So, Yuletide is long over with. I'd like to talk about the stories I wrote.
Just Another Break:
I actually wanted to write this because I was happy to find someone else who wanted MSLN for Yuletide. Not only that, but I wrote A Warm Place a year ago, and i wanted to keep my little MSLN Yuletide treat tradition going.
All I wanted was fluff and romance for this. Pure, unadulterated fluff and romance. The request was for the working environment. I thought, okay, I can use the TSAB. But I coming up with a mission for MSLN is a little difficult. So I thought, yes, Fate comes home from a mission and fluff ensues! And so, I came up with the idea of the cafe. At first I wasn't sure how to connect that to anything interesting... but Nanoha wanting Fate to come for a Couple's Day came to mind after writing the original draft. It felt bland and then... bam. I said, "I can fit that in! It's perfect!" I thought about the the reason of what makes this day special for Nanoha and Fate to come to this particular cafe on this particular day. Why would Nanoha care, and how can it be extra sweeter? Well, I found my answer!
Did I mention this took me about six hours to write? That's honestly a record for me. I had to do the Christmas dinner thing with the family, and i even posted it an hour before Madness ended. I even told my family. They seemed surprised I wrote a story for someone else...? I don't know why. Well, I could have posted it a little after. I just wanted to be on time! And I edited just a little after Madness opened, but it couldn't be helped.
Learning How to Smile:
I'm not really sure how this one turned out so long, but it did. The supernatural element actually wasn't supposed to happen. I had a few other ideas that would make the scene a little more realistic (like the ghost was a dog—I know, it sounds strange, and that's what I worried about). But the more I thought about it, the more changing the ghost seemed to be a lie to the audience.
I remember when we talked about that in my previous writing class; if you give the reader something from the start, you should continue with it so they're not confused or turned off. I promised the ghost from the start and I needed to continue with it or give an incredibly good reason that it didn't exist. I probably could have delved more into who the ghost is, and now that I'm done I see how I could have done that too, but the story was about Nozomi and Nico finding some common semblance with each other. I tried to do that with their separate loneliness/sadness similarities.
Where Your Heart Belongs:
This story was difficult. I agonized about it, honestly. Not because I didn't want to do write after I plucked it out of the pinch hit list, but the ideas floating around in my head weren't coming as coherently as I wanted them to. I kept thinking of long-winded plots I neither had the time to do, and I worried about how coherent they'd be if I even tried. So Where Your Heart Belongs was born after I wondered: What makes a linear storyline?
I tried to think of the places in the Tokyo Babylon timeline that might have needed just a little more explaining. Because the end has such a wealth of possibilities, I said okay, we're doing that. But then, how? I thought, "Seishirou is always not with Subaru when he wakes up from the cataconic state in fics. I wanted to know what would happen if Seishirou was there with him, and I wanted to explore the theme of touch. Smut was kind of an option, but I wasn't too smitten to write it at the time, and I didn't think I had to for a compelling story. I just wanted to see the influence touch would have on Subaru waking up back to Seishirou.
It was interesting to write Seishirou in a more possessive light, too. I normally don't do that. I could get used to it, though. Seeing Seishirou not wanting to give Subaru back his family was quite comfy to write.