edenfalling: headshot of a raccoon, looking left (raccoon)
And here we are. The story that ate my brain. It's probably the darkest thing I've ever written (not the creepiest; that would be "Mona's Blood," just for the way that story hovered in my mind for years, and for the eye thing) and it doesn't get magically better in the end. All three main characters are deeply screwed up, and I'm not really sure if any one of them qualifies as a 'good guy,' regardless of what Ginny thinks.

Graphic physical torture, and severe emotional trauma. I am not kidding.

(The beta'ed and edited version -- which is also HBP-compliant -- is now up here on Fanfiction.net and here on FictionAlley. It's better than this one. Trust me.)

Knives )

ETA: Yes, the ending is ambiguous. I know that. It's meant to be ambiguous, for two reasons.

First, I just like lady-or-the-tiger endings. As an author, I like the feeling of power -- it's the same thing that makes cliffhangers fun to write. As a reader, I love the way they make you go back over the story and think.

Second, it has to do with the structure of the story. I wrote it in second person present tense for a reason; I am trying to be invasive. I am trying to make you, the reader, complicit in Ginny's actions. Therefore, it's ultimately up to you to decide how Harry reacts, and what happens to Ginny. You choose, and that tells you something about who you are as a person. If I decide, if I tell you what happens, all that reveals is who I am -- and that's not what I'm trying to do. I'm already in the story enough by virtue of being the author; I want to pull you in as well.
edenfalling: headshot of a raccoon, looking left (raccoon)
And here we are. The story that ate my brain. It's probably the darkest thing I've ever written (not the creepiest; that would be "Mona's Blood," just for the way that story hovered in my mind for years, and for the eye thing) and it doesn't get magically better in the end. All three main characters are deeply screwed up, and I'm not really sure if any one of them qualifies as a 'good guy,' regardless of what Ginny thinks.

Graphic physical torture, and severe emotional trauma. I am not kidding.

(The beta'ed and edited version -- which is also HBP-compliant -- is now up here on ff.net, here on FA, and here on AO3. It's better than this one. Trust me.)

Knives )

ETA: Yes, the ending is ambiguous. I know that. It's meant to be ambiguous, for two reasons.

First, I just like lady-or-the-tiger endings. As an author, I like the feeling of power -- it's the same thing that makes cliffhangers fun to write. As a reader, I love the way they make you go back over the story and think.

Second, it has to do with the structure of the story. I wrote it in second person present tense for a reason; I am trying to be invasive. I am trying to make you, the reader, complicit in Ginny's actions. Therefore, it's ultimately up to you to decide how Harry reacts, and what happens to Ginny. You choose, and that tells you something about who you are as a person. If I decide, if I tell you what happens, all that reveals is who I am -- and that's not what I'm trying to do. I'm already in the story enough by virtue of being the author; I want to pull you in as well.
edenfalling: headshot of a raccoon, looking left (raccoon)
I called in sick to work today and worked on getting my apartment set up. (Bad Liz, no biscuit.) All my books are shelved -- they are in absolutely no order whatsoever, but I can fix that later -- and I'm now working on my clothes.

Also, I finished "Knives."

The beginning and middle are okay, but I think something went wonky toward the end. It feels unbalanced, like I started telling one story and kind of finished telling a different one. I will have to print it out, let it sit a day or two, and figure out what went wrong.

I think it should be ready for beta by the weekend.

Here is an excerpt. Warning: graphic torture )
edenfalling: headshot of a raccoon, looking left (raccoon)
I called in sick to work today and worked on getting my apartment set up. (Bad Liz, no biscuit.) All my books are shelved -- they are in absolutely no order whatsoever, but I can fix that later -- and I'm now working on my clothes.

Also, I finished "Knives."

The beginning and middle are okay, but I think something went wonky toward the end. It feels unbalanced, like I started telling one story and kind of finished telling a different one. I will have to print it out, let it sit a day or two, and figure out what went wrong.

I think it should be ready for beta by the weekend.

Here is an excerpt. Warning: graphic torture )
edenfalling: headshot of a raccoon, looking left (raccoon)
I have been trying to concentrate on my various and sundry WIPs, but a vague, half-formed story about Ginny capturing Lucius Malfoy, holding him prisoner in secret for years, and practicing torture on him, keeps trying to shove its way to the front of my mind. And it doesn't even have the courtesy to then resolve into a workable plot, style, and so on.

*bashes self upside the head with her spikey mace of enlightened compassion*

Here are fragments of what would be in the story:

Knives )

I want this OUT OF MY HEAD.

Because it is contaminating my thought processes and making me want to write a story in which Naruto characters learn the arts of interrogation and torture, and I don't really want to write that either.
edenfalling: headshot of a raccoon, looking left (raccoon)
I have been trying to concentrate on my various and sundry WIPs, but a vague, half-formed story about Ginny capturing Lucius Malfoy, holding him prisoner in secret for years, and practicing torture on him, keeps trying to shove its way to the front of my mind. And it doesn't even have the courtesy to then resolve into a workable plot, style, and so on.

*bashes self upside the head with her spikey mace of enlightened compassion*

Here are fragments of what would be in the story:

Knives )

I want this OUT OF MY HEAD.

Because it is contaminating my thought processes and making me want to write a story in which Naruto characters learn the arts of interrogation and torture, and I don't really want to write that either.
edenfalling: headshot of a raccoon, looking left (raccoon)
I am being sneaky and using my writing icon even though this post contains no actual fiction.

It's really an announcement that Chapter 3 of First You Have to Get There is now up at FictionAlley. Go! Read! Review!

*begs shamelessly for feedback*

Um. And in RL, I spent the day napping, grousing about the icky rain, splitting logs, learning to use a chainsaw, and starting to read Nabokov's Lolita, which I'm finding very interesting. Then again, I'm approaching it as a Russian novel rather than as smut, which I think will keep me going where a lot of other people give up because it's not all that pornographic really, and has a lot of flowery language.

It's interesting to read works written by people for whom English is not a native language. In some ways, Nabokov reminds me very much of Joseph Conrad, who for some reason decided to write in English rather than his native Polish. I occasionally get the sense that, not knowing the exact word for a certain object or impression, they looked one up in the dictionary and didn't have a native speaker's sense that their chosen word is... well, not common and not understood by native speakers of English. There's also a certain careful cadence to their sentence structure, something that feels almost on the edge of poetry rather than standard English prose of whatever genre.

Of course, this goes to show that both men knew English very well. When I try to write fiction auf Deutsch -- yes, I have tried that once or twice -- it doesn't have that careful, delicate sense of the perfectly chosen word. It just sounds stilted and grammatically awkward at best.

My few bits of German poetry, however, came out better. Poetry, being oddly structured to begin with, is perhaps more forgiving to foreign speakers than prose.
edenfalling: headshot of a raccoon, looking left (raccoon)
I am being sneaky and using my writing icon even though this post contains no actual fiction.

It's really an announcement that Chapter 3 of First You Have to Get There is now up at FictionAlley. Go! Read! Review!

*begs shamelessly for feedback*

Um. And in RL, I spent the day napping, grousing about the icky rain, splitting logs, learning to use a chainsaw, and starting to read Nabokov's Lolita, which I'm finding very interesting. Then again, I'm approaching it as a Russian novel rather than as smut, which I think will keep me going where a lot of other people give up because it's not all that pornographic really, and has a lot of flowery language.

It's interesting to read works written by people for whom English is not a native language. In some ways, Nabokov reminds me very much of Joseph Conrad, who for some reason decided to write in English rather than his native Polish. I occasionally get the sense that, not knowing the exact word for a certain object or impression, they looked one up in the dictionary and didn't have a native speaker's sense that their chosen word is... well, not common and not understood by native speakers of English. There's also a certain careful cadence to their sentence structure, something that feels almost on the edge of poetry rather than standard English prose of whatever genre.

Of course, this goes to show that both men knew English very well. When I try to write fiction auf Deutsch -- yes, I have tried that once or twice -- it doesn't have that careful, delicate sense of the perfectly chosen word. It just sounds stilted and grammatically awkward at best.

My few bits of German poetry, however, came out better. Poetry, being oddly structured to begin with, is perhaps more forgiving to foreign speakers than prose.

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Elizabeth Culmer

June 2017

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