Fic Meme 2015

It's that time of year - ramble about your fic accomplishments, share your favs, talk about your *PROCESS* and give yourself a well-deserved pat on the back! :D

Total number of completed stories:
52 (about half of them drabbles/drabble series for Drabble Day 2015 or other occasions).

Total word count: 90,600 according to my AO3 stats (plus about 5000 currently in progress on various projects), which officially makes this my most prolific year of fic-writing EVER. (Yes, that includes the year I wrote Slayer!) What's more, I didn't actually start writing until the end of August, so this all happened within a period of four months. This is what obsession does to me.

Total number of fandoms:
17 (most of those were drabbles or one-shot contributions; Spartacus was definitely the champion of the year)

Longest piece:
Worth Every Moment, at 15.5k.

Looking back, did you write more fic than you thought you would this year, less, or about what you'd predicted?
I wasn't expecting any since I hadn't written fic at all for over a year, so it has been about 1000% more than expected!

What pairing/genre/fandom did you write that you would never have predicted in January?
Having had no idea of my impending Spartacus obsession in January, anything Sparty-related I wrote would fall into this category.

What's your own favourite story of the year (of your own)? Not the most popular, but the one that makes you happiest?
I have a Top 3:

Love and Honour (one of the least popular, amusingly - it always seems to go that way!). The idea for it was marinating for a few weeks, and I thought it would only be like a ~500-word snippet, but then I sat down one afternoon and it just flowed out and every word I wrote was every word I wanted to write. It was one of those magical moments, and especially gratifying considering I wasn't at all sure if I could do Oenomaus justice, but ended up feeling really happy with it.

A close second is Our Days of Blood and Sunset which, while not as easy to write as Love and Honour, was really important to me, and I think I managed to put everything into it that I wanted to (i.e. all my exploding Nasir feels!). I also really enjoyed writing lots of dialogue for it - I always LOVE fics that have a lot of talking but rarely seem to write them myself, so that was nice. (This was also supposed to be a 500-word snippet that exploded to 10k+. I should just give up on my ability to write 500-word snippets, apparently.)

In third place for this is a very different experience: my Ilithyia Lives fic Because the World Was Flawed, Not Me. It was really difficult to plot and write (I write non-chronologically, which works most of the time but sometimes drives me batty when everything's in little bits and I have no idea how they'll end up fitting together), and it was not really my usual style - I kept wanting to make Ilithyia do things that she adamantly resisted so I had one of those character-driven writing experiences where I had no idea where it was going to go until it was finished. I'm not a hugely organised or outline-based writer, so this happens sometimes. I also had some big trouble with the ending (again, my expectations fighting the story/character) that my wonderful beta [info]alsha helped me sort out. I had zero perspective on it at the time and was afraid it would turn out boring, but when I looked at it later, I was really pleased with it.

Did you take any risks this year? What did you learn from them?
I think the perception that divides you from him (is a lie) counts as this - it was an experimental style, a character I hadn't thought much about, a fandom I'd never written for, and mixed media (i.e. drunken pencil sketch).
Also the above-mentioned Because the World Was Flawed, Not Me, because at times I simply wasn't sure if I could pull it off and I had to trust the character more than my expectations for the story.

Also not risks as such but I tried lots of amusing new research stuff, from reading heaps about crucifixion (boy, does Jesus hold a monopoly on this! You'd think no other person had been crucified ever!), to watching prostate massage videos #forscience, to making [info]alsha help me roleplay threesome positioning/logistics scenarios (in a strictly functional, fully clothed way, lol!), which she found pretty hilarious.

Do you have any fanfic or profic goals for the New Year?
Nah. If I set goals, it's pretty much a guarantee they won't happen.

Most popular story:
The smut is always popular, but surprisingly Remove Head From Ass (And Other Useful Advice) (in which Barca & Pietros live, Barca teaches Nasir spear-fighting, sexual harrassment at the workplace Barca style ensues, and Agron is not amused) takes the lead! Which bemuses me somewhat, because it was just a silly piece of alternate canon and unbeta'd to boot! But I'm always stoked when readers appreciate humour, so that's cool :D

Story most under-appreciated by the universe, in my opinion:
I didn't feel like anything went unappreciated. It was pretty noticeable that anything that wasn't Agron/Nasir=OTP got less overall attention, but that was to be expected; the majority of the fandom are Nagron shippers (I do wish fans of other characters were as active because there are so many awesome characters on the show!). It usually balances out, though - my generally popular things get a lot of hits and kudos, while the niche pieces tend to attract fewer readers but get really thoughtful comments. Win-win!

Most fun story to write:
Shut Up And Take A Fucking Bath. It was easy and I love writing humour. Remove Head From Ass (And Other Useful Advice) was not as easy to write as I'd hoped, but I definitely had lots of fun with the concept. Also We Were Strangers In the Snow (my first fic this year and first Sparty piece, so it holds a fond place in my heart), because I love dialogue, and I was super-pleased with myself for making Castus and Belesa friends :D And Weather the Storm because hypothermia sex is one of my favourite ridiculous tropes, heh.

Oh oh oh, and Seven Times Nasir and Agron Failed at Goat Farming, and Seven Times They Didn’t, of course. GOATS!

Most Sexy Story:
In my opinion? Probably Unravelled (yay, Nasir in charge!), followed by Chosen Hands (fuck yeah, Saxa!), Revelationes In Tangendo and Shut Up And Take A Fucking Bath. (Yes, I have trouble making decisions.) What with all the slavery and rape and dub-con on the show (which was well handled and never felt gratuitous), I kind of went waaaay the other way in most of the fic I wrote and definitely had a Consent Is Sexy theme going this year. I loved playing with physical intimacy between people to whom being with someone they wanted to be with was something of a novelty and who enjoyed taking power over their own bodies back (mostly Belesa and Nasir, in the ones I mentioned).

Story with the single sexiest moment:
Again, I can't decide, so...
1. Nasir taking Agron apart in Unravelled
2. Wet/playful Nasir being irresistible in Shut Up And Take A Fucking Bath
3. I also have a soft spot for the Spartacus/Sura and Spartacus/Mira flashbacks in Demons of Our Minds and Marrow, and I love Spartacus/Ilithyia, so...
4. I really liked how my Mistresses double drabble On the Edge turned out, although when you've got a pairing as hot as Siobhan/Dominic, the steam pretty much self-generates!
5. Totally biased here because I love me a threesome AND I WORKED HARD FOR THAT SHIT, but I was pleased with the smut in Worth Every Moment.

Story with single sweetest moment:
Pietros turning Barca into a total sap in Desperate Games.

Revelationes In Tangendo also had a few I was fond of. Basically I enjoy doing first-time fics (as in first time for a pairing, not a character) even if I don't have a particularly fresh take on it - there's just something so lovely in exploring how two people might go about sharing their bodies with each other for the first time. And when you've got a pairing like Nasir and Agron, who are extremely irresistibly smitten with each other and have so much chemistry it sizzles off the screen, but also both have a whole lot of painful history and trust issues, that's just a delightful thing to play with.

Most "holy crap, that’s wrong, even for you" story:
Clearly Devotion So Pure featuring Ragnar and a sexy goat! Alas, I never did pop my bestiality cherry, so... lol, I don't think I've done anything very edgy. I wrote Seppius/Seppia incest in my drabble Not Easily Parted, and my darkest story overall was Demons of Our Minds and Marrow (featuring Spartacus/Ilithyia pregnant dungeon hatesex), but both were pretty tame. (Spartacus has warped me enough that I don't even consider Blood As Lube worthy of being mentioned here ;)).

Story that shifted my own perceptions of the characters:
Probably everything I wrote from Agron's POV. I remember when I first watched the show, I was by turns amused and vexed by his more volatile outbursts, especially those of the "lash out first, think later" kind; but between rewatching and then writing the character, all the anger/jealousy issues made so much sense and were just heart-breaking to delve into, and I grew to love that aspect of his character a lot.

I also greatly enjoyed getting into Mags' head and exploring what she might've been like when she was younger in The Lorelei.

Hardest story to write:
Worth Every Moment, hands down (hah, ironic title is ironic). I'm incredibly glad I stuck with it and I like how it turned out, but holy crap was it hard. I find threesomes difficult to write at the best of times (and I don't mean sex logistics, although those gave me some headaches too!). There are so many nuances to the dynamics. You're not just writing the threesome, but three different relationships between combinations of two people PLUS the threesome layered over top. It's fascinating to explore but it does my head in sometimes. The added challenge in this case was that for all my shouts of "THREESOME, BOYS, COME ON!" at the screen, when it comes right down to it, Agron and Nasir just aren't really the type to go for it. (Damn their devoted monogamy, lol!) So I knew from the start that unless I wanted to go cracky or OOC, I wouldn't be able to make it work as an actual solution. The challenge then became to come up with circumstances under which they'd try it, even if it didn't end up working out, so I spent a lot of time coaxing Agron out of his default reaction to Castus ("punch and grumble") and trying to develop a genuine bond between the two of them. It was like pulling teeth at times, but I was pleased with it in the end.

Most disappointing:
I haven't really been disappointed with anything. It's been a few really rewarding months for writing and I'm so happy I found another show that lit my obsessive and creative spark.

Easiest story to write:
Love and Honour. It was seriously magic. I already hate my past self for how easy it was.
The Paths We Never Trod was also pretty easy, as well as most of the Drabble Day contributions, apart from the usual drabble format challenge. I do love how it forces me to be concise - my usual style is very heavy on adjectives and description, so I enjoy the occasional challenge to whittle it down to the essentials.

Biggest surprise:
Writing any fic at all! Writing smut again - I enjoy reading it but I get bored of writing it pretty quickly. (I remember there was one point where I was mostly done with Worth Every Moment except for the sex scene and I sat there in front of my blank screen knowing I still had to somehow get SIX ORGASMS in there, and I just wanted to cry, lol).

Most unintentionally telling story:
Hmmm, I'm not sure. Probably anything I wrote about Saxa (i.e. from Belesa's POV mostly) because I lust her so! Possibly also Our Days of Blood and Sunset because I sympathised so hard with Nasir over having an essential choice in his relationship taken away.

Story I’d like to revise:
I loathe and detest revising, so NOPE. I do usually spend a lot of time polishing and I had an awesome beta, so generally when it gets posted it's as good as it's gonna get.

Story I didn’t write but will at some point, I swear:
The epic tale of the tempestuous romance of Castus and Sabinus (hinted at in The Paths We Never Trod). There will be swashbuckling, conflicted loyalties, H/C, crashing waves and clashing worldviews and a lot of making out. Rarepairs for the win! Arrrrrr. (I have actually recently started this - let's see if I can keep up the momentum!)


Looks like you had a very productive and creative year :)
(and looks like I need to reading most of these fics already!)
It really was, I already have performance anxiety about this one, lol!
It was so great seing you being fannish and excited on the web, especially on IJ, again.
Even though it wasn't my most fannish year I still enjoyed reading your fic and especially your convention-report. That was brilliant and I'm glad you had a good time.

Here's to lots of fannish fun and inspiration in the new year!
Awww, thanks *cuddles* Ditto on the IJ thing, it's so nice to see a bit of activity on it.

*toasts to all the fannish things*

February 2018



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