zodiacal_light: I will tell the audient void... [fractal] (the audient void)
I am in a pensive mood today - no idea why - and I have spent the past few hours rereading all my old fic, largely so I can figure out what I feel up to continuing (and hopefully finishing). So I now feel like making a really narcissistic post consisting entirely of my thoughts on my own fic. XD

I write almost exclusively Tortall fic (not that it's obvious >.<), but the first fics I wrote were really crappy Inuyasha fics. I think I only ever posted one (I hope I only ever posted one...) and I no longer remember my old fanfiction.net username (my current account there is relatively new), so I can no longer find it. I had an ongoing Star Trek AU I was also working on, and I still do some puttering with that occasionally, but I never did and never will publish it anywhere, because for some reason it just feels like my own little thing. IDK.

The first fic I posted when I began to really write fanfic was for Death Note (The Better Actor; the only fic I have ever written for that series), and I was scared as hell to post it, because it seemed like everyone else in that fandom had a much more solid grasp of the canon than I did. Rereading it now, it seems pretty stilted to me, and a bit rough. I still have a soft spot for it, though.

My next fandom was Yu-gi-oh! I have no idea why. I wrote a couple fics - Vignette (link to first chapter), Recollection, Housemates, and Two Visits; Recollection and Housemates are part of a planned AU/postcanon work spinning off some really nasty implications in canon, and I still vaguely intend to write the main fic for that someday. Vignette and the Recollection/Housemates AU are really when my contrarian instincts started to kick in; Vignette is a direct response to some common (and IMO, nasty) fanon tropes, and the AU was me shredding the hell out of canon - with its own canon. I still like all three of those works, though the pacing in Vignette is pretty uneven. Two Visits is ridiculously self-indulgent, and not really all that good, especially if you're not as obsessed with mythology as I am.

Sometime after this, I stumbled into Goldenlake. And got hooked. And went on my first fic spree, which culminated in the creation of my first serious AU (What a Flicker Brings), and yes, I did manage to write the main fic (well, the first one... sigh) for it. XD I joined up just in time for their Peculiar Pairings Ficathon, and, well ... is anyone really surprised I went on a spree?

I don't really remember which fics I wrote in what order. I know the Gift!crackverse was first, and when that went over well, I knew that nobody'd mind any of the other cracktastic stuff I came up with. That 'verse doesn't hold up well on reread; it's a silly 'verse anyway, and was in no way even remotely serious, but. Yeah.

Humility was the first Flickerverse story I ever posted, though I was finishing up What a Flicker Brings when I posted it. The whole Flickerverse still holds up pretty well, though I got pretty melodramatic and ridiculously angsty in some of the smaller ficlets (Compulsion, Nothing But Pleasure, Old Ghosts, etc.). Generally, the longer fics in that 'verse hold up better. I am still ridiculously fond of this 'verse, and still writing it, and I have at least two more long fics for it plotted and semi-written. I am especially fond of Bitterness, Ethics, and Talking Treason.

Now we get to the part of that first spree I don't remember too well. XD I know what I wrote during that time, but not in what order; they were written so close together that it almost doesn't matter. I know that's when I started the Myth Arc, which I intend to catch up on someday; that holds up pretty well (some parts better than others), and I still like the premise. Smash the World is still one of my favorite ficlets.

Lessee. That's when I wrote all my Lindhall crackfic, which not only cemented the notion of Scanran Lindhall in my head but made me a die-hard Duke G/Lindhall shipper. XD Those are still pretty fun reads. Then I wrote a whole slew of fics that are kinda embarrassing - stilted, weird, and in some cases ridiculously melodramatically angsty - that I only got away with because of that Ficathon. XD (Eavesdropping, Envy, First and Last Things, Flirting, Mirage, Red and Yellow, Sons of the Lioness, Watching) Absolutely none of them hold up well on reread; it's ridiculously obvious that I was writing for the Ficathon, and while some have okay concepts, they're ... flat. Stilted. etc.

I did write a couple things for the Peculiar Pairings Ficathon that I still think hold up well enough. I wrote Jesslaw's Angels for it, which I am still fond of, despite how poorly I wrote Nawat. Kiss and Tell is still fun, and I'd love to do another fic exploring the same concept, that Delia figures out Page Alan's secret. The Discovery AU originally started out as a Ficathon fic, which is why it has the in-retrospect rather odd mentions of Alan/Coram, though it diverged so much from my original intention that I posted it as ordinary fic (Discovery). Sounds, its Thom-centric short sequel, holds up better, but Discovery's not horrible.

And, of course, I wrote Song of the Seer for that Ficathon. In one night, while in Glake chat, which explains an awful lot about it. It's still one of the longest, if not still the longest, fic I've ever written. Someone told me it's been recced on the Tortall Fanfic page on TvTropes; I can't fathom why. It's not a bad fic, but like so many of my other early fic, it is way unnecessarily angsty and melodramatic, and I am really evilly and darkly crackish in it. If I wrote it now, it'd come out entirely different. (I kind of have written a new one now.)

Somewhere in there I started Patchwork, which is still one of my favorite AUs. I'd discard Away, and may yet remove it from the series, because the series has since diverged so it no longer quite fits (besides, it is yet another overly-angsty ficlet). The main fic still holds up, though, and Epiphany's new enough that I can't yet see its flaws. :P

I wrote some stuff for Glake's Christmas prompts that same year, and all of them except Away still hold up nicely. Season of Love and Joy is still fun, because I <3 Duke G and his imperious duchess, and Letters from the Dead is still the fic I am most proud to have written. Always One More, amusingly enough, was written for the Glake Secret Santa thing, and it grows more crackish by the day, but still holds up okay; I wrote Midwinter Tradition as an apology, and that's still fun too.

I then went off Glake for a while and had, somewhere in that break, a two-fic spurt. I started the Allegiance AU - Difference is the only posted fic for that so far - and wrote Traitors and Monsters. I still like both those fics, especially T&M. I came back to Tortall later and had another brief spurt: I wrote Friends Like These and started the Iron King AU, which is so far the only series I have completely planned out, with a definite endpoint. I love Friends Like These; it is utterly ridiculous, and therefore great fun. Iron King is another AU that I still love to bits, and I'd link my favorite fic from it but I love them all equally. :) I am fairly certain I wrote Dreams of Flight, my fun little Dinotopia fusion, during this second spurt, but I am not sure and too lazy to go back and check the dates. I still have vague plans for a sequel to that.

Then I went off Tortall again, and then I came back, and went on an epic spree. I started posting - in really short order - Making the Best of Things; I was writing those fics as I went, and posted them all in, like, two weeks. It is my second-longest series in terms of number of fics (Flicker still beats it out, by four fics), and it is, hands down, my favorite AU. I am especially fond of Heroism, New Things and Irony, and Popping the Question, in roughly that order. XD

During this MTBOT spree, Glake was holding Decathlon, where you have to post a series of ten fics in response to specific prompts, and Seek talked me into participating. As anyone reading this journal could probably have predicted, I wrote for Thom. I don't think I've ever posted, outside of Glake, some of those fics, and I probably won't. Wrote all ten in less than a day, too, which is pretty typical of me on a spree. Making Conversation, Talking Treason, The Meaning of Life, Radiance, Glass, Growing Pains, and both The Morning Star and Caduceus (the whole Snake in the Grass AU thus far) were written for Decathlon. Epiphany, World On Its Head, and Sacrifices (included with World On Its Head) were initially written for Decathlon, but for some reason I felt they didn't fit, so I posted them separately. The two other Decathlon ficlets you can dig up at Glake if you're curious. :)

Glass is part of the Iron King AU, and it looks at one of the divergence points. It's probably the weakest of the Iron King fics, but it's okay. Talking Treason is part of the Flickerverse, and it's pretty good. Epiphany's part of Patchwork, and is a fun wee ficlet, mostly because I get to fuck with Roger.

Making Conversation, World On Its Head, Sacrifices, and Radiance were all yet more entries in my favorite subgenre: Why Thom Raised Roger. Other entries include Compulsion and Foretelling. The timeline revealed to me an interesting trend: I move further from the idea that Roger compelled Thom and more to the idea that Thom deliberately raised Roger (and deliberately sacrificed himself) so that Alanna could permanently kill Roger with each fic. Making Conversation is the outlier: that's where I postulate that Thom raised Roger specifically to fuck with Jon in revenge for Jon's poor treatment of Alanna in WWRLAM. XD Oh, Thom.

Snake in the Grass is an interesting series, and is tied with MTBOT for my favorite AU. It is weird. I can only describe it as a spinoff of the third ficbit in The Meaning of Life. I usually call it the Satan-verse, as it continues a trend I started in New Things (from the entirely-unrelated MTBOT) of comparing Thom to the devil. >.> I went a bit nuts with that metaphor, and thus, SitG was born. I love it to bits, and probably out of all proportion to its actual quality. -_-;

Stricken to the Bone started as a Decathlon fic and quickly evolved into its own thing; it still ranks as one of the strangest fics in terms of style that I have ever written. I rather like it. :) Somewhere in the midst of this, I got around to posting Twelve Days, sheer utter Christmas crackfic I'd written for Muse five months earlier. *sigh*

But my spree was not over with Decathlon, oh no. XD I wrote the Virtue Arc, which grew out of the single-sentence fic prompt for Decathlon, which had impressed itself on my brain. I'm actually quite proud of the Virtue Arc, even if I'm probably the only one who really likes it. It's pretty self-indulgent. I also wrote Line of Duty, my first PotS-divergent AU, and Love Consumes All Things, which is my attempt at an understandable if not quite sympathetic canon Ozorne. I am still happy with all those fics, though I find it interesting that I get more hits and comments on Line of Duty than I get on any of my other fics. I knew PotS was popular, but I guess it didn't really register how much more popular it is than the other Tortall series until then.

And then I was done with Tortall for the moment, but not with my spree. :) Tamari-chan browbeat me into actually writing my Harry Potter AU, which I had toyed with and even planned out but never written, because holy hell, HP fandom scares me. I've yet to post the whole Cornerstones AU, though I have more ficlets I may post soon; so far, only the two Founder-era fics are up. They're not my best work, but they're fun. Kind of weak as stories, and they're more me getting a feel for my 'verse than they are good fics. I also wrote Universal Solvent, an unrelated canon-compliant HP fic, as a gift for Tamari; I can see a number of flaws with it, but I honestly don't care enough about either the fic or HP to try and redo it.

And so then I went on another fandom break. And then I came back, like, two days ago, wrote a meta post on Ozorne, chatted with Carmarthen, and was gearing up to write more Tortall fic after finishing my finals ... and wrote my first and likely only Saiyuki fic instead. *facepalm* I am ridiculously proud of Radiant, which is a weird little fic written in second person.

So. That's my recollection of my fic-timeline, along with my current impressions of my fics. It's really interesting to me, taking this break and rereading all the fic, because I have some really clear impressions of how my writing's grown and changed, and I've come away with a new view of my strengths and weaknesses. I do think in general my writing's gotten stronger; I think I've gotten a bit better at following through on my thoughts and just tightening things up in general, which probably explains why my stories are getting progressively shorter. XD

What's most interesting to me, looking over all these again, is how ridiculously melodramatic and OTT angsty I got. I seem to have stopped that; I also seem to have developed a general preference for far more optimistic and generally kinder fics than I was writing earlier. IDK WTF was up with my mental state when I wrote things like Nothing But Pleasure, Song of the Seer, Envy, and so on, but I'm glad that whatever it was I seem to be over it. :\

It's also interesting to see what still holds up. Mostly, it's the lighthearted and silly stuff, like the Myth Arc and the Christmas stuff; I really do write crack better than anything else, IMO. I should stick with whimsical fics. XD Some of the plotty AU stuff also still holds up: Flickerverse, Patchwork. I also apparently do better when not writing to prompts.

For the hell of it, I'm ranking my series.
1. Like I mentioned above, Making the Best of Things and Snake in the Grass tie for first. Objectively, MTBOT is probably the better-written series, both in terms of the writing and because it's not really, really weird, but I am a huge fan of high strangeness, which is why I am so in love with SitG.
2. What a Flicker Brings is always going to be near the top for me, even though most of the later series are much better written. It's my baby. :)
3. The Iron King is a close, close third here. I like the premise a lot, and I think that, aside from Glass, which is pretty weak, it's got some of my best writing after MTBOT.
4. Patchwork always ranks pretty high for me, mostly for the fun geopolitical stuff I get to mess around with. I really do think I need to excise Away, though.
5. The Virtue Arc I should probably rank higher. I feel like it ranks higher, honestly, but when I actually sat here and started listing them, other series weaseled in. XD
6. The Cornerstones AU, that singular non-Tortall series, I actually do like, largely for the parts not yet up. *sigh* It's ridiculously crackish, which makes it fun.
7. Line of Duty is probably one of my best-written series, yet for some reason it doesn't quite grab me on reread the way my other series do. IDK why. I think because it feels settled, even though I'm not quite done with it yet. I could end it here; there are no loose ends hanging, and I think it feels kind of closed to me because of that.
8. Allegiance ought to rank higher, save that I have only one of its fics up, and that one's pretty melodramatic. This time, there's an excuse for it, as it focuses on teenage Daine, who's canonically a bit melodramatic, but it has serious pacing issues. I love the premise of this one, but I'm starting to think I shouldn't continue it so much as entirely rewrite it.
9. Old Enemies (the sub-series in my collection of Lindhall fics) is pretty fun, and is decently if not spectacularly written.
10. Discovery is a series I still love the premise of, and I actually think Sounds is pretty good (the melodramatic angst again has an in-fic excuse XD), but the more I reread it, the more the artifacts of what it started out as (the Coram/Alan stuff) clang. I might rewrite it, if I ever feel up to it, or at least do a heavy edit.
11. I love the Myth Arc to bits, and like with the Virtue Arc, I feel it should go higher. That said, it is really, really uneven in the writing, from spectacular bits like Smash the World to some spectacular lows like Reckoning, Run, and Walking About. Also, this one is really, really ridiculously self-indulgent, so.

Jesslaw's Angels is not actually a series; Sons of the Lioness is a dark possible prequel, but people seem to not see the "possible" qualifier. :P I'm debating decoupling the two, actually.

And now we get to the question that really triggered this post. A long time ago, a friend asked me what fics I was most proud of, and I had a really hard time answering. That was in the back of my head when I did this reread, and I finally have some answers.

9. I am genuinely proud of Smash the World on reread, and I wonder now why I wasn't when I wrote it. It captures, better than I thought it did, a lot of my own personal philosophy; if you ever wondered a bit about what I believe about the world, this is it in a nutshell. :)
8. Love Consumes All Things is something I'm proud of largely because I pulled it off. I tried to write an understandable, not crazy, canon-compliant Ozorne, and I think I largely managed, though I have some doubts about how canon-compliant it really is. Writing this really reshaped my thoughts about Ozorne.
7. Traitors and Monsters is another fic I'm proud of, and I am not actually entirely sure why.
6. Ditto with Bitterness, which was the first fic I ever wrote that I was honestly proud of.
5. Foretelling is, IIRC, the first real fic I wrote on the notion that Thom may have raised Roger deliberately so that Alanna could put him down for good. It's basically become my head-canon for why Thom changes so abruptly between the first three SotL books and Lioness Rampant.
4. I am unreasonably proud of the Virtue Arc. I really am. Probably it's because it was the first time I ever really managed to successfully encapsulate my ideas in single sentences; I just really like what I managed to pull off.
3. I am beyond proud of the whole of Making the Best of Things, but I am especially proud of Heroism. I rewrote that fic six times, because I could never make Alanna-at-convent work, and I finally had the epiphany that I couldn't, as per my initial idea, make it hard or dreary for her, because that was treading way too close to the whole "the convent breaks Alanna" thing from Song of the Seer, which is what I was deliberately trying, with this series, to correct. Also, I had already written First Impressions and Odd Couple, so I had a heroic lady Alanna already in the series, and ... gah. This whole fic was such a pain on a technical/plot level that I was stunned I actually pulled it off. I think it was Kalasin's death scene that really pulled the whole thing together for me and made me feel like I had actually written something that had resonance.
2. The whole of Snake in the Grass, especially Caduceus. I tend to think of my series as really just one long, if disconnected, story, and this is one story I am proud of, even if I am not quite sure what's up with it or where it's going. ;) This AU postulates that during the coronation Thom stole Roger's Gift and therefore, in some way no one's quite sure about, his mind, or an impression of his mind, or something. I have, as I said above, a huge fondness for high strangeness in my fiction, and I am so ridiculously happy over this series and the bits coming down the pipeline that I can't even express it. Also, I am (as is probably obvious) a sucker for mythology, mythological metaphors, and suchlike, and I call this the Satan-verse for damn good reason. XD
1. Letters from the Dead and Radiant are, hands down, the two fics I am most proud of. I am unconditionally proud of these two, and I absolutely cannot rank them.

...So. How's that for a ramble? XD


zodiacal_light: Humour: Because angst is not jolly. (Default)

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