pentapus: (Default)
pentapus ([personal profile] pentapus) wrote2013-01-04 01:04 pm

Yuletide Reveal: Children of the New Court (Books of the Raksura)

For Yuletide I wrote:
Children of the New Court
Books of the Raksura - Martha Wells, Moon/Chime, Jade/Moon, Moon/Chime/Jade, No warnings

Chime had his hands full of babies.

A few months ago I posted a huge rec + fanart for the Books of the Raksura by Martha Wells (The Cloud Roads, The Serpent Sea, and The Siren Depths). Which showed me 1) that lots of people had already read them, 2) some more people were going to read them, 3) and we were all totally thinking that Yuletide and the Raksura would be great pals.

I started writing this story in November before the third book came out. Almost the entire plot arc was conceived in a pre-Siren Depths world. I set out to write a "Moon and Chime hook up" story because [livejournal.com profile] misspamela had requested Moon/Chime (and I am so, so glad she did). I wasn't quite sure how to handle it because I felt a little bit like Moon would benefit from some dedicated monogamy -- at least from Jade -- and like the strength of the crush/attraction was stronger from Chime than from Moon (Moon being pretty unable to see sex as something other than a social tool that also feels good). So I decided there would be babies and Jade and yearning and then some giant predator lizards -- that would be the kind of conclusion that comes with hugs and cuddling, right?

Then I read the third book (OH, RAKSURAN QUEENS <3), and realized that the first scene of my story could not really fit between the books because of some inconvenient baby details. But I wanted Chime's arc to involve babies because that was part of what he'd lost -- and also, as an author, I was a little in love with the way the Moon's scene with the clutch highlighted how much of an outsider he was to Raksuran etiquette.

It turned out to be both easy and advantageous to shift Chime's arc to be post Siren Depths, most of all because tossing out the "first time" aspect really made it feel like the arc was about all of Chime instead of just who he got to hook up with. It wasn't about starting a new relationship; it was about how he fit in to the relationships he already had. And, of course, there was a new canon minor character that I was delighted to throw in for the scene with Chime and Pearl. Also, bonus, [livejournal.com profile] marthawells had a Raksura Q & A post that was helpful and fun.

I loved world-buildling the Raksuran social status relationships and etiquette and solidifying the characters for Chime and Moon and Jade and everybody in my head. Every conversation and interaction means something to the Raksura that is specific to their culture, and from Chime's point of view I got to interact with that in a totally different way -- AND get a look at Moon's obliviousness from the other side. I felt like I was people watching every time I wrote a scene; I wouldn't stop writing until either 1) I felt I had convinced my audience (a.k.a. [livejournal.com profile] ileliberte on IM) that Character A had earned a hug or 2) Character A had done something so identifiably... them as to earn an OH CHIME or OH MOON. Like Moon escaping an uncomfortable discussion by dive-bombing the waterfall or Stone silently sorting Chime's jewelry choices. Because that's what I'm here for really. I hope it worked out for you guys. :)

This was my first yuletide of trying to balance writing with a real, grown up job, which somehow went from "Oh man, I hope I can finish a 1k story!" to 30k+ words of shapeshifters and ninjas for yuletide and [livejournal.com profile] kakairu_fest, with time to spare for multiple beta rounds and significant rewrites for both. I never understood why people waxed so adoringly about their betas before. Now I do. [livejournal.com profile] tucuxi, please don't back away slowly. I promise I'll take it slow. But really, I am so grateful to [livejournal.com profile] tucuxi who kept drawing red lines through entire plots and writing questions marks next to plots holes I'd hoped to just ignore and not letting me get away with anything, well, with much. Chime's arc is much more complete and satisfying because she told me -- correctly -- that giant lizard fights don't automatically resolve a story. The scene with Pearl and Chime would never have happened without her -- and actually, neither would the last scene with Jade and Moon and Chime.

Me: It's done!
Tucuxi: No, it isn't.
Me: It totally is!
Tucuxi: *wince* No.
Me: :(

In other words, I am so happy with this story, and happy that fans of the books seem happy with it too. And hey, I've got a dozen pages of foreign embassies and predator attacks and secret crossovers with The Element of Fire: Raksuran AU lying around that I like to pretend I'll do something with.

Happy Yuletide everyone!


Gifts!
castle in the clouds by [livejournal.com profile] spoke
Yoroiden Samurai Troopers | Ronin Warriors, Gen, No warnings

Seiji calling him on deck was not to be ignored under any circumstances, but the urgency in his voice this time had Ryou up the ladder in a flash.
The fandom of my heart now and forever! And this story is huge on character and she got them right. <3

And a yuletide madness story in a fandom I never thought I'd receive...
Are you there? by [archiveofourown.org profile] hydrangea
Scrapped Princess, Pacifica/Fulle, Shannon/Senes, No warnings

Glimpses from an unwritten story.
Scrapped Princess! I'd resigned myself to this being that yuletide request I always enter and is never fulfilled. Senes and her boiling-over emotions! Shannon and Zefiris their crazy robot dragon and captain relationship! And bringing back the sci-fi aspects of the fantasy story! :D

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