twistedsinews asked: 3. 10. 14. 18.
3. Hardest to write in terms of plot
I answered this for Dragon Age already, so I’ll give you a Final Fantasy example. :) I’ve mentioned before that “Aftermath” (my epic tale about the founding of the Youth League) took me five years to write, and that was largely because I didn’t know what the details of the plot were going to be. I knew the endgame, of course — Nooj, Beclem, and other Crusaders leave Bevelle in disgust and create their own opposing faction — but I had no idea how they were going to get there, and it took me a long time and many false starts to work it out.
10. Favorite bit of dialogue
Even harder than favorite chapter/scene, because I love writing dialogue, and I like to think I’m pretty good at it. Well, I know I’ve shared this here before, in draft form, but one recent bit I’m fond of is Natia and Sera’s epic fight from “Justify the Means”:
Natia raised her eyebrows. “Rica’s life might depend on supporting Bhelen. His man in the Assembly wasn’t exactly subtle.”
Sera’s jaw tightened. “Threats, bribery, and outright lies. How likely is it that those documents are even legitimate?”
“Dunno, don’t really care.” Natia shrugged and folded the papers back up for safe keeping. “What does it matter to the Grey Wardens if the Orzammar nobility screw each other over? They’ve all done it and they’ll all keep doing it, until the stone crumbles to dust.”
“It does matter!” Sera gripped the arms of the chair and stood up, her knuckles white with anger. “It matters because my little brother is lying, treacherous scum, and I would see him facing justice, not wearing a crown! I’ll find a way to protect your sister, but I will hear no more of this nonsense about supporting him.”
Natia stared at Sera, her shouts still ringing in the rafters, blotches of bright red on her cheeks and ears. “It doesn’t even matter to you, does it? My sister, my nephew — who’s also your nephew, last time I checked — the Wardens, the dusters, anyone else who might benefit from Bhelen’s kingship. You’ve made up your mind and won’t hear any arguments against it.” She shook her head. “But what else should I expect from someone who takes heads first and asks questions later?”
Sera lowered her clenched jaw and glared at Natia. “I do no such thing!”
Natia snorted. “Tell that to the mages. Or the Lady of the Forest. Or that assassin who yielded to us just in time to get his throat cut.”
“What?!” Sera’s mouth fell half open. “But he— he tried to kill me!”
“And damn near succeeded!” Natia stalked across the room, stopped from getting in Sera’s face only by the desk that blocked her way. “He sure came closer than anyone else who’s tried so far. Maybe we could have used him — we need all the help we can get. But no, Lady High-and-Mighty always knows what’s best, doesn’t care about making friends or finding real allies. Sometimes I think you’re just trying to blaze through Thedas as quickly as possible so you can get this death march over with.”
Sera hissed in a sharp breath and slammed her palms against the stone desk. “Are you questioning my leadership?”
“Sodding right, I’m questioning your leadership.” Natia gritted her teeth and crossed her arms. “Your leadership, you, and all of your ancestors while I’m at it. What has House Aeducan ever given us? A fool of a king who didn’t recognize the vipers nesting in his own bed, a sour heir too stupid to know who his enemies were, a bald-faced traitor, and you.”
14. Would you want to write canon for any of your fandoms (like be hired by showrunner to do an episode)? Which one?
I have to admit, if Bioware or Squeenix offered me the opportunity to write a tie-in story to one of the games I know and love, I would not say no. :) I don’t know if I could write a game module. Scriptwriting isn’t something I’ve ever tried, and I don’t know if it would be my forte. But if they asked me to attempt it, I probably would accept the challenge.
18. If you could go back and revise one of your older stories, which would it be?
I am continually tempted to revisit and revise “A Guardian’s Legacy”, my epic Auron story that was one of the first things I wrote. But it would be difficult, because much as that story is dear to my heart, a lot of my thinking about the characters has changed, especially in terms of Auron and romance, and I don’t know that I could do it.
In general, it’s not possible for me to look at a story I’ve published and not see ways to make it better. So it’s probably best for all concerned if I just don’t open those floodgates. Once a story is complete and posted on AO3 or my website, that’s it — I’m not allowed touch it again (unless I discover an egregious typo). And I’m content with that as a personal rule.