darkemeralds: Jared Padalecki in Regency attire (Restraint Tristan)
[livejournal.com profile] yourlibrarian has posted a thoughtful piece on Restraint and its place in the Real Person fanfic continuum.

She examines some of the ways in which John and Tristan do and don't hew to the "canon" of J2, and I have to say, she caught everything I intended and few things I wasn't conscious of. She also identifies a range of Alternate Universe categories and asks the question of whether Restraint and other AU Real Person fic can or should make the leap into "print" as published works with the serial numbers filed off.

I enjoyed the post and the discussion in comments (I probably also broke a cardinal rule by leaving a comment of my own!) and I thought other people might be interested in it. It's worth a read.
darkemeralds: Manga-style avatar of DarkEm with caption Hee (cartoony me)
The barometer is, evidently, skyrocketing and the shower scene music from Psycho is a fairly apt representation of the way my inner ears feel right now.

And speaking of the shower scene music from Psycho, is anyone else loving Scott Caan in Hawaii 5-0? He's just such a banty rooster. I like the show way better than I thought I would, mostly because of him. Which is strange because little stocky blond cock-of-the-walk attitude guys usually aren't at all to my taste.

And speaking of taste, I made a gluten-free lime pound cake yesterday, mostly while listening (again) to [personal profile] pandarus' fabulous The Student Prince. (Really, some of the most stand-up-and-cheer fiction I've ever read, fan- or otherwise! Highly, highly recommended.) The cake came out yum, and now the limey deliciousness reminds me of the terrific payoff scene where Arthur grants the interview, which I was listening to while applying lime glaze.

And speaking of payoffs: I just watched episode 12 of Rubicon. Wow. Just, wow. That show! I've never encountered that kind of slow-building, totally controlled long-arc story on television before, and holy crap, did it ever pay off in this latest ep! It was a brilliant, dark climax to the arc, and will be the starting point for a scary and exciting new arc. Amazing writing and acting.

And speaking of writing, Restraint chapter 39 is almost done at last.
darkemeralds: Dark Emeralds in red glasses (Default)
Just started watching "Sherlock" 1.01.

How anyone can draw a line between the AU fanfic on, say, AO3, and the AU fanfic I'm watching from BBC One is a complete mystery to me.

I'm only ten minutes in, and already we've got the principal characters, names unchanged, transposed 125 years forward in time to today. And we've got slash.

It's awesome. Awesome fanfic.

ETA: 20 minutes in and I'm kind of in love.
darkemeralds: Photo of fingers on a computer keyboard. (Writing)
I think I now understand why professional fiction writers are up in arms about fanfic. And it's not what any of them are actually saying.

I don't think Shirky was thinking about fanfic when he wrote this, but who cares? I was thinking about fanfic when I read it. )
darkemeralds: Photo of fingers on a computer keyboard. (Writing)
Long ago I had a wonderful, literary-minded roommate with whom I wrote song parodies and read great novels aloud and invented fractured aphorisms, of which two of my favorites were "Discretion is the better part of EVERYTHING!" and "When in Rome, SHUT UP!"

[personal profile] twistedchick has just posted the finest response I've seen so far to the latest anti-fanfic rantings, and at its heart I can find my two altered mottoes.

She takes on the "hack" insult, she takes on the "lazy" insult, and she reframes the entire argument with a perfectly apt metaphor of foreign travel and the behavior of travelers. And she quotes Keats.

On Hack Writing and Inopportune Travelers in the Realms of Gold. Well worth a read.

PPZ

Jul. 2nd, 2009 08:34 pm
darkemeralds: Dark Emeralds in red glasses (Default)
Pride & Prejudice & Zombies is surely the strangest work of fiction I've ever encountered. It's Austenverse AU fanfic. It's so obviously the product of an evening session over beers where the woman was saying how much she loved P&P and the man was saying, "You know what would improve that thing? Zombies, that's what." And a million-selling idea was born out of hilarity and irreverence. And it's not only successful in the marketplace, but surprisingly successful as a transformative work.

It has all the absurd glee of One Does Not Simply Walk Into Mordor and all the witty dialog and wordy length of Jane Austen. The re-author, Seth Grahame-Smith, does a good job of making the AU story go seamlessly into the style of the original. The blend of drawing-room wit and graphic beheadings works just because the re-author insists on it with such happy abandon. The characters refer politely to "the sad stricken" and "unmentionables," and only Miss Elizabeth Bennett calls them zombies. While she's slaying them.

Anyway, in case I'm not the very last person on my flist to read it, I recommend it. The audiobook is narrated by Katherine Kellgren, whose upper-class British accents are as nasty and sharp as Jane Austen's prose, and when she reverts from speaking like Mistah Daaaah-ceh to speaking like a zombie...Well, I'm still laughing.

I haven't finished it yet, but unless it goes seriously downhill in its second half, I think my recommendation will stand.
darkemeralds: Dark Emeralds in red glasses (Default)
Yeah, like nobody has ever talked about THAT before! There seem to be two main kinds of blocks: nothin' to write about (don't feel like it, no inspiration, drawing a blank) and WHY CAN'T I MAKE THIS SENTENCE/PARAGRAPH/CHAPTER/NOVEL WORK OMG.

I've just spent the past two hours behind the second block, trying to get a bit of narrative to say something it doesn't want to say. It's a rewrite of one of the first scenes I wrote for the current novel, and I can't seem to get any distance on it.

I tried two or three different approaches (including, yes, just cutting it out--but that didn't work). I boxed myself in with that anathema of fictional narrative: a character by himself, thinking about things as a form of exposition.

Holy shit. I just caught a glimpse of what I have to do. And it means tearing up the better part of the first three chapters.

Writing. I still love it. I do.
darkemeralds: Dark Emeralds in red glasses (Default)
Editing a printed manuscript with a pencil is turning out to be amazingly useful.

I know, I know, go ahead and laugh at my amazement. It's been years since I last did it and I forgot, okay?

It took me a while to figure out what the big difference is: I can X-out whole paragraphs, whole PAGES, if I want to, and they're still there! It makes it much easier to be ruthless, and ruthlessness is what my damn prose needs.

Thanks to LazerQuick and Pentel, I'm making fantastic strides in tightening up and clarifying this little 145,000 135,000 123,400 word behemoth.
darkemeralds: Dark Emeralds in red glasses (Default)
(crossposted on The Breeze At Dawn)

Desperation made me do it. I was getting nowhere editing and finishing Restraint. I'd exhausted mind mapping and oblique strategies and every writing exercise I know, and I just couldn't get my arms around it. It was too big.

So I printed it out. On paper! I went to LazerQuick with a thumb drive and came out a few minutes later with a spiral-bound book inside plain beige covers.

And suddenly I can see the damn thing again. The extraneousness of whole swaths of it are suddenly obvious. The bald spots are suddenly starkly clear. I'm sitting here with a reading light on. With a pen in my hand. It's like...1987!

It's so cool!
darkemeralds: Dark Emeralds in red glasses (Default)
My break from working on Restraint has borne some fruit. I woke up this morning knowing that I should leave the serial numbers on.

Why? It just felt better. And if I don't follow my gut in creative matters, what the hell am I doing being creative at all? Huh? Look at all the glee I get to retain if Restraint stays fanfic:

  • Owzers's fantastic manips
  • All four prologues if I want
  • Posting in parts
  • Posting in ebook form to OTW's Archive of Our Own
  • Soundtrack!
  • Minor RP character glee
  • The silly Supernatural in-jokes that got in there on Day One and have resisted being edited back out
  • The ridiculous Latin pun on Mr Acklebury's name

So, fic it is. Yay! I can get back to writing.
darkemeralds: Dark Emeralds in red glasses (Default)
I am officially Not Writing this weekend. The novel needs a rest from me, and I from it. So what the hey, I'll just write about it.

My novel (working title Restraint), nominally a work of fanfic, is so AU that turning it from fanfic to original fic would require little more than a global S&R on two character names. The question is, should I go that route?

Logic says it can't hurt to try. There can't be much money in the niche market of homoerotic romances for women, so if I can't sell the novel to a publisher, I lose virtually nothing by turning it back into fanfic and publishing it here or on LJ.

I'm more worried about what happens if I do sell it: bad editing, being outed in my real life, giving up creative control, and losing the story's original audience--passionate fellow fans of the characters whose names I can just as easily globally change back.

Earlier in my life, publishing a "real book" was a shining goal. Why? To be read. To tell my stories. To get a little feedback. Basically, to justify the act of writing. Not only can I have all that right now on the web, unmediated by any business model, but I don't even want a "real book" made of dead trees anymore.

While I decide on my route, I need to finish the thing. My writing break ends on Monday, when I embark on a dull business trip in service of the work that does pay. There's nothing like a hotel room in the evening for getting some writing done.
darkemeralds: Dark Emeralds in red glasses (Default)
Dancing around the May-pole, the lusty month of May when people go blissfully astray, etc., seems an excellent time to begin a journal for fiction, fan- and pro-, of the slashy kind.

By the same token, "m'aidez! m'aidez!" seems like a good way to begin a journal where I'll be looking for help, advice, moral support and critique of writing I manage to do.

I'm working on a novel now, but when it's done, inspiration might not strike again for three years--that's how long it took last time--and so this journal could morph into something else. Fandom and passions are weird that way.

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