snacky: (narnia revolution)
mr five dollar foot long's sweet caboose ([personal profile] snacky) wrote2011-09-07 06:38 pm

Fic talk

The reveals for the Narnia Fic Exchange are up!

First, I received Suffer A Sea Change, a post-Dawn Treader-movie fic, with Liliandil explaining her quest to Gael. It was written for me by the lovely [personal profile] animus_wyrmis.

Second, I wrote Sing Down The Stars for [personal profile] edenfalling.

So this was the prompt I received:

What I want: I would adore a The Last Battle AU in which there is NOT a train accident. Jill and Eustace get to Narnia anyhow, they and Tirian save the country without Aslan declaring Game Over, and they are now too old and must go home to England forever. They and the Pevensies grow up and get jobs. Some of them marry and have children. (I'd love this to be a Jill/Eustace story, if possible.) Susan continues to drift away, though she may be reconciled at some point as she grows older.

Then maybe twenty years later, when the Friends of Narnia are together for a reunion, the adults overhear some of their children talking about a peculiar adventure they had in a country where animals talk, and there was a Lion... :-)

Please don't feel obligated to write that! But I never liked the ending of TLB and I feel that if learning to know Aslan in Narnia was practice for knowing him in England, then we ought to see examples of how to live in mid-twentieth-century England as a good and noble person. Otherwise what is the point?

More ideas I'd love to read:

1. The first post-Winter interaction between Narnia and Archenland - the Pevensies meeting Lune, Narnians having to relearn how to deal with the surrounding human-dominated lands, etc. Friendship or tension are both fine.

2. What happened in Narnia in the years around the death of the Tree of Protection, and whether Jadis killed it or it just died of old age

3. Caspian fighting giants before VoDT, maybe using the war to help unite Telmarine Narnia with Old Narnia

4. Rillian having to prove he's himself (and not enchanted) upon his return to Narnia, possibly dealing with Miraz's son or other descendants trying to claim the throne

Prompt words/objects/quotes/whatever: "....for if you live you may yet have good fortune but all the dead are dead alike." Also, swords and swordfights are always welcome. :-)

What I definitely don't want in my fic: incest, the Pevensies or Caspian having sex during PC, anyone having sex during VoDT, film canon instead of book canon, any Pevensie/Caspian shipping

I tried really really hard to write the first part of the prompt, the Last Battle AU. And I got pretty far into it, about 4000 words. Jill and Eustace used the rings to get to Narnia, they helped Tirian defeat the Calormenes and Narnia wasn't destroyed, Jill and Eustace had a few schmoopy moments, and then they returned to England, only to find out there was a train crash, but the only person killed was Susan.

Yeah, that part was not exactly in the prompt.

Then I had the whole end bit, with the next generation going to Narnia and their parents finding out, and the kids telling them about the adventures and the Lion, and the King and Queen of Narnia that they'd met.

The problem I had was connecting the beginning part with the end. It was turning into a lot of "all the characters mourn Susan and move on with their lives" and it was getting SUPER long and I didn't think I was going to finish it in time.

So I looked at the prompts again. And #4, the one about Rilian, was the one I kept coming back to. I'd had a story in mind about Rilian, returning and having to prove himself to keep the throne, so I finally decided to leave the first story, and write the one about Rilian.

One thing that I always found interesting about The Silver Chair was that Rilian was such a minor character in it, despite being the catalyst for everything. And even though the story told us all about him, it was a very fairy-tale like story. And when we did finally meet him as a character, first he was enchanted and dumb, and then he was only there for a chapter or two before disappearing again. We got a "this is what happened in Narnia" kind of wrap up to his story in the very end, but on the whole, the book was Jill and Eustace and Puddleglum, and Rilian just kind of popped in and out.

So, I wanted to play with that fairy tale story idea, and have Rilian think of himself as a character in a fairy tale, right from the beginning. And then to have him realize he wasn't going to get an easy happily ever after. I carried that through the whole story, and I liked the way it worked.

The other thing I wanted to do was to make Rilian's mother, Ramandu's Daughter, The Queen, a presence in the story, even though she'd been dead for years at that point. Of course Rilian was mourning her, but I also wanted her to be his power in the story. Rilian has to prove who he is, and claim his right to the throne, and his resemblance to his father is called into question. But what he can do is prove he's his mother's son, thanks to the things she taught him, about her heritage and family.

I liked the way it turned out, and I think what I was trying to do with Alecto and Rilian worked. Of course, I knew it wasn't going to be a big hit, being both Pevensie-less and minus a female POV character, but still, I'm very pleased with it. I have a soft spot for Rilian and his parents, and I had wanted to tell his story for a long time.