All About Spike

Fiction by Jingle  |  email  |  website  |
Another Day
Spike/Dawn friendship, post-Gift, goes AU pretty early on.
Post-The Gift, Rated PG-13, Spike & Dawn, 1346 words.
Post-Chosen. Dawn reflects on her relationship with Spike. Dawn/Spike friendship, Dawn/Andrew friendship.
Post-Chosen, Rated PG, Spike & Dawn, 1146 words.
Dawn, Tara and Spike, post-Gift.
Post-The Gift, Rated PG, Spike & Dawn, Spike & Tara, 508 words.

About Jingle
Tell us something about yourself: Where are you from? Age/Gender? Hobbies? Anything you'd like to share.

I'm from Ohio. I'm eighteen. I'm female. When I'm not on the computer, I'm likely watching movies, doing classwork, or backpacking. Or napping. I nap a lot.

How did you begin writing in general?

I started out in first grade when I would come home and get on the old Mac Classic II to retell the stories I read in class. I would change the names of the characters and claim to have come up with the whole thing myself.

What inspired you to begin writing fanfic?

My undying fifth-grade love for the Backstreet Boys inspired me to write the novel-length saga of my affair with Brian Littrell, the cute one with the congenital heart condition. He fell in love with me as I brought him his homework in the hospital. I then lived on the tour bus with the other four, and although many other girls vied for Brian's attention, I remained his one true love.

What do you enjoy about writing fanfic?

Things never quite go the way I want them to in my favorite television shows and movies. I like to tell the untold stories about the way things should have happened. But also, fanfiction is a social outlet for me -- I love meeting new people, filling requests, and getting piles of feedback that tell me how fabulous I am. In the end, I suppose I just want to be loved.

Why have you chosen to write about Spike? What do you find interesting about his character?

Well, aside from his, er, physical prowess, the thing I find so fascinating about Spike is his moral ambiguity. It's not just that we're never sure if he is good or bad, it's that he is neither. Spike has made his home in a grey area, and despite everyone's urge to put him in one category or the other, it seems that whether Spike is good or bad becomes far less important than what he actually is. In this way, Spike is probably more representative of actual human nature than most human characters. I love to explore what this means in a fight that is supposed to be good against evil.

What other characters or relationships do you find most interesting to write?

Dawn is probably my other favorite character from Buffy. Because she gets to be human without really being a human, Dawn's perspective is unique. Joss has left her future as the Key ambiguous, which leaves plenty of room for me to have fun imagining what could be in store for her. And because both Spike and Dawn are human-but-not-human, I think their experiences are likely to draw them together. By definition, Spike is supposed to be evil, and Dawn is supposed to be good, but neither of them really sticks to those categories. I imagine them being human together.

Of the work you've written, which piece is your favorite? Why?

Probably "Another Day". Parts of it were actually constructed from little tidbits that just popped out of my brain at different times, and my original intention was never to try to tie them together. But then Diva wanted this fic for her birthday, and it was the middle of the night before, and I was too tired to start anything new. So I started digging through my notebooks, and I found these, and somehow they all seemed to come together. I wrote a few new sections, added in the time stamps, and there you have it. I still like re-reading that one.

Which piece was the most difficult to write? Why?

I'd have to say "Roof" for this one. As much as I love Andrew, I have a hell of a time trying to write him. The Spike and Dawn parts came easily, but I was stuck on the Andrew parts for quite some time.

What are your strengths and weaknesses as a fanfic writer?

I tend to get very good at writing certain characters and time periods, which is nice and all, but when I get too latched in with them, I find it very difficult to branch out to new characters. I connect very easily with some characters, but with others, like Andrew, I just can't seem to get into their heads.

Do you feel that your work has improved as time has passed? If so, in what areas do you think you have improved the most?

Yes. Most of it just has to do with getting older. Some of my early attempts at X-Files fic, while not bad for a twelve-year-old, were more like replays of my favorite stories than original ideas. I suppose the biggest development for me has been finding the line between learning from my favorite authors and copying them directly. My favorite stories and writers are always going to influence me, but I've had to learn to find my own style.

What do you find to be the most difficult aspect of writing fanfic?

I always have the easiest time coming up with ideas and starting stories, but following them through is often like pulling teeth. I have piles of works in progress on my hard drive, just waiting for the day when I'll buckle down and finish them.

What advice would you give to new fic writers?

First, I would say not to get intimidated and give up. Everyong starts somewhere. But at the same time, please, for the love of the baby Jesus, get a beta. The biggest turn-off for many readers is not a crappy plot or even mediocre writing -- it is poor grammar, spelling, and sentence structure. These are simple problems that may not be apparent to you, but I guarantee you that you can find a friendly beta to point them out to you. If you can't find one, email me, and I'll do it.

Do you read other fanfic? If so, what are some of your favorite stories and/or authors?

As time goes by, I sort of hop around between fandoms and authors. Many of my favorite Buffy stories can be found right here at All About Spike. In other fandoms, I recommend the multi-talented Punk Maneuverability and the queen of Clex, Jenn.

Do you write original fiction? Or fiction in other fandoms? (If so, where can we find it?)

Ultimately, I'd like to write original fiction, but that's not happening right now. I wrote a bit in the X-Files fandom before I discovered Buffy, but I'll spare you the pain of reading that. All of my stories can be found at my website, and any and all new stories will be put up there.

This is the part where I say whatever I want.

I'd like to thank all of my fandom friends for their endless support and beta-reading. I'd also just like to say how much every little bit of feedback counts. Even when someone sends me a few words to say that they liked my story, it makes my day. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

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