Slashcast Writer's Corner Interview with Diana Copland and Kryptaria
|Interviews by Fans|
|Title:||Slashcast Writer's Corner Interview with Diana Copland and Kryptaria|
|Interviewee:||Diana Copland (oldenoughtoknowbetter, oldenough2nb) and Kryptaria|
|Date(s):||Frbruary 10, 2013|
|Medium:||online transcript, podcast|
|Fandom(s):||Harry Potter, Sherlock|
|External Links:||online here; WebCite|
|Click here for related articles on Fanlore.|
For more in this series, see Slashcast Interview Series.
Some Topics Discussed
- M/M romance writing
- Performance in a Leading Role, the Sherlock story
- Fifty Shades of Grey and its effect on fan writing and fan writers
- pulling to publish
Kryptaria: - I want a challenge. I want a challenge where the characters need to fight for their relationship. I want them to really earn their romance. I don’t want to see love at first sight, I want a believable relationship that grows from their first meeting and becomes something that neither of them expected to have. As anyone who’s read anything by me knows I absolutely love misunderstandings and conflicts, let them fight, let them argue, and then let them really work to get to an ending relationship.
Diana: So my hope is by the time they’re in their mid-20s/early-30s that part of their relationship would be behind them, or they would have outgrown the need to do that. That I think there are a lot of people who do it very well, where they’re fighting when they’re in their late teens and early-20s, and they come to an understanding of what that fighting is really indicating. Rather than they really hate each other is that they’re dawn toward each other and so I tend to take it in a different direction; which is probably why original fiction works so well for me because even though my characters are name Harry and Draco occasionally they look more like somebody else. [laughs, Emma joins in] I kind of… yeah they don’t fight a lot in my stories, obviously
Kryptaria: Outside conflict, I mean: Mycroft. [Emma laughs] Right there you have a wealth of outside conflict. Um, I love exploring the characters, so any challenge I can put even an individual character through whether it’s a character fighting his own inner demons, or fighting to preserve a relationship against outside odds, or even in the case of Sherlock – let’s face it Sherlock’s not a nice person – so falling in love with Sherlock is kind of like shooting yourself in the foot. [Emma chuckles] So trying to develop a relationship with him you’re fighting against him. So any conflict, anything that can add depth to the story and make the reader really invested in cheering for the pairing: that’s what I go for.
Kryptaria: Fifteen years ago I had somebody who tried to get me into writing romance and she gave me a formula: by chapter two this had to happen, by chapter 4 this had to happen. But that’s not how it’s done now. Now you can take the journey to the ending, to that happy couple ending. And you can go anywhere on the map you want. You don’t have to follow the formula of they kiss by chapter two, there is conflict, they don’t say I love you until chapter four, whatever, you can go any way you want and a good romance will get you in by showing you really well written characters who are struggling whether it’s against each other or together against the world. Um and they’re fighting for something and the reward at the end is that they’ve learned to love each other, they’ve learned to respect each other, they’ve learned that the love they had back in chapter one is worth fighting for and that’s what’s really engaging.
Diana: I don’t think that you can underestimate the impact of the difference [ Fifty Shades of Grey ] made. I, I’m not a fan of the books, I’ve never read the books, my daughter read the books but they were awful and- but what it has done is made publishers take a look at people who have a background in writing fanfiction and where at one time they might have dismissed them out of hand they can’t do that anymore. This thing’s a juggernaut, they can’t ignore it, and for that I thank her.
Kryptaria: That’s exactly what happened to me. I actually got contacted by a publishing company, by my editor, because of a slash romance I wrote, and she wants that exact story, just with one of the characters female, scrubbed of all of the show references, and she doesn’t want me to change anything. And again this goes back to breaking the formula, my romance that I published doesn’t follow the formula at all.
Diana: I think that has everything to do with the fact you’re not writing a traditional male/female couple, you’re writing men. I just had this conversation two days ago, that for men, and I have a lot of really close friends, for men sex is much easier. The committing of ‘I love you’ to anyone, let alone to another man, I think they find that, maybe it’s more meaningful, but they’re slower to do that. The sex is easy, the love is harder, so I think when you’re writing that dynamic, when you’re writing a slash dynamic you have to take into consideration you’re not writing a man and a woman, you’re writing two men. And whether we want to admit it or not men do tend to process things different than women do. I think anyone that’s been married will say yes, that’s true. [Emma chuckles] And I- so I think that trying to remember what you’re doing is writing two men and not trying to make one of them the woman is a big key toward writing the genre successfully at all.
Diana: But I also think that we have a lot of writers in fandom and it’s great, because it’s this way for everybody to sort of test their wings and to try it out, to see if people, you know, you throw it up and see if anybody bites or salutes or whatever. But I also think you’ll find what you get in fanfiction is kind of a microcosm of readers in general and that is if the way you write works in fandom there’s a pretty good chance the way you write is gonna work in publishing. If you have writers that feminise either character, or if it starts to take the path of a traditional romance, at least for me as a writer I notice the response isn’t there. And then you get someone who has, I don’t know, this little hook that pulls people along, that is different enough, and then you get a feel for their voice then you see that that can transition into original fiction too.
Kryptaria: Well I have two pieces of advice and the first is write. And I mean write, write more, keep writing, don’t worry about the specific words just keep going because the more you write, the more your brain learns to create, the more you can write. And then the second piece is to make it believable. For fanfiction just because a huge portion of the fanbase ship character A and B it doesn’t mean that we’re going to believe anything you do to throw them together. We don’t necessarily want to read another love at first sight instant happy ending. Make it believable, give them trials and misunderstandings and flaws, and make them earn them earn their romance.