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.
Shog freaked me out yesterday by telling me that I was within the same range in the 24-hour period rankings (I usually tend to hover in the mid-200s and above in the overall ones, it seems). What that says about LJ scares me; I really like it here, but I suppose it's good to keep a backup journal.

I'm really enjoying reading about your process.
P.S. Do you not like Dreamwidth? What about Imzy appeals to you?

Edited at 2016-08-14 06:57 pm (UTC)
Dreamwidth is fine, but it doesn't really seem any more active than LJ. A little bit less so, actually.

Mostly I like that imzy is community-oriented. Communities are one of the things I miss most about the old LJ. It's also much better for discussion than Tumblr - the commenting and threading work much more like LJ/DW, so you can actually follow what people are saying to you.
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.

I agree with you so much there, and I hope that I'm doing the same in my writing too.

Edited at 2016-08-14 07:13 pm (UTC)
Interesting that the stories you're sitting on are ones that have...gotten away from you, rather than, say, ones you've deliberately decided not to write for whatever reason. With stories like that do you tend to let them lie for a bit and then go back to them, or try to untangle them, or...?

Funnily enough On Writing is the only Stephen King book i've read. I keep meaning to try his fiction one of these days. And Whedon, with his dialogue, his 'make it dark, but tell a joke', empowerment, hell yes.
I usually do try to go back and untangle them, but sometimes it doesn't happen...or it doesn't happen for, like, a year and half and by then they're AU's. I'm pretty determined to finish at least the first installment of the Leia and Ben story, but I don't know when that will happen.
I'm pretty active in the iconmaking community, and the comm posts there regularly get top 25 on lj these days. I know there are about 150 active iconmakers on lj right now.

Definitely fucked.
I ♥ Joss :) Also yes, Stephen King's book is excellent. I'll never forget him referring to adverbs as "the artificial crab meat of writing" lol

Edited at 2016-08-18 03:08 am (UTC)