May 20, 2010

Silver's Interview with WhatsMyNomDePlume about 'Legendary'

Legendary by WhatsMyNomDePlume

Story Summary: Preternaturally irresistible, devastatingly charming Edward Cullen seems to have some strange power over the females in Forks…and Bella is scared she might know just what it is.M for suggestive language & naughty fun. Part mystery,part drama, all Edward.

We all know Edward is every woman’s fantasy, and barely any characters have the power to resist him.  Yet what if he was so irresistible that it seemed that there was something not quite... human about him? This is what Legendary explores.  When Edward turns from the geek on no-one’s radar to the man who turns heads everywhere he goes, Bella starts to think something has gone awry. “There were Casanovas before him. Don Juans after him. But nobody could match Edward Cullen,” is the description we receive in chapter one, capturing just how irresistible this Edward is. This story captivated me from the first chapter; it’s wonderfully written, mysterious , funny and leaves me wanting more.   The author is one of the sweetest people I’ve had the pleasure to talk to in this fandom, and somewhere in between our ramblings, we managed to do an interview. 

1. Where did you get the idea for this story? What was your inspiration? 

WMNDP: My inspiration was 100% Edward. I love the level of worship and devotion he commands in the fandom (myself included). Even when he's human, he's often portrayed as (physically or sexually) perfect, so much so that it's unnatural... or preternatural. Or supernatural. So I began to think, "what if we were dealing with an Edward who was supernatural?" Then I thought, "what if we didn't know if he was or wasn't?" And hence the plot of Legendary was born. There's a definite sense of hyperbole, and just the tiniest hint of parody, to the myth, mysteriousness and character of Legendary Edward. Plus, I really wanted to show that a story could be sexy without large amounts (or really, any) smut; I hope I accomplished that.

Silver: uh, that would be hell yes

WMNDP: hah, why thank you.

Silver: I just have to say that I love the mythological aspects in Legendary. And it isn't common mythology either; it's a little different, on the edge

WMNDP: I love mythology. And though I change it suit my needs, I love finding myths/stories that I can build my story around. But what i really love about it is that mythology can be created anywhere; there are fics that have completely deviated from canon, which in itself created its own myths, to make their own. It's so creatively enriching.

2. Why do you think readers should read your story?
WMNDP: I can't say they should, but I'm pleased that there are those who want to. That said, I do think it's like a good joyride: fun, quick and hopefully, exciting.
Silver: well I love it, it's very different too

WMNDP: yes, that's my number one thing when I consider an idea for a story; if its done before, I find it very hard to continue and usually just abandon the idea. I always want to be presenting something original.

Silver: which is quite hard to do at times, considering how large the fandom is.
WMNDP: Agreed. It's very hard to do, but I'm continually amazed at the originality and creativity demonstrated in all genres of Twific.
Silver: yes, it's amazing how many wonderfully creative stories there are out there
WMNDP: Though I don't read a lot of it, I think its awesome how much creativity there is within Canon fics. They follow all the rules of the book but still, in many cases, surpass SM's world in depth and detail.

Silver: I know, I can't write canon at all, I am always in awe of those who can

WMNDP: Totally. It befuddles me just trying to consider writing canon's 'style'. That doesn't even begin to cover the character depth and timelines and physiology. And I love, love, love when fics get into the physiology/biology of vampirism. I think its infinitely interesting.

3. Is there anything you would want readers to know specifically? 
WMNDP: Directly regarding Legendary, no. If it's not coming across in the story then it either doesn't need to be said or I need to be writing better. I really try to avoid giving anything but horribly vague or equivocating hints about what is happening or what is to come. It is my firm belief that the story itself should be completely self-contained.

Silver: I like that there is a sense of ambiguity in Legendary, it's part of what keeps me reading

WMNDP: Yes. I have to admit though, its totally against my own nature to be able to not talk about things, I'm surprised I was even able to get through the first chapters without giving away the end! It goes back to my whole idea behind this story; I think that a lot of fics tend to be explicit, in content, in their telling. I really wanted to write something very implicit.

4. Give us a Random Fact about yourself

WMNDP: I'm terrified of the dark. And I hate feet. If someone were to barefoot kick me in the dark, I'd probably lose my mind.
Hah, you wanted one. I gave you three. I told you I ramble.

Silver: your rambling is interesting lol
And I hate feet too

5. Do you do anything special when writing a chapter? Like listen to music, need silence, eat anything in particular?

WMNDP:Ha, that'd be hilarious if I could only write after eating brussell sprouts or something random like that. I don't have any "writing" habits. Some chapters I've just sat down and churned out. Others, I write in pieces; a section here, a description there, a string of dialogue somewhere else. And I literally write all the time; whenever I come up with something I'd like to include in Legendary, I'll write in on my phone or the closest piece of paper. I get some of my best ideas as I'm going to sleep and I'm too lazy to get up and write them, so I voice-record them on my phone and try and try to decipher them in the morning. It's usually works, but sometimes, I say ridiculous things like "it needs sheep".

Silver: Really?  It actually said it needs sheep?

WMNDP: haha no I really have a recording that says "it need sheep. In the chapter." I don't know what needed sheep, but suffice to say, I don't think I'm going to follow up on that idea.

6. What do you do after you click the submit button for a chapter?

WMNDP: I read what I've just posted and catch all the mistakes I've missed and/or all the things I hate about the chapter. It's horrible, no matter how many times I read it before, I'll always find something to pick at after I've posted.

Silver: glutton for punishment?

WMNDP: Yes a bit. Plus I think I just can never meet my own standards. In a good way, it keeps me going and I would like to think, keeps me grounded in everything I do. Later, I'll just let go and move on but for the first few minutes after I post, I'm at canon-Edward levels of self-loathing haha.

7. Do you have a soundtrack to your stories?

WMNDP: Not one of my own, though I think it's safe to say, if i did, Thriller would definitely feature on it. However, I do want to point out that one of my readers, twistedcoincidence made a fic mix for Legendary or the LJ community Bella's Lullaby. It was very cool to hear her idea of what songs fit... and some of them just matched the story so well. One in particular inspired the second outtake.

8. What actor/actress do you picture as YOUR Edward and Bella? 

WMNDP: Robert Pattinson as Legendary's Edward, absolutement. But slick RPattz, circa the GQ and/or the Details shoot. I'm not a fan of Kristen Stewart or her performance as Bella so she's not who I picture. I actually don't really picture a B. Even though its sort of a omniscient third pov narratory, this whole ordeal is more or less kind of viewed through her eyes. I kind of hope that the reader just injects herself in Bella's place.
And I know I have one male reader, which is awesome, so I have no idea what he does haha.

Silver: that's really interesting that you don't have a fixed Bella

WMNDP: I really can't tell you why.
I have no idea.

9.Is the story all planned out or do you do it as a fly by the seat of your pants thing?

WMNDP: It's pretty much all outlined. The first things I wrote were chapter 1 (his 'rebirth' so to speak) and I like it so I sort of came up with a story around it; then I wrote the very last line of the last chapter before the epilogue. And then I mapped out each chapter in between; I felt I had to, because otherwise I would miss some important detail of the mystery and there would be a giant gaping plot hole.

Silver: so do you know how many chapters it's going to be?

WMNDP: yes. including the prologue and epilogue, 10 chapters.
so we've got two more to go.
and a few outtakes here and there.

Silver: ooh it's nearly done then

WMNDP: yes. i'm having separation anxiety haha.

Silver: I'm excited but sad, I'll miss it

10. Do you believe in HEA?

WMNDP: Not really. I will always, no matter how much it kills me, prefer a good ending to a happy one. (Legendary readers, please don't freak out!) That's not to say a happy ending can't also be a good one, but it must be justified. I know that fanfiction holds an element of wish fulfillment, so I can understand why people want HEA's. But even though I'm admittedly not good at handling angst/tragedy, I'd rather be heartbroken and sobbing than feel cheated or given a false sense of resolution. I particularly have a love/hate relationship with epilogues, which have sometimes ruined the rest of the story for me, in their attempts to tie every loose end up (except for Leah, she can't be happy. Ever.) Just because the story is ending doesn't mean the characters are-- silly as it sounds, they live on, sometimes for the rest of time, in the universe the author has created for them. Its okay to not have every last bit neatly wrapped up

11. Do you have any more fic plans in the future? 

WMNDP: With Legendary ending soon, I'm definitely working on a new story... or three. I have about four different plots that I have outlined, every day I change my mind cyclically, fickly, about which one I want to pursue. As soon as I get down to business on on, I'll begin posting.
Also, I will be co-hosting a one shot contest with the lovely SunKing. I'm beyond excited: the theme is superheroes and we've got an awesome panel of judges. That'll happen sometime in June.

12. What brought you to fanfic? To Twilight? 

WMNDP: Hah it's such a shallow story. My roommate and I went randomly, after hearing all this hype but not knowing anything about it, to see Twilight. We both agreed the movie was really ridiculous and so was Robert Pattinson. Really, really ridiculously good looking that is. I was hooked. (Told you: shallow.) I'd read other fandoms previously, which are relatively small, and I just wnted to go a little beyond the movie so I checked out Twific. Once i began reading, I realized how much there was out
there and I was totally sucked in. I read all four book, dove into fic voraciously, and well, here I am, more than a year and half later.

Silver: that’s not shallow, I think it's what happened to a lot of people

WMNDP: agreed. i almost wish I was in the fandom before the movies, so I could have seen how it grew with the phenomenon of the movies.

13. What is your background in writing?

WMNDP: Other than a brief dalliance with the consideration of being an English major in colege, no formal writing training. It’s always been my favorite hobby, though. I do write financial articles for my job now (I hate finance with a passion) and I will be pursuing a master’s degree in Publishing starting this fall, which I’m very excited about.

Silver: good luck with it!

14. If you could have 15 minutes with any Edward FF or SMs which one would you choose and what would you do?

WMNDP: Gah, I'd choose an FF one but which one is tough. Maybe Curseward from TBTC because I like a challenge and my men difficult, haha; or And With Thee Fade Away's Edward because he's got my ideal sense of humor and he's such a coconut (hard shell, soft, sweet inside). Or C-56's Edward, because he is enlightened and positive in a way that render his disability moot. As for what I'd do... hmm. I guess I'd... use my imagination.

15. What is your FF pet peeve?
WMNDP: Under grammar alone, I have a lot: misused homonyms, incorrect dialogue tags, inappropriate idioms or turns of phrase. But I can accept that not all people have or want to put in the same amount of commitment to the writing process as others; it’s my prerogative to decide whether I want to read it or not. But I really hate when good fics go on too long. That really makes me sad because it ruins the magic of it.

16. Which RL author inspires you?
WMNDP: Shel Silverstein was my favorite as a child; I started writing poetry and wandered into prose. Harper Lee taught me that a story can be enjoyable, but until it teaches you something about the world, it isn’t significant. Arundhati Roy, author of The God Of Small Things, really, most directly influenced my writing style; she clearly blurs the line between poetry and prose. Also conversely, I have to say, there are two books I absolutely hated that totally influenced me in the way I look at the world, and therefore, the way I write: Grendel which is a retelling of Beowulf from the monster’s point of view and made me always think about what the other side of the coin is; and Waiting For Godot, because my loathing aside, aren’t we all?

17. Have any FF authors inspire you? 
WMNDP: Oh yes. I love Dryler’s Bright Like the Sun, it totally spawned the all-dialogue format of my first one shot, Hear, Say. Every time With Teeth updates, I contemplate giving up writing fic totally and completely. And my beta is QuothMe, who is first and foremost, a stunning author. She writes without regard to fandom conventions or expectations and is inspiring and encouraging as an author and as a beta.

Silver: With Teeth makes me feel unworthy too.  As does QuothMe, she’s a fantastic writer.

18. Do you have any recommendations?

WMNDP: I love finding little fics and I recommend (what I consider to be) under-read fics almost solely. Definitely C-56 by SS10, which features a paraplegic Edward so charming, you won't be able to not fall ifor him. I'll rec And WIth Thee Fade Away until every single person in the fandom has read it because it is probably my favorite AU. Ever. I love Pretend He's Not There by SunKing, which is really wonderfully suspenseful. Also, With All My Strength by Rhi Aeffyll follows a vampire Edward with a decidedly different backstory, which is worth checking out alone.

Silver: I love And With Thee Fade Away, I second that rec!

19. Anything else you would like to add?
Yes. I think you're lovely.
That’s all.


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