laceblade: Rachel & Santana wearing eye masks, arms folded, on their couch (Glee: Pezberry couch)
This concert was a complete surprise, announced while I was already in London for the month. Shoreditch was the neighborhood next to mine, so even though it cut into the weekend that we ended up traveling to York, I went to this concert, one of a handful Lea has had thus far to promote her new album, Places.

The line to get inside extended around the corner of a large city block, and there was some palpable excitement.

I had a balcony seat, and a decent view. The music being played overhead prior to Lea was all Bon Iver [I think]. I lost my shit a little bit when I recognized The Wolves, which is a song that's on my [Glee] fic playlist, although I had previously only been familiar with the Ellie Goulding cover and didn't even know it was a Bon Iver song, lol. BUT. SO MANY FIC FEELINGS UGGGHHHH.

When the lights dimmed imperceptibly, everyone screamed. We cheered and clapped for a long time, and eventually Lea kept trying to talk but couldn't because the clapping persisted. She was clearly overcome, thanked everyone sincerely for having come. Someone in the front yelled, "You deserve this!"

The band joining Lea on stage included a drummer, a cellist, a pianist, and some string instrument(s) I couldn't see, probably including a violin. This led to some different intros and interpretations, just because some of the orchestral/electronic effects couldn't be recreated on a live tour. For example, I remember really liking the percussive intro to Cannonball, the first song.

"Love Is Alive" was the first song to give me goosebumps. Like, her voice is just phenomenal, but there was a point of realizing, I AM IN THE SAME ROOM AS LEA. SHIT.
Her story introducing how she got this song [from a writer] was pretty hilarious, but I think completely loses its effect if not told verbally.

I eyerolled when she said she wished Darren [Criss] was there just before beginning Battlefield - he sang the duet with her on the album. Everyone else cheered, though, so I struggled to keep my reaction non-verbal so as not to ruin the moment for the people sitting to either side of me LOL.

Often on the slower songs, Lea would give a manual cue to the pianist/orchestra members to speed things up, making a "go" motion circling her index finger, which cheered me because slow songs tend to bore me live too, :D

When introducing "Sentimental Memories," she said something like, "One of the great things about being a singer is that you get to express these feelings...AND TALK SHIT ABOUT THE PEOPLE WHO FUCKED YOU OVER." lmao.

"Heavy Love" gave me some 'these strange steps' feelings, mostly due to the Dear lover / put another pill upon my tongue lyric.

Full setlist )

A tweet from Lea's twitter feed, showing her on the stage.

Since the concert, the whole Places album has been released. I'd like to listen to it more, and spend time comparing it to Louder, but I feel like her voice sounds healthier here, like you can tell she's had a lot of rest. I think her voice is still damaged from Glee, but it makes me happy how nice it sounded.
I want to punch the reporter who asked her whether "Hey You" was about Cory. The direct references in the lyrics make it completely obvious that IT IS, why ask her?

"Anything's Possible" gives me a lot of fic feelings. I'm adding it to my fic-writing inspiration playlist.
laceblade: Chord Overstreet offering his hand to Chris Colfer. Glee live-tour. (Glee: Colferstreet)
I only have one WIP, so these are all from A Song Is a Weapon. There's a lot of middle between what I've fleshed out & these scenes, so still a little sketchy.
[personal profile] littlebutfierce, the tag is for introducing me to the song in #3, :)

1) Rachel assessed herself coldly in the mirror. She looked too peaked; she pushed her fingertips into her cheeks, massaging tiny circles to push some color there.

Who knew that a theatrical education would have practical applications in espionage? I should write a thesis about this.


2) Her fingers hit some low notes on the electronic keyboard. Simple - he knew she didn’t play much.

“All my life, I’ve been fighting a war…” her voice started out like it always did, clear, sweetly cutting the air with pure, full notes.

Her voice lifted higher.

“My heart jumps around when I’m alluded to.
This will not do.”

Puck new they’d all been scared - for a long time - but all he could think about was how Rachel had had the fear first, and worst - but her entire tone shifted, to anger.

“’Cause I was raised up to be admired
To be noticed.”

Her anger was about her loss, then. Of a meticulously planned future to which she’d devoted the last decade of her life.

Could she ever do this?

Would her bitterness allow her to slip into other personas, to ignore herself for the sake of their missions?

Rachel turned toward him then, as if reading his thoughts. Her smile was warm and infectious as she went on.

“It’s a switch flipped,
It’s a pill tipped back
It’s a moon eclipse.
And I can tell you that when the lights come on I’ll be ready for this.”

She went to another verse, and her voice was full and strong.

Puck hadn’t exactly forgotten what it was like to listen to Rachel Berry sing, but remembering was so different than being right in front of her.


3) “I’ve been thinking a lot about faith,” says Rachel. “But before you get upset, Kurt,” she holds her hand up as if to silence him, even though he hadn’t said anything. He lifted his eyebrows, waiting for her to continue. “This is a little different, though. And…I think you’ll like it especially, because you’re my Glenda,” she said.

She took a deep breath and rested her fingers on the piano. Her posture’s always good, but on the bench it’s perfect.

“Well I’m off to see the wizard,
With his curtain and his crown,
But my hands are not trembling,
And my head it is not bowed.
All I’m asking is that you show me something real…”

Her voice trembles a bit, and Kurt feels as though no one else is really breathing. When she sings, “All I’m looking for is someone to walk with me,” and reaches her hand toward him, he smiles and takes her hand, swinging them back and forth while she continues. He almost can’t believe how much her writing has improved - they’ve all matured over the past few months, but being able to articulate something this meaningful and… sad, is truly surprising.

Maybe it’s easier to write when you have something to say.
laceblade: Quinn of Glee, glaring. Bangs, pink ruffled collar, black cardigan. (Glee: Quinn)
So obviously I'm not posting these on the day they were intended any more. BUT there are a lot of gaps in my "month," so it's possible I'll catch up, or more probably just extend it past December.

Anyway, this prompt is from [personal profile] raanve, & after clarifying on Twitter a little bit, we're going with "music and writing," for me.

As-you-know-Bob, the thing I've been writing for the last couple years is A Song is a Weapon.
Music works a little differently in Glee fandom, as it would not be too random or unsettling for the characters to break into song in the fic itself. And as the title implies, singing does become pretty important to the plot. By the end of the fic, characters will literally sing.

That said, I still have a pretty lengthy "mix" for that FF7 Inception-AU I'd been working on for a while, too.

I find it almost impossible to write without listening to music. This is true even on the rare occasions when I sit down knowing what I'm going to write. Often, if I find a particular song gelling really well with a scene, I'll listen to it over & over until that scene is done.

Often, a lyric or a few lyrics will grab me & there'll be an image or a feeling that happens that I associate with a character in the fic.

Here's one from a few days ago. It hasn't been edited, so please withhold judgment as I'm using it to offer up a peek into my process. idk how other people write, but my process involves producing a lot of bilge.

I recently added Paramore's "Future" to my mix for this fic [which I have yet to update anywhere online - it's been a pretty big overhaul of adding/removing songs]. [Full lyrics here.] This fits into my mental image of Quinn-in-high-school, closing herself off from everyone else after her dad kicked her out of the house due to her pregnancy. In the show, she makes connections with people who help her, & then the relationships are never referred to again. On Glee itself, this is just lazy writing on behalf of the writers. In my fic, I'm trying to make the argument that Quinn used every waking minute to make sure she got into Yale [so she could join Skull & Bones], & researching her father's work and Skull & Bones, and figuring out how to bring them down.

Since the rest of the characters are physically separated from Quinn in my story (due to college/some still being in high school), & also suspicious of her, I haven't gotten into her head much, but after the intensity of season 3 & the shift in everyone else's attitudes, I think the reader needs a better understanding of where Quinn's coming for.
Anyway, the lyric from Paramore's 'Future' that prompted this scene is, "We don't talk about the past," but also the song as a whole - feeling really shitty about something specific that's ruined your life, but having a plan for the future that you can be focused on to help you get through what you have to get through now - in this case, high school.
(ALSO pretty sure the song doesn't mean your goal should be destroying an evil/patriarchal cult but YMMV)
Anyway, here's what I jotted down on a legal pad at work.
Watching her father had been jolting, once. After years of repression, it was jarring to see his face, to hear his voice. We don’t talk about the past, she’d said sharply to Mercedes to cut her off, once. It was one of the last times Mercedes pushed Quinn to talk about how she was really doing - feeling - after Beth was born. There’d been a sharp pang of guilt after seeing the hurt on Mercedes’s face, but Quinn hadn’t let herself acknowledge it. Like her mother, she agreed that not discussing the past was best. Unlike her mother, Quinn was fine with letting the past map out her future quite clearly. She wouldn’t talk about the past - that was fine. But it didn’t mean that she’d forgiven or forgotten. It didn’t mean she’d stopped caring about the puppet strings her father and his cronies had laced throughout the government and the rest of society. Wearing a white dress with matching headband didn’t make her innocent again. Holding up a copy of Pride and Prejudice in glee club didn’t mean she wasn’t reading Robert Kennedy’s The Enemy Within.

This is pretty rough, & a version of this won't end up in the fic.
I don't like "jolting" and "jarring" being in the first two sentences.
I dislike the "sharp pang of guilt" cliche, also the "forgiven or forgotten."
The last few sentences are building toward something, but I totally miss the landing - there's no conclusion.
Most of the text is pretty dramatic & vague, too, and it makes me wrinkle my nose - the sentence about puppet strings especially.
BUT STILL, it captured everything this lyric was making me think, & now it's down on paper.

In addition to the chapter I'm currently working on (4), I have a bunch of other "image flashes" like this for the rest of the fic. 10k words' worth, at the moment. Especially toward the end of the fic, some of these are the same scene - rewritten 2 or 3 times because they've happened different ways in my mind, almost always thanks to listening to different music.

Eventually, I use logic to string them all together.

Sometimes, the image I've jotted down doesn't work - originally chapter 4 ended in a warehouse-type building that looked like one of the reactors from FF7.
Recently, I decided that part of the reason this scene wasn't working was because the whole premise was stupid - it made way more sense to be in a nondescript office building than in a dramatic warehouse - especially since the kids were supposed to be obtaining paper documents.

Sometimes the lyrics of a song can drive the plot of the story. This happens most often when I hear a song for the first time, or after not hearing it for a really long time (so I'm paying closer attention to the lyrics than usual).

Kris Delmhorst's "Yellow Brick Road" ended up giving me a glimpse into how the story ends, & the lyrics are almost perfect for a Wicked-obsessed Rachel Berry. (I won't say too much more than that, lest I give away the conclusion!)

Sometimes too, it's a beat. I played drums in high school, & I can be really drawn to songs/bands because of unusual and/or strong rhythms. Beats are what keep me moving when I'm doing something longer, like editing an entire 8-10k chapter.


UMMMMM, so that's part of how I write. And perhaps also explains why I'm such a slow fucking writer ^^;;
When you write a lot of disjointed crap, it takes a while to get rid of the shit & make it ready to email a draft to a beta, let alone post it for good at AO3.

As always for this meme, additional questions are welcome.
laceblade: Rachel & Santana wearing eye masks, arms folded, on their couch (Glee: Pezberry couch)

Chapter 3 is up. (It is my favorite chapter so far!)


Fic Synopsis: Post-Season 3 AU. Quinn Fabray has vowed revenge on her father for being a close-minded WASP who kicked her out of the house when she got pregnant, & has spent all of high school plotting. She won't let anything stop her, even when her attempt to infiltrate Skull and Bones drags in her closely-knit group of friends, at their peril.


General Note: This is a gen fic, but people still have feelings just like real life. Followers of mine might like to know that this chapter has a Pezberry moment!
This chapter is also the first time I've bumped it up to "graphic depictions of violence." If you need more detailed warnings, lmk.


Other Links: Chapter 1 | Chapter 2 | Playlist

laceblade: Quinn of Glee, glaring. Bangs, pink ruffled collar, black cardigan. (Glee: Quinn)
• What are you currently reading?
The Other Boleyn Girl by Philippa Gregory. I picked up a used copy of this Friday evening, while feeling pretty angsty. I think I'm about 60 pages in or so. Henry VIII is currently perving on Mary (Boleyn).
I'm enjoying the scheming family dynamic that's happening among Mary & her siblings: George and Anne.
This book is hella long, & between book clubs & etc., I expect it'll take me a while to get through it.

Assured of Certain Certainties by [archiveofourown.org profile] thememoriesfire This was abandoned, which is why it's now only available at the tumfslove tumblr. This is a Finn & Quinn body-swap fic, which treats the issue very seriously. It essentially functions as an exhaustive character study of both Quinn Fabray and Finn Hudson. It is one of my favorite fics of all time, written by my hands-down favorite author. Although it wasn't finished, there are over 200,000 words.
I think I probably started rereading this seeking some comfort, also to partly get me in the mood to work on my own fic.
If there were some sort of Tiptree Award for fanworks, I would have nominated this.
This, along with Eyes Closed to Fingers Crossed, & These Strange Steps, are my favorite fics, all by thememoriesfire. Even if you're unfamiliar with Glee, you could definitely follow the story.

Perhaps this is narcissistic, but I've been rereading my own fic, A Song is a Weapon. (I just posted chapter 2 online this past weekend.) I haven't written much (possibly anything?!) since December, it's just sort of been shelved. But putting chapter 2 online made me feel lots of good feelings. Pride probably being #1.
So now I'd like to reread chapter 3, & then reread what I have for chapter 4 & sew it together and finish my first draft of chapter 4. And move on to chapter 5.
This story is really important to me, and the validation of having other people read it too is just indescribable..
It also fills me with great purpose to comment more often on fics that I like. I'm pretty good about doing it! But I'm sure there are some that have touched me, on which I've never commented, :/

Avengers: The Children's Crusade by Heinberg & Cheung. It took me a while to find this in the library's database because I assumed it would be under Young Avengers. (I'M TAGGING IT THAT WAY IN MY POST B T W.)
I'm not very far yet, maybe like 1/6 of the way in? But I'm really loving this so far. The pacing is good, & I really enjoy the character dynamics. I care more about Billy than I ever have before, & his relationship with Teddie.

As mentioned on Twitter, I'm a little concerned that I most identify with Tommy, who's a sociopath ("I don't have feelings. And I don't hold hands").

I REALLY appreciate that when characters from other series titles have cameos here, they are ACTUALLY ANNOUNCED. Dude in a red cape appears, and there's text that says, MAGNETO! And I can think, Oh, that's that dude from the X-Men movies, okay I know what's up now. Same with Ms. Marvel, etc. I mean. I recognize Spider-Man and Iron Man, but I appreciate it when the writer/artist recognize that their readers may not have read EVER SERIES EVER.
ALSO APPRECIATED: Billy putting everyone in outfits from The Sound of Music. Billy, I'm starting to get you, man.

I don't appreciate the way every woman is drawn as BOOBS! but this just seems to be a Thing That Happens in US superhero comics.
I still find it lolarious whenever there's an entire page of like, everyone fighting. Because instead of looking like an actual fight scene, it's like a freeze frame of everyone on the same page, open-mouthed, raising a hand or a weapon. IT DOESN'T LOOK LIKE AN ACTUAL FIGHT AT ALL?!
I never thought I'd find the fight scenes in the first 30 volumes of Bleach/Naruto superior to other things, is I guess what I'm saying.

Anyway. I'm kind of enjoying my time with this. I expect I'll have a lot of thoughts once I've read it all.

These characters finally feel real to me. I still think that I like the Runaways kids more. I really like the Runaways' utter rejection of adulthood/the authority of established superheros, like Captain America/etc. Contrasting that, the Young Avengers seem to clash with the "old guard" pretty frequently, but they always feel guilty & bad about it.
Whereas Runaways would be like, "YOUR OUTFIT'S STUPID AND WHAT ARE YOU EVEN DOING?! NO." Bahahahahahaaaa.


• What did you recently finish reading?
Anna Karenina parts 3 & 4, by Leo Tolstoy.
Part 3 got pretty bogged down & I was all, "I AM REALLY TIRED OF YOUR SHIT, LEVIN."
Very annoyed with his, "We can't EDUCATE the peasants BECAUSE THEN THEY'LL WANT THINGS!"
Also annoyed with his like, falling hard for facades (working with peasants! Kitty! Agrarian lifestyle! Blah!) ONLY TO REALIZE THAT THINGS ARE WAY MORE COMPLICATED/UNSEEMLY. Like, omg we get it.
Kitty is still my fave.

After the slowness of part 3, the action-packed part 4 was pretty welcome. I don't really understand how this book will keep going, but there's still half of the book left?!
I think I said a lot of the things I wanted to say about this in book club, & now can't remember my shit.
I know that Tolstoy originally made Anna a much less sympathetic character than she is in the published version of the book, but part of me kind of wonders whether he included SO MUCH about Levin & class politics & etc. so that he as a male author would be treated more seriously than if it was "just" about ~a woman and her feelings.

Part 4 made me more sympathetic toward Vronsky than I ever had been previously.

PS: If there are any additional suicide attempts in this book, can someone please tell me??


• What do you think you’ll read next?
I need to move on with Anna Karenina: parts 5 & 6. Otherwise, finishing all the stuff listed up in the "What are you reading right now?" section, & some library books.
laceblade: Quinn of Glee, glaring. Bangs, pink ruffled collar, black cardigan. (Glee: Quinn)
A Song is a Weapon, chapter 2

Fic Synopsis: Post-Season 3 AU. Quinn Fabray has vowed revenge on her father, and won’t let anything stop her. Her attempt to infiltrate Skull and Bones drags in her closely-knit group of friends, at their peril.
/dramatic synopsis

Notes on chapter 2: While chapter 1 focused on Rachel/Santana/Quinn/Kurt/Finn, this chapter incorporates the rest of the main cast for this fic: Puck, Mercedes, Tina, Artie, & also Sam, Brittany, Sugar, and Mike.
General Note: This is a gen fic, but people will still have ~feelings, just like real life, ;)

Other Links: Chapter 1. | Playlist
laceblade: Buffy from Season 8 comics, holding scythe (Buffy Season 8)
• What are you currently reading?
Anna Karenina - Most of my book club hates Kitty & think she is terrible, but I don't?! She's 15 & things are sad for her. idk. :[
I'm most of the way through chapter 2 right now. I rolled my eyes a lot at the horse-racing chapters, where Tolstoy makes Vronsky riding a beautiful horse a metaphor for this entire book. He couldn't control her fully! Then she did something unexpected! Then she fell & broke her back & he felt bad about it for the rest of his life! It was just kind of like...WELP. GUESS I KNOW WHERE THIS NOVEL'S GOING.

Moon Called by Patricia Briggs - reading this b/c it's this month's pick for [community profile] beer_marmalade. I wasn't there when the book was voted in, so I didn't know much about it. Urban fantasy is usually NOT my thing (I am so uninterested in fairies/FAE, omg), but I am really liking this so far. Protag can change into a coyote, runs her own car repair place as a mechanic. Is friends with/surrounded by werewolves. I AM INTRIGUE.

I have a subscription to Give Us This Day, & now that it's Lent, I'm trying to focus on that a little more. I really appreciate the diversity of people/sources used to write the reflections in these prayer books. Women, people of color, lay-people, BLOGS, etc. It's just...very welcome.

Lots of news articles about the CIA/Benghazi/WikiLeaks/congressional hearings/etc. I think I have finally figured out a small plot-point in my fic that I wish I would have figured out a long time ago! Anyway, it's really useful to me to be able to clip articles/PDFs that I find browsing the Internet using EverNote, & then be able to read them later, even on my phone.


• What did you recently finish reading?
Runaways/Young Avengers: Secret Invasion - I liked this a lot more than the first YA/Runaways crossover. The plot was more interesting & I liked the manga-esque art. Still probably like Runaways more than Young Avengers, ;_;

Young Avengers: Dark Reign - Hated pretty much all of this, oop. Now I just have to wait for Children's Crusade to come in at the library!

Heart of Thomas by Moto Hagio - This is super important in the history of manga! A very influential shonen-ai piece about boys living in a German boarding school. It felt very Gothic. The art was very consistent & quite beautiful. The story sometimes almost overwrought.
It begins with a suicide that ends up overshadowing the entire book. Also content warnings for strong allusions to a past history of sexual abuse.
I'm really glad to see this translated into English & released in the US. It does cost $40, so I'm also really glad that my library has it, lol.


• What do you think you’ll read next?
I'm a little behind on comics, so probably catch up on Angel & Faith, and then go get whatever's waiting for me at the comics shop. Still need to catch up on Batwoman and TMNT.
laceblade: Rachel & Santana giving sideeye just past the viewer. (Glee: Pezberry look)
After a hiatus of about two months, I've started working on my fic again.

At the beginning of December, I'd gotten really frustrated with things. I'd had a flurry of meeting a daily word count goal of 750 words, but it kept getting harder because that was too much to expect from myself every day. I kept writing anyway; the writing got a little shittier. And then I realized I wouldn't meet my 2012 goal of 75,000 words, so I stopped entirely because I was so upset.

I've written 4 almost-complete chapters (4 needs a solid final scene), about half of a fifth one, and maybe 8,000 words of parts of scenes that will come later.

I worked on addressing comments/suggestions given to me regarding chapter 2 by [personal profile] wintercreek. Late last night, my friend S. had started looking at chapter 3.
I really, really like lots of things in chapter 3, but it has a lot of issues, which she rightly pointed out in notes. MOSTLY these are plot problems.
As I joked on Twitter, turns out it's NOT EASY to make your plot make sense when you're trying to reconcile a main plot of CIA stuff & guns with...Glee kids. It'd be a lot easier if I could just not care, BUT I DO CARE.

When I'm writing, I care a lot about the emotional arcs of the characters. How they feel about things. I'll write an entire scene having only a vague impression of what the character is reacting to, but knowing exactly what they think/feel about what's happened.
While I'm trying to get those true notes of feeling (& sometimes dialog) down, I don't care about the plot of if it makes sense.

So I get all of these scenes and have a rough idea of the arc of the chapter, and then I try to stitch it all together & get 2-D villains who talk like they're in a spaghetti western (I blame my father).

S. will give lots of character notes, like, "Kurt would not say that," or "There's no way RACHEL BERRY would just say, 'Okay' in response to that sentence from Santana," or etc. Those are fine. Also typical word-choice issues, but generally the narration is okay & I think the pacing is pretty good. RHYTHM, I LIKE IT.

It's just that there are these huge plot holes, both in like THE ACTUAL PLOT & then also like, there are people in a scene who talk & argue & fight with fists, only to reveal at the very end of the scene they've got weapons (WHY WOULD THEY NOT HAVE USED THEM SOONER?!).

Those things are hard enough - I'll have to rewrite a lot to figure out & then fix the plot holes.
But what ALSO sucks is figuring out that the stuff I'm relying on for storytelling is actually super cliched & misogynistic. I have clear arcs for most of the characters, including Rachel, but now I'm realizing that she is a huge victim. In a really cheap way, in this chapter, too.
I also basically treat every male character (Glee kids aside) as potential sexual predators, which. No.

And when I try to have Santana try to step up & be strong, she's both extremely paternalistic and possessive of Rachel.
idk. It's a super gross feeling to have. I am glad I'll be able to figure all this shit out before posting it!
But it's still kinda, "Huh, so you're one of those, eh, self?"


On a lighter note, it's fun to have S. nitpick things like, "Artie wouldn't answer the phone like that" or "Kurt would not own sai knives," & I can be like, "No, that actually happened in canon," to which she said, "jesus christ the least realistic things in your fic are actually from glee."



Last night, I reread chapters 3 & 4 & all the other scenes I've written so far through the end of the fic, and it was a nice feeling. I like lots & lots of what I've written.
I have lots of work to do to beat it into a coherent story that's post-able.

I wonder if it's always this hard with a first hella long story?
I hope it's not this hard every time.
laceblade: Chord Overstreet offering his hand to Chris Colfer. Glee live-tour. (Glee: Colferstreet)
An end-of-year fic review seems to be what all the cool kids are doing, so I will do one, too.

Don't say you're not lonely
Fandom: Bishoujo Senshi Sailor Moon
Words: 1,632

Chapter 1 of A Song is a Weapon
Fandom: Glee
Words: 8,596

That's 10,228 words of posted fic.

I've written a lot more of "A Song is a Weapon" than I've posted thus far.
Chapter 2 is 10,084 words; Chapter 3 is 7,278 words; Chapter 4 is 8,136 words & isn't done yet.
The randomass scenes to be included in future chapters amount to 8,721 words.


So that's 44,447 words fic that have/will be posted.

I wrote about 60,000 words this year. The rest of that was outlining, crap that got deleted, scenes that got moved to a "this was terrible but I'm not ready to delete it" folder, and I think some of the word I did at the beginning of the year on my Inception-AU of FF7.

Thanks to everyone who has ever cheered, complimented, or encouraged me in any way.
That sounds really vague & all-encompassing, but all of it has meant so much to me.
I grew a lot as a writer in 2012, and I hope to continue to do that.
laceblade: Ashe from FF XII, looking at viewer over her shoulder. Text reads: "So you say you want a revolution?" (FFXII: You say you want a revolution)
SO. Since I last posted, I've met/exceeded my daily goal every day. Today I'll complete day 10 of a 10-day streak, which will earn me a new cute animal badge at 750words.com.

\o/

The farther I get in "writing enough" for successive days in a row, the more difficult it gets.
Because I tap out the ideas I'd been mulling around in my head.

I angsted about quite a bit on Saturday, and finally got my words out around 4pm after writing mostly nothing all day.
What got me going was starting at the beginning of chapter 4 (the chapter I'm currently writing) and making my way through it again, fleshing out scenes and tying things together.
This also carried me through yesterday's words - yesterday I pushed extra hard to get to 970 words so that I can finally make it over 50,000 total for the year (I'm currently at 50,015, for the record).

I don't feel very satisfied with my writing at this particular moment in time, but I'm also learning that it's hard for me to move forward unless the words that come before where I am "right now" are at least at a first-draft level.
If I don't have a solid handle on what's happened, it's hard to move forward.

However, this is in some ways just how I write, so it's really annoying.
For example, right now I need to figure out WHY four of my characters are in Chicago - I know they're there to do a "job" for Quinn. I know this makes sense narratively because I need Mike to do something, and I need my Lima-based characters to do more than sit around in someone's parents' houses talking.
I know what comes after this scene - it sets up a narrative excuse for most of the characters to come together later and do something semi-epic. It also sets up some suspense that grasp both other characters and the reader, kind of firmly taking them by the hand and saying, "This shit is real, wtf do you think will happen, how will things be okay?!"

So like: I know what's going to happen when these characters get to the building they're going; I know who comes out & who doesn't; I know how the other characters react to this entire scene.
What I don't know, though, is the premise under which these characters go to the building they're in.
And I'm at the point in the fic now where I need to stitch everything that comes before with everything that comes after, and IT'S REALLY HARD TO DO THAT WITHOUT KNOWING WHY THEY'RE THERE. And I need to figure something out so I can write today!

This also happened to me in chapter two (believable reason for a lesser action scene) and in chapter three (needed to determine what the ~big secret~ is that some characters find out).
I guess...this is what happens when writing a story that is emotionally mapped out, but not so much with the details.
If the details were determined ahead of time, it would be easier to meet my word count without moping about all day, jotting notes to myself as I try to figure out the answer to the logic problem of the moment.



Math Update:
50,015 words written
24,985 words left to write in 36 days, which works out to 694 words/day, or 33 days of meeting/exceeding my daily goal of 750 words (meaning I'd get 3 days off).
laceblade: Kumiko and Reina from Hibike! Euphonium anime, apparently about to kiss (Sailor Moon: Uranus back)
75,000 words written on/before December 31st = my goal for 2012

45,876 = words already written

29,124 = words left to write
42 = days left to write

Split evenly, this would mean writing a minimum of 693 words per day to meet the goal of 75,000 words.
Despair! The longest streak I have of writing 750 words or more every day has been 7 days thus far, ;_;

From June when I started writing habitually through today, the middle of November, I have NOT written anything at all on way more days than I've written something.

Anyway, my ideal goal for every day is 750 words per day.
Dividing 29,124 by 750, it would take 39 days of meeting my daily word count goal to reach 75,000 words. That means I can take 3 days off!

I should also take into account that whenever I do meet my daily word count goal, I almost never end on 750 words. I usually write over, between 725 and 950.
According to the statistics at 750words.com (one of the reasons why I love this site, btw), on days that I do write, I write an average of 827 words.

29,124 / 827 = 35, though, so I'll still need to make or exceed my daily goal almost every day between now and December 31st.

I am feeling the momentum of my current 4-day streak, but this still seems really daunting to me.
In any given month, I generally only make my word count goal on a handful of total days.
I also sometimes need to stew quite a bit to figure out what to do next with my characters, what kinds of scenes to have.
I've almost exhausted most of the scenes I know things about, but I still have a few images, and some flashes of character moments that I haven't used yet.
I imagine that I'll get frustrated often, in trying to change my habits.

For the record, the only things that I count toward my daily word count goal are words that specifically go toward my fic.
This includes drafted text (account for almost all my words), as well as character notes and outline notes.
From what I gather, a lot of people use 750words.com as a sort of brain dump, so I'm not sure if I'm being too hard on myself, or what.

Anyway. Simple math shows that in order to make the goal I've set for 2012, my habits in the remaining 42 days will need to change.

I hope that I can make it!
laceblade: Rachel & Santana giving sideeye just past the viewer. (Glee: Pezberry look)
When I have something to say, I'm still commenting weekly at [community profile] inkingitout and in the daily posts at [community profile] writethisfanfic. Both of these communities are very important to me!

I've been trying to write. I've written at least something the last four days. Met/exceeded my daily goal the last two days. I feel like once I get on the other side of 50,000 words, the total goal will seem much easier.

CURRENT STATUS (which is regularly kept on the sidebar of my Tumblr, btw):

44361 / 75000
(59.15%)


I'm currently working on chapter 4.
Chapter 2 is with about 4 people for beta (having been extensively beta'ed by one person thus far).
Chapter 3 just got sent to someone for the first time on Saturday.
I have a collection of "future scenes" that have been around for a while. One of them might be the very end of the fic - I wrote that a while ago, while I was still on chapter 2.
There are also a few intense action-packed scenes and some that are emotional.
Conclusions of the emotional arcs for Santana and for Rachel (these are separate scenes).

My outline doesn't have a lot of detail, so I'm not 100% certain how much I'm going to be writing before I can make it to these scenes. But having them as emotional places I'm reaching toward helps guide the scenes I'm writing now.
Every time I start writing a new chapter, I write a scene or two before realizing, "Yup, no way I'm getting to these this chapter," and I start an n+1 chapter and paste them all into there.

The more that season 4 of the actual show progresses, the more important it is to me to treat characters like Mercedes and Tina and Artie with respect, because the show never will.

Fic Update

Nov. 4th, 2012 10:16 pm
laceblade: Chord Overstreet offering his hand to Chris Colfer. Glee live-tour. (Glee: Colferstreet)
I've had a pretty sluggish October, writing-wise. Other things going on, mostly.

Tonight I wrote, though. I'm now at 40,435 words written this year. (My goal for 2012 is 75,000 words.)
I've said for a while that this goal feels attainable to me because I didn't start writing until June, so my pace hasn't been as bad as it could have been.

Still, now it's November and I have 34,565 words to go, so I really need to step it up.

Luckily, posting chapter one online and receiving feedback has given me lots of good feelings.

Today I finished my draft of chapter three and started chapter four.
It feels a little weird that I'm unsure how many chapters this fic will have total.

B T W, I have it on authority of [personal profile] littlebutfierce that this fic is "fun and exciting" even if one does not know the canon. CONSIDER READING IT?!

Oh yeah! And now I can update this list:

Fic published in 2012:
Don't Say You're Not Lonely, Bishoujo Senshi Sailor Moon fandom, 1,632 words
A Song is a Weapon, Glee fandom, chapter one: 8,596 words

For anyone counting "total words written" to "words of actual fic," my drafts for chapters 2 and 3 right now total 17,287 words.
laceblade: Santana singing on stage in a black dress, facial expression almost painful (Glee: Santana RHI)
I hope I don't regret this in the morning, ^^;

A Song is a Weapon: Chapter One

Post-Season 3 AU. Quinn Fabray has vowed revenge on her father, and won't let anything stop her. Her attempt to infiltrate Skull and Bones drags in her closely-knit group of friends, at their peril.



This is the longest fic I've ever posted online, and it's my first Glee fic. If you read it, tell me what you think!

There is definitely more to come.
laceblade: Kumiko and Reina from Hibike! Euphonium anime, apparently about to kiss (Glee: Hummelberry)
As I've mentioned before, cultivating a playlist has been very valuable for me. It allows me to think about my fic when I'm not writing: at my desk at work, in my car, while I'm making dinner, etc. It also allows me to get into the mood to write, as I've assigned certain songs to certain characters/relationships.

Ways to Listen to the Music:
On YouTube | On Spotify [missing Yellow Brick Road] | On Last.fm

The songs & the order of the songs is subject to change, but it's settled into this set for a few weeks now.


The Wolves (Act I and II) - Ellie Goulding - This is Quinn, season one, I think.

Girls Like You - The Naked and Famous - Quinn, as treated by the narrative on the show and her "rich white girl problems," right up through On My Way and the car crash.
Everyone will remember you when you're gone
And your heart is a stone
Buried underneath your pretty clothes
Don't you know people write songs about girls like you?

What will you do when something stops you?
What will you say to the world?
What will you be when it all comes crashing
Down on you little girl?
What would you do if you lost your beauty?
How would you deal with the light?
How would you feel if nobody chased you?
What if it happened tonight?

How would you cope if the world decided to
Make you suffer for all that you were?

Ballad of a Politician - Regina Spektor - Kind of a creepy little interlude about political power, ;)

My Life Would Suck Without You - Glee cast - This and the next song are very much the united feelings of Glee club as a whole, I guess. Setting the sort of happy-go-lucky mindset everyone is mostly in at the end of high school.

We Are Young - Glee Cast

Empire State of Mind - Glee cast - This and the next song are very much for my “New York City” mindset. I love the ensemble use of voices in this song, Finn & Puck & Artie on the verses, Rachel & Santana & Mercedes distinct in the backgrounds.

It's Time - Imagine Dragons

Come Back (Lorn Remix) - ESKMO - This is kind of the “oh man, shit just got real” transition.

Shot Me Down - Bare - from the fan video that inspired it all, making Glee look like an action movie. You saw that, right??

Wild Tigers I Have Known - Emily Jane White - This is Quinn again.
Silence is a power and a tool
For you
...

You keep your heart from your chest
It'll be gone just like the rest
'Cause it's a man's world
Say all the right words
And hold your heart from your chest

Turn Me On - David Guetta feat. Nicki Minaj (I know that this song is actually about sex, but it's easy to take the "I need a hero" lyrics literally when you're distracted & writing, :D)

Power - Kanye West - This and the next song are very much about “the man” & power, obvs.

Handlebars - Flobots

Golden Sand - The Republic Tigers - I fucking love this song. Sort of the ND kids’ answer to the above, but also about the whole “How do you fight what you hate WITHOUT BECOMING WHAT YOU HATE?” conflict (see also: Animorphs).
How much responsibility do you bear
For the ill uses others might make of your ideas?
Almost as much responsibility that you'd bear
If you failed to speak your mind
When it might have made some kind of a difference.
So make a difference.
Could you make 'em dance
Turn your bleeding hearts into some bleeding hands?

Blow (Cirkut Remix) - Ke$ha (I have this scene in mind where Santana's singing this quietly over a walkie-talkie while they're waiting for a bomb they planted to go off, idk if I'll do that or not, lol)

The Bones of You - Elbow (still being in love with someone a long time later, and being reminded of it suddenly! This is my only Finn pov at the moment.)

Who Are You, Really? - Mikky Ekko - also love the fuck out of this song, I would quote it in its entirety. I like the "lift me higher, let me look at the sun" like trying to figure out the truth but the whole song is a little about suspicion and stuff too, and at some point I'd really like there to be a schism between everyone in which they're like, okay is Quinn really trying to take these guys down, or is she just manipulating all of us?

Scream - Glee cast - this is a good song to listen to when angry (omg I listened to it a billion times on medical leave), it's also very much a "fuck the system" kind of song, imo. I think this is still my favorite song that Glee has ever done. I've listened to it more than any other.

Knights of Cydonia - Muse

What Doesn't Kill You (Stronger) - Glee cast

Warrior - Kimbra - this song feels the most like Santana's pov in this fic - her sense of no control.
You're just pushing me down, pushing me down, pushing me down
(They tell you 'Trust your head, be like men' but never feel like you're good enough)
You're just crushing me down, crushing me down, crushing me down
(They wanna take our light, make us fight, but never cry for the ones you love!)

Fallen Empires - Snow Patrol - all of this.

float - bush - I like the lyrics for all of this song, but most specifically:
When I am with you I feel a little brave
The madness and the wars the circles that we run
Confusion we import look what we have become
And all of this time I was just trying to reach you

Counting Bodies Like Sheep to the Rhythm of the War Drums - A Perfect Circle - At the moment, I view this very much as Quinn talking to Rachel.
Don't fret, precious, I'm here; step away from the window and go
back to sleep
Safe from pain and truth and choice and other poison devils,
See, they don't give a fuck about you like I do.

Marching On - One Republic - omg I <3 all of this song.
There's so many wars we fought,
There's so many things were not,
But with what we have,
I promise you that,
We're marching on

Lose Your Soul - Dead Man's Bones (Quinn) - I need to decide if I'm killing anyone in this story or not.
i get up in the morning
to the beat of the drum
i get up to this feeling,
keeps me on the run.
i get up in the morning,
put my dreams away,
i get up, i get up, i get up again.

My Love Is Your Love - Glee cast - If I wake up in World War III ... And I feel like I want to go home / it's okay if you're comin' with me. Also the lyric, "It would take an eternity to break us," which is the emo title I used when first thinking of a title for the fic.

Moth’s Wings - Passion Pit
Whose side are you on?
What side is this anyway?
Put down your sword and crown
Come lay with me on the ground

Seven Devils - Florence + the Machine - your shit is fucked.
I don't want your money
I don't want your crown
See I've come to burn
Your kingdom down

Blood and Fire - Indigo Girls
I am looking for someone, who can take as much as I give,
Give back as much as I need,
And still have the will to live.
I am intense, I am in need,
I am in pain, I am in love.
I feel forsaken, like the things I gave away.

Yellow Brick Road - Kris Delmhorst (ugh, this is like the perfect Rachel song)
I'm off to see the wizard with his curtain and his crowd
But my hands are not trembling and my head it is not bowed
Cause I'm not looking for any answers, no truths to be revealed
All that I am asking is to show me something real

First Breath After Coma - Explosions in the Sky (a coda)

Babel - Mumford & Sons - &, at the end of it all, they can take it all on & keep going.
'Cause I'll know my weakness, know my voice
And I'll believe in grace and choice
And I know perhaps my heart is farce,
But I'll be born without a mask
laceblade: Santana singing on stage in a black dress, facial expression almost painful (Glee: Santana RHI)
I am still writing. Apparently, I am a slow writer.
This is partly because I'm editing while writing, which some writers say you shouldn't do.
But when you leave massive plot holes in your wake, it kind of becomes necessary to sort that shit out before you can move forward, ^_^;;

Not yet including any of today's words (because today isn't over!):
Current Word Count for 2012: 37,408 words. Out of the total goal of 75,000 words, I'm at 50%. CAN THAT BE RIGHT?! 50%?! WOOT.

I'm crediting the Snowflake Method for some of my current breakthrough. I thought it was stupid and not worth my time, but writing my one-sentence summary and a one-paragraph summary of my plot was incredibly helpful.
Then, I thought that it was pointless to do step #3, which involves sorting out some character information.
The reason I thought this was pointless is because it's a fanfiction - I already know who these characters are and what they want from life, right??
But once I started doing this in relation to my fic, it helped me a lot.
I still haven't done it for all of my POV characters yet.

I haven't yet done steps 4-6 of the Snowflake Method, but it's nice that it shook some things loose for me in the meantime.

I don't know how long it will take me to finish writing this fic, or how many words it'll have before I'm done. (Or even how many chapters, sob. There will be at least 4!)
There are still some major plot elements that need to be worked out.
BUT, it's feeling like a real story that will really get posted on the AO3. Maybe no one else will like it, but I'm really looking forward to that sense of accomplishment.

For now, my immediate goal = finish editing chapter 2 so that I can get it to my other betas (so far only one person has read it, and pointed out every single logic hole ^^;).
To do the editing, I need Google Docs and Scrivener open, so I must be at home for that.
I sometimes have time to jot some writing down during the day, so I do that with paper and type it in the evenings.

Here's what I'm using to write this long fic:

Scrivener: Main draft of the story is in here. It also contains a lot of fanart and photos of the Glee cast that I can look at when doing a split-screen. I don't usually do a split-screen, but the option is there.
In addition to the main draft, I also have some a page full of character notes; swaths of text that have been scrapped from a multitude of scenes; a page of outline/plot notes; notes about the playlist I've been cultivating; a page of notes for AO3 tags & thank-yous for whenever I get this puppy online.

Google Docs: Where I save chapters for people who read them, so they can leave comments. Thus far, four people have read chapter one. One person has read chapter two.

750words.com: Not a program, but a website. This keeps track of my daily word count, which is very helpful as I jump around between chapters frequently. Having a daily word count goal helps me feel accomplish when I make it. My highest streak is 6 or 7 days, I think. I try not to feel too guilty when I don't make my daily goal, or don't write at all some days.

Evernote: Right now, I use this in two ways. The first is for a notebook called "Fic Draft," where each chapter = its own "note." That way, if I'm writing at work, I can use the app on my iPhone to pull up the chapter I'm working on as a reference (without having it up on my work computer, lol).
You can also embed Evernote in your Firefox browser, and use it to clip news articles. I have a bunch of articles about the CIA/FBI saved in mine, which I'll probably be trolling through to help my plot in the near-future. I think this is similar to Instapaper?
Anyway, I have the Evernote add-on in both computers I use to read the news: home and work.

Music: Cultivating a playlist has been very valuable for me. It allows me to think about my fic when I'm not writing: at my desk at work, in my car, while I'm making dinner, etc. It also allows me to get into the mood to write, as I've assigned certain songs to certain characters/relationships.



Meanwhile, if anyone has any ideas for a really juicy state secret, let me know. It'd have to be big enough that members of the CIA (or a sub-sect of the CIA) would be ready to kill someone over it. My overall plot is farfetched enough, so I'm trying to steer clear of "sci-fi reasons" (e.g., "Aliens really exist!" "Time-travel is real!" etc.)

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laceblade: Kumiko and Reina from Hibike! Euphonium anime, apparently about to kiss (Default)
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