A little fangasm!

Within just a day, I’ve had the pleasure of hauling out my Thunderbirds knowledge (with all the attendant books and other paraphernalia) to help a couple of fellow fanfic writers and personal friends. It was certainly fun, especially all the stuff about Alan Tracy’s educational background. Add to this my posting the first chapter of one of my short stories (Burning Muses) at AO3 and uploading a new post to my RP, and I’m full of Thunderbirds at the moment. It’s given me quite a hunger for fic and for writing or editing what I already have up. I edited the first chapter of Burning Muses, making it tighter. In many respects it was like my edit of the little scene I wrote a few days ago. The changes I made brought forth Brains’s voice and made him less … poetic. (Because if Brains is anything, it is NOT poetic.)

Then, there was the chatter at the dinner table. We went from Gosford Park to Downton Abbey (which we have not seen) to Acorn (which streams Downton Abbey), and then to Netflix – where movies are more plenteous in DVD than in streaming. This led to BBC America (and how we could get it on cable), to other premium cable services, to Game of Thrones and whether or not the TV series matched the novels. That particular thought brought out movies that didn’t match their source material – Boy #2 brought up the Percy Jackson movie (The Lightning Thief). This brought the whole shebang back to … Thunderbirds! The Girl’s comment: “I knew there was another kids movie like that! ” Hubby brought up that Frakes had said in an post-film interview that he directed the movie that the producers wanted, even though he knew the fans would be “annoyed by it” (Hubby’s words, not Frakes’s.) I promptly chimed in. “Annoyed? Annoyed?” Which, of course, is far too mild a term to describe the old guard’s intense hatred of the film.

Maybe if he’d stayed closer to the source material, we’d have had another Thunderbirds movie. After all,  there will be another Percy Jackson film, coming out this year.

Some fandoms get all the luck…

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AO3

My friend lillehafrue sent me an invite to An Archive of Our Own (aka AO3) and I accepted. (Thanks, lille!) Posted a couple of small one shots, neither of them in my primary fandom.

Since I’ve posted at eFiction sites, the interface wasn’t as daunting as it would be for those who haven’t and I have some knowledge of HTML coding, which helps. The “warnings” business was more than a little confusing. I ended up deleting my first one shot because I couldn’t figure out a way to edit the “Author chose not to use archive warnings” in favor of “No archive warnings apply” (because they didn’t). So it still has some bugs to be user-friendly. (For all it’s complexity, eFiction is easier.)

Some of the Thunderbirds writers I know are there. Most aren’t, the elites in particular. There are only a handful of Thunderbirds stories, which means that ff.net is still the biggest archive. If I use it for my Thunderbirds work, I’m going to take my time putting it all up. (Can’t import from ff.net anyway; ff.net has blocked that.) At least no one is going to be using my penname there.

Weirdness in my writing worlds.

First, I’m supposed to be working on my 2007 NaNo novel during August’s Camp NaNoWriMo. Unfortunately, between my anniversary and various shopping trips, I really haven’t done much. I’ve also had the problem of things popping up from my planned 2011 NaNo novel, which doesn’t have a title yet. In an attempt to jumpstart finishing the 2007 story, Moonstrike!, I’ve started posting some bits I know are done at Fan Nation. I’m posting it there first because, frankly, the Thunderbirds section at Fanfiction.net is glutted with these kinds of stories and I need for this to be top notch before posting it there. My goal is to show How It Should Be Done™, so it has to be done right.

Which brings me to something else: the Thunderbirds section at ff.net really annoys me right now. There is a plethora of WeeTracy fics, because frankly, you don’t have to really refer to Thunderbirds when you’re doing it. Just use the names and make them two-dimensional characters using what you’ve read elsewhere. There are a lot of crappy fics posted there where the author’s writing skills suck and the current batch of “Let’s give everyone pets and strokes and hope they become better authors” reviewers fail terribly to point these things out in a way that makes the writer take notice. (Though I have noticed Musette 12 hopping in there to take some of the writers to task for either unrealistic fics, bad writing, bad attitudes, or any combination of the three.) There’s a whole lot of writing fanfic from fanon, too. New writers taking the writings of others to form their stories instead of going back to the source. There are also a couple of fics that make me scratch my head and go, “What the hell does this have to do with Thunderbirds?”  It’s crazy-making, and truthfully, it’s kept me from reading all but a few writers; currently, that means MathGirl, ThatGirlSix, and Silver Bee (since some of my other faves haven’t posted in the TBs section lately). Which is sad, because I used to read everything.

Well, I guess I’d better get back to doing something! I might go ahead and write what I’ve been getting from the “Fermat’s Mother” fic, or pick up something from Moonstrike! that I know I need to write. I’m sitting on my original fic for the moment as I’ve offended a good friend with some of my religious terminology and I need to figure out what to do there. Christianity doesn’t exist in my world, so terms like “the Blessed Lady” are not talking about the Virgin Mary. But I guess it sounds too close for comfort.

Later.

eFiction for the FanFiction.net user

I’ve been helping my good friend Lillehafrue copy some of her stories to Lunaescence Archives. She’s pretty upset (as am I) with the way FanFiction.net has added those interstitial ads that you can’t X out, and wants a new place to post her stories.

Now, Lunaescence uses a variation on eFiction, a popular archiving software. Quite a few of the smaller (and a couple of bigger) archives use it. The trouble is: it’s nothing like FanFiction.net. It has a limited number of file types it will accept – usually only .txt or .html. And, its formatting reacts differently to certain codes, making a chapter look very different from what most FanFiction.net user are accustomed to. Still, it’s not terribly difficult to post at an eFiction site; in fact, FanFiction.net even gives you the tools to do it!

Okay, let’s begin:

  1. Log in to FanFiction.net.
  2. Click on the Publish tab.
  3. Click on My Stories link.
  4. Choose which story you want to post, and click on Edit.
  5. Click on the Content/Chapters link.
  6. Choose the chapter you want to upload, and click on EXP. For those of you who don’t know this already, EXP is the Export function. It will create a copy of the existing chapter in the Document Manager. This is great for making corrections in the file, and allows you to reload the chapter without difficulty.
  7. Either click on the link provided at the top of the chapter listings, or go to the Document Manager. You should find your exported file there. If you go to the Document manager, you’ll have to click on Edit/Preview to gain access to the chapter.
  8. Now, at the far right of the editing tool bar, you’ll find a little button that says “HTML”. I have a picture that shows just where this is. Click on that. A new window will open up.

ffnettaskbar

This window will be full of your story and a bunch of HTML codes. It will all run together and be hard to understand. The key commands here will be: <p> (for paragraph), <em> (for italics), <strong> (for bold), and <br> (for line break). All but the last example will be canceled by another command: </p>, </em>, </strong>.

ffnethtmlwindow

Some versions of eFiction use <p> to not only mark where a paragraph begins and ends, but also to indent that paragraph. Lunaescence uses that variation. So, if you don’t want to have your paragraphs indented, here’s what you need to do.

  1. Right click on the HTML filled window.
  2. Choose “Select All”, then “Copy”
  3. Open up a Notepad file.
  4. Paste the HTML into the Notepad file.
  5. Run a “Replace” using </p><p> and changing it to <br><br>. This will catch all but the first paragraph notation and the final paragraph cancel code. Remove those manually.

Now, for pasting to eFiction.

  1. Sign in.
  2. Go to either “Add New Story” or “Manage Stories” depending on what you’re doing. If you’re creating a new story, you’ll need to follow the directions on how to set it up. Don’t forget that you can use “Ctrl” to choose more than one character, genre, or type of story.
  3. If you’re adding to a story, then click on Edit after the story title.
  4. Once you’ve reached the chapter list, click on “Add New Chapter”. The page should change, showing you the edit box.Lunabox1
  5. Copy the material in your Notepad file.
  6. Paste it to the edit box.
  7. PREVIEW. (Very, very important!)
  8. Click “Add Story”.

Now, Lunaescence is a moderated archive, meaning that your story will have to be checked for spelling and grammatical errors before it’s  posted. Sites like FanNation aren’t, so your story/chapter should appear quickly.

FanNation also uses a slightly different version of eFiction (which can be customized by the archive owner). They use an editing function called tinyMCE, which allows you to just paste your story as it appears on FanFiction.net, without going through the HTML process. I really recommend that you do use the HTML, and that you click the checkmark off the “Use tinyMCE”. Why? Because if you’re posting to more than one site, as I do, then you only have to copy paste one set of commands.

FanNationbox1

I also recommend you save the HTML in a .txt file. The eFiction software does allow for uploads of .txt files, which is closer to what FanFiction.net’s software does. Plus, if you plan on posting at a weblog, such as LiveJournal, you’ll already have the HTML for that. I use the HTML from FanFiction.net for formatting my chapters to post at my personal archive. So it saves a lot of time to actually save the commands.

If you have any questions or comments, feel free!

I shouldn’t be up this late

Not if I want to go to church tomorrow, as I should.

I managed to type out that little starter scene for The White Winds, chapter 5. Hobbeth liked it and gave me the idea for making it necessary. I fiddled with my livejournal, giving it a fresh look and adding a couple of entries. Got out "may we please use your fic" requests for Classic Thunderbirds Showcase, but I still need an email address for Rathead. Hopefully Rain can find one for me. If not, I’ll have to send my request via review. I’d make it anonymous, if possible, so she could remove it. Did a post for the new Thunderbar site on Yahoo; I hope Daria finds us a new home really, really soon. Ezboards is weirding me out.

Bad blood sugar today. I don’t know why; but I felt I had to have two pieces of leftover pizza around five and that shot my levels through the roof.

Chatted with Suz both voice and IM. It was nice to touch base with her again. I should clean out my addresses and old IM names and such. Wish I could have a secondary address book that would hold older addresses.

Well, it’s not getting anything but later. Off to bed I go. G’night

Chapter 18 is up.

And I hope it’s well received.

I spent some time this morning reviewing a half-baked movie-verse fic called Abduction. Another of the "Alan is kidnapped" genre that’s so prevalent in the category today. I have no idea why I did it; it’s not like the author is going to actually sit down and rethink her story. They never do. She’ll probably email me, be polite and say, "Well, you make some good points but the story’s already written and I’m not going to change it." And that will be that. End of story. Why do I even bother? I just need to keep going with The White Winds (chapter 4 is halfway finished, I think) and ignore the rest.

Poor Bendarr. His lady ran off without telling anyone yesterday. Headed home to CA after her father (of ill reknown) sent her a threatening email. At least she didn’t go back to her parents’ house. She’s living with friends until she can grow some backbone re: her father. It’s sad that a 43 year old woman can’t even leave her own house without her father’s permission.