dorinda: Someone writing at a desk while wearing a large helmet with an oxygen tube attached (a device called "The Isolator"). (isolator)
I'm considering participating in [community profile] nightonficmountain again this year. I definitely enjoyed it last year! And it would help keep me writing, which is a goal of mine.

Nominations close tomorrow, though I'm not sure what time or time zone, so if I want to nominate anything I figure it had better be tonight. Here's the current tagset.

I saw that someone has nominated Almost Human, and I'm shocked and delighted that it's still small enough to fit. At first I was like, No Way Must Be A Mistake, but then I went to AO3 and filtered by 1) marked complete, and 2) size, and was surprised (and, I admit, dispirited) by how very many of the 'stories' in there are wee tiny things that don't even approach a thousand words.

You have to offer five different fandoms, though! And while there are certainly enough things to ask for, I'm not entirely confident that there are five different things I feel able to write. I'll offer Almost Human John/Dorian for sure, but what else?

Don't mind me, I'll be over here gently prodding my id with a stick, seeing what I can stir up.
dorinda: Skywise and Cutter, bare to the waist, and with an arm around each other, look out at the viewer. (Cutter_Skywise_bare)
The authors for this year's Night on Fic Mountain have been revealed, and the story I wrote was perhaps one of my most obvious contributions to an anonymous fest yet!:

Beyond Moons and Sun and Star (13788 words) by Dorinda
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Elfquest
Rating: Teen And Up Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: Cutter/Skywise, Foxfur/Skywise, Cutter/Leetah/Skywise
Characters: Cutter (Elfquest), Skywise (Elfquest), Foxfur (Elfquest), Rain (Elfquest), Bearclaw (Elfquest), Joyleaf (Elfquest), Pike (Elfquest), Leetah (Elfquest), Redlance (Elfquest), Strongbow (Elfquest), Treestump (Elfquest)
Additional Tags: Soul Bond, Soulmates, Canon Related, Missing Scene, Angst, Rescue, Trauma, Cuddling & Snuggling, Telepathy, Elves

Skywise knows Cutter's soul name--he has always known it. But he may not always have wanted to.

I suspect [personal profile] kerithwyn knew it was me maybe fourteen seconds in. Possibly because we'd had such a good time at Escapade, sitting down for a good chewy talk about Elfquest. I'd always wanted to write EQ sometime, but talking with 'rith definitely helped push me over the edge.

And of course Cutter/Skywise in particular has always been an interest of mine. I mean, they're kings of the hurt/comfort and have a canonical soulbond, what's not to like? [personal profile] marycrawford and I entertained each other during the writing process by sending links to various pages from the comics with, like, RESCUES and HUGGING and RESCUES WITH HUGGING, and CARETAKING and WORRYING and SOULTOUCHING, and man you just never run out of material.

I hadn't turned the transformative lens onto Elfquest before, but it felt great--I got to disregard the late-in-the-day/apparently-official version of Cutter and Skywise's bond the comics came up with, which I feel has tons of holes storywise and characterizationwise and culturewise, and substitute another option. Is this what the phrase sorry-not-sorry is for? :D

For those of you who haven't read it, all of Elfquest except for the current series "Final Quest" is readable online for free; my story note has a few relevant links, but it's also easy to start at the beginning and go straight through.
dorinda: John Kennex and Dorian with their heads very close, both looking down, very serious. (john_dorian_amber)
The Night on Fic Mountain collection for this year has gone live, and here's what I got!

Life Hack (8206 words) by Anonymous
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Almost Human
Rating: Teen And Up Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: Dorian/John Kennex
Characters: Rudy Lom, Original Characters
Additional Tags: Angst, Artificial Intelligence, Hallucinations, Robot/Human Relationships, Trust Issues, Hurt/Comfort, s1e11 "Disrupt"

When Dorian begins to malfunction, John relents on letting him come home, in order to keep an eye on him and hide it from the Department.

Om nom nom, nice sizeable story with juicy worldbuilding. This picks up on the show's hanging mystery of the human memory fragments uncovered in the depths of Dorian's mind, and uses it to explore Dorian and his worries about his future and his place in the world. Sigh! It's such a shame we lost that show so soon, but I think fans really do it a good turn.
dorinda: Someone writing at a desk while wearing a large helmet with an oxygen tube attached (a device called "The Isolator"). (isolator)
Dear author,

Thank you so much for writing for me! Above all, I'd like you to have fun and write something you enjoy, so any other blatherings here are purely optional for reals. Just in case they might help. If you already have an idea, go for it!

Some of my general preferences:

Happy or at least hopeful endings (that doesn't rule out bittersweet or melancholy tones, and needn't be fluffy...I guess I'm just not in the headspace for unalloyed sad or dark endings at the moment.).

Slash, though for me that doesn't require mandatory sex. I mean, sex is great if the story you're telling calls for it. But don't feel hemmed in; it's entirely up to you. For me, slash is first about the depth of connection and intimacy between the characters, however it's expressed. I am, I admit, a sucker for tenderness. Could be from an already-openly-tender character (oh, hi, Redlance), or a repressed character for whom tenderness itself is an admission of vulnerability (hey there, Kennex).

Some of the tropes and approaches I enjoy: words that camouflage deeper/unspoken meanings, protectiveness, worry, extreme competence (with honest weakness), hurt/comfort, chosen families, uncovering a secret, partners against the world, nurturing via food/drink/warmth. (Also, I must admit I like past tense, unless there's a reason for present tense.)

Don't be afraid of classic frameworks if you like 'em! I mentioned hurt/comfort, but I also won't turn up my nose at Having To Share A Bed, Huddling for Warmth, Pretend Couple, Undercover as Rentboy, situations where one suffers or sacrifices for the other, rescues, stranded somewhere (idyllic or non-), etc.

A few thoughts by fandom, alphabetically:

Almost Human:
Dorian, John Kennex

I love an android character who is not, for once, striving to be "more human" as some longed-for condition. Dorian is his own being, machine and emotion, wires and soul, and he has his own concerns. John instead is the one who does more changing, learning to mesh with and open up to Dorian, and getting through his previous trauma (which still must feel relatively recent for him, given his coma, even though the rest of the world has remorselessly moved on).

More casework could be nice, seeing them on the job in the sort of cases we didn't get a chance to see on TV. Maybe even the less dramatic, more daily-cop-life sorts of things that don't become Major Incidents (although, granted, they're not beat cops, but even detectives must have routine days and weeks, even in The Bladerunnerish Future). Dorian wanted so badly to be a cop, and still (I expect?) sees it with fresh eyes. Public service! <3 Does that help John, in his traumatized, almost-burned-out place, maybe come a little more back to why he loved the job in the first place?

But a case isn't necessary, either—I'd just as much like to see them in their off time. Does Dorian get off time other than required charging? Or when John's off, does Dorian basically do a second shift? How else might John be learning to integrate Dorian into his life—or, how might Dorian be developing his own life, whether or not he is technically supposed to? Dorian can be a worrier, especially about his own potential instability. I like his vulnerabilities, and I like thinking about how John—who can be so emotionally repressed—ends up being Dorian's major emotional support on this issue. And of course, questions of intimacy, sexuality, and the meshing of flesh and machine (not just John and Dorian, but John's prosthesis) are always great!

Other characters are welcome, especially Maldonado, who is definitely my next favorite. I just didn't ask for her specifically because I wasn't really in the mood for a Maldonado-only character study, which would be possible under "or" matching.

Cutter, Nightfall, Redlance, Skywise

I'm not fully up to date on the Final Quest storyline, so don't feel the need to be cutting-edge or anything. Also, no need to include all four characters at once (of course not, this is "or" matching :) ), though if you want to, feel free. And other characters are welcome; I really enjoy the way that they're enmeshed in their tribe, with all of the interdependence and interrelationships.

I really value EQ's complete and unquestioned pansexuality, which I'd really like to see as a bedrock assumption in a story. Even more than in canon, in fact (I mean, that is canon, but it's also a comic being published in the mainstream US during a certain period, so it also has its moments of downplaying or not letting the omnidirectional eroticism just be, you know?). And the same thing goes for physicality and sensuality in general, sexual or not. Especially since these are all Wolfriders, with that extra level of animal to them.

I've always been interested in the Cutter/Skywise same-sex Recognition. Like Kerithwyn, I'm curious about whether and how this might have happened before. And I'd enjoy seeing more of how it has played out in their lives, or affected them, even to the smallest, day-to-day level. Recognition is such a powerful, primal force—and in their case, it obviously went past the first thunderclap to grow into a lifelong, lifemate-level of devotion and knowing. How was it, for that to develop? How did the rest of the tribe see it? Do they (and probably mostly Pike, as the story-keeper) remember other tales like it?

Or, the Cutter/Nightfall/Redlance trio, when Skywise and Leetah and the cubs were torn away for so very long. I like the sense we've gotten about Cutter and Nightfall as youthful playmate-lovemates who grew to the strongest of devoted comrades, but I don't have as clear a sense of the Cutter/Redlance side of the group, though of course it's there. I'd like to see that brought out. I especially love Redlance's tenderness, nurturing, hope, and unashamed softness—the way he and Nightfall, in canon, are gendered as she being the sword, the spear, the arrow, while he is the flower, the tree, the vine. How might Redlance's nature have helped Cutter? Maybe even saving him from madness in the wake of such loss (of his Recognized loves-- the other parts of his soul--and also of the Now)?

Robot Series - Isaac Asimov
Elijah Baley, R. Daneel Olivaw

Another android/human pair, which is a thing I really enjoy. Baley comes out of such an anti-robot culture, and is a grown man, set in his ways and (he thinks) in his ideology. And yet by their third novel he obviously and canonically loves Daneel, in ways his home culture would never understand or countenance. He may as well have heart-eyes whenever he looks at him. How does that change and growth and cultural rebellion feel to Baley? Disorienting? Liberating? Maybe even a touch distressing?

Daneel, for his part, is a step ahead of Baley in a lot of ways. He introduces Baley to the very idea of a sentient being who is different, and remains gladly and productively different, not a poor imitation of a human. I'm always struck by Daneel's explanations of how he does have feelings, but refuses to paint them as simulations of human feelings. They are different processes, and he never glosses over that, but in the end he emphasizes that they have the same meanings to him.

But I also like that Baley's not just some dope being towed through life by a plaster saint. Baley has skills that complement Daneel's, especially as he learns to open up to Daneel and possibility, and let go of the repression and single-cultural-context holding him back. Daneel values him as a person, not a pet.

In the third novel, Baley comes to a sharp focus on and awareness of the physical, sensual, embodied, sexual nature of Daneel's murdered twin (…and, I mean, when he's examining the body, and he parts Jander's buttocks? Baley is having some New Thoughts.). I think that puts us in the perfect post-novel place for that to proceed to its next logical conclusion—bringing that awareness back to Daneel, and the very real potential for their love to have a physical dimension. Another dramatic leap between the man Baley was and the man he is now. Plus, Daneel's take on the whole issue! Daneel's subjectivity in general, which is very interesting. And how might the First Law play into it? (Parallels with Jander and Gladia are perfectly fine, though I didn't ask for those characters because I'd rather have the focus be on Lije/Daneel.)

The Sting (1973)
Henry Gondorff, Johnny Hooker

Henry and Johnny are mentor and mentored, but also equal partners by the end of the movie, each one bringing something valuable to the game. I love either or both of those dynamics, so feel free to suit yourself--I enjoy Henry teaching and Johnny learning, but also Johnny opening Henry's eyes or otherwise keeping him on his toes.

Another con, big or small, could be lots of fun (or them playing parts to help out someone else's con), but don't feel like you have to. I'm sure a lot of their life together happens between cons (and heck, you can't work all the time), whether it's prepping for something, ducking away from danger (from the law or the underworld), Johnny learning a new skill, or Henry learning a little something himself.

Lately I've been thinking about the ins and outs of love and protectiveness, in their particular field. They're undeniably risk-junkies—not in it for the money, obviously, the money is just a tool that lets them put on these big, risky, freedom-and-even-life-endangering shows. But they've also connected very deeply, and in the movie already we see Henry trying to hedge his bets by giving Johnny a secret bodyguard.

So how might this develop, the addiction to this work combined with the increasing love and protectiveness? The job can be dangerous, and they're increasingly attached to and worried about each other's safety, possibly more than they ever worried about their own before they met. Does it throw a wrench into the works, and how do they get past that? Does it intensify their relationship?

Other characters are welcome--I love the world of other con men and women that they live in, that feeling of a grifter society--or it could just be Henry and Johnny, shoulder to shoulder and on their own.
dorinda: Someone writing at a desk while wearing a large helmet with an oxygen tube attached (a device called "The Isolator"). (isolator)
posted by [personal profile] dorinda at 09:41pm on 30/03/2015 under , , ,
Welp, [personal profile] kerithwyn just made it look too tempting, so I've nominated a few fandoms for the small fandom fic exchange [community profile] nightonficmountain (on LJ it's [ profile] ficmountain). Nominations close tomorrow (March 31), and signups begin April 1 and close April 15. (Here's the current tag set.)

I nominated The Sting (1973), Trapeze (1956), and Sinbad (TV). There are some other very tempting items already in there--Spy Game, for instance. And Elfquest, and Isaac Asimov's robot series, and Almost Human. And MASH, and the Tale Of The Five book series, and the Less-Than-Epic Adventures of TJ and Amal. Etcetera. I'm sure there'll be four things I'd like to ask for in there, and five to offer.

The writing period does overlap with a trip I have planned. But on the other hand, that trip is to visit like-minded friends, and I'm sure they won't mind if I'm still writing while I'm there, or maybe picking their brains, or making big sad need-a-beta eyes. O______O

Look at how sad they are. Makes you wanna beta for them, doesn't it? DOESN'T IIIIT.


4 5