I was in a big bang! And no that’s not a supersized gang bang, ya pervs. For those of you who already know what a fandom big bang is bear with me for a moment. A big bang is a fandom event that will lead to an explosion in fan content, most usually fanart and fanfiction.
In a big bang, writers submit summaries of the story they plan to write. The big bang organizer collects and lists them for artists to review. The artists then go through and pick which story they’d like to illustrate. The organizer pairs up the artists and writers and assigns posting dates. The artists and writers collaborate. Then bang! The posting schedule begins, and tons of fics and art for a fandom are uploaded.
These days the popular sites to use are Archive of Our Own (AO3) and Tumblr. (A reverse big bang is when artists post their images and a writer writes for it – this is similar to the MM Goodreads Group Don’t Read in the Closet Event).
The big bang I just participated in was for the ship Sheith, Shiro and Keith from my current obsession Voltron: Legendary Defender. It was organized by Caustically, an amazingly patient and productive event leader. My artist was CatfishDraws. They were a joy to work with. They created three pieces when I was only expecting one.
Now, you’re probably wondering why I participated in this event since I’m already a published author. Well, one of my goals for 2017 was to get back to writing fanfiction. I made this a goal for a very important reason. I wanted to write for fun. I wanted to write and share stories without any pressure on promoting or worrying about reviews and sales. The fun of coming up with ideas for fanfic, playing with characters that I love, and interacting with others in a fandom is a great way for me to relax and maintain my love for writing.
Fanfic writing is also a way for me to try out some new ideas. An earlier fic I wrote for this ship was in the ABO/omegaverse trope. I tried it, liked it and now I want to write some omegaverse for publication in the future.
For the Sheith Big Bang 2K17, I wanted to write a ridiculously over the top, tropey and dramatic romance. I did, and I had fun doing it. I dreamed up a world where people with careers in the arts are mostly dependent upon Patrons in order to financially sustain themselves. The idea came of course from the system of patronage during the Renaissance, where poets, musicians, etc. would receive meals and a place to stay from the upper class in exchange for entertaining them with their songs and stories.
I was also influenced by a book I read a long time ago. I’ve tried to remember the title or author but it just won’t come to mind. In the story, there was a young ballerina in Russia. After her first performance, there was an aristocrat who was interested in having her as his mistress. The ballerina wasn’t having it. But the director of the ballet company basically told the dancer to hustle and make them dollas, and sent her out to be whisked away by the count.
Eventually the dancer winds up emigrating to the US and has a granddaughter who achieves the ballet fame that she was unable to. It was one of those Jackie Collins type romances. If you know it, send me the title and I’ll give you a present to show my appreciation. It’s not Zoya by Danielle Steel, that much I know.
So yeah, dramatic and tropey was what I wanted to write. Here’s the summary for Dancer In Blue:
In the year 3217, America is no more. The nation has been renamed Altea and divided into regions and territories controlled by wealthy families. The arts have also changed. In order to survive, artists need the support of a Patron. Painters, dancers, writers and musicians enter into contracts with the powerful and wealthy Elite. They agree to share their time, their talents, and their bodies with a Patron. In exchange, they are provided with money, favors and social status.
Keith, a ballet dancer, despises this practice. Though he is desired by many, he refuses to sell himself to any Patron, and is determined to make it on his own. The only man he will give his passion to is one who has earned and inspired it. Not one who pays for it with cold cash and pretty gifts. He remains alone, until he meets corporate accountant Shiro. The attraction between the two men is immediate, real and undeniable. Keith is happy, having finally found someone he can love, someone who isn’t a despised Patron.
But Shiro is hiding a secret. And secrets always come to light. Will their relationship survive once the truth is revealed? Or will the fire of Keith’s betrayed fury burn their love to the ground?
I’m telling you, as I was writing I could practically hear the Falcon’s Crest theme song playing in my head. I had so much fun with this fic!
Another part of the big bang I enjoyed was interacting with the other writers. These guys are the people who will be writing the books we’ll be reading in the future. And the artists will be the ones illustrating comics and animating TV shows. It was nice to chat and give them a quick message of encouragement to keep going when they’re stressing over their writing, and reminisce about being that awkward and stressed. Lol j/k I’m still awkward and stressed over my writing.
My fic is posted now and you are welcome to check it out HERE on Archive of Our Own. While you’re there, check out the rest of the Sheith 2K17 Collections tag and see what some of our emerging and/or unpublished writers are coming up with.
You can also swing by my Pinterest and take a look at the mood board I created for this story HERE. Lots of beautiful dancers, art deco theatre design and gorgeous East Asian muses. And of course I have to share the art created by CatFishDraws. You can check out more of their work on their Tumblr.
Thanks for reading!
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My rambling and not at all edited thoughts on romance novels, writing, and pop culture.