A – Z Challenge: Day 15 – Originals

While I do not plan on ever leaving fanfic, I am glad I do have work that is wholly my own. Pieces I can claim one hundred percent and not have to have anyone else’s leave to do.

I do not know if I ever envisioned that happening. I enjoy doing fanfic and quite possibly would be happy just doing that.

But to completely create a new situation, almost a new world. To decide who is going to be what (even when that changes more than once). To truly be a creator.

It can be a heady thing.

It’s also hard as hell for that same reason. There are no shorthands you can use cause you know the reader will already have some knowledge of the world. You have to describe everything and explain your characters. You have to be clear about that world.

But it can be worth it.

A – Z Challenge: Day 14 – NaNo

I do so enjoy NaNo.

If by chance you do not know of NaNo, it is the National Novel Writing Month, or NaNoWriMo. NaNo for short.

The month of November spent writing a 50,000 word novel. There is also Camp NaNoWriMo, during April and July, where the goal is more adjustable.

You lock up your Inner Editor and just write. Then you go back and do the real work. There is a large worldwide community, often local meet ups, and it is just all kinds of fun.

Without NaNo, I would not have any original material to speak of. It has shown me I have some measure of discipline (fleeting though that is once it is over). And it has given me confidence in my writing.

It has shown me I am not alone in my craziness about being a writer. There are many others similarly afflicted and we quite enjoy it. Not to mention the resources and help.

I wish I had started earlier, but I am glad I did. My first NaNo, I signed up late on October 31st with no idea what I was going to write. Needless to say, I did not win. But the bug bit and I have been doing it ever since.

It has loosened me up to just write and have fun with it. To explore genres I might not have and to find my tribe.

A – Z Challenge: Day 13 – Male

I am one of those females who can write from a male view point very well. I have written female characters in the past, but by and large my writing is male dominated.

I’ve always had guy friends, even as early as preschool. And many times I’ve had more guy friends then girl friends.

I suppose you can say I never stopped being a tomboy, so maybe that helps.

I could not say exactly why I get guys better than women. But I know I am not alone. The vast majority of slashers are straight women. I have come across very few gay slashers.

Something in the wiring up there lets me talk guy talk. For the most part. There are aspects of them that have to be experienced. But over all I say I can do a rather well facsimile.

On some level I just find them more fun. Or maybe they can get away with more.

Their voices ring clearer for me in some way. I can relate.

A – Z Challenge: Day 12 – Life

Life = Writing.

Writing = Life.

We don’t want to admit at times the truth of these statements. Only to the degree that we are aware of them. But there are times when one creeps into the other on its own. To hold up a mirror we didn’t know was there because we didn’t want to know.

There have been themes in my writing, during certain periods, that appeared and I wasn’t cognizant of them. When my mind was working things out without letting me know.

I can see it now, of course. And I have not revisited those themes since then. The work was done and I moved on.

How much of the writer that shows up in the writing varies of course.

What parts of your life that you glimpse in the words that flow from your pen can be plain or hidden.

When you go to move a reader, sometimes you move yourself more.

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A – Z Challenge: Day 11 – Kurtail

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(Yes, I know. There’s going to be one more like this so prepare yourself)

There are times when I find myself being too clever. I’m too pleased with what I’ve just written and want to make sure it’s known.

This post could also have been titled ‘Killing Your Darlings’, but I dug the single word title thing I had going. 😉

There are times when I show-off just enough. When I get a thrill at nailing that perfect sentence.

Then there are the times when you know you’re turning it on too much and you need to cut it out.

Those are usually hard but rather necessary.

Just have to remember to save them for that over the top story waiting for them.

A – Z Challenge: Day 10 – Job

I continue to fight the idea that I need to consider my writing as a job that needs doing.

I had a measure of that when I was RPing. You had someone on the other end waiting for you to finish a post or to meet up for a writing session. There was scheduling involved, responsibility.

To think of solo writing in the terms is something I seem to avoid. Even with another person, it was largely done for pleasure and felt as such.

But it is a fact I need to accept. I need to work at writing daily. There needs to be a routine put in place.

I have started. There are two posts that are guaranteed to go out every week. My Weekend Coffee Share and the drabble from my Facebook prompt group.

It’s so easy to maintain the schedule during NaNo. You have your set number to reach every day, and your goal to hit at the end of the month. I’m aces during NaNo, then I drop it like the plague as soon as I hit the word count.

It is work that needs to be done.

It is a job.

A – Z Challenge: Day 9 – Ideas

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One day I will come up with a cool name for where I get my ideas when someone asks. Not that anyone has of yet, but you know, for down the road.

Feast or Famine. The pendulum swings between the two with no predictability.

They hit you at all the worse times, when you can’t write them down but you’re sure you’ll remember them. They dance just out of reach when you have all the time in the world.

I’m making more of an effort to keep track of the pesky buggers. To have a single journal for them instead of scattered files on the computer. Feast for the times of Famine.

In what is considered to be the origin of the term ‘plot bunny’, the following quote is attributed to John Steinbeck: “Ideas are like rabbits. You get a couple and learn how to handle them, and pretty soon you have a dozen.”

I want to learn better cultivation of ideas. To have it be a more reliable tool. Or at least to learn what to do til they come by.

A – Z Challenge: Day 7 – Goals

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I know earlier (see Concentration I mentioned my lack of drive. That is not a pressing need to have a hard copy of my work exist. But quite frankly it should be. It should leave the realm of ‘wouldn’t it be nice’.

By and large, my family is ignorant of my writing. This is due in large part to the concentration of my writing being fanfic in shows I doubt they have any interest in and the sexual content therein.

But I have decided upon a feasible goal.

One of my NaNos is a Western. It is not dependent on any show and has minimal sexual situations. The perfect vehicle to showcase my talent to them. It will be the first NaNo that will be worked to completion and readied for self publication. And if the only copies that are sold are the ones I buy for them, I am fine with that. But there will be physical proof of my talent.

This WIP is also the first one I have actually printed out and able to hold in my hand. It is one thing to see a hundred + pages on a screen and quite the other to feel its weight.

I hope is that this will be an impetus for me to attack my other WIPs and see them to their end. Then I feel I will legitimately earn the title of ‘author’.

A – Z Challenge: Day 6 – Fanfic

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Ah, Fanfic.

Where it all began for me.

I discovered fanfic on the internet of a community college. The first two fandoms were The X-Files (to date myself) and The X-Men (largely from the animated show). A vague awareness might have existed before then, but this is when it crystallized.

The first fandoms I started writing in were Buffy, The Vampire Slayer and Angel. First was role playing in the AOL chat rooms (remember those?), then onto to a RPG in a Yahoo! group.  That led to solo stories on a shared web site with a group of fellow fanficcers, and then my LiveJournal. I’m still online friends with two people from this time.

Then The Lord of the Rings movies started coming out and that was my new focus. It also introduced me to Real Person fanfic, where we wrote about the actors instead of just characters.

I am currently doing Sherlock (BBC) fanfic with dalliances into a few other fandoms.

The easy thing about fanfic is also the hardest thing. Yes, you don’t have to go into detail about the universe you’re in, or in the descriptions of the people. But you have to remain true to the integrity of the universe. You have to keep to the rules, cause fans will call your shit out if you don’t.

One ugly aspect of fanfic that has evolved of late is the insistence of writers and fans to impose their personal desires upon the writers and actors of shows. Back when I started, *adjusts Dowager Duchess glasses* that was not the done thing. We would look at anyone who informed an actor of what we were doing with horror and derision.

We also tended to just stay away from pairings and categories that were not our cuppa, not feel the need to lash out with the vehemence you see today (unless you are talking slash, that will be covered later).

All in all, fanfic can be a good training ground, but there is only so much personal credit you can take for it.

If you are not outright persecuted for it.