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Rhetoretician -- Fiction etc.

Birthdays, Year in Review, Fic Meme

Birthdays, Year in Review, Fic Meme

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Solar Eclipse
First, a happy birthday to ladywhizbee  , and my apologies to joianoel  and gabrielladusult  , both of whose birthdays I missed due to the holiday frenzy.

Here’s my fiction year-in-review, and a meme (which I swiped from girlyswot) about my own fics during the past year. Last year I didn’t have enough stories to fill it out, but this year I do.

During the year, I wrote the following stories: 


Here’s the meme:

Favorite fic:
Apart from the original works, which I like a lot, I think my favorite of all these is The Torch, mostly because it’s so clean. Pretty much every word had to be there, and it’s got that punch-in-the-stomach emotional impact I love. Also, although parts of it are very sad, it’s ultimately uplifting rather than depressing, which I also love. I also like several of the drabbles a lot, also for reasons of economy and cleanness.

Least favorite fic:
Apart from some of the drabbles, I’m only moderately fond of The Only Way Out. It represents a missed opportunity – I could have made it a much better story than I did. Also it focuses much too much on action sequences for my taste.

Hardest to write:
Some of the original works have been excruciatingly difficult. Apart from them, the hardest is unquestionably Returning Were As Tedious, which shows me just how different the novel form is from the short story, and how much I have to learn about that form.

Easiest to write:
Some of the drabbles wrote themselves. Apart from that, Savoring Patience came out in one sitting, with very little revision.

Greatest risk taken:
The original fiction has been quite risky, and rewarding for that very reason. Apart from that, some of the drabbles really stretched me -- No Monster and A Devouring Monster in particular, I think. Pedagogy was personally risky in that it involved some embarrassing disclosures about myself – something my readers understood so well that I had to follow it up with an egotistical appearance at one of Mary & Annette’s parties to prove that I still had self-confidence.

Greatest risk not taken:
Hard to know. I’ve thought about some explicitly sexual work, which would be risky in one sense, but doing it for its own sake seems pointless to me. I’ve also thought about some original fiction that uses more of my personal life, which feels icky. I suppose I could have jumped in and finished Returning Were As Tedious which would have been the completion of a novel-length work.

  • The link to join your original fic list returns a 404 error. I want original Ken!

    Also, my mother was making a kipful stollen at Christmas time, and was debating making it a challa braid. I told her about your comment re: Jewish boys and knowing how to braid from making challa, and my boyfriend? lover? current beau? piped up from the living room and said, "Hey! I could learn to braid." What a lovely fellow.
    • Hi Valerie,

      Thanks for spotting the glitch. It's fixed now.

      But silly, you're already on the original fiction list. Just scroll back through my LJ and you'll see the entries.

      • Ah, silly me. I was just so excited about it that I really wanted to click the link!

        Happy New Year to you, by the way!
  • LOL...I just commented back to you that I have not heard from you...and now your back.

    Enjoyed that meme. Very telling of your stories. I really hope you finish Returning Were As Tedious. I've reread this, and really feel facinated by this story.

    Take care
  • The link to Pedagogy seems to be messed up.

    You've produced a lot of work in 2007 and you should be proud. When I was going back through my things, I came across a link I'd made to 'The Best Fic of the Year' here: http://girlyswot.livejournal.com/16910.html

    Strange to think I didn't know you at all back then!
    • Thanks, Ros. Another glitch fixed! (Couldn't wait to get back to the embarrassing personal revelations, eh?) ;)

      And I'm still honored and grateful at that recommendation you made so early on.
      • I just read it again, and I now have tears streaming. Who says stories need to be canon-compliant? This is as moving and powerful now as it was a year ago.
  • *hugs*

    Thank you for the birthday wishes! We just got back from visiting family in northern Massachusetts where my oldest daughter learned to ski. She was really unsure about it at first--but came along really quickly. We had a really nice time.

    Anyway, I'm just getting back online...but I do want to say that I've really enjoyed all the writing you've done this year. It seems really silly to list the ones that I really enjoyed (as it's practically the whole list!) -- but I have to say the one that really drew me into your writing was the 'Excavation' which was the first of yours that I read. I found it utterly fascinating--and still do. Of course, this may have something to do with my interest in history--but nonetheless--it's quite good. As is 'Only Way Out", 'Quartet', 'Savoring Patience' etc etc etc...

    I also really enjoyed your drabbles, which btw I've finally got my response ready for you...I'll try and post it in the next few days after I've given it a rest and gone back to it for review...

    Hope you're staying well with all the 'sickness' floating around your home, and here's to happy-writing in 2008!
    • Hi, Meredith. Thanks for all that praise; it feels great.

      I look forward to that drabble of yours.
  • You have written a lot, Ken! On top of a demanding job and keeping up with your family.

    How important is it for you to write a novel? I think short story writing is a great gift . Think of the high school students you could influence if you're ever anthologized!

    • Thanks, Mary.

      I don't know whether writing a novel is ultimately important to me or not. Right now the short story seems to be my "medium," and my ideas come to me in that form. But I suspect that a different frame of mind is necessary for a novel (i.e., let the characters out to play and just record what they do), which I've not yet cultivated.

      The other thing is this: I want as many people as possible to read what I write, and the audience for short stories isn't all that big -- or so it seems to me. One can be published in very prominent magazines, and still not have as many readers as one would with a novel. Then there's the money aspect -- if I did ever want seriously to supplement my income with writing, 5 cents per word isn't going to do it, no matter how prolific I am.

      But all that's hypothetical. Establishing a reputation as a short story writer (if I ever do) is the key to having people interested in publishing a novel by me anyway. So one thing at a time. I've a long way to go.
  • They're all good :-) but the two I particularly liked were The Torch and Quartet. Torch featured my girl Hermione, placed in a predicament which was unbearably poignant (her faith and support and love for her two boys is what attracted me to this fandom, so your leaving her alone, bereft of both, not to mention the entire wizarding world, really hit home; poor girl!) and then you gave her a mission which was uniquely suited to her.

    I know a sequel would be quite pedestrian - a linear problem which Hermione would solve, having years to prepare and make her lists - but it's still an excellent story for that reason, too ... I found myself imagining how she'd do it, what she'd do. Even my limited imagination had fun extrapolating from the seed you planted with The Torch for days afterwards.

    And Quartet was brilliant from the sheer 'structure' of it, I really loved the craftsmanship there; the four threads, the accelerating pace and diminishing body of each cycle until their single-sentence close; and the four stories themselves were entertaining (the H/G was very effective in particular, for me). That story is a classic in design.
    • Thanks, Brad.

      Welllll, truth be told, I have about 2,800 words written of a sequel called The Schoolmistress. Owing to the original fics, I haven't written a single word of it since August. But someday, probably, I'll finish it...

      I enjoyed writing Quartet but I worried that it was a bit too flashy. You know, showing off form for the sake of form. But I'm glad you like it; it reassures me.
      • I have about 2,800 words written of a sequel called The Schoolmistress

        Excellent news! As I said, I particularly enjoyed thinking about 'what came next', and would *love* to read a sequel; both just to see how she handles it all - becoming the 'mother' of a new wizarding nation - and maybe to see her look back at everything she founded, a whole new generation of wizards, eventually passing on leadership to one of her students; the sense of fulfillment she would have would be *huge*. And would she find love (again)?. Pardon my enthusiasm; I'll keep my fingers crossed for that sequel ...

        (You've still got some Harry/Hermione stuff hidden away, haven't you; although I think you've said you stole part of that for another story?)
  • Thank you so much for the bday wishes, Ken! ;-D
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