Jan. 1st, 2015

subjunctive: (loki)
With a few more details and thoughts.

For Mischief & Mistletoe I wrote Summit, a 10k AU where Loki fell to Earth and Sif followed him. There are a lot of things I like about this story - some particular scenes - but the idea probably needed 5-10k more for the premise to be executed really successfully. I toyed with the idea of Loki slipping away on the last night or Sif letting him go at the end (and then gearing up to follow him again), and that might have been more interesting. Not sure how much the beginning scenes really belong (I almost started at the foot of the mountain), but ultimately I left them because one of the recipient's requests was more Jane or Heimdall.

My gift, syn aisthesis, was a lovely domestic fic featuring Loki as an artist. Nice working in of little details of the relationship dynamic, which I love.

The other two stories I'd rec (with the caveat that I haven't read everything in the collection):

The lovely and sad Where You Can't Return, which is about Frigga and Sif and Loki, with some post-The Dark World parts and some pre-canon. I had guessed correctly that it was written by Barkour. I've read so much of her fic - including fandoms I'm not even in or are barely familiar with on the strength of her writing, which is not typical for me - I practically consider myself a connoisseur of her style. She seems to have mostly moved on from Loki/Sif and the MCU more generally, which is sad but fine. I hope she writes more plotty stories for The Flash; I really liked her Barry/Iris snippets.

The other is Armistice, which is ... hard to summarize, but one of the best things I've read recently. A summary of what happens in the fic could be "Futurefic in which Sif and Loki meet in a tavern while she's hunting him down," but that is really not a great description of what the story is actually about or like. Great outsider POV and scene-setting and very funny. It's short, so check it out. It was written by my recipient, damalur, who was a pretty intimidating recipient to receive since I love her writing a LOT. It's no surprise I loved this too. Armistice in particular is not very ... fanficcish, if you know what I mean? I don't mean that in a bad way (or a particularly good way, even). But there can sometimes be a certain "feel" to fanfiction because the relative insularity of the community - everyone reading and writing each other's stuff - produces a certain set of tropes and stylistic conventions like any other type of writing. A lot of the elements of "Armistice" - the third-omni POV (utterly rare in fic and getting rarer in pro writing), the setting influenced by both fantasy and scifi writing more than the canon itself, the particular brand of humor and dialogue - seem more influenced by pro genre writing than fic writing. It was a breath of fresh air. It also rewards re-read.
subjunctive: (peaky blinders horse)
These kinds of posts really only exist for the purpose of looking back at them later and laughing, but laughter is fun, so:

I already mentioned wanting to write 150k this year, so there's that.

Draw more. Right now my goal is a measly five minutes per day sketching (again, let's get those expectations real nice and low, that's the ticket!), and I've modified one of those writing spreadsheets so that it tracks minutes of work instead of word count. It's not perfect, but it'll do.

Finish my WIP. What's really holding me back is all the planning (okay, and laziness and distractability). Fortunately I've figured out the ending and am in the process of working backward. I've gotten that advice twice recently, so I might as well try it. It's counter-intuitive to me, because I've always thought about my stories in terms of the concept or starting point situation, but so far the story is making sense and seems to be working (cue knocking on wood).

Read more books. I miss the feeling of having a book in my hand that is not for graduate school. I started keeping a list of recommendations and I'm going to try to work through them all this year. Lots of variation: high fantasy, historical, literary, etc. If anyone loves a book and wants to pass the name on to me, please feel free. Some of my favorite contemporary authors are Robin McKinley, Cherie Priest, Seanan McGuire, Kim Stanley Robinson, Peter Watts, China Mieville, Jhumpa Lahiri, and Zadie Smith, if that helps. Good nonfiction too; I am a huge fan of Rebecca Solnit, for example.

Keep a commonplace book. I'm a very fast reader, to the point that other people would call it skimming. But if I read as slowly as I speak, I get to the end of a sentence and forget where I started. This is one way of slowing myself down and noticing things, especially language.
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