Wednesday, January 20, 2010

In Which I Question A Commission

Twin's been harping on me lately about what I should write after I finish the first draft of Foxfire (which should be soon, now. Excitement!).

A few months ago we were on a walk with the dogs and we discussed how the music I listened to when working on Foxfire was the exact same music I used to listen to when I wrote fanfiction in high school (see yesterday)

what kind of fanfiction did I write? here's a hint for you nerdy minded folks

So we started to talk about the fanfiction and how it had been so much fun and that maybe we should re-read some of it again?

Luckily for us, at the end of the fan fiction reign (about four years) we had taken 3 ring binders and saved most of the fanfiction that had been printed (later, upon further inspection, we discovered that most of the stories in the binder were mine, which I have saved on my laptop anyway. But we had a few from other friends as well).

So we re-read the stories.


Oh God at first they were HORRIBLE. My writing was so bad and the Mary Sue qualities so terrible it was almost too painful to read. But we pressed on (mostly because we were both in between books at the time)

The writing got much better (though it was a guarantee that at least one character in each story would have a single tear run down their face. (*Sniff* Oh the drama!)) and the Mary Sue tendencies started to take a back seat (but they were never gone...). By the end of our reading stint, well, we were both once again in love with the fanfiction and all it's terrible glory.

Twin pointed out that there were a few stories that I had written that weren't in the books and I found them on my laptop, all unfinished, most of them around 15 pages.
There was one which took place years in the future of the characters. We both read it and both agreed that right when it started to get good, I stopped writing. Who knows why? I was probably distracted by some other story (I'm like that, easily sidetracked by something new, shiny and fresh. Which is why it's important for me that once I start a new piece, I finish it as fast as possible...)

The little half piece was fun, had good characterization (and in these stories there was an absurd amount of characters, around 16-20 depending on which friends at the time wanted to be included) and the plot seemed exciting.

It had been so long since I had looked at these stories or even thought of them that I really had no clue as to what I had planned for this one. What was going to happen? Well, don't ask me...

But Twin did. Twin wanted to know what I had had planned for it all those years ago and so I dug up my old writing journals (Puppy in the Pot I and Puppy in the Pot II (they were the same journal, but one had a blue stripe and one a gray stripe. II was missing until Twin somehow managed to find it a few weeks ago. Which was good because even though it was full of horrible crap that will forever be unusable, it's full of MY crap and it's nice to see how I've grown as a writer)).

I searched through both of them looking for any clues as to the plot for this story. I used to write detailed plot notes for all my fanfiction in those journals, but this piece was towards the end of high school, when I began to become disenfranchised with the whole fanfiction idea and therefore didn't write a lot of notes. I also frequently thought to myself that I wouldn't ever forget the ideas because I have a very good memory (which is true) but clearly 28 year old Sarah has proven 18 year old Sarah a dumbass.

So there was nothing. The story was done where I had left it over ten years earlier: at the end of an action scene, the characters just beginning to come together to discuss what it is they should do (do they give up their normal lives? or do they ignore the threat and continue forward as they are, safe and complacent? ooohh conflict!)

So Twin has requested (Nay, demanded) something she has never done before. She has ordered a commission...
Once I'm done with the first draft of Foxfire, she wants me to finish up the fanfiction piece.

I'm of two minds on the whole idea. I'll need something to write when I'm done with Foxfire. Foxfire will need to be locked away for at least a month before I take it out to look at it again with fresh eyes, but I know I won't want to start another new novel so soon. Nothing's quite ready yet and I don't want to get so excited about a new piece that I stop revising Foxfire. So a stupid little fanfiction piece may actually work well in that sense.

Also I, too, kind of want to know what happens and no one's going to tell me but me. So.

But I really have no excitement for it. And if there's no excitement built up, I don't see it going far. Even if I were to cut more than half of the characters (and I would. Immediately) there's all these children and crap which have to be included because that was the point of the story in the first place. Sigh.

Also I promised both Teebore and Twin that I would finish my previous WIP so they can see what happens. I'd like to think it shouldn't be hard, after all it's already at over 70K and I just have to write a part in the middle and then the end...but that's what I had been saying to myself for awhile before NaNo forced me to take a break from it.

For the commission, I'd almost have to start it over, which might be much easier to do than trying to pick up where I left off a decade ago. And then, if there was anything that I absolutely loved in the first version (and there were a few smile worthy moments) I could just copy and paste them into the new version.

Either way, Twin hasn't forgotten. She brings it up any time I even hint at finishing Foxfire. Sometimes she likes to throw in "you think I've forgotten, but I haven't. I want that commission". So unless I want to live with Twin shooting me disapproving (and dead, dead) eyes, I'll probably have to buck up and just do the damn commission, Mary Sue characters and all.

So anyone else out there ever have to do a commission for a slavemaster loved one? If so, how did it go?


Anne Ahiers said...

It's not like i'm asking for much here. We're talking like 14+ years of you getting me excited for stories, starting them, and then abandoning them- sometimes 2 paragraphs in, sometimes 20 pages in. But not this time. This 1 story- i want to see how it ends. It doesn't have to be your best work ever, it doesn't even have to be long. But i told you what i want in it. So you'll do it. And you'll like it.

But don't you dare put in a scene with a single tear. Mm Mm *shakes head*

Maybe if you read some PL Nunn fanfic it'd help you get excited. or maybe we should go out and buy the next disc (or *gasp* one of the OAVs! Not the first one though... the second or third one- the one with the punching- you know what i'm talking about)

Also, not like you've never commissioned pics from me. And don't forget how i made you an egg samich the other morning unsolicited (consider that commish payment, btw)

Anne Ahiers said...

oops, i forgot to sign that


Sarah Ahiers said...

yeah i forgot i was going to mention all of my commission pics that you drew for me, and that i then critiqued harshly. But a pic takes what, 3 days max to create. Does not compare.

Austin Gorton said...

oh, Twin fight! I love it!

Personally, I think you should >cough< finish your previous WIP >cough< but that's just me.

I'm excited because I'm finally excited to go back and start whacking the crap out of my NaNo book. I even came up with an idea that tightens up the ending a bit (though I still have no denouement; the story just...ends. I'm totally going to need some help with that).

PS There are few things I love in this world more than a writer with EXTREME devotion to a Mary Sue, like the way Steve Englehart works Mantis of the Avengers into every single comic he writes, even the ones not published by Marvel.

Austin Gorton said...

Oh, commissions, yeah...I can't think of any offhand, aside from some creative writing class assignments, in which I had little interest (usually they were of the non-fiction variety).

You should feel lucky to have someone commissioning things from you. :)

Anne Ahiers said...

Yeah- that's right, you SHOULD feel lucky.

Don't worry Teebore- after she's done with my commish, i'll harp on her about vampire next

Sarah Ahiers said...

blah blah blah. I hear a lot of noise without much substance

Shannon O'Donnell said...

Wow. I'm not sure which is more interesting - your post or this comment thread! :-)

Sarah Ahiers said...

LOL, yeah things get pretty fun in the comments sometimes. Glad you stopped by!

Anne Ahiers said...

LOL i'm not sure what kind of substance you're looking for. Would a fist to the spine work?

Hannah said...

I love this thread as well and don't want to hinder it's humorous progress. But I will!

I'm also one for starting, getting 20 pages in and stopping...I've been given much crap from The Man daily. "How much writing did you get done today?" and my comeback is always, "How much did your mom write today?" Yes, I know, not a very good comeback...My shame makes me lash out weakly. If I could shoot spaghetti out of my fingers at him, I would do that every time I hear that question.

I want to read your WIP and finish the damn vampire story already!!! I wanna know what happens!!! (in case, you can't tell I'm whining like a newborn puppy.)

Sarah Ahiers said...

Twin - i think you're full of a lot of threats, but not a lot of follow through

Palindrome - i think you need to start something giant and new, and then just push past the first 20 pages. Have you tried to snowflake method? Or making a cheap outline?

Hannah said...

I was doing really great for NaNoWriMo. I was about 30k in and I was like, this is crap. And once I thought that, it fell apart in my head. And the creative process was demolished.

I have not yet tried the Snowflake method. But I have tried the outline and I'm really good but then I miss something and again demolish the progress.

I'm working on it. I'm still determined to finish my NaNo WIP by the end of Feb. at the latest!

Austin Gorton said...

I was about 30k in and I was like, this is crap.

Ah, you can't let that get to you. Instead, you should feel strengthened by the fact that it took you 30 K to first think that. I was at that stage by page six (and every few pages after that).

You just gotta push past those thoughts, or embrace them. "Of course it's crap, I don't care that it's crap." That's what I tell myself sometimes, knowing A. it's not really THAT bad and B. I can always make it better, later. And that even crappy words on a page are better than no words on a page. You can't revise blankness.

Hannah said...

Maybe if I make all my characters simultaneously have a single tear running down there face it will make it less like crap.


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