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06 February 2014 @ 03:31 pm
I've snagged this from the wonderful StephenT, who I can't wait to return to Buffy discussions when his current LOTR project is completed. He snagged it from elsewhere, which I believe makes this a meme. But, anywho... rather than review the next issue of BTVS, S9 today, I decided to do this so that I can feel productive and then I can launch Endless Space, so let's get to it shall we.

This meme/questionnaire is in regards to FanFic and writing it... something that I dabbled in once upon a time about 100 years ago. spanderverse is still plaguing my thoughts, so perhaps when I get the keyboard repaired and it isn't such a pain typing things like this unnecessary sentence, I'll get back to it.

Anywho, again:

1. Of the fic you’ve written, which are you most proud of?: Well, there are certain parts of certain stories that I thought I really handled well, like the break up story for Harmony/Spike, Buffy/Riley and Xander/Anya without turning anyone into villains over it. And, I liked fleshing out the monks vs. Glorificus a bit before they show up in Sunnydale. But overall fic, I think I did my best way back during Spanderverse: Confusion of Three which seems pretty sad, actually. Hmmm, maybe I shouldn't have started this meme.

2. Favorite tense (past/present/future)?
Presence tense is my favorite, although I don't mind visiting past tense for flashbacks. I've been toying with somehow incorporating a flashforward, but I haven't found a place to fit it yet.

3. Favorite POV (first/second/third/etc)?
I think I like restricted third the most. I like giving the reader (and myself) insights into what the character is thinking and feeling without the character info-dumping out loud. I don't like using an Omnipotent Narrator (although, I'm sure I've slipped the Twit in there occasionally) much because I think it makes it too easy on the writer to explain details to the reader which they don't necessarily need to have... it's sort of a way to force the reader into your/the author's thoughtspace, instead of letting them read their own interpretations into the character-space.

4. What are some themes you love writing about? Friendship is a big one, for me. Especially the bonds that connect, and occasionally bind up, the Scooby Gang. I like personal conflicts simmering among the main characters as well, and the way that they hide things they shouldn't. I also enjoy having characters come across as unlikeable occasionally with their outbursts, whether it's Dawnie shouting at everyone, or Willow doing something underhanded with her magic, or the verbal throwdowns between Willow and Anya. Sometimes we're not paragons of virtue... nobody is, excepting possibly Mother Theresa and Jesus, so I try to make sure that our heroes aren't always perfect, either.

5. What inspires you to write?
Huh. How to say this so it doesn't sound douche-baggy?? Uh... well. There are things that I think the creators behind BTVS screwed the pooch on, and I set out to correct them (besides Xan/Spike not happening... lol). I think there are some real themes or dramatic instances that were giving short shrift or mishandled, so that's where it started. Of course, as you write within the same universe, the story and characters wander off the reservation, and now spanderverse is AU-ing into its own beast....

6. Thoughts on critique?
Welcome, with reservations. On re-reading older stories to see if there were plot bunnies that I dropped that I meant to continue with, or to refresh my memory about a character name/personality [especially when I've changed a character name from canon] I cringe at some of the dialog/paragraphs, so yes, I know I'm not professional-writer grade doodler, here. But, if a critique is pointing out why something is failing to capture a voice well or is pointing out how to improve the grammar and sentence structure, I'm generally grateful for it.

7. Create a character on the spot…. NOW!
I'm not that fast, at least not when I'm not deep into a plot where a character name/purpose for the story just jumps into my head. I do have an idea for the mortal god, Apollo to appear in spanderverse, S7 and to jump series to spanderverse-SPN at some point. I don't want to go into details about it much, but I want to depower the gods a bit and flesh out their backstory between the mortal gods and current-God and a war involving the angels vs. the gods (which obvs, the gods lost).

8. Is there a character you love writing for the most? The least? Why?
Obvs, Xander and Spike are my focus for a reason, but actually my favorite characters to write are Tara and Dawn. I think they're much more malleable to use, simply because they were so underutilized in the source material. It's been fun building Tara up in her powers and place in the Summers fold, and Dawn can often express things bluntly and brattily that the other characters can't and I'm looking forward to including Dawn a lot more in the monster fighting as she matures. Assuming that I return to actually writing, g'ddammit.

For least: I cannot believe this, but I'm actually having a horrible time trying to capture Cordelia Chase. I have no idea what the what is on the difficulty, but her 'voice' is remaining elusive. Also, in thinking ahead to scenes/dialog, I'm starting to think that folding the Halliwells into my 'verse was an error and I have some vague worries about not doing Oz justice, too.

9. A passage from a WIP. With the clarification that WIP in this case means written, but not posted yet.

The large windows of the fire truck were smashed out, and lying strapped to his seat, but hanging limply he saw a fireman. He was the one with the labored breathing, as his overcoat was torn open raggedly. Blood seeped from a severe claw wound through his chest.

With a last glance to make sure his enemy wasn’t in the immediate area, Spike took a single leap up onto the side of the truck. Slipping in through the driver’s door window (also smashed out), he lowered himself into the cab.

A quick glance revealed no one else within - they were all lying out on the road.

“Hey. You with me, still?”

Spike glanced over him - definitely a deader-in-waiting, “Hey - need some info.”

The firefighter gave a grunt and a jerk. His eyes opened barely into slits. He was a middle aged man, covered in blood so an exact age was tough, but he probably had a wife and kids somewhere in town. As he raised one hand, Spike saw that most of his fingers were bloody stumps, having been ripped or bitten off.

“G’t help,” the firefighter, Donahue - according to the name on the breast of the slicker, mumbled and slurred.

Spike shook his head once in the negative, “Sorry, guy, but help isn’t going to be any good to you. Your injuries… they’re bad. Too bad.”

The guy struggled to pull a breath, looking shocked at Spike’s bluntness.

“Not me,” he forced out. “Town. Bad.”

“Who? Tell me what I gotta fight,” Spike said as gently as possible, but he still sounded demanding and knew it. He didn’t have time to pussyfoot around with a lot of hand holding and male bonding with this twitchy corpse. He needed the guy to keep fighting until he couldn’t talk anymore.

“Pink skin… n-not just pink… but mottled? Big - muscled - spikes o-or bone… claws… so strong. On bikes… moto- m-m-oto….”

“Motorcycles - got that part. Any powers?”

The guy looked at Spike like he’d asked if they had three heads, and the vampire grabbed his shoulder and squeezed hard enough to cause the chip to give him a warning zap. “You lived in Sunnydale, you know what I mean! Anything I need to know?!”

Spike stared into the man’s face, eye to eye. He saw the guy’s doubt about revealing anything too weird he might have seen… or maybe remembering all of the other times he’d seen weird things and chose to forget them… whichever, he didn’t have time for this shit. The guy was making a mad dash for The Light.

“C’mon,” he shook him roughly and again, the chip gave him a warning zap - this one a bit harder than the last. Clearly, it wasn’t happy with Spike’s emotionally hyped state, as it was. When he fanged out in front of the dying man, the chip went into a constant buzz, sending a continuous, pulsating pain into the top of his brain. He ignored it as best as he could.

The man was aware enough to note Spike’s change in face, but seemed more confused than horrified. He raised his other hand, undamaged and felt the side of Spike’s face….

“Monster. Monsters in Sunnydale,” he snorted. “Kn-n-new it. Knew. It.”

“Yeah, yeah, you’re brilliant… the other monsters - tell me….”

“Not l-like you. But… noth… ing… I could… see,” he gasped out. “J-just… strong…, so strong… Razor… n-name… Rayz….”

Donahue looked away from Spike then and gazed out of the front window, “Family?”

Spike felt the shudder pass through the man’s shoulder. His hand fell with finality from the ridges of his face and dangled beside him, now just dead weight. The chip almost immediately stopped its buzzing jolts of pain and Spike felt … something….

He wasn’t going to admit it was any sort of ridiculous mushy feelings for this stranger. He’d killed far more than his share of humans and there was nothing, nothing, special about this guy.

“You did it, mate,” Spike told the lifeless body. “You told me what I needed.”

10. What are your strengths wrt writing? Hmm. I think that I do a good job of keeping the characters grounded in real-people-hood. What I want to avoid is making any of our characters The Bitch, The Saint, The Rock, The Comedy Relief... etc. I want all of them to have a complex personality... much easier with the main cast, obvs, but I want to slowly expand the side-players as well. I think/hope that I've done a successful job of it. 

11. What are your weaknesses wrt writing? One of the things I've definitely noticed is that I tend to drag on my paragraphs with too many commas, too many ";" signs and too much extraneous detailed information about setting, clothing, etc. that really isn't necessary to the scene. I'm looking at a scene in my mind's eye and get so caught up with trying to put the reader where I am, that it is all just rambling on. Also, I have an extreme problem with keeping my "their", "they're" and "there" straight, even though I damn well know the differences... and it pisses me off when they continue to elude my corrective gaze during editing.

12. What’s your favorite place for writing resources?
The Buffy wiki is fantastic. Sometime, I'll also check out http://atpobtvs.com/ which is also awesome. Also, I'm always re-checking my past stories for continuity with whatever/wherever my currently story is addressing/set. Finally, I join stormwreath with using Buffyworld for script support.

13. Who are your favourite writers?
I'm not sure I have a "favorites" for this category. I have favorite stories, but not necessarily authors. Stephen King might come closest. For fanfic writers, I definitely don't focus on the authorship, so much as the tale itself. I probably can't name one author of a story I've recommended, but I can't explain the blindspot other than I tend to have horrible trouble remembering anyone's name and it's only gotten worse as I've passed the dreaded 40 mark.

And, there we are. That was fun, wasn't it? If you're an author, you should also totally do the meme and then comment below so that I can check out your persepective, too! C'mon, make it a thing; you'll be one of the cool people.