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Fanfic

A reader asks, "I know you won't link to your fannish identity, but you said you'd written a lot of fanfic. Can you tell us what fandoms and pairings at least?"



Sure! I've written a ton of fanfic over the years in a bunch of different fandoms, but these are the main ones. My first fandom was original trilogy Star Wars. The first story I ever wrote was a story about Han Solo as a little boy, written in 1977 when I was nine years old. It was written in blue magic marker in the back of one of my school notebooks while I waited for my dance class. The first story I ever "published" was a Star Wars story accepted to a paper zine when I was just short of fourteen. I lied and said I was a college student or they never would have taken it! It was a story about Leia after the wars, dealing with swarming paparazzi. I wrote nine metric tons of Star Wars stories!

My second big fandom was original Battlestar Galactica. The summer between my sophomore and junior years in high school my friends and I wrote a Battlestar Galactica novel. I also had a bunch of stories in zines, including one that really does hold up today. I wrote Cassie/Cain, Cassie/Starbuck, Starbuck/Apollo in a very complicated thing that pretty much encapsulates how I approach everything! Cassie was hands down my voice character, and I still love her to pieces.

I wrote some classic Star Trek during the movie era, but I didn't get deeply into Trek until Next Gen. I wrote some Beverly, but mostly I wrote original characters attached to the main story line. I had a long saga about a Vulcan man about Saavik's age and his long career in Starfleet from the movie era through the Dominion War. He's pretty much Lydias. Yep. Pretty much Lydias, through and through!

I've written a lot of X Men movieverse, again the multishipping Charles/Erik, Erik/Mystique, Erik/Pyro. Mystique is my usual voice character, and I'm proud of several stories I did about her.

I've written half a million words of Pirates of the Caribbean fic, including three long epic series. Again the multishipping gone wild -- Jack/Elizabeth, Elizabeth/Will, Jack/Will, Elizabeth/James, Jack/Calypso, Will/Calypso, Jack/Cutler Beckett. (I've done Jack/Hector, but it was for a challenge and it's not my taste.) I love bringing it into a realistic historical setting, and that's the heart of much of what I wrote.

Which brings us to Stargate Atlantis and SG-1. I've written heaven knows how many words -- something like a hundred and thirty stories between the two series. Much of it is gen, some of it is Wraith-centric, including stories about the early days of the war between the Ancients and the Wraith. Again, I multiship all over the place. *takes a deep breath* I've written Jack/Sam, Jack/Daniel, Sam/John, Cam/Vala, John/Teyla, John/Ronon, Rodney/Jennifer, Jennifer/Todd, Teyla/Todd, Ronon/Radek, John/Radek, Rodney/Elizabeth, Elizabeth/Daniel and almost but not quite Sam/Teyla.

Lately I've been very into Sanctuary, which I utterly adore! What's not to love about an amazing historical canvas and canon multiships all over the place? I've written a bunch of gen, and then about half a million words of various combinations -- Helen/John, Helen/Nikola, Helen/James, John/James, John/Nikola, James/Nikola, Helen/Nigel, and James/Declan.

I'm currently plunging into watching Farscape for the first time, and I expect fic will be forthcoming.

I think the takeaway here is that I'm very eclectic -- there are only a couple of pairings here and there that I truly don't like, and I don't OTP. I believe love is mutable, and that under different circumstances there are many people we might love, many ways we might express that, many ways we may be transformed by others and transform them. I love big historical settings, epic stories, and I love relating tightly to real world events. I am a stickler for canon. I very, very rarely write AUs. I don't write crack. I tend to write very tightly plotted long stories or series that are about a moment in time, whether that moment is East Berlin in 1980 with Magneto and Mystique or Saudi Arabia during Desert Storm with Sam Carter and John Sheppard or Ocracoke Island in 1773 with Elizabeth Swann, Will Turner, and Captain Jack Sparrow.

I research everything incredibly pickily -- I remember I called a friend to check with her on when the Thomas Circle traffic repairs were done in Washington DC in 2007 for an SG-1 story, even though the mention of the repairs were one line as Sam threads her way through the cones! I google the location of Burger Kings in Colorado Springs to make sure Daniel is stopping at a Burger King that really exists. I spent an inordinate amount of time pouring over 18th century maps of the shipping lanes on the lower Mississippi below New Orleans for a Pirates of the Caribbean story, making sure that the chase between Jack and James Norrington worked. I found footage of buses in East Berlin in the early 80s to make sure the bus looked right in an X Men story. And thanks to Sanctuary I now know more about the real Nikola Tesla than strictly necessary, not to mention John Druitt, suicidal cricketeer! Also when did wax cylinder phonographs go out? What song is on the radio when James and Helen are talking in August, 1940? What did the rail platform in Boulogne look like during World War II? What was Rocky Horror like in Greenwich Village in 1980 and who were the shadow cast?

Every story, fanfic or original novel, takes place in a moment in time, even if that time is "the present." The "present" of second season Stargate Atlantis is not 2012. Every person is shaped by the events of their life, whether those events are real historical events on earth or fictional ones elsewhere. They're shaped by time and context. And the more fantastic elements you want the reader to believe, whether that's travel to a distant galaxy or the ability to shift shape or that this woman is a hundred and fifty years old, the more concrete and real the details must be. That's what I bring to my fanfic and to my original writing equally.

Your thoughts, my friends?

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Comments

( 24 comments — Leave a comment )
tielan
Apr. 30th, 2012 12:39 pm (UTC)
Oh how well I know the feeling of doing tons of research for a throwaway line. But it can be an inhibitor as well - "I must do it right!" is a constant catchcry of mine, and if I can't do it justice, often I'm reluctant to do it at all.

Interestingly, in contrast to you, I tend to be a one-woman, one-pairing fan. I fixate on one female character in a series (usually the physical, kickass, frequently non-white/Western female character) and match her in a pairing.

And then I write a bajillion stories about her, her OTP, her team/friends, her history, and her thought processes. :)
jo_graham
Apr. 30th, 2012 03:06 pm (UTC)
I think you're right that it can definitely be an inhibitor too. I have to work hard to strike a balance between being careful and getting stuck on something that doesn't matter. Also, I consider how likely I am to get caught! :) If I misplace the location of an obelisk in first century BC Alexandria, about ten people in the world will catch me on it. If I screw up the geography of an American city, there are going to be a hundred people reading it who know better! I'm much more likely to get caught on Stargate, paradoxically, than on the Numinous World books!

We often share a pairing, I've noticed, but I tend to multi ship and you don't. It's interesting, because usually we like the same people!
tielan
May. 1st, 2012 02:10 am (UTC)
I suspect the tendency to multiship vs. singleship in our cases are related to our respective views on relationships and sex. :)
jo_graham
May. 1st, 2012 03:25 pm (UTC)
Yep! I expect that's exactly what it is! :)
aishabintjamil
Apr. 30th, 2012 12:40 pm (UTC)
I'm impressed. I thought when I wrote my last historical piece that perhaps I was going overboard being worried that I couldn't discover who had played the lead in the first performance of Kathleen ni Houlihan when the Abbey Theatre first opened in Dublin.

jo_graham
Apr. 30th, 2012 03:08 pm (UTC)
Oh, I would so do that! I sometimes tend to get stuck when there's something that's unknowable, or that's unknowable without tremendous effort, for example going through uncataloged boxes of memorabilia left to a university on another continent! I have to eventually tell myself that this is fiction, and I have a license to fictionalize.
kickstand75
Apr. 30th, 2012 01:28 pm (UTC)
Oh, Farscape! LOVED that show. For a while all four seasons were available on netflix instant stream and I watched them all that way. Cam and Vala were really not given free reign of the awesome, incredible chemistry that Ben Browder and Claudia Black have. :)
jo_graham
Apr. 30th, 2012 03:22 pm (UTC)
I'm watching now on Amazon Prime. I'm only on episode seven but so far this is awesome!

I admit I love Vala in SG-1. And I love the Vala and Sam friendship. I've done several Vala and Sam friendship stories.

(In the sequel to Lost Things, Steel Blues, I can't help but imagine Claudia playing Stasi, the jewel thief!)
kickstand75
Apr. 30th, 2012 03:29 pm (UTC)
not sure if amazon does this, but I know netflix sure did. watch the airdate vs. production date. It caused a little confusion on my part for continuity :) I finally made sure to check farscapeworld for episode order before I watched the seasons to eliminate all that. lol.
jo_graham
Apr. 30th, 2012 03:30 pm (UTC)
Yeah, I just ran into one of those with I, ET. I watched it second because it was the second production date and then realized it aired seventh.
kaviiq
Apr. 30th, 2012 05:45 pm (UTC)
Ah, Farscape. It's funny, I'm just now getting to the last few episodes of season 4 and you're just starting to watch them. Do you have any particular favorite characters yet? Thoughts on the setting?

Oh, yeah. Until recently, LJ was the host for several huge panfandom roleplaying games. Have you ever taken part in (or just watched) fandom roleplay, or other aspects of fandom beyond fanfic?
jo_graham
May. 1st, 2012 03:24 pm (UTC)
Yep, I'm seven episodes in! Let's see. I really like Aeryn. No surprises there! I also like John quite a bit. I also really like Zhaan. She's the one who so far seems to be the most likely first story. She'd be an easy voice for me to do. I really like the setting and the premise, but I'm a sucker for families of choice.

I've never had time for big RPGs. I've done a lot of tabletop RPGs in the past, but I just can't commit the time for the big fandom roleplays. I also used to go to cons, but no money or time for that lately!
kahva
May. 1st, 2012 09:35 am (UTC)
I've done the, "I must get it right!" too for the first fandom I started writing in, Power Rangers. {Points to icon} I wanted a plant that Mondo had created to inject a toxin into its victim, and while I didn't need to go into detail about the toxin itself, I could be hand-wavy about that, I needed to be correct about the effects I wanted to have on the victims, and have Billy there be correct in what he was saying about it. I poured over my old encyclopedias back home, and the medical reference books we had until I found what I wanted and was able to explain it in a way that made sense to my writing partner and worked in the story. I had to get it right, Billy was the brain, if he was giving a detailed explanation of what the toxin did, it needed to be right! :)

Ah, classic Battlestar Galactica. It's a wonder I haven't written anything in it before now, but I've got a couple of fics I'm working on here and there, but I'm trying to concentrate on original writing for the most part now. Have to write on the fanfic periodically, or I'll end up with Colonial Vipers flying down I-40 East blasting away at traffic jams blocking the landrams from getting to Raleigh in time to keep Baltar from addressing the State Legislature. And while that would be cracky fun, it just wouldn't work in what is supposed to be a serious original story, you know? :)

That's one way we're different, I have done a bit of crack-fic before. Crack drabbles, actually, for a crossover challenge years ago. The challenge was to cross Pirates of the Caribbean with another show/book/movie. I did four in all. Crossed POTC with the original Star Trek series, POTC with Lois and Clark: The New Adventures of Superman, POTC with Highlander (TV series), and then capped it off with a four-way: POTC with Lord of the Rings (movieverse), The Dukes of Hazzard (TV series, not movie), and a touch of the original Star Trek series at the end. :) Gandalf scolding Jack, Gollum jumping the General Lee into Hazzard Pond, and Klingons and tribbles in the Boar's Nest. Fun times! :) :) :)
jo_graham
May. 1st, 2012 03:36 pm (UTC)
I'm pretty sure I read your POTC/Star Trek crossover! LOL!

Someday I may write classic Battlestar Galactica again. I think I may still have some more things to say about Cassie....
kahva
May. 1st, 2012 11:15 pm (UTC)
Really, really, REALY wish I could find some classic BSG icons for LJ!

I ship Apollo/Serina and Apollo/Sheba, and Starbuck/Cassie for the most part, but if I'm early enough in the series that will include Starbuck/Athena too. Then of course if you're around "Take The Celestra" time or shortly after, I'd also consider Starbuck/Aurora, though it would be more of a "what might have been" kind of thing. Same with Cain/Cassie for me, it would be what might have been.

I guess if I were to write other couples, it would probably be Boomer/Dietra, Jolly/Athena, Jolly/Brie. Maybe even Tigh/Dietra. Maybe Adama/Belloby if I want to drive the poor man crazy, or Adama/Tinia if I want to give Tigh a heart attack. ;) But I'm more for action/adventure, and getting into a character's head, finding out what makes him or her tick, so any relationships with couples would not be the focus of the fic most likely, but possibly a plot point depending on who it is.

And depending on my mood. :)
jo_graham
May. 2nd, 2012 10:45 pm (UTC)
Oh golly Adama/Belloby! LOL!

Cain/Cassie was a big pairing for me. That's the one I might actually try again one of these days, now that I have a little more adult control over my writing. I think I can do justice to some ideas I had but really didn't know how to put together when I was fifteen.
kahva
May. 4th, 2012 05:28 am (UTC)
You know, I'm getting tempted by Adama/Belloby just because it has the potential of making Apollo a bit of a wreck as well, in addition to making Boomer and Starbuck nervous. :) :) Yes, I'm an imp like that. :) :)

You know you want to write some BSG fic again, you know you do. :) :) :)
jansma
May. 1st, 2012 11:48 pm (UTC)
That's a lot of work. *mind boggles* But, all of it is recyclable, and can be resurrected in another form. I love that about fanfic, that it allows a writer to go crazy with the settings. I like to stick to canon too, though the Wraith have been a challenge because up till Legacy there was no canon to speak of. Well, other than 'green guys bad, grrrrrr...' :/

And yeah, TNG was my big start down the fanfic route, with excursions to Pern, Voyager, some LoTR, and when I was a kid, TOS. Oh and any number of books that completely took me over e.g. Stranger in a Strange Land, The Lensmen Series.

Btw, I would really, really like to read some of your SGA fic. I think you know what I zeroed in on. :o

jo_graham
May. 2nd, 2012 10:19 pm (UTC)
It is a lot of work! :) But it's also a lot of fun.

There are so many good stories, so many stories that catch the imagination! It's like music -- the world is full of infinite songs!
lc59
May. 2nd, 2012 08:53 pm (UTC)
Well what I consider to be an OTP is the only reason I write fanfic.
And I'm not seeing it in your list of 'ships' that you write so I don't know what that means in terms of how I'll feel about Moebius.
I understand completely about writing to canon though. That's my biggest complaint about the majority of fan fic...so few find the details that make that the scenario/premise/setting "true". Th enumber of "Continuum" fics that put Cam, Sam and Daniel in completely random places instead of places that were clearly shown by actually paying attention to movie details, drives me crazy.
I take great delight in finding little serendipitous, but completely real pieces of information. I have used the names of real stores in Colorado Springs and when I was doing a prompt that included "gourmet ice cream" I found a dairy bar/restaurant that made its own gourmet ice cream that also happened to be in within walking distance of a loft property I had Vala moving into...one of the few loft properties in the city.
I do have one question though.
How can one consider a slash relationship as being canon when SG's only actual canon non-het relationship was the woman in Universe?

Edited at 2012-05-02 08:54 pm (UTC)
jo_graham
May. 2nd, 2012 10:31 pm (UTC)
I'm guessing you're a Daniel/Vala fan! Moebius is set a few days after Continuum, so Daniel and Vala are exactly where they were at the end of Continuum. I don't think there's anything in Moebius Squared that changes that in either direction. MGM is very picky about pairings for major characters, so I don't think that there is anything in Moebius that moves Daniel/Vala one way or another. The only discussion of it at all is between Vala and General Landry, when she says that she's totally over Daniel and of course she's not trying to go off world because he's doing something. Landry clearly doesn't believe her, and neither does the reader. I think this comes across as Vala trying to persuade Landry to let her go, not as any kind of truth about her feelings.

How can one consider a slash relationship possible in canon? The same way one can consider a het relationship possible in canon! For most characters we know nothing about their personal sexual feelings at all. As far as I know, not one single character in canon says, "I am definitively straight. I have never experienced sexual feelings for someone of the same sex." In real life, a lot of people are bi, including me, and you wouldn't guess it unless I told you. For active duty service members until the repeal of Don't Ask Don't Tell less than a year ago, there were pressing reasons, including losing their career and the threat of criminal prosecution, to preclude them saying so, or acting on those feelings in anything other than the most discreet way. So no, they're not necessarily straight, no more than I am, no more than a number of active duty military personnel I know.

But -- people who have canon relationships must be respected. We know that, for example, Daniel is certainly involved with Sha're, he certainly loves her, and he certainly gives every indication of having had a fulfilling sexual relationship with her. So I have a hard time seeing Daniel as gay. Bi, possibly, but certainly not gay. On the other hand, canon tells us nothing about Dr. Zelenka or Colonel Caldwell! Any interpretation of their sexuality is equally likely. If Caldwell/Elizabeth pops your corn, that's just as defensible as Caldwell/Bill Lee.

In short, straight is not the default. Everyone isn't straight unless they're walking around with a rainbow flag on their heads. Most of the time in real life we don't know what people we meet think about or like to do in bed, and most of the time in fiction we don't either.
jansma
May. 3rd, 2012 10:31 pm (UTC)
Personally I don't give a hoot about sexuality so long as all parties are having a good ol' time, but I was privy to an interesting discussion with some SciFi/Fantasy authors (including Jim Swallow - who I remember from cons years ago, but I bet he don't remember me)about this very subject. Mostly, which I found horrifying, the negative attitudes of readers. So negative that reviews can be pretty scathing, and it actually affects how they (authors) present sexuality in a major character. Rowling's outing of Dumbledore came up for some highly critical treatment, as in they thought there's been a bit of climbing on the bandwagon now the cool kids have. Harsh, but possibly fair. Anyhoo, the upshot of this is it's made me examine how I write, because necessarily I write from my own viewpoint and my experience informs me. I can only imagine how it must be for someone who's gay/alien/black/whatever, so launch from the emotions we all have in common. Unless they happen to be a sociopath, in which case all bets are definitely off.

Edited at 2012-05-03 10:31 pm (UTC)
jo_graham
May. 4th, 2012 10:01 am (UTC)
Like you, I write from my own viewpoint and experience! And if people have a negative reaction to that, it's too bad. This is the real world, and there are people of all different sexualities in it, and people with all different kinds of relationships. That's how the real world is.

That said, I especially love writing fanfic for canon that reflects that, like Sanctuary, where about the only way you can sum up The Five is "it's complicated!" :)
athanasy_atimy
May. 5th, 2012 06:50 pm (UTC)
>> "Unless they happen to be a sociopath, in which case all bets are definitely off."

Are you, by any chance, referring to a character in another fandom who is a self-proclaimed 'high functioning sociopath'..? In which case, I very much look forward to seeing your stories.

( 24 comments — Leave a comment )