MOAR THINGS I’ve learned writing fanfic

Hi, everybody!

So today I just wanted to talk a bit more about fanfic. I’ve been writing and posting fanfic for about two years now (a NEWBIE! WHAAAAT), and thus far have ended up with two rather large works. Both are Clexa-related — meaning they deal with the iconic ship Clexa, made up of the characters Clarke Griffin (played by Eliza Taylor) and Commander Lexa (played by Alycia Debnam-Carey) from the post-apocalyptic drama The 100 (for those not in the know, it’s “the hundred,” not “the one hundred”).

And now for your utterly gratuitous video of the first time these two kissed, in episode 14 of season 2. Because reasons.

link

You’re welcome.

For those who somehow have missed the 2 years of near constant protest from the Clexa fandom and allies in the wake of Lexa’s death and its crass and banal fulfillment of the terrible bury your gays trope, I’ve blogged about it and talked about it quite a bit (incessantly in some instances).

At any rate, the character of Lexa and her relationship with Clarke made me want to post fanfic. I’ve written fanfic in the past (unrelated to Clexa) but have never posted it. What happened to Lexa and, by extension, Clarke, inspired me to write it and post it, because I was so hurt and so angry about it.

And dammit, I go big when I’m inspired.

The first one I wrote and posted, “Grounded,” was my version of what season 3 of The 100 should’ve been (in my fevered brain). And it came in at a little over 500,000 words. A thousand single-spaced Word pages.

Like I said. I go freakin’ BIG.

I’m also just finishing up a Clexa AU (alt-universe for the uninitiated — the characters in a different world/time) that started as a novella but now is around 200,000 words. LOL wtf, Andi? At any rate, that one is called “bang shui,” and if you read it, you’ll see why.

Clexa fanart by emclainable on Tumblr (now at cassiniregio).

AU f/f fanfic serves as the underpinnings for the modern so-called lesbian fiction publishing industry — especially AU. If you read lesbian fiction from any of the genre’s current publishers, there’s a chance it started as a fanfic or that the author is also a fanfic writer.

At any rate, I bring this up because writing fanfic has proven an immensely creative outlet for me, and it’s also allowed me to have contact with a lot of different readers and fanfolk. I also get into some interesting discussions in the comments of my works and I was thinking about one in particular that came in on “bang shui.”

The question had to do with strap-on sex and whether Clarke and Lexa were going to engage in it, and whether Lexa (who is often read as the “top” in the relationship) would be okay with Clarke doing her, as it were.

It’s not the first time I’ve gotten a question like that on my fanfic. It came up (and it’s difficult to talk about this without innuendo and entendre, so WHATEVER PEOPLE sex can be fun) on “Grounded,” too.

Regardless, I like talking about sex and what the characters are going to get into and I responded with one of the things I say quite a bit with regard to writing Clexa fanfic — the characters are both strong women and leaders (that’s canon) and what’s so great about their relationship is that they respect each other and complement each other. Neither Lexa nor Clarke — as I’ve seen them in canon — is uncomfortable with leadership nor are they uncomfortable letting the other take the lead in various situations, though they might argue the merits of various approaches.

So it seems perfectly logical to me that Lexa (again, often read as the “top” in fanfic) would be perfectly fine in my AU world having strap-on sex with Clarke in which Clarke wore the strap-on. And in fact, switch-hitting during strap-on sex can offer all kinds of opportunities to explore vulnerabilities and strengths, and if you’re doing that with someone who respects you and cares about you, then it can be super hot.

Provided, of course, that you’re comfortable with that type of sex in the first place.

So after I talked about that in my response, I also said that in order to do an effective strap-on scenario in this particular AU, it would take at least a scene, and I’m limited now in what I can do because I’m ending the fic after one more chapter, with the possibility of continuation in a later Book 2. Given the overall tenor of this story and the directions it’s taken, a full-blown strap-on scene just doesn’t feel like it’s gonna work, though the characters may talk about it because I’m absolutely supportive of that kind of sex play between them within the context of their relationship as I interpret it.

The question also made me think about how fans perceive the characters that capture their imagination. There are major discussions about whether Lexa is a top or a bottom, and what role Clarke is, and these interpretations play out in fanfic and can spin off into further discussions about gender and sexuality (not always comfortable or respectful conversations), and into venues that encourage learning and interaction.

Some fandoms are also full of drama, which I tend to ignore though sometimes the core issues with regard to the drama have to do with larger currents of misogyny and rape culture and the erasing of various queer identities, and I observe and learn how others are thinking about these things and battling them.

And I love how a ship in a particular show can inspire thousands of fanfics and tons of fanart and so much else fan-related. I love how they can inspire deep, respectful conversations about larger social issues and goofy, fun discussions. And I love how they bring together fans from all over the world.

So in the time that I’ve been writing fanfic, I’ve learned a lot in addition to having a lot of fun. And I get a lot of fun questions, so thanks for that.

I thought, too, that I’d give you a taste of MY fanfic. This is the first scene from my Clexa AU “bang shui.” Hope you enjoy.

HAPPY FRIDAY!

SYNOPSIS:
Clarke Griffin is a med student at Polis University. She and Raven Reyes are roommates who just moved into an apartment closer to campus, but their neighbors have extremely loud marathon sexy times and Clarke is just not getting the rest she needs. She runs into one of the neighbors — Lexa Woods, a grad/law student — and tells her to please move her bed away from the wall. Which is embarrassing, yes, but anything could result from that type of conversation…

Chapter 1
“Horndog Central”

From the Clexa fanfic “bang shui,” by Andi Marquette. Available at Archive of Our Own.

*

Clarke leaned on the counter, waiting for the coffee to finish, nursing a headache and a grudge the size of Jesus. After a couple more minutes the coffee was pretty much done and she poured it into the biggest mug she had. If there were a way she could mainline it, she would have. Maybe she’d make that a priority in her classes. Begging instructors to show her how to mainline coffee directly into her fucking veins.

“You look like hell,” Raven said from the doorway. She had her hair tied back into a ponytail and she was wearing one of her more worn T-shirts. Probably a lab day.

“Thank you, Captain Obvious.” Clarke took a swallow of coffee, willing it to work faster.

Raven joined her in the kitchen and took a container of yogurt out of the fridge and a spoon out of the drawer. “Up late studying? Or maybe doing something else that I will totally tease you for but approve of?” She opened the yogurt and dipped the spoon in.

Clarke groaned softly and took another drink. “Fucking neighbors again. Literally.”

“Damn. Again? That’s—”

“Three times this week. And worse than last week.”

“How could it be worse than that?”

“Try sleeping in my room sometime and find out. I finished the night on the couch.” Clarke wondered if she had a funnel somewhere. She’d just pour the coffee right down her throat. God, maybe she’d have to indulge in one of Murphy’s Red Bulls later.

“We should start a GoFundMe.” Raven gestured with her spoon. “Help us buy the neighbors of Horndog Central a futon, no frame. Minimize headboard noise during sexy times so Clarke, future surgeon of the world, can get her beauty rest.”

Clarke glared at her. “They’re louder than you and Anya, and you’re in the same damn apartment.”

“And clearly, mood rest.”

“This shit is not funny, Reyes. I’m fucking exhausted and our neighbors are the world’s hugest horndogs. Hugest rude horndogs. They go for fucking hours.”

“Hours fucking, you mean. Although you do have to admire the stamina. They might actually be putting me and Anya to shame.”

Clarke glared at her again. “I’m going to sleep with you tonight. Nobody slams headboards into your wall.”

“Not entirely true, Griffin. It’s just that my wall isn’t yours, too.”

She groaned. “Oh, my God. No. I do not want to think about you and Anya.”

“Too late. And right now you could almost be Godzilla, with lasers shooting out of your eyes.”

“Wait until I’m fully awake.”

“Okay, okay. You’re right. They’re being rude. Admirably sexy, but rude.”

Clarke nodded. “Thank you.”

“So tell them.”

“Are you high? Because if you are, I want some of what you’re smoking.”

Raven took another spoonful of yogurt. “Seriously. Just…you know. Be delicate. Mention that the walls are really thin and that you can hear everything.”

Clarke poured herself more coffee. “We just moved in three weeks ago. I don’t want to piss people off.”

“So don’t be assholey about it. Just kind of jokey. Like, ‘hey, I get it. Sexy times are fun. But loud. So loud. And the walls are thin’.” She shrugged. “Like that.”

“We haven’t even met them. I’m going to come off as assholey regardless. And then they’ll have even louder sex to spite me.”

Raven finished her yogurt. “Fine. I’ll talk to them.”

“That makes me look like a coward, since it’s my room that’s getting the noise.”

“For fuck’s sake, Griffin.” Raven rinsed the container out and put it in the plastic bin next to the fridge. “We’ll go together. We’ll stop by as we’re carrying groceries up the stairs or something so it looks like we didn’t plan it. And that way I can mitigate your asshole side.”

“Yes, I see how your perpetual snark will put them at ease.”

Raven grinned. “I can be less snarky.”

She looked at her, dubious.

“Sometimes,” Raven hedged.

Clark shook her head and took another swallow of coffee. It might actually be working. Finally.

“And as much as I love snarking at you, I have to go to class,” Raven said. “And then the lab. You good?”

“As good as I can be. Go on. I’ll see you later.”

Raven hugged her. “I’m sorry our neighbors are horrendous horndogs. But I wish the same for you.”

“Oh, my God. Get to class.”

Raven laughed and left, and Clarke heard her laughing in the other room. She reappeared in the kitchen doorway, wearing her jacket and her backpack slung over her shoulder. “I’ll make it up to you. Pizza night?”

Clarke smiled. “Definitely. I’ll be back around five.”

“And then we can throw your soccer ball against the wall a few times. Maybe they’ll get the hint and neither of us will have to talk to them.”

“Great. An arms race with noise. Okay, then.” She rolled her eyes. “Go science things, Reyes.”

“Maybe I’ll science a cool-ass polymer that expands into a huge soundproof foam—”

“Bye.”

Raven did an air-kiss. “Later.”

Clarke finished her cup of coffee then showered, thinking that she’d grab something to eat on the way to campus, which was only a half-mile away and one of the primary reasons she and Raven had moved. They had gotten lucky, because the people who moved out of their apartment were friends of Raven’s and they had an inside track to a lease. Plus, it was a cool older building from the 1940s and it had great light from the windows, which she liked when she painted.

Too bad the apartment wasn’t on the other side of the hall. Or downstairs. Clarke pulled on a pair of jeans and put on one of her comfie V-neck tees and her favorite Polis University Med School sweatshirt. She grabbed her jean jacket and backpack, made sure she had everything she needed for the day, and stepped into the hallway. As she finished locking the door, a woman with dark hair emerged from Horndog Central—dammit, Raven, for that visual—and Clarke froze. She turned and, seeing Clarke, gave her a nod then went down the stairs.

So was that was one of the neighbors? Or was this a walk of shame? She was pretty, from what Clarke could tell. Dark hair tied back in a ponytail like Raven’s had been, probably about her height. Looked about the right age for a student, but she might not have been. Clarke started toward the stairs when the door to Horndog Central—seriously, she would kill Raven for that designation—opened again and another woman stepped into the corridor, wearing sweats and a T-shirt.

This woman ignored Clarke and instead jogged down the hallway to the stairs, leaving the door to the apartment partially open.

“Octavia,” she called down the stairs. “Wallet.” And then she went down the stairs and it occurred to Clarke as she did the sex math that Horndog Central could very well be an establishment of the lady gay variety and then it penetrated her exhaustion-addled brain that Bellamy’s sister was also named Octavia, though she hadn’t met her.

She did more sex math. One woman leaves on a walk of shame, and another chases her down the stairs with a wallet, a clear indication that the first woman had spent the night. And the two of them had engaged in loud, annoying sex that banged the bed against the wall they shared with Clarke.

Ew.

Clarke went to the stairs, glancing at the door to Horndog Central, but it wasn’t open wide enough to snoop. She heard voices and laughing from the first floor as she started to descend and then the second woman appeared and started up the stairs. She looked up at Clarke and—

Holy Jesus, her eyes. And lips and cheekbones and shoulders and jawline and Clarke jerked her gaze to her own feet.

“Hey,” the woman said. “You’re the one who just moved in next door, right?” She stopped and Clarke automatically did, too, glad that the stairwell was wider than many, and afforded lots of room. It reminded her of the big wide stairwells in her old high school building.

“Yes.” And in the three weeks since, she’d gotten seven noise-free nights. Maybe ten.

“Cool. I’m—”

“Loud,” Clarke said before she thought about it. She’d show her that she didn’t give a shit about some incredibly hot woman with hair the color of chocolate falling around her shoulders who was staring up at her. She probably used her incredibly hot looks to get whatever the hell she wanted and Clarke was in no mood for that. She was fucking tired, and this woman and her girlfriend or fuckbuddy or whatever the hell had put her in this state and she was right here, right now, and Clarke was not one to keep quiet about shit on her mind.

“Sorry?” Her expression registered confusion and Clarke tried not to notice her shoulders, which looked very nice in the tee.

“Loud,” Clarke repeated. “Very.”

“Oh. Okay, I’ll make sure we keep the TV at a lower volume.” Her eyes flashed with what might have been anger, but there was amusement, as well, and it pissed Clarke off, but it might have pissed her off more that she wondered about the tattoo on her neighbor’s right arm that the sleeve of her tee didn’t entirely cover. “It’s not your TV,” she shot back. “It’s your bed.”

Her eyes widened in surprise and then she half-smiled, a maddening but entirely sexy little smirk that lifted the corner of her mouth. “Seems a little forward, talking about my bed like that. We haven’t even been properly introduced.”

Clarke glared at her. “Please move your bed away from the wall you share with us.”

Her brow furrowed in puzzlement.

“The headboard,” Clarke said. “It knocks against the wall during certain activities.”

She raised her eyebrows and comprehension dawned and she smiled, maybe a little embarrassed. “Ah. I’ll take care of it.”

“Thank you,” Clarke said, still glaring, and then she hurried down the stairs before she had to say anything else to the goddess—um, horndog—of 201.

“You’re welcome,” the woman called after her and though Clarke heard amusement in the tone, she detected warmth, too, and it unnerved her a little, left her unsettled in ways both pleasant and irritating. She walked a little faster than usual, as if it would disperse the image of the woman on the stairs, and her enigmatic green eyes and playful smirk.

Maybe she had been an asshole, bringing it up like that, she thought as she entered her fave coffee house. And maybe she’d let her lack of sleep get the best of her. She could’ve been nicer about it. Or slipped a note under the door. Because now she was the bitch in apartment 202. God, maybe she should’ve let Raven take care of it, who could be blunt but also disarming with her snark. Clarke just tended to be blunt in situations like this, especially after she’d attempted the patience thing.

And worse, 201 was possibly hittin’ it with Bellamy’s sister. That could be awkward.

She bought a large coffee and a huge blueberry muffin, the buzz of voices, laugher and the hiss of the espresso machine helping calm her mood and by the time she got to campus and her first class, she felt more like herself. And maybe she’d finally be able to get some damn sleep at home.

Thanks for reading and hope you have a fab Friday and rest of the weekend.

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3 comments

  1. I may not write fanfic anymore but I so love to read it when I get the chance especially your Clexa fic. Some of the best out there. U kno I’m picky. One more thing…. Recho 🤣🤣😆😫👊🏽

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  2. I found lesbian fiction by way of fan fiction, as so many of us did. I’ve only ever written one fanfic, and it’s not ever going to see publication. It’s very dated, from a show I loved eons ago, ‘The Facts of Life’ with, of course, Jo and Blair at the center of my ship. I still read it though. Love the stuff.

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