fearlessfan: (Apartment - Shut Up and Deal)
[personal profile] fearlessfan
One of my New Year's Resolutions was to be better about writing in general and updating my LJ in particular, and I'm doing as well with those as I'm doing with my other resolutions, like being on time for work (fifteen minutes late on Friday) and keeping my apartment tidy (it's a sty).

It's never too late to get started though, right? Let's hope so! I don't want to live in squalor forever, nor do I wish to repeat the epic fall I took when I tried to shave a few seconds off of my lateness by prioritizing speed over caution when attempting to cross the icy parking lot at my office last week.

So! The Fic Year in Review Meme! Although for me it's a Fic Years in Review Meme because I forgot to do it last year. Always on the ball here.

Stories I wrote (and posted):

Pennsylvania: Gus and Shawn are called in to Scranton, PA to solve a mystery. (Psych/The Office crossover, Gus/Shawn)

Fundamentals of Chemistry: Annie tries to get over her crush on Troy, and Troy chooses that moment to finally notice her. (Community, Troy/Annie - written for the Yuletide 2009 challenge)

Flying Solo: Ann figures out why things never worked out with Mark. (Parks and Recreation, Ann/Leslie)

Going Up: Fran gets her life together. Post-movie. (The Apartment, Fran Kubelik/C.C. "Bud" Baxter - written for the Yuletide 2010 challenge)



On Trying New Things:

Over the last few years my fannish output has declined, partially because I've been experimenting with writing some original stuff (so far, the results: incomplete messes!) and also because I haven't stuck with a fandom. I do enjoy writing, though I'm generally pretty lazy about it, and the best way I can get myself to finish a story is to give myself some kind of challenge, whether it's external (like Yuletide) or something I impose on myself.

I always feel like my stories are super similar - if I had to brand my fic with a tag line, it would be something like: Sappy stories you can share with your grandmother! And I think that's stayed true. I did try to do a couple of things I hadn't done before, a crossover and a femslash story, and they ended up being - you guessed it - sappy stories you can share with your grandmother. But each challenged me in different ways and I'm glad I tried them.

The crossover posed a bunch of logistical challenges complicated by the fact that I took so GD long to write the story that I had to modify the story a few times to fit with what happened on The Office (I think originally Dwight called Shawn and Gus in to investigate whether Angela loved him or Andy, but when that storyline wound down I ended up changing it to the whole pregnancy thing). Psych and The Office have such distinct and different tones that I struggled to find a way to meld them, and I'm still not sure how well it worked - I ended up using the character I find most outlandish on The Office (Dwight) as the connection point, with Gus as the point-of-view character, because I think he's the more grounded of the Gus/Shawn pairing. In the end, I'm okay with the story, though I hate the last line. That's not a surprise - I always struggle with endings, last lines in particular.

I felt a little embarrassed when I realized I'd been floating around fandom so long and had never written a femslash story. The toughest part ended up being figuring out the transition between a warm and loving female friendship into a romance, maybe because I've been fortunate to have a number of warm and loving friendships with fellow ladies and none of them have shifted over to romance. One of the things I love about Ann and Leslie's friendship on Parks and Rec is how warm and sweet and supportive it is, the way many of my friendships are; it took me a while to find my way in to understanding the love story I wanted to write. I feel like there are subtle romantic undertones between Ann and Leslie on the show, but I had a hard time picking them out from moments that also fit with a loving friendship. In the end, my mind kept going back to the moment in Hunting Trip, specifically Ann's disappointment when she finds out she's going to hunt with Mark instead of Leslie; the story ended up being about Ann's heart having already chosen Leslie without Ann herself realizing it. I do feel like there are a few cheats in the story - the website plot device, the evolution of Leslie's feelings isn't really explored or explained - but overall I'm okay with the story.


On Fandom:

Lately I've been thinking about how long it's been since I was truly active in a fandom, or had one fandom I identified with. I started out as a teenager lurking on Star Trek: Voyager AOL message boards (Paris/Torres 4EVA!!) and tentatively joining in on conversations about Remember WENN, a show from AMC's first attempt at original programming. I then fell into Roswell, and soon after that Popslash, which was the last time I can remember having a lasting mono-fannish relationship. Since then I've kind of hopped around, seeking out fic for various shows that interest me, but without one true fannish obsession. Or, to be more accurate, having occasional intense bursts of obsession, such as the three Ses of my 09-10 - Star Trek! Supernatural! Sherlock! - and other things with less expansive fannish output, like Fringe and The Good Wife and Justified and lately Downton Abbey (Sybill/ChaufferWhatshisname 4EVA!!).

Where was I going with this? I don't know. I guess I kind of miss having a fandom, but I just can't COMMIT!

My favorite:

I guess the story I have the most warm-n-fuzzy feelings for is probably
Flying Solo. I love Ann and Leslie so much as characters that the story is kind of close to my heart, so it's my default favorite.

The best:

I don't know! Usually I pick the one I've just posted because the flaws are least apparent, so maybe Going Up.

The weakest:

Fundamentals of Chemistry gives me the the most "eh, I don't knoooow" feelings when I try to reread it. Part of that might be because I wrote the story early in the show's canon, so the characters as I wrote them are different from the characters as we see them now.

Most fun story:

Pennsylvania, easily. Writing banter between Gus and Shawn was fun, as was coming up with weird stuff to happen at Schrute farms and ways for Shawn to interact with a semi-traditional office environment.

Hardest story to write:

Flying Solo, for the reasons I mentioned above, though Going Up probably comes in second. Yuletide felt like it had a shorter timeframe than usual this year, and I felt pretty intimidated by my assigned source material - The Apartment, one of my favorite movies of all time! Written by Billy Wilder! AKA one of The Greats!

Another tough thing about writing Going Up was that the movie ends on such a perfect note - with the important things resolved, but many things unsettled - so there were plenty of places to go next and I felt unsure of which direction to take. The prompt I got for the challenge was super helpful and I used that to guide me, and hope I did okay.

Most unintentionally telling story:

Sometime in the middle of last year I found myself revisiting my fic (probably in an attempt to avoid some other writing thing I meant to do), and I realized that french fries featured in my Yuletide stories 2008 (when Zach orders them for Kelly in the Max) and 2009 (when it's revealed that Annie orders them for Troy, WAY TO STEAL FROM YOURSELF, SELF!). What's funny is that late in 2008 I started the South Beach Diet, where potatoes are VERBOTEN! And so I haven't been eating much potatoes since. This has been an Epic Struggle because I am true to my Irish heritage in that I looooooooove potatoes. LOVE THEM. And apparently that came through in my fic via people demonstrating love by giving people french fries.

I wrote my Yuletide 2010 story fully aware of my potato-loving writing subconscious, and yet STILL was shocked when my beta got back to me about the story and said, "I loved how you kept the potato thing going!" Because of course Bud eats mashed potatoes in the Automat. At least it wasn't another romantic offering this time, but STILL.

Apparently my deep dark secret is I Love Potatoes. And also that I'm a giant sap, but that's not really a secret at all!

Writing goals:

To write more! Maybe three stories this year, and to make actual progress on that original thing I mentioned. I have a few unfinished fics on my hard drive I should get done, at the very least. We shall see!

Man, I kind of went on AT EXCRUCIATING LENGTH here. Apologies!
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