magibrain: The gateway to the stars stands waiting. (Stargate)
Title: Z is for Zenith
Summary: The sun also rises, and shines into the dark places on alien worlds, and delivers life-threatening amounts of thermal and ionizing radiation and maybe a minor revelation every once in a while.
Word count: ~1500
Characters: Daniel, Jack, Sam, Teal'c, an unnamed alien sun
Era: Early season 7
Categories: Vague angst? Character study?
Author's notes: I had a whole backstory for this involving ribbon worlds and the effects on global weather of same. All that backstory is basically Sir Not Appearing In This Film.

Excerpt: Somewhere in the darkness of an imperfect and incomplete recall was an understanding of this universe – his understanding; the sum of the things that he'd seen and he'd learned, and all the memories of all the different worlds he'd set foot upon. Every day a bit more of it rose to his conscious grasp, but it didn't come complete, and it didn't come easy.




Read more... )
magibrain: Hope you like eels. It's EEL SEASON out there. (It's EEL SEASON.)
I've made a blood pact commitment to [personal profile] sholio that I'd clean something up and post it this week, but in the mean time, it's quiet around here, as always. So I'll steal other people's memes and tweak them a little. And maybe give people a way to get to know me that isn't just me being awkward and weird at them in comments.

So. Ask me anything! Fannish, real life, hypothetical, etc.

If you ask me something I'm just not going to answer, like "What's your home address and social security number?", I'll just write you a drabble for a fandom we're both in. (If I'm not aware of any shared fandoms, I'll just write you a drabble about an improbable crime-fighting duo or something.)
magibrain: There ARE no tunes. It's TALK RADIO, Torg! ALL TALKING! (Still just talking.)
I occasionally feel kinda odd about maintaining two blogs – this one and [personal profile] magistrate – because I post so infrequently that it occasionally feels like I don't have enough content to reliably keep one blog interesting, let alone two. But I do feel like separating my fannish content stream from my more real-life stream is a good pragmatic decision; in how I conceptualize my own life, they represent different spheres of interest.

(I toyed briefly with the idea of separating my original fiction/professional writing into a third stream, but then I noticed that I never posted in it at all, so to [personal profile] magistrate it went.)

Being someone who grew up as a writer in fannish spaces and is now also trying to get somewhere in the big, bad world of original fiction, I think a lot about how skills and paradigms do and don't translate. The different genre structures and conventions, the different skills each type of writing emphasizes or strengthens. (I notice that in my original writing, characterization is something people continually call out as one of my weakest skills. Which is still kind of a mindscrew for me, because in fanfic, a lot of people seem to enjoy my characterization. Then, with fanfic, I have something pre-existing to riff off; one of the consequences of growing into writing through fanfiction seems to be that I have less experience in how to establish and differentiate character in my own work.)

Anyway. Given the amount of time I spend musing about fannish vs. original spaces, I kinda have to raise an eyebrow at myself for needing to discover (and rediscover, and remind myself of, again and again) the fact that the criteria for success for fanfic and original stories are often wildly different.

I think it's something of the same way in which the criteria for success for a TED talk and an awesome discussion in a group of friends is different.

In original fiction, I have to spend a lot of time thinking about arcs and structure and pacing, and how the plot and the story inform each other, and how themes are deployed, and how to create a polished and technically competent work. And, I mean, don't get me wrong, those things are great to pay attention to in fanfiction, but I find that fanfic rises or falls on something more like, broadly oversimplified, its ability to be an efficient delivery mechanism for squee.

I think the fanfics I'm personally most proud of manage to hit both notes; they extend and expand beloved aspects of canon, but they also work as well-structured, polished and tuned-up technical works. But I also find myself, a lot of times, flailing over posting something because its pacing is a mess, the structure is lopsided, there's that one horribly awkward phrasing at the beginning that I can't think of a good way to get rid off, the theme is a contortionist, and the arc thinks about arcing and then veers sideways into a wall, and I have this horrible urge to apologize to everyone for punting it out into the world, and then no one seems to care. Which is reassuring, at times, and then at other times it's just a boatload of cognitive dissonance and the vague suspicion that everyone's just being nice because... some... nefarious purpose of their own? I think a lot of writers share this anxiety. I think this anxiety enjoys the fact that it doesn't have to make sense.

I used to produce a lot more fiction. I mean, that was something like a decade ago, when I was bouncing all around my million FFVIII fics, but I remember being significantly more prolific than I am right now. I think a major factor in my slowdown is the fact that I started turning my attention to craft, and really struggling a lot with the places where I could see something wrong but I didn't know how to fix it.

(Or where there wasn't a plausible way to fix it. If I go back through my braintics scraps collection, for example, there's a ton of stuff which flat-out does not work on a logical level, but which amused me enough to put scenes down. There's also stuff where the tone is too wildly self-indulgent for my sense of propriety, or where it's clearly just me working out my beef with a certain character, or where I looked at it and just went "Nope, not going to write that, because I'm not going to typecast myself as that author who only writes stories where horrible things happen to Sam Carter and the boys go D: and then the whole rest of the fic is only there to showcase how tough and embattled Sam is." (Yes, I have enough of those braintics to make it its own genre. I'm not proud. I also regret nothing.))

This is, of course, not entirely a bad thing: it lets me continually improve my writing, even if I'm not aware of the improvements as they're happening. (But I can go back and look at works from a few years ago – works that represented the best I could do at those times – and see immediately how I could improve them, and that's a humbling and kinda nifty feeling.) But it is, I think, something I also need to become more aware of. Because the other great thing about fanfiction is that it provides a space for me to play around with ways of telling stories in this fantastically open and engaging and forgiving environment, and that's also a fantastic resource for growth. Letting my internal editor set up roadblocks there isn't actually helping me.

(Besides, you people don't mind if I completely shed my dignity now and again, right? Maybe I'll clean up the ridiculous angstcrack scene where Neal is vaguely suicidal circa As You Were and discovers that Peter has an invisible dragon living in his house. Or the wtfery of the braintic where Sam Carter's consciousness gets transposed across a universal boundary and put into a partially-uplifted mountain lion who's a working animal with the USAF. I once heard the Pern books described as "tapping into the 'I want a PONY!' instinct, except for people who liked fantasy." You can probably tell which kind of kid I was.)
magibrain: The gateway to the stars stands waiting. (Stargate)
Just finished reading S.M. Stirling's Island in the Sea of Time, which I had a few quibbles with, but which otherwise danced merrily on so many of my happy buttons that I would have forgiven it much more. (And one of the main characters is a badass Southern black lesbian who commands a Coast Guard vessel and later an army. (And our love.) I just want to draw hearts all around her, and I am very much not a heart-drawing person.)

I don't know if any of the Stargate folk on my list have read the book, but if you have, please tell me whether you also desperately desire a fic with Ian Arnstein, Doreen Rosenthal, Sam Carter, and Daniel Jackson all hanging out and being amazing. I'd write it myself, but I think the four of them combined may exceed my ability to write smart and informed people. At the very least, I'd have to gloss over half of what they said or spend a long, long time doing research.

On a slightly wider fandom note, I feel like the crossover potential of this book is high. (A quick synopsis: an unexplained Event occurs over the island of Nantucket, carrying the island and some of its surrounding waters – including a Coast Guard training vessel – into the Bronze Age. As you can imagine, this complicates life somewhat for the island residents.) The Event could be centered over Cheyenne Mountain or Manhattan! (Either only over those places, or over those places in addition to Nantucket, which could lead to some really interesting ham radio discussions and expeditions to re-forge connections through miles and miles of wilderness.)

Anyway, there are more books in the series and apparently a parallel series from the other side of the Event (where you have a densely-populated modern world in which suddenly no technology works; also likely to dance merrily on all of my buttons), so I suppose I know where a whole bunch of my money is going next time I have any to spend.

....

Jul. 3rd, 2013 11:10 am
magibrain: Peter Burke would like to know where you are at all times. (White Collar)
My dreams for the last two days have been:

1) Peter Burke and Jack Harkness not being pleased to learn that Neal Caffrey's post-anklet plans resolved to "flee the country and join the Time Agency"*, and

2) Peter getting framed for corruption and leaving the FBI, only to adopt a dragon a la "Jeremy Thatcher, Dragon Hatcher" and setting up a PI firm with her**, and using his alleged criminal ties to become a criminal informant for the FBI. Not the kind that wears a tracker, though. The kind that has an intermittently-visible dragon friend, apparently.

I think I may need evening plans other than "write fanfic until I crawl into bed".




*Why did Neal think this was a good idea? Why did he think Peter would approve? Why is Jack Harkness hanging out in Peter's diningroom? The world may never know!

I haven't read this book in years. But I remember that Jeremy Thatcher hatched a dragon egg, and only he could see the dragon, and the dragon set someone's shoe on fire! I don't think they started a PI firm, though.

**Burke and Ness quickly develop a reputation as terrifyingly efficient, completely unshakeable, freakishly resourceful, and – among certain circles – really hard to kill. No one ever sees the mysterious Ms. Ness, and the clients who demand to see her under pretenses of knowing who is working for them are turned around, told firmly that "Ness prefers the freedom to work without threat of recognition." For some reason, no one ever puts this together with the fact that he belongs to multiple CSAs which, together, deliver him way more farm-fresh meat than a typical household could reasonably consume. Dream!me did not see fit to include the reactions of Neal, Elizabeth, or Satchmo into this scenario, except I feel like Elizabeth would have named the dragon something like "Lady Day".
magibrain: Hope you like eels. It's EEL SEASON out there. (It's EEL SEASON.)
Awesome! I think I've found a three-part strategy for approaching H/C Bingo. Those three parts are:

  1. Start as many fics as possible all at once, just to make sure I'm always distracted from finishing any of them,

  2. Make sure that the fics I am working on are carefully positioned to cover the maximum possible space on my card without actually forming a bingo, and

  3. Layer more complexity and plot into each fic than is strictly necessary to fulfill the prompt, so that each one takes a long time to complete, and will surely need extensive edits once done in draft.


...I don't think I'm doing this right.

(To be fair, though, I feel like 2 isn't actually my fault, 3 has not been intentional in half the fics, and 1 is just how my brain works anyway. But re: 3, I started off writing the Poltergeist prompt, and then it decided to absorb two other prompts that aren't even on my card, and as it stands the thing is 6000 messy words and maybe, at a generous estimate, 60% done. It's going to be longer than Misfire. That's just wrong.)

Stats )
magibrain: Hope you like eels. It's EEL SEASON out there. (It's EEL SEASON.)
My editor-brain has gone to bed without taking my writer-brain with it, which is why I find myself contemplating a White Collar/Briarpatch crossover. (It'd be great. Neal has access to the Briarpatch, and the Light is in some way tied up with Kate, and Peter has no affinity for the Briarpatch at all but manages to find his way in there while searching for Neal and completely refuses to back down for a little thing like being inconceivably in over his head, and hijinks ensue. And Diana somehow ends up completely intimidating all the bears.)

I think this is symptomatic of some kind of weird reaction to writing in a fandom which isn't speculative fiction of any kind. I mean, the great bastions of my fandom work to date have been Final Fantasy VIII, Stargate SG-1, Torchwood/Doctor Who/Life On Mars as one giant amalgam, and a recurring theme of Silent Hill getting into everything. You know, the kind of fandoms where I can go all wacky with time loops and mind control and giant monsters and split threads of causality and stuff, without deviating that far from actual bounds of canon-established reality.

I think my brain just flat-out refuses to accept the real world as a template, and this is why my White Collar WIPs folder consists of a handful of short character studies, a complete re-write of half of Season 2 and all of Season 3, a fic in which Peter is a really atypical guardian angel, a fic that's three AUs that got in a car crash*, and a crossover with Puella Magi Madoka Magica, of all things. (Neal wanders into a Witch's Labyrinth. Hijinks... ensue? None of the main characters get to be magical girls. It's for the best, really.) And it's probably for the best that all the snippets with the White Collar guys having to deal with [community profile] damaged_people!Jack Harkness are remaining in the braintic purgatory of my Gmail where they belong.

*Back when I was learning about these things in highschool physics, a perfectly inelastic collision was described as one in which two objects collide, combine their momentum, and continue onward with a shared velocity. When the teacher asked for examples from the class, someone offered up "A guy getting impaled by a charging rhino?" I'm not sure why this popped into my head, other than the fact that the three-AU-pileup in that fic is pretty damn inelastic.

Anyway, I'm not sure why I'm writing this out to Dreamwidth, other than it being late and me not having gotten much sleep and everything seeming like a good idea right now. (But really, Neal-and-the-Briarpatch would just be fun to play with, even if it's not Tim Pratt's Briarpatch. And even if Neal as Br'er Rabbit kinda bucks the whole Neal-as-fox metaphor I have way too much fun poking at.)

Someone please tell me to quit the browser and go to sleep.



Current sleep-deprived typo correction count: 18
magibrain: Hope you like eels. It's EEL SEASON out there. (It's EEL SEASON.)
[personal profile] magibrain: ...and in case you didn't know how messed up Anat is re: Ba'al, she's also keeping him in cold-sarcophagus-storage now that the war is over because she knows he can't survive in this new galactic order but can't stand to kill him.

[personal profile] magibrain: SHE IS KEEPING HER FATHER IN A FREEZER BECAUSE IT'S THE LEAST MESSED-UP THEIR RELATIONSHIP WILL EVER BE.
magibrain: Hope you like eels. It's EEL SEASON out there. (It's EEL SEASON.)
Do you ever have one of those days where you're up way too late and you're looking through all your incomplete fics and you come across one where you have no idea when you started it, where you were going with it, or why you thought it was a good idea? But it has a helpful summary at the top, something like

(That one where Sam goes missing for a while and comes back with no memory of where she's been, but with a few new nervous tics, a preoccupied air, and a strange compulsion to build an alien clock.)


?

I mean, this happens to you guys all the time, right? Just part of the package of being a distractable sort of being and also a fic writer? Y'all should share your stories with me here. Or something.

Other things I've found in my poking around because I'm all alone in the house/on the internet and for some reason not tired at all:

Jack's mission report for P2M-477 was subtitled Everything I Know About Foreign Policy I Learned From Watching You Idiots Screw It Up, but it was subtitled in very small, white text that didn't print out.


Several more. )

I feel like this is sorta the fanfiction equivalent of Texts From Last Night. Fanfictions From Previous Days? Yeah.

Memesheep.

Feb. 9th, 2012 04:28 pm
magibrain: This alt text intentionally left blank. (This icon intentionally left blank.)
Stolen from the internet, specifically [personal profile] rionaleonhart and [personal profile] auto_destruct:

1) Make a list of fifteen characters first, and keep it to yourself for the moment. (That way you're not leading the questions asked to fit the characters.)

2) Ask your flist to post questions in the comments.

For example:

'One, Nine and Fifteen move in together. Is this a really bad idea?'
'Under what circumstances might Five and Seven fall in love?'
'What would Two experience in Silent Hill?'
'Why is Eight so very, very angry?'
'Write a drabble in which Three and Eleven FIGHT CRIME.' (...possibly not technically a question.)

3) After your flist has asked enough questions, round them up and answer them using the fifteen characters you selected beforehand, then post them.

...

Just so you know, there will be four Jacks in this list.
magibrain: A radiation symbol. It appears to be a little bit on fire. (Default)
Okay, so I posted that rundown of fics I wouldn't know how to start, and as it turns out, I still don't know how to start any of them. But I have bits of #4, which I'm still surprised any of you want to read. (Seriously, you people. You're weird. :P )

This is one of those bits. I'm posting it, but you need to know a few things about the world, first. And by "a few things", I mean "a small novel in exposition".

An introduction to Beyond The Rift, inasmuch as it's interpreted in these braintics, and Damaged People, inasmuch as it's interpreted in these braintics. )

Well. That was... some exposition.

TO SET THE SCENE: Jack Harkness is visiting the SGC and they've just wrapped up the debrief with Hammond. Sam's probably retreated to someone's lab to process things/get started on figuring out what's going on here. Daniel is sticking around, Harkness has been invited to stay the night, and O'Neill really just wants to go home, take more painkillers than normal people ever have to need, and put his head under a pillow for a good, long time. I think Daniel just offered to show Harkness to the VIP rooms. Harkness has other ideas.

In which putting Jack and Jack in a room is only a good idea insofar as it might keep the planet from blowing up later. )
magibrain: "Did they have morality majors at your school?" "No." (Don't ask me; I was not a morality major)
1) The one where the first time Sam uses the Goa'uld ribbon device it scrambles her neural pathways and leaves her without access to the linguistic portions of her brain for a few days, and the team has to find a way to bring her through it.

2) The one where something goes horribly wrong with Sha're's pregnancy, her body absorbs the Harcesis, and Amonet goes into a Goa'uld coma, leaving Sha're with the genetic memory of the Goa'uld and a position of power in Apophis' empire, and ends up becoming a fake System Lord/replacement main character for Absolute Power.

3) The one where Hammond comes in to the SGC one morning only to find that SG-1 has taken over the place and are playing some weird four-faction game of cat and mouse because one or more of them is under alien influence, but no one is sure who.

4) The one where Sam and Daniel fall through the Rift into S1-era [livejournal.com profile] beyondtherift and get dragged into Torchwood Chicago for three years before the Rift establishes a two-way connection back to the SGC, where only a few months have passed, and Jack O'Neill and Jack Harkness eye each other a lot and are quietly mistrustful because no one should get that close to/have that much power over their people without them knowing about it. (Okay, this one I have bits written out of in my braintics file, but come on. IT WOULD HAVE A READERSHIP OF ONE PERSON. ME.)

5) The one that comes before Scales.

[ETA] 6) The one where they discover a dialect of Goa'uld which exhibits rhyming slang and Daniel just doesn't want to explain.

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magibrain: A radiation symbol. It appears to be a little bit on fire. (Default)
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