Oh my god you guys I started writing Hawks & Hands just about ten years ago. o.O What even is the passage of time, that is impossible.
Ahem. Anyway. For most of the time I was writing H&H, iulia was in her first year of law school, and I was living alone for the first time and had a very limited local social life and was still pretty monofannish in Due South. (I am prone to refer to H&H as the baby I had to save my relationship with Due South, because I was sort of drifting out of the fandom--into Firefly and Stargate SG-1, among other things--and incepted myself back into DS by writing H&H. And, uh, that worked out about as well as having a baby ever does to save a relationship, and I was emphatically out of Due South within a few months after posting H&H in February 2005.)
So, uh, let's see. Things I remember about writing Hawks & Hands:
1) It was all I did for eleven months. It was all I could talk about for eleven months. SORRY EVERYONE I INTERACTED WITH BETWEEN MARCH 2004 AND FEBRUARY 2005. All I was doing, most of the time, was going to work (where I did research for my fic and chatted with people about my fic and incidentally did my not-very-demanding job and occasionally also read and wrote other fic), and then going home to work on my fic. My big regular social outlet was a friend's write club, where a handful of us writers would get together and write at a coffee shop once a week; I was the lone active fanwriter of the group and, uh. The other members of the group are definitely included in the above apology. SORRY EVERYONE. I'M BETTER AT SOCIALLY APPROPRIATE FILTERING NOW. MOSTLY.
2) It was... intense. There were definitely at least two separate instances where I cried over it, and as someone sort of new in fandom and, in retrospect, going through some other things wrt my friendships and relationships at the time, I really put a lot of pressure on myself to write this story quickly and well and it got weird sometimes.
But I wrote a 200,000-word story in eleven months and people liked it at the end, and honest to God most of that time was not spent crying, most of it was about loving the story and the characters and hockey. HOCKEYYYYYYYYYYYYY. <3__________<3
3) In retrospect I sort of laugh and want to pat myself on the head for the way I would get totally paralyzed every time I skirted the edge of writing RPF about hockey players. I would just be like OMG I AM MAKING UP DIALOGUE FOR CHRIS CHELIOS and lose like three days of writing because I just had to make horrified faces at my computer.
(I'm pretty sure that even then I took some delight in gently implying that Brett Hull would totally have liked to hook up with Ray Kowalski if they could ever get over punching each other all the time, though. Er. If that implication ever made it into the story as such? Maybe I just enjoyed imagining making that implication. YOU GUYS, I WAS TOTALLY SHIPPING RAY KOWALSKI/BRETT HULL CASUAL HATE SEX IN MY HEAD, JSYK.)
4) I went just a little bit out of order. Normally I write in fairly strict sequence, except that occasionally I will write a particular pivotal/dramatic/climactic scene in advance, if I have it really clear in my head and don't want to forget what I've figured out for it. What I generally don't do is, say, post that advance-written scene as its own flashfic so that I'm more or less committed to things going just the way I've written in that draft.
But I did with Hawks and Hands! I wrote a (really! pivotal!) sex scene out of order for the "Many Tongues" challenge at ds_flashfic and posted it March 15, 2004, nearly eleven months before I posted Hawks and Hands in its entirety, and I somehow actually managed to make that work--I changed a very little of the dialogue to reflect the exact things they'd said to each other in the story before then, but for the most part I didn't have to change the final version of that scene at all. (If you're curious, the flashfic is here: Code-Switching)
5) It was hands down the best beta experience I have ever had on a long fic, still, even ten years later. iulia and brooklinegirl were reading along with me, scene by scene as I wrote, giving all kinds of feedback nearly every day, so I was editing on the fly before each day's new writing. It was awesome, hugely encouraging, and that was a big part of why I was able to write so much so fast.
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