cest_what: (Default)
* So I ran away to northern New South Wales for my birthday, and it was p. much great. I skipped out on Melbourne's heatwave and spent a week drinking gin and playing 500 with my mum, kicking through rainforest creeks in the rain, watching old episodes of Leverage, attacking my fingers with a guitar and lounging about in the sunshine on my dad's yacht (this is such a misleading statement: it is a yacht and it's awesome, but he built it himself over a span of about 3 decades and is now spending more than he can afford to moor it, but it's so stupidly exciting to finally see it out on the water with the sail unfurled). Check it out, I am no longer a twenty-something. I am ... mostly cool with this.

(I spent the weeks leading up to my birthday thinking about my early twenties, and realising that I am so glad I'm not there anymore. I had a lot of fun, it was so much better than being a teenager, it was amazing really, but fuck I made everything so much harder than it needed to be. Everything. Everything was harder than it needed to be, all of these imaginary neuroses and insecurities and just working out how the fuck to do things. It's so much easier to be me now. And I'm so much less of a tool.)

* I haven't played guitar regularly since my early twenties. I picked it up again about a week and a half ago and promptly spent fifteen minutes tuning it on the wrong fret, welp. Then I spent the next five days tormenting my poor callus-less fingertips with unforgiving steel strings, and now I have calluses again. Thin ones, but it's amazing, last night I played until I felt like doing something else rather than until my fingers hurt too much to use. It still hurt a little to type afterwards, I suffer for my art etc, where art = sitting against the headboard of my bed strumming Leonard Cohen songs with a little hiccup pause before every F. I really hope I keep up with it, it would be great to be more than "a bit of". A bit of a singer, a bit of a guitarist, a bit of a keyboard player, a bit of a songwriter. I don't aspire to be more than a social musician, but I'd like to be that.

* I do want to write songs again. I used to do it all the time, and ... I think I've forgotten how? That seems like such a strange thing to forget.

* Fannishly my main activity seems to be linking, lately. Reccing at [community profile] fancake or updating [tumblr.com profile] hellsyeshomestuckfemslash and [pinboard.in profile] kudostest. The hellsyes tumblr is a bi-weekly newsletter of new Homestuck f/f fic and I honestly have so little idea why I'm doing it. It's picked up 50 or 60 followers (... hi [personal profile] gloss? ♥) since I started it so I guess people are finding it useful, but I'm not totally sure why? Almost all Homestuck fic is posted at AO3 or occasionally on the kink meme (or on tumblr, but there's no good way to track new tumblr fic, so I don't bother), so it's really just an AO3 scrape, which anybody could get for themselves by going there and having a look, every few days.

I started it mostly because ... well, I have low impulse control when it comes to starting side blogs, and because I was thinking again about how incredibly un-useful I find [livejournal.com profile] femslash_today. It should be such a great resource, but the fact that they don't include summaries - and I understand that space would be an issue - makes it impossible to tell if something is worth clicking through to. I'm not going to click through to 46 stories every day**, in case there's something cool in a fandom I don't follow. So I thought, with a single fandom, even a prolific and femslash-friendly one like Homestuck, you could include summaries and content tags and it wouldn't be very much work to keep up at all. Which it isn't, honestly, but 85% of everything is terrible and it's killing me to meticulously archive titles and summaries with grammatical errors and horrible punctuation decisions and gratuitous fourteen-year-old angst, a little bit. I've been trying to calculate when is too soon to advertise for a new mod to take it over basically since the day after I set it up.

** Wow, I just checked the comm for the first time in a while, and their daily lists have shrunk so much. What happened there?

The [pinboard.in profile] kudostest pinboard is much cooler, in my opinion, but also apparently massively less appealing to people who aren't me? In that it has exactly three followers, one of whom is [personal profile] blottingtheink. I actually started it on tumblr as another roundup newsletter, but it picked up no followers at all no matter how I tagged it, so I moved it to pinboard where I could tell myself that at least it might be useful in the future, as an archive or for stats.

It's basically a skim of all f/f fic posted to AO3 (in all fandoms) that picks up about a 10% or above ratio of kudoses to hits in the first few days. It's not any kind of absolute quality test - some fandoms are much more kudos-happy than others, and some fandoms are so small you can't get any kind of data at all in the first few days, and people are much more likely to kudos a drabble than a novella, and I still haven't worked out a good formula for multi-chapter works, and etc but all the same, kudos/hitcount is the best objective quality test we have available. And if you're into femslash you pretty much have to be multi-fannish, at least if you only want to read good fic. So it feels like a potentially cool resource? Idk, I'm still evaluating.

* I am writing a little. I have I guess about 3000 words of 1D high school clichefic (oh noes drunken kissing at a party does it ~mean anything) and probably about the same of John/Karkat Hogwarts clichefic (oh noes potions mishap now they can't let go of each other). Plus various other bits and pieces. I had a vague plan to write something for Femslash February, but I couldn't get excited enough about any of my ideas. It would be cool to not work on tiny little ficlets, in any case; I haven't posted longer fic in a frighteningly long time. Homestuck doesn't seem to inspire length in me, only eternally remixed character interactions in bite-sized pieces.
cest_what: (due South)
I'm feeling weirdly hopeful about dreamwidth lately. Like maybe, just because my own experience of it has been so quiet and insular, that doesn't mean that all of it is quiet and getting quieter. I feel like there's stuff going on, or I'm getting glimpses of more of the stuff that goes on. Maybe it's just overflow from reading all the responses (to everybody) at that love meme, because people are great.

Anyway, I'm not going to make any resolutions or anything, but I might try to start posting every few days, or friending more people, or joining in on more comment threads. Or all of those things.

... also tonight I will definitely get around to cross-posting the vid I uploaded a week and a half ago, ahaha. Er.

Anyway hey, so, in my quest to fall for only the most embarrassing and isolating fandoms possible, I'm currently drowning and choking on One Direction love. It's awful. I have finally managed to start writing 1D fic, though, which is a dubious achievement but has been kind of killing me lately. I have ideas, and they're all ridiculous tropey indulgent ideas that should be the easiest things to write, but somehow I haven't been able to, and not being able to write those has stopped me from working on anything else in the meantime. I managed to write the first 500 words of a high school AU last night, though. I feel so accomplished, you have no idea.

I've been a lot less caught up in Homestuck fandom lately, but today's update has given me all the alpha kids feelings again. I'd forgotten how much I love them when they love each other. When they talk to each other. I'm so invested in every single relationship in that foursome.

/this has been a terribly random post written in bits and pieces in between doing my actual job. It's probably just as well I'm not making any resolutions.
cest_what: (Derse twins)
This is ridiculous. Just so you know. It's set early in the meteor journey, because that's when I started writing it, and it's somewhat AU as a result.

Homestuck | Rose & Karkat, Rose/Kanaya | 4300 words | PG | AO3

Love hurts. It's supposed to.

Love Song no. 31 )
cest_what: (Default)
I spent Friday night hyperventilating with feelings and fannish joy as I went through the update, which exhausted itself as the working week caught up with me and the walkaround continued and [personal profile] blottingtheink eventually signed out and went to bed because it was, you know, morning where she was; then I spent Saturday reading tumblr reactions and fic about the new characters and redoing the walkaround to save all the dialogue (... ahaha. ha.) and basically burning out on anything to do with Homestuck. And now I'm actually in the mood to write thoughts. Yay \o/

#good grief )
cest_what: (Default)
For the "candy" square in my cottoncandy bingo card.

Homestuck | Feferi♥Sollux, Sollux♠Eridan | 2900 words | PG | at AO3

Sollux didn’t plan to start Fourth Year playing terrible travel games with Slytherin aristocracy, but the honour of Ravenclaw House is at stake. Apparently.

Taste Test )
cest_what: (Default)
I have a [community profile] cottoncandy_bingo card! Under the cut:

where the majyyks happen )

I have decided to use it to do the most self-indulgent thing I can think of, which is writing stand-alone ficlets in the Homestuck Hogwarts AU I've been playing around with. (Mostly I just mean I've been sending a bunch of emails to [personal profile] blottingtheink about House Sorting, because that is the first great joy of a Hogwarts AU.)

I don't know how many I'll do, or whether they'll all strictly be fluff - I'm not really all that focused on getting bingos? But so far it's really fun. I actually wrote a Jane/Roxy ficlet for the first square, because cotton candy ship, but then I didn't like it, so I'll have to find something else to fill that. I have a Feferi/Sollux fill for the second square, though, which I'll cross-post here this evening. It's up on AO3 now.

(I've never felt any urge to write Feferi/Sollux before, I think it's going to be that kind of 'verse.)
cest_what: (Default)
I swear that this is the last post I'm going to make on this subject, but I think I've worked out what it is about Homestuck's failings as a social fandom that bothers me so badly.

The problem is not that there's no one to talk to. I've been late to more than one fandom, and been pretty content wandering about abandoned fic archives reading everything I could and boring my friends list with my three-years-late flail.

The problem is that there's discussion going on, interesting and lively and highly visible discussion, but it's inaccessible. There's nothing wrong with a BNF-heavy fandom, BNF blogs can be really excellent sites of discussion and engagement and ideas. But not on Tumblr. Tumblr assumes that the goal is not mutual communication, but celebrity - many people hearing your voice and seeing your art, without you hearing anything from them that isn't related to you. So the only ways to speak to somebody are:

1) the Ask box, which you are expected to use to ask the cool and interesting opinions of the person you're talking to, not to express your own opinions

2) private messaging, which is explicitly called "fan mail", just to drive home that even though mutual communication is possible, it's not the point

3) commenting on posts, which is set up so that the only way for the poster to respond to a comment is to make a whole new post for it, again driving home that the point is not a conversation but feedback on your awesomeness

4) reblogging with commentary, which is understood to be a method of creating dialogue only secondarily, and at the original poster's discretion - there's no feeling that it's the polite thing to do to engage with the commentary on reblogs of your text posts. A lot of the time you probably don't even see it.

So because so much of Homestuck fandom has actually been born on Tumblr, rather than migrating there from LJ, fannish engagement is fundamentally constructed to be top-down, or centre-out. It's not that you can't engage with fandom ideas, it's that only the people immediately around you will hear. You can't affect the conversation. It's controlled - not deliberately, but controlled all the same - by people in the centre. Even writing fic doesn't feel like a contribution that affects fandom, with no conversation around it.

I feel, basically, as though I've been relegated to being a consumer of my own fandom. Like sitting on a couch with a small group of friends, chatting as we watch pop culture commentary on TV about something we love. I can talk about what they're saying with the person next to me, but that's about it.

(I know it's not quite as clear-cut as that, and that there's more than one hub of conversation, and that probably more gregarious people than me, or people more comfortable with the dynamic of Asks maybe, can manage to work this system to connect with the fandom in a meaningful way. But it's definitely a simile that works for me.)

The things I love to pieces about Homestuck fandom, the things that make it the best fandom I have ever been in, are that I adore the canon like nothing; that unlike the only other fandoms where I've loved the canon this much (due South and Hikaru no Go), it's also exactly the kind to inspire me to write the kind of stories I'm best at; that both canon and fic are full of girls; that it's also the most multi-shippy place I've ever been; and that people create the most AMAZING fanworks, I am constantly in awe of the fic and art and videos and everything else that fans of this webcomic create.

The thing that makes Homestuck the worst fandom I have ever been in is that, despite having written 6 Homestuck stories, having spent eight months reading and being excited about it, having talked about it everywhere I have a platform, having written meta, speculation, reaction to updates, having participated in a major fest, having recced fic, having engaged in every single way I know how ...

... I don't actually feel as though I'm in it.


Anyway, the conclusion I'm coming to is that, I guess, I can't actually do this anymore. I'm not going to stop loving the webcomic, and I'm not going to stop reading Homestuck fic at least fairly regularly, but I have to either pull back quite a bit from Fandom altogether for a while, or I have to branch out so that Homestuck isn't my only fandom.

So hey. Uh.

Avengers is cool, right?
cest_what: (Default)
Voting results for Round 1 of the HSO are up! So, I get to link this one, finally. The word limit was a bit of a bind, and avoiding using the words eyes, see and look turned out to be a bigger technical challenge than I'd anticipated, but on balance I'm really happy with this one. This ship is such a good ship. It placed 17/109, which I'm comfortable with.

With thanks to [personal profile] blottingtheink, who not only beta'd this but also talked through every idea about blackrom dynamics I've ever had.

Homestuck | Terezi♠Vriska | 3000 words | PG

They have a conflicted and difficult friendship again now, but Terezi wouldn't be preparing to be in the same room as Vriska, for the first time in nearly two sweeps, if they hadn't been paired up for a trainee examination. (A non-Sgrub AU.)

Read at: AO3 | DW

HSO things

Jul. 17th, 2012 12:26 pm
cest_what: (Default)
So I ended up dropping out of my HSO team just after Round 2 submissions, and transferring to Team English (the voting-only team). I wrote and submitted fic which, actually, I really like - and will link to when the Round 1 voting results are up, I guess, although I think the anonymous period is over now that voting is closed? And I participated a bunch in one of the bonus rounds and read all the Round 1 fics and commented and voted on them and posted a rec set, and have been reading the Round 2 fics and commenting. So I don't really feel like I failed out - that's a lot more participation than any other fanworks fest that I've taken part in has asked for.

Everyone on the team was talented and nice, but we never really came together and clicked, and we had a lot of admin and communication problems and leadership uncertainty, and it just got too hard to maintain the energy to contribute to keeping the team functioning as well as to work on what I'd promised to do for the collaborative round. I was getting ridiculously stressed and the whole fest was starting to feel not fun, so! It would have been cool to keep my team and get to be properly excited about our points rankings and such (although I'll still be cheering for them), and I feel bad about dropping out on the collab round plans, but I feel a whole lot lighter.

Anyway once out of the team I got much more excited about reading the Round 2 entries, and oh my god it's all ghostbusters and cannibalistic mermaids and zombie apocalypses and wow, I love this round's theme \o/ And I'm all kindsa excited about the voting results - even apart from my own fic in this first round. I'm terribly invested in people voting for the right things, "right" in this case obviously meaning "my favourites" but that probably goes without saying.

Would anyone be interested in an HSO recs post over here?
cest_what: (Default)
I've been thinking a lot about hetfic lately. When I started out in fandom it was 2006, femslash barely existed on my radar, and het was that less-cool, way-more-mainstream thing that some other people did in other parts of fandom and mostly I didn't get why you would bother.

Then fandom rediscovered feminism (again? I guess?) and I personally discovered that having called yourself a feminist from the time you could read did not actually mean that all of your thoughts and opinions were feminist by default and you got to not question yourself and your assumptions. And that maybe this thing where we as a community didn't really want to read fic with girls as main characters was less awesome and progressively subversive than previously thought.

Which meant that het, along with femslash, became itself cool and subversive. And, especially in fandoms with no or very few important canon relationships between female characters, where femslash was as a result going to be a particular hardsell, focusing on important female–male relationships as a reader and a writer became an act of feminist fannishness.

Which is a pretty common fandom arc to have followed, I think? But it isn't everybody's. So I would find these new fandoms that had a lot of het, and I would read that as feminism, and cheer. Only sometimes it isn't. Homestuck in particular is excellent for hetfic: of my 165 HS saves at pinboard, 61 are het, with only 30-something each for slash and femslash. And it was only after a few months in the fandom that I began to realise that some of those het writers and readers are actually, you know, crazy revelation, coming from a place of unacknowledged homophobia. The "I just happen not to like slash it's personal taste" folks and the "I have no interest in two guys together because I'm a straight dude" folks. (Because ... personal sexuality is totally a bar to appreciating romances that don't cater to it, that's why no queer people through history have ever been into hetero romantic literature, and also why Homestuck is exclusively populated by people who are turned on by underage grey-skinned aliens with horns. In their personal lives.)

Which led to me feeling weird about het again. Because I don't want to be part of a movement to make fanfiction less subversive of mainstream constructions of sexuality and gender and the dynamics of romance. I don't want to de-claw it in a way that makes it palatable to anti-queer prejudices. That would be the opposite of cool.*

Except, OK, last night I was reading this Jade/Dave ficlet, and I had one of those revelations-that-shouldn't-have-been-a-revelation-because-it's-completely-obvious. You go to fanfiction for what you can't already get everywhere else, and that applies to het just as much as it does to every other kind of fic, doesn't it? The Jade/Dave ficlet above has the kind of deeply personal gender dynamics and shivery exploration of male physical and emotional passivity and vulnerability, without being explicitly about power - just about these two characters and the ways they respond to each other - that I couldn't find in one in a hundred YA romances. It's really fucking hot, and really appealing, and it's human and individual and it's what I read hetfic for. Even though I didn't realise it.

Anyway that was way too many words to say not very much, except that mainstream romance is hopelessly limited and limiting and fandom is awesome and hetfic is important, and also I read a story I really liked last night. YAY \o/

*Which is not to say that people shouldn’t read and write exactly what they want to read and write, or that wanting, say, Elizabeth/Darcy stories with mainstream nineteenth century gender politics and notions of satisfying romance is a less valid fannish desire than wanting Thor/Loki alien incest slash, etc. etc. you know this line and it's really not the point here.
cest_what: (skeleton ryan)
There was yet another round of "Oh god AO3 is going to the dogs or the teenie badficcers whatever" complaints in my corner of tumblr just recently. (Which is always sort of equal parts sad and hilarious, partly because it's the tumblrfication of tagging at AO3 that most gets to me anyway.) And basically what came out of it was a bunch of conversations about the kudos/hits ratio being the best marker of quality.

If you could sort by the kudos/hits ratio that would obviously be the best (although I guess it would create a skew against multi-chapter WIPs in the same way sorting by hits skews in favour of them), but it's still pretty invaluable, imprecise as it is.

Anyway, it made me really curious about how different my most popular fics list would be on this criteria rather than the hitcount one. So I spreadsheeted. 85% of my fic at AO3 was uploaded before the kudos system was introduced, so it's not hugely meaningful, but still, here are my top 10 most popular fics by kudos/hitcount ratio, with chatter:

A few of them are definitely surprising )

I'm increasingly glad for the kudos system. As a reader for the quality gauge and as a writer for the little parcel of reassurance every day that I'm not throwing words into a void. Fandom is so lonely and lacking in social engagement for me now, compared to what it was. I have a few excellent fannish friends, but I don't feel like I'm part of a community. Tumblr is so terrible as a fannish platform, the only way to talk to people you don't know is to reblog or comment in a way that requires them to make a whole new post to acknowledge you, or to use the Ask Box, which is all Please expand on your important opinions and not at all This is interesting and here are my thoughts - which is a dynamic that makes me way too uncomfortable to ever use Ask Boxes. And even with fic, even with well-received stories, you deal in handfuls of AO3 comments from strangers compared to piles of LJ comments from your extended friends list.

And I think the HSO is especially driving home the loss of a sense of actual community that I have going from Bandom to Homestuck? The HSO is the most vibrant, ridiculously active fanworks fest I have ever been involved in. And it's still. so. lonely. There's still so little conversation and feedback, it's just this whirlwind of creation. Which is awesome. But I miss knowing a whole crowd of other creators and having them know who I am, and having long comment thread discussions, and feeling like part of something.

But hey, every day I get a kudos email and I don't know till I open it if it's one person letting me know they appreciated that one fic I never liked very much, or if it's a super-popular day and there are a whole bunch. It's nice.

(This post brought to you by PMS and the fact that it's winter. You're welcome.)
cest_what: (Default)
This is one of the Homestuck Shipping Olympics Bonus Round 1 fills I linked a few days ago, now cleaned up and expanded a little. Written for the genre prompts 'Medical Romance' and 'Gangsters'.

Character dynamics will be jossed the moment Vriska actually interacts with either of the other two in canon, but in the meantime, have two Serkets and a fishgirl in my favourite underwritten quadrant!

Homestuck | Vriska♣Aranea♣Meenah | 1600 words | G | at AO3

It's the third time this week that Vriska and Meenah have brought their street conflict to Aranea's ER.

Things That Come in Threes )
cest_what: (Default)
I've been filling prompts over at the Homestuck Shipping Olympics' Bonus Round 1 post! Actually I've written a lot more for prompt fills than I have for my actual Round 1 fic, whoops. Probably those two things are not totally unrelated.

I'll title and clean up at least the ashen one and post it to AO3 at some point, but in the meantime:

untitled, Vriska♣Aranea♣Meenah, for the genres Medical Romance & Gangsters.
Aranea Serket knew nothing about gang warfare, or the hypothetical gang affiliations of girls currently getting their rivalry all over her ER.

untitled, Jade/Karkat, for the genres Pirates & Film Noir.
I knew from the moment I fished him out of that net that he was trouble.

Meet-Cute for the New Millennium, Rose/John, for the genres Post-Apocalyptic & Romantic Comedy
The umbrella was on its last legs. The umbrella was past its last legs, and would basically need little wheels to get anywhere, if getting somewhere was a thing that umbrellas did and, whoa, okay, that metaphor had got beyond him.
cest_what: (Default)
Tonight is All of the Posts Night, sorry. Next themed set of recs! This one is tentacles.

... yes. God, I am so weirdly charmed by this fandom's tentacle habit. Some of these are tragic and some are hot and wrong and some are hilarious and some are really darling. A lot of them are Rose.

Say, Lady, the Tentacles Ain't Half Bad by kayliemalinza (Jade/Rose)
(1,700 words, mature.) Jade is following an intriguing new smell on the battleship, when she finds Davesprite attempting to fight off a terrifying grimdark lady with tentacles. This is very much dogtier Jade, she's doggy and godpowered and super inappropriate, and this is just ... it's weird and disturbing and full of body horror and it is so fucking delightful. I couldn't keep the delighted grin off my face, I wanted to roll around and gnaw on it like Jade. Ummmmmmmmm. God.

Dear Penthiive by Anonymous (Feferi/Sollux)
(3,800 words, explicit.) Sollux doesn't know what he did to deserve this, but he's really hoping he doesn't do anything to fuck it up. This is kind of darling xeno porn, complete with Sollux's insecurities and Feferi's determination.

Learning Each Other (Got a Lot to Learn) by [personal profile] cypher (John/Karkat)
(1,800 words, explicit.) Funny and rather sweet xeno aphrodisiac first time tentacle PWP. File this one under things I read three times before realising that I had better bookmark them.

More recs )
cest_what: (Default)
I have had 'Luck Be a Lady' stuck in my head on a solid rotation since the HSO Round 1 prompt went up. This is producing more ideas about Vriska being unladylike than it is ideas involving actual gambling, unfortunately.

I am starting to pull together a story idea, but at the moment it's mostly about the emotional payoff at the end, and the constrictions that puts on what the premise and setting can be. Basically I have just one insight about blackrom that I like, and I've worked out how to turn it into an emotional resolution. I'm still tossing around ways to use the prompt, though. Using a Vriska prompt to write a Vriska story is almost too neat a fit: Vriska's entire life fits the gambling theme, so how do you actually make the theme stand out in an interesting way?

Some recent update chatter )
cest_what: (Default)
Another themed rec set! This one's for stories set on the battleship or the meteor during the three-year journey to the new session.

Adventures in Collaborative Storytelling by [personal profile] askerian (Jade/Karkat/John)
(2,500 words, explicit.) Prospit twins battleship fic, in which accidental typing in the wrong window leads to uncomfortably revealing collaborative porn writing. Oh my god. I am absolutely delighted with this, and also weirdly uncomfortable in a way where I almost feel as though I've betrayed the characters' privacy by reading it? I don't even know. But it's awesome, both their voices are great, and the accidental revelations are even greater.

The Impossible Project by [personal profile] gloss (Dave & Terezi & WV)
(1,200 words, illustrated, G.) It's not like Dave is really pining to resume photography. Oh, I love this. The Cantown Council forever. Seriously, this has such a great Dave voice, the inside of his head and what's important to him, and most of all it's such a great little view on the relationship between Dave and Terezi and the Mayor, on the meteor.

The Second Verse by [personal profile] sour_idealist (Terezi & Vriska)
(1,600 words, G.) Terezi can still smell the berry-blue stain on the roof. Ughhh why does this fandom make me want to read all the things that will break me. This is a really great, story-shaped snippet of the Scourge Sisters and what they were and what they messed up, with an excellent Terezi voice. And a gut-wrenchingly perfect conclusion.

Cape Wrath by elwing_alcyone (Dave/Karkat)
(1,800 words, G.) That one time was, as it turned out, only the first time Karkat touched Dave's cape. Sadly no cape biting, but this is ridiculously cute. Featuring bonus WV.


Others? What have I missed?
cest_what: (Default)
I thought I would practice Scourge Sisters voices for the HSO by rewriting some pesterlogs as direct dialogue.

It turns out Terezi and Vriska's voices are actually much easier to translate to the real world than I'd thought they would be! Writing Kanaya and Rose was really challenging, partly because Kanaya's voice looks so wrong with commas in it, even if you're as sparing with them as you can be, but mostly because both she and Rose are so careful and wordy that when you add in all the extra bits around dialogue, the speech tags and real world fidgets and above all the internal POV, it slows the pacing down almost unworkably. Roxy was unexpectedly really hard too, partly because so much of her voice depends on typoes but mostly because she breaks her sentences up in really appealing and effective ways that you can't mimic in spoken dialogue.

I thought Terezi would be just as hard, because she doesn't punctuate. Only it turns out that she does use exclamation marks when she wants them, and she breaks up her lines really neatly into clauses, these short sharp sentences, so unlike with Kanaya, there's usually no need to add commas that aren't there in the pesterlog. And there's so much energy in her dynamic with Vriska that slowing it down a little doesn't hurt it at all.

Anyway, here is Terezi and Vriska's immediately-pre-SGRUB conversation rewritten for real life, if that's a thing anybody else would find interesting ♥

Terezi was tapping away at her husktop and cackling when Vriska flopped down beside her )
cest_what: (Default)
I currently have 132 Homestuck bookmarks at pinboard, which seems like an excellent reason to start posting rec sets. I'm going to start out with a few themed sets. This one is for the Alpha kids.

Loops by lantadyme (Roxy & the Auto-Responder)
(1600 words, G.) A pesterlog between Roxy and Dirk's Auto-Responder. Oh man, Lalonde is the best friend any artificial boy could ask for. Written before they had interacted in canon, but a great version of their dynamic.

can you take me back where i came from by attentionmerrymakers (Dirk & Roxy, Dirk/Jake, Roxy/Jane)
(4900 words, teen.) A high school AU. Dirk's fate was basically sealed the first time Roxy Lalonde kicked her feet up on the desk next to him and asked him about his auto class project. This has the most flawless characterisation for all four of the kids, I love them so much it hurts. It also somehow feels longer than it is, like a full-length AU, which I appreciated a lot. (Warning for one of the pairings being incredibly unresolved.)

Betty Crocker Bought A Batch Of Bitter Butter by attentionmerrymakers (Roxy & Jane)
(1900 words, teen.) It's Roxy's fifteenth birthday, and Jane has, of all birthday presents, sent her an invitation to join BettyBother. This pretty much goes nowhere, and has already been jossed as far as Roxy's homelife goes. And it delights me utterly, I can't even say.

How You Survived the War by roachpatrol (Dirk/Jake)
(3200 words, explicit.) It's the Novice Mode on the Strifebot Dirk sent him that gets him, and it's how much the robot looks like Dirk. Fuck. Um, wow, yes. This is an excellent depiction of Jake, intrepid chipper young gentleman adventurer and so incredibly, starvingly alone. (Now jossed for the canon starving aloneness of Dirk and Roxy.) It's painful as hell and wonderful.

Rendezvous Mode by Laylah (Dirk/Jake)
(2200 words, explicit.) Dirk's added some new processes to the brobot for Jake to try out, if he's okay with it. This pairing kills me with all its potential for heartbreak. But this is basically pining porn, plus a robot, and it's pretty great.

Tomb Raiders by Laylah (Dirk/Jake)
(2800 words, mature.) Dirk, Jake, makeouts on the summit of a temple. Yep.

Waiting for the Cavalry by elwing_alcyone (Roxy & Dirk)
(2600 words, G.) Roxy always meant to hug or fist bump or something when she met Dirk in real life, but instead everything is just really awkward. Oh man, this is perfect: Roxy and Dirk's isolation and the way that plays out, the way Roxy yearns to be touched and Dirk is so guarded. And the way the friendship shines through the awkwardness all the same.

Carry Me Home Tonight by anxiousAnarchist (pale Roxy/Dirk)
(1100 words, teen.) Dirk helps Roxy to bed - because Roxy Lalonde of all people can find a way to get shitfaced even in the Medium - and she looks after him and he looks after her. Ugh, Derse kids, breaking my heart so good always.

A New Hope by minna (Jane/Eridan)
(700 words, G.) The alien boy with the cape and the fish face seems like kind of a douche, but he's sitting on his own and Jane's feeling reckless. Oh my god, this delights me.
cest_what: (Default)
So hey, I wrote truth-or-dare tropefic for [personal profile] such_heights' Female Character Trope Fest (which is still ongoing)! Any excuse to write alpha kids high school AUs is by definition an excellent one.

Homestuck | Jane/Roxy | 2300 words | PG | at AO3

Summary: "This is an emergency beffsy situation," Roxy said. "Priority, like, 8.3, which is a totally bullshit number I just made up that basically means 'Outranks the fuck out of whatevs bs class full of stuff I already learned years ago that we have next'."

Acknowledgements: Thanks to [personal profile] blottingtheink for the quick and excellent beta!

Tell Me True )


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