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posted by [personal profile] drusillas_rain at 12:15pm on 10/03/2011
There have been a few posts about WIP's on my flist lately, some of which I commented on, others of which I just didn't know what to say.

See, I have a WIP that effectively became the reason I withdrew from HP fandom.

The background
I swore I would never ever post a WIP. I have binders and files of unfinished stories. I never participate in those "what's in your WIP folder" memes, because it would take way too long for me to list everything. I'm also a fairly slow writer. But then I came up with the idea for Drow - it was inspired by some art, and was only going to be a short one-shot, which then grew. I outlined it. I posted 3 times a week. And it totally worked.

Until I realized it was a trilogy.

The second part went pretty well - I wasn't posting as frequently, but with the outline, I was able to get through it.

Then came part 3, which is where it all fell apart.

It's all outlined. I still think about it at least once a week, even though it's been over 4 years since I last posted. At the time, I was going through a really rough time and as a result had really bad writer's block that last 2 years. When it finally cleared I wanted to write again, but Drow was there and I couldn't let myself write anything until it was done. Except, Drow still wasn't happening. So, I switched to original fiction. The occasional drabble. I've done 2 fests, that I never linked to my lj because it felt like a complete betrayal to the readers of Drow.

The last chapter of Drow was posted in 2006 and I still get the occasional anon comment of "so, you gonna finish this or what?". It breaks my heart every time, because I hate when it happens to me as a reader. I've also distanced myself from HP fandom, which honestly makes me sad. I mean, I still participate in the online HP community, but in a "I care about your existence" kind of way. I've also embraced new fandoms.

Look, I know Drow isn't the best story in fandom. But it was the first story that I really let myself explore the kind of writing I wanted to do. I used to even discuss the plot points with a non-fandom friend over dinner and he was fascinated by the twists and turns, as were the readers.

So what now?
TLDR from above - wtf do I do now? How do I fix this?

Over the past year I've been working really hard on my output as a writer, both in fandom and original fiction. I wrote a holiday fest fic that's even been recced on [livejournal.com profile] crack_broom (so I guess it means it doesn't totally suck) that was over 10K. I'm working on submitting a 2nd original story to my RL critique group and that I hope to submit to a mentoring program for new writers. I'm blogging more in various places. But, I feel that if I ever want to move on and really be able to feel free to write, I need to finish Drow.

Your thoughts here
I want to finish Drow. I want to take the folder with all my notes in it which has lived on my desk since 2006 (even through a major renovation of my study) and do something with it.

But, how? Do I go back and re-edit what was posted and then re-post it chapter by chapter?
Do I just leave the chapters where they are and start posting it again section by section?
Or do I finish it and then just post it all in one big chunk on AO3?

Thoughts? Opinions? Rants? Hugs? All would be appreciated.


Ok, this is surprising. I actually feel lighter having written this all out. That kind of soul-bearing relief doesn't usually happen to me. But I want to make things right with the world and with fandom. Thanks for listening <3
There are 22 comments on this entry. (Reply.)
mordyn4: (Default)
posted by [personal profile] mordyn4 at 06:24pm on 10/03/2011
I still think about it at least once a week, even though it's been over 4 years since I last posted.

This makes me so sad.

Question: Do you want to write it? Or do you want to finish it? Because if you don't actually feel the desire to write it, I don't think you'll finish it no matter how much you want to. I'm glad I friended you because of that fic, but I will not feel cheated if it's not finished.
posted by [identity profile] drusillas-rain.livejournal.com at 06:36pm on 10/03/2011
Both. I didn't talk about how much I want to write it. The point-form outline is waiting to be filled out with the scenes from my head. And I know that I could just let it go - so many WIP's are unfinished/abandoned. I even tried to do that at one point so that I could make peace with it not being done, but it fucking haunts me to the point where I'm paralyzed.

I'm so glad I met you too!!! *hugs*
elfflame: Red headed woman with a patch over her left eye, the title "Flame" below it (Default)
posted by [personal profile] elfflame at 06:49pm on 10/03/2011
as someone who has a few stories that never got finished before they were jossed, and a few that i finished regardless, I say, do what feels most comfortable as far as getting it posted--if you want to. Don't push yourself.

I also want to say that I loved Drow, and I'd very much love to see more of it. Always made me smile. *snugs* So I'd love to see you finish it.

But I think the most important reason to finish it is because *you* want to. And not for any other reason.
posted by [identity profile] drusillas-rain.livejournal.com at 07:03pm on 10/03/2011
I do want to finish it. I'm stuck on the how right now. I know that the easiest thing would be to just post a summary. But, I also want to know what could be the best for the reader.
elfflame: Red headed woman with a patch over her left eye, the title "Flame" below it (Default)
posted by [personal profile] elfflame at 07:22pm on 10/03/2011
I think, as a reader, I'll probably enjoy it whatever you do.

As a writer? I would say don't tackle too much. Look at it realistically and try to figure out what you feel up to managing, and see if you can fit it to that.

Do you have a beta-reader for it? I've found for the long stuff, that helps keep me on track, because then they help me over the tough stuff, and they ask when the next bit is going to be finished, etc.

I wouldn't tackle rewriting the first two unless you *really* feel up to it, because that's a lot more work than it might seem at first.
posted by [identity profile] drusillas-rain.livejournal.com at 08:18pm on 10/03/2011
Really good point re tackling a rewrite of the first two. I think at one point I wanted it to align to my current writing level, but I think I'll leave it as is.

And um, if you have time/interest, I'd love it if you could beta the new parts for me.
elfflame: Red headed woman with a patch over her left eye, the title "Flame" below it (Default)
posted by [personal profile] elfflame at 08:21pm on 10/03/2011
I've found that the longer I wait to rewrite something, the more difficult it is to rewrite.

I'd love to, with the codicil that my life is kind of up in the air right now. I'm hoping I won't have to disappear, but I will do my best to warn if that happens, okay? Do you have my email?
posted by [identity profile] stasia.livejournal.com at 07:12pm on 10/03/2011
I have a couple of WIPs that I also want to finish. I know mostly what happens in the main one, but I'm stuck at a bit and the characters aren't cooperating and writing time is more limited (but it shouldn't be, so I'm working on that), and ... yeah.

I say, do what makes you happy. Write one scene a month and let yourself have the rest of the time as original work?

posted by [identity profile] drusillas-rain.livejournal.com at 08:01pm on 10/03/2011
I've been meaning to ask you - do you think we could maybe email or im at the start of 1-2 days a week for writing/projects/house-stuff? I think it might help me to check in. Usually my home days are Mondays or Tuesdays and then again Fridays.

What would make me happy is to figure out the best way to post it. I mean, if I start posting it to various comms, will anyone bother catching up? Should I even bother with comms? Should I post a big recap that summarizes 2 whole sections? Should I finish it first or should I go back to posting it as a WIP?

Hmmm... that last one never actually occurred to me before. I was so overwhelmed with the idea of editing the whole thing first, then finishing, and only then posting. Maybe I should just go chapter by chapter each week until it's done...
posted by [identity profile] stasia.livejournal.com at 08:10pm on 10/03/2011


Okay. I like the idea of finishing it and posting it as a WIP; you can post on the comms you used to post to and say that you're starting it back up (do this after you finish the story) and putting links to the start of the two previous sections.

You can, also, post the two finished sections to AO3, and then use those postings to publish the fact that you're starting back up.

I'm up for either IM or email; my IM is my email address (without the at yahoo part, of course) on YM. (You do have my email addy, right? It's in my user info.) I also have MIRC, but no idea how to use it, really. (I'm a dork about these things.)

I can be home at set times on Monday; Tuesday and Friday I have to be at work from 4-6pm my time... which is 7-9 yours, I believe.

*clings and bounces happily*

posted by [identity profile] drusillas-rain.livejournal.com at 08:25pm on 10/03/2011
Ah, so my early morning is your still asleep time :)

Ok, so this Monday is one of those rare occasions where I've got client meetings booked for the whole afternoon, so I won't have a home day next week. But I'm planning on emailing you about the morning stuff anyway. And maybe, possibly tomorrow afternoon, depending on when I get back home from a thing.


I like the idea of posting it chp by chp, but posting the first 2 parts on AO3. Oh, god, I haven't been to some of the HD comms in sooooo long...
posted by [identity profile] stasia.livejournal.com at 08:51pm on 10/03/2011
Yeah, I wake up at 6:30am with Geordie. Then he fucks off to work and I sit and try to wake up on the couch. Once the weather is more reliably nice, I'm going to start cycling first thing, to get myself into the habit and to make myself wake up!

Eeeeemail me!

posted by [identity profile] tripperfunster.livejournal.com at 07:28pm on 10/03/2011
Isn't if funny how we punish ourselves? I haven't read Drow. Sounds like it might have been posted before my time in fandom.

I am a massive procrastinator (must be an artistic/creative trait, eh?) So I feel your pain.

If it were me, I would probably post a note and the beginning and end of the fic(s) saying that it is a WIP, and due to life circumstances, it may or may not get finsihed. You could also post a summary of what happens, for those people who cannot live with lingering questions, but under a cut for those who don't want to know.

That way, you've fufilled your 'obligation'.

First and foremost, fandom is supposed to be FUN. don't let this ruin it for you. <3
posted by [identity profile] drusillas-rain.livejournal.com at 08:38pm on 10/03/2011
First and foremost, fandom is supposed to be FUN. don't let this ruin it for you. <3
I think I already let myself be ruined by it. I have a hard time reading/writing HP fic because of it. And after posting today/chatting about it, I'm more determined than ever to finally finish it. It's seems to have been Poe's Telltale Heart for me, except instead of a heart under the floorboards, I allowed this fic to overshadow everything else I do in HP fandom.
posted by [identity profile] lusiology.livejournal.com at 08:40pm on 10/03/2011
Oh gosh, Drow. *hearts* I'd never heard of them until you started posting your fic, and such a terrific plot line it was and still is. I have thought about it over the years, especially when I've read an original m/m that featured dark skinned elves, and can honestly say that I'd love to read more, but only when/if you want to write it.

I'm not surprised you had problems with book 3 because what you were going for in terms of multiple POVs, Draco's own identity and that of the drow he'd become was pretty complicated stuff, at least I thought do at the time.

Definitely tackle writing or editing it in bite size chunks then what you want to achieve won't seem so overwhelming. You could always link folks back to the start when you post new chapters so folks can refresh their memories. Most importantly, do what you want to do. As for those anon comments, they're anon so fuck 'em.

Remember, I also have a WiP - Beautiful Twilight, my Auror Harry mystery - that was started in 2006 and not finished.

ps, always available to beta for you bb.
posted by [identity profile] drusillas-rain.livejournal.com at 08:48pm on 10/03/2011
Beautiful Twilight! Omg! I remember that <333

The anon comments have actually always been nice about it - the last one was a few days ago and it honestly always surprises/pleases me to get a comment on some of my older stuff.

I'm not surprised you had problems with book 3 because what you were going for in terms of multiple POVs, Draco's own identity and that of the drow he'd become was pretty complicated stuff, at least I thought do at the time.
You are very very wise. I may have underestimated how much time/effort this would take me. And when that kind of thing happens to me, I tend to get frustrated, which causes me to withdraw. So, it really followed my usual pattern.

Ok, I think I've made a decision. Write a chp a week and send it to you + 1-2 other ppl. Once it's done, post the whole of the first 2 parts to AO3. Link these to the comms, then start posting once a week.

Hah! If I'd known talking about it would help me come up with a doable plan, I would have done this eons ago :D
posted by [identity profile] lusiology.livejournal.com at 09:07pm on 10/03/2011
That sounds very doable. I'd better re-read the earlier chapters. *is very excited*
posted by [identity profile] aliaswestgate.livejournal.com at 09:37pm on 10/03/2011
I have to say its definitely up to you on whether you keep going. I have two no, three WIPS. One for the Saiyuki fandom, which is more or less crack. The other is for Merlin, which has been on the 'backburner' in my head since 2009, sadly. Real life went nuts that year, and i haven't been able to pick it up since. Thankfully Arthur's still hellbent on telling me what i need to do, so its not totally lost. He's just being shouted down by someone else at the moment. ^^;;

My other one, which you might know is my Hawaii Five-O/Dresden Files AU fic, Kahuna. Right now, i want that finished before i go back to the Merlin one at the very least. The big thing is that i WANT to go back to the Merlin one, Saiyuki was my first fanfic writing fandom, but i don't really have anymore presence there nor followers about it. Nor any impulse to complete that cracky little jaunt that helped me jump into the joys of being a fanfic writer.

I tend to write chapter by chapter myself, mostly as the details find their way to my head and i do my researching outside my RL job.
posted by [identity profile] dbassassin.livejournal.com at 12:05am on 12/03/2011
I feel that if I ever want to move on and really be able to feel free to write, I need to finish Drow.


Is it because you don't like leaving something unfinished? Do you feel somehow "obligated" to fandom to finish it? Do you feel that you need to write to be "truly" part of the fandom? Do you feel the need to "fix" it because it doesn't meet the standards that you now set for your work? Or is it because you find the story still compelling in some sort of way?

The last reason would be the only one I'd be responsive to. I know it's hard to let go of unfinished business but I think you need to give yourself permission to let it go unless you still find the story itself truly compelling and really want to continue telling it. Don't feel that you need to bow to fandom's expectations or the entitlement issues of strangers.

Just my 1.3 pence's worth. :)
posted by [identity profile] drusillas-rain.livejournal.com at 03:24pm on 12/03/2011
It's all of the above. I do feel an obligation - I wouldn't have started it otherwise. But I also need to finish it for myself.

You're right though that I haven't really felt part of fandom since I had to stop posting and had to take a hiatus. I've even been to cons since then, but have still felt like an outsider (beyond the personal relationships I had developed).

posted by [identity profile] dbassassin.livejournal.com at 02:33am on 14/03/2011
Hmmm... Well, you're still part of fandom because you still have an emotional connection to the fandom and some of the people in it. It's those personal relationships that make you part of fandom, even if you're not writing in it.

But as to the fic, if you feel you need to finish the story, I'd recommend finishing it off rather than going back and editing what you've already posted. If you edit the old stuff first, you run the risk of getting tired of it or feeling overwhelmed. At least, I would if I was in your position. I'm not re-editing any of the old parts of the Fic o'Doom as I'm going back to it. I'd be ecstatic to just get a first draft of the bloody thing completed. :D
posted by [identity profile] enchanted-jae.livejournal.com at 04:57am on 12/03/2011
I would love to see you finish Drow, but don't force yourself. Fanfic is meant to be fun, not a chore.


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