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4th-Mar-2012 01:51 pm - Regarding Long-Suffered
New fic up on ff.net

Title: Long-Suffered
Word Count: 21k
Rating: T
Main Characters: Kaidan Alenko, Fem!Shep
Summary: The words now mattered less than the giving. “It’s something to show you that I still know who I am. That you still know who I am.”


Below are ALL of the notes on the evolution of the story:

I know I've done very badly the past few months on finishing IC. To be forthright, I had every intention of writing over winter break, but it got away from me. In the form of Dragon Age 2.

Now a new semester has started and I have already fallen a bit behind in my chem and trig studies. In the form of Mass Effect and ME2.

I'm not here to talk about uni. I'm here to gush about the amazing amount of writing I have been doing lately for FIC in ME. Specifically No.2. I didn't have a ton of inspiration for the first game. Honestly, I thought it was a little lack luster given what the goal was. Maybe because a few years out from its original release the audience (namely me,) has had a chance to catch up and it was a little predictable. I mean some of the tropes they implemented were effective, but not WOW.

Then, I played ME2. Wow. WOW.

I was nervous about even getting ME2 because all of the ratings rated it lower than the first ME. I don't know if they were comparing the two games or if they were reviewing it to all other games. Either way, it should have gotten much better reviews. I say this because the developers knew exactly what they were doing. The game I'm playing is MY game. SO many of the choices that you deal with in ME2 are based directly on your choices from the first game. It was... thrilling. I don't use that word lightly, but it really was most enjoyable. [Times like these make me glad for a brother who will nerd out with me and let me rave for fifteen minutes about how excited I am for Mass Effect 3.] Another part of why I enjoyed ME2 so much was because I did not let read any spoilers or get into ANY of the fandom at all. TBH, I still haven't. I looked at a good bit of fanart, and now I wish I hadn't because I may or may not have been spoiled by a few things. I don't even want to play the ME3 demo because I am SO excited for this game.

**note to self, take off March 6th/7th when ME3 is released so I can just finish the game in one go. not even joking about this.

Anyway, I've been writing a single story that was inspired by the events of Horizon in ME2, and its aftermath. If you, by some chance, are the last person on the planet to arrive to this game (and that's not just me) and don't want to be spoiled, navigate away now. I have story notes that are going to be fairly spoiler heavy for the second game and I haven't written in LJ in long enough that I can't remember how to do a cut off the top of my head. So navigate away now!

I played through ME and ME2 without any kind of incentive or pressure from anyone. I started by playing Dragon Age: Origins, then moved to DA2 and thought that if BioWare’s “main game” was partially as good as DA:O or DA2 then it would have to be pretty good. I was not disappointed.

I nearly spoiled myself by visiting BioWare Confessions on tumblr too often, but got some self-control and did not see really spoiling confessions before finishing both the games. Except I saw one where someone was dissing Kaidan. Before I’d ever met him, I saw this confession and thought, “This guy must be a saltine cracker. I will not romance him!” At the time I thought Garrus was romanceable in ME (okay, so maybe I was a bit spoiled) and thought I would try my hand at him. Lol, turns out, I don’t really like Garrus as an LI. As a friend, I am sure I could tolerate him more, but he was too hardline, too “by any means necessary” for my tastes, even in the first game. That was only enhanced in the second game because of his experiences. I ended up sympathizing with Kaidan and the things he had gone through. Despite having a rough childhood, and having killed someone by the age of 17, he was a really, really decent guy.

Yup, I bought it, hook, line, and sinker.

Then came ME2.

I did REALLY well at not spoiling myself for this one, and honestly, it was excellent. I am still surprised at how people rated it so poorly compared to ME1. The hardest thing I had to get used to were a few changes in the command system from the keyboard, but after a few missions I had it down pat and I was really enjoying it. The emotionality of the game was intense (yeah, especially an unguided take of the suicide mission), like reuniting with Garrus and Liara and Tali. Each time, I wanted to say, “No!! Really! Please come with me!”
With your new crew, you really didn’t know who you could trust or who you could not. Cerberus, I wanted to hate them, especially after I spent so much time in ME building relationships with alien races and doing my best to represent the human race. Why would I trust an organization that only viewed me as an investment? I was glad that the paragon options were mistrustful of them, but it didn’t feel like being a complete tool was going to get any progress, so I cooperated- not that I wouldn’t have either way, since the game channels you into that choice, but still… I accepted that it was my choice to work with them.

And oh, yes, I was waiting and waiting for some kind of reunion with Kaidan. After forcing him to go help the other crew members and then getting spaced at the beginning of the game (btw, I didn’t even know what was happening when the suit was venting. I thought for sure it would work out some way!) it was SO emotional. Anderson kind of left me hanging and Joker was like, “Whatever, gotta get stuff done, let’s move on…” and so I was waiting for someone to give my Shepard a break. I KNEW Kaidan wouldn't let me down!

Then Horizon happened.

Honestly, the only thing I didn’t like about the interaction was that I thought Kaidan would join the crew. I was not angry with his responses or even the way Shepard’s dialogue went. I admitted, I expected him to be a little more sensitive, but to be fair to him there was no information going around about where Shepard was or what had happened. He had every right to react the way he did- to him it seemed like Shepard was nonchalant and that she had betrayed the Alliance. Plus, he had just gone through nearly being taken by the Collectors, and that had to be harrowing in and of itself. For him to hold it together so well, I thought was admirable.

Shepard didn’t react so strongly, and that too is understandable. She was probably overwhelmed at seeing him after holding off the Collectors, but she was also on a team with people she barely knew. Why would she go baring her heart in front of such people? She’s in charge and meant to be the leader of the team. She can’t go freaking out just because she wants to. No, she’s the one who has to hold it together.

It was a very mature situation, and I thought it was great. Plus, more information came out when Kaidan sent the letter and he really did explain himself well. In my headcanon, as soon as he got back to the Citadel and found a private place, he had a good cry. Then he wrote Shepard a letter.

This story came partially out of my own feelings on the subject, perhaps what both Shepard and Kaidan were feeling, but also by something that could have actually happened. Shepard was running around taking care of unfinished business for everyone else, but not for herself? How’s that fair? So. Here 'tis.

It’s safe to assume that this is not an entirely unique idea, but it’s my take on it at any rate, and since ME3 is coming out soon, this is my tribute to stoking the fan fire. MARCH 6TH, HURRY UP.

Since writing these notes, I have... not done very well at staying away from ME3 stuff. NO SPOILERS HERE. But I did read that Jennifer Hale made a comment about Shepard, that at this part of the series her humanity really comes out, and she's "very tired." (Read Interview Here) And some other stuff.

I just feel really happy with the way this story has come out. It took a few days to hammer out the draft, but when it came out it was pretty much the way I wanted. A few details took more time than others to hammer out and some things might feel a little forced, but I tried to hold in mind a few things:

1. Both Shepard and Alenko are two adults. Most of the ME fans tend to occupy a younger demographic than the actual characters. That or those fans who give fandom a voice speak with a voice that says they are younger than the 32-34 range of Shenko. I think this is the origin of a lot of inter-fandom drama that is completely unnecessary when it goes into an angry, jealous direction.

2. The actual characters always conducted themselves with self-control, even when they were throwing caution to the wind and admitting their feelings (hello, pre-Ilos night) the mission always came first. Their loyalties to a higher cause always came first. This is sad, but also admirable, and a HUGE characteristic of their relationship.

3. I really felt like they were in love, in a love tempered by experience and the understanding that you don't want to suffer any more than possible- not you or the one you love. If it's less painful to let him/her go, then you will. I think that was at the heart of Kaidan's letter, actually. [WHICH YOU CAN LISTEN TO RAPHAEL SBARGE READ RIGHT HERE: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P9LWRWb_al4- it adds SO much depth to the letter!!! aslkjdlwjeerrrrr!!!]

Other factors boil off of these two, which I already touched on in the larger exposition above, but I just wanted to share these two main points as the main guides for why I didn't write something so amazingly dramatic and, "OH MAN U GAIZ KISS AND MAKE BABEEZ." Even though I really. Really. Wanted to.

Have I mentioned that I'm ready for March 6th?

Oh, I also listened to Jack Wall's "Love Theme" from the ME SDTK on repeat for a few days. It's so simple and elegant. Looooove it. A few times I listened to "Safe and Sound" by Taylor Swift (ft. the Civil Wars. Learn them. Love them.) The first song choice was obvious for inspiration, and the second is for a different fandom also arriving in March, but the lyrics are so appropriate for a relationship in which the outside circumstances are uncertain, but the love within it is as strong as any rock. Very beautiful, protective song. I enjoy it, but in the light of Kaidan/Shepard, I LOVE it. Loooove it.

I'm seriously wishing my life away for March 6th right now. Good thing time doesn't work that way. /whew

If you read this all the way through, I salute you. I also thank you. Thank you for letting me share my thoughts in this whole process.
24th-Feb-2012 10:26 am - Kaidan Alenko

I think Kaidan's smile is very Mona Lisa. You never see him grin, and in ME3 I think he's playing his cards kind of tight.

It. Is. Delicious.

Posted via LiveJournal app for iPhone.

15th-Feb-2012 06:31 pm - About Self-Spoiling
whining, complaining
Gotta stop DOING this to myself.

My bro introduced me to Dragon Age: Origins last July. Yeah that was closer to one of my last posts. That's because I got DA:O, killed it, got DA2, killed it, and then was led to other Bioware goodness. Namely Mass Effect.

If you haven't even heard of Mass Effect, you probably aren't connected to the world and thus, are unable to read this. For the rest of you... SORRY IT TOOK ME SO LONG, BUT I GOT HERE AS QUICKLY AS I COULD. Oh man.

I played two solid ME and ME2 (in addition to school work and work-work) games in about two weeks. It. Was. Awesome. I think I like it perhaps more than the DA series? Because I didn't spoil myself the way it seemed inevitable for DA. I've been VERY careful not to look at spoilers, but now I'm doing this to myself where I'm looking at people's fanart or whatever, who obviously do not have the same concerns about spoiling themselves. I've already gotten TONS of spoilers.


Ok, like three. B-b-b-but still! I want it all! *sigh*

There's a solution...!

21st-Aug-2011 10:59 am(no subject)
I gave up on EOTS.

I guess that five-year-gone update was the last hurrah. So we really are going out with a whimper. The royal we.

Anyway, I put in the FFnet summary that if one were to ask about what was going to happen, I would make the knowledge available. So here it is. The notes, the way I write all of my notes, for EOTS. It picks up from where the chapters left off. Obviously, this does not include the amount of detail I would have put into everything. Usually I get three or four pages out of one paragraph, but that's how it goes. I hope it's understandable.

EOTS NotesCollapse )
18th-Aug-2011 05:44 pm - Ideal Countenance
Okay, I kind of want to laugh while writing this, so if too many (or any) lols come through, they are in no way meant to be mocking or hyper-critical. Mostly, I'm feeling giddy. Though, that could be the espresso talking.

I had the idea to write Ideal Countenance based on a fic I read in Sailormoon fandom a long time ago. That particular story, though I can't remember the name of it, was based on Kino Makoto meeting a genie that offered to grant her one wish, anything she wished.

Makoto, being smart enough to realize that we all need to be careful what we wish for, asked how she could know beforehand that she would be satisfied with her wish after. The genie applauded her caution and foresight and allowed her to have a taste of each wish- they were not frivolous things for a fourteen-year-old to wish. But each possibility left her less than unsatisfied. She was always distressed.

I'm not doing Ideal Countenance the same way. In this one, Sakura actually gets her wish. She gets an attentive husband who dotes on her. Call it physics, equal and opposite reaction, call it karma, call it whatever you want. The Sasuke that Sakura gets is not the Sasuke she thought she wanted. Not to give everything away. You can read the story for more details.

I do want to discuss something that upset the majority of readers (or the majority of reviewers, anyway)Collapse )
15th-Aug-2011 09:58 am - Small Point of Pride.
Very content as a writer right now.

I've been slacking slightly on Ideal Countenance, which is not the greatest tendency as far as authorship goes, but as most amateur writers will claim at some point- REAL LIFE. AUUUUGH, REAL LIFE.

Still, the reason I am feeling content is because in the latest chapter (chapter six, I believe) one of the characters did something that has elicited a rather honest reaction from the majority of the people who reviewed. If I take those as a sample of the general readership, then lots of people were ticked. Not with me, admittedly, but with the character himself. Awesome!

If I write something that people disagree with, that they hate even, then I tip my cap to the mirror and say, "You did a good job there." For one thing, I don't necessarily subscribe to what the character has done as a personal tenet of belief, but it's 'honest' for them to act in such a way. Two, I did a good enough set up in the previous chapters that no one expected that kind of reaction. Or at the very least, they aren't used to reading something of this nature within this particular genre. Heeheeheehee.

Okay, I probably sound like a jerk right now, and I don't intend that. I'm not even bragging on the story. I'm just saying that as a writer, it's a pretty proud moment.
1st-Aug-2011 12:20 pm(no subject)
Uwaaaah, I'm so hungry! All I really want is some kind of sandwich. With lots of vegetables. Or some kind of vegetable salad without lettuce. This has absolutely nothing to do with writing.

Just as an aside, I'm not posting the SasuSaku fic here at all, though I probably should. It seems others have had bad experiences with ff.net at points in time and their works being erased? I don't know. I'm just not worried about it. Or maybe I'm ashamed of that fandom!! Haha, no, not really. If I were, I'd not mention it here.

Having to come to the library all of the time for internet kind of sucks. In addition, my printer has decided to stop working. I have no idea why. Maybe because it's old? Or it just doesn't recognize that there's paper in it when there most definitely is. Who knows.

This post is pretty much just to make space in my brain for other thoughts since I wanted to share these. Hurrah.
3rd-Jul-2011 12:08 pm(no subject)
Not doing much writing this weekend, though I have taken copious notes for new ideas. I'm trying to get through the current project before starting anything new. Discipline!! Seeing this story through the end, getting feedback from the audience, these really make me evaluate the opinion I had of my writing skills. Not that they're bad (or worse by comparison,) but I definitely feel like they're lacking in a way I did not before. This is good! It motivates me to work harder :D

But right now, I'm playing Dragon Age with my bro for the holiday weekend. Discipline, what? /newfandom.
whining, complaining
Something I've been thinking about on and off for about ten years now, which is telling in and of itself, is the general mentality towards reviewing fanfiction. Regardless of the system employed, if the system is pointed out enough and upheld as a means of viable communication with the author, WHY is not utilized? That's idealistic posturing that I'm not even going to pretend to maintain. I don't review all of the stories I read, but lately I've been really good about at least leaving something- even if it's eight chapters in and I only review the latest chapter.

Why so venomous so early in the morning? Well, because I just posted a new story on FFnet. Out of the nearly 200 hits it's had, the 3 favs, and the 6 alerts (on the prologue for crying out loud) it has ONE review. One. To me this seems rather ridiculous. 188 lazy folks who can't bother to even write a simple "thanks"? Sorry kids, but that's bull shit.

I've been using the carrot for the fourteen years I've been writing. I know I'm not the best writer on ff.net, and probably not even in the top 20% I would venture to say, but the amount of work I put into my stories, the fact that they actually have plot and characterization and proper grammar counts for more than what I've been getting for years now.

It's time for the stick.
22nd-Jun-2011 10:33 pm - Adulthood

I was thinking today about ages and the demarcation between childhood and adulthood. Many times my mother has phrased it succinctly as "growing up versus growing old," mostly in a derisive attitude upwards adults who act like children.

For me, the thought that struck home was, regardless of age, adults are people who stop making the same mistakes over and over and over again. Time is regarded as precious and the self is given less leeway to screw up. When we're young everything seems infinite, but the more we live and the longer we live we see our boundaries- time, mostly, is what works against us. As part of stretching those boundaries and making sure we make the most of our time, we try to screw up less. We learn from our mistakes. Learning from them obviously means acknowledging them taking responsibility for them at some level.

This was just something I was thinking about today.

Posted via LiveJournal app for iPhone.

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