April 11, 2010

Sue's interview with MasenVixen about 'Stranger Than Fiction'

Stranger Than Fiction by MasenVixen
Oh this fic...

Now you all know that I found the Twilight books annoying and if you did not know that then you now realize WHY I love FanFiction so much.

The Twilight idea was a very good one ..sadly well I do not think SM did her idea justice. I give her props for doing it and of course give her tons of envy because her idea made her millionaire ...but I digress.


My issue (yeah could not stop myself) with SMs books is, well, the reactions of her characters.

NOW here we have a fic take takes off AFTER New Moon here read the description:

Summary: Six years after Edward left, Bella's written a bestselling book about a girl and the vampire who loves her. Edward returns to her, hell-bent on recapturing the happily ever after that he destroyed. AU. Rated M for lemons.
Twilight - Rated: M - English - Romance/Angst - Chapters: 15 - Words: 53,292 - Reviews: 1849 - Updated: 3-2-10 - Published: 1-2-10 - Bella & Edward

NOW imagine there is Edward all emo and stuff wandering around the world and he SEES things in the minds of other people that actually happened with Bella WHAT BRILLIANT TORTURE!!!

she of course describes it way better than I ever could ,THAT is just one part of this fic I adore what better punishment (unintentional on Bella's part BTW) to a mind reader than to write an international best seller about the most painful part of his life the time when he actually felt something he can't escape it the story is everywhere...

So if you like me have a bit of a well desire to harm Edward after he choose to leave Bella in New moon you know "for her own good" because he knew so much better then check out this interview with MasenVixen and THEN go read the fic AND THEN leave the love


1. Where did you get the idea for this story? What was your inspiration?
M: As much as we loved the Twilight saga, neither one of us felt very satisfied with the reunion scene in New Moon. I imagine part of that is because Stephenie Meyer was writing the scene the way a starry-eyed 17-year old would react in such a situation, which was probably perfectly appropriate. But as slightly more "experienced" women, it didn't scratch the itch. Then, after I read LolaShoes' "My Yes, My No" I realized just how much I really yearned for an alternative ending to be explored. The idea of Bella writing Twilight as a catharsis years after Edward left just sort of came to me out of thin air. We get a lot of credit for that as an "original" idea, which I think is funny. Aren't we all, in our way, doing the same?
V: Masen deserves all the credit. We were bitching over gchat about the ending of New Moon, and she started spouting all these wonderful ideas about what should have happened. At the end of the conversation, she said, "Seriously, someone should write a fic about this." And I've been shamelessly riding her coattails ever since. (Masen adds: Puh-leeze).

2. Is there anything you would want readers to know specifically?
M: That V is one of my best friends in RL. We've known each other for a long time and we've been through a lot together: school, work, weddings, and many debauched girls weekends that neither of us really remembers. This whole process has been as much about our friendship as anything else. That makes it incredibly special and meaningful to me.
V: Masen and I share a brain. Seriously. A lot of readers assume that we switch off writing chapters or POV, but nearly everything we've posted has been a true collaboration.

3. Why should readers read your story?
M: There are so many amazing fics, I have a hard time answering this. But I'm pretty proud of the reaction to our Bella. She has a backbone. She gets to accomplish something special in her life and she has the upper hand. In the original series, I didn't feel that we really got a true taste of Edward's suffering after leaving or his remorse after his return. We explore that quite deeply and it seems to resonate.
V: I agree with the strong Bella aspect that Masen described, because it's something I wished for as I was reading the saga. I also think we've created an Edward that is "human" in many respects and lovable despite his often idiotic or incomprehensible behavior.

4. Do you do anything special while writing a chapter like listen to special music, need total silence, eat a bag of M&Ms, drink heavily, whatever…?
M: When V and I first started writing, it was always the same routine for me. Glass of Spanish red, with our g-chat windows running. Now, I write more frequently and am less regimented. But usually it's on the couch with the hubs after the little one has gone to bed. I'm also slowly getting immersed in the circle of authors who chat while writing -- that's been fun and a great way to get to know some amazing ladies.
V: I don't have a routine, per se, but I do my best work in the wee hours of the morning. There's always music, whether it's in the background or in my head. Drinking heavily helps, too.

5. What do you do after you click the submit button for a chapter?
M: Check the link to make sure it works (FFn has some odd kinks sometimes) and then tweet it. G-chat with V.
V: Same.

6. Do you have a soundtrack to your stories?
M: Yes! Although we don't typically cut & paste lyrics into our chapters, so much of the backbone of our story is tied to songs that resonate with us. For instance, we lovingly refer to the BPOV in Chapter 9 as the "Icicle" scene, in honor of the Tori Amos song that inspired it. V actually made me EPOV and BPOV soundtracks for Christmas, which are amazing. I won't list all the songs here, but, for me, Tori's "Girl" is Bella's theme and Pete Yorn's "Crystal Village" is indisputably my anthem for EPOV: "You were there. And it was good in the beginning." (Hungry Like the Wolf mayyyy also be a bonus track on the BPOV ;)
V: Yes, definitely. I haphazardly created a soundtrack in the beginning, but it's constantly evolving. My character anthems have remained constant, though: Bella's anthem is "Speed of Sound" by Pearl Jam, and Edward's is "All I Need" by Radiohead.

7. What actor/actress do you picture as YOUR Edward and Bella?
M: Edward is Rob. Always always Rob. It's funny, I don't have a clear vision of "our" Bella in my head. Perhaps that's because I project myself onto her too much.
V: Rob for Edward. No question. For Bella, I don't really picture anyone. Kristen's too young for our mature, saucy Bella, and there's no one else out there who fits the bill for me.

8. Is the story all planned out or do you do it as a fly by the seat of your pants thing?
M: It's planned out. But we are constantly adjusting our outline because sometimes the scene we plan and the one we end up with are slightly different, and it affects the outcome of future scenes. One thing I find eerie about the writing process is your inability to force your characters to do certain things. There have been a few things in our outline that we've had to come together and discuss and, inevitably, we agree "yeah, Bella just won't do that. We have to cut it." What's really incredible is that V and I almost always agree wholeheartedly when those things come up. In the rare circumstance that we don't, whoever feels strongest about it wins, or, very rarely, we ask Anna to tie-break.
V: Because this is a collaboration, we've planned pretty far in advance. We have a detailed outline and frequently have marathon jam sessions to discuss character development, plot points, who's writing what, etc. That said, we give each other a lot of freedom, and I'm frequently surprised and thrilled to see how Masen has tackled a scene.

9. Do you have a posting schedule ? If so what is it ?
M/V: No. We prewrote about 1/3 of the story and we're through that stock of writing. So, we've been able to keep up a regular schedule but we both have pretty demanding jobs so we take it on a chapter-by-chapter basis.

10. Do you believe in HEA?
M: I believe in a satisfying ending. You invest in a story when you read it and you expect that investment to pay off.
V: Absolutely! But I don't think HEA means "perfect," and I don't think it requires all loose ends to be tied in a pretty bow. The HEA has to fit the characters, too, meaning that it needs to be believable that this Edward and this Bella would end up where they do. It doesn't always make sense to have the marriage and the baby carriage, in other words.

(Q courtesy of Mels) Give us a Random Fact about yourself
M: I'm deathly afraid of bees.
V: I'm incredibly new to the Twilight/FF world. I didn't read the first book in the saga until November 2009.

12. What brought you to fanfic? To Twilight?
M: I picked Twilight up at Target in preparation for a beach trip -- I just wanted something fun and easy. I found fanfic through Letters to Rob. I started with "Wide Awake" before I knew what AH was. I kept wondering why Edward was eating cookies and thinking, "When is he going to tell her he's a vamp?" Then I found LolaShoes and AU. I love both categories.
V: I asked a girlfriend for a "guilty pleasure" reading recommendation, and she suggested the Twilight saga. For FF, Masen and I were discussing the end of New Moon, and I mentioned that I thought Bella let Edward off WAY too easy. Layered over that discussion was the general sentiment (shared by most of us in the fandom, I assume) that the books needed some sexin'. So the next day, Masen sent me an email with a link to "My Yes, My No" by the brilliant LolaShoes. Masen's note read something like "I think you will find this eminently more satisfying than New Moon. Warning, this author deviates from Stephenie Meyer's 'chastity message'. Do not, under any circumstances, read this at work." I was beyond intrigued, read it immediately (i.e., as soon as I got home from work), and the rest is history.

13. What is your background in writing?
M: Zero, if you're talking creative writing. I think the last creative thing I wrote was in 5th grade. But I write a lot for work and at least have a handle on grammar, which helps. I'm a spare writer and I don't see that changing, but I'm trying to learn from others who are more gifted with description. (Caveat: my "handle on grammar" does not extend to conjugating the verb "to lay").
V: I write a lot of memos for work. And I wrote an award-winning haiku when I was in third grade. That's about it.

If you could have 15 minutes with any Edward, FF or SM, which one would you choose and what would you do? (If you do not LIKE any of the Edwards feel to substitute an actor here)
M: You know, I love so many different Edwards in fanfic. But it was the original Vamp that sucked me into this world and I still find him to be the most intriguing. I'd probably spend my 15 minutes quizzing him about what he could recall from his human life and the transition to immortality. I mean he was 17 when he was changed. That's definitely long enough to love your mama. Didn't he miss her?? After original Edward, I'd have to go with Domward. And our activities would be private.
V: I love, love, LOVE the Edward in "Tropic of Virgo" by in.a.blue.bathrobe. He's my all-time favorite Edward in the AH world, primarily because he's one of the few that isn't "damaged" in some way; all his issues can be chalked up to the angst that goes hand-in-hand with being a teenager. He loves Bella enough to let her forge her own path, writes beautiful music and lyrics, and believes that all women have the potential to be goddesses (even--gasp--Jessica Stanley). I'd spend my 15 minutes leaned up against him while he sat on the piano bench, playing a song he wrote just for me.

15 What is your FF pet peeve?
M: I don't mind length, but I do mind rambling. (The "return" key is your friend!) Make your words count and I'll read as many as you write. I also get a bit tired of James as a one-dimensional "Bad Guy".
V: Aside from fics with poor grammar and syntax, I'm generally turned off by stories that portray Bella as a damsel in distress.

16 What is your Fandom pet peeve?
M: The fandom has been unbelievably kind to us. I hesitate to even criticize anything but maybe I'd like to ask for a little patience with a WIP. Sometimes the scene you are salivating for is just not ripe yet.
V: Can't think of anything.

Did any FF authors inspire you?
M: Yes!! LolaShoes inspired me to start writing FF in the first place. The real "aha" moment for me was when "My Yes, My No" Bella points out the absurdity of Edward's "Am I too late?" question upon returning in New Moon. Lola made the point beautifully that Edward couldn't be "late" because he didn't come back; Bella went to rescue him. I read that and I was practically pumping my fist in the air, "YES, exactly!" "Irritable Grizzly Adams" by Caligula42 is another "What if Edward Never Came Back?" fic that started the wheels spinning in my brain for our story. I also just generally find it inspiring that the FF authors seem to comprise this group of really smart women who are extremely supportive of one another. That was such a pleasant surprise for us when we popped on the scene and we've already made some amazing friends.
V: LolaShoes, without question. And our lovely beta annanabanana; her writing has such a poetic quality and stands in stark contrast to our style (Masen: ::nods::).

19. Any recs for us?
I wish we had some "lesser-knowns" to recommend but the truth is we are both still swimming in fics we want to read. Ones we are currently reading/loving include: "Tropic of Virgo" (in.a.blue.bathrobe), "Answering Bell" (ilsuocantante), "Rhapsody" (annanabanana), "With Teeth" (TalulaBlue), "This Hungry World" (LolaShoes), "Sleeper in a Clone Suit" (Annanabanana), "Confessions of a Nanny" (Melissa228), and "A Mzungu Oasis" (lisa89).


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