kate: Kate Winslet is wryly amused (Default)
[personal profile] kate
Here's the full 30 days, for those who want to play along.

Yeah, now we're well into the stuff I prefer to talk about.

Day 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 have participated in a number of bangs, to varying levels of success. I'm a fairly long form writer, so the wordcount doesn't bother me. What tends to happen when I can't finish is that the story I thought I was writing is roughly twice as long as I was expecting. That's one problem when you're expecting to write 10k and end up writing 20k. It's a whole nother problem when you're expecting to write 40k and end up writing 80k.

I have this problem with big bangs, though, and I feel like things were on the cusp of changing around LJ and DW (DW for sure), and then tumblr came along and people have just gone back to the way things were, and it bothers me. (Stick with me - this relates to my favorite experience.) So my problem with most big bangs is that you are expected to write a story of a certain length (and the length has been getting shorter and shorter, which... eh. I am sort of on the fence about that), and then, you get a piece of art as a prize! Good job writer! Except... hello, the artists work stupid hard too - and get treated like second class citizens. It bothers me a lot. It's one of the reasons that when we decided to do a big bang at [community profile] ante_up_losers, we made it possible to have any sort of bang you want - and any sort of complement, too. So we've had poetry bangs and board game bangs and tarot card bangs and knitting complements and tea-making complements and adventures in cooking complements... I really love the way our bang turned out, I am just ridiculously proud of it, and I really wish more fans would realize that greater variety in fanworks is a good thing, and that no one's creative endeavor is secondary to anyone else's.

That said, I have written about a few writerly big bang experiences before, and I won't rehash one of those here, but I am going to be signing up for the Supernatural rarepairs big bang, and I'm really looking forward to that as a way to finish off one of the Wincestiel epics I'm working on. It's one of the kinds of bangs I don't like (art as a prize for fic), but the deadline is useful for me actually finishing some of these epics, so I use big bangs for that reason, despite my misgivings about the format.

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

When I started posting fic, I posted to my personal LJ, and I wrote it for a particular person, so I sort of just let them know it was there. I separated my writing and personal LJs a year or so later, and I kept that separation when I came to DW ([personal profile] kisahawklin is my fic journal, but I don't post over there any more - I don't even keep the masterlist up to date, eep). When I was in SGA, I posted to my journal, and linked to the post from appropriate communities (mostly [livejournal.com profile] mckay_sheppard). I posted in some comms (flashfic for one) and I had some fic posted for me in holiday exchanges. I hated that, and still hate it to this day, and will no longer participate in exchanges that require someone else to post my work.

I now post everything to the archive (AO3), though I am slowly but surely creating a back-up of all my fic to a public dropbox folder. I might make that a weekend project somewhere in here and then I will post the link on my masterlists on LJ and DW as a back-up in case anything happens to the archive. I no longer post to comms to publicize. I find these days, people will find my stuff if they want to, and that's good enough for me.

Day 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?

True story: I'm terrible at getting betas for anything but longfic. I just... don't care for stories that are under 10k. Or rather... (sorry, I know this sounds arrogant, and I apologize, but it's true) I trust myself to be able to tell a short story decently, with appropriately correct grammar, characterization, etc. I don't tend to drop balls if the story is less than 10k, and I compulsively re-read and edit as I write, so I feel pretty confident about posting stories without betas. I have even gotten an offer from a friend who was like, "yes, send me your shorts, I will beta!" And I thought that was fantastic! But then never sent them any shorts. /o\ I really need to, too, because I feel like I could use a little shake up in my writing right now.

Longfic on the other hand (over 10k as a rough estimate but definitely anything that hits the 20k mark or greater), I really prefer to have a beta - and one who will dig deep and crit the hell out of me. Unfortunately, I have a tough time finding those folks. I do actually have a couple of people that I can turn to for this now, I think, so once I finish up one of these epics for the Supernatural rarepairs big bang, I expect to rope at least one and hopefully two people into betaing, since I'll have two whole months to edit the story (and the one seems to need a hell of a lot of editing, I'm already editing the shit out of the thing and I'm not even done yet!).

I also offer betas, though I don't do it as much anymore. I have a couple of horror stories (like offering to beta for a fest (the fest required betas), getting a couple of stories and sending them their betas, having them COMPLETELY IGNORE everything I said, and then slap my name on it as beta). D: D: D: D: I no longer do that. I only beta for friends, and if someone were to come back with "thanks for the beta, but I'm not changing anything" I would politely ask that they not include my name. I don't expect people to take every suggestion (or even half of them, really), but I do expect that they think about the comments and weigh them against other factors before dismissing them completely. I love discussing betas - I had one betaee that was just fantastic - we would have long back and forth conversations about things, in multiple rainbow colors, and it was really brilliant. I also have brilliant stories about working with brilliant authors (my god, [personal profile] lavvyan could just take a comment and rewrite the sentence to be completely amazing, she was always a joy to work with), and horror stories about working with awful authors (like the one who basically expected me to be more involved in her fic than in my own life, when I was working 70 hours a week - and all of her fics were 100k words), but I think the worst horror story is when I got a beta from my wife (yeeeears ago now) and was completely crushed. I can't remember anything about it, but for some reason, I just got really upset when she betaed my story and was tearful and hurt for days. I'm hoping I am over this type of reaction, because she's one of the people I have on the chopping block for betaing my rarepairs big bang.


kate: Kate Winslet is wryly amused (Default)


2014 Wordcount

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