The Nathan/William thing. A few reasons. 1.) I rather liked Eureka and Colin Ferguson, so there's the aesthetic thing going on there, especially with the kind of similar look that the two guys have, both got that rangy cowboy thing going on and the blue eyes? 2.) Occasionally I just dig the villain 'ships generally, especially when the characters have some sort of past connection or crucial interest in common that makes them reflections of each other (or of the other's romantic obsession). Reed Richards/Doom, Crichton/Scorpius, Luffy/Crocodile, Fred/Lilah... 3.) On from that they do have that connection, over Audrey|Mara, and so the presence of William offers a male character and opportunity for slash that Nathan can feel, who can mess him up just as much as Audrey|Mara(|Sarah) can.

4.) It's kind of fun? William's a cheerful, villainous nutter of few morals and Nathan is... well, it's not that he doesn't have a sense of humour, but it's rather dry and in certain situations you'd have to look hard to find it, but he's definitely the serious straight man, so the idea of saddling him with this zany, cheerful character is pretty neat.

I tend to see this 'ship as dub/non consent more than anything else, so it was a challenge to write it when I knew the requester didn't want that, and find a way to make it work for me with that element removed (mostly. I guess there'll always be shadows of that in the identity issues thing). I have to admit that the concept of Aaron Pallister makes me grin like an idiot and, okay, maybe it skews the gender issues in the show horribly to take out Audrey and leave Mara the villain, but it's a thought experiment. We are allowed those from time to time. I think I've written enough things that Audrey was central to, to get away with this one.

I'm not sure why this one's been struggling so much, because as I say, I like it a lot. Maybe it's the gender issues, maybe it's the tense change and switch to flashback two paragraphs in (I needed the background to sell the aftermath... I had something like 3 days to write the fic by the time House Divided and Troubled Tales were finished and I'd worked past the dead-slump that followed...eep!... so I didn't have time to play around with different ways of doing that).

I thought about tagging it 'curtain fic' in a totally ironic way. It ended up more domestic in focus than I'd expected. But in the end it wasn't about a dramatic fists-and-Troubles-and-superpowers fight for "Aaron's" identity, but a guy trying to figure out who he was and what environment he belonged in and who with. Which I think is more interesting than I could've made all the melodrama and Nathan shouting "Aaron, come back to me!" a lot.

I guess it begs the question of why I've never done this approach with Audrey|Mara/Nathan. And I think that's got to be the gender issues. Put a woman in that situation, with the mind-wipe, and fling her body to someone else's control like that, and it feels a lot more rapey, it feels like Mara's anger is right. Maybe that's a position/attitude worth examining? I'm usually more equal in my treatment of the sexes than that. But there's just as much an argument that Mara WAS those personalities and that under the circumstances those were her choices (with misinformation, but still her choices). IDK. It's an odd one. Would people be squicked if I'd written this sort of situation with Mara just falling for Nathan post-personality-wipe? At least one story out there already that seems to be popular enough to indicate not. But Mara falling for Nathan feels so much more tricky and landmine peppered in all the issues it raises. (Which is why Eurydice|House exists...) For me that needs to be more than the question of "love" saving/redeeming Mara... particularly of Nathan's love, which was never consensual from Mara's perspecfive to begin with.

Which is obviously inherently different from William deciding "Hm, I've got a good thing going here, I'm comfortable, this identity has been good for me, maybe I'll leave the evilin' days behind and try this on..."

(It's probably a question of gravitas as well. Mara intrinsically has more drama in her evil, twisted soul, while William's presence is lighter and more easy-going.)

Sometimes things get way more complicated than they seem.
My draft notes for Trigger, since it had fairly detailed ones and, unusually, they actually got typed, because I stuck them on the end of the beta draft -- original notes in italics, current observations in-between -- in case anyone's interested and for my future reference:

Is Boston big enough to have more than one police precinct? research.

Real gay area in Boston or just vague up a part of a particular district so not basing on any real place?


Neither of these things got researched, in the end I figured it was never going to be absolutely accurate to life and just went ahead keeping things vague.

Does the assault scene with Nathan in the hands of the rapist go too far? Move it offscreen or into vaguer hints? Stick with just the cutting and some trailing of fingers on his chest that maybe start to hedge lower down? Deprives the rapist of his torture self-excuse, though.

The conclusion was that too much of the drive of the story and the tension of that scene as well as the methods of the UnSub (heh) was reliant on knowing exactly what was happening. I wanted less because I wanted a scare, not a rape fic, but less did not work for the extreme beats of the tale I wanted to tell, which was *Trouble triggered *Nathan ready to shoot the guy at the end: ironically saved by his Trouble.

Would HIV itself exclude someone from working for the police force? thinking no? but to know the answer would allow Dodge and Peppers dialogue to be more definitive. research.

It's not an exclusion, though from what I gather, there's a stigma attached such that it might be hard to continue in that kind of role if your fellow officers knew, but I left the conversation between the two Boston officers exactly as it was. I liked the ambiguity.

So this whole thing is about masculinity constructions intersecting with the threat of assault and homophobia. Nathan is not supposed to be superhumanly heroic in the face of assault, but his regular masculinity isn't quite a conventional one, in either the old-fashioned or the new-man sort of sense. He interacts with women as equals and picks stronger women he's often wholly prepared to follow as partners, but sometimes he sort of digs in on his masculine side like he's making a point. This fic pre-dates his sexual dysfunction and being forced to question his masculinity in that context when his trouble returns full-time in canon. In this fic he's implied bisexual and while he's not out, sees nothing particularly wrong with it, either, and is pissed off by his dad's homophobia. If anything it's because the first man he slept with was Duke that he's ended up burying it, more than having a problem with that side of his sexuality.

I actually really like the underlying possibility of reading the show and the fic that Nathan is gay. And what happens with the Audrey relationship if you take that stance.

On the other hand, a lot of Garland's reaction is also tied to it being Duke that Nathan chose as a lover, though homophobia is in there, too. Maybe that's a disservice to Garland's character, but I think it's also his generation. He's still going to treat gay men fairly in the eyes of the law and he is as committed as dammit to finding justice for Jemmy Allen, for the other boys, but there's still an attitude of discomfort, of wrongness, there, when he's confronted with it head-on, when he's confronted with the physical act, when he's confronted with it in the form of Nathan. Garland has a lot of ideas what strength is, what masculine strength is, what his son should be, and dating men doesn't fit the image. He also wants a successor and sees homosexuality as a stumbling block to Nathan achieving that end. I really want the love here to come through. There's no rejection of Nathan in Garland for this. He's awkward with it, and Nathan resents it back.

This paragraph is really important. I felt this fic was unfair, in a way, to Garland. We didn't see his attitude to homosexuality in the show, although he did display some slightly outdated attitudes now and then in other things. It's a generational thing.

Nathan's hair-trigger temper becomes a big point, too, in the resolution. If his hand hadn't slipped, if his Trouble hadn't kicked in to make it do so, his career would have ended there.

The count-the-meanings-of-the-word-"Trigger"-in-this-fic game.

I wonder if the factor of breaking/dislocating his hands to free himself of the cuffs works? He's never done it on screen, and he's been cuffed enough, but the thing is that I think fiction always takes that type of damage rather lightly. He's inflicted severe injury on himself. There's never been the desperation and urgency in him in the canon situations to do that, I don't think. And now that I recall I have him do this in a similar fraught situation in Risen, too.

I don't think we ever see him on screen cuffed in a situation where his hands are a) in front of him so that he can see what he's doing to do it, and b) sheer desperation would drive him to break them to escape. Realistically. If he could have seen his hands when William was trying to get Audrey to Trouble him, he might've tried then.

I'm not sure of the out-of-ordering structure. It's more out-of-order at the beginning and then settles down a bit. Maybe there are scenes that could be moved around? Maybe there are scenes I didn't write and should've?

The split into two parts was to divide the non-sequential part from the part that was mostly sequential, bar a few scenes at the end, primarily. A LOT changed order in this from first writing to complete first draft. I don't think anything changed in beta in terms of swapping scenes around, but it did gain two new scenes, one that was expanded from an embedded recap -- that was the scene of Dodge, Carter and Nathan in the interview room -- and one that was fresh written from scratch. The entirely new scene was Nathan in the gay bar.

I wrote most of this over a 4 day weekend at the haunted house out on the moors. I'd brought another story entirely with me to work on, but discovered the first 1500 words of this jotted abandoned in the back of the same notebook and suddenly found myself finishing it at a crazy pace. I finished the last two sections at home. Must have written about 15000 words in 3-4 days that weekend.

I had wanted badly to write Garland and Nathan gen. Fandom as a rule isn't interested in father-son relationships. I am, though. And that one's fascinating.

This fic was my stab at writing Criminal Minds, incidentally. Heh heh heh.
I just wrote 4500 words and finished the Haven novel from NaNoWriMo 2013!! OMG!!

*does the dance of joy*

My hand aches now. Boo, longhand. Although that said, I wouldn't write nearly as much if I was working on a keyboard and screen all the time. Notebooks and a nice silver writing pen with celtic knotwork designs on it are my writing comfort space.

This is the novel where history changes so that Lucy did not go into the Barn but met an unfortunate end anyway, creating a Haven where the Troubles never went away and were discovered by the US government and the world at large. Where Nathan is a former Guard terrorist and Duke is sponsored by the state to clear up Troubles the bloody, Crocker way.

I'm thinking of calling it It's a Troubled Life, since it's basically an "Audrey Parker, this is the world without you" story concept.

Whole thing clocks in at something between 90,000 and 100,000 words.

I know I haven't answered comments yet and I suck, but I've been writing all morning and now I have to get ready to go to work.

[I actually physically did do a dance of joy at work over a work thing a few weeks back, and cracked everyone up. I'm pretty sure from that incident that at least one of my co-workers has watched Angel. Heh.]
The steampunk AUfic is turning out to be kind of a monster, given that I'm 4 chapters and around 20k in, and it feels like it's just really finished the beginning stages. I'm guessing 40-60k.

It seems to be something that will really work episodically. I'm wondering (ironically) if I should start posting this in rough chapter by chapter on Tumblr, and probably here as well, but Tumblr is where the 'Haven AU' game started and lives, so it makes sense to put it there as a priority -- and then as I tidy up properly put it on AO3 and ffn edited and beta-read chapter by chapter as it's sorted.

Given how I am with WIPs, though, I don't know if I should be nearer completing before starting to post any parts of it.

We have a little bit of snow here. Yesterday I went to work in my trainers, and changed shoes when I got there, only to discover the trainers have big holes in the heels as I was setting out back (now propped up with cardboard). That's the two pairs of shoes most likely to be of use in snow/ice that have gone in the space of a few days. And while I've bought replacements, I haven't worn them in yet. I may well end up wearing trainers with cardboard in the soles for another week.

I have to go out to a leaving do for someone at work tonight. Given I'm still walking there, too, I have to figure out what on earth I'll put on my feet.
I finished Fortress, the sequel to Squared with the Audrey/Duke/Jennifer/Nathan foursome action. It's ~30,000 words long. That's in draft, longhand, and usually they gain a few thou when typed.

Again with the despairing cry of, "It was never meant to be that long!"

Why I felt compelled to do this to myself I do not know, considering it's difficult enough trying to manage the relationship dynamics of writing a threesome and there are people far better than me at writing the polyamory. I'm like, how do you even manage those dynamics, with a foursome? I end up mostly treating them as two couples who live in each other's pockets and sometimes swap and change. And my mind goes straight back to Marion Zimmer Bradley's The Forbidden Tower because that's the only place I've read anything remotely like a foursome relationship dynamic before. (I was about 14. It was an eye-opener.)

Wish someone else would write this 'ship. Troublesfest produced a couple of other things that skirted it, but nothing that jumped in and had them all in bed together. (Do I always jump for the deep end and make life hard for myself?)

---

Actually, guys, a request: rec me foursome fics? I'm intrigued. I want to know how other writers have handled it.
There are a bunch of things about this fic I haven't had time to swear about/articulate during the writing process, because it was so piecemeal for this one, and over the last week or so, so goddamn bloody frantic. I just clicked on the filters on AO3 for a whim and it turns out that I've written the longest OT3 fic in the archive in 4-6 weeks for a challenge.

There are things in this one I've wanted to do for ages, and I don't know if it does them justice -- there certainly hasn't been time to edit and fine-tune them the way I'd normally do. Normal process would be leave to stew for at least a week, better a month, then edit again with new eyes. I usually edit the draft 4-5 times. This fic got... two? I think even the Troublesfest pinch hits got more than that (on account they were shorter). Squared was very cursorily edited, but then Squared was 9k, just over a quarter of the length of this and the whole thing from draft to type to edit to beta to edit was done in around 36 hours. (I don't think I ever talked about that on here. That was an adventure. Extreme ficcing!)

On Max Hansen, and the rest... )Anyway, sum-up: this fic was an uncooperative beast to write, I wish I'd had more time on it, it has plot threads that deserved a lot more attention, but I hope people like it anyway. And I apologise for writing these tedious fic-examination posts, of which this is an even more rambling and borish example than normal.
roseveare: (Default)
( Aug. 23rd, 2014 08:42 am)
I'm just going to steal these and answer the ones I feel like (ie. the simple ones). Folks will have to comment if they want to hear any of the others.


A. Describe your comfort zone—a typical you-fic. Plot happens. Character A: "Ouch!" Character B: "..." (in this case character B is Nathan, or he'd be saying ouch too). Possible there is Dark Sex or Hate Sex. *~inconclusive bittersweet or slightly downer ending~*
B. Is there a trope you’ve yet to try your hand at, but really want to? Generally they come with the specific ideas.
C. Is there a trope you wouldn’t touch with a ten foot pole? ABO fic. I think this is the most offensive concept fandom has ever managed to come up with. Do not try and tell me it is clever social commentary.
D. How many fic ideas are you nurturing right now? Care to share one of them? ?2 IDK... I have a long-time plotbunny at the very back of the shelf where Nathan Wuornos' neurologist comes to Haven and it's almost like Oliver Sacks RPF and there's a Trouble to solve and Nathan is getting poked and prodded by Science at the same time. I think this would be hugely fun, but it would also involve a lot of research.
E. Share one of your strengths. I'm pretty good at waking-up-after-being-knocked-out scenes. That'd be the fainting problem I had all through my teens and early twenties.
F. Share one of your weaknesses. Fluffy smut. All the sex is fucked up.
G. Share a snippet from one of your favorite pieces of prose you’ve written and explain why you’re proud of it.
H. Share a snippet from one of your favorite dialogue scenes you’ve written and explain why you’re proud of it.
I. Which fic has been the hardest to write? The last one. Eurydice.
J. Which fic has been the easiest to write? There are a few that wrote themselves in a few days. Unbreakable was probably the easiest of those to edit.
K. Is writing your passion or just a fun hobby? Shouldn't these two be indistinguishable?
L. Is there an episode section of canon above all others that inspires you just a little bit more? So we're talking current fandom? (Haven) 4.1 Fallout and Duke and Nathan's relationship in 3.4-3.5, when it's at its worst.
M. What’s the best writing advice you’ve ever come across? Even if it's difficult and not cooperating, write a little every day, keep going. Don't worry about mistakes, leave them to sort out in the editing.
N. What’s the worst writing advice you’ve ever come across? Nothing specific springs to mind, but I think too much of what Stephen King sppouts belongs up here, considering how much people worship him. Though I'm not sure now if the above comes from him, too. It comes from a few sources I think.
O. If you could choose one of your fics to be filmed, which would you choose? Considering the factors of Lucas Bryant and Eric Balfour, I think I have to abandon Body Parts and go for the NC17 Duke/Nathan slash: Unbreakable.
P. If you only could write one pairing for the rest of your life, which pairing would it be? Right now, Duke/Nathan.
Q. Do you write your story from start to finish, or do you write the scenes out of order? In order. Almost always.
R. Do you use any tools, like worksheets or outlines? Rarely. Sometimes I sketch out locations for fight scenes. Or locations in general.
S. Stephen King once said that his muse is a man who lives in the basement. Do you have a muse? I don't know where they live, but they're an evil muse.
T. Describe your perfect writing conditions. Notebook handy and no-one looking over my shoulder. Usually better in the morning than the afternoon.
U. How many times do you usually revise your fic/chapter before posting? About 4.
V. Choose a passage from one of your earlier fics and edit it into your current writing style. (Person sending the ask is free to make suggestions).
W. If you were to revise one of your older fics from start to finish, which would it be and why? It'd be the first one I ever wrote, which I never posted, which was a B7 PGP. I wouldn't touch the ones that are out there.
X. Have you ever deleted one of your published fics? No.
Y. What do you look for in a beta? Being nice enough to beta for me?
Z. Do you beta yourself? If so, what kind of beta are you? Yes. Possibly slightly evil?
AA. How do you feel about collaborations? I've written them. It was fun. I don't know if I'd collaborate on something anymore now.
AB. Share three of your favorite fic writers and why you like them so much. Have two, Miah_Arthur and Kattahj, who are also my beta readers, it's true. But they both go for the 'real' in different ways. Too much fic comes from a similar sort of headspace. It's like we reference what we learned from other fiction first instead of our experience of reality. It's streamlined with tropes and acceptable reactions and comfort zones and what people will expect out of that kind of a fic. (I think this is kind of the struggle I recently had with Redemption of Killers and Rogues, because it does things that I do think the mass fictional concensus would find as unacceptable.) Also important to me that they're also both interested in writing disability realistically.
AC. If you could write the sequel (or prequel) to any fic out there not written by yourself, which would you choose?
AD. Do you accept prompts? Yes, but I can't guarantee I'll write them.
AE. Do you take liberties with canon or are you very strict about your fic being canon compliant? Depends on the fic.
AF. How do you feel about smut? YES PLEASE
AG. How do you feel about crack? YES PLEASE
AH. What are your thoughts on non-con and dub-con? YES PLEASE
AI. Would you ever kill off a canon character? Not casually. Done it a few times.
AJ. Which is your favorite site to post fic? AO3
AK. Talk about your current wips. I do this at least once a month anyway, so no.
AL. Talk about a review that made your day. The long, critiquey ones. When people see something interesting in the story that I didn't deliberately put there, that's awesome, because it makes me read it in a different way.
AM. Do you ever get rude reviews and how do you deal with them? Not often; "hahaha".
AN. Write an alternative ending to a fic you've written (specify by title, link or general description].
.

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