For those who haven't read the story and are thinking about it, but don't want to know major plot twists and revelations... it's probably not a good idea to click on the cut, because it gives away a lot. For those brave souls willing to risk it, or those who already know, click away...
See No Evil is a story about trust, spies, conspiracies, and deception. But at its core, it's really about friendship, and exactly how much finding a connection to someone else can change things in someone's life.
At the beginning of the story, John and Rodney are two very isolated people, trying to struggle on after life has thrown some particularly vicious curveballs at them. John has lost his calling and is trying to find his purpose again -- although he's not quite aware that's what's going on. Rodney's problem is much deeper, darker, and is more tied to the secret his new employer is hiding.
naye gives a wonderful review that touches on this, and so many other things in the story. Of course, she might still be struggling to breathe after I nearly drowned her in text-based hearts this morning after I read it.
mapsandlegends did some breath-taking cover art for the story, that is so amazingly detailed. Every single thing ties back into the story in one way or the other, and I can still pick out new things a month later. It's just too awesome for words, so go look, and make sure to let her know what you think.
This project was such a giant undertaking, and I owe a huge debt of gratitude to all of the people who supported me during this venture. leesa_perrie was my rock, and earned the title of "Best Cheerleader EVAH" for her sometimes daily success at talking me away from the ledge. My betas, though, twit1217 and kristen999 deserve a big round of applause for wading through and sorting out all of the plot holes, characterization slip-ups, and an extra 8000+ words of edits and additions scattered throughout the story.
Several people from my f-list were kind enough to ask a few questions from my last minute request, so I wouldn't be talking to myself for an entire post. Thank you, guys!
the rest of this most wonderful AU?
The scene that wound up driving the entire story was the motorcycle chase. It came to me while I was falling asleep, and was so wild and fun I knew I had to write it.
My original plot involved a member of Rodney's staff accidentally getting sucked into the 1920s and wrecking history, and through an equally flukey accident, no one on Earth is the wiser except John and Rodney. For reasons that don't need explaining at this juncture, the more I tried to work that scene into the original plot, things sort of came apart and I realized I was dealing with two separate stories. So, I focused on the main thing that fascinated me with the original storyline, which was a private individual/company getting a hold of the Stargate and using it for their own means, and tried to figure out how to get to that scene.
Of course, now I also had a John and Rodney who had no history to work from, and I had to figure out how to get them from complete strangers to a point where John would do anything to keep Rodney safe -- including incredibly stupid, death-defying motorcycle stunts. I knew I also still wanted to explore how their lives would be different without the Stargate program, and I wanted to stick as close to the show's canon and universe as possible.
It all started to come together from that point -- the X-302/F-302 from SG-1, Rodney's close ties with the Air Force, John's ability to fly anything with wings, "the best and the brightest" minds under one roof... even John's father being the head of a utilities mogul worked so well, because using the Stargate would make for one hell of an electricity bill.
leesa_perrie also asked (gnine echoed, and twit1217 chimed in):
Yes. And no. And yes.
As I was getting close to the end of the story, I saw a few opportunities where it might be better to leave some things open-ended to be explored at a later date. So I left a few little hooks for a future storyline in the last chapter. Certain traitors escape justice and certain twisted individuals don't die so there would be opportunity for them to return at a future date and cause trouble for our boys. At the same time, I feel like things need to be moving towards Atlantis -- because ultimately that's where John and Rodney's real home is.
I have some ideas how that might tie in together, but nothing concrete yet.
There's also a lot of questions I just can't seem to think of answers to. How does Earth meet their allies, the Tok'ra and the Asguard? Did Vertrauen wind up attracting the attention of the Goa'uld with their offworld scavenging? Does Daniel ever convince Teal'c to speak English, and does Teal'c still defect to Earth's side, and why? How does the remanants of Vertrauen's operations turn into what we know as The Trust? Most importantly, how the heck do they get to Atlantis?
There's just way too many directions to go for me to figure out what story to tell. If there's another Big Bang next year, I might write another installment -- but there's a lot of blanks to fill in my mind. Part of me is very tempted to make this an open universe, but I honestly don't know if its a sandbox that anyone else wants to play in.
In the McShep direction, I mean. It's probably my own personal biases/loves, but
there were several moments that felt rather pre-slash to me ^_-.
I'm not sure if tempted is the right word, because oh yes, there were moments I had serious doubts it was going to remain gen. I believe I might have been begging and pleading with the boys to reel things back in because I wanted the story to stay in the gen for various reasons of my own. When I got to the editing process, I kind of paused at those same scenes and thought about it for a little while. Then, because I like messing with people's heads, I changed things a little here and there so that it still very easily read gen to me -- but it didn't completely and totally refute things if someone was predisposed to reading it as pre-slash.
I love it when multiple meanings and multiple readings can be taken from one piece of text -- especially if that text is something I've written! If possible, I want to encourage people to read and come up with their own conclusions about what a story says. I think it makes for a much more fun reading experience, and is definitely more fun to talk about later.
I was literally short of breath after the motor cycle chase.
I have a heavy background in film and video, so I'm already predisposed to think of stringing a scene together as if it were for the screen. I usually have a storyboard in my head of the big events, and if I close my eyes I can see the different cuts, angles and pans that the "camera" takes. I do notice that this tends to translate into a focus on what is happening physically, but can be detrimental when trying to dig into the emotional impact of a scene. After an initial bare bones sketch, I usually have to go back and fill in a lot of blanks.
All of the above? (Wow, that sounds a teensy bit conceited). I've always loved writing and telling stories, but I did start actively trying to hone and improve my craft back as early as junior high. I took several courses in junior high, high school, and college, and I've attended one really big workshop. I've learned various things from them, both on what to do, and what not to do--and what environments can actually be detrimental to the learning process. The one that impacted me the most was the course I took my senior year of high school. I wound up winning an award for a short story I wrote at the regional level -- but even more rewarding was the part of the course where I had to teach a room full of fourth grader's about plot and story structure.
However, I feel that I've learned more about writing in the past year focused on writing fan fiction than I have from all of those courses combined. There's a lot to be learned when you focus on writing about you really enjoy in an environment where you're more likely to get feedback when you get things right--rather than one where you're mainly told what's wrong.
Finally, leesa_perrie reminded me of a few things we shared and giggled over during the writing process -- mostly created so I could keep my sanity in between freakout sessions. We had both been almost innocent of the cat macro phenomena until about the same amount of time, so of course we couldn't help but jump on the very established bandwagon. There are only four, because at some point, sadly, I had to write the story rather than look for pictures of kittens. I'm not sure if they make sense outside of the scenes they're referring to, but they still make us giggle. We're thinking of dubbing them "SeeNoLulz":
The first one that started them was inspired by us snorting over Carson's tendency to feed and care for
The next two were based on the first big fight scene that takes place at Rodney's apartment. It took me almost a week to write for some reason or another, and I was ready to pull my hair out. So of course, it got a macro. We giggled and snorted over the first one, because we're hopeless when it comes to that arena. Then I felt bad for leaving John out of the action, so got one too:
The final one is devoted entirely to John Sheppard, and his tendency, both in the story and in canon, to poke his nose into doors (and other places) where it probably doesn't belong.
And then I realized I had like seven days left to the deadline and 20K+ words left to write, so that was the end end of our crack... I honestly have no clue if they're funny to anyone but us. They made us laugh, though, a lot. We're still trying to find some more to add to our collection.
If there's any more questions, comments, concerns, fan fictional dogma, more cat macros, or anything really, please feel free to use the comments section. Free-for-all I say, free-for-all!