Hello there! It's Tono555 here, and today It is an absolute honor to present you the interview for an amazing fanon. Team Player!, written by AvatarAang7! Now, if you know me, you also have to know that I can't get enough of this fanon. I think it's safe to say it's my favorite fanon; I really enjoyed it when it was still in progress and I beta-read many, many chapters. Now let's begin!
Hey there, AA7! How are you doing?
Very well, thank you.
Okay, I really, really like how you made Korra. She is very hot-headed and exactly as I would imagine her if she were from our world. How do you feel about how her attitude problems progress during the story? Do you feel her becoming a more mature person?
In a word? Yes, her main arc results in her being more mature, but that's not the full idea. What is slightly more important is that Korra ultimately learns to love herself. When the story opens, she really just thinks of herself as a loser, and that everything that ever goes right for her is sheer unadulterated luck. What it's about is that she comes to realize that she can make it happen, and doesn't have to rely on chance, but also that she isn't a total loser, and that she is indeed very capable when she puts her mind to something.
Did you have at first the idea that Korra would end up with Asami or were you always leaning toward someone else? I am asking this because Korra is obviously head over heels for her and you make it very clear that Asami is fit, athletic, and absolutely stunning.
At first, I had the idea in my head to make her end up with Asami, you know, it being canon and all, but then I actually started writing it. Many chapters were written out of order, and one of the first chapters I wrote was Korra and Opal's first date. Like said in the final author's notes, my original plan was to break up Korra and Opal at some point, and instead have Korra hook up with Asami, but the more of the story I wrote, the less I liked that idea, so I binned it and instead kept Korra and Opal together.
When Asami was drunk, why did you make her kiss Korra? Were you looking to change the plot completely or were you just hoping to scare the crap out of us? :p
Well, it was partly to give you a nice little jolt, but it was really to both solidify the relationship between Korra and Opal and to make Mako seem like more of a bastard. Also, what I wanted to do is to show that Korra's feelings for Asami were merely dormant, and not completely shut down. Life isn't black and white, and I wanted to demonstrate that with this development. On top of everything else, it seemed like a good way to add some drama. (Which worked, chapter 25 is the most reviewed chapter on FFN.)
Why did you decide to break Asami and Mako up?
I've never made a secret of my opinion on him, and making him cheat on Asami (which he does twice in the show, and never really gets chewed out for, amazingly enough) seemed like a good way to do that. I figured he should get what he deserves, not to mention that I wanted a good reason for Korra to sucker punch his lights out.
When you were first writing the story, did you always plan on making it as NSFW as it is?
Pretty much. My main inspiration was making this a Legend of Korra version of Elsa is Suffering, which never moves beyond first base, though it's just as liberal with the course language as Team Player is. A large part of the reason can probably be retraced to origin, most fanon stories originate in the US, which is much more liberal towards violence than sex, whereas I hail from Europe, where the opposite is true. I think that sex is a large part of someone's development, and for someone like Korra, who was never very comfortable with her own body, this is a big step. Sex and sexuality are taboo subjects to talk about in many cultures, especially in the US, and if this gets people to discuss it more openly, then it's mission accomplished for me.
Now, you've told me over time about references you make to different things. Could you maybe tell us where you get them from?
Mostly from memory. I've wasted a lot of hours playing Call of Duty 4 (Korra's main killer of free time, no pun intended) and watching Top Gear, and those two cover most of the references. There is also House of Cards, Need for Speed Most Wanted, GTA IV, Lord of Rings, and many others, but basically all of these refer to shows, movies, or games that I simply like a lot and was familiar enough with to reference them from memory.
I think Rude Awakening was my favorite chapter of them all. Did you have fun writing that one? Which chapter was your toughest?
Yes, that one was the most fun to write by far. I'm still embarrassingly proud of my What's eating you-joke, and the lemon juice comes from another joke. Neatly brings me to the toughest one, which was Well and Truly. It was the most difficult one to write, so whenever I got stuck, or when an embarrassing joke popped into my mind, I simply wrote that. So yeah, 23 (Rude Awakening) was done long before 22 (Well and Truly), and probably had the most revisions as well. I had only written one smut scene prior, and actually did that just to practise it for the main story. I asked people for feedback, and a user on FFN, Marianamqb, gave me an extremely elaborate and very useful review, for which I remain very grateful. It took me quite a while to write, so when I was stuck on writing that, I tried writing in a few more jokes for the next one. Honorable mention for most fun goes to chapter 16, having Korra talk things over with her mother was very satisfying as well.
Has Team Player inspired you to write other stories we may know from the Fanon Portal?
Difficult to say, really. Yes, I have learned a lot from it. For instance, in the initial string of releases on FFN, I wrote chapter 10 through 13 in four days, and looking back, I think the quality of those chapters is notably lower than when I took my time, like I did with later chapters. As to creative inspiration, it sort of made me want to write All Are Equal, because in this one, no one has to worry about money, and I was wondering what would happen if I would create a world where the opposite was true.
Why did you choose to make Mako and Bolin such minor characters in your story; especially the latter? Did you feel they just weren't needed in it?
This wasn't really a conscious choice, I think. What doesn't help is that I'm not the biggest supporters of either one in the show, and it just felt more natural to focus on the characters where the problems would come from, mostly Asami, Opal, and Korra's parents. Mako and Bolin are pretty cool with everything, so there's no real drama to be had there.
Did you ever expect Team Player to get the success it did?
No, definitely not. More than a year after finishing it, and it's still the story with the most followers I have on FFN, and also has the most views by a country mile. It was a pleasant surprise, to say the least. Also, and this is slightly embarrassing, I'm still a little proud that this is the only major KorraxOpal story I know of that is actually finished.
Do you ever feel that you could have elaborated more on a chapter?
Ah, the old 'could have been'-trap. I try not to dwell on this too much, because in the words of Bryan Konietzko, I don't want to end up George Lucassing the story. But, if I had to pick my least favorite chapters, I'd have to say Confession, Skeletons in the Closet, and Up, Up, and Away. Looking back, there are entire sections that I just think didn't turn out as well as they could have. (Mostly the conversation with Pema, Tarrlok's press conference, and Korra telling Senna about her meeting, respectively.).
Any advice you could give people who want to write? How can they find out which writing method suits them best?
Trial and error, mostly. I've tried a few styles before I started Team Player, but, and I just keep coming back to it, when I read Elsa is Suffering, just felt really drawn to the style of being able to constantly reveal the main character's snarky, self-depricating thoughts. The rest sort of followed, because I thought 'what if Korra was as cynical as that version of Elsa?' and basically went from there. It was at a point where Korrasami becoming real was hanging in the air (or rather, in the closet), but wasn't out yet, so making Korra have a rough time coming to grips with her sexuality wasn't a big leap. Overall though, I find it best to cling to the old Dutch saying of 'better stolen well than thought up poorly', so my best advice would be to just read a lot of stories, and see which style suits you best. One thing that Minnichi neatly mentioned in her BSST article, but I think is worth repeating, is the frequency trap. It's a quality over quantity issue, and I rarely come across writers who can pull off both, so I am often more drawn to quality. I'd recommend reading her article of the fanon myths, because that covers it much more elaborately than I can here
Thank you for your patience and letting me do this interview. Anything else you would like to add?
No, I think that pretty much covered it all. Thank you for doing the interview, because as it says in the blurb of the FFF, it's always fun to talk about your own work, especially with someone I know likes the story.
Well, that's pretty much it! I would like to thank AA7 for his patience; I took much longer than I had planned with this interview. Last of all, if you haven't read this story yet, please do so. I promise you won't regret it! That's it folks; until the next one.