After not writing or drawing anything substantial for way too long, I finally sat down and started writing again, in my default get-out-of-this-funk way: fanfiction. I know, I know, many people would normally insert a groan here. And to all of you making faces at home, I have a very eloquent, polite, tactful, and, above all, honest response:
Seriously. Fanfiction can be one of the best ways for me to get over writer’s block or past some mental block that’s keeping me from being creative. And after such a long hiatus, I’m incredibly happy that Tangled helped me out by giving me so much material to work with that I could not escape writing additional scenes that really needed to be in the movie. And you know what? I’m going to keep doing short little one-shots about Rapunzel and Eugene and how life is not as neat as a Disney movie. You don’t have to like them, you don’t have to read them, if you think you’re above fanfiction, fine. But there’s nothing quite like finding an author that has a grasp on the characters you love and adds to the story put forth, giving a different perspective or something to add in with the movie, or a way to change the movie and go with it where ever the muse takes them.
And to those of you that might like to see proof of my writing, well, I suppose I’ll mention what I’ve done and what I plan to do. Because my second favourite part of being part of a fandom is reading all the wonderful things other people write for it. (My first is writing stuff myself and getting my feelings and frustrations out, I’m a little conceited like that.) So, behind the scenes motivation and a short summary, AWAY!
The Other Tower came from one of my favourite Angel episodes: Fredless. As soon as I saw Tangled for the first time, I could not get the image out of my head that Rapunzel, just like Fred, would be overwhelmed and scared by parts of this world, no matter how brave they both are. So, naturally, Rapunzel would lock herself in again, build herself a tower and wait to be rescued. Just like Fred has started to. I still stand by the fact that this would work so much better as a comic, but I really need to work on original stuff, so I’ve confined myself to working on my writing through this story instead. Maybe I’ll draw a scene or two.
This was born out of a very specific scene in my head. Because, honestly, Eugene walking into the very town he had just broken out of on the way to his death? Not really something anyone with any common sense would do easily. I added in a few things to this fic that I may expand on, because I think they deserve their own spotlight. (Rapunzel grabbing the hair on the way down and Gothel’s cloak, specifically.) The scene itself, if you do not care about spoilers, is Eugene desperately trying to make Rapunzel understand that he would die if they went back, yet she thinks that the King and Queen would be able to know that she’s their daughter and all will be forgiven. Very specifically, when she finally breaks and says, pleadingly, “Don’t parents just know? Real parents?” and he answers with a hesitant “I wouldn’t know.” That was the scene that sparked everything around it, and I’d like to think that’s how she “convinces” him it’s a good idea in the movie, too.
This is about the mother-daughter relationship of the Queen and Rapunzel. The one part of the movie I really didn’t like was the Disney hug at the end. Yeah, they’ve been looking for her everywhere, but no way did Rapunzel just lose Gothel and go “Oh well, I got a new one now!” After that reunion, I really wanted to explore how mother and daughter would start rebuilding themselves. (I also wanted the Queen to not have any spoken lines, which turned out to be extremely difficult and the pronouns everywhere, good grief!) This one I might continue with, and have each chapter be a different perspective as their relationship evolves. I haven’t decided yet.
I’m writing more, too. Definitely want to write one about Rapunzel and Eugene waiting for the King and Queen to come meet them. Another from the point of view of Pascal, though I haven’t decided when that one would take place in the timeline of the movie. And I’m totally writing one about that poor bard at Snuggly Duckling, because oh man, I loved that skinny, frightened little man <3
So, yes. There went an explanation that no one asked for. But you know what? It’s my blog. I’m allowed to be self-indulgent. (Also, writing things out like this really helps me remember them later.) Oh, and one last thing. All you writers out there should google “OmmWriter” and use it, because that program,a s simple as it is, really helps you keep your mojo going and gets rid of all those distractions that usually keep me from finishing any kind of story ever. You can hold it responsible for the influx of fanfiction. (Also, I make no claims on the quality of the rest of the stuff submitted to my account. Some of those are very old, and some of those were very stupid ideas that went nowhere. Read anything older than 2 years at your own risk.)
Proof of creativity. I haven’t been drawing, but I’ve been writing. And writing fanfiction! Of Tangled! (Well, rewriting. I like this much better than my first draft anyway.)
Also, reading ANYTHING else on that account will result in bleeding from the eyes. Srsly. Except maybe Rain and Full of Grace, but man, I’m embarrassed by the rest of them. They were so long ago and nowadays I’m working on original stuff, so I wont’ be updating anything or reworking anything in favor of having some of my own material out there, somewhere, in the great wide web. That was your fair warning!
Catching up with multiple days at a time, because I fail but I really love the idea of this. So here are days 8, 9 and 10, which kinda go together anyway! It’s like I planned this. For srs.
Day 8: Your Favourite Instructor
By the end of this, I’m going to have to rename this challenge to “At Least 20 Ways in Which I Think Jo Hoffberg is Awesome”. But, y’know what? She IS awesome, in way more than 20 ways. So I’m ok with this inevitable, inescapable outcome. But more to the point of actually answering the question: Jo is my favourite instructor because of the way she explains things and how her personality shines through in everything she’s teaching. I hold her responsible for breaking the huge mental block I had against swivels in 1 hour, and then teaching me how to make them look fantabulous in that same hour. The woman is a miracle worker, and though it took months for me to make them look good and to be confident in them, she got me started in a big way and considering how much I love swivels, her teachings are in my dancing every single night.
Day 9: Favourite Class Taken
Remember that swivels mention, oh, 3 lines above or so? Favourite class. I would not say that it was the most useful class in terms of my overall dance ability (in the same workshop weekend, Laura Keat showed me how to truly be a follow who keeps her momentum, something I’m still working on doing consistently), but her class helped me overcome so many things I was struggling with that I still think about it fondly sometimes. At night. While watching swing dance videos. (bow chicka bow wow.) Even beyond the swivels and the swingout variations we learned, she said something in that class that has stuck with me and immediately I saw a change in my dancing once I thought about it properly: Make full weight changes. As soon as she said that and showed what she meant, it clicked in my head. I’m still working on doing it gracefully, but it made such a difference that I consider it one of the most valuable pieces of advice I’ve been given.
Day 10: Favourite Workshop Weekend
So based on my last two answers, I should pick Southern Belle - it was my first workshop, first official travel experience, and fantastic all around. But! I’m going to have to go with this year’s Hop Shop. There was no part of that weekend that I didn’t feel like I got something incredibly valuable out of it. Every class, between the individual spotlight and critique sessions and the more general philosophy and practice sessions gave me something to improve on, something specific to work on and I’m slowly making my way down the list. Also, the entire weekend, I don’t remember having a bad or uncomfortable dance. Which was such an incredible feeling in so many ways that it’s cemented my need to attend Hop Shop every year EVER, for sure. I’m glad I got over my shyness/mental block to ask instructors to dance, because I learned so much with every dance, social and in class. Plus, swing dancers seem to be some of the absolute nicest people in the world! Moral of the story: go to Hop Shop. Srsly. But make sure to buy tickets early because there’s limited space and a whole lot of awesome!
(As a last note, if Jo ever comes across these, I really hope she doesn’t find me creepy. <3)