Tag Archives: FanFiction

A sunny day in Redridge

A sunny day in Redridge


“So. Which of the soldiers do you think is cutest?”

Nægling looked at Ariciel with a strange frown on her face.



Honestly, if you didn’t know her better, you’d think Ariciel’s eyes light up because someone is shining a torch in her ears. Also, she loves winding people up. Especially a rewarding paladin such as Nægling.


Seanan McGuire on fanfic

Edit: The universe is trying to do my head in. I still don’t know how I silly-walked into Seanan’s piece on Fanfic, but only after I published this, I noticed it was from 2012. Way to go, necro-threader… And then, in my LJ feed, up pops this post by Seanan. On the subject of Fanfic. Really? What’s going on?

So. Seanan McGuire, writer of many many books of Urban Fantasy, whose soul linked sister is Mira Grant for purposes of the Undead, has written a piece on FanFiction and she loves it. Basically, writing FanFic is a training ground for the real thing, and it’s a good way to train. I have always had the knack of running conversations between people in my head, but until I started playing WoW, I never actually wrote them down. (Though I have written of all things Travian fanfic about the eternal struggles between the meat-loving Gaulish footmen and the vegan druid riders. If you must know, search for my LJ. I stopped writing that because Travian sucks as a game). Seanan is right that it doesn’t teach you to build a world, but it does let you practice on characters. As for settings, that is what my new series, The Algernon Expeditions, is there for. People will wander round Ipswich wondering where Algernon University actually is.

Seanan points out that Fanfic gives you the freedom to write what you want, and never care about whether there’s an audience for it. O yes. I once got a whole bunch of material from Diane Duane as preparation for a writer’s workshop at the UK Discworld Convention that unfortunately got canned because Life happened to Diane and Peter Morwood, and they were unable to attend. One of the things that I remember is that A.C. Doyle told you to think on what you are writing for: Money, pleasure, or art. And that influences your writing. Seanan writes for money. Which is not to say that there’s no art or pleasure to her writing, but if her books don’t sell, then her cats don’t get fed, and they will eat her. So in the back of her head, there is constantly the thought of “Will my fans like this?” and she can’t risk alienating a huge swathe of them. Me, I write mostly for pleasure. My own pleasure, that is. Which means that somewhat egoistically, the person who really has to be pleased with my writings is me, and anyone else who enjoys my witterings is a side benefit. Now I do aim for sellable quality in my writings, because I want to be a professional-quality writer even if I’m currently strictly amateur. But what I cannot do is allow these stories to become anything more than a vague “gosh, I ought to write a bit more Ariciel, haven’t done that in a while” type thing. That would make it Work, which would make it a source of stress,  and that would make it Not Fun Anymore.

Finding your voice, as Seanan says, (Note that I am avoiding the “Seanan points out” phrase here because that would echo with the previous paragraph, and unintentional echos are bad), is very important to your identity as a writer. My day job involves writing technical documents that have to clue people up on shit they need to know. I spent loads of time finding it out, and if I mess up the write-up, my friends and colleagues will have to waste their time finding it out for themselves. Writing, in my opinion, is the vehicle that transports my thoughts into someone else’s head. So I need that vehicle to be, variously, a heavy goods vehicle, or a convertible with the hood open, allowing you to take in the scenery. Pretty phrases be damned. If I need you to understand why the heroes are running, then I need to tell you it’s a long way from the Valley of Heroes to Stormwind Harbour. As a result, you won’t find much flowery language in my writings. (I hope). I’m fairly business-like in my fic, and conversely, display a little sense of humour in my technical docs.

I agree with Seanan that fanfic is an expression of love for the source material. In some cases, quite literally. I have a whole section (Snippets) on here of stories I wrote where I nicked other people’s characters for my own vile purposes, simply because I liked the characters and wanted to play with them a bit. In Arwen’s case, this grew to some 20K words, because after Thunderpetal, I wanted to check in on my characters to see if they were OK. With your fellow fic writers, you can do that more or less with impunity and as long as you don’t go round claiming them as your own, they will usually like it.

Which brings me to Seanan’s last point: Her characters are feeding her, and for reasons of Copyright and Story Integrity, she can’t allow people to mess around with them. There are very sound legal reasons for that. Everything about Toby Daye Seanan writes, has to be her own work, and not that of some unknown fic writer. Even the most vague idea that ends up in someone’s fic before it arrives in Seanan’s work, is potential dynamite. I would love to know Terry Pratchett’s opinion on my little Ariciel/Angua piece, but I can’t have it. Terry, and Seanan, can’t take the risk of me claiming ownership (and money) for something of mine that somehow ended up in their work, even if they had already thought of it long before I ever did.

Eyes I dare meet in dreams

A while ago, I asked someone what would happen if ever she met the characters she wrote. Her words were: “They would murder me. To death.” So I thought on it and 2600 words just happened…


It was the middle of the night, and the Chronicler lay fast asleep, safe in his home. A light shone, voices were heard.

Continue reading

Thunderpetal part 17: Meditation

Part 17: Meditation

Master Shang Xi took Thunderpetal and Huang to a cave at the end of a shallow pond. They entered, and the Master sat down on a stone. He made himself comfortable, and looked at Huang.

“Thunderpetal has named you his most trusted friend,” said the Master. “What will you do for him?”

Huang looked at the Master. “I will do what must be done to bring peace into his Self.”

Shang Xi’s eyes wrinkled. “That is good to know. Léi-shēng Huā-bàn?”

“Yes, Master?”

Shang Xi pointed at Huang. “Kill him.”

Clearly, drastic methods are called for here. Honestly, it looks a bit like throwing the child away with the bath water, but then again, I am not a mystic Master like Shang Xi.

Well folks, it’s the last chapter. Hope you enjoyed the ride. Special thanks go to Jaelynn Evershade, who never failed to hit the “Like” button on my posts, and to Lindsey Batdorf, who made the beautiful title picture. Which means that I’ll be hiding away for a while while I produce the next story.

Until we meet again,

Menno “Bannog” Willemse

Thunderpetal part 15: The hut on fowl’s legs

Part 15: The hut on fowl’s legs

Bieslook’s little voice spoke up. “There’s a witch in our house. Like Baba Yaga. Her house didn’t have any doors or windows. She flew around in a great big cooking pot.”

“Yes dear,” said Lenna. “Be quiet now. We’re trying to think.”

“She could only get in or out through the chimney,” said Bieslook.

You know what it’s like when you’ve locked yourself out of the house. You just need to imagine you’re a burglar. Or ask a handy ten tear old.

Thunderpetal part 14: Cum mortuis in lingua morta

Part 14: Cum mortuis in lingua morta

Thunderpetal’s face fell. Master Windstrong laughed and slapped his back.

“There are two kinds of people who come to talk to me about kites,” he said. “The first kind are interested in flying, and they will ask all kinds of questions on what bambu to use, where to get the rockets, how to shape the wings. Then they go away, and come back, freshly healed of broken bones, and then they ask me how to build proper kites.” Master Windstrong chuckled to himself. “I do not see many of them, but they give me great joy. I recognise myself in them, broken bones and all. The other kind, they simply want to go somewhere.”

No matter what else Google comes up with when you stick this title in, it means “With the dead in a dead language”. Things are about to get slightly disturbing. Oh. And Thunderpetal is finding out about a novel and interesting way to break his neck.

Thunderpetal part 13: Catacombs

Part 13: Catacombs

“Why does one want to kill anyone?”

Raven grinned. “To strike fear into the survivors, to silence their voice, to make sure they can’t hurt you anymore. Or simply because you don’t like them very much. Or because you’re a sodding psychopath and can’t sleep of nights until you kill a Gnome.”

“And which of those do you think applies to you?”

“I’m not a Gnome.”

“You will simply have to live with that fact, Miss Raven.”

Today we visit the deep dark places of the soul, the things that you don’t want to get out in the sunlight. Like, for instance, underwear.


Thunderpetal part 12: The market at Ironforge

Part 12: The market at Ironforge

Interalia lay back, wide awake, in a canopied double bed large enough to lose her husband in.

“She’s hungry,” she said.

“Mwh?” said Nix.

“Aubrey. She’s hungry. I can feel it.”

Nix pulled interalia a bit closer and put his face in her neck.

“You know, when me or Trix got hungry, Mum used to just put us out in the forest to hunt up our own dinner. None of that sissy breast or bottle feeding stuff.”

“Sod you,” said Interalia. She turned round, facing Nix. “Damn it, Nix, I’m a butt-kicking terror of the night, and I’m feeling maternal!”

“Look, my mum is a butt-kicking fire mage. Don’t sweat it. Your cred is safe.”

Look, I know that Mussorgski’s title is “Limoges Marketplace”, but Limoges doesn’t exist in Azeroth, so you get Ironforge, OK?

Thunderpetal part 9: Ballet of the unhatched chicks

Part 9: Ballet of the unhatched chicks


“Lie down.”

“I can’t lie down! The house is full of dead Humans!”

“Never you mind. You’ve got stuff to do!”

“I don’t want the first thing that my child sees to be a heap of dead bodies!”

“Look. Infants can’t see further than maybe one foot. It won’t see a thing of all this.”

Interalia glared at Raven. “You are not getting the point.”

“No, you aren’t getting the point. Are you going to drag dead bodies all over the place when your water’s already broken? Leave that to Griggin. Get in bed.”

Interalia opened her mouth to argue, then accepted the inevitable and gently lowered herself onto the bed.

I didn’t post this yesterday because unfortunately, I had to attend the funeral of a colleague. I dedicate this post to his memory. But life goes on, and indeed, life is about to begin for Spud.

Incidentally, has anyone spotted yet what I’m getting these titles from?

Thunderpetal part 8: Promenade IV

Part 8: Promenade IV

Griggin went below. Raven dropped tea-bags in the pot and lit a tea-light. She asked Interalia where the mugs were, and added them to the tray. She got some milk from the cool-box, added the sugar pot.

“Fancy a cuppa, Interalia?”

Without waiting for an answer, Raven picked up the tray and turned round. She threw the tea tray on the floor and went for her daggers.

Look, they didn’t say they were coming, but is that any reason to draw steel on them? On reflection, probably,  yes it is.