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02 July 2008 @ 04:30 pm
Fanfiction meme  
Totally snurched from sabaceanbabe

How about a brief introduction?

I'm Liz (Lizardbeth). I live in SoCal with a husband, a preschooler, and a pet mealworm who will someday, we hope, cocoon itself and turn into a beetle. We're still waiting...




What got you into fanfiction to begin with?
I think I've always done it, really. But it took off when I wrote a one hundred page Mary Sue epic for (old skool) "Tomorrow People" in middle school, that collapsed under the weight of her perfection. You can all be thankful there was no ff.net back then! (though that's also why I get grumpy when people mock the Tenth Walker and American Girl at Hogwarts fics -- no, I don't read them either, but there's no harm in it and they are useful training wheels). I also was part of a group of friends that wrote in a shared original universe, and that kept me busy in high school and college. I got into fandom and online fanfic with Babylon 5.

What kind of fanfiction do you like to write?
I tend to default to the complex, plotty, with multiple characters. Though I think I'm better these days at taking a single idea and doing something shorter with it, it's often a struggle to contain my curiosity for what happens next. And despite my lure of the AU, I also have to know the source very well to write it - I try to do my research and fill in the blanks logically, so that my AU retains the, er, flavor and details of the canon-verse, even when the events are completely different. that's one reason why it's very difficult for me to write in fandoms I'm not immersed in; I just don't have the level of detail at hand that I'm comfortable with.

I also enjoy leaving bits in the story that will enrich the experience for those who read it closely: things that have a second meaning, clues, foreshadowings.... Little details which will have a different significance on a re-read. It's presumably lost on most people, but I like doing it. It's like leaving DVD Easter eggs in my fics, whee!


Do you find writing easy? Hard? What are the aspects of writing you struggle most with?
Both easy and hard. When I have a clear idea it's pretty easy. But when my subconscious is tugging at me that there's something wrong, it's not easy at all. But probably the thing I struggle with the most is sustaining my own interest and finishing things. Probably it's the hardest when I've "told" the story to myself in such a way that finishing feels like drudgery, even if the story itself is in no condition to go online.

Write a few sentences or so of your favorite pairing or character. Name your OTPs or most frequently written pairings/characters and explain what it is about them that you love to write.

I'm very much a One True Character person. I tend to glom onto a particular character, and I can usually ship that person with a bunch of people. In fact, usually the whole reason I pick that character is because my brain tends to examine the favorite character and then put him in different settings, with different people, and see what happens. And if they're a little broken and have a Special Destiny, I'm THERE.

First fandom love:
Jeff Sinclair, Babylon 5. I loved that his character gets deeper the more you look at it. It's not on the surface - it's quiet, and a lot of people mistook that for boring and stiff. Which, no, not to me. If you're under his wing, he will protect you to the death - and if you threaten someone under his protection, he shows no mercy. He has a strong instinct to help people, even when he's just a little bit broken himself. (that whole mess with Lyta and Garibaldi never would've happened under Sinclair). Plus he becomes a messiah for the entire Minbari race. WHAT'S NOT TO LOVE, PEOPLE?

Current obsession du jour:
Sam Anders, BSG. Here's a veteran pro ball player who decides he's going to take the fight to the enemy even though he's gotta know it's hopeless. Then he meets this bright and beautiful kickass woman who gives him hope again - they fall in love, get married and while it's not exactly a storybook romance, it seems to be working until the frakkin Cylons come back and it all falls apart. And it keeps on falling apart. Really, it's a wonder to me that he's not curled into a fetal ball somewhere. Plus he also has a Sekrit Destiny of Cylonitude, which is still Sekrit so I can make it up for myself, and that's always fun.

See also Derek from TSSC, Markus Alexander from Jeremiah, Helo .... Generally good guys, who aren't the flashier main characters but quiet and troubled and/or thoughtful supporting people. And yeah, they're all guys. To think I didn't believe I had a 'type' once upon a time... I can and have written about others, and I love characters like Kara and Aeryn to little itty bits, but I have to have my gateway character in order to get into fanfic in the first place. Though I suppose Jack O'Neill could be the exception - he was my gateway character to SG-1, and while he's certainly high on the fucked-up end of the noble hero meter, he's a bit more prominent than I seem to prefer overall (and my preference for Jack-gen was tough in the days of the ship wars, which is probably one reason I went off to Tok'ra land...)


Are there any fanfiction clichés or trends you’re sick of or just can’t stand?

The "OMG INCEST IS SO EDGY AND KEWL" trend is SO not my thing. Just becasue there's a bandwagon, fandom, doesn't mean you have to jump on it.

I'm irritated by "Mary Sues are the Root of All Evil (and its corollary - all OFC's must be MarySues)" because sometimes, I don't think the usual pairing works and I'd like to invent someone else, but it stays my private project, because yeah, I don't need that crap.

I'd also like to ban the phrase "jump the shark" though that doesn't have much to do with fanfic. A bad episode is not 'jumping the shark', mmkay?

I don't read very much anymore, so I don't know what cliche's are popular these days. But one of the ones that never goes out of style and never fails to annoy me, is making a character (ususally a woman, of course) be a total bitch or worse, in order to clear the way for one's own ship.

Are you guilty of any fanfiction clichés you hate? Or any other ones?
I try not to bash canon couples, even if I'm splitting them up, but I certainly ignore the half I don't want. Also I'm a big hurt/comfort - angst fan, which is probably a horrendous cliche to many people, but I enjoy the breaking down of a character and (sometimes) building them back up.


What was the first fandom you wrote for and do you still like/participate in it?
B5 and I certainly still like it, though I don't participate in it much these days.


What would you call your writing style?
erm, I don't know. I don't think I'm much of a stylist. More action-oriented, I suppose, though I'm more descriptive in a moody piece.

Do you read other people’s fanfic? If so, what do you find yourself reading the most?
Not as much as I used to. Often it's a choice between writing and reading and I'll write. But reading preference depends on the fandom and what I'm writing at the moment.

Name one thing you’d LOVE to write, but have been too afraid or shy to do.
I would LOVE to write Deadwood, and I almost offered it for Yuletide, but I don't feel like I have a good enough grasp on it to do it justice.

Do you have trouble taking criticism? Or worse yet, do you have the dreaded bloated ego?

I have trouble with criticism that seems to stem from the reader's own expectations (like the comment I got once that I didn't have enough O'Neill when, hello, how many other stories actually have TWO of them running around?), but in general, no. I don't think I have a bloated ego - it's not like I'm on the radar enough to have one!

When you write, is there anything that helps? Music? Quiet room?

Music always helps, though sometimes music with lyrics can be distracting and I have to go to my collection of film scores.

What inspires you?

Most often it's a question about something that happened in canon: how it happened, how it affected the characters if we didn't see it, or what would happen if a particular event had turned out differently.

Lastly, how would you sum up your fanfiction experiences and yourself as a writer?

As a writer, I probably haven't changed all that much as a glance at My first Online fanfic ( The Last Message ) shows. I think it stands the test of time pretty well (it's more than a decade old, y'all. *gulp*). I came to fanfic with enough other writing and experience that I think I was already pretty settled into my own style, such as it is. I have more confidence and a bigger toolbox now, but the biggest change is that I write more sex now. Fanfic and sex -- I know, you're shocked. Whatever crazy idea will I come up with next?

Fanfiction's brought me friends and a sense of accomplishment in doing something I enjoy. Writing's something I would do anyway, but fanfic's a way to share it without making it into work. The quick ideas and the instant gratification of fanfic are a hard thing to break away from. I used to think more about doing novels (I have three different original novels in a 'drawer'), then it kind of went away (thanks to writing my SG-1 fanfic novel), but it's sort of lingering on the edges of my mind again. I kinda miss making up my own worlds. But did I mention I'm easily distracted? :)





And also I got my haircut today! yay! It's short and sort of ... perky. Nicely summery, anyway. \o/
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Allisonfrolicndetour on July 3rd, 2008 01:19 am (UTC)
People make fun of American Girl fics? :/ Ouch, Molly and I had a space-ship and a time-machine and... well. Meanies.

Little details which will have a different significance on a re-read.

Ooooh. *excited* Of course, we can't reread until you finish! :D (Interesting - I've heard that you shouldn't talk to others about your writing before you finish, lest you lose that urge to tell the story, but you're the first person I've heard say that they could lose it just planning out the story. (Of course, I haven't talked to many people about writing!)

And if they're a little broken and have a Special Destiny, I'm THERE.

Yeah, I can't really relate to that. ;)

that whole mess with Lyta and Garibaldi never would've happened under Sinclair)

Good point! I never fully forgave them for Lyta, especially.

The "OMG INCEST IS SO EDGY AND KEWL" trend is SO not my thing.

*clings to BSG fandom like a barnacle and thanks lucky stars that EJO is not hot*

I'm irritated by "Mary Sues are the Root of All Evil (and its corollary - all OFC's must be MarySues)" because sometimes, I don't think the usual pairing works and I'd like to invent someone else, but it stays my private project, because yeah, I don't need that crap.

Interesting! I should try to keep more of an open mind. Mostly, I don't read that stuff because I mainly read fanfic involving my OTC, but a good writer could sell me on anything, so if you ever want to share your OFC stuff, you could always f-lock it.

Yeah, I read the 'what makes a Mary-Sue' list, and granted, some of those characteristics, or ALL of them taken together, are off-putting, but nearly any compelling character has SOME of them. Like, writing an OC into BSG-verse who happened to be attractive and have an angsty past would just be letting him/her blend in.

So with you on 'jump the shark' and female character bashing. Work those issues out with your therapist, people.

I'm really enjoying this meme! :)
lizardbeth: Anders with ciglizardbeth_j on July 3rd, 2008 04:54 am (UTC)
Heh - I just meant the standard HP Mary Sue not a crossover with American Girls. But that is pretty funny to think about -- Kit Kittredge and the Chamber of Secrets....

Ooooh. *excited* Of course, we can't reread until you finish! :D
You caught one already - the foreshadowing about the "I'll rescue you" in the AU. That's all I meant, little tidbits like that. There are bigger things like the prophecy, but those are pretty obvious.

you're the first person I've heard say that they could lose it just planning out the story. (Of course, I haven't talked to many people about writing!)
This is the biggest problem I have with one very long fic in particular because I skipped over the boring bits when writing and, surprise! I don't want to go back and fill in the boring bits afterward either...

ALSO I AM GLAD EJO IS NOT HOT. *phew* Can you imagine if Papa Adama was, um, David Bowie (first hot old dude in EJO's bday year I found) was Adama? There would be SO MUCH Adama/Adama 'cesty slash.

In terms of OFC's I'm thinking in particular of an OFC I made up for Jack O'Neill. There's not a big interest in apocafic OFC romance... I thought she worked well with Jack though.



entertaining in a disturbing waylyssie on July 3rd, 2008 10:40 pm (UTC)
................thank you for breaking my brain. Bowie/BSG is. um. Man.
lizardbeth: Anders - Leelizardbeth_j on July 3rd, 2008 10:59 pm (UTC)
Just for you, hon! *blows kisses*

Insert mid-60's man of hotness of your choice if it's too much. ;-p
entertaining in a disturbing way: Bowie  evildeadsexylyssie on July 3rd, 2008 11:06 pm (UTC)
It would be fabulous, actually. I would be writing Roslin/Adama porn if Bowie were Adama. I'd probably be writing Adama/Everyone, really. (I find Bowie hot. Damn, that man has to have a picture in his closet somewhere. His wife is hot, too)
lizardbethlizardbeth_j on July 3rd, 2008 11:18 pm (UTC)
Iman, yes? she's stunning.

I did think of you, when I picked it, I admit. :) I find him more charismatic than hot, but when it comes to porn, that's plenty. (but still, Bill/Apollo cesty slash? ew. And you KNOW it would happen if Bill were hotter. THANK YOU EJO. *g*)
entertaining in a disturbing waylyssie on July 4th, 2008 04:27 am (UTC)
Yes. Yes she is. SIGH.

I have just had the best idea EVER for a tv series. Written by Ben Browder and Chris Judge, starring Bowie.

Also, Mary Sues are totally training wheels (and I might be giddy from comics)
chev_y on July 3rd, 2008 02:46 am (UTC)
Wow. You watched B5 and liked Sinclair. You're the only person besides my husband and myself that I've ever heard say they liked him. I thought Garibaldi, Ivanova and he made the funniest and most interesting BFsF. (In Valen's name...lol)
I also loved Marcus with all my heart. *sniff*
Loved reading this. :)
entertaining in a disturbing way: Boomer Angstslyssie on July 3rd, 2008 03:36 am (UTC)
That is because I have never really written out fannish metarantageglee on B5. I MISS SINCLAIR LIKE I MISS PIE.
lizardbeth: Sinclairlizardbeth_j on July 3rd, 2008 04:21 am (UTC)
I KNOW! Gods, back in the day, there was... *counts on fingers of one hand* ... that many people who wrote Sinclair fic. I think (or like to think) a lot of people don't understand what either JMS or Michael O'Hare were doing with Sinclair. His character was not the more traditional hero type they expected (and eventually got, in Sheridan) and it really bothered people. (and certainly I acknowledge that first season had some weaknesses, but I don't think the characterization of Sinclair is one of them)

If you liked him you should check out my fic! Oldies, but goodies there. :)
The Proverbial Bull in a China Shop...: Truccosabaceanbabe on July 3rd, 2008 03:59 am (UTC)
I knew there was a reason (or a lot of them) we get along so well! :D

lizardbeth: Aerynlizardbeth_j on July 3rd, 2008 04:09 am (UTC)
heh. Trufax. Which is why I didn't say anything. :) We should do a joint project one of these days....

Except I can't write Farscape at all. How can I love it so much and yet be completely confuddled by the thought of writing it? And it's not like Crichton doesn't ping my Fucked-up noble hero radar. weird.
jupiterinmo: Nermaljupiterinmo on July 3rd, 2008 04:19 am (UTC)
I love what you said there, especially the part about Mary Sues. I started writing a whole long Buffy - Riley/Lorne/OC (or would that be Riley/OC/Lorne, LOL!) fic, but then kind of stopped because it was fun and it was blatantly Mary Sue, and since I'm a "pro" writer, I didn't think I should do that. I've been thinking about going back and taking the OC out, but then I think it would lose some of it's fun, at least to me.
lizardbeth: Samlizardbeth_j on July 3rd, 2008 11:20 pm (UTC)
Mary Sues can be fun, yes! And if you're doing it consciously I think it's fine (if nothing I'd want to read myself - other people's fantasy life are never as interesting as one's own). And for the tweens it's a good way to learn to start writing. I did it myself so I hate when people come down on the kids.

But what I really object to is some folk who think all OFCs are Mary Sues which is unnecessarily restrictive and dismissive. A well-characterized female original character is no worse than a male one; and a poorly characterized female character is just that - not a Mary Sue (unless she's like, sparkly and takes over the narrative). Sometimes it even goes so far as ALL female characters seem to get written off as Mary Sues which is (a) not what a "Mary Sue" even IS (seriously, if the definition includes Buffy, Elizabeth Swann, and Sam Carter, there's something wrong with it), and (b) rather misogynistic if taken to an extreme IMO.

sorry. /rant *g*