or even all of the original source material?

There are some fanon things that just make sense to me, from fun stuff like how Richard rescues kittens and Darken cleans dishes by magic, to more serious things about the political structure of D'Hara and the Mord'Sith. It's hard not to create your own fanon details when writing, and I try to keep mine reasonably consistent; and our discussions at PP lead to certain hive mind type ideas and conclusions.

When I feel like I can't get a good picture of the characters or the situation in a particular story, though, I do go back to canon, and sometimes that helps keep everyone in character.

Writing has definitely changed my inner vision of both LotS and Harry Potter, I think - but mostly it's just clarified what my intuition already told me. It's rare for my entire opinion of a character to change.


rest of the days )
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Day 1, 2, 3, 4+5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11

12 – Have you ever attempted an "adaptation" fic of a favorite book or movie but set in a different fandom?

Not yet. I had a whole plan to set Legend of the Seeker in the world of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, but the fandoms might be just too different. Right now I'm considering LotS adapted to Glee, possibly with some Buffy - inspired 'high school is hell' stuff...I doubt I'll manage the songs, though ;)

rest of the days )
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Day 1, 2, 3, 4+5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10

11 – Genre – do you prefer certain genres of fic when you're writing? What kind do you tend to write most?

I wrote for a surprisingly long time before I realized that in general, I write action/adventure. Possibly I didn't even figure it out until the LotSeekerFic Awards nominations. I set out to write romance - somehow, it turns into action/adventure. I set out to write angst - same thing.

That said, I also write a lot of dark fic - twisty mind games stuff, or apocalyptic everything goes wrong stories - and I love parody and humor. And nearly everything I write is AU, if only my version of post-series.

rest of the days )
hrhrionastar: (richard kahlan)
Day 1, 2, 3, 4+5, 6, 7, 8, 9

10 – Pairings – Have you ever gone outside your comfort zone and written a pairing you liked, but found you couldn't write, or a pairing you didn't like, and found you could?

Yes and yes. It's a threesome rather than a pairing, but I love Richard/Kahlan/Cara and have trouble actually writing it, possibly because it's not that far from canon, and canon pairings are actually more difficult for me to write (particularly Hero/Heroine). Similarly, I like Clark/Lois, with the same problem.

I often try writing pairings I don't like, or just can't really imagine working out, for a challenge or a prompt response, and that can be a lot of fun - I like seeing if I can make it believable. I don't like Harry/Ginny, but have managed to write them (although it was a struggle), and I wasn't expecting to find Zedd/Cara as believable as it is.

Also, despite shipping various threesomes involving them and loving both characters, I don't really ship Cara/Kahlan, but I have written it.

I like to think I'm willing to try to write any pairing, but it's definitely easier if it's one I find inspiring/hot/interesting.

rest of the days )
hrhrionastar: (richard nicci)
Day 1, 2, 3, 4+5, 6, 7, 8

9 – Pairings – For each of the fandoms from day two, what are your three favorite pairings to write?

Only three pairings? This was a struggle - I had to exclude threesomes ;)

Legend of the Seeker: Darken/Kahlan, Darken/Nicci, Richard/Nicci
Harry Potter: Lucius/Narcissa, Severus/Lily, Draco/Astoria
Smallville: Lionel/Lillian, Lex/Lana, and Lionel/Martha (which I haven't written, but want to)

Honestly, though, just as with my favorite characters to write, I tend to think about the fandom more in terms of the whole family, not just one character or pairing (the Rahls, the Malfoys, the Luthors). A fic centered around a particular pairing will, for me, usually draw in other family relationships as well.

rest of the days )
hrhrionastar: (Default)
Day 1, 2, 3, 4+5, 6, 7

8 – Do you write OCs? And if so, what do you do to make certain they're not Mary Sues, and if not, explain your thoughts on OCs.

I rarely write fic with an OC as a main character, for two reasons: first, if the story is about my OC, it's not really fanfiction so much as disguised original work, and second, people are a lot less likely to read it.

The one exception to this for me is next gen characters - I love next gen, and will almost always write something with them as the main characters. I like thinking about what the canon characters would be like as parents, and what issues/strengths/weaknesses they would pass on to the kids, and how the family dynamic might change, and so on.

Mary Sues tend to hijack the story - not only are they perfect physically, but they usually have more power than any canon character, and combine all the strengths of the canon characters with none of their weaknesses, so that everyone else looks pathetic next to them.

I think OCs are necessary to flesh out almost any story - there are always innocent bystanders, servants, classmates, etc - but I try to make sure all my OCs have flaws, and that there's something a canon character does better than they do.

(My basic test for Mary Sue-ism is the name - if there's a character named Ebony Glorianhallana Prancilnineah von Lorenzo, I may refrain from reading/writing about her.)

rest of the days )
hrhrionastar: (jennsen)
Day 1, 2, 3, 4+5, 6

7 – Have you ever had a fic change your opinion of a character?

Yes, actually - Jennsen taught me there was another side to Denna in The Eye of the Storm, and I learned both to respect Zedd more and why I don't like him in The Unravelling or the Perils of Powerful Magic.

Also, I've learned a lot from other people's work, most notably Blood from a Stone, by [livejournal.com profile] pristineungift, which was the first fic I read that dealt with Darken Rahl as a real character, rather than book!Darken Rahl, who is pure evil.

Fandom has certainly given me insight into the characters, but most of the time I would describe that as knowing them better rather than seeing them entirely differently.

rest of the days )
hrhrionastar: (Default)
Day 1, 2, 3, 4+5

6 – When you write, do you prefer writing male or female characters?

I'm probably marginally more comfortable writing female characters, but I certainly write male characters as well. Gender is only one of the many things I consider about a character when I'm trying to get into their head.

(One trick I use is first person - when I'm not sure I have a good feel for a character, I write them in first person, and that way I'm forced to consider where they're coming from.)

In a fic where the romance, or possibly the conflict, between characters A and B is the important thing, I shift viewpoint back and forth between them - like in theater, where the only time you see two characters looking at each other in direct profile is right before they kiss or fight.

rest of the days )
hrhrionastar: (kahlan)
Day 1, 2, 3

4 – Do you have a "muse" character, that speaks to you more than others, or that tries to push their way in, even when the fic isn't about them? Who are they, and why did that character became your muse?

This is a difficult question for me, because a lot of what I write isn't entirely consciously planned out - I don't do outlines, for example. I know where I want things to go, but sometimes the characters will take me the scenic route.

In general, main characters have a way of getting themselves mentioned. If I'm writing a fic about Cara set in or after season 2, I will almost certainly at least mention Richard and Kahlan.

But if the muse character is the one that makes you write, I suppose for me it's probably Kahlan. The first LotS story I wrote that I felt really strongly about was Lady Rahl, which was at least partly in response to all the Reckoning fic out there that focused on how horrible things were for Kahlan, how she'd rather die than let Darken Rahl touch her, but she had no choice, because it was for Richard, etc. Even if that was her initial position, I find it hard to believe that having a child with someone wouldn't change one's opinion of them, that one's emotional state would remain exactly the same for twelve years, and that the worst part of Reckoning for Kahlan was sleeping with Darken Rahl, instead of, say, losing Richard or living in fear of her own son.

(Since then, of course, I've read much better Reckoning fic that focuses on some of these issues - Sharper Than a Serpent's Tooth by [livejournal.com profile] brontefanatic, Hide your face so the world will never find you by [livejournal.com profile] ivanolix, and Until You Invite Me by [livejournal.com profile] dorothydeath, for example.)

So I think Kahlan is my muse character because she makes choices, such as her plan to sacrifice her own child in Reckoning, which I don't agree with, and I try to figure out why she makes such choices; because she is often faced with pretty serious moral dilemmas; and because she says confidently things which absolutely can't be true (Zedd says he'd only ever seen the good in Richard, to which Kahlan replies, "There is only good in him," for example), and I want her to realize her own hypocrisy.

Hence, Kahlan does sometimes end up even in fics that aren't really about her...and the pairing Darken/Kahlan sneaks up on me, too. (I seriously didn't see that coming in Destiny Swap :D)

5 –If you have ever had a character try to push their way into a fic, whether your "muse" or not, what did you do about it?

I let the story go where it wants to go. And I hope it ends up making sense :D

rest of the days )
hrhrionastar: (Default)
Day 1, 2


3 – For each of the fandoms from day two, what were your favorite characters to write?

Smallville - Lex Luthor, Lionel Luthor, occasionally Lana Lang
Harry Potter - Lily Potter Sr, Luna Lovegood, Narcissa Malfoy, Draco Malfoy, Lucius Malfoy, Hermione Granger, Severus Snape, and (my versions of) the Next Gen children.
Legend of the Seeker - Kahlan Amnell, Darken Rahl, Nicci

If I write in a fandom long enough, I end up writing all the characters, even if it's just a drabble or a minor part in a longer fic. Admittedly I probably wouldn't be able to do that in HP, since some people are just names, but I try ;)

In LotS, for example, I've written Leo, one of my least favorite characters! But, inasmuch as I've ever been talked to by a fictional character, I argue the most with Kahlan, which often leads to an interesting time when I'm writing ;D


rest of the days )
hrhrionastar: (Default)
Day 1

2 – Name the fandoms you've written in, and how much you've written in that fandom, and if you still write in it.

Legend of the Seeker (87)
Harry Potter (34)
Smallville (7)

...approximately. I also wrote one story for Heroes, before it became completely unwatchable. I'm currently pretty actively writing for LotS, and I persist in thinking I will eventually return to the HP fandom. I wouldn't like to say I'll never write more Smallville fanfic, but I don't have any plot bunnies for it at the moment.


rest of the days )
hrhrionastar: (Default)
People on my flist have been doing this meme, and I've succumbed to the temptation to get in my two cents ;D

1 – How did you first get into writing fanfic, and what was the first fandom you wrote for? What do you think it was about that fandom that pulled you in?

I honestly don't remember my first fandom, in the sense that I made up stories about things I heard and read even as a kid, long before I started writing them down. But the first fandom I wrote for seriously was Harry Potter, and I mostly got into that because I was always near in age to Harry and his friends, so in a way I felt like I grew up with them. Also, I adore magic and fantasy, so that aspect was definitely fun for me.

I started by creating OC Mary Sue type characters that I thankfully never wrote down, who were mostly there to point out the flaws in Harry or Dumbledore's strategy, or the Wizarding world as a whole. Luckily, I got more comfortable writing the canon characters eventually ;D

rest of the days )

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