tollers: miscellaneous (son of the sea god)
Uuuh. I wasn't able to get on the whole Reveal bandwagon, due to my not having the Internets. But I am back from all the hardcore partying and whatnot now (lulz. I can't say that with a straight face).


I wrote two stories this year, one for [personal profile] karayan in my favourite fandom of the mo': Percy Jackson and the Olympians and a Madness quick-fic in one of my favourite fandoms of all time: His Dark Materials for [personal profile] rynne.

Firstly, the assignment: Nico di Angelo and the No Good, Very Bad Day (Percy Jackson and the Olympians, Nico di Angelo-Percy Jackson, Rated G)

It was difficult for me to not squee and fangirl and give away what I was writing when I got my assignment, because I sort of joined for this very reason: to write/receive Percy Jackson fic. I know, I know. How awfully lame of me!

Anyway! I was so excited to write this story that I had an outline and research ready to do things with a week or so after I got the assignment. It was the actual writing of it that eventually started wearing down on me. I put aside my other writing projects for Yuletide, I wrote in several London cafes, then finished the last half of it in Toronto when I got back. It started off really well, but by the latter half of my story, I was so frustrated (see my batshit entry) that I nearly chucked the entire thing out.

Luckily, sane, awesome people like [ profile] sotto_voice, [personal profile] rincredible and pretty much everyone who left a comment there managed to calm me down some and stop me from becoming the big emopuss I was heading to be. Plus, I was running very low on time to restart from scratch; so I rolled up my sleeves, took everyone's advice, and went back into it and tried to remember the bits I actually loved about it as well as what I generally love about Percy Jackson. I love Nico, I love Percy, and I love Riordan's Greek Myth world. I also liked my recip's prompt very much. Knowing these things, I got it to work. I still don't love it, but I don't hate it the way I did before.

I - uh. Think I did okay? I mean, I am the only one who wrote anything for this minuscule fandom, so there actually isn't a lot to compare it to, but I've received a heck of a lot of hits for the story and enough comments to feel like people didn't hate it. And my recipient, Eldritch, appeared to have liked the story, which was really the point of it all anyway! (Her Percy Jackson fanfiction, btw, is amazing too.)

Also: I could not think of what to name this story. I thank Jackie for giving me the title, which basically came about when we were talking about how Nico's life is so hard and this was a pretty bad day for the poor kid. (It's a bit of an homage to: this book.)

The second fic I worked on and completed was But it will not bring disaster (His Dark Materials, Will Parry, Elaine Parry, Rated PG)

I actually ended up feeling better about this one than my assignment. I wrote it in an afternoon and had it beta-ed that same evening. While I tried to follow [personal profile] rynne's prompt as closely as possible, I still feel like it kind of strayed away from it. It also became something of a bittersweet fic instead of the happy one I intended to write. (Which was what I was bitching about on Twitter, among other things - for those of you who noticed.)

It was shorter, which I liked - because hell, my stories can get really long and never end argh - and it was really cool to try writing for a character who doesn't usually get a point of view in fanfic: Will Parry's mum, Elaine. I love her, by the way. She was fun to write for.

I started out writing Will and Lyra for another prompt, but when I saw the prompt for this one - something about someone discovering the changes for either Will or Lyra that they, themselves, don't even notice - I had the idea of a Will and Elaine fic, with Elaine providing the POV.

I meant to write a couple more Madness fics, but by the end of it all, my brains were pretty fried up. I have a couple of 25-50% finished things I may or may not go back to and try again, but we'll see. One thing I knew coming into this exchange is that I am, by no means, a fantastic fanfiction writer. I haven't written a substantial piece of fanfiction in years (100-word drabbles don't count) and what I used to write is utter trite.

Thing is, I always feel pretty uncomfortable writing for other people's well-established, well-loved characters, unless it's RP - for whatever reasons. (Maybe it's the judging audience factor and the fact that if I fuck up, then it's all on me.) Basically, I don't know these characters as well as the author does, and if I mess up their voice or the way the canon feels, then I haven't done a very good job.

But, I'm not gonna lie - despite my trials and tribulations, I really enjoyed participating. I loved the community spirit of Yuletide, the cheering, the secret-keeping, the receiving (especially the receiving, because OMG I RECEIVED SUCH AN AWESOME FIC this year) and the giving of it. So, yeah. Even though I'm not terribly good, I'll probably participate next year, barring life kicking my arse.

Finally, I want to give my beta readers a big well-loved appreciation shoutout for their help in making my works readable. [personal profile] rincredible and [ profile] wicked_chaotic, thank you so so so much for helping me out. Without you guys, I would have unreadable, rambly, awful crap that no one would want to read. Your opinions and comments and general cheerleading meant so much to me.

I realize now that I probably shouldn't have named my beta readers in my works when I wrote little notes at the top, but I was under the impression they would be hidden until the reveal too? Oh, well. I don't think anyone guessed it was me anyway.

It was a pretty cool experience, Yuletide. Seeing people uploading their fic into the Archives throughout the 21st through to the 25th, the rambly LJ entries (reading people's ranty LJ entries about Yuletide was one of my favourite parts), and of course the Christmas morning SQUEE was awesome and heartwarming. It's cool that little fandoms get their time in the spotlight, and I was able to read from the small fandoms I covet but can hardly ever find decent fanfic for.
tollers: miscellaneous (Default)
The fic recs are not done yet! I have so many more to share. (But I've decided to post them to my DW rather than doing it on my LJ where it may become rather spammy.)

1) Le mondain futur d'Amelie Poulain (Amelie, Amelie Poulain/Nino Quincampoix) - A delightful and very in-character story that sets the mood and character interactions in the exact same way the film does. It's a brilliant little fic that looks into the insight of Amelie and Nino's relationship post-movie. It's done so beautifully.

2) A Very Large Location of Something (The Sound of Music, Maria) - Beautiful little backstory into Maria's childhood before the events of the film, and includes Georg in the end. I love this movie/musical and this story was so true to it. Everything fit as though it could be canon. Beautifully written, too.

3) The First Duty of an Officer (Lost in Austen, George Wickham, Amanda Price, Fitzwilliam Darcy) - I loved the short mini-series when it aired. I think I've seen it a few times, now? In any case, I always wanted to see what could happen next, and this story definitely satisfied my desire. It is a fun, well-written work. The language (so Austenesque!), the character interactions, the voices - all of it is very nicely handled. I liked reading it from Wickham's POV as well, particularly when the show made him not seem like the big bastard he was in Austen's actual novel. The Wickham-Darcy convo made me beam. It was lovely.

Favourite line (ehehe):
"Of course not," Amanda replied archly. "Once he's committed he's committed for life. The man's a bloody penguin."

"A penguin?" Wickham tried to parse that but failed. "The aquatic bird, mum?"

But really - the entire first part, which includes introspective thought, is my favourite.

4) Coming to America: Venus (American Gods, Venus) - Another 'Greek God in Neil Gaiman's Universe' story, this one about Venus. It is so archaic, yet so modern, and really flawlessly handled; the author seamlessly blends the two concepts together. It reads like Neil's fiction.

Favourite bit:
When it's over, she's the one who bandages up the bright red heart on his arm, leaning over him to do it. She smells like the sea on a clear day, and like flowers. Shyly, Zeke asks her name.

She says her name is Love.

5) (You Are) The Sky in Technicolour (Stardust, Tristran Thorn/Yvaine, Captain Alberic) - It is so hard to find decent Stardust fic, so I was happy-as-a-clam to find this one. It's lovely! And it's written uniquely, with the main character being Tristran, but 'you' (I'm an idiot and forgot the exact literary term for this?). Very nicely done.

Favourite bit:
“Any way the wind blows, we said,” you reply. “And it feels like it’s time.” She makes a small sound, a hum of agreement, and you are both silent for a few moments before you add, quite unnecessarily, “It’s the sky, I think. Or the clouds, or,” and you squint, “or the lack of clouds. I don’t know.”

She laughs, touches her lips to your cheek and whispers, teasing, “And here I thought you’d grown so sagelike.” But when you turn to gather her into your arms, her eyes are bright and they say I’m glad you’re here.

6) The Wisdom to Know the Difference (Coraline (movie), Coraline/Wybie) - A really nice, brief look into Coraline's life after the events of canon. Things I particularly liked: Coraline having mysterious powers, her introspection and continued fear of the Other Mother, and the cameo of the Cat! <3

Favourite bit:
"Could you turn around, please?"

"Why?" her mother asked, but she turned, hands dripping with water, and faced Coraline, who breathed out a small, quiet sigh of relief at the sight of her mother's familiar hazel eyes. Even after two years, she sometimes still liked to reassure herself that her mother was really her mother.

"No reason," Coraline said.

7) Cleanliness and Hard Work (Fringe, Astrid Farnsworth) - Intriguing insight into (okay, unintentional use of alliteration there!) Astrid's backstory, and how she feels about working with the Bishops, particularly Walter (considering she really does practically live in the lab). I love Astrid and delighted in reading more about her. This could totally be part of canon.

Favourite bit:
But Dr. Bishop, no matter how strange he is, knows where things are and soon enough she starts to get his eclectic half-remembered organizing system (or what he has of one, now); it's worse than the garage when she was twelve, yes, but she was the one who had to get in there for her allowance and clean it up. She knows it can be done.
tollers: miscellaneous (so the pumpkin stays a carriage)
Firstly, my gift:

James and the Big Apple.

That was perfect.



I want to squish this story to little bits and carry it around with me like a teddy-bear wherever I go, because it's exactly what I asked for in a future!fic for James & the Giant Peach, and I LOVE THE TITLE THAT IS SO BRILLIANT and yes!

And oh - my writer is definitely made of awesomesauce.

The tone is just what I wanted - light and whimsical - and all of the voices are down perfectly. I honestly couldn't have asked for more.


Now to go read it a couple hundred more times.


Okay, so I've barely scratched the surface of all the gold currently residing in the Ao3 archives for Yuletide (OMG WHY ARE THERE SO MANY GOOD FICS) but here are some that I've got currently saved in my brand spankin' new Yuletide Stories folder in my bookmarks!

1) Through a Glass, Darkly (His Dark Materials, Will/Lyra) - Oh, man. I love this story. It gives one of my many OTPs hope for a happy ending. I swear, the end of HDM has to be one of the most tragic endings I've ever read, and I always, always cry during The Amber Spyglass, so something like this gives me a glimmer of hope that they could get a happy ending, too.

2) Descent (His Dark Materials, Lord Asriel/Marisa Coulter) - This one's actually been getting a lot of exposure in a lot of other people's recs, and I have to put in my own two cents into it. I loved it. It's written beautifully, and really gives you insight into the relationship of Lord Asriel and Mrs Coulter. I've always been fascinated by them, and I admit I ship them too, so this was a nice treat to read.

Favourite part:
They fall, together, in the name of the child; they fall in the name of a love that seized them both and grew beyond that which they could comprehend. They fall until their eyes and hands and tongues are useless, yet they fall still, and the parts of them that are left entwine and metamorphose in a display that will never be observed, an invisible cycle that exists within the unending nothingness and sustains itself, sustains them, independent of everything, independent even of time. And they fall.

3) The Geographic Cure (American Gods, Artemis & Apollo) - I am a sucker for Greek mythology, but combine this with Neil Gaiman's American Gods world, and you get an amazing story like this. The Anonymous author has such a great grasp of character and story - I loved the interaction between Artemis and Apollo, and how seamlessly the author wrote them into Neil's dark, slightly corrupt and equally as intriguing world.

4) Second Guessing (20th-21st c. Canadian Politics, Stephen Harper, Peter MacKay) - OMG. I can't even believe this exists, but HOLY CRAP I am so glad it does, because there is CANADIAN POLITICS FANFICTION. It almost makes me want to write a fanfic about Stefan Dion.

Best line: "You were on Reach for the Top," he offered weakly.

LOLOL. Please read it for the hilarity alone.

5) Mumbly (Pushing Daisies, Olive) - Okay. I just had to add this after finishing my reading of it. It's been in my bookmarks for a day or so now, but I just finished it and OMG. It is likely one of the best Pushing Daisies fanfics I've ever read. It reads exactly like an episode of the show, and the author's characterization of all the cast - particularly Olive - are completely and utterly spot on. I mean - AHH. So fiercely in love with this. Every part is perfect and so in tune with the show's atmosphere. The humour and heartwarming bits are all there, all the way down to the silly, storybook way they often talk. And the narrator's backstory for Olive at the beginning was perfect. Just - this story is perfect.

Favourite part:
"Because," Chuck continues in a softer voice, closing her eyes. "When he's around you – around someone that he knows, that knows him, who – who loves him and who doesn't know – he can – he can be himself, you know? He can just be the Piemaker, the guy who makes pies and is sweet and shy and wonderful and who has no complications. No strange gifts. Just … Ned." Chuck turns, takes Olive's hands in her own. "He can be who he really wants to be." Her eyes turn suddenly sad and shiny. Olive kind of wants to hug her. "When he's around you."

6) Jamie Hamilton's Rotten Luck (The Homeward Bounders, Jamie Hamilton) - Just ... LOL. It's adorable little fic in true Jamie voice. His reaction to ending up at a certain magic school (which I hadn't expected) is priceless. As is his reaction to having to do things. Read it; it's short and sweet and you won't regret it.

7) Light and Literature (Blackadder, Black Adder, Prince George) - This read like an episode of Blackadder. I was giggling at the hilarious banter between the two of them; it's written so well with perfect timing on the jokes. The author showed a very strong understanding for wittiness and humour, definitely.

Favourite line:
“These are troubled times, Your Highness. I’m afraid the dragons have all been slain, the troll bridges have all been burned,” Blackadder said as he moved from one lamp to another, and began refilling it, “and the mermaids have all been sent fully clothed to the nunnery at Yarmouth.”

Oh, you can bet there will be more recs. I've got a bunch saved to said folder that I still need to read. I love Yuletide.

October 2015

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