[identity profile] nos4a2no9.livejournal.com posting in [community profile] ds_team_angst
Hullo everyone, and welcome aboard the Team Angst Train! I'm your evil overlordfriendly neighbourhood captain [livejournal.com profile] nos4a2no9, and I'm here to provide leadership, encouragement and gentle mocking of Team Romance.

[livejournal.com profile] china_shop and [livejournal.com profile] sageness will assign prompts soon since this is a fast-and-dirty challenge: we'll have four weeks once the dialogue prompts are handed out to write the angstiest fic we can possibly generate. Then our stories will be posted anonymously and matched up against a Romance competitor’s fic, folks will vote on which one they like better, and our team will take our well-earned victory lap and hand those Romance suckers our spare hankies. Easy as Ray Kowalski!

What I'd like to do before we get started on the stories is to spend some time discussing what "angst" actually means and how we can write those heartbreaking gems that are sure to garner us the votes we need to put Team Angst in the winner's circle. Most of you are old pros at the angst game (I think [livejournal.com profile] katallison may have written something with angst content once, for example) but there are a few new faces on our team list and I thought it might be helpful to provide a few definitions and examples of angsty goodness.

"Angst" is a German word which means "anxiety" or "anguish"; it's most often applied to the Existentialist dread that comes from the realization that "the future is an unknown chasm [and] therefore, the choices that a person...makes are the determining factor in the outcome of one's future" (from apologetics.org). "Angst" as a genre term is used to describe a particular brand of fanfiction that includes elements of emotional distress or physical pain; while the ending of the story might be happy, the characters should go through some form of trial by fire and suffer physically or mentally (or both) over the course of the story. In [livejournal.com profile] sageness's sign-up post she suggests that angsty fanfic can include: "...ships passing in the night, deathfic, grief-fic, and fic about cases gone bad and stories fraught with desperate standoffs and gut-wrenching tension." As you can see there are a lot of ways to make our characters suffer.

The [livejournal.com profile] ds_team_angst stories should strike a balance between so-dark-they-hurt fics and lighter fare that puts Fraser and his Rays through the wringer but lets them emerge safely on the other side. Ideally our team should offer a range of stories that run from the crushing depression of deathfic to the slightly more optimistic h/c genre, bittersweet gen stories, or those post-CotW fics where Fraser and Ray live apart and are finally reunited after much trial and anguish. (What? I have a bias. Sue me.) Stories with a high angst quotient can include romance (unrequited love, intense longing, separation, misunderstandings, lust, alienation and reconciliation, etc) but the focus should be on the more emotionally turbulent aspects of the romantic relationship shared by your pairing(s) of choice, rather than fluffy snuggling and kittens and sunshine and puppies. That dreck is left up to Team Romance. :-)

Finding a good balance between romantic resolution and desperate longing might be a bit tricky, particularly for those of you who haven't written a great deal of dS fanfiction, but I'm going to run a few prewriting exercise that will get us warmed up and thinking angsty thoughts. I'd like to give everyone a chance to introduce themselves, too, and mention that while we'll keep the introductions and writing exercises public we'll hold beta and strategy sessions behind f-locked posts. We don't want the [livejournal.com profile] ds_team_romance agents to steal any of our secrets! So make sure you lock your posts to this community once we move into the writing stage of the matchup challenge.

Once we get rolling I'd love to host brainstorming sessions and invite workshopping within the comm: we're a team and part of the fun of this challenge is offering one another support, help and encouragement. Remember, the better the individual stories are the better our chance of winning the competition! Whinging about how tough this subject matter is to tackle is welcome, and don't be shy about posting your rough ideas to the comm or putting up requests for a beta. We like our fic dark and our characters slightly bitter but we're a friendly group at the end of the day, and I hope this place will come to feel like a community as the weeks pass by.

*Whew* Okay, I think that covers most of the basic information you need to know as newly inaugurated members of [livejournal.com profile] ds_team_angst. I thought it might be fun to hold a "getting to know you" session over the weekend, so drop by at your leisure and comment to this post with answers to the following questions:

1. What made you decide to sign up for [livejournal.com profile] ds_team_angst?

2. What are your top five favorite angsty due South stories?

3. Who's a bigger woobie: Fraser, RayK or RayV?

4. True or false: Ray's unnamed box turtle is a much better choice for our team's Mascot than a blood-smeared polar bear.

5. Team Romance is going to go down. In flames. Right?
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