Tag Archives: Benedict Cumberbatch

Monday Quick Fic: Wings

john and sherlockI was having a bit of a crisis last week, and the adorable agnesanutter was so kind and sweet and supportive.  I promised to write her something.  A Johnlock, which I had thought, in the midst of my meltdown, that I would never manage to write again.  I made this today.  Its a little along the lines of ‘Shark’, but longer and deeper. A little more angsty perhaps.

Dear Agnes, I hope you like it.

  ” They had been sharing the Baker Street flat for a month when Sherlock finally challenged him.  John was amazed it had taken him that long.

            ‘I never see you naked,’ he said, out of the blue.

            ‘Don’t pussy about, Sherlock.  Just say what you think, never mind about holding back and considering my feelings!’

            ‘Feelings have nothing to do with it.  Why do you keep yourself covered all the time?’”

Read the rest here.

Happy Creating,

EF

Friday Quick Fic

51989793_SHark_224346cBecause I’m still feeling unable to do much, I came up with a new feature, the Friday Quick Fic.  The idea is to share a short fanfic with you which has not been through my usual polishing process.  Just something off the top of my head which I think you might like.

Today’s Quick Fic is a ‘BBC Sherlock’ fanfic, something I knocked off this morning, between naps, and is inspired by my husband, who has a ‘shark bite’ of his own.

Shark

John first noticed it when Spring came, and Sherlock started swanning around the house in his sheet.  A ragged scallop of raised keloid tissue that scooped around Sherlock’s right elbow.

‘Shark bite,’ Sherlock said, with surprising nonchalance.

John examined it.  The scarring was deep, and he could even see the indentations of those cruel razor teeth.

‘Holiday in South Africa when I was in my teens.  I was swimming, and the next thing I knew this shark had my arm in its mouth.  I punched it on the nose, and it let go.’  He shrugged, as if it were an everyday occurrence, and then regaled John with details of the beast’s species, hunting habits and vulnerabilities – namely the aforesaid sensitive nose.

John found out the truth a few months later, during one of Mycroft’s little episodes of abduction.  The subject of Sherlock’s sojourn in South Africa came up, and Mycroft laughed.

‘Oh, God, he’s been telling that stupid shark story again!  Sherlock’s never been to South Africa!’

John scowled, but put his head on one side, curious about the truth.

‘It was one summer when he was about twelve.  He was told not to go playing in one of the woods on the estate because of the forestry going on there.  Felling trees and so on – it was dangerous.  But being Sherlock, he went anyway.  Typically, he didn’t get crushed by a falling tree.  He fell off his bike, and got his arm tangled up in some barbed wire in a hedge instead.  Cut it to ribbons, terrible mess.

‘Father was absolutely furious, wouldn’t even look at him because he had disobeyed, insisted it was just a graze and Sherlock was making a ridiculous fuss over nothing.  Wouldn’t take him to have it stitched either, and Mummy couldn’t drive, so she just had to bandage it up as best she could.  Of course, it healed badly, and left that dreadful scar.

‘When he went back to school after the vac, the other boys saw it and wanted to know how he got it.  So he made up that silly story about the shark.  It got him quite a lot of attention to begin with, but of course, being Sherlock, he overplayed his hand, and got too full of himself, and that was the end of his brief acclaim.’

Afterwards, John thought for a long time.  He thought about the barbed wire.  He thought about the spotted marks around the fat ribbon of raised, whitened flesh that looked like the marks from sharks teeth.  He was a doctor, and he knew about scarring and healing, and what kind of depth of wound would leave a mess like that.  He thought about the boys at the school.  And then he thought about the kind of father who, out of pique, would neglect the proper attention that a wound like that would require.

John never mentioned Sherlock’s fantasy visit to South Africa again to anyone.  But he always referred to Sherlock’s scar as a shark bite.  Because in his opinion, that was exactly what it was.

Happy weekend to you all,

EF

Gratuitous Birthday Post

Hi! Its my birthday today, and I promised myself I wouldn’t do any work.  Of course, I meant to prepare a lovely, informative and entertaining post that I could just upload in a trice, but it didn’t happen.  I am really struggling with the concept of preparing posts ahead of time.  It just doesn’t seem to work with my spontaneous side.  But never mind.  For today, I am not going to worry about it.  I’m just going to show you a little glimpse of my present haul – I’m a VERY lucky girl!

birthday prss 1Can you spot the theme?  I think you’d probably have to be a serious fangrrl like me to get the hedgehog socks connection!  (Oh, and the Benedict Cumberbatch card made by a friend says ‘Happy Birthday, Gorgeous Lady!’  in case you can’t see it in the photo.)

benny card

Anyway, I the spirit of celebrating what I have achieved in the last year, which is a lot, believe me, here is a link to my fanfiction.  If you haven’t read it before, happy reading.

Love, EF

New Fanfic Story: An Anatomy of Intimacy

john and sherlockI am struggling to avoid my brain leaking out of my right eyeball just now because of a migraine, but I felt I needed to post today to say ‘Hi!’, and so I thought I would draw your attention to a new story I have put up!

It’s called ‘An Anatomy of Intimacy’, and is a companion piece to my earlier work, ‘Personal Geography’.

I’ve been playing about with a little toy project, just a bit of fun to keep my brain working.  This involves writing short pieces exploring the reality of John and Sherlock’s life together in an established relationship.  The idea is to create a few little windows into life behind closed doors at 221B.  These aren’t supposed to be regular things, or part of an ongoing story, just an occasional morsel of something intended to illustrate the profound connection between them.

I hope you like them.

Happy reading,

EF

How to Write: Write what you know, or not…

writing books

Most books on how to write will tell you this:  write what you know.

If you have some major area of expertise, they say, you should use that as a background for your novels.  Dick Francis, a famous jockey, wrote crime novels set against the backdrop of the horse-racing world, with spectacular success.  John Grisham was a criminal lawyer and politician before publishing fabulously successful legal thrillers.  Agatha Christie drew on her war work as a hospital dispenser when writing her detective fiction.  All of these authors, and many more, have made huge successes of writing about what they know.

BUT –

(And the word BUT has a bit of fairy dust in it that magically negates everything that comes before it, have you noticed that?)

I once heard novelist Rachel Cusk at a reading on the subject.  She was stridently against the idea of writing about what you know.  She said words to the effect of:

‘You know, we write fiction, and the clue is in the name.  Fiction.  It means we make it up.’

Take a moment to think about this:  the genre of science fiction would never have been invented if we only wrote about what we know.  No one has travelled across the Universe of the star ship USSS Enterprise, after all.  Fancy a world without ‘Harry Potter’ or ‘Game of Thrones’?  That would be the logical conclusion.

And what about crime?  Yes, I agree there are a number of very talented writers producing procedural crime novels who have a background in criminal pathology or forensics, but how many truly great crime writers have actually personally killed someone? (None, we hope.)

‘Write what you know’ does not, therefore, take account of the most wonderful asset we have, the thing that makes human beings extraordinary amongst all the myriad of life on this planet:

Imagination

Imagination enables us to fly beyond the stars at warp speed, fight dragons with broadswords, fall in love with Benedict Cumberbatch and have him love us back.  And all in our lunch break.  Think about it –who really wants to write about their day job when they can write about this stuff?

There is, of course, a caveat.  Sometimes you need to do research.  And research is a double-edged sword on which you fall at your own peril:

I wrote a book set in London.  I have not lived in London.  I gave it to a friend to read, and he was a Londoner, born and bred.  He asked me about the car chase – Where are they?  Where are they going?  What road are they on?  He was frustrated because he knew the city well and he could not orient himself within the action.  I had not done my research and I did not know the setting well enough to wing it.  The novel collapsed for the reader as a result.

The opposite is true.  I wrote this story, set partly in Oxford, a city I know well and visit often.  I was able to undertake the depicted walk myself, just to be sure I had the details and the route right.  The result was a story that was adored by readers who knew the city too.  I had a personal email from one who was delighted that memories of her student days had been rekindled by my work.

So, getting the details right is important.  If you don’t, you can look like an idiot who doesn’t know what he is talking about, and the credibility of your story collapses.

BUT

(Fairy dust again.)

There is such a thing as having too much detail.  The first novel I wrote was set in the Iron Age, around 230BC, on the Newbury Downs.  It is not an area I know well, though I have driven through it.  And I have no background in archaeology or prehistory, so I had to research it all myself.  It took me seven years to finish it, and I gave up doing word counts after 250,000.  I knew too much.  I had too much detail – there are things I know about Iron Age saddles that normal human beings really shouldn’t know.  It’s doubtful that any reader would care.

And yes, you always get the odd accuracy fiend who emails you to say (puts on squeaky voice) ‘Er, the spoon your hero was using in scene 23?  Well, those kinds of spoons were not invented till three hundred years after the date you posit…’ etc etc.  But those are not your average readers.  Unless you write sci-fi, in which case you had damn well know your warp cores from your improbability drives.

“The best way to become acquainted with a subject is to write a book about it.”

-Benjamin Disraeli

The point I am trying to make here is this:  Ignore the advice.

Write what you want to write.

Write what you need to write.

(And if you have to, do the research.)

I promise to talk more about research in a future post, but in the meantime, do this:

Write the novel you want to read.

Happy creating,

EF