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Listen, I know this post is an entire two months late. It's a metaphor for life, or something. It's definitely a metaphor for my complete inability to balance fencing, work, and the internet. The internet's been getting the shaft, lately.

I'm still planning to do a life update post! But for now: what did I write for fanfic in 2015?

I wrote and posted 56,115 words of fanfic this year. That breaks down into 16 stories. New record for low word and fic count, and once again I managed 11 stories for Yuletide, so only 5 non-Yuletide stories. The wordcount breakdown is pretty wacky, though: 25,000 words of non-Yuletide fic, 5,000 words of Yuletide treats, and 26,000 words of a Tim-Lincecum-is-a-witch. I wrote more of Just Like Ice on the Dune than I did of anything before Yuletide started. No wonder it nearly murdered me.

The lesson here is: when I'm trying to do too much at once and fencing is stressing me out and I'm supposed to be writing a dissertation and also teaching a class, I don't get much fiction written. This is super sad but not really surprising at all. My downtime ends up being a lot of TV or hanging out with friends just because I need to turn my brain off. Every once in a while I resolve to finish one of my wips, get 300 words in, get exhausted, decide I need to sleep instead. How did I use to do this? Did I use to sleep more?? At least I know I can write, because I wrote a bunch over the summer and then when tricked into it by Yuletide.

Anyway, yearly questions under the cut! Gotta figure out how to answer all of these questions with only 16 fics!


Best/worst title?

And in Trying, Become sounds like a quote from something, and I honestly am convinced I've seen it in a poem or similar. But I can't find any reference to it, so I'd like to take full credit. It's lyrical and meaningful and seems like it should reference something but instead it's just sort of unconnected nonsense. Which is perfect for a Jonathan Strange fic.

Variety is a bad title because I have no idea what part of the fic it's referencing and I keep forgetting which fic it is. (It's Rivers of London fic about Molly and Peter.) But it was Yuletide and I was dying.

Best/worst summary?
I am so pleased with the summary for The Bearing of a Scholar, which is to say that I'm super pleased with the Dr. Johnson quote I appended to the silly tumblr summary:
"A man who cannot get to heaven in a green coat, will not find his way thither the sooner in a grey one." —Dr. Samuel Johnson
Or: A very important fic about Childermass fighting with Drawlight and Lascelles over what waistcoat Mr. Norrell should wear to the ball.

Like, to the point that I rewrote the waistcoat colors to fit the Johnson quote.

The summary for Just Like Ice on the Dune is still causing me pain:
Tim is feeling good. At least, he's trying pretty hard.
(Or: the magical story of Tim Lincecum and Hector Sanchez's friendship.)

It was a placeholder and then I ran out of time :/

Best/worst first line?
I'm still not a first line person at all, but I do like the beginning of Take a Break:
The hockey rink is dark and empty, but Lardo has the keys.

It's a little more evocative than I usually manage.

Best/worst last line?

Haha, I had to rewrite the ending of The Bearing of a Scholar like five times because I thought the last line was super pretty and poignant and my beta pointed out that it was confusing and meaningless. Let us not dwell on worst last lines. But! I really like the whole ending chapter of Just Like Ice on the Dune, even if it's maybe a little out of tone with the rest of the fic. The last line of Take a Break is also kind of nice.

Looking back, did you write more fics than you thought you would this year, less than you thought, or about what you predicted?
Last year I spent most of this meme wondering if I would ever get back to writing fic at the rate I did in college, so I guess this drop-off was pretty expected. I did write a couple big wips that never went anywhere, but that happens every year. In general, I think I did about what I expected but I still wish I had more to look back on. Like, if I had actually finished that Ren Fair AU of Age of Ultron. I really liked that one.

Where did you publish/archive your stories?
Still AO3! Just documenting this in case it ever disappears, taking all my fic with it because I was too lazy to make backups. Just Like Ice on the Dune was a huge pain to get into the archive, the html did not want to play.

What pairing/genre/fandom did you write that you would never have predicted in January?
Prooobably Tim Lincecum and friends? I am not a Giants fan and sometimes I kind of resent the Giants dominance of baseball fanfic, but in Yuletide all things are possible. But in general I kind of played in my comfort zone this year - even the Lincecum fic is based on an idea I'd been kicking around since the Giants won the 2014 World Series.

What’s your favorite story this year? Not the most popular, but the one that makes you the happiest.
Writing The Bearing of a Scholar was super fun and I got to read a bunch of clothing history and learn all about Beau Brummel. My family got really sick of hearing about Mr. Brummel. It was just a fun process, and I'm still really fond of the fic.

Okay, NOW your most popular story.
Clutch to the Floor! The world wants its Mad Max tentacle porn! By kudos and bookmarks it's actually Lifehack, so maybe the world wants its gen low-key-coping-after-returning-from-space The Martian fic.

I'm still never going to write anything as popular as Life of Crime continues to be, though.

Story most under appreciated by the universe?
I always get more attention than I was expecting! I will say that I think Walk the Straight Path Alone has some of my better writing of the year, and I wish more people would read it. But this is fanfic of a SSBB original story, so it's not really surprising that it hasn't taken the world by storm.

Story that could have been better?
I could have rewritten Just Like Ice on the Dune like five more times if the archive hadn't ACTUALLY OPENED while I was still editing post-beta. I made some really serious revisions even so, and I think it'll be a while before I can look at this fic without seeing all the rough edges.

Sexiest story?
Close win by Clutch to the Floor over Kick the Ball Dead, both of which were written entirely to please myself.

Most fun story?
And in Trying, Become was super fun to write. I really enjoy Jonathan Strange being terrible at things.

Did any stories shift your perceptions of the characters?
I learned SO MUCH about Tim Lincecum in writing Just Like Ice on the Dune. Ditto for Hector Sanchez, obviously, but I'd never heard of Sanchez before starting the fic whereas I did have this preconception of Lincecum as sort of... an over-hyped ex-ace? But I understand now why people are so invested in his story, and I'm actively awaiting the results of his March showcase. And I've stared for ages at every iteration of his moustache. Why did this happen to me.

Hardest story to write?
The Ren Faire AoU AU I stalled out on. Also the Rivers of London/Matthew Swift crossover that I REALLY REALLY wanted to work but then couldn't get to gel. Or the Rivers of London fic where Nightingale gets turned into a dog. Or the Sherlock Moran/Moriarty fic where Moran convinces himself to take tranquilizers in order to give Moriarty the sex experience of his life. My wips are super quality.

Of the actual posted fic, I had to watch an entire rugby game in order to write Kick the Ball Dead! I also watched several games to write Just Like Ice on the Dune, but that's different because I watch baseball for fun.

Easiest story to write?
I wrote Clutch to the Floor by voice memo, while driving cross-country, edited it slightly, and posted. I'd like to write more by voice memo, but given that I wrote four fics and have only managed to post two so far, the voice memo process doesn't always run so smooth.

Most overdue story?
Just Like Ice on the Dune was allllmost overdue, haha. But really, it's just the stack of wips on my desktop.

Did you take any writing risks this year? What did you learn from them?
I took the risk of trying to write dialect in Just Like Ice on the Dune, got nervous about it, asked my beta about it, and got told not to do that. I learned that you either need to write dialect very very well or not at all, and the safer choice is definitely not at all.

Do you have any fanfic goals for the New Year?
Write at least one new fanfic, finish at least one of the wips currently on my desktop. Let's start this new year with low expectations, especially since it just became March.

 

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