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End of year writing meme

Man, I spent hours and hours on this post and then DW ate it. The whole fucking thing, just ate it. So much for the lie of autosave. I don't have the heart to put in all the links again. Also sorry, I cannot seem to get the cut tag to work now.

I did this last year before Yuletide reveals, so included those stories in the discussion.

Month by month:

Strangers to the Fire, a reimagining, canon-divergent Kings AU where Jack and David start out on friendly terms
The Only Soul I Have I Stole from You, a post-series Jack/David Kings fic

Icebreaker, the idyllic epilogue to Dark Approach

Man With a Plan, the "you're keeping the outfit" porn story

Opportunities in Freelance, written for Bucky's birthday, with maple syrup cartels and Canadian assassin squads

Things We Lost in the War, the epistolary fic where Bucky's not really ready for being around people, so he and Steve communicate via letters in a dead drop

That Only You Would Know, a Peggy and Bucky kissing fest prompt fill
Your 21st-Century Boy, the Fabulous Soldier kissing fest prompt fill
Batter Up, the baseball kissing fest prompt fill
A Bedtime Story, a Sam/Steve kissing fest prompt fill
Stripes and Solids, the Sam/Steve kissing fest pool table prompt fill

In the Stardust of a Song, the Winter Soldier during the movie having memories triggered by music fic

Doubleheader, the second of the baseball series fics, written for Steve's birthday
Dream of Caramel: or, A Recipe for Disaster, the Big Eden one where Bucky cooks for Steve and there's a Clint and Bucky brotp

Perfect Game, the third of the baseball series, about the first televised game and a pitcher named Bucky

This Guy, a SamHill story with Sam taking Maria flying, written for Sam's birthday

Tonight, I Dream in Technicolor, where Tiny Steve gets sucked into a Captain America movie serial and then the war in Italy

Home Plate, the fourth of the baseball series, where Steve tries to make Bucky feel better during the war

Holding On to You Holding On to Me, the interlude during the Civil War trailer
If the Fates Allow, where Steve gets drunk on Christmas Eve and has a snowball fight
Miss "No Way, It's All Good", a Yuletide treat for the movie What's Your Number?

What's the story that makes you happiest?

I’m never really happy with a story, to be honest, but I suppose if I had to pick one it’d be the Christmas fic If the Fates Allow. I had fun writing it, and getting to write drunk Steve is very enjoyable. And now that I have distance, Things We Lost in the War makes me happy.

My favorite stories this year:

In the Stardust of a Song
Tonight, I Dream in Technicolor
Opportunities in Freelance
Holding On to You Holding On to Me
Home Plate (I guess a lot of the ones I like most are the underdogs, you know?)

My 5 best stories this year:

I don’t know how to judge this, but I suppose

Things We Lost in the War
In the Stardust of a Song
Holding On to You Holding On to Me
That Only You Would Know

Most popular story:

Judging by hits/kudos/reblogs? Your 21st-Century Boy. Judging by the way people responded/intensity of feelings? Things We Lost in the War

Story most underappreciated by the universe, in my opinion:

It’s always hard to do this one, but honestly, I can never figure out why In the Stardust of a Song is the least-read Captain America Bucky/Steve story I’ve done. I mean, I expected something like a Bucky & Peggy friendship story (That Only You Would Know) or a SamHill (That Guy) story wouldn’t get much love, but I’m stumped about what makes Stardust such a failure--second person narrative? Terrible title? Terrible summary line? The fact that it takes place within the timeline of the movie? I have no idea.

Most fun story:

For writing, probably If the Fates Allow, because drunk Steve. Opportunities in Freelance, because maple syrup cartels are just plain ridic.

Sexiest story:

I suppose others might say Man With a Plan, because it’s just “you’re keeping the outfit” porn, but sexy for me is a really different thing than porn, so I personally would choose Holding On to You Holding On to Me.

Story with single sexiest moment:

I couldn’t talk about my Yuletide stories when I did this last year, so I’d actually say Strangers to the Fire here, when Jack and David make out at the piano (and the actual sex scene, but you know).

Story with single sweetest moment:

I think when Bucky shows up as Steve’s goddamn Christmas miracle in If the Fates Allow would be up there, but I also really liked Steve saying “You’re never who I thought you were. You’re always something more” in Dream of Caramel: or, a Recipe for Disaster, that was pretty sweet.

Hardest story to write:

Things We Lost in the War, because I’d started it in 2014 and had to put it aside half finished for work and Yuletide fic, and then couldn’t pick up the thread for it at all. It was agonizing, and I struggled and struggled to find it again, and then I couldn’t get a beta for it in time and so I had no idea if it was in fact the utter shit I thought it was when I posted. And some really well known epistolary fics came out while I was writing it, which discouraged me all to hell. I was just totally at sea about it, and wrote six other fics in the time I worked on it.

Easiest story to write:

Holding On to You Holding On to Me and If the Fates Allow both just kind of poured out of me.

Truest story of the year:

I have absolutely no idea what this means. I guess if I just try to look at it as true to the characters, I’d say In the Stardust of a Song, because I feel like I achieved a real picture of what the Winter Soldier could be going through during the movie, what he could be thinking and feeling and struggling with as the music triggers his memories.

Story that made you cry/saddest story:

There were lots of times writing both In the Stardust of a Song and Things We Lost in the War I made myself sniffly.

Story that shifted my own perceptions of the characters:

I would say both my Kings fics from Yuletide last year. I started out not liking David much, and in the end, I loved him and Jack together.

Biggest disappointment:

When I posted Tonight, I Dream in Technicolor, AO3 was almost down, the RSS feeds were disabled, it was just a terrible time, but I was waiting for a book project I knew would be huge so I sort of had to post it or it would sit for months. And I really liked how it came out, but I was confronted with some people just shitting all over it, and me, and it seemed like no one was reading it, and the whole thing left me feeling really conflicted and crappy. When you’re raised to believe your only value as a human comes from successful achievement (especially in your writing) and you “earn” love, having a perfect storm of crapitude around the only thing you actually are producing and spent literally hundreds of hours on, is really, really tough to come back from.

I think, too, seeing the way people sort of run away from the baseball fics was disappointing. They’re not really about baseball per se, but it seems like nonsports people won’t touch them with a ten-foot pole. That was surprising.

Biggest surprise:

Things We Lost in the War. I had struggled so much with it, for such a long time, and since I had no idea if it was crap or not, I tried to minimize any attention to it by posting at night, and not using the AO3 posting interface for Tumblr so it wouldn’t have that green bar on it. Just everything I could do to put it in under the radar. But wow--it’s not like it’s a huge hit or anything, but the responses were so intense. I’ve never received comments like that, I am just not that person. One commenter wanted to use quotes from it for a tattoo! It actually got recced in a few places. I met a new friend on Tumblr because she wrote to me about it, and we hit it off, and she made two utterly amazing fanmix playlists based on it. The whole thing was so surprising.

I also was surprised this year by someone making a Chinese translation of Icebreaker, and received two wonderful podfics, one for Your 21st-Century Boy and one for Opportunities in Freelance from Reena Jenkins, and podfic of Stripes and Solids from Anapod.

Most telling story:

I’ve never known how to answer this before, but this year I do--Miss “No Way, It’s All Good” was one of the most personal stories I’ve ever written, because I have been Ally, thinking I didn’t deserve to be in a relationship with a hot guy, and wondering what I was missing about sex.

Favorite opening line:

So many of my fics start in media res, so the opening lines are kind of weird, but I liked the one for the final Pacific Rim fic:

Stacker wakes in a haze, the same way he always does now, a pearly grey-green mist of memory and pain that wraps around him like cotton-wool.

Favorite closing line:

Not really a closing line, but paragraph, because it doesn’t really make sense without the other parts (although, really, I suppose it wouldn’t make sense anyway without the stuff in the story where Bucky recites facts to ground himself). From In the Stardust of a Song:

These are not facts, but you know them just the same: you are made of exploding suns and collapsing stars. The heavens blaze and so do you. On the screen Steve Rogers looks at Bucky Barnes--at you--and his eyes are filled with galaxies, hurtling through the universe at 1.3 million miles per hour.

Favorite line from anywhere:

Honestly, this is too hard to choose, there have been so many I was really proud of. But I suppose this will do from Holding On to You:

This is what love looks like, he knows: it looks like Steve.

Favorite title:

Tonight, I Dream in Technicolor. I’d actually written it with a different title (And That’s the Absolutely True Story of How I Really Became Captain America), but when I wrote that part, paraphrasing a line from a movie that was one of the fic’s inspirations, I thought that would be a good title. I polled a bunch of people at a party and the way their faces all lit up at that, I knew it was the one.

Looking back, did you write more stories than you thought you would this year, fewer than you thought, or about what you predicted?

SO MUCH MORE. I thought I’d be done. And I totally didn’t expect to churn out two stories well over 30,000 words, and write four fics in a row this past month.

What pairing/genre/fandom did you write that you would never have predicted in January 2015?

I wouldn’t have thought about Ally/Colin from What’s Your Number? or that I’d write Sam/Maria.

Story that could have been better?

I don’t know. I always think all of them could be.

Did you take any writing risks this year? What did you learn from them?

Yeah. I wrote epistolary again in a much larger way, and a mirrored narrative story, and Christmas fic, and wrote commentfic for the first time ever in the kissing fest back in May. That was awesome. I don’t think I’m funny at all and so fics like Opportunities in Freelance and Dream of Caramel felt risky, but I was really rewarded when people (some of whom are famously funny!) told me they laughed. And I wrote character specific fic for birthdays, and deliberately set up series, which usually only was accidental before. And I’ve never written fic for a trailer before. I don’t know that I’ve learned anything other than that I really do like writing for prompts, which I didn’t know before!

This year's theme and the story that demonstrates it most:

Ummm... Bucky and Steve really love each other? I suppose Things We Lost in the War would be the demonstration case.

What story do you want to have written?

There’s a dreamsharing story I had running in my head that I found out someone was writing something very similar to, and I've struggled with doing it. I still think about it, but I don’t want to look like I’m ripping someone off, so it’s a constant dialog in my mind about what to do about it.

Story I want remembered:

In the Stardust of a Song. But I think what will be remembered is Things We Lost in the War.

What's next for 2016:

I’ve got to finish this weird Bucky gets recaptured/timeshifty narrative/shrinkyclinks thing I started months ago. More of the Interludes series. One last baseball fic (try to contain your enthusiasm!). That dreamsharing story I don’t know about. A WWII epic that might involve Easy Company. One where Sam helps Bucky try to get some closure on something and they end up in a misadventure. I doubt I can finish much of this before the movie comes along and wrecks everything, and closes all the open canon we were left with after Winter Soldier. I can’t write fast enough, and I doubt people will want to read stuff that isn’t from new canon once it’s out.

word count: 184230

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Out of the past

May 2017

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