Author has written 3 stories for Chronicles of Narnia, Percy Jackson and the Olympians, Kane Chronicles, and Mortal Instruments.
Hello everyone! I'm an adolescent girl who loves to read and write more than anything else in the world. I love fanfiction because it gives me an excuse to hang out in worlds created by other people and learn more about them. I hope someday I'll have enough imagination to tackle original material.
My stories are prone to mood whiplash. I've discovered that life itself is prone to mood whiplash. Sitcoms can take sad turns and funny stuff happens at funerals.
Most of my fanfics (all those online at present) feature prominent OCs. Although I have certain traits in common with all of them (all writers have certain things in common with their characters), none is a self-insert or idealized self-portrait. I run Mary Sue Litmus Tests on them all frequently, just to make sure, but they tend to score very low. I am well aware of my characters' flaws, and I will not be insulted if you don't like them. However, please don't hate them just because they're OCs (there are legitimate reasons to hate them all).
I am not going to list the pairings I support here. Many a needless flame war has erupted by announcing support for an unpopular pairing. If you read my stories, you will probably figure out for yourself what pairings I like. Besides, what does it matter? I'm not likely to change anyone's mind about pairings. I will tell you that I experiment with pairings, and I resent how upset some people get if you stray from their precious canon pairings. I do not write romance well, so you probably won't see too much of that from me. If I ship a pairing, I will always try to consider whether those two characters actually work well together, and whether a relationship between them will be healthy or destructive. I will never pair two characters only because they "look good" together. Anyway, on to more pleasant subjects...
Favorite music: I like Celtic, folk, classic rock, some indie rock, and film soundtracks - anything with spirit and feeling. Some personal favorites include The Beatles, the criminally underrated Laura Nyro, Joni Mitchell, Loreena McKennitt, Florence and the Machine, and Queen (especially their early output).
Favorite movies: Lord of the Rings, Inception, To Kill a Mockingbird, Amazing Grace, Fiddler on the Roof, Napoleon Dynamite, The King's Speech, Little Women (1995), Star Wars (the originals). The first Disney/Walden Chronicles of Narnia was great, but the others missed the mark for me.
Favorite TV shows: old sitcoms (All in the Family, Green Acres, etc), and British period dramas (e.g. Downton Abbey, any Jane Austen or Elizabeth Gaskell adaptations, except for the latest Pride & Prejudice, which I thought was crammed and poorly cast). Person of Interest is my favorite current stateside show. Grimm is a guilty pleasure. Once Upon a Time was a guilty pleasure back when it still had a plot; I'm not sure how to classify it now. Sherlock is an amazing show, but I think sometimes the content really crosses the line. Also Horrible Histories (thanks YouTube!). I also love Touched by an Angel, which reminds me that there is always Hope.
Favorite books: The Lord of the Rings, Pride & Prejudice, The Chronicles of Narnia, To Kill a Mockingbird, A Wrinkle in Time, the Seeds of America trilogy (Chains, Forge, and the forthcoming Ashes), Roll of Thunder Hear My Cry, Let the Circle Be Unbroken, Stargirl, Love Stargirl, Schooled, The True Meaning of Smekday, The Watsons Go to Birmingham--1963, Bud Not Buddy, Elijah of Buxton, Johnny Tremain, Little Women, Anne of Green Gables, Diary of a Wimpy Kid (my favorite guilty pleasure), East (the one by Edith Pattou, just in case there are any other books with that title), and any Calvin & Hobbes anthologies.
I also enjoy the "teen urban fantasy" genre, but in smaller portions. Here's the list: Artemis Fowl, Percy Jackson/Heroes of Olympus, Kane Chronicles, Maximum Ride, Pendragon Adventure, Mortal Instruments and Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel.The characters generally have no ethics, morals or self-discipline, but it's still good escapist reading. Some people would classify Smekday or Calvin & Hobbes as this genre too, but those have redeeming qualities like social commentary that's actually witty, younger main characters, a refreshing lack of romantic angst (Calvin being afraid of Susie every Valentine's Day does not count) and protagonists with half a brain that they actually use. With the notable exception of Artemis Fowl II, all the main characters in the YA urban fantasy genre are remarkably stupid.
I hate Twilight with a vengeance. Just so you know. Every aspect of that series is sick. A girl who has absolutely no life without a boyfriend (or two or three or four or...just how many guys had a crush on her again?)! Can we say "sexist"? A whole Native American tribe of werewolves who walk around shirtless stuffing their faces all the time! Can we say "racist"? A vampire baby is conceived against nature that sucks the juices out of its own mother! Can we say "demonic"? Not to mention "gross"? One of the main character's boyfriends "imprints" on her newborn daughter, willing to act like the kid's "uncle" for now but ready to be her lover as soon as she comes of age! Can we say "pedophilia"? And again, "gross"? Despite everyone in the story's obsession with the main character, she's about as interesting as a blank sheet of paper! Can we say "Mary-Sueitis"? The author references the "west coast of Brazil"! Can we say "someone failed geography"? Or "someone can't be bothered to look up blankety-blank Brazil on blankety-blank Google Maps?!?!?" Taylor Lautner's abs! Can we say "overrated"? Kristen Stewart! Can we say "why are all these guys obsessed with a girl who can only make two facial expressions?" Robert Pattinson! Can we say, not for the last time, "gross"?!?!
Sorry folks. I could go on for years about how much I hate that thing.
STORY BEHIND MY PEN NAME
In the Heroes of Olympus series the main villain is Gaia, ancient Greek personification of Earth.
Although certainly a unique twist, it struck me as just wrong to portray Mother Earth as evil, and I don't think J.R.R. Tolkien, C.S. Lewis or Joseph Campbell would like it either.
Even the characters think it's bizarre. ("Mother Earth is evil?" Percy exclaims in The Son of Neptune).
So I started hoping that it'd be revealed later that Gaia was a scapegoat for the real bad guys, whoever they might be (Riordan should have kept Kronos alive a lot longer, if you ask me)...in short, that "Gaia was framed."
WARNING: what follows is a random sequence of rants and essays about writing and reading. They rarely make sense and I do not expect anyone to read them. If by some strange chance you do, be warned that I have some harsh words, even for books I really like. They're just here in case anyone ever wanted to know how I get my ideas...and as Gary Larsen said about his Far Side, "why do you get your ideas?" is usually the second question asked. Read at your own risk. GwF.
ABOUT THE CASPIANIC WARS
Category: Chronicles of Narnia
Pairings: eventual Cor/Aravis, flashbacks of Peter/OC (Lavinia), OC (Ben)/OC (Delia), rest undecided
Rating: T for disturbing war-related elements including violence and disturbing imagery; occasional use of historically-accurate, politically incorrect language
Length: quite long, probably over forty chapters
NOTA BENE: As of December 19, 2012, the title of this story has been changed from End of an Era: The Caspianic Wars, Book One to Witnesses: The Caspianic Wars, Book One. I changed the title because End of an Era is the name of a ridiculous amount of stories hereabouts, one of which is an incest fic. I would rather not be confused or associated with that kind of nonsense.
One thing that always bothered me about the Narnia books is that there's a huge block of time between the disappearance of the Pevensies and then when they come back to find their kingdom subjugated by the Telmarines. How long have the Telmarines been there? How did the Narnians govern themselves after the Four Monarchs disappeared but before they were conquered?
Also, much as I loved the books, the kids always struck me as a bit prissy (especially Susan). I wondered how kids from a completely different background would handle the situation...say, working-class American kids who had grown up during the Depression and lost a father to WWII.
Thus, Witnesses came into being. Anna, Ben, Kitt and Robin Kilburn are called into Narnia to save it from the Telmarine invasion. We know they won't succeed. However, to give this story a happy ending, I might write a sequel, Prince Caspian featuring the Kilburns. But we needn't worry about that for a while yet.
It's been a long time since I consulted Lewis' own Narnian timeline. But once I found it again, I realized a lot of it didn't make much sense (I mean, The Last Battle is seven Earth years after The Silver Chair? Really? If that's true, then Jill and Eustace would look roughly the same age as Tirian, and he couldn't go around calling them "children"). It also doesn't make sense that the Pevensies vanished in 1015 but the Telmarines don't invade until 1998. Was Narnia in chaos for nearly a millenium? Did Archenland or some other allied country take over? Was another monarch elected from among the nobles (such as Lord Peridan)? Was it a democracy, perhaps? Or an oligarchy? Or a theocracy? Or a mob rule? Did it disintegrate into warring factions? Did the Fauns or the Dryads or the Talking Animals seize control? (I think it'd be pretty interesting if the Marshwiggles ran the country for a few years, but that would be a completely different story, and it would be horrible, I shouldn't wonder).
I decided to just move the Telmarine invasion back a few hundred years, which I guess makes this story AU.
Also, I added some peoples to the mix that Lewis did not invent: the Fricians, the Midlings, and the Mrekan. The Fricians look African, the Mrekan are patterned on American Indians, and the Midlings are of "mixed blood." The Mrekan are there as a foreshadowing: the Eastward-expanding Telmarines are driving the Mrekan off their land (they live in the forests between Narnia and Telmar), just like the Americans drove the Indians off their land, and the Narnians are about to meet the same fate. These characters are also included so that all the people who think that Narnia and Lord of the Rings are racist hogwash will shut up.
And now, meet my OCs...
Anna Kilburn is the eldest sibling, who is very ladylike and responsible. She is also a bit prejudiced. Once in Narnia she'll have no choice but to rid herself of that. Anna wasn't a common name back then, but I've tried changing it and nothing else will fit her.
Ben Kilburn is the second eldest. He's perceptive and artistic, and he plays trumpet in a local teenage jazz band. Ben is the token white member of this band. At this time black jazz bands would hire one white member to scout out gigs, because sadly and often white people wouldn't hire black bands. So they'd hire the band, looking at the token guy and assuming the whole band was white. On the day of the gig, the prejudiced fools would find themselves listening to a ninety-nine percent black band...and usually enjoying the music in spite of themselves. (There's also a plotline about this in Christopher Paul Curtis' Newbery-winning novel Bud, Not Buddy). Benjamin wasn't a popular name at the time either, but like Anna's, I have tried changing Ben's name before and no other name suits him. Perhaps as I write, the reason for his name will be revealed to me. Ben is dating Delia, the singer in his band, to whom he writes letters to about life across the pond. Since Delia is black and Ben is white, they have kept their relationship a secret.
Kitt (short for Katherine) Kilburn is the third sibling. She's a big, clunky, rugged tomboy who hates "girly" apparell and interests and is prone to physical outbursts of anger. I will admit that I got the idea of her nickname being "Kitt" from Kit Kittredge, one of the American Girl characters (I discovered that series at age six and I think that's what got me interested in writing). However, the spelling is different, and Kittredge's full name was not Katherine, but Margaret Mildred. Kitt is my feeble echo of Jo March and Scout Finch, two of my favorite heroines.
Robert Kilburn the Second, commonly known as Robin, is the youngest in the family. He's a smart, shy kid who wears his heart on his sleeve. He gets bullied frequently in school, and all his friends are from books. Robin has already been to Narnia once before the story begins. He told his siblings about it and they now think he's got a screw loose or something. Despite his pure heart and sweet disposition, getting picked on at school has made Robin a fast runner and a reasonably good liar.
Macurdey Tallears is a Talking Rabbit and a valiant Knight of Narnia.
Lavinia Etano is the Narnian Secretary of Agriculture. Her father is a Mrekani healer and her mother is a Telmarine who was captured in a Mrekani raid and chose to remain and marry among them. After a long courtship, Lavinia became betrothed to High King Peter, but he vanished from Narnia before they could be married. Lavinia is torn between using her political power to maintain peace between Telmar and Narnia or protecting her father's people, even if it means war with Telmar. Unfortunately, many of Lavinia's people don't trust her because she's half-Telmarine. She is level-headed, practical, and extremely stoic - a good balance to Peter.
Delia Martin is Ben's girlfriend back in America, who corresponds with him in letters.
James Harvey is a bully at the school attended by the Kilburn brothers.
I'll add more info about Macurdey, Lavinia, Delia and any other OCs as the need arises.
Related: My Narnia Headcanon
I've noticed that the physical appearances of the Pevensies is a bit of a hot-button topic hereabouts. Half of the fandom blindly accepts the movie versions of the characters, while the other half is violently opposed.
This is especially obvious in regards to Lucy and Caspian, who are described once or twice as blondes in the novels. In the films, they are played by the auburn-haired Georgie Henley and the brunet Ben Barnes, respectively.
Lewis used physical description of his characters so sparingly that one concludes their appearance was not a big deal to him. Therefore, to cause a firestorm over Lucy and Caspian not being blonde in a fic is beyond missing the point. Pauline Baynes drew Lucy as a brunette with Lewis' approval. In my mind's eye, Lucy has reddish-blonde hair while Caspian has brown hair with some blond streaks from the sun. Both (along with Peter, Susan, and Edmund) are nearly identical to their portrayals in the films.
The other hot-button issue is the Caspian/Susan ship. While it's not in the book, and the movie didn't do the greatest job conveying any depth or development in their relationship, I don't see why it's such a big problem. Teenagers notice each other, especially when they're the only ones stuck together in a fairly small area. There's nothing perverse about it. It's certainly not my One True Pairing or anything like that, but I humbly believe it is not the plague it's been made out to be.
Lastly, there is the troublesome issue of Susan hate. I might be in the minority here when I say I'm not even sure that she fell from grace in the end. Nor do I think her interest in boys and makeup is actually villainized. The "nylons and lipstick" remark comes from Jill, not the author/narrator, and it is exactly the type of thing a tomboyish young teen would say about a more overtly feminine, slightly older friend or relation. It is my firm belief that Susan went to Aslan's Country when she died.
ABOUT TARTARUS RISING
Categories: Percy Jackson & the Olympians, Mortal Instruments, Maximum Ride, others
Pairings: none yet (expect a few crossover ships)
Rating: T for fantasy violence; occasional language; thematic elements relating to Greek mythology (namely innuendo)
Length: over forty chapters
I never meant to get into the teen urban fantasy genre. Not to sound like a snob, but it always looked kinda low-brow to me. It's snarky and often soulless. There's few if any noble or even likable characters: no Sam Gamgee, no Lizzy Bennet, no Scout Finch, no Edmund Pevensie, no Jo March, no Meg Murray, etc. It's just a bunch of good-looking (predominantly white) kids with rotten attitudes slaying monsters and stealing each other's boyfriends/girlfriends in some glitzy modern locale, most frequently New York City. The plots are generally nonsense and the writing is usually not very good.
That said, I rather enjoyed the Percy Jackson series, and the first three Maximum Ride books were also fun. Pendragon was amusing, Nicholas Flamel had potential, The Red Pyramid was fun (although I didn't really like its sequels) and I found Artemis Fowl mightily entertaining. I confess I did not like The Mortal Instruments very much, even though a few friends had recommended it to me. The problems I have with the genre seemed most prominently displayed in City of Bones. Although I liked some of the characters, I still haven't gotten around to reading the rest of the series.
Tartarus Rising came about when I realized that most of the characters from all the above-mentioned series wind up in New York City at least once, and what would happen if they met? With that the OCs entered my head, and everything just fell into place.
Amy Porter is fifteen years old. She identifies as emo and plays drums in an emo rock/pop band called The Simonettas. Amy is a lot smarter and nicer than she lets on. She is fairly popular and boys generally find her very pretty. I started out writing Amy as a deliberate Sue, but she is much more perceptive and nuanced than I first thought. Of the three protagonists in Tartarus Rising, Amy is the most similar to the canon characters in appearance, personality, and narrative voice. Her main character flaw is blurting out whatever pops into her head. I think I named her after Amy March from Little Women.
Oberon James Blackwood, known as Ron to those around him, is twelve. His parents were killed in a fire and he and his sister have been sent to live with their Uncle George, Amy's stepfather, all the way in New York. Ron and his sister were homeschooled and raised in Arizona. Both of them feel uncomfortable interacting with people, but Ron is socially-challenged and ethically-confused enough to be an antihero. Ron is generally considered bad-looking, and he harbors a deep-burning hatred for all boys who are more athletic and attractive than himself. The meaning of Ron's bizarre full name will be revealed in later chapters of the story. (UPDATE: it was revealed in chapter 31). Like his sister, Ron can block unpleasant memories. Unlike her, he is eager to explore the paranormal world and harness whatever superpowers he may have. Ron and Sarah are my tributes to eccentric teenaged characters like Capricorn Anderson from Gordon Korman's Schooled, or the title characters of Stargirl and Napoleon Dynamite.
Sarah Julia Blackwood is Ron's sixteen-year-old sister. Although she has a good heart, she is moody and proud, and is not well-liked. Since the death of their parents, Sarah feels she needs to protect Ron...even if it means not telling him important things. She has both the ability to block memories and the ability to adjust quickly to frightening situations. She's named after the Biblical Sarah, the wife of Abraham, who famously laughed at angels when they told her she would bear a son (she was in her nineties). Sarah in Tartarus Rising laughs at, and argues with, angels too--well, not angels. They're technically nephilim (who claim to be descended from angels) and mutant kids with bird wings who look like angels. But you get the idea. She is deathly afraid of all things paranormal, only entering the Titan War to keep her family safe.
Dr. Merlynthwarte runs the Itex Institute in New York.
Keira is the daughter of Merlynthwarte. She is also a mutant, with the wings of a raven. She is notably beautiful and thinks everyone should worship her. She has purple eyes. She has a mutant talking cat named Cleo (short for Cleopatra) who has purple-black fur and rainbow eyes. Obviously, Keira and Cleo are my attempt at writing the most Suish characters possible. Keira is based off of many Suish characters, sharing certain physical and personality traits with the likes of Bella Swan and Ebony Raven-Way. Cleo is a parody of Warrior Cat Sues like StarKit or Moonshimmer. Keira and Cleo are also villainous, because everyone loves to hate those type of characters. They'll get more outrageous as the story goes.
Anyway. I hope I didn't offend anyone in my speel about my stories. I do like PJO, MR, TMI, etc., just not as much as the great classics.
NOTA BENE: Tartarus Rising may well contain non-canon ships. I myself don't get hung up on this sort of thing, but I know there are many people in the PJO, TMI and MR fandoms who do. SHIPPING WARS IN THE REVIEW SECTION WILL NOT BE TOLERATED. If we can't play around a little, what's the point of fanfic?
Thanks for reading,
ABOUT CHAOS UNDERWHELMING
There isn't a whole lot to say about this one. I just find it kind of annoying how the ancient civilization characters of the Riordanverse always act like the world going back to the way it was before their civilization would be like wiping out civilization entirely. Greece and Rome barely invented anything, compared to those who came before them. Even Egypt wasn't so innovative as the Kanes would have you believe. But if the new Big Bad will restore the world to how it was before Mesopotamia? Then we're in trouble.
Hammy (Hammurabi) Wheeler is the son of the Sumerian demigod-king Gilgamesh. He is proud to hail from the first of the "great" ancient civilizations and disdains the Egyptians. Why he deigns to train at the House of Life I have no idea. I doubt I'll expand Chaos Underwhelming, but Hammy's fun to write about. He might turn up later in Tartarus Rising.
IDEAS FOR FURTHER STORIES
However Improbable. Would be a crossover of Sherlock and Once Upon a Time. Sherlock and John wind up in Storybrooke and figure out what's been puzzling Emma Swann for the whole series in about five seconds. I got the idea after watching the OuaT first season finale back to back with The Hound of Baskerville.
Genre: Fantasy/Mystery Pairings: none except possible Sherlock/Emma or Sherlock/Regina (neither likely) Rating: T for violence, advanced vocabulary, possible super-mild innuendo and alcohol Length: Between five and fifteen chapters How Likely is This Fic to be Written: Not very. I'm not sure if I know Sherlock well enough to write about it, and I'm losing patience with the incoherence and poor writing of Once.
Pride and Pyramids. The Kane Chronicles, Jane Austen style! Sadie Kane is a fiesty young lady with a mysterious past, who attracts the secretive bachelor Mr. Anubis.
Genre: Romance/Family Pairings: Anubis/Sadie Rating: T for advanced vocabulary and thematic elements due to the time period (including slavery and racism) Length: no more than thirty chapters How Likely is This Fic to be Written: Not very. I haven't had any inspiration for it in over six months.
Sense and Senators. Same as above, just with the Heroes of Olympus. AU.
Genre: Romance/Friendship Pairings: NOT TELLING! (Not canon, obviously) Rating: T for advanced vocabulary and thematic elements due to the time period Length no more than thirty chapters How Likely is This Fic to be Written: Not very. It's a complicated plot.
Over and Under. Artemis Fowl, patterned on North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell. AU.
Genre: Romance/Angst Pairings: eventual Artemis/Holly Likely Rating: T for advanced vocabulary and thematic elements due to the time period (including the suffering of factory workers) Length: no more than forty chapters How Likely is This Fic to be Written: Not very.
The Deplorable Child. Crossover of Chronicles of Narnia and The Mortal Instruments. What was the price of that world-destroying word?
Genre: Family/Tragedy Pairings: none yet Rating: T for violence, scary creatures, and child neglect Length: between nine and twenty chapters How Likely is This Fic to be Written: Fairly. I really like the idea.
Dog Days Are Over. Crossover of Stargirl and Diary of a Wimpy Kid. Who is Stargirl? What is she? Why did she move to the Heffley's town? And why can't Rodrick stop thinking about her?
Genre: Romance/Friendship Pairings: eventual Rodrick/Stargirl; mentions of past Leo/Stargirl and Perry/Stargirl Rating: T for Rodrick and Co.'s misbehavior Length: no more than twenty chapters How Likely is This Fic to be Written: Very. I've started writing and will upload when I have five satisfactory chapters.
Artemis Fowl: The Calvin Quandary. A Calvin & Hobbes/Artemis Fowl crossover, obviously. The LEP responds to calls about an American kid who's starting a colony of hatchling warlocks in his backyard. Artemis finds himself facing a foe as brilliant as him but with ADHD and about twelve years younger. If any romance was involved it would be Artemis/Holly. I got the idea from a painting by Linda Ravenscroft of a girl faerie with shortish red hair surrounded by cute little scaly creatures. If I can find the link I will put it here. The painting is called Babysitting if you want to Google image search it yourself.
Genre: Adventure/Humor Pairings: Artemis/Holly if any Rating: K plus for violence and rude humor Length: not exceeding fifteen chapters How Likely is This Fic to be Written: not very.
A League of Handsome Traitors.Crossover of Chronicles of Narnia and Harry Potter. Edmund and Draco join forces to fight Mary-Sues, OOC Hermiones, and an army of Suethors who would rob them of any dignity they have left.
Genre: Humor/Parody or Horror/Parody Pairings: none unless you count the boys' interactions with OOC Hermione and the Sues Rating: T for thematic elements of Sue fics Length: no more than fifteen chapters How Likely is This Fic to be Written: not very.
At the Ghost Table. Crossover of Chronicles of Narnia and ABC's The Middle. There's a strange group of new kids at Orson High - they're good-looking enough to be popular, but they're nice to everyone, they have an old-fashioned sort of dignity, and they all have British accents. Both Sue and Axl are fascinated by them. Who are they? What do they have to do with Sue's elderly English teacher? I am considering several possible pairings, including Peter/Sue, Edmund/Sue, Eustace/Sue, Axl/Lucy, and Axl/Jill.
Genre: Family/Spiritual Pairings: not decided Rating: K plus for general malaise Length: no more than ten chapters How Likely is This Fic to be Written: fairly.
The Fifth. Narnia and Calvin & Hobbes crossover. LWW rewrite. Calvin and Hobbes travel to 1940s England in the cardboard time machine/transmogrifier/what-have-you thingy. A magical kingdom suffers under oppression and awaits the arrival of the five children of Adam and Eve who will free them. Would involve many battles with witches, wolves, and deranged mutant killer monster snow goons. I got this idea because Calvin always puts weapons on his Christmas list and in Narnia, Santa actually gives kids weapons. Things are looking up for STUPENDOUS MAN. Might entail a PC rewrite sequel; might not.
Genre: Humor/Adventure Pairings: eventual Calvin/Lucy Rating: T for violence and mayhem Length: no more than twenty chapters HLTFW: very. I already have a first chapter.
No Working Title Yet. GOSH! Narnia and Napoleon Dynamite crossover. PC rewrite featuring Napoleon, Pedro, Deb, Kip, and LaFawnduh (possibly Rico, Summer, Trisha, etc. if it's not too much trouble) who were pulled through time and space after monkeying around with the supposedly useless time machine purchased by Rico. Lots of teenage awkwardness and absurd moments as our plucky Narnian rebels and their friends from this world prepare to topple Telmarine oppression with their kingly authority, faith in Aslan, and flippin' sweet nunchuck skills. Since that idea just isn't insane enough, I might have Wayne and Garth from Wayne's World pop in, probably just to pile everyone in the car and belt out "Bohemian Rhapsody."
Genre: Humor/Adventure Pairings: not decided, but they will be funny Rating: T for violence and mayhem (also crude humor if Wayne and Garth show up) Length: no more than twenty chapters Possible Titles: Your Mom Goes to Narnia , Your Mom Calls on Aslan or The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Flippin' Caspian! HLTFW: quite. It's funny and would probably be easy to write.
Stars Fell on Alabama. Narnia and To Kill a Mockingbird X-over, taking place about five years after TKaM but before The Last Battle. Dr. Pevensie is taking another speaking tour of the States. I have not yet decided which of his children come with him - Edmund is the only definite. Passing through Maycomb, Alabama, the teenaged Edmund meets Atticus Finch, whose committment to justice is worthy of Narnia, and shares a vision of the End of All Things with Atticus' daughter Scout.
Genre: Spiritual/Friendship or Spiritual/Romance Pairings: Edmund/Scout Rating: T for mature themes Length: probably less than ten chapters HLTFW: not known at present.
He Jests at Scars. X-over of Calvin and Hobbes and Romeo and Juliet. A wayward wish sends Romeo through time and space before he attends the fateful party at the Montagues'. Maybe this strange adventure in a faraway land with an insane six-year-old and another cold-hearted girl named Rosalind (well, she spells it 'Rosalyn') is just what he needed.
Genre: Humor/Romance Pairings: eventual Romeo/Rosalyn, possible Calvin/Susie toy shipping Rating: T for some saucy Shakespearean dialogue Length: no more than fifteen chapters HLTFW: quite. I might attempt it for Valentine's Day, but no guarantees.
HOW I LEARNED NOT TO WRITE MARY SUES (AN ONGOING ADVENTURE)
This lesson was a long time in coming, I can tell you. I think most kids who write will start out writing Sues as main characters, either in fan fic or original stories (and whether you can write anything truly original that young is up for debate). That said, don't verbally attack the authors of "Sue fics" when you review. Often Suishness is in direct proportion to the age of the author. Young kids write Sues. Give them enough practice and they grow out of it.
Note that this does not work for everyone. *Twilight bashing alert* Stephanie Meyer is a notable exception: a full-grown professional novelist whose protagonist/self-insert character Bella Swan is a Sue of such epic proportions she makes the legendary Sues of fan fiction land look pretty tame by comparison. At least those ladies (and gents) were dreamt up by preadolescents with no grammar skills. *Twilight bashing over*
So where does the Sue originate?
Kids, especially girls, want to feel good about themselves. I struggle with this kind of thinking all the time: "that girl over there is a jerk, but she's pretty, and she's rich, and everyone bends over backwards trying to make her life pleasant, and all the girls want to be her, and all the guys want to date her. If only I were that girl. Then I'd be happy."
Many girls see fan fiction as a magic portal by which they can grant themselves heavenly beauty and unimaginable superpowers, beat the tobacco juice out of their rivals, and snag all the hot boys. It makes them feel better.
Unfortunately, it makes the people who end up reading the wretched stuff feel a lot worse.
But where does the rest of the Sue come from?
I think it starts in the years between kindergarten and fifth grade. When I was that age I liked the American Girls, and later Little Women, Anne of Green Gables, A Little Princess, The Secret Garden, and Alice's Adventures in Wonderland & Through the Looking Glass. However, most of the girls my age I knew were into Barbie, Disney Princesses, Bratz, Lizzie Maguire, Mary-Kate and Ashley, and The Babysitter's Club.
One set of books, etc. taught the importance of standing up for yourself, developing your imagination, and working for a better life and a better world. The other taught the importance of being beautiful, having lots of clothes, one-upping other girls, snagging hot boyfriends, and making sure you had some "fairy godmother" type around who would give you anything you wanted without you having to lift a finger for it.
See??? Behold the many faces of the demon! She is Mary Sue, she is Bella, she is Starkit, she is Ebony Darkness, she is Barbie, she is Hannah Montana, she is Ariel, she is Sleeping Beauty!!!
But now another thing...this demon, this Monster Mary Sue, does exist anywhere outside our minds! She is the projection of a sexist, misogynistic culture that has lost its way and wouldn't know true womanhood if true womanhood bit it in the rear!
(Observe that characters attacked as Mary Sues are almost always female. I can think of several guys I've read about who I think would qualify--Jace Wayland from The Mortal Instruments gets an honorable mention--but very few people complain about them).
What are the common traits of the Sue? Beauty, natural talent, beauty, magic, beauty, popularity, beauty, incredible sex appeal, beauty, perceived moral infallibility, beauty, and beauty. Did I mention beauty?
Girls have been so poisoned by centuries of misogyny that they think beauty, popularity and hot guys are the only worthwhile goals in life.
All the great heroines of classic literature were true humans, with all our flaws and virtues. Elizabeth Bennet had to learn to stop judging people at first sight. Jo March had to accept that she was female and let her childhood go. Anne Shirley had to learn not to put so much emphasis on appearances, and to forgive. What does a Sue learn? Nothing! She's already got it all, as far as the author cares.
None of the great heroines went out of her way to get a man.
Want to know why? These girls were intelligent! That's what made them special! And they had dignity! Very few people have dignity today. It is a foreign but agreeable idea, that's why we watch Masterpiece Theatre. That sparkle within, coupled with the subtle strength of someone who would not let anyone turn her into someone else, that magical combination brought men running. No fairy godmother necessary.
Once today's girls figure out that only by becoming fully-developed individuals will they achieve happiness, then this blight on our imaginations will disappear. But until we accept that, we will sadly never be rid of Mary Sue.
WHAT IS FANFICTION FOR? USES AND ABUSES OF THE MEDIUM
Uses of fan fic
Paying homage to a favorite author
Exploring new possibilities for a story
Correcting flaws in a published story WITHOUT BEING PUSHY OR RUDE ABOUT IT
Spending more time with beloved characters
Honing writing skills
Good practice for eventual transition into original fiction
Making old stories new and interesting again
Bringing a female element to testosterone-driven stories (NOT always a good idea)
Connecting with other people who love stories as much as you do
Abuses of fan fic
Destroying an author’s work just to spite them
Using stories as a self-promotion vehicle
Forcing respectable characters to commit rape or incest
Making characters gay just to shock and titillate a certain demographic
Shoehorning explicit sex and gratuitous violence into clean stories
Middle-aged women writing about their desire for teenage male fictional characters (hello, “Twilight Moms”)
Creating Mary Sues (though this is usually accidental and can be fixed)
Harassing people who write Mary Sue stories
Accusing every OC you find of being a Mary Sue, even if all they’re doing is winning the occasional fight or flirting disinterestedly with a canon character
Throwing a temper tantrum over the presence of OCs
Harassing people who don’t treat canon as Gospel
Throwing a temper tantrum if you get a negative review
Writing smutty stories about real living people that might shock, offend or hurt them if they ever read it
Thinking the author got it all wrong and only YOU have the right story
Actually SAYING that the author got it all wrong and only you have the right story
Uploading your work without spell-checking it first
Harassing people who can’t spell
Creating blogs and websites devoted to bashing bad fan fic
Throwing temper tantrums if your “preferred couple” gets split up, either in canon or fanon
(Specific to Narnia) Harassing people who actually like Caspian/Susan
(Specific to Percy Jackson) Harassing people who support Luke/Annabeth, Nico/Annabeth, Percy/Thalia, Percy/Rachel, Percy/Reyna, or any other pairing that is not “Percabeth”
(Specific to Harry Potter) Harassing people who prefer Harry/Ginny and Ron/Hermione to Harry/Hermione, Draco/Ginny, Draco/Hermione, or whatever it is that you think should have happened.
(Pretty much specific to Harry Potter) Pairing up the kids with Voldemort, Snape, their parents, or any other adults
Writing an intentionally horrible story (“troll fic”) just to bask in the negative attention
Forcing the characters to act as you want them to instead of letting them lead you(this also applies to original fiction)
In the end, the same rules of decorum apply to writing, posting and reviewing fan fiction that apply to life in general.
Fan fic rules to live by.(I'm no wise person, but these rules have helped me write better stories).
Don’t claim ownership of your OCs. You do not own your characters. And no matter what they might argue legally, the author does not truly own the canon. All artistic inspiration, even in a derivative field like this, comes from a higher source. Call it God, the Muse, the Universe, or whatever makes you comfortable. But that is what owns your story, and every other story that exists in the past, present or future.
Expanding on the last one: let your characters and plot dictate themselves to you. You cannot compel your characters and story to act one way or another any more than the Higher Cosmic Force can compel you to act against your will. If you force your hand, you are abusing your power as the author, and your story will suffer for it. (Observe that if you let the story and characters evolve naturally, Mary Sue disappears. She can only thrive in a tightly controlled environment).
Don’t be overly upset if people don’t like your OCs or favorite canon characters. Do all your friends get along in real life?
Don’t throw a temper tantrum when your favorite couple gets split up, or if other fans don’t like them. People fall in and out of love all the time in real life. Can’t they be allowed to do it in fiction?
Don’t write “romance” stories about incest, rape or pedophilia. We are disgusted and horrified by those things when we see them in the real world. So why should we find them exciting in fiction?
Don’t freak out if people have a low opinion of your favorite author. You can argue your point reasonably, but for the sake of all that is holy, don’t break it down to “You’re just jealous” or “You don’t understand.” All authors deal with these accusations. J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis may or may not have been racists. Phillip Pullman may or may not be a bitter old atheist who wants to exterminate all religion. Cassandra Clare may or may not have made a whole lot of money off of J.K. Rowling’s characters and broken many other unwritten rules of fan fiction. Dan Brown may or may not have fabricated a great deal of history and passed it off as fact. Stephanie Meyer may or may not be remarkably stupid. When you hear something like this, don’t assume it always comes from the hatedom. Plenty of people (some of them fans, even) are just concerned that these authors have questionable morals. There’s nothing wrong with looking into that. In fact, the more adamantly you insist that the accusation is a slanderous lie, the more you convince the accusers (haters or no) that the accusation is true.
Don't use the story as a vehicle for your own beliefs. Stories like that are a chore to read, even for people who agree with you. You can make a point without dropping an anvil or destroying the plot. If you want to explore a real-life issue using a story, make sure it's the right story (for example: are Alec and Magnus from The Mortal Instruments really the best way to discuss the evil of homophobia? Some would argue that they themselves are homophobic caricatures). It's also fine to talk about religion in a civilized and kind manner, but sending an evangelical "Christian" Larry Stu to convert or kill all the Percy Jackson characters isn't going to accomplish anything.
Don't pay any mind to flamers and trolls. Unfortunately, a lot of people use the Internet to get attention by any means necessary. A good retort might be, "Well, if you're such an expert on fine literature, send me a link to your story. Let's see if you measure up to your own rules." Bullies hate being challenged.
NEVER flame or troll anyone else's stories, no matter how bad they are. "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you."
If you must write a negative review, make sure it sounds kind and concerned. If someone hollers at you, you get angry and defensive, right? But if that same person tells you what you did wrong in a calm, gentle manner, you're willing to listen and to make changes. This is how you deal with authors, too, especially young and immature ones. Don't say, "Your character is the worst Mary Sue I've ever read about!" Instead say, "You've done a great job establishing all your character's good qualities. Maybe now it's time to give her a flaw."
Don't write real person fics. If the real person ever stumbles across it, you may find yourself facing a libel lawsuit.
If you're writing a song fic, try to avoid overplayed songs. Not only can overplayed songs be kinda boring, but they show you're not well-informed about music. For example, if your story uses "We Will Rock You," you could substitute "Princes of the Universe." It's also by Queen, has a similar theme of epic battle, and is NOT played at every sports event in history. And let's face it, if your set list keeps falling back on tunes like "Thriller," "Somebody to Love", "Don't Stop Believing", "Dream On," or on the other hand, "Bad Romance," "What Makes You Beautiful," "Call Me Maybe", etc., the reader will conclude that most if not all of your musical knowledge comes from watching Glee. Generally not the impression you want to cultivate.
Before you publish online, email your story to a friend with similar taste. Isn't it much easier to take (hopefully) well-meant criticism from someone you know than hard, cruel flaming from some troll who doesn't know you?
If you hit the big time, don't edit your old fan fics and pass them off as original stories. Rumor has it The Mortal Instruments was born out of Cassandra Clare's hugely popular Harry Potter fan fics The Draco Trilogy. This may or may not be true, but if it is she should be ashamed to profit from it. I do wonder what J.K. Rowling's opinion is on the subject. However, I think it's fine to transplant OCs from a fan fic to an original story, so long as they are well-disguised and the story itself is COMPLETELY DIFFERENT from the fan fic the OCs came from.
If you're writing a crossover, make sure you distinguish between similar characters from different canons. Someone writing an Kane Chronicles Maximum Ride crossover should make sure that Anubis and Fang don't share much screen time. Or give one of them an outrageous quirk or something that the other avowedly does not share.
Feel free to experiment with pairings, so long as they are within the bounds of decency. Obviously this excludes all incest fics. But come on, as if Artemis Fowl and Violet Baudelaire wouldn't make the cutest couple! In fact, there are lots of popular (and sometimes perfect) crossover pairings out there. Some examples include Legolas/Susan (LotR Narnia), Edmund/Hermione (Narnia Harry Potter), or Percy/Katniss (PJO Hunger Games). NOTE: just because the pairings themselves are cool doesn't mean all the fics about them are good.
If you're not satisfied with your story, delete it and try again. There is no shame in this.
Experiment with different genres. If all you read is fantasy and all you write is fantasy, your work will be cliched and dull. Read all different types of books (and heck, all different types of fan fics).
If you want me to review your story...
I will read pretty much anything, except for the following: fics involving slash/femmeslash, incest, pedophilia, bestiality, "glamorized" rape, or any other sexual activity that is inherently squicky or wrong. I am not a homophobe, but I am not a yaoi/yuri fan either, so same-sex pairings (even canon same-sex pairings) make me uncomfortable. The others listed are disgusting and horrid, and I can't imagine why anyone would enjoy them.
There are certain fandoms that I stay away from. If you want me to review a Twilight, Da Vinci Code, or Disney's Pocahontas fic, it'd better be a parody.
Also, I don't like explicit sexual content of any orientation. If your fic contains lemons or is rated M, I will only read it if you are an exceptional writer and the work has redeeming moral value.
I have high tolerance for violence and gore in the right context, but if your fic is all about killing things I probably won't like it very much.
A little strong language can be effective, but if your characters drop the F-bomb constantly I will get rather annoyed.
Substance abuse makes me nervous, and if glamorized will be enough to make me stop reading the fic.
IF YOUR FIC IS RACIST, ANTI-SEMITIC, HOMOPHOBIC, ISLAMAPHOBIC, VIOLENTLY SEXIST, ANTI-CHRISTIAN, MAKES FUN OF MENTALLY DISABLED PEOPLE, OR ESPOUSES ANY KIND OF PREJUDICE, I WILL STOP READING AND REPORT IT IMMEDIATELY.
I am a Christian. I will never shove my religion down your throat, but my faith does inform my writing.
Generally I stay away from RPF (Real Person Fic). This is because it tends to be slashy or smutty, which is embarassing enough with fictional characters but a lot worse with real people. But if you're writing a story about a band that I like or something and it has absolutely no offensive content, there's a chance I might have a look at it. However, I will recommend that you change the names of the characters even if you're not having them do anything libellous. Better safe than sorry.
I like both canon ships and non-canon ships - so long as the pairing and the fic itself are within the bounds of decency, I'll gladly read it and tell you what I think. I REFUSE TO GET INVOLVED IN SHIPPING WARS. FANFIC WRITING IS SUPPOSED TO BE FUN, AND BEING TOLD YOU CAN'T PLAY AROUND WITH SHIPS IS NOT FUN.
OCs are cool; Mary Sues are not. There's a difference. Please don't be offended if I warn you that your OC is slipping into Sue territory. I would expect you to do the same for me. My characters are my friends, and much as they annoy me sometimes, I would never want them to meet such a horrible fate as Sueness.
I make a point of making my reviews sound as kind as possible. I do not like giving negative reviews any more than you like receiving them. If your fic is so bad that I have truly nothing good to say about it, I won't review.
However, if you ask me to come review your story, please don't flip out if I give you constructive criticism. We are all learning here, and I'm just trying to help.
If you want me to write something...
I won't write anything that I refuse to read. That would make me a hypocrite. Nobody likes a hypocrite.
"The life that you are seeking you will never find. When the gods created man they allotted to him death, but life they retained in their own keeping." The Epic of Gilgamesh (Utnapishtim tells Gilgamesh that he will never become immortal).
“Improvement makes strait roads, but the crooked roads without Improvement, are roads of Genius.” William Blake, The Marriage of Heaven and Hell
“Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another: "What! You too? I thought I was the only one.” C.S. Lewis
“The person, be it gentleman or lady, who has not pleasure in a good novel, must be intolerably stupid.” Jane Austen
“Fantasy is escapist, and that is its glory. If a soldier is imprisioned by the enemy, don't we consider it his duty to escape?. . .If we value the freedom of mind and soul, if we're partisans of liberty, then it's our plain duty to escape, and to take as many people with us as we can!” J.R.R. Tolkien
“The mind is its own place, and in itself can make a heaven of hell, a hell of heaven..” John Milton, Paradise Lost
“Give me a place to stand and I will move the earth.” Homer, the Iliad
"Calling Justin Bieber [or One Direction] gay is insulting to Freddie Mercury." internet meme
“If people destroy something replaceable made by mankind, they are called vandals; if they destroy something irreplaceable made by God, they are called developers.” Joseph Wood Krutch
“It seems that every time mankind is given a lot of energy, we go out and wreck something with it.” David R. Brower
"Harry Potter is about confronting fears, finding inner strength, and doing what is right in the face of adversity. Twilight is about how important it is to have a boyfriend." attributed to Stephen King, and a good many other people
"Dear Edward Cullen, you sparkle in sunlight, you never age, and you sneak into girls' bedrooms to watch them sleep. How original. Sincerely, Peter Pan." internet meme
"Dear Katniss Everdeen, Nice archery skills. But remember: we did it first. Try to keep up with us! Sincerely, Legolas Greenleaf and Susan Pevensie." internet meme
“Writing is like driving at night in the fog. You can only see as far as your headlights, but you can make the whole trip that way.”—E.L. Doctorow
“I think all writing is a disease. You can't stop it.”—William Carlos Williams
“Writing is 90 percent procrastination: reading magazines, eating cereal out of the box, watching infomercials.” —Paul Rudnick
“Writers end up writing stories--or rather, stories' shadows--and they're grateful if they can, but it is not enough. Nothing the writer can do is ever enough”—Joy Williams
“The less conscious one is of being 'a writer,' the better the writing.”—Pico Iyer
“Writing is…that oddest of anomalies: an intimate letter to a stranger.”—Pico Iyer
"Before Hogwarts wrote to Harry...before Bella moved to Washington...before Percy went to Camp...Lucy looked into a Wardrobe." -internet meme