edenfalling: headshot of a raccoon, looking left (raccoon)
I would like to preface this by apologizing for A) writing in second person, B) inflicting this much hideously angsty melodrama upon the world, C) probably not even making any sense in terms of character development, D) creating this kind of horrible melodramatic angst, E) using pretentious section titles, and F) making you read abominable angst and melodrama. Also, I don't think I made any sense whatsoever when trying to talk about gender roles, so I'm sorry for that too.

But I am so sick of this story by now, and it finally has some sort of ending, so I officially give up. If you have any editing advice whatsoever, I will... well. I will owe you a giant favor, okay? Exact payment methods are negotiable.

That said, here is a fic. (The title, of course, is from the nursery rhyme "Mary, Mary, Quite Contrary.")

Mary Pevensie and her family: a character study in three parts. (2,225 words)

[ETA: The AO3 crosspost is now up!]

How Does Your Garden Grow? )

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...I really kind of hate this fic, but I don't know how to fix it. Please help?
edenfalling: headshot of a raccoon, looking left (raccoon)
The vast majority of this ficlet is heavily copied and/or paraphrased from the equivalent scene in LWW, because the point is to reflect and comment on canon, not to abandon it utterly. The main changes (beyond the Pevensies' sexes and genders, obviously) are a reversed order of gifts; the removal of Lewis's gender role prescriptivism; a bit of subtle mucking around with his punctuation, capitalization, and sentence phrasing; and some changes to the Beavers' dialogue and actions at the end. Also I changed the simile for describing the red lion on the shield, mostly because I do not find ripe strawberries a particularly intuitive association with tools of war. *wry*

There are two places where "As the Morning and the Night" goes drastically askew to canon. The first is Edith's relationship with Jadis. This -- the meeting with Father Christmas -- is the second. (1,050 words)

[ETA: The AO3 crosspost is now up!]

The Spell Begins To Break )

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I wrote the bit from Father Christmas's speech to Mary up to Mrs. Beaver stepping on her husband's paw back in March, but only got around to the rest of the story tonight.

...

Incidentally, my pre-Narnia Mary character study (otherwise known as "How Does Your Garden Grow?") is now at 1,950 words. I just can't figure out how to tie it up properly, which is driving me nuts. Ah well, sooner or later it will come to me.
edenfalling: headshot of a raccoon, looking left (raccoon)
Here is another Narnia genderswap character study, this one of Laurie Pevensie. He's been the hardest of the siblings for me to get hold of, probably because he's the closest to his canon counterpart. So far the only overt differences seem to be a greater penchant for categorizing things -- he makes lists and analogies and has a thing about spatial arrangements -- and an increased perceptiveness toward his family. But the latter is, I think, just a product of growing up in a different and tenser family situation; Lucy would probably be equally sensitive if she'd had a similarly troubled family, and if the tension had been going on for years instead of just one.

I expect the differences will grow as Laurie gets older, but even so, it surprises me how little change switching Lucy's gender seems to make.

Anyway. Laurie Pevensie's world always makes sense, even if his siblings don't see what he does. (550 words)

[ETA: The AO3 crosspost is now up!]

Anchor Points )

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No prizes for guessing who the sun is. *wry*

In Narnia, Laurie continues his categorization habits and extends them to seasons as well. Starting from the Narnians' association of Edith with winter (because of her ties to Jadis), Laurie determines that Mary is summer, Stephen is autumn, and he himself is spring. Interestingly, while east and spring correspond well, as do west and autumn, north and summer and south and winter are normally opposite symbolic associations (at least in the northern hemisphere, which England is part of and which Narnia approximates). Laurie doesn't see any contradiction; he just thinks his sisters are complicated. :-D

I think once I get the Mary character study done, and maybe a snippet about the Christmas gifts, I will post these on ff.net as a sort of ficlet collection, to be added to randomly when the mood strikes me. But I want the Mary-POV piece done first.
edenfalling: stylized black-and-white line art of a sunset over water (Default)
I'm poking at a Mary Pevensie character study from my Narnia genderswap AU (which still needs a 'series' title, btw -- does anyone have any ideas? because I am seriously at a loss here) which for reasons beyond my understanding has decided it wants to be in second person present tense and have four sections, one for each sibling and one for her parents as a unit.

I never set out intending to write in second person. It's too odd a technique to use as a regular thing. But every now and then a story refuses to be told in any other voice. (Parseltongue, Knives, Along the Way, Prayers to Broken Stone... though that last is different in that the addressed 'you' is the reader, not a character in the story) And for some reason, when I think in second person, I think in present tense -- I can't seem to write second person past tense. I think this is because I associate second person with a sort of immediacy and/or immersion, and that fits better with present tense than past tense.

I tend to associate first person with present tense as well, though that's not quite as ironclad as second person. This may be because first person present tense reads to me like a person telling a story, whereas first person past tense reads like a person writing a story, and then I start wondering why the teller is bothering to write it all down.

Third person I can go either way -- present or past. They both sound and feel perfectly natural in my mind, and I have no real preference between them.

I am rarely sure why any given story wants to be in any given tense. Length has something to do with it, considering all my novels and most of my chaptered fics are written in past tense, but then again, "Tides" is in present tense, and so are some of my longer oneshots. I think past tense is easier to write, in some ways -- I am less likely to make tense errors, and it feels more, I dunno, stable -- but when I am doing a quick and dirty outline version of a story, I always fall into present tense no matter what tense the actual story is in. (I also start forgetting to put quotation marks around dialogue. I think both quirks may be related to sliding into a more conversational style, as if I'm retelling a secondhand version of the story to myself.) Possibly present tense feels 'faster' in some way, but I think I've written more action scenes in past tense than in present, so what do I know.

Anyway, getting back to the initial point of this post, I am writing about Mary. It's an interesting exercise because her motivations and the effects of her behavior have a severe disconnect at times, which is always fun to explore. (575 words and counting!)
edenfalling: headshot of a raccoon, looking left (raccoon)
More Narnia genderswap! This is set the year before the Pevensies go to Narnia the first time, as should be obvious from the title. (Apparently Lewis wrote a semi-official timeline at some point, claiming that Peter was born in 1927, Susan in 1928, Edmund in 1930, and Lucy in 1932, which means that here Mary is twelve, Stephen eleven, Edith nine, and Laurie seven.) Stephen POV, because family dynamics are fun and unreliable narrators are even better -- as you can see, comparing this story to Fester Like a Sore, Stephen and Edith interpret the same basic situation somewhat differently.

I wrote this longhand at work tonight -- it was a very slow evening! -- then typed it up when I got home, doing a quick edit as I went. (1,250 words)

[ETA: The AO3 crosspost is now up!]

Summer of '39 )

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Stephen isn't a mother figure like Susan, but he's still a peacemaker of sorts. He does this mostly by not saying things, which is not always helpful in the long run, but it does keep him on speaking terms with everyone, and means he doesn't spark fights... except occasionally with Edith, who wants him to pick a side (preferably hers) and stay there, and doesn't always manage to bite her tongue and play "good daughter" when she's really angry.

I think Stephen and Mary are somewhat closer than Susan and Peter, because Stephen looks to Mary as an example in a way that Susan never looked to Peter. This also means that Stephen doesn't look after Laurie the way Susan sometimes looked after Lucy; that's Edith's job, which she alternately embraces and resents.

...

I still need a name for this, and I cannot think of a good one. *sulks*
edenfalling: headshot of a raccoon, looking left (raccoon)
More Narnia genderswap, this from the HHB era: 800 somewhat rambling words on Edith and Rabadash in Calormen, veering from history to poetry and desire to war.

[ETA: The AO3 crosspost is now up!]

Maxims and Verses )

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So yeah. Edith apparently has Jadis's knife -- and don't ask me what that does to the section of VDT on the Star's Island. Maybe Aslan just waited until the Pevensies left Narnia the first time to squirrel it away? Except it would be nifty if it was in Cair Paravel along with the gifts the other three got from Father Christmas when they return in PC. Ooh, I like that idea, actually. Yes. That's how it goes.

Anyway, Edith is notably more suspicious of Rabadash than Susan was, but is also more willing to... play him, I guess. And Calormen makes my writing weirdly sensual (for me, anyway), which is not news by this point, but nonetheless continues to surprise me.

...I need a name for this AU. Suggestions?
edenfalling: headshot of a raccoon, looking left (raccoon)
I mentioned a couple weeks ago that I dream of a Narnian genderswap retelling of LWW, wherein the four Pevensie siblings are Mary, Stephen, Edith, and Laurence rather than Peter, Susan, Edmund, and Lucy -- which would obviously change the intra-familial relationship dynamics a lot, and would then throw monkey wrenches into Lewis's rather gender-essentialist plot devices.

I am still not writing the alternate version of LWW. But. I am doing some background world-building and character exploration, of which this is one piece. In this world, Mary is struggling with issues Peter never had to face, and her troubles have the knock-on effect of making Edith's pre-Narnia family role very different from Edmund's, though she's equally unhappy in it.

So. 575 words on Edith, Mary, and their mother. The title is from Langston Hughes's poem "A Dream Deferred."

[ETA: The AO3 crosspost is now up!]

Fester Like a Sore )

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As you can see, Edith is like Edmund in some respects -- the practical bent that shows up in Edmund's interest in roads and railway schedules, the sort of push-pull pre-Narnia relationship with Peter (or Mary), a feeling of being unappreciated by family -- but she's channeled those similarities in rather different directions. Edmund is superficially the one pulling his family apart. Edith is superficially the one holding hers together.

Incidentally, Edith ends up much more associated with Jadis than Edmund did. Because she's female, she's seen as a potential apprentice and heir to the Witch. And to some degree that's fair, because Edith takes Jadis as a role model -- not in morality, obviously, but in the sense that she's finally found an example of a woman who unapologetically wields power without compromising her sense of self or renouncing outward trappings of femininity like dresses and jewelry. Mrs. Pevensie doesn't overtly wield power, and before Narnia, Mary is alternately trying to deny her true self and be a sort of wind-up caricature of what she thinks a "proper" girl is like, or running away, acting out, and trying to deny that she is a girl.
edenfalling: stylized black-and-white line art of a sunset over water (Default)
Slightly modified from various places: Ask me my Top Five Whatevers, fannish or literary or otherwise. Any top fives. Doesn't matter what, really. I will answer them all in comments or a new post. (But definitely not with pictures. *grin*)

Because I am bored and I hate all my WIPs -- including the two things I was trying to write for Femgenficathon and which I failed miserably to finish by even the extended deadline. Please help distract me?

-----

ETA:

--5 fanfics I will never write (but want to read), courtesy of [livejournal.com profile] aishuu

--5 favorite manga and/or anime series, courtesy of [personal profile] theodosia21

--5 favorite stories I've written, also courtesy of [personal profile] theodosia21

--5 Naruto characters who've had all of five panels, but deserve their own story arcs/gaidens, courtesy of [livejournal.com profile] leahnari

--8 favorite things to eat, courtesy of [livejournal.com profile] hungrytiger11

--5 favorite scenes from The Chronicles of Narnia, also courtesy of [livejournal.com profile] hungrytiger11

--5 favorite female characters (from my childhood), courtesy of [livejournal.com profile] uminohikari

--5 tropes I love, courtesy of [livejournal.com profile] rianax
edenfalling: stylized black-and-white line art of a sunset over water (Default)
Ha! Scene one of ch. 14 is defeated! I have said everything that needs to be said, and laid some groundwork for transitioning into scene two.

...Now I get to start writing scene two. *headdesk*

I am never sure, beforehand, how difficult any given scene will be to write. Sometimes I think they'll go smoothly and they take a couple thousand words and weeks of teeth-pulling torture. Other times I think they'll be long and complicated, and they resolve themselves in half an hour and a couple hundred words. So I am wary of predictions.

Scene two could be easier than scene one, since it involves fewer people and I think the specific emotional dynamics are more straightforward. Or it could be much harder, because of the particular characters involved (Ginny, Daphne, and Apple, mostly) all of whom are stubborn and prideful in some way. And I need to go back and reread the last couple scenes of ch. 13, because I think I lost my grasp on Ginny's emotional arc during my struggle with ch. 14 scene one -- I'm not sure where she ought to be in her recovery process by now. *sigh*

But still. I now have 2,125 words in rough draft. That leaves anywhere from 6,000 to 10,000 words to go until I meet my self-imposed chapter length requirement, at which point I will either be done with the entire novel (OMG!) or will get to start working on an epilogue (please no).

*contemplates outline* Remind me why I do this to myself?
edenfalling: headshot of a raccoon, looking left (raccoon)
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Master List of Elizabeth Culmer's Fanfiction: Chronicles of Narnia
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Organization: This list is organized by associated narrative cycles; within each section, stories are arranged first by timeline (if applicable) and then by writing date. Word counts and writing dates are approximations.

Content/Warning Policy: 1) I am not consistent about warnings! I use them when I remember, for a few relatively broad categories of potentially problematic content, but if something is off-page, non-explicit, or generally backgrounded, I probably won't think to note it in the metadata. 2) The things I try to warn for are explicit sex, rape, murder, torture, cannibalism, incest, depression/suicide, familial dysfunction, and occasionally also societal dysfunction (aka dystopia). Sometimes I just slap a general content warning on all my fic for a given fandom and don't label each individual fic. I also don't generally warn for violence, unless the violence in a fic is dramatically out-of-step with the violence in its source canon. 3) I don't use any content rating system unless I'm posting to a site or community that requires or encourages ratings, because I find movie-style ratings counter-intuitive when applied to written fiction, and not particularly useful for anything other than denoting the presence of explicit sex, which I already note in the metadata.

Quality Rating System: I've marked my favorite stories with asterisks, on a scale of 1 to 4. The more asterisks, the more I like the story. This doesn't necessarily mean that stories without asterisks are bad, just that I don't like them as much. Also, I am not claiming to be an arbiter of taste; you may love stories I dislike, and vice versa. I am just providing a heads-up about the ones that I think are best written and/or most interesting.

Notes: I tried not to fall into this fandom. I really, really tried. But I reread all seven books and there's so much to love! There are also several lifetimes' worth of loose ends to tie up, empty spaces to fill, backstory to create, and theological ideas to dig out, explain, and either affirm or denounce with extreme prejudice. I have a terrible feeling I may be writing here for a while.

All stories are book canon only unless specifically noted. This is because I never consider filmizations canon. They're just somebody else's vaguely AU retelling of the true story. Please also note that while I am not Christian, I do consider Lewis's theology an integral -- albeit infuriating and inconsistent -- part of his world-building, so most of these stories will have religious and/or philosophical elements to some degree. I am trying to work out my issues as I go. *grin*

Where To Read: As always, if an AO3 version exists, it is definitive. FF.net versions are definitive in the absence of an AO3 version. Journal versions are the equivalent of beta drafts, though the shorter and/or fragmentary works may never be posted anywhere else.

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The Lost Chronicles of Narnia )

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The 'Problem' of Susan )

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As the Morning and the Night - genderswap AU )

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Everything Else )

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Meta )

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edenfalling: stylized black-and-white line art of a sunset over water (Default)
Elizabeth Culmer

June 2017

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