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Challenge Monday Mush Mania | Discussion & Index

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction and Writing Resource' started by Monday_Mush_Mania, Jul 9, 2018.

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  1. Ceillean

    Ceillean Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Registered:
    Nov 13, 2001
    @Findswoman & @WarmNyota_SweetAyesha - Thanks!!! [:D]
    And Oh yes. My daughter is 11 and most of the time it's like "Wait, what? Why are you doing this? I don't understand why you're doing this. Please explain." [face_laugh]
     
  2. mavjade

    mavjade It's so FLUFFY! Fanfic Manager star 6 Staff Member Manager

    Registered:
    Sep 10, 2005
    Welcome back Ceillean! It's great to see you!

    1. What facets of mush come easiest versus hardest?
    I find friendship mush probably the hardest. Romantic and parent/child I can do, but when it's just friends I worry so much about it seeming romantic that it turns out not mushy. For me I think parent/child is probably the easiest, so long as it's a young child. They are often very free with emotion and honesty, so I find it easiest to write young children and their relationship with their parents.

    Sibling mush is probably somewhere in the middle for me. My brother and I fought all the time until he went to college and then we got along great. I mean, he still picks on me but that's how I know he loves me.


    2. Are OCs or Ecs more challenging to write mush for, or is it about the same?
    OCs are probably a bit easier because you don't have to worry as much about them being in character. I mean, you can't go wildly outside of something you already established, but if they are yours and you are writing them, they are in character. If you are using an established character they have to stay within what others think that character is, which can be tricky (depending on the character). But if I feel like I know an EC well enough, I usually don't have much trouble making them mushy. Most people have that kind of interaction at some point in their life, though the type of mush may differ.
     
  3. Vek Talis

    Vek Talis Jedi Knight star 2

    Registered:
    Oct 12, 2018
    Newbie question. I know the latest challenge is due December 3, but how early could I post it? Like, now? Or, like a week before, or does it have to be on the day?
     
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  4. Briannakin

    Briannakin Grand Moff Darth Fanfic & Costuming/Props Manager star 6 Staff Member Manager

    Registered:
    Feb 25, 2010
    It has to be on the day (December 3rd). All the challenge entries get posted on the same day, thus the name: Monday Mush Mania.

    Unless you are talking about the drabble prompts - those can be posted whenever I believe.
     
  5. Raissa Baiard

    Raissa Baiard Chosen One star 4

    Registered:
    Nov 22, 1999
    Hi, @Vek Talis! Glad to see you here! What @Briannakin said is exactly right; stories for the main MMM challenge about adjusting to new things are to be posted on December 3. Drabbles for the Spoonfuls of Mush challenge may be posted at any time.

    I have a question: how sentimental does a story have to be to qualify as mush? Does the inclusion of things like babies or fuzzy animals automatically move a story into the realm of mush or is there some sort of tipping point of awwww moments it needs to qualify?

    I have an idea for the MMM challenge with my alternate Kanan and Jacen, but I'm afraid it skews too far into humor to be considered mush.
     
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  6. brodiew

    brodiew Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Registered:
    Oct 11, 2005
    Good question. I think sentimentality is only one facet of Mush. Yes, puppies and babies and such add to mushiness, but I think Mush can be split into a few different subgenres. romantic, family, filial, etc. There could even be degrees of mush light-hearted to sincere to heart breaking.

    To address the question directly, the elements of a story are one thing, but the heart of the story is where the mush lies. [:D] @};- [face_batting] [face_love]
     
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2018
  7. Briannakin

    Briannakin Grand Moff Darth Fanfic & Costuming/Props Manager star 6 Staff Member Manager

    Registered:
    Feb 25, 2010
    I think it is up to the author and the story. One of the reasons why I voted for MMM to be non-competitive is so that if the challenge prompt inspires something that might not fit the traditional mold of "over the top goo" you can still have it be a part of MMM and I don't think anyone will really care it isn't 100% mush (I mean of course this is a "genre" challenge thread, so I know we probably don't want people submitting like pure horror even if it was inspired by the prompt, but the idea of mush is hard to define - as we have seen - so there is room for interpretation). I agree with Brodie, there are many different sub-genres of Mush, and while babies and puppies and all that do make people go awwwww! I don't think it is needed. I think the level sentimentality should fit both the characters and the situation, if that makes sense. I wouldn't expect Luke and Han friendship mush to have the same amount of sentimentality as Luke/Mara romance mush. THIS IS A HARD QUESTION!!

    I'm having similar issues with my MMM. My idea has actually turned into something quite long (it's already over 4000 words and it will likely be about 10,000). So of course not every scene (or part) is going to be mushy and most of the mush so far is quite subtle, especially for a MMM. And of course even if I do get it done by the due date, I'm not posting it all at once. Should I post the first chapter on December 3rd, even though it really isn't mushy at all? Should I try to time it so that I'm posting one of the more mushier? But that brings up the issue of NANO - I really hadn't planned on posting anything at all in November so I can spend that time writing.
     
  8. Vek Talis

    Vek Talis Jedi Knight star 2

    Registered:
    Oct 12, 2018
    My opinion: if it's part of the story with the Mush, put up the first post on the 3rd. It's officially the beginning of your mush and so it would be fine. That would also give you the November writing time. :)
     
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2018
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  9. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Game Host Who Loves Fanfics & RPGs star 7 VIP - Game Host

    Registered:
    Aug 31, 2004
    Agreeing with the above @Raissa Baiard about what constitutes mush. ;) LOL Even introspection can be mushy if the character is reflecting happily and gratefully on their blessings, which I can well imagine is not unusual with the birth of a first youngling or after a hard struggle was surmounted in a relationship. It is especially yummy for characters who "are caught off guard" doing it, like Han [face_laugh] or Kyp. [face_love] Confidences and shared encouragement boosts between sibs or friends can/could be "mushy" as well. But yeah. Babies are already! an awwww! factor. =D=
     
  10. Raissa Baiard

    Raissa Baiard Chosen One star 4

    Registered:
    Nov 22, 1999
    Thanks for the input, everyone! I've been rethinking my idea particularly in light of @brodiew 's advice:
    It led me to to think about want I wanted the heart of the story to be, so now instead of just a humorous story about being Kanan being unprepared to handle taking care of an infant under some less than ideal circumstances, he's also now going to be reflecting on his changing role, from Action Jedi to honest-to-goodness Space!Dad, and I think it will be a better, richer story (and mushier!) for the change of focus.

    @Briannakin, I agree with @Vek Talis. I think it's just fine to post the first chapter of your story on December 3rd, even if it isn't overtly mushy. When a challenge inspires a multichapter story, it makes sense that some chapters fit the challenge prompt more than others, but I'm sure your story will have that heart running throughout it. @};-
     
  11. Mira_Jade

    Mira_Jade The Fanfic Manager With The Cape star 5 Staff Member Manager

    Registered:
    Jun 29, 2004
    That is such a beautiful way to put it! [face_love]=D=

    And, honestly, it can be those elements of humor, or drama and even angst at the other end of the spectrum, that make the mush that much sweeter to read. As great as it is to read pure tooth rotting fluff, mixing genres can certainly lead to a richer, meatier story! (@Findswoman's entry for the last MMM was a fantastic example of that!) So, an entire fic doesn't have to be puppies and rainbows and babies, I would certainly agree. Mush is just heart, in any form. And I think that can help a chaptered story with ebbs and flows in pacing and tone, too - not every word has to be an 'awww' moment; all of the parts in between can build up to contributing to a 'mushy' story. It's all those feelings together, and the impression they leave you with in the end. [face_love]

    That said, I too am having an issue with my entry looking to be around 10k words. I'll need to break it up into three chapters, probably, but I have way too many WIPs right now. So, I'm hoping to use November to finish my entry in full, that way it's easy, no stress posting starting Dec. 3rd. One of these days I will learn to tell my muse to simplify. Honest I will. :p [face_blush]8-}
     
  12. GregMcP

    GregMcP Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Jul 7, 2015
    I have some mush bring mushed up at the moment. Under the classification of "Underrepresented Mush".

    And yeah, I get ideas and urges to send the story off in unmushed directions, but no no no. Remember the point. Remember to mush it up.
     
  13. Vek Talis

    Vek Talis Jedi Knight star 2

    Registered:
    Oct 12, 2018
    Mush makes the world go round, @GregMcP

    Or, at least Mush makes it possible for new people to be born into it. :D
     
  14. TheRynJedi

    TheRynJedi Jedi Knight star 2

    Registered:
    Jun 20, 2018
    Last edited: Oct 29, 2018
  15. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Game Host Who Loves Fanfics & RPGs star 7 VIP - Game Host

    Registered:
    Aug 31, 2004
    I love stimulating discussions in this fantabulous thread! [face_batting]

    1) When it comes to writing mush, how do you plot out pacing the build-up and process of relationship exploration: e.g., from initial meeting/attraction to starting a romance; from first/serious quarrel to reconciliation? How do you keep it from feeling rushed?

    2) I feel like introspection/reflection with a tone of gratitude and affection can be "mushy". ;) How do you feel about that, and do you feel it easy/hard to put in writing?

    3) Dialogue/conversation that's mushy. :D Do you like writing this, or find it hard?

    4) Starting over: When writing fics with OCs versus ECs starting over after a broken relationship, do you find this easy/hard to write? That is, is such a thing easier to do with your OCs than with Established characters?

    5) Family/sibling mush: What themes do you like to explore in this facet?
    :cool:

    I'll chip in with my observations after the discussion gets going. @};- :)
     
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  16. divapilot

    divapilot Force Ghost star 4

    Registered:
    Nov 30, 2005
    Hmmmmm.

    1. For the sake of this answer, I am going to stick to romantic mush. I think, for me, that writing the actual "mush" is not that difficult, although it obviously varies per couple as to how that mush shows up. What gets tricky is writing the part that leads to the mush. You don't want to go too fast, then the couple seems like they are just locking lips and falling into the couch when they just met ten minutes ago. If you go too slow, the reader will begin drumming his/her fingers and saying, "oh come ON already!"

    You have to time the lead-in properly. Eventually my couple is going to (ahem) get together. (Unless it's Jyn and Cassian, who are doomed -- sorry.) You know it's coming. I think the reader wants the connection to be realistic. It has to be more than physical. And in order for the connection to be real - to be actual love - there has to be some kind of history that the couple shares, and the physical aspect is just a natural progression from the friendship, then courtship, then love.

    2. You know, I used to say ECs were easier. I think that is because I used to write a lot of Luke/Mara back in the day. The sequel trilogy is noticeably bereft of any romance. The EU had tons of ships to sail: Jaina/Jag, Anakin/Tahirii, Talon/Shada, etc. Then, you had Anakin/Padme in the PT and Han/Leia in the OT. But what couple is there in the ST? I haven't felt comfortable for a lot of reasons writing Reylo. Finn/Rose just seems forced to me (see question 1 above). The only new relationship that I believe in is Kanan/Hera, and I am not the go-to gal for that ship (which is fine with me, the authors who write that do it spectacularly and I am happy just to read their work).
    So when I write, since the EU has withered up pretty much for the most part, I go with OCs.

    Edit - HA! I answered the old questions and didn't notice you'd changed them. Ok, I will answer the new ones now.

    1. I kind of answered this question in the response above. You have to give the characters opportunities to do what real people do - make mistakes, say stupid things, question why they are with this guy/gal anyway, wonder if they should just call it off. Ebb and flow. Eventually they realize they DO belong together. They find something in that other person that matches or even fulfills something in themselves.
    2. I like introspective scenes, but I don't really explicitly write them. I have written scenes where the characters tell each other how grateful they are for each other, but it isn't the main point of the fic. I guess it is more implied than anything.
    3. I tend to write restrained mushy dialogue. You can't have your characters saying too much. A few important words or gestures say so much, you don't really need elaborate, gushy dialogue.
    4. Starting over: I think it depends on the character. If your character is 18 years old and she is finding romance again after a break-up, that's a very different scenario than a 28 year old who is recovering from a divorce or a 58 year old widow who is testing the waters again. Definitely better with OCs.
    5. Family/sibling mush, on the rare times I write it, is usually parents & children. Seeing the person you love interacting with your child is very heartwarming. Rocking your child to sleep is tremendously mushy. I don't think about sibling mush much, that's more snark or teamwork than mush to me.
     
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2018
  17. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Game Host Who Loves Fanfics & RPGs star 7 VIP - Game Host

    Registered:
    Aug 31, 2004
    1) How do you plot out pacing the build-up and process of relationship exploration: e.g., from initial meeting/attraction to starting a romance; from first/serious quarrel to reconciliation? How do you keep it from feeling rushed?

    I like showing the thoughts and feelings of the characters as the process continues, how they deepen and change, the moment of realization of either essentiality or we must get back together.

    2) Introspection/reflection with a tone of gratitude and affection can be "mushy". How do you feel about that, and do you feel it easy/hard to put in writing?

    I love writing this kind of thing, in a mushy or character-growth context. It leads to a deeper sense of fulfillment and closeness between the characters.

    3) Dialogue/conversation that's mushy. Do you like writing this, or find it hard?

    I like writing this in the form of confiding, candid and heart-touching disclosures. I make sure these are in the tone that fits the character's personality.

    4) Starting over: When writing fics with OCs versus ECs starting over after a broken relationship, do you find this easy/hard to write? That is, is such a thing easier to do with your OCs than with Established characters?

    This must be relevant to the point of life that the character is in: age and context of the loss. I do think, however, there should be a grappling with the question am I ready to do this? And the person he/she starts over with should be likeable and well-rounded on their own part, of course.

    5) Family/sibling mush: What themes do you like to explore in this facet?

    Sibling mush is oftentimes more in the way of close friends teasing on the one hand, snarking and encouraging. Parent-child is different based upon the age of the child, naturally.

    Couples mush is quintessentially yummy!
     
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2018
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  18. Raissa Baiard

    Raissa Baiard Chosen One star 4

    Registered:
    Nov 22, 1999
    1) When it comes to writing mush, how do you plot out pacing the build-up and process of relationship exploration: e.g., from initial meeting/attraction to starting a romance; from first/serious quarrel to reconciliation? How do you keep it from feeling rushed? I guess I try to let it develop organically (fancy writer talk for "gosh, I never really sat down and planned it out" :p) So, I'll echo @divapilot and say that it is important to let your characters mess up, have doubts, say the wrong thing-- because that's part of the relationship process and if everything is perfect and rosy, it's not convincing and frankly, not interesting. I suppose with my couples, I have kind of the general trajectory of their relationship planned, rather than having a detailed outline. I think this is another place where having a good beta-reader helps, because I can bounce things off of her and say, "do you think things are moving too fast here?"

    2) I feel like introspection/reflection with a tone of gratitude and affection can be "mushy". ;) How do you feel about that, and do you feel it easy/hard to put in writing? I've done it a couple times; I don't think I've ever set out just to do this kind of scene, but when it works out for the story that kind of "I'm lucky to have him/her/my family" reflection can definitely add to the mush factor. Introspection tends to be a little harder for me to write than dialogue, because sometimes it feels like there's a fine line between honest emotion and over the top goo.

    3) Dialogue/conversation that's mushy. :D Do you like writing this, or find it hard? A lot of times, I will write the dialogue in my chapter first, so yes, I love writing mushy dialogue. It can take so many forms, too, from teasing banter to real heartfelt declarations of love.

    4) Starting over: When writing fics with OCs versus ECs starting over after a broken relationship, do you find this easy/hard to write? That is, is such a thing easier to do with your OCs than with Established characters? This is one aspect of romance I haven't taken on yet, so I can't say. Offhand, I'd say OC, because EC couples are so iconic with each other that matching them up with someone else would be a real challenge. I couldn't even imagine writing a story where Hera is considering a new romance after Kanan's death!

    5) Family/sibling mush: What themes do you like to explore in this facet?
    :cool:
    Family mush-- I tend to do a lot of heart-to-heart parent/older child-teen-young adult chats. Not something I set out to explore, per se, but it happens a lot in my stories.
    Sibling mush--I guess you'd have to call it kind of "you're not as bad as I thought were" stories :p where that annoying little sibling turns out to be a pretty good person after all or that perfect older sib steps in to give some helpful advice at the right time.
     
  19. Monday_Mush_Mania

    Monday_Mush_Mania Jedi Master star 1

    Registered:
    Jun 9, 2007
    Hello and happy...Tuesday! :D

    Our second challenge is due in about two weeks; how is everyone doing with their stories?

    And I apologize that I haven't posted a new set of Spoonful prompts in quite a while. Darth Real Life keeps throwing stuff at me :p
    So, without further ado, Set 6, courtesy of @WarmNyota_SweetAyesha :
    1. Fond memories
    2. Tangled emotions
    3. Wishful thinking
    4. Valuable lessons
    5. Pleasant surprises
     
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2018
  20. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Game Host Who Loves Fanfics & RPGs star 7 VIP - Game Host

    Registered:
    Aug 31, 2004
    Hi! Yay for a new Spoonfuls batch. My story is coming along. I plan to start posting scenes for it this week and will definitely have it ready by the 3rd. LOL Usually, titles come easiest for me but still haven't come up with one. :oops:
     
  21. Raissa Baiard

    Raissa Baiard Chosen One star 4

    Registered:
    Nov 22, 1999
    I had a great idea for this challenge, but between Darth Real Life and Darth Writer’s Block, I haven’t even started it. :( I doubt with everything I’ve got going in the next two weeks that it’s going to be ready for the challenge date, so I may wind up just finishing the drabble set that inspired my story idea.
     
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  22. CaraJinn

    CaraJinn Jedi Knight star 3

    Registered:
    Jan 8, 2018
    Let me see if I can get this thing right.

    I'm not very good at mush, but then there came some 'awwws' to a chapter in another story I've written and it actually fits with the challenge of someone adapting to something new. And the chapter was written after challenge was launched.

    Oh, well - enough talk. Here's Celebration
     
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  23. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Game Host Who Loves Fanfics & RPGs star 7 VIP - Game Host

    Registered:
    Aug 31, 2004
  24. Vek Talis

    Vek Talis Jedi Knight star 2

    Registered:
    Oct 12, 2018
  25. Monday_Mush_Mania

    Monday_Mush_Mania Jedi Master star 1

    Registered:
    Jun 9, 2007
    Good morning and happy Mushy Monday![face_love]

    Today’s the day to post your entries for Challenge #2. We’ve already received a few stories, and hope to see some more. You can post at any time today.