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: 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.)
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.)
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 [livejournal.com 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 [livejournal.com 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: 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)
I wrote the hell out of myself over the last two weeks on an original project, and now my brain doesn't want to string words together any more. Fair 'nough. Time for more bits and bobs!

These are all from fics I either have plans for finishing or have dreams of being able to finish one day. Grand fun times!

.

1. The Mansions of the Dead (or) The Origin Story Of That Damn String Of Beads

Jack doesn't want to be back on P2X-338.  He doesn't want to be anywhere near the place, in preoccupation, policy, or physical reality, but the Pentagon is none too happy about the loss of one potentially very interesting piece of alien technology, and the Russians are none too happy about the loss of one potentially very interesting piece of alien technology and three quarters of the team they sent out to secretly get it, and sending SG-1 back in to see if they can at least pick up some energy readings that might convince the SGC to send an engineering team back out to excavate the Eye is the least the Air Force can do.

Really.  It's the least.  It's a token gesture and the Russians know it, the Pentagon knows it, Hammond knows it, Jack knows it, and even Carter, who's been staring at her scanner since they stepped through the wormhole, knows it.  Token.  Pointless political posturing.  There was only one thing on this planet of any interest or value, and they managed to blow it up the last time they were here.

...Jack just wishes someone'd made Daniel read the memo.

.

Bit. Bob. The occasional bullet. )
magibrain: A radiation symbol. It appears to be a little bit on fire. (Default)
Title: Coil
Author: magistrate ([livejournal.com profile] draegonhawke)
Rating: R, M, 18, etc.
Words: ~1900
Pairing: 9th Doctor/Master (AU, obviously)
Spoilers: ...ye gods, you would ask me that, wouldn't you? It's pretty far AU. Watching through Season 3 might help, but if you know the Master from Classic Who and have some info about the Time War, you'll probably be fine. Well, fine with the spoilering aspect.
Warnings: Graphic. Bloodplay, brokenness, a TARDIS with prehensile wiring. AU. Not for external application. The cake is a lie.
Summary: The end of the Time War left two Time Lords alive. Alive, but not unbroken.
Disclaimer: It's crap like this that ensures I'll never own Doctor Who. (Also, no can has beta.)
Dedication: To [livejournal.com profile] x_los, who didn't think me capable of writing slash. This is for you, babes. •muah•

Read more... )
magibrain: A radiation symbol. It appears to be a little bit on fire. (Default)
Down on the wasteland, barely distinguished from the dry soil around it, there was a dusty-gold body. Timon only noticed when the buzzards descended; they'd been circling for hours now, and the moment the first one dropped down his attention was caught.

"Ey, Pumbaa," he said, tugging on his ride-slash-mount's ears. The warthog pulled his head up, pausing mid-prance. "Over there. Looks like some poor guy didn't make it."

Pumbaa snorted. "Look at 'em, the bullies," he said, nodding toward the carrion birds. "Can't kick a rock without seeing one these days."

"Talk about your bad neighbourhoods," Timon said. "Hey! You know what this calls for...."

"Heh hehh," Pumbaa agreed. Timon leaned down, giving him a good Giddy-up! slap between his eyes.

"Let's get 'em."

-

It would be a mistake to say that the buzzards didn't know what hit them. They were smart birds, if unimaginative; after the third or forth time even they'd put two and two together. Timon and Pumbaa weren't making many friends, but the buzzards had better things to do than pursue the enmity. The flapped away, leaving Team Meerkat-And-Warthog victorious once again.

"I love it!" Pumbaa chortled. "Bowling for buzzards!"

"Gets 'em every time," Timon said, dusting himself off. "Now, let's see what we chased 'em off, maybe give the guy a proper--" He trailed off. "Burial," he finished, staring in confusion at the empty wasteland. "...huh."

He'd never known buzzards to attack empty ground. Maybe they'd been out in the sun too long?

-

It was the contrast that caused Simba to wake.

He'd been thirsty and hot and struggling to breathe the hot air; he was still thirsty but he was colder than he'd ever been, and he was struggling to breathe because the air was full of something that looked like smoke and wasn't smoke.

It was dark, but it wasn't dark like night. It was dark like thunderstorms but the sky was quiet; everything was quiet except for the creaking of dying bushes and the groans of settling skeletons and the scrabbling of rats in the boneyard.

Why was he in the boneyard?--hadn't he made it out?

"Nala!" he called, and that struck him as wrong; he remembered getting out, because Mufasa had come to rescue them. "Dad!" he yelled, and that was wrong too--and as soon as he called, he knew why.

From far away, like an echo or imagined thing, came his father's dying roar. Simba cringed, small and afraid among the dry bones. He was lost here, alone, and the clouds were getting darker. Back the way he must have come, back toward the bluffs that ringed the Pride Lands, all he could see were thick brambles with thorns like reaching claws.

When the roar subsided something else replaced it, something angry and hungry and mercifully far away. "Dad," Simba said again, to the bones, to the fog, to nothing. "I'm sorry. I'm sorry. I'm sorry."


BECAUSE THAT IS WHAT YOU DO TO CHARACTERS YOU LIKE. YOU SEND THEM TO SILENT HILL.
magibrain: A radiation symbol. It appears to be a little bit on fire. (Default)
Title: And What Art
Rating: M.
Genre: Darkfic, psychefuck.
Beta: HAHAHA No.
Continuity: Post-The Last Of The Time Lords for Doctor Who, and weirdly AU for Life On Mars.
Prerequisites: Know about Sam Tyler, know about the events of Utopia, The Sound Of Drums and The Last Of The Time Lords.
Summary: It's got to the point where Sam no longer knows whether he's losing or finding himself.
Disclaimer: Doctor Who and Life On Mars belong to the BBC. The opinions expressed herein are the properties of the characters and only occasionally of William Blake. Fic contains small parts not suitable for children and unpleasant parts not suitable for anyone. Do not look directly into face of watch. Questions, comments and tissue-compression eliminators can be left in replies or directed to magistrata(at)gmail(dot)com. Thank you for reading!

The drums, the drums, the neverending drums!--open me, you human fool; open the light and receive my majesty... )

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