charioteer

Dear Trick or Treat Writer

First, let me thank you for writing me a story in one of the fandoms we share. I'm excited about all of them. They're listed in alphabetical order, so as not to play favourites.

I'm also greerwatson on AO3.


GENERAL POINTS:

  • I love stories that explore canon more deeply, whether through backstory, or elaborating the setting/history/culture, or exploring people's motivations and personal interactions.

  • I prefer gen. DNW non-canon relationships unless requested. I'm not asking you to ignore canon relationships; but please don't make them the focus of the story. I don't care for anything more than PG-13: explicit sexual detail is definitely a DNW for me.

  • I love casefic; and, more generally, I like stories that are canon-compliant. The general exception to this is ignoring canonical character death if you want. Canon-divergent AUs are also okay. (There may be other specific exceptions.)

  • I'm okay with violence if necessary to the story; but not gore for the sake of gore. On the whole, I prefer not to have characters die in the story; but references to canonical deaths are okay. (I'm fine with having original characters murdered in casefic, and that sort of thing.)

  • I enjoy comedy—being able to recognize the ridiculous when it pops up; also wit and wordplay. Having said that, I totally leave it up to you whether you write a serious or comic story or, for that matter, a serious story with comic interludes.

  • No second-person fic, please. First person is definitely okay for book canons that were written that way by the author. However, I don't generally care for it with TV fandoms. Epistolary fic is fine.


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This entry was originally posted at https://greerwatson.dreamwidth.org/123727.html. Please comment there using OpenID.
charioteer

Trick or Treat exchange in nomination period

The annual Halloween fanfic gift exchange, [community profile] trickortreatex, is currently in nominations (ending on the 8th).

This is a low-key exchange with a 300-word minimum. There is a new mod this year who is allowing people to nominate up to 10 fandoms with up to 10 characters and/or pairings in each. Nominate here.

Lots of fun! I've done it for several years now.

This entry was originally posted at https://greerwatson.dreamwidth.org/123422.html. Please comment there using OpenID.
charioteer

AO3 writing questions meme

Meme taken from [personal profile] lightbird.

1. How many works do you have on AO3?
236

2. What’s your total AO3 word count?
463,012 words

3. How many fandoms have you written for and what are they?
45 or so

Main fandoms: Forever Knight (91), The Charioteer (40 + 42 ITOWverse stories), DC's Arrowverse (13)

Gift exchange regulars: Jean Robertson series (5), Swallows and Amazons series (5), M*A*S*H (5)

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This entry was originally posted at https://greerwatson.dreamwidth.org/123380.html. Please comment there using OpenID.
charioteer

Everywoman Exchange 2021

I don't always do the [community profile] everywoman exchange. In the last couple of years I've felt a lack of possible recipients to write for. This year, however, was different: I actually had multiple possible matches, and wound up writing two stories.

My gift, "For the Living", was written by [personal profile] brightknightie. Despite the usual anon period, I had no doubt of my author. Her footnoting style is very distinctive. (Not that I said anything, of course.) It's a marvellous slice-of-life fic about Natalie and Grace, set at work in the Coroner Building. Multiple cases are described, each different and demanding a different response. Although there isn't a lot of medical detail, Amy did a lot of research into the daily routine of a pathologist's duties and the way a lab like that is run. She also tied her story into canon, picking up on Natalie's comment in "Cherry Blossoms" about staff cuts and applying that to Eddie, the morgue attendant from "Only the Lonely", who also appears in the story.

If you haven't read it already, I strongly recommend it. As always, Amy's done a crackerjack job.

My own assigned recipient was my sister, [personal profile] fawatson. To put her off the trail, I told her I was writing for Amy. Which I was; but, of course, as a treat. I don't think Flo guessed the truth until the collection opened, at which point she discovered that there were two FK stories and only one gift for her. "A Day in the Life" is based on Mary Renault's The Charioteer. Among other things, she'd asked for a story about the hero's mother's housekeeper (a very minor off-scene character in the book) and her relationship with her employer (who is a very sweet, decidedly manipulative woman). As I put it in the story summary, "No man is a hero to his valet. Nor woman to her housekeeper." Mrs Timmings has few illusions. The background is World War II, of course; but it becomes clear that I've set the story during one particular period shortly before the main action of the book, making it backstory of a sort.

As for the treat for [personal profile] brightknightie (which was actually written first), "Sunny Days, Sunny Ways" is about Tracy—both her relationship with her (numerous!) family and her friendship with Vachon. Amy had said, "I think that the series started out trying to make her contrast with Nick, as Schanke did, but ended up paralleling them instead, and never fully grappled with what that change offered to the larger story." As the third season progressed, TPTB shifted from really using the full group of new characters to just sticking Tracy in the position of "Nick's new partner". I suppose her relationship with her father, her mother, and the apparently enormous Vetter clan substitutes for Schanke's family; but her friendship with Vachon was almost dropped for a while, and could have been profitably elaborated in contrast with Nick's work romance with Natalie. In the story, Tracy bitches to him about her mother's insistence she spend the Labour Day holiday with her instead of attending the usual big Vetter bash.

Both stories are now uploaded to my website. "Sunny Days, Sunny Ways" has a yellow-themed design, with a turbulent background reflecting Tracy's annoyance with her family, and a gold & white gradient carefully positioned to give a "sun" within the border round the story itself. "A Day in the Life" has a sort of old-fashioned wallpaper design (from Ambographics Art) in lavender and tan, with a rather demure border round the story. As the story takes place on the home front during the Dunkirk evacuation, I included a picture of one of the actual "little ships" involved, taken from Wikimedia Commons.

This entry was originally posted at https://greerwatson.dreamwidth.org/122859.html. Please comment there using OpenID.
charioteer

Retro TV Fanwork Exchange 2021 - Dear Author....

First, let me thank you for writing me a story in one of the fandoms we share. I'm excited about all of them. They're listed in alphabetical order, so as not to play favourites.

I'm also greerwatson on AO3.


GENERAL POINTS:

  • I love stories that explore canon more deeply, whether through backstory, or elaborating the setting/history/culture, or exploring people's motivations and personal interactions.

  • I prefer gen. DNW non-canon relationships unless requested. I'm not asking you to ignore canon relationships; but please don't make them the focus of the story. I don't care for anything more than PG-13: explicit sexual detail is definitely a DNW for me.

  • I love casefic; and, more generally, I like stories that are canon-compliant. The general exception to this is ignoring canonical character death if you want. Canon-divergent AUs are also okay. (There may be other specific exceptions.)

  • I'm okay with violence if necessary to the story; but not gore for the sake of gore. On the whole, I prefer not to have characters die in the story; but references to canonical deaths are okay. (I'm fine with having original characters murdered in casefic, and that sort of thing.)

  • I enjoy comedy—being able to recognize the ridiculous when it pops up; also wit and wordplay. Having said that, I totally leave it up to you whether you write a serious or comic story—or a serious story with comic interludes.

  • No second-person fic, please. First person is definitely okay for book canons that were written that way by the author. However, I don't generally care for it with TV fandoms. Epistolary fic is fine.

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This entry was originally posted at https://greerwatson.dreamwidth.org/122529.html. Please comment there using OpenID.
charioteer

Sunshine Challenge 2021 - Prompt 7 (Zephyrus)



Prompt 7: Zephyrus

The child of Dawn (Eos) and the Titan Astraeus, Zephyrus represents the West wind. Zephyrus was considered to be the gentlest of the Anemoi (wind gods representing the cardinal points of the compass), and the beneficial bringer of Spring. The gentle springtime winds of the West indicated an end to Winter and the new growth of plants and flowers.
Spring in summer?

I'm going to rec two stories I wrote a while back; or, if you don't want to bother with the actual fic, then just have a peek at the webpage design. *g*

"Fairies of the Orchard" is a little Flower Fairies treat that I wrote for Yuletide one year. The fairy in question is the Apple-blossom Fairy—or is it? There's a touch of John Barleycorn to this tale, as blossoms turn to fruit and the fairy undergoes a metamorphosis. (On AO3.)

Applefic started as a series of ficlets based on Mary Renault's The Charioteer. The name has its own history: basically, that I couldn't come up with a title, kept referring to it as "my applefic", and got so in the habit that I finally just made that the title. It has a sort of dual time to it: each chapter is set consecutively round the calendar and each describes an incident in the hero's life from early childhood (when he first moves to the village), through older childhood and his teen years, until he finally moves out of the cottage for good after World War II, i.e. after the timeframe of the book. On my website, each chapter has its own apple-themed design, season by season; and, since it begins and ends in spring, the first and last both have the same apple-blossom background. (On AO3.)

Both stories have this in common: spring leads to summer, thence to fall and winter, and so round the calendar. And then comes the following year.

This entry was originally posted at https://greerwatson.dreamwidth.org/122224.html. Please comment there using OpenID.
charioteer

Sunshine Challenge 2021 - Prompt 5 (Pan)



Prompt 5: Pan

Part man and part goat, Pan is a nature god well known in many mythologies. Born in Arcadia to Hermes and a dryad, Pan was a precocious child whose goat’s feet and horned head delighted the gods, but startled the mortals he lived nearer to; Pan did not live on Mount Olympus, but rather in the forests and wilds of Arcadia. Pan famously invented a musical instrument: the syrinx, or pan pipes as they are more commonly known. He is known for his haunting melodies, and music was often a central part to his worship.
I racked my brain over this one before it occurred to me to consider the bonus prompt, "Chimaera". Well, in Greek mythology, that was the name of a hybrid monster that was part lion, part goat, and part snake (and hence quite an appropriate extra prompt for Pan, who is half man and half goat). Nowadays, the term has been extended to mean living beings with two distinct sets of DNA.

Which made me think of fanfic crossovers.

On the whole, they're not the sort of thing that appeals to me. It's not the concept in itself: it's just that, when I'm looking through the collection for a gift exchange, it's very rare that I know enough about both (or all!) the fandoms involved to be able to appreciate the story. And only once have my offers included a crossover. It was a few years ago when I realized at the last minute that none of the things I was offering for [community profile] everywoman had been requested by any of the other participants. I combed through everything in vain until, finally, I decided to try to see if any the crossovers might suit. Even then, if a hint of a plot hadn't—astonishingly!—occurred to me, I'd simply have deleted my sign-up.

I guess I just don't naturally come up with ideas that properly mix two or more different fandoms in the same fic. And, when I say "properly", I mean giving each a fair shake. One of the commonest problems with a lot of the stories that are tagged as crossovers is a failure to balance the fandoms more or less evenly. All too often, what you get is a mere cameo appearance so slight that it hardly even merits the name "crossover", and you wonder why the author bothered.

That's not the case with RecessiveJean's "The Girl in the Glass", though. It's a Narnia/Harry Potter crossover focusing on Polly Plummer and Ginny Weasley. A magic mirror allows them to communicate across time; and, although the story focuses a bit more on Polly's side of things, Ginny opens and closes the account. In the end, all is balanced out most excellently.

This entry was originally posted at https://greerwatson.dreamwidth.org/121663.html. Please comment there using OpenID.
charioteer

Sunshine Challenge 2021 - Prompt 6 (Amphitrite)

Prompt 6: Amphitrite

Amphitrite is the goddess of the sea, wife of Poseidon, and eldest of the fifty Nereides. She is the female personification of the ocean: the mother of fish, seals and dolphins. Poseidon chose Amphitrite from among her sisters as the Nereids performed a dance on the isle of Naxos. Refusing his offer of marriage, she fled to Atlas. The dolphin-god Delphin eventually tracked her down and persuaded her to return to wed the sea-king. She also bred sea monsters, and her great waves crashed against the rocks, putting sailors at risk.
This picture has turned up twice as the wallpaper when I start my computer. It's called "Beautiful ocean surfing wave at sunset beach, Havelock Island, India"; and I finally found it on the web! It's partly the luscious curve of the wave, but also the extraordinary colours.



This entry was originally posted at https://greerwatson.dreamwidth.org/121423.html. Please comment there using OpenID.
charioteer

Sunshine Challenge 2021 - Prompt 4 (the Furies)

Prompt 4: the Furies
The Furies, also known as the Erinyes, are a trio of vengeance deities whose immortal task is to hear complaints of insolence from mortals—and to punish those crimes by hounding the culprits relentlessly. They are said to focus on punishment for lying, killing, or sinning against the gods, but any lawbreaking was indeed punishable by them.

“Alecto was the oldest, unceasing in anger. Megaera was next, retaliator of jealousy, and Tisiphone, the last, regarded as the avenger of murder.”
― Elisabeth Naughton, Stolen Fury

Maybe you are inspired by Alecto (“the implacable one”, incites war), or perhaps Megaera (“the envious one”, vengeance) speaks to you, or maybe even Tisiphone (“avenger of murder”, guards the gates to Tartarus) – however you want to interpret the prompt, we’d love to hear from you!

Janette with fangs
On consideration, I decided to do another self-rec for this prompt. (I notice that several other participants are self-reccing this year.)

One would think that, among my various Forever Knight based stories, there'd be plenty that fit this motif. We are, after all, talking not only about vampires but a dysfunctional family where Divia slew her own master Q'ara, LaCroix slew Divia, and Nick did his level best to slay LaCroix. Shades of Greek mythology! However, where these characters are concerned, I tend to try to look beneath the obvious to unpick deeper psychological causes than mere revenge.

So instead I'm going to turn to war.

For those who don't know Forever Knight, there's a bit of backstory to "The Siege of Hastings". The protagonist of the show, Nick Knight, was turned into a vampire in 1228. This every writer ought to know, since the voiceover to the opening credits tells you so each week. Nevertheless, what is obvious to a fan writer is not necessarily so to a scriptwriter, especially in a show that apparently had no proper book—and definitely had a loosey goosey attitude to continuity. At any rate, in the episode "Forward Into the Past", Nick calls in a favour from another vampire whom he saved "at the Battle of Hastings". Which took place in 1066.

Fans have, of course, written fix-its ever since: they range from time-travel to bar fights in a Hastings pub. I was asked for a story with a new approach. If you're curious, you can read the comments on AO3 here.

It is obviously pure coincidence that the story stars three vampires and there are three Furies. Which is who is up to you.

This entry was originally posted at https://greerwatson.dreamwidth.org/121113.html. Please comment there using OpenID.
charioteer

Sunshine Challenge 2021 - Prompt 3 (Hecate)

Prompt 3: Hecate
Otherworldly and mysterious, Hecate is best known for her association with magic, ghosts, and the night. If you hear the baying of hounds in the dark, she's likely near as they were ever at her side. She is traditionally depicted as bearing two torches to light her way or as a triple goddess of the crossroads. In mythology she is known for helping Demeter search for her daughter Persephone, a theme that ties her even more to the Underworld and spirits she is associated with. Today she is often considered a representative of those liminal places where reality bends and all manner of events may unfold...

Divia
For this prompt, I'm self-reccing a Forever Knight fic I wrote for Yuletide in 2016, "The Father, the Son, and the Unholy Ghost", which was a treat for [personal profile] astolat.

True, the "ghost" of the title is not a real ghost: it's Divia, the evil-seed vampire daughter of Nick's master, LaCroix, who turns her own father into a vampire in the flashback to the episode "A More Permanent Hell" and then returns from the grave in "Ashes to Ashes" to avenge his killing her when she proposed incest. "Ashes to Ashes" ends with Nick saving LaCroix from Divia by beheading her. All that does seems consistent with the Hecate prompt.

I have to admit that Divia was never a favourite of mine. She seemed pretty one-paced in her villainy (though it was intriguing to finally have an origin story for LaCroix). However, when I thought about it, I realized there had to be more to the history between her and her father than could ever have been fitted into a few flashback scenes. After all, a couple of decades separate the two episodes in which Divia appears; and, even in the long life of a vampire, much can happen in twenty years.



This entry was originally posted at https://greerwatson.dreamwidth.org/121068.html. Please comment there using OpenID.