Winter Sunlight

December posting meme: Tropes

[personal profile] muccamukk said: H/C trope that you've had a couple goes at, but can't seem to get it to come off the way you want it to.

Once I started thinking about it, this turned out to be surprisingly difficult to answer. I think the problem is basically that, if I feel I didn't hit the mark on a fic, I don't generally think "I didn't nail that trope" but something more like "I should've had more emotion there" or "wow, the plot really went off the rails in the last few scenes." So I can't really answer the question because I just don't think of fics in those terms. I can talk about the fics that I think didn't work (of which there are quite a few) but they don't really categorize in that way.

However, I can definitely say that I have tropes I like reading but find difficult or off-putting to write, and the biggest category of those are ones involving characters having emotional breakdowns and ... well, turning into soppy puddles of tears, basically. Anything involving emotional over-sharing or characters being forced to confront FEELINGS. When I'm in the mood, I can read (or watch) epic quantities of tearful, "I thought you were dead!"-inspired confessions or characters having breakdown-laced recoveries from trauma, but oh my god do I ever shy away from writing it. I tend to write that kind of thing by delicately poking around the edges but not confronting the trope head-on, even though I actually DO enjoy reading it. Which does constitute a trope failure of sorts. (And this is making me want to write some sort of ridiculously soppy trauma-recovery fic. Hmmm.)

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Ha, that last one speaks to me. I find it very rare that I would enjoy reading stories involving tears because for me the setup has to be huge before I can suspend my disbelief enough that any of my favourites would have such an emotional breakdown. And with huge setup comes plot and long word counts, both hard to find. I'm also a person who doesn't deal with much of anything via crying myself, so in a way it's a matter of me feeling that if I wouldn't cry in this situation, why would they?? And so identifying with a character enough throughout the story to actually get to the point where it's enjoyable can be very tricky. That said, as an emotional release I'd write these scenes for pure id.

But the thing about skirting around the edges of it is that I absolutely love fic that does that. Fic that hints at emotional breakdowns without laying it all out. Actually preferably fic that keeps doing that for pages on end, yessss please.
Yeah, I think one of the biggest reasons why it's hard for me to write is because I'm a very emotionally controlled person, so it's as uncomfortable for me to write a character crying or whatever as it would be for me to actually do it. It's much easier to do it as the payoff to 90K of fic than to just ... write it. But I love to read it as long as it's not wildly OOC -- I like reading fic that's a lot more emotional and iddy than I'm comfortable writing.

My favorite fics are the ones that skirt around the edges and keep from slipping over the edge, though. :D Those are the ones I can go back to over and over, as opposed to the really indulgent ones that I can usually only read if I'm in the right mood.
I can and have enjoyed some fics that involve emotional breakdowns, but can find it to be too out of character at times to enjoy all of those fics. I prefer ones like your 'Running on Empty' epic, where Rodney cries but it's taken LOTS and LOTS of plot and occurrences to get him to that point, and so it feels totally believable! (You broke him, you fiend! Which is way I loved that fic sooooooo much!! Gimme all the angst, please!)

As for writing it, well, I think I might have written some that have emotionally torn the character(s) apart (okay, yes, I have!), but hopefully have kept it in-character most of the time (though a few early SGA ones strayed into OOC-ness, I think). Is it bad that I can't remember my fics well enough to know for certain what I've written in the past?
I am rather proud of managing to get him to that point in "Running on Empty"; it only took 90K to get there. XD

But yeah, it easily slips over the line into OOC, and I think that's one of the problems I have with writing it, especially for characters who are very self-controlled. I think it can totally be done in character, but it's hard.
OMG, I love to read those kinds of stories. It's why I will wallow happily in terrible HP fic until the day I die because I love nothing more than ridiculous angst and misunderstandings and crying and feelings. LOL
haha, yeah. I have quite a lot of private bookmarks in AO3 because I don't really want to admit that I'm reading some of the stories I'm reading, but I also want to be able to find them again. XD