Ahhhh I loved writing that fic so much. (It’s here if you haven’t read it.)
I don’t think I can do an after the curtain without writing about seven million words! But: making out. So much making out. And then marriage, over many strenuous objections! And Joe being hilariously terrible at learning how to be a prince consort. There were two other things I wanted to include: 1) Ann as a major supporter of UNICEF, to mirror Audrey Hepburn’s involvement, which she sort of introduced; and 2) how Joe ended up in exile; but the story went in another direction. Joe’s backstory is basically that during the war he uncovered and made public a bunch of corruption and looting by US forces, and pissed off powerful people back in the states, and got blackballed. Hence the only paper that will hire him when he comes back is this little daily in Brooklyn, run by an old buddy (and cousin of Irving’s).
My headcanon on Ann’s family is that she’s actually orphaned (someone references “their majesties” in the movie but *handwave* that’s her grandparents). Her father died in WWII (he was a general in their army) and her mother died just before Ann’s world tour, which is also why she winds up so distraught. Grandpa is the prince consort; grandma is the queen; Ann is the heir presumptive.
The writing stuff: I almost never write from an outline. I sometimes do some free writing to come up with a loose progression of what I want to cover, but most of the time it’s I HAVE AN IDEA! and then winging it. The vomit draft was my first real attempt at developing a detailed outline. I definitely will do that again for a long work. It was a lot harder to derail!
The title is the very last thing I put on a story. The absolute very last thing. More often than not it winds up being a lyric from whatever song was on a loop during writing. And endings, I usually don’t know what they are until I get to them. (I write chronologically; jumping around creates a lot more work for me in revisions.) What I start with is a particular scene or a general idea or even just a single image, and then in the writing a broader story develops. Aside from the vomit draft and ficlets, I think maybe I’ve only written two things where I knew the whole story before I started: Warm Gulf Wind, and Eat Your Heart Out, Wolfgang Pauli. (Ooh, and Every Day Is a Reminder!)
So, you wanna be an awesome person and get your edit on? You rock. Seriously, cool people that edit are a wonderful thing. Now, before I get specific here are some general things you should know:
- Don’t trust yourself to edit your own work. Even after not looking at it for a while. You will miss things, you will be biased, and it will always sound right in your head because you wrote it in your style. A beta is the eyes of your readers, reading it in their own style makes it easy to spot grammatical problems that sound right to you. They also have only the information YOU give them meaning as they read they pick up logic errors and ooc behaviors/speech/etc that are not congruent with the information provided.
- There is more than one kind of beta. Some do just grammar, others focus on story structure or characters, dialogue, plot, world building, etc. Most will have a few things they’re stronger with than others. Make sure to tell your writer what you are comfortable with! Note, this should also include any content you don’t want to edit (ie: no smut, technical stuff, romance).
Now, everyone has their own methods but I’ve found the 4 pass method most effective when I beta.
- First pass: Read. Just kick back, put your editor hat away and get an idea of what you’re working with.
- Second pass: Grammar and Spelling. Kill those typos, missing words, grammar nightmares, tense changes. This should be the most time consuming part.
- Third pass: The deep read. This pass is all about feedback to the writer. Go though and make note of anything you don’t understand, suggest word changes or alter phrasing, ask questions, cheerleading for the bits you really like, point out plot holes. This is about polishing and taking some good up a notch.
- Fourth pass: Read it again to make sure you haven’t missed anything. Typos are a horrible thing and entirely too easy to miss.
Easy, right? You know, except for that part where it’s really hard. This is why a good beta is indispensable and deserves adoration and ALL the cookies. Your dirty work may not get all the credit, but it definitely deserves it. Without your hard work so much would be unreadable.
Note: This is all YMMV, my opinions and all that happy jazz. Also, unbeta’d.
i’m so behind in going through the audience participation fic writing meme, sorry to spam everyone so long after they posted!
there are thirty-five brand new copies of ‘the secret place’ circulating in our system as of today and i was number FORTY-THREE on the waiting list, those eight people in front of me might want to start watching their backs, i actually called the bookstore today to reserve a copy and then backed out because what is the point of working at a library if not free books
but i just want everyone to feel my pain
i’m game now or just about any time! give me fifteen minutes of lead, but other than that, whenever works for you is good for me.
Quick! We need to learn to code. It’d also need a PM system that worked.
it would! some kind of twitter integration with a larger character limit, maybe??
i think my ideal fandom platform would somehow fuse ao3, tumblr, dreamwidth, and pinboard—there would a fic archive and bookmarking system, but your same username would also link to a blog platform that would have the comment system and tagging of dreamwidth with the multimedia ease of tumblr. when you subscribed to someone, you could chose to follow their fic updates, their bookmarks, their original posts, their reblogs, or any combination of the above.
OH OH and also you could subscribe to individual fandoms or pairings in the archive and have them show up on your dash/reading page