edenfalling: headshot of a raccoon, looking left (raccoon)
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Master List of Elizabeth Culmer's Fiction
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FANFICTION:

General Disclaimer: These stories are based on characters and situations created and owned by other people and corporations. I make no money from this borrowing of intellectual property, and intend no copyright or trademark infringement.

Organization: This list is organized primarily by fandom; within each fandom, it's arranged first by associated story cycles 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. Read at your own risk! 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.

Where To Read: What I post on my journal tends to be the equivalent of a beta draft. If I have cross-posted a story literally anywhere else (except Tumblr; fic content there is just a mirror of fic content here), read the version that isn't on my journal. Versions on AO3 are definitive. If there is no AO3 version, read the ff.net version. If there is no ff.net version, read the FictionAlley version (only applicable for HP fic). Failing that, read the journal version, because that's the only one there is.

Harry Potter Fanfiction

Naruto Fanfiction

Angel Sanctuary Fanfiction

Chronicles of Narnia Fanfiction

Homestuck Fanfiction

Minor Fandom Fanfiction
(currently includes BtVS/A:tS, Daredevil (MCU), The Dark Is Rising, FF7: Mercverse AU, Inception, and Star Trek: AOS)

Miscellaneous Fanfiction
(Currently includes: American Gods, An Ash-Blonde Witch, Arthurian Mythology, Avengers (MCU), Batman, the Bible, the Black Jewels series, the Bourne trilogy, Captain America (MCU), Charlotte's Web, Code Geass, the Darkangel trilogy, Death Note, Discworld, Doctor Who, Enchanted Forest Chronicles, The Girl with the Silver Eyes, Glee, Gormenghast, Guardians of the Galaxy (MCU), Hamilton, Hexwood, The Homeward Bounders, Howl's Moving Castle, Labyrinth, Lord of the Rings, Lucifer (comics), Mad Max: Fury Road, Merlin, the Oz books, Ranma 1/2, Rise of the Guardians, Sailor Moon, Saiyuki, Seaward, Shakespeare, Star Wars, Tam Lin (Pamela Dean), White Collar, Wolf Hall, X-Men, and Yu-Gi-Oh!)

Crossover Fanfiction
(I do not cross-list crossovers and fusions under their component fandoms; this is the only place to find them. Currently includes: the Anita Blake series, ASoIaF, Avatar: The Last Airbender, the Black Jewels series, BtVS, Cardcaptor Sakura, Chronicles of Narnia, the Darkangel trilogy, The Dark Is Rising, Discworld, Doctor Who, Enchanted Forest Chronicles, Ender's Game, Gundam Wing, Harry Potter, Hikaru no Go, Homestuck, Inception, the Indiana Jones movies, Leverage, Lucifer (comics), MCU (various), Merlin, Naruto, the Oz books, Sandman, Stargate: SG-1, Star Trek: AOS, Vorkosigan Saga, Welcome to Night Vale, and a couple other things that only appear in memes rather than actual fic.)

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ORIGINAL FICTION:

These stories are all mine! *grin* I use the same warning policy and quality rating system as for my fanfiction.

All Original Fiction

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My various bingo cards: Cotton Candy Bingo, Round One (Blackout!); Cotton Candy Bingo, Round Two; Daredevil Bingo; Genprompt Bingo; Domestic AU Prompt List
edenfalling: headshot of a raccoon, looking left (raccoon)
So back in March I mentioned the Mosedale creative writing contest that the Star Island Protective League runs in the Loon (our annual newsletter/directory), and later mentioned that I'd written and submitted something for the 2017 contest.

The Loon has now been published -- my parents received their copy today -- and I may have won? \o/ There is a $50 prize associated with the contest, but really, I am just happy I got a thing printed and people seem to have liked it. :)

Anyway, now that the Loon is out, I am going to post the story here as well.

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Summary: "Don't buy tiny fruit trees," Nic said obediently. (750 words)

Oranges and Lemons )

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...If I do get $50 out of this endeavor, I just might buy a tiny orange tree of my own, because reasons. *wry*
edenfalling: stylized black-and-white line art of a sunset over water (Default)
Okay, regrouping and trying again with Susan's super-belated gift story. As before, constructive feedback is adored. :)

Here is what Susan and I have discussed since I scrapped my previous ideas:

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cut for lengthy email exchange )

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So in summary, I'm aiming for a story about a person whose secret involves doing stuff rather than just being something -- and preferably doing something socially responsible but which for [fill in reason] can't be done openly and must be kept secret from the general public. Which would tend to argue for either superheroes or an urban fantasy type thing where either there's a semi-functional Masquerade and anyone who breaks it gets targeted personally rather than just being at risk through random chance, or where anyone with supernatural powers gets considered a potential threat even if they're fighting on humanity's side (maybe there is a reason for that or maybe it's just prejudice, whatever).

I tend to think that superheroes are fundamentally kind of implausible? In that unless you have powers that specifically relate to finding crime (or reaching it really quickly, I suppose), or you have the money and organization to build up a team and a good communication system, you're mostly going to flail around being useless. Also I think the lone fighter thing works better if there really is some kind of societal prejudice preventing people from organizing, and Susan's request assumes a lone fighter without a support team.

So let's go with an urban fantasy thing where humanity is under siege from... I dunno, some magical threat, and there are a few people here and there who accidentally acquire powers from close contact with that threat and sometimes use them to fight back. But because their powers are tied to the threat, they are viewed with great suspicion by a lot of other people, which leads them to mostly fight anonymously.

Character A (secret-keeper) is one of those people. Her day job is... probably something with flexible hours, so, maybe consulting? Or some kind of remote work where she gets a project that needs to be done by Day X but so long as she meets the deadline she can work whenever is convenient for her. Character B (secret-learner) is new to town and meets Character C (love interest) at work. B discovers that C has been locked in this weird dance of "I like you but we never seem to get past a first date" with A and decides to get to know A to determine what the hell is going on because this holding pattern is not emotionally great for C.

B actually ends up liking A on a personal level, but is pissed off at A's persistent unreliability and emotional stonewalling. And then we have the dramatic reveal, where A has to save B's (and maybe C's?) life during an attack.

So. Scene breakdown as follows?

outline breakdown )

The End.

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I kind of want to make B female and C male, just because the standard codified version of this trope has two men conspiring to keep the truth from a woman and I enjoy flipping unnecessarily-gendered tropes. Also, that would allow for a genuinely platonic and mutually-supportive friendship between a woman and a man (B and C) which is sadly rare in fiction. So yeah. Let's go with that.

Now I just need to figure out the specific nature of this Magical Threat, what A's powers are and how they're connected to Magical Threat, what the hell B and C's job is, what activity B and A mutually like to do on Saturdays, and other details I skimmed over in the breakdown.

But that is for another day. :)

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ETA, 3/21/17: Susan requests that I switch scenes 1 and 2, and make two other minor tweaks, but I think we are finally in business! \o/
edenfalling: stylized black-and-white line art of a sunset over water (Default)
More thinking out loud! As before, constructive feedback is welcomed with open arms. :)

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Here is Susan's prompt, as discussed via telephone and text message: Protagonist (age somewhere between 20 and 40, all other details up to me) has a cool secret, which gets revealed. Other characters are duly impressed. Preferably a world superficially like our own, but with magical/supernatural elements. (This last is because worldbuilding a coherent secondary world in only a couple thousand words can be hard and might detract from the secret and the reveal, which should be the heart of the story.)

Secret-keeping for someone's safety (but not in a cheap or self-justifying way) is an appreciated element.


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brainstorming, no outline yet )

Hmmmmmmm.

Suggestions, anyone?

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ETA, 3/3/17: I think one thing I'm tripping over is that worlds 'just like ours' except for one fantastical difference tend to bug me unless the difference only appeared recently. Because logically, history should change! Those worlds should NOT be nearly so close to ours on the surface. I can accept that for reading, but it tends to bug me when I'm writing. (Which is not to say that I don't ever write such worlds, just that there tend to be some significant changes lurking in the background. They may not make it to the textual level in an in-your-face manner, but they're there.) And creating a one-step-removed world and figuring out where it should be the same and where it should be wildly different is actually harder than creating a completely new world from scratch.

...hang on, being called away for work stuff.

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Okay, back now, coworker and I figured out the form in question. :)

a wild idea appears! )

Yeah. Okay. I'm doing this. >:DDD

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So now I need an actual outline. Argh.

backstory )

I will get back to this after lunch.

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ETA, 1:30pm: So, actual outline time, yes? Yes.

no, this doesn't work )

...

Argh, I don't like that. I need more action-drama and less talking-drama. I want Greenleaf to reveal her magic via DOING something -- something big and interesting and obvious -- rather than just telling Clearwater over tea in her kitchen or whatever. So I think we should probably start with... hmm...

Okay, trying again.

this version seems much more functional )

And that is an outline, yay!

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I have now successfully outlined the two things I needed to outline. Next up, finishing the edits on "Second Chances." That shouldn't take too long, except for the minor problem that I can't effectively do that job at work and am often pretty spoonless by the time I get home in the evening. *sigh* But I hope to have that done by next weekend, after which I will finally be able to get to work on my FandomTrumpsHate auction fic. \o/
edenfalling: stylized black-and-white line art of a sunset over water (Default)
Okay, so, outlining! I'm going to think out loud at the internet for a bit, and if you have any constructive feedback, I am all ears. :)

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the prompt )

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My opening paragraphs are as follows:

I'm not going to tell you the story of how I met Icky, because it's long and embarrassing and mostly irrelevant. What I AM going to tell you is how we helped the Golden Rider fight the evil cleaning lady of the Montana badlands and unkidnap my little sister.

(This is also an embarrassing story. But not quite as much.)


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brainstorming and outline )

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I am notoriously terrible at estimating story lengths, but I think this should wind up somewhere between 15,000 and 30,000 words. Which is a bit long but totally doable, and also this story is already two years late (and may well be three years late by the time I actually get it written) so I figure I owe Vicky something relatively substantial. *wry*

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random points )
edenfalling: headshot of a raccoon, looking left (raccoon)
Last set of fills, until the next ficathon rolls around. :)

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23. ) For [livejournal.com profile] silvr_dagger: Inception, Ariadne / or & any, minotaur, written 1/4/17 [AO3 version]

no morality by instinct (200 words exactly)

At the heart of every person's mind is a guardian, territorial and feral, that exacts repayment in blood and pain for all attempted intrusions; they can be evaded, confused, and with time and practice soothed to sleep, but they are never truly tamed; even the people a dreamer loves and trusts the most can still be ripped apart if they grow careless and startle the beast awake.

"Like a minotaur, a proper flesh-eater both maddened and cunning, sent to humble those who grow too proud of their power and cleverness and forget to observe the proper rituals," Eames says with a careless smile, "and you a combination of Daedalus and your own lovely namesake, both to build the maze that traps the monster and to spin the thread that guides us safely through."

"Ah, the benefits of a classical education," Ariadne says wryly, watching the slow and suspicious patrol of the squirrels and songbirds that populate the wilderness she's built in Eames's mind, and wonders whether, when Arthur begins testing her rough-draft maze for flaws, she'll have time to shoot herself awake before she learns what it feels like to die sliced apart by a thousand tiny claws and beaks.

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24. ) For [livejournal.com profile] silvr_dagger: Any, any, stealing the sun, written 1/8/17 [AO3 version]

years of drought and famine (225 words)

The clouds are thin in the first years, translucent veils that drape in narrow, scattered bands across the sky: the world's victory sari, people call them, and marvel at the way they seem to catch faint fire at sunset or sunrise, kindling Solstar's white to color within their refracted folds, or to reflect Oceanus's blue-green shine like a dream of verdant growth. But gradually they grow thicker and more frequent, and eventually begin to blot out Solstar's light for hours at a time: an ill-omen, people say now, and wonder in whispers whether perhaps the white witch of the mere cursed the world in her death-throes, or whether the Aeriel was corrupted in her victory; wait, say others, the world was not born in a day, nor can its rebirth be easy; all changes are terrifying even when they bring prosperity and joy at the end of the shift; but patience and trust come hard after generations of the world's slow fall and there are mutterings against the work of Crystalglass, words that might grow into deeds without a countersign, and soon.

And then, at last, in the midst of a daylight darkness, there comes a thing unseen for generations: wrapped in the lowering gloom of oppressive clouds and the fear of the stolen sun, the sky breathes rain once more unto the thirsty earth.

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Note: Darkangel Trilogy, obviously. :)

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25. ) For [livejournal.com profile] silvr_dagger: Mad Max: Fury Road, any, chasing the sun, written 1/10/17 [AO3 version]

truth, like the sun (175 words)

They say if you drive west fast enough, the sun never sets; drive west fast enough and a single day lasts forever. The true metal, the true V8, they race across the sky in a blaze of glory too bright to look upon with pitiful fleshy eyes, and they will never die; this is Valhalla, the promise and the dream, where everything is caught in an eternity of perfect, howling speed and chrome.

"Flashy and hollow, just like the rest of Joe's lies, and easily turned around if the people here weren't too cowed and beaten down to think," Angharad says when Furiosa relates this bit of warboy lore, words dragged halting and unfamiliar between her teeth like a slow fuel leak she can already tell will leave her stranded and weaponless one of these endless days; "What if you drive east to meet the sun as a partner, instead of west to capture it?" and Furiosa sits in gear-ground silence for the rest of her watch rather than admit she's never thought to ask the question.

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26. ) For [livejournal.com profile] silvr_dagger: Any, any, treason, written 1/10/17 [AO3 version]

the treason of pity (250 words)

"If I had it all to do over again," the Dolorosa says to her kismesis as they lie, sweaty, blood-streaked, and sated, in the little nest of torn sailcloth that serves as both pile and bedding ground for the slaves in Mindfang's crew, "I'd tell my son to aim for the Empress instead of the people; she is the Empire, after all, its incarnation as well as its creator; any attack on its power and order is an attack on her, and vice versa. Instead of making ourselves into a threat to put down, we could have shown her how the highbloods have already stolen control out from under her nose -- high treason on a scale to beggar belief -- and tried to set up something better in the wake of the resulting bloodbath; she admires strength and daring, after all, and surely after helping her regain power in practice as well as in theory, we would have convinced her that letting such qualities flourish among lowbloods does not automatically equal chaos."

"If you had it all to do over again, you'd do exactly the same as before," the Demoness says, a thread of weary resignation laced through her habitual scorn, "because I'd go back too, a thousand thousand times if necessary, until I nudged you back onto the path; my master only accepts the timeline that leads to his victory, and as we both know, there are punishments worse than death; do not seek more of them than are already your share."

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Note: This will make much more sense if read in combination with The Time-Traveler's Kismesis: Counterthesis.

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27. ) For [livejournal.com profile] lignota: Any, any, following smoke and remembering fire, written 1/12/17 [AO3 version]

the seat containing of unweary'd flame (Meet Adoration to My Household Gods) (200 words exactly)

Magic in this world, Susan reflected, was maddening compared to the magic she'd learned in Narnia; if that had been plucking ripe apples from low-hanging boughs in a well-tended orchard, this was wading through thorns and interminable flies in search of stray raspberries not yet discovered by birds or bears, or befriending some higher, older powers in hope of borrowing the bounty of their own hoards.

Still, she fought best from a distance, whether with weapons or words, and as bows were too conspicuous and handguns both too noisy and too illegal (not to mention of limited utility at best against vampires and demons), magic seemed the most immediately useful replacement.

Susan squeezed another drop of blood from her pricked fingertip, repeated once again in halting Greek (blast Peter for laughing when he realized she would have to learn multiple new languages and writing systems to master her new field), "Hestia, queen of hearth and home, strike this spark for your daughter," and smiled when the nest of kindling in her saucer breathed a sigh of smoke; it was no clear, bright flame to strike foes or summon aid, but all things would come with time, and work, and faith.

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Note: Part of my One Equal Temper of Heroic Hearts series, which crosses Narnia and BtVS. The halves of the title come from the Orphic Hymn to Hestia (#84, Taylor's translation) and Tennyson's 'Ulysses,' respectively.

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28. ) For anonymous: Any, any, tears of flowers, written 1/12/17 [AO3 version]

unwanted blessings (500 words exactly)

"The traditional blessing is for roses and jewels to fall from a poor but kind girl's lips with every word she speaks, but the fairy I met said that made it hard to hold actual conversations and tended to wreck local economies, not to mention the roses prickle something awful on the tongue," Morwen's new roommate, Rosamund, said when their conversation turned to their respective reasons for attending Stokey's Academy.

"Magic does have consequences," Morwen agreed. "Is that why you decided to become a sorceress? To see if you could unpick other traditional causes and effects?"

"Not exactly," Rosamund said with a frustrated scowl. "You see, the fairy still blessed me. She just blessed me to cry flowers instead of speak them, since she said if I was upset enough for tears, that's when I'd actually need flowers to cheer me up. It's a complete nuisance. The flowers are mostly violets and cherry blossom, which thankfully don't prickle, but the petals feel like tissue paper and slugs on my eyeballs, they get absolutely everywhere, and I can't even turn them into a garland or bouquet because they don't have any stems."

"Ugh." Morwen grimaced in sympathy and refilled Rosamund's teacup with the last of her aunt's best company blend that she'd brought with her from home. "That sounds like she was so proud of noticing the problems with the old spell, she didn't bother to make sure her new spell was actually any better."

"Yes, exactly," Rosamund said, and gulped the tea down like water. "That's not the worst part, though. After she cast the flower spell, the fairy said she wouldn't bother trying to make an endless gold spell that wasn't subject to abuse. Instead, she told me that my family already had everything we needed. That sounds nice, right?"

"In a vaguely moralistic and uplifting way," Morwen agreed.

"Very 'be content with your lot and beware the dangers of ambition,' yes," Rosamund said. "But it did sound nice... until we realized it was a spell too, and it was keeping our farm from ever turning a profit."

"How so?"

"If we already had everything we needed, what reason was there for anything to ever change? So nothing does. Everything's frozen the way it was when I met the fairy. We can't clear new fields. We can't rotate crops. We can't even buy a new goat without one of our old goats magically dying for no reason, which means the blessing is actually more of a curse." Rosamund clutched her teacup with white-knuckled fingers and said, so fiercely that Morwen almost expected her eyes to burst into flame, "I came here to learn how to break it. Then I am going to find that fairy, if I have to chase her to the ends of the earth, and I am going to give her a piece of my mind."

"I'll hold her down for you," Morwen promised, and gently pried the teacup from Rosamund's work-roughened hands before it shattered.

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Note: Enchanted Forest Chronicles. This one got a little out of hand. Oops? Also, Stokey's Academy is a bit of headcanon I made up when I was giving Morwen backstory for various other fics; it is glancingly mentioned in The Affairs of Dragons and serves as the main setting for A Splash of Color.

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29. ) For [livejournal.com profile] lizzie_marie_23: Narnia/Harry Potter, Edmund ~ or / Ginny, hidden corners of the world, written 1/12/17 [AO3 version]

the gate of iron and emerald (375 words)

"This is why you missed the first minute of the battle and left us without our best distance fighter," Edmund said flatly as he continued to inspect his mail shirt for damaged links; "Because you tripped and fell down a hole."

Ginny twirled her wand between her fingers (the way Lucy sometimes spun daggers) and said, in a tone that implied she was attempting forbearance despite great provocation, because despite everything she was fond of him and so forgave his foibles, "Because while I was scouting for ambushes -- it's only chance that the attack came from the west instead of the east, besides which I can't believe you missed a half-dozen giants in land this flat -- I found a locked iron door in an emerald frame in the back wall of this cave, which is so ridiculously out of place that it might as well be screaming it's magical, even without the runes I can't read carved over the lintel, and I was in the middle of testing to see if opening it would be dangerous -- it shouldn't be, by the way, unless you're actually as useless as you act when you're trying to convince people you're young and ignorant, in which case I want a raise since bodyguarding that kind of idiot definitely deserves hazard pay -- but anyway, stop looking at me like I'm a particularly squishable beetle and let's go see what's on the other side."

"I feel that Susan would tell us that interfering with strange magics is a terrible idea, and counsel us instead to both employ caution and remember our mission," Edmund said, pro forma, but this journey to Harfang for truce negotiations had several days' flexibility built in to account for the general disarray of Ettinsmoor after Peter's latest summer war, and he could never live with himself if he turned down a chance to explore one of the hidden corners of the world, thus blatantly presented as both invitation and challenge; and so he motioned his other bodyguard (a grizzled She-Wolf by the name of Skadi) to alert the rest of the party to this turn of events and followed Ginny into the narrow cleft in the earth, to meet what fate awaited them beyond the mysterious door.

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Note: A loose sequel to By Its Cover.

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30. ) For [livejournal.com profile] silvr_dagger: Beauty and the Beast (Disney or fairy tale; f/f genderswap), Beauty (or Belle)/Beast, roses in the snow, written 1/14/17

the heart that is soonest awake to the flowers (300 words exactly)

Beauty walked the garden paths beside Lady Falcon-in-Flight's massive form, one hand on her spear (as always, for the spells that bound the castle were fraying with age and sometimes spun off monsters) and the other extended to rest lightly on her lady's shoulder: soft fur layered thickly over hard muscle that could drive a body tirelessly for days on end until a chosen quarry was brought to bay -- now twitching restless and unfulfilled as her lady fought to leash a beast's instinct and appetite into a pale mimicry of human form and function, just as she gifted Beauty with garlands and gold instead of the fragile heart Beauty yearned to cradle in her hands and guard from every wound.

"You should hunt, as your body aches to do," Beauty said, as she had each morning since the new moon; "Bring me back a stag or boar, hard-won with your own strength: for blood on snow suits midwinter better than soft, spell-wrought flowers that seek to make all seasons equally a lie."

Her lady tensed, and Beauty bit her lip in expectation of yet another refusal... but this day her lady sighed (a hot, metallic gust of air, like opening the door to her eldest sister's smithy), turned her great head to fix her golden, slit-pupiled eyes on Beauty's own, and said in her rumbling voice, "If you wish a kill, you may make it yourself, but you are right that this body needs to run; I will be your hound and horse together, if you will be my mistress and guide me with a firm hand lest I lose myself to bloodlust; and perhaps when we return we might search the garden until we find amidst the ice a rose that, like you, has remembered its birthright of thorns."

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You know, I think these ficlets could count for [community profile] snowflake_challenge Day 7: create a fanwork, if I wanted to make this post multipurpose.

...I believe I will. :)
edenfalling: headshot of a raccoon, looking left (raccoon)
For reasons that don't need exploring at this juncture, I was reading through some of my old journal entries and I came across the following comment of mine, which I am going to quote here in slightly truncated and edited form:

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Yeah, that weird cultural sex-is-worse-than-violence skew is one of my main reasons for considering ratings pointless. The other is that those ratings are aimed at an audiovisual medium, and are therefore maladapted for a textual medium. Like, if I show you a clip of a person shooting someone else point blank in the head, that's pretty gory and upsetting and should presumably get a relatively high rating. But I can write something like this:

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"So be a good girl, and drop the gun." Joe smirked again, like he had every option closed off and she had no choice except to play along.

Leah shot him, point blank, and threw up her arms to ward off the backspatter of blood and other things. Then she hurled herself into the cover of the overturned minivan and hoped Fatima would have time to run before Joe's goons inevitably killed her.


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and move blithely along giving you no further details, and while that's not a nice scene, it's not so graphic that I feel a need to slap a huge warning on the fic as a whole if that's the worst thing that happens. Ditto sex: showing our heroines from the previous snippet getting hot and heavy onscreen is a lot different from saying:

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Leah and Fatima fell onto the sheets, fingers slipping on buttons and zippers in their haste to pull off each other's clothes and press skin to skin in desperate confirmation that they were still alive.

"Oh god," Leah panted into Fatima's shoulder, between sloppy, open-mouthed kisses against the crook of her neck, "I thought I'd lost you, I thought--"

"I know," Fatima said. "I know. But you didn't," and her hand finally slipped under the waistband of Leah's jeans and pressed up against the damp cotton of Leah's panties.

Leah sobbed with relief and did her best to reciprocate the favor.


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and then cutting the scene and jumping to next morning. You know? Like, that little snippet is not something parents would necessarily want preteen kids reading, but it's hardly what I'd call graphic, not to mention that it's really easy to skim past text in a way one can't replicate with audiovisual media.

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I suddenly have an intense need to read the rest of the story that connects those two excerpts. Alas, it does not currently exist and probably won't ever exist unless I write it. Perhaps in 2017...
edenfalling: headshot of a raccoon, looking left (raccoon)
This post is a response to a question meme for fic writers from Tumblr.

[tumblr.com profile] rollinginbooks asked: 1. Describe yourself how you would describe a character you're introducing

But like, introducing into what kind of story? And in what role? Because how I introduce a person depends very much on what they are going to do, and what they do depends (obviously!) on genre and story length and stuff.

For example:

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1. Liz Culmer lived possibly the most boring, predictable life known to humankind. She had spent many years very carefully arranging it that way, so she would have more time for reading and writing, and was often quietly happy as a result.

This state of peace and solitude lasted until one month before her thirty-fifth birthday, at which point her younger sister abruptly quit her own job, broke the lease on her apartment, and moved three hundred and fifty miles north to take up residence in Liz's spare room while she worked on 'finding herself'.

Liz was halfway convinced she and Vicky would murder each other within a week. But family was family. And she had to admit, it might be nice to have somebody around who knew all the parts of herself she'd let fall by the wayside over the years.

Maybe, on some level, she'd also been looking for a change...

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2. "Werewolves," Liz said flatly.

"Well, sort of," said the woman who'd knocked insistently on the door of Liz's apartment at the barbarous hour of nine AM, introduced herself as Lindsay Martinez, and announced that the dog attack Liz had halfway thought was a hallucination (dog bites, in her understanding, did not simply vanish overnight) had in fact been something even more implausible. "Were-everything, really. People only shift into one animal each, but it can be pretty much anything you have a tangential awareness of. I'm a were-parakeet, for instance."

"That's nice?" Liz said. She twisted the copper ring on her right middle finger around and around, and wished she had something more substantial to do with her hands. Like filling out a form. Or maybe dismantling a retractable pen. Something that would let her feel like she still had a grip on the world. "Um. So, if it's not all wolves, is the thing about the moon...?"

Ms. Martinez shrugged and smiled in a way Liz knew intimately: the customer service expression that said she'd heard this question a thousand times before but didn't hold it against Liz for asking the thousand-and-first time, because everybody did and she'd long since come out the other side of annoyance into weary and vaguely amused acceptance. "I'm afraid so, at least for the first year or two. We'll want you to come to our safehouse for your first shift, of course, in case it turns out to be something awkward."

"Right. Yeah. That makes sense," Liz said, and wished she could think of more intelligent questions to ask. She'd just learned magic was real (for some value of magic, anyway), and all she could think of was that this felt like every job interview she'd ever gone on, only without the chance of earning money at the end.

She'd probably turn into some kind of newt. That seemed to be the way her life was going these days.

-----

3. When Sneha and Jill hurried into the rental office five minutes before it closed, there was a new woman at the front desk: white (they were always white), round face, short hair, and looking faintly annoyed for a second before she dredged up a bright, professional smile. "Are you here for a package?" she asked, setting down the cell phone she'd been fiddling with.

"Yeah, uh, for both of us," Jill said, setting her carryout box on the counter.

"Mine's actually for my roommate," Sneha added. "She has an evening class but she really wants it tonight. Is it okay if I pick stuff up for her?"

"Absolutely," the woman said, standing up from her chair and walking toward the package counter. "What's your apartment number?"

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

The first is clearly a story about two sisters and how a change in one's life spills over to affect the other. Right now it's contemporary realist litfic; it could veer into more interesting genres, but probably not in a really dramatic way since I didn't signal that in the opening paragraphs. The second is obviously urban fantasy, and the main character is strongly implied to be suffering from depression. And the third could be anything, except I'm not the main character and the POV characters don't care much about me. :)

(All of these stories have been fictionalized to various degrees, btw.)
edenfalling: headshot of a raccoon, looking left (raccoon)
Oh hey, I found a 1986 addition to the Amazing Mumford saga! (I could not reproduce the multi-space gap between the third and fourth words, but otherwise the typography faithfully follows the original document.)

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The amazing Mumford and Big Bird were fighting. Big Bird was trying to get his bag of gold back. MumFORd had taken it and Would not give it bacK. They fought with swords.

The End.
edenfalling: headshot of a raccoon, looking left (raccoon)
This is from the 1985 file folder of my accumulated childhood papers. The preceding two thirds of the page are covered in ALLCAPS electric typewriter gibberish, with one brief leap into intelligibility -- "I LOVE [LEGAL NAME]" -- most likely typed by my mom. I suspect I was sitting on her lap.

I am not sure how much of the following story is her taking dictation and how much is her subtly prompting me, but judging by the logic lapses, it was probably mostly me at age three and a half. *wry*

Anyway, the Amazing Mumford!

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THE AMAZING MUMFORD


ONCE UPON A TIME THERE WAS AN AMAZING MUMFORD. HE WAS A MAGICIAN. HE WAS A GOOD ONE. HE MADE THINGS DISAPPEAR. ONE DAY HE CAME TO SESAME STREET AND HE MADE A CARROT DISAPPEAR. HE DID THAT AT MIDNIGHT WHEN EVERYONE WAS ASLEEP. YOU KNOW HOW HE MADE IT DISAPPEAR? HE ATE IT AND THAT'S HOW HE MADE IT DISAPPEAR! IN THE MORNING EVERYBODY GOT ANGRY. "DON'T DO THAT AGAIN," THEY SHOUTED. HE MADE HIMSELF DISAPPEAR WITH HIS MAGIC. THEN HE WENT BACK TO HIS HOUSE. AND THEY DID NOT LIKE THE AMAZING MUMFORD FOR EVERMORE. AND THE AMAZING MUMFORD MADE ALL THE SESAME STREET PEOPLE DISAPPEAR. AND THEY LIVED HAPPILY EVER AFTER. BUT THEN THE AMAZING MUMFORD GOT ANGRY AT THEM.

THE END

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

October 2017

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