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100

That last story I posted brought my AO3 work list to one hundred stories, so I suppose it's time to celebrate! My writing has slowed down considerably over the past year or so, partly because I've gotten busy with work and other activities and partly because of lack of inspiration, but I'm still doing a little every day. My second hundred will take a while, I'm guessing.

I believe at such a milestone, it's customary to look back at what I've written and note some interesting (or non-interesting) things.


Fandoms

All but one of the stories are for Doctor Who and related fandoms. 91 are tagged for modern DW, 22 for classic, and seven for Big Finish audios. I'm pretty one-track-minded. There are three crossovers, with Broadchurch, Harry Potter, and Casanova, because I do like my doppleganger crossovers.

Only one story is not related in any way to DW, and that's "Liquid Luck", for Harry Potter. Interestingly, I've written two stories for the Harry Potter fandom, one a multi-chapter novella, and yet have never actually written Harry or his schoolmates.

Characters

By far, the character I've written the most is the Tenth Doctor, which is not surprising in the least. For canon stories, the second most common character is a tie between Donna Noble and Martha Jones. I believe I write Donna in standalone stories more often, while Martha gets a boost because I write about "Human Nature" / "Family of Blood" a lot (though I do have a number of Martha-centric stories as well).

Considering AU stories in the mix, my third most common character is David Tennant (below Donna but above Martha), either as a human or as the Time Lord OC I tortured him into becoming. Then fifth is the Eleventh Doctor, and then John Smith (see the mention of HN/FOB above).

Relationships and Romance

A big negatory on both. I have a total of eight stories that have a relationship tag, but only four could be considered to be about the relationship itself. Maybe five if you imagine that Meta and Pete's World Jack end up getting together as a result of their meetings in "Not Always Greener" (which I do expect, just not for a while).

Episodes

I write a lot of stories inspired by specific episodes, either as missing scenes, to provide backstory for interesting characters, or to see what happens to people after they've met the Doctor. By far, the episode I'm most obsessed with is HN/FOB - fifteen stories tagged with that. And then you can add in probably another dozen stories that found their roots in some way in a chameleon arch. After that comes "The Day of the Doctor", though that has petered out with my waning enthusiasm and respect for that story. Beyond that, I've written one or two stories for a number of episodes.

Strengths

Someone once told me that I tend to notice little tidbits that no one else notices or thinks about and develops them into stories, and I like to think that that's one thing I do well. I think my favorite example of this was remembering the reference in "The Kingmaker", a Fifth Doctor audio, in which Clarey hands Peri a letter from the Doctor, who's trapped two years in the future, and says that a Northern bloke with big ears asked him to deliver it to her, and turning this into "Royal Mail." Another I'm particularly proud of was "Falling and Rising", a story about the only Time Lord other than the Woman to oppose Rassilon about the Final Sanction.

One other thing that I think I do pretty well is that I take the time to flesh things out around the main storyline and dialogue. I remember one comment I received on Mistaken Identity, one of my first stories and my first multi-chapter, was that the chapters and paragraphs were too short. At the time, I dismissed the criticism, thinking that was just a stupid thing to require of an author, but after I while, I got what he was trying to say. The story was good, but I didn't take the time to build the scene, the world around the characters. I wasn't delving into what motivated them either. So I started to work harder on that, and I think the results have been pretty good. One day, I'll go back and rewrite Mistaken Identity the way it should have been written.

Weaknesses

My main weakness goes hand-in-hand with my aversion to relationships and romance. I don't understand interpersonal relationships well, and therefore I tend to avoid that kind of thing in my writing. When I do try to focus on that in a story, I end up slogging through lots of dry dialogue with more logic than emotion, which is not how people communicate. "Not Always Greener" is a great example of this. Blue Rain went in the opposite direction. It was supposed to be a relationship piece but developed into an action story, which is what I'm comfortable writing. (Not that it's bad - I'm rather proud of it - but I managed to avoid dealing with the relationship until the penultimate chapter.)

One thing that I am always working on improving is my description. I'm mathematically-minded and rather aesthetically-challenged, so if I don't stop myself, I have a tendency to describe things like a Dungeons & Dragons gamemaster would (e.g. "The corridor extends for about ten meters, with stone walls covered with moss"). I make myself go back over stories and rewrite description to be more evocative and less literal. I'd love to get a bit more absurdist.

Trends and the Future

Looking back on the stories I've written, I can see that I've been moving away from writing for episodes and toward working on my two AUs. I'm not particularly happy with that. I think part of the problem is that the last three series of DW have destroyed my enthusiasm for the show. While I think about DW every day and do various fannish activities, I don't actually watch episodes or listen to audios much, and those are what normally inspires me to write. Without that, I don't have motivation. However, my AU characters - David the human/Time Lord in his cobbled-together TARDIS and Jon and Donna in their superhero universe, have infinite potential, and so I write about them.

I am rather unhappy that I've moved away from writing short adventure pieces like "The Savage Beast", and I haven't written a story for my short story collections "A Teacher and a Housemaid" and "Calling the Doctor" in at least a year. I'd like to move back in that direction, because that's where I get the most enjoyment. On the other hand, I can write short adventure pieces for David. I find myself weighing new ideas and deciding whether they would be more suited for the Doctor or more suited for David. (And yes, I have a bucket for each Doctor. It's very important to suit the story to the Doctor.)

I will note, one of my main inspirations for writing is who_contest. I love their prompts (even if I haven't participated in the last two contests).

Callouts

Here are a few things I'm proud of.

  • The Actor: My first novel. I crafted the story carefully, making sure each part of it contributed to the final outcome and inserting foreshadowing and a few secrets, and it's still by far my most popular story. A couple of hundred kudos isn't much, I know, but it's fantastic for me in my obscure little corner of an enormous fandom.
  • Blue Rain: My most recent novel. This one is a better narrative, in my opinion.
  • "The Woman Who Didn't": I wrote this for "Peri and the Piscon Paradox", and I'm particularly happy with how well I mimicked the style of the audio. It was also fun trying to describe London and the DW universe from an American point of view.
  • "Beyond the Door": This story was written for the 10th anniversary of the return of DW, and I meant it to illustrate what DW did for me: allowed me to explore the universe with the Doctor. I'm very happy with how I depicted the Ninth Doctor here. He's absolutely the Doctor whose voice I find the most difficult.
  • "History and Intuition": I wish I could write more stories like this one. This is about the faculty at the Farringham School for Boys receiving John Smith's application and CV. It was a blast working their discussion into a form which both depicted their personalities (two of which were OCs) and foreshadowed the coming events.
  • "Spoiling the Broth": This is an alternate story for "Calling the Doctor", the collection which tells how Eleven, Ten, and War, gathered their predecessors for the final scene in "The Day of the Doctor". This story involved taking an episode and altering the events to fit in the arrival of two future Doctors.
  • "Every Mirror": Originally, I'd planned to have Daughter of Mine use what she saw out of the mirrors to blackmail the Doctor into letting her out. What came out was so much better.
  • "The Dawn of the Doctor": The second story I'd ever written. Lord, Nine is hard to write.
  • "Falling and Rising": I mentioned this one before, and it's one of the stories I'm most proud of, as I pretty much created the character from a glimpse of him on screen.
  • "The Savage Beast": This has a bit of everything: world-building, a bit of adventure, and some meaningful interaction between the Doctor and Martha.

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Comments

( 5 comments — Leave a comment )
romanajo123
May. 8th, 2018 12:03 pm (UTC)
Congratulations on your 100th fic!
bas_math_girl
May. 8th, 2018 09:56 pm (UTC)
Oh wow! Congratulations on reaching 100. :)

A couple of hundred kudos isn't much, I know
Sorry, I wanted to ironically laugh at this statement, as reaching a hundred kudos on a story has been a major achievement in my life. Just shows the difference between a niche market and a popular corner of a fandom, I suppose.
paynesgrey
May. 9th, 2018 02:35 am (UTC)
Congrats on your 100th fic! Definitely take pride!
tkel_paris
May. 9th, 2018 03:27 am (UTC)
Bravo! A major accomplishment. Give yourself a pat on the back for writing that much. :D
flowsoffire
May. 10th, 2018 08:24 pm (UTC)
Wow, congratulations! :)
( 5 comments — Leave a comment )

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