avengers: natasha and hawkeye

The End of the Year Fic Meme

I seriously look forward to this all year.

Looking back, did I write more fic than I thought I would this year, less, or about what I'd predicted? I didn't think I had written very much, but I have 21 stories of at least 1,000 words, plus assorted ficlets. That's almost two stories a month!

What pairing/genre/fandom did I write that I would never have predicted in January? I wrote slash about non-canonical couples for the first time - a couple Sherlock/John stories, plus a Percy/Oliver one in HP. Sherlock is the only show that has ever given me slash goggles, and the Percy/Oliver story allowed me to talk about some of the queer themes I have wanted to address.

What's my own favorite story of the year? Not the most popular, but the one that makes me happiest? What Pride Doesn't Know, my aforementioned Percy/Oliver story, came out saying exactly what I wanted it to say. I really loved exploring Percy's character in sympathetic ways.

What is my most popular story? According to AO3 hits, it's Someone I Used to Know, a Tony/Pepper story that I wrote in a couple hours for a prompt fest. By LJ comments/recs, it's What Pride Doesn't Know.

Did I take any writing risks this year? What did I learn from them? Writing Snape as a major character. He is my favorite literary character ever, and I was terrified of portraying him badly, or somehow losing my fascination with him by taking him apart and trying to figure out how he works. Writing Sherlock POV was terrifying for similar reasons; he's such a hard character to get right.

Do I have any fanfic or profic goals for the New Year? Cut down on fests and do not participate in anonymous gift exchanges. Absolutely everything I wrote this year was for a fest or exchange, and by the end of the year, my creativity was thoroughly sapped. In my last three exchanges, I received either no acknowledgment (once) or a one-line comment that sounds like the recipient didn't enjoy my story (twice). I think it's time to write for myself, or write gifts for friends who will definitely enjoy my writing.

From my past year of writing, what was...
Best Story: The Journey of a Thousand Miles, the story I wrote about Luna going to work for Snape and forgiving her father for betraying Harry to Voldemort, came out better than I could have possibly hoped for. My recipient -- who never acknowledged the story -- left a ridiculous, finicky, poor-wounded-Snape fic, and I somehow managed to deliver the basic premise in a way that was still acceptable to me.

Story Most Underappreciated by the Universe:
I have no particular expectation that the universe will appreciate my fic, but I'm still pretty damn annoyed that my recipient didn't comment on New Life and New Civilizations. Gaila/Spock is a damn hard pairing to write!

Most Fun:
Six Cities That Are Not Budapest, which is about Clint and Natasha trying to have a normal vacation, was a fun trip through my travel journals. All the locations in the story are real, except for the monastery of evil monks.

Biggest Disappointment:
I was not totally happy with my last two exchange submissions. I had a lot going on IRL, and I couldn't give either story the attention I would have liked.

Biggest Surprise:
I did not expect Someone I Used to Know to soar to the top of my AO3 hits list.

Story that shifted my own perceptions of the characters: I wouldn't say The Bucket List of One Hermione Granger really changed my perspective on Hermione, but I did enjoy exploring a time in her life when she was less than certain of her path.

Most unintentionally revealing story: What Pride Doesn't Know

Best Opening Line:
Being dead was dreadfully boring and terribly low class. (A Mutually Beneficial Arrangement, Sherlock, Irene)

Percy combed the last canary feathers out of his hair and counted the number of days until he could return to Hogwarts. (What Pride Doesn't Know</a>, Percy/Oliver)

Best Closing Line
Kendra steps forward into her purpose, sword aloft. (Dimensions of Heaven, Buffy, Kendra)

On top of Christine's bundle of letters, she wrote a story on a small white card: Once upon a time, two women from very different worlds were forced to live together. At first, they did not know they were the same because they kept their secrets and their sadness to themselves. Slowly, they began to share their possessions and their stories, and they realized they were sisters after all. They did not live happily ever after, but only because they knew having wild adventures together was much more fun. (Once Upon a Time, Gaila, Chapel)

Best line from anywhere:
Natasha huffs under the weight of the last monk, who had obviously not been living a life of material depravation "Let's lure the fat ones into the woods before we kill them next time, okay?" - Six Cities That Are Not Budapest

Every morning, Pepper braces herself to find Tony Stark's dead body: cocaine overdose in the office, burned to a crisp in the lab, drunk to death in his bedroom, possibly on top of a hooker. All seem equally plausible, and none of them ever happen. In hindsight, she ought to have braced herself for naked Tony Stark, which happens in the lab, the office, and the bedroom with startling regularity. - Someone I Used to Know

Even an army of dark wizards is not as terrifying as a room full of eleven-year-olds holding a wand for the first time. - The Bucket List of One Hermione Granger

This year's theme and the story that demonstrates it most: I continued to write a lot about people reconciling difficult situations with their families, which is reflected in What Pride Doesn't Know, The Bucket List of One Hermione Granger, and The Journey of a Thousand Miles.
I loved What Pride Doesn't Know so much that I recced it to a non-fandom friend who was looking for stories about acceptance of queer family members. I've never felt very sympathetic towards Percy, but this story gave me ~feelings.~

Also, I'm sorry about the lack of responses in exchanges/challenges. It just not on for a recipient not to acknowledge. And I know how disappointing it is to get a lackluster comment. As motivating as exchanges can be, if they're more disappointing than satisfying, then I think you've got the right idea.

Yay end-of-year meme!
loved What Pride Doesn't Know so much that I recced it to a non-fandom friend who was looking for stories about acceptance of queer family members

Thank you so much for telling me that, bb! The story is pretty personal and important to me, as you could probably tell from my meme answers, so it means a lot to me that it might be useful to someone else!

I'm not sure what my problem has been with exchanges lately. Some of my favorite stories have been gifts for other people, but on the last three, it felt like I was just mismatched -- one of my recipients, the one who ended up never acknowledging the story, didn't provide a list of likes/dislikes/prompts at all, and the other two seemed to want things I just couldn't provide. I am not just not the author to write someone a fluffy story.
Some of my favorite stories have been gifts for other people
Me too! It can be a good way to try things I might not have come up with on my own, but it's always frustrating feeling like you're being asked to do something you're not good at. I am also not the author to write someone a fluffy story. Or vanilla get-together humor fic. I mean, I know matching exchange participants can be hard, but still. Meh. I do have one exchange with a deadline coming up for which I was matched with a fabulous participant with a wide variety of great prompts, so sometimes dreams do come true!