15 March 2019 @ 09:10 pm
Now there is a new Stargate discord server  
[personal profile] fairyglass just created one: https://discord.gg/YZKB68D

This is her about-the-server notes:
It's a Stargate fan server, primarily geared towards fanfic writers looking to promote, recommend and workshop their projects. It will serve SG-1, Atlantis, Universe, Origins and most genres -- ff, mm, het, slash, poly, otp, ot3, gem, team as family, fluffs, h/c, AU, crossovers, etc, etc, etc.

I only ask we not participate in Real Person Fiction (RPF), which I have some VERY strong feelings against and can go into upon request if you really want. I also ask we not character bash. You don't have to like a character without yucking out on someone else's yum.

If you have questions, ask her on Discord or at her post: https://fairyglass.dreamwidth.org/11362.html

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14 March 2019 @ 08:12 am
Claudia Black is not meant to be a blonde  
I mean, I appreciate whoever keeps casting her on CW shows, because now she's on Roswell, New Mexico in at least a one-time role (I hope it's recurring as she's Michael and Isobel's adoptive mother), but the woman is not meant to be a blonde.

Or to have an American accent. Please, please, let her sound Australian. Not every American is that nasal-sounding, I swear.

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12 March 2019 @ 10:18 pm
How I handle a plot and character arc and write (or beta) so a story makes sense to me  
For me, of the hardest things to learn to write was long-form fiction, whether that was fanfic or original fic. I found it was all about the plot and character arcs. I couldn't provide a slice of a story, or a tiny story, and I couldn't do that thing where the story started and ended with the characters in the same place (which you can do sometimes with a short story), because my readers were feeling cheated.

For purposes of this post, I'm defining "long-form" as anything more than 20-25k in length, fanfic or original fic. I'll call anything 20k - 50k a novella, and anything above 50k a novel, if it comes up.

Also for the purposes of this post, a disclaimer: Your writing style is your own. )

When I do a plot and character beta, I don't just look at SPaG. I'll look at that, but I'll give generalized advice, like "watch your commas," or "my god, run-on sentences," and then I'll spend my time on a more detailed look at the following things:

  • Does the plot as a whole make logical, coherent sense? How does the general logic hold together?

  • How many plots does the story have going? Are there too many? (Confusing.) Is there only one? (Boring.)

  • Does each scene advance the plot? If it doesn't, is there a good reason? (In fandom, sometimes "gratuitous porn" is a good enough reason.)

  • Are there too few scenes to explain the plot? Too many and you should've cut the extraneous cruft?

  • For that matter, does each scene flow to the next naturally? Are you skipping scenes that would help the plot just to get to the juicy character bits? (Have I been guilty of this? I have been guilty of this.

  • Do all the juicy character bits make sense in terms of the plot and structure? Are your characters acting in a way that makes an internally logical sense based on what's going on in your world?

  • What is the main conflict for each plot? Have you resolved it adequately (and logically)?

  • What is the story's narrative structure? Rising action, climax, falling action, denouement, all of the fancy terms you learned in a lit class? I'm not an advocate of slavishly following a Save the Cat or other form of beat structure if you can make a good alternate structure work, but you do need some kind of structure.

  • Do any characters have to carry the Idiot Ball in an unrealistic manner to keep the plot moving? (If you have characters who actually are impulsive or idiots, then they are not carrying the Idiot Ball.)

  • Does each character have a reason, or are there some who could be cut out of the story? (For me, sometimes "because we need another character so we don't just have The Girl" is a good enough reason, but it can be a stretch.) Do you need to add another character?

  • Do the characters face challenges that they fail at, or appropriate challenges that they can overcome with hard work and difficulty, or do they only have successes with maybe some minor drawbacks?

  • How about your POV? Is it consistent throughout? This is only partially a SPaG question. Your point of view is about how your main character or characters convey the plot to the readers.

Yeah. Sometimes I look at all of these, sometimes only at some of them. Eventually I get to all of them after enough rounds of betareading. I get kind of nitpicky at a story, including its logic.

Sometimes this means I shred a novel or a fic mercilessly - especially or even my own. It's definitely easier to do when it's my story and I haven't looked at in a couple of years, because then I have more of an editor's eye instead of in in the immediate emotional depth of the story. I can see the logic flaws without explaining them away with easy handwaves.

But again, as previously noted, you may have a process that works differently and better for you.

I have plans to write a bit of a retrospective/analysis of one of my first longer-form completed stories in the context of the above analysis points and explain why it was, uh. Let's call it a learning experience fic, shall we?

ETA: A thing which I did not make clear, but perhaps should have, is that I don't really read fic with the same eye that I write or beta fic with, so if you're just throwing your fic down on the paper or screen without taking all of this into account and you're happy with it and then suddenly worrying that I might not want to read your fic, uh? Please don't? I don't go into reading a story for the same reasons I write or beta a story. I read plenty of fics, long and short form, for plenty of reasons that make me very happy that maybe don't match every single thing I say in a post about writing or betareading.

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