I have lots of Kudos!

With the premiere of The Incredibles 2, I’ve noticed a lot of notifications from An Archive of Our Own for my short story, “The Visit”. That particular archive allows guests or signed-in members to leave “kudos” on any story. This is the first time a short story of mine at AO3 has generated such interest and I’m chuffed about it! From the comments, it seems I’ve been able to satisfactorily wrap up a plot thread from the first movie: what happened to Mirage, Syndrome’s helper? If you want to see how you can read it here (the link is in the first sentence), or you can read it at AO3. (It’s also on fanfiction.net.) Have fun!

When art imitates life

I’m not doing so well at Camp. I’ve not been editing or writing as long as I should, or even any time at all during the day. Too much on my mind, really. Housework, being the agony aunt for both the in-laws and the parents, trying to get some estimates on fixing up the house (and daydreaming about how my kitchen might look). There’s a lot swirling around me and writing has been put on the back burner.

However, I’ve been rereading a lot of my previous works-in-progress to see where I might pick up and finish the stories. So far Moonstrike! is the favorite; I have a lot of that written already and I even got a chapter edited and posted at fanfiction.net. (I have it here; I just need to format it.) But I picked up a previous story, one I have mostly done but not published anywhere. It’s called Brainstorm and in the second chapter, I found I’d written in a situation that’s part of my real life right now. One of our family members is determined that their spouse is going to pass at home and has asked for home hospice. I can’t believe I was writing about such a situation back in 2011 (which is when I first wrote this story), but there it is. A very surprising situation and one that took my breath away.

That’s all I want to say for now. Just have to find the quiet time to maybe edit and finish some of these stories.

Finally, chapter four!

In an effort to return to regular writing, I finally reread and tweaked the fourth chapter of Not All Dead and posted it at Archive of Our Own, Fanfiction.net, and here. It means the story is complete at last. I found it a real struggle to finish as I wasn’t sure I’d gone the right way with the chapter but after rereading it, I was actually pleased with what I’d come up with. So, with a touch or two of work, I got it into a form I liked even more and called it done. Having Ralph Dibny as part of The Flash cast this year didn’t help either; though the character is very different (and Sue doesn’t exist yet), Ralph as the Elongated Man is canon. Maybe this story could be considered alternate universe or alternate reality. In any case, I hope you enjoy it!

In my final author’s note, I mention the term “jossed”. That was coined by Joss Whedon fans and denotes a storyline that’s hinted at in canon–giving fanfic writers and fan artists steady inspiration–but takes a left-hand turn which invalidates all that fan speculation.

From TV Tropes (a site that can become a very, very deep rabbit hole and time vacuum):

A fan gets Jossed when the elaborate Epileptic Trees or Fanfic that they’ve lovingly built upon canonical elements is abruptly disproved by further canon or Word of God. Named after Joss WhedonBuffy the Vampire Slayer was notorious for this. Fans would come up with detailed and elaborate theories or plots during summer hiatuses, most of which got completely thrown out within three episodes of the new season.

I have to admit, this little discussion and the multi-verse theory used in the show has given me a touch of inspiration… time to tuck that idea into my plot bunny hutch!

Questions you may have…

Did I reach my word count for Camp NaNoWriMo?

Uh, no. I didn’t. (Which is part of the reason I’ve taken over a month to update anything.) The story I set myself to, after finishing the Flash fanfic, just gave me no joy. It’s a story I want to tell but I may have taken too long to tell it. I mean, The White Winds finished in 2010 and this was supposed to be a sequel. It may be too late to go that route.

Have I posted the final chapter of the Flash fanfic?

No. I wanted to give myself some space before editing it and still haven’t gotten around to doing so. It shouldn’t take long to do, really. I’ve just found other things a priority–like housework.

Will I be doing Camp NaNoWriMo in July?

I plan on it. My physical therapy should be finished by then and I can actually spend some time going away from home to write. Trying to write here with the pets and the responsibility of keeping the house clean is difficult.

One thing I’ve discovered about myself, however, is what I tend to write when I write original stories. For the past few years, whether I’ve written fantasy or science fiction, I tend to write superheroes. This hearkens back to my early days as a budding girl geek, when my favorite show was Batman and my favorite character was Robin. Back to the time when I collected comic books almost religiously. There’s something about them that fascinates me. I started daydreaming about a character for another fix-it fic for the Flash but this time, instead of bringing an already established DC Comics canon character into the universe, I wanted to write an original character. However, by the end of the season, all the reasons why she would be needed were answered (sort of) and I thought, why not write her in an original story? So, barring any unforeseen circumstances, that’s what I plan on doing. Whether I write her tale in July for Camp or start building my cast of characters and my world for November’s main event, that will be my focus.

Now that I’ve said all that, I’ve also followed a new group on Tumblr called WIP Week. I understand the idea is to work on the WIPs (works-in-progress) in my catalog. It might push me to finish one of the Thunderbirds stories I started posting. We’ll see; like the story I picked up for Camp in April, these have been languishing for years. I still know where I want to go with them. It’s getting there that’s the problem.

The story is not finished yet, but…

I posted the first chapter!

It’s not betaread yet, so if you see any problems–whether they’re grammar, spelling, or possible canon errors–let me know. I’m really, really excited about it! I’m sure I won’t get any responses at my site, but I might at Tumblr or Facebook. Also, if anyone is interested in betareading (that’s proofreading/editing for those outside the fanfiction community) I’d be incredibly grateful. I haven’t sent this to my usual beta because I’m not sure how well-versed she is in DC Comics or the Arrowverse Flash.

I plan to let this sit here for a few days to see what response I get. Then I’ll post it at fanfiction.net and AO3.

With great ado, I now present “The interview”, the first chapter of Not All Dead.

A bit of site housekeeping news.

After a bit of finagling, I’ve managed to make my domain name, tikatu.com, redirect here without, well, the redirect. So, no more starting out on my old homepage; this WordPress build is now the official homepage for my domain. If you have my site bookmarked, you might want to update that.

Still working on my fanfic when I have the time and energy. I’m on Chapter 3, still, and need a bit more dialogue before I move on to Chapter 4. I don’t think the finished story will be 10K words but you never know with me.

What kind of writer am I?

Well, according to NaNoWriMo, I’m a “pantser” which means I write with little to no preparation, research, outlining, etc. This may work against me; when push comes to shove I don’t always know what to write next. It works for me in that I can take my story in whatever direction I choose without stressing over not following my outline. (Believe me, if I went through all the trouble of writing an outline, I would stress over not following it to the last subpoint.)

I’m definitely a character-oriented writer. It’s probably because of my years of writing fan fiction–in fan fiction, your world is ready-made and keeping characters “in character” is the test of a good writer. My original characters tend to develop over the course of a story. I don’t start out with a character template or list of questions to answer as I create them. They also are known for hijacking the plot and taking it in an entirely different direction than I anticipate. A good example of this is last year’s NaNo novel, The Door to Anywhere. I started with a very staid, almost unemotional character as my protagonist. She gets into the plot and turned around emotionally. Then the whole thing developed into a Sherlock Holmes mirror-verse fan fiction! Not what I intended at all! My 2014 NaNo novel, Guardian Angels, Inc., began as a sci-fi novel with a female protagonist and morphed into a Thunderbirds fan fiction using a minor canon male character as the new hero!

Though I prefer writing third-person omniscient point of view, lately I’ve been trying to write third-person limited; as narrator, I present the experiences and inner thoughts of my protagonist and no one else. A small fan fiction I’m working on for The Flash fandom is written in first-person perspective, which means putting myself firmly in my character’s shoes, letting her tell her own story. It’s not something I’ve done before to this extent. (I probably should finish it in the next week or so; it shouldn’t take too long…)

I also tend to write in scenes, like bits and pieces of a movie or TV show. It helps sometimes because if I get stuck on one scene, I can go on to write another and come back to the unfinished bit later on. However, bridging the gaps between those scenes is sometimes a problem.  Scrivener, the writing software I use, is good for writing in scenes. You can move them up and down if you need to and much more. (I got Scrivener for half-price when I finished Camp NaNoWriMo a few years ago. Worth every penny!)

So, yeah, I write character-driven stories. World building is something I’m still working at; my planet of Majere is still under construction in many respects. And I am not immune to having my characters take a plot in an entirely unexpected direction.

Tomorrow, I might introduce you to a couple of my Majere world characters and give you a taste of their personalities.

Lo, a fic recommendation!

I’m not often given to recommending stories, though I’m more likely to recommend a fan fiction these days more than anything else. This is one of those times.

The author uploaded the last chapter tonight and, wow! What a twist! It came totally out of left field–though someone more astute than I am might have seen it coming.

Knowledge of the property, Kate Ashwin’s fun webcomic, Widdershins, is helpful but you’re good if you only read the first book. You can read it from the beginning here or here.

Without further ado, I give you…

The Girl Who Wasn’t There (24321 words) by Sturzkampf
Chapters: 6/6
Fandom: Widdershins (Webcomic)
Rating: Teen And Up Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Characters: Nicola Barber, Original Characters, Harriet Barber, Sidney Malik, Gren (Widdershins), Florence de Montfort
Additional Tags: Mental Health Issues, Mental Institutions
Summary:

As I was coming down the stair

I met the girl who wasn’t there

Fall is here, or is it?

That’s what I keep asking myself every time I go outside. Yes, the calendar says, “Autumn!” My outdoor thermometer says, “Summer!”

One good thing about autumn is National Novel Writing Month (aka NaNoWriMo). Jo, my co-Municipal Liaison (read regional volunteer), and I will be making plans and setting dates for the various write-ins and parties that go with “30 Days of Literary Abandon!” This year we have four branches of the Greenville County Library System offering our members space to write as well as plot-planning events before NaNoWriMo even starts. Last year it was three branches; next year, who knows? I’m certainly looking forward to November, even if I don’t have an idea for a new novel. Yet.

However, that gives me just a smidge over a month to get some of my older writing finished. I’ve already sent a chapter of Moonstrike! off to my betareader, and I found a partial chapter from Overtures lurking in my works-in-progress file. To help me with the latter story, I may start editing the first novel in my “Friends of the Family” story arc and post it along with posting more chapters of The White Winds. (Chapter 15 went up tonight; I’ll slap it up at Archive of Our Own in a few days.)

All of this would be easier if our house was in some vague semblance of order from a number of projects (including a full bathroom remodel) and if I hadn’t broken a rib from my second fall in as many weeks. My doctor said no driving while it heals and my kids are talking about Mom-proofing the house. My poor husband is really feeling the pressure, I’m afraid.

More later as I work on edits and wait for the temperatures to fall. I really do love autumn; I just need it to stop feeling like summer!

A little incentive…

Well, in my last installment, I talked about the book of short stories my mother-in-law had written and how I’d edited and had them printed up in an amazing quality book for her. (It really is amazing! Thanks, Blurb!) She was ever so happy about it and encouraged me to do the same for one of my own stories.

So, yesterday I got a letter in the mail from my father-in-law. Inside was a generous check and a cryptic line, “For services rendered”. Now, I hadn’t done what I did for money; I was all about the book being a labor of love. I didn’t know if my MIL knew what my FIL had done so when she called later, I mentioned it. Turns out she did and they want the money to go towards printing my own book.

To that end, I’ll be working on one of my older NaNo novels. Camp NaNoWriMo starts this week and I want to use that time to rewrite the story where needed. Someone said rewriting a draft from scratch is a really good way to iron out the bumps, so I may try it and see where it goes. I plan on posting excerpts along the way and I hope anyone interested in leaving feedback will register either here, with WordPress.com, or with Disqus. (If you already have a WordPress.com or Disqus account, I believe you can post replies to my site already.)

Now that this is up, I have even more incentive to get ‘er done!