A different kind of fanfic...

Discussion and questions about the FanFiction section of MSCL.com. You can also post excerpts of your unfinished stories here if you're looking for feedback or ideas.
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ikilledkennyandjr
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A different kind of fanfic...

Post by ikilledkennyandjr » Sep 21st 2007, 12:26 am

All right, so I meant to post this a long time ago, but self-consciousness got in the way. :oops: Anyway, I've been writing out a MSCL fanfic for a few months now, it's called "Staring Down The Sun". Currently, I have six chapters up, or around 26000 words. It's a long one! :wink:

The reason I say it's "different" is because... well... I guess it is. First of all, it's from Rayanne's point of view; second of all, the main pairing is Rayanne/Sharon. A little diversity. It takes place during the series, but things change. And... I guess you could call it a romantic comedy? If anyone's interested in taking a look, it's here.

My second story is a more general continuation of the show, an ensemble piece, but the focus will be on Angela and Brian. It's called "The Bicycle Thief", and it has one chapter so far, with more planned. The link is here.

I'd love to hear any of you guys' thoughts on these fanfics. Constructive criticism very much welcome. Thanks!

--Kenny
"You know, the karma in this house is like ridiculous. It's really low... or dark... whatever it is that happens to karma."

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Jody Barsch*
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Re: A different kind of fanfic...

Post by Jody Barsch* » Oct 9th 2007, 8:11 pm

Hey Kenny, thank you for sharing your story links! I've read the shorter one and made some comments. The bold marks the lines that really stood out to me.
For those of you who have yet to read the story, please go to the link above -- it'll be much easier to read there, and you won't have to deal with all of my junk.


Chapter One: The Street, The Bike, The Boy
Angela has everything she wants, right here in this car. Or, put more accurately, she should have everything she wants.
For one thing, the enigmatic and completely unobtainable Jordan Catalano has somehow been obtained. He's driving them to "this little place I know" and sending her coy little looks, his hair-that's-soft-in-the-back falling artfully into his eyes. She still relishes the thought of capturing his attention, even for a second--which is usually all it amounts to anyway. She lives for it, even.
What a truly great opening paragraph! The detail and word choice, but also the idea, that although her desires have changed, she still thrilled/excited by the conquest. I love those dualistic(?) moments, they are so true to life, and too rarely captured.
She remembers the way he called her name tonight, after Brian, and the way he smiled when he greeted her. That serene smile, telling her 'Everything is okay, just come with me.' His breath, God, his breath, so warm against her skin in the January air when he stood in front of her. She thinks it's that warmth that made her walk out of the snowy street and into Jordan's car.
No. It's not that. It's the way he said, "Don't worry, your mom said it's okay," in that... voice. That 'Hopefully I impressed your mother' voice. She can't believe how he can say so little and mean so much. How he just waltzed into her house and spoke actual words to her mother, when he hardly speaks to anyone. The thought of him sitting at her kitchen table assuring her mom he doesn't mean any harm makes her smile and giggle, and then he looks at her again and spontaneously rests his arm across the back of her seat.
She has everything she wants. She has everything, period. And yet...
And yet what? Why can't she be not just happy, but ecstatic, with no other thoughts than how it feels to be the centre of his world for however long he chooses to indulge her? Nothing's changed, after all; she's still in love with him, fully taken over by him. Even if he didn't write the letter. Even if, not only did Brian write the letter, but he wrote to express his feelings for her. Who cares about a stupid letter?
LOVE IT! I love that she acknowledges everything, and then tries to decide that it doesn’t matter. I also love that at the end of almost every train of thought there is an element of evanescence – a sense of futility or expiration to everything Jordan Catalano related.
No, she reminds herself immediately, it's not a stupid letter. It's the most beautiful letter she's ever read, ever even dreamed about. And Jordan Catalano didn't write it; Brian Krakow did. The same Brian Krakow she's known practically all her life, the one that, at points in time, she wasn't even sure had feelings.
But she'll never think that way again.
The car lurches to a halt and she is brought back to the present, turning to watch Jordan cut the engine. For a minute, Jordan leans his head against the seat, as though spent from a long, confusing day--she knows she most certainly is. His eyes are not on her, but on the scenery outside the windshield, and she follows his gaze. Her breath catches. The car is sitting on a small cliff overlooking the frozen river, the distant city lights traveling across the ice. As she turns to look out her window, she sees another car at the other side of the sand lot, although she can't make out the passengers.
"Jordan, this is beautiful," she says, tucking a stray hair behind her ear.
He grins and replies with a flirty, "Yeah?" and her breathe hitches again at the scenery before her; of Jordan this time. Has he brought any other girls here? It doesn't matter, nothing matters now that she's in his car and he's staring at her with those eyes. The sun could crash into the earth and she wouldn't care, so long as the last thing she ever sees is Jordan Catalano's eyes.
That was funny and cute, very high school.
Before she can fully appreciate him and this and everything it means,
he leans over and catches her lips in an urgent kiss. Urgent... that's how Jordan Catalano always kisses. As though every second is precious and there's no time to waste. As though kissing her is so important it consumes him. She can already feel it consuming her and the thought gives her this incredible intoxication. She is Jordan-drunk. And just like that, all other thoughts are swept from her awareness and tucked into some dusty, dark corner.
I like this paragraph; the first sentence needs commas, and maybe “drunk with Jordan” might work. I like the specificity of Jordan’s kissing style, if not entirely accurate with everything we’ve seen on screen.
But over time they creep back in one-by-one.
Strange little thoughts whose collective sole purpose is to ruin her mood yet again. Like Rayanne, manipulating her, telling her she lost nothing--a lousy friend, a boy that wasn't hers--but that Rayanne lost everything. Like Sharon's voice in her head, constantly insulting Jordan and telling her she could do "like, sooo much better". Like Rickie telling her Brian wrote the letter.
Great use of the original shows. Referencing back has proved to be tricky in fanfics, but this is done effectively, and with purpose.
Like Brian, small and alone on the street when she drives off with Jordan.
She still sees him, in her mind's eye, and remembers looking at him through the rear-view mirror until they turned a corner and he disappeared.
It's not that thought that makes her sober up and push Jordan away, nor is it any thought involving Rayanne (surprisingly enough). It is when she recalls Brian's figure in the mirror, and how he never once moved. How he stayed there on that bike, on their street, haunting her and being haunted at the same time. How, for all she knows, he could still be there. That's what makes her push Jordan off her and gaze again at the other car in their make out point.
Try adding a “however” in the first sentence after the first “thought”. Nice parallel construction, maybe “haunted himself” might work … I can’t decide if the alliteration helps or distracts. Anyway, just a thought.
"What?" he says, and she can't tell if he's angry or sad or confused. She can't tell what she is either, so she lets it drop and musters up the will to speak. But when she finally does, it's so sudden it shocks her.
"Do you have a pen?" So quiet she hardly believes what she's saying is real.
"Huh?"
"Can you write me another letter?" And she turns and stares him directly into the seat, not mad but challenging. She wants to see how far he'll go, even while another part of her wishes to shrivel up and be erased from this world. Permanently.
Jordan raises his head a bit, squints at her like she's a phonics book, gulps and finally runs a hand through his hair. She drinks in every motion until her eyes burn. "I--" He stops at the fourth syllable he's said in half an hour. "I, I can't. I mean, not here."
Angela wants to soften when he turns away; she'd do anything to keep those blue, blue eyes locked on her for as long as possible. And his hurt is... it's the absence of water, or air, or sweetly dreaming sleep. "You're right, you can't." But then again, she needs to see this through. She raises her voice so far it risks cracking: "You can't because you never could. You couldn't, like, express yourself so you got Brian Krakow to do the work for you... And you never told me." She says the last sentence so quietly and almost cries, both from the sheer force of her words and the situation they've wound up in. Somehow, though, she holds on.
And it's Jordan's turn to crumple--although of course he doesn't cry. Angela isn't too sure if Jordan Catalano's ever cried, like in his life. He lashes out instead. "Look, Brain, like, wrote it by himself; I didn't force him or anything. And I tried to tell you, you just wouldn't listen. You wanted to believe... I'm not sure what you wanted. I didn't want to take that away from you or whatever--"
"Oh, you didn't want to take it away from me? Like it was some big sacrifice? I can't believe this!" She watches angrily as he grinds his teeth and rests his arms on the steering wheel, not so much as glancing at her. "Is this some kind of sick joke?!"
"It's not a joke." His voice is low, controlled, and it scares her a bit. "It never was." Then his demeanor changes and suddenly he's resting his head against the steering wheel, looking so fragile. Her heart is stranded in the middle of the desert. She has to rub her hand up to his shoulder, in the hopes that the water she sees in the distance isn't a mirage.
"Jordan, I--I'm sorry." She sighs and can feel him follow suit. "I just, it reminded me of that song you played for me, like, a few months ago? Well, Rickie told me later you, like, wrote it about your car." She squints for a millisecond, a defense mechanism that he must be very familiar with by now--even though he can't even see it.
I really like the connection of Angela’s mistaken moments. I had never thought of that! (Although, if it were I in Angela’s place, I don’t know that I’d admit to it.)
Raising his head, his body to sit upright, he makes his furrowed brows prominent. "So?"
"So... I mean, you invited me to this loft and played this song for me." She punctuates 'played' with a nervous laugh. "I mean, obviously I'm gonna think you wrote the song... like, about me." God, she can't believe how stupid that must sound. He must really think she's a twit. How many times has she said something completely idiotic to him? The number must be in the thousands.
Then again, how many times has she dropped her concerns, so quickly, just to please him again?
While she's working out that number, Jordan's working out whatever goes on in his head, and she wishes so desperately to know exactly what that is. "Well, I mean... I didn't even really know you back then, so... I mean, I was," he struggles to find the word, "interested or whatever, but..."
I love that he clarifies that for her – he didn’t know her. And so much of what he thought he knew was false anyway. We never see things as clearly as when put to us by another person.
A silence follows; not because she's outraged at the words but because she realizes how true they are. He didn't know her. And it's not even enough that he was interested in her ("or whatever"), because it turns out that she didn't know him either. Even if she claimed to herself that it was "love at first sight". Even if she still claims she loves him. Is it true? It has to be; she can't do anything but stare at him. A better question would be: does she want it to be true?
He's a stranger--a stranger she might just be madly in love with, but still a stranger. How much does she know about him, really? How far would he go for her?
God, here she is, and she's left Brian Krakow all alone on that street--the Brian Krakow she's always known, the Brian Krakow who wrote that letter for her, the Brian Krakow who... wait. Why is she thinking about him, of all people?
That line is so important here.
She doesn't know, but she still left him to be driven to a make out point by someone she doesn't know either. By someone she's not sure if she loves. Though she's certainly kidding herself if she thinks she's completely soul bound to Brian. And at least she's sure she doesn't love him, or even like him all that much at times.
Maybe revisit the first sentence; that “either” at the end of the sentence seems to throw it off.
... Because she would know. If she did.
LOVE that. Perfect use of ellipses and of the broken thoughts.

Jordan is waiting, waiting on her instead of the other way around, for once. She should be down on her knees, thanking the Gods. But all she can say is, "I'm tired. Can you take me home?"
gods
He opens his mouth, closes it, and stares at her long enough for the ice to melt and spring to bloom. Then he shrugs it off. "Lemme just have a smoke first." She's positive he uses the least amount of words on purpose, to slowly kill her. But she nods anyway--what else can she do?
Add a “for” in front of “spring to bloom”. What does she think about his decision to smoke right now? Does she have a theory (about this moment or most moments)? Does she have some inkling that he is using this for some purpose?
She can watch, and so she does. Watches as he gets out of the car--the same car that he and Rayanne Graff had sex in--closes the door, leans perfectly on its body, lights up a cigarette and takes a long drag, looking pensively to the sky. All of a sudden, she hears the purr of a car starting up and swivels her head in time to see the other couple leaving the lot. She notices now how cold it is with the engine off and wonders why she hasn't felt the night chill seeping in before. And so she pulls her coat tighter around her, protectively, as though it'll shield her from everything. With her breath on a line, she waits.
The dimness of her mind wonders if Brian is still on his bike. She pictures riding that bicycle down a hill like she did after breaking up with Jordan, her arms spread out, ready to fly. Maybe the reason she was so happy that day was because she rode Brian's bike instead of sitting in Jordan's car, waiting for him to drive her home.
Because instead of sitting there like an idiot, she escaped... she drove herself.
Nice closing reflection.
Kenny, I loved it! It is really good. I look forward to reading your other story when I find the time. Thank you for sharing! (I really hope that you don’t mind me reposting the story here, I can’t really comment to satisfaction without scribbling all over the text.)
:roll:
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ikilledkennyandjr
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Re: A different kind of fanfic...

Post by ikilledkennyandjr » Oct 15th 2007, 4:05 pm

Wow, Jody! Thank you so much for the comments! I've been lurking around the boards, and I have to say: you're really good with constructive criticism. It's such a blessing when someone thinks about your story the way you yourself have. And I'm glad you liked the fic. :D

In truth, I haven't been working on that story for a bit; I'm happy with the first chapter, and I don't know... the next one is more ensemble, and it doesn't have the same feel to it. Anyway, I'll work on it and see what I come up with. Thanks again!
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Re: A different kind of fanfic...

Post by ikilledkennyandjr » Jan 17th 2008, 1:54 am

The seventh chapter of Staring Down The Sun is up! It's called, "Complete(ly Miserable)" and it takes place during Why Jordan Can't Read.

Link to the most recent chapter is this way. I'd really appreciate feedback. :D
"You know, the karma in this house is like ridiculous. It's really low... or dark... whatever it is that happens to karma."

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Re: A different kind of fanfic...

Post by ikilledkennyandjr » Apr 4th 2008, 7:58 pm

Staring Down The Sun Chapter 8: "Lobotomized" is up. Link this-a-way. I don't get a lot of feedback for this story, so I'd very much appreciate any.

Our very own Cami A beta'd this one!
"You know, the karma in this house is like ridiculous. It's really low... or dark... whatever it is that happens to karma."

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Cami A.
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Re: A different kind of fanfic...

Post by Cami A. » Apr 6th 2008, 2:25 am

Yea People! :)
Check out this fanfic. It's one of the best I've seen!
"So, the mouse makes pressure, just by breathing?...I can relate."

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Re: A different kind of fanfic...

Post by ikilledkennyandjr » May 31st 2008, 6:16 am

Staring Down The Sun's new home is at DRtv, a fanfiction forum. The first three chapters have been edited and are up now. There are lots of cool special features too, including a diary written by Sharon! Check it out!
"You know, the karma in this house is like ridiculous. It's really low... or dark... whatever it is that happens to karma."

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ikilledkennyandjr
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Re: A different kind of fanfic...

Post by ikilledkennyandjr » Jun 20th 2008, 2:13 pm

Just letting you guys know that, another three installments have been posted on DRtv. As well as two more entries to "The Secret Diary Of Sharon Cherski, Aged 15 1/4". I plan to round out June by posting two more chapters. Haven't been getting a whole ton of feedback as of late, so I'd very much appreciate if someone took the time to read.
"You know, the karma in this house is like ridiculous. It's really low... or dark... whatever it is that happens to karma."

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Re: A different kind of fanfic...

Post by Brunkster » Jun 20th 2008, 7:04 pm

ikilledkennyandjr wrote:Just letting you guys know that, another three installments have been posted on DRtv. As well as two more entries to "The Secret Diary Of Sharon Cherski, Aged 15 1/4". I plan to round out June by posting two more chapters. Haven't been getting a whole ton of feedback as of late, so I'd very much appreciate if someone took the time to read.
OK, I just finished SDTS and the Secret Diary. Both were very enjoyable reads! I'll be happy to give you more specific feedback, but that will take me a few days. I've got some iffy internet connection at home at the moment but I hope to get that cleared up early next week. Overall, though, I think you do a great job writing the characters and creating believable scenarios (even though, as you say, this is a "different" kind of fanfic). When I run some of the dialogue through my head I can almost hear the characters' intonation and it works very well. Thanks for keeping MSCL alive and well.

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Re: A different kind of fanfic...

Post by ikilledkennyandjr » Jun 22nd 2008, 3:02 am

Thanks a ton, Brunkster! I'm glad you liked it. And I'm very glad that you think it's realistic, the characters are right, etc. I'm always unsure about my characterization. I think that's the hardest part of fanfiction.

Looking forward to hearing your feedback when you have time! :D Though, could you maybe post comments on the DRtv board? That's where I most frequent.
"You know, the karma in this house is like ridiculous. It's really low... or dark... whatever it is that happens to karma."

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Re: A different kind of fanfic...

Post by ikilledkennyandjr » Jun 26th 2008, 1:53 pm

Chapters 7 and 8 are up!
"You know, the karma in this house is like ridiculous. It's really low... or dark... whatever it is that happens to karma."

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Jody Barsch*
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Re: A different kind of fanfic...

Post by Jody Barsch* » Mar 31st 2009, 10:19 pm

Hey, IKilledKenny&JR
I just copied and pasted your story to a word document so that I can read it at leisure in my non-internet (currently very messy) apartment (not timed by an hour at the public library, awesome though our library is). I may still not be able to get to it for a while (as right now I am procrastinating and that needs to end), but I've always had it in mind to read this story -- I really enjoyed your other one -- and I've read several posts in the past few days in which Cami highly recommends it. I can tell you right now that I got a kick out of your disclaimers!, and just briefly saw "Stagger Lee" a favorite of mine as I've been a Shag-aholic since forever (it's one of the songs in my ipod alarm playlist). Anyway, I'm looking forward to reading it!
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Cami A.
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Re: A different kind of fanfic...

Post by Cami A. » Apr 3rd 2009, 8:41 am

Highly recommended indeed. Glad you are attempting to read Kenny's work, it's amazing. Let me know what you think as well. I edit it, and I am like a proud auntee when it comes to Staring Down The Sun.

Are you reading the fanfiction.net version, or the DRtv version? Because the DRtv version is an updated and slightly different version...so you should be reading that one. http://s9.zetaboards.com/DRTV/forum/43298/
"So, the mouse makes pressure, just by breathing?...I can relate."

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Re: A different kind of fanfic...

Post by Jody Barsch* » Apr 26th 2009, 8:30 pm

I have been reading from the older link, but I'll try to figure out where I left off and continue form the new link, although I'm sure I missed some alterations. I'll try to go back and find the added Tino scene, since that was one thing I was hoping for when I read -- more of the Tino/Rayanne relationship.
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Re: A different kind of fanfic...

Post by Cami A. » Apr 27th 2009, 6:05 am

I can locate where there are changes made for you. I'm thinking Chapter 3 is the most changed...Or ask Kenny for you, I talk to her on a daily basis, usually. Is chapter 8 the last one posted on fanfic.net?
"So, the mouse makes pressure, just by breathing?...I can relate."

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