Mags’ War, Part 1, Chapter 1
At long, long, long long long loooong last, the giant epic Finnick fic I’ve been working on since 2014 has started to go up on AO3!!! I’m not linking to it in this particular post so that I can have one post show up in searches (thanks a lot, tumblr), but you can find it under my same username there, or check the tags on this post for a direct link to AO3.
It’s…very different from the fic I was imagining when I set out to write. In many ways, it’s a lot better, because I thought up more ideas as I went along. In other ways, sometimes I just picked something at random to keep the story going. It’s a very heavily character-centered story, and the plot, when not driven directly by “what would this character do, given this scenario?” is often “enough scaffolding for the character to have something to do while character development is in progress.” But I hope that the characterization is strong enough to make up for it.
I’m going to keep a “Mags verse extended edition” tag for my collected commentary on the fic. For this chapter, that means you get a bonus scene.
Annie making an octopus when she was still teaching herself woodcarving was one of the very first scenes I wrote, back in 2014. The scene never found a home, and so it got cut down to three lines in the beginning of Mags’ War. Here’s the full scene.
“Ugh.” Annie holds something up for Finnick to see as he steps into her studio. “I’m going to have to trash this. This is not an octopus.”
Coming closer to get a good look, Finnick takes the carving from her and studies it in the light. Annie’s workspace is set up in the corner of her dining room, where the sun pours in from windows on both walls.
The eyes are mere gouges in the wood that don’t match, the tentacles are uneven, and one has a piece broken off. And he can see where she started the suction cups and then gave up.
“Aww, no,” Finnick protests, cradling it in his hands. “It’s just a victor octopus. It won the Octopus Games.”
Annie shudders a little, but forces herself into the spirit of the banter. “Does it clown around to get attention?”
“Oh, absolutely.” In Finnick’s hands, the wooden octopus starts doing a wobbly little dance on its seven and half tentacles.
Annie’s bent over laughing, her face in her hands, Finnick grins and slides the carving into his pocket. “Anyway, it’s obviously
had a rough life and needs a good home.”
gasps and starts trying to snatch it out. “Finnick! Give that
he angles to keep it out of her reach. “You don’t need to worry
about it. It’s in good hands now.”
show that to anyone!” she orders, outraged.
why do you think I want it? So I can make fun of you because you’re
still learning? Come on. I want something that reminds me of laughing
with you.” She hesitates, and Finnick urges, “It’s just for
me, I promise.”
Annie narrows her eyes but let it go. “All right, but when I figure out how to carve an octopus that looks like an octopus, you have to take that one too. And show it to people.”
“Not to worry. Your first seaworthy octopus is mine.”