maplemood: (gamora)
(Quick note before I start blabbing about myself: through the semester I'll try to keep up with everybody else's entries and comment as much as I can, but it's likely going to get spotty, especially around midterms and finals.)

Almost halfway through another week. I've had to shelve the beginning of another potential fic project because I just don't have the time to launch into many more big, involved stories. This one was going to be a sort of romcommy no-powers AU for The Defenders, specifically focused on Matt and Jess and the whole couple-must-move-in-together-to-raise-a-baby trope, which is the best romcom trope in the history of romcoms. Needless to say, I'm sad to see it go, but I also wasn't as invested in this AU as I am in others. For now it seemed like the best decision. I'm already missing summer and the gobs of free time I had. I don't hate writing for a grade, but it's not the same.

Okay, enough whining. Here's what's going on with the two AUs I am still working on, in case anyone's interested:

girl!Peter )

Witchcraft AU )

Bonus!

Something Original )
maplemood: (baby blue typewriter)
Last week I started working on an original short story, and yesterday I quit working on it. Not that what I'd written was bad--they're a few parts that I happen to like a lot--but there just wasn't enough there to keep it going. Spark, heart, whatever you want to call it. For that reason I'm not upset that I abandoned it...I'm more upset with myself, because I know why I tried to write something I didn't even want to write in the first place: as much as I love writing fanfic, I never feel like it's enough. I really wish I did.
Whining ahead. )
Welp, this turned out to be less "Thoughts on Unfinished Things" and more "Thoughts on My All-Consuming Anxiety", which I'm sure will be an uplifting and compelling read. Ugh. But it's out of my head now, at least for a little while, and that can only be a good thing.
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: (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.  
maplemood: (rey & leia)
I can't believe it's almost July! I always start the summer off thinking I'll have plenty of time to write a billion stories and read a billion books...yeah, not so much. I am happy with what I've managed to get done so far, but there's always more that I could be doing....Oh well.

At this point I've seen GOTG Vol 2 in the theater a grand total of three times, which is kind of insane. I was not expecting to love this movie as much as I did, especially considering that I had a pretty lukewarm reaction to Vol 1; I liked it, but didn't get all that emotionally involved. Then along comes Vol 2 like a sucker punch to the gut. Going back to rewatch Vol 1 now, I like it much better, even though Vol 2 is still my favorite. They're dozens of little moments in both movies that I didn't pick up on until the second time around, and I can't get over how weird, goofy, and beautiful they are. Everything is bright and loud and a little cartoony, and it's all such a joy to watch. Also, Meredith Quill. The world needs more Meredith-centric fics, because that woman is a saint.  

But anyway. I doubt anyone needs to hear me blabbing about how great/amazing/so-good-just-go-see-it-already GOTG Vol 2 is again

Driving lessons are going pretty well. I'm getting more and more comfortable going up to 60 mph on the highway. That's a pretty big deal for me, seeing as the last time I got my learner's permit I was too nervous to go on the highway at all and pretty much just cruised around the neighborhood at a brisk 15 mph. Driving's always been something that's given me a ton of anxiety, but I've finally gotten to the point where I get that I just need to buckle down (hah) and get it done. 

My writing hit a rough spot a few days ago; I stalled out on two projects and couldn't make any headway at all. So I took a sort-of-break (worked on another fic that I'll probably never post; it was more of an exercise and a way to keep me writing) which I think helped a lot. It's always been hard for me to set something aside (even for just a few days) and accept that something about it isn't working right now, but that's much better than trying to fix something I can't necessarily fix--and that, nine times out of ten, doesn't need to be fixed, just left to percolate for a little bit.

Otherwise, things have been quiet around here. My life during the summer tends to get really boring really fast.  
maplemood: (baby blue typewriter)
Just started catching up on The Walking Dead (I'm about midway through season 6) and good grief, have I missed this show. It's not perfect--to be honest, I liked the earlier seasons better (Side note: my sister and I are, as far as I can tell, two of the only people on the planet who liked season 2). Still, something about TWD keeps drawing me back. I love the creepy-Americana setting to pieces, the villains are usually complicated and sometimes even likable, and all those survivalist-found-family themes are pretty much crack to me. Obviously I've been searching AO3 for some new fics to read (The Walking Dead and The Lord of the Rings were two of the first fandoms that got me into reading fanfic), but I'm having a hard time finding stories that aren't especially shippy and focused more on the friendships within the group.

Writing-wise things have been going a little slowly, since my laptop's internet connection has been wonky for about a week. I just fixed it, so hopefully it'll hold long enough for me to get some stories finished. The third girl!Peter fic is almost done, and I REALLY need to up the word count on my Defenders Big Bang fic.

And, oh yeah, I was so busy whining in my last entry that I forgot to mention that over on Tumblr dis4daria has drawn an absolutely adorable and beautiful portrait of Pete from my girl!Peter series. It was a totally unexpected and wonderful surprise that you can see here
maplemood: (wendy)
...is tricky and frustrating and never arrives on time, but I can't keep up work on a story without a little of it, at least at the start. Still, I don't always have the time or the energy to work on every single idea that pops into my head (and honestly only about a quarter of the ideas I get are workable once I try getting them down on paper) so right now I'm telling myself that it's okay to work on just one or two things at a time, and that I don't have to be constantly writing, or working on ten different stories at once. But I still have so much anxiety when it comes to productivity. Like, if I'm not writing those ten different stories, and if each one isn't perfect, I must be doing something wrong. Which is completely stupid and illogical. But it's how I feel right now.

Welp.

Jun. 7th, 2017 01:34 pm
maplemood: (gamora)
I tried to start working on a second Lisa and Laura fic, then started another girl!Peter fic instead. Because I have no self-control. (Also, rewatching the first movie last night and remembering that Yondu collects cute little figurines to line up on his control console miiight have something to do with this.)
maplemood: (spider man)
Overall, writing's been going well, if very, very slowly. Does anybody else get to the point where, after you've been working on the same story for a couple days or weeks, and pretty much know exactly how everything is going to happen, writing starts to feel...not hard or boring, but predictable, I guess? The first spark of inspiration is gone, but there's still something satisfying about working on a project you love, even if it isn't that exciting anymore. Anyway, that's where I am right now. I'm happy that I'm still making semi-steady progress, but I also can't wait to start some new projects once these ones are wrapped up.

Defenders Big Bang Fic
The first of June was the second checkpoint, and I turned this one in at 5,010 words. I'm almost exactly halfway through now, and still fiddling around with the plot a bit --I just realized that I'll probably have to go back in once the first draft is finish and clarify some stuff, plus maybe add in a few more sections. Most of my fics before this have been on the shorter side, so the plots were simple enough that I didn't need to worry over them too much. This one, though...it's fun to be working on something longer, but I just hope that it ends up making sense.

girl!Peter series
The second fic should be finished by today or tomorrow. I didn't expect it to get so long, and honestly I could probably cut down on some of the dialogue without effecting the plot, but Pete and Yondu are both such a joy to write. My first fic with these two ended on a sad note, so going in to this one I really wanted to showcase the wacky and fun aspects of Pete's story, without forgetting that (for good reason!) she feels very lost and very angry. Incorporating seventies and eighties music was, as always, a blast.

I'm Not Your Hero series (otherwise known as my Lisa-Castle-survived-and-is-best-friends-with-Laura-Kinney-because-duh series)
I haven't started another fic in this series yet. Not because I don't want to, but because, while working on Pete's fic, I decided that having three separate fics in progress (not counting the two that are currently on the back burner) was way too much. I've still got tons of ideas, and once the second girl!Peter fic is finished I'll be starting on another one for Lisa and Laura. This time around, it'll most likely be from Laura's point of view, which I'm both excited about and also incredibly nervous over. In Logan Laura was sometimes such a hard character to read, and I really, really want her voice to be distinctive from Lisa's. I worry a lot that all my characters sound the same, which objectively probably isn't true? Maybe? We'll see, I guess. 
maplemood: (Default)
Requirement: At least 10,000 words by August 1st.
Current Word Count: 4,166

I can't discuss the plot or characters of this one in too much detail yet, but, you know, you're probably safe in assuming that it revolves around characters from the Marvel Netflix shows. :) I've been chipping away at this fic since April--it took a couple false starts, but since I found a beginning I was happy with things have been moving along pretty smoothly. I'm not the fastest or most consistent writer out there, so I've been working on this one off and on, instead of every day like I should, but whenever I have sat down to write it's been fun. Not always easy or flowing, but fun. 

I'm still getting used to the idea that writing just for fun is okay, and that whatever comes out doesn't need to be a masterpiece. I'm not sure that this one will be the best fic I've ever written, but it's giving me a chance to write about things that really interest me, like survivor's guilt and surrogate mother-daughter relationships. Hopefully I'll sneak in some action scenes, too (or at least a couple decent after-action patch-up scenes) but dialogue and emotional conflict are running the show at the moment. 

maplemood: (karen)
This is a couple days late, but I did manage to get a good chunk of writing done last Saturday. I tend to be a pretty slow writer, so by other people's standards it probably wasn't all that much, but I finished up a scene (that was dialogue-heavy and therefore tons of fun to write) and started on the next one. This was all for the second fic in my Guardians of the Galaxy AU series, and girl!Peter has been a joy to write. I'm still not sure if I've balanced her character quite right; in the first fic I spent a lot of time focusing on her anger, so this time around I'm hoping that her goofy side will show through a little more. 

I also planned on noodling away at a couple of my other fics, but I got tired so that didn't happen. All and all, though, I'm pretty satisfied with how the day turned out. My writing routine has been out of whack for years (since before I started college), so it's nice to finally be making semi-steady progress on my projects. 
maplemood: (donna)
Ended up with an unexpected chunk of free time today that I'm hoping to spend writing. If things go as planned (but when do they ever?) I might post some updates this evening. At the moment I have one fic that I'm actively working on, one I want to work on, one (for the Defenders Big Bang) that I should be working on, and two others that are on the back burner. I really need to start budgeting my time better and just get some of these done. But we'll see how this goes. 

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Alex

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