torachan: (Default)
Travis ([personal profile] torachan) wrote2008-08-31 06:20 pm
Entry tags:

Fic commentary: You've Written Your Own Directions (And Whistled the Rules of Change)

Read the fic sans commentary here.

First a note on the title. I often (almost always?) use bits of lyrics for titles, and this, like many of them, is from an R.E.M. song. I was poking though lyrics from various artists and just not finding anything, and then I came across this one and it was perfect. What I'm looking for in a title is something interesting, and more importantly, something that will make sense to the reader once they read the story (if it's not obvious at first). I don't pick song lyrics that need the reader to have knowledge of the song; I pick stuff that stands alone. I think this may be one of the most perfect titles I've ever chosen.

Anyway, I went through a lot of different ideas before settling on this, and even when I did, this idea itself went through several different permutations. Fairly early on I decided I definitely wanted to write something with trans characters. For one thing, it interests me, but also when I presented two possible ideas, someone said of the one with trans characters, "You don't want to be known as the person who always writes ftm!Rodney for Match, do you?" or something to that effect, which really got my back up. One of the reasons I want to write a lot of trans characters and have a list that promotes fics with trans characters is that I want to normalise it within fandom. Why should a character being trans be any more unbelievable than someone being any other flavor of queer?

I also felt that anything with a focus on transness would fit well with my prompt, which was "skin deep". Unfortunately the idea I had where Rodney was trans was also much less well-formed in my head than the other idea, so I ended up ditching them both for the moment. Then I went back to a story I'd started writing for Porn Battle (which had predictably decided to go in a direction that was both less porny and not exactly comment-length).

But the way I'd been planning to write that story was as two different versions, sort of a happy one and a depressing one. I didn't want to do two versions for Match, though, but I had qualms about writing just the depressing one. For one thing, it portrayed Rodney in a really unfavorable light (to the point where I thought he would probably be completely unsympathetic, and while I'm fine with that, er, I want readers!) and I also worried that it would come across as "being trans is so horrible and trans people have horrible lives blah blah blah".

So then I started thinking about how I could combine the happy and unhappy ones, keeping the elements of the unhappy one that most interested me, but making it more upbeat...and this is what I eventually came up with!

To keep things from getting too confusing, I'm going to be referring to the characters by the names and pronouns they were using at the time. So the pre-transition sections will be John/he and Meredith/she.

The summer after fourth grade can pretty much be summed up by two things: Star Wars and Aunt Tricia's wedding. There's also the usual month at the house in Tahoe, and there's camp and swimming and other summer stuff, but there was Star Wars at the beginning and now the wedding at the end and it seems like everything in between was just filler.

There's a reason I don't like writing rich people, and that's mainly because I have no idea what all that sort of life involves. But I figured a summer home was a good bet, and John would probably also get sent to some ritzy camp.

Tricia is John's youngest aunt, younger than some of his cousins even. She's the one who taught John to skateboard and who took him and Davey to see Star Wars three times. She lets him read her comic books, all the Supermans and Batmans and Fantastic Fours and a dozen other titles she's been collecting since she was younger than John. She plays Monopoly with him and bought him ABBA's Arrival album for his tenth birthday and can make just about anything out of Legos.

Tricia is loosely based on my aunt Amy, who's only eleven years older than me, with a dash of my mom (she had a huge collection of Superman comics that I read all the time as a kid) thrown in for good measure.

When John was little, he used to say he wanted to be her when he grew up. He used to sneak clothes from the back of Mom's closet, stuff she never wore anymore. This was back when Davey still looked up to him, when he'd do anything John said.

Now he looks at John like Dad does and John knows he's remembering the way John would wobble across the room in Mom's high heels or spin in front of the mirror to make the dress flare out. Now there's a lock on Mom's closet and John knows he won't grow up to be Tricia.

I actually had several hundred words written of this scene with him and Davey for the Porn Battle version and this paragraph is all that's left of it (and even this is worded differently). I wish I'd saved it; I'd paste it in here. But alas, I always just delete stuff when I rewrite rather than saving it. It was just an expanded version of the scene, but since I ended up writing this with him looking back on it rather than set at that time, the longer version just didn't work.

As I'm sure you can infer from the fact that there's a lock on the closet now, John got caught dressing up. From then until he went away to college, he was watched very closely, and Dave was turned against him.

He smiles and tells her congratulations, and hopes nobody notices how much he touches the slippery smooth material of her dress when he hugs her. His tie feels like it's choking him.

Meredith peeks out the back door. "Mommy," she calls, "I'm gonna have a snack!"

Mom looks up from her gardening, her floppy hat covering her eyes. "Okay, sweetie, but don't spoil your dinner."

Humming to herself, Meredith opens the fridge. She pushes cheese and lettuce and a bowl of grapes out of the way, but all that's behind them is a carton of eggs. She eats a handful of grapes and finds the hot dogs on the next shelf, behind the milk. She takes out two hot dogs, takes a bite of one and then sets them on the counter as the refrigerator door swings shut behind her.

She unbuttons her corduroys and pushes them down to her knees. She takes one of the hot dogs, the one she didn't take a bite of, and slips it inside her panties. It feels lumpy and not quite right, but it feels righter than it did before.

This whole section was actually taken from another ftm!Rodney fic I was writing. I still plan to write it, but not the way I had it. I wanted to put in all this stuff about Rodney's childhood, and the lack of focus and clear plot was resulting in me never working on it. So I scavenged that bit and used it here.

As a bonus, here's another passage I wrote for that fic, and since I'm not going to include the childhood stuff in that one anymore, might as well put it here as it could just as easily be this Meredith.

She gets her period just days before her twelfth birthday. There'd been a film earlier in the year, and a vague comment from her mom one time on the way back from a checkup. Meredith hadn't paid much attention. It just didn't feel like something that concerned her. It was something that would happen to someone else.

It's still her when it happens, though, even though her body's getting more and more not-her by the day. Her breasts are small, but unmistakably there, and when she opens her presents, in along with the chemistry set, new roller skates, and Atari, is a bra.

She doesn't wear it.

She doesn't even try it on, just tosses it in the drawer, another scrap of white in a sea of mostly white undies and socks. But the little pink bow stares up at her, and after a few minutes, she shoves it in the back, covers it up with the tights and slip her mom never tries to make her wear anymore.

It's the worst birthday ever. Not even an extra piece of cake or the fact that she can play Space Invaders whenever she wants now makes her feel any better.

"I know how you feel, sweetie," her mom says when she tucks her in that night. She brushes Meredith's hair back from her forehead and Meredith's tummy flutters with hope and panic, though she doesn't know quite why. But all her mom says is, "It's no fun having your period on your birthday," and that's not it at all, whatever it is. "I had really bad cramps when I was your age," her mom continues, smiling a little as she brushes Meredith's cheek. "If you need any aspirin, just let me know."

"I'm okay," Meredith murmurs, and it's true. It's gross bleeding like this, but it doesn't hurt much, just a little bit the first day, a dull ache that hurt a lot less than the nasty scrape she'd gotten on her knee the day before.

Her mom smiles again and bends down to kiss her. "I love you, sweetie. Happy birthday."

"Love you."

She lies awake for a long time after her mom turns off the light and shuts the door.

I didn't use that bit in this fic because I wanted the next Meredith section to be when she was older, so it just didn't fit in anywhere.

Alison is smart, pretty, fun to hang out with, and probably deserves a better boyfriend than John. She has a lock on her door to keep out her little sister and her parents are never home, but John's still nervous when they make out on her bed after school. Her breasts are smallish, the perfect size for John's hands.

She takes her shirt off herself, pulling it over her head half-buttoned. Her bra is white and lacy and John says, "Let me," when she reaches back to undo it. He just wants to keep touching her like this forever, memorizing how right her body is.

He touches her and he thinks how cool it would be if they suddenly switched, like Freaky Friday or something. Or maybe he could just magically become Jodie Foster. That would be cool, too. It's almost enough to distract him from her hand on his crotch, enough at least to get him to that place where he's sort of outside his body, and then it's okay that she's touching him because it's not him. It's just this weird pod person where Jodie Foster is supposed to be.

I went around and around trying to decide on what name John would choose when she transitioned. I know in real life people don't always have a specific reason they choose a name, and they don't necessarily choose something similar to their old name, but for some reason when writing stories I always feel I need to show where it came from.

When I wrote that paragraph, I still hadn't decided on a name (an early favorite was Joanie, which I thought of when I was imagining teen John with a crush on Scott Baio as Chachi), but then the Freaky Friday thing came up, which led to Jodie Foster, and Jodie seemed just right.

When she goes downstairs later to get a couple Cokes, he doesn't mean to look through her dresser drawers. And once he's got the underwear drawer open, he tells himself he'll just look, or maybe touch a little, but the next thing he knows, he's stuffed a pink lacy bra down into the bottom of his backpack. By then he can hear Alison coming up the stairs, singing Rio off-key, and it's too late to put it back if he wanted to.

The best thing about writing young John and Rodney is all the nostalgic cultural references I can throw in.

He puts it on that night, after he's supposed to be in bed. The band digs into his skin a little, even on the last hook, but it'll have to do. He stuffs the cups with Kleenex and when he puts his t-shirt back on over it, it looks almost real. He keeps it on when he jerks off. With his eyes shut, he can pretend it's someone else's dick in her hand.

Coming home to find Teyla meditating is not necessarily a bad sign. Teyla meditates a lot. She can't help it; her parents were hippies.

It's the puffy, red eyes, and the way she sounds so resigned when she says, "Mer, we need to talk." That's when Meredith notices the duffle bag on the couch. "I know about Mark. And I know he's not the first."

It shouldn't hurt, because Meredith's the one who fucked it up. It shouldn't hurt like this, but it's not like she wanted this to happen. She was going to meet Teyla's parents. They were going to make a road trip of it, enjoy their last summer of being students.

"I'm not going to be your little experiment." Teyla takes a deep breath. "I can't do this... I can't just sit around until you finally admit you're straight."

"That's not it."

"Then what is it?" Teyla pleads. Meredith looks away. "Just tell me and I-"

"I don't know," Meredith says miserably. She doesn't even like men. "I don't know."

I'm not that thrilled with this section, to be honest. This and the next Rodney section really got shafted because I was pressed for time and they were the last bits I wrote. We had decided at kind of the last minute to leave on vacation the day before the deadline, which meant I had to finish this two days earlier than I'd planned. I was writing til the very last minute the night before we left and was just not at my best.

It gets across (I think) all the info I wanted to get across - that Mer was with Teyla, that she thought she was a lesbian, that she was cheating on Teyla with guys and didn't even really know why herself (or didn't want to admit she knew why) - but I feel like it's just the bare bones. I wanted more of Teyla. I wanted more about how realising he was trans meant losing not just Teyla, but pretty much his entire circle of friends, most of whom were lesbians and were less than thrilled with him coming out as a man. (In fact I wanted to write a lot more about lesbian!Meredith in general, but this story isn't necessarily the place.)

Nancy always says she chose her name as a sort of fuck you to everyone who called her a nancy boy growing up. Maybe that's why she's the first girlfriend Jodie's had in nearly fifteen years. Or the first girlfriend she's had ever, depending on how you count these things.

I was so glad that some people who commented on the fic mentioned particularly liking Nancy, as I really like her a lot in this myself. I wanted to have her be part of the story, but I didn't want her to be John's ex-wife, like in canon, so I gave it a bit of a twist.

I also figured that introducing this section with the idea of choosing a name would help the reader make the leap between John and Jodie without me having to give a lump of exposition. (Hopefully it worked!)

I didn't really get to show much of those fifteen years mentioned above, though there are bits here and there (mainly in the next Jodie POV section). After she got out of her parents house, she gave up on girls for a while and spent a lot of time trying to be a gay guy, and after transitioning, she dated mostly men as well, so Nancy is kind of a fluke. My reading on Jodie is that she's really pretty straight. The couple girlfriends in high school were more to do with trying to fit in and be a man.

Jodie's fuck you is the Christmas card she sends after they move in together, one of those photo postcards so that even if Mom throws it away, she'll have to live with the Horrible Shame of the mailman knowing she has a Lesbian Daughter. After Jodie's dropped it in the mail (along with one to Dave, addressed to Mr. and Mrs. David Sheppard in case he's traded in the old wife for a new model again), she wishes she'd thought to add "formerly known as John" to the signature, just so the mailman gets the full effect.

I thought about actually giving Dave a wife with a name, but after thinking about it some more, I liked the idea of part of his own fucked-up-ness (because this whole family is fucked up) being that he's one of those guys who ditches his wife to marry the mistress and then does the same thing all over again.

She gets the call a few weeks later, two days before her thirtieth birthday. The first two messages on the machine are for Nancy, and Jodie's sorting through the mail, only half paying attention when suddenly there's Dad saying, "John," and "I received your card," and "your mother lost her battle with cancer on the seventeenth." There's a long pause after that and then, "I hope you're happy," just before he hangs up.

I like the ambiguity of the phrase "I hope you're happy". I don't think even Jodie could tell whether her dad meant it sincerely or sarcastically.

The machine moves on to the next message, but she just crawls into bed, still fully dressed, and pulls the covers over her head. It's not the fact that the funeral must have already happened, or that she didn't even know her mom was "battling" in the first place. It's that she was supposed to be better than them.

She's still curled up tense and headachy and unable to cry when Nancy gets home.

It's meeting Gretchen at Pride (or rather, sleeping with her that night) that makes it click. She's the girl Rodney's always wanted, with the cock he's always wanted to have.

He starts seeking out T-girls after that. Sometimes he feels skeevy about it. He'll surf XTube or one of those sites with shemale or ladyboy in the name, and it'll get him hard like nothing else. He'll watch a video of a girl stroking her hard cock and his boxers'll be soaking wet before he even touches himself.

The thing is, he's just not attracted to men. He's attracted to women, and he's dated a lot of women with cunts, but no matter how much he's in love, it always ends with him wanting cock. It always ends up with him hurting people.

I hate this section. This one got shafted even worse than the Mer & Teyla one. This was the last section I wrote and all I knew about it going in was that I wanted it to be about Rodney watching porn, and then I couldn't get a story out of it, not up against a deadline the way I was. But I needed another Rodney section, for balance and because I needed something in between college and mid-thirties. So it's really tell-y and summary-tastic. Bah.

Craigslist is the last place Jodie expects to meet someone. Well, anyone decent, anyway. A look through the ads for T-girls turns up mostly trolls and guys with shemale fetishes. But Nancy badgers her into placing an ad, just as she'd badgered her into signing up for OkCupid and Adult FriendFinder, both of which resulted in a couple okay-sounding guys among the creeps, but none of them had gone anywhere beyond the first date.

You don't want to know how long I spent researching dating sites. *headdesk* They don't make it easy, either, as a lot of them you have to actually sign up in order to view the site, so I was limited to reading about them rather than actually poking around. (I did poke around on Craigslist, though, and those are exactly the results I got.)

True, she hasn't had much better luck the old-fashioned way, either. She and Nancy lasted for a little over two years before Nancy finally said, "I love you, Jodie, but if I'd wanted someone this emotionally unavailable, I'd be straight."

This is still our John, even if she's Jodie.

Then there was Ronon, who was not only the best fuck Jodie'd ever had, hands down, but also drop-dead gorgeous and tall enough to make her feel feminine. He didn't think a football game or an afternoon at the shooting range was a weird date, either. Unfortunately he was also a grad student at Berkeley, and had moved back to Hawaii after graduation. They still kept in touch, but neither of them wanted a long-distance relationship.

Ronon! I kind of want to write something with Ronon and Jodie set in this universe.

And the less said of clubs, the better. She had more than enough of that scene when she was still pretending to be a guy, so Craigslist it is.

There was a while there where, after trying to be a straight guy in high school, she was trying very hard to be a gay guy. It worked just as well, which is to say, not at all.

She's not sure the ad will actually attract anyone. She plays down the fact that she really, really wants to get laid (troll bait for sure) with a vague statement about possibly looking for something long-term, and she focuses more on her likes and dislikes than her looks, which, if she's honest with herself, kind of scream tranny.

Joe Flanigan's a good looking guy, but he's not exactly pretty, and there's only so much hormones and electrolysis (omg so much electrolysis) can do.

She gets a half-dozen responses the first day: creep, creep, spammer, can't spell to save his life, creep, and for variety, another creep. There are more after that, all of which continue to live down to expectations. There's one on the third day who sounds okay, a guy around her age who teaches culinary arts at City College. The attached photo isn't what she would have sent (he looks a little like an excited squirrel, frankly), but at least he's honest, unlike the guy who'd expected her to believe he was David Beckham, or the one who sent photos of two completely different porn stars.

I should have saved the link, but I happened to be looking at a picture of David Hewlett when I was writing this, and he totally looked like an excited squirrel in it.

I remember waffling for ages on what Rodney's job should be in this. I had some sort of teaching in mind, and then I was poking around on the San Francisco City College website and saw they have a good culinary arts program and thought that would be something Rodney might do. I think he'd be a pretty horrible teacher, but he does like food.

Besides, she's more than a little curious to see if he's as wonderful as he claims. Or as obnoxious as the five paragraphs of "my awesome, let me show you it" (accompanied by a random tangent into "why Batman is better than every other superhero ever") suggest. She's not ruling out the possibility of both.

Rodney would definitely write an intriguing personals response, if not exactly intriguing for the reasons he means it to be.

Rodney's main criteria when browsing personals is intelligence, or at least the appearance thereof. Correct spelling and grammar, that sort of thing. As it happens, this narrows down the field considerably.

I was desperately trying to think of a summary at the last minute, and trying to actually summarise the story in some way seemed too complicated, so I decided to go for a quote from the fic. I think this works pretty well. It gives an idea of something that happens in the fic without giving away too much, and hopefully sounds interesting enough to make people want to click.

So when he found a non-op girl who was not only literate, but also geeky, he may have gone a little overboard trying to impress her. He can't help it if smart chicks who love sci-fi and comics give him a hard-on.

She's hot, too, if the pictures she sent are anything to go by. Not beautiful, but handsome and athletic (she did mention liking football, the freak) and really very pretty when she smiles.

He tries to tone it down a little on their date; the patented Rodney McKay charm can be lethal in large doses, and the more time he spends with Jodie, the more he actually, well, wants to spend more time with her. If she knew him, she'd realize what a huge compliment that is. He also wants to bang her six ways to Sunday (which she should also take as a compliment), but he's smart enough to keep that to himself.

I love this paragraph. Oh, Rodney.

Whatever he does say over dinner works, because she invites him back to her place. (The main things that stand out from the half-remembered nervous babble are rants about the evils of citrus and how Russell T. Davies is ruining Doctor Who, but if that's what turns her on, who is he to argue?)

"So," she says, kicking off her shoes once they're in the door. "Just so we're on the same page here, I'm pretty comfortable with my dick now. There was a time when all I wanted to do was lop the damn thing off-"

Rodney winces and Jodie laughs nervously, tucking her hair behind her ear. "I know, TMI, sorry. Anyway, it's..." She takes a deep breath and the rest all comes out in a rush, "It just doesn't seem like a big deal now that I have everything else, you know? Well, I guess you don't, but I just. I wanted to get that out of the way. Prevent awkwardness and all."

I wanted to have the contrast of Jodie being just fine with her parts and not feeling like that makes her any less of a woman, with how she felt as John, having to really dissociate from it when Allison was touching it, imagining it was someone else's while masturbating, etc. (Also to contrast with Rodney, who really isn't fine with his body and is kind of resentful that he doesn't even have the option to have full surgery.)

This is where he should tell her, but instead he just says, "I hear the best way to prevent awkwardness is with more awkwardness."

I originally had this story ordered differently. It started with all the John/Jodie segments in chronological order, and then this section in Rodney's POV, and the rest of his moving backwards, with the very last section being the one with Meredith and the hot dog.

I changed the structure around because Helens said it wasn't working, and I can see where she was coming from. I had wanted each section on its own to have a solid ending with the same impact, but I think she's right that most people would read this section's ending as having more emotional impact than the others (especially in a shippy fest), so then the following sections would feel like they were dragging the story out when the best ending was right there.

Even though I agree, I liked the original structure better and felt it was more what I wanted to say. (I mean, I am happy Rodney and Jodie have found each other, and maybe they'll stay together, but for me it was not about them getting together so much as just about the lives of these two people and where they intersect.)

One of the things I liked about the original structure is that it means the reader doesn't know Rodney is trans, too, at this point. And I deliberately wrote it so that there are clues such as the line "this is where he should tell her", but it all leads up to the reveal.

Anyway, I don't dislike it this way, and I think in the context of fandom and McShep Match, it's the right way to go, but I do mourn the original structure.

She laughs then, genuinely this time. "So, now that I've gone and ruined the mood..."

"There was a mood?" He steps closer, rests his hands on her hips. She's a little taller than him, but not by much.

She tilts her head, one corner of her mouth twitching up. "I thought there was."

"I still want to have sex with you," he says, and kisses her. "Like, a lot."

"Well, then." She pulls back and jerks her head towards the open bedroom door.

I like the little bit of banter here. This wasn't a very dialogue-heavy fic, but I'm pleased with what there is of it.

He'd like to undress her slowly, to spread her out on the bed and just look at her forever, but she's already unbuttoning her blouse, letting it fall from her shoulders. He unbuttons his own shirt and toes out of his shoes, and by the time he's down to just his jeans, she's already naked.

Her tits are perfect, her small nipples hard already. Her dick's still mostly soft, but she's definitely a shower, long and thick, and Rodney wants it so much it hurts.

He pushes her back on the bed and reaches down and jerks her off as they kiss. Her dick feels so right in his hand.

Those two paragraphs are also hints. I knew it would be read as Rodney wanting Jodie's dick in a sexual sense on first read, and then hopefully after the reveal it would be obvious it was more envious.

"What do you wanna-" She moans and arches up. "I... There's lube and condoms in the drawer."

"God, I'd love to fuck you." And now it's his turn for the nervous laugh. "I'd love to fuck you, but I'm not packing hard."

I didn't include any links about packing or anything. I kind of just expect people to know what I'm talking about or if not, to google. But it's come to my attention that because it's a common word, it's maybe not so easy to find info on this specific meaning via google, so if you aren't sure exactly what Rodney's talking about, this post has some terms and definitions, as well as a lot of good links to other sites.

She freezes for a moment, and he finally meets her eyes. "Sorry, I know I should have said-" She kisses him quiet, reaches down and undoes the button of his fly.

"Next time."

"Next? Oh. Oh," he gasps as she wriggles her hand in, pushes aside his packer, "yeah, yes. Next time. Next time is good."

"I mean," she says. "If you-"

This originally said "I can fuck you", but I have always been annoyed that I wrote that because it's so penetration-centric. So eventually I went back and changed it to "I mean". I like it much better this way.



"Yes." He grins. "I want."

And I end right in the middle of the sex. :p But that's where it wanted to end, whether just the scene or the entire fic. But I'm not writing the story for the sex; the sex is there because it serves the story.

Overall, I'm pretty pleased with this, even though there are parts I'm not happy with.

And now, commentary on the soundtrack! Links lead to the lyrics. You can download the songs here.

01. Dancing Queen/ABBA
This song is and has always been my trans!John theme song. Long before I decided to write this particular fic, or even the fic that morphed into this, whenever I hear this song, I think of wee!John. This song goes with the whole fic, but especially the first section, with John dressing up in his mom's clothes, John at the wedding, the album his aunt gave him (which this song is on).

02. Wig in a Box/Hedwig and the Angry Inch
A lot of the lyrics for this don't really match this particular story, but the general theme of it, of course, does fit. And I just really like the bouncy upbeat feeling.

03. Comforting Lie/No Doubt
This could fit either John or Meredith, but it's much more a John song for me, partially because it's a female vocalist and I tried to choose songs for each of them where the vocals matched.

04. The River of Dreams/Billy Joel
This one is much more Meredith to me, because I feel like she's more confused about what the problem is and the theme of searching for something fits really well.

05. Numb/Jamelia
Back to John again, the conflict between him and his parents.

06. Kiss Off/Violent Femmes
This is one I would have liked to have a female vocalist for, because this is a Jodie song, but oh well.

07. All the Way to Reno (You're Gonna Be a Star)/R.E.M.
I don't know that I would have necessarily used this song otherwise, but I took the title from it, so I felt I had to include it. I do think the repetition of "you know what you are/you're gonna be a star" is applicable, if not in the literal sense of star.

08. Nothing Lasts Forever/Maroon 5
Another one I would have loved to have a female vocalist. This is Nancy and Jodie.

09. Living on My Own/Freddie Mercury
This could be either Rodney or Jodie, the loneliness after their fuck ups, before they find each other. And it's Freddie. :) I would have liked to have a soundtrack with entirely queer artists, but that just wasn't working out in terms of the songs I wanted. I did try to include as many as possible, though.

10. When I Let You into My Closet/The Nields
This was a last minute addition. I was going through iTunes trying to find some more songs and the title caught my eye. The lyrics are really perfect and I love the song as well. This is Jodie to Rodney.

11. The Luckiest/Ben Folds
And this is Rodney, mainly chosen because of the very beginning:

I don't get many things right the first time
In fact, I am told that a lot
Now I know all the wrong turns, the stumbles and falls
Brought me here

12. Pork and Beans/Weezer
This is mainly just a celebratory song in general, a fuck you to the rest of the world and society.

I'mma do the things that I wanna do
I ain't got a thing to prove to you

I ain't gonna wear the clothes that you like
I'm fine and I'm dandy with the me inside
One look in the mirror and I'm tickled pink
I don't give a hoot about what you think

13. We Are the Champions/Queen
Same with this. I wanted Queen in here somewhere, because, well. Queen. But nothing was working well! There are bits of both verses that are applicable, but mainly I wanted the celebratory chorus to end on.

Overall, while I wasn't able to find songs that fit every part of the story, I am pretty pleased with what I got. I think the songs represent a good progression from trying to be what others want you to be to telling society to fuck off if they don't like you how you are, which is what the story feels like to me.

[identity profile] 2008-09-01 01:44 am (UTC)(link)
Fascinating process. None of the stress writing the story shows in the story itself, which has a very natural flow. And, as I said before, it is really rather wonderful that no matter who they are, they seem to go great together.
ext_150: (Default)

[identity profile] 2008-09-01 02:04 am (UTC)(link)
Thanks. I'm glad it doesn't show. ^_^;;
ext_1911: (J&R S3 promo (faith-girl222))

[identity profile] 2008-09-01 01:55 am (UTC)(link)
Awesome commentary! And you know, while I can see what Hels meant about the structure and why it would fit the fest more, I would have loved to see this done with the less linear structure.
ext_150: (Default)

[identity profile] 2008-09-01 02:03 am (UTC)(link)
I think restructing it was the right choice for this, even though I'm still not necessarily that happy with it, just because of the audience. She's right that the readers will put the emphasis on that scene. If I were to redo it as original fic (which I don't know that I would, as it would take a lot of work since there are two sections I'm really not happy with and would need to completely rewrite), I might revert to its original structure.
ext_1911: (Default)

[identity profile] 2008-09-01 02:07 am (UTC)(link)
*nods* I think reworking it as original fic is a good idea. Without a deadline, you could go in and rework the sections at your leisure and expand the whole thing some if you wanted to. It's such a good story and I think it would make the transition to original fic really well.
ext_150: (Default)

[identity profile] 2008-09-01 02:13 am (UTC)(link)
Yeah, I think it would work well, too. The problem is finding the time... *sigh*
ext_1911: (Default)

[identity profile] 2008-09-01 02:17 am (UTC)(link)
:( Yeah there is that....
ext_2410: (Aha!)

[identity profile] 2008-09-01 02:16 am (UTC)(link)
Oh, the commentary just adds to the whole story! Thanks so much for doing it.
ext_150: (Default)

[identity profile] 2008-09-01 02:22 am (UTC)(link)
Thanks for reading. :)

I love doing commentary on fics...I can't believe it took me two months to finally finish this one, though. :p I don't know why I was dragging my feet so much. (Story of my life...)

[identity profile] 2008-09-01 03:36 am (UTC)(link)
Commentary was wonderful. Thankyou for sharing.
ext_150: (Default)

[identity profile] 2008-09-01 03:46 am (UTC)(link)
Thanks for commenting. :)
ext_127: (Default)

[identity profile] 2008-09-02 09:53 am (UTC)(link)
Thanks so much for making the effort to do this. This fic *really* stood out for me in the fest and I find myself drawn back to it - there's something haunting about the way you show John and Meredith's childhoods, and the way the almost-melancholy carries through as they realise who they really are (Jodie and Rodney *happy sigh*)
And heh Nancy was awesome - even though she was only in such a small section, she was so memorable and self-assured.
I hardly ever read trans fic, because another fic of yours was the first that I came across and there's not many I trust to write it nearly as well, but the way you do it... I could read trans!Rodney and/or John forever - pfft to getting pigeon-holed as ZOMG a trand-writer; I say bring it on :) A good story is a good story, and if it opens people's eyes along the way, so much the better
ext_150: (Default)

[identity profile] 2008-09-02 02:50 pm (UTC)(link)
Thank you! Your comment really made my day. :D