?

Log in

No account? Create an account
ningloreth [userpic]

The fic meme

January 2nd, 2011 (01:46 pm)
Tags: ,

I thought I'd join in the fun, though I'm a bit late, as usual.



The third date. 2691 words. Written for the dmhgaprilfools fic exchange. The prompts were sexy lingerie, a McDonald's Happy Meal, and a lucky crane/claw machine so, of course, I made Hermione take Draco to the seaside. The story was unusually quick to write, I roughed out the plot on the plane, and wrote it up on holiday. It was generally well received, but did provoke the following interesting comment:

{—the best Soup au Pistou in the whole of France, }=> in whole France sounds more correct :) it's just a tip ... I really liked this one very much even though it really needs a beta to correct some parts :p

...f.e.

“We’ll go to the seaside,” she says, all excited, and she looks so cute, with her eyes sparkling and her cheeks flushed => “We’ll go to the seaside,” she says, all excited, looking so cute with her eyes sparkling and her cheeks flushed

because what I understood was al the text after she says describes her condition while saying it. And that "and" kind of blocks the fluency a bit.


I know she meant well.

Draco Malfoy and the Face of Death. ~29,400 words. This was my Draco bigbang fic, written at the rate of 10,000 words per month, an Olympic record for me! I was really proud of the story when I first finished it, then the lack lustre response made me hate it for a while, but I recently re-read it and, although there may be too much sex in it, it's really not that bad. I'm still quite pleased with the murder mystery plot, and the way Draco and Hermione use magic (a Penseive, Polyjuice potion, Veritaserum, a Patronus) to process the crime scene. The title was inspired by something Tom Felton had said in an interview: that he'd always been hoping that the next book would be called 'Draco Malfoy and the something of something'.

Draco's Secret. 4518 words. Written for dmficexchange. This was my first experience of a ficexchange, and I should have queried the assignment because it was almost exactly what I'd said I couldn't write (prisoner!fic ... darkfic, dubcon, torture). Instead, I came up with the idea of Draco's using a time turner to go back and prevent his younger self from making the same terrible mistake that he had made. I thought it was an ingenious solution (and I worked hard to make the time travel work), but I'm pretty sure the recipient didn't like the story :-(

The mask. 4949 words. Written as a pinch-hit for dmficexchange. The recipient asked for post-war, grown-ups, maturity, long-term relationship. Happy ending absolutely necessary ... lightning storms, smoke, a locked door, a mask. My first thought was, 'Did Draco have a Death Eater mask and, if so, what happened to it?' Then I thought, 'Suppose Voldemort gave Draco a cursed mask and, years later, Hermione found it?' Several people have called the result 'Gothic' :-)

Quid Pro Quo. 6107 words. Written for the dracoawards het challenge. The prompt was 'well-endowed Draco' and I had to do a lot of eye-popping, er, eye-opening research to get the porn right, but it wasn't entirely PWP. (Someone recently made a 'does anyone recognise this fic?' post at dramione, and described the plot in detail, so that's proof!) For reasons that are not entirely clear to me, when the votes were cast, it came runner up to a (het?) Draco/Harry story.

The beginning. 9602 words. Written for the Hawthorn and Vine Reverse Challenge, and the most ambitious story I've written so far. I was assigned this manip by LilTinyBee:



and thought, 'Big Draco; little, feminine Hermione; Mills & Boon; bodice ripper; Imperius curse...'

Since I didn't want to give Draco a one-way ticket to Azkaban, I had to make someone else do the cursing but, at the same time, lead the reader to think/fear that it was Draco. To complicate matters still further, I decided to tell most of the story from Hermione's POV, so the reader's inside her head whilst she, thinking that she's behaving rationally, does some very strange things... I did show the anonymous wizard mumbling the curse, and I did describe Hermione's subsequent change of heart using almost exactly the same words JKR uses in GOF, but a lot of people still seem to have thought that Hermione was simply written OOC -- even some who commented favourably also scolded me for not having made the curse obvious.

But it's supposed to be a mystery!

I am unhappy with the first section of the story, though. It shows Hermione unexpectedly coming face to face with Draco and feeling that physical 'kick' you get when you're attracted to somebody. Originally, I described the feeling in very earthy terms, but then I chickened out, and went for the more tasteful 'stabbed through the heart'. But the purpose of the scene was to suggest that the reason Hermione didn't even try to resist the Imperius (which made her besotted with Draco) was that she was already physically attracted to him. And the word 'heart' implies that she's fallen in love with him in that first scene, which -- at the very least -- messes up the timeline, and obscures the mystery with a dose of muddle. It needs tweaking. ETA: tweaked!

Cottage in a Cornfield. 1000 words. My crack!fluff story, written for the dramione_awards challenge, and based on the prompt, For small creatures such as we, the vastness is bearable only through love. Carl Sagan. The story was inspired by three things: an old black and white film I remember seeing when I was very young; John Constable’s Cottage in a Cornfield; and, of course, the TV series Victorian Farm. I remember being in a panic, trying to think of a plot, getting this idea, following it through, and thinking, 'This is crazy!' But it won the challenge, and it's probably the most popular story I've ever written!

The Second Chance. 7574 words. Written for the dramione_duet ficexchange. The recipient gave me what amounted to a complete summary: Fifteen years after the War, Hermione is determined to marry Cormac McLaggen, former Quidditch all-star, rescuer of imperilled house-elves, and most promising candidate for Minister of Magic. That is, until her long-lost reprobate of an ex-husband swans back into her life to mess it all up. Initially, I found it difficult to see why Hermione would ever want to marry Cormac, but then I thought, 'Suppose she still loves Draco, but she wants a normal life?' I had a lot of fun writing drunken!Draco (he's one of those idiot savant drunks), and dastardly!Cormac, and stellar!Ron. When I posted it at the Hawthorn and Vine archive, where the mods insist on 'correcting' your prose, the validator inserted a comma after 'Malfoy' in Don't be such a bloody pussy Malfoy. I had considered using a comma there, but had decided against it, because the sentence appears in a note, which has been 'scrawled'. By Ron.

A Fairy Tale Romance. 5650 words. Written as a pinch-hit for the dramione_duet ficexchange. The recipient asked for flangst, which I'd never heard of, LOL! I decided to make Draco poor, and the story quickly evolved into a retelling of Cinderella, with Draco as Cinders. I think I've broken new ground with all of my Draco stories this year, but I'm particularly pleased with the way this one turned out. I especially enjoyed creating an OC (Draco's grand-mama's portrait), which is something I do all the time in my LOTR stories, but which I'd so far avoided in HP.

Green Ice. 4828 words. Written for the dramione_advent calendar, which was a huge honour, because you have to be nominated. The prompt was ice sculpture, so I decided to set it in an Ice Hotel. The story gave me a lot of trouble because I originally had Hermione working as the assistant to a thriller writer and realising immediately that the gentleman jewel thief must be Draco, and that added layers of unnecessary complexity to the plot. Once I'd decided to make Hermione herself the writer, and make her oblivious to the thief's identity, everything quickly fell into place.

...

A partial surrender. 100 word drabble. Draco lures Hermione onto his broom.

I bet I can... 100 word drabble. Draco loses his bet with Blaise Zabini.

Lucky. 100 word drabble. Hermione infiltrates the Slytherin common room.

Whoops. 100 word drabble. Draco says more than he means to.

Star-crossed. 100 word drabble. Hermione wishes she'd said yes.

Mid-air collision. 100 word drabble. Draco compares two women.

Total denial. 100 word drabble. Hermione looks into a crystal ball.

Friends without benefits. 100 word drabble. Draco escorts Hermione to a party.

Wicked ways. 100 word drabble. Draco tries to have his wicked way.

The rest of his life. 100 word drabble. Draco awaits the Wizengamot's verdict.

Christmas past, present, and future. 100 word drabble. Draco and Hermione have a Christmas tradition.

...

The White Ladies of Eryn Carantaur (WIP). 821 words. My first Legolas/Eowyn story in almost a year, started for Halloween. This has the potential to be a really fun macabre ghost story, and I intend to get back to work on it soon!

The Wise Woman of Eryn Carantaur (shamefully, WIP). ~8957 words. My 2010 Yuletide Calendar, which I must finish tomorrow! The story is much darker than my usual Legolas/Eowyn stories, which is a direct result of my having written so much Draco, even though my Draco isn't really bad, just self-centred.

...

Total number of words written in 2010:

87,197

...

Looking back, did you write more fic than you thought you would this year, less, or about what you'd predicted? I wrote far more challenge/exchange fics than I expected. In fact, I think you could say that I suffered a brief addiction to challenges! I knew I'd written a lot of one-shots, and was actually surprised that my total word count was so low.

What pairing/genre/fandom did you write that you would never have predicted in January 2010? I would never have predicted that almost everything I would write would be Draco/Hermione, and almost nothing would be Legolas/Eowyn.

What's your favorite story of the year? Not the most popular, but the one that makes you happiest? It's a tie between The Second Chance and A Fairy Tale Romance.

Did you take any writing risks this year? What did you learn from them? Yes, I signed up for yuletide, and I failed miserably. I learned two things from the experience: first, I can't just turn my hand to writing in any fandom, I have to have reached some sort of critical mass before I can start (which is strange, because I'm a technical author and I can turn my hand to any technical subject). Secondly, I learned that yuletide and I simply do not gel! I didn't like my assignment, I didn't like all the cheerleading posts, and I didn't like the culture of reccing. It's such a shame because so many people on my f-list love yuletide, and I thought that I would too.

Do you have any fanfic or profic goals for the New Year? Believe it or not, I've signed up for the hp_kinkfest challenge, and I've already started thinking about that story. I may sign up for one or two more Draco-based challenges, but I really want to get back to writing Legolas/Eowyn. I used to love my website, and I want to be able to take pride in it again.

From my past year of writing, what was...

My Favorite Story: The Second Chance and/or A Fairy Tale Romance.

My Best Story: I wish I could say that it was The beginning, because that was certainly my most ambitious story, but (as I said above) the first section needs tweaking, so I think it was either The Second Chance or A Fairy Tale Romance, though the most successful in terms of hits, comments, stars, and (even) awards, was Cottage in a Cornfield.

Story Most Underappreciated by the Universe: Draco Malfoy and the Face of Death has by far the lowest response-to-effort ratio :-)

Most fun: I had fun writing all of my Draco/Hermione stories.

Most disappointing: The beginning (see above for why).

Most sexy: Quid Pro Quo!

Hardest to Write: Green Ice was the hardest Draco/Hermione; The Wise Woman of Eryn Carantaur was the hardest Legolas/Eowyn; and the story I tried to write for yuletide was impossible -- I watched the film three times; went over every scene in my head, asking questions, trying to find an 'in'; thought about what might have happened before, and after; researched various customs; wrote some bits and pieces; and still couldn't pull off an actual story. Left to my own devices, I'd have kept going and might even have managed something but, given the rules, it seemed more sensible to click Default.

Most Unintentionally Telling: It wasn't unintentional, and I don't drink or take potions, but Second Chance!Draco, with all his addictions and his safe space (the chaise longue), is pretty much me at my worst.

...

Finally, I can't resist pointing out, again, that (thanks to curiouswombat, who nominated it) The Little Prince came second in the Mirkwood Elves category at the Middle-earth Fanfiction Awards (MEFAs). It was my first ever nomination, my first LOTR award, my second ever award for writing... So, yay! I'm a proper fanfic writer at last!

Comments

Posted by: Quinara (quinara)
Posted at: January 2nd, 2011 02:41 pm (UTC)
Buffy sparkles

I didn't like my assignment, I didn't like all the cheerleading posts, and I didn't like the culture of reccing.

Experiences like this (because I don't think you're alone) is one of the things that makes me hesitate about signing up for Yuletide, because I have a feeling I'd be very much the same. I tend to feel my writing tastes don't really match up with people's reading tastes, especially when I start moving out of the Buffyverse, so I would be extremely worried about getting a prompt that I didn't even like the thought of, let alone be able to write. Also, as far as the reccing goes, I simply don't enjoy that many Yuletide fics...

Posted by: curiouswombat (curiouswombat)
Posted at: January 2nd, 2011 04:00 pm (UTC)
saner emu

Seconded - I very rarely sign up for anything and I really don't think I would be any use in the Yuletide thing.

I have found I can write drabbles to prompts - but the whole idea is to be as 'creative' as possible in the interpretation of the prompt. The 'you must write about Draco and Great Uncle Bulgaria, in knee deep snow under the Eiffel Tower, one on a unicycle the other wearing swimming trunks. You should include a dachshund and a pickled onion." type prompts don't often, inspire me.

Posted by: Quinara (quinara)
Posted at: January 2nd, 2011 04:14 pm (UTC)

Yeah - I tend to feel, once you've got such a specific idea of what you want in mind, then you should just write it yourself, because you're probably never going to be happy with what someone else does. I know a lot of Yuletide people are more free with what they'll allow, but a lot of it seems to be about unconventional shipping, which I find really hard to do on command, especially from gen sources.

Posted by: ningloreth (ningloreth)
Posted at: January 3rd, 2011 12:04 pm (UTC)

...You should include a dachshund and a pickled onion

LOL!

That wasn't actually the problem -- The Second Chance was inspired by a pretty explicit prompt. The problem was that I had offered four fandoms, including Egyptian Mythology & The Dying Gaul, and hadn't understood that I wouldn't be assigned fandoms but given a person who had requested one of my offered fandoms (as it happened, the weakest), plus two others I had no experience of. When I saw those, I panicked, and my mind went blank, and then I never really got myself sorted!

I hated all the nannying from the mods/helpful members :-) On me, it had the opposite effect to what was intended.

And then I found the whole reccing thing horrible, because I know that there will be stories out there that are very good but have been neglected for entirely subjective reasons -- 'wrong' fandom, 'wrong' pairing, not slash -- and their authors will be disappointed.

I actually got my knuckles rapped by a mod for reccing a single story* but, as quinara says, I only had one story to rec! And I'd misread the instructions 'Don't spam the community with recs for single stories' as 'Don't spam the community...', LOL.

* I'd promised my writer beforehand that I'd pimp her fic, and it really is very good, but hardly anyone else seemed to have noticed it.

Posted by: curiouswombat (curiouswombat)
Posted at: January 3rd, 2011 05:28 pm (UTC)
Good Grief

Oh gosh - if they kept poking me I'd be really annoyed too.

As for the apparent insistence on multiple reccs - pah! I am glad I've never got involved.

Posted by: ningloreth (ningloreth)
Posted at: January 3rd, 2011 12:20 pm (UTC)

makes me hesitate about signing up for Yuletide

I had to hang on to the bitter end because (despite dropping out myself) I'd received a story (and a very good one), but I think I'll leave the community now.

I tend to feel my writing tastes don't really match up with people's reading tastes ... so I would be extremely worried...

That happened to me with the dmficexchange and the request for torture!fic! I have actually written a fic that includes torture (the Cruciatus curse), but it happens because Draco's been captured by a former Death Eater, it's not the point of the story!

What happened with yuletide is that I was assigned three fandoms, two of which I knew nothing about, and that really panicked me!

as far as the reccing goes, I simply don't enjoy that many Yuletide fics

I found the whole reccing thing horrible, because I know that there will be stories out there that are very good but have been neglected for entirely subjective reasons -- 'wrong' fandom, 'wrong' pairing, not slash -- and their authors will be disappointed.

I actually got my knuckles rapped by a mod for reccing a single story, but I only had one story to rec! And I'd misread the instructions 'Don't spam the community with recs for single stories' as 'Don't spam the community...', LOL.

Posted by: Quinara (quinara)
Posted at: January 3rd, 2011 12:46 pm (UTC)

I actually got my knuckles rapped by a mod for reccing a single story, but I only had one story to rec! And I'd misread the instructions 'Don't spam the community with recs for single stories' as 'Don't spam the community...', LOL.

Deary me! I suppose it's such a huge comm that they can't keep track of how many rec posts people have made, but that seems more than a little ridiculous.

It's always the problem with prompt challenges that for every writer they help inspire, there's another writer they completely stall; it's why I tried to make a 'prompt if you like, but don't worry about it' model for plot_wout_porn, though I'm not sure how well that works, because there weren't many prompts in Round 2... But, oh, I definitely couldn't put up with the nannying - give me a deadline and, 99% of the time, you'll get a story, but jerk my schedule around with injections of 'encouragement'? I'm sure it would throw me completely off.

7 Read Comments