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e x ~ l i b r i s ~ i g n i s ([personal profile] mmexlibris) wrote2016-04-06 11:38 am
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[M'ways] Improbably Long Writer's Questionnaire

  1. Describe your comfort zone—a typical you-fic. My fic tends to be thinky. It seems to always incorporate some reference to ancient myths, or possibly magic (even the non-HP fanfic stuff). It should also have a bite, or a twist that aches a little.

  2. Is there a trope you’ve yet to try your hand at, but really want to? Not that I can think of off the top of my head. Possibly a well-established relationship where people are in love and happy, even though they still have shit to deal with. Post happy ending fic, I like to think of it as.

  3. Is there a trope you wouldn’t touch with a ten foot pole? I do not like angst for angst's sake. I also don't care for the whole shit's going sideways because people can't be adults and talk to one another story. Ugh, done to death already.

  4. How many fic ideas are you nurturing right now? Care to share one of them? I have a laundry list of weird occurrences in modern life. Modern faery tales if you will. Neil Gaiman warped my brain at an early age. I have a whole world building thing I've been working on for ten years plus now. There's a novel in here somewhere, I swear to god. And the ubiquitous zombie origin story, that involves chimpanzees that learned how to use fire and the idiot scientists who study them.

  5. Share one of your strengths. I think I have a fairly evocative style. If I have an emotion or sense that I want to express, I think I'm fairly adept at accomplishing that.

  6. Share one of your weaknesses. Finishing shit.

  7. Share a snippet from one of your favorite pieces of prose you’ve written and explain why you’re proud of it. "The rafters shook with each impact of the battering ram, sending cascades of dust drifting down over her schematics. She ignored them and turned back to her creation. Her work was almost complete and she couldn’t stop, wouldn’t let them take this from her. She bent over the figure laid out on her workbench and began the final inscriptions." Why am I proud of it? Someone paid me money for that fic. And the check cleared!

  8. Share a snippet from one of your favorite dialogue scenes you’ve written and explain why you’re proud of it. One time I had an idea to write a play that I cast in my head. Gilbert is Alan Rickman, Sherman is Christopher Walken.
    SHERMAN: You have no idea what they want, do you.
    GILBERT: Shut up and let me think.
    SHERMAN: Are you trying to remember? Or did they ever tell you in the first place?
    GILBERT: You know, for someone who claims to be such a bloody good listener, you really don't know when to shut the hell up, do you?
    SHERMAN: Well, I'm just saying, you'd think if they'd told you what they want, you'd know, y'know?
    GILBERT: [frowns]
    SHERMAN: [smirks, gestures] I'm just saying, you'd think you know.

  9. Which fic has been the hardest to write? The one I have the most time and emotional investment in. Sea of Dust has been killing me softly for YEARs.

  10. Which fic has been the easiest to write? The shortest ones are always easier. Sometimes stories just write themselves? But those are still a challenge to capture them before they evaporate.

  11. Is writing your passion or just a fun hobby? Writing is my passion. Without it, I feel like I'm less of a person.

  12. Is there an episode above all others that inspires you just a little bit more? Not really.

  13. What’s the best writing advice you’ve ever come across? The only wrong way to write is to not write at all.

  14. What’s the worst writing advice you’ve ever come across? I can't write to market. I just can't. Some people can. Some people are very effective at it. I can't.

  15. If you could choose one of your fics to be filmed, which would you choose? The Work. Oh wait.

  16. If you only could write one pairing for the rest of your life, which pairing would it be? Don't ask questions like that. What kind of crazy talk is that?

  17. Do you write your story from start to finish, or do you write the scenes out of order? Depends on the story and how willing I am to bludgeon it to death just to be rid of it. Usually the former, as my brain creates very cinematic stories. My problem is often, once I've seen the end of it, I'm bored and can't be bothered to write it down.

  18. Do you use any tools, like worksheets or outlines? I live and die by Google Docs. Oh wait, you meant writer tools. Sometimes I love a good character questionnaire. I'll admit, a lot of my world building skills come from playing good old fashioned tabletop RPGs with dice and paper. Dice are a great tool when you can't make a decision. If you want to argue with the random roll? Then clearly you had a preference, didn't you?

  19. Stephen King once said that his muse is a man who lives in the basement. Do you have a muse? I have a fucking drug-addled, chain smoking, rum sodden monkey on my back. I am a drinker with a writing problem. I love that monkey, but good god-damned, he needs to work on his timing.

  20. Describe your perfect writing conditions. Somewhere I can focus. I love coffee shops with good tables and people who don't bother me. Sometimes, it comes down to a place where I am just able to focus. The fucking monkey has had its grubby little paws all over the damned brain chemistry controls, so that shit is hard sometimes. But when an idea comes, it doesn't matter. The perfect writing condition is a blank sheet of paper and a writing implement. Sometimes, if I'm lucky, a flat surface to work on. I've been nudged by total strangers standing in line at the grocery store because I was swipe-typing as fast as I could to get it down before I had to go back to the real world. Stupid fucking monkey.

  21. How many times do you usually revise your fic/chapter before posting? My favorite story about the editing/revising process is an apocryphal tale about Pablo Picasso. Picasso was a god damned rock star of the art world. He could scribble on a napkin and it'd go for millions of dollars. But he had to have an escort of two large men when he went to see his works in museums. Because that crazy old bastard would whip a felt tip pen out of his pocket and climb over the velvet ropes to "fix" something in his painting. The truth of the matter is, a piece is never finished, it is eternally in flux. You just have to decide when you're done wiping its ass and committing retrophrenology upon it. In other words, I edit something until I give up and say "Fuck it, it's done."

  22. Choose a passage from one of your earlier fics and edit it into your current writing style. (Person sending the ask is free to make suggestions). Ugh, no. Why? What were you drinking when you wrote these questions?

  23. If you were to revise one of your older fics from start to finish, which would it be and why? Can I steal a line from Curtis Everett here? Always move forward. I have done the whole BUT WHY DON'T YOU LIKE ME edit revision bludgeoning thing. The end product is never pretty. I have been known to take short stories and flesh them out into longer works? I've been known to put something in a drawer until it was ripe and then taken another pass at it. But if it's published, it's no longer mine. It's escaped and you can't get it back.

  24. Have you ever deleted one of your published fics? I have lost fics to the demise of website archives. I've put the kibosh on stuff I published under a pseudonym. But only rarely and not recently.

  25. What do you look for in a beta? Someone whose prose I enjoy. Someone I trust to give me proper feedback and not buttpats. Someone who's read Strunk & White and knows how a god-damned comma works. Someone who gets swept up in my stories, because wow, that's the best kind of editor: someone who cares as much about the end product as I do.

  26. Do you beta yourself? If so, what kind of beta are you? I have and I will, for people who know I was born under the Order of the Red Pen.

  27. How do you feel about collaborations? I love them. If they're working well, they're so much fun. But they're hard when they fall apart or when they just end. That makes the monkey sad.

  28. Share three of your favorite fic writers and why you like them so much. Stephen King (The Green Mile), Ray Bradbury (October Country), Harlan Ellison (all of it). These writers showed me what it meant to craft a well-written story. Alternatively, Ursula K. LeGuin (Earthsea), Marion Zimmer Bradley(Mists of Avalon), and Maya Angelou (all of it). They showed me the amazing places a story could take you.

  29. If you could write the sequel (or prequel) to any fic out there notwritten by yourself, which would you choose? I would love to write in the world of Edgar Rice Burroughs, and return to Barsoom.

  30. Do you accept prompts? My pockets are lined with them. Sometimes I even use them.

  31. Do you take liberties with canon or are you very strict about your fic being canon compliant? Depends on the fic.

  32. How do you feel about smut? I am a sucker for well-written, character driven smut. If you can learn a lot about a character by putting their life at risk, you can learn a lot about a character by showing them at their most vulnerable in other ways.

  33. How do you feel about crack? It's not my jam.

  34. What are your thoughts on non-con and dub-con? For non-con, if it's not a lazy way to accomplish a goal in the story or is simply there for titillation, then I'm open to the possibility it might serve the plot or the story. I don't write it, it turns my stomach, and I'd rather reference it as an event off screen. Dub-con is another story, but again, it's a fine line to walk.

  35. Would you ever kill off a canon character? Have done. Usually because I hate their face.

  36. Which is your favorite site to post fic? Currently, AO3.

  37. Talk about your current wips. World building.

  38. Talk about a review that made your day. Not one review, but a set of them, wherein the commenters got into an argument about what really happened at the end of the story. The conclusion was about 50/50, happy ending vs not so happy ending. I was incredibly pleased, because that ambiguity was precisely what I was aiming for.

  39. Do you ever get rude reviews and how do you deal with them? Ignore ignore ignore.

  40. Write an alternative ending to [insert fic title] (or just the summary of one). I think that's what we do every day at Milliways. Bar fix everything!