bones: attitude

End of the Year Fic Meme

This is normally where I post a master list of everything I've written for the year, but somehow I wrote 37 stories? I'm honestly not clear how that happened (maybe because I stopped obsessing so much over whether the stories were good?) but I am definitely not coding that many links. Instead I'm making a list of the best story I wrote in each fandom.

Agents of SHIELD
Two Truths & One Lie: Marriage Edition - Melinda May/Maria Hill, Melinda May/Clint Barton, Skye, Phil Coulson
Melinda May was married once. Good luck figuring out to whom.

Brooklyn Nine-Nine
The Ladies Book Club of the Ninety-Ninth Precint - Rosa, Amy
The rules of the book club are as follows:

1. Book club is called book club. If you have some other stupid name for it, don't say it out loud.
2. No inviting boys.
3. No inviting Gina. She only reads Twilight.
4. No graphic violence (in books, or at meetings).
5. Nothing approximating a romance novel.
6. No setting disagreeable selections on fire.

Introduction to Western Literature - Clint/Natasha, Maria Hill, Phil Coulson
In the beginning, books and reading are the only thing Natasha has in common with the rest of SHIELD.

Veronica Mars
How to Harden Your Heart in Nineteen Days - Veronica, Keith, Lianne, Logan
How does a sweet, naive member of the pep squad transform into the toughest girl in school? It takes a murder, a rape, Logan Echolls, Madison Sinclair, and nineteen days. Please read the author's note for warnings.

Looking back, did I write more fic than I thought I would this year, less, or about what I'd predicted? - Way, way more. I didn't know it was even possible for me to write this many stories anymore! It wasn't much more than a year ago that I was wondering if my writing mojo had left me permenanently and wondering if I'd be dropping out of fandom.

What pairing/genre/fandom did I write that I would never have predicted in January? - Definitely Melinda May/Clint Barton. That's totally alphaflyer's fault.

Leitmotif of the Year: Um, five things fics? Because they are super easy to write, and if you can't finish them, you get to pretend they were only ever supposed to be three or four things. If we're talking about themes, the ever-popular family issues made a significant appearance at the end of the year, and so did couples who annoy each other but love each other very much. (Neither of those say anything about my life, I swear.)

Story of mine underappreciated by the universe in my opinion Eh...I never really feel like my stories are entitled to appreciation from the universe, but I thought The Time Machine was neat, and I wished a few more people had read it.

Most Fun Story to Write: Introduction to Western Literature because it's about books and I am an English teacher, and it was the first story I'd written just for myself in a really, really long time. Also, The Idiot's Guide to Dating Russian Assassins because Clint trying to date people is just hilarious.

Story that shifted my own perception of the characters: Although Five Acceptable Reasons to Get Out of Bed in the Morning had some technical writing issues, writing it really helped me understand May's strengths and vulnerabilities. I used to find her a very intimidating character to write, but now she's my go-to character in the fandom.

Biggest surprise: Definitely the performance of the Yuletide treat I wrote. I thought it was crack-tastic and heavy handed with the feminism, so much so that I almost didn't post it. Somehow it ended up in the top five by hit count and number one on kudos? So I guess people liked it anyway? I'm not saying I understand it, but it's fun to tap into the fannish zeitgeist now and again.

Did I take any writing risks this year? If so, what did I learn from them? Writing so many Veronica Mars stories felt risky to me. I usually write in larger fandoms that have a sizable presence on my flist, and VMars does not meet that criterion. What I learned is that people won't defriend or unsubscribe from me just because I've started writing in a fandom they don't care about, and also that there is a small but awesome army of people who comment on VMars stories. I also re-learned how important it is for me to have one fandom where I can empathize with the characters' struggles. MCU is just too wild and crazy and cracked out to fulfill that cterion for me.

Hardest story to write: Ugh, Dating Older Men and Other Adventures in Growing Up. I mean, it ONLY took two years for me to finish and it ONLY took 8800 words for me to remember how fucking hard I find it to write getting together fics.

Easiest story to write: They Say It Never Rains in Southern California. 8700 words, one week, no problem. Can that please happen more often?

Most popular story of the year: By both hit count and kudos, it's Dating Older Men and Other Adventures in Growing Up, so at least there was a pay-off for the torture of finishing it?

Best story of the year: See beginning of this post.

Truest story of the year: When We Used to be Friends. Hello personal demons! Nice to see you in my VMars fanfic!

Most unintentionally telling story of the year: I guess "When We Used to Be Friends" doesn't really qualify since it was intentionally telling. I guess I'll go for "Dating Older Men and Other Adventures in Growing Up" since I stole large swaths of it from my early twenties in New York (although that's not really unintentionally telling either, is it?) I plunder so much from my life on purpose that it's hard to find something where I didn't mean to do that.

Best opening lines:
The undead never come to the Met, and neither do many survivors -- at least, not any more. - The Land of the Living and the Land of the Dead (The Bridge Is Love Remix)

"There is unresolved sexual tension between two members of my squad," Ray says. "It's a problem." - Matchmaker Matchmaker (The Gay Yenta Remix)

Melinda is twenty-three when she gets dishonorably discharged from the U.S. Navy for failing to understand that rules apply to her. - Five Perfectly Acceptable Reasons to Get Out of Bed in the Morning

Best closing lines:
She taps out a text on her burner phone: Hold on, pancakes are coming : )

It's their code for everything is fucked, but I'm coming to save you.
(Pancakes, Bacon, and Everything in Between)

Best lines from anywhere:

"Veronica Mars, I'll be the eye of your hurricane any day" - Life Goes On

"Socially, you're somewhere in between a bobcat and a badly programmed robot" - The Idiot's Guide to Dating Russian Assassins

"My heart is full of cheese knives and sex fantasies about Turkmenistan" - The Most Adequate Christmas Ever

Do I have any fanfic or profic goals for the New Year? Lots!
1. Finish the two large WIPs in my docs folder. One is 15K and counting about Logan's nine years between the end of the VMars series and the movie, and the other one is the big-bang-that-wasn't about Darcy rescuing Bruce from Hydra.
2. Transition from MCU to Agents of SHIELD as my main fandom, at least until Ultron comes out. MCU isn't pinging me as much right now, which is about 50% because the fandom is so obsessed with Steve/Bucky and 50% because I need some canonical insight into what the characters got up to after the fall of SHIELD. Agents of SHIELD is much more approachable to me because the characters are dealing with normal, everyday human conflicts at the same time they're living a larger-than-life story arc.
3. Be smart about signing up for exchanges. Signing up for a thematic exchange, like Galentine's, is okay because I can be pretty sure of matching with someone who shares my interests. Signing up for a fandom-specific exchange is okay because I can offer genfic only. Signing up for a sprawling, multifandom exchange like Yuletide is not okay because it's really a crapshoot whether my recipient and I will have anything in common at all. Signing up for a ship-based exchange is not okay because I am way, way too picky about my shipping. If I want to participate in exchanges like these, writing treats is the smart way to to do it.
Wow -- that's pretty impressive!

And as for the Clint/May thing (yes, I saw what you did in "Bullet to the Brain Pan"), I am so NOT sorry. And I need to write something along that line myself ...
Yes, yes you do need to! Because it's going to get jossed soon -- they've cast someone else as her ex already -- and we both need to enjoy it while it lasts! I tried writing another story about them for Fandom Stocking, but it got too sad, so I had to stop. Writing about doomed relationships is hard...
They have? Boo, hiss. Well, they can still have had a fling, which then in turn led to the ex being an ex? Never give up, never surrender!!
I have mixed feelings. On the one hand, I think having her ex actually in the show could make for some very interesting character development that I want to see, and I know there's no way they could afford Jeremy Renner...on the other hand, I had SUCH AN ELABORATE HEAD CANON and I like it a lot! But I like your idea about the fling and the divorce. Flawed characters are so very interesting!