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Living Loz
Eyes like a firesale... 
18th-Jul-2010 12:50 pm
Life on Mars (Sam & Gene come over all D
I don't know if it's because I write dialogue by typing out what the characters say to each other in my head or what, (I strongly suspect the characters converse when I'm not around), but I've noticed a trend with my headspace when it comes to writing pairing fic.

When I first start out in a fandom, it's all about the first times. Trying to see how the characters fit together, trying to find a rationale, the basis of a manifesto for Their Love.

For Sam and Gene, in those early days, it was about trying to find all of the different combinations in which they could fit together (and there's a few, which is refreshing.) It kind of went: punchy violent denial and wilful misunderstanding, punchy unmistakeable and unremarked upon attraction, punchy sex-against-filing-cabinets, punchy arguments and understanding, bantery camaraderie (with a possible punch or two.) I've noticed my mind tends to class them in this sort of hierarchy --- that in order to 'get' them, I had to go through the violent denial and angst stage first. I'm eminently jealous of people who didn't.

From there my mind wanders into established relationship. The characters have found their positions, they've made it over obstacles, they've had those conversations necessary for a relationship to work. In my head, they're established relationship. I know how they fit together now. But this is where a problem arises --- I still write first time fic --- and I sometimes forget to do all the background in the story.

So if you've ever read one of my later LoM fics and thought "Huh. This is OOC!" please keep in mind that in my head there's been all of that ground work.

So. Now that I've figured this out, I can work on not doing this in future. Justification for actions, wooo! \o/
18th-Jul-2010 04:29 am (UTC)
I think a lot of people have that same problem. A lot of people get so set in the idea of their favorite ship as a couple that they forget that it doesn't work like that in everyone's head, and assume a lot when they write. I've seen it happen in a lot of fandoms, and it's rather weird from the view of someone who doesn't strongly ship that pairing where I'm all "Doesn't Gene have at least kind of a homophobic streak? And isn't Sam going to have certain expectations about a relationship that Gene wouldn't necessarily share? And if I was in that environment, I'd be worried about people finding out I was attracted to my own gender and ruining my ability to work there and possibly even getting violent about it, so why isn't Sam?" and stuff like that.
18th-Jul-2010 04:40 am (UTC)
I know I've read fic where a pairing is a given and I'm like "uhhh, how?"

Short fluff pieces are kind of exempt from this, I think, since they serve a specific function for a specific audience: the one that's already decided that, yes, this couple is Made To Be.

I'd like to think I don't completely bypass all of the realities of the difficulties in character's relationships all of the time, but I do know that a large part of me is like "okay, I've done the tense lack-of-verbal-communication in this story, so I don't have to do it here!" Kind of like all fics fit into several interconnected parallel universes (and everyone who's ever read one of my fics has read ALL OF THEM.)

It's a bit of a problem.

Edited at 2010-07-18 04:40 am (UTC)
18th-Jul-2010 04:45 am (UTC)
Yeah, stories that are longer and deal with more aspects need to do more explanation. Shorter stuff I'm more likely to give an exemption to, as the 2000 word tale of their first time doesn't need to resolve all relationship issues.

You're generally not that bad. I've seen a lot of people do this much worse, but you only mildly lapse into this.
18th-Jul-2010 04:53 am (UTC)
Thank you. That's somewhat reassuring. It's difficult, because, you know, I wasn't even all that concious of it until I was reading a new fic and my immediate reaction was, "this is something I would have written four years ago." And then I thought about my patterns in other fandoms, and, yeah, it became pretty obvious that I start off all "justification! look, this is why they're so great together!" and after that, take a lot for granted.
18th-Jul-2010 06:12 am (UTC)
I can see that, a bit. Do you think someone could continue writing a pair and continually start at OTP 101, though?

Good thing for me your G&S are essentially my canon.
18th-Jul-2010 06:28 am (UTC)
I don't know. For one thing, five thousand stories that follow a "punchy denial-punchy confession-camaraderie(with punches)" progression would be intensely boring. One of the great things is that now I've been through all of that, I can short-cut straight to "LOOKIT HOW CUTE THEY ARE" and not angst massively that I'm averting reality (and I don't even --- I am not the most prolific writer of the fluff/schmoop genre.)* But I think maybe I should be writing more established relationship fic, if I've internally made these decisions, as opposed to writing first time with missing explanation.

The shared understanding of fandom helps. It's wonderful when you meet people who interpret in a similar way to you.

*This is a me thing, since not everyone has necessarily been afflicted with seeing that as a progression. It's just my weird head.

Edited at 2010-07-18 06:30 am (UTC)
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