intense

Prawn, drawer-fic, and oatmeal.

The most recent Blackmail segment creeps me out, but it was all necessary. I think. I had some stuff to set up, so I subjected Buffy to something she'll probably be pretty angry about when she thinks about it later. (Giles might well boil over, but really Buffy has to figure it out for herself.) I am going to be very cruel to poor Riley later. Poor sap. It won't be his fault.

Now that that section is out of the way, I'll move on to more uncomplicatedly fun bits of the story. I've just spent a couple of hours outlining the rest of it and matching prompts with sections. The back and forth between prompts and storyline is interesting. Sometimes the prompts suggest story; sometimes I warp a prompt into fitting the story I'm insisting on. I'm not sure the concept makes sense any more, but I'm sticking with it because it gives me a structure. 69 prompts will become a 70-part story; 10 major sections with 7 parts each. I'm freestyling with the final prompt.

This series keeps lurching toward plot then getting snatched back by the prompts. The trick is finding the right balance for the readers. I can never decide how I feel about writing kink or pr0n at all, as in I'm not sure I ever should. But it's fun. Sigh. And what is fanfic for if not for fun? Sigh again. So why do I feel vaguely guilty about it? Why does it feel like empty calories?

Take this Giles/Xander prawny thing that I have a vast outline for: I don't think I could ever post it. It's going into a drawer for my own future amusement. Are the hours I'm putting into it worthwhile? It's fun, but...

Part of me thinks that fun would really be an intricately plotted time travel story with Giles, Ethan, Holmes, and Moriarty. Eat my oatmeal. It's good for me as a writer to work hard, and readers love the results of writerly sweat. And I can indulge myself by putting in another Soames Forsyte cameo.

I have a crossover in progress that tells the story of how Holmes discovered the identity of a man run over in the fog and came to meet Soames. Soames was, of course, Holmes's man of business until his death in the twenties. This story has a potential readership of one (1): my amnesiac future self. Question: how would that not be just as empty a calorie as pr0n?

Mr Pedia shouts, from the back of my head, that if there's anything I "should" be writing, it's things to which I might own the copyright. But I have learned, painfully, that I faceplant whenever I get too worried about writing things as obligation instead of as personal fun.

The answer is, every time, shut up and write.
Stop looking over my shoulder.
It's okay to write drawer-fic every now and then.
Porn can be as well-written and satisfying as gen.
Pushing myself to work hard results in stories I'm satisfied with long after they're posted.
I know when I take the cheap route and when I do the work, so I just have to buckle down and do it.

Well, anyway! Only 53 more segments of Blackmail to go! At 1500 words a pop, they used to be something I could write in three days. Now at 3000+ per, it's kinda looking like it's going to take a while. Eep. I wonder what it reads like start to finish. I might have to edit to remove the things that I do to remind readers about what the state of the plot is and what they need to have in mind as things happen. Serials are such a pain. Remind me never to write one again.

When you've finished laughing at me, you can move on to today's random link.

Random: Danny Kaye has been my particular idol since childbirth. I cannot overstate the importance to my life of this clip.
  • Current Music: Sunlight : Kyte : Kyte
Mr Pedia shouts, from the back of my head, that if there's anything I "should" be writing, it's things to which I might own the copyright.

Hee! That tickled my funny bone. Those of us who don't have a real Mr. Pedia still have that voice that says, "You wrote how long of a story for fun and of questionable legalness?"

But your list is true - and not just for you.
You're kidding! Hans Christian Anderson was my absolute favorite Danny Kaye movie when I was growing up. Worth a watch, at least.
Yeah, that list is my new mantra.
Q: So what if--
A: It's okay.
Q: How about--
A: That's okay too.
Q: No, but really, I'm worried about--
A: It's okay. Shut up and write.
Q: Oh! I get it.
(Anonymous)
Drawer fic? That's gonna keep me up nights wondering what might be in that drawer...and how hard it might be for me to find it...

May I suggest that drawer fic is prime material for anonymous kink memes? And that you could....I don't know, write the prompt that would be needed to post it, if one didn't exist?

Giles/Xander fic, especially porn, should be set free in the world.

~suki
The prompt would be: Giles/Xander, schoolboy kink.
And I'll probably post it. I never can resist posting.
There is absolutely no reason for you to feel bad about writing this kink. *suppresses mention of all the really awful stories with Giles and British-public-school themes*
(Anonymous)
Oh, man, I'm looking forward to this. :} Please do post, when it's ready.

~suki
This story has a potential readership of one (1): my amnesiac future self. Question: how would that not be just as empty a calorie as pr0n?

I love to sing. I sometimes sing for no other reason than my own enjoyment when I'm by myself. No one else hears me. Is my singing somehow of less value than if I sing the same song on stage for others to hear? If I bake a cake for myself, is it somehow less a cake, or less tasty, if no one but myself eats it? Any type of story can be empty calories, regardless of the scope or style or content, depending on how it's handled. If it helps, think about Jane Austen, who didn't think her stories were worth much, calling them "just a bit of embroidery." Yet her works are considered literary classics.

I think you angst too much about both the content/quality of your work and whether your writing is what others want to read, whether as profic or fanfic. You should take your audience and the quality of the story into account, certainly; but you shouldn't let yourself be straight jacketed by it. You write, ultimately, for yourself. Hopefully, you should also write for others. But if you are not satisfied, if it's not something that you enjoy, you're not going to be able to write anywhere near your full potential.
I can never decide how I feel about writing kink or pr0n at all, as in I'm not sure I ever should. But it's fun. Sigh. And what is fanfic for if not for fun? Sigh again. So why do I feel vaguely guilty about it? Why does it feel like empty calories?

I HEAR YOU. Ugh. I have this struggle constantly. The only time I didn't have it was when we were writing Collateral Damage, because I had a partner in cri--er, kink. And somehow that made it O.K. It felt like... permission, I guess. The rest of the time I find myself holding back, shying away from the "self-indulgent" bits.

Anyway, I hope I've already made my feelings about your kink writing abundantly clear. :)
You have indeed :) I'm trying to give myself permission to write whatever the heck it is that comes into my head, which is not the same thing as permission to write sloppily. There's self-indulgence in the sense of exploring things we're interested in, and then self-indulgence in the sense of doling out rewards to characters who haven't earned them.

Of which sin I'm still guilty routinely. Sigh.