Giles/Xander

Why we write

Periodically I attempt to pep-talk myself by reading past stories that more or less turned out okay, or that at least don't make me want to hide my head under the pillow the way the current story does. So I re-read "Dust on his hands from the sky" the other day, and had an interesting set of reactions. Most of them can be summed up as "wish I'd had one more week with it." I vividly recall frantically filling in the last holes late on my posting day. Rushing always causes problems.

- Part one is out of balance with the others. It's the longest and the most polished. The others needed to match it in detail and complexity. I like part one a lot.
- Part four is the one that needs the most work. I hate re-reading it. Hate.
- Every time I re-read part five, I kick myself for not remembering to put in the details about Giles and Buffy writing to each other.
- It wanted to have no smut in it at all. Won't make that mistake again.
- I'm never sure I sold the details of the plot, specifically about why everybody was keeping Giles away from Buffy.
- If left with more editing time, I might have edited all the emotion down, which would probably have been a mistake.
- Some of the things I didn't like in my first post-mortem didn't bother me at all on this read.
- I find the Xander and Giles of the story satisfying: they're both damaged but soldiering on. I like the messiness of the relationships.
- It's interesting that this is sort of the back side of a tragedy. The primary actors in the main part of the tragedy aren't on stage here: we never see Buffy or Willow. We just see the fallout on everybody around them.
- If I were remixing it, I might write the scene where Xander and Giles meet Willow for the first time after all this. Or I might write a Xander-Dawn conversation a year along the way.
- I really like the soundtrack I put together to get myself in the mood for writing it.

I like to joke by saying that I write for my amnesiac future self, but really it's not a joke. Someday I hope to have forgotten the process of writing this story and some others, and be pleasantly surprised by what I find. Or at least entertained. Right now I'm not being entertained by much, not even tried-and-true favorites. I'm restless and want something like nothing I've ever read before. Will have to write it myself, I fear.

In the meantime, I'm back to failing to make any traction with my current story. Which is, at least, slightly different from all the other stories out there.
  • Current Music: The Sunshine Underground : The Chemical Brothers : Surrender