And yes, it's not a fandom I've never written in before.
There were a lot of reasons why this year's Remix was a tough one for me, most of which were real life-related (see: getting laid off, looking for a job, just being disorganized while my life was completely up-ended...)
The smaller but not insignificant part of this year's challenge was that I was matched with someone who had nothing in Buffy fandom. To be fair to the administrators, I said that Farscape was one of the fandoms I was willing to write in, so no fault on them for what was an eccentric fandom match with simplystars, who had one story in BSG2003 fandom (also a potential match), a lot of stories in Farscape fandom, and had written a whole lot more for shows I don't even watch and have never watched.
I think the word "Yikes!" comes into play here, although that was all on me and not on simplystars.
You'd think I'd learn. I mean, I did the exact same thing to myself 3 years ago when I said I was willing to write in BSG2003 fandom and got matched with someone who (at the time) wrote exclusively in BSG2003. The end result was The Murder of Crows (Blackhawk Down Remix). While the remix was hard to do, I was active enough around the edges of BSG2003 fandom and I was familiar enough with canon that I could make it work.
Farscape on the other hand...oy!
Now, as it so happens, I do have the complete Farscape on DVD, including "The Peacekeeper Wars". I have also watched the whole thing from beginning to end.
I should also add that I wasn't at all active in Farscape fandom during its original airing. In fact, I had missed good chunks of S1 and S4 during its first run, so there were an awful lot of episodes that were "new" to me when I did my first sweep through the series.
Which is why I can't help but wonder what I was thinking when I said I'd actually write a Farscape remix. Seriously.
So you can see why I panicked when I was faced with my Remix assignment. simplystars only had one BSG2003 story, which for whatever reason didn't really "ping" me. There was nothing wrong with the story itself, but I wasn't "feeling it".
That left me with simplystars's Farscape fic, most of which consist of character-centric or ship-centric ficlets.
Now, let me be clear. A lot of my issues with Remixng this year had nothing to do with simplystars and everything to do with me. There were those real-life issues I mentioned above, but secondary to that is the fact that I didn't feel I had a good enough grasp on the character voices to pull off a Farscape remix.
Again, why did I say I'd be willing to remix Farscape again? I love the show, but my confidence in writing something for it was just about nil.
I spent a lot of time going through simplystars Farscape stories to find something I could latch on to.
This time around, I my requirements for what I'd remix was much, much tighter than in years past. They were:
- No stories with ships. Gen only. The reason was simple: I suck at writing ships in general because I'm the geniest of gen writers. Adding the stress of writing a ship on top of remixing in a fandom that I'm not overly familiar with was just asking for trouble.
- No stories featuring secondary or tertiary characters. I was going to have a hard enough time capturing the voices of the main characters. Secondary and tertiary characters were right out.
- No AUs, crossovers, or complicated stories. I needed to keep my Remix story simple, or my shaky hold on Farscape canon was going to show and show badly. That meant the source stories had to be simple and straightforward as well.
In the end, I decided to focus on my favorite Farscape character, Chiana. In fact, she made my list of Fictional Women Who Rock My World: Lovable Scoundrels. So I suppose it makes sense that I would hone in on stories that featured her.
As for why I ended up choosing Will the Real Junior Miss Tough Chick of the Universe Please Stand Up?, I can only say two words: "blind panic".
Panic, as you may notice, is coming up distressingly often in this meta.
To have a longer answer, "Will the Real Junior Miss Tough Chick of the Universe Please Stand Up?" met all of the above criteria, was completely self-contained, and featured my favorite Farscape character.
Bonus: All I needed to do was re-watch 6 Chiana-centric or Chiana-heavy episodes to bring me up to speed on Chiana's early characterization. The episodes I re-watched were: "Durka Returns" (S1), "Through the Looking Glass" (S1), "A Bug's Life" (S1), "Nerve" (S1), "Taking the Stone" (S2), and "A Clockwork Nebari" (S2).
From there, I glomped on the Terra Firma Farscape Transcript Archive to double-check actual dialog and character-related information that may not have made it into the Farscape Wiki. I also made heavy use of the Slang and Terminology page as well as the character-centric pages in the Farscape Wiki.
The re-watching and research alone took me two weeks. And that was before I even started writing.
In addition, my Remix didn't turn out the way I originally planned.
The first three parts are written as exactly planned. Then I was going to follow this with a series of vignettes with Chiana interacting with everyone in the crew one-on-one where her initial categorization of each character was either confirmed or exploded. In between each interaction, she'd run into Crichton who'd give his unique twist and insight. So, it would go something like: Chiana and Rigel - Chiana and John talking about Rigel - Chiana and Pilot - Chiana and John talking about Pilot - Chiana and Zhaan - Chiana and John talking about Zhaan - Chiana and D'Argo - Chiana and John talking about D'Argo - Chiana and Aeryn - Chiana and John talking about Aeryn.
You get the idea.
Unfortunately, or maybe fortunately given my shaky grasp on the characters, I thought the deadline for submitting the story was May 9. Since my back was already up against the wall, I decided to scrap the one-on-ones and return to the source material. The now fourth part of the story was essentially a re-wording of the second half of the original ficlet.
Then I submitted, only to find out that I was a week early. *headdesk*
If my RL wasn't in such shambles, I probably would've attempted to write the vignettes and snuck them in under the radar. In fact, I even started to do so, but RL events pretty much took precedence and I didn't get very far.
In the end, I'm happy with what I produced (all things considered), and I'm glad my remixee was pleased with it.
Is it the best remix I've ever done or the most ambitious? No. Is it the best I could've produced under the various circumstances? Yes.
So, not a whole lot of clever insight to be found this year, and not a whole lot of clever discussion on writing process.
Unless you count "panic" as a writing process, that is.
Anyway, I'm off to a BBQ this afternoon, so I probably won't get to comments until tonight or tomorrow.
I hope you enjoy the fic!