magibrain: A dignified and stately way of shooting you in the face while slicing you open. (Final Fantasy VIII)
Final Fantasy VIII! Anything about Final Fantasy VIII!

Oh, FFVIII, my first great fandom love! This will contain spoilers, but if you haven't played the game, I'm going to guess it's not high on your priorities list.

I feel like addressing this one is going to delve into my early sexual confusion, the methods by which I could successfully interact with friends, the computer I had as a tiny magi, and the hilarity of an unexpected NORG.

Also, snipers using shotguns. SNIPERS USING SHOTGUNS. )

In writing this, I realized that I didn't have an FFVIII icon on this account, and I uploaded one. Then, as I was scrolling down my icons page, for an instant I thought my Sam Tyler icon had Balamb Garden in the background. I'd say I really need to write that fic now, except that I already did.

This post has been brought to you as a service of the December Posting Meme.
magibrain: This alt text intentionally left blank. (This icon intentionally left blank.)

This is the elevator that leads to the White Collar offices.
From this, we know that the floors at least go up to 24.
We don't see whether or not this is the top of the button plate, though.

For ficcing purposes, I need to know exactly how high the buttons on the plate go.

Larger image under cut.

I just want to do something screwy with the number of floors in this building. LOOKS LIKE HALF MY WORK'S BEEN DONE FOR ME. )

Considering that the sets and props department obviously didn't think I'd ever need to find out many floors were in the building by counting the buttons in the elevator, I decided to just ask the internet how many floors the NYC federal building has.

Cue Wikipedia:

The Jacob K. Javits Federal Office Building at 26 Federal Plaza on Foley Square in the Civic Center district of Manhattan, New York City houses many Federal government agencies, and, at over 41 stories, is the tallest federal building in the United States.


Sometimes I don't know why I bother doing research.

(Counting the windows suggests to me that "over 41 stories" means "41 floors of offices and a ground floor that probably has a lobby or something". I can work with that. Though I need to come up with a plausible reason for Neal to accidentally hit a floor button that's twenty floors off his actual destination.) (It would be a lot easier if the federal building were only 24 floors tall, to be honest.) (I wonder if I could just claim that it was. Would anyone except me care?) (I could claim that in White Collar 'verse, the federal building was at 41 Federal Plaza and had 26 stories...)
magibrain: A brain with eyes and an adorably innocent smile which you should not at all trust. (magibrain)
...I find myself vaguely wanting to write A/B/O fic, except less with sex and more with navigating tricky power dynamics and slews of body dysphoria, and with a heavily tweaked version of the whole A/B/O premise.

(Basically, the idea in my brain is that Alpha, Beta and Omega are just psychophysical modes people operate in, and while people tend to have "baseline" modes that they operate in for long stretches – sometimes even their entire lives – people can switch from mode to mode in response to various physical or psychological stimuli. Like, a baseline beta might find themselves going omega or alpha after a major trauma, for example. And there would be drugs and such which could affect what mode people operated in. Plus, while the modes would have specific physiological effects – people operating in alpha mode might have overactive adrenal glands and produce more testosterone, while people operating in omega mode would experience heat and all its attendant fun – it would only affect personality in as much as, say, gayness does. In that there would be a ton of stereotypes and there would be established cultures which people might or might not do any social commerce with, and aside from that, it's not really something you could tell by looking at someone.)

(...though you could probably tell it by scent. Because that seems to be a thing?)

(Also, people would be able to resist physical urges, with varying degrees of difficulty from "I am having this strong craving right now!" to "I am experiencing this with the intensity of an addiction." And there would probably be a lot of discussion on medical and political stages about that.)

I don't know. I've read a grand total of two A/B/O fics in my life – feels like the start of something and The toppiest girl in the school, and ironically neither of them is for a fandom I'm actually in – and I feel like this may just be a continuation of my picking at the assumed conventions of tropes I don't actually write or read (see also), which always makes me feel a little weird. But I feel like, given some of the discussion in the prompt thread for feels like the start of something, it might be a weird little space to explore which other people are also interested in seeing explored. And it does seem like there's a healthy movement in A/B/O writing areas to dissect the heck out of the trope, from what I've read.

Of course, it also doesn't help that I already have way too many other projects clamoring for my attention. Including the one where Neal is stuck on a magical Greyhound for five years.

This is one of the ways you can tell I'm ace. I find tropes that are deeply rooted in kinky sex and then expend considerable time and energy carefully plucking out the sexybits so I can nest in the kinky power dynamics. <_< One of these days I'll write and post my WC OT3 fic and it will be 80,000 words of neither sex nor romance, continuing my trend of OT3 fic which is neither sex nor romance, and everyone will be able to tell me that I'm doing it wrong. AND I WILL LAUGH FROM ATOP MY ASEXY THRONE, I SHALL EAT THE CAKE THAT IS MY BIRTHRIGHT, AND KNOW THAT I AM THE OVERMIND, THE ETERNAL WILL OF THE ACE COMMU – no, wait, that got away from me, sorry.
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: A radiation symbol. It appears to be a little bit on fire. (Default)
Random question, but I need it for reasons research.

If you had to sell me on two characters – gen or ship – and you only had 500 words or a 30-second video clip to convince me that they were the best no seriously really... what clips or works or excerpts of works would you point me toward?

I am going to think on this and see what I can come up with... after I sleep for a while.

(Context is that I'm playing with a story-in-the-background-of-a-story in one of the things I'm working on, and I want to pick apart some mechanics of what makes for minimum effective doses of getting people engaged with characters.)
magibrain: A radiation symbol. It appears to be a little bit on fire. (Default)
My partner introduced me to the WTFery of Dark Silent Hill, Google Maps version. (Just... go forward.)

Now I want a fic where this happens to Peter and Neal. They're just driving along, off to talk to a witness or examine a crime scene or authenticate a statue or whatever, and then suddenly the entire world around their car is a terrifying melting Goya and Peter slams on the brakes and, you know, horror ensues.

...I'm not sure I want to write this fic, but I want it to happen.

I have no idea what the hell happened to that Google Maps car. But it cannot possibly have been anything good.


Jul. 13th, 2013 12:49 pm
magibrain: There ARE no tunes. It's TALK RADIO, Torg! ALL TALKING! (Verbal battle!)
Okay, at this point I think everyone who reads this and cares about White Collar spoilers has watched up through 3x11 Checkmate, but just in case, I'm cutting this. ([personal profile] squeemu, this may potentially be of interest to you? In a what-I'm-getting-you-into sort of way? And also an I-will-complain-about-this-in-your-general-direction-forever sort of way.)

On fics, consequences, my curmudgeonly fandom opinions, and the inadvisability of allowing me access to an expansive tagging system such as AO3's. )


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.)
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.)
Nabbed from a number of people, at this point:

The Top 5 Meme: Ask me my top five fannish anything and I'll tell you. (Or top 5 things about me as a writer, my writing, specific fics written or unwritten, introductory sorts of things, etc.)
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.
magibrain: Hope you like eels. It's EEL SEASON out there. (It's EEL SEASON.)
You know, the fact that I've spent the last three days idly toying with the logistics of a Stargate: SG-1/Minecraft crossover probably says all it needs to about... well, everything, really.

(It would, of course, include functionality from the 12w17a snapshot, including editable books, and there would be a lot of speculation on the physics of the world and whether or not it's one huge and elaborate simulation. Crafting tables would take raw materials and visibly transmute them into items. Chests would appear to keep items in some sort of suspended animation so that nothing would age or rot. There would be advanced cognitive interfaces in basically the entire world to moderate how tokenized things like cobblestone would transmute into meter-high blocks when deployed. And you just know someone would try to open negotiations with a creeper and get swathes of the landscape blown up.)

[ETA: OH OH and there's also the phenomena that on the surface, monsters only seem to spawn if you're awake at night, leading to more speculation about the interaction of consciousness with the control structure of the world...]
magibrain: Hope you like eels. It's EEL SEASON out there. (It's EEL SEASON.)
Last night I finished and posted the Damaged People installments Tranquility Base, Where The Frown On My Face and Copernius, thereby closing out the first arc of Damaged People. I'm not sure how long exactly that arc took me to write (I think I started it in mid-to-late 2007?) or how much writing is represented by it (I believe it's up above 100k words?), but that sure is a milestone. Of some sort.

Rambling about the end of Arc 1. )

Also, I finally got around to uploading a couple of vids I've had lying around my computer for, er, months or years. Without further ado:

Stargate SG-1: 'Window of Opportunity' to the tune of 'Every Day Is Exactly The Same'. )

Torchwood: Suzie Costello in 'Maneater', to 'People Got A Lotta Nerve' by Neko Case. )

There you go. Enjoy.
magibrain: This alt text intentionally left blank. (This icon intentionally left blank.)
Back in 2007, for reasons which I'm sure made sense at the time, I got the idea to write a fic with Jack Harkness of Torchwood and Sam Tyler of Life on Mars in a bar together, and then furthermore to email it to [personal profile] rionaleonhart without explanation to see what she would do. As it turned out, because Riona is Riona (and because the fic was probably her fault in one way or another to begin with), she calmly beta'd it and sent it back.

That, I think, may have been throwing down the gauntlet.

Because there's something you have to understand about me, and that's that 70%* of my fiction writing is spite-based. A friend believes that I can't write slash? Here is the Doctor having sex with the Master. And also the TARDIS. Riona says a Silent Hill 2/House MD crossover where Chase is James Sunderland is the most frightening idea ever and she should not write it? I write it. Stargate SG-1 decides to be completely simplistic with issues of character death, the nature of identity, and memory? Here is 140,000 words deconstructing that by implication. And then there was the Silent Hill crossover meme, which was basically a (lighthearted, mutually-respectful, and mutually-gleeful) pissing contest with [ profile] jantalaimon over who could write the most, or weirdest, crossover drabblets with Silent Hill. (Among my proudest accomplishments: Winnie the Pooh, The Sims, and Tetris.)

*Completely arbitrary estimate

So I think there's a certain amount of archaeological evidence** to suggest that I started Damaged People purely to see what it would take to get Riona to go "What on earth are you doing, you crazy person?"

**Not in any way archaeological

Which is how I ended up writing what I call "A massively multifandom accidental epic following Sam Tyler (Life On Mars) and Jack Harkness (Doctor Who and Torchwood) on their misadventures, as they explore the galaxy, almost destroy some worlds, and barely save others."

How multifandom, and how epic?

Well, as of the time of this posting, I've written most of the first of a planned three arcs (1: Jack and Sam cavorting around the galaxy; 2: Series 1 of Torchwood, rewritten, expanded, and made more weird; 3: Sam Tyler saves the galaxy), and it's up to 100k words. And the thing's spawned a sequel. It's also up to 22 fandoms the last time I counted, and I keep shoving more in whenever I find a spare corner. (Lie To Me is on the waiting list, for example, and will be added as soon as a compatible plot comes up. Sherlock is in much the same position.) Among the fandoms I've managed to wedge in: Stargate: SG-1, Global Frequency, Pirates of the Caribbean, Google's April Fools jokes, Withnail and I, Avatar: The Last Airbender, Top Gear, and Cube 2: Hypercube.

The story is told mostly from Sam's perspective, with occasional dips into Jack's, so it's unintentionally organized so that if you're familiar with both series of Life on Mars and series one of Torchwood, you're generally only ever as confused as Sam is. Which, you know, can often be Rather Confused.

Anyway! I'm beginning the process of mirroring everything from its original home at [ profile] damageverse to its parallel home at [community profile] damaged_people. If you're interested in my one grand voluntary foray into slash and multifandom crossovers, I invite you to take a look. It's wibbly-wobbly, timey-wimey, occasionally extremely sketchy, ranges from pure gen to explicit with warnings and back again, and it will probably never be finished, but new stuff should keep appearing from time to time.
magibrain: "Did they have morality majors at your school?" "No." (Don't ask me; I was not a morality major)
See the Rift exposition post for too much context. Or just keep reading for too much context again.

One of the reasons I don't really plan on doing more with this universe than braintics is because Jack Harkness is about as overpowered as you can get, and I don't think that three hundred thousand works of Jack O'Neill being shown up by the 280-something-year-old Special Ops man from the future is good fic. Jack Harkness can be put in his place by a few things – one of his alphas (and oh, isn't there a whole other post to be had about what that entails), overwhelming force, and his own utter ineptitude when it comes to dealing with his own emotions and his own damage, but none of these things are really O'Neill's forte. Which means that in the Battle of the Jacks, Harkness is almost a shoe-in to win. ...and I don't really like crossovers where the takeaway seems to be "My Canon's Character Is Better Than Your Canon's Character," even though in this case SG-1 is usually more my canon than Torchwood.

Phwah. SG-1 and Torchwood would be my Facebook "It's Complicated"s, if Facebook believed in polyamory.

(All of this pretty much boils down to to the fact that I should write a lot more with Harkness and Daniel, because Daniel can kick Harkness' ass before Harkness realizes it's been kicked, at least in the emotional insight corner. And O'Neill needs to make friends with Sam Tyler, because Tyler is a no-nonsense, authority-respecting sort of guy who can also kick Harkness' ass if it comes down to it.)

(...strangely enough, [ profile] damageverse is pretty much my one grand foray into the world of slash, and is Jack Harkness/Sam Tyler. Whereas Jack O'Neill/Sam Carter is my foremost Stargate pairing, in that very special way where I ship it only so long as they both ignore the ship because saving the galaxy and being upstanding soldiers is more important. [personal profile] storyinmypocket and I came to the conclusion that Jacks need their Sams. Not always in a romantic way, and not always in a, er, healthy way, but it seems to hold true. ...we also came to the conclusion that the group names are "a confusion of Jacks" and "a repression of Sams". Just try to tell me it doesn't seem right.)

But anyway, I was talking about Jack and Jack. )

...hey, who wants more braintics?

In which discussion is had about all this. Tortury discussion. )

In which O'Neill remains not-okay with this whole thing. )
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 [ 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.
magibrain: A brain with eyes and an adorably innocent smile which you should not at all trust. (magibrain)
I like to externalize and anthropomorphize the creative, idea-generating part of my brain. I call it the magibrain. This is because I like to maintain the illusion of (admittedly geeky) dignity, and the illusion that I have good taste and some sort of ingrained sense of what makes a story work. There's a degree of effort you have to put into something to make it look effortless, and this is part of the effort I put into seeming like I know what I'm doing.

But anyway. )

So. If you see anything tagged with a note that says it's from the magibrain, beware! It probably has a high content of crack, melodrama, plotholes big enough to fly a tel'tak through, and contrivance upon contrivance upon contrivance. The one claim I do make is that it tickled me in some way, and hope that in some way it might also tickle some of you. stay tuned for what I'm sure will be several posts rambling about the Ba'al, Sam and Anat Sagas....
magibrain: "Did they have morality majors at your school?" "No." (Don't ask me; I was not a morality major)
Every time I see a reference to that line from Emancipation where Jack is reminding Carter about "that time on P3X-595" where she "drank that stuff that made you take off…", I mentally fill in "YOUR HEAD." Because it's so obvious what the joke is going for, and I just really have to subvert it in some way.

So yeah. In my braincanon, early in their first year, some weird reality-warping (and/or mutual hallucination) crap went down on P3X-595 which resulted in Carter taking off her head and possibly walking around with it under her arm for a while. And it was creeptastic enough that once reality reasserted itself, she decided never to mention it again.
magibrain: The gateway to the stars stands waiting. (Stargate)
I spent most of yesterday beating fanfic into shape, which is something I haven't done in a good long time. But yesterday was something of a special occasion: just under a week ago, I finished Beneath a Beating Sun in draft, and on Sunday, I'd finished my preliminary polishing of the first 16 chapters. (The 18th – final – chapter still needs more work, but it's done in draft, and that gives me enough confidence to move ahead.) So Sunday was the day when I went twenty rounds hand-to-hand with trying to get BaBS updated and the new chapter posted. (Among other things, FFN no longer allows you to use things like single hyphens or asterisks to indicate scene breaks. To which I say verily, what the fuck.)

But as I was reformatting the BaBS chapters to retain their line breaks, I decided to go back and add line breaks back into some of my older works, like Antipodes and Scars. And looking back on those, Scars especially, was... humbling.

Because here's the thing. Scars was meant to be my farewell to the FF8 fandom. I'd been writing for FF8 since 1999 – it was my first fanfiction community, dating back to the days when the FFGurus Forums were still going strong, and my work there is honestly responsible for a huge amount of my writing skill. It was my alma mater, in a way. And Scars was, if not precisely a thesis, still a final exhibition. At the time I wrote it, revised it, and posted it, it represented the best of my writing ability.

That was back in 2005, and when I look at it now...

I won't say it's bad. It still has its charm, and I think it still gets its message across. But I look at it now, and I can see where it should be tightened, where the pathos should be toned back, where it should be punched up, where characterization needs to be tweaked and how the tension arc needs to be smoothed out, where the description falls down or fails to set the scene. There are layers upon layers of improvements. And it's wonderful, and a little terrifying, because when I wrote that, I did not know how it could be made better. And now I do.

And the stuff I'm writing now? Oftimes, I don't know how it can be made better. And sometimes I'm afraid that I'm not going to get any better, that because I don't see how I can improve, I'm not going to. And in a way, getting over that means having faith in the past; in that what was possible then is still possible now. The stuff I write that's the peak of my ability now may look like my first-draft stuff, years from now. And I can do this. I've done it before.


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

April 2016

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