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You can call me Hal.

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On choosing what to write

How do you decide what to write? If you have a lot of fic ideas, how do you prioritize them? Especially if you're multifandom.

I'm having trouble with that right now. Typically, I prioritize by interest, both mine and the audience's. If my own interest is high enough, I'll still write the story even if there's no audience interest, but usually it's a combination of the two.

Right now, I have story ideas I'd love to write in any number of fandoms -- Whistle!, Dear Boys, Hikaru no Go (okay, that one's just filthy, filthy porn), Gundam Wing, Stargate SG-1, BSG, Harry Potter, Ultraman Nexus, FMA, Honey and Clover, maybe even Slam Dunk one of these days -- but Prince of Tennis trumps them all for personal interest and has a healthy audience interest, so that's nearly all I write.

Even within Prince of Tennis, I have ideas that drop down the queue because they involve characters that are not my favourites. I just don't have the time and energy to write more than about 1 out of every 20 ideas, so there has to be some sort of selection process.

The thing is, I wonder if I'm making it too easy on myself. If I just keep writing about the same show and same characters, is it going to be the same thing over and over again? I feel like I'm still trying to explore those characters, but that might not always come out in what I write.

Do you make an effort for variety in your writing, even if that's not where your primary interest lies? Or do you just write whatever you feel like?

I suppose this all comes down to what I want to get out of my fannish writing. I'm still not sure what that is. (Besides fame mountains of feedback the satisfaction of doing something I enjoy.)


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Well, I'm currently monofandomous, so I don't have quite your problem...but for me, priorities tend to fall out based primarily on what I'm most interested in at the time--basically, where my inspiration is. Because I might like the fluffy slash more, but if the cross-gen het non-con has grabbed my attenion, I won't be able to focus on anything else.

What little variety there is in my fics tends to happen when I explore outside my comfort zone--read pairings I wouldn't normally, for instance--because that's where I find the lines of speculation that lead to the bunnies. I wouldn't have written my first-ever Snape-centric fic if thetreacletart hadn't convinced me to read her Remus/Bill one, for instance. Or there are the rare times I actually meditate on canon; that's where I got the squickiest fic I ever wrote.

Yeah, some of my favourite writing has been for challenges, where I've had to tackle something unexpected. But at the same time, I wouldn't want to do that always.

I write what I want to write, because if I don't, I can't write at all. Now that I've become multifandomish, it's really noticeable. Stargate: Atlantis is Teh Shiny.

However, I do make an effort for variety, in short stuff - that's why I always enjoyed the drabble and ficlet challenge communities. Forcing myself to write (short pieces) about characters and situations and pairings I am not so interested in is a good exercise to stretch my writing muscles.

(And speaking of shiny, yay, I get to use my currently favorite icon for this one!)

Hee! I like that icon.

Well, I also write what I want to write. But I want to write so damn much, it's hard to choose what to work on. :)

Good point about drabbles and challenges. Maybe I should get back into doing those more.

I can only really answer this as a vidder, but I think there are some relevant comparisons to be made.

To answer your second question first, yes, I do make an effort for variety in my vids. Variety in fandoms is the most obvious way of doing this, partly because different fandoms bring different characters and tones to bear. But even given that I vid in a limited number of fandoms, I strive for variety in other ways, too. I enjoy vidding in a large part because it allows me to stretch my creative muscles. I try to do at least one new thing in every vid I make: a new emotional tone, a new special effect, a new thing to emphasize (context, movement, color, light, etc.). I did not approach my writing the same way, back when I used to write, but I think that if I were to start writing fic again, I might take the same strategy. These days, I'm much more interested in craft than I am in getting my rocks off. (:

Which leads me to your first question. My answer is probably N/A for you, as my annual vidding calendar revolves around con vid show deadlines, and I target specific vids for release at each con. Beyond that, though, I have plenty of freedom to decide which vid to work on next, and at that point, it's almost always about what I am most invested in at the time. Sometimes there is a Marketing Strategy as well ("Rook" and "Beatitudes" were both released right around the series finales of each show). Sometimes I put off working on certain vids until I feel I have the necessary chops (I wasn't ready for "Rook" until years after I had the idea; similarly, I couldn't have done the West Wing vid I've just finished until this year).

Even so, I still feel that I pick my vids based on pure personal indulgence. I never make anything that I'm not really excited about.

I do pick my writing based on personal indulgence. :) But there's so much I want to indulge in and no time to do it all! (I'm such a tragic figure. *g*)

I don't try to stretch myself with everything I write, but I do try to tackle harder things often enough so that I don't feel too lazy.

I don't know if I even have the necessary vocabulary and context to discuss vidding!

You're smart, you're articulate, and you've made vids. You're as qualified as they get.

Hee! I've only made a couple of vids and that was ages ago. I certainly feel like I could aquire the necessary knowledge and context, but I don't have it right now, like I don't have the context to really discuss Microsoft networking or beekeeping. At least at the level I think I'd need to explore the differences and similarities with writing.

Well, that of course is a different matter. Still, I think there are useful similarities between the way a vidder chooses which project she'll tackle next and the way a writer does, or I wouldn't have commented.

Talk to you tomorrow!

I write whatever I want to write, and what I work on is predicated on what's working. Right now I haved five stories open in word - well, four, and one that's a title and a blank document - and whichever one the words start flowing for is the one that gets written on tonight. If I have a new idea that pushes everything out of the way, I write on that until I've either exhausted the flow or it's finished.

The only time I take anything else into consideration is when I'm doing a ficathon. Then deadlines get priority. Sometimes.

Oh, interesting. I don't think I could do that. I have one project at a time, though I sometimes put one on hold to do another one in the middle. But I have trouble more than one story in my mind at one time; so much of the work on a piece is done away from the actual writing for me.

I have a very short attention span and get bored easily, so working on more than one story at a time means I can usually keep myself interested in *something* and feel accomplished by finishing something, rather than being stalled on the thing I really want to write but isn't working. It means I end up with a lot of never-finished things, but given how much I *do* finish, it doesn't bother me that much. Sometimes I can fold those unfinished things into other stories.

*thinks* Randomly answering...

I tried being multifandom once but it really didn't work out. It ended up being I want to write for THIS newer fandom more than the old one but I had some sense of obligation in the old one so it turned out that I couldn't get anything done in both.

Plot bunnies usually come at me in packs. So I have a little notebook on hand and I just go about writing down all my ideas in words or phrases. And I have tons more for 101_kisses. So as to your first question, I really just write what interests me in the moment. I find that forcing myself to write takes MUCH longer than if I had the inspiration/motivation to (which then I could probably finish 2 or 3 just like that). Usually I have a handful of half-finished fics or fics I just started and I would jump around between them, depending on my mood. And I find that rereading the fic makes me want to finish it.

Second question: Usually I don't make an effort to... not like I *try* to make it different. Just depends on the plot and sometimes even plots can get out of hand. I do like how my fics turn out, even though they're unexpected. Liiiiiike, I'm not a crack-fic writer by far, but sometimes it just happens to work out and it's all good. As long as I think it's okay. ^^

I try not to write just out of obligation; that never works very well for me. But I have so many things I want to write -- I'll never get to them all.

I guess I worry about becoming one-note with my fic, if it's all about the same people all of the time.

I look at all the possible projects in my head, write down a brief summary, grab the one that most interests me, and then I have to keep at that one until it's finished, even if I lose interest. I've tried doing it other ways, but I never finished anything. Doing it this way reinforces my inclinations toward short fic, but at least they get done.

I generally try for variety by joining challenges that stretch me. I'm very multi-fannish, so I suppose there's a bit of inherent variety in my work as a result. Even with the multi-fannishness and challenges, though, I definitely have themes I revisit regularly.

I like what you say about keeping at one project until it's done. I find I often have to force myself to do that, but it's much better when I do.

And I'm sure we all have favourite themes. :)

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I don't think I could ask my flist what they wanted to see either; I'd never be able to fulfil their expecations. *g* Yeah, it's hard to write something you're not interested in, that's for sure.

How do you decide what to write? With me, I just see what appeals to me at the time. ^^; I'm writing what I want to right now, just because I'm so used to turning out one fic every three months that now posting almost daily has gotten me giddy. I have this notebook I keep with me and it's really handy when I get this insane idea/plot bunny. I'll jot it down, look back at it later to see if it makes sense/is something that someone might actually want to read and decide from there.

Do you make an effort for variety in your writing, even if that's not where your primary interest lies?

I try to make my fics different, but I feel as though my writing's been getting redundant. ^^; Especially with Hikago and my FujiRyo angst fics. I usually like receiving a theme or a quote and working my way from there.

*shrugs* As soon as I start typing my fics up, usually I feel compelled to post/finish them... and I'm trying to branch out into different fandoms but my soul belongs to TeniPuri and Hikago.

It can be hard to make writing fresh, I find. It's an effort to find something new to try. But it's worth it, though I certainly don't do it every time I write.

If I just keep writing about the same show and same characters, is it going to be the same thing over and over again?
I have similar fears, but I can say with confidence that your brain is way too interesting for repetition to ever set in.

Do you make an effort for variety in your writing, even if that's not where your primary interest lies? Or do you just write whatever you feel like?
Both! *g*

That's not very helpful, but it's the truth. I know that I *don't* want to write the same story over and over (I understand that some people do, but that's just not where my interest lies), so I do try to keep things mixed up - both by moving among characters and among fandoms. At the same time, however, the writing that works the best for me, the kind that flows and gives me a sense of accomplishment, is that where I write what I feel like. In the past 48 hours, for instance, I've become obsessed with an idea about Remus, and I don't know what to do -- I have a long Firefly fic I thought was going to get finished this week and an older WiP about Xander that just needs *one* more chapter to be finished. I hate it when I get to this point and have too much on my plate -- it makes me feel all undisciplined and flibbertigibety. I'm still looking for that balance.

I suppose this all comes down to what I want to get out of my fannish writing
I think it does. At least it does for me - if I wanted loads of feedback, I know what I'd write, but that bores me to tears. I've got to stick to what's exciting me and lighting a fire under my ass.

Yeah, one problem about having too many ideas is that sometimes they pass you by. I had a story I really wanted to work on last year, but I had a bunch of challenge deadlines and by the time I was free, the need to write that story was gone.

I actually write to read, if that makes sense. I like to read my own fic and when I want to see a particular idea in a story, I write it so I can entertain myself with if afterwards.

I actually write to read, if that makes sense. I like to read my own fic and when I want to see a particular idea in a story, I write it so I can entertain myself with if afterwards.

Yes, exactly. Sometimes I can poke someone else into writing the story I want, so I don't have to, but frequently the stories I write are the ones I want to read that no one else is writing. Which is probably why I don't worry too much about whether there will be an audience, because I know there will always be an audience of one - me. Everything else is gravy.

I tend to write for whichever muse is most loudly beating on the inside of my head. That tends to mean it's for a series I'm actively involved in at that point... but not always, as the Please Save My Earth monstrosity shows!

I find it interesting how people describe their muses. I don't think of my story ideas or even characters as muses. I have a muse and she is Eris, Goddess of Discord. I only call on her when I'm desperate. She's not always very helpful.

I do talk to my characters while I'm writing about them, though. Especially Momoshiro. *g*

It is really interesting to see how people talk about their muses, yes. ^_^ I think I got into the habit of putting a character to mine because that was sort of what everyone was doing, back when I first got started in the mailing lists.

I do tend to write mainly for one or two characters in any given series, and so I'll refer to those characters as my 'muses'. And my urge to write stories for said series, interestingly, tends to correspond to the personality of the corresponding muse.

For instance, my FY ideas tended to hit me all at once and be very URGENT about me writing them. The ideas wouldn't leave me alone. Tasuki was my designated 'muse'. In contrast, my PSME fic apparantly sat quietly in the back of my brain for YEARS before suddenly making up its mind that it wanted to be paid attention to RIGHT THIS MOMENT, thank you. Issei is my PSME muse.

Maybe it's why I have so much trouble writing original works... I've trapped myself by thinking of my muses as characters, and I just don't have as clear an image of the characters from my original stuff, and so I don't feel them as strongly as 'muses'.

Or maybe I'm just lazy and it's easier to write fanfiction. ^_^

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