For the Brits/near-Brits I know:

Say you were a British person not in the uk, with at least a little national pride, an overgenerous allotment of pyromania, and access to a lot of open space and chemicals. What would you do to celebrate Guy Fawkes Day? In particular, if you could compare/contrast to USian 4th of July traditions, that would be lovely.

Yes, this is for a fic. Anybody who guesses what the fic is going to be wins the right to suggest a scene, because everybody should get to play with something this cracky.
amalnahurriyeh: XF: Mulder, looking down and laughing (mulder laugh)
( Aug. 1st, 2012 01:32 pm)
Moral of the beta I just got back:

When you write original characters, you have to tell people what they look like.
amalnahurriyeh: Dollhouse: Sierra, with text "geek squad" (sierra)
( Jun. 15th, 2012 12:01 pm)
You are writing in limited third.  You want to establish the race of the perspective character.  How do you do it?  

*this post brought to you by omg original fic how do you work*
So, I recently realized that I have a favorite narrative kink. It goes like this:

1) Character A and Character B are in love.
2) Character A and Character B have sex.
3) The reason for Character A and Character B having sex has nothing to do with the fact that they are in love.
4) In the end, everything works out right.

That's it. It's fairly simple, but I recently realized that both of my current works in progress follow this pattern in one way or another. So does Sweet Nothings for the Numb. So does First/Second. It explains why I adore a good story like The Leap, and an awful story like Where There's A Will. It's what I like about the Aliens Made Them Do It (AMDTI) trope (I linked to fanlore there, not TVTropes; you're welcome).

The point of this post is to say that I just reread a story I loved which makes use of this trope, though the idea that the characters are in love at the beginning is a bit of a stretch: The Cost of Living (H50, Steve/Danny, no canon knowledge needed, Gay Issues handled well, contains casefile, also contains a lot of porn). It's a hooker!fic AU, but it's also a lot more than that. It's a good story. You should read it.
amalnahurriyeh: XF: Mulder, looking down and laughing (mulder laugh)
( Apr. 14th, 2012 02:10 pm)
My absolute favorite thing about writing fanfiction is the ability to start in media res. Like, no warm up, no need to set the scene, just, boom, go.

My least favorite thing about fanfiction is that it is an alternative to grading, which means that I want to be writing about Mulder and Scully taking a nice walk to a cafe, and also vampirism.
amalnahurriyeh: XF: Plastic Flamingo from Acadia, with text "bring it on." (flamingo)
( Apr. 10th, 2011 06:02 pm)
My wife and I are doing a huge, massive de-crap-i-fication of our house. Considering we've lived here nearly six years, we're both packrats, I produce piece of paper for a living, and we have a toddler and two cats, guess what? It's a lot of crap. I spent a good chunk of the afternoon going through old notebooks, to see if they had enough blank pages to be worth saving, or if they contained things I'd want to keep.

In one, almost-finished notebook, I found something I thought I'd lost: the opening scene of Astral Projection.

Astral Projection was supposed to be my 2010 Big Bang piece. I even got so far as writing an outline and filling in the final scene, and part of another pivotal one. But, before that, it was the first story I started seriously working on. (Interestingly, I had started outlining what would become Machines of Freedom around the same time--by saying, "you know, what I would do if they let me write XF3 is...")

In any case, I wrote the first scenes of what I'm now calling Astral Projection in a notebook I carried around with me, while sitting on the playground keeping half an eye on my niece, hoping she would neither fall off the climbing bars nor punch another child in the face. (Any resemblance between this depiction and a certain fictional character is, of course, entirely coincidental.) I've lost the second scene, now, and I thought I'd lost the first, but here it is, just as I wrote it, long before I'd even seen IWTB.

I want to finish this story. It's not actually going to be that long--okay, it'll probably hit 10-15K, because it's a lot of story, but that doesn't feel that long to me. I don't know when I'll get back to it; there are other things preoccupying me first. But, while we wait...you want to see?

Warning: these are scanned from my handwritten version. That means you are contending with my handwriting. How bad is my handwriting? Bad enough that, when other ethnographers and I are talking about what measures we use to make sure our fieldnotes are sufficiently confidential, I am comfortable saying that my handwriting is security measure enough. I can read these. Barely.

Second Warning: I wrote these nearly three years ago. I've written maybe 250,000 words in the past three years? More than that, actually, if I think both about work and fic. So, you know, I'm probably a better writer now; certainly more sure in my characterization.

But, anyway. Enjoy.

cut for hugeass scans )

It's just too bad I no longer have the ghostly-or-hallucinated-depending-on-who-you-ask pot of sopa de limón scene. That one was funny.

(Another couple hundred words of this story are in this post. Angst warning.)
Seen around: Post the names of all the files in your WIP folder, regardless of how non-descriptive or ridiculous.

And I'm going to alter this, because I can. First, my WIPs are all in various folders based on what they are: Caseyverse is kept separate from regular XF fic is kept separate from superlong things (MoF, etc). Second, I'm unclear if this is meant to be file titles or story titles (and the two are not necessarily the same for me), so I'll put both. Third, I'm fairly sure I've seen a version of this that includes quotes from what's written, so I'm doing that, because I feel like it.

blah blah blah )

Moral of the story: there is a lot of unfinished angst on my hard drive.
My hard drive is in the middle of a catastrophic failure, so I'm backing up what I can before taking it to the shop tomorrow for what will, hopefully, be a brand-new, covered-under-warranty hard drive. Many files are corrupted, because my computer fucking hates me.

I just transferred all my fic to the back up drive. The computer informed me, politely, that the following two stories are corrupted and cannot be copied:

Five Times Mosley Drummy Wishes He Never Met Fox Mulder
Nonverbal, which is better known as the Mulder/Scully/Krycek threesome suggested in Narrative Thrust.

Quick, come up with a category that includes those two works. I dare you.





(Hint: The category is "shit I wrote that Wendy really likes.")
amalnahurriyeh: XF: Plastic Flamingo from Acadia, with text "bring it on." (flamingo)
( Dec. 2nd, 2010 11:51 pm)
I want to talk, in a rambling fashion, about the writing of AUs. In particular, the type of AU where you pick up characters--fictional or historical or whatever--who were never actually in the same room, and put them in a scenario together, which neither ever experienced, or would have experienced.

One of the funniest comments I got on my Fringe/Caseyverse crossover was that I'd messed up the timelines of the two universes--during Season 1 of Fringe, Sadie wouldn't be born yet. Given that I was trying to write crack, well, OK, I did not particularly care. But it did somehow disturb my order of the universe; I had broken the laws of time. (That's a regular feature of the Caseyverse, though.)

Which brings me to this thing I'm writing now, for a, um, unnamed late-December fannish event. (Whose culture of secrecy I have yet to properly understand.) The story I'm writing contains two individuals who were never in the same country at the same time, as far as I can tell. They're pretty perfectly matched as a pairing for the story, and the prompt I'm using is, well, literally the best prompt I have ever written for, and I wrote this, so I'm clearly happy.

But I'm not clear on the mechanics of how I'm supposed to get these characters into the necessary scenario. More to the point, I'm not clear on whether this is something I'm supposed to give a shit about. I mean, the important point is that they're in [place] on [means of conveyance] using [mechanical object] to [verb] [noun]. As long as I write that--and the conversation after they [verb] [noun] from [mechanical conveyance] wherein they talk about [thing they have in common] and possibly [verb]--I'm pretty much golden.

But I want to know. What were they both doing in [origin point] before the whole [noun] situation began? In what way did they end up together during the journey towards [destination]? Why [destination], apart from the fact that one of them lived there at one point? Given that they are not of the same generation in their respective canons, what age are they both? And does this take place in person A's timeframe, person B's timeframe, or in [timeframe I prefer, during which neither of them are actually alive]? If I go with [preferred timeframe], how are they different? More important, how is the world different for them not having existed and [verbed], given that their [verbing] seems to me a very important thing? Granted, not necessarily from the point of view of [verbing] [noun], given that [noun] don't really [verb]. But from my point of view, who loves them for what they actually did? I don't know what a world without them doing it, when they did it, would even look like.

Maybe I should let go. [Verbing] [nouns] with [mechanical object] is not a thing that requires a whole lot of good backstory. It's just what it is. And I don't necessarily have to write a great deal; just enough to tell this story adequately. If the story is about [verbing] [nouns] with [mechanical object], and the comedy comes from the fact that it's these people doing it, well then, just have them [verb] the damn [nouns]. Easy-peasy.

But Scully should have been pregnant in The Old X Designation, and these two people never met. They probably never even heard of each other. (Wait, *runs to wikipedia*--yes, the dates fail to align nearly perfectly.)

So, dear audience: how much should I care about this? Some? None? Entirely? Do you think this sort of worldbuilding shows through in a snippet universe like this?

Also, is it considered within [exchange] rules to recruit someone to illustrate your fic? Because, I gotta say, X and Y on [means of conveyance] using [mechanical object] to [verb] [noun] is the default icon I have always wanted.
Author: Amal Nahurriyeh, [personal profile] amalnahurriyeh/[livejournal.com profile] amalnahurriyeh, amalnahurriyeh at gmail dot com.
Fandoms: The X-Files; egocentrism


Written for [community profile] ladiesbigbang 2010. Thanks to the mods for this exciting challenge! My other meta contribution, Redheads Who Could Kill Me, is here.

I was very excited to hear about <user name=ladiesbigbang>. )
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