luxken27: (meta - fanfic is most difficult)
LuxKen27 ([personal profile] luxken27) wrote2009-03-11 08:51 pm

Author's Notes: Year in Review

Today marks my official fandom anniversary, as close as I can tell. I’m not sure exactly when I first dipped my toes into the fanfic/fanart pool (I watched the anime and read the manga up to date sometime during the summer, then started searching out fanart, which lead to fanfic, which lead to Christmas ’07 as a Tales from the House of the Moon timesink, which lead to even more reading of ‘major fandom works’), but I do know that on March 11, 2008 I signed up for an account at Media Miner and posted the first three chapters of Every Heart, with no small amount of trepidation.

The rest, as they say, is history…


This is mostly for my benefit, so I have a snapshot for the memory box, but everyone’s welcome to take a look inside.

Stats:

Story Stats
Total words written (as accounted for in MS Word): 230,715
Pairings written: Inu/Kag, Sess/Kag, Mir/San, Sess/Kagura, Inu/Kik, Sess/Rin, Hojo/Kagome

Milestone: Attempted at least 1 piece for each of the major pairings in fandom.

Total stories written (started, in progress, or completed): 62
• Total number of drabbles (100-500 words): 35
• Total number of oneshots (500+ words): 19
• Total number of completed multichapter fics: 4
• Total number of WIP multichapter fics: 1
• Total number of series completed: 0
• Total number of series started: 3

Total number of fiction archives used (not counting LJ): 5

Total number of hits/reviews:
Media Miner
Fanfiction.net
Inuyasha Fanfiction
Eternal Destiny
Dokuga

Most reviewed stories (title: number of reviews, compiled across all archives)
Collected Works (drabble & oneshot collection of contest entries): 93
Every Heart (epic fic): 84
Memento Mori (Inu/Kag): 77
Fleeting (Sess/Kag serial): 57
Four Seasons (Sess/Kag): 27

Milestone: All entries received at least 1 review on at least 1 archive.



Fandom Recognition
Total number of awards won (fandom-wide, pairing-centric, and/or in contest communities at LJ): 32
Breakdown:
• 1st Place: 10
• 2nd Place: 8
• 3rd Place: 14
• Other nominations: 10

Categories nominated into (fandom-wide or pairing-centric):
• Best Action/Adventure (IYFG)
• Best Angst (Feudal Association)
• Best AU/AR (IYFG, Dokuga)
• Best Canon (IYFG)
• Best Characterization (Dokuga)
• Best Drama (IYFG)
• Best Inuyasha/Kagome Romance (IYFG, Eternal Destiny)
• Best Oneshot (IYFG, Feudal Association, Dokuga)
• Best [Other] Romance (Feudal Association)
• Best Short-Short/Drabble (IYFG, Dokuga)

Milestone(s): Nominated at least two times for last three quarters eligible at the IYFG, each time into different categories. Nominated at least once at the Feudal Association for last two terms eligible, each time into different categories. Nominated at least twice at both major pairing-centric sites, Eternal Destiny (Inu/Kag) and Dokuga (Sess/Kag), for the last term eligible.

Categories placed (fandom-wide or pairing-centric):
• Best Angst (Feudal Association, December 2008, 2nd Place)
• Best AU/AR (Dokuga, 1st Quarter 2009, 3rd Place)
• Best Inuyasha/Kagome Romance (Eternal Destiny, First Term 2009, 3rd Place)
• Best Oneshot (Feudal Association, December 2008, 3rd Place)
• Best Short-Short/Drabble (IYFG, 4th Quarter 2008, 2nd Place; Dokuga, 1st Quarter 2009, 3rd Place)

Categories won (fandom-wide or pairing-centric):
• Best Oneshot (IYFG, 3rd Quarter 2008; Feudal Association, December 2008)
• Best Fairytale [1-12 chapter length limit] (Eternal Destiny, First Term 2009)

Most lauded fic (won/placed with the most awards):
Memento Mori: 4 placements in 6 nominations, 3 of them 1st Place

Other multi-nominated fics:
Four Seasons: 2 placements in 4 nominations
Fleeting: 1 placement in 3 nominations


Total number of LJ contests to which I made at least one submission: 6

Awards from LJ contest communities:
[livejournal.com profile] dokuga_contest - 10 [(2) First Place | (3) Second Place | (5) Third Place]
[livejournal.com profile] iyfic_contest - 7 [(3) First Place | (1) Second Place | (3) Third Place]
[livejournal.com profile] iyissekiwa - 3 [(1) First Place | (1) Second Place | (1) Third Place]
[livejournal.com profile] ebony_silks - 2 [(1) First Place | (1) Third Place]
[livejournal.com profile] inuyashaxkagome - 1 [(1) Second Place]
[livejournal.com profile] iy_blind - 0

Challenges started: 5 (two prompt tables for [livejournal.com profile] un_love_you, LJ drabble meme, Seasons Challenge @ [livejournal.com profile] dokuga_contest, [livejournal.com profile] forthrightly’s Halloween Challenge)

Challenges completed: 2 (Seasons Challenge @ [livejournal.com profile] dokuga_contest, [livejournal.com profile] forthrightly’s Halloween Challenge)



Firsts…
• Fic posted: Every Heart, March 11, 2008
• Review for a fic posted: March 13, 2008, for Every Heart, at Media Miner
• Fic completed: Love Song, March 15, 2008
• First oneshot written: Love Song, March 15, 2008
• First drabble written: “Beauty Is…”, August 24, 2008

• Contest entered: [livejournal.com profile] inuyashaxkagome Missing Moments Celebration, August 20, 2008
• Contest placement: “Beauty Is…” @ [livejournal.com profile] iyfic_contest, August 29, 2008
• Contest win: “Smile” @ [livejournal.com profile] iyfic_contest, September 13, 2008
• Fandom-wide award nomination: Criminal, Best Canon, 2nd Quarter 2008 @ IYFG, July 7, 2008
• Fandom-wide award win: Memento Mori, Best Oneshot, 3rd Quarter 2008 @ IYFG, December 2, 2008
• Pairing-centric award nomination: Memento Mori, Best Love Story & Best Fairy Tale @ Eternal Destiny, First Term 2009
• Pairing-centric award win: Memento Mori, Best Fairy Tale @ Eternal Destiny, First Term 2009, February 15, 2009

• Time writing Inu/Kag: Every Heart, March 11, 2008
• Time writing Mir/San: Every Heart, March 11, 2008
• Time writing Sess/Kagura: Heaven, March 23, 2008
• Time writing Inu/Kik: Criminal, April 10, 2008
• Time writing Sess/Kag: Four Seasons, September 22, 2008
• Time writing Hojo/Kagome: “Number Seven”, October 13, 2008
• Time writing Sess/Rin: “My Innocent”, February 20, 2009

• Standalone piece to exceed 10,000 words: Good Girls Don’t (Memento Mori: Sequel), December 18, 2008

Longest completed multichapter fic: Every Heart, 76,363 words



But what are your thoughts on yaoi?

Hm, looking over the stats compiled, it’s obvious I have absolutely nothing to complain about, be it recognition from readers, results in various fandom competitions, or even how fast I’m hitting personal milestones, in terms of fic lengths or finishes. Though I’ve been keeping a running list of the work I’ve completed as I’ve completed it, I had no idea I’d written so much, over so many different pairings/genres/ratings/whathaveyou. It’s a nice feeling of accomplishment, to have written steadily for a whole year (with no signs of stopping, mind you), after suffering a period of writers’ block three times as long.

It’s funny; I just had the chance to go back and reread my big “epic fic”, the one that brought me into the fandom in so many ways: Every Heart. I was really lucky with it – this fic earned me my first reviews, my first recommendation to the IYFG, my first 1000+ hits for a chapter, my first cheerleader fans. I’m honored to know that it was also nominated for an award – how many people can say that about their very first fic in a new fandom?

When I go back and read it now, I can still appreciate that it’s a good story. I’m immensely proud of the three storyline arc I built (and completed!), and, hindsight being 20/20, I don’t have a strong desire to rip it down, tear it up, and rewrite it. There are some awkward moments, but most of it is pretty solid. It’s still my baby, my epic (even if it was only 75,000 words long), my base. If I had nothing else for this fandom, I’d be happy to have that fic to my name.

It was very much a personal journey for me; not only was it the first fanfic I’d written in probably 15 years, but it was also something of a diary for what I was going through in that period of my life. The struggles Kagome had in that story very closely mirrored my own, as I chose whether or not to return to school after a long time in the work force, and whether I’d get in / go to a university halfway around the world from my home, leaving my family behind. Writing Every Heart gave me a place to channel my anxiety, and actually helped me through the whole transition.

My other early works, on the other hand – heh, yeah, they earn the ol’ cringe from me. Those first oneshots and attempts at songfics were pretty awful, but I’m not someone to rip down early work. If nothing else, they showed me the evolution of my style, what worked and what didn’t, as I got back into the habit of writing daily/weekly, and attempting to tame runaway plot bunnies.

Two fics stand out to me in this early period – Criminal and Coda. I really liked the execution of both, though the readers had mixed feelings on them. Criminal, based on the Fiona Apple song of the same name, is a psychological portrait of Kikyo the days preceding her death – and an exploration of why she may have been reincarnated as Kagome. I was really satisfied with the way I incorporated the lyrics of the song into the story, as well as my take on the canon, after watching that awful anime special, hehe.

Coda is the fic I love the most that’s been most ignored by fandom at large. It’s a twoshot, alternate ending to the manga, and it’s the first piece of darker fic I wrote. It’s based on two songs – “Inside the Fire” by Disturbed and “You Could Be Happy” by Snow Patrol – and is pretty experimental in terms of style and storyline, very different from anything I’d attempted at the time. I played with this one the longest, and it probably flopped the hardest, LOL. But, in terms of style, content, and genre, I consider it one of the stronger pieces on my backlist.

I started writing for LJ contests in August 2008 as a way to position myself better within the fandom (to get into the “community” part of it all), and to give myself a little break between writing chapters for Every Heart. There were pros and cons to this move. Pros: I became quite prolific, I learned how to work under different kinds of conditions (word limits, prompts, time limits), I met some of my favorite authors, and I loved the interaction and feedback from the various communities. Cons: I was sidetracked from my major projects, I found myself burning out quickly from writing so much, and I became caught up in the wanky side of fandom (awards guilds, ho!). I was worrying more about writing for communities each week than I was about finishing the projects I’d started long before wandering onto LJ – which is exactly what I didn’t want to happen.

Then it happened, my Big Splash, the story propelled me to whatever modest success I can claim – Memento Mori. I wrote the original drabble in early September 2008, posting the expanded version a week later, followed quickly by an interlude the following week. The response was, literally, overwhelming, and more or less completely changed the way I viewed writing, readers, and the highs and lows of fandom. It totally grounded me to a halt.

I had to take a step back, realize who and what I was writing for. It’s that moment of discovery, where suddenly everybody wants something from you and you wonder if you can deliver. The recognition is wonderful, but the pressure is a bitch.

Around the same time, I plunged into the Sess/Kag corner of fandom, releasing Four Seasons as a response to the Seasons Challenge at [livejournal.com profile] dokuga_contest. Again, the response was overwhelming, but this time in a good way. I was shocked to see how fast and hard the denizens at Dokuga took to the story, how many of them praised my characterizations of Sesshoumaru, Kagome, and the delicate situation I wrote about.

I loved that story, but it totally gutted me. I was utterly depressed for a good week or so after posting it, and again, there was the double-edged sword – the praise was off the charts for the piece, but the more people told me how much they liked it, the more depressed I became because of the story’s contents. I don’t regret writing it or going through that stress, but it’s part of the reason why I can’t produce that quality of work on a regular basis – it literally takes too much out of me.

I finally managed to complete Memento Mori during the Christmas season, and the awards just started pouring in for that fic. It’s far and away the most decorated piece of fanfic I’ve ever written, has received the most reviews of a single story I’ve posted, and is probably the piece I’m “known for” in fandom at large. (Honestly, I have no idea if I'm even “known” in the fandom, LOL.)

…And yet, I found that the vast majority of the readers I had for that fic (and earlier fics), did not follow me when I decided to start wandering around the pairing map. I have always unabashedly stated that Sesshoumaru is my favorite character, so it was probably only a matter of time before most of my stories started to revolve around him in some capacity. That left me in an interesting conundrum, as I was writing fic I thought was very strong in content/style/execution, but was having a hard time finding an audience for it. Most of the people I’d attracted to my friends list on LJ flat out stated they didn’t read S/K (LOL, which makes me wonder what about me attracted them in the first place); most of the people who inhabited the S/K centric Dokuga (the site or the LJ comm) were more interested in reading pr0nz than the sort of stuff I was writing.

So, even now – even after all of this I’ve been through, after all the awesome friends I have been lucky enough to have gathered, after having seen the good, the bad, and the ugly of it all – I still feel very much like I’m an outsider looking in. I’ve had my big “flash in the pan” (Memento Mori) and now it’s like everyone’s waiting to see if I can back that up, or if I’ll fade away into a one-hit wonder.

I wonder that myself, sometimes…

Ultimately, I realize I cannot control fandom – it is a fickle mistress. I can only control the quality of my own writing, and hope that it will attract people who appreciate a well-crafted, sometimes stylistically daring, story or pairing. (I have to laugh when people call me a Sess/Kag writer; though it is what I'm predominantly producing of late, it's obviously not my background. I've been writing the pairing less than half my time in fandom, so I hardly see myself as a S/K veteran...or any other strict "this pairing only" writer. Perhaps that's my problem, why I don't really generate a following for my writing, so much as for each, individual story.)

Personal favorites: (listed in chronological order)
Every Heart (March 11, 2008)
Coda (July 28, 2008)
• “Number Seven” (October 13, 2008)
• “Promise” (November 3, 2008)
• “Her Protector” (November 3, 2008)
• “In Pieces” (November 26, 2008)
• “A Cost Too Great” (December 7, 2008)
• “Oath” (January 11, 2009)
• “Perception” (March 2, 2009)



Goals for the next 12 months:
• Finish the many projects I’ve inadvertently started (another thing I never wanted to do – have multiple WIPs!) Front burner fics: Fleeting, Nihon Idol, Allegiance
• Write more Mir/San
• Catch up on the never-ending list of epics I’ve yet to read
• Help the awards guilds in any and all positive ways I can
• Continue to contribute to contest communities that have supported me
• Pimp my favorite authors’ work as much as possible (we’re a nice clique, LOL)
• Win an award for characterization (and serial, if it survives any of the awards groups)

[identity profile] eggplantlady.livejournal.com 2009-03-11 09:07 pm (UTC)(link)
Wow. o_o I'm envious of your productivity.

[identity profile] eggplantlady.livejournal.com 2009-03-11 10:25 pm (UTC)(link)
All of it. I read through this post and my first response was something along the lines of, "Dayum! o_o"

[identity profile] eggplantlady.livejournal.com 2009-03-11 10:57 pm (UTC)(link)
I've toyed with the idea of doing this sort of fact-gathering with my own fics, but everything's really disorganized (like whoa) and I think I'd just end up depressing myself and wasting a heck of a lot of time, really. XD

[identity profile] eggplantlady.livejournal.com 2009-03-12 12:14 am (UTC)(link)
LOL, I'm reasonably certain that my numbers (all of them - words written, fics published, hit count, reviews received, award noms/placements) are really, really low for almost two years in this fandom. I'd just rather not know exactly how pathetically low reader response to my efforts has been.

Yeah. Self esteem. Today I does not has it.
psyco_chick32: (Default)

[personal profile] psyco_chick32 2009-03-11 11:53 pm (UTC)(link)
LOL *points up* This is an excellent point for me, too.
psyco_chick32: (Nerdy - talk to me)

[personal profile] psyco_chick32 2009-03-12 01:33 am (UTC)(link)
I'd definitely say you're a "somebody" in this crazy fandom
O.o *headtilt* Me?
LOL I'm a growing pain-in-ass for the powers-that-be at the IYFG, if that counts... (hehe now that I have encouragement on my f-list)

if based on your review numbers/word of mouth alone
I will admit that my last check of review numbers kinda had me in shock. Word of mouth, though? *shakes head*

*looks up to read, LOL*

That being said - the one thing I will never, ever regret about entering this fandom?
I have met so many incredibly awesome people and made some great friends. Yeah, the fandom has a tendency to clique off a bit... but they're pretty damn solid cliques!
psyco_chick32: (Headdesk)

[personal profile] psyco_chick32 2009-03-12 01:53 am (UTC)(link)
LOL, how to you think so many people found your fic to leave so many reviews? ;)
*blinkblinkblink*
*headdesk*
YOU HAVE SLAYED ME WITH LOGIC.
Hey, I blame the fact that I'm tired because Sess kept me up all last night.
Although I have to admit, a good number of those reviews come from people reviewing each chapter (not to complain, of course... loyal reviewers are definitely something awesome!)

The loyalty among our little "clique" is astounding.
Soooo true. *grins* We are here for each other!!

if someone I've admired before but never really interacted with leaves me a review or comment somewhere, it makes me insanely happy, LOL
Yes! It's such an incredibly cool feeling, isn't it? "OMG I know that name! *fangirl squee*!"
psyco_chick32: (Cut you cute)

[personal profile] psyco_chick32 2009-03-12 02:09 am (UTC)(link)
I hope I never grow so jaded as to *not* have this reaction, LOL :)
If you do, you let us know!
Our clique can be good for de-jade-ifying!

[identity profile] landofthekwt.livejournal.com 2009-03-11 09:16 pm (UTC)(link)
Congrats on your success.

[identity profile] kmoaton.livejournal.com 2009-03-11 09:51 pm (UTC)(link)
Congratulations on your anniversary!

[identity profile] piratequeen0405.livejournal.com 2009-03-11 11:07 pm (UTC)(link)
I bow to your substantial organizational skills. Congrats on everything :D

[identity profile] piratequeen0405.livejournal.com 2009-03-12 12:37 am (UTC)(link)
:D It's good to have goals, and yours are entirely reasonable--I can totally see you nom'd for a characterization award next quarter. You've accomplished a lot for only having been posting for a year.

I posted my first thing a year and three months ago. It was just on a lark...seeing if I still was capable of writing. Little did I know what I was getting myself into. And I'm always happy to friend anyone...though I write other pairings too. Just haven't gotten around to posting the other stuff yet (lazy).

LJ makes the fandom so much more than just answering reviews from strangers...especially for dokuga_contest, where several of us post every week. Gives a feeling like we're all in it together. As far as my caliber...LOL I'm just a hack writer who excels at procrastination.

[identity profile] piratequeen0405.livejournal.com 2009-03-12 01:36 am (UTC)(link)
I know you've said that you value characterization--and it shows. You always seem to have a firm grasp on the subtleties and psychology of the characters.

I wrote a lot as an undergrad, but had gotten out of it for years. So when I started reading fanfic, it seemed like a very easy, semi-safe way to dip my toes into it again. But now getting to know people, especially via LJ (I hear you about LJ derailing plans though), it has become much more than just a passing fancy. I've met another author in person (over the holidays--she grew up in the city I live in) and Jenna is visiting in a couple months. I won't write fanfic forever, but I'm becoming acquainted with fabulous people because of it XD
psyco_chick32: (Default)

[personal profile] psyco_chick32 2009-03-11 11:54 pm (UTC)(link)
Congrats - on your success, your ability to be flexible in a fandom that almost avidly discourages flexibility (if you like Inu/Kag, you must SHUN Sess/Kag. You like Sess/Kag? InuYasha MUST BE EVIL), and your overall... well, to be honest, ability to keep this all organized!
I'm really damn impressed. Keep up the fantastic work, never fail to take a breather when you need it, and good luck on meeting your goals!
psyco_chick32: (Default)

[personal profile] psyco_chick32 2009-03-12 01:26 am (UTC)(link)
People are in their very distinct groups and aren't willing to branch out and give something new a try.
You hit the nail on the head with that one! "Welcome to the InuYasha fandom! Please state your OTP and help that particular group build their walls... the mortar is *points* that way."

the banners post was similar
I'm actually working on that right now - I think I've collected enough, LOL, that I need something to actually do with them!!

it's always nice to have something to reach for, no?
Damn straight!! *cheers you on* You can do it!
psyco_chick32: (InuYasha Fandom Ridiculous)

[personal profile] psyco_chick32 2009-03-12 02:07 am (UTC)(link)
Of course, I laugh so I don't bang my head against the wall at the utter truth in your snark...
The best snark is based in truth *nods sagely*

Everybody needs a shinies post! It works wonders when you're feeling down, too.
*glee* shiniez are happy!!
LOL It'll give me something to stare at happily xD

[identity profile] chickenpattysan.livejournal.com 2009-03-12 03:56 am (UTC)(link)
Damn, woman, where did you find time for that much writing!!?? LOL Kudos!

[identity profile] yumi-michiyo.livejournal.com 2009-03-12 12:43 pm (UTC)(link)
O.O I am agog by the amount of work you squeezed into one year *bows down*