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So, I love Yuletide because it dumps a pile of delicious perfect stories in my lap, of course. But I also like it because it forces me to do things that are hard, like writing stories I would otherwise never attempt, with a hard deadline and a ravenous pack of guilt-hounds to chomp at me if I fail.

And even though I spend 99.9% of my life avoiding doing things that are hard, whenever I do manage to get chased out of my comfort zone, I immediately wish I'd left it years ago.

Even when doing so means I twist my ankle and fall on my face.

The air's just that much clearer out here.

So I wrote this story, based on a fandom I signed up for but was completely unprepared for just the same. I tend to offer songs because I have to worry less about getting details of voice exactly right, among other things. And this song filled me with feelings. It's from the Hunger Games soundtrack, but I haven't gotten around to reading The Hunger Games yet (I know!), so I didn't have that context to work with, just the whole Abrahamic human-sacrifice nameless daughter thing.

Which it turns out is really hard to write about.

I spent a lot of time avoiding the heart of the prompt, which is basically: so what happens next? because the moment of defiance was so heavy that moving past it felt like walking away from a black hole. (This is a ponderous way of saying that I suck at writing action). And the story kept growing, but in all the wrong directions; e.g, not forward, but backward and into. At one point it was literally 30,000 words of terrible poetry (largely composed in WrittenKitten under the withering stares of cats) (thanks, xylaria for this excellent terrible-poetry-generating tool). And then I had to go out of town.

I uploaded it -- I don't know if I'm supposed to admit this -- significantly before it was done, on the assumption that some brainstorm would save me in the intervening days between the deadline and the reveal. It did, a little, but not completely. The OCs were a last-minute addition. Several people have diplomatically noted that the structure is "not all there." It's really hard for me to tell how things turn out that I've written because they always sound a little wrong, the way recordings of your own voice sound wrong.

But! I didn't have to default, and I didn't have to replace everything on Christmas Eve with a giant apology and promise to write something really soon (and be subsequently BANNED FROM YULETIDE), and the recipient, yasaman, was extremely nice about it.

So I'm going to count it as "turned out ok." And make a New Year's resolution to write some NYRs. We'll see how that goes.

To everyone who wrote stories for me, and to everyone who wrote stories for other people, and to yasaman for the awesome prompt, and to everyone who listened to me complain endlessly about how Writing Is Hard (you know who you are), thank you! In conclusion, Yuletide continues to be the best.


( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
Jan. 3rd, 2013 07:24 pm (UTC)
Hi! We talked in comments to Abraham's Daughter, and I'd love to discuss it further. Feel free to shoot me an email or an IM at my username at gmail.

It really did come out lovely, evocative and emotional but understated. I think you definitely get to claim success.
Jan. 3rd, 2013 11:31 pm (UTC)
I did send you an email, so hopefully you'll get it? Let me know if not!
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )


blase ev

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