morbane: pohutukawa blossom and leaves (Default)
[personal profile] morbane
Featuring: Fictional Deaths I Will Not Get Over & Favourite Part of Fic Exchanges & Things I Want Written But Can't Write.

Lorata suggested that I start with fictional character deaths I will never be over. I thought about that for a while, and since I can hardly think of any, I suspect I blocked them all out.

There are several children's books whose everyone-forgets-everything endings need serious fix-its; to me, that kind of ending is a little death. It feels wrong to me that young characters - so much of whose journey often has to do with understanding and coming to grips with the world - should have that taken from them. It's their story, until it isn't. I feel that anyone reading this is likely to be able to think of an example; for the worst offender, Paul Gallico's Jennie still makes me cry even if I just flick through the last few pages. Great book. Wonderful book. Bring a box of tissues to that book.

There is one fantasy series where the death of a main character make me stop reading it. It was a multi-generational epic, and long before that character's death, there were themes of complex change and progress, events spiralling out of control, new factors calling for new moralities, etc, that made the death of the original protagonist appropriate. But - as the author partly intended me to be, I'm sure - I was on the original protagonist's side when it came to the changes sweeping his society. When he died, I put the book down. I may come back to it some day.

I tend to enjoy other fantasies in a similarly conservative way. I was all about Pern when it was just dragons; the introduction of AIVAS and the possible destruction of Thread were less interesting to me, even though those seeds were sown from the beginning. I enjoy world building - here's a factor, here's a trope, now what does it mean - but I do not find science fiction & fantasy stories in which the changes spread out into the unknowable distance to be comfort reads in the same way. Interesting; but I come out of the reading experience feeling anxious about how the world is changing around me and how I should be trying harder to work within that. I take fiction kind of personally. On the other hand, perhaps this is a useful and necessary tension that should be embraced, not avoided.


Elanya asked me about my favourite part of a fic exchange. Hands down, it is looking at someone's prompt, putting it together with what I know of the canon, revising the canon with that prompt in mind, and matching what I feel is the tone of the prompt, what that person would really enjoy, with what I can successfully write.

This is a little counter-productive: it partly ties my feeling of accomplishment to another person's reaction, but, well - nice gold star if I can get it. And it's also about that feeling of looking at the prompt and thinking - okay, can't do that trope, doing THAT plot would take too much time, ahah, I can work in the right level of angst by concentrating on THIS aspect, that'll work...

I could probably work harder (or more intensely/creepily) towards this if it were my only goal. If my recipient has a journal, I may go and see if they have fandom-related tags that give me hints about their preferences, but I'm not going to settle down and back-read their posts. I'm too lazy to read many bookmarked or recommended fics. I will probably read the recipient's own writing. But mostly, I just revise the canon with the prompt in mind.

I obviously can work without a prompt, but I'd prefer not to. In one exchange I took part in, the person gave prompts for several of their requests but not my one. That put me off. I still wrote a story I liked, but I had less motivation for it.

One piece of exchange advice is that you should go in with an existing idea for your canon in case you get no prompt. It's good advice, but I tend to ignore it. If the person doesn't give me any, I will just revise canon until I get an idea that way.


Lorata also asked if I had any fic I would love to see written, but really didn't want to write. I feel that goes with the above topic rather well. Answer: Sure! There are a lot of things I don't feel confident handling that it would be nice to get someone else to write for me.

Especially: unpleasant people. Most of my characters are nice. They don't behave badly or do interesting, weird, bad, human things. If I want to see characters having real arguments, with huge things at stake, arguments that end jaggedly and with people in pain - which I do, sometimes, because that's real - then I have to ask someone else to write that. Or people being unbearably awkward. Or giant failures. All useful and realistic in its place, but very hard for me to write.

Also porn. Every now and then I try and write porn, but it's not very good.

Similarly, I have not yet had the patience or dedication for a story that required real research.

As an example of a combination of these, there is a story I prompted on f_fa and youwantwhat for the 1997 Disney/ Rodgers and Hammerstein Cinderella. My prompt is:

I want the version of the movie story where Cinderella is a lifestyle sub and it's actually a happy poly BSDM family, and the "step-mother" and "step-sisters" ordering Cinderella around is all part of a role. And she does do most of the household tasks for them, but at the end of the evening when they go upstairs for bed, it's them pampering her.

(I don't really care if there is or isn't incest between the stepmother & stepsisters. Or if they're even related.)

And so the story is actually about it not working for Cinderella any more, in a it's-not-you-it's-me kind of way, and a messy poly breakup, and Cinderella falling in love with someone else (who may or may not be kinky, I again don't really care [anons on ffa pointed out that there's definitely a place for a shoe fetish here]) and the "stepmother" and "stepsisters" feeling hurt and jealous about how it didn't work out.

I just want the loving kinky stuff, plus a realistic messy breakup, and then people sorting themselves out. [And being adults. And maybe being friends later.]

Similar to the above, if anyone has recommendations for fic about poly negotiations, especially when the happy-ever-after is complex, or not the kind of happy-ever-after the characters expected - please send them over here!

Date: 2015-01-04 03:19 am (UTC)
foxinthestars: cute drawing of a fox (Default)
From: [personal profile] foxinthestars
I hope it's all right if I play along...

Fictional deaths I will not get over, I can think of several off the top of my head.

Basically the entire body count of Fushigi Yuugi. I refer to that show as the primal trauma of my fannish life.

More recently, there was a certain character in the anime From the New World. I still can't decide if that show is really really good or if it had great potential and then set fire to it. I do know that it's a frighteningly believable deconstruction of what a dystopian horror a world of superpowered humans might be, and that it eventually traumatized me so badly I couldn't go on watching it.

And of course, Sirius Black in Harry Potter. My response to book 5 was to spin my headcanon off into an alternate timeline, and that was probably a major factor. As a writer myself I just can't shake the conviction that it was a bad narrative choice to boot. Sirius presented Issues, you shouldn't go throwing that away! He would've supported a coming-of-age theme better alive than dead --- yeah, Harry, you finally have a loving parent just in time to come to terms with how flawed and fallible he is! Etc! (The flight into A/U is probably the only thing keeping more HP characters off this list.)

Favorite thing about exchanges, I'm basically with you, it's definitely the prompts and the writing process. It's weird, I'm actually better at writing fanfic than reading it, so I'm always worried that I won't be as gracious as my gift-writers deserve. To spill over to the last question, I also enjoy writing my prompts, but I have to be very careful about them. I don't request my primary fandoms because I get weirdly territorial about them. I have to be careful in general to request things I want someone else to write, not things I want to write myself and just am not taking the time to do it; if I mess that up I can be setting my gift-writer up to compete with my own muse, which isn't fair at all. I'm still just slowly learning on that front.

Date: 2015-01-04 10:54 pm (UTC)
foxinthestars: cute drawing of a fox (Default)
From: [personal profile] foxinthestars
Re: From the New World, if that sounds like your kind of thing, I actually would recommend it --- just brace yourself for a hard ride. (As well as being harrowing, it has a bewildering rough patch at about eps 5 & 6, plus two time-skips that I would say are believable but jarring.)

My primary fandoms... Right now the main one is Hunger Games (where I also packed off into an A/U after book 2 --- really doesn't help when canon compliance becomes a DNW is part of it...). I do tend to have trouble enjoying fics in fandoms where I have an extensive headcanon, although betaing somehow gets around it; seems like I can enjoy beta-reading things even if I wouldn't enjoy just plain reading them.

I'm somewhat that way with Psychic Force (my super-obscure '90s anime fighting game duology), but, well, AFAIK there are exactly two writers active in the fandom. It might be enough satisfaction to either pull somebody in or give my single fellow writer an excuse. ^_~

Date: 2015-01-07 01:40 am (UTC)
foxinthestars: cute drawing of a fox (Default)
From: [personal profile] foxinthestars
Mm, it's been too long since I had a watching buddy. I miss it.

I've only posted one HG fic so far, although it's a big one: Evening Tide

I met Lorata when she commented on it, and I do feel guilty that the above-mentioned issues largely keep me from reading her stuff in return.

Oh, but that reminds me, Finnick Odair is another character whose death I refuse to acknowledge as canon. That seems like the opposite of never getting over it, tho. (Why, I never got *under* it!)

Date: 2015-01-06 10:45 pm (UTC)
dhampyresa: (Default)
From: [personal profile] dhampyresa
In one exchange I took part in, the person gave prompts for several of their requests but not my one. That put me off. I still wrote a story I liked, but I had less motivation for it.



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