gwyn: (walken wonderland)
[personal profile] gwyn
I didn't write nearly as many stories this year as I have in previous years, but that was made up for by the fact that most of them were long honking huge things of more than 30,000 words, and one was a WIP that I posted over a couple months, so. I'm definitely at a lower word count than I had been in 2015 (though apparently more than in 2014!), but counting the two things I wrote in December, it brought it up to a respectable number, considering that I've felt mostly like a worthless failure that no one wants to read. I wish I'd done more of the comment fic prompts people gave me back after Civil War, to get out of that malaise, but who knows, maybe that's something I'll go back to this year.

I'm not gonna go month by month since some months I didn't have anything, these are just the stories what I wrote:

How Do You Fondue? The little Valentine's Day fic
I Meant What I Said When I Said Until My Dying Day One of the interludes I was writing based around the Civil War trailers and my guesswork
Don't Wait Up for Me The WIP, where Bucky and Sam go to the place Bucky fell for some closure
All we've got (is what no one can break) The last of the interludes based on the trailers
Dedication A little tumblr fic I wrote for Memorial Day
Clean Skin A comment fic about Bucky in Bucharest (I feel like that should be the title of an adventure comedy, don't you?)
The Bucket Another comment fic for Civil War, about Three Caps in a Bug
Stealing Home The final story in the baseball series
Still Let Me Sleep My Stucky Big Bang entry, a dreamsharing epic
Sway With Me The coda to Still Let Me sleep
These Long and Better Days To Come A shrinkyclinks, nonlinear narrative fic I abandoned back last January 1st and finally finished in November
War Dogs A little Christmas fluff, Bucky and Steve and dogs



What's the story that makes you happiest?
Hmmm. I don't know if any of them do, but I guess Don't Wait Up for Me, just because I felt like I really did what I wanted to do, have a Sam and Bucky friendship, Steve and Nat friendship, action adventure, and emotional reunions for Steve and Bucky fic, and work in the Buzludzha Monument in Bulgaria from this amazing photo essay I'd seen a few years ago. There were times, especially in the middle when hardly anyone seemed to be interested in reading it, where it was really depressing, but I'm glad I persevered because I felt happy with it. I also was really happy with Dedication, a little speech from the boy who was thrown in the water in Captain America: The First Avenger, even if no one read that thing.

My 5 favorite stories this year:
Don't Wait Up for Me
Sway With Me
Dedication
War Dogs
These Long and Better Days To Come

My 5 best stories this year: Honestly, I have no idea how to decide what's best, I guess this is just what I felt turned out okay.
Don't Wait Up for Me
Still Let Me Sleep
Clean Skin
War Dogs
All we've got (is what no one can break)

Most popular story:
I guess by most metrics it's Don't Wait Up for Me (it's certainly got the most hits/comments/kudos and probably had the most recs); I think judging by the reactions people had it would be most popular too, although War Dogs seems to be doing well in that arena.

Story most underappreciated by the universe, in my opinion:
Next to nobody's read the little tumblr or comment fics, and without pairings and G ratings and whatnot I guess that's to be expected, but I really liked Dedication. And the last of the Interludes bombed even more than usual, partly because it was posted right before the movie came out here and it was based around stuff that didn't happen in the movie and I'm sure partly because that's typical for me. The weirdness of things and some anon hate about my Yuletide story was definitely a downer.

Most fun story:
For writing fun, it was probably Don't Wait Up for Me, because I'd been thinking about it for a couple years, and I loved thinking about Bucky and Sam getting into some serious hot water and having to get out of it, plus having Steve come to the rescue. For reading fun, I don't know. I guess War Dogs? People seem to love the dogs, although some people really liked Bucky trying to figure out what Steve wants in How Do You Fondue?

Sexiest story:
Wow, that one I would not know. A lot of them are explicit or mature--I guess maybe I'd say Sway With Me, because sexytimes feature very prominently in the present part of the story.

Story with single sexiest moment:
I'd probably leave this up to others to decide, but I'd probably default to the shaving & hair washing/shower sex scene in Don't Wait Up for Me.

Story with single sweetest moment:
Probably War Dogs, because, you know, Steve gives Bucky a dog.

Hardest story to write:
A tie there--I'd put Still Let Me Sleep on the shelf last year when I found out a friend was writing what sounded like it was going to be the same story. It felt really pointless. And I was feeling pretty beaten up by a lot of things, and depressed after Civil War, but I had signed up for the Stucky Big Bang in a fit of madness, and I had to finish it, so I really pushed and pushed and yet it kept getting bigger and bigger. Every time I thought I was at the end, the end got farther away. And These Long and Better Days To Come required a lot lot lot of rewrites and getting into the head space to finish it after having abandoned it almost a year before. Plus there was research, and I gave myself a deadline of posting on my birthday, and that was…not good.

Easiest story to write:
War Dogs. I've been thinking about it for a long time, and so it came pretty easily.

Truest story of the year:
I still do not understand what this means. I guess I'd pick Clean Skin, just because thinking about ways Bucky could reclaim himself while living in Bucharest really feels right to me.

Story that made you cry/saddest story:
I don't know. There were definitely scenes in Don't Wait Up for Me that made me weepy when I wrote them--the ending, with Bucky's confession about missing who he used to be, and the reunion flashbacks with Steve, and the conversation between Sam and Bucky when they thought they might end up dying on the mountain. I also got a little sniffly thinking about Bucky thinking he'd killed Steve in These Long and Better Days To Come, plus the scenes where he's being tortured were hard. Dedication was kind of a weeper for me--any time I think about Steve dying, and the people carrying on who loved him, I get something in my eyes.

Story that shifted my own perceptions of the characters:
I don't think I had anything like that this year? Or…maybe Wanda in the Interludes stories. Because she's a character I haven't really thought I cared much about, but putting her in I Meant What I Said When I Said Until My Dying Day was really interesting--at the time I hadn't seen anyone talk about Wanda using her powers to help Bucky, but since then of course there are hundreds of those.

Biggest disappointment:
I'd probably say Still Let Me Sleep, for a lot of reasons, not the least was that we got none of the promised support from the horrible moderators of the big bang, and I didn't know that draft dates are what things like the RSS AO3 feeds use to sort, and the thing just kind of vanished. I felt like I'd managed to accomplish something, considering all the strikes it had against it, and it had stunning artwork for it, but…basically very few people ever saw it, or read it, and none of what I thought might happen by participating in a big bang happened. Lesson learned--everyone keeps telling me to try another, better run bang, but I'm really wary now.

I was always sad that people weren't willing to try the baseball series, too, because especially the one set during the war I really liked, but people saw that word and didn't want to read something they thought would be about sportsing, though they weren't really.

Biggest surprise:
Don't Wait Up for Me, in every way--the writing of it went in directions I hadn't planned, a few people really liked it, I wasn't totally unhappy with it… I was also surprised that someone made a podfic for I can't remember how this started (but I can tell you exactly how it ends). For one thing it's a couple years old, and for another she was new to both Stucky fandom and podficcing, and I was so surprised to get her email and so touched that she would choose my fic for that.

Most telling story:
War Dogs? I guess? Because a lot of people who know me know I sometimes foster dogs with a rescue group.

Favorite opening line:
I still start so many things in media res that many of the opening lines make no sense. I guess this one from All we've got?

The edge of the shield is sharp and cool against Steve’s hand; he traces his fingertips over the ridges of its surface, like touching a beloved face.

But honestly, I love the whole opening lines when Steve's going down in the Valkyrie and someone's telling him to wake up in Still Let Me Sleep the best.

Favorite closing line:
Probably the whole end section of Don't Wait Up for Me, but if I have to pick only a line, maybe this one from These Long and Better Days:

Those lives I lived for someone else, Bucky thought as he searched Steve’s gleaming eyes. This one’s mine.

Favorite line from anywhere:
From Sway With Me:

The fortune Steve pulled from the cookie on his plate said: Anything is possible with a willing heart.

Favorite title:
Probably Still Let Me Sleep. It's from Twelfth Night, Sebastian says it so there's a little bit of a meta joke under there, and the whole line is "If it be thus to dream, still let me sleep" and since it's a story about dreamsharing, and Steve and Bucky wishing they could stay inside their frozen dream world forever, it felt perfect.

Looking back, did you write more stories than you thought you would this year, fewer than you thought, or about what you predicted?
Definitely fewer. For one thing, most of them were honking huge, as I mentioned, and for another, depression, that feeling of if I never wrote another word or put a clip on a timeline no one would notice or care, really hit me hard. It is just very hard to create in the face of indifference, especially for me since I make little movies in my head and I could just do that instead.

What pairing/genre/fandom did you write that you would never have predicted in January 2015?
Ha ha ha. None. I mean, there was the Yuletide fandom which I really, really didn't see coming, but otherwise it was solely an MCU year, and a Steve/Bucky year at that. Although--I guess genre-wise, I've never written nonlinear narrative (that I can remember, it's possible I did in Buffy) in fanfiction, only when I was pro, and that was fun to do in two stories. I've never written shrinkyclinks, cabin in the woods, and dreamsharing, though I love all those tropes a lot. I've certainly never written anything that was simply a speech. Or around a trailer, so the Interludes were fun. Oh! Come to think of it--I wrote Marvel 616 into Still Let Me Sleep, and that was a kick, trying to envision a way to bring a comics canon that's really different from the MCU canon and make it work without going into super explanatory info dumps.

Story that could have been better?
I always think all of them could have. I'm still not super satisfied with the opening page of Don't Wait Up for Me, even though I liked everything else. And clearly my Yuletide story could have been much better.

Did you take any writing risks this year? What did you learn from them?
The aforementioned nonlinear narrative, especially in These Long and Better Days To Come, because of the time-trippyness and the unusual linking structure of the different segments. It was often frustrating but also kind of a skills test. And the ending of Still Let Me Sleep--I knew people would be pissed at it, that kind of abrupt, "here we go" sort of thing, but I've always wanted to experiment with that kind of ending and it felt like the right story to do it. I know it did upset a few people, but I was happy with it.

This year's theme and the story that demonstrates it most:
Ha. Still probably that Steve and Bucky love each other no matter what, but also maybe that Bucky is a strong, resilient guy in the face of hideous adversity, and that Steve is the saddest guy on the planet without him? I'd probably say everything, for that, but yeah, probably Don't Wait Up for Me.

What story do you want to have written?
I promised a Nat handing Steve off to Sharon in Civil War comment fic to minim-calibre that I never wrote. I'd like to get back to that.

Story I want remembered:
I don't know. Still Let Me Sleep, I guess. What I think will be remembered, though, is Don't Wait Up for Me or War Dogs.

What's next for 2017:
I would love to hop off the fanfiction train and stop putting myself through this, but unfortunately every time I think "oh, I'll do this one last idea and then quit" I come up with another freaking idea. But I have this fic I don't want to talk about too much because I'll probably find out someone's already writing it that once I finish this book edit, I will start on, and then I finally got a Civil War-related idea. I'm considering signing up for the Cap reverse big bang, though I'm still pretty twitchy about bangs after the SBB, though I'm comforted that the mods on this are actually experienced. I would like to write more Martian fic, and this morning I woke up with a snippet of femslash for the Good Place running through my head, and I don't know if there's a story in it but it might be fun to let it percolate for a bit.

I feel like I could write a million more words about Sergeant Barnes and Gretel the Howling Commando or Steve & Bucky & Rita and their adventures with modern life, but literally no one has asked for that, so I will probably just content myself with imagining them before bed. You know how you always get that one comment that doesn't say anything about the story, just says, "more please"? I didn't even get one of those this time! The wartime stuff would require a lot of time with my WWII research library, so I don't really want to invest the energy otherwise.

my final word count wasn't too terrible, all things considered:

140,477
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