subjunctive: (loki)
I've been working on this for about a week! It's half for myself, and half for anyone who might be interested. This is fairly comprehensive in that it's pretty much everything I've liked so far that I've found, but it's no guarantee that I've found everything worth reading. I welcome any recs you have, especially if they're from FFN, where I've only dared venture a few times, or Tumblr, where it's hard to find fic. (Chances are, if it's on AO3, I've read it.)

The well-known classics are here (okay, the one classic everyone knows and that I'm pretty sure is responsible for half the following this small ship does have), as well as some less famous works and a lot of WIPs. (Finish your WIPs! /hypocrite)

They're roughly sorted from longer to shorter, with commentary (including some criticism) following. There are 23 works here total.

finished fics )


WIPs )
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: (star-lord mask)
Because who doesn't love a bit of self-indulgent navel-gazing?

While the personal and scholarly sides of my life were not great, the fannish side was pretty rad, all things considered. I've gone in and out of fandom for the last 15 years or so, and picked up again at the end of 2013 after a couple years' absence. This probably coincides with stumbling across FFA, which is my only real multifandom space and makes the whole endeavor feel very alive and active in a way it hadn't for me in a while.

I made a commitment to write at least 100,000 words this year. I wanted to keep the overall total low, because in the past I've had a nasty habit of setting very high goals that I always fail. 272 words per day, on the other hand, sounded pretty doable. And even though I was significantly behind on this goal for almost six months, I caught up in the second half and ended up writing 142,000 words total, over 100k of which was posted. My goal for 2015 is 150k, which seems pretty doable in light of that. I signed up for [community profile] inkingitout, but honestly, the tool that helped me the most was Svenja Gosen's wordcount tracking spreadsheets - just today she put up the sheets for 2015, with a bunch of different themes. They are a superb tool; the spreadsheet not only tracks your daily output but tells you how far you're behind or ahead, how much you have left to do for the month/year, and doesn't worry if you miss a day or a week or a month. Since I tend to sit down and write a couple thousand words at a stretch once or twice a week, I much preferred this over having a daily wordcount goal. There's just no way I'm going to sit down and write every day, and I prefer not to feel guilty about it. She also makes some specially for NaNoWriMo, if you do that.

Other fannish highlights of 2014:

I received some pretty amazing exchange gifts this year, all told. Not a dud among them. (Like I would say if there were, but still. You can trust me.) The average quality of what I got was, I think, significantly higher than the average of what I put out. I don't have the time or space to rec them all, even though they deserve it, but here are four that I think didn't get enough appreciation or attention even though they were balls-to-the-walls amazing:

BSG 2003, Journey into Mystery, MCU, Monstar )

In other news.

Not counting the unfinished HP Year Five fic I posted on FFN twelve years ago (because who does, really?), I wrote my very first fic longer than about 4k this year. I worked my way up from there.

Closely related, I finished my first big bang, [livejournal.com profile] marvel_bang. I've signed up for at least a dozen over the last several years and never managed it. The resulting fic, So Bound with Ice, clocked in at 32k, which is definitely the most I've managed to write ever. I'm not 100% happy with the story, for a few reasons - mostly I had no idea what I was doing with respect to plot; it's just a bunch of scenes strung together - but it's readable and, most importantly, I finished the goddamn thing. (It was a close thing, though: in the last week there were a couple of days where I had to sit down and write 6k in a session to crank it out). I'm not so much proud of the fic as I am of myself. I'm going to give it a re-read next summer and see what I would do to revise it, just for the exercise of doing so with some distance.

Although I'm proud of that story for having finished it, the story I'm most proud of actually writing is A Temporary Arrangement, a post-TWS Bruce/Natasha story that I thought did a good job with the character voices. I also really like the Mischief & Mistletoe fic I wrote, but I can't tell you about that yet!

I also completed art for someone else's big bang, but I'm not linking to that because of its aggressive mediocrity. I will sit back and appreciate more talented people's work next year.

I ran or co-ran four exchanges, which went off more or less without major hitches, and all of which I'll run again in 2015.

I signed up for 13 exchanges, only defaulting on one (which I ended up picking up a pinch hit for anyway). Pressure is 90% of what gets me to write, but I'm not doing that again, and definitely not more than one at once. There are just a couple of fics I'm not super happy with having written, one because it didn't live up to its potential because I was a bit burned out, and the other because I didn't have a good grasp on one of the main characters (the recip requested two and their only prompt was for them together, when I had only offered one).

And finally, last but greatest, I made some delightful friends. YOU'RE ALL GREAT. I LOVE EVERYONE IN THIS BAR.

Altogether, I think, a success.
subjunctive: (hulk nat)
Mostly for my own reference, but in case anyone else is interested in this pairing, which I'm really excited for given the AOU spoilers and trailer (my icon is a moment I am SO looking forward to). Bruce and Natasha are my favorites, and I saw their chemistry in The Avengers and immediately wanted to see more of them together in whatever context or relationship. They're perfect together: both with angsty pasts they are trying to move on from, suspicious of each other even though they really have more in common, and delicious potential for hurt/comfort. (That moment with Bruce in the blanket did things for me, emotionally speaking.)

Unfortunately, though they're tagged in more than 300 fics on AO3, they're almost always a background pairing in someone else's story. So I made it my mission to look through every fic and find the ones that were really about Bruce/Natasha and find the best ones. Ta da~

14 Bruce/Natasha fics )
subjunctive: (pepper/tony)
A couple of fics exploring the what-ifs of Iron Man that I've enjoyed recently (both older, so not news):

some delicious canon divergence under here )
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