Since November 2007 I’ve written 330 stories with a total of 1000 chapters for the Marea67 account. And, according to Word, it all adds up to 1.769.259 words! (bet you always wanted to know that!)
Not bad for an amateur! Some stories were short (100 word drabbles) some were a bit longer…. (171.000 words exact for ‘Turn a different corner! The biggest story.)
In May 2012, when I ended my own series 6, I had wondered if people had questions for me. I once wrote the answers, but never posted them, because I wanted to do that together with the so-called 'deleted scenes' of season 6 (and then 7). But things didn’t go according to plan. The ‘deleted scenes’ for my own season 6+7 never really happened. Aside from the few I did write, but never posted, I don’t think that they will get finished.
However, I still owe a few answers to a few people and I thought that this little mile-stone would be a good place do it. Remember, these were questions from 2012, after I had finished my own series 6 of B&S. I'm sorry it took so long to get you the answers... :) Better late than never, right? ;)
Where do you get your ideas? Do they just come to you or do they come from watching other things?
I get my ideas verywhere, anywhere, at the weirdest moments... I’m always thinking up stories. When driving, cooking, trying to fall asleep, cleaning up the house, groceries.... If only I could harvest everything that I think up, I’d be at my millionth story by now. I have no special ‘triggers’. Sometimes it can be a song, sometimes something personal that happened to either me or someone else, sometimes something in the news or just something I see. K/S are always ‘in my head’.
what happens when a storyline is started, you write some keywords and develop them throug the chapters or does it all come every week?
I almost never write down keywords/phrases. They’re mostly in my head. It happens occasionally, that a sentence is too good and that I don’t want to forget it, but it can also happen that I won’t use that line for the story, but yet in other story. It can be that I know exactly how the story has to end, so I write that down, but leading up to the ending, things can still change.
The only ones I ever made schedules for (and basically dropped at my own convenience) were the two complete seasons, because there were too many characters and, for me, it had to chronologically make sense too. It would annoy me, as a reader, if in the same story, something happened over de span of one week, while the other storyline happens in only one hour.
I do have some questions.
1.When you killed off Paula where you planning a Joe/Sarah reunion in the future?
I honestly don’t know. I wanted Joe/Sarah back together because there was something about that relationship that I wanted to see work out, but at the same time I was soooo annoyed with Sarah by the end of Season 5, that I would have preferred to fling her under the bus and be done with. But you can't do that to Rachel Griffiths, she's too good an actress. I think, I wanted Joe back, but not Sarah, and definitely NOT Luc. I think that is the best way to put my down my thoughts.
2.Same thing with Ryan.Did you have more plans for him?Maybe have him interact with his siblings more?
I’ve always felt that Ryan, as a character, hadn’t been used all that well. He barely interacted with Sarah, Kevin or Tommy. I still wonder sometimes who he was and how he would resemble the other Walker-kids. I wondered how he would find his way in that family, but all they did was put him between Justecca to give Rebecca something to cry about and Justin something to be mad about. And in the end, I just discovered that … I just didn’t care about him that much after all. :)
3.How much conflicted were you with the Kevin/Tommy/Julia/Elizabeth story line.And did you go with what you had intended?
Oh VERY. I like Julia. I liked Tommy/Julia as a couple. Truly wanted them to get through their issues. The thing is, I also wanted Elizabeth with Kevin/Scotty. (loved their little moment at Justecca’s wedding!)
At the same time I didn’t want take something away from Tommy’s fatherhood. It was important to Tommy and I do believe that Tommy struggled with his feelings for everyone and everything, not just Elizabeth.
And at the same time I wanted Kevin to have Elizabeth and be in conflict over what position he should have. Should he act as a father or just an uncle? And what point would he put his foot down and take over as her biological father? SHOULD he do it?
4.When you started the 6th season did you already have many of the story lines plotted out?You seem to be just a fast writer,posting every week,that too handling so many characters and plots and yet your writing has an ease to it. How do you do it?
Awwww, thank you, but in this case ‘planning’ was everything. I’d written out the major storylines in an excel-sheet and grouped those characters together that belonged together and then set out the most ‘logical’ way to go about it. Every week, I knew exactly where the characters were going and where they should be by the end of the episode.
Other than that, it helps to be able to type fast and not to second-guess myself, but go what my gut tells me to write. I don't often re-write once I'm in really writing. Sure, I add sentences if I think that I don't explain well enough, or use other words if I've used the same word too often, but large re-writes? Not really. I do sometimes struggle with how to move on, or with the bridges to get from part a to the part b and still keep the story flowing well. But other than that, once written, it usually only gets corrected and elaborated upon, but not entirely re-written and/or deleted.
5.Since I have no idea about posting and all,just to satisfy my curiosity...How much time do you need to post an episode?
Depending on the ‘episode’ I needed about 20 minutes per part (usually there were 4 parts). That time is mostly take up by reading the story ONE last time, make the last corrections. (making sure that I don’t confuse my Justins and Jasons, which happened a few times.) I also copy the layout from the previous episode so that the layout always looks about the same as the ones before.
The one question I did have, do you have specific people in mind when you are writing new characters? I've always wondered who you had in mind for Alex, Max, and Angie, and I do appreciate that there are some you have pointed out and cast this season (casting Kathleen Turner was brilliant, btw) :)
Nnnnnyes, sometimes… not really…. it’s complicated. :)
Alex started out as an idea of a con-man ex-boyfriend of Kevin, who gets conned in return by Kevin. I did have Ioan Gruffudd in mind for that, but as Alex become more mentally unbalanced, while I was writing, I suddenly couldn’t see Ioan play him anymore, because (I think) that Ioan doesn’t have the ability to play such a character. He's usually cast as the more the straight-forward, honest, uptight type of character.
In my mind I wanted some 'acting-show-down' between Matthew and Ioan, but, in hindsight, I realized that if the acting would get tough, Matthew would play Ioan off the table. So where Alex started off, with Ioan in mind, he changed into someone who was no longer Ioan, but I have no clear idea who SHOULD play him.
Max Carter was actually more built on the character of Max Bracchi, a character played by Ioan in the movie “Happy now?” (hence the title of the story back then!), but, same as with Alex, over time he sort of morphed into someone else, more aching to Jamie Bamber, but not quite him either. .
Angie is an established character, she’s one of the girls that Justin is dating in that episode in season 5 where he’s dating two girls who both work at Café 429. She was Scotty's sous-chef. She was played by Jessica Parker Kennedy.