team 2

Some meditations on Big Bang

But first, a quick reminder: tomorrow is the last day to post a wishlist for where_no_woman's wishlist fest. Visit the sign-up post for rules, information, and to post your wishlist!

Have you guys checked out the amazing art and fan mix I received for my big bang? The mix is an absolutely incredible range of songs from the eighties, and I cannot believe how much effort my artist put into each character. Do give vertrauen and deliciousny some love for their beautiful work!

1. Do not bother posting a story on LJ if it must be broken into more than two posts. Copying and pasting the header, tagging each post, and making sure each post links to the previous parts is a huge pain in the ass, and no one wants to read it on LJ. Next time, I will post it only to AO3 and put a link in my LJ.

2. I never want to adapt a movie again. My big bang began more than two years ago, when I claimed "The Breakfast Club" at reel_startrek. I never finished the story -- at the time, I just didn't have the stamina for something that long -- but I liked what I had written, and I knew I couldn't throw those 5,000 words away. After failing at Big Bang last year, I decided I wanted to write something with a manageable story line, preferably something whose word count I'd already made a dent on. Out came my Breakfast Club AU. As soon as I began writing, I remembered why I'd abandoned the story in the first place: forcing my Star Trek characters into an alternate universe felt awkward and contrived. If a present-day igrockspock had claimed "The Breakfast Club," I would never have tried to place it at a high school, contemporary or futuristic. Instead, I would have set it at Starfleet Academy and written a story about a mismatched group of characters forced to serve out their demerits under the watchful eye of Commander Spock. It would have been one of those AU's that diverged from the canon but not the whole Star Trek universe, and I think it would have been much more interesting to read -- and write! -- because it would consist of decisions I had made for my characters. But I was stuck with the decisions of my old writing self, and I had to make do. I wasn't committed enough to the story to want to alter the plot significantly, so I did the best I could while following the movie script pretty closely. I like the end result alright, especially the final third, but it's not a story that represents me well as a writer.

3. You cannot edit what is not written. The best new writing skill I learned from Big Bang is how to push through a story without trying to get every scene perfect before I move on. I no longer line edit as I write, and if I don't have a good sentence, I write a fragment or type a vague idea of what I mean in italics. I've learned to take a break and go somewhere to think when I'm confronted with a scene that just doesn't make sense, something that I couldn't do before. Those skills are keeping me on track with my holiday deadlines, and I am deeply grateful for them.

I want to play again next year for sure. In fact, I already have a story started. I like the pride I feel in writing something more than twenty-three thousand words, but next year, I want the plot to be completely my own.
Agreed, on the not-posting-to-LJ thing. I effing HATE trying to coordinate all the headers and links and the forward-back linky things I do because I'm That Person and whatnot. Eugh. Makes me want to go over to DW but I haz a lazy. AO3 is awesome but I hate tagging for it (I'm That Person too).
I have a DW account, but I don't ever post anything there. It exists strictly for getting my fandom fix when LJ goes down.
Something I learned from the reel_startrek challenge was that I hated using a film as my inspiration. The characters fit, more or less, but I relied too much on the film's dialogue and plot for my own liking. I felt constrained and unable to be inventive.

Edited at 2011-11-15 09:47 am (UTC)
Looks like we both learned the same lesson! That said, adapting a movie did mean I had a pre-made plot, which made finishing this story much more achievable.
I must be the only person who doesn't mind coding and dealing with headers and tags and such. Then again, I'm also the kind of person who enjoys organizing and alphabetizing and the like, so. That might explain it.

Congrats on getting your Big Bang done by any means; I'm always too afraid to sign up for them!
I do love organizing and alphabetizing, but all that code was a pain in the ass! I agree that big bangs are daunting, but I think the nice thing about them is that nobody is hurt if you default. I signed up last year and couldn't finish it, but I don't think I would have finished this year's without that experience.
I had a similar experience with my reel_startrek fic. I basically ended up throwing out the plot from the movie and only using the Pump up the Volume universe.

I'm struggling with an AU for my kirk/sulu fic. I'd originally plotted it as entirely AU, but now have it has happening in the trek universe, just way earlier in the time line--so much better!

And, 2nd-ing your multi-lj post bit. I just posted my first long fic to DW and Ao3, and it was SO MUCH EASIER.

Can't wait to read the BB! It looks so amazing!

Edited at 2011-11-15 01:27 pm (UTC)
Oh dear, reminds me how behind I am on bb feedback...

Anyway, the LJ multiple parts hassle heavily seconded. I like an LJ or DW post for commenting, since I have no AO3 account but the obligatory LJ master post with all the links to story, art, mix serves that well.

3. sounds like a tremendous writing breakthrough, woohoo! I really enjoyed your nuanced short stories in the past and am looking forward to the more long form pieces you're now starting to handle. Many cheers for your writing and upcoming deadlines! *\o/*
You cannot edit what is not written. The best new writing skill I learned from Big Bang is how to push through a story without trying to get every scene perfect before I move on.

Very, very true and AFAIS the biggest secret in getting a long story done at all. Aside of just plain old writing stamina :)

Congratulations on your big bang.
no one wants to read it on LJ - i feel the exact opposite! i feel like no one ever leaves comments on AO3, and i only rarely leave LJ to read stuff over there. that could be changing though. anyway, i'm in the middle of your big bang right now and enjoying it so far :-D
I do agree that AO3 gets fewer comments, but when I compared the LJ stats for my big bang entries with the hit counter on my AO3, it seems that the vast majority of people preferred reading on AO3. Since I did not get a ton of comments anyway, I kind of wish I'd spared myself the hassle of trying to post on LJ.