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I signed up for a ficathon with a minimum word count of 30,000. I'm not actually worried about that. It's Buffyverse, which I haven't played in for a bit so I should dust off the DVDs and have them in the background as I waste spend my time applying for jobs. See if it jogs anything loose or produces any bunnies.

The point of this post, however, isn't that particular ficathon. Rather that I've been pondering my fic in general and one fic in particular...

I Was A Ghost Before You Came

And the song that inspired the title is Ghost - Jes. I've linked to the album version but there are several lovely remixes that I prefer to the original. May I recommend the Deepsky Club Mix?

I had the impression while I was writing it that this fic was different than the others somehow. That it meant more, it said more, it carried more weight somehow. It's certainly not perfect. There's my standard grammar, punctuation, and other writing mistakes and bad habits. But even now, that fic compels me in a way that none of my others do.

All Who Wander is compelling. But in a straight-forward way. It's simple, written from only one character's POV and narrowed to only his experience and interaction with others. It falls solidly in the "To Be or Not To Be" category.

Ghost, on the other hand, is riddled with complex characters and the ghosts they all carry with them. It's about shattered dreams, disappointment, and there's a subtle, but important, lack of black and white. It's about the sum of our past and what that means in terms of our momentum into the future. Everyone who reads Ghost takes something different away from it, everyone sees a different a slightly fic. There are layers upon layers, peeled back according to the reader's own experience and current life status. And while I knew they were there when I wrote the fic, I am slightly unnerved to re-read and find new layers that I didn't realize were there.

You can read it like a movie. The surface, the edges, take the pretty pictures and go home satisfied. You can fill in the depths according to your own mileage and meaning. It shifts, it changes. It is not a hopeful fic, despite it's hopeful veneer. It keeps none of its promises and is thoroughly unapologetic. It's dark in a way that you don't notice the first few times through. It never stops being subtle, even when there are bullets and blood. Because there are always a hundred ghosts looking down the barrel of the gun.

I still don't understand it, that's for sure. It feels more like something I found than something I wrote. Keep turning it over and over in my hands, waiting for it to make sense. In direct contradiction of that, Ghost is the fic that feels the most authentic to me, as though there is more of me in that one than all of my others. The others are plays that run in my head, universes I dabble in when I'm bored or need to escape. There is a distinct lack of fun in the Ghostverse. Which isn't to say it's uninteresting, never quite shake the feeling that you really shouldn't trust this 'verse.

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March 2012

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