this one has been in my wip folder for like ever

porcupine-girl  asked:

I'm desperate for any zimbits bc the ao3 tag has been dead slow lately... So literally anything, but if you want a prompt how about bedsharing? Or maybe a blind date?

let’s uhhh not talk about how long ago you sent this to me, but bedsharing on their first night Providence? let’s do it! 


Bitty collapsed onto the guest bed as soon as he closed the door behind him, burying his face in the nearest pillow and groaning. He wasn’t sure exactly what brand of panic had taken hold of him just then, but the end result was him sleeping alone in Jack’s guestroom apparently. This was not how he had pictured their week alone together in Providence going.

He fumbled for his phone in his pocket and stared at the bright screen morosely. 11:09 P.M. His groan was more whine than anything this time and he kicked his legs on the bed for good measure. It was almost half-past by the time he peeled himself up from the bed to change into his sleep clothes.

Bitty sighed at his reflection in a wall mirror as he pulled on a loose-fitting shirt that had “MADISON HIGH FOOTBALL” printed in large block letters across the front. There were dark bags under his eyes from losing sleep to both excitement and anxiousness in the weeks leading up to this visit and although he’d been lifting and running all summer per the Jack Zimmermann Workout Plan that had been texted to him at an ungodly hour every morning, he still looked scrawny to his own eyes.

He pulled at the hem of the shirt, considering, before tugging it back over his head. He stood up a little straighter and looked at his reflection again, forcing himself to see the broader shoulders and muscle definition that hadn’t been there last year. He took a deep breath and looked towards his closed door, thinking of Jack probably already soundly asleep down the hallway and how warm his bed would probably be. He took one more look back at the empty, still-made guest bed and nodded decisively.

“C’mon, Bitty,” he muttered to himself. “You can do this.”

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How I write 10,000 words in a day

This is not a daily occurrence; 10,000 words in a day is a writing marathon that takes planning. It’s also not high-quality writing, but it is a good way to forge through the boring filler scenes I’ve been putting off and it gives me a lot of material on the page that I can later edit into something usable.

Preparation

I choose a day at least a couple of days, if not weeks, in the future that I can fully dedicate to writing. I plan ahead, make sure I clear my schedule, sort out snacks and meals for the day, and (if working at home) take care of the house work. This way, I have nothing else to think about or get distracted by.

I keep a note book of things I want to write about, typically just a bullet-pointed list of scenes that I have thought about. I am more of a freestyler than a planner, so that’s about as planned ahead as I ever get. I have a playlist ready to listen to, which I may or may not use.

On the day, I get up early and head to the gym, go for walk, anything that gets me active and away from my work space for at least an hour (I have tried it without the exercise and found that the day’s word count is always lower if I skip it). I have breakfast (a meal I often don’t really bother with). Shower. Clean clothes. Brushed teeth. All of these things, so I am awake and fresh.

The actual writing

I open a new document (which I save as “10K Day [date]”) and just start typing. Sometimes this means fragments of conversations I thought about while on the treadmill, sometimes it’s working on something from the notebook. Whatever I’m writing, the trick is to write it, no editing, no hesitations, no back spacing, not even for typos. I get myself into a groove and just keep going.

If I find myself a bit stuck, if my fingers haven’t hit the keys in the last thirty seconds, I hit the Enter key three times and start writing something else. 99% of the time, this something else will be a different scene within the same story, but every now and then I’ll jump to a different story entirely. If I can’t think of the word I want or need to name a new character, I will just type XXX and keep going.

I have my notebook next to me, so I can just work my way down my ‘to write’ list if I am having trouble thinking of what to write. Often, I start with the notebook but by the end of the day won’t be referring to it as much, mostly writing things I haven’t thought about before. This is when a lot of character development happens, unplanned quirks and descriptions slip in, and the next thing I know this character is gay and that one’s a red head (later, I go back and make sure these elements are consistent throughout the story).

I work in two-hour blocks, with twenty-minute breaks in between and one hour for lunch. Usually, I hit a wall at about 8,000 words around 4pm. When this happens I stop for an hour or two. Maybe go for another walk, maybe take a nap. I get back to it after dinner and pass the 10,000-word mark around 8:00pm. This is just me, I have friends who also do this and write much faster than I do, getting their 10,000 in half the time, and others who almost never actually hit the target. It doesn’t actually matter if they don’t though, they have still spent a day on their writing and made real progress.

My favourite way of doing a 10,000-word day is making it a social event. My old writing group used to reserve a private room in the library and bring our laptops. We followed the same schedule of twenty-minute breaks every two hours, and wouldn’t interact during writing time, except maybe silently passing around chocolate. Then, during the breaks, we would tell each other what we were writing about.

We first started doing this by taking part in a monthly 10K Day run by a writing blog, where you could log on and post updates through the day, and encourage each other. It was great, and I would love to post a link to the site, but it’s been a long time since I visited the website, and when I went looking for it today I couldn’t find it :(

Post-10,000 word day

A day or two after I have done a 10,000-word day, I edit what I wrote. Or if not edit, at least see what I can use. I sit down and scroll through, reading what I spewed onto the page, often feeling like it’s the first time I have seen those words.

I may not be able to use everything I wrote right away. E.g a piece of dialogue is from this WIP, but I don’t know when it happens so don’t have anywhere to put it in the story right now. These fragments stay untouched.

Anything I can use right away, I copy and paste into a WIP. I don’t delete anything I write, so anything I use I change the colour of in the 10K document so I end up with a rainbow of used text. This lets me see what has and hasn’t been used with minimal effort when I come back to the 10K document later on.

Inside my Writing Folder, I have a Used folder. Once everything in a 10K Day document has been used, I move the document to the Used folder. Until then, it sits in the main folder, ready for me to open it up and scroll through. It can stay there for a long time, especially if it has pieces from more than one story in it. Having it there means that when I have time to write but find myself unsure what I want to say I have a stock pile of pieces to use as a jumping off point.

my bookmarked fics

@fictionismynationality asked me to dump the entirety of my bookmark folder on y’all so here’s what i’ve got (somewhat organized)

(mostly does not include all the WIPs and “to read”s i currently have open in my 21 tabs)

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Dear Little One

The last chapter of my Dragon Age Cullen-centric freeform-style experiment. It follows up on this (NSFW) chapter.

Ao3 Link


Dear Little One,

It seems odd to write a letter to you when you’re barely a swell in your mother’s stomach, but the world is an uncertain place. If the worst should happen, we wish you to know your parents. Your mother is also writing letters to you, though she refuses to allow me to read them.

We do not yet have a name for you. There’s no way to know if you’ll be a boy or a girl, of course, and we’ve barely begun to discuss what name you might be given once you’re with us. Your Aunt Mia has made her suggestions known. I won’t repeat your mother’s reply to her suggestions, but suffice to say I believe she has her own preferences. For now, I shall just call you “Little One.”

You came as a surprise to us, but not an unwelcome one. There was a time I would have considered being a father as being beyond my reach, but life rarely takes us in the directions we expect. I never could have dreamed that one day I would one day love and later marry such a rare woman as your mother, much less be a part of a family.

Whatever happens, know that you are loved and you are wanted. Your mother and I very much look forward to meeting you when you arrive.

–Your father

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anonymous asked:

Did you ever write that canon!single teen dad Louis???

I never finished it but it’s still sitting in my WIP folder as something I might pick up in the future. However, here’s what I have, which is basically 4000 words of canon teen dad Louis :))

The first time Liam hears that Louis Tomlinson is a dad, they’re at Boot Camp, and Louis is doing three things all at once: a) pinching Niall Horan’s nipples, b) hanging backwards off the back of a sofa and managing to keep himself from falling by what looks like sheer force of will, and c) singing How To Save A Life at the top of his lungs.

“How on earth can you be a dad,” Niall snorts, batting Louis away. “Stop that. Leave my nipples alone.”

“I am a spectacular dad,” Louis says, in satisfaction. He goes for Niall’s balls this time, and topples backwards off the sofa. “I am the best dad in the world.”

Liam thinks there must be a joke he’s not getting, because Louis isn’t old enough–or mature enough–to be a dad. Louis refuses to get enough sleep and is always messing about and pushing people around, and Liam can’t quite separate Louis’ laughter from that of the boys at school, who’d spent much of the last six years pushing Liam around quite gleefully.

“You’re a nightmare,” Niall says, poking Louis in the side, and Louis beams up at him from where he’s sprawled across the floor.

“Thank you, Niall. You are now second choice to be my personal husband for the rest of forever. After Harry Styles, obviously.”

Niall just laughs at that, and tugs Louis to his feet.

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Catalyst

Royai Week Prompt: Day 3 Catalyst

Title: Catalyst

Word Count: 18058

Rating: Teen for cursing and innuendo.  The usual.

Summary:  A ‘ Life as We Know It’ AU where Roy and Riza become guardians for Elicia after her parents die.     In this AU they know of each otehr but haven’t formally met yet.

AN:  WIP that got polished out for this prompt as it fit so well.   No greater catalyst in Roy’s life than the death of Hughes and here he has no choice but to dedicate himself to parenthood instead of revenge.   It is a little weird in this format due to being written as a chaptered fic, but it will work.


xxx


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One Year: Carnation Books Staff Q&A- Lee, CEO

What do you do for Carnation? 

I like to describe myself as the Captain of this Starship, but I guess you can technically also call me the CEO (that’s my legal title). I was fortunate enough to be in the right time and place and have the resources to bring Carnation Books to life, but it’s been a tremendous group effort as well, bringing a company up from zero with no outside investment. We’re 100% fandom-powered, and everyone who’s involved with us is also involved in fandom in some respect. As the Captain, I guess I steer the ship, but there are a lot of great people who actually make it go. 

What’s your main fandom? 

BBC Sherlock was the unquestionable impetus for Carnation’s creation. It was the catalyst for me getting back into fandom after a long axe battle with depression over the better part of a decade. I first got into Sherlock when I was stranded and terribly bored on the worst vacation ever, and I was in the mood to read something completely new. “I do love murder mysteries,” I said to myself, “and I’ve never read Sherlock Holmes. And that Benedict Cumberbatch fellow is very handsome, isn’t he? He was so good as Khan in Star Trek, and isn’t he Sherlock on television? And Martin Freeman is a cutie, too, and he’s Watson… Well, I wouldn’t mind imagining Holmes solving some mysteries together with his BFF Watson!”

Ohoho, little did I know how much my life would change, from the first moment that Sherlock “gripped” John’s hand at the beginning of in “A Study in Scarlet.” This was in early 2015, I think? It was well after Season 3 had ended, and just before the special episode “The Abominable Bride” was announced. Since then, the BBC Sherlock fandom (and specifically Johnlock) has changed my life in ways I never could have imagined. And when people ask me this question about my main fandom, my instinct is to say Sherlock.

But, to answer the actual question, uh, my fandoms and ships are:

-BBC Sherlock (John/Sherlock and Greg/Mycroft)

-Star Wars (Kylo Ren/General Hux and Matt the Radar Technician/Clan Techie (the “crack ship” that blindsided me with feelings so strong I cried literal tears))

-Harry Potter (Draco/Harry and Remus/Sirius)

-Star Trek (Reboot Kirk/Spock and some miscellaneous pairings; I share this fandom with my husband!)

-Cabin Pressure (Douglas/Martin and Arthur/Martin, I love them both)

-Hannibal (Hannibal/Will, aka The Only Ship)-Marvel (Steve/Bucky)

-Tolkien (Sam/Frodo and Thorin/Bilbo)

-Kingsman (Harry/Eggsy)

Also, my main hobby outside of western media fandom is video games, which is kind of a fandom in itself, in addition to fandoms for individual games that spin off great fanfiction and fanart. I’m also in the Game Grumps fandom, which, as a comedy Let’s Play channel, is kinda peripheral to video games.

What’s your OTP?

I have three answers to this question:

1) My first OTP (before the phrase “OTP” came into frequent usage) was Mulder/Scully from “The X-Files.” I had a yellow accordion folder full of G-rated fics that I carried everywhere with me for the entire summer of 1997, including on three vacations. (My parents were pretty tolerant of their quirky kid.) I read a handful of slash fics (mostly Mulder/Skinner) but I definitely didn’t ship Mulder with anyone but Scully. I mean, they’re totally canon.

2) My OTP for my whole adolesence was Sirius/Remus from Harry Potter. From 7th grade on, I was well obsessed with Harry Potter, and after the third book came out, I read and re-read it, and carried it everywhere with me. It was my first slash pairing where I really saw the romance, and really believed that the characters were meant to be together (and, in the case of Sirius/Remus, had already been together in the past). I read hundreds of Remus/Sirius fics during high school–definitely a formative time in my personal and fandom development. (And really, aren’t they the same thing?)

3) The OTP that changed my life, John/Sherlock. What can I say about these two that haven’t been said by people much cleverer and more passionate than me? All I can add here is that I’ll love the two of them forever, no matter what.

What are your favorite tropes? 

FAKE RELATIONSHIP! I’ve been on that fake relationship drug since Mulder and Scully had to pretend to be married to solve cases. It’s just as good when John and Sherlock have to do it. I love all the attendant tropes, too, like bed-sharing, awkward PDA, mutual pining, and that kiss that starts out awkward but blossoms into the real thing and leaves both characters breathless. You know, the usual.
I don’t know if this counts as a trope, but I only read fics with happy endings. You can have as much angst as you please, but as long as no good guys die and the pairing ends up happily living together and in love, then it’s good enough for me. I love some good old-fashioned hurt/comfort, but “Happy endings only” is kind of my personal motto. 

Most fic read in one sitting? 

My longest total fic binge would probably be that one holiday where I did nothing over a 4 day weekend aside from reading the complete masterpiece “Children, Wake Up” by Holly Hark, @hollyhark aka hollycomb on AO3 (https://archiveofourown.org/series/386986). It was absolutely glorious.

What are you reading right now? 

Right now my imagination is totally taken with the Johnlock surfer AU “Gimme Shelter,” by @sincewhendoyoucallme-john (https://archiveofourown.org/works/11578941/chapters/26020017). It’s a total breath of fresh summer air. I don’t usually read WIPs, but this one’s like a vacation to the beach. A sandy, salty Pacific ocean beach in the 1970s. Listen, just read it.

I’m also slowly making my way through the back catalogue of @berlynn-wohl​ (http://archiveofourown.org/users/berlynn_wohl/), but I’ve been at it almost a year, and my progress is frankly a bit embarassing.

What are you working on for Carnation right now? 

*conspiratorial whisper* a lot of secrets! Keep watching our blog for a ton of awesome book announcements coming so very soon!  

What would you like to tell people about Carnation Books? 

The number one thing I want people to know is that we’re doing everything we’re doing for the love of fandom. The company is 100% devoted to fandom and fanfiction writers. We’re doing this out of love for fandom, with the sole goal of uplifting and celebrating fanfiction writers.
People should also know that we are a startup, we’ve only been around for a year, we’re entirely bootstrapped with no outside funding, and we’re pretty much a ragtag gang of plucky outsider underdogs when it comes to publishing (although we’ve gotten professional assistance where it counts, like our great publishing specialist lawyer and our accountant). We’re just fans who are trying our best to support other fans, because we believe in the power of the fandom community. If you believe, too, then we want you to join us.

I also want anyone reading this to know that we fully believe that the world of books is big enough for everyone. We support other publishing companies, and we support writers who choose to publish elsewhere. We just wish everyone the best :)

I am incredibly lucky to have the circumstances that enable me to captain this starship, and I also understand the tremendous responsibility inherent in caring for other people’s creative endeavours. I wish I could personally thank every single person who’s ever said an encouraging word about us, or to us. I’ll have to just say it here–thank you so much for your support. We look forward to proving you right over the next 12 months.

Here’s to Carnation Books: Year Two!


We’re all really lucky, and really happy to be working with Lee on this amazing adventure. All of Carnation Books’ staff wishes Lee and this wonderful dream of theirs a very happy birthday. We can’t wait to see what the next year brings. <3

[snk fic] tres bien

Rating: M
Pairing: erejean
Notes: erenx3/jean, pwp, double penetration, unedited - A couple of weeks ago twitter was having a serious discussion about erenx3/jean. very serious. very good. this has been in my wip folder for a while, so I’m glad I could sneak this in for Valentines, if only by the skin of my teeth.  happy vday, everyone. :’)

[ao3]

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beezarre  asked:

Hi Pear! I have a question I forgot to ask you on chat during Nano, so here: How do you organise your different writing projects? Do you use a spreadsheet, a regular folder with files in them, a notebook, ...? I intend to organise mine, but I realised I wasn't sure where to start and on what base. Thanks in advance :)

Honestly, if you took a look at my room, my Evernote, my computer, and my Scrivener, you would be more inclined to wonder if I’m the right person to ask about organization. This turned out really obnoxiously long and I’m sorry.

I have a box in my closet of things from middle school and high school that I keep because I’m sentimental about them, but I’ve progressed far enough that they no longer hold much inspiration for me. They’re history, a look at how far I’ve come, and they’re important. I no longer have the files for them, so there they stay, taped up, with shoes on top of the box.

There’s a pile of notebooks–I don’t mean nice, artsy notebooks, I mean ugly spiral-bounds–beside my desk full of notes about my current WIP series. While most times I write on a computer, I sometimes think things through better on paper, so I plan and worldbuild in notebooks that aren’t special in any way. These notes stay in these books until I refer to them enough times, and get frustrated enough when I’m away from them and need them, that they sometimes get transferred into the computer. If they’re notes on an existing long project, they get retyped into the project’s Scrivener. If it’s not a long project or doesn’t exist yet, they stay there. Eventually, I either recycle the notebook because I (A) have all the information in another format so it’s no longer needed, or (B) clearly am not going to do anything with it. That decision for (B) doesn’t happen for about three years. If I keep looking at an idea and getting excited, I’ll keep it past that, but I have to feel something about it. If I don’t, it’s a dead-end, unlikely to ever become a project, and not something I’ll probably ever be inspired to write. Dead ends either get recycled or stuck in the box in my closet.

A personal note about fancy, artsy, nice notebooks: I don’t use them. They’re too small for my personal liking, the bindings are always in the way for me, and I don’t keep a journal, so mostly they sit in a drawer looking pretty. Despicable. I purposefully buy boring, ol’ top-bound notebooks so I don’t feel like I’m desecrating something pretty with bad writing. Most times I keep one notebook for each project, but if I don’t think the notes about that project will take the whole notebook, I have been known to go to the back and write on the back sides of the sheets if some new something hits me and I don’t have another notebook on hand.

On my computer, I have large, novel-sized projects in Scrivener. Each book has its own Scrivener project, and within that there’s a main folder for the book’s text itself. That folder is split into more folders, one for each of the main events of my 10-point plot model, and then scenes are broken down within those. Those scene documents are movable, so I drag and drop those into the plot point folders depending on where I feel it belongs in the overall outline. Alongside the manuscript folder, there’s a folder for world-building notes for that project. These are unorganized but titled relevantly. It includes pictures, notes transferred from the notebooks, and notes-to-self files. Each novel’s project has world-building notes relevant to that book only, so the religion that’s first introduced and outlined in the text of book two will have the notes on that religion, not book one or three that doesn’t feature that religion as prominently. I don’t keep character notes, letting them grow in-text as I write rather than filling out character questionnaires.

Outside of Scrivener and my big novel projects, I have two folders on my computer. One is from when I was beta reading for some folks, and they were beta reading for me. It has the PDFs of my rough drafts of my novels, but nothing else. The other folder is labeled “Writing” and inside are two other folders: “Prose” and “Poetry.” Inside Prose are short stories and story starts. There’s a folder of published things within each of those, including where and when it was published. There’s a submissions folder within each of those with where and when it was submitted. Inside the submissions folder there’s a rejected folder to make sure I don’t resubmit the same version to the same place. The actual short stories and story starts that I’ve not done anything with aren’t organized in any special way. If there are a few that go together, they’ll get a folder with a “series” title, and probably eventually a Scrivener project.

I also utilize Evernote when I’m writing away from home, and that’s a mess. Because I use it for short periods of time, it has very little in it except what I’m working on at that moment (like right now it has my NaNo in it from when I’d write at work). That’s set up very much like the Scrivener set-up: A Notebook for the whole project, then documents inside that are labeled for where they go in an outline, inspiration, and notes-to-self. There’s a separate Notebook for miscellaneous stuff, but if I haven’t worked on it in a year, it either gets transferred to a document on my computer or deleted.

I’m also a firm believer in naming documents so I know what I’m looking at, which is why I don’t bother organizing much beyond just putting short stories and story starts into a folder on my computer. Something as distinctive as “Sirensong,” I’m going to remember that later and know whether I finished it or not. I used to title short stories and story starts with their completion status: “Remarian Castle (unfinished)” or “Please Forgive Me (complete)” or “Bent Feathers (v4).” I don’t do that much anymore unless I’ve sent something out to beta readers. Seeing as I haven’t had betas in several years, there’s only one version of most things.

It also depends on if I’m planning on publishing it over on silvershears (my trashy personal writing blog). If I am planning on releasing it there, it’s a complete draft or a complete installment of a serialized story, and lives in the drafts folder of tumblr.

In short, I’m a mess, but it works for me. And that’s the point. You need to find a system that works for you. Writing is an inherently messy business, so try things. I’m a mostly digital writer–if I hand-write, it gets transferred to a computer as soon as I feel like it’s complete or I no longer have the drive to write on it–so much of my systems are digital. Find what works best for you. If you write a lot from different places, consider finding online cloud-hosted systems like Evernote and Google Drive to keep your stuff available from any device anywhere. If you tend to write on paper, invest in some filing folders that you can label and keep in one place. If you mostly write in one place and digitally, find a system of folders on your hard drive that works for you. If you’re not planning on publishing, you won’t need my system of tracking that. Whatever you do, it must be tailored for you.

Here are some articles from writers talking about their own struggles with organization that may be of some assistance when thinking about it:

I’ve been singularly focused on my big bang lately so I haven’t been posting fic, so here is a little WIP amnesty. 

Here’s about 4.7k of the Worst Witch Coven Ziall AU I started writing a thousand years ago and has been languishing. Someday I’ll finish it I swear. 

Niall sees him three times in total before he puzzles out his name. Three times, the man comes in. Or boy. Or guy. Whatever. It’s confusing, because the first time he was in, he had this face full of stubble, dark and thick and quite soft looking, and he was wearing a plaid shirt that made him look like some kind of lumberjack or a werewolf, or maybe a werewolf lumber jack. In any case, it was all quite manly. Niall was stood in the drinks aisle, organizing the fresh juice, and he’d watched as the man perused the frozen food, opening doors, poking at bags of peas and carrots. He looked tired. Or worried. His face was tight, but the tightness didn’t make him any less lovely around the face. It just made him look kind of broody and mysterious in a nice way.

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BTW, if you’re one of those writers who looks at other writers and thinks, “God they’re so much better than I am, how can my work ever be worth posting compared to that?”

If that’s you, then a few thoughts for you:

1: Some writer of great fame and competency (probably Ray Bradbury) offered the advice that it takes about a million words of writing before you start getting good.  Some writers start working toward that word count earlier than others.  If you meet a 20 year old who’s getting published?  It’s entirely possible they started drabbling around when they were like five.  Their age has nothing to do with it.  It’s how long you’ve been practicing compared to them.  I know a guy in his early 20s who’s such a painfully good writer that I, over a decade older than he is, sometimes feel despair if I let myself think about it too hard.

2: When you compare yourself to a writer who seems amazing to you, have you asked them to let you glance into their WIPs folder?  Because chances are, all you’re seeing are the successes and not the charred and mangled abandoned bodies of all the fics they couldn’t finish and the drafts they haven’t fixed yet.  Believe me, the carcasses are in there, and it’s not a pretty sight.  I’ve got at LEAST 3 times as many dead and mangled WIPs as I have finished stories.

3: Frankly it doesn’t matter how good they are, because stories cannot be swapped for each other.  They are not commodities.  That writer you admire will never write the story you’ve got lurking in your head.  Even if you gave them the prompt and a 2 page synopsis outlining the characters and basic plot, they will never produce the same story from it that YOU would.  Your stories are unique to you, and they cannot be replaced.  You are unique and precious and irreplaceable as a writer, and the things you create have never been seen in this world before and never will be again.

Full disclosure: I wrote about Isii giving Solas a sketchbook in my flash fiction today because of this excerpt from a post-trespasser fic that I still haven’t finished. >_>

For context, Isii has coaxed Solas into dancing with her as her dreams recreate the balcony at Halamshiral.


“I still have our masks from that night,” Isii murmured, her voice warming slightly as she looked up into his face. “It seems silly and sentimental. I keep convincing myself to get rid of them but I never do.”

“You’re not alone in that,” Solas said, guiding her into a turn before drawing her against him once more. “I’ve kept remembrances as well.”

“Such as?”

The corner of his lips lifted. “The sketchbook.”

Her laughter offered some relief to their tension. It was the first gift she ever gave him, well before they were lovers – a small, leather-bound book for him to document their travels. He still looked over it from time to time. The spine could clearly mark the pages on which he lingered the most, opening readily to images of her. His notes showed the now painful progression where observations about the anchor slowly shifted into studies of the shape of her fingers, loosely flowing lines tracing the gentle slope of her wrist. He was never much of a realist in his sketching and yet he’d made the attempt, trying to capture the way her eyes narrowed when she smiled, the way she mindlessly pinched her lip with her teeth when she thought no one was looking, the way she curved her palm whenever she summoned.

He should have known then that his interest in her was becoming dangerously intimate.

“I remember how you used to guard that thing like some da’asha and her journal. We were already together before I was able to sneak it out of your pack.”

“There was no cunning on your part,” he said, his smile widening. “I allowed you to take it.”

“It definitely highlighted your priorities,” she said with a laugh. “A couple sketches of elvhen ruins here and there… but if I recall, half the pictures were of me.”

“Of course,” he said simply, easing her into a spin. “You outshine everything in your wake. You always have.”

“Sweet talker,” she said with a grin, her eyes narrowing. “Was the Dread Wolf always so charming, or did I just bring that out of you?”

He laughed and this time it was genuine and lacking in self-consciousness. “I don’t think charming is a term that has been used for me in a very, very long time. Infuriating, perhaps, but not charming.”

“Let’s just say you had a way with words that I found very effective.”

“And you’ve always made that task effortless for me, vhenan.”