mark_asphodel: Sage King Leaf (Default)
Uh, yeah.

So I finally finished "Starchild." Since it had its own tag here on DW I figure I'd better mention that it's done even though I suspect anyone who did care stopped caring three years ago.

Basically, I kept waffling on the ending.

Ending spoilers. )

Original character endings for the pilots )

mark_asphodel: Sage King Leaf (Default)
So, this was a Western AU that I really wanted to write but I wasn't sure where to develop it. It wasn't just a Western AU, as it had a touch of what I like to call "arc-light punk" and then got into stuff like heavier-than-air flight and the obsolescence of old sabers-n-cavalry warfare. But straight-up retellings of game plot, even in an alternate setting, just don't hold my attention and so it's been sitting untouched since before my laptop crashed in March.

I guess it'll go here, for now, just to prove it existed.

Public Enemies


I do not own Fire Emblem or any of its characters.


Gen2 Wild West AU with a twist... )
mark_asphodel: Sage King Leaf (Default)
I was going to write a nice celebratory "fanfics that changed my life" post for my birthday week but I got bogged down in this. And since there's a new film based on the works of the creature formerly known as She Who Must Not Be Named hitting the theaters, consider this a PSA.

I got into Harry Potter in between the release of Order of the Phoenix (HP5) and The Half-Blood Prince (HP6). The wait between books seemed interminable at the time, but there was fanfic. My god, was there fanfic. And after I'd read a bunch of it, I turned to two of the writers cited as "must reads," BNFs whose work I'd avoided because they were Draco-centric and my opinions on Draco were mostly "LOLferret." One went by the name of Maya, and her works included "Underwater Light" and "In The Shadow of His Wings" and honestly they were well-written but I didn't really get into them. I mean, "In the Shadow..." was Harry/Draco in an alternate future Hogwarts where a strangely Snape was headmaster because Dumbledore had run off in disgrace. Typical Slytherfen ass-pull, you know? But she was really sweet and her LJ was a good read. She took it all down when she went pro a short time later and I haven't read her works but I wish her well, even if she did think Revenge of the Sith was a good movie.

And then there was the Draco Trilogy, already known as the source of Draco In Leather Pants (TM) but still widely hailed. So off I went to Schnoogle where long-form 'fics were archived on an HP 'fic site and I started in with "Draco Dormiens," the story of how Draco and Harry become friends after an accidental body-swap that sees Harry-as-Draco sent home to live with the Malfoys.

And then what? )
mark_asphodel: Sage King Leaf (Default)
Went and uploaded Chapters 2, 3, and 4 in recent days.

It occurred to me three chapters in that the dynamic between Lester, Faval, and Dew is reminiscent of old Penny Arcade strips featuring Tycho, Gabe, and Div the sentient DIVX machine.

I think I'm OK with this.
mark_asphodel: Sage King Leaf (Default)
So, some time ago I posted a fragment of a WIP that featured a post-war Lester and Faval banging around Verdane and encountering an adult and thoroughly "embittered" Dew.  My comment at the time was that aside from Faval being the Bad Cop to Lester's Good Cop, nothing actually happened in the story.  It revolved around two "high concept" ideas: Adult!Dew and "LOL Lester looks like Lex."  That ain't enough.

Well, I think I'm in the process of fixing that.

I always liked the premise of the story and really wanted to fix it, but at first I was afraid it was just inherently not a story.  Lester made a suitable POV character of a "type" I prefer-- reasonably intelligent but not super-observant, not terribly quirky, pretty vanilla-- but didn't have much going on and Faval was just coming across as off-key and pissy more often than not.  Dew was fun but that was it.

Then I ended up dumping the meta/headcanon content about about three other problematic WIPs into the framework of this one and hey, I think I like it a tons better.

Notes )
mark_asphodel: Sage King Leaf (Default)

I finally finished that Journalist!Innes w/ mandatory Innes/Gerik content AU.  It's only a year past the deadline.

OK.  It's set in a 1920's Magvel, except Magvel's recast as New York City, and there are mashup references to other gameverses and Magvel fandom in-jokes.  And stuff.

I wrote most of it on the train from Chicago after having a block on it for a year.  I really wanted to see Innes holding a very silly drink.
mark_asphodel: Sage King Leaf (Default)
It's Father's Day in the U.S. tomorrow.  I could post about my FEELINGS on that, but instead let me point you toward a new and adorable picture of Azel having storytime with babby Arthur.


Speaking of Arthur, I posted Chapter Three of Blackout today.  This was accomplished mostly by chopping the previous draft of Chapter Three in two and saving the battle scenes for later.


Went to a pig roast at a friend's house today.  Said friend's husband had rigged up his Raspberry Pi to a piano and was using it to make the piano play the BGM to NES-era games... while the games were being played.  So you had a bunch of thirtyish professionals sitting around playing Super Mario Bros 2 and NES Tetris while the player piano banged out the BGM, complete with Game Over effects.

So this is what it looks like to have the original Nintendo Generation all grown up.
mark_asphodel: Sage King Leaf (Default)
So, back in the heady days of 2009, I started writing something called "Steadfast Companion."  It rose out of Abel's character ending in FE11: "He was to be married; but in the end his fellow knights were his most steadfast companions."

Given what I knew of Abel, and because FE12 hadn't been announced yet, I thought FE11 might be some weird standalone reboot in which Abel backed out of marrying Est or something, and the story in question (let's call it SC#1) was about that.  It was just a little ambiguous one-shot about Abel, Cain, and Est.  Anyway, it never got finished or published because I got caught up in more ambitious ideas.

Discussion of the Hardest 'Fic Ever )
mark_asphodel: Sage King Leaf (Default)

As we said last time, FE4's Gen 2 has four primary ways of establishing characterization:

1) Plot relevance-- cut scenes, recruitment dialogue
2) Family conversations
3) Lovers' conversations
4) Boss battle dialogue

Got it?

On to the Gen 2 chicks. They're a bit different from the dudes.

#1: The Mini-Me effect. Girls tend to be knock-offs of their mothers or otherwise derived from them in ways not true of the boys. If I had to pick a Gen2 male most like his mother, it would likely be Ced or Leif, followed by Faval.
#2: Massive gender imbalance in the playable cast means that the girls often have multiple predestined love options and we thus can see them in more than one situation across multiple PTs.
#3: The girls seem far less likely to have boss battle dialogue than do the boys, with Tinny being the major exception. Overall, the girls tend to let their brothers carry the war banner for them, which makes them less defined in terms of the actual conflict raging around them.

Cuuuuut. )
mark_asphodel: Sage King Leaf (Default)
Turns out the Gen 2 girls are kinda difficult to rate, so let's detour through Gen 1.

Not all of them mind.  Just some highlights.

Same rules as before.

Cuuuuuuut. )

Next time, we'll actually tackle the Gen 2 ladies.
mark_asphodel: Sage King Leaf (Default)
X-ref earlier posts on "fanfiction tiers."

I was thinking about Gen 2 again light of a couple of things-- my assertion to the maintainer of the fe-according-to-japan tumblr that "Gen 2 kids enjoy actual popularity in Japan" and a conversation I had with [personal profile] raphiael about "the Julie Taylor test" wrt Fire Emblem characters and fanfiction. Simply put, my version of the Julie Taylor test is that I deem a character poorly written (as opposed to poorly acted) when I cannot fathom their inner life enough to 'fic them. That goes for underwritten SNES characters and it goes for some FE13 characters with pages upon pages of dialogue and nothing whatsoever I can relate to under the surface. It certainly applies to Gen 2 and I have a pile of never-finished WIPs to back it up.

Gen2 kids have four main avenues for establishing characterization.

1) Plot relevance-- cut scenes, recruitment dialogue
2) Family conversations
3) Lovers' conversations
4) Boss battle dialogue

Then you have the odd Easter Egg like Fee's conversation with her pegasus Mahnya.

Anyway, in the spirit of some earlier rankings of characters and how difficult they are to master, here is a tier list of the Gen 2 boys. The girls present a slightly different challenge, as we may (shall?) see.

Long as hell. Under the cut. )
mark_asphodel: Sage King Leaf (Default)
Took a stab at the ending-sentence meme the rest of y'all are doing and realized a few 'fics in I end things with dark/light imagery waaaaay too often. C'est la vie.

Anyway, how 'bout this: closing sentences to WIPs I would rather like to finish some day?

Stuff. Spoilers for 'fic that may not get published, in a sense. )

The last of these being a piece of period-appropriate sentimentalism IMO.

mark_asphodel: Sage King Leaf (Default)
So. Back in the autumn of '10, in the heady days of the emblanon meme, some poor soul submitted the worksafe prompt "Finn and Glade's epic bromance."

That was a damn long time ago. I liked Finn but hadn't gotten crazy seriously into him and I barely remembered Glade existed, but I filed it away in the back of my head, just in case.  More friendshippy stuff for SNES games are a good thing, right?  

So, flash-forward to May of '12. I'm attempting to actually write the 'fic, but was stymied first by the theory and application of this thing called the "bromance" and secondly by the Alster segment of the narrative. With regard to the first, let me quote from a chat log of the time:

"So is the sexual tension/ship goggles part of it or not? 'Cause that's what's confusing me."

As for the Alster segment, it bothered me enough that I cut that entire part out and tried to thrash it into a standalone (currently a 1,405 word WIP).  But that didn't help me complete the original 'fic, which languished under the working title "Finn and Glade's Bogus Journey."  If I don't have a real title that far into development, there's usually a problem.  I shelved it, looked over it every now and again, picked it over, and kicked myself whenever it was time for a WIP inventory.

Then I went to a Gordon Lightfoot concert on Sunday night and got magically unstuck and finished the story.  -_-

I've no idea who that poor anon prompter was, or if they're even still active in fandom.  :(

Is nearly 7K words epic enough?

mark_asphodel: Sage King Leaf (Default)
Stolen from Ammie on tumblr.

Pick any passage of 500 words or less from any fanfic I’ve written, and stick that selection in a comment. I will then give you the equivalent of a DVD commentary on that snippet: what I was thinking when I wrote it, why I wrote it in the first place, what’s going on in the character’s heads, why I chose certain words, what this moment means in the context of the rest of the fic, lots of awful puns, and anything else that you’d expect to find on a DVD commentary track.

And I do mean "any," so feel free to poke at Archanea-fic, Magvel-fic, and crackfic in addition to the Jugdral-centric stuff.  Obviously I ought to remember the more recent scribbles with more clarity and depth but if you go after "Starchild" or "Another Piece of Blue" or whatever I should have something to say.

On Kid!Fic

May. 1st, 2013 05:27 pm
mark_asphodel: Sage King Leaf (Default)
[personal profile] kyusil  asked for this ages ago, and since [personal profile] lyndis  mentioned Michelle Tanner... here goes nothin'.

Kids.  What's the matter with kids in 'fic?

Uh... mostly everything.

Kids in fiction tend to be horrible anyway-- witness George Eliot skewering horrible portrayals of little Victorian angels in her rant against bad lady novelists.  We can't reasonably expect kids in 'fic to be much better given what the, ah, professionals churn out.

Long. )

Basically, Toddler Leif is better-written than 90% of the ickle kiddies in fanfic.  Which is pretty damned sad.
mark_asphodel: Sage King Leaf (Default)
Meme ganked from Ammie and Lua. Post the first lines of your last 21 fics.

I'm not counting time/place stamps unless they're part of the actual 'fic structure. I will count epigraphs if there are any.

1: "Well, you look out of mortal danger."
2: "Lords above, we give you thanks for the food upon our table. Bless the toil of those who produced it, bless the hands that prepared it and the guests who come to share with us tonight. In the name of blessed Ethnia and her servants..."
3: "Oh, Ishtar, did you know there was a beautiful flower garden in the yard? Let's go take a look."
4: The lantern in Patty's hand didn't do much against the ink-black darkness of the catacombs beneath Belhalla.
5: One ounce of gold for an ounce of salt.
6: Flashes of light, like the sparks thrown off by a stoked fire, floated through Arthur's head in the moments before he opened his eyes.
7: They said that if he just kept his eyes fixed on the horizon, he'd stop being sick.
8: Nanna counted out her own breaths- seventeen, eighteen, nineteen, twenty- as she felt the blood coursing through her father's left wrist.
9: She never has forgotten that the Mother Abbess did not want to teach her.
10: Eirika kept glancing down at her hands during the drive.
11: Lachesis thought they'd been getting by with very little until the hour came to pack up their lives.
12: Cheap bracelets touched in gilt jangled against each other as Laylea stretched her legs out on the settee.
13: When Leif woke that morning, he saw snow piled thick on the windowsill outside his room.
14: "Lord Azel."
15: The imminent arrival of their guest sent Lady Fee into a tizzy; her pleasant voice turned sharp and childish, strands of her short hair floated every-which-way, and even her earrings seemed off-kilter as she rushed about the estate making preparations.
16: (I was a child, I wasn't worried)
17: Small chips. One side rough, the other smooth, like a wave-polished shell.
18: In a sense, it was all Kyle's fault.
19: It looked innocent enough, corked inside of its bottle.
20: The first year/Too old to be a daughter. Too young to be a rival.
21: Innes blew a perfect failure of a smoke ring, which fit with the way everything else was headed that particular session.
Bonus (the most recent WIP I worked on): Glade ran his fingers through his hair in a vain attempt to tame the cowlick at he back of his head.

I like how going through the last 21 takes me clean back to the Archanea/Magvel stuff.  Basically, I've abandoned a previous habit of writing some kind of scene-establishing descriptive passage and just tend to dump the reader right into the 'fic.  The opening lines are about evenly divided between "thematic-type thing that is relevant to Larger Things" and "the 'fic starts here," I guess.
mark_asphodel: Sage King Leaf (Default)
Jumping off raphi's post on things she'd like to write for FE fandom, here are some things that have been percolating for weeks or months with no sign of actually getting, you know, written. Or maybe there's a Word file with the appropriate title and I open it and then realize there's almost nothing on the actual page.

Cut for FE13 spoilers and 'fic fragments )

Nota Bene

Feb. 25th, 2013 05:51 pm
mark_asphodel: Sage King Leaf (Default)
Dear Chrom/male!Robin shippers:

I like this pairing.  Wouldn't mind reading 'fic for it.  However, if the "Avatar" you're writing about is not the character from the actual game, the one who has loads and loads of conversations with every playable character defining his (or her) personality, but is instead an OC in the Strategist role bearing the looks and name of "your self-insert," there is a special place in FANFICTION HELL for you.


PS: But thank you for admitting it up front so I don't waste my time with your Gary Stu.  
mark_asphodel: Sage King Leaf (Default)
No, I don't mean writing infused with meta.  I mean, that's good.  This is more like "I am trying to write I am making myself write OH GOD what is this 'fic doing it is not supposed to be about Aideen OH GOD while is this Aideen-story coming so easily and the thing I am supposed to be writing just NOT" (sob sob sob).

It's like a single sentence going neoplastic and consuming the host 'fic.  :P

Anyway, since this is relevant to the Aideen-story I am NOT supposed to be writing...

Why do we need a massive standing army again? )
mark_asphodel: Sage King Leaf (Default)
I don't flog my 'fics here much anymore, in part because I'm embarrassed about ratio of newer Jugdral-type things to older FE8/Archanea/mash-up things that remain unfinished.  But this one I did want to share.

While You Were Sleeping is based on what I call the "Sleeping Beauty Azel" scenario from Kaga's note collection, in which Azel spends the time-skip and Celice's war in a state of suspended animation in the secret basement of Barhara Palace (no, really).  After the war, he gets discovered and revived and comes face-to-face with the now-grown kidlets and, well, everyone else.  

Tangential rant and explanation )
Anyway I am having a great deal of fun with this one, even when it's hitting on some darker stuff that is quite relevant to RL at this moment.


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