edenfalling: stylized black-and-white line art of a sunset over water (Default)
For [tumblr.com profile] bluejayfic, for the Fic DVD Commentary Meme (which is still open, fyi!)

The Courting Dance: Marriage is a bit more complicated than quarreling and making it up again, especially for the crown prince of Archenland and an exiled Calormene Tarkheena. (21,000 words)

Chapter 7 - The Beating of Our Hearts: Running from your problems is rarely a good long-term solution, but sometimes the change in environment can be helpful -- especially now that Aravis and Cor are on the same page. (1,600 words)

As bluejayfic's ask mentioned, this chapter is the one with the wedding scene. What was I thinking, putting the wedding halfway through the story? Well, I was thinking that the plot is as much about politics and worldbuilding as it is about romance, and the wedding is a major symbol of Aravis and Cor deciding to commit to each other despite various obstacles. Also, while it resolves their interpersonal problems, it doesn't resolve their external problems at all -- in fact, it makes some of them worse. So I figured it would make a good central turning point, where we switch from Aravis and Cor being pissed off at each other to standing back-to-back against the world.

Chapter 7 - The Beating of Our Hearts, with commentary )

And that is pretty much that. :)
edenfalling: headshot of a raccoon, looking left (raccoon)
The Courting Dance: (AO3 version) Marriage is a bit more complicated than quarreling and making it up again, especially for the crown prince of Archenland and an exiled Calormene Tarkheena. Aravis/Cor. [21,100 words]

This was my 2016 WIP Big Bang entry! I started writing it back in 2010, only to stall out after ch. 8 in 2012. There were several reasons for my woes. First, I wrote ch. 1 as a oneshot and ch. 2 as an only semi-connected sequel, so the fic was structured awkwardly from the beginning and I had to construct an outline after the fact instead of going in with a plot or character arc (however vague). Second, genre romance is really not my strong point. Third, I have a tendency to get carried away by worldbuilding if given half a chance, and stirred potentially ridiculous quantities of fictional history and culture clashes into the mix. It should be obvious that these factors were a bad combination.

The story ended up being two chapters shorter than planned, because Lune and Corin's second POV chapters wound up shifting the focus away from Aravis and Cor in a way I didn't like. (They were also impossible to write, in the sense of being dead on the page.) I had to make heavy revisions to ch. 1-8 in order to get ch. 9-13 to make sense, so even if you've read the story up to this point, I'd advise starting over from the beginning.

Also, there is some wonderful art by [archiveofourown.org profile] Hecateae which you should go check out before or after you read the fic. :D
edenfalling: headshot of a raccoon, looking left (raccoon)
The Courting Dance: Marriage is a bit more complicated than quarreling and making it up again, especially for the crown prince of Archenland and an exiled Calormene Tarkheena. Aravis/Cor, 21,100 words, Feb. 2010-Aug. 2016.

I started writing "The Courting Dance" somewhat by accident. Back in 2010, I wrote a little 15-minute ficlet about Aravis prodding Cor into making a move in a Calormene-style courtship. A couple days later, in response to [personal profile] rthstewart's encouragement, I wrote a sequel from Hwin's POV. Then I admitted that I'd been ambushed by yet another chaptered story. *headdesk*

The narrative arc is relatively jumpy, which is a side-effect of the way the POV switches every chapter. There is a LOT of world-building -- this story is equal parts romance and meta on Archenland and its fraught history with Calormen. And my writing pace is, as always, the next best thing to glacial. But I have an outline of sorts -- my current estimate calls for 15 chapters altogether -- and I will finish this sooner or later.

ETA, 15 August 2016: It definitely ended up 'later' rather than 'sooner' and only 13 chapters rather than 15, but thanks to the 2016 WIP Big Bang challenge, I got there in the end!

The Courting Dance - Table of Contents )

---------------

Oh look, it's another fit of internet housekeeping! *sigh* This post will update as I write the rest of the story.
edenfalling: headshot of a raccoon, looking left (raccoon)
I got distracted and ended up finishing chapter 8 of "The Courting Dance" instead of getting any further on the Jade/Dave/Terezi porn (which still needs a title, btw...). Noooooooot the same mental track AT ALL. But oh well, writing is writing!

Politics intrudes on romance, but Hwin knows that as long as her friends work together, they can overcome any obstacle. (1,425 words)

Simple Problems )

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Back to The Beating of Our Hearts

Forward to chapter 9

Read the final version on ff.net. (Trust me, you want to read the final version. The journal version is a beta draft, with all the mistakes that implies.)

---------------------------------------------

As always, I welcome any ideas on how to improve the chapter (and how to make Hwin's POV more properly equine). :-)
edenfalling: stylized black-and-white line art of a sunset over water (Default)
"Guardian" ch. 15 is refusing to play nice, though I may be able to bash the Amane family's scene into shape by the time I leave for Minnesota on Thursday morning. I think I have also identified why I was never happy with the Naga-tachi scene just before that; it's trying to go in three directions simultaneously, at least one of which should not be there at all. So that will help when I get to the pruning phase.

On the brighter side, I did manage to finish ch. 7 of "The Courting Dance," despite more or less falling down a hole inside my own head for a couple days. We are back in Aravis's POV. I am beginning to get a rough notion of the shape of this story (by which I mean its length and the remaining incidents until the conclusion), and I suspect it will clock in around 15 chapters. Which means we should get another POV chapter each from Hwin, Cor, and Bree, at least one from a Narnian I have not decided upon yet, probably another from Lune and/or Corin, and hopefully then a conclusion back in Aravis's POV a third time. (This is all assuming the story doesn't run away with me, which is, alas, never a safe assumption.)

Anyway. Running from your problems is rarely a good long-term solution, sometimes the change in environment can be helpful -- especially now that Aravis and Cor are on the same page. (1,575 words)

The Beating of Our Hearts )

---------------------------------------------

Back to You Can Choose Your Friends

Forward to Simple Problems

Read the final version on ff.net. (Trust me, you want to read the final version. The journal version is a beta draft, with all the mistakes that implies.)

---------------------------------------------

some world-building notes )

Clearly I think far too much about these things.

In any case, as always, I would love constructive criticism -- if anything is confusing, flat, or unrealistic, please tell me so I can try to fix it!
edenfalling: headshot of a raccoon, looking left (raccoon)
Bree chapter, yay! Bree is such a wonderful blowhard. *pets him* I do feel I lost his narrative voice a bit toward the end of the chapter, and the conclusion is too abrupt in general. If you have suggestions on how to fix either of those problems, I will be very grateful.

Cor is Bree's boy and has been since Bree stole him from Calormen. Of course Bree will help him run away again. (1,675 words)

You Can Choose Your Friends )

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Back to Mending Wall

Forward to The Beating of Our Hearts

Read the final version on ff.net. (Trust me, you want to read the final version. The journal version is a beta draft, with all the boneheaded mistakes that implies.)

---------------------------------------------

The next chapter will be in Aravis's POV again and should, with any luck, continue the theme of things actually happening. *crosses fingers*
edenfalling: headshot of a raccoon, looking left (raccoon)
After eight months of driving myself nuts re: cultural differences, hereditary hatreds, history lessons, sibling relationship, etcetera, I essentially gave up and did a more low-key equivalent of having random ninjas break down the door. In other words, hello there, unplanned plot twist! Thank you for getting me out of the world-building bog. Next up, Bree's POV and, with any luck, actual stuff happening.

Anyway. They have the same blood, same face, same home. So why can't Corin make Cor understand what it means to inherit Archenland? (1,825 words) And yes, this chapter's title was blatantly stolen from the Robert Frost poem.

Mending Wall )

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Back to The Law That Makes Him King

Forward to You Can Choose Your Friends

Read the final version on ff.net. (Trust me, you want to read the final version. The journal version is a beta draft, with all the boneheaded mistakes that implies.)

---------------------------------------------

The ending is, obviously, too abrupt. If you have suggestions for smoothing it out, I would love to hear them!

As for the world-building... look, I really wasn't kidding when I said I was having trouble writing a story instead of an abridged dissertation on the history of Archenland. This is as compressed as I could get it and still make the points I think need to be made. If you have any ideas for trimming the exposition, I will love you forever and a day. Seriously.
edenfalling: headshot of a raccoon, looking left (raccoon)
These chapters keep getting longer. *is annoyed*

Once again I failed to get the history lesson into the chapter, though with the hints here and in ch. 3, you are hopefully starting to get the picture of the cultural perception gap Cor and Aravis are tripping over. Next chapter will, I think, be from Corin's POV as he and Cor argue their way through the history of Archenland. (I have various sections of that already written as part of a failed version of this chapter, so hopefully it will not take so much time to pull together.)

Anyway. Sometimes Cor feels as though he's fallen through a mirror into a world where everything is backwards and all the people around him insist he's the one who's crazy. (1,650 words)

The Law That Makes Him King )

---------------------------------------------

Back to Speak Softly

Forward to Mending Wall

Read the final version on ff.net. (Trust me, you want to read the final version. The journal version is a beta draft, with all the boneheaded mistakes that implies.)

---------------------------------------------

The second half of the chapter feels kind of ragged, and I think the first half is awkward in the way it compresses several years. On the other hand, that sort of mirrors Aravis's chapter, which moved from general to specific in a similar fashion. (Hwin's chapter and Lune's chapter are more standard here-and-now scenes.) Anyway, if you have any editing suggestions, I am all ears!
edenfalling: headshot of a raccoon, looking left (raccoon)
I would like to say in advance that I am aware that this chapter is madly inconclusive. The thing is, I could not get it to work any other way (and believe me, I tried), so I have shoved most of the meta-heavy history lesson into chapter four. Also, Lune uses an oddly stylized grammar, and trying to sync the narrative to his dialogue -- not to mention writing said dialogue in the first place -- is incredibly frustrating.

*beats head against desk*

Anyway. Lune loves his sons and wishes for their happiness. Unfortunately, a king cannot put himself before his country. (1,450 words)

Speak Softly )

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Back to Which Give Value to Survival

Forward to The Law That Makes Him King

Read the final version on ff.net

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My Archenlandish (Archenlandian?) geology/topography is largely cribbed from parts of the Appalachian mountain range of North American, supplemented by details from the Finger Lakes region of New York, mostly because I live in northeastern America and I like gorges and waterfalls. Obviously there has not been anything remotely like enough time for the Narnian world to develop mountain ranges of sedimentary rock, let alone for those mountains to be worn down to the height of the ones in Archenland, but the world is flat and was created by a lion singing, so I figure Aslan could muck around with the topography and geology however he bloody well wanted to; science need not apply. (Science especially need not apply to Bism, but let's not get into that here. *grin*)
edenfalling: headshot of a raccoon, looking left (raccoon)
This is a semi-direct sequel to Mother of Exiles.

Aravis and Cor want to be together; Lune is less than enthusiastic. Fortunately, Aravis has a friend. (925 words)

(The revised and greatly expanded final version of this chapter is now up on ff.net.)

Which Give Value to Survival )

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Back to Mother of Exiles

Forward to Speak Softly

Read the final version on ff.net

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...I kind of want to write the discussion with Lune, now. What can I say -- politics is interesting! (And then maybe the wedding, and/or the wedding night? But no, I don't have time. *thwaps plot bunnies*)

And now I am off to rescue my (hopefully dry) laundry from the laundromat.

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Elizabeth Culmer

August 2017

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