rachel500 (rachel500) wrote,

2016 in review

So, I haven't done this for a while but I thought I'd do a review of my writing in 2016 and start to think about what I want to do in 2017.  I'm not going to follow the usual template but simply talk about my completed work.

Tools and Sites: The first thing to say is that I've come to the realisation that my livejournal posts are woefully behind in reflecting my actual writing.  I still post to fanfiction.net, and I post to AO3, but I rarely post here in livejournal anymore.  It has made me consider whether I should keep the livejournal going or not, especially given my belief that fandom/readers are no longer using LJ in the same way they did 3-4 years ago.

I have to admit I'd probably end up discontinuing but I know some people probably have links only to my LJ rather than to the other sites and it's always frustrating to me when links don't work anymore in a recommendation list so I don't like the idea I'd effectively end up causing this for other people.  Plus, I still effectively host the Sam/Jack Shippy Moment list and there is some of my original writing here which isn't anywhere else.  I'm probably going to continue but simply post links like I did for A Marauder's Plan because honestly, LJ drives me loopy with the editing/posting functionality.

Completed Works:
A Marauder's Plan - Harry Potter - Harry & Sirius father/son relationship; Harry/Hermione - AU - Sirius stays and wins custody of Harry leading to a very different showdown between the Boy Who Lived and Voldemort

My epic 800k+ word Harry Potter story which takes the premise Sirius stays in England and fights to raise Harry at the end of book 3 rather than going into hiding as its jump point.  It plays with canon and fanon concepts - the Hallows, the horcruxes, the canon relationships, super!Harry, Ancient and Noble families and family magic, smart!Sirius...

Really this is a story I wrote for myself and I'm proud of the character arcs, overall plotting and story-telling even if I think parts of it need to be rewritten.  It was written and published as a WIP and I found this incredibly difficult and demotivating in many ways.  Up until I began this fic I hadn't truly published a WIP - (although I allow that Aftershocks could be considered WIP as although the individual stories are complete, the series as a whole is not), all my stories were completed even if I was doing a final edit on particular chapters just ahead of posting.  So, I can accept some of the criticism that comes its way around various parts - and it's definitely not a fic which everyone will love - I'm very definite about some of the plot points, character portrayals and pairings which inevitably mean some people cannot abide the story.  That said, most people who've read the entire thing do seem to really enjoy it and that means I ultimately take quite a lot of pride in it.

Too Many Shoes - NCIS - Tony DiNozzo/Jeanne Benoit - AU - Tony turns down Rota but makes a different decision with Jeanne

A short AU story (approx 16k), this one is the one which bugged me to get written even when I was supposed to be writing something else entirely.  The writing really flowed on this from start to finish.  It examines a different decision which Tony makes in respect of Jeanne - to bring her in on the sting rather than keeping her in the dark.  This was partially prompted by Michael Weatherly leaving NCIS and my own disappointment at how he was written out, and really how the show has wasted the character since the Benoit storyline.  It's gotten a positive reaction all round which has been nice to see.

Not A Happy Ending - NCIS - Ziva David/OMC, Ziva David/Tony DiNozzo UST - AU - Ziva leaves Mossad after Rivkin's death and events unfold differently

Another short AU story (approx 12k), this one emerged after Too Many Shoes when I considered what would be a jump point for Ziva to make a different decision and gain a happy ending.  I'm a little torn with this fic.  I like it and I think it stays true to the Ziva the show wrote for many years but I guess I feel like I could have written Ziva differently - to have maybe gone away from the Ziva as characterised by the show and allowed her more agency, more evolution maybe.  As it is by staying closer to canon Ziva, I think the inevitability of an unhappy ending was then inherent and so the fic stopped being the redemption idea I started with and became more of a character study which possibly didn't quite hit the beats I wanted.

Live Wire - NCIS/Stargate Atlantis/Stargate SG1 - John Sheppard/Tony DiNozzo - AU - When Tony goes missing collecting voice samples, John's FBI team is tasked with his rescue and finding out exactly what happened

This was my NaNoWriMo project via a challenge on Rough Trade, and ended up a respectable 60k+ words.  The challenge was to place a known character (I chose John Sheppard) and place them in an entirely different world (I chose NCIS but an AU where Tony gets abducted during the Dead Air episode); do they stay the same, change, are they still the same character?  I chose John because he's my favourite Atlantis character and I like the complexity of his character.  I wanted to see what would be different for him; how his life would change if his mother lived, if he was gay rather than canon straight-but-really-awkward-with-women.  I chose NCIS because I wanted John somewhere non-alien, super-powered, or magical.  Plus I love NCIS so win-win.  I also wanted to examine a typical trope in NCIS fandom - what if Ziva and McGee were seriously not listening when Tony was getting the voice samples in the episode Dead Air?

Ultimately I'm really happy with the fic.

It's really my first time writing slash explicitly as a pairing in fandom (although A Marauder's Plan alluded to Sirius being bi and had mention of gay relationships between characters) which is weird because I write gay characters all the time in my original writing, and I'm usually pretty relaxed as a reader about people reinterpreting canon hetereosexuality as gay/bi given in reality our sexuality is an internal state which we choose to reveal or not in our behaviour and actions (I have a friend who identifies as bi but has only ever dated men; a gay friend who spent years only dating women due to his religious beliefs).  I guess the reason for my lack of slash writing to date is that my fandom OTPs tend to be het-pairings - String and Caitlin in Airwolf, Sam and Jack in Stargate SG1.  Interestingly I think if I ever do get to the rest of Stargate Atlantis Aftershocks (which is unlikely at this point), I certainly would explore John's sexuality more since he really is written and portrayed as super-awkward with women, and in terms of character motivations for that behaviour, John being gay would certainly provide one explanation.  Tony is also a character who I can interpret as bi despite the canon hetereosexuality - after all, perhaps the playboy, lady-chasing behaviour of the characer is an overcompensation.  As it stands, I'm proud of this fic being my first slash foray with both characters.

I'm also happy at the plotting - the extrapolation of the episode events into something different and wider - while utilising the characters.  And I'm happy with the original characters I introduce to root John in the NCIS universe without relying on Stargate characters.  I think I used the Stargate characters I did in a good way - in a way that made sense for a universe without the Stargate and for their characters' inherent career choices.

So, yes; pleased that this was the fic I ended the year on.

Looking forward to 2017

There are a couple of things I really would like to do fandom wise, firstly: Resume SG1 Aftershocks.  I say it every year and every year passes without my doing this.  Even if I only manage to finish S8, that would be good.  I have to admit it's harder each year to find the motivation to resume.  SG1 finished so long ago and the point at which I stopped was a difficult spot being as it was the episode where Sam gets engaged to Pete.  So I'm not going to obsess about it and I'm simply making it a goal to resume.

Secondly, Finish Perfect Storm. This is a NCIS/The Sentinel fusion story where Tony is a Guide and Gibbs a Sentinel.  The first part was completed a while ago and the second part I planned and plotted back then has been half-written ever since.  I add to it all the time but I continually fail to finish, distracted by other things...I just need to focus and get it done.  However, my life goal is also to write what I want this year so I'm not going to obsess if this is something that falls by the wayside in 2017.

Other than that, I want to: Write and Publish an Original Fiction. This has been my main goal for years and I keep getting distracted into fanfiction because fanfiction is easier in many ways, has immediate returns in terms of reviews and reaction (either positive or negative) and has an automatic audience.  I just need to make the jump and maybe it isn't one or the other at the end of the day but until I start having an original publication alongside fanfiction I can't really say I can do both.

Finally, I think I do need to take a moment and think about LJ, fanfiction and AO3. I need to decide what I want to do then make any changes I need to make.

And for anyone who has taken the time to read this: Happy New Year.
Tags: 2016 review

  • Farewell

    I'm moving all my content to Dreamwidth.

  • Fanfiction: A Marauder's Plan

    Fandom: Harry Potter Summary: Alternate Universe based on prompt 'What if Sirius hadn't run away to somewhere sunny after escaping…

  • Fanfiction: Blank Sheets

    Fandom: NCIS Summary: Ziva and Tony try to move on with a list of 'wills' Author's Notes: Tony/Ziva. Multiple canon pairing…

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