Category Archives: John Watson

Old Fiction: Under The Downs

A friend wanted to read one of my works.

She lives in Sussex, so I recommended ‘Under The Downs’, a Sherlock fanfic set in and around Arundel, which I wrote partly as a result of many happy trips to see her.

But it is published on fanfiction.net, which means the interface is crap, and for reasons to do with her eyesight and peculiarly stubborn nature, she wanted to print it out.  And I just couldn’t help her there.

So I decided to migrate ‘Under the Downs’ to AO3, where it now resides,  and where you can enjoy it in thankfully legible format, and with a user interface that is not the bastard love child of the devil copulating with Unix.

I offer it to you now with renewed joy.  Especially The Otter Part.  Here’s a little taster:

“I paddle towards him with all the elegance of a hedgehog on a cork.  My teeth are chattering, so I clench them.  Just to make matters worse, he frolics about me, sleek and easy, undulating through the water like an otter.  His body is a blade, perfectly shaped for ease of movement.  He ducks and dives, twisting corkscrews around me in circles while I frantically struggle to stay afloat.

            Suddenly he bobs up right in front of me, his belly brushing against mine, his cheeks beaded, his eyelashes spiked.  Water streams from his pointed chin.

            ‘Why didn’t you just tell me you can’t swim?’

            ‘Of course I can bloody swim,’ I snap at him.  ‘What does it bloody look like I’m doing, carpentry?’”

Click here for ‘Under the Downs’ at AO3.

Happy reading,

EF

 

A Last Minute Roundup

Dear All,

Christmas is fast approaching here in Darkest Norfolk, and in traditional style, there are no decorations up yet, and we still have presents yet to buy!  It wouldn’t be the same without that last-minute panic.

I’ve been working so hard to finish my guide-daughter’s Christmas stocking that I have had no time to write, which is making me thoroughly grumpy and frustrated.  Hopefully, I shall get some writing time in after the festivities are over, in that gloomy pause between Christmas and New Year..

In the meantime, I thought you might like to see the finished product:

IMG_20141218_142508This shot gives an idea of the amount of quilting I put into it.

Here is the completed version:

IMG_20141218_163619 IMG_20141218_163610I have to say its the best thing I have managed to finish in years, and I am indecently proud of myself.  I hope Lottie likes it.

And in the spirit of trying to get into the Christmas Spirit (…), I’ve finally managed to get around to transferring my favourite Christmas fanfic, A Christmas Soldier, over to AO3.  You can read it here.

Well, that about wraps it up.  I’d like to thank you for bearing with me over recent months, and I hope that this festive season brings you joy, peace, good health and lots and lots of creative fun!

With love,

Evenlode’s Friend.

Fanfiction: Opal

Old fishing boat on the shingle in the mist.

Old fishing boat on the shingle in the mist, Aldeburgh, Suffolk.

I wish I had something fresh to offer you today, but I’m in the middle of a ‘perfect storm’ of illness, and I’m impressed I’m actually able to be this coherent!  Still, thank goodness for the back catalogue, eh?

Today you can read the last part of The Plato Series, freshly transferred to AO3, and slightly rewritten for clarity.

A little taste:

“John twisted to look at the bedside clock. ‘Oh, fuck.’

           It was half past six on Sunday morning and they were supposed to be having a lie-in. He’d arranged for breakfast in bed at 9, and everything. He’d been determined. And now this.

            ‘I get it,’ Sherlock whispered, breaking his train of thought.

            ‘Get what?’

            ‘The light. That’s why it’s so beautiful here. It’s the light.’ Sherlock seemed almost breathless. He reached out his skinny hand and pulled John across the bed to join him. ‘Can you see it?’”

You can read ‘Opal’ here on AO3.

Alternatively, you can read the entire series from the start, here.

And hopefully, I will be a little less catatonic by Friday!

Happy Creating,

EF

 

Fanfiction: Sherlock – The Plato Series

The Scallop by Maggi Hambling, Aldeburgh, Suffolk.

The Scallop by Maggi Hambling, Aldeburgh, Suffolk.

Today I’ve transferred another episode of the Plato Series onto AO3.

In ‘Diamond’, John takes a very reluctant Sherlock for a romantic weekend away, and things don’t end up going quite the way either of them expected.

A quick taster:

“Sherlock was sulking. And it wasn’t one of his run-of-the-mill sulks. It was an epic sulk. Complete with a lower lip jutting out so far he could barely walk without tripping over it. Okay, perhaps that was a bit of an exaggeration, but John had just about had enough of the whole thing.

            ‘I’m taking you away for the weekend,’ he snapped, gripping the steering wheel so hard his knuckles went white. ‘I mean, most people, most decent people, would be grateful. Some people might even say thank you.’”

You can read the series from the beginning here.

The last story in the cycle, ‘Opal’ will go up on Wednesday this week.

Happy reading,

EF

Friday FanFic: In Praise of Plato

John and Sherlock - Martin Freeman and Benedict Cumberbatch in BBC's 'Sherlock'.

John and Sherlock – Martin Freeman and Benedict Cumberbatch in BBC’s ‘Sherlock’.

Olivianoelle14 messaged me on ff.net a little while ago to ask me if I would consider transferring my old fic, ‘In Praise of Plato’, to AO3, on the grounds that the interface there is so much easier to read.

How could I refuse?

When I went back and looked at it, I decided to make a few tiny amendments.  Its two whole years since I wrote it, and it feels like a lifetime.  I can’t believe I wrote 38 fics that year.  Not all of them were publishable, or published, but still, I must have been on a huge roll!  I certainly haven’t matched that output since.

Anyway, here is a much loved old faithful for you to enjoy.

“‘They don’t understand how two men can be so devoted to one another, and be sharing a flat, and not be having sex. It doesn’t fit into their stereotype system. They can’t fathom how it can be possible, and therefore they fear it.’”

Read it here on AO3.

Happy Creating,

EF

Friday QuickFic: Older and Wiser

john and sherlockWe write out our own psychodramas,  Thats why I believe writing is so healing.  I can explore the emotions in my fiction that I can’t deal with in real life.  This week I wrote this tough fic, called ‘Older and Wiser’.  I had not intended it to be so raw and uncompromising, but it came out that way.  I think this is because my life is currently full of difficult emotions, sad situations and lives in the process of ending.  Whether I know it or not, these things are undoubtedly on my mind all the time, and they are bound to seep out in my creative expressions.

I started this fic with the prompt ‘Older and Wiser’, and with the image of Benedict Cumberbatch as Sherlock, sitting at the table at Baker Street, contemplating how his relationship with John has changed over time.  I’ve been thinking a lot about how BC’s smoking is damaging his skin lately, about the wrinkles he is developing as a result, and those wrinkles were definitely on my mind when I started to write.

I think this may be a universe I want to pursue, but we’ll see.  In the meantime, here is the quickfic version, which I knocked off on Wednesday morning, and you can read it here at AO3 and here at FF.net.  I’d love to receive some feedback if you can spare the time.

I won’t say happy reading because its not, but thank you for reading if you can bear it,

EF.

Choosing the Right Words: Emotion and Character

Benedict Cumberbatch as Sherlock Holmes in the BBC TV series, 'Sherlock'

Benedict Cumberbatch as Sherlock Holmes in the BBC TV series, ‘Sherlock’

So, in this little series, we’ve talk about using verbs and the extra information you can communicate when you choose them mindfully.

(To read the first post, click here.  To read the second post, click here.)

Today I want to talk about how you can use verbs to convey character and emotion.  Consider the following sentence:

Sherlock left the room.

This sentence tells us nothing about the character or how he feels.  All it gives us is a bit of rudimentary choreography.  Now lets play with some variations:

Sherlock swept out of the room. ‘Swept’ gives the suggestion not only of Sherlock’s imperious, and rather vain, nature but also of what he is wearing, that long overcoat swirling around his heels.  A person has to have the attention of everyone present in order to sweep out, particularly that of the narrator (and as usual with these characters, we can assume its John’s point of view).  Using this verb tells us something about John too, therefore.  It shows the amount of attention he pays to Sherlock, and his feelings about how Sherlock moves when he leaves – admiration and perhaps exasperation are implied.

Sherlock stormed out.  Sherlock wouldn’t stomp anywhere.  He’s too much of a drama queen for that.  Life with Sherlock is like being at the heart of a hurricane, so this verb implies his power and presence.

John stormed out.  John is also capable of storming out.  He’s a little bulldog of a man with anger issues and BAMF tendencies, so we can hear in this verb his impressive presence.  However, John is also capable of stomping in a way Sherlock isn’t.  There is something more down-to-earth about stomping that doesn’t fit with Sherlock’s persona.

Sherlock flounced out.  Sherlock, with all those curls, the flowing coat, the self-absorption and vanity, would definitely flounce.  This verb tells us so much about his character and attention-seeking – which of course, John feeds.  By using this verb within John’s point of view, we can actually see him feeding it!   Flounce also implies a certain degree of sulking, so we get the emotion involved in his movement.

Sherlock exited the room.  No one exits a room except in the instructions for a fire drill!  This verb tells us absolutely nothing about his character, movement or dress, or about the emotional circumstances in which he leaves.  What it does tell us  is that the writer is unimaginative and stiff.  If you are ever tempted to use the word exited, either:

  • think of something better, or
  • skip the action altogether because it is probably something so mundane that you can let the reader assume it has happened, e.g. After Sherlock had swept out, John sat back in his chair…

I hope that this little rumination on choosing words has opened a window on the methods of writing for you in a practical way, and enabled you to think about how you choose your words more mindfully.  Your writing will definitely benefit from it if you do.

In the meantime, if you are interested in thinking more about this subject, you can’t do better than reading Chapter 2 of Francine Prose’s marvellous book, ‘Reading like a Writer: A Guide for people who love books, and for those who want to write them’.  In fact, read the whole book anyway.  Its brilliant, and Prose explains things far better than I ever could.

Happy Writing,

EF