Kalliel (kalliel) wrote,

2015's road so far - Concrit, Reflections, Self-Assessment

Because the season is almost over, and it's time to start thinking about what overambitious fic projects to undertake this summer, since I didn't finish my Big Bang... reflections! concrit! and someday, directions forward!

Main stories:
Delicacy - I opened the document thinking I was going to write ~500 words of Rowena characterization sampling. HAHAHA. But with respect to Rowena, I actually really loved this, and she was fun to work with and expand. As also happens when I write Crowley, I think some of her lines were too long, so cutting them back towards actual speech and choosing the one place I want her line to land (rather than having her just say all three things, haha) would be nice to be mindful of next time. While writing this I struggled to make it land somewhere, while also hoping it wouldn't land like an anvil. I think Rowena's thing about the magic probably could have used more play in the text leading up to that last scene, because I'm not sure that it works that well as it stands here. But overall, I do think this one kind of works, and I think I'd be prepared to own Sam's creepiness here, which I wasn't at all confident about when I was writing/posting.

Clownfish vs. Constellation - I made a conscious effort here to try to have Sam lead me somewhere vulnerable, because I think I tend to stop short of that usually. And I think he did do that here, though in spite of that I think the characterization managed to be a little watery, pun unintended? Like, in spite of the experience of vulnerability the characterization still doesn't scream to me, this is full-color Sam? Part of that might be the nature of the fic, though, and the limitations on who you can step up and be as a person when you have to pull yourself through that much shit. Because at the end of the day, I just like it when Sam wins, or has a fighting chance at it. I always want Sam to win. It never feels right if he doesn't win. XP But he probably doesn't win this one.

Myth - I'm still not sure how the short, masculine sentence thing works for SPN, because I personally don't think it fits either Sam or Dean's narrative styles, but I figured, might as well give it a shot. I think this is the intellectual heir to a couple other fics I've written about cleanup, and that context I think this one is the least materially grounded. The lines about the tub rings or the silicon are probably the best for that (though idk, the tub lines are a bit much, and probably gratuitous; but I liked them so I kept them). But I think the quietness of this leaves itself too open to this idea that Charlie's death happened for plot reasons, which I actually don't hold to (though it will certainly affect the plot). That and the fact that it was almost titled "Mytharc," er, and that it does play on that age-old line, take your brother outside and don't look back. That play was the whole reason I started writing this in the first place, but part of me thinks maybe I shouldn't have.

Wake, Memory - Okay, so something I honestly keep wondering. Why is the summary "Ten stories Charlie hasn't told you yet" when the form of the fic itself appears to be a list of imperatives? Those aren't stories being told, they're pieces being enacted... Like, why. Also, I think the middle of this is a little weird, because for some reason it dips into gamergate territory? And like, I get that it has to do with fears people don't know we have, or stories as yet untold. And I think the line about Pfizer and Dick Roman almost saves that. But it's still fucking weird, and it probably shouldn't be there. But I really do love the way the last few scenes roll together, and Charlie finding Mary.

less than 3333 - This exists because I was sad and wanted to write something happy, and had a one-liner without a home. The conceit of it isn't half bad, with Castiel's relationship to emoji, but I think the execution needed to be tighter, because 400 words is a bit over-inflated. Especially since I wanted it to be fluffy and then started writing creepy halfway through, nipped that in the bud, but didn't, you know, excise the bud.

Sisyphean - Started off creepy, then veered toward something else in a way that I'm not sure actually worked. XP I like the angel creepytalk of myth and curses and haloes and curses whose effects are double-edged(especially given what Rowena tells us later in 10x21, on the nature of cures and curses), but the actual Jimmy/Amelia/Claire stuff is sort of trite. I get that I was going for that sense of longing with the scene with the marble, but that passage tried too hard.

Guidance - The gist of this was supposed to be that by some magic Castiel had found a way to do some of the work of God, and (politely) intrude on acts and intentions that manifested below. So he sort of creepily decides to help the Winchesters out by guiding their dialogue with each other out of the ditch it drove into. But Sam and Dean realize what they're saying and how they're reacting and recognize it as not themselves, and Sam asks Castiel to stop, tells him that they will be okay. But I don't think that actually played because I couldn't decide whether it should be deeply earnest on Castiel's part in a creepy way, or a poignant way, and idk, mostly ended up doing neither. XD

No Such Story - The best thing about this is still the cut text. And while I do love the cut text (a lot), I don't think the rest necessarily offers a good enough reason to have read more than just the cut text.

Summary: The freewrite struggle seems to be a rather consistent battle between "this is creepy" and "this is emotionally meaningful." I don't know if those should be binarized like that, and within some written ideal I'd imagine they're not. But I think I'm struggling to bring those together, or to know how to get them to speak to one another. Which I think carries into the longer fic in the sense that my disappointment seems to be in their univocality, or the muted aliveness of the characterization, I suppose. Other things to keep in mind: Writing too long (both scenes and individual lines of dialogue), being gratuitous--and, conversely, not being willing to delve deep enough. But I think both Clownfish and Delicacy were actually both really successful experiments with that, process-wise if not product-wise.

Though, P.S., Dean has literally the lamest, lamest, lamest possible role in both of those (though I think he got off better in Clownfish--at least he had lines). Not that that's wrong in itself, because those are both Sam stories, and Sam's thoughts in them are often around Dean rather than about him; and also, the point of them is that Dean isn't present, in a real, vital, personable way. But it might be nice to write something for Dean, so he doesn't get stuck like that. XD

What are your summer ambitions, flist? Do you have a craft aspect you want to work on? Or a particular project?
Tags: fandom: spn, writing

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