icarus: (pic#634165)
Am posting the DVD commentary (several days late, sorry, [personal profile] gblvr) here due to the word count limits on LJ.

It will still need to be in several parts since I'm pet sitting again (I've learned to stick to cats) and, wow, it takes a while to do a DVD commentary on 80,000 words.

Dragonlord is up.

Story: Dragonlord
Author: [personal profile] icarusancalion
Fandom: SGA/Dragonriders of Pern fusion
Pairing: John/Rodney
Rating: R
Warnings: None, this is pure fantasy fun.
Summary: A bewildered John, lead contender to the Hold of Benden, is caught in the male-bonding, homoerotic culture of the Dragonweyr when he inadvertently Impresses a dragon.

Long story is long. Long DVD commentary is longer. First of several parts. )
icarus: (pic#634165)
People have begun to comment on Dragonlord.

First: Yaaaaaaayyyyyyy!

Ahem.

Reading reviews is fascinating. I learn a great deal in the process.

1 - Readers' relief that the story isn't at all the mess I portrayed it to be. Oh. Sorry. It came together at the end. It seems I complained too much in the writing when it was going badly, then posted not at all when it was going well. I'd scared people. Note to self: fewer complaints next time, more balance.

2 - Pleased surprise at Elizabeth as a strong leader. Oh. Interesting. In my mind, Elizabeth is a strong, smart, and competent leader, and I hand-wave any canon indications to the contrary. An AU is a perfect opportunity to write my Elizabeth.

3 - Love and squee for two particular dragons. *grins* I love them, too. I had a heads up from my betas on this dragon love. The response seems to be universal on both counts.

4 - Lord John vs. Dragonrider John, which John do people like better, plus his reactions to the Weyr. Yes! The theme(s) of the story is coming through loud and clear.

5 - Enjoyment of the detailed descriptions. Methinks I wasn't the only one who wanted to see Pern more. McCaffrey isn't a setting writer, except for certain scenes.

6 - Non-Pern and Pern readers both find themselves at home. The Pern readers say either it slots into canon nicely or extends canon very well. The non-Pern readers unanimously (so far) say they could understand what was going on.

In other words: Eureka! It works! Bwahahahahahaha!
icarus: (pic#634165)
The Atlantis Big Bang is up and running.

On my immediate reading list:

Time and Tide by Bluespirit
John as Lord John Sheppard? A murder? Rodney's the prime suspect? I'm there!

Unnatural Selection by Auburn
I had a chance to talk to Auburn about her plot outline. I'm fascinated and have to see what she did with Todd.

Code Of Honor by Reddwarfer
I love the idea and set up of this Star Trek/SGA fusion. I've read the beginning and so far find it a very plausible AU scenario for John.

Knowing by Velocitygrass
I like what Velocitygras has done with relationship quandaries in the past and here she's definitely gone with her strengths. I don't like the Mary Sue-ness of Jennifer in canon yet find her non-Mary Sue moments ("I'm a weak, scaredy-cat girl, watch me learn to not be so weak") insulting, but I like fanfiction that deals with her as a real person--and then disposes of her as an obstacle to John/Rodney. There. I've confessed. I like the stories that get rid of Jennifer. *toothy embarrassed grin*

Against All Odds by CA Pierson & Darkmoore
I peeked in at the beginning of this, perplexed at the summary. The story plunged us right into the AU-ness in media res and the description of John and Rodney as bonded immortals is enjoyable and rings true. Of course John and Rodney are Meant To Be. I'm left wondering what's left to tell after they find each other but I'm willing to give it a shot.

I'd pounce on the SGA/Pern crossover, but since I wrote it, I know how it ends.

Added, per [personal profile] mrshamill's advice: Charming Demeter's Daughter by Wolfshark
I saw the comments and thought maybe I should check it out. I liked the title. But the summary didn't grab me, so I gave it a pass the first time. It looks like I should not have. *adds it*

Also one I'm curious about: Giving The Devil His Due by Telesilla
This appears to be a follow-up to a story I haven't read. I'm interested, but it's at the end of my list because I suspect I'd have to read the other story first.

Non-Atlantis Big Bang reading list:

Black Mountainside by [personal profile] whizzy
I complained to Whizzy, I said, Whizzy, hitherto I have attempted to read Blackout Conditions yet there were many plot points that I could not understand. Mayhap thou hast written a chapter I have not seen? Whizzy was quizzical, Wherefore hath thou not understood? It 'twas clearly in the prior chapter. Whereupon I discovered that I had read the beginning of the prior chapter but closed it for finals (woe!) and then promptly forgot that I hadn't read it all. This must be remedied.

Then there is this Post-Nuptual fic by Pru that looks like fun, fluffy stuff.

Happy reading!
icarus: (pic#634165)
Just got home, and discovered -- the Atlantis Big Bang is live!

Dragonlord is up.

Story: Dragonlord
Author: [personal profile] icarusancalion
Fandom: SGA/Dragonriders of Pern fusion
Pairing: John/Rodney
Rating: R
Warnings: None, this is pure fantasy fun.
Summary: A bewildered John, lead contender to the Hold of Benden, is caught in the male-bonding, homoerotic culture of the Dragonweyr when he inadvertently Impresses a dragon.

( The dragon's rider clambered off, grumbling to himself. "I have to deal with the wherry-farming, rock-headed... You!" The man raised his voice and pointed. John looked behind himself for another rider. But he was alone. "No, I mean the wine casks--yes, you!"


Aside: It's finally here!
icarus: (pic#634165)
Both my artists came through. OMG. Both of them.

The art is beautiful.

It's 9pm here. Another, oh, twelve hours to go?

*starry eyed*

Honestly, this fic makes me want to draw.
icarus: (pic#634165)
I've linked you to a snippet of the coming SGA/Pern fusion coming this weekend.

I've given you music. With a vid! And the story behind the story.

It looks like we might have to wait an extra day (I'm sorry!) for the Big Bang to go live. One author isn't quite ready, and a couple of art pieces aren't quite there.

Since that late author could have been me, I'm not complaining.

My artist is [profile] miso_no_tsuki, who has some beautiful previews here. She's the same who did art for Out Of Bounds and that breathtaking piece for Tanlines and Dogtags.

Let me set out some magazines in the Atlantis Big Bang waiting room.

A few other Pern fusions:

On The Wings Of Imagination by [personal profile] xparrot, SGA/Pern, PG
This may have been the story that lurked in the back of my mind, whispering, there should be more SGA/Pern in this world. John is a dragon. Rodney is a Smith. I wanted so much more after this fic.

With Healing In His Wings by [personal profile] xparrot, SGA/Pern PG
Fortunately, Xparrot generously provided a follow-up. With hurt/comfort. And fluff.

Dragonriders of Pern Kradam by anonymous, NC-17 for the Kink Meme.
I made a point of not reading this until after I'd finished my story, but it turns out anonymous and I have a similar take on certain aspects of the Weyr. Now, I have no idea what Kradam is, but this is hot. And I wanted to stick the other dragonriders with a hot poker. Proddy, indeed.


I confess. I'm so excited about the Big Bang, I can't sleep. :D
icarus: (pic#634165)
You realize of course that I'm going to be spamming you until Saturday.

To bring you up to date after my two weeks of silence (you have fic in your future):

- Car has been purchased, life thereby transformed.
- Kitties are now as advertised: Taffy naps in my lap and is adorably attached.
- Have done ridiculous amounts of research on car waxing.
- Helped my aunt clean out her second bedroom.

Oh, and by the way, did I mention that I just finished an 80k novel?

Preview here.

The story archive is opening on Saturday, September 25th.

*head tilt* I may finally get to see Inception now.
icarus: (pic#634165)
The preview to my [profile] atlanisbigbang SGA/Dragonrider fusion is now up.

Story snippet, mmmmmmmmmm....

Jesus. I just wrote an 80k word, 300 page novel in twelve weeks.

Whoa.
icarus: (pic#634165)
Today's the last day of the [community profile] atlantisbigbang. Now working on the final changes by which I mean that damned epilogue.

If the epilogue were a car, it would up on the lift, with pieces scattered all over the garage. The five of us have bits of equipment and hydraulic drills and ten different versions of the same piece, none of which fit.

Make that six different versions. Because this has been rewritten six times.

After six rewrites, I've finally written an entirely new Epilogue. Sent the first draft out.

Someone explain to me how, with betas in Japan, Australia, and midwestern US, everyone goes offline at the same time? This keeps happening. *snorts*

I've put an entirely new car up on the lift, turned around and, "Okay, guys, what do you think--Hello?"

SGA/Pern fusion inspiration --



I've been listening to this song (and Irish folk music) while writing this. The vid has little to do with the story, except in feel, it sort of does. Kinda.

And it has a dragon. Whose name may or may not be Lantis.
icarus: Snape by mysterious artist (Default)
Was all set for the final buffing of my SGA/Dragonrider fusion Sunday night. Betas were ready. So much to do, but YES WE CAN!

The [community profile] atlantisbigbang deadline was moved to September 21.

Days ago.

Now I'm buffing my nails. Writing a few changes. Clicking on a movie.

A movie.

I'd forgotten what it was like to do anything but writewritewritewrite.
icarus: (John by Monanotlisa)
The big push is on this weekend. Through edits and various changes the SGA/Pern fusion has climbed to 70,000 words.

I should be at the point of tweaking commas. Eheh. Nooooo. Lots of writing left to do. I still have scene sketches I've added in many places.

But for the first time I'm happy with where I am. Last night (this means four am) [personal profile] sarka, who helpfully lives on the other side of the world, and I worked out the problems with flow and the big issue with the resolution.

Now it's just a matter of reading the rest of the story, yes, this is the first time I've read my own story straight through, I kid thee not, and writing the remaining fill scenes. Many of which are in my notes.

I'm tied up at the temple all day and have to leave in -- oh! Three minutes -- but I'm bringing the laptop to work during the midday break.

Today I finish the read-through.

Tonight and tomorrow I write.

This week we clean it up. Hello, betas! How's your week looking?

The finished story will probably be about ~75-80k.
icarus: Snape by mysterious artist (Default)
Taking the night off.

Feeling tired and hopeless about my story. Have been doing nothing else (besides work), up until 3am writing the last few nights.

Keyboard problems are now really bad. Getting Fs instead of Rs, and have to press with all my strength.

Good night.
icarus: Snape by mysterious artist (Default)
Atlantis Big Bang Fic is in trouble.

I slogged through twenty scenes of my Pern fic, beta reading it myself.

I have a list of changes, but the editing has thrown me into a different mindset. Instead of "feeling" my way through the story, I'm "thinking" my way through it. Which results in bad writing. I've had to put it aside.

I've contacted three betas who looked at it early on. In 36 hours not a single one got back to me.

Finally reached [personal profile] sarka. She's just had a busy weekend, unexpectedly. ETA: just heard from 2nd beta. She's been without internet and just got back online. ETA2: heard from 3rd beta last night. She'd turned off her computer and it had been off all weekend. All present and accounted for.

My Labor Day weekend just got taken by a friend visiting from Bhutan. So I have this weekend and the weekend it's due to write. There is little time for me to write during the week.

If I'm both beta-reading and writing ... well, that's just not happening. It's derailed the writing and soaked up the writing time.

I'll tell you this much: if the story progress keeps at this snail's pace, I will not participate in the Big Bang. I will not post the story as it is. It would be a waste of a good story idea. [personal profile] enname and [personal profile] mad_maudlin tell me that end of the story is rushed and "draft-like" but the beginning is solid. I started beta-reading from the end so it looked worse than it was.
icarus: Snape by mysterious artist (Default)
Working through the rough draft, scene by scene.

I find it's taking a looooong time to do this. Time away from writing.


Ah. This is why we rely on betas.

*pokes betas with pointy sticks*

*realizes this is rude*

*baits snares with special beta treats*

*this is also rude, but highly effective*

I think I need more time with a swaggering J'ohn flying, soaring on his dragon. That could because I have Lawrence of Arabia playing in the background.
icarus: Snape by mysterious artist (Default)
I have an Atlantis Big Bang draft. It was hastily written in Dr Wicked in the space of five weekends, more or less. The betas and artist (possibly both artists) enjoy it. It's also, wow, the roughest draft I've ever done.

I'm usually a "clean" writer. I write fast, so even on tight deadlines I have time to polish up my short stories. (My novels have always been WIPs.) But I've never written this fast in my life. 60k words in--because I could only write weekends and started July 4th--about fifteen days (I'm not defensive, am I?).

Now I have advice in hand on how to deal with a messy draft.

Checklist of What To Do With A Draft:

- Set it aside if possible (not possible in this case).

- If needed, read once through to get the whole story in mind (probably not necessary, though pacing is an issue since I splorted this out).

- Highlight any placeholders, missing names, things marked [X], etc.

- Take the story in chunks, either chapters or pieces.

- Work on the scenes that need the most re-writing first.

- Otherwise, start from the back, read to the end, then back up a chunk/chapter read to the end of that. This helps make sure the beginning has everything the end needs.

- Create a list, scene by scene, of what needs to be done (in Word file, or on a white board, or on simple paper).

- Mark the sections you've checked in colored text. This means "checked for things to work on" not "rewritten." Maybe I should have two colors, one for sections I've gone through with an editor's eye, another for scenes that I've fixed.

- Review list. Look for duplicate items to fix all of those at once.


Is that everything? I think I have it.
icarus: Snape by mysterious artist (Default)
I cheated on my Atlantis Big Bang. I took out my placeholders and put in smash cuts.

I did tell everyone I was cheating, btw.

Now I've contacted my artists (who are amazing!) to tell them the new version is inbound. Without smashcuts.

I'm not letting myself shower until I finish those scenes.

I desperately want/need a shower.
icarus: Snape by mysterious artist (Default)
Writing a Big Bang is different.

The Atlantis Big Bang is my first. I've written four novella-to-novel length stories (Out Of Bounds, Beg Me For It, Primer to the Dark Arts, The Walls Of Jericho), but even though I wrote one of these in six weeks ... a Big Bang has it's own crush of pressure.

I found that because of the length and short time frame I've had to change how I write.

I Changed From This...

1. Normally I write a few scenes (sometimes at disparate points in the story). Get a feel for my characters and story. I'll post these as a WIP and gauge the response.

2. Then I write my outline.

3. I stand back from the story and look at the outline to determine the theme. When I'm doing well, I zero in on the theme right away. I can tie each scene to my theme and throw away anything that doesn't drive the story forward. When I'm not doing well, I stay fuzzy about the theme and it's hard for me to trim the story.

4. At this point I might stop writing and do some research for a while, if I find that I don't know enough to finish my story.

5. Next, I start writing in earnest, writing scenes out of order, whatever is hot at the moment. I treat each individual scene as it's own short story.

6. I have the scenes beta'd as I go. My betas and I work closely, scene by scene, as the story is produced. We polish each one and make adjustments along the way. I'll post the story as as WIP or, in the case of Beg Me For It, post it as separate stories in a series.

7. Throughout I keep standing back, rewriting my outline, rechecking and discussing my theme to see if it's changed or deepened in the writing.

8. Finally, I add transitions to tie it all together. My story usually ends up being a third longer than I first expect.

...To This

I've found that in writing a Big Bang I've had to make a few changes.

1. I write a few scenes as usual, get a feel for my characters, etc., etc. But these aren't posted because a Big Bang is not a WIP. Instead I posted descriptions of the story to gauge audience response.

2. I write the outline. But then I have the outline beta'd before I do any serious writing. I learned this from [personal profile] mad_maudlin and [profile] auburnnothenna. Major changes are made in the outline stage.

3. Then I look over the outline and adjust according to my theme as usual (with all the usual difficulties).

4. But I can't stop to do research because of the Big Bang time frame. The deadline is looming.

5. I launch directly into writing my scenes, often out of order. In lieu of research time, I leave placeholders for details to be polished up in the final, put in [X]s for minor character names, brackets for what I need to look up.

6. I end up with a full-length (very) rough draft with all these placeholders and question marks. There is no time to polish individual scenes. My betas read a whole story, swiss cheese though it is, in one bite.

7. I have only a month left to fill in these details.

And now... glug, glug... help.

This is the point where I am. I'm overwhelmed. I've never stared down a massive rough draft like this. It's not how I usually write. I've been poking at this huge 57,000-word text for days and I can't get any traction on editing it.

Help...? I thought I'd just read it beginning to end and write as I go but it's got me beat. My betas aren't getting back to me (maybe they feel the same?). What do I do now?
icarus: Snape by mysterious artist (Default)
This morning I had left: six scenes to write.

Wrote three scenes (one very sketchy).

Now I have: six scenes to write.

Okaaaay.



51949 / 40000 words. 130% done!
icarus: Snape by mysterious artist (Default)


51364 / 40000 words. 128% done!

Six scenes left... to... write....

Though the two I just wrote are sooooo sketchy.

In the new intro I took a venture into exposition-land. Beta likes the background. I wonder if I can convey it without exposition.
icarus: Snape by mysterious artist (Default)
As many of you know, I've been house sitting. Dog-sitting, but house and car sitting was included.

Yesterday one of the house owners has returned, the husband (very nice guy). I'm still here another week till the rest of the family arrives.

At 3:15 am I gave up the ghost on trying to write five more scenes on my SGA/Pern Big Bang fusion. Count stands at eight to go.

I put the dog in his crate. Crawled upstairs to bed.

Woke at 7:00 am.

He's a CNN first thing in the morning guy.

I ate a peach, took a shower, grabbed the dog and crawled back to bed.

Counts still stands at eight scenes to go.

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icarus: Snape by mysterious artist (Default)
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