20 February 2011 @ 11:31 pm
She's At It Again  
Roses in Rain, Chapter 10: It Ain't Me, Babe

Otherwise known as the chapter where Shit unexpectedly Gets Real. It ends on what I like to believe is a Wham Line, but that might just be authorial optimism (or, you know, egomania) speaking. Either way, this is where it becomes clear things are a lot nastier and the stakes far higher than the protagonists thought, and it's also about where we leave the outskirts of Parody and hang a left for Deconstruction Territory. I suppose someone had to try and deconstruct Mary Sues, and the amount of time and mental energy I've spent on poking various manifestations of the beast with sticks, I figure it might as well be me.

This is always where Roses in Rain was meant to go. Though acquaintance with [ profile] rokesmith has definitely seen me refining and building on my original, rather sketchy ideas for the second half of the fanfic, the intention was always to try and tell an actual story in between the send-ups. That story? Was always going to be a lot darker than the rather light-hearted tone of the opening chapters might suggest. It's taken a lot longer than I thought it would to get there, but this is where the road was leading us from the start.

Rain is only funny because we don't have to live with her. To Youji and Ken, she's no more than faintly amusing. Here's where we start finding out why.
Current Mood: content
Current Music: who's that girl? - madonna
27 January 2011 @ 05:23 am
Just Thought You Should Know...  
Roses in Rain, Chapter 9: Uptown Girl

... yeah, I really need to work on something serious too, and I am doing, I promise! It's just the thing about Roses in Rain is that its status as one of my less serious works means that I can write it at times when I simply can't do anything more demanding due to [exhaustion/lack of inspiration/just not quite firing on all four cylinders/whatever].

It's an update, it's a sign I am still writing. For that alone I am grateful to it.

I had a pretty productive day today. I managed to get 5,000 words of this fanfic under my belt. 5,000 words. Four scenes, two of them quite serious. Proofing will happen, of course, but later: for now I'm satisfied with words on a page and a new chapter out. I'm honestly pretty pleased with myself. If I can get that much out of a silly fanfic, then I'm probably rather well placed to get a decent amount of ground covered as regards writing in general. Which is pretty good, as Heaven knows there are an awful lot of things I'd like to be working on, including a new and rather brain-eating AU idea. It's the thing that's got me listening to sixties music all of a sudden, and I've not been this honestly excited about a piece of fanfiction in some time...

Finally on the writing front, I'm working on editing Seuche - or as it's now known, Prüfung - into basic readability. It's pretty demanding work and early days yet in terms of ground covered, but I'm tentatively optimistic. It certainly feels like a stronger piece of writing now, and that's all I can really ask for.
Current Mood: bed. now.
Current Music: bridge over troubled water - simon and garfunkel
02 December 2010 @ 11:26 pm
Also, I Still Like Ken. Poor Fictional Bastard.  
May 24, 1986
Sometimes, people just die.

Still alive.

Also, still writing fanfiction. I'm just doing it rather slowly, is all, mostly because I've decided to rework Seuche and the revising/editing is taking quite a while. It's a better story for it, though, so it'll be worth it.

As regards this fanfic, I started writing this a while back and to those of you who are in [ profile] somarium it may look rather familiar. It's a revised and expanded version of a 'dream post' I had to write for the game focusing on one of Ken's formative traumas. I chose the death of his mother and realized after writing a couple of thousand words that I didn't want to stop. I only forced myself to call a halt with several things I wanted to cover left unexpanded-on in an attempt to stop the post from reaching ridiculous TL;DR proportions.

Then, being a massive flake, I forgot about it.

I found the mostly-completed story on my pen drive this evening and decided to sit down and finish it, which I did, so here it is. Hopefully it's still vaguely interesting when removed from the 'LOL LJ RP' context it was originally written in. I like it, but then I rather would.

I have a theory Ken was an exasperating kid and have tried to write him accordingly. A lot of fanfic kids tend toward the sweet, innocent, adowaby wisping variety and for obvious reasons I find them a little nauseating. This fic shows me attempting to write a difficult five-year-old boy who actually acted like a difficult five-year-old. God knows how well I succeeded in that far-too-lofty ambition, but I did at least try and it's got to be an improvement on the usual absurdly angst-ridden Weiss-as-kids offerings if only due to the lack of cliché abuse.
Current Music: what is this i don't even, winamp.
Current Mood: lethargic
27 June 2010 @ 06:44 pm
Write or Die Worked For Me!  
Bitter Nocturne, Overture: Laura and the Cats
A random attack on Ken and Youji's flirtation with a secretive young singer sets Weiss on the trail of a serial killer with a taste for blood. Is a vampire stalking the streets of Tokyo?

I can't say too much about this one without ruining most of the plot, but... this would be me turning my hand to the Weiss Kreuz Vampire AU and utterly buggering it up from the get-go by forgetting to make it an AU. What can I say, I just prefer the canon setting and nineteenth-century Japan would require too much research, so Weiss Kreuz with Extra Vampires will have to do.

Like most of the things I've written lately, this fanfic owes its existence to a conversation I had with [ profile] rokesmith. Specifically it was about Weiss Kreuz vampire AUs and why we didn't like them, which very quickly turned into a brainstorming session about how we'd go about writing a vampire AU that was true to the canon setting and - hopefully - didn't get so into the whole 'vampire' thing that it rounded it out by (if you'll pardon the horrible pun) sucking mightily. Well, it was slightly more productive than just sitting there bitching about why randomly turning Aya into a vampire and trusting everyone would be so damn fascinated by OMG IT'S AYA BUT HE'S A VAMPIRE!!1!1! that they totally failed to notice the complete lack of anything resembling a plot.

Yes, this thing does have a plot. It'll be coming along in a bit.

Speaking of things that'll be coming along in a bit, I admit to being a little worried by this fanfic's resident OC. There was no way around it: this was one of those fics that needed a major original character, but just about everything she is and is due to do could very, very easily see her turning into a horrific Mary Sue if I mishandle her even slightly. Here's hoping that I don't.
Current Music: anata dake mitsumeteru - maki ouguro
Current Mood: what, twice in a week?
21 June 2010 @ 09:31 pm
Who are you and what have you done with laila?  
Roses in Rain, Chapter 8: You Look Like an Angel (But I Got Wise)

With apologies to Elvis Presley.

Yes, I'm updating Roses in Rain again, and this is about the point in the fic where it stops feeling like an exercise in mean-spirited self-indulgence and actually turns into a genuine story. Anyone still hanging there with it? I wouldn't be too surprised if you weren't, to be honest, seven chapters of not very much but ticking off Suefic tropes is one Hell of a roundabout way to get to the actual point.

There are a lot of in-jokes in Roses in Rain, most of which are not immediately noticeable to anybody who isn't me or just perhaps [ profile] rokesmith who really does suffer for my art, poor guy. To reiterate the point I made in my author's notes for this chapter: for those of you who are curious, it's probably worth mentioning that some of the scenes in this fanfic are based on scenes - sometimes more than one scene - in other Weiss Kreuz Sue fics I've stumbled across over the years. The scene that kicks off Chapter Four is one of them, as is the moment where Rain crouches on the roof of a building where Weiss are fighting, waiting not for an opening, but for the most dramatic moment to make her arrival.

The scene which rounds out this chapter wherein Sakura utterly destroys her own character to make the resident Mary Sue look good is also one of these. It takes as its central premise a scene in a long-since-deleted fanfic entitled Black Rose featuring one of the most unsubtle, infuriating and out and out unlikeable Sues I ever encountered. The Sue's straw-man opponent in that original scene was another OC, though. The decision to make it Sakura Rain humiliated was taken from a story called Where I Belong, in which Sakura appears simply to be belittled and put down by the resident Sue and then is never mentioned again, though, and the boys who appear at the beginning of the scene to swap Rain's vital statistics came from... well, just about every Suefic that ever saw the Mary Sue amass a fanclub of love-struck boys the minute she showed up in the Koneko because how else was she to prove how amazingly hot she was? with especial reference to a story named Bloody Angels, where precisely this happens for all four of the Sues.

If you can recognize every single reference in this fanfic, you've either read an awful lot of Weiss Kreuz Sues or an awful lot of badfic reports.

Honestly, I wish I could post the chapter I'd just finished, as I feel like it's a good one and very significant for the development of the plot, but that's going to have to wait a little longer. Here's hoping I can keep this momentum going for a bit, so it won't be quite such an epically long wait in between chapters. Ha! Yeah, keep telling yourself that, laila, you only do it every single time you manage to damn well write anything these days.

Oh well. It's an update, and I should be glad to have gotten anything out at all, really. And I am, I am... I just wish to Hell I could still manage this on a regular basis. Quite honestly I miss it.
Current Music: butterfly - penicillin
Current Mood: accomplished
19 October 2009 @ 11:48 pm
Yes, Kenken, you hold that thought.  
Exit Wounds
Death, for an assassin, is never hard to find, and Ken long since stopped believing that they were all getting out of this one alive. He just never expected for any of them to have ended like this. Rated for violence and major character death.

... yeah, I should win some kind of award for the most gratuitous use of the word 'death' in a single summary for this, but anything that short-circuits at least a couple of the inevitable complaints that OH GOD SOMEONE DIES in a fic called, of all things, Exit Wounds and I am consequently a BIG FAT MEANIE is a good thing. Not that I expect it'll work but I can try, can't I?

The following entry, in which I explain the genesis of this fanfic, is full of spoilers for it. So, if you actually want to read this thing without prior knowledge of who's buying the farm, please look away now.

Okay. For the three of you who still give a vague sort of damn, here goes:

Exit Wounds, like Going Underground, is a response fic. Like Going Underground, it owes its existence to a story which scarred me horribly because I thought it was OOC and deeply daft and even the spork didn't ease my pain. That fic is called Someone Else's Blood and is by an author called mysteriax0x.

Of course, this is fandom and people can and do find merit in all sorts of stuff, but to my mind this story - in which Aya stabs, rapes and strangles a painfully passive, tearful and non-resistant Ken while Ken's just trying to clean up, then offs himself - is frankly awful. Not only is it painfully off-character for the both of them, it's also not even particularly well-written: it's far too short, for a start, and there's no real explanation for anything that happens. If you don't think Aya raping and murdering Ken (who's presented as somehow more at fault than Aya is because Aya was emo and Ken, unforgivably, didn't notice) is hot, there's no reason to read the thing.

My issue with this fic were many and varied, but my most major complaint was this: why doesn't Ken fight back? He, like Aya, is an assassin, he's quite possibly the strongest member of the team, and he's certainly going to be the best at close-range, bare-hand single combat because that's basically how he fights. The bugnuks make a difference, of course, but we're still dealing with someone who, by necessity, is frighteningly good at hand-to-hand combat.

Ken is also the kind of guy who'll try to go mano e mano with a tiger. Waving a knife at him and saying creepy things is not going to stop him fighting.

My second complaint was that as soon as Aya was done, so was the ficcer. Never mind that Youji and Omi, who had been rid from the fic by sending them shopping of all things, would at some point have to come back and find the dead bodies of their teammates. This should, by rights, be one Hell of a shock for them and yet Someone Else's Blood treats what Youji and Omi might make of all this as completely irrelevant. Okay, maybe she just didn't want to go into that; I know not everyone wants to spend as much time on psychology and traumatic shock as I do. To me, though, this was a massive omission.

In short, Someone Else's Blood just doesn't work for me on almost any level, but something about the basic idea still struck me as compelling. Something made me want to take that idea and run with it and see if I could somehow make it suck less. The result, ultimately, was Exit Wounds.

As Going Underground put Youji back on the subway having his ass coveted by an office worker, so Exit Wounds retains the basic structure of the story it's based on: while Youji and Omi are off at the shops (yes, I wanted to see if I could make that sound vaguely convincing as well) Aya, who's been quietly losing his grip for some time, attacks Ken with a knife while Ken's just trying to clean up. That much I had to hang on to if I was going to keep my own take on the idea working from the same core principles. From there on I chucked the metaphorical road map out of the window, found the nearest metaphorical offramp, and willfully and with knowledge aforethought metaphorically drove somewhere completely different.

This time, of course, Ken fights back. The results are not pretty for anyone.
Current Mood: naughty
Current Music: all night long - ami suzuki
12 September 2009 @ 11:44 pm
It Got Worse.  
Ordinary People, Part Two

In which Ken Hidaka continues to hate his life and want a new fangirl.

Here, finally, is the second chapter of Ordinary People and if you want an explanation for the delay, well, it's not my fault men hate talking about their feelings (especially when one of them's half-conscious in hospital after being brutally... um, assaulted, yes, let's call it that). Looks like all that stuff about not being able to get this fic up and running last time was a portent. Oh well.

Right then. The issue as regards this fanfic and the massive delay between posting the opening and then getting Part Two out into public can be blamed on the envanishment of [ profile] kay_cricketed, who appears to have been eaten alive by an editorial job. Which makes me sad, as I really do miss talking to her; it also has practical consequences such as seeing to it that this fic ended up dead in the water. It's not her fault - far from it - but when I started this fic, I spent a lot of time babbling about it to her over AIM and for better or worse I just got used to having her aiding and abetting, and reassuring me that what I was writing wasn't rubbish... and then work, as I mentioned, ate her alive, and I lost my co-culprit.

End result: without her supporting me in email (well, over AIM, same diff) I ended up losing my way. I no longer had someone to talk things over with, and without that source of support I just didn't really have the drive to push this fic forward any more. Besides, if I wanted to sit down and write soul-crushing Ken-angst, there was more than enough of that to go around in Through a Glass Darkly...

Of course Through a Glass Darkly is over and done with - but my need to torment Ken is not. Hello there Ordinary People. I've missed your hideous embrace.

... now all I need is for the Pit to realize the damn chapter is there.

ETA 09/13, 4:16 AM: Over four hours after first being uploaded and submitted to the site, the new chapter is actually up and viewable. I am never going to try and upload fanfiction to the Pit on a Saturday night ever again.
Current Mood: bored
Current Music: losing touch - the killers
31 August 2009 @ 04:28 am
Well, It's Something.  
Roses in Rain, Chapter 7: Beauty and Stupid

Ever have moments with fanfic where you just ain't feeling it? That's how I've been feeling about Bitter Nocturne. Oh, I've made a decent start on it, put Chapter 1 to bed and written a bit of Chapter 2, but it's all taking a lot more work than I thought it would and I've just not been in the swing of things at all. So, for the sake of getting an update of something out this month even if it wasn't a whole fic, I decided I was going to write more of Roses in Rain instead. That one, provided I can actually get it started, tends to come pretty easy when I get going. Hence, update.

In this installment: plot. Turns out there is one, but in true Suefic tradition it takes an age to get there, most of which is filled up with drooling over the Sue and her speshul. At least I'm respecting the source material, I suppose, even if it does result in a lot of TL;DR about not very much. At least I'm told that it's funny TL;DR, so that's something.

There's not a lot more to say about this one... well, there might be but I've been feeling kind of ill and out of it all day so if there is it's just going to have to remain unsaid because I just can't dredge it out of my brainmeats right now. I've spent much of it asleep, much of the rest of it reading a biography of Marie Antionette because sometimes a wiki page just isn't enough to satisfy my curiosity, and only very lately managed to settle down to write anything. (One scene, Youji, that was all I was asking - babe, that shouldn't have taken me all night.) The biography's good, though. Got to finish that before I can start on the stack of reading I've got to do for The Book - though I may finish my Chandlers first for some light relief.

Got some stuff I'm gonna backdate later because I want it up but can't imagine anyone else'll want to read it. Maybe I'll do that tomorrow.
Current Mood: i think i'm getting ill.
Current Music: chasing sheep is best left to shepherds - michael nyman
27 July 2009 @ 11:35 pm
And Now It's Over.  
Through a Glass Darkly, Part 2

This post pretty much does what it says on the tin - and, with it, that's the Ken In a Hole Fic finally abandoned completed.

Not much to say about the second chapter except that it owes its existence to my theory that what happens after a traumatic event is just as important as the event itself, and to mention that, contrary to all my expectations, it's actually longer than part one. No idea how that happened. Here's hoping that it is at least vaguely interesting.

Having finally managed to stop procrastinating over the proofreading sometime in the small hours of this morning, I posted the new chapter to the Pit a few hours ago. I'd uploaded and prepped it several hours previously and it was ready to go, so I didn't want to leave it hanging in case the Internet decided to flake out on me with the chapter completed but unposted. Apologies to any of you who've already seen it or had the Pit spam you about it already, as I am led to believe it still does if you sign up for the right emails.

So, here it is: one 26,000 word fanfic about a guy in a hole. Dare I say it's been quite a trip?

Now I'm going to write something else.

Finally, though I mention it partly because struggling with the author panel and story uploads over there annoyed me so much that I want to make some kind of public statement that I TRIUMPHED ANYWAY, partly because because I'm a feedback whore, there's an mirror of the entire story here. Pick your poison.
Current Music: audience (darren tate remix) - ayumi hamasaki
Current Mood: right, that's done. now what?
26 July 2009 @ 11:30 pm
Sometimes She Writes Things.  
Through a Glass Darkly, Part 1
Ken can only be himself, and he isn't sure he likes it. Lost and alone with nothing to hold onto but memories, Ken is about to find out that a man's worst enemies can be the ones he creates himself, and the past isn't anywhere near as dead as he thought.

And, finally, the fruits of another genius idea - I know, why don't I bury Ken alive? It'll be fun! - have been dragged slowly and painfully out of my head and forced onto paper to look uncomfortable there. Well, virtual paper, anyway.

Yeah. This is the Ken in a Hole fic, or at least the first half of same. The second half - which I still haven't proofread, but that's next on the agenda if you discount the need for food - will probably be posted sometime tomorrow, life and the Internet proving willing.

The original concept of this fic was rather different to what the finished version's come out looking like. This is, you see, very much a story of two halves. Initially, my plan was to write a single fic that took in both approaches to the idea of putting Ken in a hole and seeing how he reacted. I was thinking traditional, you see. Traditional narrative structure and linear plotting, starting with how Ken ended up in a hole in the first place, working through both his own private freakout and Weiss's attempts to find him and on to what would hopefully have been a satisfying ending. I very quickly decided, though, that this was stupid. The two halves of the story were so radically different in tone and required such very different approaches that I simply couldn't work out a way to coherently mesh them together.

So, approach the first abandoned for being abejctly stupid, I began to consider the possibility of writing two stories: one from Ken's perspective, one from Weiss's. This, ultimately, was the version that ended up being written. The difference, however, is that instead of writing both stories myself, I somehow ended up roping [ profile] rokesmith into this.

I can't remember entirely how this happened; I just know that Nando's chicken was involved. It usually is.

Ultimately, after convincing him this was a really great idea and not just another sign of my slow but steady slide into mania, I ended up happily saddled with Ken-in-a-hole duties, while [ profile] rokesmith handled the above-ground section. We both seem to think we got the best side of the deal, which probably helps when writing collaboratively. His take on this plotline is called The Valley of the Shadow of Death, and for what my opinion is worth I think he handled it awesomely. All things considered, given what he did with my rather vague ideas about 'maybe one of these guys is an artist, no, wait, he's a sculptor, he makes bone carvings - actually, netsuke' and 'I think this other guy is French and can you shove something about diplomatic immunity in there?' - and if that seems confusing imagine that you're concentrating on driving and the conversation takes four weeks - what he ultimately came up with is a lot more satisfying and tautly-written than I could hoped to have managed, so I'm very glad things worked out this way.

Finally, like to thank him for listening to me babble and whine about this fic ad nauseam, reading more unfinished versions than I'd rightly like to count and constantly having to reassure me I wasn't writing crap, and - last but by no means least - [ profile] kay_cricketed for unwittingly planting the original thought-seed in the first place by absentmindedly mentioning burying people alive in the first place.
Current Mood: oh kenken to have your mind
Current Music: dust n' bones - guns n' roses