The Collectiva Diva Asks 5 Questions to Your Favorite Fanfic Writer: Xylodemon

Xylodemon is a beast. With 226* works across 17 fandoms on AO3 and new stuff coming out all the time, this writer has a knack for taking canon and transforming it into something simple and easy and totally unexpected. Her characters are clear and consistent, and her reimagined Supernatural codas are some of the best I’ve ever read. You may recognize the handle from either a fanfic rec by the Collectress or I, because her stuff is just that good (her demon!Dean is spot on). Read on to discover how she got started in transformative fiction, the inspirational words she has for aspiring writers and links to her favorite work.

(*note: it’s now 227, since she just released a coda for the Supernatural episode “Fan Fiction” which is lovely, BTW)

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?

Weirdly, it just kind of happened. Way back in the day I was in a usenet RP for the Wheel of Time books, and I loved it. I had a kajillion characters and read all the threads, even stuff I wasn’t involved in. A friend of mine there told me I’m probably like reading fanfic, but I didn’t pay too much attention at the time because she was into Harry Potter and I hadn’t read it. I ended up reading some eventually, mostly Lord of the Rings and X-Files. Then I finally broke down and read Harry Potter (I was convinced it would be garbage, turns out I was wrong), and I read a ton of fanfic, and from there it made sense to just write some. My first fic was pretty terrible, but I guess first fics usually are.

cropped-harry_potter_banner1

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

I don’t get to read nearly as much fic as I want because school is eating up my time. Most of the SPN stuff I’ve read lately is on my tumblr’s fanfic tag and I also have a pinboard, which is mostly Steve/Bucky. I really like casefic, and character study type stuff, and missing scenes. In terms of mechanics, I like good characterization and good dialogue.

Captain-America-and-Bucky-Barnes

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

I have two that I’m really pleased with: The Fall of the Noble and Most Ancient House of Black (the last of the family line remix), which is a HP genfic about Regulus Black, and And Now My Watch Begins, which is a ASOIAF genfic about Benjen Stark.

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

Right now I’m working on a Dean/Cas fic. It’s basically a “They Didn’t Know They Were Dating” story. They hook up after a bad hunt, and they both want something serious, but Cas is kind of cagey about it around Sam because he thinks Dean doesn’t want him to know, and Dean takes that to mean Cas isn’t really into it, and so they both fret and pine and act like giant dorks.

5.) Any advice for aspiring fanfiction writers?

​Write. Which I know sounds cliche as hell, but it’s the truth. It really is a skill — practice makes it easier, and practice makes you better. Don’t be afraid to try new things or write new pairings/characters. If you’re working on something and you’re not sure about it, step away from it for a couple days, then come back and read it out loud. I know that sounds ridiculous, but it really helps, especially with dialogue. Don’t be afraid to get second opinions. If I’m not sure about something, I send snippets to three or four people. It’s very easy to be critical of your own writing, and most of the time it doesn’t deserve that.

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