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25 January 2008 @ 10:37 am
Fic question  
(still working on the layout btw - it's not complete yet)

I have lots of scenarios and ficlets in my head (and in my many fic notebooks as well) but each one of them feels to me like a stand alone which I want to extend into a longer story.

And therein lies my problem. And is an explanation for why I have so many WIPs (which bug me as much as they do anyone who's reading them).

I get a scenario in my head, I write it, then my brain wants me to write more of it and show how the characters and situations developed - for example, I have a Dean/Faith ficlet I'm working on right now, but the scenario as I'm writing it is of an established... well, not 'relationship' in the traditional sense of the word, but they've met and interacted before the thing I'm writing happens.

It's short, it's punchy, it kinda works, but I want to show how they met, I want to show their history, and potentially their future.

Same with another fic I have on the go - a Bela centric short one-piece. (Wench, this is the one you've seen the first few paragraphs of.) Because of its nature it needs to be short and punchy, but when the reveal is made I want to explore it more but that will destroy the impact.

So here, finally, is the question.

Should I trust myself and my readers (you guys) to be able to see the world I've built in my head, or do I expand the stories and show that world?

I have a feeling I know the answer, so a secondary question is this: how do I stop myself from losing the impact?

I'm flaily. I may be getting used to this not getting out of bed until after the time I used to have been at work for an hour...
Current Mood: confusedconfused
tessarintessarin on January 25th, 2008 11:00 am (UTC)
Well you could always try something like the using each standalone as a window in time. You can then choose to go either forward or back from there thus missing out a lot of the background setting. I mean JW is doing basically this in S8.

I would tend to complete the fics as you envisioned them and put the other ideas into a sequel. Otherwise you end up with an epic. Not that that's a bad thing but of course it would mean putting other things on the back burner.

The only issue with this is prequilitus whether readers will read something set before the end you have already written , whether the drama is gone, the only thing here is the time gap. If it is long enough you have enough wriggle room. Seen this done a number of times like Nemo's partners series & Bastard snows Coffee series, the thing to remember here is later readers will start at the beginning.

Or you could cheat like I am and try both.
the girl who used to dance on fire and brimstone: faith//black&white - mewhiskyinmind on January 25th, 2008 11:30 am (UTC)
That's a good point, treating each story as a vignette of a much larger 'verse than trying to cram the entire 'verse into a story would keep the punchiness and the impact factor high.

I just finished reading a truly awful TV tie-in novel and one of the things I said to a friend about it was that it was obvious the writer had done a lot of research on his topic but by putting in every single piece of information he'd found it became dull. "Dude, it's not an exam, you don't need to show your working!" may have been the words that left my mouth... *g*

Then I think about stories like Crimson Regret, which was born from a single scene that I could not get out of my head (which hasn't appeared yet) but by writing the character development to get to that scene, I've ended up with a far richer 'verse than I thought I would. (Same with Final Straw as well.)


I should just write and stop worrying about it really, shouldn't I?

Thank you!
tessarintessarin on January 25th, 2008 10:05 pm (UTC)
No problem and glad to be of help. :-)

And yes sometimes just knuckling down and doing it breaks the block. Of course other times it just seems to get you stuck.
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the girl who used to dance on fire and brimstone: btvs//b/x comic cover - mewhiskyinmind on January 25th, 2008 11:36 am (UTC)
I love crossovers, but I don't write many of them because I start to think about all the canonical problems between verses. Like... how exactly could one write a BtVS/Firefly crossover? And yet I've seen it not only done, but done incredibly well (both bastardsnow and emeraldswan on my flist are currently writing on-going BtVS/FF crossovers which blow me away with each chapter).

I think basically my problem with this is that I lack the confidence in my own writing to believe that my shorthand is understood by the reader in the way that I, as the writer, meant it.

If I write for myself (which both of the fics I used as an example started off as) then I'm fine, it's when I start to think about other people reading it and what their expectations are that I start to flail and add in things that to me are self-evident.

Yes. Sleep is indeed awesome. *nods*

of course, the fact that I've now had to edit this twice for bad spelling should potentially make me wonder whether I should be writing at all...

Edited at 2008-01-25 12:01 pm (UTC)
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the girl who used to dance on fire and brimstone: spn//rl j2 hugs - lidiwhiskyinmind on January 25th, 2008 01:14 pm (UTC)
I mentioned the fic that stalled because I rushed a part and my beta called me on it, right?


I may have now eaten and be feeling a little contrary...
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the girl who used to dance on fire and brimstone: spn//adrianne laugh - mewhiskyinmind on January 25th, 2008 01:54 pm (UTC)
Having food makes me happy enough to voice the contrariness.


You are, despite the icon that I know you'll pull out of the bag now, far too sensible.
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the girl who used to dance on fire and brimstone: text//darkside icon - monkey_mattwhiskyinmind on January 25th, 2008 02:27 pm (UTC)
...and you're apparently incredibly predictable...

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the girl who used to dance on fire and brimstone: spn//dean laptop smirk - mewhiskyinmind on January 25th, 2008 02:44 pm (UTC)
skipp_of_arkskipp_of_ark on January 25th, 2008 04:35 pm (UTC)
Well, you could always say "screw other people's expectations," 'cause the kind of reader who goes into a story and judges it not according to its own merits but whether you're writing what he or she thinks you should be writing -- is that really the kind of reader you want?
the girl who used to dance on fire and brimstone: writing/inspiration - mewhiskyinmind on January 25th, 2008 04:37 pm (UTC)
That's a really good point actually, again, I think it probably comes down to my confidence (or lack thereof) in my own writing really.
iyalode: SPN: Nightshot S&D black & whiteiyalode on January 25th, 2008 12:13 pm (UTC)
Dude, I hear you. Welcome to my world. Except you actually finish things. I on the other hand, have starts, endings and in-between shit floating round like space junk! Seriously, I have the attention span of a freakin' gnat.

Hi! by the way. Have been awol. Owe you comments all over the place *hugs*
the girl who used to dance on fire and brimstone: spn//the boys and their car.... - mewhiskyinmind on January 25th, 2008 01:13 pm (UTC)

I am the world's worst person when it comes to finishing things though - just when I think I'm on a roll something new and shiny will pop into my brain and bang goes any pretence I have of finishing something. :(

I'm thinking vignettes might be the way to go in the interim, but then I hit the problem of: if it's short, could I make it a drabble? And whilst I love that discipline, it loses a lot of what I wanted to say in the scene sometimes.

I'm flaily. I should just accept that!
Sentimental yet sardonic: Head-desky [lurker32]booster17 on January 25th, 2008 01:35 pm (UTC)
You're doing much better than me. I have a couple of 'verses in my head that would connect up several different storys/scenes that I have floating around also in my head, but I just seem to be blocked on the actual writing of them down or even starting the first part.

*sigh* Meanwhile, occasional crack!fic does flow.... I despair at times.
the girl who used to dance on fire and brimstone: head-desk - mewhiskyinmind on January 25th, 2008 01:53 pm (UTC)
I fail miserably at connecting things up, the number of ideas and bunnies I get that just never quite make it because I stall in placing them into one of the 'verses is more than a little frustrating to be honest.

With me it's the drabbles. I see your despair and raise you a Humpf.
velvetwhip: Gabrielle by ladyredx1982velvetwhip on January 25th, 2008 06:15 pm (UTC)
It depends. If you draw the relationship well enough (which you have more than the talent to do), then I think people can pick up on what went before.