thuviaptarth: golden thuvia with six-legged lion (Default)
thuvia ptarth ([personal profile] thuviaptarth) wrote2008-01-01 02:34 pm
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2007 writing

Houses and Rain
2007.12.24 xxxHolic 1900 words
Spoilers through Volume 8. House spirits don't go anywhere, but rain spirits go everywhere: that's how we met.

The Betrothal Visit
2007.12.22 Victorian Romance Emma 1800 words
Post-series. Arundhati frowns over philosophy and Swati sighs over Gothic romances and Vishaka and Chitra giggle over texts on India, in the margins of which they sometimes inscribe corrections and sometimes inscribe outrageous lies.

Black Moon in the Afternoon Sky
2007.12.19 After School Nightmare 4200 words
Set after Volume 5. Around the corner and down the hall you go, through the double doors and then down by the staircase that isn't always there.

Drinking Gasoline (The Internal Combustion Engine Remix)
2007.12.04 Supernatural 4800 words
A car and her boy.

Third Daughter and Cherry Blossom
2007.06.21 Angel Sanctuary 560 words
Alexiel and Nanatsusaya in 1920s Shanghai.

And Throws Away the Key
2007.06.21 Tsubasa Reservoir Chronicle Chapter 137

The Extinguished Flame
2007.05.13 Supernatural "All Hell Breaks Loose, Part 1" 600 words
Gen. A coda; a conversation.

Spider Bites On All Your Lovers
2007.03.20 Supernatural "Born Under A Bad Sign" 7,000 words
Dean/Crossroads Demon het. NC-17.
The demon from the crossroads comes back for dessert.

How cold the vacancy
2007.02.15 Supernatural "Born Under A Bad Sign" 1,400 words
Gen. ... How cold the vacancy/When the phantoms are gone and the shaken realist/First sees reality. — Wallace Stevens, "Esthétique du Mal"

Bedtime Story
2007.02.08 Pan's Labyrinth 560 words
You vow in your heart to be as brave as a tailor, as kind as a knight, as clever as a little girl.

Total number of words written: 23,000
No. of stories: 10
No. of fandoms: 7 (1 movie, 1 TV show, 5 manga series)
No. of new fandoms: 4 (After School Nightmare, Pan's Labyrinth, Victorian Romance Emma, xxxHolic)
Fandom w/the most stories: Supernatural (4); all the others are one-offs, although I've written Angel Sanctuary and Tsubasa Reservoir Chronicle before.

My favorite of my own stories this year: "Spider Bites On All Your Lovers"

My best story this year: "Spider Bites On All Your Lovers"

Story of mine most underappreciated by the universe, in my opinion: I don't think there is one this year. One of my Yuletide fandoms was more obscure than I'd thought, but then another was less obscure, so it all equals out. Besides, both got lovely long letters from the recipients.

Before I'd posted it, I was convinced "Spider Bites" would end up here, but to my surprise and delight it ended up my most popular story of the year and possibly ever.

Most fun story: "Drinking Gasoline (The Internal Combustion Remix)". If someone else hadn't mentioned Impala POV and Rivka hadn't said she wasn't planning to do it herself, I would never have done it. It took about a week to write and a week to revise, which is as fast I get for anything that isn't flash fiction or running into the Yuletide deadline. It took me over, bumping the other story I was planning to write back to 2008. I like doing nonhuman POVs; growing the Impala up, and figuring out how a car would grow up, was fun. And throwing in references to Rivka's stories felt half like writing to canon and half like making in-jokes.

Sexiest story: "Spider Bites On All Your Lovers"

Story with single sexiest moment: "Drinking Gasoline": "He groans, a familiar sound, and she expects the familiar response, only the wanting is a physical thrill, rushing through her veins: she flushes bright red, her dick goes almost painfully hard, the hairs on her skin prickle as if even her smallest particles are stretching out to get closer to him." It has genderfuck and machine sex and particles in the same sentence! I like that.

Okay, probably "Spider Bites" has sexier moments, but it's hard to pick just one. Also, some readers didn't find it sexy at all. Which wasn't what I was going for, but wasn't entirely unexpected, either.

Story with single sweetest moment: Emma and William not looking at each other in "The Betrothal Visit." It isn't any virtue of mine, really; it's just Emma and William.

Most unintentionally *telling* story: You tell me? I guess I was surprised at how consistently people chose the brighter interpretation for "Bedtime Story," without even seeming to notice there was a darker one possible.

"Holy crap, that's *wrong*, even for you" story: I'm not very wrong in general, I think. And I feel so much brighter and more optimistic now that I've stopped ending stories with the deaths of their protagonists quite so often.

"Spider Bites" is probably the story that startled the people who knew me most. But "Drinking Gasoline" is the story I would have least expected myself to write.

Hardest story to write: "Spider Bites On All Your Lovers."

Writing sex is hard. Writing five different sex scenes in a row and not making them feel like all the same thing is even harder. I am never doing that again. For a while, I was planning never to do any sex scenes again, but you see how that worked out. They are a little easier now that I've figured out the basics.

Maybe I should try to do five action scenes in a row so I can figure out how to do them.

Easiest story to write: "Houses and Rain."

This was my original false Yuletide assignment, when the erroneous ones were sent out, so I was thinking of it the whole time as a possible Yuletide Treat, if I finished the other stories early enough. I always knew what the story was going to be, roughly, and then the day before I wrote it I figured out the narrator and debated whether or not to go with first-person; and then once I'd decided that, when I sat down to write it, it got done in a snap, two hours and a reread for sense and few edits and an upload. I had so much time to spare I thought about doing another Treat, but I liked the sense of leisure that I decided not to rush myself.

This year's theme and the story that demonstrates it most: "Dean Winchester: irresistible to demons and other nonhuman creatures since 2007"? "Sibling bonds unbreakable even with death"? "Love won't save you from pain"? No, wait: "Nonhuman POV is fun."

Overall thoughts: I wrote a lot! For me, anyway. This makes me happy. And my longest stories weren't even Yuletide stories.

I was feeling bad about all my stories being so damn somber this year, but then I got to put lots of comic bits in "The Betrothal Visit" and "Houses and Rain" and a few in "Drinking Gasoline," even though none of them is a comedy per se. I would have figured that my Supernatural obsession would make this a boy-heavy year, but there's actually a lot of women in this year's stories, as well as a demon, an intersex adolescent, and a car, at least two of whom identify as female.

I contemplated various fan identity debates this year and decided I am a gen writer who sometimes writes het, slash, and femslash. I hear somebody in Yuletide chat coined "ganache" for "gen with some sex in it," and I like that better than "bob." Nearly everything this year has been ganache. Okay, except for the het and femslash and whatever you call intersex/f and intersex/m.

"Spider Bites" was an excellent learning experience, for all I spent most of my writing time cursing the intractibility of the scenes and myself for ever thinking of writing it. It's changed how I approach sex scenes -- I always thought I should only include them if they were demonstrating character or advancing the plot, and that hasn't changed, but I feel like I have a wider repertoire of ways to use sex in advancing the story than I used to, and a better appreciation for using sex and other physical actions to demonstrate character. "Black Moon" benefited from this not just in the sex scenes--although I did make some deliberate decisions about the blocking of the sex scenes and their emotional implications that I might not have without the earlier story--but also in my being better able to advance the story through action rather than description or internal monologue. When I got stuck, I brainstormed ways to dramatize insights instead of just describing them, and the story is much stronger for it. Now that I think about it, the same holds true for revisions I made to "Drinking Gasoline."

Next year's plans: I'd like to work more on plot and dramatization. I've always had the weaknesses of my strengths: it's easy for me to disguise plotlessness with pretty writing. I mean, I also do like unusual, lyrical, and nonnarrative story structures, but I'd like to have a bigger toolbox. I also want to get away from reliance on tired and worn-out phrases and my usual writing tricks, and I want more variability in the kinds of character voices I can do. My long overdue Sweet Charity story should help with all this, because it will be plotty and I will need to get to grips with the stripped-down Winchester style, which I've mostly avoided by writing them from outsider POV. It would also be nice to manage an omniscient narrator ("Black Moon" has another failed attempt at one), but nothing I'm planning so far seems particularly conducive to it.

Other plans: My Sweet Charity essay (as distinct from the story above). "The Fortunate Fall," a Sam/Ruby story I'd like to finish before it gets jossed. My [ profile] halfamoon story. My hobbit birthday fictions. I still owe an Eid fic, if I ever get around to writing it. I was thinking about a Count Cain Five Things for after the series finishes, but we'll see. (Someone already used my title for Yuletide! I want to use it anyway.)

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