owlmoose: (ffx - auron)
[personal profile] ossobuco asked me to write about "[a] fandom project (a single fic, or a set of related fics, or something more long-term as long as you see it as one collective thing, however you want to define it) that has been particularly fun to work on, for whatever reason."

I have many options here: I could talk about the Final Fantasy and Dragon Age Kiss Battles, or my Alistair/Aeducan fics, or the Hawke Alphabet, or MegaFlare and "Reconcilable Differences". But as soon as I saw the question, I knew immediately what I was going to write about: Death Shall Have No Dominion, aka DSHnD, the FFX/X-2 AU fic I wrote with [livejournal.com profile] kunstarniki.

I first met [livejournal.com profile] kunstarniki, more often known as Ikon, in 2005, when we traded reviews on our Paine/Nooj stories and started following each other on LJ. Around that time, she was writing a story about Nooj during the time of the Crimson Squad, in the form of a journal. Soon, others were joining in: [personal profile] ryry started a journal from Gippal's point of view, and another writer, Lee (no longer in fandom so far as I know) took on Baralai. When Ikon asked if anyone wanted to take on Paine's part of the story, I jumped at the chance. We didn't collaborate in the traditional sense of working on drafts together, but we drew inspiration from each other, weaving threads together and playing off unexpected things to turn the four separate stories into a seamless whole. And it was incredibly inspiring. I wrote a thirty thousand word story in less than a month, a creative outburst unlike any I've experienced before or since, and it was incredible fun. The stories were collectively known as The Confessional; once they were finished, Ry created a website to host them so that the journal entries could be easily read in chronological order. It was one of the first things I ever did in fandom, and still one of my fondest memories, but I mostly mention it here as backstory for what came next.

Also in 2005, I was also working on an epic fic about Auron ("A Guardian's Legacy"), and Ikon and I used to speculate about Auron and Nooj: how would they interact? Would they get along, or clash? Since there's basically no reasonable way for them to have met as adults in canon, what kind of AU would best bring them together? It all stayed in the realm of idle chatter until late 2005, when I was struck by a plot bunny with such force that I realized I was going to have to start writing it down. I invited Ikon to join me, she accepted, and the rest is history. We started posting the story in February 2006 and finished it October -- 33 chapters, at a pace of almost one per week -- and although I've never done a complete wordcount on it, it has to be over 100k.

This story was much more of a true collaboration. Most of the time, one of us would write a segment on our own, then present it to the other for suggestions and editing. But some of the interactions and conversations were written in a true back-and-forth manner, with each of us reacting in near-real time to the thoughts of the other. Then, once we decided we had enough material for a chapter, I would assemble the pieces in order, and we'd both read through them and edit until we were satisfied. This was before Google Docs, so we did most of our communication via a LiveJournal community we created for that purpose, as well as to provide a home for the published chapters.

Despite having some very different ideas about the characters and the canon, Ikon and I worked amazingly well together -- more often than not, even sections written with little group discussion would fit without much editing. It was the same creative charge I got from The Confessional, but dialed up to eleven. I've worked on other collaborative writings since, including another with Ikon, but none of them have ever been quite like DSHnD. I look back on both the story itself and the experience of writing it as one of my favorite fandom experiences, and I doubt anything will ever quite equal it. Sadly, Ikon passed away in 2009. But I'm happy to have DSHnD stand as a memorial to her, to her writing, and to my friendship with her.
owlmoose: (ffx - auron young and old)
1. Tell us about your favorite writing project/universe that you've worked with and why.

My favorite writing universe is the first one that I created: fleshing out the Final Fantasy X universe for A Guardian's Legacy. In the process of giving Auron a backstory, I had to improvise details about Spira, its small towns, Yevon, the warrior monks, the other characters... And since half the story was written in Spira's future, I had to build the world in that direction, as well. I enjoyed the process a lot, and was quite happy with the world I came up with. Unless the idea I'm writing is incompatible with the AGL continuity, every FFX or X-2 story I write is, in my head, set within that iteration of Spira. (Aftermath is probably the most important example. I even re-used original characters.) I find it helpful, to have done all the world-building already, but also I think it's a pretty decent intepretation of the world we discover in the game. There are a few inconsistencies with Ultimania, but I can live with that.

An entry on my favorite projects would not be complete without a mention of the Death Shall Have No Dominion AU that I wrote with the late, great [livejournal.com profile] kunstarniki. Although I am proud of the story we created, my fondest memories are about the process: sharing ideas, the awesome clarity of being on the same wavelength with a collaborator, surprising and delighting one another as we fired snippets back and forth. Collaboration is an amazing creative high for me. The Confessional was a similar experience, and even more intense: I have never written a story that quickly before, and I don't expect to ever capture that kind of exciting creative madness again.

If we're talking more recently, I think my favorite is probably Political Considerations, the FFXII pinch-hit I wrote for the 2009 round of Final Fantasy Exchange. That story threw some pretty difficult political and character curveballs my way, and I was quite happy with the way I handled them. I was still getting the ground under my feet in that fandom at the time, too, so the fact that I got it all to come together under time pressure was something of a rush.

30 Days of Writing: Complete list of questions
owlmoose: (Default)
So Ikon and I got to chatting the other day. Always dangerous, but this time the results were even more dramatic than usual: Bloodlines, a new short story set within the DSHnD universe.

Nooj, Paine, and a conversation about the future.

This was top secret. So secret, in fact, that it didn't even make the works-in-progress list I posted the other day. We had a great deal of fun writing it, and we hope you enjoy the read.

I don't expect this sort of thing to happen on a regular basis, but neither can I promise that it will never happen again. ;)
owlmoose: (Default)
As of yesterday, with the posting of a brief epilogue, DSHnD is now complete.

Happy, sad, accomplished, bereft, bewildered ("What do you mean, 'it's done'? How can that even be possible?"), grateful (to readers and cheerleaders and always, always Ikon), drained, content... too many emotions to pick just one.

I had been joking with various friends about throwing some sort of wrap party when the story was finally finished, but now that I'm here, various RL stresses have me too wiped out to even contemplate it right now. So I'll just content myself with this official marker entry (which should have been made yesterday, but, again, RL. Such a bore, that RL). And with thanking you all again. Thank you. Again.
owlmoose: (Default)
The last chapter of DSHnD is posted.

It is impossible to really describe how complicated my emotions around this fact are, so I'm not even going to try.

Many many thanks to everyone who has followed along, to anyone who has ever left a review and to anyone who might have been lurking. And those of you who were waiting until it was finished? Have at it!


Sep. 27th, 2006 07:17 am
owlmoose: (Default)
The penultimate chapter of DSHnD is posted for your reading pleasure!

And yes, you did read that right. Unless something changes drastically, there's only one more chapter, and likely an epilogue, to go. I can hardly believe it myself.


Sep. 20th, 2006 06:25 am
owlmoose: (Default)
The next chapter of DSHnD is posted. On a Wednesday, even! ;)

Read and enjoy.
owlmoose: (Default)
Well, everyone who was wondering when DSHnD would wrap up can rest easy. Parron has written the definitive conclusion to our little AU tale.

A happy ending?

Ikon, I think we can stop writing now.

owlmoose: (Default)
If you care, you probably already know this, but just in case: a new DSHnD chapter is up.

I apologize for the schedule having become rather more erractic lately. Life has just gotten in the way more often in the last couple of months, and we'd rather have something good than rush a chapter out. Next week should be on Wednesday as per usual. Of course, I've said that before. ;)

Tonight we had a fine, fine dinner at a Vietnamese fusion place. Not every dish was a gem but most of it was very good. Some of us ordered tea with our dessert. Our pots were presented to us by a tea sommelier (note to SE: that is the proper term), who informed me that my oolong was unusually tannic and so should be steeped less time than usual. And he gave SE equally specific advice for perparing and enjoying her pueh-ehr. Most impressive. As was the tea. (He was right about the tannin, though. One of the strongest oolongs I've ever had, and I barely let it steep at all.)

And now I sleep. Very glad tomorrow is Friday. This has been a long week.
owlmoose: (Default)
As life returns to normal, so does the DSHnD posting schedule. The new chapter is up and ready for your enjoyment.

I think our regular readers will find that it contains something rather... unexpected. ;)
owlmoose: (Default)
So the chapter is early once again, even if my announcement of it is late. Latest chapter of DSHnD is up. Come on by!


Aug. 22nd, 2006 06:49 am
owlmoose: (Default)
Last week's chapter was a day late. To make up for that lapse (and because we couldn't sit on it another minute longer!) this week's chapter is a day early.



Aug. 9th, 2006 06:53 am
owlmoose: (Default)
The latest chapter of DSHnD is posted for your reading and commenting pleasure.

Someone recently asked me how many chapters this story was going to have. I didn't have a good answer then; now I have a better one. It's going to be more than thirty, but I think not many more. Certainly not as many as forty, unless [livejournal.com profile] kunstarniki has secret plans for an extensive new subplot. ;) So let's use 35 as a rough guess for now. We are approaching endgame, that much I know for sure. So strange, to feel the end coming.
owlmoose: (Default)
Another thrilling chapter of DSHnD is now available, in the usual place. Read, review, enjoy. :)

Considering that as recently as Monday morning I was telling Ikon that I didn't think I'd have everything written in time, I'm pretty damn proud of this one. ;) I'd like it regardless, but the fact that I got it done under the gun makes me feel even better about it.


Jul. 26th, 2006 06:32 am
owlmoose: (Default)
The new chapter of DSHnD is up. All the usual comments apply.

Between writing and chatting yesterday was good but now I am way too tired. But at least we have a good start on the next chapter -- we have our jump back, and that's an excellent thing.
owlmoose: (Default)
DSHnD makes a triumphant return from hiatus (or a return, anyway) with this chapter, posted in its usual place. Read, review, enjoy!

We caught up and more over the break, so we hope not to have to pause in our posting schedule again, but given the unpredictibility of life who knows? I was glad for the break, though -- I ran afoul of some awful writer's block about halfway through, and it was much easier to work past it with the pressure off. (Not that the pressure is imposed by anyone other than myself. But having internal permission to skip a week was helpful.)
owlmoose: (Default)
The latest chapter is up, as per usual. Read, review, enjoy, and so forth.
owlmoose: (Default)
The next chapter of the ever-growing collaboration is posted as per usual. Read, review, enjoy.

So now we are in a new situtation for this endeavour: the next chapter isn't written. Like, at all. We have a couple of paragraphs and that's about it. We've mapped the whole thing out (actually we've mapped almost the whole story out now, which is a little scary because it means the end is sort of in sight, the first time I can really say that) so we know what needs to be done, it's just a matter of actually doing it. I don't doubt that we can, but this is the first time in a while that I've really felt the self-imposed Wednesday deadline breathing on my neck. (Not that I think anyone is so dying for each chapter that they care if we slip. But the discipline of a deadline has helped me a lot, so I want to stick to it as much as I can.)
owlmoose: (Default)
Latest chapter of DSHnD is posted.

I have been longing to post this for weeks. Well, maybe longer. Like, since before it was even written. But we couldn't get here until we got here, if you know what I mean. And now here we are. Phew.

Really curious as to what people will think of this one....
owlmoose: (Default)
Fandom: FFX/X-2
Rating: G
Wordcount: 300
Spoilers: None
Pairings: N/A
Request: Nooj. Auron. Yuna. A kitten. For [livejournal.com profile] iamleaper.
Notes: Set within the Death Shall Have No Dominion AU.

Rescued )

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