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The Toybox

people for the conservation of limited amounts of indignation

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trials and tribulations
children of dune - leto 1
One day, this will be over, and I will not be nostalgic. Sometimes I totally am about writing; I have fond memories of thete1 in AIM encouraging me through Handful of Dust and happy thoughts about And All the World Beneath.

This is nothing like that.

After chatting with girlnamedpixley about The Trek Fic That Will Never End (I think it would be best that no one ask about the word count at this point; I froze for three days last time I looked), I had this bright idea to make a character list. Because--I don't know. It seemed like a good idea at the time. Keep in mind I have Vulcan Institute on bookmarks because I needed Vulcan langauge questions answered, because this is Trek and I forgot how much I love this.

I mean, here is the thing--I seriously, and I do forget this a lot, love Star Trek. And sometimes, I forget this, and I forget there are many reasons that I haven't been near Trek since Voyager and in fact for about five seconds thought, okay, the fandom is not a good idea. You have met yourself. It's like--I spent hours at Memory Alpha looking for my characters because I want to be canon-compliant and that's kind of insane, I'll be honest. Who the fuck else cares who was the TOS transporter technician through most of TOS? Who else will notice? Why do you need to know which redshirt would most likely have been in security? Why do they need canon names? The girl in the messhall that Kirk talks to for five seconds does not need a life history. And yet. I have a character list and beside it notes to memory alpha and then my own notes added because sometimes, this happens.

This is no longer a story. This is like some kind of insane treatise on who's who while I look at screenshots from the movie and match who might be who by visual compared to TOS pics, because goddamn Abrams didn't give them all names and you have no idea how pissy that made me. Like about as pissy as realizing that there is a surgeon general of Starfleet Medical and I can't find out who that was (ep Turnabout, with Janice Lester, let me DIAF now). And I need that.

In college, I didn't do this much research for major papers, and I started a citation list, because I feel guilty if somewhere, someone, did something like this, which is insane. The problem isn't finishing it, as it turns out. The problem is I have turned into a scary anal-retentive person who threw a goddamn hissy fit when I couldn't find the specs for an Orion slaver ship, or even if they had slaver ships (they do, they are a race that enslaves beings, they've got slaver ships). I don't even recognize myself.

I am ten thousand words from the end, all I really need is to finish thsi section and conclude, and do you know what I am doing? I am going through my crew and making sure they are cross-goddamn-canon-compliant.

Also, I spellchecked. I think poor girlnamedpixley started getting shaky when she saw the massacre I was perpetuating on spelling.

In other news--I have none, did you not see the above? So I'm curious--anyone go into scary research mode while writing? Ways which kind of worry you when your research page starts to resemble a thesis?

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Vicious, lifesucking, and why does the transport tech need a name? I don't even know! I just know that now that I know it, so does everyone in the world.

*throws self on bed and cries</i>

Oh man, a Merlin AU? *grins* They work so well with mythology.

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*sends you hugs* Now that is neat. I didn't know that.

What fic?

Nothing that scary, but yes, something like this—I definitely research fanfiction more than I do college papers, which is horrible of me. But I sympathise with the insanity you're facing! Good luck ♥

*curls up with you* Our lives? Hard. And yeah, somehow, fanfic just makes you go there. I didn't spend nearly this much time on my Cold War in the USSR paper and I loved that class. *sulks*

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I kind of blame you with your links and your encouragement and telling me about your research in chat.


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That is one of the most awesome and creative writing-procrastinating techniques I've ever heard of! Those last 10k must be hard.

However you get there, it's going to be awesome in the long run.:)

p.s. I was just writing my fandom history for a thing on Idolmeta where they interview writers, and though I didn't name names, it reminded me of how long ago I started reading your stuff. <333

GOD IT IS. And Memory Alpha and Memory Beta do not help with all those internal links promising enlightenment and joy and no sleep ever again.

Awww. Did you read me in SV? *curious*

This kind of makes me glad that I can't actually wirite and therefore won't have to write the several novels that would be the result of this:
(possibly in conjunction with this:

These post make me feel totally torn up inside, because I want to feel sorry for you and sympathise with your pain, but mostly I'm just squeeing inside really loudly about what and awesome fic I'll get to read!

Also, when I had to write a 6 page (single spaced) paper for uni I totally read at least 4 books, one of them just on one of the sections of the last part of my paper. I had like 40 links (or more) to long texts on the internet and yeah the paper was about 20 pages in the end, but that was because I had to limit myself and to finally decide to actually write something instead of reading another book.
Also the indexing and getting caught up in minor issues reminds me of the way I study.

Heaven forfend I should be either canon non-compliant (even in my AUs) or RL-non-compliant (even when writing about life-sucking space vampires). I can waste hours tracking down stupid facts that nobody but me will ever realize weren't pulled out of thin air.

Which is how I spent way too much time looking up the names of Kosovar politicians or Eritrea's conflict history and what two Navy rating symbols are close enough in appearance to be easily confused at a distance... for one or two sentences of backstory reference. And that doesn't even get into my own bizarre habits with respect to naming OCs and planets to make sure nobody's a porn star or a Silmarillion character.

Writing with just the fandom's canon wikipedia (Gateworld, Memory Alpha, etc.) open in at least three tabs is for sissies. :)

*sad* I had Memory Alpha, Memory Beta, the Vulcan Language Institute, a webpage that notes just the women of Trek wiht names, pics, and ranks and significant events, and IMDB open the other night to cross-check who would be on an away team typically, then trying to match reboot people with the TOS versions, even if Reboot had no names. While color coding my notes on what to change and what was already changed and what needed to be rechecked in the final draft.

See, but this is why your fic is good.

...okay, an OC porn star-turned-Marine would be kind of awesome, no lie.

So I'm curious--anyone go into scary research mode while writing? Ways which kind of worry you when your research page starts to resemble a thesis?

Hah. Hell, if I put a tenth of the patience and time and work that I waste on fic (especially historical fandoms or those with extensive canons) into my schoolwork, I would have had a PhD by now. The hours I spent researching 17th century carriages (more difficult than it sounds), Trek ship layouts, contemporary address modes with German nobility (well, see, technically it's not nobility per se, as of a 1920 law, but...) and various other things that no sane reader would ever *notice* make me want to weep.

And the VLI has long lived in my bookmarks. Along with Ex Astris Scientia, Memory Alpha and so many, many other resources. Does the VLI still have those annoying .gifs?

VLI--I have no idea. *blank* I am usually running through search looking for ways to figure out how to make several words work together to express a concept. Probably? I'm not even sure I cna tell you the background color.

*pets us both*

I've also watched three total seasons of two different reality shows about oil drilling.


Oooh. *sits with you* Yeah.

Tractors once because why wouldn't LuthorCorp own a John Deere-type subsidiary, and why wouldn't some little patch of Lex's brain know all the models and their parts? Because Lex would research that heavily. You know he would.

Goddamn Lex and his interest in everything.

Also, hi! *hugs you*

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Aww, thank you. I am staring at my character list again and kind of hating myself. Again.

Honey, don't beat yourself up, I'm a Trek fan, though I never wrote fanfic because obviously I wasn't running in the right circles and moved up to where there was NO CABLE in '96 and totally missed the last two seasons-ish of DS9, and I would totally do something like this, because up through Voyager I was diehard. Would, hell, I totally do this.

Can you remind yourself this this is fun and to just write write write and if you need, really need to go look up those people you can do it later. After you're done. Just right the story you want to write, honey, because what you're doing? Sounds like the kind of stuff I do when I'm procrastinating. And you can procrastinate yourself into suffocating all the fun out of it for yourself.

Let me show you my mounds of Inca/Aztec/Machu Pichu research for the Indiana Jones/SG fic I've never gotten off the ground. Or the amount of estate law, flower-shop business and small airfield procedures/safety guidelines/practices I delved into for the original novel that won't fly? I suffocated the life out of those.

Oh, and the three days of research on the little village in Devon that the coven from Buffy is on the outskirts of and also Devonshire accents, speech patterns and annual rainfall. Yeeeah. Ahem.

What's worked for me is to go work on a bit of the fic that doesn't need annual UK rainfall or Vulcan second person plural to make you like the damn thing again, go back and see the forest instead of just theh one tree. Or the one branch on the tree.


*hugs you*

I think it's just so close to the end I'm freezing,and I can't even tell anymore if it makes sense or infodumping. Or like, if it's legible. Or possibly not written in alien dialects.

*whimpers softly*

I haven't had the opportunity to go that crazy (YET) with any of my fanfic, but I certainly have done so in other endeavors. Like on one embroidery project where I wound up researching the chemical composition of beads made in Saxony in the thirteenth century. *wry smile*

See, embroidery I get for some reason. My grandmother is a quilter/crocheter/cross-stitcher etc. Research is critical. My mom too!

What kind of project? *curious*

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*grins hugely* I'ts totes a virus or something. That--that makes perfect sense.

Ooh, the Russian mob? I sometimes wonder what L&O would do without them.

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...okay, that's seriously impressive.