[sticky post]Fan Fiction Archive
katara, asn, loopy, loopies
You can find all my existing fan-fiction on my ff.net account, my deviantArt profile, or my Avatar Spirit fanfic thread. Additionally, I've mirrored some of my better fics to the avatar_fans  community, and posted others to various exchanges, so you can read and/or comment on them right here on LiveJournal:

The Chosen
Seeking the Why
Lady on Fire
Working It Off
The Magnificent Two
Levers & Journeys

Thanks for stopping by!

atla.fans - A new Message Board for Me and You!
katara, asn, loopy, loopies
To quote the founder:

"ASN’s forum went down a couple of weeks ago and I started to have message board withdraws so I created one @ atla.fans (Yes, I bought another domain (shut up!))  Loopy's helping me run the place. :) I’ve also created a companion tumblr @ atlafans.tumblr.com where I will post fan art, meta posts, fanfiction and other ATLA / Korra related tidbits.  My hope is to figure out a way to partially bridge the tumblr with the message board.  (Not sure it can be done, though.)"

I'm a mod on this board, and I'm hoping to run some cool events. My first idea, waiting on a nice little member group to form, is to start a series of retrospectives on each ATLA episode. Instead of reviews, I’d point out interesting bits and invite discussion, and then everyone would tell me how wrong I am. (The idea can use some fine-tuning, yet.)


Anatomy of a Cliffhanger
toph, best
I posted this to my tumblr a while ago but forgot to cross-post it here. However, a recent post by LJ Lee on Legend of Korra's meaningless action sequences reminded me of this, and so I'm digging this back up for everyone here to enjoy.

How to Create Meaningful Conflict


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The LEGO Movie
katara, asn, loopy, loopies
Fun comedy about a building toy?

Parody of Hollywood's favorite tropes?

Subversive examination of profit-driven entertainment?

Philosophical meditation about the symbiotic relationship between corporate-owned culture, the work-for-hire artists struggling to make something meaningful, and audiences who yearn for engagement while subsisting on a diet of formula?

Subtle propaganda in favor of fan-fiction and fan-art?

Tags: ,

Essay - The Two Ursas
toph, best


Zuko's mother.

The biggest loose-end in the entire Avatar franchise.

For years, the creators of Avatar couldn't give an interview without being asked about what happened to her, or when the fans would find out. It even got the point where they incorporated a joke about it into the premiere of The Legend of Korra, a joke that actively angered about a quarter of the fandom. (Warning: statistics cited in this essay are completely made up.) A whole genre of fanfiction rose up to collect theories about her history, and/or her whereabouts after ATLA's finale. For such an important character, though, she seemed to be a cipher, a unknown quantity onto which fans could project all kinds of personalities and histories. It was said that when her story was revealed, it would never satisfy the general fandom, because they had built up such a varied collection of perceptions of Ursa that the majority would inevitably have their "head canon" contradicted. And we all know how nerds can get when you contradict their headcanons! ;)

In October 2013, the finale of The Search- the ATLA comic series that revealed both Ursa's history and fate- was published. Inevitably, there was disappointment. There were also fans who were happy with what they got. In my own experience, there were also a surprising number of people who had no opinion of the actual story, but who were simply glad that a story about Ursa had been told, officially, and they could at last move on from wondering.

I myself was among those disappointed by the story, but that's not what I wanted to discuss here. Unlike The Promise, The Searchwas a coherent tale, but rushed and unfocused, never mind that stupid cliffhanger about Zuko's parentage that eclipsed almost all worthwhile discussion about the story. More than anything, though, I wish I could just be satisfied that Ursa's tale has been told, but I'm not.

That's because I don't feel that Ursa's story has been told.

We got a story about a character named Ursa, but she was not the Ursa we saw so briefly in the ATLA cartoon.

She was a second Ursa.

People have expressed interest in why I feel this way, so I've typed up my thoughts here. Most of this essay is copied from a post I made on the AvatarSpirit.net forums, but I've adapted it to stand alone outside of the wider discussion. (Naturally, spoilers for The Search follow.)

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'Retroactive' on TVTropes!
katara, asn, loopy, loopies
Remember when I was called out on TVTropes as one of the greatest ATLA fanfic'ers? Well, my troper fan (Agogobell) has been active again. Now, Retroactive has a page on TVTropes. Granted, it's not much more than a placeholder, but I'm not about to let a whole page devoted to a work of mine languish in obscurity. By the time you read this, I'll probably have added it to the Fanfic index page, and maybe even completed a larger description of the story. I'm going to add as many tropes as I can, but I'm not all that experienced with troping, so hopefully some other people will make their own additions.

This leaves me with a question, though. How much of Retroactive's story is a spoiler? Should I consider anything after the first big twist on Kyoshi Island a spoiler? Or only answers to the mysteries set up by that twist, and subsequent major twists? I'm leaning towards the latter, putting a warning up in the description that going into the story completely cold is the intended method of reading, and the descriptions of the tropes that follow are going to assume that the reader is already familiar with the basic premise as established by the "Faces, Old and New" chapter.

I'd protest that Retroactive probably isn't good or notable enough to get a TVTropes page, but it's definitely a fairly unique effort in ATLA fanfic, and 'How I Became Yours' has a page on that site, so as long as we're promoting the worst the fandom has to offer, why not also acknowledge when one of our own displays a little ambition, eh?

Now I've set myself up to earn a TVTropes page for every single multi-chapter story into which I actually put planning effort. (Note: I create the Mai's Ramblings page myself for fun.) Hopefully I won't screw up my clean sweep at some point in the future. On that note, I should probably bury the idea for that "Sokka and Azula fight Vampire Kyoshi Warriors during a Zombie Apocalypse" story before I embarrass myself.

Story - The Contract
katara, asn, loopy, loopies
Title: The Contract
Rating: K+ (contains a little unexplained crude humor)
Characters: Mai, Ursa, Zuko
Notes: I wanted to do my take on the idea of a formal betrothal between Mai and Zuko as kids. Somehow, I wound up with a comedic satire of Fire Nation culture as seen through the eyes of Mai and Ursa. Weird, right?
Warning: Contains allusions to Ursa's backstory as presented in 'The Search - Part 1'

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Retroactive: The MANGA?! Slush yes!
azula, suki, retroactive
So, you're either enjoying my Retroactive fanfic novel or you're despairing of my writing output lately. :D According to my plans, we have 5-6 more chapters to go, but keep in mind that my plans for the Ba Sing Se arc were so awful that all of my intended chapters wound up getting split in half. (Hopefully, I've gotten better since then.) If you don't like Retroactive, there's no reason to read the rest of this journal. You should wait for Maikka Fortnight this Fall, when I'll once again be writing something that doesn't involve literally crucifying characters.

However, if you're a fan of Retroactive, or haven't yet had an opportunity to try it yet, I have a treat for you!

On deviantArt, the talented penguintejas (Light Penguin on fanfiction.net) took the initiative to create a manga-style adaptation of the first half of Retroactive's prologue.

Let me repeat that: A talented artist found my writing inspiring enough to make a comic out of it!

I encourage everyone to check out the three pages, and if you have a deviantArt account, add them to your Favorites and leave gushing comments:

Page 1
Page 2
Page 3

Personally, I can't be more thrilled. These pages look great, and really breathe life into the storytelling. Check 'em out!

Agile Novel Development
katara, asn, loopy, loopies
In a previous journal entry, I described a model for selling a story idea that someone else could turn into a book or comic. I had hoped to refine it into a functional (theoretically functional, at least) sales method, but it seems that I was trying to build on a shaky foundation. Commenters took the position that most artists prefer to work as auteurs, as there's no possible way that anyone but the idea's originator could do a good job with it. Since most of us aren't professionals, it's not a surprising philosophy, although most of what we produce- fanworks- are testaments to the effectiveness of producing an idea that someone else came up with. (Hollywood is another testament.)

However, one line of thought especially jumped out at me. On my livejournal, ljlee shared a great article that outlined the history of Publishing and the role of the Author in the evolving sales model, ending with the assertion that the changing marketplace (online versus bookstores, grassroots over corporate publishing, etc.) will yield a new manifestation of the old concept of an Author. The article can be read here, and I recommend it as much for its exciting and punchy style as for the learning opportunity it offers. The article really got me thinking and one idea especially won my infatuation:

What if the next evolution of the Author is from a single, credited person to a team of interchangeable people?
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So, do you think something like this could work? What improvements would you suggest?

Buy my Plot (Social Experiment)
katara, asn, loopy, loopies
So, today I came up with an idea for a novel. The idea itself isn't important or relevant; I come up with an idea everyday for a book, including one notable departure from fiction for a tabletop picture-heavy hardcover about potato chip culture in America. However, what I did with the idea (the one from today, not the potato chip book) is what's interesting.

I did nothing with it. I'm not going to write it.

But it occurred to me that it's a good idea, and maybe someone would want to buy it from me.

But how would I sell it?

So, this is my experiment with selling an idea. I don't really expect anyone to want to buy it, but I was curious if the model I came up for the salesmanship would work. I invite you to pretend that you're an interested buyer, and tell me whether my pitch works, or if there's more information you would want to know before you make a decision and/or offer.

I'm not going to be sharing the idea for the novel itself, as that would be giving away my product for free, but I'm going to use it for this experiment so that we have a solid foundation. Ideally, we'll develop a model we can all use to sell ideas online, maybe even create an Idea Industry, and then we can all sit around on our computers all day touting our mystery "pleasure food" idea and then reveal "pizza wrapped in ham" after we've been paid by some dumb patsy. (Naturally, we'd have to worry about inflation and brand devaluation.) It's not that I dislike my day job, otherwise I might actually try writing this novel, but trading a real job for a not-real job without loss of income is the Great American Dream. (And all foreigners love American stuff, so I'm sure everyone else digs it, too.)

The Pitch...Collapse )


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