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08 January 2006 @ 08:57 pm
just for the sake of asking...  
If "An Aesthetic Solitary Thing" were expanded and continued as a story, would you want it to begin mid-scene as it does, or would you want something else to precede that opening?

Or, just in general regarding the story, any other thoughts? Like, what you'd expect to see in a longer version, what you'd want to see, or see more of, or what questionable issues exist in the quick and drafty version that you'd like to see fixed or addressed?
 
 
Current Mood: talky, wanting talk, fictiony
 
 
 
Corinnacorinna_5 on January 9th, 2006 05:27 am (UTC)
I like the beginning: dropping us in to a scene in which the characters are also struggling to understand what is happening works on a stylistic level: everyone's confused.

The one thing in the story that was at all unclear to me was Rodney's explanation of how his people seed other species. It took a couple of read-throughs to get it.

Later, when I was thinking about the story the next day (today), I found myself wondering a little about Rodney's imprinting on John, and why that would happen if it's meant to be a reproductive cycle -- I eventually decided that his parents' "infertile" was actually "gay" and let it ride. If I wanted to know more, I think I'd want to know if the pheromones smelled as good to anyone else as they do to John -- my guess would be no, and I'm not going to think too hard about the biochemistry of that, because, hey, look, aliens!

Seriously? Except for maybe a little more explanation, I don't think this story needs a *goddamn thing*. You might decide you want to write more of the same AU, to which I could only say "yes, please" but this story is good the way it is.
Anna S.eliade on January 9th, 2006 05:35 am (UTC)
I like the beginning: dropping us in to a scene in which the characters are also struggling to understand what is happening works on a stylistic level: everyone's confused.

I started doing that in fiction just because it was easier to get myself going and it was usually for what I considered to be LJ scribbling rather than a whole "trumpet flare" Masterfully Crafted Work. Then I was reminded by something I read (tips and thoughts by some famous published writer) that a lot of writers start their story too early anyway--that they should be looking for a point when the action is really going to sweep the reader up. Which is a long-winded way of saying that I rather like it too. *g*

The one thing in the story that was at all unclear to me was Rodney's explanation of how his people seed other species. It took a couple of read-throughs to get it.

Yes, it was unclear to me writing it. Heh. When I went back, in fact, I was like, "No no no, that isn't what I meant at all." I would change some bits there.

[snip more good comments]

Seriously? Except for maybe a little more explanation, I don't think this story needs a *goddamn thing*. You might decide you want to write more of the same AU, to which I could only say "yes, please" but this story is good the way it is.

Thank you. :) And I actually was thinking of "expanding and continuing" so I've edited the post to clarify that.

Great comments--thanks!
stungunbillystungunbilly on January 9th, 2006 05:54 am (UTC)
I'd like to see more about the tentacles.
Er, because we get the description of the channels for them, but not to see what they are like. And the effect of his transformation on the rest of the crew, biological effects of the pheromones on John, etc. That would be cool.
Neeryneery on January 9th, 2006 06:08 am (UTC)
Tentacles! Yes, seconded! I was so curious as to what they'd look and work like, and then we didn't get to see them!
(no subject) - stungunbilly on January 9th, 2006 06:18 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - neery on January 9th, 2006 09:05 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - eliade on January 9th, 2006 09:10 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - eliade on January 10th, 2006 12:31 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - stungunbilly on January 10th, 2006 12:49 am (UTC) (Expand)
Sorry we said fuck so much: King Prawn20thcenturyvole on January 9th, 2006 06:00 am (UTC)
I have no helpful suggestions at all, because if you wrote a story about Alien!Rodney puttering around Ikea I'd read it.

Or... No, no no. I couldn't ask you to make John pregnant. That would be bad and wrong. G'bye now.
Anna S.eliade on January 9th, 2006 06:09 am (UTC)
Rodney goes to IKEA, shops for Gabbeh rugs, gets John pregnant--check. *grin*
(no subject) - emrinalexander on January 9th, 2006 06:52 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - eliade on January 10th, 2006 12:32 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - emrinalexander on January 10th, 2006 12:51 am (UTC) (Expand)
captain heteroknowledgeablenotpoetry on January 9th, 2006 06:05 am (UTC)
Hee, I kind of felt for Elizabeth, actually -- that whole insane curiousity about another entire species to learn about, and I was like, "DETAILS, MAN!" But I love the story as it is, and loading it up with more details about Rodney's species and background (and I want to know about his childhood, and his family, and what growing up was like for him) would've made it bottom heavy and right now it just soars. But if you were to expand the AU, that's what I'd love to see.

Also? Sex.
Anna S.eliade on January 10th, 2006 12:34 am (UTC)
Hee, I kind of felt for Elizabeth, actually -- that whole insane curiousity about another entire species to learn about, and I was like, "DETAILS, MAN!"

I'm with you! Details!

But if you were to expand the AU, that's what I'd love to see.

And expansion--expansion would be the plan.

Also? Sex.

And sex. Our chief weapon is details... details and expansion... expansion and details... Our two weapons are details and expansion... and ruthless sex. Our *three* weapons are details, expansion, ruthless sex, and an almost fanatical devotion to the Pope.... Amongst our weaponry... are such elements as details, sex.... I'll come in again.
Neeryneery on January 9th, 2006 06:06 am (UTC)
I have no time to comment, really, and therefore will have to get back to you on this, but I just wanted to say that the mere thought of an expaned and continued version has brightened my life. For, like, the next ten years or so.
Anna S.: john pretty!eliade on January 10th, 2006 12:35 am (UTC)
Yay! :D *hugs*
Moxie Brown: SGA-Rodney nipples shirtmoxie_brown on January 9th, 2006 06:13 am (UTC)
I love the story and like the in media res feeling to it. And because I'm a big ol' perv, I'd love for them to get up to all kinds of kinky, inter-species sexing. Yes. But also, alienation angst, poor fuzzy Rodney. People *stare*. And John pregnant, but that feels to wacky for his story. It really has a sci-fi otherness feeling to it, not a wacky space opera.
Anna S.: cat-adorableeliade on January 10th, 2006 12:36 am (UTC)
And because I'm a big ol' perv, I'd love for them to get up to all kinds of kinky, inter-species sexing.

Tentacles and fur. How can it go wrong?

Yes. But also, alienation angst, poor fuzzy Rodney.

Mmm. Fuzzy alienation.

People *stare*.

Yes! Totally.

And John pregnant,

Tsk tsk. You were doing so well.

It really has a sci-fi otherness feeling to it, not a wacky space opera.

Cool! That's what I was going for. :)
tried to eat the safe banana: Weird birdthefourthvine on January 9th, 2006 06:16 am (UTC)
Like whoever it was up there that said "infertile" = "gay" in Rodney's species, I kind of went with that. But it made me ask questions. I mean, what triggered the mating cycle now if Rodney's been gay all along? Was it proximity to John? Was it proximity to Ancient blahdiblah? Was it...something else? Are his people about to show up? Do they know the Ancients? Have they been fighting the Ancients? Is Rodney going to keep having his mating cycle, and if so, how frequently? I mean, once every three months would be massively bad, given that it lasts for a several weeks and effectively imbolizes both John and Rodney. (I mean, if one of them got pregnant, at least it'd only be one of them that couldn't leave Rodney's room...) Does something need to happen to make this stop? Do we even want it to stop. (...No. But it kind of needs to not happen that often.)

I mean, I really, really like how the story starts; I think it's perfectly in medias res, and if you started it earlier, there'd be this incredibly agonizing build-up where they do whatever it was that made Carson test Rodney's DNA, and then maybe we could hover right over Carson's shoulder while he suspensefully peers at some test results and then gasps and - no. But the story left me with a lot of unanswered questions.

Well, obviously. I mean, I have not yet begun to ask.

But, seriously, more in that universe would be perfectly wonderful even if you did just, you know. Do the thing with the test results and the gasping.
naiya_ulnaiya_ul on January 9th, 2006 07:13 am (UTC)
Are his people about to show up? Do they know the Ancients? Have they been fighting the Ancients?

Dude. He could be a Furling.
(no subject) - svmadelyn on January 9th, 2006 07:58 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - eliade on January 9th, 2006 12:18 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - eliade on January 10th, 2006 12:38 am (UTC) (Expand)
cathexyscathexys on January 9th, 2006 06:25 am (UTC)
i liked the beginning...i think even if wegot more backstory i'd like to see it after the in medias res...

expectation of longer version...what are their feelings beyond friends...what happens when rodney turns back...
Anna S.: dino-rodney-pianoeliade on January 10th, 2006 12:39 am (UTC)
expectation of longer version...what are their feelings beyond friends...

Yes, agreed. I need to figure out John. He's an enigma wrapped in a mystery sauce with a strip of bacon.
(no subject) - cathexys on January 10th, 2006 12:45 am (UTC) (Expand)
Ememrinalexander on January 9th, 2006 06:53 am (UTC)
Seriously, I loved Alien!Rodney, I just wanted more backstory on him and his people. I also wondered, since it's his repro cycle, why it was triggering now and was he already in love with John and that's why he imprinted so strongly on Sheppard?
Anna S.: dino-sex-faneliade on January 10th, 2006 12:40 am (UTC)
I also wondered, since it's his repro cycle, why it was triggering now and was he already in love with John and that's why he imprinted so strongly on Sheppard?

This seems to be the question of the day--good to know! I need to delve. Deeply deeply delve. With spelunking equipment. Existential spelunking equipment. Not sure what that would be, but I'm going to look into it, perhaps browse some online stores. I suspect that heavy boots are involved.
(no subject) - emrinalexander on January 10th, 2006 12:54 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - eliade on January 10th, 2006 01:17 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - emrinalexander on January 10th, 2006 01:44 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - adannu on January 10th, 2006 03:35 am (UTC) (Expand)
Lady Agnewladyagnew on January 9th, 2006 06:57 am (UTC)
I like the mid-scene opening too -- it takes a bare moment to orient oneself, but the story hits the ground running and the forward momentum carries forward greatly. I don't need more prologue.

As for more explanation, etc. it can go two ways: as a bad thing, it's more delay and exposition until we get to the part everybody's waiting for when they read the words "mating cycle", while on the other hand, more of Rodney talking about the alieness of his life and John gradually getting sucked in (er, bad pun) is more time spent with the two of them falling into... something. Sometimes I think all the good romantic stories excell in the set-up phase. I have no preference here.

But what I'd really like to see, and what I subconsciously expecting the first time I read through the story, was Rodney somehow marking or claiming John, beyond all the sex, I mean. That moment of claiming would be really nice -- um, it's embarrassing me even to type this, but I persevere.
Anna S.: claudia-blackeliade on January 10th, 2006 12:41 am (UTC)
But what I'd really like to see, and what I subconsciously expecting the first time I read through the story, was Rodney somehow marking or claiming John, beyond all the sex, I mean. That moment of claiming would be really nice -- um, it's embarrassing me even to type this, but I persevere.

You should definitely persevere! I had thoughts of that kind too. Not so much with obvious physical marking, but *something*. I must explore my feelings more there. *g*
(no subject) - korilian on September 21st, 2007 05:38 pm (UTC) (Expand)
tonicollinstonicollins on January 9th, 2006 07:23 am (UTC)
No helpful suggestions, sorry, my brain's shut for the night. All I can say is, please, please, no mpreg, Rodney's infertile (and while I know that isn't written in stone I can but beg). Though I have to say that I could get behind the tentacles; at least John's reaction when one slides into him when he's distracted by what Rodney's hands are doing.
Anna S.eliade on January 9th, 2006 12:22 pm (UTC)
No helpful suggestions, sorry, my brain's shut for the night. All I can say is, please, please, no mpreg, Rodney's infertile

No worries. I think John's probably infertile too. All that cumulative radiation has probably put his ova in a rocky, barren state.
(no subject) - yin_again on January 9th, 2006 01:45 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - eliade on January 10th, 2006 12:50 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - loligo on January 9th, 2006 02:31 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - eliade on January 10th, 2006 12:51 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - neery on January 9th, 2006 09:09 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - eliade on January 9th, 2006 09:12 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - eliade on January 10th, 2006 12:42 am (UTC) (Expand)
Zoë Rayne: sgaz_rayne on January 9th, 2006 08:00 am (UTC)
If "An Aesthetic Solitary Thing" were expanded and continued as a story,

This phrase caused paroxysms of glee, let me tell you. (Can you have a paroxysm of glee? Whatever. I have glee. I'm gleeful. Incredibly, incredibly gleeful. At the mere thought of more of this story. Glee. Yes.)

I'd love to see aftermath. I'd like to see how John and Rodney's relationship continues and changes once Rodney's superficially human again. I'd also kind of like to know why Rodney was drawn so strongly to John--is it something as simply human as love or is there more to it? And, um, as was already mentioned, some kind of marking of John as Rodney's wouldn't go amiss. Nor would a greater exploration of the various and sundry uses of tentacles. *koff*
Unnuaunnua on January 9th, 2006 09:47 am (UTC)
Ditto
(no subject) - eliade on January 10th, 2006 01:11 am (UTC) (Expand)
SPACE GANDALF: sparkly john - diglossiatrinityofone on January 9th, 2006 09:45 am (UTC)
I have nothing intelligent or helpful to add, especially because I'm on my way out the door, but I just wanted to say: I AM VERY EXCITED.

*bounce*
Anna S.: joe-flaniganeliade on January 10th, 2006 01:11 am (UTC)
*bounces with you*

*falls into hypnotic trance watching John's twinkly stars*
Alizarin_NYC: mcshep all over againalizarin_nyc on January 9th, 2006 10:01 am (UTC)
It's not really possible I missed this? Is it?

On the off chance... could you provide a link? I've searched your memories (did that feel weird?) and let my cursor hover over the title and... nothing! I feel empty, like Rodney without John's love! *wails*
Anna S.eliade on January 9th, 2006 12:20 pm (UTC)
You mean the story? It was a few entries back. :)

http://www.livejournal.com/users/eliade/468719.html
Mmillefiori on January 9th, 2006 04:56 pm (UTC)
I second (third?) what loligo and z_rayne said -- I'd love to see what happens when the cycle is over and Rodney turns back. I got the feeling that John's intent was to help a friend in a jam. When the jam is over, is John going to want to continue? If so, how will he deal with sex with (someone who looks like) a man, and the fact that he just wants to and doesn't need to to help Rodney? And I'd also love to see Rodney's reaction to everything.
Anna S.: rodney-pensiveeliade on January 10th, 2006 01:12 am (UTC)
And I'd also love to see Rodney's reaction to everything.

Yes, the whole POV question is very interesting and undecided to me. Good point raised. :)