Notes on Ch. 1 of Patroclus Rising

August 5th, 2013 § 3 comments

Three (gulp!) years ago, I signed myself up for The Fandom Gives Back:  Eclipse edition. I’m very, very, very particular about the fact that I feel that what I’m doing in writing fic is borrowing a character and world from the author, and that only that author deserves to benefit financially from her world. For that reason, I’m loathe even to ask people to donate to get an outtake or any sort of finished piece—for me, that walks way too close to the line of someone paying to receive a fanfic.

So instead, what I auction is the right to tell me what to write. The winning bidder gets to ask for the story of her choosing, and then I do my level best to produce something that matches that vision.

For FGB, I auctioned off the rights to two stories, one to robsjenn, and the other to a group of readers who wanted to see what would happen if I wrote a Carlisle/Edward slash: deelovely, Capricorn75, HeBelongstoMe, lts929,  mycrookedsmile,  and sleepyvalentina.

And then life intervened, which I’ve written more about here. 

But I absolutely love writing from prompts. They stretch me as a writer in a really lovely way, and in a way that forces me out of my comfort zones. Some of the pieces I feel are my personal best have been written either prompted, or for contests with a limited requirement: Da Capo is one such piece, as is “Secondhand Rose“, and “Souls in Stillness“. Many fic writers in Twidom say they stay away from canon (and even vampire fics entirely) because they dislike being restricted. For me, however, that’s exactly the attraction—the more limitations I have on what I can write, the more interesting I find the result.

The only trouble with writing to a prompt is that sometimes it takes a while to figure out exactly how to write the piece. Robsjenn asked for a canon prequel that explained how Edward and Alice became so close. It took me many false starts over the course of a year to figure out how to structure that piece. The piece which resulted, Present Perfectof which I’m very proud, is absolutely nothing like what I had in mind when I started it, and it’s all the stronger for the struggle. 

The same is true of Patroclus Rising, which spent much of its gestation time named The Last Days of Socrates. I knew what I wanted to do, but I also worried that in order to do that, Carlisle would end up being raucously unsympathetic. I even wrote a long authors’ note intended to go at the beginning, to warn people that I knew what I was doing, but that it wasn’t going to be Carlisle the way they usually knew him. I wrote one scene (the second scene of the finished version, although its initial draft was longer) and then stopped.

I couldn’t quite figure out how to pull that off.

Enter two other fics, Stregoni Benefici and One Day the Sun Will RiseAs I worked on each of those, I started exploring Carlisle’s vulnerabilities—where is he weak? Where is he stupid? What kinds of things bring him down? What is his singular goal in life, and in what ways can it create problems if he goes about that goal the wrong way? As I formed the answers to those questions, I got a better sense of exactly how Carlisle, as I needed him to behave in Patroclus could possibly still be perfectly in step with the Carlisle I’ve written everywhere else.

Along the way, this fic spawned another: in 2011, I decided to enter the CarlWard contest. Since I was already writing a fic which slashed Carlisle and Edward in the pre-Twilight years, I decided I would instead choose a post-Breaking Dawn canon-based AU scenario to bring them together again. That resulted in “For a Season,” one of my favorite pieces in my writing portfolio period, derivative and non-derivative alike.  So in a way, this one prompt created two different fics, but each of which, I feel, fit with canon as we know it…or at least, in the case of Patroclus, it does if you’re willing to peek around the edges a bit.

So at long last, I’m happy to post this piece. It’s grown to be one of my favorite explorations of Carlisle, and I hope will be for you, too.

Happy reading.

 

 

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§ 3 Responses to Notes on Ch. 1 of Patroclus Rising"

  • Sisterglitch says:

    For me, this point in time, this start of the relationship between E & C is the most important moment of anything Twilight. The first time the books addressed it,
    I saw it as innately slash. Though I came eventually to tolerate the non-slash relationship of the Twilight series, THIS bond never EVER felt platonic, and it felt stronger than any alternatives. I have always seen vampires as being outside the restrictions of human sexuality.
    I read “For a Season” when you first posted it, and if I didn’t thank you then, I thank you now for the sense of rightness it left me with.

  • sandraj60 says:

    I had no idea my review to this first chapter of this story at FF.net would be so similar to Sisterglitch’s. I remember once saying I never even considered slash until reading your works and others such as Edward Masen’s. Sisterglitch stated it much better than I. I don’t really read much Twilight fanfiction anymore, but yours is one f the few I will stop whatever I am doing to do so.

    Thank you again for taking the time and effort to provide your stories.

  • EdwardsMate4ever says:

    I have to agree with sisterglitch. There is no way that they simply had a father/son relationship in the years before Esme. And there had to be a whole lot of pain once she did arrive. For a Season is probably my favorite piece of fanfiction EVER. While I absolutely love all of your writings, it still holds top place for me. But then, I am a total sucker for C/E slash. I am extremely excited to read this latest story. I hesitate to do so, as I have a similar story in the works, but I sincerely doubt that I will be able to hold back for long. Your work pulls me too strongly :)

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