It's been a while since this one, huh? I wrote Solar Flare way back for the 2011 Twilight Big Bang on Livejournal, and honestly, it was a joy to write—I can still remember how the whole story just spilled out of me in a handful of days; I could hardly type fast enough to keep up. I wrote something like 40,000 words in two days at one point. I had an incredible Beta, Cassie, who became one of my best friends. I was welcomed into a wonderful fandom and a ridiculously friendly and enthusiastic niche of it.
It's been a while, though.
I never even noticed how much of the formatting ffnet wiped when I uploaded this fic—I swear all the scene changes are marked in the version I have on my hard-drive!—but more to the point, knowing this story is still up and attached to my name has made me uncomfortable for years. Reading over it—it's not just that I've become a better writer (or at least, I hope I'm a better writer than my 15- or 16-year-old self was!) I've learned a lot about queerness and feminism and gender politics in the years since I wrote this; I can now see how problematic huge swathes of this fic is, especially when it comes to issues of romantic and sexual consent, and how Bella is treated by the story. Those of us who write m/m ships are often a little too quick to completely demonise any female character who might get in the way of that, and I'm not happy I fell into that trap so unthinkingly.
And that's not at all an attack on anyone who enjoyed it. A lot of my fics—let's be honest and say most, if not all—contain problematic content. It's fiction; we're allowed to play with things and themes we rightfully condemn in real life. We're allowed to enjoy the fictionalised versions.
But Solar Flare is a story that deserves better. Because I do think there's something really good—or at least, that has the potential to be really good—at the heart of it. I still love the story, but 15-year-old me wasn't able to do it justice.
So I want to try again.
I'm taking this version down—while leaving the skeleton of bare chapters up so as not to lose the reviews of everyone who's ever been kind enough to leave a comment—with the intent of rewriting it. The story will—or at least, should, I can't swear some new subplot won't sweep me off my feet during some part of the process—stay the same, but I want to polish it, edit and expand it. Make it what it should have been.
(Bella will almost certainly remain a villain. But hopefully not such a two-dimensional one!)
I'll post a message here when it's ready—don't expect that to be too soon—but I'll most likely post the fic itself to my account on archiveofourown. My username is Siavahda there too, so I shouldn't be hard to find. But ao3 is infinitely easier to use from a writer's perspective—ffnet is seriously unwieldy for posting fics—so I'll almost certainly only post the rewritten Solar Flare there, and not on ffnet.
Thank you to everyone who ever enjoyed the 'first edition' of Solar Flare. Thank you to everyone who favourited or subscribed to it; thank you to everyone who left a review; thank you to everyone who gave it a chance and clicked the link to read. I'm super grateful to you all, and I hope I can remake Solar Flare into something worthy of all the love this fandom has offered me over the years.
With much love, Siavahda out~