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Man, I've got to start writing again, whether it's original or fan.… - The Phantom Librarian
Spewing out too many words since November 2003
Man, I've got to start writing again, whether it's original or fan. I'm doing all sorts of restless brain things. I downloaded flashcards in Latin, Hindi, and Swahili, in addition to the Indonesian ones I already have from byki.com, and also put up daily words in several languages on iGoogle. (I should note that the likelihood of me being able to say anything not directly on the flashcards in any of these languages is nil, since they don't provide a grammar and you have to guess which word means which.) I planted a terrarium (and am thus likely to be responsible for the death of plants, as I have a serious brown thumb). I'm thinking of how to decorate a table for summer reading. I'm fretting over my hair. If I were doing anything particularly well, I'd be thinking, "Wow, this extra energy is great!" but it all seems to be just sort of mental screwing around while I wait for something to which I can apply myself for a good long while.

Sadly, I ordered two Harlequin Nocturnes to get a feel for them and see if I could write one, and am so deathly bored with them in the first two chapters of each that I think I'll need to re-think that idea. I guess I could always pretend to myself that I'm writing a Fifi LaFolle, but I think Fifi writes better than these. I think Ruthless's favorite, Zoltan Burr, writes better.
31 comments or Leave a comment
summoner_lenne9 From: summoner_lenne9 Date: March 10th, 2009 05:57 am (UTC) (Link)
Wow. I thought after the Challenge Call Of Doom you would be sick of the Teddy-verse, in any form, for at least 3 months. Lol. :)
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: March 10th, 2009 06:03 am (UTC) (Link)
I am. But I was sitting there in front of my flashcards, dutifully repeating, "This is a beautiful city" (Ini kota indah) and "This is a big neighborhood" (Ini kawasan besar) in Indonesian, and I just thought, "Dang. I'm never going to need to say, 'This is a big neighborhood' in Yogya. I need a project, dammit!"
summoner_lenne9 From: summoner_lenne9 Date: March 10th, 2009 01:38 pm (UTC) (Link)
Look into other fandoms, perhaps? Or a Jim Wolfe or Fifi La Folle or etc. :D

(Yay for random languages though? :D)
chrischewscud From: chrischewscud Date: March 10th, 2009 06:27 am (UTC) (Link)

Finals are eating my brain

Sorry, I don't have a lot of project ideas right now, I'm trying to survive the end of term. Maybe you could knit hats or scarves? Even if you don't use them yourself, you can always donate them.
From: severely_lupine Date: March 10th, 2009 07:22 am (UTC) (Link)
Well... you've got one very good story started already. Why not finish up "Stray"? Eh? Eh? I know I for one would love to see it. And maybe it would be easier to get going on, since it's already got a good start on it.
From: (Anonymous) Date: March 10th, 2009 11:56 am (UTC) (Link)
You could always resurrect Remus and Dora, with some unlikely but exceedingly desirable premis, as in After the Rain's "Sojourners"--never directly contradicting canon, which just says they "lay there", and doesn't mention them in the epilogue as dead or alive. Any premis would be a little thin, but I'm certain many readers like myself, who were hoping against hope that you'd just keep them alive anyway, would swallow just about anything. Apart from being simply fantastic in itself, it would also be interesting to see what about Teddy would change, if he grew up in a home with parents and siblings, instead of Andromeda and Harry--and what would change in their characters, as well.
I'm sure if anything could get you writing again, Remus and Tonks would.
From: (Anonymous) Date: March 10th, 2009 03:03 pm (UTC) (Link)

New After the Rain Fic?

Can you provide a link to what you referenced above? Or at least give directions on how to find it? "After the Rain" is the only other fic writer I've ever really enjoyed, coming in a decent second to Fern, but I just googled her and didn't find anything titled "Sojourners" -- just the stuff I remember from well over a year ago.

Sara Libby
From: (Anonymous) Date: March 10th, 2009 07:43 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: New After the Rain Fic?

It's on her LJ (a_t_rain), and I think I got to it through a tag, if I remember right. Hope that helps you find it--it's deffinitly worth it, and not just because our favourite shapeshifters come out of the DH battle unscathed in the end. I don't think she's followed it up--which is a great pity, as the only R/T revival fics I can find are by writers used to disregarding cannon when they like, which usually extends to characterizations, as well. I wish someone (ahem) would semi-plausibly bring back "our" Remus and Dora and then keep them back.
From: (Anonymous) Date: March 10th, 2009 12:21 pm (UTC) (Link)
Putting my two cents in...

JKR didn't kill THEM off, specifically--well, she did, literally, but I get the impression her thought process was not so much "going to kill off Remus and Tonks today" as "need a couple more names to add to the realistic-looking casualty list, and hey! parents with a kid Harry can symbolically ease through orphan-hood! Am going to sacrifice Lupin and Tonks for the good of random and literarily unsatisfying symbolic functions."

I'm not trying to disparage everything you've accomplished in the last year and a half--far from it. It's poignant, funny, heart-breaking, beautifully crafted stuff. But...Remus...Dora...living...I'm all choked up now, just thinking about that.

I know that going against cannon just because you feel like it isn't normally what you do, and I respect you for that. But in my opinion it's poorly-thought-out, unsatisfying cannon on more than just the straight mourning-them level. That just isn't where their story was going, or supposed to go. They're about overcoming prejudice and other obstacles, not about "names we'd rather remember", as Joe describes meaningless deaths in Shifts.

Please, Fern??
nundu_art From: nundu_art Date: March 10th, 2009 01:33 pm (UTC) (Link)
'I guess I could always pretend to myself that I'm writing a Fifi LaFolle, but I think Fifi writes better than these. I think Ruthless's favorite, Zoltan Burr, writes better.' *snerk* That bad, eh? I haven't read a Harlequin of any variety in, oh, probably 40+ years, as I think I might have been in junior high!
marycontraria From: marycontraria Date: March 10th, 2009 01:50 pm (UTC) (Link)
I would say, pretend you're writing Fifi LaFolle. Of course what you write will be better than the ones you're reading, which I don't actually think is a problem. When you're finished writing, if Harlequin won't take what you've written, then find someone else who will.
vesta_aurelia From: vesta_aurelia Date: March 10th, 2009 01:54 pm (UTC) (Link)
Of course, you could go look at Smart B*tches, Trashy Novels (blog) and see what romance series *they* recommend...I'm sure there are other series types out there you could write.

Heck, why not try the ST:TNG universe? You're worlds better than some of the tripe *there*
From: severely_lupine Date: March 11th, 2009 12:32 am (UTC) (Link)
Hey, now, that'd be interesting! I'd certainly love to see it. (TNG is my favorite show of all time, yet I've read very little quality fanfic of it.)
kizmet_42 From: kizmet_42 Date: March 10th, 2009 03:00 pm (UTC) (Link)
Harlequin is not the only publisher looking for paranormal romance. Go read the agent blogs - it's a high-demand product right now.

Write write write!
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: March 11th, 2009 03:11 am (UTC) (Link)
I was mostly looking at them because they put out so much that the turnaround has to be relatively quick, but I'll just find a way to survive until I find something better.
From: (Anonymous) Date: March 10th, 2009 05:55 pm (UTC) (Link)
Hehehe... I was looking through the bargain bin in a bookshop last weekend, and came across some romance with a woman on a sailing ship, and my first reaction was, "Fifi LaFolle!!!" I couldn't bring myself to buy or even touch it, even though it would surely have been entertaining.

And I'm also (re-)learning Latin out of sheer boredom. It's fun.

~Hermione Stranger~
From: (Anonymous) Date: March 10th, 2009 06:23 pm (UTC) (Link)
I feel slightly guilty writing this since I'm not part of livejournal and I've never really left a comment before. I think your writing is beyond excellent and you are more than ready to attempt something original. Don't let the two boring novels put you off. Now you know how NOT to write a harlequin. Good luck with whatever you decide.
malinbe From: malinbe Date: March 10th, 2009 08:26 pm (UTC) (Link)
A part of me says: I'm sure you'll find something original to work on that satisfies you. I don't see why something better than the usual Harlequin stuff would be turned down by them. You are a great writer, much better than many published authors, you'll get lucky sooner or later.

Another part of me says: PLEASE, FINISH STRAY!! Is doesn't end with a main character death, and that's nice! Or what about doing Safe? You could always end it with Teddy's birth, since we all know what happens after that and there's no need to remind us.

Good luck, and I hope you get the spark to start you off, one way or the other.
From: (Anonymous) Date: March 10th, 2009 10:06 pm (UTC) (Link)
Hi Fern, huge fan and long time lurker here. I didn't realize I *could* post comments without being a live journal user myself. I love your work, and definitely think you can/will be published someday. Have you thought about writing about the Mexican werewolf village? I found that whole world to be fascinating in just the tiny bit you showed us. And it has universal themes in Alderman's spiritual journey and the idea of community identity. The fact that Alderman and Vivian were rescued by a kind teacher who died in battle against evil forces is not at all JKR's domain, which I think would normally be a huge concern in turning fic into original work.

Thanks for days of high quality reading material,
hermia7 From: hermia7 Date: March 10th, 2009 11:05 pm (UTC) (Link)
That is a great idea. When trying to figure out which bits you could go original with, I thought more about the third war and marauder's roost stuff, but this doesn't have any overlap with canon, really. And even the maze-as-cure is all you! I have a lot more to say on this but can't bear to type it on my blackberry...
From: (Anonymous) Date: March 11th, 2009 12:38 am (UTC) (Link)
That's a lovely idea! I thought that village had promise, too, just from the little snippet. I think it could have lots of possibilities if you went original with it. And, if it's your original world, you don't have to set it in...wherever you did set it, the name of which I can't remember just now. You might even do something with an original Remus-Tonks-Grayback-cubs plotline, or if you'd rather stick with the later Alderman-Vivian stuff, you could at least keep the "teacher" and his young wife around for it.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: March 11th, 2009 03:10 am (UTC) (Link)
I'm tossing that around, actually. Maybe moving it out of Mexico to someplace I know better, but if I can come up with a good plot for them, I might do it. Of course, I'll be continually paranoid that someone will build a daisy-chain of connections and turn it into plagiarism...:eyeroll:
sannalim From: sannalim Date: March 10th, 2009 11:10 pm (UTC) (Link)
Write the Fifi LaFolle... or the Jim Wolfe... or the Zoltan Burr. Show it to us -- or not show it to us -- as you please. Not showing might be better if you eventually want to try to publish it.

And Ooh, I like Karen's suggestion of expanding on the Mexican werewolf village, and agree with her comments regarding the ease of "filing off the serial numbers" to separate Alderman and Vivian from JKR's world -- as they're your own OCs anyway, creating characters who are very much like them, but are pulled out another step from A & V's HP roots might not be too difficult.
From: (Anonymous) Date: March 10th, 2009 11:23 pm (UTC) (Link)
You have such a great talent - as much as I'd love to see some more Teddy-verse or Safe or Stray (or all of them!!) - I think you should try to work on something original. Let the broader world enjoy your work as well!!
flyingfish33 From: flyingfish33 Date: March 11th, 2009 02:53 am (UTC) (Link)
Well, I suggested this once before (anonymously), but I managed to bury it pretty thoroughly and I'm not entirely sure if you noticed. I thought I'd throw it out there again, just in case. Feel free to ignore it, obviously.
Anyway, if you're looking for something original to write, have you thought about writing the "Teddy pulls Regulus into the future" idea as an original story? Or something similar, with different characters? I've always thought it was a fascinating idea, and I'd be interested in reading something like that whether it was fanfic or original. And from what you've shown us so far, it doesn't seem to depend on the HP canon at all, not the way something like Shifts or the Teddy stories do. Really, all the characters who'd be involved--except for Harry, I suppose--are essentially your creations anyway. As is a lot of the Dept. of Mysteries, for that matter...So it should be fairly easy to make the switchover, if you were so inclined.
Just a suggestion, of course.
But really, as long as you're interested in it yourself, I don't think it matters what you write about. You're talented enough (and this is coming from someone who's been following you for *years*, though hardly ever comenting...) that there'll always be an audience of some kind. Don't try to make yourself write something you don't like.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: March 11th, 2009 03:09 am (UTC) (Link)
Oddly enough, I pulled that into the Teddy stories from an original I was working on (that fizzled), which I had originally brought in from Star Wars (long multi-writer story called "The Penitent," which brought Anakin back in a cloned body to stand trial). It's definitely a theme that interests me. I just need to find the right way in.
alkari From: alkari Date: March 11th, 2009 03:18 am (UTC) (Link)
That 'Teddy pulls Regulus into the future' plotline has certainly been done several times. I read one only recently - I think on Checkmated.

Fern, if you want to stay with some of what is familiar to you, I'd agree with others. Take some of your original characters and re-locate them, physically and/or in time period. Look at the issues that surround them as a basis for your plots, and it would be very easy to separate them from the HP universe.

And please, please take Fifi LaFolle as your pen-name when you publish!
amamama From: amamama Date: March 11th, 2009 08:35 am (UTC) (Link)
Basically, what's been said already - take parts of your already written stories that interest you, give them a non-HP setting and write it! I'd love to read it, be it someone who's pulled into the future, werewolves, spiritual journeys, or something else. Or everything combined. Into a series. Writing a Fifi LaFolle story sounds like a cool idea, if you did I'd definitely buy it! And just to second Alkari - please, please do use Fifi LaFolle as your pen name. It would be fantastic tongue in cheek for a romance. And why does it have to be Harlequin? There are other publishers...and you'll find the right one.

Edited at 2009-03-11 08:37 am (UTC)
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: March 11th, 2009 01:47 pm (UTC) (Link)
Oh, I was just thinking of a fast turnaround when that idea came up. I can live without the fast turnaround.
amamama From: amamama Date: March 11th, 2009 02:02 pm (UTC) (Link)
Ahh. Good, because I don't think writing to earn money is producing the great stories that writing to tell he story that's yearning to get out is. And as the latter is better, I think that'll also be the one that makes the most. That said, if you do end up writing a wonderfully silly love story, I'd line up to buy it. You've got a wonderful way with words. And if you find that writing fanfic is easy while writing original stories that might be published is hard, I'd like to give you a nudge to go look at my last entry. I've suddenly realised what's my great big stumbling block. In short - good people don't earn money. At least not much.
From: blue_sky_day Date: March 12th, 2009 03:30 pm (UTC) (Link)
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