And we are done with anonymity; the authors have been revealed! I can now talk about what I did for the last month, after finishing novel revisions. πŸ˜€

findabair, did you peek or something?! πŸ˜‰ Because you managed to throw a dart at a board 2598 fics big, and hit my assignment. That’s right, I matched with ladyanneboleyn on Cirque du Soleil’s show Alegría, and as a result, wrote “If You Have No Light.” It’s possibly one of the weirder things I’ve ever produced; while I adore Cirque, Alegría isn’t the one I’m the most familiar with, and so I had to force my brain to do a lot of high-speed composting of all the beautiful-but-strange things floating around the margins of that show. I really do like some of the touches I managed to put into that one, though, and I kind of hope Cirque gets requested again in the future. There really is so much hinted-at story in what they do, that deserved to be teased out more.

Next I wrote a treat, and here I’m cackling about who didn’t guess. Not one but two friends pinged me to say “YOU MUST READ THIS STORY IT’S AWESOME” . . . and linked me to my own fic! <chortle> The tale in question is “The Rest,” which arose out of reading a few prompts for The Sandbaggers, and then one for Casino Royale, which reminded me that SIS = MI6, and a crossover promptly fell out of my head. It probably loses something if you don’t know the first source (or the second, though that’s a much smaller percentage of the population — hi, maratai!), but I hope I managed to interest a few more people in that brilliant, brilliant show.

Then, ladies and gents, I had Angst. I even posted to the Yuletide community about it. I had this idea, see, but it was entirely possible somebody else had the same idea, and if that somebody else was the assigned writer I was going to feel like I’d copied their prom dress . . . and then five minutes after I posted that, the request came up for a pinch hit, and I just about sprained something grabbing it. πŸ˜€

Normally, of course, I’d say that two writers can produce very different results from the same idea. In this case, however, there was a lot less wiggle room than usual, because the idea in question was “The Tough Guide to Yuletide.” WOOOO, I managed to write one of this year’s hits! I sort of thought that might be the case, since Yuletide meta is one of the things people tend to like, but I did not anticipate the scale of my success. Prior to this, my most widely-read story was “Desert Rain,” my Elfquest pinch hit from last year. That got 223 hits over the course of the subsequent year. “The Tough Guide to Yuletide”? Had nearly 1400 before the author reveal. Holy cats, y’all.

The other funny thing here is that I had a panic attack of second-guessing: what if my recipient wasn’t all that interested in Yuletide meta? Just to cover my bases, I ran off and wrote a treat fic for the same person, also based on The Tough Guide to Fantasyland: “A Special Limited-Time Offer,” wherein I (lovingly . . . for the most part) mock the current wave of “gritty” epic fantasy. So yeah, two of this year’s three Tough Guide fics are my work, and both got a lot of love.

I also got a lot of love for — let’s see if LJ herniates on this text — “εΎ…ιΎ™ηΊΉθΊ«ηš„ε₯³ε­© (DΓ i lΓ³ng wΓ©nshΔ“n de nǚhΓ‘i) ,” a Mulan fic based on the “Twisted Disney Princesses” fan-art series. (If you can’t read that, it’s characters followed by “Dai long wenshen de nuhai” with a lot of diacritical marks, which is, according to the hippo who helped me, the official Mandarin translation for “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.”) The fact that I’m playing a Togashi monk in a Legend of the Five Rings game had nothing to do with my interest in that one, nosirree . . . Obvious title is obvious, but I figured I could be a little more creative, and avoid the odds of duplication with somebody else’s fic, if I took it out of English.

And finally, one final treat squeezed out at the last minute, because I’d seen the request weeks before and loved the concept enough that dammit, I wasn’t going to let the chance slip by. “A Devilish Exercise” was inspired by a prompt for a Hamlet crossover with Marlowe’s Doctor Faustus (and ended up waaaaay darker than the other fic written from the same thing). The bad part? I, er, mentioned in my notes on the fic that I had to stop the story where I did in order to prevent it from turning into a giant Hamlet AU . . . and then every comment I got urged me to go ahead and write the giant Hamlet AU.

The first chapter of that has just gone up.

I had a lot of success this Yuletide; not only did three of my fics get more hits in the last week than my most popular fic before did in a year, but I was lucky enough to see almost all of them recced on the Yuletide member community, several of them more than once. Some of that, I think, is more a matter of fandom than anything else; a lot more people are familiar with, say, Mulan — or Yuletide meta/the works of Diana Wynne Jones — than with the Gabriel Knight computer games. Still, pretty satisfying. πŸ™‚

0 Responses to “Yuuuuuuuuuletide”

  1. sartorias

    I loved the Tough Guide!!!

  2. hawkwing_lb

    I really like the Sandbaggers fic. It is perfect.

    (And so is the Mulan fic.)

  3. greenlily

    Your recipient hadn’t thought to specify about Yuletide meta one way or the other, but is so so glad you opted to write it. It is a thing of beauty, and A Special Limited-Time Offer is like the perfectly candied cherry on top of an already delectable ice cream sundae. Thank you for my wonderful Yuletide gifts! πŸ™‚

    • Marie Brennan

      Oh, I didn’t expect you to make clear your views on Yuletide meta! It’s just one of the many bits of second-guessing and neuroticism that can plague the process. πŸ™‚ The second fic was a blast to write too, though, so it was absolutely no hardship to do both. And as happy-making as Yuletide is in its simplest forms, it makes me extra gleeful to give my recipient more.

  4. findabair

    I really didn’t peak, I swear πŸ™‚

    Finding the thing – that really was a dart board moment. It caught my eye when I was browsing the list of fandoms – not exactly a source you expect fan-fiction from, so I got curious πŸ™‚

    Then, once I had read it, there were a few things that clicked, and made me think I might have been lucky enough to find one of yours. The story itself made me think of the Onyx Court – although this could of course have been a coincidence; I certainly didn’t think you’d have written everything fairy-reminiscent in this year’s Yuletide πŸ™‚ Also, you apologise for the length in the author’s notes, which I remembered you’d been concerned about here in an earlier post. It was also a stage production, thus matching one of your hints.

    Now I’m looking forward to checking out the rest of what you wrote πŸ™‚

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