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Year in review (fic)

So, I had a…very productive year. Like, after years of being unable to do more than fic challenges, I wrote a shit-ton of fic, starting with last year after I went nuts for Pacific Rim, and then I thought, well, that'll die down, but nope. April came and Captain America: The Winter Soldier turned out to be the movie of my heart and then all bets were off. I'll do a vids in review post later. (Though I'm not going to put individual word counts on these things, I did total them all up at the end.) I also wrote a shit-ton of meta, but I'm not including that in the word count.

I'm going to steal the year in review meme from [personal profile] belmanoir, and I'll put that behind a cut to spare you, because I'm nice like that.

I can't remember how this started (but I can tell you exactly how it ends)
The Winter Soldier gets trapped in a time-loop story. This is hands down the most successful story I've ever written, in terms of hits/bookmarks/kudos. I'm sure by most people's standards it's not much, but for me, it is. Weirdly, my favorite part in it might be the scene where Bucky captures Sam. But I liked the whole thing.

Color Theory
This was the 2014 version/follow-up of Every Picture Tells a Story, where this time it's a post-Winter Soldier recovering Bucky who's pining for Steve. I've always wanted to work synesthesia into a story, since I'm a synesthete, but never had the chance where it fit organically, and this did. This story is weirdly close to my heart, but not necessarily for that reason.

Every Picture Tells a Story
I'd been talking to storiesfortravellers in one of those memes, about the question she'd asked, if I could rewrite or do a sequel to someone else's fic, what would it be, and I said I'd never had that deisre, but then I remembered her little fic about skinny Steve buying pornographic pictures of guys who looked like Bucky, and how much I wanted to know what happened when Bucky found out. So this is that fic. She graciously encouraged me to write it, and I really love how it turned out, even though I didn't expect angst.

Dark Approach
It doesn't look like I wrote that much on the surface, because of this thing, my behemoth project that took me all spring and summer to write. Whenever I get into a fandom hard-core, I seem to feel the need to write a novel. I don't even know.

There Must Be a Joke in Here Somewhere
Baby's first crossover, with Wendy and the Middleman from The Middleman meeting Bucky Barnes and Steve Rogers. I have headcanon that MM would totally fangirl Steve, and I really loved thinking of Wendy and Bucky bonding in a back alley while drinking and admiring each other. I'm sad that a lot of people will never read this because they think they need to know The Middleman series, just because I had so damn much fun writing it and I want to share that fun with the world. Though the people who don't know the series but gave it a try did seem to like it!

Would It Be Weird If I Showed Up on His Doorstep?
This was just silly Tumblr fic, about what might have happened if Sam hadn't stopped Steve with the "It's your bed, right?" comment.

The Fire Ships
I wrote this originally as a prologue for Dark Approach, but the hatred for prologues in my writer's group left me feeling like I should do something else with it. Then I just said fuck it and finally posted, before I finished the fourth chapter of Dark Approach, which references The Fire Ships many times. I also tried to talk myself out of writing in the second person, but that ended up being what I needed for the story, and I like how it turned out.

Invested
Sam/Steve and Clint/Natasha fluff generated by a comment from [personal profile] aerye, about Natasha finally getting Steve to ask Sam on a double date, and Clint spends the whole time rolling his eyes at everything. Man, I love writing Clint and I need to do more of it.

C'est la Guerre
A YT treat I wrote for storiesfortravellers, for the TV series The Unit, with a character who only appeared in one episode. I seem to do that a lot. I really loved writing Mack Gerhardt's point of view.

The Hot Dad Mix Tape
The other The Unit story from Mack's POV that I wrote for Yuletide. I had a lot of fun with this, and creating the teenage girl original character Mack is kind of charmed by.


My best story of this year: Fuck, I don't know. I honestly think that "Dark Approach" is one of the better things I've ever written, but I have a hard time judging these things. I wanted to do a really layered story, where observations or lines that appear in early chapters come back around in later ones, and that everything tied together from the flashbacks to the past and the events of CA:TWS to the time of the story and into the future.

My favorite story of this year: Probably "I can't remember how this started…," aka the Winter Soldier does Groundhog Day. I mean, really Dark Approach has this love-place in my heart I can't even with, but man, I loved how the time loop story turned out.

Most fun story to write: This is hard! Probably "There Must Be a Joke in Here Somewhere," the Middleman/Cap2 crossover, because goddamn I love writing Wendy Watson's voice (this is my second time writing her). She is the most funnest ever. And it came together so quickly, too, because I had four hours I had to kill between lectures so I sat in Starbucks to write and it just flowed, and I got so much written that day. But also, the Groundhog Day story was fun because I saw the end of the tunnel on my work project and so I opened a bottle of wine and stood at the counter in the kitchen, and drank and wrote the whole first 2/3 in one night. It was awesome.

Sexiest story: I think I'm lousy at porn, but since there's a lot of teh sex in Dark Approach, I'll go with that. Or "Every Picture Tells a Story" because that's literally about porn. But, uh, one of my Yuletide stories that I can't reveal yet is probably the sexiest, to be honest.

Story with the single sexiest moment: As I mentioned, I always think I'm lousy at porn. But honestly I think the whiskey scene with Wendy and Bucky in the Middleman/Cap2 crossover would be my pick, because as [personal profile] musesfool said, "Bucky is all murderously seductive and pining" and this is the muderously seductive part:

“C’mere,” he said in a low, dark voice that made her warm between her legs, stretching out his arm. Then he took the hand she held the whiskey bottle in, pulled it up to drink while she held it, his fingers wrapped around hers, his lips touching her hand, tongue flickering out against her thumb. That was hands-down the filthiest thing she’d ever seen, and she’d seen some reasonably filthy things. She wondered if everything he did was filthy and how in hell Captain America wasn’t hitting that like a piñata every day and twice on Sundays.

“Man, I bet you were hell on the ladies way back when.”

“I was always a gentleman.”

“Sure you were. The hearts must have been piled knee-deep in your wake.”

He cupped the back of her head and pulled her mouth to his, kissing her hot and wet and deep. For a picosecond she considered that this was probably a bad idea, since she was both on the job and on the rebound. It was like he really did have mind-control rays or something.
~~~~

Story that shifted my own perceptions of the characters: The difficult answer for this is my Yuletide stories. I was writing a character I haven't been super into before, and I really found that character growing on me. But if I had to pick something already in public, I'd say Dark Approach, just because it gave me the chance to explore a bunch of characters I don't normally get to, like Tony Stark and Bruce Banner, and that always affects how I see them once I start writing.

Hardest story to write: I generally don't like second person narratives, but I think it often fits really well with the fractured and dissociative mental state of the Winter Soldier, so I had to let go of my natural aversion to it to write "The Fire Ships." It's not that I think it's automatically bad, it's just that like so many things, fandom embraces it because they think it's literary or different or cool or whatever, and they run it into the ground and do it badly. Of course, when applied judiciously and by talented writers, it can be fantastic, and I've often found the Bucky second-person POVs to be really amazing. But I had a hell of a time talking myself into it--I tried so many different starts, but eventually I just accepted that yup, second person was what I needed for that.

Biggest Disappointment: I don't know how to define this. Disappointment in myself as a writer? Disappointment in how they're received/how invisible the stories are in the fandom? I don't know. I'll go with my writing disappointments, I guess, and I'd probably pick "Invested" for that. I think that story could have been fantastic, but I was still feeling my way and also really bogged down in work, and there could have been so much more adorableness if I'd had my shit together. The horse is out of the barn, or I'd go back and rewrite the whole thing.

Biggest Surprise: The Groundhog Day story. Seriously, I spent the entire summer telling myself not to write that. I kept thinking that a) someone would write it/have already written it, b) that it was stupid, c) that I couldn't pull it off, and d) that no one would be interested in it because so many people I know foam at the mouth with hatred for time loop stories. But one day, when I was really panicking about meeting my deadline on a huge book project, and already working on a completely different Cap story, and just feeling lousy, I woke up from a dream that I was writing it and just said, fuck it, I'm writing it. And it surprised me in every way--how quickly it came together, how well I felt it held up, the way I was able to get into Bucky's head, and honestly, the way people reacted to it.

Most Unintentionally Telling Story: Golly, I have no clue. A lot of my issues and interests came up in Dark Approach, especially chapter four when Bucky's reunited with Steve, and Bucky's flashbacks toward the end. But I guess maybe "Color Theory" was most close to me, especially with the synesthesia stuff and Bucky's fears about being loved. I don't know. Maybe someone else can tell me. ;-)

Looking back, did you write more fic than you thought you would this year, less, or about what you'd predicted? Ha ha ha ha. So so so much more. I never thought CA:TWS would do this to me. Never.

What pairing/genre/fandom did you write that you would never have predicted in January 2014? Yeah. As if the Imaginary Reader seeing this doesn't know that answer already. Also my Yuletide stories. I never, ever would have predicted those.

Did you take any writing risks this year? Pretty much everything was a risk! Writing a novel set in the present with significant flashback sequences and action set pieces; I wrote my first-ever crossover story; I wrote humor (always nerve-wracking) and porn (even worse) and timey-wimey stuff; I wrote Tumblr fic; I wrote second person (which I've only ever done once before, and it was a very small thing); and I wrote a story inspired by someone else's fic, which I have never ever done before (Every Picture Tells a Story, which also led to a 2014 version of that story, something I wasn't sure I could pull off)--just so many things came spewing out of me that were risks I wasn't sure I could pull off.

Do you have any fanfic or profic goals for the New Year? I have put off the pro novel I've wanted to write for years and years. But I think I need to use this productive year as a springboard and write the fucking thing. I don't have any illusions that I'm publishable anymore, it's been too long since I wrote professionally. But I can do it on my own and then at least say I didn't talk myself out of it anymore. And I already have five ideas for more Cap2 stories, even though I think the audience is waning? Maybe? I don't know. I still want to write them, but for now finishing the one I started before Yuletide is my burning issue.

I'd like to thank the academy… I wish I had this. I long for a beta who's with me to the end of the line. ;-) But I think maybe kadymae/devilc has given me some of the loveliest comments on many of the Cap stories that I've ever had, which on Dark Approach meant the world to me. And talitha78, dine, and mlyn all cheered me on during Dark Approach when I felt like there was no point in finishing it because I wasn't sure anyone cared.

Total word count (not including Yuletide):
129526

sparkle text from [profile] simcatsubame

Comments

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killabeez
Dec. 27th, 2014 01:57 am (UTC)
So, I had a…very productive year.

I'm glad one of us did! Go, you, with all your words and things. :D And they were good words. May you have another such year, for all our sakes.
gwyn_r
Dec. 28th, 2014 10:37 pm (UTC)
Yeah, it'll be interesting to see if this break for Yuletide will impede my writing. I'm choked at a point in the story I was writing before and can't seem to move past it.
daria234
Dec. 27th, 2014 02:13 am (UTC)
I just want to reiterate how much I love your fic and how much I completely adore that fic for the Unit! And also Every Picture Tells a Story as well!

Thanks for compiling the list - this will give me a chance to go back and see the fic I've missed, and I'm really looking forward to reading :)
gwyn_r
Dec. 28th, 2014 10:38 pm (UTC)
Aw, thank you! And honestly, I was SO GLAD you left that prompt for The Unit last year, I just can't even tell you. I had never realized how much I wanted to write that until then. ;-)
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