edenfalling: stylized black-and-white line art of a sunset over water (Default)
Today is the last day to sign up for the 2017 Narnia Fic Exchange!

Come play! The NFE is a very low-pressure exchange that produces a bunch of really awesome fic in response to fun and intriguing prompts.

Even if you can't sign up, do keep an eye out for the Madness round, where you can sort through all the prompts and write ficlets that don't need to meet the minimum length requirement. :)
edenfalling: stylized black-and-white line art of a sunset over water (Default)
If, in an effort to make myself finally finish some of my languishing WIPs, I sign up for [livejournal.com profile] wipbigbang, which of the following options would be best to tackle? The rules say the finished work must be at least 7,500 words long, and you have to have at least 500 words extant at the time of entry. (These can be publicly posted or only in your own document files.)

So here are several stories that fit those requirements, and which I think I have a plausible chance of finishing by July 10 of this year:

1. Five Things That Never Happened to Rex and Anna Lewis (And One That Still Might)
--This is a GI Joe: Rise of Cobra fic (yes, I know) that does exactly what it says on the tin. I currently have the first three sections written to the tune of 9,000 words, and a couple hundred each for parts four and five. Part six is only an outline and might end up unwritten depending on my mood after rewatching the movie to refresh my memory of the characters and plot (insofar as they exist). Would probably be 15,000-18,000 words when complete.

2. Intervention
--A Star Trek: AOS fic centered entirely on original characters with a brief cameo from the Enterprise near the end. The crew of a Red Cross ship investigate a mysterious plague on a small and deliberately isolationst human colony, where they run into a bunch of cultural issues (the colonists are a religious splinter group with negative opinions about technology) but begin to make progress... and then an Orion slaver/pirate fleet arrives in the system. Oops. I have about 14,000 words written and am stalled in the middle of the space battle section. Would probably be 18,000-20,000 words when complete.

3. The Light in Your Eyes
--Also a Star Trek: AOS fic, this one following Spock through the immediate aftermath of the Narada incident up to the Enterprise leaving on its new mission. Mostly about Vulcans and mourning and stuff, with significant secondary roles for Uhura and Kirk. Currently at 9,500 words, would probably be 18,000-20,000 words when complete.

4. New Horizons
--Post-epilogue, DH-compliant Ginny/Harry/Draco. No, really. :) Basically, Ginny gets forcibly 'retired' from the Holyhead Harpies around the time Lily leaves Hogwarts, so Harry takes her on a consolation holiday to Greece. They run into Draco, who's giving himself a consolation holiday after his divorce, and things kind of spiral from there. Featuring a bunch of political arguments, a bit too much alcohol, and probably no explicit porn because I am more here for the midlife crisis and romcom aspects. I posted two sections on my journal in draft form ages ago, and part of the third chapter is written. About 3,500 words written, should come to maybe 8,000 when complete. (Or 10,000, depending on how much they argue before I can talk them into possibly inadvisable sex.)

5. The Courting Dance
--A Chronicles of Narnia fic dealing with Aravis and Cor's attempt to get married despite stiff political opposition. Each chapter features a different POV, and there is at least as much world-building as romance. Eight chapters currently written and posted, probably seven left to go. Currently 12,500 words, will be around 24,000 when complete.

6. A Change of Season
--Chronicles of Narnia fic, sequel to "Out of Season" and "To Every Thing There Is a Season." This one follows Ilgamuth Tarkaan and Shezan Tolkheera through the end and aftermath of HHB, as they attempt to navigate extreme personal and political upheavals. I only have about 650 words of this written and my outline is extremely vague, so the estimated final wordcount is mostly a wild guess, but... I'd say 30,000 minimum. I'm putting this on here mostly because it's a story that I intensely want to write at some point, but I've needed external deadline pressure to get through the other two main fics in this sequence so perhaps a similar kick will work on this one as well. It would require me to write at least twice as many words as any other option, though.

7. Lemonade
--A BtVS/Gundam Wing/Naruto crossover in which Faith Lehane, Duo Maxwell, and Uchiha Sasuke accidentally get yanked into a hell dimension and have to work together to get home. Along the way, they have some sex. :) This is post-Chosen for Faith, post-Endless Waltz for Duo, and in the third year of the timeskip for Sasuke; it ignores all BtVS comics, anything from Preventers Five, and pretty much all of post-timeskip Naruto. Nineteen chapters are currently posted, totalling roughly 44,000 words. I estimate another six to ten chapters before the plot wraps up. (I have a relatively firm outline, but I'm not always great at guessing how many words it will take to cover each point.) This should be roughly 60,000 words when complete, though only 16,000 or so would be new.

So. With that in mind, here is a poll:

This poll is closed.
Open to: Registered Users, detailed results viewable to: All, participants: 22

If Liz attempts the WIP Big Bang, which story should she finish?

View Answers

"Five Things That Never Happened to Rex and Anna Lewis" (GI Joe: Rise of Cobra)
0 (0.0%)

"Intervention" (Star Trek: AOS)
2 (9.1%)

"The Light in Your Eyes" (Star Trek: AOS)
0 (0.0%)

"New Horizons" (Harry Potter)
3 (13.6%)

"The Courting Dance" (Chronicles of Narnia)
9 (40.9%)

"A Change of Season" (Chronicles of Narnia)
2 (9.1%)

"Lemonade" (BtVS/Gundam Wing/Naruto)
6 (27.3%)

If you can't get the poll to work for you, please leave a comment instead!
edenfalling: stained-glass butterfly in a purple frame (butterfly)
Yes, it is that time of year again! I haven't had a chance to play yet myself (life happens *sigh*) but I intend to go take a look tonight and Sunday.

 photo 93d6de2a-3dc0-4f51-8fe2-117f98d4b96b.jpg

(In case the link in the image goes weird, here is the boring text version: http://caramelsilver.livejournal.com/150194.html)
edenfalling: stylized black-and-white line art of a sunset over water (Default)
NFE assignments are out, and having looked at my recipient's prompts and letter, I have to say, my biggest question here is not, "Can I work with this?" (the answer is YES, by the way; thank you, [personal profile] snacky!) but rather, "Is it even worth trying to be anonymous?"

Well, I could easily be anonymous on one of the prompts, because I have never written anything about that particular part of canon (and everyone can just wonder for several weeks whether I am using 'part' to mean book, era, character, location, or something else), but the others... um. Let's just say that they would be VERY EASY to write, and they would give me away in half a heartbeat.

Unless I go AU to my personal headcanons. Which could be really interesting! But I hate unnecessarily reinventing the wheel, and it's oddly frustrating to create something that would fit into my Lost Chronicles timeline except for Thing X, whatever Thing X may be.

Heh. You know what? This is where I wish I were [personal profile] rthstewart and had other people writing fanfic of my fanfic, because then I would have at least a little built-in plausible deniability. *wry*


Or wait. It suddenly occurs to me that this is the perfect excuse to explore certain OTHER vague notions that I haven't had any excuse to work into stories, but have kind of idly speculated about over the years. My recipient's prompts are very broad and forgiving in that fashion. Oooh. Yes. Okay, I think I have a plan...

*disappears in a flurry of evil laughter*
edenfalling: stylized black-and-white line art of a sunset over water (Default)
Lalala, I am editing my Betapalooza fic!

I've added 600 words already, and I still have two narrative gaps to smooth over plus two final scenes to elaborate, so I expect the revised draft as a whole will be a good thousand words longer than the rough version I posted on AO3 to meet the deadline. Some of this is just giving more narrative weight to one of the beta kids, so the quartet doesn't come off unbalanced, but other parts are an attempt to inject greater emotional reality and also narratively foreshadow some stuff.

I don't think I am writing deathless prose here, nor is it my best work, but it's structurally interesting and hopefully charming in overall effect. (Also, I feel I am being incredibly non-anonymous, but perhaps it only seems that way to me since I know exactly how up my alley this particular prompt was.)
edenfalling: stylized black-and-white line art of a sunset over water (Default)
December 23: fic challenges in general (for [personal profile] silverblade219) [Tumblr crosspost]

I like them!

In terms of fests and ficathons, I do better with exchange setups than open prompt setups. I have never yet defaulted on an exchange, and have written extra fics for several of them. The exchanges I've participated in include Yuletide, Remix Redux, the Narnia Fic Exchange, Ladystuck, and Ouroboros Mix.

With non-exchange ficathons, my record is mixed to awful. I've participated in Femgenficathon (which was great fun the first three years, but after that I failed to write anything two years in a row, and wrote something nearly eleven months late the last year it ran), an LGBT fest the exact name of which escapes me (for which I never finished my story, though I do keep adding a hundred words at a time to it every now and then), HHR Serendipity (a Harry/Hermione prompt fest for which I did finish my story), the Narnia Big Bang (which I defeated the first year, but failed miserably at on the second attempt), and the Ladystuck Blind Darkfic challenge (for which I finished and posted my story literally two minutes before the collection went live).

I think the difference is the gift aspect of exchanges. In a prompt fest, if I miss the deadline the only person I disappoint is myself. In an exchange fest, if I miss the deadline I disappoint my recipient. The carrot-to-stick motivation ratio is entirely different. I have trouble with internal motivation, so having that extra external kick is very helpful getting me past my own inertia. I also like the challenge of writing a story to someone else's specifications, or working with the bones of someone else's plot.

On that note, some other things that might count as challenges include filling kinkmeme prompts -- which is fun, for the same 'writing to someone else's taste' reasons as gift exchanges. Of course, you are free to pick and choose the prompts you wish to fill, so there isn't the same pressure... unless you start posting something as a WIP, in which case suddenly people may be very invested in your writing progress. Three Sentence Ficathon prompts work the same way, though there obviously nothing can be a proper WIP; the closest you can get is people prompting follow-ups of previous fills.

I sometimes ask people to give me prompts on my own journal, which I feel free to reject if I don't know or am not comfortable with the fandoms people request. Thus far, I haven't had to reject any for inability to deal with a particular scenario or set of characters, but that will probably happen sooner or later if I keep up the habit.

I also like fifteen minute ficlets, or stuff like Cotton Candy Bingo and Thirtyforthree, where you get a single word or a simple concept as a prompt and have to write something relating to it. The challenge is partly to be relevant to the prompt, and partly in the writing restrictions. Fifteen minute ficlets obviously have a time limit. Thirtyforthree ficlets all have to be about the same threesome, though writers choose their own set of characters to smush together. Cotton Candy Bingo ficlets have a minimum length (500 words) and must be fluffy, for whatever definition of fluff the writer uses. *wry*

The common aspect in all of these things is the challenge. It's fun to put myself in situations where I have to write something I would never have come up with on my own, without the impetus and inspiration of the challenge setup, whatever it happens to be.

And now, if you'll excuse me, I have to get back to revising my Yuletide fic. :-)


December Talking Meme: All Days
edenfalling: stylized black-and-white line art of a sunset over water (Default)
I have been reading through this year's Narnia Fic Exchange stories with great enjoyment. I am not done yet, even though there are only twenty-five of them. This is because I try to take more time with gift exchange fics, and leave thoughtful comments.

I think I do that partly as a sort of interest payment on my normal utter failure at leaving feedback ("kudos" and "like" options are a godsend, seriously), and partly because I know that I spend the anonymous portion of such fests twitchy and nervous, wondering if people will like my work without my name attached to it. I mean, not that I have all that much name recognition to start with, but I have a little simply by virtue of kicking around various fandoms for twelve years now. There is value in being a known quantity. And I figure that if I feel nervous, at least some other writers probably do too, so I want to say, "Yes, people are reading your work and responding positively!"

This can, of course, get tricky with some stories, depending on the subject matter and the writer's skill level, but there is always something you can pick out and say, "I liked this metaphor," or "I liked how happy everyone seemed," or "You got the melancholy mood across very clearly," or "I had never thought of X that way, but you have convinced me it's an interpretation worth examining," etcetera ad infinitum. And you just shut up and don't mention the parts that are Not Your Ship, Not Your Kink, Not Your Writing Style, or whatever, unless you know the writer is okay with concrit in a public arena... which, given that the stories are usually anonymous at the time, you have no way to be sure of. So be polite. :-)

(I guess this maybe sounds like I advocate fraudulent praise as payment for participation? That's not what I mean, though. My praise can be extremely selective in focus -- I would never deny that -- but if I say I liked an element of a story, I honestly mean that I liked that element.)
edenfalling: headshot of a raccoon, looking left (raccoon)
Today is Jadefest reveal day! I wrote three stories, all for [archiveofourown.org profile] ratherrumpus, all in response to the same prompt. I am going to talk about them all in one post, since they are all heavily interconnected.


First, here is the prompt from which I was working: After their session is complete, the game's resident robot experts, Jade Harley and Dirk Strider, team up to rebuild Skaia Labs. Is this merely a shallow excuse for them to build giant robots together, pilot said robots, and annoy all their team members who dislike wanton giant-robot destruction? Perhaps. Is it going to be awesome regardless? Absolutely.

Ratherrumpus made two other prompts. The first was about Jade as a boxer, possibly with Vriska as a rival, and, well, let's just say that on a scale of 1 to 10, 1 being watching linoleum peel and 10 being Homestuck itself, boxing is a very firm 0.5 on my scale of "Things I Find Interesting." Even if it might involve humans and aliens living together. So I didn't even try to work with that one. (I am quite happy that other people enjoy boxing. To each their own! But it is so far from being my thing that boxing and I ought to live in separate galaxies.)

The second prompt I didn't use was about Jade going grimdark instead of Rose, which I kept as a backup idea in case I couldn't get the giant robots to work. I can do grimdark, I can do desperation and angst, and I figured it wouldn't be too difficult to find a split point where it made sense for Jade to bargain with the horrorterrors... but when given a choice between horrorterrors and giant robots, I'm sorry, but I had to try the giant robots first. :-)

It turns out writing giant robots is harder than it looks.

Or at least it is for me. Which is probably because I have a curse known as world-building, which meant I couldn't just say, "Okay, giant robot time!" I had to figure out why Jade and Dirk would be building giant robots, and apparently "Because they're awesome!" doesn't cut any ice with whatever part of my brain deals with plots and character motivations. :-/ I spent nearly a week spinning various ideas that died horribly within the first two sentences, assuming they even made it that far.

The first attempt that clicked enough to be worth trying to write was the third fic I posted.


Linnaeus Never Had a Robot )


If Kaiju, Therefore Mecha )


Giant Robot Mayhem Doesn't Happen in a Day )


I was unsuccessful in my quest to install Microsoft Office until just a couple days ago, so I wrote all these fics in Google Drive... which was a challenge since my internet connection had been breaking sporadically over the past two weeks. (It was definitely a router issue, which means it was either my upstairs neighbors' problem or the cable company's problem, neither of which I could do much about.) But I got the story done and posted, and people have enjoyed it, which is all one can really ask for.

(I think from some perspectives I may have 'won' Jadefest? At least in terms of hits and kudos and bookmarks? That is a very strange experience for me. Also, seriously, there are a LOT of awesome words and art in the collection. They deserve love too!)

I was surprised that I was the only person to write and post anything in the Jadefest Treats collection! This was frustrating, since I couldn't point people toward that collection without raising the question of, "Oh, and why haven't you left kudos or comments on these stories you want me to read, eh? Eh???" I am pretty sure a couple other people were making noises about trying to fill more than one of their giftee's prompts, but the full prompt list didn't get publicized until Friday so I suppose that restricted opportunities for extra creative efforts. Ah well. So it goes.


Lastly, ratherrumpus drew an illustration for "Linnaeus Never Had a Robot," which you should go see and praise: they were cool even before the robots.

I could not effectively advertise this before, since I was the only other person with works in the Treats archive, but now I can, and I assure you it is awesome. :-D
edenfalling: stylized black-and-white line art of a sunset over water (Default)
Jadefest authors will be revealed tonight, at about 3am Eastern Daylight Time. I am very much looking forward to discovering who wrote carry it with you for me! (And to being able to talk about my own work. *gnaws fingers, twitches in anticipation*)

In the meantime, I am trying to get through as much of the archive as possible. I think I have commented on two-thirds of the works by now. I've been going in reverse order of word count, so I've gotten through all the art-only stuff and am now moving through stories of ever-increasing length, discounting a few I read out of order because they were recced (rec'd? stupid spelling ambiguities *mutter grumble hmph*) on my Tumblr dashboard.

Also, all the Jadefest prompts are now available on a sortable page, if you are interested in writing something for the Jadefest Treats archive (which is also still anonymous, but will remain open indefinitely). You should take a look. There are some really neat ideas waiting for someone to play with. :-)

Okay. Back to reading!
edenfalling: colored line-art drawing of a three-scoop ice cream sundae (ice cream sundae)
It's a couple hours early, but the archive is open! I cannot, obviously, direct you to the story I wrote, but let me point you toward the gift I received, because it is GLORIOUS.

carry it with you: [ETA: by [archiveofourown.org profile] HorribleThing] This feels like this is the type of space where if she puts her hand on the door and starts to push, something will stop her and ask if she needs to save her game. There's a danger to it, and a finality. But Sburb doesn't offer those types of safeties. Sburb isn't that kind. [Jade meets her Denizen.] (2,000 words)

The narrative is pitch-perfect Jade, toward the end of the frog quest, with all the things she so carefully isn't thinking about and all the things she so fiercely promises to do, and why she makes those promises even though she has no way to know if they are even possible to fulfill.


edenfalling: stylized black-and-white line art of a sunset over water (Default)
Elizabeth Culmer

October 2017

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