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Is it okay to harvest plot ideas/inspiration for stories from existing media?

How about in a fic exchange? I mean, on the one hand: everything has already been done at least once, but on the other ... fandom IME can be weirdly passionate about never using someone else's ideas ever. (Does it count if it's an idea from a commercial source? If it's so high-level that only people who'd seen the original would recognize the remake if the newer version doesn't hang a lampshade on it, like the salami-slicing plot in Office Space?)

Anyone? Bueller?


Sep. 15th, 2014 01:01 pm
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There's a file on my google drive - ~untitled document~ with a single line of text inside.

"the lesbian red masque of death"

I ... need to write that, huh?
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This spring and summer (which includes a possible week off over July 4th, or possibly a 5-for-2 long weekend, haven't decided or put in for PTO yet, and I'm ... restless, I guess? About a thousand thousand things, but the one story I was working on most is now at a part where it needs the editing brain, and the writing brain is kindof offline at the moment due to external stimuli. So here's the storylist - hoping I can get some of them in at under 7, and the war rule (And they killed the prince) posted before the season 2 opener.

creatures in human figure - the Ichabod and Katrina swap places AU.

1x01 the bounty of our victory - complete, unedited
(In four parts)
1x02 the blood of the covenant
1x03 the reverend makes a call
1x04 sororitas
1x05 death and the maiden
1x06 the withered fig
1x07 the enemy of my enemy
1x08 against feathers
1x09 asylum
1x10 the four who speak as one
1x11 children's work
1x12 the harrowing of hell
1x13 the war rule

In other news [ profile] taraljc and I are now out of Call the Midwife after a lazy sunday of television watching, noms, and naps. Unfortunately, I have to go rouse herself at 8:30 to catch the 9:07 bus in to work, because my car broke down again, this time in the work parking lot on Saturday.

(Neutral safety has been acting up since they fixed/removed the ignition kill switch "security" device", and I having gone in to work on Saturday for some semi-mandatory weekend work rather than Ikea to get a bed, was not entirely surprised when it wouldn't start. Still, better Evanston next door to my mechanic than Schaumburg, 30 miles away from anything useful to me.) No crying this time, but I did experience a whole fuck of a lot of near slips on the ice that the Northwestern students deigned to not deal with in front of their housing.)

So basically I need to get my supervisor a fruit basket because his bribery-and-guilt cocktail saved me from an undesired panic attack at the ikea.

Need to talk to my parents today and maybe have them help me with costs if they can. Among the other thousand adulting things that have to happen lest I lose my apartment on bad terms and other disasters befall me. (And I'd been so good on Friday and opened a savings account at my bank, too. Cry. Hello, decimation of the savings account! I'm Boo! Pleased to meet you!)

ETA: Less freaking out now; I canceled my amazon prime membership which went through on the 19th, and freed up that $80 I don't really have to spend on prime right now.
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Draft #1 of The Bounty of Our Victory (Creatures in Human Figure 1x01) is DONE at 12,081 words.

Now to EDIT THE MOTHERFUCKER and decide if I want to post serially or all at once.

Serially, I think.
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I have MAYBE 500-750 words left on part I of The AU. MAYBE.


Also working on some creative nonfiction, because of reasons.
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1. [ profile] tigerbright! HAPPY BELATED BIRTHDAY I went and tried to make you a thing with an ADORABLY FLUFFLY GINGER KITTEN on the internet but then I couldn't find the making-thing I wanted to use and slunk away in defeat. BUT I THOUGHT OF YOU LOTS YESTERDAY, and hope your day was excellent.

2. Memes are still a thing, right?

1. Of the fic stories you’ve written, of which are you most proud?

Answering this question is highly malleable and I'm not gonna do it. I'm pretty fond of my recent run through Sleepy Hollow fandom, though.

2. Favorite tense

Simple past. Clear, concise, there is nothing you can do in any other tense that you can't do in simple past.

3. Favorite POV

Third limited. Again, nothing you can't do in any person that you can't also do in this one.

4. What are some themes you love writing about?

Family, found and otherwise; home and finding it; fighting for comfort in one's own skin; people behaving decently to one another; faith and loss thereof; faith and (re)discovery thereof; holidays; people talking to other people like adults; the world snapping into sense-making place when some new piece of information comes to a head;

5. What inspires you to write? | [ profile] rustydragonfly: "Where do you get your ideas?"

The world, and my own head. #Chiberia gave me the urge to write winter!fic; and talking to [personal profile] havocthecat and [ profile] kita0610 gave me the push to write Creatures in Human Figure and Apprentice, a lot of times I'll get an image or a snatch of dialogue and roll it around in my head for a while, coaxing it to grow.

The ideas come from all over the place, but interaction feeds them best, and sharing with the idea that someone might see makes me both more and less likely to push through til the end.

6. Thoughts on critique

Welcome when it's welcome, assholish when it's the wrapping paper around an act of bullying. Needs to be desired and consensual, which places the onus of asking whether it's wanted on the critic. Not necessarily the same as, "Yo, you need to tag for [xyz]" or "expecting us to identify with this dude who constantly talks down to his partner and makes them feel shitty is uncool, did you do that on purpose? if so it needs tagging."

7. Create a character on the spot... NOW!

Beat you to it. Second comment in the thread, final paragraph. You should probably read the not!fic, first.

8. Is there a character you love writing for the most? The least? Why?

Almost invariably the women. Like, that's the most singular constant: women, or characters who share some other distinguishing feature with me (growing up poor/unstable, intelligent but underachieving, "fixers"; I end up writing military and law enforcement characters often, because, I think, of the "chance to die honorably in service" part of the job description.

9. A passage from a WIP

Don't wanna, not gonna. Mostly because there's not a lot that stands alone well right now.

10. What are your strengths in writing?

Ah hahahah haha ha I can spin a yarn? I mean. Okay I'm not answering this one because it requires being kind to myself about a thing that's important to me, and I am still working on that a lot.

Although I'm not going to reject compliments on my writing from you fine people.

11. What are your weaknesses in writing?

All of them I am bad at finishing things, especially long things. Which is unfortunate because sometime between high school and now I turned into a novelist.

12. Anything else that you want to know... (otherwise known as Fill in the Blank)

We're open for questions if you want to hear me natter.
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So there's yet another AU I'm not writing, approximately one one hundredth of what the story would actually need.

Point of divergence: Ichabod keeps his mouth shut while delivering the Declaration of Resolves; Abraham never becomes the Horseman of Death, and the Continentals win in much the same manner they do in the demon-free universe we live in.


Oh yeah, I'm definitely deep in fannish love right now.

Yesterday I posted Furnace (Ichabod/Katrina, huddling together for warmth) and this morning I postd You Don't Bring A Demon To A Snowball Fight (Abbie/Ichabod, exactly what it says on the tin, + copious UST).

This despite being floored with a migraine for most of the day.
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Call the Midwife is kinda grim.

AND YET I can't stop watching.

At some point I'm going to write some meta/companion to The AU* on how Abbie and Katrina do not get along as quickly, as easily, or as well as Abbie and Ichabod do, but for now I am going to say that I am writing it again and have maybe two scenes to write and then revision.

*For those of you just tuning in on the tumblr channel, that would be my current big project: a virtual-season format story that swaps Ichabod and Katrina's places, so that Katrina wakes up in the cave and Ichabod is the purgatory-bound damsel in distress.
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Furnace (618 words) by boosette
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Sleepy Hollow (TV)
Rating: General Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: Ichabod Crane/Katrina Crane
Characters: Ichabod Crane (TV), Katrina Crane
Additional Tags: Huddling For Warmth, Historical, Community: trope_bingo, yeah okay it might be valentines fic, newlyweds, Fluff, But fairly historically accurate, Canon fodder - Freeform, Probably not 100 percent canon Compliant

Throughout the winter and early spring, men were frequently "on command," leaving camp on a variety of assignments. Units were formed to forage for food, some were granted furloughs, and individuals regularly returned to their home states to recruit new troops. In January Jeremiah Greenman reported, "all ye spayr officers sent home to recruit another regiment & sum on furlow." [source]

The Cranes make the best of February, 1778.

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this morning's tabs:

Wikipedia: Casimir Pulaski
Wikipedia: Friedrich Wilhelm von Steuben
Revolutionary War Timeline
How To Make A Timeline In Excel
Declaration of Resolves
The Gaspee Affair
The Intolerable Acts
James Madison & the Classical Tradition in the Federalist Papers

All this because no one will tell me straight-out how junior officers were quartered at Valley Forge during the winter of 1777-1778. Does anybody here happen to know off the top of their heads?


ETA: Throughout the winter and early spring, men were frequently "on command," leaving camp on a variety of assignments. Units were formed to forage for food, some were granted furloughs, and individuals regularly returned to their home states to recruit new troops. In January Jeremiah Greenman reported, "all ye spayr officers sent home to recruit another regiment & sum on furlow."

I also my shipswap writer a letter - DO NOT WORRY WRITER I HAVE NOT FORGOTTEN YOU.
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Apprentice (6032 words) by boosette
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Sleepy Hollow (TV)
Rating: General Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: No Romantic Relationship(s)
Characters: Katrina Crane, Baltus Van Tassel, Abraham Van Brunt, Original Characters
Additional Tags: POV Female Character, Female Friendship, Magic, Pre-Canon, Backstory, Canon Compliant

Katrina Van Tassel, aged twelve years, two months, could have said with some degree of certainty that she had never once laid eyes upon, spoken to, or otherwise made the acquaintance of a witch.

Then everything changed.

For [ profile] kita0610 on the occasion of her 45th Birthday.

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"Katrina Gets A Witchy Mentor" aka "Apprentice" FINISHED at ~5,600w.

Possibly I had a great deal of fun with a few characters from the Washington Irving short story, as well. (And on that note my asshole car which is perpetually petulant and starts when it wants to has been rechristened "Gunpowder", because it amuses the fuck out of me.)

(Illness and travel - recap later today - meant several days without writing, and fgasfsdf I am so pleased to be back in the groove.)

I also need to post my Sleepy Hollow playlist because I think it's excellent.
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I also signed up for trope bingo

Read more... )
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New friends! Hello! I promise to get you all added back before EOD today!

I've missed writing lots, and oh hey look, a new fandom.

The Hercules Club (1823 words) by boosette
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Sleepy Hollow (TV)
Rating: General Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: Frank Irving & Macey Irving
Characters: Frank Irving, Macey Irving
Additional Tags: Family, Father-Daughter Relationship, Movie Night, New Year's Eve

Alternate title: All Through the Long Shark Night.

Macey Irving spends New Year's Eve with her dad, and gets on the phone tree. (Sortof.)

* I forget how much work takes out of me ... like, the punch in the face that all of the socialization and being in Not My Space feels like. (I've decided I'm going in tomorrow, which likely means being out the door by 8:00AM to arrive at work by 10:00, if the snow keeps doing what it's doing.)

* I'm still not finished with Red Seas Under Red Skies, although I've hit the last big stretch of action. I don't trust Scott Lynch to not hurt my soul, but I do want to finish today. I'm expecting Colonial New England on 5 Shillings a Day in the mail at work this week, and I have Republic of Thieves on my kindle.

* I got to redirect to my tumblr (

* I have foods - roasted chicken and the stuff for lettuce wraps - from the store, while Winter Storm Ion continues to pummel Chicago. Seriously. The thin twiggy branches outside my window have 4" of snow on them, and the wee snowmen I made on my window ledge outside have all been covered in new powder.

* I found a pair of earbuds for $6 that don't hurt my ears and have good sound quality:
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I wrote 5 stories in 5 fandoms this year, guessed by no one. (Really, guys? :P)

My Assignment: Vocation (2200w, Gen, G, Snake character study) for [ profile] edonohana in Dreamsnake by Vonda McIntyre.

This one I'm ridiculously proud of, because it was a BEARS fandom for me. My flist knows I matched on Pern, wrote a bunch, couldn't finish and edit before deadline and produced this one's rough draft over two crazy days before the default without penalty deadline as a "just in case". While I was only about halfway through the book -- luckily, I'm getting better at guessing and extrapolating so I only needed a few tweaks. So it was my first time reading it, my first time writing it, and my first time writing in a book fandom in a long damned time.

Wacky things I did throughout the writing process: Watched all available episodes of Oddities on netflix, as well as a bunch of murder documentaries, so that I could get the feel of organ preservation and autoposies. Also, I spent about a month converting all my purchases into Pernese marks.

(The original fic, still titled "Dragonsnoun" and is now part of my [community profile] getyourwordsout and will hopefully be done by next yuletide.)

My Pinch-Hit: Hope in the Bottom of the Box. (6500w, Gen/Preship, G Abbie Mills & Ichabod Crane, roadtrip/casefic) in Sleepy Hollow (TV) for [ profile] whatbecomesofyou.

I picked this one up about 3 seconds after it hit the PH list, because I really regretted not signing up for Sleepy Hollow this year - and I'm so glad I did, because her favorite listed tropes are also my favorite listed tropes, and because Abbie is an amazingly fun POV to write in. The working summary was "Nothing bad happens and no one dies."

Wacky things I did in the writing process: Set the McGuffin in Saskatchewan specifically so I could learn how to spell Saskatchewan. It is also a fucking miracle that I'm not on a do-not-fly list after the googling I had to do to get this story written.

My Other Pinch Hit: Breadcrumbs (1400w, Gen, G, Gretel character study) in Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters for [ profile] oddegg.

I'd written the first draft of this back in January, immediately after the movie, and never posted -- so when this request came up on the PH list on the 24th, I tentatively claimed it and reread and adapted until it was sufficiently weird. I was really worried that oddegg might not like it, but they did, and I'm bweeful over that because the polish-and-post of an existing story is not something I've ever done before.

Wacky things I did while writing this story: Skimming fairy tales for tone absorption.

Treat: Evolution's Biggest* Hits! (1000w Gen, G, Evolution & Manager crackfic) in WTF Evolution (tumblr) for [ profile] laughing_pheonix.

This one was the surprise! Hit of my works this year, and unsurprisingly - I had promised myself that if I finished my stories in time I could write a WTF Evolution treat. It is mostly about prehistoric megafauna, and who doesn't love prehistoric megafauna?

Wacky things I did while writing this story: I wrote each section as a reward for finishing either parts of Hope in the Bottom of the Box or editing my assigned stories/PHs.

Treat: Better than Monkeys (1000w, Gen, G, Scarlett & Karma worldbuilding/character study) in Temple Run 2 for [ profile] aramley.

I'd had the opening line hanging out in my head since seeing their request, and the rest sortof ... followed, when I realized I had a few spare hours yet on Christmas Eve.

Wacky things I did while writing this story: Played a lot of Temple Run 2, at last unlocking that fucking santa hat.
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Here is my fandoms I am nomming post at yuletide:

I have one openish slot, and I don't know exactly what I'm requesting yet, so.
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Can you think of cultures that don't have a thin, crisp or chewy flatbread that is topped or filled with a moist or juicy, protein-rich topping?

Or cultures that do have ready access to grain/grain farming/domestication but don't have some kind of dumpling?

And in my secondary universe, the question of: have they invented the sandwich as a named thing yet? What do the utensils look like? Has someone looked at their cheese room and decided that cheddaring is a thing they can do, or been hungry enough to eat the (unexpectedly delicious) moldy thing even though all their instincts are shouting POISOOOOON?

(Speaking of: my local grocery has seven year old white cheddar that I want to taste, as well as wedges of double cream brie that I really want to turn into a sandwich with pears, arugula, good mustard, and fresh crusty bread.)

The other thing I've wanted to try is Barbecue pulled jackfruit, which I need to test-drive before our next work pot-luck (We have critical mass of vegetarians, vegans, and people who look askance at pork for this to work). I'm also thinking of bringing in a package of beef bacon (certified kosher, even!) to try around, because I've read good things and they sell it at my grocery, but I don't really want to try it on my own and then not like it and then have 4/5 of a package of beef bacon I don't like mouldering in my fridge.

Need to get rid of the storage unit. Haven't touched it since I moved; not looking forward to the task. Renewed my lease last month. Still haven't adopted a cat/kittens.

So far the longest my house has stayed maintained-clean is 4 days; I'm about 60 minutes away from full clean right now, so we'll try again next week. Flat surfaces continue to be my bane.

Work is work; I don't remember whether I'd been deputized 2IC of our AV department, but since I'm not allowed to leave the building I kindof had that happen. (we're running up onto a busy season, and I may find myself working a longer week than the 35ish I'm used to.

I continue to noodle around with cultivating more fannish activity, either by extending feelers toward the Right People forum or out into wherever it is that people are being active on LJ.


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January 2015



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