Welcome to another round of Meet the Authors. Today, we are graced with the presence of fanfiction writer Grandlarseny, creator of prose for a wide-range of fandoms including Gundam Wing, Ranma 1/2, Inuyasha, Trigun, Narato, and Bleach. Read on to uncover which characters this feminist loves to tinker with, and why she writes fanfiction. You might even discover new authors to read as she spills the beans on her personal fanfiction heroes.
I have been writing fanfiction in one capacity or another for the past thirteen years.
I became aware of what fanfiction was through the X-Files fandom, though at that time I shied away from reading any, mostly because they were written by adults for adults and at that point I was a preteen and found the sexual themes in them intimidating. It wasn't until several years later that I started to read and subsequently write fanfiction, when I became a fan of Gundam Wing. I think I was much more open to fanfiction at this point because I was older, the fanbase was largely comprised of an age group that could be considered my peers, and the internet was becoming widely accessible to many people- I wrote my first story at age 15 and I've never looked back :)
Oh man, where to start hahaha! Within my initial fandom of Gundam Wing I highly regarded the works of Kristen Elizabeth, Figgy, Lady Scarlette-Une and the Black Rose. As I moved on I found other authors very appealing and inspirational, to the extent that I would read fics by them from fandoms I didn't actually know anything about- Scribbler, Luc Court, D-Watson, Cadence and Sunfreak remain some of my all-time favorites, even after they stopped writing for the fandoms that initially introduced me to them. Generally speaking, they tend to write brief character-heavy and atmospheric stories, but they find fresh ways to look at characters that I thought I knew inside and out, and they push the boundaries of characterization and interpretation, which just is really awesome and innovative. I find the stories I love the most are those that honor the rules of canon and make them work for their new creation, rather than hinder it. I would also be remiss if I did not mention Between the Shadow and the Soul by Visions, one of the most achingly heartbreaking fanfics I've ever read (it centers around Sasuke Uchiha of Naruto) and Dazed and Confused by Fabulist for Full Metal Panic! which is everything a romantic comedy fic should be.
Gundam Wing is probably my favorite show to write fanfiction for, but I've written outside of that show many times. My primary motivator in writing fanfiction is to fill in blanks that a series left. For instance, if a show is very light hearted, I find it interesting to explore darker aspects about it. If it lacks romance, I tend to write about romance. If two characters have a significant interaction that doesn't always get fleshed out in a satisfying way, or if I have other ideas about the direction they took them in, I'll also find that a compelling reason to write. I don't always write for every series I read for, and I think the more satisfied I am with the balance found in a series, the least likely I am to write a story about it.
Why? Ahhhh!!!! The worst question hahaha. I find I usually like *parts* of my stories better than the whole. But two stories that are very dear to me are Love Story and Inexhaustible from Split Seconds (a series of Naruto drabbles). I don't think they're necessarily better written or more interesting than any other story, but they both are actually very personal and are explorations of real feelings I was having at the time of writing them- for this reason, they're actually sister-stories. Whenever I read them, it's almost like re-reading a journal entry that no ones knows is about me. UNTIL NOW (dundundun)
I love LOVE *LOVE* writing stories that feature Relena Darlian and Sakura Haruno. I'm a feminist with a tendency to root for the underdog. Both Sakura and Relena are respectively the most dynamic characters within their series, with real, tangible growth and a transformation into people of incredible strength, but both are judged harshly and unfairly by their fandoms because of poor first impressions. Every time I write a story where their true colors shine, I feel like I'm defying people to put their judgements aside and asses the characters as the complex and sympathetic individuals they truly are, instead of the hyperbolic gross parodies fandom assigns them out of ignorance and hate.
I think probably my best strength in writing is characterization- it's my major interest in every kind of entertainment I consume and I think it's clear that my emphasis lies there when I'm telling my own stories. My biggest weakness is probably plot and everything associated with it, hahaha. If I had it my way, I would stick characters in a room and poke them with sticks just to measure their reactions- BUT, the fact of the matter is that they exist in worlds where pressures and experiences shape and test them, thus why they are so interesting in the first place. I think if I could surrender my obsession with "why" and maybe focus a little more on "how", I'd be a stronger writer.
I love any books! I have a passion for YA novels, but I also enjoy classic literature and contemporary fiction. I have to admit that I read more for the title than the author, but a few authors that I know by name and have consistently adored what they produce are Neil Gaiman, Bell Hooks, Maurice Sendak, and David Sedaris.
I would love to write a novel length story one day, if only for my own sense of accomplishment. Though I strive to produce the best stories I can, I am not under any illusions of grandeur, and am quite humbled any time someone likes something I wrote.
Let me know when you figure it out! Writer's block is terrible, and thus far the only way I've been able to mitigate it's effects is to leave the story alone until I find genuine inspiration for it again, which, let's face it, is a TERRIBLE way to deal with it!
Thesaurus.com is invaluable, especially during action scenes. Showing vs. Telling is something to always keep in the forefront of your mind. I also love to psych myself up for writing something by finding relevant songs or even watching music videos for the characters I'll be exploring. Sometimes I draw fanart or look at fanart while in the process of writing a story too. The clearer the picture in my head is, the clearer the journey a character takes :D