Skipping Ahead

Well, now it’s almost Christmas, and now it’s almost time to reminisce in time for New Year’s. NaNoWriMo is over and I’m sorry that I haven’t updated at least one more time, but I’ve kept putting it off and then stuff happened in life and now… I’ve written 32,330 words this NaNo which is about 2,000 more than last year. So while it wasn’t a complete success, I’m not disappointed.

savingdanvers1This year’s NaNo was mostly about fanfiction for me. Fanfiction and Supergirl (or Supergays, as I tend to lovingly call it). I’m neck-deep in the evolution of Alex Danvers’ character, I just love that tiny gay bean. And I’m so close to watching again from the beginning, just to be able to explore her more thoroughly. She’s one of the few aspects of tv that didn’t disappoint (so far) and I hope Supergirl will keep up the good work. I watched a lot of Arrow this year, some The Flash, the pilot of Legends of Tomorrow, but Supergirl is my favorite DC show to date. And I may have jumped the Marvel ship completely, because they don’t invest enough time or money in their female heroes (cancelling Agent Carter, seriously?).

I’m a fan, I tend to get invested. And it affects my writing as well. At the moment, writing fanfiction is a sanctuary, a safe place.

But, of course, I’m always trying to find my own characters and story lines. I’m currently thinking about another YA series I’d like to write. It’s post-apocalyptic stuff and I guess it fits well into current times, with political leaders showing how little they care about people… and I’m prone to seeing all the bad stuff and imagine how it all will end. Also, I love the genre. Aside from horror, it might be my favorite. I’m rereading Legend by Marie Lu and The Hunger Games series might be next.

Apart from that, I also started revisions on Halfway Home. It’s been lying around for a year now and Halfway Home.altcoming back to it is strange and wonderful. I still love the characters so much and I think it’s a great story. It’s all romance and fluff, but it makes me hopeful at the end of a year which saw little of that. I hope I’ll be able to finish it mid-January.

Today’s winter solstice – the shortest day of the year. I’ve been awake since three a.m., so it won’t really be a short day for me, but I like sitting and working when nobody else is awake and by 8 p.m. I’m usually pooped enough to go to bed. The next two weeks will see a lot of family time and food, but I hope I’ll get some work done – probably in the form of fanfiction. I haven’t decided on anything I want to write next year, but hopefully it will be more productive than 2016. Hopefully, it will be more of anything good than 2016.

NaNoWriMo Update [2016.2]

I stayed up all night last night to watch Supergirl (Germany is several time zones ahead of the U.S. so it was around 3:30 a.m. before it was even uploaded). It was Alex Danvers’ (Chyler Leigh) coming out episode – the most important coming out at least since it was to her sister Kara, or Supergirl (Melissa Benoist). And it made an emotional mess of me.

Why am I telling you this, you might wonder. Well, last week I jokingly (and it was only meant as a joke, believe me) wrote that I might have to start a Supergirl fanfiction because of that character – Alex Danvers. Right now, the joke’s on me because I did start a Supergirl fanfic. It’s called Saving Danvers and it’s going great.

saving-danversBasically, my writing activity right now is limited to my two fanfictions, Six Degrees of Queer which is slowly ending, and Saving Danvers which is (to me) a break from script because fanfiction has always been about romance for me. (Yes, I might have written a feminist Potter-story, but that was for a college project.) It was about the ship, the pairing, how they meet, how they get together, how they make love for the first time, how they handle their everyday life together.

Saving Danvers, though, it might be my first adventure story. Sure, Maggie Sawyer (Floriana Lima) (Alex’ love interest on the show) will be in it, but, like the show, this story is more about Alex and her relationship to Kara. But it’s also much more about Alex because that character resonates with me.

I’m a tv junkie, I’ve watched so many shows in my life, most of which I stopped watching at some point because they ruined a favorite character or a plotline didn’t sit right with me, or I never really liked anyone on it. Shows, to me, are mostly about characters. That’s why I stopped watching Buffy after Tara (Amber Benson) died and only picked the last season up more than ten years later. That’s why we all pretend the last season of Warehouse 13 never happened because making Pete (Eddie McClintock who, interestingly, has also been son Supergirl) and Myka (Joanne Kelly) a couple felt awkward at best, incestuous at worst. And that’s why I’m still in mourning over Person of Interest which was such a well-written show until they made Root (Amy Acker) the victim of a lazy trope.

And this is where Alex entered, and Supergirl, and James Olsen (Mehcad Brooks) and Cat savingdanvers1Grant (Calista Flockhart), Winn (Jeremy Jordan), Hank (David Harewood)… a good superhero show, a light superhero show with some dark elements. And it inspires me. TV sometimes hands you a tale you can’t resist, a universe that you want to expand on. And if you’re a writer you write fanfiction… even if you secretely think you should build your own writing-verse, should write OCs, should research something other than the comic book background of the characters you’re writing at the moment.

Yes, I’m a little bitter about that. But I’m also excited to be writing again every day. I’m excited to submerge into such amazing characters. I’m excited about writing. And about NaNoWriMo. And I’m still behind on my word count (16,147 to date), but I’m making progress. I’m writing an adventure.

So, what’re you working on? What’re your experiences with fanfiction? And what did you think of last night’s Supergirl (did you cry?)? Tell me in the comments.

NaNoWriMo Update [2016.1]

Here we are again – one year later, maybe even one year wiser. National Novel Writing Month started a week ago and so far, I’ve written 5,724 words (update’s update 7,082 words).

trouble%c2%b2You can see on my NaNo-profile that my NaNo-novel is Trouble² – with a nice cover including two favorite characters from a favorite tv show, Root and Shaw from Person of Interest (no copyright infringement etc. etc.) – which you could, I guess, call a AU fanfiction in progress. But then, there isn’t that much progress. I’m not really writing a novel, or maybe I’m writing several. And a Bechloe fanfiction, and a short story.

This year, I just can’t settle down on one project so I’m pretty much all over the place. And there might yet be a Supergirl fanfic coming along, because I really can’t fight my Sanvers feelings these days. But I guess that’s okay. Considering how little I got done this year, me writing bits and pieces this NaNo fits the theme.

So I’ve given myself the NaNo-rebel badge and am traipsing along through the jungle of stories I’ve got burning in different corners. One corner is still Ghosts of Helltown, as I haven’t finished that. Yeah, I know I promised that one to you for next year, but it’s on hold until I can get my shit together. And who knows if it’s going to get published then… I really messed this up, but I’m still working on it. I guess I have hope, a tiny spark in the darkness so to speak. (And just for the record, it’s a day later from that earlier stuff and I’m on my way to drunk, ’cause the election is officially over – bear with me.)

My Bechloe fanfiction in progress is Six Degrees of Queer – it’s basically Beca finding out sixdegreesofqueershe’s gay for Chloe and her friends trying to support her, mostly. Fanfiction is part of my writing life and Bechloe is still a great inspiration (with the possibility of it getting to be canon in the third movie – YAY! [let’s hope]). Writing fanfiction for WriMo is actually a cool thing because you don’t have to do any preparation other than watch your favorite show or movie – no excuse to not write, is what I’m saying!

I started a short story back in… I forgot. For an anthology that’s already been published. It was about summer love and I called my story Im Sommer – which is German for In Summer. It’s a story about an American girl, Angela, who visits German wine country for summer vacation and meets a German girl, Judith. It’s summer, there’s wine and just a little bit of a language barrier as these young women get their groove on… or something like that. I’m still working on it, or it wouldn’t be on this list. Hopefully, it will be available for free after NaNo… at Christmas, maybe? (I’ll keep you posted.)

The last corner (for now), is Trouble². It’s the story of a bondsperson and a P.I. who have a hard time working together to find a guy named Roy Bunting. They find out that Bunting is in even deeper doo-doo than they thought and that will also get these two women in trouble. Trouble², in fact, ’cause you know… I’m not sure where I’m going with this, maybe nowhere, but I like playing with these two characters in my head and giving them the happy ending they deserved.

Jumping between those stories was my first week of NaNo. How do you get along? Are you a traditionalist  or a rebel like me? Any other NaNo-thoughts? Tell me in the comments.

And just a word about this election: wherever you are, whoever you are, if you’re devastated by the American election results: please take care of yourself. Whatever happens in the time to come, you are important, you are cherished. Stay safe, stay strong, stay united.

Have some colorful hope and Anna Kendrick:

 

NaNoWriMo Update [2015.4]

yousee

NaNo is almost over, and unless I write 20k words tomorrow I have again failed it. I’m not disappointed, though. I’ve doubled last year’s word count and I’m still feeling inspired.

I finished a short story, I finished a novel, and I started a new fun project that will hopefully appear in an anthology next year (if I finish it and the publishers like it, I guess). So, I’ve done some of what I set out to do, and, hey, there’s still tomorrow.

I got more involved this year than last, which is a good thing. I did some NaNo word sprints with fun prompts and I added to my writing buddies, encouraging a few people. It felt good and it helped me too. I felt more cared for, inspired by the spirit of NaNo, you could say.

This year, I have found some platforms that help writers along. There’s NaNo, of course, but I recently discovered some others and I wanted to take the time to point you in their direction, since I like them.

IFightYou have already seen the covers I made; they’re, after all, all over my blog. I made them con Canva.com. It is not necessarily a platform for writers, but book covers are one of the template they offer. You can spend money there, or you can make covers for free. There are several other templates for your everyday life and maybe you check it out. I like the set up and it’s easy to use.

Another page, and one I trusted my latest short story with, is Tablo.io. Like Canva, it’s brought to us from Australia. It’s a platform where you can read stories, put up your own stories for the reading, but you can also publish with them if you think your work has progressed into that realm. They offer plenty of help, you can join groups of hopefuls like yourself, read and write fanfiction. Whatever you like. It’s also easy to use, and pretty to look at (the latter one may not be important to you, but it is to me).

Lastly, a page a reader on fanfic.net recommended (maybe she was working for them, I don’t know or care): Inkitt.com. It has much the same functions as tablo, but it also offers writing contests, not just for original fiction, but also fanfiction. I’ve started revising a story of mine for a fanfiction contest, and it’s a lot of fun to go back. I always get back to fanfiction, because I love it. This site helps to do something I should have done a long time ago: revising my fanfiction. Because I feel I’m better now and those stories should reflect that. Inkitt feel newer than tablo and shepromisedmelovemaybe some things haven’t yet fully developed, but it’s interesting to watch, maybe make some suggestions. And again, it looks pretty.

Maybe you have come across sites you’d like to share with me? I’m always looking for new platforms to spread my words from. Please, tell me in the comments. Also, tell me about your NaNo-experience. Did you win? Did you fail like me?

Remember, that failing at NaNo means you’ve tried what many people are too scared to even try. Writing is hard, but I’m sure you’ll try again. And you will succeed when you’re ready for it. Don’t be discouraged.

Fanfiction

Let’s talk a little bit about fanfiction, because I know some of you guys are just visiting this page for my fanfics – I see it in the stats and I love it. It’s how I came to writing, and I’m still doing it, though not as frequently as I’d like.

Okay, for those not familiar with the concept (really?!): it’s when you sit down to write stories on an already existing text, use the setting, the characters, and stuff, make that world your own. This also works with the life of celebrities, though I’m not engaging in that. But I engage in plenty of the rest.

Since I’m having a hard time writing this year, it’s actually a good thing Pitch Perfect 2 came out when it did. It inspires me, not the movie per se, but its characters. I’ve written quite a lot about them two years ago and I’m just getting started on it again. It’s good, it’s familiar, it’s easy (or easier).

You probably think: it should be, someone else has done all the work for you. In part, that’s true. You take existing characters and existing settings and just play around a little. And then there are tropes and memes which also help you along. Yes, the blonde and the brunette is one of those. There are actually standard phrases for different character constellations, things that they usually do, a way to do it right.

As said, I’m writing Pitch Perfect again. The story is called Six Degrees of Queer, and it’s kind of a reflection on thoughts and discussions that are important to me right now. The title also reflects on how strange I feel writing again, because it’s like learning it anew. Sometimes you feel so out of it that you have to go to a familiar place and retrace steps. That’s what I’m doing right now. And it’s still slow going.

I started writing fanfiction when a friend in the Xena-fandom said, hey, you write such beautiful poetry, think you can actually write a story, that would be great. So, I started writing for our favorite dynamic duo. That was in 2001, an eternity away. Needless to say, I loved it, though it was for a small community, it being in German.

Then there came some years when I didn’t write fanfic and then came Pitch Perfect and it all came back to me, vividly so. And it’s indeed like playing. Others have outlined the setting and characters and you can just delve in. I’m grateful for the fact that there are people out there who share this special place, the fandom. And I’ve had about 99.9% great feedback, people liking, being enthusiastic, asking me when I’ll continue (yeah, I know there are some unfinished stories and I wish I could get back to them today, and I’m sorry that I don’t).

Fanfiction is a great gateway writing experience. If you want to start somewhere it’s good to start where there are people who appreciate it, who cheer you on. It’s also a good place to read, to get to decide, what works for you in way of style, tropes, pairing, whatever you’re searching for. And it’s not shameful to indulge in fanfiction, even if there’s classic literature out there you haven’t yet read. Fanfiction is a part of literature, maybe it’s amateur writing, maybe some of it is really bad (then again, so is 50 Shades of Grey, and that’s been published [yes, I’m aware that it started out as Twilight fanfiction]), but you can learn from bad writing at least as much as you can from brilliant writing, maybe more. And you will also find stories that you’ll love and come back to every once in awhile, because it already contains something you love – a part of your favorite show/movie/book/etc.

If you don’t know where to look for these stories or where to publish them: fanfiction.net is a good place to start. It’s an extensive library with all kinds of fandoms represented. You might also want to check out Archive of our own (short AO3 – archiveofourown.org), especially when you’re a writer and want to have your work preserved for generations to come.

Hope you’re having a good week, lovelies.