maplemood: (jessica jones)
"I'd love to cook up a more in-depth post about my influences and process while writing it," she said. "You can expect that tomorrow or the day after," she said. 

...Yeah. That didn't happen. Partly because I got up the next morning and wondered if I really had much to say about the fic after all, and partly because I'd written enough (and the bulk of it very quickly) to start feeling sick of this particular AU. After a few more days, though, I decided that I did have things to say. Quite possibly things that only I'm interested in, but hey. It'll be nice to have them written out and stored somewhere.

Okay, so. Let's begin with inspirations and/or influences. I know I'd been kicking the idea of a Hope Shlottman Lives AU around for a while before these, but two things jump-started my inspiration. One was the Defenders Big Bang challenge, which I came across on Tumblr and thought looked cool. Also, I felt like Hope's story had enough scope to clear the 10,000 word requirement (though I was dumb enough to assume it probably wouldn't go over). The second thing was an Adele song-- "Sweetest Devotion", specifically, I think, the lyrics "I wasn't ready then, I'm ready now/I'm heading straight for you" (plus it's all about a mother's love for her child, but I hadn't figured out the ending to Hope's story yet). After signing up for the big bang I wrote two false starts before coming up with a beginning that stuck--Hope spotting Daredevil on a rooftop. And then everything was hunky-dory...until I hit chapter 2 (which wasn't chapter 2 at that point; I didn't split the story into chapters until the second draft). 

Around chapter 2 I stopped writing and didn't pick the story up again for a month. It wasn't that I didn't like the story anymore. I'd just stopped thinking it was any good. Halfway through July I decided that I should at least put in a good faith effort to finish it. I really, really didn't want to write it, but I did want to have something to post come August. I wrote 500 words a day until two days before the final deadline, when I wrote about 3,000 words in one day and another 3,000 or so the next. None of those last few ending scenes are examples of my most polished writing, but they do include some of the most emotional stuff I've ever written, and I'm very proud of them. And, as much as I dreaded getting started again, once I settled into the routine of writing a bit every day, Hope's story flowed pretty well. Not perfectly, but finishing things up never felt like pulling teeth. It was even fun. 

Lesson learned, I guess, is that taking breaks--even extended breaks--from a story doesn't mean you'll never come back to it. It also doesn't mean (at least for me) that you'll lose the thread of the story. Coming back to Hope's fic, I had a little more perspective, and a bit of a better grasp on the emotional core. After I finished the first draft and picked a posting date, I had just enough time to do a (slapdash) second draft, where I cleaned up some of the most awkward sentences, added chapter breaks, and rewrote the middle to include more action scenes. This story isn't perfect. It is finished, though, and full of so many things I love--female friendship, creepy dream sequences, found families. For a while there I was sure it would suck, but (all thanks to the big bang deadlines) I pushed through, and on the other side I can see that, while it won't ever be my most polished or most popular fic, it's one I love to pieces. 

Oh, yeah, since I started off promising to talk about my inspirations and influences, then segued into something completely different, here's the list:
  • Music-wise, my biggest inspirations were Halsey and Adele. For Halsey it was mostly her song "Roman Holiday", though I also listened to "Hurricane". Both of these songs are about New York City, and they have a gritty, seedy quality to them that captures a very Jessica-Jones-ish spirit. For Adele it was "Sweetest Devotion", which semi-pertains to the plot, and "Water Under the Bridge", "Send My Love (To Your New Lover)", and "When We Were Young", which don't. They did help put me in the mood to write, though. 
  • Jessica Jones, obviously. I had a feeling from the get-go that Hope wouldn't make it, but her interactions with Jessica left me hoping (hah) that she wouldn't. There's a sense that Hope's one of the few (and maybe even only) people who truly gets Jessica's pain and trauma. The show's not from her point of view, so I didn't get to spend any time in her head until I wrote the fic. It wasn't until I'd started writing after the month-long break that I realized how much I'd wanted to do that. 
  • The idea that you can move past trauma without ever quite getting over it. Also the idea that there's a kind of strength in allowing yourself to be weak--in letting other people help you. I didn't work either of those ideas in as well as I'd like to, but I did what I could with the time I had. 
maplemood: (jessica jones)
Title: 'Till Our Wide Eyes Burn Blind
Fandoms: Jessica Jones, Daredevil
Rating: Mature
Relationships: Jessica Jones & Hope Shlottman, Matt Murdock & Hope Shlottman
Summary: Jessica’s hand curls into a fist. “It wasn’t my fault,” she says, very low and very, very hard. “You blame it on me and I swear to God—“
“My brother thinks I’m dead. My aunt’s paying me a couple hundred bucks a month to keep it that way.”
Jessica’s fist uncurls. Her eyes stay hard. 
Hope’s almost enjoying this, spewing all the boiling bitter ugliness no amount of therapy, meds, or schnapps can fix, but her next words make her want to spit. 
“I’m your problem now.”

Though this fic put me through the ringer, it's the longest piece of work I've done in...well, in a long time, and one of the stories I'm most proud of. I'd love to cook up a more in-depth post about my influences and process while writing it, so you can expect that tomorrow or the day after. For now I think I'll just go ahead and collapse.  

It's Done

Jul. 29th, 2017 03:31 pm
maplemood: (daredevil)
Aaaaaand I left myself a grand total of two days to smooth over the rough spots, but my Defenders Big Bang fic is FINISHED. 
maplemood: (karen)
Whew! Sorry about my last few posts--they've been lackluster, mostly because I feel lackluster, or at least drained. Wrapping up the big bang fic is eating up all my motivation and inspiration, but I've finally cleared the minimum word count and things are starting to wind down towards an ending. Parts of this fic I love. Other parts I'm not wild over. But it's the longest thing I've written in years, and I still can't quite believe that I'm about to finish it. There's a quote--okay, calling it a "quote" is pretty strong; I think it's actually something Georgia from My Favorite Murder said--anyway, there's a line about how perfection isn't the point, but making things--even imperfect things--is. That's how I feel about this fic. Will it be perfect? Not even close. But who cares? It'll be there

Yeah, I'm a little emotional over this. Also really, really ready for it to be done. 

I've been making an effort to read more in order to combat the whole drained-of-any-extra-inspiration feeling. Just started Leviathan Wakes, the first book in The Expanse series. I'm up to chapter eight, and even though no single character has especially grabbed me yet, the worldbuilding's fantastic and I'm excited by the hints of deeper creepiness to come. Nonfiction-wise, I'm well into another Ann Rule book (Small Sacrifices). With both these books, I feel like I'm gulping down the main story without savoring (or even absorbing) most of the details. Oh, well. I can always reread, and at least I am reading; whenever I get deep into a fic I tend to forget to read enough. And then wonder why my all my inspiration is suddenly gone. 

(Also, Pacific Rim: Tales From Year Zero has been sitting on my desk's bookshelf since Christmas and somehow I've barely cracked the cover. This needs to change. Soon.)
maplemood: (donna)
  • So, I think I've finally found a layout that's both pretty enough and simple enough to satisfy me. Maybe. I'm really flighty when it comes to DW layouts, but I also don't have the time to waste fiddling with another one. Hopefully this one will stick around for awhile. 
  • Writing's been going well this week. I'm this close to 10,000 words on the Defenders Big Bang fic; right I'm just hoping to finish it with a few days left over to do some rough editing. The basic plot's in place, but they're still gaps I could do a better job of filling in. Most of my other writing has been pushed to the side, but I'm still putting a little work into the fourth Pete fic, which I think will end up being a two- or three-parter.  
  • On Wednesday I made fresh peach cobbler using this recipe. I doubled the amount of lemon juice and didn't bother boiling the peaches. The filling came out delicious, but I wasn't as crazy about the crust; it was a bit too thick and cakey for my taste. Maybe next time I'll try this recipe's topping. 

500 Words

Jul. 17th, 2017 06:44 pm
maplemood: (jessica jones)
So. One of my newest (and, let's be honest, only) writing goals is to write 500 words of the Defenders Big Bang fic every day until it's finished. And so far that's been working pretty well. I have two weeks to go before the deadline, and only about 3,000 words until I clear the minimum wordcount (10,000 words). Depending on a routine instead of inspiration has helped me get back on track with this thing, and having a specific goal in mind helps me sit down and get it done without wasting time. Okay, I still do waste time. But maybe not as much time as I usually do. I should probably definitely try this with my other projects. It's one of those stupidly simple strategies that I should have thought of ages before now--which is probably why I never did. Oh well. I'm doing it now, and it's been a huge help.  

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