Log in

No account? Create an account
Book Pink BrattyJedi
Posted on Friday 1 February 2008 at 11:14 am

Confessisons of a Mary Sue addict

Tags: , ,
I admit it. I had more fun creating my Mary Sue character than I've had doing anything related to Harry Potter in a while. I've not really felt like writing fanfic lately. It seems like it's been ages since I wrote any fanfic and it has certainly been months since I did anything longer than 1,000 words (if I even managed that much). I haven't even read any Harry Potter fanfic in weeks. I don't think I read anything from the last Meta challenge. I've no definitive explanation for any of this. I was kind of wondering if it was just burn out on Harry Potter in general and R/T in particular, which I still think is very possible and the only guess I've got. When the Mary Sue meme came up, I wasn't sure I wanted to do it, but then ideas started coming and I couldn't stop myself. I got really excited and into it the way I used to be about R/T fanfic. It felt great to just imagine and share a story of my own again, even if just in outline and completely tell-not-show fashion.

So now I'm trying to decide what I want to do. Since my love of fanfic has been rekindled, I want to get back into it before it dies again but I also want to try to make sure I don't smother it and get burned out again. I'm really not sure how to do that. One thing I've considered is having a go at fleshing out Rayhiana. It could definitely be fun to try to use a complete and total Mary Sue with everything that entails and see if it is at all possible to get a decent story out of it. Call it a fanfic experiment if you will. The other thing I've considered is mixing things up a bit and getting more actively involved in some of my other fandoms. Maybe if I'm constantly bouncing around and writing in completely different universes I won't get burned out on any given one. If I do branch out, Star Wars would obviously be the first place to go. I've started rereading the bits of the novel where my favorite couple first becomes a couple in hope that it might spark my interest. Beyond Star Wars and Harry Potter, I'm not sure what I'd do. I'd love to read and write good Highlander and Good Omens fanfics, but it seems like 90% of fandom for both are based on slash sex which I don't mind reading and I'm not actively opposed to writing but those aren't the kind of stories I really want to tell and if I'm trying to avoid burn out then I need to be doing things I really want to do.

I'm just not sure what I want to do. I might start playing around with notes on Rayhiana and some Star Wars fanfic ideas and see what grabs me. I'd love to someday do my Harry Potter Rather Large Project for which I have dozens of pages of notes stored in a binder. As much as the idea still fascinates me, I'm completely unmotivated to do anything with it right now. In the meantime, I'm still madly in love with the amazing ideas everyone else came up with for their Mary Sues. With no restrictions, I feel like everyone, not just me, really let their creativity flow and maybe went places they've always secretly wanted to go but were kind of ashamed to admit. In addition to using this post as a place to whine about the current status of my relationship with fanfic, I want to use it as a place I can turn to whenever I want to again be reminded of what it is I love about fanfic. Odd as it may sound, I think one way to do that will be to reread everyone's Mary Sue stories to remind me of the energy and creativity that is in this community when people cut loose and do whatever they want without any self-imposed or fanon/fandom imposed constraints. So here's a list of all the Mary Sue fics I've seen on my flist or seen mentioned in comments of those on my flist thus far. If you know of any others publicly posted by people even loosely associated with the R/T community that's built up here on LJ, please let me know so I can add them to my list.

bratty_jedi: Rayhiana
bratanimus: Milen Rakovski
jdbracknell: Sage Blaxland
mrstater: Lupercalia Wolfe
shimotsuki: Emily Gladstone
andacus: Serena Potter
starry_eyed: Angel Jasmine Alexandria Potter-Snape (aka Mattie)
seer_of_spots: Morganne Brian Super-Witcheth Raven Dumbledore-Potter-Black
jesspallas: Athene Larkland
katyhasclogs: Katya Baum
jncar: Aphrodite Radcliffe

ETA: Thanks, jdbracknell and mrstater, for helping me build up the list and find more Mary Sues to read!
Feeling: Contemplative
Exploring: Desk
Listening: Silence


lady_bracknell at 5:34 pm on 01 February 2008 (UTC) (Link)
Oh, I agree. It was so nice to write something without really writing it, and just have fun for once without worrying about reviews, what people might think, whether I'll have time to reply to them. I'm in such a writing rut at the moment that I've seriously considered giving it up altogether, so I know how you feel, and I'm pleased you've got that sense of enthusiasm back :D.

Others I know did the challenge: starry_eyed and seer_of_spots, although I'm sure there were more.... Oh, and jesspallas just posted hers, so perhaps there's more to come?

ETA: and katyhasclogs did it too. She was part Veela, I think....

Edited at 2008-02-01 05:35 pm (UTC)
bratty_jedi at 6:43 pm on 01 February 2008 (UTC) (Link)
I'm glad I'm not the only one who found this to be more than just a silly meme. I mean, it was that, but the writing fun I had was on an entirely different level thanks to the complete and utter lack of pressure.

I've thought about giving up fanfic completely several times over the past few weeks. I don't think I will now and I hope you aren't seriously considering it either.

Thanks for those others. I'm off to read them and will add them to my list :)
lady_bracknell at 6:58 pm on 01 February 2008 (UTC) (Link)
I think it's kind of ridiculous that fanfic sometimes feels like a very stressful thing - it should be fun, and yet often I find it just isn't. What's that saying about hell being other people? I think that's quite apt for fanfic, because as much as people toss you the cliche about only writing for yourself, as soon as you decide to share your stuff, things always get more complicated and you can't anymore.

I haven't made any decisions about fanfic and me, largely because I don't really think I'm in the right frame of mind to make any decision that goes beyond what I want for dinner at the moment. Whatever happens, I'll finish Werewolf, but other than that.... We'll see, I suppose :).
bratty_jedi at 2:23 am on 02 February 2008 (UTC) (Link)
as much as people toss you the cliche about only writing for yourself, as soon as you decide to share your stuff, things always get more complicated and you can't anymore

That's very true. The expectations and the unwritten rules can be very tiring. But I think it is also true that sharing it with people is part of the fun. I mean, if I'd been writing fanfic in a notebook and never letting anyone else read it and never reading anyone else's, I'd never have gotten past the first story. Discussing and debating aspects of canon and fanon and characterizations and all that with other people is half the fun.

I don't really think I'm in the right frame of mind to make any decision that goes beyond what I want for dinner
I had to have other people decide what I wanted for dinner for me. Or at least what I wanted for dessert.
gilpin25 at 6:30 pm on 01 February 2008 (UTC) (Link)
Mine's to come (only I could be late messing around with tweaking a meme), but I look forward to reading yours as they've been such fun. There's something rather wonderful about a Mary-Sue getting your enthusiasm going again - is there nothing they can't do? LOL.
bratty_jedi at 6:46 pm on 01 February 2008 (UTC) (Link)
I can't wait to read yours! Have you not been paying attention to Sam and I? The glory of this is that there isn't any pressure and expectations so you can quit tweaking and just post.

There's something rather wonderful about a Mary-Sue getting your enthusiasm going again - is there nothing they can't do?
If there is something a Mary Sue can't do, is it really a Mary Sue?
gilpin25 at 8:00 pm on 01 February 2008 (UTC) (Link)
When I say tweaking, it's minus an end. Which is a bit of a drawback, even for a Mary-Sue. And I seem to have lost that fun feeling, which is probably why I'm making such a meal of it. So I'll try and pay attention. ;)

Perhaps I need to do some Scrabble today as therapy...
bratty_jedi at 2:19 am on 02 February 2008 (UTC) (Link)
I wish there were some easy solution to getting the fun back. I find it interesting that I'm not the only one feeling this way right now. I completely expected other people to say "I've been there" but I'm getting more "I'm there with you now."

Endings are useful. Hope one comes soon. Or you could just post what you've got and end it with something about how you weren't getting enough reviews (despite having 100+ per chapter) so you're abandoning it and that'll teach people.

Scrabble is always good. I'm getting to be a rather huge fan of Scramble, as well.
gilpin25 at 12:19 pm on 02 February 2008 (UTC) (Link)
I blame January for much of it; it's never my favourite month. Somehow I always start off thinking it's a new year so let's get cracking, and I always seem to grind to a halt for some reason and then think a month's gone already and I've done next-to-nothing... Though I did learn to play Scramble, which I think I'm slowly improving at, lol.

What's Taters, Precious?
mrstater at 7:36 pm on 01 February 2008 (UTC) (Link)
jncar did one yesterday, too.

I think your reminder about the fun of fanfic is a good one for us all. It can almost be a job sometimes! I'm trying to get more back into writing what I want to be writing.
bratty_jedi at 2:15 am on 02 February 2008 (UTC) (Link)
I'm not really sure how and why writing fanfic becomes a chore rather than a fun escape or hobby, but I think it really does at some point. That's very odd to me. I mean, there are situations like that one time when someone on FF.Net was trying to get people to boycott Sam until she updated Werewolf rather than writing one shots, but most of the time there isn't that kind of direct think. I wonder if that is just an extreme of something that regularly happens in a much less conscious and tangible way.

Thanks for the link :)
Shield Wolf
shield_wolf at 4:32 pm on 02 February 2008 (UTC) (Link)
I'm glad to see other writers confessing to lack of motivation for writing HP fics lately. (Well, maybe "relieved" would be a better description.) I've been trying all sorts of things to jump-start my battery lately, including signing up at another comm to attempt a drabble for Valentine's Day. (Surely 100-300 words won't be too difficult?) It's particularly frustrating to have barely begun engaging in some creative efforts, only to feel as if the door has slammed shut on me again.

Oh, well, let's hope it's only a residual hangover from the finality of DH and the winter weather that has been slowing down the majority of us for now.

In addition, I agree that fic writing should be fun, which is why I'm also working on my own Mary Sue, who almost certainly fails the template for standard "perfection" but whom I hope will prove to demonstrate some endearing quirks regardless.
bratty_jedi at 10:32 pm on 03 February 2008 (UTC) (Link)
I was relieved to have others agree with me. It sounds like most people have been in a bit of a slump. Hopefully an upswing is kicking in and will build.

I can't wait to read your Mary Sue. I've loved them all so far and am sure yours will be no exception. :)
Wild Magelet
wildmagelet at 6:18 am on 03 February 2008 (UTC) (Link)
I wish I had time to write a proper reply to this, but I did want to comment, because I can understand where you're coming from. I've definitely felt less enthusiastic about the fandom lately, which I do put partly down to the release of DH last year. Not just that it killed a bit of the "what next?" mystery that always kept us on our toes, but because the sense of anticipation for that book was huge. I was so excited about it. And in at the R/T respect, it was a disappointment. I can't really deny that. But I've been starting to feel my interest coming back over the last month or so, which I'm profoundly grateful for, because I have a blast in the HP fandom and I really don't want to lose that. /melodramatic spiel. :)
bratty_jedi at 10:30 pm on 03 February 2008 (UTC) (Link)
Dh may very well be part of it. Overall, I did like DH and I think that puts me in a minority around here but I expected so much more than what I got. All the dropped plot lines annoy me and bum me out a bit.

Hopefully this rejuvenation of interest will continue for everyone and fandom and the fanfic will just get better.

   Leave a New Comment
Previous Entry  Next Entry