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killabeez was recently kind enough to let me know what her top 5 favorites of her own stories are, and asked for me to do the same. It took some pondering. I regularly re-read and truly enjoy my own stories. Of course, I always get the Special Edition version, with the extra bits that ended up on the cutting room floor, which is a bit like cheating.

But here's my current five favorites out of everything I've written, with some brief thoughts on why.

1. Con Job - due South, RayK/Fraser, 5.3 k words
This has been my favorite story from the moment I doubled it's size to let Fraser come over in the second draft. I often explore questions of identity in my stories, and I'm a fan of unreliable narrators. This has both going for it. It's my very own piece of meta about Ray Kowalski, what canon shows us about him, and what it doesn't. I've had readers consider this a very dark story, even an AU. I don't. I love the tight pacing, the driving momentum of Ray's emotions, and Ray's voice.

2. The Price of Interference - Highlander, Joe Dawson gen, OMC, 36k words
I'll never forget that moment when Joe Dawson just sort of appeared in my head and started telling me his story. This was both the first fanfiction I ever wrote and the longest fanfiction I ever wrote. mackiedockie taught me my craft from scratch while beta'ing this for me. I recently re-read this while uploading it to AO3, and I still love it to bits. Highlander canon had a terrible habit of creating two-dimensional villains. This was my attempt at digging deeper, finding a truth underneath it all that would resonate emotionally with me. So here you have Joe Dawson being put in a situation where he has to think about something he's been avoiding - the life and death of his good friend, James Horton, who tried to massacre the Immortals they were sworn to Watch. I'm still fascinated by the OMC, Jean-Pierre, who I created just to give Joe someone to talk to about this shit, and took on a life all his own.

3. Ride the Lightning - Supernatural gen casefic, 7.3k words
This story is my day at the beach, my open road, my love letter to a canon I adore. Sam and Dean. Hearts, hearts, hearts. It's queer gen, with the boys going undercover as a couple at a gay frat. This story captures my personal canon about certain aspects of their lives and brotherly relationship. It's from Sam's POV, but I so needed to hear Dean's voice in there that he has a single line at the start of each chapter. Ultimate frisbee, Dean's approach to cleaning the guns, “Dean, not every supernatural problem can be solved with arson.” *sighs happily*

4. Dare Frame Thy Fearful Symmetry - Supernatural, Sam/Dean, 7.8k words
Now this is a story that, in anyone else's hands, would have clocked in at 150k. I created a whole post-apocalyptic AU world with evil!Sam and Dean, drove them both to the breaking point, tossed in an assortment of kinks and a conspiracy, and then tried to redeem them both in under 8000 words. Parts of it are almost telegraphic, with decades flying by in a paragraph. And yet ... it works. It just works for me, in every way. The ending of this story still makes me want to dance naked in the warm rain and drag strangers in off the street to read my Gay Demonic Incestuous Semi-Amnesiac Post-Apocalyptic Surpringly Short Yet Epic Love Story of Sam and Dean.

5. Outside the Tent - due South, Fraser/RayK, 297 words
Speaking of short ... most of my fic is either snippets or drabbles. If I were making a Top Ten list, the other five would probably be all be under 500 words. There's something immensely appealing to me in carefully choosing every single word to convey both action and emotion, creating an entire story in a tightly wrapped little package. Repeating the story over and over out loud, polishing the prose until it's smooth and shiny as a pebble in a stream. This snippet evokes a rather dark and highly unreliable version of Fraser on the Quest, terrified by the strength of his own emotions.

As for Dislikes:There are only three stories I've written that I'm really not happy with: one SGA remix snippet treat that I never took the time to get right. One SPN drabble that I posted under a friend's lock and later completely re-wrote. (Completely to the point where no one else would recognize it as a re-write.) And one SPN story that I posted in a locked comm, and then to this journal with a plea for con-crit because I couldn't figure out what the hell was wrong with it. Got some great con-crit on that one, and I'll probably go poke at it again some day. Out of, oh, 200 stories, that's a pretty great ratio! Of course I do tend to write to please myself, first and foremost, so it's not that surprising.

General conclusions:

In poking through my work I've decided that my greatest strength, as a writer, lies in strong character voice. Makes sense, given that my version of a writing process involves throwing prompts at my favorite characters until one of them snaps up the bait and tells me what really happened.

I like to write dark stories with unreliable narrators in search of redemption. All of my favorite stories involve the narrator coming to realize something about him or herself. Actually, you could probably summarize 70% of my stories that way. 'Dean realizes something important about himself.' 'Joe realizes something important about himself.' 'Diefenbaker realizes something important about himself.' *snickers* And another 25% have them coming to realize something important about the other main character in the story. Dear God, I'm predictable.

Brevity is either my superpower, my Kryptonite, or both. I'm not entirely sure. Opinions, anyone?

Anyone want to play? Tell me your own top five, or top one, or the fic that you're surprised I didn't include on my own list?



( 11 comments — Leave a comment )
Apr. 28th, 2011 07:02 am (UTC)
I love reading people's self-reccing memes! I'll do it myself soon, I just have to figure out which my favorite stories are.

My favorite story of yours is still "Death-Defying"--it makes me cry every time.
Apr. 28th, 2011 07:19 am (UTC)
Thank you, luzula! I think 'Death-Defying' may very well be the BEST thing I've written. It just doesn't hit my own buttons as hard as the ones I've listed here.

I look forward to seeing what your favorites are!
Apr. 28th, 2011 01:13 pm (UTC)
can i play AFTER i finish my own bigbang epic this sunday? *whimpers*
Apr. 28th, 2011 01:36 pm (UTC)
Yes you can. Now go write more!
May. 11th, 2011 05:22 am (UTC)
Every SPN story should be a Gay Demonic Incestuous Semi-Amnesiac Post-Apocalyptic Surpringly Short Yet Epic Love Story of Sam and Dean.
May. 11th, 2011 05:33 am (UTC)
*snickers* We can only dream!
Apr. 28th, 2011 01:47 pm (UTC)
Thank you for answering this in such detail! You're motivating me to finish watching dS, so that i can read that story. It sounds fascinating.

re: Horton, I do wish, so much, that Horton had been conceived and written later in the series, because I think he could have been an amazing adversary if he'd been written as sympathetic. As much as I love Judgment Day/One Minute to Midnight, Jack Shapiro is a pretty lame bad guy, and that story would have been absolutely riveting if they'd played it more even-handedly, and it would have been so cool if we'd been shown Joe and Horton as kindred spirits and true friends who disagreed on the Immortal question.
Apr. 28th, 2011 01:55 pm (UTC)
due South is a wonderful fandom. I think you'd enjoy it!

I agree 100% about Horton. But, hey, those plot holes and missteps are what makes it so much fun to write fanfic! Man, I still need to finish that 3rd in the Dawson Chcronicles trilogy, my version of Judgement Day and One Minute to Midnight. And I shall! Maybe this summer ...
Apr. 28th, 2011 02:06 pm (UTC)
I am so glad you included "Dare Frame Thy Fearful Symmetry." This is one of the best evil!Sam with redemption stories I've read, and it's amazing that you did it all in one chapter. I'm sure if you wrote it longer it would be great to see the fleshed out details and interaction between Sam and Dean, but that would change the feel it has now. I'm not saying never flesh it out, but I love it the way it is. Keep up the good work!
Apr. 29th, 2011 03:57 am (UTC)
*blushes* Thank so much, I really appreciate you saying that!
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May. 11th, 2011 05:34 am (UTC)
That IS a good one, definitely! And since it was one of my first due South stories, the noir narrative voice for RayK permanently warped my perceptions of him. Thanks, lucifage!
( 11 comments — Leave a comment )