[personal profile] singerdiva01
I’ve been writing fan fiction for a little over a year and have made some wonderful friends, discovered some writers whose work rivals anything on the commercial market, and learned a lot about writing, myself, and being part of online communities.

I swiped this meme from [livejournal.com profile] scifishipper and, while I feel a bit self-indulgent post my musings on my own work here, reading their post made me think it would be a good way to evaluate my progress over the year and my evolution as a writer. The exercise was actually helpful in solidifying my goals for the next year and I’d love to read others if folks end up wanting to join in the meme fun!

My favorite story this year (of my own): The clunkily titled Mothers and Sons, Cylons and Mountain Lions, a Billy and Laura friendship fic, is my favorite thing I wrote this year because it addresses a scene that’s always intrigued me -- when Laura jumps on top of Billy to save him from Centurion fire -- and has them discussing how close they’ve come and how much they love each other in their own unique way. I love writing about this mentor/mentee relationship and the combination of love and angst here makes me happy.

My best story this year: Our First Last Goodbye was another Billy and Laura friendship fic that takes a heartwrenching look at what it must have been like for Billy and Laura to face the cruel reality of her failing body and what her increasing dependence on him to take care of her daily, most intimate needs means for their relationship. I’ve characterized it as my best because it’s a realistic look, written from personal experience, at the strain both caregivers and the ones who need care experience as a person enters their last days of life.

My not-best story this year: The Cruelty of Gods & Man was a Billy/Dee fic that is, in my opinion, the worst story I’ve ever written and the one I’m most ashamed is out there on the internet. While I don’t like Dee very much because of what she did to Billy, I went way over the top in my cruel characterization of her to the point of even cheapening Billy’s grief over Laura’s illness. Sex and angst can mix but they don’t here and, if there’s anything redeeming about this story, it’s that I learned not to take my propensity for realistic angst too far.

Most successful story: The story that’s gotten the most comments and kudos is Second Earth, Second Chance, an Adama/Roslin AU in which Ellen Tigh conducts an experiment that has Laura waking up on a ressurection ship after she dies and Bill burying her and mourning her on the surface. The success of this story surprised me since, one, I rarely write AU, and, two, the sex seems entirely out of place against the serious, angsty tone of the rest of the piece but was jammed in there to meet the comm standards. As always, though, I’m humbled and honored people liked it!

Story most under-appreciated by the universe, in my opinion: I could say this about a few of my Bill/Saul/Laura stories -- the pairing itself, IMO, is quite under-appreciated on AO3 and other spaces outside of LJ -- but Six of One by Three was a non-smut look at how Saul might have reacted to Laura and Bill’s fight in Six of One. I tried to get into Bill’s mind as he struggles with alcoholism and portray the pain that an alcoholic’s loved one’s feel as they watch their decline but something about it didn’t hit the right note with readers.

Most fun story/Sexiest story: (No) Big Thing, a Kara/Sam/Laura story in which Laura finds out on NC that Sam is hung like a horse and Kara likes to wear a big strap-on, is probably the fic that best meets the “funniest/sexiest” criteria. I wrote it for a challenge and I’d not written that pairing before (or since) but something about how they easily navigate the encounter makes it hot and hilarious, if more than a little out of character for Laura.

Easiest story to write: On the Admiral’s Secret Service, a fluffy, funny Adama/Roslin story, came from a throw away comment, by whom and where I can’t remember, about what the Admiral and president’s security detail have to endure when their leaders are frakking all over the ship. The words flew onto the page in less than an hour but seems to be pretty popular and is the story for which I get the most requests for a sequel.

Hardest story to write: What’s Right, What’s Smart was written for the 2014 BSG Remix challenge and based on the wonderful AU Adama/Roslin story Benevolent Tyrant by [livejournal.com profile] afrakaday. This was my first remix and I was obsessively worried about degrading the integrity of the original piece by a writer I really admire. Those nagging fears combined with the fact that it was due just a week or so after my beloved grandmother died made it really hard to get the words on to the page but, in the end, I’m glad I persevered rather than pulling out.

Writing technique or style you’ve done well: I’m not sure I’ve done anything particularly well but, as I read through my work, I see that I don’t “head hop” as much as I did when I started writing. It was a conscious effort to try to improve on that and therefore one I’m proud to note.

Something you’d like to work on in the future: Most of my fics from this year are short, one shots and I’d like to build up the confidence to take on longer, chaptered works. I also realize, looking through all of my 2014 fic, that most of them are smutty but the ones I like the most are not so I want to try to write more serious, thinky pieces in the coming year. I’ve also been reading a lot of Star Trek: Voyager fic but have yet to take on that fandom but hope to in the early months of 2015.

Did you take any writing risks this year?: The biggest risk, by far, was the aforementioned BSG Remix that had me take on another person’s story and remake it into my own. I’ve also branched out into two pairings, Bill/Saul/Laura and Roslin/Zarek, that I really think of as “mastered” by other writers and tried to figure out how to write them in my own style.

What are you working on for next year?: I’ve entered the Galentine’s Day 2015 Challenge -- still taking sign ups until December 31st! -- and I offered to write BSG as well as Star Trek: Voyager and The West Wing, new fandoms for me, so I’ll be working on that as soon as I get my assignment. I’ve been saying this for a year but I swear on the sacred scrolls I’m going to finish my beloved Billy, Laura series The History Books Forgot About Us before another year goes by!

Date: 2014-12-29 09:07 pm (UTC)
lanalucy: (huggy ryan)
From: [personal profile] lanalucy
I think maybe I haven't read all those. I'll have to check.

I'm so glad you showed up in checkin!

Date: 2015-01-25 06:39 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] margaux-margo.livejournal.com
Thanks for sharing this!

Now I have an easy list of the fics of yours I'm most interested to read.

You are a terrific writer of fiction. It's hard to believe you've only been writing fan fic for over a year, but I imagine you've done a lot of non-fiction and fiction writing in your life up to this point. Is that the case? I am grateful you're part of the fandom, and since I am brand new to writing fan fic myself, I hope you're nowhere near petering out and will instead be around for years to come.

I predict I'll be around, too. I echo your delight at having discovered real writerly talent in these online havens. I can't keep up with every compelling reading recommendation I come across, from every writer I respect, but I anticipate being entertained and touched by the BSG fic universe for a long time. And, I too am excited about practicing and improving my writing, now that I've crossed from being a wordy commenter to being the writer of a fic (a solitary fic, but a fic nonetheless.)

It's amazing how prolific you were in your first year. As I've said, I'm looking forward to reading more. And, I look forward to seeing what you create in 2015! Since I'm also a TWW fan, I'm particularly curious to see where you go with that task. How's it coming by the way? Who are your favorite characters on TWW and who have you written/do you plan to write?

It was really neat to hear your self-evaluation and gain insight into your process. So again, thanks for sharing this reflection, and thanks for writing fan fiction,

Date: 2015-01-25 08:30 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] singerdiva01-sk.livejournal.com
Thank you so much for such a lovely comment! This made my week, for sure. ;)

I've been writing non-fiction feminist essays since I was a teenager and did a stint in the feminist blog world but BSG fic was my first foray into fiction. I'd never thought of myself as a creative writer but now I realize what I really meant was that I'm not a world builder and therefore probably couldn't write original fiction. I love delving into universes that have already been created and adding my own take on what's there.

I kept thinking I would get bored and quit writing but, so far, the ideas just keep coming! Congrats on your first fic -- which I'd love to read! -- and I'm so glad you plan to be here for a while.

As for The West Wing, I haven't ever written fic in that 'verse and, since I was not assigned that fandom for the challenge I mentioned, probably won't unless something else like that comes up. I love the show, CJ, Amy, and Abbey are my favorites, but I haven't seen it in quite a while so I'd have to do a rewatch if I wanted to write something.

Anyway, thanks again for reading and leaving such nice thoughts!

Date: 2015-02-10 09:50 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] margaux-margo.livejournal.com
Aw, I'm so glad it made your week! Sorry it's taken me a while to write back.

I had a particularly busy two weeks above and beyond the normal tasks of managing my team. I (compassionately) let someone go, (excitedly) launched a new phase of my business, (successfully) navigated my first legal obstacle, (thoughtfully) interviewed and evaluated a potential new hire, and (energetically) delivered a 5-hour presentation for a particularly challenging client, all while starting to suspect this ongoing stomach ache isn't a flu, it's lactose intolerance. :-P

It's so cool to hear about your background. I bet your feminist essays kicked ass! I'm so glad you tried your hand at creative writing. Trust me: you have a knack.

If you were serious about wanting to read my first fic, here it is: http://margaux-margo.livejournal.com/1127.html Be forewarned: it is 42,000 words long. Apparently, when I do something... I really do it.

What did you end up getting assigned for the fandom challenge you mentioned? I too love CJ (she frequently appears as a friend of mine in my dreams at night)! Amy and Abbey are great. Kate Harper appeared late-in-the-game but found her way into my heart as well.

My second fic is going to be a TWW/BSG crossover. It's actually the first one I started writing, but when the majorcrimes gift!exchange came up, I pressed pause to write the long fic I mentioned. Now, as of this weekend, I'm back to my TWW/BSG fic, and I'm frakking loving it. I'm ten times more passionate about each of those shows than MC, so I'm afraid it'll be even longer than my first fic. ;) To me, the intersection between those worlds is so natural and dynamic... I'm getting excited just talking about it!

Anyway, I hope you've had a good two weeks. And I hope we stay in touch!

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