starlady: Kermit the Frog, at Yuletide (yuletide)
[personal profile] starlady
My Yuletide authors were [ profile] snow (Paper Dreams, Escapist) and [ profile] jadelennox (Wishing you a peaceful future from the earthlings). Thank you both so much!

For Yuletide this year I wrote something that I think was actually somewhat predictable:

The Lost Revolution (4258 words) by starlady
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Gullstruck Island | The Lost Conspiracy - Frances Hardinge
Rating: General Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Characters: Hathin, Minchard Prox, Tomki (Gullstruck Island)
Additional Tags: Revolution
Summary: The Lost Revolution, and how it came to pass.

A huge, huge thank-you goes out to [personal profile] ellen_fremedon, who beta-read my draft at very nearly the eleventh hour and told me what I had suspected but hadn't wanted to hear, that it needed to be much longer and that I actually needed to show, you know, the actual revolution in question. The story is much stronger for her comments, seriously.

Yuletide having been revealed, it's time for the End of Year Fanworks meme! 2013 was another fallow year in most respects, but here it goes anyway.

X-Men: First Class
[WIP] Sweeter Than Honey, Your Eyes - There are many ancient Rome AUs; this one is mine. Okay, by "many" I mean about five, and most of them including mine don't meet the request in this particular kinkmeme comment, which I will admit made me laugh. I actually have most of this story plotted out, and I do intend to finish it; but it's also me looking head-on at some of my own tastes in XMFC fic, and in my own way trying to make a little restitution. It's also been a very enjoyable excuse to read up on Roman sexuality and other aspects of Roman society. My ancient urban Rome seminar got a lot more interesting after I started writing this fic, that's for sure.

Five-Minute Studies - Hello, my past and current lives! Chapter one is a grad student AU and chapter two is a string quartet AU. I at one point had most of a Philadelphia Orchestra AU worked out in my head, and while I'm not sure I'll ever write it, it was fun writing the string quartet one in particular. I love playing music.

The Most Sincere Patch - I like to think I'm getting better at writing short fic, but really I have no way of knowing. This one was inspired by tumblr (as was the Roman AU) and it makes me smile. Charles and Erik meet cute at a Halloween party. 'Nuff said.

Frances Hardinge
The Fractured Realms
Paragon's Tale - I love Frances Hardinge's books, and in particular I love the Fractured Realms books. This fic, a tag for Paragon after the end of Twilight Robbery, is something of a love letter to the books--I did my best to try to capture some of the same rhythms of Hardinge's language, and I also did my fallback Yuletide trick of setting my fic at solsticetide. It makes me happy.

Gullstruck Island
The Lost Revolution - In previous years I have sometimes made it my practice to offer as a Yuletide fandom a source I have not previously consumed. My Pillow Book Yuletide story of 2010, Bangai (Apocrypha), was one such effort; I hadn't previously read The Pillow Book before I got assigned the request for the exchange. In this year's case, I had Gullstruck Island sitting unread on my shelf, and I signed up late enough in the exchange that to be quite honest, some careful scrutiny of the sign-ups list allowed me to game the system to some extent--I offered the book with a strong feeling that I might get matched on it, and in the event, that is how it turned out. I was able to read the book with my recipient's letter in the back of my mind, which isn't a bad way to read; the rest of it was just a matter of finding time to write, and then of nearly doubling the word count of the story when Ellen gave me her comments. I'm very pleased with the final result, and very grateful to Ellen for telling me what I needed to hear.

Detective Dee and the Mystery of the Phantom Flame
[vid] 雙女|Double Woman - This is probably the thing I did this year that I am proudest of, an auction vid for [personal profile] oyceter, who asked for a vid about Shangguang Jing'er and Wu Zetian being awesome. I learned Premiere Pro and learned to do more with After Effects to make this vid, and I think that work shows very well in the vid.

Looking back, did you make more fanworks than you thought you would this year, less, or about what you'd predicted?
Fewer, I guess, though I'm not exactly surprised that my productivity took a nosedive in the second half of the year. I don't expect the first half of next year to be any better, to be quite honest.

What pairing/genre/fandom did you do that you would never have predicted in January?
Gullstruck Island, I guess! I rarely write fic for book fandoms outside of Yuletide, so they're unpredictable.

What's your own favorite fanwork of the year? Not the most popular, but the piece that makes you happiest?
My vid 雙女|Double Woman, by a large margin. I think the vid looks really good, Oyce liked it, I was glad to finally fulfill the commitment, and I was glad to use so much Chinese in it, too.

Did you take any creative risks this year? What did you learn from them?
The Roman AU is a stretch for me in some ways; it started out as incidental writing, which is unusual for me, and then I also used Scrivener's features to plot it out in advance, which is unusual but very welcome! I've started taking better advantage of Scrivener this year in general; I love that app so much. Also the vid, for reasons aforementioned and for the fact that I made it for and workshopped it in a seminar at Berkeley, which was…interesting, and cool, and worthwhile if sometimes a bit nerve-wracking.

My best piece of this year:
The vid, I think!

My most popular piece of this year:
Going by hit count, the Roman AU is the most popular thing I wrote this year, and The Most Sincere Patch is the only completed 2013 work on the first page of 20. I'm not surprised. :P

Piece of mine most under-appreciated by the universe, in my opinion:
The vid. I'm not surprised, given that it's a small Asian fandom, and to some extent it really doesn't bother me how many people see it, given that I like it and [personal profile] kuwdora liked it and Oyce liked it. I certainly am not in vidding for the promise of fandom fame! But I think it's good enough that I would love for more people to watch it, all the same.

Most fun piece to make:
Probably the Five-Minute Studies, since I really did write them in one short stretch--probably closer to 15 or 20 minutes in all honesty, but who's counting? The Halloween fic was fun too.

Single sexiest moment:
I am partial to basically all the moments when Charles is naked or semi-naked in the Roman AU, and even some of the ones when he has clothes on. I don't know. Possibly when Charles hits on Erik at the end of chapter 2? Or possibly when Erik shaves him while he's stark naked in chapter 3? I have to admit, I also am tempted to write an explicit Nick Fury/Charles scene now that I see that no one else appears to have done it--currently that's subsumed under the "Charles/Others" tag.

Most "Holy crap, that's out there, even for you" piece:
I'm not sure I did anything out of the ambit of my previous creative ventures this year. In some ways the vid comes closest, in that Oyce asked me to use a Chinese-language song to the Chinese source, and I did the text in the vid (intro, credits) bilingual to play that up to the greatest extent possible.

Piece that shifted my own perceptions of the characters:
As far as XMFC goes, I've previously mostly written powered and/or close canon AUs, and writing the characters in modern AUs, as I did for the short tics, was an interesting shift.

Hardest piece to make:
Probably the vid, because I put a good 60 hours into it, which is pretty normal, but about 2/3 of those hours were in the first week of December, which is not so normal. I had an outline so I knew what I wanted to do at every point when I got there, which was good, but the saga of trying to demux a Blu-Ray MKV in November took so long and was so demoralizing, argh. The final vid quality actually looked pretty okay, I think, but the quality issue was niggling the whole time. Also research for the Roman AU has led the Stanford libraries to probably put me on their black list, but that's another problem.

Biggest disappointment:
Not writing/vidding more.

Biggest surprise:
I think the Roman AU, since it came from tumblr inspiration and I wrote the first part of it as a one-off…and then it just kept going.

Most Unintentionally Telling Story:
The Roman AU is rather intentionally telling! I deliberately am writing it to be what I would like to read in this kind of story, so it contains a lot of things that I enjoy in XMFC fic.

Overall Thoughts:
I guess, although my output was limited, I'm pleased with what I did so far this year all the same, particularly the vid.

Next year: Keep calm and keep making fanworks!