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The Toybox

people for the conservation of limited amounts of indignation

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Gakked from amireal. God, I never get tired of using the word gakked.

1. Ask me one fandom-related question in the comments. This can befandom specific, general, or about fandom/lj stuff/fic writing/etc. in general.
2. Just one question, please, but it can (and perhaps should) have sub-parts.
3. That's it. It can be as normal or odd as you like.

Okay, honestly: when have I not been known to share my opinion on anything? But hey, go for it.

Note: There was a very weird momenet in the penguin room today--that would be at Seaworld SA--where I was absolutely convinced the penguins were going to talk to me. This has nothing to do with the above. But I thought I'd share it in the spirit of what the hell. Also, no sunburn. Go SP45. May you always be there for me.

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So... I'm mostly a lurker. But:

a) Have you considered writing original?

b) Why (if not) does fic have more appeal? Is there any particular reason you're so especially drawn to it, and did you ever make an actual decision to devote more attention to fic than original?

c) Generalizing from past question: Why do you think so many (amazingly talented) writers gravitate to fandoms? (Because, jeez--if have the things being published were this good...)

a.) If you mean published, no. Do I write originally just for myself? Yes. Boxes full. Literally. I used to do it longhand, so mulitple notebooks, and later, discs, and now, a folder on my laptop.

b.) Hmm. Technically, purely in hours writing, they get the same amount of time, but fandom gets more generalized attention than my other stuff does. And--er. Well. You know, it kind of happened. And then I woke up with a webpage and a livejournal.

c.) I'm not sure, but the pleasure principle always works well. It's fun. It's guiltless fun for that matter. And in some ways, it allows a lot more in the way of style risks. It also, at least for some, has a strong social interaction, which makes it that much better. Writing + interesting people who *also* write and things you like!--totally a chocolate and peanut butter moment.

Tbat's terribly simplified. I think the reasons are legion for everyone on why this is their medium of expression, and for some, I doubt they know their own motives, either.

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*grins* Perfect sense.

It--depends on where I am. I used to think it was the fandom, but it's also the people I spend time with online that decide where my head is, and what I read, and what I want to read. I write to where I, consciously or not, see a void. Sometimes the void is fannish--hence my sudden weird need to write weahter fic - essentially pwps set in weird weather conditions--or sometimes there's somethign in myself that I want to address.

Okay, my consant example, Jus Ad Bellum in X-Men--with all the parallels to WWII in the movie, I kept wanting to read something that took it all the way, right to wartime and concentration camps and justification of war crimes. It took me--God, months of false starts and a literal uninspired *bad* start to finally find that what I wanted to say there, and it turned out I wanted something else entirely. I write to theme a lot, to a concept, a single idea that I carry with me, and for that one, I wanted to make the point that we have that capacity for being amazing, breathtaking in what we can be just as much as our capacity for horror. And I still get this weird hopeful flutter when reading it. It's silly, I know, but when I get to the end, I'm still a little breathless that I wrote *that*, that I made that, that it said so much more than I thought it would. On the mirror side is A Handful of Dust - how love everlasting is pretty much all about exactly how much you are willing to pay for it, how much you'll give up for it.

Sometimes I have a seriously skewed notion on the variations of love.

It can start as anything--a single scene, like in Timeless, with Rodney in the rain, or a single idea, John prostituting himself for a ZPM, or a walk on the beach with Something More. Or it can be like Midwinter, where I wanted them to be free, if only for a night, I wanted my characters to have a chance to jump without worrying about the fall. It's--something like that.

I never know they're right, not for weeks or months. But sometimes, I can fall into rhythm with them, where I don't really need to know. Wow, that made no sense. Sometimes, okay, they're already there, they've been there, waiting for me to find them in a story. And it clicks over and I just feel amazing and love everything in the universe because I got to do that.

I--think that answered? I can try to clarify. Writing is very--emotionally charged for me. As you can tell.

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Do you have any sort of rituals that prepare you for writing? Get you in the frame of mind for the POV? I'm still working out a system, and I'd love to hear what someone else does.

Music. That's my big one. I like hving coffee, and sometimes relaxed and after doing something, but I need the music to jumpstart me. Kind of like flipping a lightswitch, almost.

You've co-written.

a) What's the secret to your success?

b) Has there ever been a decision you've agreed to for the sake of compromise that you'd really, really love to take back? (No specifics required.)

c) Who (fanficcer who) would you like to co-write with (but haven't)? Either in the theoretical wish-list sense or in the practical 'I think our writing styles/characterization choices would mesh well' sense.

a.) If I'm going to cowrite, I'm willing to compromise on everything. And I mean everything. Even the direction of the story has to be fluid, because I'm--at my *best*--a freakishly disjointed writer. I work off what I've written, not an outline. When there's someone I want to cowrite with, it has to be someone who can handle I can and will go off into tangents and either be able to pick them up or drag me back to the main point.

I've had four primary cowriters, who I worked with on multiple things and also acted as my betas occasionally--Bishclone in Voyager, Sare Liz in X-Men, Pru and Te in Smallville, and Ami in SGA. I can't do it with someone who isn't a friend--it just short circuits everything. But okay, let me think.

Okay, example--rageprufrock. I mean, yes, a lot of my joy with her was her sheer horror half the time, but she's a desperately *planned* writer--in her head, the story is long done and possibly annotated before a word is written. I--don't do that. I usually don't know until I'm fairly close to the end. That kind of worked, at least on my side, because she could do both easily--follow tangents and keep us on course when necessary. Seriously, there are reasons my posting rate is lower than ten percent of what I actually *have* in my WiP folder--me and my tangents. Gotta love them.

More recently with Ami--one cowrite, one sequel work--it was actually disturbingly, almost creepily easy. And I say that after working with a lot of people, failed and not. We just kind of--I don't know. I don't know if I'll ever know why she's so easy for me. She's just easy. There are periods of weirdness and unfamiliarity where we scrape, but when we click together, we get like, *pages* done and I'm kind of dazed with no idea who wrote what or why. Don't get me wrong, I love working alone, but there's something that gets me seriously high when I have someone else there.

b.) Hmm. No...and maybe a lot of things. I don't know anymore. I'm satisfied with the work as given. I kind of wish sometimes I'd pushed on This Too, but then again, I refused to have anything to do with the editing process on *that* one, so at this point saying I wanted fallout from the weekend in Metropolis would be--God. She'd kill me in my sleep.

c.) Again--it has to be a friend, someoen I know and trust and respect completely as a writer. But. Let's say all of lj threw their names into a hat and said, God, jenn, cowrite with me. Wow, that was an egotstical moment. *g* eleveninches, just on the brilliance of her ability to simultaneously combine drama and humor to insanely good levels. She thinks like absolutely no one else in fandom I have ever read, and the way she approaches fic consistently surprises me when so little does. I think just watching her mind work would be worth it, even if we fought every second. Hmm. koimistress has a purity that always awes me, and a cool head for clean, readable plot and prose. ltlj for the sheer perfection of her ability to plot. The only problem with her would be the same vague worship stance I had with Te and Koi both--I wouldn't be able to really *argue* because my autoreflex is to assume they are *right*. Though God, it'd be worth the stress just to learn from her. beadtific -- utterly beautiful prose there. I'd love to see what we could come up with together. cesperanza--but again, same problem as with ltlj et al -- they're my *standard*. Heck, that'd be my same problem with you--and no, I'm not saying this because you're the one that asked, but because of the fact you're so clean--everything you write is perfectly edged and lined up, spaced properly. And your characterizations and plotlines are so extraordinarily *grounded* and I love that and keep wanting to steal it. And okay, to wrap this up, rivier, because I think it would be interesting to write with someone who gives really excellent Rodney.

Huh. I have a really interesting wishlist there. Hmm.

I get terrified of outlines. I know you're free to deviate from them and all, but to actually plan that far ahead... (And because of that I'd totally buy that Jus ad Bellum was spontaneous in that fashion. Was it?)

With respect comes deference in the decision/opinion department, absolutely. And the choice is to be brave or be quiet and sometimes that has to do with discretion and valor and sometimes it doesn't and you look like a genius for not making the decision you wanted to.

God, Jus. The exception that proves the rule. Not only outlined, but outlined with scene summaries. Not completely, because I used the outline as a reference to build the whole AU, so it was mostly write, then add to outline. But close to that. I have never, ever managed that since.

Why do you like writing in third person present? I find it hard to sustain, especially in long fics, so I'm curious to hear your perspective.

Well. The short answer is, a year chatting and writing in chat with Te. So not kidding. She had me doing it *instinctively* in six weeks. But she was my standard in Smallville--she was, to me, the perfect writer. And when I wrote in chat for her, I wanted to do it to please her, and my style changed. Also, in my defense, I'd just come back online from an extended stay offline and mainlined everything of hers, so I was already thinking in present tense while writing.

The long answer--as I shifted, and Te found comicdom, I'd been doing it just long enough to find it difficult to shift back. I was slipping between a lot and I decided I needed to choose one and go with it. Then there was this freakishly annoying debate in ClarkLex about how it was the wrong way to write and I kind of foreswore past tense for as long as my temper was still up. That took about two years, with some slips into past a couple of times. But even so--I was already thinking that way, reading that way, absorbed new ways to write using it. And--you know, it could have been Sleep While I Drive, actually, that just enchanted me with the characters livign forever in the now, erasing the future. And ever since, it's an effort to do it any other way.

The short answer is, a year chatting and writing in chat with Te.


Interesting. Aside from a brief flirtation with present a few years ago, I generally find now that my default is past tense for "proper" stories, but I usually write drabbles in present tense. Something about the way I construct them almost always comes out in present.

Huh. Now that is interesting--is it because they're short and you're working off a single moment? Hmm. *Interesting*.

I think it's because I like to end with a punch, almost always a short phrase or sentence, and it just seems to have more effect in present.

Then there was this freakishly annoying debate in ClarkLex about how it was the wrong way to write and I kind of foreswore past tense for as long as my temper was still up.

I had let that slip out of my head completely. Good times---not.

I find third person present impossible to write, but the best to read, and yeah--Sleep While I Drive is definitely the gold standard for that style.

In retrospect, it is very funny. But God, I remember being hot about that for *weeks*.

This question is probably similar to one of the ones above, but in case you don't think so, here goes:
What makes you want to write a story? Is it a reactionary stance, for example, when it comes to fanfiction, is it a feeling of creating something that you feel has potential in canon or is it more of a "this has never been explored and never will, someone should write it" kind of approach? Writing has to be time consuming even if it is rewarding, when do you feel like something is worth spending hours and hours over? The creative process is very interesting to me and even though it is completely subjective, it would be nice to get a writer's thoughts on it. Thanks.

Yes. I mean, to all of it. It can be reactionary, negatively and positively. It can be just the sheer joy of creating something new.

It's very--huh. It's like taking a euphoric, to me. On a good writing day it's really, really good to feel a story come together. On teh best writing days, I'm just--amazed at the universe, that it can have anything that good. It's amazing.

Euphoria.. I like the sound of that.
On a completely unrelated note, I'm glad to see there are other people bumming around on LJ at 4:30 am

No question, just a little love. :)

Okay, this is going to sound uttelry freaky, but dear God, did I need something like that tonight. *hugs you hard* Thankyou so much for the link. Must make note to send her email with a thanks when I'm more awake, but God.

Thank you. That was just amazing.

If you could have a fanfic made to order, what would you ask for? Feel free to micromanage.


I want--God, this sounds incredibly dorky--a romance. But you know, in a terrible apocalyptic future. Where then the heroes set everything right. John/Rodney, like, rebuilding Atlantis and defeating the Wraith and then making brownies after. But only after a lot of pain and darkness and Rodney having to let John sacrifice himself for the greater good and then surviving somehow and THEN brownies. Yes.

I am so not kidding. I am a ball of mushy darkness. *sighs*

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God yes. I was out five hours, slathered in that stuff, and my skin still darkened one shade, new freckles bred, and my skin felt too tight. v. annoying.

I need like, lead shielding or something.

I am so there too!

I'm trying a new brand this year. Also I remember a news story that said if you need to use like... 4oz of the stuff to get full coverage. i.e. if your hands get a little dry when applying it, you haven't used enough. A lot of people get through the summer with only 2 bottles or something... Well those people who actively seek the sun. Which is far too little.

There are reasons I don't wear just tanks in the summer. It took 1 hour of the California sun to burn me.

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*g* Short answer, yes.

Why does Clark stay with Lex after he finds out he's sleeping with Chloe? And, if the answer has to do with

On the mirror side is A Handful of Dust - how love everlasting is pretty much all about exactly how much you are willing to pay for it, how much you'll give up for it.

(And you know I've always thought your chocolate-chip cookie'verse was very like Handful of Dust and, especially, its sequel)

then is there something Lex is giving up to show his devotion in that relationship, and if so what, or is he just too crazy and alien to be held to any such notions, like Clark is in Handful?

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