👌What He’s Like by magikspell (E) “I’m so in love with you,” John says, a statement of fact. “I will never not be in love with you.” Realistic first time. They love each other so much.
👌State of Flux by Atiki (E) John’s marriage is over and he is finally back home (i.e. at Baker Street, where he belongs). Sherlock is awfully insecure and John is awfully hesitant, and they’re both awkward idiots, of course, but they figure it out. Many First Times happen.
👌a good old-fashioned happy ending by darcylindbergh (E) And Sherlock stands there, in the middle of a Christmas market as John hums along to Silent Night, John’s hand warm in his with fingertips a little gritty from the cinnamon-sugar doused churros they’d shared, and thinks, oh, that’s–that’s an idea, isn’t it? For Christmas this year, Sherlock wants to get John something special: something every fairytale deserves.
👌Living Sculptures by kinklock (E) The reality of cocaine toxicity gives rise to more fantasy. (Continuing from the last scene in TAB, Sherlock slips in and out of his alternate universe.)
👌settling of the dustbythosewhowant(E) The plastic bag of white powder is an event horizon. Every night he dances around it to the tune of the waltz he wrote for John, and some night Sherlock will tire of dancing and slam the giant Self Destruct button that beckons like an ember in the night.But for tonight he sets the Persian slipper down on the mantel reverently and pours himself another coffee, middle of the night be damned. He stands at the window and imagines that through the smog he can see Venus, Cygnus, Andromeda. That maybe, just maybe, John is doing the same.The idea that John may be in the Southern Hemisphere, looking at a different sky, hurts so much that he thinks it may kill him. After the inevitable confrontation with Moriarty, John leaves.
👌OffensivebyConsultingPurplePants(E) John’s hands are currently pressed against his shoulder blades, under his shirt. His left hand is splayed across the remaining hard lines of three whip scars, while his right rests atop a smattering of rounded, raised, cigarette burns.Seconds tick by as he realizes he has no idea what to say. Moriarty is back.
👌Lunar LandscapesbyJ_Baillier(M) An accident forces John to face the fact that Sherlock’s downward spiral had started long before his flight to exile even left the tarmac.
👌A Brand of Goldbyaquabelacqua(M) What am I doing? he wondered. The answer came back at once: Flirting. He sank deeper into the pillows, let the mist and blur of the wine settle around him, let it shore up his nerves and dim the warning signals that flashed dully in the back of his mind. He let the rest of the disappointment about Lucy and his strange accommodations and about the weekend as a whole fade into obscurity. He let the vital, missing piece snap into place as surely and as cleanly as if it had always been there. He was flirting with Sherlock Holmes.
Wow that’s some amazing analysis! The analogy to literature narrative structure makes a lot of sense. For something to grab your attention and keep it for 4.5 minutes the first time you hear it, these patterns are needed. Might be why music like h&l are considered risky - when I listen to it later I recognize clear climax and low points, but the first time I heard it with the program the impression was a bit undifferentiated (tho for me it’s undifferentiated beauty!).
Thank you! :grin:
I agree with you for Hope and Legacy, the structure is complicated.
1) PLATEAU to RISE. Music begins. Gentle running along 3 notes with its various variations. There is a slight increase in volume as he lands the 4Lo at 0:57 (he probably timed it as such).
2) PLATEAU. Music continues running as such, like a neverending stream, as if the 4Lo, the pebble which caused a ripple, never existed and never disturbed the ebb and flow at all.
3) RISE to FALL.1:09 Heavier piano notes (chords I think) begin. dun-dun-Dun-DUn-DUN as he sets up for the 4S, outright chords at 1:18 immediately before the 4S, before giving way as he leaves the ice to rotate, as if the 4S released the pressure building up, then he poses right before spin.
4) PLATEAU (the music is separable into layers with each spin). Higher notes play as he enters camel spin Strings enter midspin and he goes into donut spin Piano re-enters and he does sit spin As piano and string interweave he shifts and does biellman spin. (aka any change of instruments = position/variation change)
5) PLATEAU to RISE. 1:44 Strings, he begins step sequence. First phase of step sequence.
6) RISE (HIGH PEAK). 1:56 A peak in the step sequence that attracts attention and during which he paused slightly. Interesting cos he tends to rest during the lower emotional arcs of music but in H&L he does it at peaks where its more emotional and his body (he puts his two palms facing him before opening them up and at point 10 where he grasps something) is narrating an enjoyment of music. It being a break also means those one or two seconds are drawn to his upper body, which he uses to narrate that and conduct the audience’s emotions to feel whatever he is conveying.
7) FALL to PLATEAU. (whatever goes up comes down)
1:57 Lighter strings. Second phase of step sequence.
8) RISE. 2:06 Strings pause, piano melody re-enters. Third phase of step sequence. Another short pose, very very short but this serves more as a border to mark out the boundaries between the 2nd phase and 3rd phase. Heavier piano, chords introduced. Music builds. Strings re-enter.
9) RISE to FALL (during 3F). Music builds and builds and builds, minute pause in music before shifting to piano and he does 3F during this. Lands 3F, strings play once more.
10) RISE (HIGH PEAK) to RISE. Strings, music is emotional, he pauses. Longest pause ever in the program 2:49 - 2:52, also please look back at 6) for more explanation. He just feels the music.
11) RISE. Heavy strings, music rises and suspense builds and heavy strings go heavier and heavier with each note before giving way into strings melody (ironically as effect as climax despite being more subtle than the buildup) as the 4S3T is unleashed. This is a huge climax and even the rotations match the notes.
12) RISE to FALL.3:20 Strings become heavier again + heavier piano chords, music rises and suspense builds rinse repeat 11), then music ceases suddenly and bam! 4T.
13) PLATEAU. 3:37 Quiet music, 3A2T.
14) RISE. 3:50 - 4:04. Strings, music becomes more emotional, music builds up quickly, 3A1Lo3S.
15) FALL. Music quietens and he does his spin.
16) RISE, RISE, RISE. 4:21 Intense music for the choreographic sequence.
17) RISE (HIGH PEAK). 4:33 - 4:35, in true Yuzu style, hydroblade at important point.
18) RISE (or you can say PLATEAU but at a higher emotional level than previous ones). 4:36 - 4:44. Continuation of choreographic sequence. Music builds.
19) RISE to RISE (HIGH PEAK). 4:45 - 4:50, in true Yuzu style, ina bauer at important point.
20) RISE. Setup of 3Lz, the landing of the 3Lz is a highlight, 4:55 emotional music and at the same time he does camel spin.
21) FALL. 5:04, simple piano, he changes position while matching the drop in music.
22) CLOSURE. Final note gives a sense of finality and closure that exudes a dignified air befitting the theme of Legacy.
Tbh the ending is pretty warhorsey cos it’s !intense! !dramatic! !RISE! and the old-fashioned happy ending ‘I’ll quiet down’ closure. It’s the front half that messes some people up, especially those who want things like RJ1.0 where the FALL is in the middle while H&L is rise-fall-rise-fall-rise-fall etc in the first half.
But we forget that this is about Hanyu Yuzuru, who’s life was exactly as such. He rose up quickly through novice, had a terrible first junior year, rose up to win everything in second junior year and debuted as senior at the ripe old age of 15, had a mediocre first senior season (cos mens field was deep in JP in those times) whereas he watched Kana shine in her debut season, had a huge FALL for 311, rose up to win bronze at first Worlds. This is the first half of the program. Then he rose to break SP WRs, rose to win Olys, fell non-stop for 14-15 season, rose for 15-16 season, fell for 16 Worlds FS, rose for 16-17 season, but whatever falls he had during his dominant years, those were, in the end, growing points for him so they were not counted as FALLs but as RISEs. Each one has served him well, like how his popping has actually made him more flexible in layout and resulted in a couple of firsts. With each season, his legend and legacy grows and evolves just like the RISEs in the second half of the program that just keep increasing with intensity without bounds. For this is a skater who knows no limits.
He actually has many breaks, but the breaks are very very short each time. It is interesting, because this program requires one to be the wind through the forest, the calm river and the dappled sunlight through the trees, and such small pauses make the breaks less noticeable and create the feeling of continuity. The structure of Hope and Legacy is complicated and has many highs and lows, just like that of Hanyu Yuzuru’s life, and just like how it is a worthy representation of it in spirit.
A great person will endure great tribulations. (Someone please translate, my translation abilities have not reached such a level yet.) 故天将降大任于斯人也，必先苦其心志，劳其筋骨，饿其体肤，空乏其身，行拂乱其所为，所以动心忍性，曾益其所不能. Something along the lines of ‘When God wants to bestow a huge mission/responsibility/ etc upon someone, He will first temper your will and spirit, put you into physical trials, cause you to experience hunger, make you experience poverty, allow you to taste the bitterness of not having everything go smoothly, such that you may strengthen your heart and determination, and have renewed conviction and benefit and grow.’
That program needs more love! As I was doing the analysis, I was amazed at how artistically avant-garde it was in terms of narrative structure. The first half, I suspect, was probably what threw people off and made it “less appreciated”, and second half was (as mentioned in the post) much more similar to a typical ‘warhorse’ with the drama, yet the program never deviated from its purpose of representing Yuzu’s journey. It was about growth and taking flight and feeling hope, and then repeatedly seemingly losing hope but regaining it despite all odds, and then it was finally about his dominance and his legacy. Overall, it is a RISE, evident from the post. The overall big picture structure is still within the 6 traditional emotional arcs (see: https://www.google.com.sg/amp/s/www.theatlantic.com/amp/article/490733/) , but because Yuzu chose to embellish the growth part very much, it is so rich in content that people can’t see the forest for the trees (AHAH forest imagery) and get so hung up about ‘how hard to grasp’/‘how seemingly unstructured’ the first part was.
Tbh, I think he is actually doing a very intimate act by sharing his life and journey and all the bitterness and joys accompanying it. It may sound presumptuous and prolly I am overthinking it and assuming something that doesn’t exist, but wouldn’t only fans be able to appreciate it fully since we know deeply about his history? That might also be another reason why judges only see the surface and do not have the contextual knowledge for true enjoyment.
Good grief I can’t seem to shut up, can I?
The only thing I can add further right now would be that he still sees himself as still growing (also because he is humble and self-critical), and I wonder if it might also have influenced the program and cause a heavy focus on the growth part? But idk how much his input and influence was in relation to Shae’s, though I know he has always been more involved in his FS. (he is one of the painters in FS, but he seems to also want to attempt to be the painted by Buttle for SP)
@lockedinjohnlock-podfics tagged me to do a top 5/bottom 5 fics post which i thought was an interesting way of looking at things so i decided to play along, why not, etc. sorted by hits, here they are! for those of you just joining me, i’m darcylindbergh on ao3!
an interesting dichotomy here - the first two are among the oldest fics i have, and the last two are the newest fics i have. the dead hours, in all fairness, is a new wip and if you’re at all sensitive about long-updating wips i would not recommend it. a view of earth is cute though - astronauts. check it out. <3
idk who wants to hang out with this? tagging whoever wants to do it as always. love you all.
Morning comes on
slowly. The sunrise creeps over the steel and stone horizon of London, crawling across the carpets and up the spines of the books on the shelves, stretching over the papers on the desk and the faded fabrics of John’s chair. Sherlock
stands, leaning against the doorframe between the kitchen and sitting room, and
watches the dawn drive out the dark, lighting up 221B with the hushed
brilliance of Christmas.
He’s going to ask John
to marry him today.
Sherlock only managed
a few hours of sleep the night before, and he’d woken up just before five with
a jittery stomach and jangling skeleton. He had watched John for a while,
studying the smoothness of his face in sleep, the smudge of his eyelashes, the
soft curl of his fingers relaxed on the sheets. Sherlock had felt too full, watching him, too close to bursting, so he’d gotten up quietly, careful not to wake him.
Sherlock has turned on all the
fairy lights and started a small fire, just big enough for an extra splash of
heat and comforting crackle and pop of the logs, and turned on a quiet playlist of instrumental Christmas carols. He’s lined up all the makings
of Christmas breakfast—French toast and rashers, smoked salmon and scrambled
eggs, big bowls of sliced pears and peeled oranges, hot cocoa with whipped
cream, or coffee or tea, and there’s a bottle of champagne
in the fridge as well, just in case. Sherlock has John’s actual Christmas gift,
the permit for his firearm and the pass for a private afternoon at a shooting
range, settled into a box which he painstakingly wrapped
with a second, difficult-to-find roll of the same dark blue paper with silver stars he and John had ruined several
It’s going to be a
fantastic Christmas, Sherlock thinks, no matter what happens. It’s
going to be the best Christmas they’ve ever had, because they’re together.
Down the hall, Sherlock can hear the
sounds of John waking up. He calls it up in his mind’s eye, watching for himself what he knows is happening in the bedroom: John
reaching first for the other side of the bed and being put out that Sherlock
isn’t there, then snuffling sleepily into his pillow for a moment, brow furrowed adorably as he
decides to get up. Sherlock is almost disappointed that he’s missing it, but if
he were to go back now and crawl back in next to John, John would just yelp at his
cold toes and complain about his chilly fingers, so he might as well wait.
Eventually—after using the bathroom,
brushing his teeth, possibly spending a few minutes in the mirror examining
some imagined flaw—John comes out to the sitting room, still in his pyjamas and
dressing gown. He slumps over to Sherlock, who turns to receive him, and drapes
himself into Sherlock’s arms, warm and sleep-mussed and smiling.
“Merry Christmas,” Sherlock says,
giving John a bit of a kiss.
“Mm. Merry Christmas,” John returns,
mumbling a bit. “Got you something.”
Sherlock glances over
at his own starry blue gift, alone on the mantelpiece. He’d known, of
course, that John was getting him something, but now that he thought of it, he’d
seen neither hide nor hair of a potential Christmas present. John giggles as he
watches Sherlock realise that John has slipped something by him. “It’s
upstairs,” John explains, yawning, aiming a kiss for Sherlock’s mouth and
hitting half his cheek instead. “I’ll be right back.”
John goes up to his old bedroom and
comes back down with a large-ish rectangular white box, about the size of a
sheet of paper but about two inches deep, with a gigantic red and green velvet
trimmed ribbon. He hands it to Sherlock with a grin, looking much more awake
than he had been just moments ago, and a bit anxious, too.
Sherlock hadn’t thought to be nervous
about receiving a gift this year, but
the shy look on John’s face sets his nerves to jumping. He hadn’t really given
a whole lot of thought to what John might be getting him, in part because he
didn’t want to accidentally deduce it, but also in part because he had been so
wrapped up in his own plans. John should count himself fortunate, Sherlock
thinks wryly as he undoes the ribbon, because it might be the last year he
manages to keep his present a secret. Sherlock tosses the ribbon in John’s
direction, giving him a reassuring smile, and lifts off the top of the box.
Inside is a neat stack of paper, fastened along one edge with
professional spiral binding. It’s a book, of sorts—a manuscript, Sherlock realises.
In the center of the page, it reads in tidy block print:
A Study in Pink
John H. Watson, MD
“Can’t tell you how hard it’s been to do this with you around all the
time,” John says nervously, trying to fill the silence. “I’ve been using Mrs Hudson’s
laptop even, when you’re out, because you steal mine all the time. I put in all your deductions, this time, as well as I could remember, all the stuff about how you solved in, the stuff you always say is missing from the blog.”
Sherlock blinks down at the manuscript and carefully, gingerly, he
lifts it out of the box. It’s thick and heavy and Sherlock imagines John,
tapping away at Mrs Hudson’s laptop in secret stolen moments to write all this
down, to flesh out their first case, their first story, and Sherlock can’t
think past the endless loop of John John John, oh, how I love you, John.
Next to him, John fidgets. “It’s, um.
It’s for you, but it’s also for me,” he says, starting to explain. “It’s for us
manages to get his mouth to do something productive. “John, it’s—this is—this is
our first case.”
“Um, yeah,” John says
hesitantly. “It is. But it’s also, you know, a bit of a biography.”
Sherlock tears his
eyes away from the manuscript and looks over at John, who is looking back at
him with a cautious grin. “A biography?”
John runs his fingers
through his unruly hair as he searches for the right words. “It’s not just
about our first case together,” John says, “because meeting you, Sherlock, and
the—the importance of it, the weight of it, of meeting you, of you coming into
my life—it was never just about the cases.”
And he reaches over
and turns the first page, revealing a dedications page. For Sherlock, it reads, who I
have loved since page 57.
Family: they’re great! Except when they’re terrible. Whether you’re expecting a difficult holiday season this year or not, here is a collection of happy, hopeful, fluffy stories that settle in you like hot chocolate on a cold day. I chose some of the fics and authors I find myself returning to time and again because these stories are, to me, a little bit of home: familiar, welcoming, and comforting when times get hard. A lot of them are popular, and for good reason, and there might be a few new ones in here as well.