a thought.

Wednesday, 27 February 2019 21:50
lea_hazel: Neuron cell (Science: Brains)
fanfic fandoms are like watching an adult try to color with crayons.
lea_hazel: Typewriter (Basic: Writing)
Crossposted from pi-lo: anxiousgeek's End Of Year Writing Blanket Box:

Total number of completed stories: hard to say, but around 35 I would guess, maybe more if I count the ones I wrote but didn't post, or the ones that are still in progress.

Total word count: AO3 says more than 80K, and even accounting for some weirdness that sounds about right.

Looking back, did you write more fic than you thought you would this year, less, or about what you'd predicted? More than I would have guessed for some months (notably, February and June). Less than I'd've liked for others.

Read more... )

On Fanfic

Tuesday, 8 January 2019 20:39
lea_hazel: Typewriter (Basic: Writing)
I was looking at 12 Months of AU - A Year Long Fic Writing Challenge and came up with a just absolutely angsty idea for an Allegra/Clarmont A/U and I am not sure whether I'm up to it. I mean, just... ugh, my heart.
lea_hazel: Typewriter (Basic: Writing)
Rules: List the first line(s) of your last twenty stories. See if you find any patterns. Tag ten authors to pass it along.

I was tagged by @faejilly​ and it seemed like a fun way to celebrate both the Year of Lots of Writing and the fact that I just looked back at all my accounts to sum up my word counts for December, and I did a lot better than I feared.

I’m only doing ten, though. It already goes way back into August.

Read more... )

Tag yourself if you’d like to participate.
lea_hazel: Neuron cell (Science: Brains)
This year I'm determined to be a better recipient for Yuletide than in years past. Reveals start going up in about four hours and I intend to read my gift on my lunch break and comment on it immediately. And you can hold me to that. In fact, I'm gonna read and comment on all the 7KPP fics for this year (they're here). We're a small fandom and deeply dormant, and fic authors deserve all the attention they can get.

I am also deeply anxious about the gift I wrote this year, but that's par for the course.
lea_hazel: Typewriter (Basic: Writing)
NaNoWriMo is over.

Read more... )

Next weekend I'm having my own private little "writing retreat". I hope to work on either TC or BR, with mystical luck perhaps both.
lea_hazel: I am surrounded by tiny red hearts (Feel: Love)
Once again I slide in my Yuletide noms just under the deadline. I did nom 7KPP again of course, but it all depends on whether anyone requests or offers it. If there's a fair number of requests, I may decide to offer only characters I haven't written very much of (so no princesses or widows, for once). I just... feel the need for variety, and I can only flourish creatively under external pressure.

Writing Update

Tuesday, 5 June 2018 11:28
lea_hazel: Typewriter (Basic: Writing)
January: 10050 words.

Some aborted blog posts, including a snippet of a review of the Simon Feximal book. Two finished fanfics, which have launched the fic series that has dominated 2018 for me. One poem that I still haven't found a home for. Got positive feedback, though. One fic that I set aside and haven't gone back to, because alpha spoilers.

February: 27837 words.

Record month. Lots of fanfic, for 7KPP Week, for Purimgifts, for Decline and Fall. One of the PG series I qualify as a short story because the prompt was tarot and it's ostensibly a loose sequel to my Jukebox Fest fic of several years ago. February was all about getting my writing groove back and not sinking into depression.

March: 19277 words.

Many many words for Decline and Fall, some of which will not be posted for a good while yet. March is also when I started finally putting down words for my original fiction novel (working title, "Blue Rose").

April: 21015 words, 7165 on Blue Rose.

Tried to write a short story and failed. Wrote a fair bit on Blue Rose and did a lot of outlining, but didn't come close to my goal of 15K words for Camp NaNo. The first two weeks of April were dominated by the holidays and by writing Masters of the Hunt, which eventually clocked in at about 9500 words (a record for me) and which I am still gradually posting in installments here.

May: 16477 words, 3755 on Blue Rose.

Started work on Snowfall again, after leaving it languishing for a long while. Plot progression on Blue Rose is well underway. Late in the month I caught a mental bug and started revamping an old ChoiceScript game into a project I call "Turncoat Chronicle". Did almost 2K words on that before June ambushed me. Wrote most of a review for the blog, which has been standing deserted for most of 2018. It'll go up next week.

June:

I am still working on Blue Rose and making a little progress. I don't know what will happen with Turncoat Chronicle. I have a Decline and Fall fic that I want to finish but I'm taking my time since I have such a posting backlog. I'm cautiously optimistic.

Bad Day

Monday, 26 March 2018 19:13
lea_hazel: Typewriter (Basic: Writing)
I've been sinking into writing lots of fanfic, which is a thing that happens sometimes when I'm going through a rough patch. My peak points of writing fic in three of my last four fandoms corresponded to periods of depression, health problems, crap jobs, low grades, etc.

But this time, this time I was supposed to channel it into writing original fiction. And for a while it was even working. I had developed a cast of characters that I liked, I had clear growth arcs for them all. I had even outlined about two thirds of the plot, in great detail.

Now I'm jammed, and I feel like shit about everything most days. So I'm back to fanfic.

I mean, there's an arc and everything, and fuck knows I have an entire supporting cats outlined in my mind...

But this wasn't the plan.

Yesterday was a bad day and for some reason that meant today was a bad day, too. I had a plan and everything. Maybe I can still muster the energy to, IDK, fold laundry or something. To give myself more of a feeling that I did something today, other than wallowing in self-pity. And washing my hair.
lea_hazel: Neuron cell (Science: Brains)
The most fanfic that I've written in such a short period of time since my dad's heart surgery.

It's like a depression barometer for me.

Don't be alarmed. Changes are being made and on the whole things are looking up.

my brain...

Thursday, 22 February 2018 18:00
lea_hazel: Typewriter (Basic: Writing)
Over the last nine days I wrote so much fanfic that I feel like my brain is shutting down.

Now I'm trying to figure out how to properly rest my brain.

(Everything is fine. This is good tired. I have appointments and things and the immediately crisis is over.)

*~*[community profile] purimgifts~*~
lea_hazel: I am surrounded by tiny red hearts (Feel: Love)
Holy shit.

I discovered two things today:

1. an old website that I used years ago to store unfinished kmeme fills that I didn't want lying around on my harddrive, has gone completely defunct and vanished from the face of the internet. yes, that website did still have some drafts of mine stored (attached to an email account similarly defunct, which I stopped properly using years ago). it's mostly okay, because the stuff that I really wanted to keep is still somewhere in my GMail drafts. I only really lost one document that I feel bad about not having, and it's no huge tragedy.

2. a quick search through my gmail account revealed two documents of unfinished stories relating to that very lost document. this is for an OC that I've been thinking about a lot lately, for some reason, and have developed a sudden weird nostalgia for. there's for sure no audience for it and I don't see that I would ever complete these stories, but it's extremely interesting to reread something that I wrote two or more year ago -- and totally forgot about.

life, man.
lea_hazel: Typewriter (Basic: Writing)
So, in my life as a fanfic writer (which lbh is the best part of it always and forever) I have had two (very bisexual) unfinished longfics that I considered filing the serial numbers off of. As an exercise in long-form writing, the thing I spend my life angsting about, it wasn't a bad idea per se. One of these, I have more or less let go of the idea of. I don't really have enough passion in me to write a novella's worth of bisexual vampire urban fantasy in some "vague North American city" setting, let alone constructing from scratch the kind of secondary setting that plot would require.

The second, I have more complicated feelings about. Because the crux of that second story is an emotional arc involving a series of relationships and shifting allegiances between three very different people. My emotional investment in these three characters and their need to resolve around each other hasn't flatlined, even if it's not as strong as it was two or three years ago. And I'm still pretty mad about the worldbuilding things in the canon for that fic that I was using the fic to try and address. But time has passed and my storytelling voice has grown and evolved and changed, I did NaNo for 2016 and started developing a story of NaNo 2017 that I have high hopes for.

One of the things that I have high hopes for w/r/t this story (henceforth TAOS) is that, as I only just realized, it takes a subplot from this abandoned fanfic, guts it, reconstructs it, and basically wears its skin. And wears it much better, I should add, while also incorporating some elements from two of my favorite stories, the kind that I've been obsessed with referencing or retelling since, uh, time. TAOS basically makes the "bones" plot of the fic redundant, and undermines a lot of my reason for wanting to file off and rewrite it.

What TAOS doesn't have, though, is that complex emotional dynamic that I was so attached to, that I still want to revisit in some way, shape or form. And no, I cannot inject this dynamic into the story, either, as its structure is completely wrong and its core cast can't be wrapped around the ideas central to the character conflict in the other. Individual elements, maybe I could. Like, I could add an antagonistic, resentment to respect relationship that starts sexual and evolves into a romance. Probably. I could add a poly relationship, probably, pretty easily. But not the whole thing, not the complete structure that was the pivot of the emotional arc of the original fic. Not without it being awkward as fuck and undermining the narrative integrity of the plot and characters.

Now I'm stuck wondering whether I should just mourn that whole story and move on. Or leave well enough alone, allow it to stay dormant in the back of my mind, until my mind can find a suitable home for it, which may be years from now or never. Or force the issue, try to deconstruct the core plot elements that made that dynamic possible and use them as bones to build a new story more or less from scratch, without the social/political component that compelled me to write it to begin with.

Writing is hard.
lea_hazel: Typewriter (Basic: Writing)
Writing has always been a central part of my life and even my identity, even when I didn't practice it regularly. It's been a background goal for me to become a writer even though all the other ambitions that I've had and discarded. Eventually I had to make a hard decision and I decided to pursue writing as a profession and career, not a hobby. I still have a day job, obviously. And I still hobby write (fanfiction, and other things). But the goal is to write professionally.

Writing is a frequently frustrating occupation. It's hard work, and it's work that's often undervalued, sometimes even as it's in demand. As most fanfic writers have noticed. Still I've had some amazing writerly moments in my life, outside of the aspiration to go pro and alongside some bitter disappointments (in myself and in others). I wanted to write a lot about those, since one of them happened just recently and since I could always use a morale boost to my creativity.

Read more... )

*glances up* What the fuck am I even talking about, who can even tell.

(actual playlist I was listening to when I was writing this.)
lea_hazel: I am surrounded by tiny red hearts (Feel: Love)
I'm experiencing a wave of nostalgia for my old fanfic that is both powerful and inexplicable.
lea_hazel: Neuron cell (Science: Brains)
About six years ago, I spent six or seven months writing an "epic" multi-chapter fanfic anonymously on an LJ prompt meme. I was sunk so deep into it. I was obsessed with it. I was madly in love with it.

I never finished it.

I was writing other stories in the same fandom at the time, the fandom that ate my life (another recurring story for me). I got caught up in other things so that thinking about updating the story had me unbelievably anxious. I spent a long time after (what turned out to be) my final update scheming and guilting myself about how I would eventually finish it. Some time after I ghosted on the fandom altogether, I spent a fair amount of time telling myself that I would clean up what existed of it and post it to my AO3 with a final note saying I was out of the fandom and it would never be complete.

Today yesterday I was going through some outlining guides for writers and trying to take notes about how my different stories fit into the mold or don't. Part of my ongoing attempt to create some sort of writing style for myself that I can apply reliably to writing long-form. I was going to note this fic for its planned resolution (which I never reached, but still had an outline for), and I realized I had completely forgotten its name. For a while I had kept the document I was writing it in on-hand, and in my Dropbox, but my desktop of the time died and the doc is now buried somewhere in my backup drive.

I did finally locate it and add that note. And that fic is still to this day one of my most successful attempts at longfic. Which is rather tragic I suppose. Since then I've ghosted on at least two more major fandoms. And I have made peace with my tendency to leave stories unfinished, although I still try hard not to let it happen.
lea_hazel: Neuron cell (Science: Brains)
When I was a teenager, my dream was to write a novel.

In the army, my dream was to write and publish a novel.

In my early twenties, I was convinced that it was just a matter of time before I wrote a publishable novel.

...I am terrible at writing novels.

Over the past fifteen or so years, I have been writing short fiction of various lengths and descriptions. I flatter myself that I have become quite good at it. I can look back at something I wrote two or three years ago and be largely pleased with it. Farther back than that, things get a little hazier. But no matter what else I've done, I've always struggled with writing longer form works of fiction.

Writing a novel is so easy and automatic an idea, that it took many years and many failed attempts before I considered the idea of not trying to write one. Most of my successful and satisfying works have been short fiction, and when I write in chaptered form I often feel like I'm floundering. Part of the impetus behind the Collar of the Damned project was to try and develop my short original fiction as part of a shared universe.

Then again, writing well-structured short fiction isn't easy, either. Looking back at the past few years of my writing, I feel like I have improved my pacing and structure a lot. Most often, when a story went past a certain length, I would structure it out of snippets clearly divided by sharp scene transitions. It made them read like chained vignettes. More recent stories are better paced and more cohesive in their structure.

Here are some hard numbers, primarily for my own reference: Read more... )
lea_hazel: Neuron cell (Science: Brains)
25 day streak on 750words.com. I've been using it for almost a year and I've found it to be an immensely useful tool, both creatively and therapeutically. This month I've signed up, yet again, for the one-month challenge -- aspiring to write three pages (or 750 words) every single day in June. My previous attempts at this challenge have been very unsuccessful, but I hold higher hopes this time. Not only because I'm more than halfway through and so far it's been almost easy, but also because for the first time in a while, I'm writing full-time. Ostensibly.

Sunday through Tuesday, I did no writing at all (other than the aforementioned three daily pages). It's my third week being unemployed/self-employed, and my motivation seems to have ebbed more than a little. It didn't help that I was inexplicably sleepy on Sunday and Monday. I spent a lot of time dozing off, half-awake rereading old fanfic, playing hidden object games, drooling over the Steam summer sale and catching up on Sense8 (a truly ridiculous show).

Yesterday I spent most of the afternoon sprawled on my bed, tearing through Naomi Novik's Uprooted like it's my job. I got the sampler booklet at last year's Dragon*Con when I went to see her talk on transitioning from being a fanfic writer to being (also) a pro writer. And proceeded to chicken out of trying to speak to her in person. Lousy move, given that even then I was making plans in the general direction in which I am now more specifically stepping. Of course, if I was aiming to write a novel, my path ahead would be a little bit clearer.

Looking at my June goals, I'm not doing too poorly for being halfway through the month. I completed my [community profile] jukebox_fest assignment, Hail the Hunter, best described as "Florence and the Machine's Girl with One Eye with bonus megalomaniacal dragons", and wrote a whole bunch of Skyrim fanfic. I made good progress on a Collar of the Damned meta essay that's been in the works for about a billion years. I've been blogging steadily.

A little past the halfway mark, June seems to be treating me well.

Blogging

Thursday, 4 June 2015 11:37
lea_hazel: Typewriter (Basic: Writing)
I had excellent intentions for this morning and then ended up spending several straight hours reading blogs.

I completed my [community profile] jukebox_fest story and I don't know if I'll ever be happy with it. I feel like it needs to be torn to shreds by an editor and pieced back together over a month. My impulsive writing habits are starting to get me down and I want to spend part of this month working specifically on that.

Monday morning I made a big spreadsheet with writing goals for June. The spreadsheet has a category for blogging, with two specific meta subjects that I want to get around to. One of them is about The 100, which I have been overdue to write about since I glommed the whole series in amok.

Even though my mind is constantly churning with ideas and reactions to things, I feel like I actually bring up almost none of that. I want to change that, but I'm not certain where to start. My own fanfic? Characters that I find myself writing over and over again? How long it's been since I've even remotely kept up with contemporary SFF?

One of the items on my agenda is making a list of recent books to read and (possibly) review.

A Game

Wednesday, 1 April 2015 22:12
lea_hazel: The Little Mermaid (Default)
Let's play a game called, "How far back in my AO3 can I go before I hit a story that utterly appalls me?"

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