Although I said we finished this series in November, I realized recently that the interview with Elliex, a prolific transformative author and Destiel fan, never posted, so, we are bringing it back for one last entry. When I get the chance to rec a fic for The Collective, I inevitably go to Elliex. Her work in canon can’t be beat and her coda, “Heaven’s Most Wanted” is all I ever wanted from Season 9 but was too afraid to ask for. The last fic we rec’d of hers was on Dear Collectress’ Christmas list, but there’s more, dear reader, so much more. With 22 works on AO3 in the Supernatural fandom, including a new Demon!Dean series that explores the character development and saving of Dean Winchester, Elliex really should be in the SPN Writer’s Room (in my humble opinion). Read on for some pretty sound writing advice and an interesting look into the process of a fanfic writer.
xoxo The Collectiva Diva
1.) What/Who inspired you to write fanfiction?
Though I’d known about the genre for a very long time, I only started actively reading and seeking out fanfiction a couple of years ago. As I worked my way through some truly amazing ‘verses and standalones, mostly Supernatural but some other fandoms too, I realized that many of the writers spoke about how much they enjoyed writing, how they hadn’t shared their work before, and how sharing gave them confidence. As someone with a stack of fiction manuscripts in varying states of completion and length that I’ve never had the nerve to share publicly, this resonated with me.
After mulling it over for a few months, and writing a few practice fics that will never ever see the light of day, I took the plunge and posted my very first piece on AO3 – it’s not great; it’s not even good, but it was a necessary first step for me. And then I slowly began posting more. I still remember that simultaneous thrill and anxiety at watching the hit counts on early fics go up, and kudos (and/or comments) were like gifts from readers. Though I still feel that combination of thrill and anxiety, sharing has gotten easier for the most part. And like anyone, I continue to appreciate every kudo and/or comment I receive.
2.) What do you look for when you read fanfiction? Are you reading anything now? What is it and why do you like it?
Right now, I’m mainly reading Supernatural fic, and my favorite pairing is Dean/Castiel. Fics that sustain the Show’s basic principles, especially “family don’t end with blood” can usually pull me in. There are also certain traits that I am drawn to in the characters that, when used in fic, can keep me invested. For example, I love good representations of Dean’s snark and pop culture knowledge, which so many fic writers lovingly render (and how many squealed when Demon!Dean made the Princess Bride reference and validated so many headcanons?)
So many bookmarks, so little time… but one of my favorite fics right now is “Living in Agony” by ChasingRabbits. It captures the push-and-pull between Dean and Castiel, all the while breaking my heart as Dean manages his depression. The classic “Freefall” by LastKnownWriter with Cas as a snarky firefighter also brings me great joy. I came to full-on AUs slowly, though, and there are many canon-based-fics like “Before the Fall” on my favorites list.
3.) What is the favourite piece you’ve written and where can readers find it?
“Heaven’s Most Wanted” is, at this point, the longest story I’ve written. It was such an experience writing a work in progress, and I had no idea it’d take nearly a year to finish when I began. Part of that lengthy time period is simply due to life and complications that interfere with writing, but even when cramped for time, I never imagined not finishing. It was going to happen, and I still remember how excited I felt when I uploaded the epilogue. (I do have notes for at least one standalone, maybe two, but I can’t do works-in-progress right now, so no idea when they’ll be up.)
Out of my shorter works, “The Lucky One” is a favorite because it’s total self-indulgence. I wanted human Castiel in the bunker with a kitten and cue happiness, so that’s what I wrote.
4.) Are you working on anything now and, if so, can you tell us a little bit about it? Fandom? Pairing? Plot points?
Next up will be a third installment in the “Dreamworlds” series that plays with Demon Dean’s cure and the re-introduction of Claire Novak. I’m also planning the first standalone story for “Heaven’s Most Wanted” that takes place between the “Now” and the “Epilogue.” If it goes as imagined right now, it will be a case fic.
5.) Any advice for aspiring fanfiction writers?
For me, there’s something about immersion in a well-known world that is rejuvenating and freeing, and I like to envision the act of transforming the source text as a way to free creative energy. Sometimes, I draft in my head; other times, I *have* to get words on the page, no matter how clunky or poorly chosen, before I can get a sense of direction. All of this takes time, and I’m not always the best about giving myself time to write. So my advice for others is what I tell myself: Make time, whatever your writing process is, because creativity begets creativity.