starwars: rey closeup

Star Wars Fic: Crash on Your Shore (Rey/Jessika Pava)

Here is the second story I wrote for Star Wars Rare Pairs. No lies, I'm pretty proud of it. Writing explicit sex is a real challenge for me, and this is the first time I've gotten positive feedback about the sex scene itself (as opposed to random comments about other parts of the story). It's interesting to see how differently the two stories I wrote were received. This one was far more popular at the fest itself, whereas the Leia/Poe one has proven much more popular among my LJ friends and AO3 subscribers.

One day, I'm going to figure out how to write Star Wars fics that are less than 5,000 words. Today is not that day. The other treat I started for this fest is currently 4500 words and not even half done, so maybe my recip will receive it sometime next spring...

Title: Crash On Your Shore
Rating: Adult
Characters & Pairings: Jessika Pava/Rey, Finn, Poe Dameron
Summary: On Jakku, she lived by herself. She never felt warm hands on her body, never saw eyes looking down on her with fire and kindness all at once. The Resistance is different. Here, she doesn't have to be alone.
Word Count: 5700
starwars: leia aim

Star Wars Fic: The Best Kind of Game (Poe/Leia)

Star Wars Rare Pair reveals happened yesterday, so I can finally claim my stories. This one was my main assignment, and to be honest, I really struggled with it. I didn't want to rewrite the first Poe/Leia story I did, I didn't have time to write the really ambitious idea I wanted to do, and I just wasn't able to write the smut that my recip really wanted. Looking back through it, it's a lot better than I thought it was, but it's hard to really love something when you had to fight for every word.

Title: The Best Kind of Game
Rating: Teen
Characters & Pairings: Poe/Leia, Finn, BB-8, Snap Wexley
Summary: There are a thousand things Poe can’t do in the war: he can’t always hit the target, he can’t stop pilots dying by the dozens, he can’t even get Jessika Pava to stop bending her undercarriage on nighttime landings. But he can almost always find one small thing to make General Organa happy, and that's enough for him.
Word Count: 6200
starwars: poe

HTML Help

I wrote a Star Wars story that includes BB8. I tried enclosing his "dialogue" in those pointy bracket things < > like I've seen other people do...but AO3 mistook it for html tags and tried to convert random words to html with predictably poor results. Now all of BB8's dialogue is missing, and the format of the whole story is fucked up.

Is there a different way you guys are punctuating BB-8's dialogue? Alternatively, is there a way I can get AO3 to recognize my other html tags without trying to convert all of BB-8's dialogue?
starwars: leia aim

Star Wars Fic: Sex, Adrenaline, and a Maximum of Three Feelings (Leia/Poe)

This is the story I wrote for RarePairs, and I'm not gonna lie: I'm really proud of this one. After I stopped freaking out about how my recip left me absolutely NOTHING to go on, I started enjoying the freedom of being able to write whatever the hell I wanted. This story is a lot more "me" than most things I write for exchanges, by which I mean that it's complicated and tangled and adult and hopefully real. I wanted Leia to have a happy ending with a hot guy who loves her and knows how to have a healthy relationship, but I also knew it wouldn't be easy for her to get there. Eight thousand words later, I think I was able to tell that story -- but I'm still hoping that one day, I learn how to write Star Wars fic that isn't quite so long.

Title: Sex, Adrenaline, and a Maximum of Three Feelings
Rating: Teen
Pairing: Leia Organa/Poe Dameron
Summary: Leia never intended to start flirting with Poe Dameron. Once she started flirting, she never intended to start sleeping with him, much less develop feelings for him. But then, so few things in her life have turned out the way she expected. Why should this one be any different?
Word count: 8,000
Author's notes: Many thanks to enkanowen for providing the suggestions that got the story started.
chekov

The last of the writing meme

blackxlupin asked three questions.

What aspect of your writing do you think has most improved since you started writing?
I've gotten much better at expanding my stories and managing the writing process for longer works. I'd been lurking in fandom for six years when I finally started writing in the summer of 2009. Writing fic was something I'd never thought I could do, and I was terrified that the ability would disappear as quickly as it had arrived. My priority was finishing stories, not expanding them to their fullest potential. When I started to explore longer narratives, I struggled to keep them organized. I'd always written scenes in whatever order they occurred to me, which was fine for a 3,000 or 5,000 word story. When I was trying to write 10,000+ words, I'd end up with a disorganized mess. Dating Older Men and Other Adventures in Growing Up took more than a year to complete because I didn't know how to organize my writing process. Writing longer stories is still time consuming, but I rarely get miserably stuck the way I used to.

If you could give your fledgling author self any advice, what would it be?
Just chill. People won't unfriend you if you don't have a brand new story every week. Abilities don't mysteriously vanish overnight, so you don't need to worry that you'll wake up one morning and not know how to write anymore.

I really admire the way you use theme in stories. Is it something you start out with consciously, like, "I want to write a story about guilt/loneliness/...", or is it more Stephen King-like, where you write a first draft and then see the potential for theme and work to develop it in the second draft?
This is an extremely flattering question! To be perfectly honest, I had no idea that so many of my stories had a theme at all. I can think of a couple explanations. One is that I'm very conscious of the idea of emotional resonance -- that a story needs to have an emotional hook that ordinary people can relate to, even when the characters are having wacky adventures in space or fighting evil super villains. When I wrote The Proper Treatment of Sexorexia way back in 2009, I remember really worrying about how I would make Gaila a sympathetic character. Even though it's mostly a comedy about awkward roommates at Starfleet Academy, I also wrote about homesickness and culture shock because I think a lot of us have been through that.

I also suspect that the stories that have strong themes are the ones I've written to tell myself something I need to hear. My mom is an alcoholic, and I spent most of my adolescence and a lot of my adulthood grappling with her addiction. I've written a lot of stories about people learning to make it on their own, and quite a few about people working out tricky situations with their families. I wrote When We Used to Be Friends after my mom refused to celebrate my thirty-third birthday, and I need to write something totally honest about what it's like to grow up with an alcoholic. In January of this year, I realized that my mom is too toxic to have in my life, and I immediately started writing a story for myself about someone moving on with a chosen family. We'll All Float On Okay is about Leia getting close to Rey, but it's actually about me giving myself permission to let go of my mom and focus on my friends instead. Burn My Past to the Ground (The Epistolary Remix) is much more explicitly about my life, because it's about Veronica dealing with the fact that her mom might as well be dead, but there's not a funeral or a socially-sanctioned grieving process for when you have to cut a relative out of your life. That one ends basically the same way as "We'll All Float on Okay," which is the affirmation that you really can choose your own family.
Carter: Peggy gun

More of the getting to know your author meme

Nothing weirds me out quite like checking my profile and finding that LJ ranking is in the top 100. I don't really even understand what that means, except that if I am among LJ's 100 most active users, this site is well and truly fucked. I've been poking around imzy and my cautious verdict is that I like it. I have invitations to spare if anybody wants one.

Onward to the questions from inkvoices and lokifan.

Are there any stories you're holding off on writing for some reason?
Ugh. Yes. I still really want to write a story where Leia confronts Kylo Ren, but it would definitely be the most ambitious thing I've ever written. I also broke my rule about either outlining or writing the scenes in order, so I have tons of random scraps -- and they are beautiful and I love them, but I'm completely baffled by how I thought they fit together. Then I thought it would help if I wrote a prequel about Leia and Ben. It was supposed to be a set of 500 word ficlets for every few years of Ben's life, but it quickly got out of hand. Now there are 7,000 words and Ben is only four, and I haven't looked at it in a month because I don't know what to do with it.

When it comes to more complicated narratives, how do you keep track of outlines, characters, development, timeline, etc.?
See above. After some disastrous attempts at longer stories, I learned that I absolutely must outline or write the scenes in the order from beginning to end. Sometimes I just sketch out the scenes rather than writing full drafts, but no matter how tempting it is, I do not skip around unless a clear plot outline is already done. Actually, although it's not readily apparent, a lot of my longer stories start out as 5+1 fics. I got into that habit a couple years ago when I was struggling with writer's block, because I could usually pound out five little ficlets even when the big stories couldn't get done. Eventually, I started thinking of the "five things" as more of a plot outline, and the structure dissolved into a more traditional narrative. We'll All Float on Okay, the Leia & Rey story I wrote, actually started off as a 5+1 fic and then turned into a normal story.

Were there any works you read that affected you so much that it influenced your writing style? what were they?
On Writing by Stephen King remains one of the most influential books I've ever read (which is ironic, since I don't actually like Stephen King's books). The last section of the book is about how he almost died in a hit-and-run accident, and the prose was so spare and haunting. Not one word was wasted, and I knew instantly that was the writer I wanted to be. Also, although it's not a book, Buffy the Vampire Slayer was hugely influential. Hating on Joss is fashionable now, but I'll never be able to climb aboard that bandwagon because I feel like I owe some of my best writing habits to him. In the DVD commentaries to Buffy and Firefly, he talked a lot about emotional resonance. When you're writing something funny, you still need something to give your story emotional weight; and when you're writing about wacky things like vampires and spaceships, you still need to ground your story in every day concerns that people can relate to. Seeing the huge variety of female characters on Buffy and Firefly also taught me that true empowerment doesn't come from "strong" women; it comes from showing lots of different kinds of women who are strong and weak in different ways. I dearly hope that I've done the same in my writing.
B99: amy

Get to Know Your Author Answers

megan_moonlight asked three questions.

What, if anything, do you do for inspiration?
Comment fic memes have always been my best source of inspiration, and I miss them horribly now that livejournal is mostly dead. I browse kink memes sometimes, but it can be really hit and miss for me since I'm not a kinky writer. The Daredevil one is really friendly to genfic and low-rated het, which is 90% of my writing, but I haven't found a similar space for other fandoms.

What is your biggest weakness as an author?
Probably that I argue with myself too much, and that can make the plot overly complicated. Telling a plausible narrative is really important to me, and I also coach debate, so my mind is programmed to look for reasons why a story doesn't work. Sometimes that helps me build credible stories, but sometimes it tempts me to over-explain stuff that the audience would be quite willing to believe.

Do you write in long sit-down sessions or little spurts?
It really depends on what I have time for. My preference is long sessions, but during the school year, it's almost impossible, so I have to do whatever I can with the time I have.

favorite characters and writing strengthsCollapse )
true blood: sookie sunglasses

True Blood prompts wanted

My binge watching left me with a hankering to write ficlets, and searching old comment fic fests for prompts is a ridiculous waste of energy. Prompt me please! Any characters or pairings welcome, but I am so not the girl to write the Eric/Bill slash of your dreams.
avengers: darcy approves

I wanna do bad things to you

Last night I stayed up till 3 a.m. to finish my month-long binge watch of all seven seasons of True Blood, and I'm really sad it's over. I mean, it was not a perfect show, but it was one of those shows that made me not care about how imperfect it was, you know? It was like Buffy for grown-ups, where half the conflicts are about vampires and the other half are about normal life stuff, like dating and having a job and paying bills. Unlike Buffy, the vampires aren't the enemy: they've come "out of the coffin" and revealed themselves to the rest of America, and now they're trying to live normal lives amid prejudiced communities. What I really loved about it was how well they recreated small town life. Watching it made me feel like I was back in my childhood hometown, surrounded by the exact people I grew up with.

I was also intrigued by how similar the story arc and the quality of each season mirrored Buffy.

+Seasons 1-3: Pretty much perfect. Large yet balanced ensemble cast. Adorable and slightly campy horror stories with lots of real-life conflict mixed in.

+Season 4: Hm, I still like these characters but the Big Bad is kinda weird and plot cannot withstand close scrutiny.

+Season 5: I love these characters! There's some really high-quality angst here! I'm just going to pretend that the Big Bad is not some kind of deranged god.

+Season 6-7: Wow, this show got really depressing all the sudden. Must we always say goodbye to our favorite series by destroying EVERYTHING and EVERYONE?

Also, guys, this show is basically soft core vampire porn with many beautiful naked people having sex in creative positions. Honestly, it was worth watching for that alone.

I had issues with the series finaleCollapse )