The Collectiva Diva Asks 5 Questions to Your Favorite Fanfic Writer: Scaramouche (Annie D)

Breathe, Diva. Breathe.

Okay. So Scaramouche is pretty much THE reason I became obsessed with Destiel fanfic. First podfic? Scaramouche. First AU that I actually liked? Scaramouche. First and ONLY tentacle fic that makes me squee with joy? Yup–Scaramouche. And, even though she didn’t mention it below, “What Has Eight Tentacles and Isn’t Allowed to Eat Pie?“, proves to me she can write anything, and I’ll like it.

"octo dean" by anubis admire
“octo dean” by anubis admire

As you read through her work, you will find her writing style is superb, attention to detail, astounding and she isn’t afraid to experiment in canon or AU, making her writing versatile while keeping our favorite boys in perfect characterization. The answers below to my 5 questions are familiar and personal, reminding me why I support (and am in awe of) the transformative community.

Enjoy!

xoxo The Collectiva Diva

Want your favorite writer to answer 5 questions? Let me know over on Twitter @collectivadiva

1.) What/Who inspired you to write fanfiction?

There wasn’t a specific moment where I went, “Aha! I shall now write fanfic!” In part this was because I didn’t know that “fanfic” even was until the internet kicked off and I eased into the digital world of fannish creative expression and found other like-minded people. Before that happened, I’d say the first media to inspire to me to write would’ve been the Sweet Valley books. They were terribly contraband for schoolkid me back in the 90s (along with such scandalous media like Beverly Hills 90210) but those fictional worlds were vivid enough that I found myself writing short stories, sometimes set in the Sweet Valley world and sometimes inspired by it, though I did not have the vocabulary at the time to know what this was.Then the internet came along, and I found wonderful, meaty fan-written stories that blew my mind. Fans actually wrote this? For fun? They somehow managed to capture the tone and voice of the world, and are sharing it freely with other fans? If this is possible, then anything is possible! The first fandoms to open that world up to me were Labyrinth, the 1980s fantasy movie that’s haunted me for years, and The Secret of NIMH, the 1980s animated Don Bluth film that generated an expansive mind-blowing epic fan novel that I printed out on my poor parents’ computer printer so I could read it like a paperback and still have filed away in a cabinet.
It was in seeing what other fans managed to do that I felt that hey, maybe I could do that, too! I started out rocky, as most writers do, but the first fic I submitted to an archive was a sequel for Disney’s Mulan. The website’s long gone by now, but that was a formative little bump, especially in figuring out how to deal with submissions, feedback, and the self-consciousness of posting to a public forum. Signing up to ff.net came soon after that.

2.) What do you look for when you read fanfiction? Are you reading anything now? What is it and why do you like it?

Most of the time, I read fanfic because I want to see more of the characters I love, or the world that I love. Whenever I finish a show or movie I really enjoy there’s inevitably a hangover period afterward where you don’t quite want to let them go. Fanfic helps! Sometimes there’s also a feeling of dissatisfaction with the media — maybe they left threads hanging, or questions unanswered, or there was more of the story that could’ve been wrung out. Fanfic is magical in that it can address all of that and more, unless it’s a teeny tiny fandom with very little fic, to which I usually weep and wish really hard that someone will be inspired and make all my dreams come true. (It’s even worked some!)

Other times, when I’m really invested in characters, I will roll around in a gazillion and one AUs because I have a soft marshmallow heart and want to see every possible permutation in every universe with these characters’ faces and voices, and the high of such stories is more marvelous than chocolate. Sadly I’m not reading anything right now, but that’s my own fault and I must correct this soon. 

3) What is the favorite piece you’ve written and where can readers find it?

This changes quite often. I tend to be more confident about my shorter pieces, but I don’t know if I have a favourite exactly. In the Supernatural fandom, I have soft spots for “Behold, the Dean“, “Venn Diagram” and  “Huldra“, all of which are sad/tragic fics… I don’t know what that says about me. For long fic, I’d say my 2011 SPN Big Bang, “A Judicious Application of Free Will” is the one I’m most pleased with, because I put a huge amount of brainstorming and planning into that fic, and I consider it my love letter to fandom (find the podfic HERE).

For non-SPN fic, I’m quite proud of my Astro City fic “Birds of Feather”, which I had tremendous fun in researching the highly-detailed world of Astro City to expand on the stories of two of its lesser-known superheroes. I’m also quite happy with “Another Rainbow in Another Sky“, a future-fic of the 1980s My Little Pony cartoons, starring Megan. It’s a cliche idea nowadays, since there’s all sorts of reboots that bring realism to nostalgia properties, but I’ve had a massive itch for realism-style My Little Pony fic for years (long before Friendship is Magic came into being) mostly because of the lack of continuity between the specials, TV series and movie, and I wanted to figure out a little how that world and its magic worked. I don’t actually deal with those things in that story itself, but it’s something I’ve had at the back of my mind for a long time, like my various Labyrinth worldbuilding thoughts that haven’t been written.

4.) Are you working on anything now and, if so, can you tell us a little bit about it? Fandom? Pairing? Plot points?

I’m on a little break right now and haven’t written anything for a few weeks, but technically I’m currently working on an on-going SPN WIP: “Not Part of the Plan“, which I tend to describe as my Dean/Cas Arranged Marriage ‘Verse, but at the point the story’s at right now it’s not much about an arranged marriage anymore. Perhaps when I finish the entire story I’ll be able to summarize it better, but for now it’s a feelings-heavy urban fantasy romance where Dean and Cas are from neighbouring countries, and how they fall for each other despite the distrust and machinations of the people around them. It’s also highly indulgent and I slather a whole bunch of my favourite tropes all over the story. I’ve never posted a long fic as a WIP before, so it’s been really fun processing comments as they come in per chapter, and seeing how that influences the way the story shapes up as it goes along.

5.) Any advice for aspiring fanfiction writers?

Keep writing! Everyone has a different way of writing, and that’s okay.  Some people like to write in a continuous ream from A to B to C, some like to write snippets and join them up as they go along, some use notes and plan ahead and guide their writing, and so on so forth. There are so many ways to write, and the only way to find out what works for you is to actually do it. Coming up with ideas is one thing, but putting the words down is its own kind of difficult, and every single story is going to be a learning process. You’ll figure out what styles you like, what comes easy and what you need to work on, how to deal with pacing, what kinds of stories are easiest to flow out of you, and what tricks work best for you in getting a story to take shape. Just keep on writing, for even if the story doesn’t turn out your best or you can’t even complete it, you’re still learning something about yourself and your personal process.

Keep reading! When you’re a writer yourself and consuming someone else’s work, you’ll be able to appreciate the things other people have done to deliver a good story. If you enjoy a fic, try to look at why you enjoyed it. I don’t mean that you should imitate the other person, but you can appreciate things like flow, pacing, how the emotional highs and lows of the story were achieved, how exposition was laid out, etc. And if anything didn’t work for you, try to examine why it didn’t, and absorb all these lessons into your own writing.

It’s also important to remember that fic writing should be fun! Unless it’s your job, the creation of fanworks is a hobby and it’s good to keep sight of that. Of course there’s always a level of stress involved, especially just before posting, but if the process of writing becomes more exhausting than the pay-off, then perhaps it’s good to step back, or to just relax and tell the stories you want to tell instead of the stories you think you should tell, as long as you’re not hurting anyone.

 

 Questions for the writer? Ask them in the comments below. 

 

 

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