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!

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.

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.

Found a shortcut!

With the HTML function down at fanfiction.net, I’ve had to find a different way to upload and edit my chapters. Up until now, I would load my HTML to An Archive of Our Own, edit it there, and then replace the original copy in my .txt file with the edits. This worked fine, until suddenly there was no more shortcut at fanfiction.net.

Continue reading “Found a shortcut!”

One step back

Well, not me taking one step back but fanfiction.net. They added new formatting tools to the user profiles and forum posting windows–including a “source code” button, but removed that one function from the actual document manager. (On the doc manager it was labeled “HTML”.) Do they really think we’re going to want the HTML versions of our forum posts? What were we going to do, post them at live journal? At WordPress? Facebook? Twitter? I can see the possibilities for the profiles; a user could conceivably make their profile standard across boards and archives they frequent. But not the forum posts.

Unfortunately for me, that “source code/HTML” function in the doc manager was one I used a lot.  It made posting my stories in other places (including here) so much easier! I’m not saying that posting here is now totally impossible; I’ve found a HTML converter which works from my Dropbox account. Converting ten files at a time doesn’t take very long. Neither does cleaning up the superfluous code when I use my free HTML editor (from CoffeeCup software–consider this a plug for them). The editor allows for find/replace through all open files, a time-saver to be sure.

Still, the HTML generator at fanfiction.net was easier still. Just export a chapter, toggle the generator, select all, copy, paste into an open Notebook file, and then save. Even with the neat features of my HTML editor, stripping the coding down to the bare formatting essentials still takes time I could use doing other things–like proofing said chapters for undetected SPaG issues. (That’s spelling, punctuation, and grammar, for the uninitiated).

Yeah, I realize Xing and company probably don’t want to facilitate an author’s move to another archive, nor do they have any obligation to offer such a function to the disaffected  (or to those who just want to spread their stories around, like I do).  But they have bigger issues to deal with if they want to keep their unsatisfied clientele–such as deleting plagiarized or copyright infringing stories. Better they focus on those than tweaking a relatively minor section of the entire site.  (I wouldn’t mind them reinstating the source code function for the document manager, either. In for a penny, in for a pound, as it were.)

Changing horses midstream in NaNoWriMo

What started as an original super-powered rescue squad is now a Thunderbirds fanfiction including a super-powered rescue squad. I’m not giving the Tracy boys super powers; that’s been done, if not always done well. The squad won’t be all girls as romantic foils to the boys; that’s also been done and not well. This will be a mixed gender squad positioning themselves as a rival to IR–with nefarious purposes lurking in the background.  Here’s hoping I can write the whole thing (or nearly so) in 50K!

Well, as much as I like Sunspot, it’s not working for me.

My menus keep disappearing for no reason that I can fathom, and since I’m a  total php noob (and a near total CSS noob as well), I’m going to look for something that will stick when I set up the menus. It also may make a decision I’ve been contemplating: whether or not to publish all my fanfiction here or just link to my fanfiction.net account. Any suggestions?

AO3

My friend lillehafrue sent me an invite to An Archive of Our Own (aka AO3) and I accepted. (Thanks, lille!) Posted a couple of small one shots, neither of them in my primary fandom.

Since I’ve posted at eFiction sites, the interface wasn’t as daunting as it would be for those who haven’t and I have some knowledge of HTML coding, which helps. The “warnings” business was more than a little confusing. I ended up deleting my first one shot because I couldn’t figure out a way to edit the “Author chose not to use archive warnings” in favor of “No archive warnings apply” (because they didn’t). So it still has some bugs to be user-friendly. (For all it’s complexity, eFiction is easier.)

Some of the Thunderbirds writers I know are there. Most aren’t, the elites in particular. There are only a handful of Thunderbirds stories, which means that ff.net is still the biggest archive. If I use it for my Thunderbirds work, I’m going to take my time putting it all up. (Can’t import from ff.net anyway; ff.net has blocked that.) At least no one is going to be using my penname there.