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2013 year-end fic retrospective

Last year was super productive for me; this year was slightly less so, but still my second-best writing year ever. I wrote or finished two more +20k fics, which pleases me. I didn't write as much stuff this year I was super happy with, though; I don't feel like I was experimenting in as many directions as last year, either. IDK, maybe I was getting more solid at the things I learned last year, rather than learning new ones. However, I did write 26.5 fics – 14 SPN, 6.5 SPN RPF, 3 Saga, 1 FF, 1 Discworld, 1 Buffyverse, for a total of 79k words, which is nothing to sneeze at, I suppose.

Below the cut I go into a LOT more detail, because these retrospective things are better than cake.

Leitmotif(s) of the year:
Tropeyness. Ladies. Genevieve, who got 37k worth of POV. I wrote more sex than any year previous (8 fics rated R or higher). I wrote 3 Meg/Castiel fics and 3 Jared/Gen, which is more than I've written in a year for any single ship since Spuffy.

My best story of this year:
This is a tough one. I feel like I had fewer standouts this year than last year in terms of quality of writing/storytelling. Here's a handful, then (which all have sex in them? even though the majority of my fic this year did not? I hesitate to ask what that means):

Into the Briny Deep, aka the Gen/Misha tentacle porn fic. I think the actual porn is probably indifferent at best, but IMO this is one of my funniest stories of the year, and I kind of adore the character dynamic in it. It has a lot of good lines. Also the title tickles me. (It's a pun, you guys.)

you were meant for me (perhaps as punishment), the Meg/Castiel in purgatory fic. I'm pretty pleased with how I executed the concept, the characters feel solid to me, the sex is brief but effective (IMO), and I think it has exactly as many words as it needed and no more.

Better in Blue, the Alana/Marko smut/character study Yuletide treat, for the comic book Saga. A new pairing in a new fandom, gentle humor, porn that's a bit off the beaten track and very specific to the characters, and an ending that pleases me a lot.

What’s your favorite story this year? Not the most popular, but the one that makes you the happiest.
Let's face it, Not Just For Hallmark Specials Anymore is my id. Mpreg, a/b/o, girl saves boy, quiet intimacy, slow burn? Check. It even has snow.

Okay, NOW your most popular story.
Depending on your metric, either you were meant for me (perhaps as punishment), which got comments from more people during spnspringfling than any other of my stories on any platform, or Chemical Bonding, which has the most kudos and AO3 hits.

Story of mine most underappreciated by the universe, in my opinion:
You know, I just recently reread The Woodsman and the Widow, my Ellen/Rufus a/b/o marriage of convenience fic, and I still think it is a good fic. Probably it's just too narrow a niche to attract much attention, which is a pity, since I ship Ellen/Rufus about fifty times as much as I ship Ellen/Bobby.

Story that could have been better?
Chemical Bonding, man. That fic was a bear from start to finish. I had structural problems, I had character continuity problems as it related to the other fics in my universe, I wrestled with it for WEEKS trying to figure out even what to edit... the whole process was a mess, and unfortunately the mess did not resolve itself in time for me to produce a fic I was happy with by the BB deadline. Woe. With another two solid rewrites it could probably be pretty good, but it feels pointless to go back and do that now, so. :\

Sexiest story?
I always feel this is a category I'd rather have decided by other people. When I write sex, I don't find it hot; for me, a successful sex scene is one that's in-character, gives a sense of how the sex feels to the characters (which frequently does not require a play-by-play), and serves the emotional thrust (heh) of the story. None of that is particularly sexy, except in a super nerdy way.

So this year I'm crowdsourcing this one. What do you guys think? Contenders would probably be Take (Gen/Adrianne a/b/o), Into the Briny Deep (Gen/Misha tentacles), you were meant for me (perhaps as punishment) (Meg/Castiel purgatory), Best Thing Going (Meg/Castiel post-8.17 fix-it), In Time of Need (Sam/Jo heat sex), Better in Blue (Alana/Marko xenophilia), Jo's Last Chance Coffee House (Jo/Ruby post-apocalypse).

Hardest story to write:
Chemical Bonding; see above. I also had a really hard time getting started on Where Owls Dwell, my summergen story, just like I did with my summergen story last year. I think both stories turned out okay, but experience suggests maybe I should skip that challenge in 2014.

Easiest story to write?
I wrote a bunch of teensy shippy ficlets basically in the comment box before I posted; none of those took more than half an hour. For longer things, Goodnight Bears was my surprisingly effortless genteensybang fic, which was good, since I started it three or four days before the deadline.

Holy crap, that's wrong even for you
This was the year I wrote tentacle porn, except it was cute funny tentacle porn, so I don't know if that counts. I wrote a couple of unclaimed kinkmeme fills with no redeeming social value that would probably fit the bill, but I'm still not claiming them, so.

Story I haven't yet written, but intend to:
I don't like talk much publicly about my WIP, because it takes some of the magic (read: motivation) out of writing them. Suffice to say I have in mind or partial draft form another werebear fic (this time with PLOT and a lot of Alona/Adrianne), that Jared/Gen kinkfic I've been mentioning, one or two other things for my combo kink/trope bingo, and a Gen/Adrianne fic that might end up changing pairings (the authorial behind-the-scenes version of find and replace). Also one or more Psylocke/Fantomex fics I reeeeally want to write, but we'll see about those; I think they have a potential audience of about two people, and I'm one of the two.


Other things I did this year: I participated in the spnspringfling, rarewomen, spn_summergen, rarecharacters, and spn_j2_xmas fic/art exchanges. I did Yuletide proper for the first time in three years. I prompted at and wrote fic for spnkink_meme. I recced at rocksalt_recs and spnroundtable.

I didn't mod any fests this year, but I did start spn_weirdnews, the SPN rare ship newsletter that now reports AO3 fic and posts to Tumblr as well as LJ and has a dedicated Tumblr for reblogging art as well. That's been fairly rewarding in a "because it exists!" sort of way, and it's been very nice to see how active non-LJ parts of SPN fandom still are (and how much more varied their interests).

I got to see grynfdor_godess twice this year, which was a lovely surprise, as well as meeting brutti_ma_buoni in London and [personal profile] likeadeuce, [personal profile] flamebyrd, and a variety of other people at Geek Girl Con while also hanging out with [personal profile] lettered and co.

I suppose my other big fannish innovation this year was Tumblr. Mine is here. I've actually cut my dash way down now because I want to spend less time there, but it is indeed a shiny place full of suggestive con gifsets and adorable cats.

Goals from last year: Write the epic Jared/Gen knottingverse fic. (Yes, if not at all to my satisfaction.) Finish anon WIP and the Sam/Jess a/b/o pilot AU. (Yes to the first, no to the second, darn it.). Write something involving a woman for kinkmeme every month (until I get bored of it). (Unfortunately, midyear I didn't so much get bored as really upset with some kinkmeme happenings, which has put a damper on my participation since). Do spnspringfling and spn_j2_bigbang again and do the Genevieve-centric bang (yep to all three!). Participate or don't in other fannish events, as I feel like them. (Yep, good job me.) Write original fic? (HA HA HA.)

Goals for this year: Finish the Princess!Jared fic. Finish the Jared/Gen kinkfic. Write one or more SUPER TROPEY THINGS. Write more comics fic. Do Yuletide again. Participate in the comics exchange if it happens. Visit ghostyouknow27 in person. (Do you see that, Ghost? You are ON THE LIST.) Run another round of [profile] a_b_o_ladies (announcement forthcoming).


Crossposted from Dreamwidth. Comment here or there. (comment count unavailable DW replies)


( 10 comments — Leave a comment )
Jan. 3rd, 2014 11:03 pm (UTC)
That is an impressive amount of writing!

More comics fic, yay! Do you have any particular comics you are hoping to write fic for? Also, what is this possible comics exchange? I keep hearing about it.
Jan. 3rd, 2014 11:17 pm (UTC)
Thank you. <3

You know, I'm not even very particular about which I want to write fic for. There just isn't enough comics fic out there even remotely related to the titles I'm interested in, though. Probably some more Saga fic, hopefully some fic for Uncanny X-Force once I get the whole run in physical form.
Jan. 3rd, 2014 11:22 pm (UTC)
Speaking of Saga fic, have you read this? It's a really great backstory for the Stalk.
Jan. 3rd, 2014 11:24 pm (UTC)
Ooh, not yet! I saw it but didn't want to read any of the Saga fic on AO3 until after I'd finished mine for Yuletide. I'll put it on the list!
(Deleted comment)
Jan. 7th, 2014 07:48 pm (UTC)
Aww! I'm so glad you were willing to try out something new. And Hallmark is just soup and cuddles, basically. :D

And thank you for the vote of confidence! <3
Jan. 4th, 2014 03:44 am (UTC)
Oh, hey, maybe I can use Super Angsty installment of Spice 'verse for abo ladies. Or not, depending on time constraints and if I ever edit it.

I've been trying to figure out why I feel like I'm in such a deep ennui with my fannish writing and prose writing in general, and I think it's because when I started werecreatures and prey/predator romance and, you know, romance in general, it was all stuff that I hadn't done before. Maybe the problem is just that I don't feel challenged enough, because my excitement stage is the research stage, where it feels like I'm learning. So possibly I need to figure out what I haven't done yet.

(Then again, I also really like writing alien sensory details and the like, so I doubt I'll give up the other stuff altogether). I'm thinking about trying to return to some of my more science-heavy, worldbuilding-heavy things. And making myself work on Mostly One Side Project, instead of 8,000.

/ramble that has no place here.

ALSO VISIT! And I fully support Misha/Gen, which is one of my favorite things ever, both for the obvious reasons and because it's good and has a terrific dynamic between the characters, as you yourself note. :D
Jan. 7th, 2014 07:49 pm (UTC)
Maybe the problem is just that I don't feel challenged enough, because my excitement stage is the research stage, where it feels like I'm learning.

*nod* Clearly this means you need to write more sex scenes, for Challenge. (Although I'm not sure 'research' is necessarily how you'll want to prepare, there? :D)

And making myself work on Mostly One Side Project, instead of 8,000.

Pthhbt. What's the fun in that!

Jan. 7th, 2014 08:00 pm (UTC)
How did you arrive at me having to write more sex? I was all afraid to write it for awhile, then forced myself to do so and got at least a couple people to think it was decently done, and then it was no longer scary ... and I was back to not being all that interested in writing it. The angst beforehand? Well sure. The actual sex? Blargh, can't everyone fight a monster or something instead?*

* I've already written the story where two people fight a monster during sex.
Jan. 7th, 2014 08:02 pm (UTC)
Ah, I thought you still found it challenging, and that's why the hangup in, for example, the Jo/Dean/Castiel fic. I didn't realize it was because you were bored. That's a different problem. :)
Jan. 7th, 2014 08:10 pm (UTC)
Ah. No, it's not the hard part because I'm afraid about being able to write it. It's more that I just want to shrug and cut to black and not bother with it, especially if there's nothing too unusual going on, physically speaking. A/b/o is somehow no longer sufficiently weird. With Jo/Dean/Cas, there are some character dynamics that will be hard for me, but the main problem with the sex is that I'm not particularly I inspired to write it, even though it will accomplish what I want to accomplish in terms of character and story stuff.
( 10 comments — Leave a comment )

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