Ask the Author: FayJay (Pandarus)

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Interviews by Fans
Title: Ask the Author: FayJay (Pandarus)
Interviewee: FayJay (Pandarus)
Date(s): May 18, 2009
Medium: online
Fandom(s): Supernatural
External Links: interview is here; reference link
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FayJay (Pandarus) was interviewed in 2009 for Supernatural Roundtable.

Some Excerpts

I've been reading and writing fanfic for about a decade now – initially BtVS, then Smallville, then Harry Potter, and I've dipped my toes into heaps of other fandoms along the way. I tend more towards slash, but I do read and write Het, Femmeslash and Gen too. And crossovers – I'm very fond of crossovers! I've been watching Supernatural avidly since Season 1, but other than one rather lengthy, plotty BtVS/SPN crossover story (Faith/Dean – I do still love the hell out of this story, actually), I didn't get bitten by the writing bug for the show until Season 4 introduced angels into the equation, and my dormant muse exploded into action – at this point I've written, oh, about 160,000 words of SPN fanfic since January. I've written Het, Slash, Femmeslash and Gen; drama, humour, crack and several crossovers with various other fandoms.
At this point I've written about twenty SPN stories, and they're all pretty different. They range from thoroughly dark and fucked up NC17 (YED!John/Dean dubcon) through to fairytales and kidfic.

I think the most important thing for me is character – story generally stems from character for me, mostly, and even when you start out with an idea (like “Damn, Dean would make a hot chick...huh, wonder how that would pan out...?) the direction that the story goes on to take depends on how the characters react to the situations they encounter. Which can mean you find yourself writing 60,000 words of hot Sam/Dean, despite not normally 'shipping Wincest – because that was where the story wanted to go.

So that's me. Oh! I also record podfic – both my own stories, and other people's, in various fandoms. My podfic can be found [here]. Some of it's rather good (although I'm best suited to the UK fandoms, really, being a Brit, 'cause then I can make it a proper performance, and do different accents. Still, the SPN stuff is worth a listen, I think).
I generally start off with a pretty clear idea of the shape of the story in my head, and the characters'...I want to say their "emotional journey", but it sounds so wanky. But that sort of is what I mean, though, so let's say that. Um. And I've found that the stories do tend to go off in unexpected directions within that, and that more layers get added in as you go along, and maybe you make connections (or find parallels and symbols cropping up) that hadn't been part of the original plan. But the skeleton of the story stays intact, and the emotional arc is generally what I thought it would be, even if the details might surprise me.

(I shouldn't say that, should I? It's so asking for trouble! And I really do need to get my arse into gear and get on with the unfinished SPN/Twilight crossover, now that Edward has been freed from his sparkly curse and is stomping around eating babies...)

It's always character-led, though. I mean, I might start off with a 'what if', but then you get a general idea of where that would take the characters, and that's the structure in your head at the beginning. And then the writing part is a case of following the characters around and writing down what they do. So that means that generally you don't write yourself into a corner (touch wood). (And maybe being a bit pretentious and arty with the parallels and the link-making, because I find it hard not to do that.)

Mind you, there are times when I find myself flailing a bit, and wondering how EXACTLY the plot is going to move from point A to point B, logistically. But I usually find that if I step away from the story for a day or two, and keep pondering it, it all sorts itself out. So far I haven't wanted to go back and rejiggle anything.