Winter Sunlight

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I'm leaving tomorrow (well, as it's past midnight, technically today) for most of a week with my in-laws in Florida, so my slow and erratic responses to comments and whatnot will be even MORE slow and erratic than usual. I'll see if I can manage to avoid almost drowning this time. Wish me luck.

I was thinking today about writing in different fandoms, and how the exact nature of the source canon brings out different things in my writing. It's not just fanfic -- I write a little differently on different original projects, too, but I think that with fanfic the process is a little more ... obvious? Transparent? Because it's not a matter of thinking "Oh, this is YA, so I shouldn't [xyz]" -- trying to tailor a project for a particular market or rating, or just being subconsciously constrained by having decided "this short story is urban fantasy", for example. There are no market considerations at all with fanfic, it's entirely a function of what the source material makes me want to write, and that's what makes it so interesting.

The specific example I was thinking about today has to do with characters swearing. When I was writing White Collar fanfic, I tended to shy away from using profanity, for the most part. It just didn't feel right. Whereas for the MCU characters, even though the actual source material is just about as PG-rated as White Collar, it doesn't sound right if I don't -- especially for military or ex-military characters like Sam or Bucky. This makes a little more sense when it's a matter of consciously reflecting how they talk in canon, but in this case it isn't, really -- they don't swear all that much in canon, either. But that's how their character-voices sound in my head. Whereas if I were writing, say, Peter from White Collar, I don't think I'd have him swear (much) except in really desperate circumstances, as opposed to Sam who I think probably tosses around words like "shit" in his inner dialogue all the time.

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Have a nice trip! :)

I think that White Collar is PG while MCU is strongly PG-13, with a LOT more violence, so I'm kind of expecting profanity from the second, while it sounds out of place in the first... Come to think of it, f-words in fanfics doesn't bother me in some fandoms even if canon doesn't use them - like SGA or Leverage, but it seems really OOC in other fandoms, like WC or NCIS. Don't know why is that.

I'm glad you found a new thing to be fannish about! Even though, selfishly, "When I WAS writing White Collar fanfic" make me sad...

Edited at 2014-05-25 03:22 pm (UTC)
Thank you! :)

And yeah, SGA is another one where it always felt plausible for me to have the characters swearing. (They're military!) I think the overall emotional tone of the canon makes a big difference, too, because the MCU and SGA are both canons in which really terrible things happen to the characters -- planets get destroyed, loved ones die, people suffer terrible losses and have to live with it. Whereas WC -- it's not that terrible things never happen (Neal in particular has lost a lot of people) but the show's overall tone is still really light and warm, which makes a difference, I think.

I really don't think I'm done with WC, and I definitely don't rule out writing for it again. :) I think the big reason why I latched onto this new fandom is because I've been wanting to tell different stories than I can tell in WC canon -- which is probably why I've been writing so many sci-fi, fantasy, and deathfic AUs in WC lately -- and now I'm in a fandom where I CAN tell those sorts of stories. If I don't get back into WC before the new season starts, I'm sure my interest will perk up then ...
Yeah, I can see the fun of new setting, and I'm happy you're having fun. Still, really hope you will come back to WC eventually. You write the best Peter&Neal friendship:) (I'm still hoping for that Reykjavik fic you'd mentioned... :))

I tried to get into CA/MCU, since everyone seem to fall into it, but ironically diving into it only made me realize that I really miss WC, so it's still my homebase...
Oh, I've done exactly that with profanity! I used fuck and such a bit in SGA fic because it felt right, even if not in canon - but now in my Night Vale fic I rarely even use damn or hell. This is partly reflecting canon, but partly it's just what feels right. And then the bulk of my MCU writing was Thor's POV, using a faux-Shakespeare elevated language which I had a great deal of fun with...though it didn't help my terrible habit of run-on sentences any :P

Have fun in Florida - good luck not drowning! XD
Yeah, exactly -- it always felt in keeping with SGA (although I never had them swear a lot even there, but every now and then, yeah), whereas WC never felt right for it at all. A big part of it is the overall tone of the canon, I think -- how serious things are, how "gritty" it is for lack of a better word (and it seems completely ridiculous to call SGA gritty in any way, but it's more so than WC). I also suppose the social milieu makes a difference, because the WC characters (and the Night Vale ones too, usually) are typically in social settings where you wouldn't swear much -- office buildings, small-town social space, and so forth.

It's interesting to think about. :D
Setting is part of it - and Night Vale has the additional constraint as everything we hear is on community radio so is to some broadcasting standard (which in Night Vale might be extremely strict!) (There's one hilarious WTNV fic in which Cecil swears like a sailor when not on the radio, which turns Carlos on ;) For me a lot of it is the characters - never hearing Cecil swear at all (the one time he starts to go "son of a--" it gets cut off) makes it difficult to hear profanity in his voice. Likewise neither Peter nor Neal seem like the sorts who would swear a lot - Peter is so straightlaced even when off-duty and drunk, and Neal has that old-fashioned class. While as someone like John Sheppard doesn't seem like he'd care to watch his tongue that closely. And even Steve Rogers, courteous as he can be, is a soldier and boy from Brooklyn...

Edited at 2014-05-25 11:30 pm (UTC)
I definitely agree with you about swearing -- it always felt incredibly OOC to read Peter or Neal using strong swear words, especially in non-life-threatening situations. It's not right for the characters, regardless of the show's rating. (There are lots of similarly-rated shows/movies where the fic does contain a lot of swearing and I barely notice that it wasn't actually in the canon.)

Now if I ever do write White Collar again I think I might be tempted to write Neal undercover in a persona that swears a lot, just for fun and to see Peter being shocked :P
This sounds like a hilarious story:-D
But "if you ever do write White Collar again"? Aww, you're not interested in writing them anymore? *sadface*
I still love the show and the characters, but I haven't really been having fun in the fandom for a while, and now that I've finished my bingo card I've unsubscribed myself from most of it. (I may still try to hang around in the little gen corner, though!)
Sorry fandom stopped being fun for you! *hugs* Little gen corner sounds nice, though. You're one of my favorite writers, and I'm always looking forward to your new stories - I selfishly hope you won't wander off completely:)
Now if I ever do write White Collar again I think I might be tempted to write Neal undercover in a persona that swears a lot, just for fun and to see Peter being shocked
I'd like to see that! :-)
Now if I ever do write White Collar again I think I might be tempted to write Neal undercover in a persona that swears a lot, just for fun and to see Peter being shocked

*votes for this* :D

Also, you should post your blackout over to h/c bingo before the end of the amnesty period so people can be impressed and amazed! \o/
hey, beautiful. ^_^ if you find yourself in the Tallahassee area, let me know. it would be my honor to treat you to lunch!
hi hi! :D Sadly Tallahassee is probably not in the cards - we're going to be in the Tampa/St. Petersburg area, and I don't anticipate doing a whole lot of wandering. I will definitely drop you a line if it looks like we're headed that way, though! :D I'd love to do lunch! (And hey, if you're ever in Fairbanks ...!)
thank you. I'll most certainly keep that in mind. I love meeting new people and trying new things! you never know where life will take you and I adore having awesome people to talk with along the way.
Have fun :D

I was thinking today about writing in different fandoms, and how the exact nature of the source canon brings out different things in my writing

This is interesting because, yeah, there's certain fandoms where if the characters cuss like sailors it's no-never mind to me, but in other fandoms if the characters are swearing it's utterly jarring to the point that I can hardly finish reading the fic. White Collar, yes, I always winced whenever someone had Neal dropping F-bombs as though it's something he always does, and same with the Merlin fandom. But SGA and sometimes even M7, I could totally see the characters doing that, so it didn't bother me as much.