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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+17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23+24, 25+26, 27

28 – Have you ever collaborated with anyone else, whether writing together, or having an artist work on a piece about your fic?

[livejournal.com profile] meridian_rose and I have done some collaborating - we have a project going on right now, in fact. We have a new joint comm for our stories, too, [livejournal.com profile] palaceprophets. It's a lot of fun to work with someone else, particularly someone who shares some of your interests and who you can talk to. As she said, we beta for each other as we go, which is also good since I have a hard time asking people to beta for me.

[livejournal.com profile] dorothydeath has done some art inspired by my story, Princess Rahl, and I've done fic inspired by art, most notably for the [livejournal.com profile] lotseekerfic Reverse Mini Bang. I'm not really a very good graphic artist myself, but I do think art and writing are connected. I often make headers for my stories. A picture is worth a thousand words, after all ;D
rest of the days )
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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 – Where is your favorite place to write, and do you write by hand or on the computer?

I like to write on the computer best, because I can type a lot faster than I can write by hand, but I keep a notebook in which I jot down ideas and occasionally try and plan out a plot. There are some fragments of stories that I only have in handwritten form.

Writing on the computer is also easier because if I want to change the phrasing of something I can go back and edit it, whereas when I'm writing in my notebook I just have to wait until I type it up later to fix any major errors. Once, though, I did get through an entire ~2000 word fic just writing it down in my notebook. It was during a thunderstorm, and I heard you're not supposed to use your computer then; plus, I think the storm actually inspired me ;)

rest of the days )
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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 – Music – Do you listen to music while you write? Do you make playlists to get into a certain "mood" to write your fic? Do you need noise in general? Or do you need it completely quiet?

Sometimes. I like music, but I'm not very good at it - not a singer, don't play an instrument or anything. I do need to get into a certain mood to write, frequently different moods for different kinds of fic, too, but music sometimes helps and sometimes doesn't. I like show tunes, rock and roll, Lady Gaga...

26 – What is the oddest (or funnest) thing you've had to research for a fic?

I often research things like how old a child is when they typically learn to walk and talk. Or canon details, like the name of Cara's brother-in-law. I also frequently search for quotes to go with fic ideas, or fic ideas to go with quotes, if that makes sense.

rest of the days )
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Day 1, 2, 3, 4+5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14+15, 16+17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22

23 – When you post, where do you post to? Just your journal? Just an archive? Your own personal site?

I have a new plan, in relation to this: I'm going to try posting everything to my LJ journal, my AO3 archive, my DW journal, and my FF.net page, if age appropriate. I'm ashamed to say I haven't always done a good job with that, and it is somewhat time consuming to post everywhere at once, but it saves having to import stuff or tediously update everything.

My August resolution ;)

24 – Betaing – How many betas do you like to use to make sure there aren't any major flaws in your fic? Do you have a Beta horror story or dream story?

I'm afraid to ask people to beta for me - if I post something, it's up to the reader whether or not to click on the 'read more...' link, but having a beta means asking someone to read my work, and what if they don't think it's any good? Plus, when I write for fests or something with a deadline, I may barely finish in time myself, and it doesn't seem fair to ask a beta to work under a time constraint. (And then sometimes I just want to post what I've finished right away, before I lose my nerve.) 

Still, I've certainly gotten a lot of wonderful unofficial advice and ideas from other writers, and I'm always glad for their help. So maybe I should have another August resolution ;)

rest of the days )
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Day 1, 2, 3, 4+5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14+15, 16+17, 18, 19, 20, 21

22 – Have you ever participated in a fest or a Big Bang? If so, write about your favorite experience in relation to one. If not, are there any you've thought about doing? And if not, why not?

Until I fell in love, or at least obsession, with Legend of the Seeker and got an LJ account, I didn't even know what fests and Big Bangs were. Since then, of course, I've signed up for every one I can find and feel I have a reasonable chance of completing - the Feelings Fest on [livejournal.com profile] lots_femslash, the [livejournal.com profile] seekerrarepair exchange, the Reverse Mini Bang on [livejournal.com profile] lotseekerfic, [livejournal.com profile] dark_fest, and at least one mini big bang alt on [livejournal.com profile] legendland. My favorite experience...probably a tie between
The Unravelling or the Perils of Powerful Magic
, for [livejournal.com profile] legendland, which was just plain fun to write, and most recently Hope, for the [livejournal.com profile] lotseekerfic Reverse Mini Bang, which was intense, but which gave me things to think about that I'm still trying to fully process.

In some ways, having a prompt and a deadline like that can be such a blessing, because it helps motivate me to actually finish. And at least one of my [livejournal.com profile] dark_fest stories I wrote after a mini dry spell, the first thing I'd felt really positive about in what felt like forever. (I started typing and literally didn't stop until I finished - it was emotional.)

Also, I enjoy things like that because they help me feel part of a larger community, and overcome my shyness about posting things I'm not quite sure about. (The downside being when I sign up for too many projects at once, of course.)


rest of the days )
hrhrionastar: (rahl)
Day 1, 2, 3, 4+5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14+15, 16+17, 18, 19, 20

21 – Sequels – Have you ever written a sequel to a fic you wrote, and if so, why, and if not, how do you feel about sequels?

I wrote a sequel to Master, but I'm not sure that counts, because it was really more like part 2 of the same story...I have trouble with sequels, because first you have to successfully finish something, which is a lot harder with long fic, and then there's the paralyzing doubt - somehow, the previous story got written, and it's in a certain world and style, and the sequel has to be in the same world and style. What if it doesn't live up to the first installment? What if the readers who liked the first story hate the sequel? It happens all the time to published authors, after all.

So I'm nervous about writing sequels - nonetheless, unless you kill all the characters at the end, there's always room for a sequel, and I do have bits and pieces for some, I admit - Love is Cruel was originally going to get a sequel, and still may - I enjoyed making Nicci the heroine, after all ;) But if I ever manage to write a proper sequel for a chaptered story, it would have to be for Destiny Swap. Of all the things I've written, that is the only story that begs for a sequel - I felt like I was stopping in the middle, and I do have some ideas for season 2 in this AU. (I'm hesitant about saying this; I really don't know if it'll ever happen. But it's a world that still interests me.)

rest of the days )
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Day 1, 2, 3, 4+5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14+15, 16+17, 18, 19

20 –Do you ever get bunnied from other people's stories or art in the same fandom?

Yes. I participate in a number of things where that's actually the point, like inspiration tree challenges on [livejournal.com profile] legendland or the [livejournal.com profile] lotseekerfic Reverse Mini Bang; comments and discussions can also be a great place to get inspired, as there're lots of smart people in my fandoms, and they make me see canon in new and interesting ways.

Actually, though, one of the most inspiring things, in my experience, is when I read something that tackles an important issue from a point of view I don't happen to agree with, or that makes an assumption, even just as an aside, that I find troubling or interesting. I write, for the most part, because I'm passionate about the subject, and disagreement can actually generate a lot of that passion. Just as a 'mistake' in canon can inspire me to write 'fix it' fic, so another author can make me want to tell it (and this sounds a little conceited, I'm afraid) 'right.'

rest of the days )
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Day 1, 2, 3, 4+5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14+15, 16+17, 18

19 – When you have bunnies, do you sit down and start writing right away, or do you write down the idea for further use?

It depends - I can get ideas anywhere, and I may not be able to start writing right away, or even to jot down the idea. When possible I like starting as soon as I think of something, but sometimes I get a picture in my head that isn't the first scene, and usually isn't the last scene either, that the fic will be working towards, and then I don't necessarily know how to begin.

Often, at least for relatively short fic, I get the idea and then I race to write it before it loses its urgency. I have lots of bits of plot, random scenes or lines of dialogue that have never, or at least have never yet, made it into their own story. It's not so much that I lose the inspiration - though that can happen - as, if I don't start writing immediately, I may not be finished before I get the next, even more exciting idea, and it can be hard to go back.

I worry about finishing fic, for this reason, although I've found with longer stories the inspiration, the drive to write the scene to its conclusion, comes and goes. I just have to wait for that particular idea to come around and leave me no peace again - as long as that keeps happening, the story keeps flowing.

rest of the days )
hrhrionastar: (Default)
Day 1, 2, 3, 4+5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14+15, 16+17

18 – Where do you get the most inspiration for your fics (aka "bunnies") from?

I'm going to quote [livejournal.com profile] meridian_rose here, and say EVERYWHERE. Things people say, lines of dialogue or a particular phrase in a book, prompts, fic, character discussion, places - as in, outside under a tree, on the beach, in the attic, etc - anything. Sometimes it's even the old standby, ie, 'what's the worst thing I can do to character So-and-So?' (Although I usually back off of that a bit.)

Also, I ship a lot of rare and non-canon pairings and triads, which can lead to 'how can I possibly get character x and character y (maybe with an option on character z) together, in a way that's actually believable and interesting?'

Alternately, there's 'our heroes may have neatly sidestepped this particular issue, but what if reinforcements hadn't gotten there in time?' or 'What if So-and-So hadn't spotted that convenient plot point?'  (or 'what if So-and-So had spotted that convenient plot point much sooner, when it would actually have done some good?')

The oddest thing, though, is not when I'm working out the details of an idea or inspiration on purpose, but when something clicks in my head and then won't leave me alone. I think that experience is both one of the best and the most unsettling about being a writer. I keep thinking about the story until I write it (and I don't always get it right the first time), and I'm all distracted and out of touch with everything else. But those are the best stories, I think - the ones that demand to be written.

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

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