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20 April 2008 @ 05:03 pm
Writing Meme + Faith/Angel Sneak Peek  

Took a break from my Trauma research paper to answer the writing meme that's been circulating. I thought it was pretty interesting. The highlights of my responses include me talking about some of my non fanfic writing, a few OCs I created, and a couple of more epic plots that I thought up but never got off the ground. If listening to me wax on about my writing bores you, skip to the last question for a sneak peek up an upcoming Faith/Angel shot I'm working on. It's mad angsty!

What's the last thing you wrote?
A few sentences for my upcoming Spike/Gwen one shot. The bulk of it was written over a month ago though.

Was it any good?
Yeah, it is. I really like the set up and some of the descriptive language I used to describe the erotic undertones of fucking someone that conducts electricity.

What's the first thing you ever wrote that you still have?
Oh, jeez. I have things that I wrote from when I was in first grade. We had a writer’s notebook or journal in my class. One of the funniest entries is entitled “Daddy is Sick.” It’s a brief description of my dad staying home from work because of a fever, but the best part of it are the illustrations. My father used to sleep in the nude (for all I know he still does), and I drew him naked under the covers and then colored a blue blanket over him. Except you can still see his dangly bits beneath! *snorfle*

Write poetry?
I did dabble in poetry a bit when I was in high school, but nothing too serious. I was also an editor on the school’s literary magazine, which featured a lot of poetry. Occasionally, I would contribute some content.

Angsty poetry?
Hell yeah! Just look at what I write now. I also recall writing a very dramatic bit of poetry in the 3rd grade called "The Death Storm of Spring Rain." Clearly, at the tender age of 8, I was practicing for my future endevours as an angst writer.

Most fun character you ever wrote?
Faith by far. She is so much fun to write. The best part about her is her dialogue. She’s so colorful and funny. Aside from the Buffyverse characters… When I was 13 or 14, I created an original character named Renee Maatson, who was supposed to fit into the Batman universe (my fandom at the time). For over a year I was working on a long story that featured her. It remains unfinished. She was the sort of woman I wanted to be when I got older, and it’s creepy thinking about how I did sort of become her. That whole writing project is actually how I met Gus. In high school, he was doing some of the character designs for my OCs.

Most annoying character you ever wrote?
I haven’t found any of the characters I’ve written to be annoying. If they were, I wouldn’t work on them. Definitely the hardest character for me to write is Giles though. I just can’t effectively get his voice down.

Best plot you ever wrote?
Hm, that’s hard to say since my stories aren’t very plotty, but more character driven instead. If pressed, probably Window-Dressing. I always thought it was a very clever AU spin on “5x5,” and I loved my idea for the two alternate endings. That was part of the original story concept.

Coolest plot twist you ever wrote?
Again, I don’t really have plot twists. But a lot of people did say they were surprised by and did not expect the twist in the second alternate ending in Window-Dressing. I thought it was quite clever myself. The final line of Beneath Us also ranks high in surprise reveals in my fics.

How often do you get writer's block?
I don’t really get writer’s block. I can always manage to work on something, which is why I have like 20 different fics partially written at any given time. There are days though where I would like to write fanfiction, and it just doesn’t happen. But I don’t consider that writer’s block.

How do you fix it?
I don’t. I just wait until inspiration comes or I move on to something else. There’s no use stressing over it.

Do you type or write by hand?
Both. I like being able to type, but sometimes I’ll come up with ideas while I’m out, so I have a notebook for such fly by occasions. I have written whole ficlets on the subway, on the beach, or sitting around and waiting for people.

Do you save everything you write?
Absolutely. You never know when you might be able to reuse or recycle something.

Do you ever go back to an old idea long after you abandoned it?
Well, I haven’t yet. I write shots, so there is no “abandoning.” The story is told in its entirety. I guess time will tell if I ever go back to my first attempts at longer, plotty fics like my Season 6 rewrite which started with Why Won’t You Go, and then my NFA fic All Wrong. The plot concept on that is so cool, I wish I could manage to just sit down and write it, but it’s so hard for me to do that. I thought it up before I really knew my own limitations, as many fledgling fic writers do. 

also have an unposted and unfinished epic on my hard drive that was supposed to chronicle that two month period of Spike and Nikki’s relationship in New York in the summer of ’77. I got to create all these cool OCs, flesh out the character of Nikki herself, her Watcher, a few other New York vampires, etc. It was the first fanfic story I ever conceived, and I’m sad that I was never able to fully get it off the ground because it is incredibly cool. Maybe someday…

What's your favorite thing that you've written?
In fanfiction, probably Window-Dressing. Beyond the plot, I really think I nailed Faith in that fic. The pacing is really good. I also really love By A Thread because it’s such a beautifully written story. Every time I go back to read it I’m always shocked that I was able to make it so beautifully heartbreaking. Of my journalism stories, one of my favorite stories was one I wrote on a Pentecostal minister who founded an LGBTQ friendly congregation in Harlem. He was an amazing guy.

What's everyone else's favorite thing that you've written?
I don’t really know. Based on awards and reviews, I’d probably say Beneath Us, but I think that’s really a personal preference. Now I’m curious. What is your favorite thing that I’ve written?

Do you ever show people your work?
Yup. All my fiction is posted publicly. My RL friends have read it, my parents, my aunt, a few choice co-workers. I’m very open about my work. My journalism pieces were obviously publicly posted. Some got picked up by international new sources. You can Google them. It’s kinda cool actually.

Who's your favorite constructive critic?
That would have to be eowyn_315. She’s a fantastic beta and incredibly thorough, which I love. I also rely heavily on the opinion of only_passenger, who is a wonderful writer and whose opinion I highly respect. Beyond them, not many people offer constructive criticism.

Did you ever write a novel?
Nope. And I never plan to.

Have you ever written fantasy, sci-fi, or horror?
I don’t think so.

Ever written romance or teen angsty drama?
*vomit* No to romance. And teen? I’m not sure, maybe some of my old school poetry would fit into that category.

What's one genre you have never written, and probably never will?
Romance. I’m not romantic, I don’t believe in happily ever after, and I don’t care to perpetuate heteronormative BS about guys whisking girls off their feet. Of course, I’m sure the genre is much more expansive than that. Once I get a chance to respond to all the comments to my What is Romance? post, maybe I’ll change my mind =)

How many writing projects are you working on right now?
Psshh. Lots? My thesis, two research papers, and a ton of fic.

Do you want to write for a living?
Mm, yes, but not fiction. I’m interested in journalism and communications, so news is more up my alley.

Have you ever written something for a magazine or newspaper?
Sure. Lots of times. I wrote for a newspaper for 3.5 years and various other publications.

Have you ever won an award for your writing?
Yup. I’ve won a Scholastic Writing Award in journalism (regional competition), and was a Chandler Award Finalist for Student Reporter of the Year for the Religion Newswriters Association (national competition). I also have been the recipient of a few smaller awards for journalism, but those listed above are the big deal ones. To date, I’ve won 32 awards for various fanfiction stories I’ve written since I started a little over a year ago.

Ever written something in script or play format?
Yes, for a writing program I once completed. However, I am not particularly good or have any formal training in script writing.

What is your favorite word?
Are you kidding? Pick a favorite? I love words, all sorts. That’s not a fair question. But… I can think of one. Odalisque is a lovely word. You just sort of purr it out.

Do you ever write based on yourself?
Mm, yes and no. I don’t think any of the Buffyverse characters are like me personality-wise, but I do take experiences I’ve had in real life and use that as source material for my characters.

Which of your characters most resembles you?
I don’t think any of them really do. Rheine, my OC, was most like me, but I’ve not written anything with her in years.

Where do you get ideas for your characters?
They’re usually inspired by events in canon. I play off of what we were already given by the writers. I also like to work off of prompts and requests.

Do you ever write based on your dreams?
I don’t think so. Unless I’m dreaming about having sex with Spike. In which case, yes.

Do you prefer happy endings, sad endings, or cliff-hangers?
I prefer endings with hope. I don’t like clean or easy resolutions, but I do like my characters to be able to come out on the other side of a situation changed, better off, or on the road to recovery. When you write angst, there has to be something to offset the pain.

Have you ever written anything based on an artwork you've seen?
Not that I can recall, no.

Are you concerned with spelling and grammar as you write?
Yes, but I’ll be the first to admit that my grammar is not the strongest. Spelling usually isn’t such a big deal, but Eowyn certainly has to clean up my grammar flubs.

Ever write something entirely in chatspeak?
Uhh… no. Why the hell would you?

Does music help you write?
No. I need to write when it’s silent, no distractions.

Are people surprised and confused when they find out you write well?
Absolutely not. Everyone that knows me professionally or personally knows that writing is what I do. It’s what I do recreationally, have pursued occupationally, and have done all my life.

Quote something you've written.
This is a paragraph from one of my upcoming Faith/Angel shots that will be part of a series entitled “4 Ways Faith and Angel’s First Time Could Have Gone and How it Really Did.” This scenario is set during the end of AtS season 2, shortly after Angel receives the news of Buffy’s death.
When he slams into her with the force of well-placed punch, all of a sudden it hits her. She’s really gone. Buffy: deader than a doornail, off to meet her maker, zippidy-doo-daing all the way to those great, honkin’ pearly gates. Faith’s scattered thoughts coalesce around this notion of ending, of death and closure and solitude. It looked pretty sweet in the brochure, and yet the reality of the news tears at her with serrated claws, laying bare her soft underbelly and everything she associated with Buffy Summers. The scar along her side pulses, and she gasps. Who knew mourning could feel the same as a dagger gutting you?
The tempest of her scattered memories bolsters her against the raging storm between her thighs where he fucks into her hard and deep and angry. She grits her teeth as he pounds furiously, painful hitching gasps dicing the air with precise cuts. As if she didn’t have enough shit kicking up on her end, he puts all of his on her, too; all that hurt that Buffy’s passing shakes up in his soul. The feelings overpower her and so does he, some frightful symptom or incarnation of woe come to beat her about the face. When he starts to slam her back against the wall, she begins to cry in jerky sobs. She feels his fingers snarled in her hair, tugging at the long strands like thorny brambles. Mashing his lips to hers, all the tears and snot that she produces creates a wet, sticky residue between their noses and mouths. Lots of moisture… isn’t that how Buffy went on her first pass? Drowned face-first in a puddle of filth? It occurs to Faith that maybe if she cries hard enough Angel and she will sink down into the same slime because anything is preferable to this battering grief that makes her feel sick. 
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hello_spikeyhello_spikey on April 20th, 2008 11:37 pm (UTC)
hrm... "Beneath Us", really? Because I gotta say "Window Dressing" with a bullet for me. Though I also really really like "Working Parts"
ClawofCat: pondersclawofcat on April 21st, 2008 01:09 am (UTC)
hrm... "Beneath Us", really?
Yeah, believe it or not. That wee ficcie has gotten more reviews by leaps and bounds than any of my other fics. I remember being really shocked by the response myself. I think it must have to do with the fact that the scene itself it such an unresolved canon moment. A lot of people were unsatified, and I guess what I was able to come up with resonated with them.

I explained a bit up top why I like "Window-Dressing" so much, but I think it also has to do with the fact that story was really hard to write. It took me a long time, Eowyn wasn't wild about it, the revision process was pretty intense, so much so that I added an additional 1000 words right before posting. Faith sure gave me the run around on that story, crafty girl that she is. I really had to work for it. Same with "Drive it Home." That story was so so hard to write.

Wow, "Working Parts." I always forget about that fic. It's such a dreamy, soft piece. I should write Dru again. I love her and Spike together in that story.
eowyn_315eowyn_315 on April 21st, 2008 01:11 am (UTC)
My father used to sleep in the nude (for all I know he still does), and I drew him naked under the covers and then colored a blue blanket over him. Except you can still see his dangly bits beneath!

Oh, such a precocious child! lol

Hmm, favorite thing you've written... this may seem silly, but I really like How Many Blonds. Partly because it's not your usual style, and partly because only you could create so many layers of meaning for a fic about changing a light bulb. But I also loved Little Lost Lamb and Spectator Sport, and really, I'm just indecisive. :)
ClawofCat: faith dirtymindclawofcat on April 21st, 2008 03:13 pm (UTC)
Oh, such a precocious child! lol
I really was. I had a friend in the first grade who used to declare, "I'm going to have a baby." Of course, I was that kid to matter of factly inform her, "You can't have a baby. Not until you get your period." I was always interested and strangely in the know about bodily processes, and reproduction and sex at an early age. Coincidence that I'm a smut writer? I think not!

I really like How Many Blonds. Partly because it's not your usual style, and partly because only you could create so many layers of meaning for a fic about changing a light bulb.
Hee! Thanks. I try to be deep occasionally. Do you think I should experiment more often with my style? I try to change up pairings and scenarios pretty frequently, but maybe that's another area where I should try for personal growth.

But I also loved Little Lost Lamb and Spectator Sport
Those are three very different stories! Interesting. Spectator doesn't surprise me, but Lamb does. I was thinking maybe I should go back to those longer shot formats. Heart of Her and Lamb were 4000-6000 words. A lot of my more recent stuff has been between 1000-2000 words. But I don't generally put a limit on my fics. I write until the story is done, so I guess I'm just not thinking "longer" fics at the moment.
eowyn_315: Thinky James 2eowyn_315 on April 21st, 2008 04:11 pm (UTC)
I'm all in favor of experimenting with style. You do have more variety than most Spuffy authors, but I think style is one where a lot of people get into a rut. I've probably experimented with style more so than anything else, so maybe that's why I like the variation.

I think the reason I like Lamb so much is because it gets extra credit for making me like a pairing I don't read much of. In terms of length, I don't really think about it, either - it's just done when it's done.
Shapinglightshapinglight on April 21st, 2008 08:13 am (UTC)
Very interesting - and now I have a little time, I must read your romance post.