Progress Log: Gilded Cage
Ch 10 Editing 1/5
Next Update Friday 25th I hope.
I’m outta here!
'Til Sunday anyway. I'll be down in London until Sunday afternoon, and internet will be touch and go, as will sobriety, so… yeah. bet to assume I won't be online, really.
There are a couple of bits in my queue, but if you’ve sent me a message or whatever, I won’t be able to reply until then.
Much love xxxx
Johnlock Fan Fic Rec Challenge, Day 4: Favourite Case Fic
Midnight Blue Serenity by BeautifulFiction
I don’t read fics for the cases, I read fics for the love but that doesn’t mean I haven’t read some bloody brilliant case fics.
Now, BeautifulFiction. Where to start? The words, I think, because I am and will forever be in awe of how she wields her enormous vocabulary. The writing style is always distinctly BeautifulFiction and yet manages to create separate voices for Sherlock and John. I will recommend any one of her fics in a heartbeat solely based on the style. Of course, this is about case fics which is about plots and this is another thing she does brilliantly.
Midnight Blue Serenity kept me guessing until the end, the criminals were intriguing, and the finale was full of suspense. In short, it’s clever and exciting without using Moriarty as the big baddie. All of this on top of solid relationship development between Sherlock and John. Not to mention, Sherlock as a sexy bartender. I mean, what more could you possibly want??
Oh, thankyou! I’m chuffed to get both a rec and an honourable mention
Snowbouquet prompted me with tan-lines :)
John’s years were measured in the changing colour of his skin. The rose-faced innocence of youth gave way to a mellow tan: skin put on display for those who cared to look. Plenty did as he struggled into the first bloom of adulthood, growing strong beneath their infatuated gaze.
Hours of study, trapped inside, bleached the flesh as it brightened the mind, but it was Afghanistan that left the boldest marks – manacles of brown as the memory of the war held him captive. They dragged him down, invisible iron that dogged him through London’s chill: a bitter reminder of all he had been.
Long sleeves and high collars charted their frontiers. Under fabric, he remained touched with honey, while time – one brief year at Sherlock’s side, three of absence, a wedding, a return and a divorce – wrote its tale on hands and face alike: weathered skin telling its own story.
Now, full lips traced along his collarbones, whispering adorations where tan bled away to a golden glow. A hot tongue lapped the sweetness from his skin, and a deep voice catalogued every tint. Sherlock narrated the stories left behind, and his swollen heart thrummed with joy.
Once, in the distant past, a lover had said his body was a masterpiece. Now, decades later and beneath Sherlock’s abundant praise, he believed it.
I'm trying to write my first Sherlock fic, and I was wondering...how do you come up with complicated cases for him to solve? And his deductions? I feel like no matter what I come up with, it's not on his 'level' of intelligence.
My first thought to this was “Oh God, I don’t know how I do it. It just happens.” However, that’s not very helpful, and thinking back on it I suppose thinking is pretty key. I spend a lot of time when constructing a case going through “What ifs” What if John did this, what if Sherlock couldn’t find that, how would they act, how would they react. That can give you quite a complex path through a case, which often works out for the best because it allows you to explore the tangents and muddy the waters.
Research, as well. Choose a method of murder (poisoning is totally my favourite as most people will probably realise when they read my fic) and then try and work out how to make it non-obvious. Poisoning is quite easy. There are so many delicious ways to die through chemical exposure.
Stabbing-wise, think about the weapon. Make it unusual. Give it another purpose. For Sherlock to have solid deductions, you’ve got to give him a puzzle (and watch him dance.)
As for the deductions, watch the show repeatedly. Watch his deductive scenes. His leaps of logic are very intuitive and detail-oriented, so don’t just focus on the victim, see what they were wearing, how they were wearing it, environmental impact (are the clothes ragged, new, freshly laundered etc) look at their environment. Where are they. What’s unusual about it. Have they been there for years or just moved in, that kind of thing.
Then you have to work out what Sherlock and his mind might get from that. He also works in pattern recognition - particularly that relating to scandal, crime or wrong-doing - and has to make assumptions based on that. He sees a woman with a wedding ring battered on the outside but shiny on the inside, he assumes she takes it off frequently because she’s having an affair and wants to keep her marital status hidden.
He doesn’t assume she takes it off every night to do the washing up and left it in her jeans pocket by accident, exposing the soft white-gold to both a washing machine and a tumble drier before retrieving it, almost sobbing with relief because she thought she’d lost the bloody thing, from the fluff filter of the tumble drier. (One could argue that a woman deeply in love and commmited would NOT ALLOW THAT to happen to her wedding ring, but this woman in particular would argue she’s often distracted and sadly not very good at keeping track of even treasured possessions.)
You get the gist of what I’m saying. Many of Sherlock’s deductions could have an alternative explanation. One that’s relatively benign, and you could use that to increase the complexity of the case. Don’t assume Sherlock doesn’t make mistakes. “There’s always something”.
Basically, it’s a case of practice makes perfect. I think this fandom in general understands that writing a solid case fic is hard, and they’ll be understanding as you continue to write and learn through doing.
I really hope that helped a bit :)
So...When you begin writing a story, do you usually outline it first or do you just go for it? I'm a writer too, and people always tell me to outline first but I really struggle with that... So I was wondering if you do outline them first, but if not, what helps you get unstuck (whenever you get stuck that is)
I could have sworn I’d answered a similar post to this recently, but I can’t for the life of me find it. Maybe I imagined it? (It wouldn’t surprise me to be honest.)
When it comes to writing, I don’t bother planning. Sometimes there might be key world-building aspects that I write down as I think of them (lest I forget) but I’ve never found the process of outlining to be remotely useful. If anything, it’s restrictive and becomes a deterrent.
My writing process is “organic” which is a pretentious way of saying “let’s start writing and see what happens” and actually, getting really bloody, mercilessly stuck is incredibly rare. I don’t think I’ve done it for years. A bit jammed sometimes, yeah, but nothing too bad (thankfully!)
When it does happen, your friend is normally the delete key.
First, I copy the document, so the original survives intact. Then, in the new copy I delete the last line i wrote, reword it or recreate and see if I’m still blocked. If it doesn’t work, delete a paragraph and retry. If that doesn’t work, a scene.
It’s like stepping back out of a dead end turn. How much you need to delete depends how deep into that dead end you were.
Normally, that does the trick, even if it is a bit aggravating having to delete stuff.
Some stuff from my head to this page
On fandom & me, why I see fandom as I do, and other things I feel like expressing. A friend said to me today when I asked her why I was crying and she reminded me that sometimes when you get a massage, enough gets unhitched enough so that you feel pain you didn’t before. I think today was kind of like that in that I figured out some things and so it emotionally boiled over a bit. Personal history inside, etc. so scroll past if you like…
This. This is part of the reason fandom is important, and why when it comes down to it, it’s just as much about everyone on the other side of the screen as it is the one typing away at the keyboard. It’s a two way street, and it’s better to make fandom a have than a war-zone; it might be the only place some people have to retreat.
Sherlock BBC Poster : ) available here , a few copies left over from convention :)
Ohmygod. I want this as a frikkin’ wallpaper mural. Lifesize.
absolutely. it never ceases to amaze me whenever some readers are able to decode my inside joke/fandom’s joke/otp joke that i put in my writing. while i dig comments like mad, i live for that kind of insightful comments, ma’am, they always motivate me, they always remind me why i stay in the first place. eheheh it’s like. it’s me, i’m fucked in the head, maybe, because i understand not everyone is in the mood to drop a comment on my updated fic. i do. it’s just this feeling of being under appreciated tends to constantly lurk and hit me at the oddest times. lately i found out that heh. updating is like an obligation to those ±1 followers of my fic community, like, i’m pushing myself to write not because i’m excited to share the next chapter, the progress of the story, but because i feel obliged to them. and then the cycle of ‘jesus here i spent 1231 days writing a new chapter and only 0,9 people comment?’ will continue. please, tell me your view on my quite tiring situation?
I’m guessing you’re the same anon as in this post :D Unfortunately, I don’t know what advice to give you, except that feeling under-appreciated is fairly common amidst creators. Some comments are also worth more than others, and those insightful ones are lovely (definitely building a rapport with those commenters in particular if you can can be very satisfying, just as a side-note).
As for writing to please others, while there’s a lot of benefit to an update schedule (that’s something that seems to garner a more solid fanbase as well, regular updates) when it comes to deciding how often you update, sticking to what you can manage that will allow you to maintain the joy you feel in your creation is the ideal way to go.
It definitely sounds like you’re maybe stuck in a bit of a cycle of (sort of) measuring the worth of your writing by the number/quality of comments you get. That’s not a bad thing, exactly. I think everyone does it to some extent. What I taught myself to do (and it was a lesson a long time learning) was to squeeze maximum satisfaction out of the process, so that even if no one at all commented, I’d still be pleased with myself for my achievement in that chapter, and still eager in the story I’d want to tell. Don’t get my wrong, if I got no comments, I’d probably still sulk, but I’d probably keep going, too.
My view would be maybe take a bit of a break, sit back, and think how to maximise the enjoyment of the process for yourself. That way the end result (the reception of the finished product) might not have such an impact on your motivation.
Hope that helps <3
Hi just wanted to let you know that I absolutely love your writing and enjoy rereading your stories and waiting for new chapters of works in progress! I loved your FMA fics, and then when you switched to Sherlock, I started reading one of the fics and it convinced me to go watch Sherlock. Which I now absolutely love. You rock! <3
Thank you, anon :D I’m so glad I could tempt you over to the Sherlock side. Maybe I should re-read my FMA fics sometimes… remind myself how things used to be!
i’ve been wondering how to ask you about this because it’s liek i need an insight from a fellow fic-writer with quite a following (though mine is minuscule if compared to yours ehehe he he). so. is it normal if i constantly think that i am under appreciated? in my case, i dig comments from the readers so much. like, where are the ±1k followers of my fic community whenever i post their long awaited, their preferred OTP fics? this thought has been attacking me continuously, o, senpai. help? i mean surely if they didn’t find my writing interesting they wouldn’t follow that community? i know i wouldn’t. i need some closure from a mature mind (apologise if i seem like dumping my lol problem to you). i’ve a mature mind before (also an amazing woman like you) telling me that the fandom i am in is filled by ‘teenage girls and high school clique mindset, so’ which i get it, i do. but yeaaa. all the time i spent writing for them. ya feel? eheheh he he
I think appreciation can very much be a state of mind. It’s really easy to get in that trap of comparing this updates number of reviews to last updates, or your own feedback to that of another author, or whatever.
When you’ve got your own following, you can also look at those numbers and think “Why do I never hear from them?” It’s pretty much a case of silence is golden. Just because they don’t comment doesn’t mean they’re not reading and/or enjoying what you’re putting out there. They have nothing to complain about, nothing to say except perhaps “loved it” and so they don’t say anything at all. I really wouldn’t be discouraged. About 3% of readers at best comment on what they read. That might help put it in perspective a bit.
As for what you can do to improve that level:
1. Keep your writing game strong and always strive to improve (as I’m sure you will) People appreciate the effort, and are more likely to comment if your writing really strikes a chord.
2. Engage as much as you can. That’s kind of hard, when you’ve not got people commenting much, but ask them what they’d like to see, get them involved, communicate :D I need to up my game in that respect as well… more fic on the blog or something, I’m still considering it. Also, reply to reviews. Even if it’s just to say thanks, it gets a dialogue going and people are more likely to comment again, because they know they’re not just flinging their comments into an abyss.
3. Switch the angle of your mindset. Even if you feel disappointed, don’t think “Only x many people commented” Force yourself, if you must, to think “Hey! X many people commented!” It does work, it helps you feel encouraged, it keeps you contributing which steadily increases reader engagement.
So yeah, tl;dr, it’s human nature not to comment unless there’s something to complain about. Show your gratitude to those who do comment, and keep working on the product. The rest will follow :D
Where do you find all of these Sherlock gifs? Because I love them and I want them.
Around and about is the answer. If I see one I like, I save it* and try to credit the original creator (often there’s watermarks etc, so they’re getting recognition every time you use the gif, which is cool.)
*Unless the creator specifically says it’s not for re-use etc, which some do, so do respect their wishes. :D
For Gilded Cage, is the whole Alpha-Omega universe already a set thing that everybody else uses when writing those types of stories? Or did you make it up all on your own? Because I found it very complex and was wondering. Thanks!
It’s definitely not my own concept. It’s been around for a while. I’m just taking it and running with it! I think I’ve possibly added a lot of detail to the society (corecct me if I’m wrong, guys!) but definitely the biology of it (adaptable as it is!) has already been lain out elsewhere!
There’s links to some resources in the A/Ns of Gilded Cage, which might help :D
So, today is my day (hubbie looking after the spawn) which means writing.
Except I’m getting my hair coloured which takes 2-3 hours out of the day. So I got up at 7am during the school holidays so I could supplement the writing time.
*Wriggles around happily in her chair.*
I love writing