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[personal profile] ladynorbert
Because I have repeatedly proven I do not have the diligence to do these daily meme things, I'm doing it all in one post.

1 – How did you first get into writing fanfic, and what was the first fandom you wrote for? What do you think it was about that fandom that pulled you in?

The first fan fiction I ever wrote was a crossover between The Princess Bride and Labyrinth, and I was actually completely unfamiliar with the concept of fan fiction at the time. This was, I believe, 1997 or 1998, so the internet was by no means new, but I was only just starting to realize that it was allowing me to connect with people who liked the same stuff that my family always said I was nuts for liking. Anyway, I belonged (and still belong) to a TPB mailing list, and wrote the crossover for the only fanfic contest the group ever had. I won, not that there was a prize or anything like that.

TPB as a fandom kind of sucks, to be honest. There's only one book and only one movie, so it's not like there's a whole lot to do once you've dissected both. The mailing list is effectively dead. But the people on it were all very nice.

2 – Name the fandoms you've written in, and how much you've written in that fandom, and if you still write in it.

Let's see. There's the above-mentioned story, and then there's...
  • Harry Potter - 7 stories, 8 if you count the one I pulled because I was never going to finish it (it was a speculation on Voldemort's heritage, which didn't get much readership), and no, I don't still write in the fandom. It holds a special place in my heart, though, and not just because that's where I got my name.
  • The Legend of Zelda - 4 stories, two of which are one-shots and two have multiple chapters. I haven't written anything in it in a while, but I would if I were inspired again; I have an unfinished fic lying around here somewhere.
  • The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen (movieverse) - 12 stories, all of which together comprise the TPDOEQ saga. I think I'm done with that fandom, but it was a good run.
  • Sherlock Holmes - 1 incomplete story, 1 complete rewrite of The Hound of the Baskervilles. I lost my muse pretty much, so no.
  • Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland - 1 story, unfinished. I'd like to finish it someday.
  • Professor Layton - 2 stories. The first was [livejournal.com profile] blcksunaphelion's fault, she dared me to write a story about how Don Paolo hated Layton on account of a cheeseburger. The second was just me trying to reconcile my dissatisfaction about Layton's relationship with his adopted daughter, and I think I did a good job of it. There are more Layton games slated to come in the future, so I may write in this fandom again eventually, but not at present.
  • Fullmetal Alchemist - 3 stories on my FFN account so far, because yes, I still write in this fandom. I participate in the weekly challenges at [livejournal.com profile] fma_fic_contest when the mood strikes.

3 – For each of the fandoms from day two, what were your favorite characters to write?
  • Harry Potter - Ron
  • The Legend of Zelda - Link, Rusl, and of course my beloved Shad
  • The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen (movieverse) - Skinner
  • Sherlock Holmes - Mycroft
  • Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland - Mirana
  • Professor Layton - Flora
  • Fullmetal Alchemist - Roy and Riza

4 – Do you have a "muse" character, that speaks to you more than others, or that tries to push their way in, even when the fic isn't about them? Who are they, and why did that character became your muse?

Well, it depends on the fandom, of course. Sherlock was actually a very pushy little muse for a while, which was entertaining; I kind of liked that he would sit in my head and chatter at me. in LXG, Elizabeth was this, but since she's an OC I'm not sure if she counts. Link was surprisingly loud when I was doing my Zelda stories. But the champion of pushy characters has got to be one Colonel Roy Mustang, who basically took over when I was trying to figure out how the FMA stories were going to go. Having the plushie sitting here may have helped.

5 –If you have ever had a character try to push their way into a fic, whether your "muse" or not, what did you do about it?

What else could I do? He was insisting that I write a sequel to my first FMA fic, and make it focus on him and his unit. So I did. It was too good an idea to give up, even if I don't necessarily appreciate having my brain held hostage.

6 – When you write, do you prefer writing male or female characters?

Again, it depends on the fandom. But I do seem, as a general rule, to be more comfortable with the men.

7 – Have you ever had a fic change your opinion of a character?

Kind of. It was while I wrote the FMA stories that I realized that Roy and Riza are actually my favorite characters in that fandom. I also felt a lot more sympathy for Ganondorf after writing "Burn," which was a Zelda fic written at the request of [livejournal.com profile] protect_vester.

8 – Do you write OCs? And if so, what do you do to make certain they're not Mary Sues, and if not, explain your thoughts on OCs.

Rarely. Elizabeth Quatermain was a huge departure for me because I'm paranoid about writing a MS. With her, I just kept running her through the litmus test for the fandom (which disappeared when GeoCities was taken down) and made sure not to give her any kind of powers. I think I did all right. I'd probably do some things a little differently if I were to do it again, but on the whole, it was pretty good. Her fellow OC, Alexandra, was easier because Alex was a real person - she was based on my best friend [livejournal.com profile] nentikobe, who is most assuredly not a Mary Sue. Charlotte, from the abandoned Sherlock stories, was probably more of a Sue, but she was also the canonical Watson, so not all of that was my doing.

9 – Pairings – For each of the fandoms from day two, what are your three favorite pairings to write?

Oh boy.

  • Harry Potter - Ron/Hermione, full stop. I really didn't write any other pairings.
  • The Legend of Zelda - Link/Zelda, Shad/Ashei, Auru/Telma
  • The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen (movieverse) - Skinner/Elizabeth, Mina/Henry, Tom/Alexandra
  • Sherlock Holmes - Again, I only wrote one pairing, and that was Sherlock/Charlotte.
  • Professor Layton - I didn't write any pairings.
  • Fullmetal Alchemist - Roy/Riza, Ed/Winry, Havoc/Rebecca

10 – Pairings – Have you ever gone outside your comfort zone and written a pairing you liked, but found you couldn't write, or a pairing you didn't like, and found you could?

Only once, and I'm not sure it even counts. In the FMA fic contest, I once wrote a one-sided Breda/Riza story. It worked well and I honestly like the idea, but I can't ever see Riza reciprocating his feelings (she's kind of Roysexual, in my mind) and I like Breda too much to want to see him suffer unrequited love forever. That's the closest I can say I've come to answering yes to this question.

11 – Genre – do you prefer certain genres of fic when you're writing? What kind do you tend to write most?

Fluff, with or without romance. I'm also apparently better at adventure and action than I thought I was.

12 – Have you ever attempted an "adaptation" fic of a favorite book or movie but set in a different fandom?

I haven't actually written it, but I've occasionally tried to mentally cast Pride and Prejudice with the FMA characters.

13 – Do you prefer canon or fanon when you write? Has writing fanfic for a fandom changed the way you see some or even all of the original source material?

I'm frequently an annoying stickler for canon, to be honest. However, my own headcanon does frequently develop, which was the case with the FMA series (as the readers found out) and also with the really long Zelda story - literally, Til the Sun Grows Cold and the Stars Grow Old is my novelization of The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess. It doesn't all fit in the canon, I'm sure, but it works for me.

14 – Ratings – how high are you comfortable with going? Have you ever written higher? If you're comfortable with NC-17, have you ever been shocked by finding that the story you're writing is G-rated instead?

It's rare that I go higher than PG-13. If I hit R, it's more likely to be for implied stuff than actual content.

15 – Warnings – What do you feel it most important to warn for, and what's the strangest thing you've warned for in a fic?

I appreciate very specific warnings because there are certain things I refuse to read - incest, for example. I will occasionally read non-con, if it's done by an author I know will handle the subject with the appropriate amount of gravity, but I will never write it. Probably the strangest thing I've ever warned for is excessive cuteness or the presence of my headcanon.

16 – Summaries – Do you like them or hate them? How do you come up with them, if you use them?

I like them! I hate when stories say "I suck at summaries, just read." That's a pretty surefire way to guarantee I won't read it, because if you don't write well enough to tell me what your story is about, then why should I think the story is worth reading either?

How I come up with them really depends on the story. Some of them are very straightforward - this is what the story is about. Sometimes they're more cryptic. Occasionally I'll use a line of dialogue as the story summary, like the first part of my FMA trilogy; the summary is one of Roy Mustang's lines and it really sums up the basic plot.

17 – Titles – Are they the bane of your existence, or the easiest part of the fic? Also, if you do chaptered fic, do you give each chapter a title, or not?

Absolutely all chapters get titles! That's some of the fun! I have a tendency in recent years to establish a theme among my chapter and story titles. It started with the Zelda fic; the title and all chapter titles are lines from Shakespeare. The sequel has a story and chapter titles which are Hyrulean puns on actual movie titles. Each third of the FMA trilogy has a different theme - alchemical terms, chess terms, and shogi terms. I like handling it this way, I think it adds something to the finished product. (Adds what, exactly, I dont know. But something.)

18 – Where do you get the most inspiration for your fics (aka "bunnies") from?

Almost without exception, my fanfic is all inspired by the source material - either I want to pick up where the original creator left off, or I want to "spackle plot holes" and in so doing answer my own questions about the canon.

19 – When you have bunnies, do you sit down and start writing right away, or do you write down the idea for further use?

Usually I'll just dive write in at the first opportunity. I rarely hoard fanfic ideas.

20 – Do you ever get bunnied from other people's stories or art in the same fandom?

Rarely, if ever. However, I'm always conscious of the possibility; for that reason, I will usually avoid reading other people's fic when I'm in the midst of a fanfic project, so that I don't accidentally steal their ideas.

21 – Sequels – Have you ever written a sequel to a fic you wrote, and if so, why, and if not, how do you feel about sequels?

The TPDoEQ series, of course, is full of sequels, which got written because I couldn't make the girl shut up find a good ending place. The Zelda story got a sequel almost entirely because [livejournal.com profile] ryttu3k was encouraging it, and I wanted to write something silly and fun with the same characters so it made sense to put it in the same setting. The first FMA story wasn't supposed to have any sequels, but as noted above, Roy and his men took my brain hostage.

In summation, if I write a sequel, it's because the head-people have more to say than I first thought.

22 – Have you ever participated in a fest or a Big Bang? If so, write about your favorite experience in relation to one. If not, are there any you've thought about doing? And if not, why not?

I participated in this year's [livejournal.com profile] fma_ladyfest, and I really enjoyed it. I was supposed to be a part of the [livejournal.com profile] scifibigbang but I pulled out because my schedule was too overwhelmed and I lost my inspiration for the story.

23 – When you post, where do you post to? Just your journal? Just an archive? Your own personal site?

Sometimes here, and usually to http://www.fanfiction.net/~ladynorbert

24 – Betaing – How many betas do you like to use to make sure there aren't any major flaws in your fic? Do you have a Beta horror story or dream story?

I rarely employ a beta for fanfic. Original fic, that's a different story. [livejournal.com profile] terig did beta a large chunk of the TPDoEQ series, though, for which I was supremely grateful, and I have had a number of other friends offer their opinions at times on some of my writing, which is always appreciated and helpful.

25 – Music – Do you listen to music while you write? Do you make playlists to get into a certain "mood" to write your fic? Do you need noise in general? Or do you need it completely quiet?

I usually don't play music while I write. However, when writing the fourth installment of TPDoEQ, I had the soundtrack from Shrek 2 on repeat. It helped me get past a certain point.

26 – What is the oddest (or funnest) thing you've had to research for a fic?

Shogi terms, for the final third of the FMA trilogy. It's rare to find people outside of the fandom who even know what shogi is, apparently.

27 – Where is your favorite place to write, and do you write by hand or on the computer?

On the computer, preferably on my sofa, because I am a lazy ass.

28 – Have you ever collaborated with anyone else, whether writing together, or having an artist work on a piece about your fic?

[livejournal.com profile] maddarilke and I became friends because she was doing art based on TPDoEQ! I've also had art pieces done - usually volunteered rather than by request - for some of my other works too. [livejournal.com profile] nentikobe co-wrote portions of the last volume of TPDoEQ with me, and [livejournal.com profile] gretchen8642 and I co-wrote an FMA fic contest entry one week.

29 – What is your current project or projects?

Fic-wise, I'm doing two pieces for [livejournal.com profile] blcksunaphelion as birthday/graduation gifts. I'm also signed up for the [livejournal.com profile] fmabigbang, in which I'll be writing the prequel to my trilogy, but I haven't started it yet. I'll worry about it when the deadline is hanging over my head.

30 – Do you have a favorite fic you've written? What makes it your favorite? And don't forget to give us a link!

It's hard to pick a favorite, honestly. One that I really love and wish more people would read is If It's Dinsday, This Must Be Castle Town, which is the very silly sequel to my long and serious Zelda fic. I'm also extremely fond of Knights and Knaves, my Flora-centric Layton story. The FMA trilogy is easily the most-read thing I've ever written, so in a way I'm proudest of that. And TPDoEQ will always have a special place in my heart, no question.

There.

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Lady Norbert

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