This week’s author may have cut her fic chops on a series that would make any 80′s kid smile, but we’re glad she made the leap to X-Files fic. Meet avocadoave! As a long-time Phile, she brings a great understanding of the characters and a sense of humor that sounds distinctly Mulder to her work.
A great example of that humor is “Sartorially Speaking.” Post-Season 10 Mulder and Scully share some banter over Daggoo and it cracks me up every time. I can picture the eye-rolling that’s going on in this dialogue-only story.
I love road trip Mulder and Scully, and Mulder’s ways of entertaining Scully in “In the Bag” are funny, sweet, and another great example of “so them, I can hear it.”
We all know TV can bring people together, and that includes our wayward heroes. A collaboration with pinebluffvariant, “Manca Qualcosa” shows Mulder and Scully re-opening communication after bonding over a recent TV show that stars someone who looks oddly similar to our favorite redhead. Do yourself a favor and go read this one now, I’ll wait!
We talked with avocadoave about writing, characters, and of course The X-Files.
How long have you been a Phile?
Since almost the beginning. I became aware of the show near the end of the first season. I had to watch on the DL. My parents were really strict about what and how much TV we could watch, and we definitely weren’t allowed to watch FOX, so my brother and I had to sneak and watch episodes when and where we could. I didn’t see the entire series until college when one of my roommates had the entire series on VHS. Watching it chronologically from the beginning was a transformative experience.
What was your first episode?
“Darkness Falls.” I remember the “nice trip to the forest,” and Scully’s jacket so clearly.
How long have you been writing fic?
Fic in general? Forever. I filled notebooks with stories as a kid, but they were all based on books–Sweet Valley Twins, The Baby-Sitters Club, Anne of Green Gables, Little Women, etc. The first time I wrote X-Files fanfic and posted it online was fall, 2015.
What inspired you to start writing?
leiascully’s weekly writing challenge. Here’s a topic, write for an hour, don’t worry about beta-ing. It was doable and took the fear out of the exercise.
Who is your favorite XF character to write?
I love writing both Scully and Mulder, but probably Mulder by a hair. Mulder being a smartass, pushing Scully’s buttons and generally being a dork is something I really enjoy writing. I love the way that David Duchovny writes them–smart, funny and flirty. The basement scene in “The Unnatural” with the nonfat tofutti rice dreamsicle is the kind of thing I aspire to. I like to write those light moments in between the darkness, the monsters, the conspiracies, and the angst.
Are there any XF characters you dislike or find too difficult to write?
I’ve only written stories with Mulder and Scully. I’m not really opposed to writing any character, but I don’t feel like I ever connected with or know Doggett and Reyes well enough to write them.
Is there a story you’re most proud of or that’s a favorite?
The most fun to write was “Manca Qualcosa” with scienceandmysticism aka pinebluffvariant. It was my first time collaborating on a fic, and man, what a fun way to write. Bouncing things back and forth and building on each other’s ideas was amazing. If I had to pick something I’ve written solo I guess I would probably pick “Pumpkin Guts and Other Stuff.” I like writing about Mulder applying that laser focus of his on other projects besides X-Files and seeing what happens.
Where can people find your work, and what’s the best way to send feedback?
Do you take fic prompts from fans?
I never have. But it would be a fun challenge.
Have you written your own original characters outside of fandom?
I have. I have a story about a female amateur detective that I’ve been tinkering with for years.
Anything you’d like to share about your writing process?
I tend to get inspired as I’m trying to fall asleep. I usually have to get up and either scribble down ideas in a notebook or pull out my laptop. I wake up in the morning and have to try to figure out how to organize this mess of dialogue and ideas into something resembling a story. I do not recommend this process. I wish I could be one of those people who could outline, craft the skeleton story and fill in the meat with research and dialogue, but I’m not. I aspire to be one of those writers one day.
Do you have a favorite author? (fanfic or published!)
This fandom is so full of amazing writing talent, this answer could be pages long. But @aloysiavirgata, @dashakay, @icedteainthebag, @leiascully, @scienceandmysticism and @contradiction-to-nature (who definitely needs to write more), are my fanfic heroes. All masters of writing with unique styles. I always learn so much from reading their work. Dashakay’s “Blinded by White Light” is the first fanfic I remember reading. It was different from anything I’d ever read and it captivated me and brought me to tears. It will always be a favorite.
Is there any advice you’d give to aspiring writers?
Oh man, I’m so new at this I don’t really feel like I’m qualified to give anyone advice. But I would say read. Read a lot. Read, read, read. Sit down and write. Just do it. Even if it’s just a sentence here and there. Like most things, you can’t get better unless you practice. Find a beta you trust. Find more than one. Feedback from different readers is always helpful. Find your own voice. I think there’s a tendency to mimic writers that you admire and enjoy, but you have to be yourself. Don’t let your unfinished works haunt you. A half-finished fic is not a failure. I probably have 37 partly finished things on my laptop. Maybe only two or three of them will ever be completed. Maybe none, and that’s okay. View it as an exercise. Any writing is good practice.
Anything else you’d like to share that I missed?
Thank you for asking me to participate. This fandom is such a gift. The talent is astounding. I’m blown away every time I scroll through Tumblr. I’ve never been part of a fandom before, and everyone has been kind, welcoming and encouraging. Being surrounded by people who share my X-Files obsession, and having a place to fangirl has been an extraordinary experience.
Thanks to avocadoave for talking with us!