Community Spotlight - Black Oracle written by Kickback Every so often, TFWe will search through the TFW2005 Boards and, as a staff, nominate and vote upon a member of the forums to be featured in our Community Spotlight series. We interview the individual a little bit about themselves and what they do/have done on the boards. Our first Community Spotlight - Fan Fiction is for a favorite author on the boards and a long-time member of the forums, Black Oracle. Kickback, Editor-in-Chief of TFWe, spoke briefly with Black Oracle about the work she's done on a Fan Fiction series based around the universe of Transformers Animated, simply titled: TFA: Glimpses. ---------------------------------------------------------- KB: What was your inspiration for doing these short stories? BA: "TFA: Glimpses" began as a sentimental farewell to the "Transformers: Animated" show after its end. My first two Animated stories: "Eulogy to a Fallen Hero" and "Not in Your Programming" were written as short stand-alones that I did not necessarily intend to make a series out of. "Eulogy to a Fallen Hero" was a send-off tribute to Prowl that took place at his funeral on Cybertron. "Not in Your Programming" was a reflective look back upon Optimus Prime's journey to becoming a hero throughout the show as he returned to Ultra Magnus with the Magnus Hammer. After I had written 'Eulogy' and 'Programming', I found myself wanting to write more short Animated fics addressing other characters and plot threads from the show. A fan fic series began which was intended to consist of epilogue-type stories which could provide satisfactory closure for the Animated show. But as I wrote more, I began to develop broader ideas for where the fan fic could go. The stories took on a life of their own and turned gradually into a continuation of the Animated series rather than just a closing for it. "Glimpses" went from a couple of short stand-alone stories initially to a developing post-season 3 fan fic series. I guess there was just that much more potential left in the show when it came to an end that I could not let it rest! One of the fun things about writing "Glimpses" has been the opportunity to introduce and cameo new characters and spend more time with minor ones from the show. Aside from revisiting the likes of Red Alert, Perceptor, Wheeljack, Hot Shot and Ironhide, some of the new appearances in "Glimpses" come from the Allspark Almanac books and things said by Derrick J. Wyatt. The Almanacs and Derrick Wyatt's answers to fan questions have been useful sources of information and inspiration and have helped fuel some of my own ideas on how to continue Animated in "Glimpses". Optimus Prime's Powermaster armour, Primal Major, other cyber-ninjas like Star Saber, Dai Atlas and Springer, and another two Starscream clones: Dirge and Thrust have been taken from the pages of the Allspark Almanacs. Derrick J. Wyatt's mentioning of a 'Sector 7-like organisation' for Animated's season 4 also gave rise to the incorporation of Sector 7 in "Glimpses". And I've brought in a few of my own character choices, such as a couple of Japanese Beast Wars bots! KB: When you begin to write something, what processes do you go through? IE do you have the story idea ahead of time, do you just let it flow as you go, or do you have it all planned out from beginning to climax to ending? BA: I normally have basic ideas for my stories before I start writing them: what I want to happen, who is involved, a purpose for the story and sometimes even lines of dialogue. They develop naturally from there. My story ideas often spring from mental images of scenes or just from a desire or urge to write about something in particular. My first "Revenge of the Fallen" movie fic "I Rise, You Fall" emerged from a desire to explore what may have been happening to Optimus during the time he was 'dead' in the second movie. And many of my chapters for "TFA: Glimpses" began as vivid pictures and scenes in my head of events and interactions between characters. Writing from TV shows and the movies more often than not leads me to think visually and thus to write in a visual manner. Readers often 'see' what I am writing. For "Glimpses", I always write imagining I'm watching something that could have been in an episode of the show. Keeping characters 'in-character' becomes important for maintaining the feel of the show too. It would be rather jarring if Animated Optimus Prime was to suddenly start acting exactly like his G1 self and lose his characteristic traits of youth, inexperience, quiet determination, doubt and uncertainty. He's been through a lot in the show but he's still a young leader in the making. I do not always start at the beginning when I write the first words of a story. I can begin with writing key moments first that would end up in the middle or near the end of the final finished piece. How and where the story starts in these cases will often be influenced by the events that are to happen in it. So I can often construct my stories from the 'inside-out', working from important points within the story outwards to the beginnings and ends. The times when I do start a story straightforwardly right at the beginning are normally only when I have very clear ideas about how my story is going to proceed from beginning to end. It is more likely I start writing at the beginning in very short fics which I normally have clear ideas about before starting. This has been the case with my recent "Transformers: Prime" short fics which are based from episodes of the show and written to fit into them like missing scenes. During the process of writing, my stories often go through various improvements and can sometimes change significantly from the original idea if I find myself unsatisfied with elements. First drafts are rarely perfect and alterations and re-writes are not uncommon. Re-writing lines of dialogue, re-wording sentences and discarding multiple story endings are part of the writing process. KB: Can fans expect anything more from Glimpses, or are you focusing more on Transformers Prime now? BA: I certainly have more stories and big plans for the future of "TFA: Glimpses" which I'd like to get round to telling when I can. I've been getting into the "Transformers: Prime" series lately and writing short fics that fill in gaps in or add to the events of its episodes. So updates on "Glimpses" will be slower, but I still hope to continue it. I will say that in the next few chapters of "Glimpses" to come, big things are about to happen on Cybertron! KB: Say whatever you'd like to those who follow and enjoy your stories. BA: Thank you! To everyone who has been reading and leaving positive and helpful feedback on my stories! There's really no better reward for a writer than knowing that readers enjoy your work and it's the best motivation to continue writing! Thank you, all of you! And I hope you'll enjoy my writing to come! ---------------------------------------------------------- We'd like to thank Black Oracle for taking the time to sit down with TFWe and answer some questions for our readers and the fans of her stories! Please be sure to check out her work at the link below: Transformers Animated: Glimpses by Black Oracle Do you have someone in mind that you think should be nominated for a Community Spotlight for their Fan Fiction work? If so, please contact us on our official TFWe Profile by clicking here and send us a private message with their user name, a link to some of their work, and if possible, an excert from one of their stories! If we like it, we'll use it, and give you a news credit for the nomination! Kickback TFWe Editor-in-Chief Follow me @rankal on Twitter and @tfw2005 for all your Transformers news!