August 8, 2011

You Do Or You Dalton by Lizloz

You Do Or You Dalton

Hi, everyone. It’s been a while since I’ve contributed to the blog. Unfortunately real life got in the way. Had a degree to pass and whatnot, but now I’m FREE to do whatever I please until I get a job…

So to ease my way back in I’m introducing a new fandom. Glee.

If you follow me on Twitter, you may have seen my recent obsession with Glee and with a certain pink sunglasses-wearing actor by the name of Darren Criss. Well, anyway. Glee, as you probably know, is about some high school misfits who find an outlet in show choir AKA Glee club.

You might be wondering what fanfic there is out there for a show such as Glee, which seems to be primarily about singing. Well, there’s lots. According to our not-so faithful friend,, there are currently 40,585 stories for Glee. Due to the myriad plot holes and missing moments, there is inspiration galore for writers to grab hold of.

There are also many many different ships in Glee. My particular favourite and the central pairing in this rec is Klaine, or Kurt/Blaine. Kurt is one of the main characters in Glee, and Blaine is a student at a rival school.

So I will introduce you to one of my current favourites: You Do Or You Dalton by lizloz.

In the Glee universe, Dalton is the rival private boys school that Kurt Hummel goes and spies on. There he meets the dapper Blaine ‘Warbler’ Anderson, another openly gay teen, who becomes a kind of mentor for Kurt who is experiencing some pretty horrible bullying at McKinley HS (the main school in the show).
Eventually Kurt transfers to Dalton because the bullying gets so bad. Here is where YDOYD picks up the story.

Here is the summary:

Kurt leaves his McKinley life behind to embark on a schooling career at Dalton. With it comes the highs, lows and just plain weird moments of living in a boys school, but will Kurt embrace this change, or crumble?
Glee - Rated: T - English - Romance/Humor - Chapters: 43 - Words: 138,177 - Reviews: 489 - Updated: 7-26-11 - Published: 1-4-11 - Kurt H. & Blaine

Lizloz takes us through the highs and lows of a first romance, while introducing the world of Dalton, which in her story is a boarding school. Kurt finds friends, enemies and most importantly acceptance in this new school. Both Kurt and Blaine are very close to their on-screen counterparts, while the smaller background characters (both actual Glee characters and lizloz’s original characters) are well developed.

The Klaine relationship is progresses quite slowly, as Kurt comes to terms with what happened to him at McKinley and Blaine tries to understand and handle his feelings for his protégé of sorts. However, it does not run smoothly.

As the story was started before the last season finished, it does not necessarily follow canon, though aspects are included, making for an interesting take on the Klaine relationship.

Anyway… I’m babbling nonsense at you now. I interviewed lizloz about YDOYD so I’ll let her explain stuff better:

(I’ve edited out most of our chat (it was 4hrs long lol) but sorry for any sidetracking…)

Give us an elevator pitch. Say you're in an elevator with a prospective reader for 2 minutes. What would you tell them about the story?
Lizloz: Oh lordy ok...
Basically my story is a fun look at what Kurt's life might have been like at Dalton. It kind of follows canon but I've added loads of fun OCs and it certainly has its ups and downs. I think it's a great read and will make you laugh, gasp and possibly cry :)
Hannah: Cool! As a completely impartial person, I'd totally read it ;)
L: haha :) thank you

What drew you to Glee and fanfic?
L: Wellllll, I remember vividly my first experience of Glee, and that was seeing an advert for the pilot on E4 (British channel that showed Glee)
I saw it and thought 'oh, that looks good, I might check it out'
and I actually wrote a blog about it on my tumblr, saying 'I found this awesome new show called Glee'
so it was quite a general thing to begin with
but the somehow along the line I got completely into it and by season 2 I was totally addicted
My introduction to fanfiction was from Klaine
actually an interesting tidbit for you that I haven't told anyone - my first ever fic Arpeggios and Woah Woahs I actually first intended to write for Blaine and Quinn - it started off as a straight fic. But then as I was writing it I was thinking 'this would be so much better as Klaine'. So I changed the first chapter and from then on it was Klaine all the way. I'm so glad I changed it because now I have just gone from strength to strength.
H: Blaine and Quinn? That is a very interesting pairing lol! Never thought of those two together...
But I am very happy you went the Klaine route
L: Basically I just picked a random female character
H: Ah, I see
L: because to be honest I was just pretending it was me :D
but I thought Quinn might be interesting
H: lol! I do not blame you in the slightest
L: Before that I had never ever read any fanfiction
But now I read loads. But only Klaine. And some Monfer. Because I'm weird like that
H: I've only just discovered Glee fic so am on a Klaine binge. May spread my wings later lol
L: I don't know why but they're the only real pairings I'm interested in reading about
H: I have this thing with fic where I become obsessed with one pairing for a while then get bored and move on to another one and the cycle continues
L: ironically straight fanfiction does not do it for me
H: generally? or within the Glee fandom?
L: I did however read two sentences of a Will/Sue fanfic before I had to stop due to retching
I searched to see if there was any and couldn't believe it. lol
H: Lol I have seen some of the ODDEST pairings... but not within Glee. Will/Sue though? Ew lol

Why should our readers (who come from a mainly Twi background) try Glee fanfic?
L: Well, as a Twihard myself I can say that Glee is something that if you haven't, you should DEFINITELY check out. If you think Stephanie Meyer's character development is good then seriously, you are in for a treat. And there's so much diversity. I think you'd be hard pressed to not find a character for someone. Unless you don't like show choir, in which case you're screwed (and also silly… show choir rules).
H: If I was back in school, I think I definitely would have found the nearest Show Choir lol!

Do you have a background in writing?
L: Yeah
A huge one
I've been writing for aaaaaages
It started off with diaries and lame little stories where my celebrity crush would date me (although actually it was never actually me, it was a pretty skinny girl with wavy long hair and my name) and then as I got older progressed into more serious stuff
well, if you call fanfiction serious but I am also writing a novel at the moment
H: a novel?
L: yup
H: awesome!
L: it's (very) loosely based on Twilight
that was what gave me the inspiration
all my writing tends to stem from something like that - a book or a TV show or a song

How about your creative self-confidence? Writers tend to be notoriously insecure, so how do you find the online writing experience?
L: well. If I'm being honest I've always been a little overshadowed by my sister when it comes to writing
I was always the academic maths science girl and she was the english girl
she wants to be a writer and has just got into the creative writing course at University of East Anglia, which is ridiculously hard to get into, like 1 in 200
H: that is really cool
L: so the response I've got for my stories was a complete shock
I never expected anyone to read it, so to see 100s of views was like WOAH!
And now it has grown even further
H: it deserves it

Do you have a particular process when it comes to writing? A certain mood, environment, music? Do you have any 'triggers' to get you in the writing mood?
L: Hmmm
Well first things first I cannot write without music
I hate working in general without music because I just get bored
Umm, song wise I generally just stick my playlist of the moment on, but sometimes if I'm writing a particularly dramatic or sad scene then I put special mood songs on
or I put some happy music on to stop me from crying
that scene in YDOYD when Kurt and Blaine have the fight was so hard to write without crying
H: Oh that is an intense scene
L: I KNOW. Heart wrenching
H: yeah
L: with regard to environment I used to do all my writing on paper, but have now started typing straight onto the computer
although saying that whilst I was on placement observing lessons if I got particularly bored I would just sit there writing my story and then copy it up when I got home!
they thought I was writing a hell of a lot of notes :)
H: lol!
if only they knew... ;)
L: Yup :)
I also wrote a lot on my lunch break when I was working over Christmas
H: I have sudden infrequent bursts of inspiration. I am not a natural writer...
have to take advantage of them when they happen
L: MY GOD the most annoying thing ever is when I have an awesome idea when I'm in a car or just about to go to sleep and I can't write it down, but when I get the chance it's totally gone!
Generally I will plan my stories before I got to sleep every night, which is a pretty stupid time to do it because I just forget the tiny details
H: lol!
L: But most of it sticks somehow
sometimes I will get a brilliant idea just like that when I'm writing
H: I've been known to mentally write my story as I go to sleep which is an even stupider way of doing it... especially as I don't remember most of it...
L: Yeah, that's what I do as well
like plan the dialogue and everything

Is you story all planned out or do you do it as a fly by the seat of your pants type thing?
L: Well, generally I will start off with a beginning and an ending
like I know now exactly how YDOYD is going to end
and I will come up with the main middle event, but everything in between that is interchangeable
this story has turned out WAY longer than I originally planned, and for a while once they had had their three dates I had no freakin idea what I was going to do next
but now I have a huge plot device that it going to run for ages and be amazing
H: oooh... intriguing! lol
Nick - Curt Mega
L: Characters like Gabriel and Nathaniel that were never going to be main characters have just grown into major parts
H: So you are sort of in the middle. Basic plan, but can and will change to suit
L: Yeah
I used to have a big problem with dithering in the middle of stories, and I think there is a still and element of that, but I have a fairly concrete skeleton with a few interchangeable fleshy bits
wow what an analogy that is :)
H: lol!
interesting image...
L: Imagine it as Blaine it makes it all better :)
My story is basically Blaine. I am building Blaine
and his skeleton is lookin gooooood
lol :D
H: ooh yes. I like that lmao! :D

Are you a closet fanfic writer or have you told your friends and/or family about it?
L: Um, well my sister knows about it and I think she's read a few chapters, but nobody else really
I don't think most of my friends would get it because they’re not really into Glee
And fanfiction kind of has a reputation for being something that only 13 year olds do, which is sad because it's not like that at all
H: Unless you are part of it yourself, ie. you read fic and/or write it, it is hard to explain it to others...
it has a reputation of being really badly written. I have read fic that is leaps and bounds better than many 'real' books I have read
L: Exactly
I have however also read some horrendous fanfiction written by 20 year olds
That’s not me btw
H: lol!

Artem - Artem Chigvintsev
What inspired your story? I.e. a particular scene? Or character?
L: Ooooooooh, that's a good one
H: We try lol
L: I'm going to go with my first story on this one (A&WW) Blaine was the character that inspired it, due to my love for the DCriss. But I think the scene that inspired it was Teenage Dream because the whole spying idea is the first chapter. I try to follow canon a bit so Glee in general inspires the writing. I can't actually remember what started YDOYD but it was probably due to my love for Dalton and wanting to expand on that
H: I think because they don't tell us much about what Dalton is like, that it's a bit like a utopia, it leaves a lot of gaps for us to fill in the gaps
L: Yeah. And Dalton is a fascinating place
I think if I'd started my story a little later I might have included characters like Jeff or Nick (love that guy) but at the time I didn't know them very well
H: Nick... which one is he? I know that Jeff is the blond one, right?
L: Nick is played by Curt Mega, who I think is HAWT

So as this based on a tv series, I think we can guess who you see as the characters of Blaine and Kurt. But your OCs? Nathaniel, Artem and Gabriel? Who do you envision?
L: Ooh! I have been waiting for this question!
I basically have character profiles in my head for almost everyone
I even created a word document with pictures of them on. I find it really helps with visualisation
let me just get it up
Scott - Scott Maslen
H: fabulous
L: right! I think you already know that Artem is based on Artem Chigvintsev, from Strictly Come Dancing
Scott is a weird one
He is actually based on Scott Maslen, who was also on Strictly (it;s funny I barely watched that series but it must have stuck in my brain) I know he looks a bit old but that's the kind of look I'm going for but younger. Especially the ears :)
H: the cheeky grin lol

L: Yeah, I'm glad you see it
Gabriel is based on this cute little model/singer guy I found but I can't for the life of me remember his name
H: if you have a pic that's all that matters lol
we like the eye candy :)
L: um well i think I'll have to screen grab it
one minute
H: omg... that is actually not far off how I imagined Gabriel!!!
wow lol
L: Awesome
I wish I could remember his name, I might have a search and get back to you
H: ok cool
L: My favourite characterisation of them all is Xavier
Xavier is the Head Boy of Darwin, the one Kurt doesn't like
Damien (fencing boy) is Shiloh Fernandez, who I also think is perfect
H: oh yeah

Damien - Shiloh Fernandez
Xavier - Armie Hammer
L: Not only is he GORGEOUS but I think that that outfit and pose is totally Xavier
H: lol!
L: But he would have black hair instead of blonde
H: well all these lovely blokes will be in the post
L: Yeyyyy
Xavier is actually one of my fave characters cause he's such an arrogant ass and he knows it
Nathaniel - John Krasinski
lol :)
H: they can be such fun characters to write

L: the only character I've struggled with is Nathaniel. At the moment he is John Krasinski but I'm not happy with that
I hope I don't ruin anyone's inner pictures of the characters with this :S
H: lol
I think I'll have to read a scene with him in again to visualise... hmm I'm really bad at visualising faces of characters. Gabriel is the ONLY exception... I had a really good image of him
L: Cool
I think I want him to be more attractive (not that Josh isnt) but I like the slightly geeky quality that Josh has
H: yeah, I can see what you're going for I think
L: when I first created Nathaniel he was supposed to be this perfect character that everyone was in love with but I changed him and made him a bit more neurotic. Xavier is the perfect guy but that's nice because he shows that perfect often means twat
H: I love his backstory. Makes him very interesting. I hope we find out more about him/he gets more screen time ;)
L: Yeah, he is DEFINITELY going to get more screen time
Oh man I wish I could tell you but it would ruin it
H: I love that all your OCs are distinct, and have pros and cons
L: Thank you :)

Is there a particular character that you relate to the most?
L: Ooooooh...
I dunno about relating, but I adore Scott
And I think I have some of the happy bubbly qualities that he has
H: I want my own Scott that would live in my pocket. I would take him out when I needed a smile and a giggle lol
L: I'm just not as blunt
yeah, I wish he was real
H: lol
He is the nicest friend that Kurt could have too
L: Yeah, totally. I created him to be like that because I thought it would be boring Kurt just hanging round Blaine all the time and I wanted Kurt to stand on his own
and I think Scott has actually played a huge role in the development of Kurt
H: yeah definitely
L: Again when I started he was just going to be a good friend but he developed into so much more
H: he's the straight man to Blaine... pun both intended and not intended
L: I'm just so glad nobody ships them because that my friend would be so wrong
H: never even crossed my mind lol. I think I have too much Klaine in my head to contemplate such things lol
L: Yeah. I was worried though. Somebody asked me for Kurt/Nathaniel and I was like 'er no Nathaniel is definitely straight'
It does annoy me when people write Klaine fanfiction and practically everyone at Dalton is gay. I know they do it for more relationship options but it's just so unrealistic
Kurt cannot be tappin' everyone
H: I was JUST typing that! NOT everyone is gay! Siriusly...

Any fanfic/fandom pet peeves?
L: Um, I know I had another one that I can't remember...
One thing that I do that other people might consider a peeve is make Blaine taller
H: it was actually one of the reasons I stopped reading... it was becoming so unrealistic. Having a few other gay characters apart from Blaine and Kurt is perfectly reasonable but in Dalton (a popular fic on Tumblr) it was becoming ridiculous.
L: Because I just view him as the 'man' in the relationship, because I love the dainty aspects of Kurts character
H: If that happened in real life, we'd have serious problems with reproducing... not enough het couples lol
L: Yeah, lol
The more realistic, the better
H: lol! I think I'm the same, always see Blaine as taller, despite Crispy's hobbitness
L: I also hate it when everyone gets with everyone because then it just turns into a soap
Oh, and I refuse in any of my fics to kill Finchel because it is endgame

Which RL authors inspire you?
L: Real life? does that mean fanfiction or actual books?
H: actual books
L: oh ok
Um, well I obvs like the Meyer
but I wouldn't say she 'inspired' me as such
This is a bit of a weird one, but someone that really inspires me is Ben Mezrich. I read a book by him called 'The Accidental Billionaires' which was the story of Facebook that they used for The Social Network. I love true story books and find them fascinating, so as soon as I saw the book in the credits I knew I had to read it. It is phenomenal. Not just the story itself, but the way it's written. There are paragraphs in there that actually had me sitting there open mouthed because the description is so detailed and emotive. I actually wrote fanmail to him about it so I guess you can say he influenced me :)
H: I heard people saying good things about that book. It seems I must put it on my (long) to read list lol (T butting in, read and loved that book. didn't think I would)
L: I also love the book Holes, but cant remember who that's by
H: Louis Sachar?
my sister read that and loved it
L: Yeah, I just looked it up
It's so clever
but true story books are my new fave

Any Glee fanfic recs? Have there been any FF authors that inspired you to write fanfic yourself, or made you think you could do it better?
L: Well, most of the fanfics I read are by loads of different authors
but one author I've read several of it beautifulwhatsyourhurry. But she's already pretty famous. She wrote McKlainley High and MH Senior Year, but they are pretty smut ridden so if you don't like that stay away. I also just found out she wrote Sandboxes and Swing Sets too which is fine for young readers and really sweet
but don't read anyone elses fics just read mine thank you :)
or yours as well :)
H: oh yes! Sandboxes and Swingsets is so sweet... and I did like McKlainely High
oh lol thanks :)
L: I don't really like recommending famous authors because they already get loads of love
I think there are other people that deserve it too
one second...
H: yeah
L: There are two short stories I have in my favourites and these are Bet by teacandles and Strictly Platonic by Mia M.Turner. Those two are stories I really like and they don't have many reviews so go look at them too
H: fabulous.
L: Bet is cool especially even though it's really short because it has nasty Blaine
But like I said read mine first :) haha
H: ooh nasty Blaine? very interesting
yes read yours first
start as you mean to go on in the world of Klaine fic
L: Happy New Year only has 4 reviews that is depressing
But that is mega short

Any advice for aspiring (fanfic) writers?
L: Well. My advice would be just go for it. I had never ever written fanfiction or really even read any when I started and I was completely surprised with the result. I think my writing has improved dramatically and of course it's lovely to receive nice reviews. If you're worried about your style or stories then I suggest you get a beta reader (did I mention I am a beta reader too? SELFPROMOTEWIN) and they will be honest with you. It seems silly not to try, and fanfiction is a great place to be :)
H: very good answer. And yes beta readers are the best idea ever. At the very least they pick up silly spelling mistakes
L: Yeah. And sometimes it's nice to have another perspective because they pick up on things you didn’t notice

Brian O'Driscoll
Give us a random fact about yourself.
L: Um... I play Rugby and Lacrosse
H: cool! I have never managed to get my head around Lacrosse... looks very difficult lol
L: I only started playing last September and it's pretty complicated but it's awesome. I just love it because I don't have to worry about getting my face smashed in and I can wear my glasses. Lacrosse is much more chilled out than rugby when it comes to clothing. There are people wearing hats and they just don’t care :)

If you could have 15 mins with anyone, dead or alve, real or fictional, who whould it be and what would you do/say to them?
L: Oh my god only one person????
Too hard!
Chris Colfer
H: yeah it's a toughie
but a goodie lol
L: One of my main idols is Brian O'Driscoll (he's an Irish rugby player) so I would love to talk to him, but that's a bit limited
I might actually like to talk to Chris Colfer because he is such an inspirational person and also we are pretty similar ages so we might relate better to each other
I could talk to him about loads of stuff
I realise I should probably say someone historical like Martin Luther King, but oh well
H: Lol! It's who YOU want to talk to, not what everyone else wants lol
L: Ooh, I could pick Brad Falchuck and spend 15 minutes pitching YDOYD to him
H: oooh! that is a great one!
L: Not Ryan because he sucks. Brad
H: well you can have those 3 I suppose lol
L: If you want me to pick one I pick Brad

Brad Falchuk
Anything else you would like to add?
L: Ummmm... I rule? And so do you
H: lol!
L: Lol, I would encourage any non-gleeks reading this to get involved with Glee because you wont regret it. And please tell everyone about my fics because it makes my day and I'm currently suffering from coming-back-from-america depression and need all the happiness I can get…

This interview was done a couple of months ago. Since we did it, me and Lizloz met up when we both got to see Darren Criss live in London. EPIC SQUEE! And we came to the conclusions that we are the same person. Fact.

Well, I hope that whetted your appetite for a bit of Glee fic. Lizloz also has some oneshots if you want to start small: Arpeggios and Woah Woahs and Happy New Year.

Tell me what you think!


No comments:

Post a Comment