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The fic meme

January 2nd, 2010 (11:58 pm)
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I've seen this all over my f-list, but I actually stole it from quinara.

Seven whole parts of the fanfic100 Eowyn/Legolas challenge

Part 40 | Part 41 | Parts 42 - 44 | Part 45 | Parts 46 & 47

I started this challenge in October 2005 and it's been meandering along, a few parts per year, ever since. The idea is that Legolas and Eowyn (plus Gimli, Haldir, Eomer and a huge cavalcade of OCs, servants, and expendable guys in metaphorical red shirts) are travelling back from Mirkwood to South Ithilien and having adventures as they go. It's basically Wagon Train in Middle-earth.

These particular parts involved a very nasty pack of werewolves, and I was quite pleased with the transformation scenes, the fight scenes, and the two little plot-worms I've inserted ready for the next batch of parts (at least one of which will involve finding a picture of Catweazle for the banner).

One thing I really like about this story is that it gave birth to one of my favourite OCs, Thorkell bogsveigir, who's become a regular in my other stories. He's a tall, dark, handsome but very mouthy devil. His epithet is a genuine Viking by-name, and means 'bow swayer', so he fancies himself a rival to Legolas, and by the end of this challenge he will have been appointed 'bodyguard' to Legolas' father (King Thranduil). I've no idea how that will happen, but Thorkell and My!Thranduil have already appeared together in stories set later in the timeline, and they make a cracking double act (IMO)!

Winter Magic

Winter Magic is the current bane of my life. I have so painted myself into a corner with this one!

Winter Magic started off as an epilogue to the previous bane of my existence, Shadowland.

In Shadowland there are two Eowyns, and Shadow!Eowyn has had a child (by Legolas), whom Our!Eowyn has come to know and love but whom she has to leave behind when she returns to her own world, and -- because I can't bear my characters to suffer (since there's more than enough of that in RL, thank you very much) -- I wrote an epilogue in which she and Legolas rescued an abandoned elfling.

I continued the story of little Melannen in my 2007 'advent' calendar, leaving it on a bit of a cliff hanger, and then took it up again early last year. It seems that something bad has happened to Melannen's people, and it's up to Legolas and Eowyn to put things right. There's a simple twist to the story, which I can't reveal because I don't want to spoil it for my one and only reader (the wonderful curiouswombat), but I'm quite confident about that side of things. My problem is that Melannen's people are Amish-type Elves, and his father has turned out to be a complete tyrant, and Melannen has run away again. This worries me on two counts. First, I'm not at all sure that the earlier part of the story prepared the reader for the father's character -- Melannen, after all, is a well-adjusted little boy. Secondly, Melannen has taken refuge with another of my beloved OCs, the geeky teenager, Arador, who -- because he has father issues of his own -- has decided to help the child by hiding him. And I just can't for the life of me think of a way to get Arador out of the proverbial sewage...

I need to do some serious thinking. Fast. Like tomorrow. Probably.


Supernatural is a short, would-be macabre story, written for quinara's plot_wout_porn ficathon. I took the title and the general 'this week's demon arrives in town' idea from the TV series, but it's not a crossover. What I like about this story is the way I developed the plot. The deadline was approaching, I was lying in bed with a blank mind, in a state of utter panic, and thought, "Someone gives something to Legolas. What? A shell..." Then I got up, found a note pad and pen, and spent the next couple of hours jotting down bits of story as they came to me.

Most unlike me!

I wanted Supernatural to read like a fairy tale, and the result is much more stylised than my usual stories. It's also quite short for the amount of 'content' it has. But I like to think that the finished story is structured like an episode of its TV series namesake.

A Yuletide Dragonhunt

My latest Legolas/Eowyn story is a Merlin crossover in which Merlin, attempting to rid Camelot of a very nasty dragon, sends the dragon, Arthur, and an OC named Sir Bors into Middle-earth. The dragon immediately takes a shine to Eowyn and (King Kong style) carries her away. Legolas, Arthur and Bors ride to the rescue (after some initial problems because Arthur has, of course, has been raised to believe that Elves are vermin).

As usual, the OC quickly stole my heart -- I don't know why I don't just come clean and write original fic -- and, encouraged by curiouswombat, who asked if we could keep him, I let Bors and the dragon both stay in Middle-earth. I intend to set my next-but-one long story in Eryn Carantaur's new dragon sanctuary, where some homicidal manic is killing off the scholars who've come from all over Middle-earth to study the dragon. In my mind's eye, the setting's a 'dragon tower', all massive, totalitarian-style architecture (very Darken Rahl's palace). If only I wasn't the laziest woman in the world, writing would be such a joy!

By any other name

In May I wrote a short Primeval fic, mainly to work the pairing out of my system. There was a debate raging at primeval_denial and this was my solution to the mystery of Captain Becker’s first name. I was certain it had to be something embarrassingly girly. Shortly after I wrote the story, one of the ladies at primeval_denial emailed ITV and asked them what Becker's first name really was. They answered...

Hilary :-)

The favour

When I went to see Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, I came away obsessed with Draco, started devouring Dramione fics, and then decided I had to write something myself, largely because (as had happened with Legolas/Eowyn) I couldn't find much that I really liked.

I started with something that was very much influenced by fanon (Part 1), then got a rather more original idea for two more parts, which I wrote up whilst on holiday in Poland (because I'm fun that way). I was quite pleased with this first foray into Dramione, and had intended to fill in the gaps between the parts, but then I came up with what I think's a much better 'relationship' between the two characters (see Some things Muggles do better).

Part 2 | Part 3

The caretaker

As part of my Dramione mania, I joined dmhgchallenge and have written two drabbles so far. Strictly speaking, these don't count as stories but, bloody hell, I do find them hard to... Not hard to write, exactly, but hard to 'polish', so I've included them. The first one came joint first in the challenge; the second (which, in truth, I wasn't one hundred per cent happy with) wasn't placed, and isn't currently posted anywhere.

Some things Muggles do better

I'd volunteered as a pinch hitter for one of the pre-Christmas fic exchanges, had begun writing madly (because the deadline was close), then heard from the mod that my story wasn’t needed, and went off the rails (because it doesn't take much to throw writer!me). Luckily, I had a ‘deleted scene’, which I was quite fond of, and decided to post it. The comments at dramione were so favourable, I was able to finish the rest of the story.

A love match

This is the prequel to Some things Muggles do better. The first part (up to * * * * *), was more or less written before I learned that the story wasn't needed and is the more polished part. I'm pleased with it for the characterisation of Draco, because he's a) convincingly standing up to his father, I think, and also b) a bit bonkers though not evil.

There were two problems with it, however. First, it had very little 'drama' -- Draco wants Hermione and gets her. Secondly, it just wasn't clear why Hermione was doing what she was doing. (Nor was it clear how the relationship shown in it could ever develop into the relationship shown in Some things Muggles do better).

The answer to both problems came to me in a single flash, and I wrote the second part, but I'm not so pleased with it -- its content is right, but it's nowhere near as polished as the rest and I'm still not sure that the two parts really fit together.


I've signed up for dracobigbang, and I'm planning to write a Dramione murder mystery (what else?) using the characterisations/relationship I've established in Some things Muggles do better. I'd originally intended to begin with Draco's being found with a dead prostitute in Knockturn Alley, and take it from there. But the other day in the shower I realised that it has to be Hermione (already betrothed to Draco) who's found with the prostitute, and Draco who has to investigate. As usual, I'm really excited about the story but, as usual, it will take wild horses to get me started on it :-(

Thoughts on writing mysteries

In addition to stories, I also wrote a talk, which I gave at the WriterConUK Midimeet 2009, about writing mysteries. It only scratches the surface of a huge topic, but it does discuss the sorts of problem I've come up against when writing mysteries myself, and the things I've found interesting in books & TV programmes, and I was pretty pleased with the final result.

(And, btw, inspired by kazzy_cee's talk about accessibility at WriterConUK, I also converted all my longer stories into pdfs, so that they can easily be downloaded and printed, or used with an e-reader :-)


Looking back, did you write more fic than you thought you would this year, less, or about what you'd predicted?

A lot less than I would have liked, but actually a lot more than I thought I had!

What's your favorite story of the year? Not the most popular, but the one that makes you happiest?

I'm pleased with the first part of The favour and with Some things Muggles do better because of the dialogue between Draco and Hermione. But what I'm always aiming for is a plot- and character-driven story in which the setting, though drawn very lightly, pervades everything and, given that, none of the year's stories really made me happy... I suppose the Eowyn/Legolas challenge, set in the trees of Lorien, came closest.

Did you take any writing risks this year? What did you learn from them?

Yes, I wrote my first non-Legolas/Eowyn story! I was very, very worried when I posted The favour at dramione, but it got a good response.

What I learned (or think I learned) is that if you choose a big fandom, and a reasonably popular pairing, then -- provided you're lucky in other respects, choose a well-frequented archive, and post on a good day -- you'll get a reasonable number of hits and reviews. Having been stuck for so many years in a Lord of the Rings AU ghetto, writing an unpopular (het) pairing, I'd started to believe that it was the general crapacy of my writing that was responsible for the small number of hits and reviews I typically receive.

I must also thank Draco for single-handedly reminding me that writing can actually be a very pleasurable experience!

Do you have any fanfic or profic goals for the New Year?

I've signed up for dracobigbang and want to write a really good fic for it. I also want to finish Winter Magic and write at least one more 50,000 word L/E story -- but two more would be even better!

Generally speaking, I would like to get over the 'nobody's reading it so it must be crap' hurdle and just get back to writing stories because I wonder what's going to happen next -- which is much easier said than done.

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

My Favorite Story: It's a tie between A Yuletide dragonhunt and Some things Muggles do better, because I think they're both going to lead to something more...

My Best Story: Probably Some things Muggles do better.

Story Most Underappreciated by the Universe: All of my Lord of the Rings stories, LOL!

Most fun: Some things Muggles do better.

Most disappointing: The love match. It's just not quite right.

Most sexy: The favour. I'd read so many Dramione stories with sex scenes that consisted of 'He flicked part A' -- does anyone really think that flicking nipples (or should I say 'nubs' or 'pebbles') is sexy? -- 'then he sucked part B, and then he 'pistoned' part C into part D', and I'd decided that I really needed to write a story that described the consquences of the actions, not the actions themselves. I don't know if anyone else found it sexy.

Hardest to Write: Winter Magic. It's excruciating. And it's not finished by a long way!

Most Unintentionally Telling: None last year, particularly -- nothing to compare with writing about an Elixir of Life shortly after my mother's chemotherapy had failed, and not noticing what I was doing.


Finally, I couldn't resist counting up how many words I managed to write in 2009 (not including the talk on writing mysteries):


WOW! At least twice as many as I thought I'd written.


Posted by: daiseechain (daiseechain)
Posted at: January 3rd, 2010 11:29 am (UTC)

'nobody's reading it so it must be crap' hurdle

I understand even frequently published writers endure this problem. Neil Gaiman talks sometimes of the non-response he gets to some stories that he personally was quite pleased with.

That's an impressive word count!

Posted by: ningloreth (ningloreth)
Posted at: January 3rd, 2010 01:45 pm (UTC)
words float away

Wouldn't it be nice if we could just write without caring whether anyone likes it or not? But I don't think it's possible. The moment you commit your daydreams to 'paper', you're asking someone to share them with you.

That's an impressive word count!

Thank you! I've checked it twice & it seems to be right, but I really can't believe it!

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