Ask the Author: strangeallure

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Interviews by Fans
Title: Ask the Author: strangeallure
Interviewee: strangeallure
Date(s): August 23, 2012
Medium: online
Fandom(s): Supernatural
External Links: interview and comments are here; reference link
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strangeallure was interviewed for Supernatural Roundtable.

Some Excerpts

THEN: The first fannish thing I remember doing is creating a poster for Children's Book Week. Shortly after, I was composing Klingon battle hymns in my head on my way to school. In the late 90s, I discovered fanfiction. Those were the Google-less days of mailing lists, message boards and IRC. I read a lot, wrote a little, and left fandom behind after about two years.

In 2008, I remembered how much fun it used to be and found my way back. Soon after, I fell in love with SPN and the variety, quality and sheer volume of fannish output.

The first fic I started writing in this fandom was a J2 movie retelling, which I abandoned quickly. This year, I made a resolution to finish/post several stories from my WIP folder, so that fic turned into my Big Bang, Living Together 101.

WHAT: For the most part, I write CWRPS AUs, mainly J2, but I enjoy femslash and het just as much. Genevieve/Adrianne is my favorite femslash pairing in this fandom, and writing dragon!Adrianne/Jared was a lot of fun, too.

In SPN, I wrote a few Sam/Dean fics as well as some het (pre-marriage Mary/John and soulless!Sam/Gwen Campbell), and my first SPN femslash (which I started over a year ago) will get posted next month.

When writing SPN fic, I try to be canon-compliant, which means that those fics are on the darker side of things. Since I very much enjoy the happy escapism aspect of fandom, I usually focus on RPS AUs. I like using tropes, but I still try to make my stories flow naturally and feel true on an emotional level as well as generally plausible. So when Jared comes in front of a mirror with no tissue in sight, he has to clean up afterwards.

WHY: I read a lot over the years about how AUs are basically original fic and how authors are just pandering to the built-in readership fandom offers.

I can't speak for anyone else, but I don't think that's true for me. Part of the joy of AUs is that they afford a greater freedom than canon-compliant fic, yes, but it's also about the community I feel with other fanfic writers. The sum of AU fics creates something like its own canon characterizations. These are often a little more flexible since you can adjust the backstory to avoid someone feeling out of character. In writing AUs, I can place these characters in any and all kinds of settings and situations and play with them more freely. At the same time, I'm still drawing from all the wonderful fic I've read in this fandom, connecting myself to other fans and adding to this evolving "AU canon".

This sense of connection and opportunity for colaboration is also why I enjoy Big Bang, Reverse Bang and fanwork exchanges so much.
There are definitely some stylistic elements that I find myself using again and again, but I don't think they are very pronounced. For the most part, in my own writing at least, I value flow over personal style. Generally, my aim is to make the style so unobtrusive and the dialogue natural enough that the narration retreats into the background and maybe even disappears. That's one of the reasons why I read my fics (not just the dialogue) out loud when editing. Still, in fic with a lighter mood I usually use more modifiers, intesifiers and (in dialogue) fillers, while in darker fic, i.e. SPN fic, I try for a sparser, more clipped style to convey a certain tension. Having said that, I occasionally set myself certain stylistic goals for a piece - or sometimes, these goals seem to set themselves when I think out/outline/begin writing a story.