This week’s author may have gotten her writing start from a place “where everybody knows your name” but if you don’t know her name, you should. Meet foxmulders! Also known as inspl0tches on A03, foxmulders has a variety of work that can take you on a great ride and in some cases knock the wind out of you as you read.
One of my personal favorites is “solitary fields in spring.” Tagged “mother’s day hell fic from hell,” it looks at 5 Mother’s Days that could have been *cough should have been cough* for Scully. It’s sweet and sad and hits all the right notes.
With all the hurricanes lately you may have heard people use the phrase “the waffle house index." This story with the same name has more to do with the hurricane of emotions that follows Season 6′s “One Son” than the weather and it’s a great read. I love the way it explores how Mulder and Scully say the things they don’t really say.
There’s so much I love about “string theory,” I’ll just stop talking now and tell you to go read it.
We talked with foxmulders about writing, inspiration, and of course, The X-Files.
How long have you been a Phile?
The X-Files was my summer after sophomore year show. I’m about to go into my second year of college, so I’ve been into it for almost four years now. My parents are super over my not being over it, btw. Just in case anyone was wondering.
What was your first episode?
The Pilot! I’d seen a lot about the show on Tumblr before I started it, and I remember the first time the camera panned to Mulder’s poster I was like, “That’s where that’s from!” So the show immediately felt familiar, which I think is part of what got me.
How long have you been writing fic?
Unfortunately, since I was like 12. I wrote some stuff for Star Wars, and Parks and Rec and even Cheers. Yes, Cheers. It was very bad and very inconsistent, and I certainly never printed out a fic I was working on in order to edit it with a red pen like a Real Writer and then left it out for my mom to find. Nope.
What inspired you to start writing?
I started reading everything on xf book club on LJ when I was roughly halfway through the series, and I remember being so floored by how brilliant the work was. I don’t think I’d ever read anything for any fandom before that seemed to both understand and leverage the original source material to create such unique stories. I wanted to do that! Or at least try to do it. I wrote my first “real” fic right after I finished the show. It was a Post-Truth thing, of course, partially inspired by the fact that I was making the ten hour drive from D.C. to Vermont while I was writing it. I also, uh, thought that it would be the only thing I’d ever write.
Who is your favorite XF character to write?
Scully. Especially Annoyed or Particularly Exhausted, Single Bagel, Lite Cream Cheese Scully. She’s my girl. I feel like I both really get her and am fooling myself into thinking I get her at the same time, which is scary and awesome. I love how weird she is. I love that she’s definitely into horror movies. I love letting her cuss a lot, because she would.
Are there any XF characters you dislike or find too difficult to write?
Yes, all of them. To be honest, I very rarely write characters who aren’t Mulder and Scully. It’s too easy for me to accidentally caricaturize them. Plus, Skinner and Frohike and Maggie aren’t, like, begging to get let in on my story about Mulder and Scully saying I love you in fifteen different locations.
Is there a story you’re most proud of or that’s a favorite?
I hate most things I write during and immediately after the writing process, but I’ve got some distance on a few of them. I genuinely appreciate “string theory” for coming out the way I wanted and needed it to at that time. I also feel like it was the fic that pushed me to write much more and (hopefully) much better, which is never bad. I’m quietly very proud of “at the close of day” because it was so hard and so not what I wanted it to be and somehow so much better for that exact reason. I also just like when Mulder and Scully get to hang out and eat pie. Writing is weird.
Where can people find your work, and what’s the best way to send feedback?
I post everything on Tumblr although a lot of my longer works link back to AO3. I have a link to my writing tag on my blog and I’m (usually) good about updating it. Feedback can be sent in sealed envelopes delivered by white-winged dove to my door or signaled via duct-tape window Xs. Or if that seems involved, you can always leave a comment, tag, reply or shoot me a message. I love hearing whatever you guys have to say! Responses to feedback will be exclusively sent via white-winged dove.
Do you take fic prompts from fans?
Yes! But I write very slow, I am very picky, and I have recently been fighting Writer’s Block behind a McDonalds every Tuesday at 11PM. Those stumbling blocks aside, please send me any prompt you think of. I am always touched to receive them and love reading even those I can’t manage to write.
Have you written your own original characters outside of fandom?
Yes. Kind of. But as someone who tends to be “coy” (read that in my smart creative writing prof’s voice) and also “very lazy” (read that in a mom voice) the way fanfic is an almost…presumptuous medium is really enticing and hard to escape. Not having to spend time setting up a relationship or a character’s history in order to twist it in the direction I want it to twist is amazing. I love being able just to mention Moby Dick, and let you guys take it from there in terms of meaning and emotional weight, instead of, you know, having to invent a reason for a character love Moby Dick. Which, by the way, I read this summer and found at least 40% super boring, so. What the fuck, Scully.
Anything you’d like to share about your writing process?
I think I just did. But also! As a disclaimer, I am terrible at plot. I don’t know why, but I bore myself writing anything that has to make more sense than “Mulder and Scully go for a nighttime walk.” I don’t outline anything ever, and have a tendency to have as little control over my stories as Chris had over David wearing his wedding ring in “Travelers.”
Do you have a favorite author? (fanfic or published!)
God, I love JET. I would saw off my left arm to write like JET. And I’m right handed so it wouldn’t matter that much in the grand scheme of physical mobility or motor skills, but it’d still be dramatic. I am so in awe of her creativity and her prose. I love to read the required elements that were given to her for some of her challenge works, because thinking about how she took “fingerless gloves” and created “Night Giving Off Flames” makes me want to be a better person.
I also love so many people from the LJ set (which really takes me back to the good old days before I was old enough to read internet fan fiction or know what a computer was) it would be hard to list them all. Amal Nahurriyeh, Threeguesses, and Leiascully are a few that I’m always in awe of. I read a lot in real life (a lot, a lot, a lot) but I got so distracted thinking about fic writers that I can’t even think of published authors I love. My left arm, you guys. My. Left. Arm.
Is there any advice you’d give to aspiring writers?
I’m really too young and too inexperienced to helpfully answer this. But I will say: Keep! Everything! You! Write! Even if it’s so god awfully bad, like, printed out middle school Parks and Rec fan fiction and underlined errors in red pen bad…throw that one away actually because you’re never gonna wanna look at it again BUT everything else? Keep it. Just because you abandoned something does not mean it is dead. A lot of ideas hibernate for a while. There are stories, fic or otherwise, I would never have finished without stealing bits from work I started, hated, but kept.
Anything else you’d like to share that I missed?
The X-Files has grey spaces like nothing else I’ve ever seen, but that allowed for so much fill in the blanks by the fans that it became king of the only show I think that’s ever allowed its audience to cleave to it through their own work. I’m constantly amazed by and grateful to the people who continue to work so hard to fill in those grey spaces, in whatever way they want or prefer. You’re all my constants/my touchstones.
Thank you to foxmulders for talking with us!