edenfalling: stylized black-and-white line art of a sunset over water (Default)
You know, when I am done with my RemixRedux fic, I wonder if anyone will be able to distinguish the parts I wrote while tipsy and sleep-deprived, the parts I wrote out of sequence at work while being interrupted by customers every two sentences, and the parts I wrote chronologically and uninterrupted while sober.

...

If my allergies act up again this week, perhaps I can add sections written while stoned on Benadryl. It will be for SCIENCE!

*is mercifully shot*

-----

On a slightly more rational note, I am intrigued by the way my story relates to the original which it's based on. The first year I did Remix, I simply expanded my remixee's story -- taking a short scene and giving it context, so to speak. The second year, I went pretentious, non-chronological, and meta with fairy tale elements on my remixee's more straightforward tragedy. The third time, I started with a simple POV-flip and then had to add three connecting scenes to make any sense of why my new POV character was even in the scene that ended my remixee's story.

This time, I am taking the basic plot of my remixee's story and writing it as if I had independently dreamed up a story with that plot and cast of characters, while ignoring huge swathes of the details and dialogue of the original version. The same general sequence of events occurs, but the things I think are most important and/or interesting in this scenario are not always the things my remixee thought were most important and/or interesting, so the stories have noticeably different focuses.

...

Remixing is weird. Fun, but weird. *grin*
edenfalling: headshot of a raccoon, looking left (raccoon)
Author names have gone up on the Remix Redux website, so I can now tell you which story I wrote! I continued my attempts to write romance... and I think I might actually have nailed it this time. (Maybe. But it's not the whole point of the story, in any case, so you can read it as gen if you want.) I also had fun playing with characters and a time period I don't usually deal with.

Comfort (The Extremely Basic Remix)

James tries to change his life; life doesn't wait for him. Offstage death of non-canon characters, light James/Lily. (Cross-posted here on ff.net, with one itsy-bitsy, teeny-tiny change: I went back and forth for a ridiculously long time over whether to italicize one word in the second paragraph. I had it plain when I sent the file to Remix Redux. Later, I decided I prefered it in italics, and so the FF.net version has it that way.)

-----------------------------------

You know the really funny thing? Which I started to suspect after I read Lesson Number Two (The Open My Eyes Remix) and thought I recognized the style?

I remixed a story by [livejournal.com profile] nekare... and she remixed mine. Despite the hundreds of participants, we ended up in little mutual back-scratching circle of fic.

-----------------------------------

It was weird to rewrite somebody else's story. I put Falls the Shadow as my safe story because the obvious remix of that is Harry's POV instead of Petunia's. I really didn't want to see that, because my view of their relationship is complicated and I didn't want somebody to do it 'wrong.' So I was kind of leery of doing somebody else's story 'wrong,' which is probably why I ended up not changing a lot of [livejournal.com profile] nekare's story.

She writes a lot of Remus/Sirius, and I find that while I have no problem reading R/S, it just doesn't interest me as a writer. At all. I'm much more interested in gen friendship stories about their relationship, because they're both such damaged characters, even as kids, and they did a lot of that damage to each other. But remixing a shipfic as a genfic seems impolite, so I left her R/S stories alone.

I did like Last Summer quite a lot. It's about the trio before they go on their quest to find the Horcruxes, doing ordinary teenage things for the week before Harry's birthday. I love the atmosphere, and there were so many things unsaid there. I gave definite thought to remixing it, but then James walked up and handed me the first paragraph of "Comfort" -- the bit where he talks about his father telling stories -- so I kind of shrugged and went with that instead.

"Comfort (The Extremely Basic Remix)" is more an expansion of [livejournal.com profile] nekare's story than anything else. I snagged a couple things from the original prompt -- #5 of [livejournal.com profile] thistlerose's Twenty Random Facts About James and Lily -- that she hadn't used. I also elaborated on the backstory of the incident in the Charms classroom, trying to figure out just what made James break down then, in front of Lily, and trying to give the story a clearer temporal setting -- trying, in other words, to figure out where James was in his journey between the spoiled jerk of the OotP flashback and the good man that other people remember him as.

...

I like it as a story. It says what I wanted it to say, [livejournal.com profile] lasultrix pruned back the symbolism so I wasn't bashing it around like a giant, spiked club (it's only a small club now, hardly any lumps, really!), and I think I actually got the right note for the fumbling beginning of a James/Lily romance. But I don't think it's a particularly good remix. It doesn't say anything new, or twist the original in unexpected ways.

I thought, partway through, that maybe I should switch to Lily's POV, but I spend so much time writing girls and women already. I wanted to write a guy, if only so I don't lose the knack.

Besides, writing Lily would have required me to explain her family situation at that point, what was going on with her parents, and with Petunia and Vernon, and how much they knew about Voldemort and his terrorist campaign, and frankly, I didn't want to do the work. I also would have needed to go into Lily's history with James, and the way she, at least, had noticed him trying to change since the Incident With Snape At The Shrieking Shack (which is a secret, but she can see the effects).

That probably would have made a better remix, but as I say, for one reason and another, I didn't want to write it. I also thought it would be an awkward sort of thing, since I'd have Lily reacting to stuff in my half-written version of "Comfort" instead of [livejournal.com profile] nekare's version.

...

I may end up writing it at some point, just as a companion piece (and also as incidental background for my Petunia), but not now. I have too much other stuff taking up mental space right now.
edenfalling: headshot of a raccoon, looking left (raccoon)
Author names have gone up on the Remix Redux website, so I can now tell you which story I wrote! I continued my attempts to write romance... and I think I might actually have nailed it this time. (Maybe. But it's not the whole point of the story, in any case, so you can read it as gen if you want.) I also had fun playing with characters and a time period I don't usually deal with.

Comfort (The Extremely Basic Remix)

[ETA: The ever-so-slightly revised final version is now up on AO3!]

James tries to change his life; life doesn't wait for him. Offstage death of non-canon characters, light James/Lily. (Cross-posted here on ff.net, with one itsy-bitsy, teeny-tiny change: I went back and forth for a ridiculously long time over whether to italicize one word in the second paragraph. I had it plain when I sent the file to Remix Redux. Later, I decided I preferred it in italics, and so the FF.net version has it that way.)

-----------------------------------

You know the really funny thing? Which I started to suspect after I read Lesson Number Two (The Open My Eyes Remix) and thought I recognized the style?

I remixed a story by [livejournal.com profile] nekare... and she remixed mine. Despite the hundreds of participants, we ended up in little mutual back-scratching circle of fic.

-----------------------------------

It was weird to rewrite somebody else's story. I put Falls the Shadow as my safe story because the obvious remix of that is Harry's POV instead of Petunia's. I really didn't want to see that, because my view of their relationship is complicated and I didn't want somebody to do it 'wrong.' So I was kind of leery of doing somebody else's story 'wrong,' which is probably why I ended up not changing a lot of [livejournal.com profile] nekare's story.

She writes a lot of Remus/Sirius, and I find that while I have no problem reading R/S, it just doesn't interest me as a writer. At all. I'm much more interested in gen friendship stories about their relationship, because they're both such damaged characters, even as kids, and they did a lot of that damage to each other. But remixing a shipfic as a genfic seems impolite, so I left her R/S stories alone.

I did like Last Summer quite a lot. It's about the trio before they go on their quest to find the Horcruxes, doing ordinary teenage things for the week before Harry's birthday. I love the atmosphere, and there were so many things unsaid there. I gave definite thought to remixing it, but then James walked up and handed me the first paragraph of "Comfort" -- the bit where he talks about his father telling stories -- so I kind of shrugged and went with that instead.

"Comfort (The Extremely Basic Remix)" is more an expansion of [livejournal.com profile] nekare's story than anything else. I snagged a couple things from the original prompt -- #5 of [livejournal.com profile] thistlerose's Twenty Random Facts About James and Lily -- that she hadn't used. I also elaborated on the backstory of the incident in the Charms classroom, trying to figure out just what made James break down then, in front of Lily, and trying to give the story a clearer temporal setting -- trying, in other words, to figure out where James was in his journey between the spoiled jerk of the OotP flashback and the good man that other people remember him as.

...

I like it as a story. It says what I wanted it to say, [livejournal.com profile] lasultrix pruned back the symbolism so I wasn't bashing it around like a giant, spiked club (it's only a small club now, hardly any lumps, really!), and I think I actually got the right note for the fumbling beginning of a James/Lily romance. But I don't think it's a particularly good remix. It doesn't say anything new, or twist the original in unexpected ways.

I thought, partway through, that maybe I should switch to Lily's POV, but I spend so much time writing girls and women already. I wanted to write a guy, if only so I don't lose the knack.

Besides, writing Lily would have required me to explain her family situation at that point, what was going on with her parents, and with Petunia and Vernon, and how much they knew about Voldemort and his terrorist campaign, and frankly, I didn't want to do the work. I also would have needed to go into Lily's history with James, and the way she, at least, had noticed him trying to change since the Incident With Snape At The Shrieking Shack (which is a secret, but she can see the effects).

That probably would have made a better remix, but as I say, for one reason and another, I didn't want to write it. I also thought it would be an awkward sort of thing, since I'd have Lily reacting to stuff in my half-written version of "Comfort" instead of [livejournal.com profile] nekare's version.

...

I may end up writing it at some point, just as a companion piece (and also as incidental background for my Petunia), but not now. I have too much other stuff taking up mental space right now.
edenfalling: stained-glass butterfly in a purple frame (butterfly)
The Remix Redux stories have been posted. I can't point you to mine, yet, but it's there. Somewhere. If you feel like playing guessing games, do tell me which one you think I wrote. :-)

In the meantime, I can point you to the remix someone did of one of my stories. My remixer has taken Seeds (my kinda-sorta-maybe-a-little-pre-slash thing with Draco, Harry, and an acorn, written just after I got a livejournal, so most of you people have never seen it) and somehow pulled Lesson Number Two (The Open My Eyes Remix) out of his/her/its hat. "Lesson Number Two" takes my short, bare-bones scenario and spins it out, answering, among other things, the questions of what Draco was doing in the forest in the first place, what the flipping heck Harry was thinking, and what might have happened afterward. Still no sex, though. ;-)

And! And it has Remus Lupin in it, which is both mad cool and kind of ironic, since I remember saying at the start of the remix project that I'd just realized I had never managed to properly write Lupin into a story. And here he is, and present and serving a rational purpose in the story! *Liz takes a moment to admire Remus*

I'm a little iffy about some of the phrasings -- the remix leans a touch toward melodrama, which feels odd to me since the original story is, as I said, very bare-bones -- but hey, different authors, different styles, de gustibus non est disputandem, etcetera, etcetera. I really like the elaboration of the three options Harry gives Draco, I like Draco's vague, only half-articulated attraction to Harry, and I am just tickled pink that someone found all this stuff implied in or inspired by my story.

[Exit stage left, humming in pleasure]
edenfalling: stained-glass butterfly in a purple frame (butterfly)
The Remix Redux stories have been posted. I can't point you to mine, yet, but it's there. Somewhere. If you feel like playing guessing games, do tell me which one you think I wrote. :-)

In the meantime, I can point you to the remix someone did of one of my stories. My remixer has taken Seeds (my kinda-sorta-maybe-a-little-pre-slash thing with Draco, Harry, and an acorn, written just after I got a livejournal, so most of you people have never seen it) and somehow pulled Lesson Number Two (The Open My Eyes Remix) out of his/her/its hat. "Lesson Number Two" takes my short, bare-bones scenario and spins it out, answering, among other things, the questions of what Draco was doing in the forest in the first place, what the flipping heck Harry was thinking, and what might have happened afterward. Still no sex, though. ;-)

And! And it has Remus Lupin in it, which is both mad cool and kind of ironic, since I remember saying at the start of the remix project that I'd just realized I had never managed to properly write Lupin into a story. And here he is, and present and serving a rational purpose in the story! *Liz takes a moment to admire Remus*

I'm a little iffy about some of the phrasings -- the remix leans a touch toward melodrama, which feels odd to me since the original story is, as I said, very bare-bones -- but hey, different authors, different styles, de gustibus non est disputandem, etcetera, etcetera. I really like the elaboration of the three options Harry gives Draco, I like Draco's vague, only half-articulated attraction to Harry, and I am just tickled pink that someone found all this stuff implied in or inspired by my story.

[Exit stage left, humming in pleasure]
edenfalling: stylized black-and-white line art of a sunset over water (Default)
I have been skimming over summaries in my assigned remixee's fanfiction archive, and I noticed quite a lot of Remus/Sirius stories. This isn't particularly surprising -- it's a very popular pairing in HP fandom -- but it brought home to me that I have never written Remus Lupin in a fic. Ever. Oh, he exists in some of them, and he might even be mentioned in a whole paragraph, but he never actually appears 'on-screen,' so to speak, and he certainly doesn't have dialogue.

Sirius, at least, made it into a story as a major, speaking character ("Sir Ron and the Green Knight") and got an actual monologue to himself ("Blind Spots").

It's more than just ignoring Remus, actually -- I don't write the Marauders. I have written James and Lily exactly once, and that's in an unfinished AU that spends equal time focusing on the Dursleys, Harry, the Evanses, and two OC siblings Harry might have acquired if his parents had lived. (Lily is also a palpable 'off-screen' presence in my two Petunia stories, but that's because Petunia clings to her past.) I have written Peter three times -- two monologues ("Trust," "Rats and Ships"), and as an incidental character with a minor speaking role (in the unfinished "Lord Voldemort: An Introduction for Muggles").

I don't write the teachers. I wrote McGonagall and Snape in "Restoration," and all the CoS teachers appear as supporting characters in "Secrets," but beyond that they don't seem to enter my imagination.

The only adult HP character I'm actually interested in writing -- the one who lives and breathes in my imagination -- is, oddly enough, Petunia Dursley. I wrote the two aforementioned stories about her ("Family" and "Falls the Shadow"), she's the driving force behind that unfinished AU story, and she sneaked into a Harry character study ("Into the Fire") and stole the first third of it out from under me. Sirius and Peter only got monologues because I was trying to work out problems I had with PoA, GoF, and OotP, and their other appearances are mostly a matter of convenience -- though, I grant you, Sirius brought some unexpected and highly welcome resonance to "Sir Ron and the Green Knight."

I find this interesting, since I've heard a lot of other adult writers say they don't care much about the children in the series; they're more interested in the adults. I find that I'm most interested in the world. Secondarily, I'm interested in the main characters -- the children -- partly because I like them, and probably also because children have the most potential to develop and to explore. The adults have settled into their roles and personalities. The children haven't.

But there are lots of things to explore in the adults' pasts, and their futures could change quite drastically as a result of Voldemort's second rising. I also like a number of them, either as people or as characters. (To clarify, I like Remus as a person and as a character. I only like Snape as a character; I'd despise him in real life.) So why don't I write about them? Why don't they catch my imagination?

...

I dunno. It's not that I think this is, in any way, a bad thing. It's just interesting, and it's not something I ever consciously noticed before.
edenfalling: stylized black-and-white line art of a sunset over water (Default)
I have been skimming over summaries in my assigned remixee's fanfiction archive, and I noticed quite a lot of Remus/Sirius stories. This isn't particularly surprising -- it's a very popular pairing in HP fandom -- but it brought home to me that I have never written Remus Lupin in a fic. Ever. Oh, he exists in some of them, and he might even be mentioned in a whole paragraph, but he never actually appears 'on-screen,' so to speak, and he certainly doesn't have dialogue.

Sirius, at least, made it into a story as a major, speaking character ("Sir Ron and the Green Knight") and got an actual monologue to himself ("Blind Spots").

It's more than just ignoring Remus, actually -- I don't write the Marauders. I have written James and Lily exactly once, and that's in an unfinished AU that spends equal time focusing on the Dursleys, Harry, the Evanses, and two OC siblings Harry might have acquired if his parents had lived. (Lily is also a palpable 'off-screen' presence in my two Petunia stories, but that's because Petunia clings to her past.) I have written Peter three times -- two monologues ("Trust," "Rats and Ships"), and as an incidental character with a minor speaking role (in the unfinished "Lord Voldemort: An Introduction for Muggles").

I don't write the teachers. I wrote McGonagall and Snape in "Restoration," and all the CoS teachers appear as supporting characters in "Secrets," but beyond that they don't seem to enter my imagination.

The only adult HP character I'm actually interested in writing -- the one who lives and breathes in my imagination -- is, oddly enough, Petunia Dursley. I wrote the two aforementioned stories about her ("Family" and "Falls the Shadow"), she's the driving force behind that unfinished AU story, and she sneaked into a Harry character study ("Into the Fire") and stole the first third of it out from under me. Sirius and Peter only got monologues because I was trying to work out problems I had with PoA, GoF, and OotP, and their other appearances are mostly a matter of convenience -- though, I grant you, Sirius brought some unexpected and highly welcome resonance to "Sir Ron and the Green Knight."

I find this interesting, since I've heard a lot of other adult writers say they don't care much about the children in the series; they're more interested in the adults. I find that I'm most interested in the world. Secondarily, I'm interested in the main characters -- the children -- partly because I like them, and probably also because children have the most potential to develop and to explore. The adults have settled into their roles and personalities. The children haven't.

But there are lots of things to explore in the adults' pasts, and their futures could change quite drastically as a result of Voldemort's second rising. I also like a number of them, either as people or as characters. (To clarify, I like Remus as a person and as a character. I only like Snape as a character; I'd despise him in real life.) So why don't I write about them? Why don't they catch my imagination?

...

I dunno. It's not that I think this is, in any way, a bad thing. It's just interesting, and it's not something I ever consciously noticed before.
edenfalling: stylized black-and-white line art of a sunset over water (Default)
1. Well, I have once again joined the ranks of the employed. Granted, it's just a part-time job as a clerk at a magazine and tobacco shop, and the pay is pretty dismal, but work is work and money is money. I will continue to look for other jobs, though, since this isn't something I want to do for an extended period of time.

2. Yesterday I signed up for Remix Redux IV, which should be interesting.

3. Vicky (my little sister) sent an email from Hungary, and she's settling into Budapest. I'm now having price envy over how cheap things are over there. I'm not having weather envy, however, and unlike her, I have a properly heated apartment. *is smug* She seems to be starting a love/hate affair with the Hungarian language -- it's fascinating, she says, but insanely difficult. (Vicky's a linguistics major, which is one reason she chose Hungary for her semester abroad. The other reason is more complicated and involves UU partner churches and previous trips to the ethnic-Hungarian parts of Transylvania.)
edenfalling: stylized black-and-white line art of a sunset over water (Default)
1. Well, I have once again joined the ranks of the employed. Granted, it's just a part-time job as a clerk at a magazine and tobacco shop, and the pay is pretty dismal, but work is work and money is money. I will continue to look for other jobs, though, since this isn't something I want to do for an extended period of time.

2. Yesterday I signed up for Remix Redux IV, which should be interesting.

3. Vicky (my little sister) sent an email from Hungary, and she's settling into Budapest. I'm now having price envy over how cheap things are over there. I'm not having weather envy, however, and unlike her, I have a properly heated apartment. *is smug* She seems to be starting a love/hate affair with the Hungarian language -- it's fascinating, she says, but insanely difficult. (Vicky's a linguistics major, which is one reason she chose Hungary for her semester abroad. The other reason is more complicated and involves UU partner churches and previous trips to the ethnic-Hungarian parts of Transylvania.)
edenfalling: headshot of a raccoon, looking left (raccoon)
For this week, I give you my first-ever attempt at Harry/Draco. Well, sort of H/D. Very, very pre-slash, pre-friendship, "we're still trying to kill each other" H/D. But still, there is hope! And not only is there hope, there is also symbolism! (Which was completely inadvertent, swear to god. Occasionally my subconscious is kind to me.)

A slightly revised version is up on ff.net.

ETA: [livejournal.com profile] nekare remixed this story for Remix Redux IV: Lesson Number Two (The Open My Eyes Remix)

Seeds )

---------------------------------------------

And there you have it. My first published... well, not exactly slash, but it definitely leans in that direction.

Am all excited about going home for Thanksgiving. Not only do I get to see my parents, sister, and dog, but my step-grandmother will be visiting! I didn't get to see her this summer -- I was taking summer courses while everyone else went to the lake -- so this is a real bonus. *bounces in anticipation*

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Elizabeth Culmer

October 2017

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