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Author has written 8 stories for Watership Down, Lion King, and Chronicles of Narnia.
My stories are all character based, layered and often somewhat metaphorical. My plots are pretty simple - not a lot really happens, but for all that they are difficult for me to summarise in a few words.
Many, though not all, of my stories are set in a fairly consistent but heavily expanded world based on Disney's The Lion King. This is my "Pridelands" world, and as I established it long before the sequels, I take little from anything other than the original film itself. That's perhaps not totally true, nothing ever is: my "Pridelands" world is, and has always been flexible and extensible. The Pridelands; taking its name from my first TLK fanfiction story, written as a film script complete with songs and therefore NOT on this site; is not a series as such. I never intended it as one, and almost all the stories set there - and there are more than I've published here - for it is a place rather than a time line, are different from each other in very significant ways. My current, and final "Pridelands" story, Regarding Scar is in fact a 'what if' AU to both TLK and The Pridelands, taking the events down yet another different direction.
It might seem easy to skim my stories, but that layering and metaphor will lead you astray. You really need to consider what's going on in the background and underneath. I never simply write this happens, then that happens, the end. Everything happens for a reason, and the reason for something happening in chapter eight may have come from something that was alluded to in chapter one. If, when you are reading, you get confused as to why someone's saying something, or doing something, then you've missed something: go back and find out what. And yet, I do have some stuff happen simply "because". It may be because I want a change of pace, or I want to set-up a coming event, or maybe even to simply to give the reader a taste of the world my characters inhabit.
For all that I have occasionally been accused of not including enough detail. I have to wonder what story they were reading, as it doesn't sound like any of mine.
That all means my stories have a rhythm and pace all their own. Its an old-fashioned sort of pace, where I give my characters time to breath (sometimes literally) and for them to enjoy their world. I don't write breathlessly paced, action packed, eye candy.
My animal characters are not animals. Don't be fooled by the veneer of reality that I try to give them; they are always humans in textual animal skins. Quite thick animal skins yes, but skins nonetheless. In this context, my vision of the Pridelands is perhaps more like the stage show than it is the films. Yet it is the original film that I fell in love with and to which I remain true.
I'm actively trying to evolve my writing style, and so I have always tried to do something new. I rarely write the same sort of story twice or give you, the reader, more of the same. I vary length, form, stylistic details, and experiment, with varying degrees of success, in out of order and narrative-less storytelling and so on.
So, here is a quick run down of the stories I have on this site. They are in some peculiar order that must have made sense at the time:
A Shining New Era - one of my better earlier stories. Originally written in early 1997 as a 19,000 word "one-shot". Here on FFN I present it in nine short chapters for easier reading. Its the start of my "Pridelands" series of stories - based on the original film with some then-current fan elements. Compared to my current stories its somewhat wordy and not so well crafted, but the characterisation is all there.
He Lives in You - a fun piece for me: I took the OCs I established in The Huntress at Sunset and crossed them over into Narnia. I mean, just how many talking lions are there? It has not gone down well with "serious" Narnia fans, which is a pity, but predictable, as my theology is... unconventional. Actually, it would have once been regarded as heretical, but then so would C. S. Lewis'. At least I enjoyed writing it, and I liked the idea of giving Aslan a day off, enabling him to be just a lion, and catch up on a few simple experiences he'd never been able to have, for a few short, precious hours...
Regarding Scar - My current work in progress, and now statistically my most viewed and reviewed story. Most likely my last Lion King fanfiction story, though I'll never say never. This, with To Be a Queen, is a full-on character based piece. Loosely based in my "Pridelands" arc, I explore a "what if" scenario right in the middle of The Lion King itself. What if, while Simba was growing up with Timon and Pumbaa, Scar fell into the gorge and was seriously injured? In this story I'm exploring some of the possible fallout of such a game changing event, and deeply exploring the characters and dynamics of the lionesses of the Pridelands. I'm using some of the storytelling techniques that I pioneered in To Be a Queen. The title is to imply this story is not about Scar, though he's significant, instead its about how others see him and react to him. Its about the planets that revolve around Scar's sun, and what might happen when that sun implodes.
The Darkness - This is another of my old stories. It didn't start out seriously. I wrote much of it as a pastiche of the type of stories that were prevalent soon after Simba's Pride was released. It was dialogue heavy, it revolved totally around Kovu and Vitani. This was essentially an attempt at me writing badly. However as I wrote it, I couldn't help but find a decent story in it. I originally released it under a pseudonym, only revealing sometime later that it was mine. Unusually for that time, its was not based on my Pridelands series. Given its origins, as a deliberately "bad" story, its been remarkably well-received here on Fanfiction.net.
The Discovery - Long before I wrote Lion King fanfiction, I wrote some Watership Down fanfiction, though I didn't know then it was what we now call fanfiction. This piece, a chapter from a planned but never completed novel-length story, is all I'm prepared to present to the public. It's what I suppose is an atmosphere piece: an establishing chapter set one misty morning in Efrafa a while after the General's fall.
The Huntress at Sunset - The novel that concludes my "Pridelands" time line. I was learning a lot about writing as I wrote this, and it shows. The final third was written over ten years after the rest, although I had planned its contents long before. The novel starts too slowly, and that was deliberate, but in retrospect a mistake. However, once the main story gets going I feel there's a lot worth reading. Its effectively an original novel written in a Lion King related style. The setting is the The Lion King's Pride Lands, and I use many Lion King related elements, so there's no doubt it is fanfiction. I don't think it can quite stand up as original fiction even though it has are no canon characters at all. All are OCs, they are sort of a "next generation", but I feel they are very real characters in their own right, and distinct from the Lion King's characters. Even though I say it myself, I feel Nengwalamwe (no, don't worry, no one else can pronounce it either) is one of the great creations of Lion King fanfiction. However, no one else seems to agree with me.
The Quiet Night - a short, 1500 word, seasonal, dialogue-less one-shot: very much a "proper" short story. Arguably not fanfiction at all; this really does stand up as original fiction. Even the lion involved is not a African lion like those of the Lion King, he's Asiatic. As such its a story hopefully of interest to Lion King fandom readers, but equally can be read by anyone. Of all my stories, I feel this really does deserve a wider readership.
To Be a Queen - this multi-chaptered, "Pridelands" series, story started off as an experiment in narrative-free storytelling technique. I used a structured stream of consciousness approach to allow me to really get into a character's head and to explore their inner thoughts and feelings. As a technical experiment, it had its issues, but it pointed a way forward and I'm currently using some of these techniques in the rather more conventional Regarding Scar. Until recently overtaken by Regarding Scar this was my most popular story, probably as, under all the technical experimenting, it essentially tells part of the story of the romance between Sarabi and Mufasa.
I have come to the sad realisation that I write stories that few people want to read. I pride myself on having a reasonable level of technical skill and I have developed a distinctive and unique style, but it is now evident that is not enough. I care deeply about my characters, but I can count on the fingers of one hand those who like them, or who ever wanted to read about them. I seem unable to emotionally connect to most readers and that therefore I shall probably not write much, if any more fanfiction after the story I am working on: Regarding Scar.
I clearly don't know what it is that others see. I have been searching, groping to feel what others feel for many years. I doubt I'll ever find it, and to be honest, I'm not looking for it.
The Lion King: a Guide for the Fandom Blind
The Lion King was a 1994 Disney film, their 32nd and the first not based on an existing story. It was a massive international hit: the most successful 2D animated film of all time. It held the record for the biggest and fastest selling video for many years until finally overtaken by Titanic. Its popularity and commercial success were not expected however. Numerous sources show Disney regarded The Lion King as a "B" project - the "A" project being Pocahontas - right until after release. This, in part, allowed the makers of The Lion King to take a number of risks; risks that in most cases paid off and gave the film wider appeal. One example was the songs, which were not what many die-hard Disney fans expected, or liked, however the public worldwide generally did like them.
The Lion King is an anthropomorphic tale in three acts, and one of the surprisingly few Disney films that has only animals and no human characters (the others being Bambi, and Robin Hood). The project had been started in late 1989 as a sort of "Bambi in Africa". The script that the project was green-lighted on was written in January 1990, and is available on the internet. It introduced many of the characters that were to be in the final film, and was based on a storyline from the very top of Disney. From there, during a long process of continual script development, the story, and the characters evolved massively, and new ones introduced. Some 27 or 29 (it varies on who does the counting!) people have some sort of story credit in the final film. No one person "wrote" The Lion King, or even created it from a story point of view: it was a true team effort, though clearly some people had more influence. For example, the writer of the first script only gets an additional story material credit, despite having named the main characters and defined their relationships.
There are relatively few characters in The Lion King. All are lions unless otherwise stated:
Mufasa (James Earl Jones): The old lion king, mate of Sarabi and father of Simba, and brother to Scar.
Sarabi (Madge Sinclair): Mate of Mufasa, mother of Simba.
Scar (Jeremy Irons): Plotting brother of Mufasa, first in line to the lion king throne until Simba was born.
Simba (Jonathan Taylor Thomas / Matthew Broderick): Son of Mufasa and Sarabi, destined to become the next lion king.
Nala (Niketa Calame / Moira Kelly): cubhood friend and later love interest for Simba.
Sarafina (Zoe Leader): Mother of Nala. She only had one line and her name is known only from the credits.
Rafiki (Robert Guillaume): Shamanic and somewhat comic mandril that officiates in the ceremonial pomp of the lion kings.
Zazu (Rowan Atkinson): Pompous hornbill majordomo to the lion kings.
Shenzi (Whoopi Goldberg), Banzai (Cheech Marin) and Ed (Jim Cummings): a comic trio of hyenas who act as Scar's henchmen.
Timon (Nathan Lane) and Pumbaa (Ernie Sabella): A meerkat and warthog comic double act that befriend the stranded young Simba.
Apart from an unnamed walk-on (or is it burrow-under?) gopher no other speaking characters appear in The Lion King. Simba and Nala's unnamed cub doesn't speak.
This is fairly detailed as all of this material is used as significant back story in most Lion King based fanfiction. Mine being no exception.
The film opens with many animals of all types converging on a dramatic rock formation, Pride Rock, to witness the "presentation" of Mufasa and Sarabi's new-born cub. Rafiki acts as high priest and master of ceremonies. After the ceremony, in Scar's nearby cave, Zazu announces that Mufasa and Sarabi were unhappy that Scar did not attend the ceremony. Scar reveals that he is bitter at being passed over for the throne by the new born Simba.
Sometime later, Mufasa takes Simba up to the top of Pride Rock at dawn to show him the extent of the kingdom, and tells Simba that, in time, he will be the king in his father's place. Mufasa also tells Simba about the "circle of life"; that everything depends on everything else. Father and son walk together to attend Zazu's morning report, during which Zazu tells Mufasa that hyenas have been seen on the Pride Lands. Mufasa leaves to deal with the hyenas; Simba goes to see his uncle Scar who tells the impressionable cub that the "shadowy place" that Mufasa told Simba was outside the Pride Lands, is in fact an elephant graveyard and that "only the bravest lions go there". This is part of a plot to use Simba as bait to lure him and Mufasa into a trap.
Simba goes to get his best friend Nala, a female cub about his age, to accompany him to the graveyard. He finds her half-way through a feline bath from her mother, Sarafina, as his own mother, Sarabi, looks on. Sarabi insists that Zazu accompany the two young cubs to what Simba says is "the waterhole". As they approach the waterhole Zazu reveals that the two cubs, Simba and Nala, are arranged to be married when they are older. The cubs take the opportunity - in a song - to give Zazu the slip and run off to their real destination: the elephant graveyard. As they approach they are play fighting and Nala twice pins Simba to the ground using her signature flip.
At the graveyard Simba and Nala are met by the hyenas, Shenzi, Banzai and Ed, who threaten the cubs. Zazu catches up with the cubs and a chase through the graveyard ensues. The cubs, separated from Zazu, are eventually cornered by the hyenas but just before they are killed, Mufasa appears and frightens off the hyenas. Mufasa leads the cubs home, telling Zazu to take Nala home, then revealing to Simba that he was afraid that he might loose his son. He tells Simba that lion kings become stars when they die, and that he will always look down and guide Simba.
Scar goes to the graveyard and reveals that he planned for the hyenas to have killed Simba and Mufasa. In a song Scar spells out his aims and ambitions to be king: by killing Mufasa and Simba.
Sometime later Scar lures Simba, once again as bait for Mufasa, to a gorge. Scar has organised the hyenas to start a wildebeest stampede through the gorge in order to kill Mufasa and Simba. The stampede starts, Simba is trapped, Mufasa arrives and manages to save Simba. However as he scrambles on the rocks above the gorge floor, he pleads to Scar to help him, but unseen by Simba, Scar drops his brother to his death in the gorge. Later Scar finds Simba by his father's body and makes Simba think he was responsible for his father's death. Simba runs away, Scar sends the hyenas to kill him, but unknown to Scar, Simba escapes into a desert.
Scar makes himself the new lion king, and lets the hyenas run the Pride Lands into the ground. A terrible drought descends on the Pride Lands.
The young Simba, close to death, is found in the desert by Timon, a wise-cracking meerkat, and Pumbaa, a flatulent warthog. They adopt him and bring him up as their friend and protector. One night, when Simba is a young fully grown lion, the three talk about the stars and Simba remembers what his father told him. Simba collapses as he realises he has failed his father, but in doing so he unwittingly sends a signal that is picked up by the shamanic mandrill Rafaki back in the Pride Lands. Rafiki realises that Simba is still alive, and sets off to find him.
Nala has left the ruined Pride Lands to find help. On the edge of the jungle, in which Simba, Timon and Pumbaa live, she hunts a warthog. A lion leaps to protect the warthog, Nala fights him. She pins him using her signature flip, just as she did Simba long ago. The lion recognises her, and to her amazement, calls her by her name: Simba and Nala are reunited!
Simba introduces Nala to Timon and Pumbaa. Simba and Nala fall in love. She tells him about how Scar has let the Pride Lands be overrun and destroyed by the hyenas. She tries to persuade him to return to challenge Scar and take his place as rightful king but he refuses, saying he has learned to put the past behind him. Simba walks off alone into the starry night, and in despair, calls to his father in the stars. His father, Mufasa, does not answer, and at his lowest point, a mandril appears, as Simba thinks, to annoy him. It is Rafiki, who reveals he knows who Simba really is - Mufasa's boy - and that he will take Simba to his father. He leads Simba to a small, isolated pool, where, in the starlight, Rafiki shows Simba that his father is alive inside him: that Simba is his father's son and preserves him in his heart. Mufasa appears to Simba as a vision in the clouds. Simba determines to return and reclaim his homeland and runs off over the desert through the night. When Rafiki tells Nala, Timon and Pumbaa that Simba has gone back, they go after him.
Nala, Timon and Pumbaa catch up with Simba on the edge of the lifeless Pride Lands. They tell him they will support him. There are many hyenas between them and Pride Rock, so Timon and Pumbaa agree to become live bait to draw off the hyenas, allowing Simba and Nala to slip past to Pride Rock.
Meanwhile, on Pride Rock, Scar has summoned Sarabi to demand she explains why her hunting parties are not providing enough food for the hyenas. She explains that the prey have moved away: there is nothing to hunt. Scar blames her for "not trying hard enough". She says that Scar is not even half the king Mufasa was. In rage, Scar hits her, sending her rolling across the ground, roaring that he is ten times the king Mufasa was. At that moment Simba arrives as lightning of a building storm flashes, Scar mistakes him for Mufasa. Simba goes to comfort his mother, Sarabi. She realises who he is, Scar does too. Scar tries to dominate Simba psychologically by playing on the guilt Scar himself planted in Simba long ago. Scar manages to get Simba to admit that Mufasa's death was his fault. Sarabi and her other lionesses, waiting to one side, are shocked. Knocked back emotionally, Simba retreats, unknowingly backing up to Pride Rock's promontory tip. He falls back, and scrabbling for purchase, Scar re-enacts Mufasa's death by holding on to the helpless Simba with his claws. Simba has learned from Nala however, and manages to gain some grip, and flip Scar to the ground. With Simba's paw on Scar's throat, Scar admits that he killed Mufasa. The lions fight as lightning ignites the tinder dry dead wood below Pride Rock. Simba prevails by using Nala's flip on Scar, kicks him over the tip of the promontory on the ground below where the hyenas, realising they have been betrayed, overpower and presumably kill Scar.
In pouring rain, Simba ascends the rock as rightful king of the Pride Lands. The film ends with the now green, rejuvenated Pride Lands, full of animals watching the presentation of Simba and Nala's newborn cub. The circle of life is complete.
Compared to some fandoms, there is relatively little canon material, however like many other fandoms, fans cannot agree on exactly what is canon. On the other hand, a wide range of stories is accepted by most fans, with little tension over what is, and what isn't canon. This is possibly a result of the long periods between the releases of official installments of Lion King material. Despite The Lion King's massive success, it took four years for a sequel to be released, direct to video. In those four years, a significant amount of fanfiction was written and distributed via the still relatively early Internet. Much of that fanfiction pre-dates and is not available on this website.
The release of the sequel, Simba's Pride, substantially changed the fan profile and fanfiction for the now expanded The Lion King world. Before that, Disney had released a set if six children's illustrated story books, The Lion King: Six New Adventures, which had some, but hardly consistent, influence on fanfiction. It is from the Six New Adventures that fans got the names of Mufasa and Scar's father, and rather less accepted, their mother. They also gave us a name for the cub seen at the end of The Lion King. Not the name, as it turns out, used in the sequel. Many fanfiction writers have sought to explain this apparent contradiction through fiction.
There are several Lion King fan universes: ones that take the original film only as canon, ones that add the Six New Adventures, at least to some extent, some that take the original film and the sequel but ignore the Six New Adventures, and some that try to reconcile all the source material. My own fanfiction largely, but by no means exclusively, is based on the original film with selected material from the Six New Adventures. I had named my variant of the Lion King world "The Pridelands" long before Disney released their official sequel. Much of my fanfiction is thus largely incompatible with "Simba's Pride".
While there are M rated Lion King stories, there are relatively few. Lion King fans tend to be relatively young, or young at heart, and Lion King fanfiction largely reflects this. "Pairings" and "shipping" are perhaps not as important in Lion King fanfiction as they are in many other fandoms, though they are far from uncommon.
Its not at all clear why The Lion King should have spawned as much fanfiction as it has, and continues to do given that the last official material was released in 2004 and there have been few fanfiction stories based on that instalment. Somehow the characters of Disney's The Lion King still manage to find and fascinate new audiences, who then go on to write new stories.
For me the characters of The Lion King are like old friends. I have found myself particularly drawn to the females characters: my last two stories are both centred on Sarabi with Sarafina. For various reasons, not least she was the mother of Nala (no father is known for Nala), Sarafina has always been a favourite of many fanfiction writers, playing a big supporting role in many of my stories. It is the male lions who generally get the lion's share of fanfiction attention however. It is the comic duo Timon and Pumbaa who probably the most often overlooked. They seem to be regarded as difficult to write for, and where they do appear in fanfiction, its more likely to be on their own, and not as a pair. Few, if any fanfictions embrace the full style and character of The Lion king, instead they focus on a subset. In my stories I focus on the character and interrelationships of the adult characters.
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