Ask the Author: Dreamlittleyo

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Interviews by Fans
Title: Ask the Author: Dreamlittleyo
Interviewee: Dreamlittleyo
Date(s): February 22, 2011
Medium: online
Fandom(s): Supernatural
External Links: interview and comments are here; reference link
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Dreamlittleyo was interviewed for Supernatural Roundtable.

Some Excerpts

I fell into SPN fandom during the season two hiatus. fayolin bought me season one for Christmas, you see, and by the third episode I was hooked. It coincided with a pretty stressful time in my life academically, and maybe it's inevitable than fandom became my primary distraction and sanity line.

It was the first time I ever actually participated in a fandom instead of simply scouring the internet for fic and letting plotbunnies pile up unused in my notebooks. I can't tell you how eye opening it was to discover such an enormous network of kindness and energy and creativity. God, if Show hadn't won me over, fandom damn well would have. I hope I'm not getting too smarmy, but… seriously. It was overwhelming, you know?

For three years I wrote almost exclusively Sam/Dean. Eventually the idea of John/Jo knocked me flat on my ass, and I've never quite recovered from that. The two share the title of OTP in my head now, and I wouldn't have it any other way.

Lately I've been collaborating a lot with leonidaslion, my lovely ficwife, both in and out of fandom. And of course, there's never enough time to write all the bunnies at once (Exhibit A). I also love challenges and exchanges. Somehow fic is more fun when you're writing it for someone.
As far as writing collaboratively goes, I've actually discovered it varies a lot from person to person. I've only written with a small handful of people, and it's just slightly different with every one. You have to find a way to work with both of your individual strengths, you know? With rivers_bend it was a fun and completely fascinating process, because we both write with such different tones and processes. We had to find a middle ground that catered to my need for a plan but left us free to this sort of fic serendipity that she's a master of.

With leonidaslion, it's awesome in different ways. Our processes are still quite different (or at least they used to be... I've been slowly letting go of my need to over-plan everything, the longer I chat and work with her), but our actual writing styles/preferences/instincts are very similar. So the challenges crop up in different places, and there's still a remarkable amount of compromise that needs to come into play. No matter how perfectly in tune we are on a given project, there are still going to be plenty of spots where we want to take a scene in different directions. When that happens, sometimes one of us will just write it and we'll tweak from there. Sometimes we'll realize the disparity ahead of time, and simply hammer the idea back and forth until either someone is genuinely convinced or someone "wins". Usually in those moments one of us is more strongly vested in the outcome than the other anyway.

In every case, I've found that trusting your writing partner is the absolute most important things. You need to be able to argue about scenes without worrying that you're going to be causing offense. And even more importantly, you have to be able to trust that you both know what you're doing -- that the fic will still be good even if a scene, or a line, or the ending don't go quite the way you expected. I've had great experiences with this all around so far.

And I just realized how LITTLE I rambled about the process there. *facepalm* Okay, to answer your actual question: logistically Lion and I have taken to working in googledocs. It allows for real-time collaboration in the same document, which is just amazing for pretty much every stage of a writing project. We can brainstorm and outline together. We can tagteam on a difficult scene and correct typos and awkward sentences in a paragraph above while the other is still writing below. We can edit together in real time, which is sometimes the most amazing thing ever.

Googledocs is a little glitchy sometimes, but all in all it's been an incredible tool.

Before that it was always either mailing a Word .doc back and forth while talking logistics in chat, or winging it comment!fic style. Mr. Congeniality is the former. A Key to Every Door & Vaccinium Cyanococcus were more the latter. Both are definitely workable processes, though admittedly the fics that result are remarkably different. I don't think we could have done "Mr. Congeniality" with less planning, for example, but the planning itself was super time consuming. It had to be in order for the way we were writing the fic itself.

It's mostly just trial and error. You figure out what works for you, and what works for your partner.