First Published: March 6, 2013
Written for: My Mad Fat Diary (50+ published stories)
1.) What inspired you to write your first story?
“Well, my FIRST first story was actually a fic for Miranda, called Self-Imposed Exile. That is still the only fic I’ve written outside of My Mad Fat Diary, but if you’ve seen the Series 3 cliffhanger, you understand it was needed!
“The first story I wrote for MMFD was Tries to Understand, filling in gaps around Episode 2 of Series 1 (“Touched”). It was me working out how Finn could think that the second meeting between Archie and Rae wasn’t a date, when they talked about them having a date before. I’d read some fics at that point, but none had explained that to my satisfaction. Then, I kept thinking of things I wanted to see these characters do or say, or questions I wanted answered, what-ifs I wanted satisfied, and it’s been pretty much non-stop ever since.”
2.) A number of your story were inspired by prompts you received from your readers. Is there a particular prompt that you would deem your favorite?
“Oh, yes. My favorite was an open prompt from howlinchickhowl about Finn trying to ask Rae out on a date, but Rae doesn’t understand that’s what it is. It turned into a three-parter (Not the Girl You Think You Are, Beautiful Freaks, These Days) that is still one of the stories I’m happiest with how it turned out. However, I’ve started a multi-chapter from a prompt about Rae traveling to Tunisia with Karim and meeting Finn there that is super satisfying so far.
“My only “problem” with prompts is that I almost always want to go too in-depth, so it’s hard for me to do a lot of them, because they sometimes end up being these behemoths that take up a lot of time. I so admire writers who are concise. I know most people want more more more, but it’s good to left wanting more, I think. Even in fic, which IS the “more.” “
3.) Of all the stories you’ve written, which do you feel the deepest connection with?
“I relate to Rae on so many levels, it’s hard to choose just one. I’d never seen a show about someone who looked like I did (still do), featuring a character who has been through similar issues (and many more), and whose story is told with such sensitivity. I’ve used some of my own feelings and experiences with body image/bullying in a few fics, especially in some parts of I’m with the Band, my first multi-part fic.
"This isn’t as deep, but I love the winter holiday season, and am a little bitter we didn’t get a Christmas episode of the show, soChristmas Time Is Here and Procrastination are stories that I’ve written to fix that, and I think of them fondly.”
4.) You are currently working on an AU story set in the 1930’s. What’s the key to writing a story with a setting so far removed canon while still keeping everyone so true to character?
“Oh, wow! I don’t know that I have any “keys”, or even that I’m always successful at keeping everyone in character. I must acknowledge that I started this fic as a joint venture with nicrememirallegro, though she’s now moved on to other fandoms. We plotted the story together (though I’ve strayed a little from our outline) and she did a lot to develop Finn’s character in those first few chapters, which was great.
“Research helps. Understanding what was going on at the time you’re writing about, in a larger historical context, can help ground the characters’ world views. I’ve probably done a little too much research about how to set up a home darkroom, the policies of the BritishMuseum, and train time tables.
“From the beginning, I didn’t want to rely on the plot of the series or hit any “beats” from the show with this AU. There have been parallels, but they came about fairly naturally with the writing, and I want the story to be fresh. The only plot point I intentionally carried over was the fight that Finn has with some bullies, and that’s something that I still wonder if I got right. I’m very mindful about how their relative social status affects the characters and their actions. I think it has to do with understanding the core of the characters. Once you have a good sense of a character’s values and self-image, you can put them in an entirely new environment, and tell another story.
“Personally, I think the character that I’ve strayed the most from is Linda (who is Lillian in the 1930 AU). Things will be revealed in future chapters that explain why she is the way she is, but Rae and Lillian do not have the same relationship that Rae and Linda have on the show. And it pains me a little that the gang cannot exist in this world, since the characters are scattered across the social spectrum. But, as in the series, Rae is the key, the glue that keeps them all connected.”
5.) Is there a story that you’ve read by another fanfic author that made you say, “Wow! I wish I wrote that”? (Or, is there a story that you just really, really appreciate?)
“So many! It’s really, really hard to pick just one. One of the most ambitious fics I’ve had the pleasure of reading is blobwithagob’s retelling of all of Series 1 from Finn’s perspective, Inside the Eye of Your Mind. There were so many insights into Finn’s personality and character, and even though I knew what was going to happen, I was still so wrapped up in it. And I really want her to write Series 2 from Finn’s perspective, but that’s probably a pipe dream.
“I also love adaftmyriad’s writing style. Anything she’s written is something I go back to again and again to reread for inspiration. Her headcanon that Rae and Finn share clothes is basically gospel, as far as I’m concerned.
“Among the current crop of writers, there are so many good ones in the fandom. First thing that comes to mind is a lovely heart-wrenching/uplifting piece about body image that lametwentysomething wrote called Skin to Skin that I’m still thinking about. But one of the things I love about this fandom is all the different perspectives and ways of interpreting the show and telling stories about these characters we love. We’re lucky to have so much talent!
“That’s what I think is so fantastic about fanfiction. You get an idea for a story, or maybe it’s just an image imprinted on your brain. You write a hundred words, or maybe a thousand. Or maybe you write twenty chapters. You can agonize over every detail, or just type it out and press Post to exorcise it. You don’t have to match any preconceived ideas of what a story should be, which is kind of amazing!”
This was such a fantastic gateway to MMFD fanficiton. If you want to take a look at some of endemictoearth’s exemplary work, Phunky Recommends:
A perfect, sexy example of how the holidays always have a way of bringing people back together. Finn and Rae drift apart, but find their way to each other again.
What if The Gang was actually The Band? Find out here!
A far more satisfying version of the night that Rae went to Finn’s place for a sleepover and got him drunk. FAR more satisfying.
Is there a fanfiction author whom you feel deserves a little spotlight (and would be willing to do a short interview via e-mail/messaging)? Are there questions that you’ve always wanted to ask some of your favorite writers? Let me know! You can nominate authors to spotlight and suggest questions in my inbox, ortweet me @Phunky_Brewsterwith the hashtag #FFAuthorsArchive!You can also e-mail me at email@example.com. This is a multi-fandom segment.
“All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.”
From what I see, who I follow, and who I talk to, this fandom is heavily female based for the most part. With that being said, this struck my curiosity. There must be male fans out there that love this show as much as the rest of us of course! So, if you just so happen to be male and a fan of the show, give me a little follow, leave a message, or simply like this post and I will stop by to see what all of your thoughts are about MMFD :) xx
I’m highest degree black belt in this.
Norwegian Forest Cats
basically my life can be summed up in alternating periods of Linda Belcher’s “Alriiiiight!” and Bob Belcher’s “Oh my god”
amy once asked me how many miles would i have to go before i could be okay
with myself. i thought i’d have to go round the whole world. but i don’t think that anymore. i’m o k a y here.
Sing me a song of a lass that is gone…
“I just love bossy women. I could be around them all day. To me, bossy is not a pejorative term at all. It means somebody’s passionate and engaged and ambitious and doesn’t mind leading.”