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28 April 2003 @ 12:52 pm
Just a brief break from work to weigh in on writing, pairings, obligations, etc, falling in with the Buffy topic du jour. (A link that will probably only work for a week or so until discussion moves on. You can also check this out.)

People have asked before, and I think I've mostly answered, but I'll mention again now: I do intend to finish the Noir. I tend to think of it as a series of stories and not so much as a chaptered WIP, though of course it's a work in progress in a more meta sense, sequential and connected. Actually, as is probably obvious, I mostly think of it as a virtual season, and cancellation midway through, in the manner of Firefly, would suck. Current hiatus has been dragging, though. Maybe if I carried this analogy through, I could convince people that there's an actors strike on...hmm.

I didn't really intend it to be a hiatus of course. For weeks and weeks, I intended every single day to sit down and get cranking, and then I lost track of time--which I do with frightening ease--and all of a sudden it's months later and I'm thinking, hmmm, maybe it's time to put a little note up.

Anyway. I have good intentions. I'll leave it to you to complete that thought. If I think about how long I've been working on this--well into year two, now--I feel kind of queasy. The prospect of a schedule for completion is admittedly gruesome. I wish I could write faster. I also wish my stocks were worth more and that I could retire and devote all my time to writing. I wish one of my readers was a millionaire and felt like patronizing me. Et cetera.

Authors who've been speaking up on the subject of writing and inspiration and such are right: you can't fight the current of where your inclinations are carrying you. Or you can, but your results are probably going to be questionable. If fan-fiction writers had contracts and advances for promised manuscripts and such, it might be somewhat different; but on the other hand, even those things don't guarantee that a professional author won't use blunt force, and crank out a suck-ass product to meet obligations.

I do feel strange--and occasionally even guilty, yeah--about making a name in Buffy fandom as a het writer, while at the same time raising people's expectations with a long series. First, it's just wacky, because I have always been a diehard slasher, but most Buffy readers new to my stuff had no awareness of this. At the time I started writing Noir, I was deep in the groove and in fact saw no real slashiness in Buffy fandom, but now it seems inevitable that I'd eventually get back in touch with my slash roots. Which aren't even roots, really. That's just the natural color of my head. Second, planning to write 22 stories of about 20,000 words each is insane ambitious. But again, when you start off on a project, you are supercharged, jet-fueled. You're a rocket. You expect to just keep going and going and going and never veer or stall or fall back to earth. Or explode in mid-air.

Anyway. To summarize: I want to finish Noir. I want to write Sidelines. I have had, in fact, a Sidelines story very close to being finished for over a month. Instead of working on that, I spent two weeks writing Subtleties. I couldn't really do much else at the time.

And sometimes I just get vacant-eyed about my own writing and want to read other people's stuff instead, or watch TV; in the same manner, I could spend more dedicated time answering every e-mail or comment I have ever received, and instead I play FreeCell, or watch TV, or read people's stories, or sleep, or stare at my ceiling. My personal equation of behavior looks something like this:

good intentions + guilt = procrastination + avoidance

Somehow despite this I occasionally get things written. And even answer e-mail and comments once in a while, though I still mostly suck. You guys all rock, though. People who heart me, I heart back, even if I don't always say so.

Now I must eat Red Vines and do some work and listen to "Harder to Breathe" for the thirtieth time. Oh--and I'm no longer writing Buffy fan-fiction at all. I'm going to be writing Elfquest. I don't know what it is, but it sounds like just my thing. See you on the other side!
the butcher of mayfair: geekchicanniesj on April 28th, 2003 01:04 pm (UTC)
Brava, my sweet. Brava. ::licks you:: You said it all, you delicious whore.
Estepheiaestepheia on April 28th, 2003 01:11 pm (UTC)
good intentions + guilt = procrastination + avoidance
Yup, am familiar with that myself.
Don't let people's expectations throw you off kilter. Take requests for more Noire as a compliment, store them in the back of your brain and when you feel like writing that series again, use the memory to boost you. *shrug* Same with Sidelines.

dr dawn: htdrdawn on April 28th, 2003 01:27 pm (UTC)
Just wanted to say that I have enjoyed all your BtVS writing and I can't wait to read whatever you write next.

BTW, I got caught printing chapter 23 of Subtleties at work. My attending was kinda laughing saying "so is that one of your stories?" (The night before I accidently left AnnieSJ's A/S fic minimized on the computer.) I stayed calm and handed him CH 23 and said, "This is rated G. Would you like to read it?" And for the first time ever, I was hoping Spike and Xander weren't going at it on the first page. :)

And I know, I shouldn't read gay vampire porn at work, but work is so boring sometimes. You can't help it.
Anna S.eliade on April 28th, 2003 01:43 pm (UTC)
Er, that wasn't rated G. Did he take it off to read...? {g}
dr dawndrdawn on April 28th, 2003 05:56 pm (UTC)
No, the bluff worked. He glanced at it and started to read then handed it back. If he hadn't, I was going to feign utter shock in a Southern accent. "Why, oh my! This isn't rated G. What are those boys doing to each other? Why would such a thing be on the internet?"

Rat Creature: spideyratcreature on April 28th, 2003 01:52 pm (UTC)
You know my first and so far only impression of Elfquest fandom was scary stuff. It was at a comic con, and the Elfquest artists were there, and there were a lot of fantasy costumed people (let me insert here that at German comic cons it is not very common that people are costumed, though the influx of manga is changing that, but still they stood out a lot), but that wasn't the really strange thing. The strange thing was that while they waited for hours they would periodically break into community howling. For half a day at that con I wondered what that damn noise was until I saw the Elfquest fans doing it. You could hear it in the whole large hall, on both levels, and it caused lots of bewilderment and disbelief among the other comic fans.
(Deleted comment)
Rat Creature: supermanratcreature on April 29th, 2003 01:02 am (UTC)
Well, the fans I saw howled at (or rather in front of) Richard and Wendy Pini, and iirc they're the creators of Elfquest. It wasn't my intention to malign Elfquest (anything that can serve as a gateway drug to comics is a good thing *grin*), though Elfquest isn't the kind of comic I like. I'm sure most people in Elfquest fandom are cool. The ones I saw just acted odd in the context of that particular kind of con.
Keren: the botbuffybot on April 28th, 2003 02:22 pm (UTC)
Just wanted to say, as a HUGE fan of Season Noir, I'm willing to wait thru the actor's strike. ;) It's that damned good. Take your time, no pressure and keep up all of your good fic work!!!
Herself_nycherself_nyc on April 28th, 2003 02:54 pm (UTC)
Whatever you write, I'll read. But then, you knew that.
in search of a clever byline: flannel10zlaine on April 28th, 2003 03:08 pm (UTC)
I only have one complaint about the writing you do. Heck, maybe I'll tell you someday.

What I need to know is if you play Freecell in a type of order, or do you accept the random pick?
Agnesbientot on April 29th, 2003 02:30 am (UTC)
Anyone asking a question like that clearly uses a sort of order. I started with #1 and made it through about 60 or so before losing count and deciding the whole idea was sad...now I play Spider compulsively.
in search of a clever byline: whoami10zlaine on April 29th, 2003 07:42 am (UTC)
Why of course!

I started with 1 at work, but at home I think I began at 500. Mostly, I just wanted to prove that all were solveable as they said they were...so far, so good.
eroseerosewashu on April 28th, 2003 08:27 pm (UTC)
Really glad you're going to finish the noir. Don't get discouraged about the time its taking you to complete it. Its great stuff and people (at least literay nerds like me) are certainly willing to wait for it.
Earth Kittyearthkitty on April 28th, 2003 09:27 pm (UTC)
good intentions + guilt = procrastination + avoidance

That sounds like me in a nutshell. Sigh.

Really, though, your stories are partially gifts to us, your public, and, I truly hope, mostly something you do for your own enjoyment. So you shouldn't feel guilty about not writing, even if we get a bit whiny.

I guess I really don't divide writers into het and slash catagories in my head. I think of it more in terms of individual relationships, and some writers really care about the relationship between two particular characters. I care about Buffy and Spike and very much want to see them wind up with a happily ever after together because I got all emotionally invested in them. That said, I find myself really enjoying your Spander stories even though I'm not a Spander fan in general. I think I may just find myself loving anything you'd write, though, because you are just that good.
Shapinglightshapinglight on April 29th, 2003 06:57 am (UTC)
Just wanted to add that I also would read anything you care to write. I'd never read any S/X until you brought out Sidelines, and I read that because it was you, not because it was S/X, Spike/Angel being my thing. Of course, I loved Sidelines, and I adore Subtleties, because I love Spike with a soul and can totally get him being with Xander.

And I love Noir as well. Write it when you're good and ready to write it. We, your audience, can wait until you're ready because, quite frankly, you're doing us a favour. I appreciate that.
Rashka the Demon (wolf in the cave): don't like cheesecake?rashaka on April 29th, 2003 03:07 pm (UTC)
Oh--and I'm no longer writing Buffy fan-fiction at all. I'm going to be writing Elfquest.

::sitting quietly for a moment, then starts sniggering uncontrollably::