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I celebrate and sing myself
SSar's Beast

I recently published my longest fic yet, at 13k. Baby steps for some readers, I'm sure, but it feels very exciting for me.

Nothing Between Them (13242 words) by Morbane
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Dragonriders of Pern - Anne McCaffrey
Rating: Mature
Warnings: Author Chose Not To Use Archive Warnings
Relationships: P'tero/M'leng
Characters: P'tero, M'leng
Additional Tags: Aliens Make Them Do It, First Meetings, book: Red Star Rising, Dragons, Psychic Bond, Slow Build
Summary: How P'tero comes by the habit of catching M'leng's attention with recklessness.

It was an accident. For a Dragonriders of Pern canonical pairing, Kastaka prompted 'Impression, first lift-off, first mating flights, first jumps /between/...' I thought of a first-jump-Between, and the story unrolled from there - the problem was, the first-jump-Between came at the end of the story, and there was all this stuff that had to happen first.

I need to be wary of those kinds of plots from now on, I think. Although the 'all the stuff that had to happen first' in the story included Impression[s], first lift-offs, and a first mating flight, so I can't regret it much.

I picked up the prompt as a pinch hit for ShipSwap, and I was really excited about it, because P'tero and M'leng are characters from Red Star Rising / Dragonseye / The Second Chronicles of Pern, and that's my favourite Pern book. I really enjoyed re-reading it.

The problems that are faced in Red Star Rising feel real and fascinating to me. In Dragonsdawn and the First Chronicles story collection, the settlers create and establish dragons as their solution to a terrible but intermittent problem; Red Star Rising is about the real test both to that solution and to that problem. Chalkin, as a villain, makes sense, because he isn't a grand antagonist; he's just lazy, greedy, and cunning. The theme that a person possessing those qualities can make hell for a lot of others in his world is a fairly resonant one. And he raises the point of reasonable doubt, which is a theme taken up in other ways in the novel. How will we know that Thread is coming?. Red Star Rising is about a society in transition, lamenting the technology of their forebears while providing for the future. I'm sold.

Meanwhile, Iantine's is a very engaging sub-plot; he is talented but naive, and the one causes him grief while the other leads him to self-assertion, and to the Weyr. Debera's is a classic Cinderella plot, and it's satisfying for the reader while also providing Weyr backgrounding.

P'tero and M'leng are rather choppy, by comparison. Anne McCaffrey's description of their romance is terrible - she can barely even manage to call them lovers, resorting to "special friends" at one point, and has a really, really clunky passage about P'tero admiring M'leng's wiry frame. Really, lady... Was this progressive? Possibly.

I enjoyed writing the story. Compared to other works in this category of AO3, including my recipient's, it's really not very good. Preferably, it would have been more realistic and less tropey, but I tried. It's partly that I uploaded half the story at a reasonable stopping point before the deadline, aghast at how out of control it had gotten (it's just a story!) and wrote the rest at extreme speed (for me). The Saturday the fics went live, I spent all day writing. Joel gave me a hug and went to a party. I kept writing. I caught a bus to the party 90 minutes after he did, editing on the way. I stayed an hour at the party and found myself happy, but exhausted.

My largest regret is that by devoting so much time to that story, I failed to deliver the Orual/Bardia Till We Have Faces story that Kastaka had also asked for. It would have been great, damnit! And maybe it might still be kind of OK. This was what prompted me to read the book, after all... and that led to nice things!

But - Dragonriders of Pern was the first fandom I ever wrote fic for, back when I was thirteen and produced painful Mary Sue inserts with dragons of purple, silver, diamond, and red. I remember dragging my friends S and J into that - back when they were twelve - and during the course of writing the fic, I spoke to them both on gchat. Do you remember? They did.

I said to S, "I've never tried to write m/m slash before, argh."
S said, "It's okay. Read some Sterek fic."
I didn't, but this did amuse me.
J laughed a lot and asked me for the link. (So did my mother.)

I just finished a pinch hit for Not Prime Time (six days between claim and post). It's also not brilliant, but I really liked the prompt, and I hope the recipient likes my response. (I also hope the person who had to default on the assignment is okay. I realise my glee for pinch hits can be a bit ghoulish. Hope you feel a tiny bit better, unknown defaulter, for knowing there were people available to pass the commitment on to.)

My hit count at AO3 is OVER NINE THOUSAND. The nine-thousand mark occurred over chat, and everyone was excited for me, and there were DBZ quotes and discussions of statistics. Thank you chat. ♥. Huzzah for meaningless yet meaningful statistics.

Oh yes, and fourth - I am working on a NPT Madness fic. I like it a lot. It is simple and short. Let's see if I can keep it under 1k, yeah? Let's see if I can FINISH AND POST IT, yeah?

This entry is also posted at http://morbane.dreamwidth.org/2492.html. Comments are welcome at either site.

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Congratulations! And I love the story too. :)

Pern was one of my first fandoms as well, and I haven't yet managed to produce anything for it that wasn't embarrassing MUSH roleplaying as a 14-year-old. So I know the feeling. I will have to reread Dragonseye/RSR now...

Oh thank you!

What's MUSH? A particular online RPG group?

I'm thinking of offering Pern this Yuletide too - some of the fic that's been written for Pern in that environment has awed me, but, well, that's how I've felt about some other fandoms I've been moderately successful in. Come join me? :P

Online real-time text-based roleplaying. MUSH is a particular server codebase; the name stands for "Multi-User Shared Hallucination." Pern was a pretty popular setting choice for these things. PernMUSH was the one I played on, and though it is pretty much dead now, I assure you it was all the rage in 1995. This, um, was my character name.

I will think about it! The annoying thing is that all my Pern books (including all the canon reference books) are 3000 miles away, which might make it a little tricky.


My McCaffrey books are also all in another city, although it's only 400 miles away, not 3,000! I am hoping a friend visiting from that city will soon be able to bring me some of them. (Though I'm not sure I'll be able to get through The White Dragon even with the most diligent of efforts. I found that one so unappealing...) For this exchange fic, I was dependent on the local library, the online Pern encyclopedia, and a friendly anonymous person from f_fa.

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