Author has written 5 stories for Hunger Games.
If you're here because of a review I left (or any other reason), don't hesitate to PM me. I'm always happy to discuss stories and fandoms (and many other things).
I started writing in my late teens and am today the proud mother of two door-stoppers and a few side fics of more reasonable length.
For now, I've been posting exclusively Hunger Games fanfiction. I care little for the love triangle and very much for the politics, the effects of traumatic events, the propaganda and terror. I write about people, survival, rebellions and dictators. Suzanne Collins' world is a wonderful sandbox and the research I had to do to write my stories has made me a wiser person.
As fanfiction (or any fiction) goes, I like active and complex characters with strong personalities, interactions rather than monologues, and layered plots. The devil is in the details, show you know who and what you're writing about. Show you know where the story is going with foreshadowing and clever twists.
Don't tell me the moon is shining, show me the glint of light on broken glass. Anton Chekhov
I am highly suspicious of mistakes in summaries because it shows you probably haven't bothered to spell and grammar check your writing at all. If the summary is 'it's better than it sounds' or some variant, I won't read. It's like someone who shows up on a date in ugly clothes and says 'give my personality a chance'. Please make an effort, it doesn't have to be perfect.
1 - Showdown: No Holding Back.
My first foray in the Hunger Games world and the first piece of writing I exposed to public scrutiny. Twenty-four teenagers, willing and unwilling, are thrust in the 63rd Hunger Games. The Gamemakers have set the scene: a televised arena of stone, ice and ghost-lights. Behind the scenes, Capitol sponsors send money to whomever they find the most entertaining, leaving boring tributes to their tragic fates. Every single teenager, and most of all the trained Careers, knows they must offer their audience a riveting show.
Twenty-four tributes with loved-ones and ambitions, will have to trust and kill, to compose with hunger, pain and fear, and above all play, while all of Panem watches. One will come out, and only the luckiest will die unchanged.
Showdown's characters are all my own (it's not a SYOT). A fair few canon mentors and of course Caesar Flickerman have minor roles that become more major after the Games end.
The second part of the story follows the victor, and explores Capitol politics, President's Snow grab for power, PTSD, mentor-relationships and finishes with the Rebellion.
Edited in 2015. After writing Checkmate, my head-canon evolved. I wasn't satisfied anymore with some of my world-building (the dystopia feeling wasn't strong enough), and how some characters, most notably the Careers, behaved in the Capitol and the arena. The core of the story is unchanged but there has been some major upheaval. It's much better now. If anyone misses the old version, PM me, I still have a copy.
So I'd finished Showdown and didn't know what to do with my life anymore, so I decided to write a story featuring Hunger Games that weren't Games in the traditional sense. It's a story of rebellions, of cracks in the system that expand day by day, over decades. In my head canon, Katniss put fire to a pile of kindle built by generations of rebels before her. She was the spearhead of the rebellion, and Checkmate is about the spear.
The central characters is Mags, District Four victor extraordinaire, because she's awesome, and she's lived through everything, and she knows what's up. She's not the only POV character and Checkmate's aim is to paint the history of Panem, from just after the Dark Days up to and including the Rebellion (who wasn't the first), by looking through Mags', Plutarch's, Finnick's, Paylor's, Alma Coin's and other major and minor character's eyes.
Mags was first and foremost a mentor, she was also a Career mentor, and you'll see that every victor has a tale, every system has its secrets, and yes I am quite proud of my monster of a story.
Checkmate: Behind the Scenes. Because Checkmate is over 600k long, and even I try to keep the filler to a minimum, but some filler, even when it doesn't quite fit in the story, is still worth a look. So in Checkmate BtS it goes.
3 - The Career (one shot).
The Games were made to punish the Districts, but not everyone in the Districts had fought against the Capitol. Vicuña was such a young woman, left with no prospects, no future, in the tattered post-war Panem. The first few Hunger Games had one big flaw: the tributes wouldn't kill. The horror was there, but not the entertainment. The victors were broken and pathetic. After her brother died in the Games, Vicuña decided no innocent in her District would ever be reaped again: the Games would be for girls and boys like her, those who have nothing to lose. She was the first Career.
'The Career' is about Hell being paved by good intentions, how the Games evolve, who the Careers are, and why Mags is a very special kind of Career (it's also an offshoot of Checkmate, but it's stand-alone).
4 - SYOTS Writing for Dummies.
I got tired of reading stories held together by a bunch of good ideas and crap execution. I got even more fed up with authors who blame lack of conflict or poor characterization on 'the submitters' who 'won't review if the author is mean to their characters' because come on. So I thought hard about writing and tributes and arenas, and what made me say a story was good or wasn't. SYOTS WfD is all about turning advice into something fun to read and enlightening for beginner and confirmed writers alike.
And after writing a few chapters, I realized I should take my own advice. So I edited Showdown.
FUTURE STORIES/CURRENT WORKS
When I was little, I wrote a pokemon story. An epic Journey tale. It was terrible, but like most terrible things you pour your heart in, I'm fond of it. Today, I am rewriting it.
Advancement 2/2016: Book 1 (25 chapters, 110k words) complete. Book 2: 16/25? chapters (80/125k), WIP. Book 3 (?) vaguely outlined. Possible publish date: late 2016.
A short guide on avoiding unlikable over-the-top characters
And on figuring out if that nasty reviewer has a point or if they're just bashing on your perfectly fine OC.
Mary Sue: name given to an overpowered character that hogs all the attention in a story. The story becomes simply an excuse to show how awesome that character is, and the plot, conflict and secondary character development is lost.
How to know if you are in danger of writing a Mary Sue (or 'Gary Stu' all this also applies to male characters)? I have written my own "rules" because, in order to avoid Sues (or turning canon characters into Sues), most internet guides would have you make boring protagonists instead of interesting and special non-Sueish heroes. And because many people use the word "Sue" for OCs they dislike.
Rule 0 (the most important one): People don't read fanfiction for your OCs (this depends on the fandom, but it is usually true). Especially if you are a beginner writer, keep the canon characters on the front scene and make sure you have an interesting plot. In the same way don't change the personality of an established canon character without a (solid!) explanation. Otherwise it's an OC you just slapped a canon name on.
Mary Sue rules:
1) Sue/Canon-character-turned-Sue is much more powerful (or wealthy, or smart) than the antagonists and therefore winning is no challenge (often shortened to 'Sue has no flaws').
Heroes traditionally have to sacrifice things to get their way. Heroes should be special. They also should face villains/situations that are at first glance even more powerful or there is no conflict. If the hero is super-powered (which is fine as long as the powers are used intelligently in a plot-relevant way) then the villain must be too.
2) People become stupid incompetents around her because otherwise they'd not need Sue's help.
If to make Sue shine you have to make the other characters weak/stupid/incompetent/evil/cliche or OOC, you're doing it wrong. If she's the only one to notice something obvious, there is a problem. If people immediately trust her or think she's important for no reason except the fact that she's Sue, you've lost the realism and often the reader's interest.
In the same way, if everyone becomes hateful bullies around her, mistreating her for no reason, it's ridiculous. Be also careful with "tragic pasts". These should never be slapped on just for "sympathy points" and, please, research trauma and abuse, as well as its consequences on people, before writing about it.
3) She's always the right person in the right place at the right time.
Some situations require an impulsive and aggressive hero to tackle, others require patient planning and subtlety. If you make your MC aggressive, subtle, impulsive and patient you have a coherence problem. You should have your characters tackle situations out of their comfort zone because that's where they'll grow. Every quality can be a flaw in the right situation, and that's why having more than one character is useful: characters balance each other out.
4) She's special because she exists, not because she does anything truly noteworthy. Everyone important must either love or hate her, or at least talk about her.
If everyone says a character is a great person and/or awesome, you have to show her being awesome through what she actually does. Otherwise the reader will wonder what the big deal about Sue is and soon start finding her very irritating. Additionally, if it pains you to write Sue being wrong or fail at being friends with 'someone who matters', you're too emotionally involved in the character and should be careful.
If you notice that every antagonist hates (but still grudgingly respects) Sue and makes their life all about hating her, rethink it. The world shouldn't revolve around your character with other characters as mouthpieces to say how wonderful she is. If everyone who dislikes her is evil/stupid, rethink it. In the same way if people let Sue get away with everything because she's just that special, there is a problem.
5) Reality doesn't apply.
I don't mean that Sue is the only mutant on the planet and she has purple hair. The mutant is okay if there is an explanation and a real plot point to it and the purple hair is cliche and probably pointless, but that's not what makes a Sue.
I mean that Sue outwits the best specialists and beats the best fighters. If you want Sue to beat the greatest swordsman of all times, have her poison his drink. Don't try to convince us that a year of swinging swords around has given her a fighting chance. Sue can be gifted of course, but the most gifted musicians or athletes still practice hours every day, so having her pick up skills without effort isn't believable.
6) Readers can't relate to Sue.
This one is maybe the hardest, because it's subjective, but there are some constants: a likable character (hero or villain) has motives and aspirations people can understand. Their actions have consequences (flaws 'count' only if they actually penalize the character. Otherwise, it's not an actual flaw) and they have fears, insecurities and feelings (that aren't overblown. Too much angst is a turn off). Everyone should have something they care about, something to lose, and something to fight for. And if they're a hero, have empathy and do their best to treat the people around them well.
If you had enough time to read this far, I'm sure you have enough to check out one of my stories. Why, you might even like them.