smallhobbit: (Cat)
And much to the relief of all and sundry I am drawing to a close.

28: Have you ever collaborated with anyone else, whether writing together, or having an artist work on a piece about your fic?

I was about to say I've never collaborated with anyone, but technically that's not true, although neither was a deliberate case of collaboration.  The first was with [livejournal.com profile] debriswoman and The Giant Rat of Sumatra and the second with [livejournal.com profile] scfrankles and Watson's Diary .

I've written three Big Bangs so far and each has been illustrated, although I was definitely spoilt, having [livejournal.com profile] togsos as my first illustrator.


29: What is your current project or projects?

I'm still working on my latest Big Bang, which is progressing slowly but generally in the right direction.  I'm entertaining myself writing the next story in my ACD Sussex Retirement series: Now Winter's Here.  Of course, [livejournal.com profile] sherlock60 and [livejournal.com profile] fan_flashworks are ongoing.  And then there's The Twelve Days of Christmas ficlets - there are some slots still available, so if you want a ficlet please comment here.


30: Do you have a favorite fic you've written? What makes it your favorite? And don't forget to give us a link

It varies, because I am fond of many of them.  Who You Gonna Call? which I wrote in 2012, and which continues to receive kudos, is a Greg Lestrade/John Watson fic and my second highest kudo-ed fic.  I like it because it's classic hurt/comfort and the pairing worked so well for me.  (Strangely Five times Thorin made Bilbo swear under his breath and once when he swore loudly is my most highly kudo-ed fic - which shows what happens when I write a popular pairing in a popular fandom).

Of my recent fics, it has to be Nunc Dimittis which is ACD Holmes.  Although I also have a soft spot for two drabbles: The Segway, starring Toad from The Wind in the Willows and The Final Journey which is Stak Trek, original series.
smallhobbit: (Cat)
24: Betaing: How many betas do you like to use to make sure there aren't any major flaws in your fic? Do you have a Beta horror story or dream story?

Depending what I'm writing I may or may not use a beta.  Prompt responses with limited times I don't.  Things I write principally for my own enjoyment again I don't.  Gift/exchange fics I will get a beta, although I only use one - who I use will depend on the fandom.  It's always helpful, as [livejournal.com profile] moth2fic said, to make sure the words have actually moved out of my head and onto the page, so readers aren't left confused.  Also, there comes a point with typos where I see what I intended to write, not what my fingers have in fact produced.

At the moment my Spooks (MI5) fic, which totals 11,482 words, needs a beta.  [livejournal.com profile] vix_spes has been reading the chapters as they've been written and tells me she likes it - we share a liking for Lucas North/Adam Carter.


25: Music: Do you listen to music while you write? Do you make playlists to get into a certain "mood" to write your fic? Do you need noise in general? Or do you need it completely quiet?

I'm not fussed either way, but definitely no playlists.  Although sometimes in total quiet late at night I can feel inspired.  Regretfully I can't do that if I'm working the next morning.


26: What is the oddest (or funniest) thing you've had to research for a fic?

I'm not sure.  I've done a lot of research for the Marylebone Monthly Illustrated, which has been interesting - this week being the requirements for Victorian funerals.

I've done some odd research when I've been beta-ing as well - two of the recent Holmestices included.  I find it fascinating finding out all these strange things I wouldn't know anything about otherwise.


27: Where is your favorite place to write, and do you write by hand or on the computer?

Generally I sit on the sofa with my laptop balanced on a cushion next to me.  Sometimes I use the dining table, but with a dodgy battery I'm not risking that at the moment.  Otherwise, by hand (in pencil) on trains, slowly moving coaches (and standing beside said coaches when they are parked up), sitting in church pews during choir rehearsals ...
smallhobbit: (Cat)
21: Sequels: Have you ever written a sequel to a fic you wrote, and if so, why, and if not, how do you feel about sequels?

I have.  Legacy was followed by Sick Leave because I liked the set up and wanted to write more of it.  Last year's [livejournal.com profile] smallfandombang story A Difference of Opinion is being followed by this year's story, in that it's set about six months afterwards.  And I suppose some of my series, "The Unexpected Family", "Co-operation" and "Sussex Retirement" are all in some ways sequeals.

Why do I do it?  I like writing in the particular 'verses I've created and feel there are further avenues to be explored.  I think this is particularly true for "Sussex Retirement" where, having created Holmes and Watson's cottage, gardener (and family) and housekeeper, I want to stay in their world.


22: Have you ever participated in a fest or a Big Bang? If so, write about your favorite experience in relation to one. If not, are there any you've thought about doing? And if not, why not?

Um, yes.  This will be my third year of Small Fandom Big Bang (all Lewis fics) and I also wrote for [livejournal.com profile] lifein1973 when they held one.  Over the last few years I've participated in a number of fests, both Sherlock Holmes and Lewis as well as Life on Mars.  My favourite fest had to be [livejournal.com profile] acd_holmesfest which I had great fun in both writing and receiving.

I've taken a step back from participating in exchange fests at the moment.  I've had experiences where what I've written hasn't been what my recipient wanted and equally I've received something which has made me wonder whether the writer has any idea of the sort of thing I like.  This year I have written a pinch hit for [livejournal.com profile] holmestice but here I knew who I would be writing for and at least this way they'll get something.  I also beta-ed/Britpicked four of the stories (it was busy last weekend!)


23: When you post where do you post to? Just your journal? Just an archive? Your own personal site?

My main choice for posting is AO3[livejournal.com profile] fan_flashworks are posted to their site first, as per their rules and then when the challenge is finished to AO3.  [livejournal.com profile] sherlock60 is again posted to their site, and copied to AO3, this year as additional chapters of Entries in the Marylebone Monthly Illustrated[livejournal.com profile] comment_fic entries are posted directly as comments, sometimes I will post to AO3 separately later.  And [livejournal.com profile] watsons_woes may be posted directly to the community or to AO3 depending on whether it's a rapid prompt response or something I've worked on.
smallhobbit: (Butterfly)
18: Where do you get the most inspiration for your fics (aka "bunnies") from?

A lot of my inspiration comes from the communities I belong to [livejournal.com profile] sherlock60 , [livejournal.com profile] fan_flashworks , [livejournal.com profile] comment_fic and [livejournal.com profile] watsons_woes .  So I'm presented with an idea and I have to work out how to make us of it.  Sometimes someone will say something and it will spark a sudden idea, [livejournal.com profile] fengirl88 I'm currently looking at you!  I suppose it's either a specific prompt, which I tend to view as a puzzle: 'what can I do with this; no, that's too obvous, let's try something different' or I'm quietly minding my own business and suddenly 'ooh, shiny'.  Butterfly brain.


19: When you have bunnies, do you sit down and start writing right away, or do you write down the idea for further use?

If I'm working on a particular prompt I've normally been turning it over in my mind for a day or so before there's anything to write.  Sometimes I'll start writing at once, other times I'll begin and then return later.  If it's an idea which has come up from a specific comment I generally keep the email notification until I'm ready to write it.  It's rare for anything to be sufficiently concrete for me to write it down for future use.  The only thing I do keep notes about is research which I'm going to use e.g. arsenic poisoning in Victorian times.


20: Do you ever get bunnied from other people's stories or art in the same fandom?

Sometimes.  My "Unexpected Family" series was bunnied by a drawing of Sherlock and Lestrade with their two childrem. Introducing the Family And it also appears I get bunnied for fandoms I'm not even in (see above answer to Q18).
smallhobbit: (Cat)
15: Warnings: What do you feel it most important to warn for, and what's the strangest thing you've warned for in a fic?

I think it's important to warn for the major things: violence, rape/non-con; major character death.  I post to AO3, so I will warn or use the "does not choose to use warnings" tag, because if I'm writing something which has a surprise in it I may not want to reveal what it is.  Having written a number of spooky type fics during October, I tended to put "This is written for a Spooky challenge, be warned" or words to that effect.  Because if someone gets spooked reading something like that it's the reader's own problem.  Last year I wrote a Spooks (MI5) fic, called "Haunted" for a "Haunted" prompt, with the summary saying "After Connie James death Lucas North starts to see her again" and was told I should have used a "supernatural" tag - which I felt was unnecessary.  Other than that, I may say something to the effect that this particular fic is not in my usual style, if what I'm writing is darker than normal.


16: Summaries: Do you like them or hate them? How do you come up with them, if you use them?

I hate writing summaries.  It's not so bad when the fic is of a reasonable length, but with ficlets and drabbles how do you summarise something which only has one brief point?


17: Titles: Are they the bane of your existence, or the easiest part of the fic? Also, if you do chaptered fic, do you give each chapter a title, or not?

Titles are the bane of my existence, which is why so many of my fics have one word titles.  And then when I receive kudos from AO3 I haven't a clue which fic they refer to.  I rarely write chaptered fics, but when I do, the chapters are titled.  Since most of my chaptered fics are part of my Sussex Retirement series which is based on prompts from [livejournal.com profile] older_not_dead I tend to base my titles on the prompts I've used.
smallhobbit: (Cat)
11: Genre: do you prefer certain genres of fic when you're writing? What kind do you tend to write most?

Like a lot of my flist, I like hurt/comfort and also some angst, although I prefer h/c - both physical and mental.  I enjoy writing casefic.  Then there's humour, with a side helping of crack.  And the occasional fluff.  As to what I write the most: I'm not sure overall there's much to choose between them.


12: Have you ever attempted an "adaptation" fic of a favorite book or movie but set in a different fandom?

No.  Next question.


13: Do you prefer canon or fanon when you write? Has writing fanfic for a fandom changed the way you see some or even all of the original source material?

Generally I work from canon, but there are certain fanon ideas I incorporate.  If they don't contradict canon and people like the idea and it suits whatever I'm writing then why not?  I see no point in re-inventing the wheel.  Or there again, if I like the way someone has taken a particular 'what if', which deviates from canon then I'll go with that ([livejournal.com profile] vix_spes I'm looking at you and Adam Carter/Lucas North here).

I'm not sure I've changed the way I look at the original material - I may write fix-it fics for some because I'm unhappy with the way canon has gone, but I don't think that changes my view of it.


14: Ratings: how high are you comfortable with going? Have you ever written higher? If you're comfortable with NC-17, have you ever been shocked by finding that the story you're writing is G-rated instead?

Generally I write G or PG rated stuff.  It suits my style and my interests.  I don't like graphic violence and I'm not interested in writing PWP.  I have written higher - =I'm not uncomfortable writing it.  Even if I write horror I prefer to make it all in the mind rather than specific descriptions.
smallhobbit: (Cat)
9: Pairings: For each of the fandoms from day two, what are your three favorite pairings to write?

Right, here we go:

Sherlock (BBC): Sherlock Holmes/Stanley Hopkins; John Watson/Greg Lestrade; Sherlock Holmes/Greg Lestrade (Unexpected Family 'verse)

Sherlock Holmes (ACD): Holmes/Watson (Sussex retirement 'verse); Watson/Lestrade; Holmes/Hopkins (Broom cupboard 'verse)

Lewis: Lewis/Hathaway also Lewis/Hobson

Spooks: Lucas North/Adam Carter plus Lucas North/Sherlock Holmes

Robin Hood: Guy of Gisborne/Much

The Hobbit: Thorin/Bilbo

Person of Interest: Finch/Reese

I think it's interesting that for both Sherlock Holmes canons a number of my pairings are specific to certain 'verses.  Also, despite apparently majoring in rare pairs, there are a few fandoms where I like the main pairing.

And while we're about it:

10: Pairings: Have you ever gone outside your comfort zone and written a pairing you liked, but found you couldn't write, or a pairing you didn't like, and found you could?

I think I write all the pairings I like.  There may be pairings I read but don't write, but I wouldn't say I couldn't write, just that I have no wish to.  I sometimes write Sherlock/John (BBC) as gifts for people, so I know I can write them, even if I don't ship them.  And then I've written a pinch-hit for Holmestice ...
smallhobbit: (Cat)
8: Do you write OCs? And if so, what do you do to make certain they're not Mary Sues, and if not, explain your thoughts on OCs.

Well yes, but to a certain extent, don't we all?  Unless you're writing in a closed world then there must be additional characters who play a part in the story.  Most of my case fics require a dead body (or two ...) who quite often have relatives or friends.  And then there's the perpetrator.  All of whom have to come from somewhere and really can't be the same as before, or we end up with the old joke "Shoot at will", "Will's getting very tired of being shot at."

These characters may have only a small part in the story and yet to an extent need to have some development, even if it's only "why he was killed" and "what made him a killer".  There are other characters who are important for a story and I suppose I show only what is necessary for that particular story.  In the Lucas/Adam story I'm currently writing Lucas has two members of staff working with him, Jason and Gary, who I suppose could be deemed partially Mary Sues, in that they are good at their jobs and are there to help Lucas.  On the other hand I show little else about them, they are no doubt complex characters (as we all are) but that has no bearing on the story.

I have one major OC, DI John Garrett, who appears in a number of my Lewis stories.  I wanted a second competent inspector in Oxford CID (yes, competency is a kink of mine) and so brought in (literally, he had recently arrived from Manchester the first time he appeared) someone suitable.  Again though, he is only developed as far as necessary for the plot.

My major OCs are ACD Holmes characters brought into BBC Sherlock fics: Victor Trevor and Stanley Hopkins.  Both are written because there are things I wish to explore in that 'verse where the canon characters don't provide sufficient scope.

One of the tropes I dislike most is that of the senior officer not being sympathetic to the junior officer/independent detective (or similar) and said junior having to achieve everything by working around them.  I prefer my seniors to be understanding of the intentions of the juniors, they may be restrictive in order to prevent further illegalities or through budget liabilities, but not downright obstructive.  They may also have good ideas of their own.  So I will create them if necessary.  And they won't need to have a terrible home life to compensate either.  This may be a Mary Sue, or it may just reflect what most of us are like; not brilliant at everything, not awful at everything, but somewhere in the middle.

And of course I couldn't finish a blog post on OCs without mentioning both The Ocelot and Mouselet.  Both of whom seem to have acquired lives of their own.
smallhobbit: (Cat)
4: Do you have a "muse" character, that speaks to you more than others, or that tries to push their way in, even when the fic isn't about them? Who are they, and why did that character became your muse?

Not really.  Phreia is my actual Muse, and she would get upset if she thought she was being supplanted.

Possibly Dr Watson in my ACD Holmes stories, since I write them in the first person.  I certainly find it hard writing "proper" ACD Holmes in any other voice.

And Mouselet pushes her nose in every time there's a sniff of Inspector Hopkins, but I hardly think that counts.


5: If you have ever had a character try to push their way into a fic, whether your "muse" or not, what did you do about it?

If they're that determined to appear who am I to argue with them?  And because of the way I write they may turn up and join in, but are unlikely to be pushing their way in - if they weren't there at that point they weren't needed.


6: When you write, do you prefer writing male or female characters?

There are considerably more male characters in my fandoms, so I tend to go with them.  And by preference I write slash pairings, so, you know, male characters it is.


7: Have you ever had a fic change your opinion of a character?

In that I may write a fic to explore an aspect of a character, it's possible.  But generally that's because I'm not satisfied with the way the character's been shown in the first place, so it's more like expanding my opinion.
smallhobbit: (Cat)
3. For each of the fandoms from day 2, what were your favourite characters to write?

Okay, well, let's be a little selective.  Here goes:

Sherlock (BBC): Sherlock, John, Lestrade, Victor Trevor, Stanley Hopkins
Sherlock Holmes (ACD): Holmes, Watson, Lestrade, Mrs Hudson, Hopkins, oh and Mouselet and the Ocelot
Lewis: Robbie Lewis, James Hathaway, I'm also fond of DI John Garrett my OC
Spooks: Lucas North (no surprise there then!)
Robin Hood: Guy of Gisborne, Much
Life on Mars: Sam and Gene, but also Phyllis and Annie
The Hobbit: Thorin, Bilbo
Forever: Henry Morgan, Abe Morgan
Person of Interest: Finch, Reese and Bear
The Rake's Progress: Tom Rakewell, Nick Shadow
North & South: John Thornton
Almost Human: Kennex, Dorian
Winnie-the-Pooh: Pooh, Piglet, Rabbit, Tigger, Eeyore

And while we're talking about favourite characters, can I put in a plug for [livejournal.com profile] older_not_dead which is currently looking for prompts for Proptathon 22 "Elements", because it's those prompts I am using for Sussex Retirement my ACD Holmes/Watson retirement series.
smallhobbit: (Cat)
2: Name the fandoms you've written in, and how much you've written in that fandom, and if you still write in it.

Exhibit A:
            

And that's only fandoms I've written for [livejournal.com profile] fan_flashworks I've written a few others for [livejournal.com profile] comment_fic

To be fair, at lot of these are one offs.

The following lists all my works as posted on AO3.  I've commented besides those fandoms where I'm still actively writing and put an asterix by those where I wouldn't say I was actively participating, but could see myself writing again if a suitable prompt came up.
37 fandoms )
If anyone has any questions about any of these fandoms then please ask away.
smallhobbit: (Sam and Gene June's bed)
I've taken this meme from [livejournal.com profile] canonisrelative because I'm always on the lookout for interesting things to blog about.  I realise the idea is to write something every day for 30 days, but I won't be doing that.  My answers will be spread out over a longer period and, depending on the length of the answer, will cover more than one day at a time.

So, to start at the beginning:

1: How did you first get into writing fanfic, and what was the first fandom you wrote for? What do you think it was about that fandom that pulled you in?

An interest in the Life on Mars community directed me to [livejournal.com profile] lifein1973 and having read things for a while I decided to have a go myself.

There were so many opportunities within the stories - plenty of Sam/Gene slash, but also Sam/Annie was an acceptable pairing.  Lots of hurt/comfort, but also plenty of humour - the programme leant itself to the sort of things I liked (and still like) writing.  And of course there was also the possibility for case!fic, my other great love.

But it wasn't just the fandom which sucked me in.  The comm itself provided the stimulus to write.  I began with the weekly drabble challenge (and yes, I still write drabbles on a regular basis); and then there were the flashfic prompts (anyone sensing a theme?).  In addition there was the Christmas exchange, p0rntober (I still can't write porn), and lastly the BigBang.

So basically it was a combination of the characters and the comm which got me into my first fandom and the joys of writing fics.

Full list of questions:
30 Days of fanfiction questions )

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