The Collectiva Diva Asks 5 Questions to Your Favorite Fanfic Writer: Oh Captain My Captain

Within the 23 works written by OhCaptainMyCaptain, she has created such an expansive universe for Steve Rogers and Bucky Barnes, from childhood to post CA:TWS, that keeps me coming back and wanting more. I currently blame this writer for my recent delve into the high school AU and Stucky AUs in general. Her 30-day challenge (on day 21 now) is unlike any I’ve ever encountered before; with 10k+ word stories posted once a week or so, her writing themes switch from canon to alternate reality with an ease not too many writers can claim. Cap also offers her “smut monkey” followers gifs and images to go with the story at the end, which, although Dear Collectress doesn’t ship it, even she appreciates that type of dedication.

If you are a Stucky fan but haven’t read “Little Lies” yet, get on that, or else we can’t be friends anymore.

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?

I’ve actually been writing fanfiction since I was about eleven years old (funny enough, my first slash fic is still posted on ff.net, under an old account I’d had at the time). Back then, I was very big into anime, and so much of my inspiration came from there. I’d been writing since I was a child, but at the time, it’d been mostly original (awful) stuff; the more I was submersing myself in anime, the more I found myself wanting to write stories about the different characters I was so enamoured with. I think my first piece of fanfiction I’d ever written and posted was from the show, Naruto.

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

Generally speaking, I tend to gravitate more towards M or E-rated fanfics – preferably with some sort of sexual content included, but it doesn’t have to have it. Having said that, there have been some amazing teen-rated or general-rated stories I’ve found that have been amazingly written. As long as the plot is engaging, it can lure me in. In terms of what I tend to be picky about, it really boils down to two things: I prefer stories that are well written and – for the most part – have been properly edited (and thus, don’t contain many errors), and I have to feel that there’s some truth to the characters they’re writing about. Keeping the characters in character is something that is very important to me in my own writing, so it’s one of those things I can’t really overlook when reading other peoples’ works. I mean, obviously there will sometimes be circumstances or subject matter that forces the characters out of their usual parameters – so a character can sometimes say or do things that aren’t generally seen in their canonical behaviour (particularly, this is common with AUs). But in those cases, I need some sort of reasoning as to why I should believe that said character would be this way. There still needs to be some semblance of what makes the character that specific character – otherwise, you basically just have an original character with this established character’s name attached to it. I don’t like the latter.

I actually went on a binge yesterday and read a bunch of Stucky stories, many of which were really good. A WIP fic that I’m currently working reading on is “Captain Ahhh! Merica” by UndergroundValentine. It’s a Stucky AU in which Bucky is a war veteran and Steve is a porn star. The plot is very interesting and I always look forward to whenever it’s updated. Another one is “Undertones & Overtures” by RockSaltAndRoll and Mellyblue007. It’s another AU where Bucky is physically handicapped and Steve is completely deaf – basically fluff and cute subject matter. (Funny enough, I used to avoid AUs like the plague, and now I’m writing and reading them left, right, and center.)

One last one that I read recently that I feel is definitely worth recommending is “Not Another Supersoldier Fantasy” by triedunture. It’s one chapter but a decent size in length (16,462 words) – but easily on of the best Stucky fanfics I’ve ever read (set post-Winter Soldier, and it’s just absolute perfection). I’d insist that anyone who’s a fan of this pairing should go and read this story.

(As you’ve already guessed, I read a lot of Stucky fanfiction, lol. It’s pretty much all I read at the moment.)

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

That’s a very difficult question to answer, because I tend to put so much into everything I write that whenever I finish writing something new, I’m like, “Yes, this is my new favourite thing!” Lol. But I think that my main story, “Little Lies to Get Me By“, is still my favourite, because it’s the first story of that length that I’ve stuck with and put so much of my time and efforts into. Plus, that’s what started all of my Stucky writing; without it, none of my other stories would exist. So I’d probably say that ultimately, that’s my favourite one. It can be found on Archive of Our Own under my username, OhCaptainMyCaptain. With regard to the other series I have going on, though – a prompt challenge in which every installment is its own story – I think my favourite from that would be tied between “Legs As White As Sugar, Candy on the Window Sill” (a Stucky stripper AU), or “Sex, Drugs, & Needles” (a tattoo shop AU). Although I have always had a soft spot for “I Love You As You Are” as well (it’s so hard to choose!).

the light before we land: by sandara
the light before we land: by sandara

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

It feels like I’m always working on my next piece! I’m actually about to hunker down and start on my next prompt fill. All I’ll really say about it is that it’s back to being set in the canon (since I’ve been writing a lot of AUs lately), and I’m trying to challenge myself to get out of my comfort zone by making it less than 10,000 words. It’s set in both the Captain America and The Avengers fandoms, and – obviously – it’s the Stucky pairing, since that’s basically all I write on this account. I’ve also given myself a deadline to write and put up the first chapter of Part 2 of my “Little Lies” series, since I’ve been putting it off*. I’m basically giving myself until the end of next weekend to complete and post it.

5.) Any advice for aspiring fanfiction writers?

Never let anyone tell you that fanfiction is not “real writing”. Some of the best stories I’ve ever read were pieces of fanfiction; there are people on these sites who can – and should – be making a living out of it, over some of the abysmal stuff I see on shelves in book stores. And never be ashamed of the pairings or subject matter you’re passionate about – write whatever makes you happy and be proud of the fact that you’re brave enough to post it online at all. That’s automatically standing ovation-worthy, in my books. 

And with regard to the writing process in general, the biggest pieces of advice I can offer would probably be four things:

1. Do your research wherever possible – If your story is set in a certain time period, or even if you’re setting it in the canonical universe of the fandom, try to familiarize yourself with as much accurate information as possible. It shows dedication and, trust me, it makes the reading experience that much more enjoyable for your readers when they feel that what they’re reading is as authentic as possible. For example, it just looks like half-assed writing if you’re reading something set in a specific time period and the author clearly never took the time to know exactly what life would’ve been like back then.

2. Have a beta, or at least become the master of your own proofreading – I’ll be honest: I don’t have a beta, for personal reasons. I just re-read my stories over and over to check for mistakes before I post them. Now, admittedly, a problem with that is that sometimes there’s the odd thing I miss. But in my case, I have a degree in English and am confident enough in my writing abilities to feel comfortable editing my own work and taking responsibility for whatever errors may slip through the cracks. But you have to be honest with yourself in terms of assessing whatever level you may be at. If you absolutely don’t want a beta, then don’t have one. From what I’ve seen, though, a lot of authors feel they benefit from having someone they trust and/or feel is a strong writer/editor proofreading their work before they post it, so it’s as polished as possible.

3. Be open to constructive criticism – Keep in mind that, by putting what you write on the internet for everyone to see, you’re opening yourself up to people coming in and telling you things they might not have necessarily liked about your story, or things that they feel could be improved upon. As a writer, you never want to let yourself get to a point where you feel you’ve learned all there is to learn. Establish, build on, and embrace your personal writing style – but never mistaken that for being a master at your craft. You will never be perfect at it, and so there’s always room to grow. You have to be willing to hear the negative as well as the positive. Having said that, there is a difference between someone giving constructive criticism, and someone just being mean in their comments/feedback. Constructive criticism always allows the author room to see where they can perhaps improve, whereas blatant insults do nothing but attack the content and are meant to be hostile and put the author down. In those cases, never hesitate to stand up for your writing, or – in some cases – it’s best to simply delete the comment and move on from it. There will always be someone out there who thinks they know better than the world and lacks common courtesy to know how to be respectful. Don’t let those people get you down.

4. Have fun with it – This is the most important. Remember that you are doing this for free and are not obligated to anyone other than yourself. There will always be people who read fanfiction that feel like they have some sort of right to demand things from you, or speak to you as though you owe the readers something. This is false. You owe them nothing, no matter how great your readers may be or how appreciative you are for them taking the time to read your stuff in the first place. You are doing them a kindness just by taking the time to share your writing with the world, and ultimately, it’s only worth doing if you enjoy doing it. The second it stops becoming fun and starts becoming about simply trying to keep your readers happy, you’re going to wear yourself out and grow to hate it. Fanfiction is about passion, so always make sure it stays that way. Things can only be passion-fueled if you have the happiness and personal love for it to back that up.

Thanks, Captain!

If you’re as obsessed with Marvel as I think you are, check out Cap’s Tumblr page. It’s lovely.

*editor’s note: The chapter is up! Here’s the link. 

4 Comments

  1. Amber

    I just found your blog and just wanted to say THANK YOU for this interview. OhCaptainMyCaptain is one of my favorite writers and I’m just eating this up! Great job!!

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