McShep Match Team War 2009 Interview with almostnever/Cesare

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Interviews by Fans
Title: McShep Match Team War 2009 Interview with almostnever/Cesare
Interviewee: almostnever/Cesare
Date(s): August 3, 2009
Medium: online
Fandom(s): Stargate Atlantis
External Links: online here; WebCite
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almostnever/Cesare was interviewed in 2009 for McShep Match.

It is part of this series: McShep Match Interview Series.


How long have you been writing fan fiction and/or making fan art and/or whatever else (vids, knitted goods, pornographic gingerbread cookies)?

I've been writing fan fiction offline for 21 years; online, 15 years. (I'm not as old as that makes me sound, I've just been interested in fan fiction for most of my life.)

All your SGA stories make me go, 'oh, boy! almostnever!', but I have to admit I really love how you use your angst stories to drag the boys kicking and screaming to (generally) happy or at least happish endings.

So I'd love to know: is there something about angst (versus funny, romance or any other genre) stories that particularly appeals to you?

Definitely yes.

Outside a fairy tale, I think even the fluffiest, funniest, and most perfect romance would surely have enough moments of uncertainty that a story focusing on that would qualify as angst. People are complicated, and even if everything goes swimmingly, I imagine just about everyone experiences doubt and suspense in relationships: Will she call? Is he just playing along to try to get me into bed? Are things going too well? Am I right to trust this?

Romantic angst is pretty close to universal. Most of us don't know firsthand what it's like to be a closeted gay pilot, or a genius nonpareil with a million neuroses, or responsible for awakening an almost unstoppable enemy bent on galactic decimation.

But nearly everyone knows what it feels like to care about someone and agonize over whether they feel the same. Nearly everyone knows how all the other vitally important things going on in the world and our lives can fade in comparison, while we thrive or suffer based on just one person's feelings.

That can be rough when you're going through it, but those are dramatic emotions, and it's cathartic to experience the echoes of them through fiction and then get a resolution when the story comes to an end. I really love stories that take me for that kind of ride.

My current favorite angstfest is chandri's In This Era Of Liberty. For nearly the entire last half of the story, the reader has a fairly clear certainty about what's really going on, even though the story is Rodney POV and he's misunderstanding it all. The first half of the story sets up the reasons for Rodney's misinterpretation so well that you can't help but suffer along with him as he gets everything backward and assumes the worst, even though you know he's wrong and it's all going to turn out okay. Now that is a great angsty reading experience. I would be thrilled if I could do anything a tenth so well as that.

Your writing is very versatile! Ranging from your clever fairy tale AUs to the darker stuff in Lavvyan's farrverse AU. Do you have to change your mindset to switch from writing these different types of fics? Is there a particular type of story that you prefer to write? What about to read?

First, thank you for noticing that. :-) It's nice to hear.

I do change my mindset for different types of fic, usually by reading or watching something that matches the mood I'm going for. I read fairy tales when I want to get into the rhythm and language of that type of story. The Farrverse was easy because other people were writing in the shared verse and I was eagerly reading it all, and the mood of other stories in the verse fed into my stories.

Sometimes I'll watch vids that match the mood of something I want to write, like My Brilliant Idea by lim for light-hearted stuff, Hysteria by nel for darker themes, and Isagel's The Temptation of John Sheppard for outright angst. All excellent.

I don't think there's a particular story that I prefer to write, exactly. I start many, many, many more stories than I ever finish-- I have thirty or more files in my SGA WIP folder in various stages, from two lines of an idea to stories that stalled for me at 7,000+ words. Going by my performance in past fandoms, I'll be doing good if I finish a quarter of those. The kind of story that is easiest for me to finish usually has a lot of dialogue and/or a strong POV character voice, some humor, and gets to the point fairly quickly.

As for what I read, I can enjoy almost anything if it's written well, from angst to m-preg to characters turning into zebras. Sometimes I prefer cozy domestic AUs and sometimes I prefer galaxy-spanning adventures. SGA has scores of wonderful writers working in all kinds of modes and moods. It's amazing how much top-notch fic is out there.