1. Describe your comfort zone - a typical you-fic.
I'm not sure. I just get lost in the writing, like day dreaming at the keyboard or with a notebook. Normally it'll be something I've been thinking about for sometime, and with most of my Lewis fics, telling as bedtime stories or in hospital waiting rooms from 2009-2014-14 to my daughter. I think my comfort is in the words and the escape. Having said that, I must know the characters inside out. i wouldn't feel comforatable writing for characters I'm not seen/read or only in passing. I have to love the show and the characters and if a pairing, I have to really really ship them through the actual body language of the actors (or the subtext of the prose). it's only what I see though, I wouldn't reject another person's pairing I can't see if their fanfic is well written and sells it to me :)
A typical fic is really heavy on the angst and hurt/comfort and set within the parameters of the show/book - unless it is a cross over, eg, if it a crime drama I want it to be a realistic case fic, not a background thing, and if I had the energy my head is full of SF for various DW and ST universes... A typical fic is big on detail, plot detail, background detail, own characters who are three dimensional. i love creating worlds and populating them.
(Write what you know, too, and I love to describe places I know, I love writing about Oxford, that's a definite comfort zone...)
2. Is there a trope you've yet to try your hand at, but want to?
I'm not sure if I totally even understand tropes. i only do them by accident!
3. Is there a trope you wouldn't touch with a ten-foot pole?
See above. although I doubt I would do an OT3 - or if I did it would be infomed by the reality and pain of being a co-wife or cheated on from RL situations of friends and colleagues and my own...
4. How many fic ideas are you nurturing now? Care to share one of them.
Let's see... Poinsoned Minds, finished in handwritten note form and needs all the detail and emotion and typing but been unable to do anything since March last year since the seizure... Ditto of course Rare and Precious Chain (and it's sequeal, not even posted yet), White's last chapter, the wedding... then there is the rest of the Oxford and the Doctor (so that's 14-4=10, although 7 is written in lost hand - hope it's not lost!). My head is currently working on a Vic Fontain (from DS9) being liberated and given sentient status and a portal emitter by the holo Doctor for Voyager, an masive angsty story about Pinkie Pie from a realisation Ponyville has a Peachy Pie and Pinkie was thrown out by the Pies when she got her cutie mark (told you, queen of angst!), a sequence of stuff about local (to me) river gods and goddesses from Ben Aaronovitch's River's of London universe, and a massive Midsomer Murder about a retired nursary class teacher and child minder killing all her disappointing grown up charages... How many is that? Need time and space and energy and my mind back really :)
5. Share one of your strengths.
Details, I think, both in background, location, and people... others may disagree
6. Share one of your weaknesses.
I tend to go on... and on and on.. I stay in my (borrowed) created worlds and get bogged down in detail...
7/8. Share one of your favourite pieces of prose/dialogues you've written and explain why you're proud of it.
I've written do much and my memory has been under assault since March lst year I can't possibly chose/remember! Anyone want to give me suggestions of their favourites of mine in the comments? Please? Pretty Please? Jog that memory of mine and kick off some synapses firing! Please! *unfocused puppydog eyes*
9. Which fic has been the hardest to write?
Stuff from the Lewis challenge, as it wasn't in my daughter's and my complex Lewis headcanon, particularly James Wears A Wig, as fun though it was, I couldn't really see James cross-dressing!
10. Which fic has been the easiest to write?
Everything is our Lewis alternative seasons 5 and 6 universe, as they were told and retold and even bits role played for over a year before I every began to write them down. A lot of it flows, and I have an awesome beta in my daughter with an eye for detail and a working knowledge of Thames Valley Police procedure and have lived in and around Oxford since 1990 and only 20 miles away for the whole of my life before that!!!!
11. Is writing a passion or just your fun hobby?
See my profile here and ao3! It's more than a passion, it's kept me sane in a very difficult, almost impossible, life situation, that I deal with unsupported. and to try to cut the crap from the trolls - look, my daughter is awesome and how she is meant to be, it is not her autism that is the problem, even the never sleeping - it is the lack of support in the school environment, it is the family so far away and not understanding the situation, it is the lack of partner and instead a selfish, abusive drug addled arsehole who abused us both on access the court wouldn't protect us from and oabove all, above all, it is my own disabling neurological condition with 3 other medical conditions that make everything a struggle, they are all the problems, okay so cut the crappy hate, okay! Sorry, but I have received some nasty stuff from misuderstanding that I am blaming my daughter for my disability and suffering, whereas I just feel like a complete failure as a mum and alone, adrift, with no support whatsoever. And yes, I did contemplate suicide and come back and write Cold Summer. and in the last year, when I've not been well enough to write, i'm been growing depressed and more than a little bonkers...
So, more than a passion then, but a hobby, a hobby that keeps me sane and happy, gives me me-time and makes me friends :)
12. Is there an episode above all others that inspires you just a little bit more?
In Lewis, I would say, Life Born of Fire and The Dead of Winter. When I was writing in the 90s there were various episodes in Doctor Who and DS9 and various Master eps with the Third Doctor got me writing my first fic at about 7 or 8. I still have it somewhere, complete with it's hand drawn copy of a Target novel :)
13/14. What's the best/worst writing advice you've ever come across?
This is the best anyone can give I think. Write what you know - I don't mean literally, I mean, be on a space station, but remember what is feles like to be lost or scared or in love or whatever, remember humans are humans regardless of when and where they are.
Second best advice would be - research! Speaking as a local, I've read some aweome Lewis written by people who are English, let alone have never been to Oxford, but I've read others that are so sloppy, making Oxford to be like an American mid-west town or some fantasy ideal of an england that never existed outside 1980s US TV shows...
Worse advice - present tense is cool and now!
Do NOT write entire narrative fics in the present tense, it is a modern affectation that loses so much. 'he is coming in and she feels this and he says this and so she says that and she is really hiding that she is feeling so is saying that inside her brain...' It is too rushed and childish. used sparingly it can have punch and impact, but once you lose a bird's eye view or a first person narrative it gets hard to maintain genuine feelings and thoughts. If you what just a dialogue, then fine, write a screenplay! (Sorry it makes me angry, and hurts my head, and so many awesome ideas unreadable, in published as well as fanfiction. it's like the Emperor's New Clothes, or some modern art - it steals meaning and emotion and craft and is 'in the now' - it's probably all the smart phones and instant messaging, all the all-action movies full of special effects and no actual plot or human interest apart from meaningless tropes it's probably damaging our brains or it's an uber fetishism of self as predicted by Marx, who knows... But you need to be super talented to pull of on going present tense, and we fan fction writers just aren't, as a rule, are we?
15. If you could choose one of your fics to be filmed which would you choose?
Cold Summer. Blue Autumen Love.
16. If you could only write one pairing for the rest of your life which one would it be?
I've written a lot of Lewis/Hathaway, as my daughter wanted them happy-ever-after, and as most of the other pairing I've written were back ground detail or fleeting, apart from Kirk/Spock and Doctor/Master... and in my head they are both totally canon, so I'd have to say L/H but... don't make me chose!!!
17. Do you write your story from start to finish, or do you write the scenes out of order?
Both. Mostly start to fiinish, with plot notes, but some seens might be a quite 'this happens, x feels this..' and go on so I don't get stuck, then go back. Often it is mostly written in long hand first, then I'll type it up in order, fill in the gaps, edit and polish as I go.
18. Do you use any tools, like worksheets or outlines.
No. apart from hand written plot notes, and sometimes character notes, well in Poisoned minds. mostly I invent the characters get invented as and when they are needed.My daughter uses it all, she has spreedsheets for all her fics and fanfics, and is currently going through the AU to grab guests for the wedding at the end of White for me.
19. Stephen King once said his muse is a man who lives in the basement. Do you have a muse?
I have a very over-active imagination, and a lot of being bedbound, housebound and socially isolated (my own childhood and teens, this ill and caring for a child with special needs is just the icing on the cake). TV and book and my own, the characters can be my imaginary friends. god, I kow that is so sad... My daughter is my muse for the Lewis stuff, no doubt.
20. Describe your perfect writing conditions.
i. My notebook, an empty house with BK somewhere so safe she is not going to constanly text me for support, a pot of tea and some gf biscuits
ii. My notebook, a quiet Magic Cafe, the squashy soaf, a hot chocolate
iii. the house suff sorted, the paperwork stuff sorted, BK at my mum's for the weekend, a notebook full of stuff to type, a fridge full of healthy pre-cooked meals and gf cake cooperative arms and hands with no shakes.
Well, that was interesting. I've done this really to clarify my thoughts and get optomistic that I will, again, one day write regulary and be happy and finish all my WIPs. Sorry if I came across a bit judgy!
(It's a bit rushed too, as I have a whining child demanding to be fed and wanted to get it done in one go - sorry if I offended anyone! Please, do comment...)