Author Q&A featuring charming1 by Vic1, charming1
Past Featured StorySummary:

Welcome to the Kinnetik Dreams Featured Author Q&A. This month's author is charming1. Come on in and find out all about this wonderful fanfic writer!

Categories: KD Author Interviews Characters: None
Tags: None
Genres: None
Pairings: None
Challenges: None
Series: None
Chapters: 1 Completed: Yes Word count: 1540 Read: 514 Published: Jan 21, 2017 Updated: Jan 24, 2017

1. Author Q&A featuring charming1 by Vic1

Author Q&A featuring charming1 by Vic1

When did you start writing fanfic? What motivated you to start writing?

I didn’t discover Queer as Folk until sometime in 2010 or 2011. Out of curiosity, I rented the first disc on Netflix with the first three episodes on it and was immediately hooked. I bought all five seasons on eBay within a month and binged. I eventually discovered QAF fanfiction when looking for information on the show online. Before that glorious time, I didn’t even know fanfiction was a thing.

I had been reading fics for several months, and one day thought to myself “I can do that!” I had a few ideas and ran with them. I wrote my first QAF story Tomatoes in March of 2012. I was terrified to post it, in fear that no one would think I was a good writer, but I got great feedback. I was a full-time student when I first started writing, so when I wasn't doing homework I had plenty of free time to write. Oh, what a wonderful time that was.

Have you written for other fandoms? If so, which ones?

Nope, only QAF. The only other fandom that I've ever read fics from is My So-Called Life, but I have no interest in writing for it.

What do you do when you are not writing or reading fics?

I now work as a legal assistant. As far as my free time, I go to the gym (and hate every miserable second of it), watch YouTube videos and stuff on Netflix, and spend time with my boyfriend and two dogs. My life is pretty boring, but I prefer it that way.

What is your favorite QAF fanfic story?

I absolutely love Spin and Fall by Conzieu. Fantastic writing, great plot, great story. I’m a slut for Toppy!Justin and you get plenty of that in this one, along with lots of drama and wonderful original characters who I wish were real.

What is your favorite story that you have written?

I love all of my babies, but I am most proud of Hot for Teacher. I wrote seventeen chapters of it before experiencing two years of writer’s block. I thought the story would be abandoned forever before the girls from the “LLLC” motivated me to start writing again. After a few new chapters had been posted, I was thrilled to find that the story had an even greater reception than when I had first started writing it. It ended up being my longest story yet at forty-eight chapters and over 100k words. I'm also proud of Come Undone, Sweet Sacrifice, and Bittersweet Promise which I co-wrote with the wonderful Lorie. I have to admit that I've gone back to read those stories several times since they've been completed and I can’t believe that they’re actually mine.

Do you remember the first QAF fanfic that you read?

No, but I remember that I avoided Alternate Universe stories when I first started reading fanfic. I am a stickler for keeping true to source material when something is based on or inspired by a prior work, so the concept of taking these characters that I adored so much and putting them in another universe horrified me. The first fic I ever read was probably a gap-filler or something based on canon. One day I decided to give AU a try. I wish I could remember the very first AU story that I read. Now AU stories are my favorite to read and write.

Who is your favorite character to write about? Who is your least favorite character to write about?

Brian is definitely my favorite character to write. I love to get inside of his brain and dissect it like a mad scientist. He is so complex and fascinating. Justin is my second favorite because he is so much fun. I love writing Justin as the polar opposite of Brian, full of innocence, love, and optimism.

None of my stories feature David Cameron. I just can't stand him. Michael is my least favorite character of the main cast (gasp, big shock!) but I love to make him my villain. Several of my stories are anti-Michael, even if I didn't plan them to start out that way. It's very hard to write a Brian/Justin story without prominently featuring Michael, whether I like it or not.

Who are some of your favorite authors?

Conzieu, Tagsit, and NoChaser are probably my top three. There are too many others great authors to list.

What is your favorite genre to write?

The more angst and drama, the better! I love to make Brian angry and make Justin cry because I am an evil puppet master. Every story needs a conflict, no matter what else is going on. As dramatic as it may be, I always try to include some humor.

Do reviews motivate you? If not, what is your prime motivation to write?

Absolutely! It’s always great to get feedback from your readers; however, you cannot let negative reviews or a low number of reviews negatively impact your writing.

My prime motivation to write is my overactive imagination. Being an only child, I spent a lot of time by myself growing up which led to having to find ways to entertain myself, usually by daydreaming. Even as an adult, I have a very detailed fantasy universe in my head that no one will ever know about. Fantasy Nancy has an amazing life and goes on lots of adventures. My fantasy adventures that involve QAF often end up being shared with all of you in my fics.

Is there anything about your writing you don't like or wish you could do better?

Since I finished school and had to get a job back in the summer of 2013, I have had trouble writing. I have also been dealing with various health ailments since 2014 that zap me of my creativity. Most days when I am at home, I just want to turn off my brain and relax. Oh, if only I could get paid to write fanfic, I could get so much done!

I tend to put too much pressure on myself to write my stories and lose motivation when real life gets stressful. I’m trying to improve on that by making outlines to keep my thoughts organized and writing only when I am mentally and physically able.

I also wish that I was better at writing sex scenes. I often read other writers’ smut and feel inferior in comparison.

Any advice to other writers or newer writers out there?

Don’t let your fear or anxiety prevent you from writing your first story. We all had to start somewhere. Even if no other eyes but yours end up reading your work, give fiction writing a try.

Don’t edit a chapter or story to death. If you’re not a strong writer as far as the mechanics of it go, don’t be afraid to ask for help. The QAF fandom is its own little community and many writers are happy to beta. Some writers will even offer to co-write with you.

Make an outline before you begin writing a story, no matter if it’s going to be a short one-shot or a multi-chapter story. Be sure to add new ideas to your outline so you don’t forget them.

Don't put too much pressure on yourself to finish a chapter or a story, because forcing it probably won't result in quality work. Take a break from the story when you need to, even if that break lasts for days, weeks, months, or even (eek!) years.

Don’t worry if your writing isn’t “perfect.” There have been times where I have posted a chapter or story that I wasn’t happy with but ended up getting great feedback from readers. Don’t worry about word count, end it where it should end.

Most of all, have fun! The reason we all began watching QAF and reading fics in the first place was for entertainment. If writing isn’t fun, don’t waste your time. You’re not getting paid to do it, so don’t stress yourself out.

What's your writing process? i.e. Do you outline an entire series before starting, or just start writing and see where it takes you?

My process has changed over the years, purely out of necessity. I used to write entire stories without ever outlining or thinking too much ahead, just letting the plot progress as I went. I usually didn’t know how the story would end until I actually wrote the ending. That strategy used to work for me “back in the good old days,” but it doesn’t anymore. I now try to make an outline and plan ahead, which helps keep me on track when my muse is cooperating.

What new stories or projects do you have in the works?

I have several plot bunnies hopping through my head, most of them full of drama and very lengthy. I need to finish my current WIPs before I start on a new story, but I ultimately have to go where my imagination takes me. Once the WIPs are done, I have vowed to only post completed stories for now on, which should help take some of the stress out of writing.

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