They're not even THAT good--like, they're all right, but it's definitely not the best I've ever read, nor would I consider them the best things I've ever written. Definitely not. But I re-read both my Bleach fics last weekend and I was just like fuck it, I still love these^10000.
I have a productivity plug-in on Chrome that when turned on will redirect me to a blank Google Doc every time I try to access a social media site when I'm not supposed to. This is supposed to remind me to be productive. But instead, I ended up writing this very random lil' unplanned Bleach fic that, like its two older siblings, is not actually that great but that I LOVE WITH ALL MY HEART at least for this weekend.
And it's one of those idiotic fics where like, it spawned from extremely iddy H/C fantasies I've been nurturing for months, but on paper that has meant 1 scene of plot-adjacent H/C and 3000 words of bureaucratic tasks because the H/C fantasy sound stupid and is less appealing on paper, alone.
I feel like if I had to describe my writing tastes, that's pretty much it? Like, take anything interesting and make it as boring as humanly possible + a side-helping of "and then they had to clean up."
I feel like a good 70% of my SPN fic is "and then they had to do something about these bodies," because that is easily a Top 5 favorite genre, and Bleach has fewer bodies to bury but a lot of "and then they had to do some tidying" potential and like, oh man, does the world need a deleted scene fic where the characters have to do all the washing and transcribing? Nope. Do I want it? Fuck yeah. Will it literally focus on all the weird administrative details that should be cut out of any self-respecting narrative? Fuck yeah.
And I just. Construction-wise I feel like I actually did a pretty decent job writing my way wildly into something with an actual narrative arc and character exploration (albeit unevenly--jury's out on whether I'll correct this or not), but man. This fic is just all my hopes and dreams. It's written in a stupid POV that I love (second-person AND in the imperative), about stupid tasks that I love, fixated on stupid boggy details that I love. It is the greatest, worst fic ever.
BUT. Something that I do think is genuinely cool about it is that I ended up really working through the fact that none of these characters know each other that well, and the POV character is trying to figure out what the relationships between all the other characters are. And that's really fun because 1) since we as readers know all these characters well and know how they're related to each other, it's a good exercise in POV to think about the ways characters without that omniscience might perceive their peers, and what assumptions they might honestly make without said readerly omniscience, and 2) a lot of the time in fic writers just assume all the characters are bffs with each other, even though the entire premise of Bleach is that nobody knows shit about anyone else and failures to communicate effectively results in sclerotic bureaucracies that get innocent people killed and then assume it was inevitable (honestly, a great series to read during pandemic in ye olde US of A, hahahahahahahahahaha....). So writing that alienation in is refreshing.
But anyway, actual question for anyone scrolling this (skip the rest of this post): What's your take on second-person POV? Do you like it? Hate it? How do you read it? How do you use it?
I think present-tense third-limited is where I feel most versatile, but second-person is by far my fave. I love it. I think it gets a bad rap because it's so frequently used for "imagines" where I guess you're supposed to self-insert? But I consider it the voyeur's POV. A ghostly eavesdropper, or a POV within the character's head, but one that can perceive him at a distance--the self-aware, probably castigatory and/or self-critical voice that the POV character keeps in mind but is probably pretending to ignore. (At least, that's often how I use it for SPN.)
For Bleach, I've been using it to maintain a respectful distance from my POV characters' interiorities? I guess? Because that feels right somehow, and feels appropriate to how their minds and self-perceptions come across to me, because they're not human people and gives a little more of that flavor of strangeness, even when they're doing something dumb like washing a
It's been a little challenging to work with the tempo of some statements being made in the imperative, but others not. Because while I do dig the imperative, it can be (read: "it is") jarring/awkward. My strategy so far has been to cut up the text with a frankly absurd amount of dashed scene breaks, at least until the POV character gets some rest and his POV comes back from the moon's outer orbits. There's really no part of this fic that reads smoothly (or that looks, on the page, like something that would be fun to read, lol) but right now I'm digging the estrangement.
Unfortunately, writing this is the last possible thing I should have been doing anywhere near this weekend, and I'm still three scenes (and some revision, if I'm feeling ambitious and responsible) from the end. But MAAAAAN what an ugly baby. I love it so far.