Log in

No account? Create an account
entries friends calendar profile AT: Gate of Ivory, Gate of Horn Previous Previous Next Next
The Writing Year, 2012 - Wemyss's Appalling Hobby:
From the Party Guilty of Committing 'Gate of Ivory, Gate of Horn'
The Writing Year, 2012

Firstly, a few extraneous matters:




Now, to the meat of the matter – if LJ doesn’t collapse again.

It is time to look back – albeit it not in anger – on the writing year.

As fic goeth, I wrote drily donnish humour and happy endings, as I tend to do. There’s a reason for that.

That reason is professional.

The period from (before) January 2012 to mid-April 2012 was devoted to When That Great Ship Went Down: the legal and political repercussions of the loss of RMS Titanic: in other words, to the deaths of 1500 souls and the ensuing denial of justice in favour of witch-hunts and cover-ups in the US Senate and at the hands of a British Cabinet (the former concerned to blame JP Morgan, to divert attention from the consequences of US immigration regulations as making steerage difficult to evacuate, and to electioneer on the issue; the latter engaged in covering up the inside dealings in Marconi shares on the part of Lloyd George; the Attorney-General, Sir Rufus Isaacs; and the Liberal Whip and Party treasurer, Elibank, all so as not to jeopardise the All Important Political Project of the day, 1912’s equivalent to the EU).

The balance of the year was taken up with our Christmas offering, ’37: the year of portent, a charming tale of appeasement, Guernica, the Great Ohio Flood of ’37, the Hoßbach Memorandum, the Yezhovschina, the grand opening of Buchenwald, and the Rape of Nanking. (The only saving grace was our putting out The Transatlantic Disputations and Sensible Places as palate-cleansers.)

Damned right I write fluff for relaxation, with a ‘day job’ like that.

In consequence, this has been, so far as my hobby goes, the year of:

[Statistics and recollections.]

An Habitation Enforced, for the 2012 Next Gen Christmas do, in which Teddy realises at last his place in his family;

Lessons at Christmas, an Evelake service of lessons and carols;

Evensong on a Thursday in ordinary time, for 2012’s Dudley Redeemed;

The Eve of the Feast, a bit of All Hallows’ humour;

The Road to Roundabout, for the 2012 HP Friendship fest, featuring Our Dud;

And it could be me, and it could be thee, also for the 2012 HP Friendship fest, focussing on the long friendship of Griselda Marchbanks and Augusta Longbottom;

Angels and ministers of Grace, defend us, a Wizarding-cricketing fantasia for Femme;

The Secret Ministry, a vignette for Noe;

Fierce Light, for the 2012 HP Next Gen Fest;

and of course the 2012 Career Fair fic,

Bezique (being posted properly at AO3; and of course up at the fest).

Bezique is rather over 120 thousand words. Eve of the Feast and Secret Ministry are just under 300 and just over 400, respectively. All told, the fictive efforts for the year totalled between 196 and 197 thousand words. The legitimate work of publication in the year ran to 301470 words – not all of them mine, but my co-author and I do edit one another as well as ourselves, so….

HD Writers have their own template, for what it’s worth (I have excised almost all the – largely American, in my view – balls in it (‘who was your telly boyfriend’? Oh, really)):


Calendar Year: 2012

Total Stories Written: 10.

Total Words Written: 196 to 197000.

Shortest Story: The Eve of the Feast.

Longest: Bezique.

Fandoms written in: HP.

Your biggest fandom disappointment(s) of the year: Too little from Noe, Femme, and Brammers.

Your biggest fandom anticipations for the New Year: Lashings of fic from Brammers, Femme, and Noe.

Looking back, did you write more fic than you thought you would this year, less, or about what you’d predicted? I never anticipate.

My best story this year: Not for me to say.

Most fun story: Not for me to say.

Sexiest story: Not for me to say.

Story with single sexiest moment: Not for me to say.

Kinkiest story: Ha.

Sweetest story: Not for me to say.

Saddest story: Not for me to say.

Most horrific story: I’m not sure you mean to use that word.

Story with the best premise: Not for me to say.

Best Use of Language: Not for me to say.

Most unintentionally revealing story: Not for me to say. How in buggery wd I know?

“Holy crap, that’s wrong, even for you” story: Not for me to say.

Story that shifted my perception of the characters: Don’t be puerile.

Favourite OC: Not for me to say.

Favourite portrayal of: Not for me to say.

Favourite opening lines: Not for me to say.

Favourite closing lines: Not for me to say.

Other favourite lines: Not for me to say.

Hardest/Easiest story to write: All of them.

Story I didn’t write but will shall at some point, I swear: My various fest-prompts that weren’t taken up. And someday, Brammers and I shall take on our Aurors-at-the-Ashes epic, I assure you.

What story do you want to have written? The next one, as a matter of course.

Most underappreciated/over-appreciated by the universe, in my opinion: Not for me to say.

Biggest disappointment: Not for me to say.

Biggest surprise: Not for me to say.

A story I want remembered: All of them, obviously. What an idiotic question.

This year’s theme and the story that demonstrates it most: Not for me to say.

My favourite story this year (of my own): Not for me to say.

I don’t mean to be unkind, truly, but the tenor of mind that is reflected in some of these questions – and those I cut altogether (jossing, telly girlfriends, favourite bloody songs) – is disturbing. It is disturbing because many writers in fandom who aren’t already dream of being Real Writers (whatever that means). And the whole set of unspoken assumptions underpinning that questionnaire is almost precisely calculated to prevent their achieving that goal: those are questions, predicated upon assumptions, that are absolutely those rather of amateurs than professionals.

But I’ve said that at length, a year and a bit ago.

[Dr Johnson] treats with the utmost contempt the opinion that our mental faculties depend, in some degree, upon the weather; an opinion, which they who have never experienced its truth are not to be envied, and of which he himself could not but be sensible, as the effects of weather upon him were very visible. Yet thus he declaims: ‘Surely, nothing is more reproachful to a being endowed with reason, than to resign its powers to the influence of the air, and live in dependence on the weather and the wind for the only blessings which nature has put into our power, tranquillity and benevolence. – This distinction of seasons is produced only by imagination operating on luxury. To temperance, every day is bright; and every hour is propitious to diligence. He that shall resolutely excite his faculties, or exert his virtues, will soon make himself superiour to the seasons; and may set at defiance the morning mist and the evening damp, the blasts of the east, and the clouds of the south.’

– Boswell’s Life, citing The Idler, XI.

The notion that one can write better during one season of the year than another Samuel Johnson labelled, ‘Imagination operating upon luxury.’ Another luxury for an idle imagination is the writer’s own feeling about the work. There is neither a proportional relationship, nor an inverse one, between a writer’s estimation of a work in progress and its actual quality. The feeling that the work is magnificent, and the feeling that it is abominable, are both mosquitoes to be repelled, ignored, or killed, but not indulged.

– Annie Dillard, The Writing Life

That is all on earth ye know – or need to know. This notion that one must, darling, simply must, my dear, have a special cocoon with things positioned just so and a north light and, I don’t know, a cloisonné mouse pad or some damned thing, is utter balls. Writing isn’t a sacred trance or a sacrament or a mood or a Mysterious Communion with the Anima Mundi, it’s a bloody job, damn it all. Get on with it. Get, in fact, on yer bike.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

2 comments or Leave a comment
blamebrampton From: blamebrampton Date: January 5th, 2013 01:32 am (UTC) (Link)
Alas, my numbers are down because I have been, quite literally AND metaphorically, but elsewhere and in something that will take some time, on my bike ;-)

But I did write for hols. I have been useless at looking up the participants, but one fic I really enjoyed screamed femme at me, but in my grab-bag reading I've not yet found one that says you: did you take the last year off? I feel I've read more fic in the last three weeks than last 18 months! Sadly, this could be true …
taradiane From: taradiane Date: January 7th, 2013 01:08 am (UTC) (Link)
TOTALLY LOVING that underground link.
2 comments or Leave a comment