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Hey there! Kuir here with another interview. Today we are speaking with Fruipit for her work, Drive-ins! This edgy Tokka fanon covers an older Toph and Sokka and their lives in a modern era. Here are my super-late questions that our resident Tokka master kindly answered, lets hear what she had to say on the matter.
1. Hey, Fruity Loops, what's up?
- Oh, nothing much. A lot of work to do, a lot of procrastination to put it off :) I hope you're doing well, too :P
2. Okay, so what was the most base inspiration for this, given that everyone knows you're the top dog of Tokka here?
- The 'top dog of Tokka'? xD Okay then. This was pretty much an 'aww, what an adorable idea, Sokka narrating films for Toph!' which turned into an 'okay, I don't know when she developed all these problems and interesting backstory, but I like it, mwahaha! >:D' and is currently at the 'oh god, what kind of person am I?' stage. So, there wasn't really a 'base inspiration', per se, although if there was one thing that really set off the writing, it was the fact that I love movies myself, and will gobble them up without a care in the world (right now, I'm stuck on wuxia flicks).
3. Would you like to explain some of the differences that separate this from your other works.
- Umm, edgier? Less developed? In desperate need of revising? Those things all apply to this story, because I went in with no plan, and I still have none. I write as it comes, which is very different to how I normally approach my stories. I guess that I'm also writing this for me, because as far as I'm aware, there are no followers or lurkers for this story here. It's actually rather refreshing, because I can write whatever the hell I want without wondering how it'll be received – without being scared of what people think. So, this story is very much for myself to explore just how angsty I can become. It's also fun adding random bits of foreshadowing, and coming up with something random to introduce because of it (all the little hints about Toph covering her wrists, for instance).
4. Okay, is it safe to say this is set in a modern era or maybe a Republic City setting?
- Modern, but it could be modern Republic City. That's one of those things that need hashing out, I think, because I never established a set location in which this story takes place. Maybe I'll add that in, but honestly, the setting isn't quite so important.
5. In Shiny, we see that Toph smokes, how does she hide that habit? Or does she?
- She doesn't. Kyoshi knows she smokes – her 'hiding' it is more accidental than anything. She doesn't like smoking around people, because they don't like it. The people she hung out with (before movie night with the gaang) didn't care whether she smoked or not.
6. Why did you decide on such a hostile relationship between Toph and Katara?
- I didn't xD That entire chapter I wrote during the month of November. It was a Saturday or Wednesday (a Wednesday, I think), and I was at a National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) write-in. It's basically an event where a group of other Wrimos meet up at a coffee shop and spend the day writing/nerding out. That chapter sprouted from three or four different word-wars (timed writing challenges in which you have to write as much as possible during X amount of time). So I just kept writing and writing and that chapter literally changed the entire course of the story – up until that point, everything had been fine and dandy. Or not as screwed up as it is now.
7. While its cool that Kyoshi is Toph's guardian, wouldn't that detract some of the factors that formed her personality, namely her parents Lao and Poppy Beifong?
- Au contraire, my good sir. Toph's history with her parents is a driving force for her character, even if they aren't in the picture at the moment. The big question with Toph is 'what happened to her in the past that resulted in her being put into foster care?'. As we've seen in the show, the Beifongs are a family of wealth and means; surely they'd be able to organise something with the authorities whereby they get to keep their daughter? So, it all lies in the past. This is an issue that I plan to address sometime in the future, but it's also one of the issues that I haven't got any idea *how* to address.
8. While we're on parents, who exactly is whose parent so we can have a clear line of view?
- This is one of those fics you read about where no one has parents. Hakoda is in the army, and is away for long spells, and Aang and Toph are both in the system. Aang's parents are dead, but Toph's aren't. The only parental figure in the story at the moment is Kyoshi, and even then, she's more like a big sister to Toph. Toph will do something to change that relationship, though I don't know how Kyoshi will react yet.
9. So does Sokka retain his wacky attitude and name-calling?
- Not really, but I'm hoping to bring back some of the humour that he always exhibited in the show. The next few chapters are going to be full of tension, but that will mostly be from Toph. I want to use Sokka to both exacerbate it, and quell it, if that makes sense.
10. Where's the Cactus Juice scene?
- Does there have to be one? xD I like the idea of Toph being all crazy, and Sokka having to keep his head. I might have him get drunk or something, but it would only happen under a few, very specific, circumstances. Oh, look, an idea. I'll keep you updated on that! It won't be very happy, but since when is anything in this story?
11. We first met Kyoshi in Banoffee Pie and Self-Preservation, but we saw so little of her, did you want to wait before introducing her character to more than just the end of a chapter?
- Well, Like I said, I had no set ideas for this story; Kyoshi being one of them. I liked the idea of the past Avatars' all being guardians (well, Roku most certainly looked after Aang, didn't he?), and I always liked Kyoshi. Only she would be able to combat Toph. The foster-care aspect of this story sprouted somewhat from a prompt given to me from another author, about Toph and Kyoshi in a modern setting. I obviously , but I still liked the idea.
12. Where did you get the names of the chapters from?
- Movies I love. And, films I think are applicable. The first three titles were taken from the movies that Sokka and Toph were watching that week, however as I began to write chapters that didn't have any movie-watching, I needed to think of something else but I still wanted to have the 'movie' theme. So, I began using the content; is where Toph goes to a party with Jet – the very film plays heavily on female-power and debauchery. In , we see Toph and Katara hashing out some of the issues that they've developed, even as the film does the same thing. It may not be identical, but each chapter has a similar, over-arching theme to the movie I've used as a title.
13. In the Sleepover Club, we see a little recap of troubles for our poor Sooka, what did you do to write the chapter that was solely from his perspective?
- I didn't do anything, specifically. It was strange getting out of Toph's head, and I felt weird suddenly changing perspective and following Sokka, but I felt like the story needed it too much – I needed to get a little into Sokka's head and explain how he's seeing things. He doesn't know Toph likes him. He doesn't know why she does the things she does, and he doesn't even know her very well. I wanted to show that despite all that she's kept hidden, he still wants to get to know her. He doesn't think she's so damaged yet. However, he does have a limit, something which I will introduce in the upcoming chapters.
14. So what's the history between Jet and Toph here?
- Um, dark. It's a dark history. I ended up writing about it in chapters and , because again, I needed to. I needed to give the readers something, and explain Toph's 'loyalty' to Jet.
15. How many chapters are you planning to write?
- To be honest, I never want this story to end, but I expect it's coming to a close soon. Maximum of 25, I think, although it'll probably be less. The whole story can change at a moment's notice, though (like it has, several times). It all depends on what my brain says at a particular point, and what seems natural.
16. And finally, what are your plans for 2014?
- Keep writing. I'm starting university, but I don't want to give up the joy that destroying Toph gives me ;P Perhaps try and branch out into other characters and styles. As for everything else, I plan to just have fun. Try and relax a little more :)
Well that is all from Fruipit. Lets give her a big thanks! And read Drive-ins, there are few mature and complex fanons out there with as much quality, and fewer with Toph as such an integral character. There are also more chapters out, so be sure to read this new take on Tokka!!! Oh and be sure to read her other works.
That is all from the FFF today, be sure to read all our interviews and find out if there is a fanon or author you might like. Kuir signing off!
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