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A question for anyone who's been reading Into the Fire
Tell Me a Story
only_more_love
I've a question for anyone who's been reading Into the Fire.  I don't care if you've left feedback or not.   Please give me your honest opinion.  Take off the gloves and be as blunt as you want.  *g*  Answer anonymously if you're worried I'll bite. 

So I recently finished writing a bunch of 200-word ficlets in response to a table of prompts from drabble123 .  It was fun, and I think I did a decent job.  However, I recently signed up to write 20 300-word ficlets for the sex table.  I've written five so far, and I'm in two minds about whether or not I should continue. 

That's why I'm soliciting your opinion.  Yes, I absolutely write for myself.  Yes, I know ultimately I have to decide for myself whether I should drop this or not.  No, I'm not trying to write by committee.  But sometimes you're too close to your own work.  I'm curious what you think; sometimes hearing other opinions can help crystallize one's own thoughts. 

There was a time when I disliked drabbles and ficlets.  Over time, I've come to love them -- as a reader and a writer.  Short writing doesn't necessarily equal "bad" writing.  

But is it different when it comes to writing about things involving sex and sexual desire -- whether because it's just the nature of the beast OR because I simply am not a strong enough writer to do it well at this point ?  Am I not providing enough texture, context, or something else in the ficlets I've written for Into the Fire?  Are they not fun to read?

In other words, do you think I should stop writing these?  (No, I'm not talking about stopping writing entirely.  That's not happening.)

Obviously I can drop the challenge and just write longer pieces using the given prompts.  Longer pieces might allow for more immersion in the stories.  But ignore the question of whether longer would be more fun to read and tell me how you feel about the ficlets.  Love them?  Hate them?  Feel indifferent?

I don't expect you to have any answers; just tell me what you think, please.

Truly, I love "Into The Fire". I like your drabbles a great deal - it gives me time to read high-quality 'fics with the little time I have left to devote to such things. I'm honestly glad you're writing the more adult stuff again; there was a space of time where all of your 'fics were
"appropriate" and I was secretly thinking "when is she going to write dirty stuff again?"

Please don't stop writing. You have a gift, even if some people can't appreciate it.

Thanks for sharing your thoughts with me. :) I have no intention of stopping writing; it's too much a part of who I am.

You raise an interesting issue -- that of time, and how much people have of it to devote to reading -- fanfic or something else.

I'm honestly glad you're writing the more adult stuff again; there was a space of time where all of your 'fics were "appropriate" and I was secretly thinking "when is she going to write dirty stuff again?"

That made me laugh. Thanks for that. *g* There's a reason why I don't write what I consider a ton of sex. I don't mind writing it. It's a basic, normal activity that lots of humans engage in. But generally speaking, I'm not particularly interested in writing purely to titillate. Sex is a tremendously powerful and sometimes transformative thing, and I generally prefer to read and write about it when it says something about the characters. What it says doesn't have to be unbelievably profound, but I usually want more than "Insert tab A into slot B." So if I don't feel like the sex is saying something about the feelings and psychology of the characters, I usually won't write it.

I have no idea if that made sense.

I hope you don't mind -- I was browsing the Booth-Brennan community, saw your post, and had to respond.

I don't think you should stop -- I told you this before in my response to that nasty person who reviewed on fanfiction.net and told you to write something longer -- but I think you're doing a great job.

Your drabbles ARE fun to read. You provide plenty of texture and context in these ficlets and THAT'S what makes you a great writer. That you can write these tiny little pieces about sex, and tell an entire story. I mean, you get a point across in three hundred words! Most people can't do that with three thousand!

So, no. In my opinion, you should not stop writing these. Because I love to read them and if you don't write them, I'll have nothing to read -- and that would be entirely depressing for me.

...but if you really really want to, I'll support you. I'll just cry a little bit...and wait patiently...for something else.

:) Becca (AKA ReluctantDragon on Fanforum and ReticentWriter on Fanfiction.net -- I tried to make them the same but it didn't work out.)

Hi, Becca. I don't mind at all. :) I'm happy to have you weigh in on these questions. Thanks for connecting your various online identities; that helps!

That you can write these tiny little pieces about sex, and tell an entire story. I mean, you get a point across in three hundred words! Most people can't do that with three thousand!

That's really helpful. I think with my previous ficlets, I was fairly confident that I DID have a point, and that point was being communicated. With these, because they deal with sex and desire in a more transparent way and yet are only 300 words, I wasn't sure if I was truly communicating something. I know what I intended, but didn't know if that was getting across to readers. Readers aren't actually in my head, after all. Does that make sense?

Thank you again for commenting. I really do appreciate it. And I'm happy you enjoy reading my stories. Regardless of whether I continue to write these 300-word ficlets for drabble123, I'm not going anywhere. There are too many stories left to tell. :) *hugs*

BTW, do you mind if I friend you?

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Writing (and posting what I write) is psychologically taxing. But I wouldn't trade it for anything. :) I can't speak for other writers, but I have plenty of insecurities about my writing. But I think that's a good thing; it drives me to try to improve.

However, in this particular instance, it's less about my insecurities and more about me wondering if I'm doing a good job communicating something with Into the Fire. With only 300 words, am I able to say something different about sex, intimacy, and desire as it relates to these characters? I don't want each one to sound the same or say exactly the same thing in the same way. I also don't want to bore myself or other people. Those are the things I'm concerned about.

It's fascinating that you liked #4 better than #5. Readers' opinions can be so different!

I'm curious whether you would have thought that the writing in this series was less confident if I hadn't explicitly stated in an author note that I was questioning my ability to keep these ficlets to 300 words and still have them be evocative. No way of knowing, I suppose!

Also, if you want to, please feel free to point out the things you think make the writing seem less confident. You don't have to, but don't feel like you have to censor yourself either. :) Con crit is always welcome.

Thanks for commenting!

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Thanks, Sam. Writing is fun, healthy, and rewarding, and if I've inspired you even a little bit, I'm ECSTATIC.

*hugs* I appreciate your support and your willingness to share your opinion. Thank you.

The stories so far in Into the Fire have been very appealing, and I've enjoyed them; you know i'm a champion of the short form. That said, if the short form doesn't give you the 'room' you need to explore the physical and emotional depth of the character, go long.

Sex in fanfic vexes me. I've read enough fanporn at this point to be burned out on it. Doesn't matter if it involves my OTPs (yeah, right)or my favorite writers, it's a stone bore. I want lust and desire and denial and frustration and anticipation and bliss -- not juicy parts colliding, as lovely as that can be when done well.

Your writing gives me that and so much more. My lack of enthusiasm for fanporn has more to do with me being an old bat who's been around a very long time than anything else. You could write on napkins and I'd read it. Even the juicy parts colliding. :)

Sex in fanfic vexes me. I've read enough fanporn at this point to be burned out on it. Doesn't matter if it involves my OTPs (yeah, right)or my favorite writers, it's a stone bore. I want lust and desire and denial and frustration and anticipation and bliss -- not juicy parts colliding, as lovely as that can be when done well.

Yes.

I understand precisely where you're coming from. I'm pasting in part of my response to someone else:

There's a reason why I don't write what I consider a ton of sex. I don't mind writing it. It's a basic, normal activity that lots of humans engage in. But generally speaking, I'm not particularly interested in writing purely to titillate. Sex is a tremendously powerful and sometimes transformative thing, and I generally prefer to read and write about it when it says something about the characters. What it says doesn't have to be unbelievably profound, but I usually want more than "Insert tab A into slot B." So if I don't feel like the sex is saying something about the feelings and psychology of the characters, I usually won't write it.

Usually, I want more than "juicy parts colliding," and even though there haven't actually been a ton of parts colliding in this series, I wasn't sure if I was communicating something beyond "Hello! Horny!" or not. :D I'm confident I could do it with more than 300 words, but with this limit, I'm just not sure. Maybe it's ok to not be sure. Maybe I should think about getting a beta so I can stop boring my flist with random questions about writing. *g*

You know, I'm sure I haven't been in fandom as long as you have, but I hear you on "fanporn" and being an "old bat."

That said, if the short form doesn't give you the 'room' you need to explore the physical and emotional depth of the character, go long.

Good, common sense advice. :) Thanks for weighing in, sweets, and I look fwd to reading more of your Boo/Ho.

It doesn't really matter how long the story is because when it's something you write it's always worth reading.
I would like to keep reading Into The Fire cause i'm in love with your ficlets, but then again i'm in love with anything you write =)
And if you feel that it's harder to write about sex and sexual desire on ficlets then you should value your work even more, because it's a challenge and you're doing a amazing work with Into The Fire.
Everytime you have a idea that it's to 'big' for you to write in 300 words just write a bigger fic and we'll all be happy about it =D

I'm sorry for some spelling mistakes, you know english is not my first language. And i'm sorry for not always commenting on your fics, sometimes i don't know what to write, but i'll try harder! =)

(i think this is the bigger comment i ever made!)

Hi, Kiska. :) First, thanks for commenting. And please stop apologizing. I get that English isn't your mother tongue. As for not always commenting, I don't always comment on everything I read. How can I possibly expect other people to do so? You don't owe me anything; read what you want, and comment when you feel like it. That's good enough for me.

It doesn't really matter how long the story is because when it's something you write it's always worth reading.

You're being way too nice, but thank you. *g*

Thanks for sharing your thoughts with me. I was looking for opinions, and I got them. :)

I'm enjoying them but I think a 300 word ficlet is going to be about a single touch or a look, a moment as it were without any time for how we got there and what came after. If you want to explore more (and I know what you mean, I find 300 words almost impossible), go for it.

I'm enjoying them but I think a 300 word ficlet is going to be about a single touch or a look, a moment as it were without any time for how we got there and what came after.

You're absolutely right. So if I want to hit more than that, I'll have to go longer. Decisions, decisions. *g*

Thanks for giving me your opinion. :) You rock.

I love reading the ficlets. It's like someone give me a 2 min back rub, I want more! But that's why I like them; they sort of lead your own imagination to take over from where it ended.

As for the sex table of prompts, I have to say I've never really need a big fan of the sex fics, however, I do think you write them well.

I guess it comes down to whether or not you think you're doing the characters justice when you're writing, and I don't mean the quality of the writing, but whether or not the ficlets really give a good representation of Booth and Brennan. I love your fics so much because you constantly keep their them, as a partnership, a couple and individual very true to the show itself. If you're feeling uneasy about writing these sex ficlets maybe it's because a) they don't give enough room and freedom to build on their characters, and b) because it doesn't "feel right"? I may be way of course there, but it's worth thinking about, I guess.

I think you're a very talented writer that can turn a drabble into a beautiful piece of art. I've enjoyed a lot this series so far, and I don't think you should stop. This is a real challenge, isn't it? Only 300 words is not enough sometimes. If you decide to stop or make them longer =O I'll still keep on reading them. *hugs*

Like everyone else has said, I really enjoy reading these ficlets. I had to say it!

One of the things about your ficlets (that I may have mentioned before) is that the briefness of them allows the reader to imagine the rest of the story - in a similar way that we might imagine what happened after the end of an episode (which can eventually lead to fanfic). I read these short pieces and find myself thinking about the parts not written. That's how real your writing is to me!

In terms of providing enough context for the sex, I think your writing does do this. However, I think this is helped by the fact that the readers are able to put context around the stories - we know the characters and the feelings they have (or that we imagine they have) for each other. I think if you were doing this for original characters, it would be more difficult to express the context in these short pieces.

You know my opinion, I love all your fics, short or long, but I love these fics especially. And I wasn't kidding in my last answer about this table, I will be happy whatever you do.

Besos

One: I love your sexy!DB new header, and I also fell in love with that photoshoot.

Two: Good writing is good writing, long or short. I will take a short, well-written ficlet over a lengthy, crappy piece. I (personally) like longer fics (like oneshots of 1,500+ words, or chapter fics, or two-shots) because I like the feeling of having context, of really getting into the world of the fic. But, if the fic is so long that the story becomes sluggish, or people slip too far OOC, it does make the fic less appealing.

I have loved and appreciated all the little drabble/ficlet/etc. personal challenges you've been doing. And I would never stop reading your work - it's too good! Whatever you decide, you've got me.

If I can shove you in the direction of my favorite of your WIPs, I'll drop a sneaky hint and say I secretly hope every day that you've updated (drops voice to whisper) Always on Your Side.

You're serious about this, aren't you? These ficlets are great! It's truly amazing what you do with a mere 300 words to make it strong and meaningful, not to mention pretty hot ;)
Even though it is your decision, I think you should keep writing these, whether or not you quit the 300-word limit and write longer ones.

ummm, yeah. I don't know why, but it just posted me as anonymous...

Issue 1: Into the Fire is different from your other fic. Although undeniably well written, there is something off about them. At first I wondered if they were just boring (no) or empty/OOC (no). What I finally realized was that they had a maturity to them, and to the Booth/Brennan relationship, that is beyond anything we have seen in the show or are likely to see in the near future. This makes your fic bittersweet, and me incredibly sad. See, I would love to see moments like this happen on the show. This series even more than anything else you write. Add this to the fact that we haven't had any new eps in such a long time, it's hard on a fan. I think you've taken these characters to such an amazing place that you're starting to surpass the show. The writer's strike opened up a lot of opportunity for you, but at the end of the day, you don't own these characters. And because of how well you've been handling them and the unlikelihood of seeing this on the show, it makes me sad.

Issue 2: I think the very point of a writing "challenge" is to challenge you. If you don't want this challenge, don't do it. I think there's potential there for you to try some new things out. I think it requires a lot of imagination, but I know you are totally capable. Also, you're established enough that people will come to you to see what you have to say, and go easy on you if something is less than a masterpiece.

That said, I love this series. Keep writing please.
-Personal opinion. No offense intended for any parties.-

Love them, unequivocally. That you can convey in a few hundred words tone, emotion, and so much more is skill, and anyone who loves these characters is lucky to be reading them.

Sure, they leave us wanting more, but that means you're doing it right. If I don't get to the end of a book and wish the story kept going, it probably wasn't worth my time to read. Drabbles and ficlets are glimpses - snapshots of a moment, or a feeling.

There is texture and context in your work, even (or especially) when dealing with this particular topic in so few words.

What I think is that you should keep going.

?

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