Tags: fic meta

*gen - tiffany

Double-edged swords (or arrows)

1. Jennifer Lawrence will play Katniss in the HG movie. I totally want props for suggesting her way back in October. ;) In many ways, she's the perfect choice. She's a good actor, very much an It Girl these days, and her character in Winter's Bone practically IS Katniss, both in personality and situation. (It's out on DVD; y'all should watch it even if you're not into HG.) That said, it's weird how she was my #1 choice until about a week ago, but now I'm quite conflicted. I'm not as bothered by the ethnicity issues as many people, but the concerns definitely warrant consideration. Age is also an issue. Lionsgate isn't shooting the three books at once, so she'll be pushing 25 when MJ is filmed. On the flipside, Hailie Steinfeld was my #2 choice, but she's a bit *too* young, both from a filming standpoint (limited hours that a child can work on set) and because, well, it'd be a bit awkward to see a 14-year-old doing all that kissin'. (Yes, I'm old.) Age is definitely an issue given that the series pivots on the horrors of children being forced to kill each other. All that said, someone on another board made a good point: Lionsgate may be motivated by marketing/sociological considerations as much as by Lawrence's talent. Hollywood is very skittish about kids and violence. They'll need to treat the source material very carefully to get a PG-13 rating, and having the characters actually look like children might be too big a risk for them to take. While Lawrence might not be right for Katniss for many reasons, I do think she'll act the hell out of the role.

2. I've been pondering whether to sign up for help_japan. Although I've been writing fic for way too many years now, I've never actually done a fic auction. I'm also nervous about writing on demand -- not one of my strengths -- and being able to actually finish a story! (I've considered saying that if I don't finish, I'll match the bidder's donation.) Then again, I haven't written anything at all in nearly six months, and I really miss it. This might be the best way to get me writing again. If I did join in, I'd probably offer the HG universe or maybe L&O:UK, as those are the only fandoms in which I could see myself writing something.

3. On a whim, last month I went to Home Depot and bought seeds and little peat pots to attempt to grow some herbs and flowers from scratch. Since then I've been watering them, to no avail -- or so I thought. Now I'm finally seeing tiny bits of green poking through the soil. Yay! I'd been concerned, since I tend to over-water and kill things before they ever start. ;)

4. The "Dear Prudence" advice column on Slate is one of my guilty pleasures. The first letter in today's column is absolutely glorious. I won't spoil it for anyone, but I don't know whether to laugh at the guy's misfortune or ... nah, I'll just laugh.
*gen - tiffany

Crying uncle.

I've been working on a fic off-and-on since last summer, and in earnest for the past six weeks. Though the overall concept has remained the same, the story itself keeps changing around. It began in one character's POV, then I decided a couple of weeks ago to add the other character's POV, which meant writing quite a few new scenes. Along the way, I changed the ending. But once I looked at my outline, I found some huge flaws. And now a beta helped me come up with a way to make the overall fic much better, though it means completely rewriting the second character's scenes and the whole concept of the story. I'm excited about the new plan, though it'll require a lot of work. But another part of me wonders whether all the effort I'm putting into the fic is worth the payoff. Much easier to go with the previous draft that's nearly done. It's just a fic, after all! I'll probably do the rewrites, but it has made me think about the idea of when to let go.

At what point do you decide that a fic is done and ready to be posted? I'm not talking about the one-offs written in a burst of creativity -- I've done those, and I usually want to get them out there as soon as possible, perhaps with a quick read-over by my lovely betas. Instead, I mean the fics that you work on for weeks, with an outline and word counts in the thousands. Is it better to just post a fic that you know is good-but-not-perfect because the process of making it perfect requires more work than you're willing to do? And I don't mean that as a bad thing, by the way!

Then there's the issue of WIPs. I've done quite a few of these before, and the feedback is great because it often gives me new ideas about the rest of the story (and yeah, it's nice to have some validation that readers enjoy what I have so far!) The tricky thing about WIPs, though, is that once a chapter is posted, you're committed to it. With few exceptions, you can't go back and make changes to the plot or other things established in that chapter. This isn't always an issue because most WIP writers already have everything planned out. But writing doesn't always turn out that way, since the characters might go in an entirely new direction as we work on the story. For a while there, I was tempted to post the first few scenes of my current fic, but now I'm glad that I didn't because I would've been stuck with a concept that had some huge flaws that I didn't notice at the time.

So. Just thinking aloud here, but I've always been interested in the writing process and how people approach long stories that don't go according to our original plans!
*gen - tiffany

The Work-to-Glory Ratio

I just read a really interesting post from TechKnitter, who has a great instructional blog for various knitting techniques. The post is well worth reading even if you've never touched a skein of yarn, because TK talks about "the work-to-glory ratio and product-plus-process". As I read it, I noticed that the ideas apply to nearly any creative pursuit, and it made me think about fanfic. Collapse )
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*gen - tiffany

Yet another fic meme.

I'm falling behind on LJ in general, thanks to my family's visit (and NaBloPoMo), but this is a fun meme:

Pick a paragraph (or any passage less than 500 words) from any fanfic I've written, and comment to this post with that selection. I will then give you a DVD commentary on that snippet: what I was thinking when I wrote it, why I wrote it in the first place, what's going on in the character's heads, why I chose certain words, what this moment means in the context of the rest of the fic, lots of awful puns, and anything else that you'd expect to find on a DVD commentary track.

All of my BSG fic is here. (Easiest for me to stick with my most recent fandom, because I barely even remember my earlier fic!)
*gen - tiffany

Yuletide and Nephews.

So, I'm considering whether to sign up for yuletide. I've never really been into it before because I'm a one-fandom person -- I stay almost entirely within my own. Perhaps this year I could write another small Hunger Games fic. I also thought about skimming through the list of requests to see if anything else struck my fancy, but yikes! The whole thing is really overwhelming, particularly all the guidelines and the overall scope of the enterprise. It might be a great new challenge, but I'm still rather intimidated. Guess I have a few more days to decide.

In other news... the nephew is one big ball of almost-three-year-old adorableness. He can barely sit still. He cracks up when I blow raspberries on his belly or neck. He gives lots of big, slobbery kisses. He knows all the names of Jupiter's moons, and he is obsessed with the toy dinosaur we got him from the Target dollar bins (he even knows the four syllable name for it, though I have no idea what the heck that is.) Tomorrow we're going to the Aquarium, and I can't wait for him to teach me all about every single fish. :)
*gen - tiffany

Jamie! In a tux!

1. callmeonetrack and I got into a discussion about switching POVs in fic. By that, I mean writing one scene from Character A's POV, then the next from Character B's, and so on. This tends to be prevalent in 'ship fic, and I've done it quite often in the past. Tara prefers this because of how it shows both sides of a story. I usually prefer to keep longer stories in one character's POV, because it's more challenging for *me* to try and show B's actions and attitudes through A's eyes. Switching POVs also presents other good challenges! Writers and readers: where do y'all stand?

2. Speaking of fandom... Tara has also posted photos from Jamie Bamber's guest-starring role in the Dollhouse season premiere. If you've ever wanted to see Jamie in a tuxedo, here's your chance! The pics are fairly spoilery for the episode's premise. While I'm usually a bit annoyed by The Joss Whedon Repertory Company -- how he tends to cast the same actors over and over -- because the meta yanks me out of the episode, I'll make an exception in this case. ;)

3. Two weeks ago I tried henna on my hair for the first time. I used two blocks of Lush's Caca Rouge and kept it on my hair for about an hour and a half. It was fairly bright for the first few days, but now it has almost entirely faded. Any tips for how to make it last longer? I'm curious if there are any shampoos that would work specifically for henna. And next time I'll definitely keep the goop on my hair for several more hours.

4. Linkspam:
-- The NYT has an article on The Moth as a storyteller launching pad. I love those podcasts. Plus, a piece on some bizarre men's hairstyles in NY.
-- Even if you've never seen Mad Men, check out this hilarious "spoiler report" video. Trust me on this one. :)
-- AdWeek talks about those creepy PalmPre commercials.
-- DaemonsTV has a cool interview with Michaela Conlin from Bones.
-- Check out a fascinating 360-degree view from the summit of Everest.
-- Supertremendos has a behind-the-scenes video of Sesame Street!
-- And here's a handy guide for how to tell if your cat is plotting to kill you.
*gen - tiffany

"If not for"

Just got up out of bed. Oh, I haven't been there all day, or anything! I got chicken for dinner, and although I thought I ate a decent-sized portion, but it all sat in my stomach until I had to lie down for a bit. I still feel rather blech, but functional. Still, it's nice to be able to lie in bed and do some reading. Only three more weeks of summer vacation, and I'm hitting that point where I wish time would pass very, very slowly -- a weird shift after spending the school year wishing it would speed by.

Speaking of school ... today I bought the first set of supplies at Target. They had packs of markers and colored pencils for 50 cents. It seems so early, but then the schools here in GA start earlier than the rest of the nation. (And yeah, we have same 180-day calendar as everyone else. Personally, I prefer it this way.) The next month will be tough on my finances. In the past, the state gave teachers $100 giftcards to spend on retail school supplies, and I also got around $75 from my school to order things through them. But the massive budget shortfalls means no state prepaid Visa this year, and my school might scale back our individual allotments. Add in the fact that my salary is going down by around 2.5% next year thanks to the shortfall, and ... ugh. I can probably make do without a cabinet full of new things, but it's always tricky in low-income schools like mine, where many kids come in without even the basics like paper and pencils.

Well, that was depressing! On to happier topics, like yarn. Collapse )

A question for Americans who write in British (or Canadian, Australian, New Zealand, etc...) fandoms, and vice-versa: using proper colloquialisms is always important, but do you extend that verisimilitude to spelling? I'm writing a story set in present-day London. A friend has offered to "Brit-pick" for me (hi, elzed!), and I'm not too concerned with that aspect of the writing. I'm just wondering whether I should carry that over to the actual spelling, or if it even matters.

Right now I'm watching The Closer, and it reminds me of a game I play with shows that I generally like except for one thing. Collapse )
*gen - tiffany

"Let's do the meth!"

For the past few days, I've been feeling really scattered and unfocused. I've had a hard time coming up with something to say here -- those of you who know me will laugh at how rare THAT is! I'm hoping it's just one of those moods that comes and goes, because life's going pretty damn well right now. Plus, it can't be a seasonal thing, because I love autumn with a fiery passion. Maybe it's just a return of my weird social anxiety. Hmm!

Speaking of autumn... I want to redo my LJ with lots of oranges and golds and greens, but I'm married to my current layout. While many folks have lovely headers and such, I'm quite the opposite -- I want as much text as possible up there, with a bit of color and maybe a sidebar image to spice things up. You can see what I mean on my current page. ;) The biggest problem with redoing the layout, though, is that I need a very simple background image. Years ago, I grabbed the tulip off a long-forgotten stock photos site. I'd like something similar, though with an autumn motif. Any ideas of where I could find one? Especially high-res, because I have one of those cool widescreen laptops set at 1280x800, and most wallpapers are still in 4:3 dimensions.

Yesterday's big dilemma was ordering pants online. Collapse )

Last night, Indi and I had a discussion about tone in fanfic. I've been at it for ten years, and I've noticed that fic with darker, "edgier" themes tends to be more popular and/or respected (and I don't mean "popular" in the ff.net sense.) Certainly not a bad thing! I've read some marvelous stories with harder edges and bleak themes. I'm curious about this, though, especially in relation to lighter fic. Are darker fics really more respected, and are they given more leeway with characterization/theme because of the experimental tone? And, on the other side of the coin, are stories that fit more closely within the mainstream not taken as seriously because of that? I don't have any real insight here. Just thinking aloud!

Anyway. That's all I've got for now. I've been in one of my weird shyness modes this week, in which I can talk just fine but freeze up when it comes to talking back (yes, I'm an odd duck.) Perhaps I'll feel more social tomorrow. ;)