You can reply to replies on regular Tumblr now.

It just doesn’t notify the person you’re replying to. So it’s like void-howling. It’s pointless. They’re so smug about having added this functionality? And it’s useless, because it’s not a conversation.

You can’t even cheat it by going straight to the post you replied on and checking there to see if anyone replied to your reply, because, wait for it, this is the stupidest fucking thing: REPLIES DON’T SHOW ON THE INDIVIDUAL POST PAGE. Nope! You can only see them if you view the post on your dashboard. 

If it were all easy it wouldn’t be worth doing. There’d be nothing satisfying in it. I just. It’s not the writing. It’s the surrounding stuff. 

Yeah ok it’s the writing too. 

*waves back* Hi! :)

face, TBP!

Mar. 9th, 2016 03:25 am
I’m doing more than a sentence at a time so it makes sense. 

“If you felt comfortable discussing your feelings in detail,” Dave said drily, “I’d know you weren’t really John, but some sort of pod person.”

John laughed, at that, and pushed himself to his feet. “C’mon,” he said, “let’s get shitfaced.”
Oh yes, title suggestions would be appreciated! I just– it’s too big and sprawling for me to feel like I can come up with a thing to call it! I’m hung up on making a home out of the wind somehow, but I just can’t figure it out. 
OK, that one I gotta check out. I had heard of it! I’ve seen terrifying demon implements that claim to be for such purposes and am terrified of them, but I may Google this one up a bit. Hmm! 
The world in general is a place of astonishment. I was only remembering the glitter text from MySpace, because I am that old– oh my gosh, we thought we were so cool, even though we were old enough to know better. You’re right that the flames are by far the best thing. Excellent choice. 
Oh gosh. I hope so. I still am not one hundred percent sure what the story I’m trying to tell actually *is*. That’s usually the last thing I figure out, though. :)
I wrote this bit and I was like LOL self, that’s so fucking stupid, that’s totally not going to make the final draft. But I kind of. I can’t make myself delete it. It’s like. It’s my ship manifesto. It’s the clearest vision I had of what it’s like to be a Stormtrooper. (OK, this, and the snuggle barracks bench from the French & Indian War-era fort near my house, where it’s just a six-foot-wide bench along the wall that everyone sleeps on, and Stormtroopers are totally used to that. A snugglier form of space travel.)

IDK. Finn has no personal boundaries. This is my most enduring headcanon. 

“So this is really weird for you people, huh?” Finn asked, when he figured enough time had passed.

“We really don’t shit socially,” Poe said. “It’s not just me being a prude. We’re pretty much all gonna think it’s weird.”

“Huh,” Finn said. He looked around. “So I’ve had to learn a lot of new stuff here, and I think this? This might be the weirdest thing. It’s a bodily function! It’s a thing literally everyone does! Why do you have to go do it secretly?”

“It’s probably the most intensely private thing we do,” Poe said. “Nudity, most of us get over that. Sex, whatever. But I don’t think I’ve ever in my life been in the same room as another adult while taking a crap.”

Finn thought about it a moment. “Babies, though! They just shit themselves all the time, don’t tell me that freaks you people out?”

“Oh, fuck me,” Poe said, “you just made me think about the fact that Leia fucking Organa has changed my shitty diapers in my life, and a big part of what I do here in the Resistance is avoid thinking about that.” He was laughing helplessly again.

“I can’t help what I do,” Finn said, amused. “I mean, I guess that gives me context, though. She has dealt with your literal shit, and you’d die for her. That’s a hell of a bond.”

“That’s not why,” Poe said, indignant but also possibly dying of laughter.

“No, no,” Finn said, “that’s totally it. The shit-bond. It’s sacred to your people. I get it now.”
I actually have a lot of thoughts on this! I think they’re meant to basically be AIs but, like, AIs learn. They adapt and streamline and tailor responses based on past feedback. 

As with anything, though, they can sometimes get carried away. And so I figure like for real AIs, some of the recommended maintenance would probably involve manually going in and removing problematic or malformed code, where they’ve accidentally been conditioned the wrong way or drawn faulty conclusions from insufficient data or whatever. Many droid owners would be haphazard about this, and others would be sort of overzealous, deleting anything that makes the droid too contrary. But I feel like good droid owners, like Poe, would be a little more tolerant of eccentric habits and the like, and would more patiently try to redirect them, rather than pruning them. So some of the more cantankerous and ancient droids, and really feisty ones like BB-8, have these very organic personalities. (And the overzealously pruned ones probably wind up just as idiosyncratic, but not nearly so adorably or predictably so.)

Poe actually has worked out a number of things with BB that are camoflaged as him being overindulgent, but actually serve him exceptionally well in many circumstances; he often fakes arguments with BB, and BB pretends not to understand him, and they make everyone think they’re being cute when really they’re probably doing some pretty hardcore espionage. 

(The idea of BB-8′s loyalty subroutine, specifically, comes from a photo and caption in I think the Star Wars Visual Dictionary or something, that’s been going around Tumblr, but I just sort of extrapolated from there.)

Poe’s over-the-top care for his astromech is going to wind up being Plot-Significant, I am determined to make that work. 
It will in fact go up on AO3! I don’t have a timeframe for it yet but it will definitely be posted there. Thank you for asking! :)
I could, but here’s the thing– sometimes that works, and I have some plans to go back and do that in some older works, someday if I become less prolific– but a lot of times, these things are tossed out for a reason. The basic bones of it aren’t stable, but all the character notes are good, in this case. I had two characters I didn’t know well, and a third character I knew well whose POV it absolutely wasn’t, and I spent 10k flailing, having plot just– happen– and it won’t hold together, not even as an outtake. But all the good parts of it– I mean, I sorted the plot for *the entire work*, including the 50k of stuff that I’d thought was mostly finished beforehand– the good parts of it will work beautifully if i start over and build a new framework.

Nothing is ever wasted. Nothing is ever really thrown away. I don’t ever delete things; I sometimes even save a copy and do my revisions in a new draft, if I’m getting rid of a major direction. Anything more than a couple of paragraphs, I hang onto. Because you never know. It all gets reused eventually. 

(The really hard part is when you have ¾ of something good, and eventually realize you’ll never get the other ¼, and you should just recycle the parts, and god, that’s hard, to go through and strip out the good parts, because it’s usually enough that you have to discard the old thing afterward. It’s hard! But it’s important and it helps you make stronger things going forward.)
I have a bunch more Full of Grace material, not totally organized. I had to put it onto hiatus for various December reasons, and I partly killed my momentum beating myself up for not ever quite finishing the last chapter of Facepunch. So those are a Thing, and have pushpins stuck in them, but I have immediate plans to return to both as soon as this new thing (actually there are two new Things, one being Star Wars and the other being as-yet undiscussed) is beaten into a semblance of shape, enough so that I know I can walk away and it won’t fall over while I’m gone. 

So– I don’t have a schedule, because precisely what I thought would happen if I let myself start a new fandom has happened– namely, it ate me headfirst and screaming– but someone bribed me with an art collaboration and I plumb lost my head. (As one does. Hey. I don’t get a lot of offers.) 

But I do have a priority list in my head, and I haven’t said several of the major things I wanted to with FOG. Although another source of hesitation is that I’m about to take a plot twist there and I’m sort of thinking I should consider marking one story complete and starting another? I’d meant to about 20k ago– so– there’s that too. There’s organizational stuff to ponder.

Which is why I haven’t posted any Star Wars. It’s got to organize itself too, and I’m rather pleased actually at my own restraint, because spending another little while organizing it means I can do craaaazy things like actually foreshadowing plot twists and setting up emotional resolutions and stuff, instead of just blindsiding the reader all the damn time.
I meant to write that you can make wine out of tomatoes. 

You can make literally anything into booze. And you can pickle anything in vinegar, but you can also ferment just about anything to pickle it in its own juices. There’s more of an art to that, though. 

Odd methods of harvest preservation are kind of a dying art but they’re also kind of undergoing a renaissance so I’m sort of pumped about that. 
I have no particular dislikes of any pairings! Well, except Loki. I just don’t like him with anybody, not in MCU-verse anyway. Sorry. He’s pretty but also unredeemed. And I’m generally not keen on any sibling pairings, y’know? We’ll call that one a squick. Other than that I really can’t think of anyone I wouldn’t want to read about. 

My style of music is pretty eclectic, though I have trouble with the really bubblegum stuff– I can’t get through Taylor Swift, for example, though I wish I liked her– so it’s hard to say. I’m always pleased to discover new things, let’s put it that way. :) 

and as for an awesome day/night, my own writing is going far less well, I’ve written the wrong story and have to start over now, so. Ha! The wrong story is going very well, unfortunately. 
I’ve been thinking that! (Also: hiii I have not commented on your latest chapter yet but it sustained me through a very difficult Christmas In Retail afternoon!) Only this is an AU and i haven’t decided exactly how much of Bucky’s backstory is the same. (I’ve set it in… my hometown… in the early 00s. It’s super original, shut up! I just felt like all my shit is based on social media so I set it long enough ago that there wasn’t social media to remove the temptation. I make super great authorial choices, okay?)

If I remove the Russian part of his backstory (for time/context purposes) (I know, shh, I’m sad too) I was actually considering heroes of the American revolution because it would be hilariously history-dorky. (Also the hometown in question is real close to the Saratoga Battlefield so it’d be fun to make fugitive-Bucky spend time as a tourist at our super-lame local attractions. Look we have poles painted blue and red to represent the British and American troops! Check out this 70s-era silkscreened placard with an audio interpretation of the site including a hunting horn call used by Morgan’s Riflemen! Do not sit on the historic chairs!)

Aside: in non-AU universes, I have a headcanon that Steve had a huge crush on Jean Harlow, partly because she and Bucky (as played by Seb Stan) kinda have the same chin. I managed to work this into one story but only as a passing mention not from Steve’s POV, and I have not yet managed to have Natasha totally embarrass him about it, alas. 
I also am a huge fan of, like, enormous complex names for tiny simple animals. Y’know? Simple’s not the word, but you know what I mean. My current cat has both a first and last name, and is called by both most of the time, because it’s somehow funnier. (I want a cat named Hercules Mulligan now. Polysyllabic and elaborate.) 

Mythology is a good call, I have some scribbles elsewhere of Bucky being kinda good at classics. This one, I think he’d be a big reader, it makes sense he’d’ve dragged himself through the Iliad etc. 
I had not thought about sports at all. 

Food names are traditional in my family. My childhood pets were Biscuit (dog), Cupcake (male cat), Snickerdoodle (male cat), Macaroon (male cat), Gingersnap… I currently have a cat named Chita Rivera after the Broadway star but that’s an anomaly. (She’s singing right now, though, so it’s fitting.)

For some reason it’s important to me that they’re secret names, and the POV character sort of builds it up that Bucky’s keeping these names secret, but he’s keeping them secret because they’re not his cats, see, he’s only fostering them, it’s not like these are their *real* names. 

It means a lot to hear that people like the digging deeper thing. I just, that’s what I’m there for, is the shit you can only find out when you’ve been writing a character for thousands of words. And there’s no way to do that but long-and-slow.

Having composed Full of Grace in fragments is kind of making me think about pacing more. And the thing is, I compose everything in fragments. if I sit down and say “In the beginning, hm, there was a city, yes, and in this city there lived a, hm, a girl let’s say, okay, sure, and she wanted, um, a thing. OH and then her father was unjustly slain!” and I’m off to the races. Yeah okay that’s the notes to write to yourself, that’s not how you write a story. You need to start in the middle because the audience doesn’t need to hear any of those sentences, all of that should be context.

And so I sit down and I usually open on a subject-verb-object in the middle of an action– those scenes, I really write them like that at this point, I don’t do the trick I used to do of scrolling until it got interesting and then cutting everything before– now I just write that way. (it’s a good beginner trick, or if you’re super rusty– just let whatever come out at first, and then skim it afterward, you can usually delete the first ten percent because that’s just your brain warming up).

The problem is then you do that fifteen times or so, and you’ve got a collection of scenes, and you know these characters. And you’ve learned something important in each one, so they’re all ones you need to include in your story. (Okay, twelve of them you need to include, and the other three you just really like, and if this were pro work you’d probably throw them out but come on it’s fanfic, that one particular bit will make someone’s day.) But you can’t just– as you were writing those, most of them were freestanding. They can’t all happen, narratively, at once. You have to prune them and shape them into a linear thing. Because time happens linearly and so do stories. So okay, this one builds on that one, but this one can’t have happened until this other thing was known, and so on and so forth. 

It becomes agonizing by this point, 60,000+ words in, if you had no outline, which I didn’t. I’ve been shaping it as I went, but like, especially since the main character has no POV sections, I have to be really careful about what is known about him in what order. And I’m not meaning it to sound like these are haphazard revelations. No, I’m building toward something. 

It’s just really hard to sustain a reader’s interest for that long. I did get a recent comment where someone kindly observed that the angst is getting a little heavy. Yes, it is, it’s a long story, and it’s only going to get worse. But I’m really trying to make it not grimdark. But this is where, for sure, if I were writing pro fic– well, I wouldn’t post it without having finished the ending, for one thing, and so I’d finish it and then go back and cut about 30% of the length, I think. I’d get rid of everything not directly in service of the plot, or the B-plot. Hell, I might cut 50% of the length.

Remember a novel is usually around 75,000 words. My shit very often is twice that, at least. And part of that is that I’m a wordy motherfucker, and always have been– in writing classes, in high school and college, they always said “aim for your first draft to be about 110% the final length so you can cut it down” and I routinely wound up with final papers twice the length they should have been, from which I desperately had to last-minute excise whole segments. (And some of these were like, 15-page research papers, so it was no small thing.) It took me a long time to realize that my drafts had to be about 50% the final length. I write long, and editing only draws that out longer. 

And the other part of it is, this is fanfic. I’m aware that fanfic readers love extra material. In the eyes of most, every single thing we write is extra material. (I would argue that there’s a bunch that is, in fact, more important than the source text, but that’s something to write about another time.) And so I have no incentive to cut these chapters down. I have no reason to try to keep this story succinct.

And the stories probably do suffer for that (is my incredibly long-winded point). I try to keep myself disciplined anyway; every chapter has to have something important in it, I try to hit certain key points. I figure, about 4k words of every chapter is necessary. 4-8k is plot-crucial. The rest is in there because I enjoy it, and I know most of the people reading will. (The chapters of most things I post average 10k.)

But I also know it’s a lot to read. There are many readers who will see the wordcount and just back-button away. That’s okay! And that’s what I sometimes, whinily, weigh to myself. I want to wallow in this material, so I will, but I understand that there are people for whom it’s going to be too much. 

And I should give myself more practice at writing concise, shorter works. 

But not today.
Ha haa glad to help.

I got through as much of my work as I could post-haste, and skedaddled. Here at home I have a heating pad and a bunch of tincture of cramp bark I made like, months ago, and it’s knocked it down to manageable levels– I even managed to start a load of laundry and clean the cat’s litter box. I highly recommend cramp bark if you can get your hands on some, but like most herbal remedies, it’s really annoying because you can’t just like carry it around in your purse and take a pill once symptoms start. You gotta get high-proof vodka and steep it for three months and then filter it and then keep it somewhere, and you gotta put a few drops at a time into a glass of juice and it’s intensely bitter and kind of gross and you need to take a bunch of drops of it and I just literally poured myself a huge glass of juice and dumped in about ¾ of an ounce because I felt so wretched. So my feeling better at this point is more likely down to the vodka than anything else. (Well. The vodka and the heated seats in my car before that, most likely.)

I’m sure you can make this stuff with other methods but it tastes so ass-nasty I just wouldn’t want to deal with tea made from it. 

Apparently painful cramps aren’t *supposed* to be universal? It’s not just supposed to happen? But literally no research has ever really been done on it so we don’t know why it’s so goddamn common? 

I don’t even know, man. I just don’t. I’ve probably got 20 years to menopause so I’ll just have to deal. 
what do I want?

i want. Hmm. I’ve never done this before and I’m super excited!

yes: hurt/comfort, pining with resolution, characters convinced of their undeservingness getting won over by the power of love, etc. I am an unabashed fan of both fluff and angst, and am contented by hand-holding and x-rated-other-things-holding approximately equally.

no: i am not a big fan of like, public spectacles? i secondhand-embarrass real easily. guy with a boombox screaming about love in front of many appalled witnesses = nightmare. I’m not a big fan of cheating tropes but misunderstandings are a-ok.

AUs fine, no concept too overused. :)

Oh also I know this is Stucky-focused but I’m also into polyshipping so, like, that’s ok, I’m super super down with poly stuff instead of unresolved love triangles or whatever. (And poly doesn’t have to be orgies. Just. I’m not super into jealousy. Faith unto death doesn’t have to mean exclusivity. No sins, as long as there’s permission, to quote Kanye.)

Oh yeah I’m also down with like playlists or photo sets or whatever, I literally have no idea how those work and consider them benevolent sorcery, so if none of this spurs you to writing, I’m not sure how all these work but I would totally dig other kinds of gift as well, because I have no understanding of those processes like at all. Just saying! I have no particular expectations and am just super excited at the thought of someone making me a thing! 



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