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Fanfiction Writer's Meme, from leifang666

1 - How did you first get into writing fanfic, and what was the first fandom you wrote for? What do you think it was about that fandom that pulled you in?

I’ve been writing fanfic in one form or another almost since I was born – my mother says I used to make up stories about cartoon characters and toys before I could actually write and dictate them to her. It’s like my mind kept seizing on what was in front of me and taking it in new directions. I also had some godawful Star Wars Mary Sue drawerfic from when I was kid (and it’s a damn good thing the Internet wasn’t around then, because it mercifully remained drawerfic). I wrote for various animanga fandoms (I was a regular on the D. Gray-Man Kink Meme back in the day) before I got sidetracked by RP games and stopped writing for a few years. What pulled me back in – and got me into J-rock fic – was that one night, I was home and bored because none of my friends were online. I was new to the Alice Nine fandom at the time, and I’d heard there was fanfiction – but I was skitterish about investigating it at the time, since animanga fans tended to consider real person fanfiction a Bad, Bad Thing. (I still have friends who don’t know I write J-rock fic for that reason). But my boredom and curiosity got the best of me, and I started poking around in the archives of Alice in Romance and Alice Nine Yaoi. I couldn’t quite find exactly what I wanted to read – so before I knew it, I was writing it myself. One fic lead to another (since Stargazer ended on an angsty note, and I couldn’t leave Shou and Hiroto without a happy ending), and another, and another still, and then I got into the GazettE and started writing fic about them, and before I knew it, writing was as much a part of my life as breathing.


2 - Name the fandoms you've written in, and how much you've written in that fandom, and if you still write in it.

I’m keeping this to J-rock only, since I currently do not write animanga fic.

Alice Nine – Quite a bit, the Stargazer series had about 15-16 installments. (It was basically a loosely structured series that followed whatever was going on with the band around 2011/2012 with a focus on the Shoupon pairing). I don’t do that much fic involving just all the Alice Nine members anymore, although they are characters in my ongoing Camera Eye series – Shou, in particular, has a big role in that one.
The GazettE – Tons. My most-written band, and I am most definitely still writing them – GazettE-only, GazettE crossovers, and all the characters are featured in The Camera Eye.
SCREW – This is an interesting one because I have written very little about just this band – but Kazuki and Byou show up a LOT in crossovers (especially since Aoi X Kazuki is one of my favorite pairings to write). This looks like it’s changing since my Byou muse now has an inter-band significant other (with a possible three-way relationship also on the horizon).
D=OUT and BORN haven’t gotten single-band fanfics (yet), but Kouki and Ryoga are very much part of the Camera Eye series.

3 - For each of the fandoms, what were your favorite characters to write?

Alice Nine – Definitely Shou, although I kind of have a fondness for my Saga – he keeps popping up as a background character in fics, even though he rarely has a lead.
GazettE – Even though Kai is my bias, I have to say that Aoi is the most fun to write – because he’s such an egotistical bastard and a bit nuts. But he has a depth that he doesn’t like to show people that often – which comes out most often in his relationship with Kazuki. He’s probably the most romantic guy who claims he’s “totally non-romantic” you’d ever meet.
SCREW – I’ve been enjoying writing Byou as of late (him and his new romantic interest), but Kazuki definitely gets the nod here – because of his pairing with Aoi, see above. And I’ve started to have fun with the idea that Kazuki is two completely different people when he’s with the band and when he’s with Aoi.

4 - Do you have a "muse" character, that speaks to you more than others, or that tries to push their way in, even when the fic isn't about them? Who are they, and why did that character became your muse?

Aoi and Saga will both tend to push their way into everything, if only in the background – but the loudest muse lately has been Byou. He’d been a rather quiet one, too – until my Japan trip, when I saw SCREW live three times and went to handshake events after each one. And then, it was as if exposure to the REAL Byou kicked the muse into overdrive. He suddenly decided that he and Jin were going to be a couple – hijacking a fic I was writing that was supposed to be a friends-with-benefits piece to make it about the blossoming of their romance.

5 -If you have ever had a character try to push their way into a fic, whether your "muse" or not, what did you do about it?

I just let them take over. Any writer who says she’s the one completely in charge is lying. ~_^ (Besides, I usually end up with something a lot better than my original idea).

6 - When you write, do you prefer writing male or female characters?

I’m a yaoi writer – so that one is self-explanatory. ~_^ (I have written female characters in the past, though.)

7 - Have you ever had a fic change your opinion of a character?

Not really – though a really good writer can make me temporarily believe in a pairing I normally don’t enjoy, if only for awhile.

8 - Do you write OCs? And if so, what do you do to make certain they're not Mary Sues, and if not, explain your thoughts on OCs.

Any OCs I’ve written tend to be background characters – for instance, the unnamed boss of PSC Productions in The Camera Eye. Quite frankly, I think they’re a very delicate balance, especially if they’re going to be playing a leading role in a story – you have to make sure this character has a reason to be there other than “She’s going to have a romance with my bias!” I’ve seen OCs done well – even OCs that are in romances with existing characters/band members – but they really have to be thought out well – they have to seem three-dimensional and fully human, with traits other than “She’s AAAANGSTY, but she can do everything better than everyone around her!” Plus, the love interest can’t take one look at her and instantly fall like a ton of bricks – it has to be realistically developed.

9 - Pairings - For each of the fandoms from question two, what are your three favorite pairings to write?

That’s hard to break down by fandom, since so many of them are crossovers. So I’ll just list nine favorite pairings randomly:
Aoi X Kazuki
Kai X Uruha
Ruki X Shou
Byou X Ruki
Shou X Hiroto
Aoi X Ruki
Kai X Shou
Byou X Jin
Kouki X Ryoga

10 - Pairings - Have you ever gone outside your comfort zone and written a pairing you liked, but found you couldn't write, or a pairing you didn't like, and found you could?

I participated in a jrockyaoi challenge earlier this year when I found myself writing a pairing of Nao and Saga – which is one I had never even considered – and surprised myself with how easy it was to do. (It helped that the prompt was for a “cute” fic, because the pairing lent itself very well to that).

11 - Genre - do you prefer certain genres of fic when you're writing? What kind do you tend to write most?

My favorite genre is, of course, smutfic – and subgenres include drama, fluff and romance. I don’t go in for heavy angst. I’ve also several fantasy/fairy tale/urban fantasy AUs.

12 - Have you ever attempted an "adaptation" fic of a favorite book or movie but set in a different fandom?

Yes – Part Of Your World is an adaptation of The Little Mermaid, with J-rock characters and set in a postapocalyptic world that’s mostly covered with water. The biggest challenge was actually getting the premise of the story to work without magic, save for the ability of merfolk to temporarily transform into humans while on land. I also based A Fairy’s Tale on Twilight Sparkle’s storyline in My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic, and Tweetless is based partly on Shakespeare’s Love’s Labors Lost. (Well, actually on the musical that was adapted from Love’s Labors Lost).

13 - Do you prefer canon or fanon when you write? Has writing fanfic for a fandom changed the way you see some or even all of the original source material?

This question applies to fictional-based fandoms much more than RPF. I don’t think RPF really has “fanon,” unless you consider common rumors (i.e., the Reila myth).

14 - Ratings - how high are you comfortable with going? Have you ever written higher? If you're comfortable with NC-17, have you ever been shocked by finding that the story you're writing is G-rated instead?

I’m a smut writer first and foremost – so it’s definitely been a shock for me when I find myself writing a fic that isn’t! (The biggest example of that was the first You Twit! Fic in the Stargazer series, which was going to be smut – until I realized the smut would add nothing to the fic and would actually distract from the humor).

15 - Warnings - What do you feel it most important to warn for, and what's the strangest thing you've warned for in a fic?

The single most important thing a writer can warn for is noncon/dubcon. When in doubt if something is dubcon, warn anyway. I don’t think I’ve ever had to warn for anything particularly bizarre, other than to note that the fic involves sex involving mythical creatures or aliens.

16 - Summaries - Do you like them or hate them? How do you come up with them, if you use them?

Some stories loan themselves very well to summaries – others are more challenging. Basically, it’s a matter of how much you can give away without ruining the plot of the fic – and if the fic turns on a surprise reveal or a plot twist, you usually end up with something very generic. I usually come up with them by asking myself what the main characters are thinking at the start of the fic, writing that and then hinting about where they end up.

17 - Titles - Are they the bane of your existence, or the easiest part of the fic? Also, if you do chaptered fic, do you give each chapter a title, or not?

Each chapter of The Camera Eye has a title, because they’re all standalone stories that happen to take place in the same universe. If I were to do a true multiparter, though, I think I’d just number the chapters. As to how easy or hard titles are? Same as summaries – some are easy, others a lot harder. PWPs are a lot harder to title than more plot-intensive fics.

18 - Where do you get the most inspiration for your fics (aka "bunnies") from?

Oh, God – anywhere and everywhere. A lot of “real world universe” fics have come from bandomen’s Twitters, blogs and interviews, but I’ve also been inspired by plays, movies, TV, real-world events (one Camera Eye fic is based on a notorious event from the porn industry of the early ‘70s), English-language songs, you name it.

19 - When you have bunnies, do you sit down and start writing right away, or do you write down the idea for further use?

A lot of times, the idea will sit in my head, churn around and go through some changes before I sit down and start writing. Some ideas sit on my mental “back burner” for weeks before they get written.

20 -Do you ever get bunnied from other people's stories or art in the same fandom?

Usually not – although a drawing Akita Sensei did of Ruki in a corset and garterbelt did inspired the idea of having him play Frank in a Rocky Horror parody!

21 - Sequels - Have you ever written a sequel to a fic you wrote, and if so, why, and if not, how do you feel about sequels?

My two longer series – Stargazer and The Camera Eye – both started out as “Okay, I’m going to write a sequel to this, and then another sequel, and another, and holy crap, this is a series, isn’t it?” Sequels are a good thing – sometimes, you just can’t fit all your ideas into one fic. (I’ve done PWP sequels to fics where I felt that putting in another smut scene would be too much – but the couple’s moment together still needs to be told).

22 - Have you ever participated in a fest or a Big Bang? If so, write about your favorite experience in relation to one. If not, are there any you've thought about doing? And if not, why not?

I’ve participated in Kink Bingo and Season of Kink, if those count as fests. My favorite experience was actually how KB pushed me out of a few comfort zones (my writing was pretty vanilla before) and also got me to think of some off-the-wall ways to do with prompts – “Anonymity” somehow ended up as a parody crossover of Cinderella and Sailor Moon.

23 - When you post, where do you post to? Just your journal? Just an archive? Your own personal site?

My LJ (with a heading and fake cut posted to any relevant communities), plus Archive of Our Own. I also put a link to the fic on my Tumblr.

24 - Betaing - How many betas do you like to use to make sure there aren't any major flaws in your fic? Do you have a Beta horror story or dream story?

I don’t currently use a beta – I just read over the fic carefully before I post it.

25 - Music - Do you listen to music while you write? Do you make playlists to get into a certain "mood" to write your fic? Do you need noise in general? Or do you need it completely quiet?

I do usually listen to music while I’m writing – non-intrusive music like soft jazz, which provides a “brain cushion” but isn’t too distracting.

26 - What is the oddest (or funnest) thing you've had to research for a fic?

Probably fairy mythology (for A Fairy’s Tale), where I found out, to my surprise, that fairies weren’t always thought of as cute and harmless – they were once actively feared. Also the backgrounds of The Little Mermaid, both the original version and the Disney one – it turns out that Hans Christian Anderson wrote the story after a man he was in love with rejected him and got married. (In the original story, the mermaid’s prince marries a princess and is happy with her. The mermaid is told her one chance to save herself is to murder the prince and his wife – but she can’t do so, gives them her blessing and dies – though she is later reborn as a “daughter of the air,” which is probably where Disney got the name Ariel from).

27 - Where is your favorite place to write, and do you write by hand or on the computer?

I write on the computer, and I usually write in my room – although in the summer, I’ve been known to take my laptop to a park and write there (just making sure there’s nobody around when I write the “good stuff”). Strangest place I’ve ever written – I once did an entire fic, except the “good stuff” (which was written later), on a plane from Newark to San Francisco. (I had a whole row to myself).

28 - Have you ever collaborated with anyone else, whether writing together, or having an artist work on a piece about your fic?

Yes – aleksiina_26 and I co-wrote Shou-chan in Wonderland (this link is to the last story, the other three are linked to it), a series where we came up with an overarching plot and then each wrote alternating chapters. It was a fun experience because it showed the personality of each writer, and yet, it was also a unified whole.

29 - What is your current project or projects?

The Camera Eye is an ongoing series – I think I do more in that than “real world” stories nowadays. I’m working on the latest installment at the time of this writing.

30 - Do you have a favorite fic you've written? What makes it your favorite? And don't forget to give us a link!

I’ve got a couple of favorites – as it turns out, both were written for challenges in the uruai community. Part Of Your World, because of the multiple challenges of adapting a story, getting the boys to fit in it, giving it a new worldsetting and coming up with an ending that was different than any other version of Little Mermaid but which fit the story. Also, The Boy Next Door, because it presented me with probably the biggest challenge of all – a fic where the guys really had nothing special about them. They weren’t rock stars, or porn stars, or supernatural creatures, or fairy tale characters – just a group of regular guys living in an apartment house. (Well, Uruha was a model, but not a STAR model). So I had to come up with a romance storyline that was interesting without really anything to fall back on.

Comments

( 11 comments — Leave a comment )
leifang666
Nov. 25th, 2014 12:48 pm (UTC)

It's funny. I forgot I once found the concept of j rock fiction weird. I read a friends one and then I was hooked.

puss_nd_boots
Nov. 25th, 2014 05:53 pm (UTC)
I really don't understand the stigma against J-rock fanfic from animanga circles. It's not the same as actorfic. J-rockers have carefully crafted personas - a stage name, a specific look. Heck, some of them have even admitted that they are different people in front of and away from the stage/cameras - Shou of Alice Nine says his public persona is only a tiny fraction of who he really is. I've even seen some of them refer to their public selves in the third person - Kazuki has said there have been "times when I didn't feel like being Kazuki," and Yuuki of Lycaon has said, "The Yuuki inside me isn't entirely male or female." When you're writing about J-rockers in fanfic, you're writing about their PUBLIC personas - not a true "real person." You're not "invading their privacy" if you're sticking to the way they present themselves in public. You're not "putting them in relationships they would NOT want to be in" if they publicly perform fanservice with bandmates - and guys in other bands. (There are photos of Kouki and Ryoga hanging all over each other - and a writer who takes that to the next logical level is a "horrible person?" Please.) In essence, they're creating a character, and you're building on that character - it's no different than building on the characters and relationships in anime.
leifang666
Nov. 25th, 2014 07:52 pm (UTC)
When I started I had two rules. No publicly married J Rockers and only those who had performed fan-service on the stage... that fell apart with Hyde and was shattered when Miyavi got married. Now I have no rules. Being a celebrity in Japan means Yaoi gets written about you. They know this. Most of them play it up as well. Dropping hints all over the place. (Especially Gackt).

Like you said. They're stage presence and their real self are entirely different.

Mana in Malice Mizer I wonder about. He originally wanted to be in a boy band you know. Pretty sure the Mana you see on camera is 100% fake.

Where as others you get part of their personality. Most of them aren't lying, unless they're playing a role, but you can lie by telling part of the truth.

I don't blame them. But I'm sensible enough not to loose my head over celebrities anyway. If you've never met them then you don't know what they're like at all.

Even then. Don't we all have a slightly different version of ourselves depending on who we're around? Our work self, our home self. The self that comes out around different friends.
ldybastet
Nov. 25th, 2014 08:20 pm (UTC)
Definitely true about the being different versions of ourselves around different people or in different situations! There are sides of myself I just don't show at work, for example. And for JRockers, they probably step into a role as well, and then it's up to themselves how much of it is fabricated (and we will never find out). :)
leifang666
Nov. 25th, 2014 08:30 pm (UTC)
Nobody at work would ever guess I wrote Yaoi fanfiction for instance. Even my friends who know I write. (Even told I wrote a novel with a gay couple as the protagonists) They'd never guess there was erotica in there.

Because I'm a "good girl" and "Innocent". But just because I don't swear or talk about sex at work doesn't mean my journal isn't full of what is basically porn.
gaussianblur89
Nov. 25th, 2014 04:47 pm (UTC)
Heehehee, I think I'll have to steal this. :D Looks fun! And it's also interesting to see the evolution of fandom. I think the first fics I read were about the Biker Mice. Imagine. :D
puss_nd_boots
Nov. 25th, 2014 06:00 pm (UTC)
Steal away, it's what the meme is there for! It is interesting to see the evolution, isn't it? I'd be interested to see what fandoms the writers of J-rock/J-pop/K-pop fanfiction started out in. I imagine there's a LOT of graduates from both animanga and Harry Potter/LOTR.
ldybastet
Nov. 25th, 2014 08:17 pm (UTC)
Interesting read! :) I always find it fascinating to see how people came to the point that is here and now in their creativity, as well as get a little peek into how the creative process works. :)

I think I might steal this... :D
puss_nd_boots
Nov. 26th, 2014 03:51 am (UTC)
Steal away! It's fun to do - and a real trip down memory lane. Plus it makes you really think about your writing - I hadn't really realized how central Aoi had become to my stories until I did this meme.
misumaru
Nov. 25th, 2014 09:21 pm (UTC)
Oooh, I like this, it's interesting - might have to pinch it for myself! :D

It is funny to see which fandoms people have come from, isn't it? I mean, I was always an anime/manga/video game writer, and swore I'd never go into RPF, but then Kai helped me get over some writer's block... I'm actually a little scared to go back and look at my older fic though - OMG, it was so bad! I used to consider managing over 500 words a victory! XD
puss_nd_boots
Nov. 26th, 2014 04:09 am (UTC)
Oh, yeah, I look at my own older fanfics and go "Eeheheheheheh . . ." I think a LOT of us thought we'd never end up writing RPF. Heck, I remember when I was writing D. Gray-Man, there was an animanga fan on my friends list (back when your flist was pretty much your entire online social life) who suddenly started writing "popslash." And I just stared at this N*Sync smut on my list and went, O_O. Little did I know what I would eventually write myself . . . (But I think my reaction was less that it was RPF and more that it was N*Sync.)
( 11 comments — Leave a comment )

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