calm

In which the writer indulges in the favored sports of navel-gazing and wittering.

Beaucoup de fic wittering about the Giles/Xander D/s-themed story, "Rough Boys", within. Do not follow cut if either G/X or kinky smut offends. Also, the usual squishy-minded Tarot reading to kickstart the creative brain, season 4 maundering, and canon as my personal trampoline. The storyline is spoiled a trifle, if that's a concern.

A four-card reading for Giles in "Rough Boys":

Have The World Completion: I'm going to show you the World! Successful completion, especially of the long-term; travel in a grand sense. Journey's end.
Want The Tower War: the destruction of the establishment with a single flash of insight. Tearing down. A rude awakening. Secrets.
Need Page of Wands Apprentice. A message about motion. A charismatic, active kid, a natural leader.
Get 2 of Cups Partnership. The recognition of friendship or love. Emotion in balance.

Could any reading possibly be more on the nose for Giles than this? Oh random number generator, how strange you are. (Literally: I have a script that generates these.)

The idea has grown beyond all possible sanity. This morning I found myself making notes on how everybody's dreams in "Restless" are different from canon in this storyline. Imagine that Buffy decides the First Slayer was right, and she needs to separate herself from her three friends. Xander's on an upward arc, thanks to transformative life experiences during his summer of leathersex in Oxnard. Willow's on a different sort of journey with Tara (though since this is cracktastic kinkfic, it's related). And Giles is left with the knowledge that his work in Sunnydale is over, because his Slayer is not his Slayer any more. Here, she makes the decision that she doesn't need a Watcher any more at all. Period. See ya!

Hence, Giles's starting point, The World, which is about completion. One phase of his life is over. This is not a happy place for him. What he wants is violent overthrow of his status quo: the absolution and obliteration he so devoutly wishes to find under Xander's whip. And holy shit, what he needs is Xander, and what he gets is partnership. Right back to "BDSM fic is deeply romantic". Oh dear.

The plan includes lots of active depictions of Xander/Giles, Willow/Tara, Xander/Willow, and some incidents ringing with Giles/Tara overtones, though Tara is not into the boys very much. There's a pre-existing Xander/Willow relationship that continues right through, with the consent of all involved. (Oh. Um. I think I know what my ending is. You'll all hate me. Oh well.)

The kink focus is on lots of hardcore SM: pain and bondage, mostly, not so much with the hardware and the elaborate restraints. It will also involve D/s of the "service" flavor. Xander decides that what Giles needs is ritual and structure, and somebody to take over the management of his body and life for a little while. Xander's eventual goal is to be able to switch with Giles and have an equal relationship, but Giles is in no fit headspace to top anybody, as the first encounter will reveal.

Masculinity, self-esteem, pride in his sexuality, pride in his skills. The breaking of his codependency with his Slayer (and with the Watchers). Achieved by the writer inhaling deeply from the crackpipe and then describing him getting whipped to serenity.

This varies enough from my limited personal experience that I'm going to have to tread carefully when writing, and do my research. I have found that I do best when I stay close to my character's emotional core, and live inside their skin with them. It'll be work, but I can write this. Why I want to is another issue. I have already deeply disturbed myself with what I'm willing to write. Oh well. I'll just deal with it.

What the fuck this has to do with the canon characters, I'm not entirely sure. I think they're all themselves, spun off in new directions from the canon starting points. I hope. They'll end up far away from canon, though. Is this story still the kind of appropriation of the characters I find acceptable? I'm not sure.

The egotistical writer inside me says that it doesn't much matter so long as some readers find it satisfying. The self-centered daydreamer inside me says that it's fine so long as I'm writing the stories I think my amnesiac future self will enjoy.

The other story that varies this much from canon characterizations is "Thusia". That Giles is in some ways like our Giles, in other ways alien. I did this deliberately, because I wanted the Watchers as a modern version of the Sacred Band of Thebes (only completely mixed sex, bisexual, and non-sexist). Some of Thusia!Giles's values need to be alien to a Christian. There, I had a very specific Watchers-and-Slayers goal in mind, which drove me hard. Jeeeeeeez... I wanna write the Cruciamentum part of that story. Which taking on more big WIPs is not helping.

Note to self: next self-indulgent wittering post should be about fear of finishing.

I hate my brain sometimes.

This urge to stray far from canon is the urge that means parts of my brain are itching to write original fiction again. Ah, ambition, I taste you once again.

Okay, that's enough disturbing sex talk.

More traditional fic wittering: Part 4 of "Helios Hyperion" is maybe 2/3rds written. It's about 3000 words of past flashback, the "four times it happened before". The four incidents span season 5, and hit the key points of the Giles-Buffy relationship during the canon storyline. Happy and sad by turns. Not as smutty as I'd been planning, however. Oh, well.

I need to set all of these aside and write Ninth Doctor smut. Like, yesterday. Or I'm screwed. And not in the good way. Also, the Buffy-as-Hero story due one week later: completely unstarted, though I have some vague ideas. Dammit. This is why I'm not signing up for any more ficathons. The runaway ideas in my head have stopped matching the ficathon prompts. Fortunately, I have some good ideas about what my Buffy-as-Hero recipient would enjoy reading, and how wide a breach of ficathon manners she'd be willing to put up with for the core idea I have. I believe. I hope. If I'm wrong, will grovel.

"My failure looks more and more imminent."

Also, am finally reading Jasper Fforde's The Eyre Affair, and finding it utterly fabulous.
  • Current Music: Infinitely Gentle Blows : Alter Ring : Groove Soundtrack
Oh, wow. Rough Boys seems to have blown up. I love where you're taking it though. You can't write the pr0n without the plot though, can you? Not that I mind, really, because it sounds very intriguing, and your plot is good enough that I don't mind.
Next segment will be heavy on the pr0n, though, and I've nearly got a finished draft. I'm cursing because I have to set it aside for a couple of weeks for the ficathon stuff.
I'm so glad I"m not the only one who hasn't started their "Buffy is the hero" story yet. I have the first paragraph written, only to wonder where I'm going with it.

*le sigh*
Oh jeeze, I took a risk and clicked the boing, hoping I wasn't entering Xander's basement with Giles tied up down there. I am grateful it was just more chatter. Witter. Whatever. I'm also grateful for the warnings of what is to come. Does the urge to stray far from canon suggest you are bored? Thusia was the start. Steer for the deep water only, reckless o soul. I can't explore with you, cause I'm afraid of the ship overturning. But I'll be sitting here patiently awaiting your return, and hoping you find what your future amnesiac self seeks.
I don't think I'm bored. It's more I'm getting the measure of the territory, feeling more confident as a fanfic writer, and feeling more confidence in my own ideas. I still adore the characters, and have lots more to say about them. Lots. Ridiculous amounts.

Please do not fear. I have a lot more to say about Giles and Buffy.
At least I'm not the only one having a terrible time at my Buffy is the Hero story. I keep writing portions of it, then going back and erasing everything because it sucks. Grrr. Why is this so hard? I never write directly for Buffy and it's kind of hard getting into her head.
Note that you don't have to write from her point of view! The story must be focused on her as hero, but it doesn't have to be told by her.
Thanks for sharing some of your writing process. I'm always fascinated to hear how my favorite writers go about it. So to speak. And I'm enjoying both of these series very much in different ways.

Per deeply disturbing yourself about what you're willing to write: heh. You aren't near the extreme "here be dragons" of the Dark!Fic zone. So keep on keeping on.

The best written Dark!Fic I've ever come across was jointly penned by two charming English ladies (just friends, not a couple-couple) who look like school librarians. Sweater twinsets, polite smiles, single strand of pearls types. They're terrifying normal and well-balanced and they write fic that will turn your hair white. I'd never bring myself to read if if the characterizations and language weren't so fabulous.
Oh forgot to say -- I have *so much love* for Jasper Fforde.
Coworker J has been raving about him at me for ages, and I have been so silly not to leap. Because this is great stuff. Tons of fun. I'm sure I'm missing half of the jokes, too.
I had the thought about maybe it being time to try some original fiction again when I wrote an AU of my AU with an OFC as the POV character (gah, there were a lot of acronyms in that sentence). Also when sarahtales, who is a year younger than I am, sold her YA fantasy trilogy for high six figures. That also made me think about it. Seriously. Even though that almost never happens and I say I'm happy with the fanfiction (which I am) . . . it does give one pause.

I have been trying to come up with something useful to say to you about the Who story, but since I know neither the prompt nor the fandom, I'm having a hard time. Just, I know you love the plot (and I love that you love the plot), but when I get a prompt for a ficathon that I'm not in love with, I find the best thing to do is really keep it simple. Just write something, even if it's not to your usual standards. You're a perfectionist and I think that might be making you freeze up on this one.

Erm. That was me trying to be helpful and encouraging and cheerleadery. Don't know if I actually accomplished any of those things.
You have just spoken words of wisdom to me, thank you. You do that often, you know? Please keep it up :)

I will attempt to relax. First I will write a specification for relaxation, then a test plan for evaluating my current state's relaxation rating. Then I'll implement. And try to write.
Aww, thank you! Will try.

First I will write a specification for relaxation, then a test plan for evaluating my current state's relaxation rating. Then I'll implement. And try to write.

I think we might need to have a conversation about the definition of 'relax.'