fearlessfan: (betty daniel bridge)
[personal profile] fearlessfan
I've been working on my Yuletide story, which of course means that I've been surfing LiveJournal and trying to find ways to avoid actually writing the story. I saw this meme in a few people's journals, and since this LJ is all about self-involved memes, I am posting it here:

What would you say are the trademarks of my writing? What themes or quirks or turns of phrase have you noticed?

The thing is, I haven't written that many stories, and I post them so infrequently and in random fandoms. Still, I am curious, if a bit fearful, because of course the answers I'm picturing are things like, "Well, usually I'm disappointed in the endings."

Which is something I think might be true. I've gotten that piece of feedback on more than one story. Also, when I go back to read over stuff I've written, the endings are most often the parts that I dislike or am disappointed in. There are some I like, and I can't figure out the common denominator - of the ones I liked, some came to me with the idea of the story, some came to me on my thirty-fifth pass through the story, some were randomly chosen, some were carefully planned.

Does anyone have any tips or tricks related to making a story ending work, or telling whether an ending works once you've written it? Do you have any pitfalls you've fallen into in the past that you've learned to avoid? Help me write a non-sucky ending to my Yuletide story, peeps!

(Not that I'm anywhere near the ending of my Yuletide story, of course.)

(no subject)

Date: 2007-10-28 09:27 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] navia.livejournal.com
I've noticed the most common thing I say when I rec fic to other people is, "But the ending is weak." So I guess I'm very particular about endings, even though, unfortunately, I have no tips on how to make them kickass. I think it's one of those things that is a hell of a lot clearer to the reader than the writer (at least, at first).

Do these FBers give specific reasons why they think the endings don't work? If not, and if they're people you like, you should ask them to explain further. They can help to identify the problem, if there is a problem.

(no subject)

Date: 2007-10-28 10:16 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] fearlessfan.livejournal.com
One of the notes I found was a qualified rec someone had offered for one of my stories, in which she said that she liked the story but that the ending didn't work for her and didn't elaborate further. I generally don't comment in places like that because I feel like reccing is something from one reader to another and busting in there as the author feels kind of rude. Also, I found it months after it was posted, and commenting there would reveal what a compulsive vanity searcher I am re: my stupid stories (terrible, terrible habit!).

The other couple of times it's happened, it's been via FB or a comment from a friend, and I've asked for more details and the people have generally been very helpful - I think they both said that the ending feels rushed. I'm going to keep that in mind as I write this story. But it's hard! I think part of is that I take forever to write things and I'm usually SO EXCITED to be near the end of the story that I hurry up too much to get to the ending, and once I write it, it doesn't get looked over as much as the parts that came before.

It's frustrating because there's nothing (to me) more satisfying than a good ending to a story. At the very least, I guess when I send this latest story out to beta I'll ask for particular attention to be paid toward it since I tend to have trouble with them.

Also! I almost closed this comment by asking who was the guy in your icon with Sam, but then I did that mouse-hover thing and saw that it was Danny. !!! I can't tell you how disappointed I am in myself since I love Without a Trace and Danny is my favoritest. Is it just that he's rarely shown from that angle on the show? But shouldn't I know him from every angle after watching it whenever I can on TNT?

(no subject)

Date: 2007-10-28 10:52 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] navia.livejournal.com
I agree that an author shouldn't comment on recs, only on FB that was directed to him/her specifically.

Rushed, hm, yeah, that seems to be a common thing. I don't know the solution to that since it's pretty much the opposite of my problem. I only like to write endings and key scenes, and I hate filling in the blanks (so I don't, which is why writing stories is not for me, haha). I envy people who can write stories from beginning to end so that they're writing *towards* something.

I can't believe you didn't recognize Danny! You thought he was just some random guy sniffing Samantha's hair! That is wrong.

(no subject)

Date: 2007-10-30 11:51 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] remainthesame.livejournal.com
I think that no matter who you are/what you write, someone is always going to find something that you--in their opinion--did utterly, utterly wrong. (Sometimes it's many someones, which makes you want to crawl into a hole.)

Anyway, are you willing to share what stories you/others feel have "disappointing" endings? Because I think looking at what you think doesn't work OBJECTIVELY (and not how you usually do, Ms. Refuses to Recognize Her Talent) and reading what other people have to say OBJECTIVELY (for example, someone who wants Danny/Rusty fic isn't ever going to be happy with the ending of Drive) could help you with what you think is a problem.

But, for the record, I think you're crazy. And I wish you wrote more.

MORE!!

(no subject)

Date: 2007-10-31 03:39 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] fearlessfan.livejournal.com
First, as always, thank you for being so supportive of my writing! YOU ARE AWESOME!

And I am willing to share! One person sent critical FB on my Psych story - they said that the ending felt rushed and too neat. The qualified rec was on the Office story, and there they left it vague, I think they said that the ending didn't work for them but didn't elaborate. Frustrating!

On the Psych fic, I can definitely see the rushed thing - for reasons you and I have discussed, I was glad to reach the end of that story! On the Office fic, I'm a little more puzzled, partly because her comments were vague. Maybe that was too neat, too? I do kind of feel bad for Roy in that story, he's pretty much hung out to dry because of my JIM/PAM4EVAness.

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