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Thread: ~Shipping Authors' Café~

  1. #126
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    What's the most ambitious thing you've ever done in shipping fanfiction?
    Writing multiple fics at the same time. In fact, I think at some point in my career I was writing 3 at the same time. Haha.

    I also think completing Contest Tie (my longest fanfiction at, like, 50 episodes) was pretty ambitious. There were so many times that I wanted to quit, or went months without an update. In the end, I finished it and felt so amazing afterward. And I'm glad I finished it, because people are still taking on the challenge of reading it. XD

    Quote Originally Posted by Simon Alexander
    4). The characters are thrown into illogical situations with no rhyme or reason. I once read a HeatTag fic in which Dawn and Conway were supposed to do a commercial together. I have no idea why they were doing it. They just were. I don't mind the characters being put into these situations at all - in fact, I'm writing an Ikari fic in which Dawn and Paul are stuck in a tiny space in a cave and pretty much have to spoon. But there's a reason for this happening; it's not just happening BECAUSE.
    PUT ME ON THE PM LIST.
    But I totally agree with what you're saying here. Explanations are a must - yanno, in the fashion that they are well drawn out with plenty of riveting detail and interesting dialogue. Yeah, I don't settle with "they did this because this happened." ;P
    Last edited by Encyclopika; 8th April 2011 at 5:54 AM.
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  2. #127
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    What's the most ambitious thing you've ever done in shipping fanfiction?

    I agree about the writing multiple fics thing. It's stressful, and I wish I had a better attention span so I wouldn't keep doing it XP I've got two full-length fics going now and two oneshot collections. I'm thinking of adding a vignette collection too. I don't know why I do this to myself.

    But the thing I was really proud of that I managed for awhile was to write two fics at a time and update them both every week. Oh for the schedule that would allow me to do that again!

    As for plot-based stuff... well, the current thing I'm working on for Slayers in which Filia, a golden dragon prone to taking human form, becomes pregnant by Xellos, a monster whose real body is his astral one and not the physical form he projects. It scared the hell out of me because *I'm* still not convinced it's possible within the canon. But then again... there's always that maybe. It just sounded so badfic to me when stated broad, but yet it had potential in the specifics. I'm working hard on it and I haven't received any complaints over the plotline. So I'm glad. It's been really rewarding.

  3. #128
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    Quote Originally Posted by Encyclopika View Post
    But I totally agree with what you're saying here. Explanations are a must - yanno, in the fashion that they are well drawn out with plenty of riveting detail and interesting dialogue. Yeah, I don't settle with "they did this because this happened." ;P
    Oh my God! Explanations/expositions are the BANE of my writing existence! I mean, I have an idea, I realize it sounds near impossible, so I have to ******** a backstory behind it! That Lucy/Lisanna story I'm working on (not as religiously since I restarted White) has Gildarts tagging along with the girls on their mission, and I have to explain WHY the strongest mage in Fairy Tail is joining them on a quest to eliminate a single dark guild! It's all good, though, because I have ideas brewing for backstories for:

        Spoiler:- Backstories:
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  4. #129
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    ^As long as it makes sense in your fandom's universe, as long as you still are in that universe, then it's fine.

    By the way you said that, it appears that by your definition all fanfiction is ********, as all fanfiction is made up. Giving a reason for why things happen is just something I like better than throwing this and that character together out of the blue. I'm sure there are readers out there who require less to become intrigued with a particular story.
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  5. #130
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    Honestly, I think half the fun of bizarre scenarios is finding a backstory that works for them. When I get ideas for stories I usually get a series of disjointed scenes/conversations and then I have to backpedal to figure out how they got there.

    Though it can be puzzling sometimes...

  6. #131
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    Quote Originally Posted by Skiyomi View Post
    Honestly, I think half the fun of bizarre scenarios is finding a backstory that works for them.
    I agree with this

    Though it can be puzzling sometimes..
    And this. XD

    It's like a puzzle. You have this idea of what you want the characters to go through, but before you can do that, you have to get the characters there. The question is, how to get there? I love doing that! It's such a fun challenge XP
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  7. #132
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    Quote Originally Posted by Skiyomi View Post
    Honestly, I think half the fun of bizarre scenarios is finding a backstory that works for them. When I get ideas for stories I usually get a series of disjointed scenes/conversations and then I have to backpedal to figure out how they got there.

    Though it can be puzzling sometimes...
    I think that's exactly what I was trying to say. It's a pain in the ***, but if it's worth doing, it's also fun. Or is it the other way around?

    All I wanted to say was that's one area where I struggle. I feel like I have to set the scene properly, otherwise someone's just going to look at the first paragraph and say "What the hell is this idiot doing?"

    EDIT: Regarding that Fairy Tail fic, I decided Laxus is taking Gildarts's place. I'm going to miss out on a few funny scenes, but ultimately, Laxus will be the catalyst for the fights. And I also have a backstory in mind for him as well. Oh, and I also have a theory about Caprico's power, which I think makes some degree of sense.
    Last edited by Nightlingbolt; 14th April 2011 at 9:30 PM.
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  8. #133
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    Quote Originally Posted by Skiyomi View Post
    When I get ideas for stories I usually get a series of disjointed scenes/conversations and then I have to backpedal to figure out how they got there.

    THAT ^^ is exactly how i get my ideas as well, i create strange and interesting scenes in my head, and then i have to piece them together, and fill in the blanks.

    i really like it too, although it is confusing and painstaking sometimes.

    its like a puzzle that kindof annoys you because its oddly shaped and large, but you cant stop because youre so exicted to complete it!

    on the path to become the greatest
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  9. #134
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    It definitely can be frustrating when things don't come together, but it's OH SO satisfying when they finally do. Like those moments where I'm trying so hard to get things to connect and they just won't and then suddenly something else I planned in no relation to those two things totally bridges the gap in a way that looks like I planned it elegantly but I didn't and it takes me by surprise and then I'm like: how can I be so smart and so stupid at the same time?

    And and AND I'm not making much sense right now.

    I also think people can overdo it with backstory too. Sometimes it's better to just sketch out the circumstances if they don't really effect the plot. Like in one of my Slayers fics it would be nice if I had a Pokemon example the characters have to find a magic book to increase their powers and beat some kind of powerful demon. But it's not like I take the time to name the exact circumstances that led them to having to fight a Big Bad. This is Slayers. There's always a Big Bad and always a good reason to power up. The story's not really about that though, the magic book is just creates the need to distract Xellos from their goal which is what the story is actually about. Working too much on whoever they have to fight would be a waste of time because it's only tangentially related to the plotline.

    And sometimes it seems like setup is there... but it comes out so clunky. It's just plopped down at the beginning before the action actually starts. Sort of like the writer is pitching the idea to you "here's the setup" and then actually gets to the story. It's better if it's placed more naturally within the flow of the story, even if that often means readers have to wait for answers--sometimes waiting for answers makes them want to read more. But if they never get them they might get frustrated.

  10. #135
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    Quote Originally Posted by Skiyomi
    It's better if it's placed more naturally within the flow of the story, even if that often means readers have to wait for answers--sometimes waiting for answers makes them want to read more.
    Suspense. :3 It's something I like to implement in my fics, cuz I enjoy returning readers. XD But it's hard keeping secrets, because I've had readers that got really excited about it and asked questions and I had to watch what I said to save the suspense. It's horrible until the story reveals it and you're like "That was totally worth it. Look at 'em gobble it up!" :P

    But from where the discussion is going, I think it's safe to say that every situation is different, as Skiyomi gave an example. You have to find a balance of what you should put in and what you can leave out. And that comes with practice. The more fic you produce, the more you'll find that balance, especially if you write for one fandom, or more specifically, one ship.
    However, if you write for the Pokemon fandom, you may want to go the extra mile more than the writing of the series, because, let's face it, it's not the best writing in the world. XD And to put in shipping to a series that barely touches upon the subject except to laugh at it, mostly, you'd have to take the time to set things up well enough to make it believable. Thankfully, it's really not difficult.

    As for puzzling plot-bunnies together, I mostly just run with an idea. I know Contest Tie was a total running with the broad idea of May and Drew traveling a new region together. I then just added things to it. Oh! It should be ALL contests. Oh! There should be new Pokemon! Oh! The region needs an evil team. Now let me just make a map of the region and map out each chapter corresponding to each landmark...aaaand...done! My greatest masterpiece. Demons of Metropolis was more like a puzzle, though that was also a bunch of building blocks at some point. Here are a bunch of things I want to implement, now how to do that...how do I showcase this awesome stuff (the seven deadly sins, rigid society, mythical creatures, survival, animal instinct, and of course, sex) in Contestshipping? :P
    Last edited by Encyclopika; 15th April 2011 at 6:29 AM.
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  11. #136
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    Oh, I am no good at suspense at all. Like I said, the need to explain everything so I don't alienate my readers is my greatest weakness. But for that Fairy Tail story I'm working on, I'm trying to build up a sense of mystery around Laxus's past. We'll see how that goes.
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  12. #137
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    I looove building up suspense. I've done 'who's the assassin?' type plots and I'd love to return to a bit of that mystery/detective-type. I mean, I think all good stories have an element of mystery in them. Readers shouldn't get *all* they're questions answered right away. Otherwise, why would they keep reading?

    And yeah, I agree with Encylopika, it can be hard to keep secrets in replying to people ESPECIALLY when they tread on the answer without really appreciating the implication of it. Then I just have to cackle to myself and try to find some sort of ambiguous way to reply.

    I love planting red herrings in my stories and being deceptive~mwahahahaha.

  13. #138
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    @Skiyomi: I get where you're coming from, but the tricky thing for me is deciding what to explain, what to keep secret, and when to explain my secrets. Again, this all comes from a fear of alienating the reader.
    Pokemon Y Friend Code: 3282-3535-2249

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  14. #139
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    Yeah, I think deciding when and how to dole out secret information is the hardest actually. That's where good planning comes in. Sometimes its fun to do fics on the fly, but with mystery/suspense elements... it's good to have at least some kind of outline.

    And then there's implications vs. explanations. It's better to keep some things hinted instead of straight up telling the reader, but it's a struggle to make sure that what you want to say comes through.

  15. #140
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    There's a difference between alienating the reader and keeping them in suspense. Alienating would be not explaining how something works or how you got to a particular place/setting/predicament, and it will leave the reader confused. It's leaving out needed information.
    Suspense is when you're keeping what the ending will be like a secret, and so drags readers back for chapter after another to see what's going on with so-and-so, or why did this event happen, or why does everyone hate this character? I usually accomplish this by leaving my characters clueless, and so as the reader follows the life of the character, both the character and the reader discover things at the same time.
    The best example I have of this is "Demons of Metropolis". In that story, I explain how things work - how the city works, why the Demons are banished, I give back story, and I explain why May and Drew cannot be together thanks to the society they live in. However, there is a greater secret underneath the pavement of that city that I indicate and brush upon for chapters upon chapters, as well as build up the suspense as May and Drew try to find ways to see each other without getting caught, as well as have them fight with their blossoming feelings they didn't think could exist between them.

    Suspense: it's the entertainment part of a story, any story. We can even take the generic fluffy fic. Girl and Boy go on a picnic on the beach. Judging from the rating, we can guess what will be going on there, but if it's only PG, a whole bunch of things could happen. For the reader that needs a fluffy fix, this is great, because the suspense of "OMGWILLTHEYKISS???" keeps them hooked until the end. Even that is suspense. It doesn't always have to be a mystery fic that has suspense. If you're giving all your secrets away so easily, the reader will be able to know how the story ends before they finish the first chapter. What's the point of continuing then?

    Hope that helps. XD I know it's huge.
    Last edited by Encyclopika; 23rd April 2011 at 12:06 AM.
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  16. #141
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    Okay, just to get this thread moving again, I have another question.

    What kind of music do you listen to when writing?

    I just listen to whatever, though I find I'm easily distracted. For example, I can't write romance when "Crocodile Rock" is on! This is pretty much a serious question.
    Pokemon Y Friend Code: 3282-3535-2249

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  17. #142
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    What kind of music do you listen to when writing?

    By and large I like silence when I write. When I do get those "The silence is too loud" type moments I'll put on instrumentals or random music that's very quiet so that the lyrics don't invade my head... as lyrics tend to do.

    Another question:

    Do you tend to write in short bits and pieces or run through a chapter in one sitting?

    I usually write in major blocks... usually in half chapters or thirds of chapters. Back when I wrote on a schedule, though, I'd do one chapter in one sitting. But even those large parts come in bits. If I didn't come up for air every so often I'd probably go crazy. So I stop after a bit to mess around on the internet or play a game for about five minutes before diving back into writing.

  18. #143
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    What kind of music do you listen to when writing?

    When i write i almost always listen to music, i cant function in silence. i usually listen to whatever im into at the moment, and i plan out what mood that my chapter is, and try to make a playlist where the music fits the mood, it usually really gets my creative juices flowing.

    Do you tend to write in short bits and pieces or run through a chapter in one sitting?

    i almost always try to write a whole chapter in one sitting, but sometimes ill either get too tired, or things wont go wirte, or ill be late for something, and i have to jot down notes about where i was going, and then set it off for a while.
    my time for writing, when im actually in the mood for writing, is for the most part few and far between, so i try to get as much done as possible in one sitting.

    on the path to become the greatest
    pokemon researcher...okay in all reality im just completeing a pokedex


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    Contestshipping (PG-14)


  19. #144
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    What kind of music do you listen to when writing?

    I make playlists that go along with the different ships or specific situations that I'm writing. Plus I have specific theme songs for my ships XD which I'll listen to while writing. It helps...sometimes.

    Do you tend to write in short bits and pieces or run through a chapter in one sitting?

    It entirely depends. Sometimes I'll be able to plow through several chapters in a day, or through a whole short story at once; other times, I may only write a few sentences a day. If I'm writing on a deadline, like I was for NaNo or for any contests I'm doing, I tend to write faster because I'm on said deadline. Otherwise it can vary so much.
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  20. #145
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    What kind of music do you listen to when writing?
    Silence, por favor!

    Do you tend to write in short bits and pieces or run through a chapter in one sitting?
    As Simon said, it all depends. If I have the time, I'll write the whole damn thing in one sitting. Otherwise, I'll get done over a few days. When I used to write Contest Tie, it had to be in small pieces because the episodes were too big for one sitting. Nowadays, my chapters are short, so it takes no time at all, which is good cuz I don't really have the time I used to for writing, unfortunately.
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  21. #146
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    Quick question about alphabet challenges: can you come up with your own prompts, or do they have to be suggested for you?
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  22. #147
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    ^You can come up with your own. If I ever get around to mine, that's what I'd do.
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  23. #148
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    ^Ooh, awesome! Then I think I'm just about ready to start! I don't like to give actual dates, but you can expect me to start my NatsuErza alphabet challenge as early as next week.
    Pokemon Y Friend Code: 3282-3535-2249

    Friend Safari: Pansage, Petilil, Gogoat

    As of now, my focus is on Safaris with starters (barring Wartortle and Quilladin), but give me your Safari anyway. Chances are I'll find something interesting.

  24. #149
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    alphabet challenge?

    on the path to become the greatest
    pokemon researcher...okay in all reality im just completeing a pokedex


    What Im Writing This Time:


    Contestshipping (PG-14)


  25. #150
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    ^Yeah. It's where you take a pairing in a fandom and write one-shots with themes that start with each letter of the alphabet.
    Pokemon Y Friend Code: 3282-3535-2249

    Friend Safari: Pansage, Petilil, Gogoat

    As of now, my focus is on Safaris with starters (barring Wartortle and Quilladin), but give me your Safari anyway. Chances are I'll find something interesting.

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