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Here follows the author interview with [livejournal.com profile] amyraine. See also her Featured Fic post. There's some swearing (bad Amy!), which I decided not to censor because I don't think it's a big deal.

You'll have to speak to my attorney.
- Amy Raine

On fandom, writing, feminism, and fanfic archives )
ljlee: (Default)
This feature is one whose subject thought I would never write. I beta-read for [livejournal.com profile] amyraine, and she does the same for me much to my delight and gratitude. She thought I wouldn't write a profile on her because of this relationship, but she didn't count on my blatant cronyism. I waited to do this profile because I wanted her to develop a body of work that I could say real things about. With Mirror the Sun, one of her recent stories and certainly her longest, I believe that has happened.

What strikes me about her stories is the quiet. )

[livejournal.com profile] amyraine's LiveJournal
Interview with Amy Raine
Amy Raine's AO3 Archive
Amy Raine's FanFiction.Net Archive
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This is the author interview with Amanda, conducted via e-mail. Thanks for the interview, Amanda!

Interview with amanda91 )
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The second Featured Fic is Three Years at Sea by [livejournal.com profile] amanda_violet and her other works, most notably her Avatar 500 stories. Amanda's fics are archived at her fanfiction.net profile and [livejournal.com profile] amanda91_fic.

Three Years at Sea is a series of short stories about Prince Zuko's exile, starting from the immediate aftermath of the ill-fated Agni Kai and following him through his journey all over the world for the Avatar. Zuko is his surly and difficult self, yet you really find yourself sympathizing with the character. Partly there's the obvious pathos of his situation, but where the writing truly shines is in bringing out the nuances of the character: The enormous challenges he faces, both external and within himself, his obvious flaws and his astounding inner strength, all brought out through his life at sea and how it shapes the boy into a young man, for better and for worse.

Three Years at Sea was the story that helped me make sense of Zuko's character. )

amanda91's Fanfiction.net profile and [livejournal.com profile] amanda91_fic, her LJ archive
Three Years at Sea: A series of shorts about Zuko's years in exile
amanda91's Avatar 500: Widely varied short stories, each 500 words or less
Interview with amanda91
ljlee: (iroh)
Continued from Part 1, this is the second half of the Featured Fic author interview with FairLadyZ2005.

Part 2 of Interview (The Craft of Writing) )

You can check out FairLady's profile on Fanfiction.net, and her Avatar stories Zuko: Crown Prince Chronicles, Call Down the Heavens, and A Long Night. She has also written stories for Transformers, Magic Knight Rayearth, DC Superheroes, Blakes 7, and more.
ljlee: (iroh)
This is the promised interview with FairLadyZ2005 which I alluded to in the Featured Fic post featuring this author. I think it was a great interview; I know I learned a lot from it. It has been divided into two parts for readability. Enjoy!

Part 1 of Interview (Fandom and Fanfic) )

Spoilers for "Call Down the Heavens" )

- Is there any subject you're uncomfortable with writing? Anything you particularly like to write?

I've found romance in Avatar fic to be awkward to tackle in a way I never have for any other fandom. It has to do with ratings. I'm one of those people who try to keep my writing as close to the rating of the original show as possible. Sometimes I'll go a little higher with a PG as opposed to Y7 rating, but writing a T/PG-13 rated fic for a Nickolodeon cartoon feels awkward to me especially if sex may be involved. I don't mind explorations of more mature themes, but I find myself actively thinking about it in a way I never have had to for other fandoms. If I'm writing about Transformers I don't have to deal with romance. If I'm writing Star Trek or anything comic book based I know by instinct what I can get away with. But with Avatar fic I feel I'm constantly treading the line in a way that sometimes makes my head hurt. Like Zuko too often is in the show, I get confused and would prefer not to think about it. The solution would seen to be just to rate all my fics T in case they venture in that direction, but I feel that would be a disservice to readers who don't like those types of fics and my own desire to duplicate the feel of the actual show as much as possible. This is why "A Long Night" became a separate one-shot instead of part of Crown Prince Chronicles, and while it may not have been necessary, I feel better erring on the side of caution.

As for what I like to write - relationships between characters. I think I've done at least one piece for every other main character with Zuko by now, except Ty Lee (ooh, new idea). It allows me to paint a clearer picture of all the sides of my favorite character as each relationship brings out another aspect of his personality. So I can write Zuko as brotherly one chapter, angsty the next, romantic, funny, angry, the whole gamut, just like I have Zuko describe himself in "Colors" (Chapter 10).

- I noticed that, and I thought that was a great decision that kept your fic accessible while also exploring more mature content in separate stories. Do you think the rating of Crown Prince Chronicles (and your own desire to keep the original show's rating) constraining, or does it force you to find more creative ways to express your ideas? Or is it neither because you'd simply write up more mature stories as separate T-rated fics?

It's not constraining because I do have that outlet to write the "T" one-shots. I tend to have a pretty clean mind, so it's not very often I find myself straying in that direction anyway. My mind is stuck at a PG-13 level I think in terms of how far I'll go with any fandom really. I will get creative on occasion though to try and get an idea across without sacrificing the rating.

A good example is the first chapter of "Unexpected Visitors" (Chapter 11) where Zuko and Mai walk in on Iroh and Xian. Considering this idea was sparked by the same one as Zuko's ability to detect what Sokka and Suki are doing in "A Long Night" I didn't want to repeat myself within such a short span of time. Perhaps the scene Zuko walked in on was too innocent and I left too much up to the Zuko's dirty imagination of what Iroh and Xian had been up to before that pai sho game and the reader's interpretation to make the teapot bucket gag as effective as it could have been without being forced. But other readers have seemed to get it and enjoy it so who am I to say what works and what doesn't? Maybe next time I'd do it differently though and be bolder by making Unexpected Visitors its own separately posted story. Again, the technical difficulties of posting going on at Fanfiction.net hampered me forcing me to get creative in that instance. Even so, I had to also tone down Iroh and Xian's dialogue near the end of their scene in Part three (Chapter 13). It was getting rather suggestive in my head until I reminded Iroh muse that he couldn't start making out with Xian when Zuko and Mai were sleeping in the next room over. Paper walls are very thin and poor Zuko really would be traumatized for life. My Iroh muse has a very dirty mind it seems.

- As he should. :D

The interview continues at Part 2. You can read FairLady's profile and stories at Fanfiction.net.
ljlee: (Default)
When I become a fan of something, I tend to find fanfiction as interesting as the canon work. It's kind of like reading the comments to an article to find out what other people thought, but it's even better because much of fan fiction is better thought out than most site comments. Like all good fiction, good works of fan fiction have a creative vision and good execution, including structure, characterization, and use of language. It's the pleasure of reading good blog comments and reading good stories rolled into one, a communal and creative activity at the same time.

I've talked about some of my own fanfiction at length here and will continue to do so, but I'd like to talk about other fan stories I've enjoyed, too. These stories caught my interest, inspired me, and gave me new insights not only into Avatar but into writing and sometimes life in general.

That's why I'm starting a new series, Featured Fics. First up: Crown Prince Chronicles. )

FairLadyZ2005's Fanfiction.net profile - with stories in Star Trek: The Next Generation, Transformers/Beast Wars, Blakes 7, and more.
Avatar: The Last Airbender fan fiction:
Zuko: Crown Prince Chronicles - A "missing moments" series of funny, insightful, and touching stories about Zuko and friends
A Long Night - The Avatar benders' equivalent of socks on doorknobs and falling plaster.
Call Down the Heavens - The anti-bender rebellion begins with tragic consequences, and hope amid the wreckage. Author interview Part 1 and Part 2


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L.J. Lee

June 2016

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