Watson likely stories

Ficathon!

I signed up for my first ficathon! I'm doing the maleslashminis Giles round. I've signed up for a ficathon before, the next round of cya_ficathon, but this one will finish first, I think. So it will count as my first.

Post-Grave h/c made a big jump forward last night. I started understanding one of the threads running through it. It's interesting to me how this process bounces up & down from conscious to unconscious and back. Something in the back of my mind chews on this stuff, and produces character actions and imagery. Later on I select among the options more consciously and highlight the ones that connect to others or to whatever story it is I'm convinced I'm telling.

In "Tradition & Protocol" there is a very clear repeated image that I saw right away, in my opening scene, that kept coming to mind again, until I realized that it was important and needed to be picked up and sharpened. Then in another pass I submerged it somewhat, so it's not in the reader's face in a clumsy way. (Needs more submerging, if you ask me.) It's just there, for you to pick up on if you read in that fashion, and to affect you unconsciously if you don't.

Payoffs have more power when they're distant from their setups. Set up early, remind, remind, whomp. This is, I think, what many fanfic writers give up when they choose to write serial fiction, and why writing it makes me v v nervous. How can I make where the story ends up satisfying if I don't know that at the start? Or maybe other people just plan better than I am capable of planning at the moment. Sometimes my unconscious waits until I'm writing the end scene to tell me what I needed to do in the very first one. (This is what just happened with the Post-Grave H/C story. Which needs a new title. Sigh.)
  • Current Music: Armin Van Buuren : Shivers (Rising Star Mix) : Shivers
It's interesting to me how this process bounces up & down from conscious to unconscious and back. Something in the back of my mind chews on this stuff, and produces character actions and imagery. Later on I select among the options more consciously and highlight the ones that connect to others or to whatever story it is I'm convinced I'm telling.

Oh, I hear that. :-) It's a funny old process, writing!

Glad the story's going well!
do you know liz_marcs?
It struck me, reading your thoughts about fis writing, that you might get a lot of of some of Liz_marcs' longer fiction (stuff in the whisperverse, or the in progress but not yet completed Water Hold Me Down. She has a LJ account, and some of her discussions about writing are quite good.


I'd write more, but boy is waiting for me to drive him to Boy Sprouts. Talk to you later. And way to go on the ficathon!


hob
I've written a lot of serial fic -- really *long* serial fic [sheepish grin] -- but I usually had payoffs in mind from the beginning of any solo fic, and I built on accretions of detail. For one thing, I tend to think in plot-shapes and recursions; for another, I tend to think in image patterns anyway. So, when I wrote a window and a bird in the first scene of the first Deepest Deep story (which I thought at the time was a one-shot), I had it available as a pay-off in a later story, and then wrote to that.

Alas, however, subtle I'm not. And I'm growing ever more okay with that. ;-)
Ah, the work with what you have approach.

Recursions are neat. Little repeating things. Oh look, this little incident is the overall plot writ small.

You have a general pattern of longer stories spread over a series of medium-length stories, I believe. Investigations & Acquisitions, for instance, has several novellas contributing to the overall story. There are signs early on that you knew where you were going with it, I thought. At least, I never got the sense of you making it up as you went along.

I am making myself do two different approaches to serial fiction at the moment. Neither of which you're likely to read, though one is genfic :) One of them is much more planned than the other. I pretty much know, for instance, what's going to happen with the sword Giles took from the dragon's grave, and I planned out the overall story shape before I wrote the first continuation. Exact plot details I don't know, but I know the arc.There I don't have imagery so much as a certain tone I want to go for.

However, the early season 6 story, I have much less of a clue about. I wrote myself into two corners (at least) right in the very first story, before I was coerced into continuing it. To compensate, I have been leaving myself openings as I write, to allow plot escape hatches. Doubt anybody else has given it a close enough reading to notice, but I know where my eject buttons are. This is making plot up along as I go, though, which bothers me. Fanfic sin, I think, and I do hate committing those.
Wanted also to say: when I read your stuff I definitely am in that state of trust that a writer wants. I am content to follow where you lead, trusting that you will go somewhere satisfying. Which sometimes makes me a lazy reader, if that makes sense: I don't have to work to stay with the story, I can just enjoy.
In reverse order -- I apologize for not being able to read even the genfic. I have Two True Characters, however, and so... well, I can't. Apologies.

I don't think it's *entirely* fanfic sin not to know exactly where you're going. ;-)

I&A was absolutely planned from "Partners in Crime" on, yes: theme, the big beats of the series-arc, the emotional beats for the relationship and Giles and Anya, the detective novels to play with, Buffyverse guest stars, etc. But the last two stories were different in the writing than my notes, because so many details had unfurled in the early stories. I ended up the same place but got there a different road.

The same thing happened in the original novel I'm currently shopping -- I had the major beats outlined, I knew where I was going, and we ended up where I wanted. The journey took *lots* more twists than I'd thought, however!

So let yourself play with both approaches, and *think* of it as play. You'll find what works for you.
Am going to have to write Giles/Anya just to get you to read me someday, and never mind the intimidation factor...
I love it when you write longer things. Longer than drabbley, that is. You don't have to go all novelish unless you feel like it, but I would like to beg for shortstoryage.