Author has written 87 stories for CSI: New York, Andromeda, Numb3rs, Kolchak: The Night Stalker, Stargate: Atlantis, Thoughtcrimes, Doctor Who, White Collar, A-Team, and Merlin.
I'm a writer, I'm obsessed with writing, and fanfiction is my writing candy. I'm a whumper, I love H/C, and I'm very particular about it. I still use FF.net, but I have a bit of a love-hate relationship with it, so not all of my fanfic will be posted here.
My Livejournal, where you can find more fanfic and links to fanfic not posted on FF.net.
- A Merlin gen prompt-fest community. You don't have to be a member to leave a prompt, and can even prompt anonymously if you want. Please give it a look. We could really use more prompts, and for you writers, you might come across some really interesting story ideas.
Revamped! Revamped! Revamped! (Because for some reason the old bio's length kind of annoyed me.
The gist of it all is this...
As a writer, I never post anything until it's completed. And by completed I mean written and edited/beta'd. I'm also very open to prompts. I love prompts, because sometimes the plot bunnies are lazy and don't want to give me any ideas. I can't promise that whatever prompt is tossed my way will be written - my plot bunnies are also very fickle - but I'm always up for hearing your idea so long as they do not involve anything listed under the "Eep" section of this bio. Right now my fandom of focus is the Merlin fandom, so please only Merlin prompts.
As a reader, I am... rather picky. Spelling and grammar I can be lenient about so long as the spelling and grammar mistakes don't make the story difficult to read. Mistakes happen. What I'm picky about tends to vary, from who is whumped in a story, to how they're whumped, to how a story ends. I'm also incredibly wary about whether or not a story will be finished - I've been painfully shafted by unfinished stories in the past (it's also why I won't write WIPs anymore). I've also been painfully shafted by stories with some... rather unpleasant surprises (there was actually this one story that ended up squicking me for two years). What this all adds up to is why it's rare for me to comment. I'll normally wait until a story is completed before finally commenting, unless A) I wish to encourage a writer to keep writing or B) I know the author well enough to know what I'm getting myself into as a reader.
1. Putting Author's Notes within the story instead of at the beginning or end. Do you see professional writers doing that? Of course not! So what would possibly possess you to ruin a good story by interrupting your readers with remarks that couldn't wait until the end of the chapter. Unless you want your readers hitting the back button and never returning (and, no, it is not the same as author commentary).
2. Threatening readers with "no moar chapters, grr!" unless you get a certain number of reviews. No one likes to be threatened and no one trusts a desperate author.
3. Saying your summary sucks. It tends to make readers assume that you're not too confident about your story, either.
4. Really, really, really good stories that are never updated again, ever. That... is just cruel.
5. People who happily nit-pick well-written stories with few to no spelling, grammaror plot mistakes, yet the story written by a native English speaker chalked full of mistakes as well as botched facts that should be basic knowledge (or are at least easy as pie to research) is left completely alone except to be praised and adored.
6. Stories rated M when they are, in fact, very much K (the characters aren't even swearing, how is this M!)
7. Cheap, unrealistic hurt/comfort. I don't expect people to memorize medical texts and get everything precisely right but I do expect at least a basic knowledge of basic facts - such as how it takes a heck of a lot longer than a couple of days to get over a serious injury, that you don't perform CPR on someone who's heart is still beating, that certain injuries prevent you from doing certain things like, say, lifting heavy objects, and so on. Oh, and most important of all, that injuries hurt, like crazy. You have the Internet, so do the research.
8. Lack of appropriate labels and warnings. I know there's a whole kerfuffle over this with some who want warnings and others who avoid them like the plague because they give too much away, and I understand the latter, I really do, but... well... it's hard to be sympathetic when you're reading along and you hit something that presses all your "do not want" buttons. Most especially if it's something that is a monumental squick.
The thing is, and as I've been saying quite a bit, lately, labels aren't always about warning people. They're also about advertisement. For example, if you label a story as gen and it's pretty much slash all the way, what you're going to get is a lot of ticked off genners while your hard-core slashers will skip right over the story. Give your stories the right labels and you'll attract the right readers. Let people know what they're getting into and you're more likely to avoid flames. Of course, it's our individual decision whether or not we warn and what we warn for but... a little consideration would be nice, at least where genres are concerned. I find no reason not to label a story as slash, or het, or M/M, or M/F, or F/F or gen or bromance or romance or whatever your story is, because life is so much more pleasant when we don't have to stumble blindly through what we read with only a hope that's it's the kind of story we like.
While I'm very much open to story prompts and suggestions, there are certain story types I will not do - Slash, het, anything sexual, mpregs, genderbenders - so please don't request them. I also tend not to read said story types, and will stop reading should such things pop up (that's not a threat, just that if a story suddenly takes a romantic turn without warning after being nothing but gen, for example, and I stop commenting, that's probably why).
Treatise on the Original Character vs. the Mary Sue - Back in my Stargate Atlantis days I was somewhat known for my original characters. I loved outsider POVs of the canon characters and loved flexing my creative muscles, and I did that through OCs. But while I loved writing them, I was, hypocritically, not always a big fan of them. I didn't always trust them, because you never knew when that clever OC was going to turn into a canon stealing Mary/Marty Sue.
What is a Mary/Marty Sue? Because even if you've never heard of the term, believe me, you will. And at this point, I have no idea what they are, which is why I've rejected all other definitions and created my own. For me, the Mary Sue or Marty Stu is a character who's mere existence twists the very fabric of the canon universe until it centers around them. Their destiny is the most important. They have the most skills, are the better fighter, the better wizard, the better fighter pilot, and all around better or more important than a canon character or canon characters. All the good stuff, be it pairings or whump, happens to them. Either everyone loves them minus the author's least favorite character, or everyone hates them in order to increase their woobiness. They're usually too perfect - impossibly perfect, in fact - and thanks to them I tend to run screaming whenever an OC with violet eyes and an unusually spelled name pops up.
As far as creative licensing goes, there's nothing wrong with writing a Mary Sue or Marty Stu. I personally believe the issue with them comes down to the basic fact that people read fanfiction for the canon characters, and so view the MS as an interloper. The thing is, even canon characters can be written as Mary Sues or Marty Stus. Again it involves the canon universe being twisted and distorted until it centers around this one character. I believe you might see this a lot with canon villains, where suddenly they are the hero, the one with the destiny, the one who matters most, everyone loves them while the real hero/oes are either shoved down several rungs of the character ladder, reassigned as emotional villains or relegated to the background as cheerleaders and sidekicks. So when I say twist and distort the canon universe, I mean twist and distort. Believe me, it's an alteration you can see coming a mile away.
A Sue is not an OC. An original character does not automatically mean you're walking into a Sue dominated fic. I have read tons of stories with original characters who rock, because the Author wrote them as part of the canon verse, not as dominating the canon verse. And, to me, that's the key to writing a good OC - by not making them the center of the canon universe. The OCs that rocked rocked because the stories were still very much about the canon characters, the OC is there to advance the plot, not be the plot. The canon characters had their own issues, their own destinies, their own purpose separate from the OC, and were not there to rally around and focus on the OC. In fact, you can pretty much tell right away - depending on the story - if an OC is an OC or a Sue, because an OC will focus on the canon characters, while the canon characters will focus more on a Sue.
It also helps if you don't use your OC to character bash the canon characters (villains excluded).
A mess of writing tips.
1. Try not to be repetitive, repetitive, repetitive... - For example: "His eyes widened as he stared into her eyes, her eyes shining with tears that slid from her eyes, making his own eyes water." might sound a lot better like this "His eyes widened as he met her gaze, and as tears rolled down her cheeks, they rolled down his as well." Or like this: "He looked into her eyes, she into his, and they both wept." Repetition like what I used in the above example can be incredibly jarring, so watch out for it, and try to be as diverse in your words as you can.
2. I do not think it means what you think it means - You may want to make sure that bit of fancy vocabulary actually means what you think it means. This is something I struggle with all the time, and why the Thesaurus and Dictionary are my BFFs. For example, I used to think nonplussed meant the same as indifferent or unconcerned. I was wrong, so very wrong. It actually means something along the lines of bewildered and baffled.
3. Spellchecker is an acquaintance, not a friend - See, here's the thing about Spell Check: it only catches misspelled words. So if a word isn't misspelled but isn't the word you actually want - for example, you wanted there, not their. Or you meant to spell fat, not fed - Spellchecker isn't going to catch that for you.
4. And it's for the reasons stated in number three why not editing is a bad idea - if you have time to write, you have time to read through your story at least once (twice would be better, three times awesome) and clean things up as best you can. Mistakes will still manage to slip through, but the more mistakes you can catch and fix the fewer comments begging you to get a beta because your story is next to impossible to read due to all the mistakes you'll have to put up with.
A few favorite bits of dialogue from here and there
Ah! The diabolical dice. A word of Caution, don't throw them when you're alone. The fiends lack loyalty and their notion of nourishment is quite disturbing - Chessire Cat, from American McGee's Alice. I find that sage advice for anyone with demon summoning dice.
You look more of a meal than a man - Lizbeth, from Clive Barker's Undying game. I just found that comment amusing.
I don't cuddle - Danny Messer. Dang straight my man!
What, you think I can just shut this off? - Danny Messer. During a very short stint of depression (that went away, thank goodness) I found this statement very poignant.
Smeeeagol. Why does it cry, Smeagol? - Gollum, LOTR. Well, Smeagol? Answer the question.
It's an animal thing - Riddick, Chronicles of Riddick. Monsters unite.
Malcolm - You wanna run this ship? Jain - Yes! Malcolm - Well... You can't! - From Serenity. Hee-Hee! (may not be exact)
I swallowed a bug - River, from Sernity. That's why you never fly in an open-air hover craft with your mouth open.
You kick like a nine year old girl - Reid to Hotch, from Criminal Minds. Once again, Hee-hee!
Idiot! Gosh! - Napolean Dynamite. I find myself quoting this one without realizing it.
If at first you don't succeed, keep on suckin' 'til you do succeed! - Soundbite from a radio station. Could be from a movie but not sure.
...and those naughty in my sight, shall snuff it - Book of Armaments, Monty Python and the Holy Grail.
Marge, Marge! The doll's trying to kill me and the toaster's been laughing at me! - Homer, while being strangled by a Krusty doll, The Simpsons. Why I don't like dolls.
Dad, wake up, you're not a robot, you're just possessed by the devil. - Lisa to Homer, The Simpsons.
I'm not not licking frogs - Homer, again, from the Simpsons, getting a slight buzz from some frogs.
Eat my photons, small heads! - Crow, Mystery Science theater 3000.
You always bring me the best violence. - Mr. Universe, from Serenity.
Guy killed me, Mal. Killed me with a sword. How weird is that? - Mr. Universe, Serenity.
How fine you look when dressed in rage - Again, American McGee's Alice. That game is so finely quotable.
"Holy sh-t," I breathed, " hellhounds." " Harry," Micheal said sternly. " You know I hate it when you swear." " You're right. Sorry. Holy Sh-t," I breathed. " Heckhounds..." - Grave Peril, book three of the Dresden Files. I'm with Micheal on the swearing, but you've gotta admit that's funny.
Something I've seen done elsewhere with songs and stories (no, not song fic. I... really don't like song fic). But rather than songs reminding me of characters, they tend to remind me of entire shows.
The Golden Age - So very White Collar
Over my Head - Stargate Atlantis: awesome vid of said song found here - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eL4m-Ym0O3M&feature=my_liked_videos&list=LLbaE1ZOV05y50m05Hwtggdg
Wunderkind - Merlin. Has a little something for all the characters, I think. Someone should use this song to make a vid *hint, hint, wink, wink*
Update type substance, for anyone interested...
I signed up for the Bromance Big Bang Again, and I kind of want to cuff myself upside the head for doing so. I do have a story in the works I could use but... it's kind of dark, and a future fic, and I have no idea where this story is going, and I really wanted to do something a little more light-hearted and episode-like this time around, but the plot bunnies haven't been in the mood for such things. They haven't been in the mood for much, lately, and I've been starting more stories than I've been finishing them. It's kind of driving me crazy.
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