brightknightie: A blue and white stylized Toronto skyline, circa 1992-1996 (Default)

Back in 2011's [community profile] fandom_stocking/[livejournal.com profile] fandom_stocking game, I ambitiously posted six little stories, one to every stocking that had wished for FK that year. Four of these pieces, I shared on fkfic-l and archived in the usual way. The other two went into a kind of purgatory; each had a unique challenge that I discovered through audience responses, and each I thought I should rewrite, recast, recreate to address its challenge. I never did.

[personal profile] leela_cat once advised me to formally tie off those two, the better to stop thinking of them as eternally to-be-done. I finally did that this weekend, archiving them to the AO3 with only a wash and wax, not a new transmission. I backdated both to Epiphany 2011:

  • "Getting Involved" (1.2K words, PG, Janette and Erica, canon-divergent)
  • "For a Song" (900 words, G, Lacroix and Janette, canon-compliant)

My thanks to the kind people who played Fandom Stocking that year, giving me an opportunity to explore these characters and learn valuable storytelling lessons!

brightknightie: Nick looking up. (Nick)
As you may know, my interpretation of Forever Knight considers the power of hypnotism perhaps the most insidious, corrosive temptation of Nick's vampirism. Unlike his supernaturally enhanced strength, endurance and agelessness, hypnotism requires an active decision each time he uses it. Unlike flying, which is also an active choice, hypnotism is by its nature an assault on another person's free will. Now, often, the storyline unleashes vampiric hypnotism strictly on the dangerous and depraved, or makes hypnotism the only choice to save a life in a certain situation; sometimes, it is employed on a smaller scale, to cause sleep or dull pain; occasionally (as with Tawny Teller in "Unreality TV"), Nick even gets permission before hypnotizing. Other times, however, he succumbs to the temptation to force people to do his bidding against their wills for no good or sufficient reason (as with Schanke washing the Caddy in "Close Call"). Of course this is tragedy. It demeans them and further corrupts him.

Each time the opportunity to use hypnotism arises, Nick should consider whether there is another way to achieve his goal, and, if not, whether his goal is truly worthy of the use of such a power. Naturally, inured by long habit, Nick more often acts first and thinks later, if, on hypnotism, he thinks at all. And that's part of the wonderful story of his Everyman struggle for redemption and whether — "Last Knight" aside — he (and we) may finally achieve tragedy or triumph.

This came to mind in response to an essay by Colbert King in today's Washington Post, which linked to an old (1992) essay in the Acton Institute's Religion and Liberty: "Power Corrupts" by Ben Moreell. Moreell writes:
"When a person gains ... power to force other persons to do his bidding when they do not believe it right to do so[,] it seems inevitable that a moral weakness develops in the person who exercises that power. ... [H]e eventually concludes that power and wisdom are the same thing. And as he possesses power, he must also possess wisdom. ... At this point, he begins to lose his ability to distinguish between what is morally right and what is ... expedient."

Above, I suggest how this recurring temptation harms Nick. Lacroix, though, is surely an even better illustration, from generalship through vampirism, of the effects on its wielder of the power to bend and break others' wills. "As he possesses power, he must also possess wisdom," Lacroix concluded of himself ages past, and never looked back. Nick is still fighting to distinguish between the right and the expedient. Lacroix long since ceased to recognize the distinction, if ever he did. (It's easy to suppose that Janette, as usual, would fall somewhere between, but instead I submit that we have too few instances of her hypnotizing people to place her firmly in comparison... except perhaps to float the hypothesis that she may hypnotize less often than Nick or Lacroix.)

To deny someone the freedom to think and remember as he wills is a horror. Even a slave has his thoughts and memories, surely? Such hypnotism is non-con/dub-con through a fantasy/sci-fi metaphor.

(Each to her own when it comes to squicks, of course! This just happens to be one of mine.)
brightknightie: A stylized representation of a medieval knight on a horse surrounded by a sun.  Blue. (Bright Knight Logo Transparent)

This is the [livejournal.com profile] fandom_stocking story that I wrote for [personal profile] havocthecat this year.  She said that she likes "stories about women, focusing on their relationships and friendships, and... saving themselves and each other" (and, yes, Forever Knight).  I'm satisfied with the main action of this story, but possibly the tag is unnecessary.  (Boxing Day in Ontario, by the way, resembles Black Friday in the US, thus providing the pre-dawn setting.)

My thanks to [personal profile] skieswideopen for Canada-checking!  My thanks to [personal profile] celli for beta-reading!

  Available: My Fansite | The AO3
  Length: 1,773 words
  Date: Fandom Stocking 01/06/12, FKFic-L 01/26/12
  Rating: PG
  Characters:  Janette, Natalie
  Summary: Janette and Natalie are among the passengers stuck in a glass-sided mall elevator under a skylight, with dawn on the way.
  Quotation: "However the observance had begun, it had evolved into a holiday honoring the hunt — and of the hunt, Janette was a most ardent devotee."

brightknightie: Janette and Natalie in the Raven ("It's your neck.") (Nanette)

When [personal profile] celli kindly beta-read "A Hunt by Any Other Name," my [livejournal.com profile] fandom_stocking Janette and Natalie stuck-in-an-elevator story, we chatted about the challenge of bringing those characters together.

The nature of Forever Knight keeps Janette and Natalie apart.  Whether we diagram the characters as a linear continuum, or overlapping circles, or atomic shells, the story structure puts Nick in the middle and Janette and Natalie to either side (with Lacroix and Schanke a step beyond them), representing Nick's different worlds, his dual nature.  Canon embodies some themes by physically anchoring Janette in her club and Natalie in her lab, while moving Nick between them (how much the club and the lab are respectively full of life and of death, and the thematic questions and reversals in that, is a fascinating topic of its own).

If I'm counting correctly, canon puts Janette and Natalie in the same scene in just 9 episodes (out of 70), for a total of 10-12 separate scenes (depending how you count scene interruptions).  They're together in the Raven 6 times, the loft 2, and once each at the morgue and a crime scene.  In aired order — which, in second season, is not production order, and not the order on the DVDs; grateful as I am for the DVDs, their order still irritates me — they are: list )

Did I forget any?

[Addendum: Per [livejournal.com profile] pj1228, I forgot "Close Call." It's now listed. Thanks!]

brightknightie: A stylized representation of a medieval knight on a horse surrounded by a sun.  Blue. (Bright Knight Logo Transparent)

This is the [livejournal.com profile] fandom_stocking story that I wrote for [personal profile] skieswideopen this year.  She wrote that she likes “outsider POVs,” “slice of life” and “bittersweet endings” (and, of course, Forever Knight).  I'm pretty satisfied with it.  I think it's different, and that it achieves an appropriate structure.

My thanks to [personal profile] celli for her supportive beta-reading and perceptive suggestion!

  Available: My Fansite | The AO3
  Length: 1,996 words
  Date: Fandom Stocking 01/07/12, FKFic-L 01/18/12
  Rating: PG
  Characters:  OFC, Janette, Nick, Lacroix
  Summary: In 1275 Troyes, Janette's laundress discerns the hidden nature of her household.
  Quotation: "She had learned just what combination of wood ashes and caustic soda salvaged a gentleman's tunic soaked in blood, precisely how much fine Spanish hard soap rescued a lady's choicest linen spattered with blood, and the secret technique of restoring furs stiffened by blood."

brightknightie: Trophy declaring "Bright Knight Recommended" (Recommended)

What's Good?  I'm glad to get to point out [personal profile] havocthecat's amusing vignette "Could They Choose Between" (2008, G, ~1K) as November's story in the recommendation-of-the-month project.  The characters spar via banter here in mid-first-season, lightly feeling out their places in each other's lives.

     "You already met Schanke," said Natalie. She chuckled and leaned back on her desk as the beat of her heart began to echo more slowly. "I figured he'd be enough to last you at least a century."
     "Perhaps longer," agreed Janette. She made a little pout of distaste, though truly, if one could look beyond his boorishness, Schanke was not quite so bad as all that. She might even call him admirable, though certainly not aloud.

-----
What's New on FKFic-L?  October saw two stories by one author.  November so far has seen three pieces by three authors.  list with links )


Manual Cross-post to LJ

brightknightie: A stylized representation of a medieval knight on a horse surrounded by a sun.  Blue. (Bright Knight Logo Transparent)

These are my half of the "door prize" drabbles (100 words each) written for the on-time players in FKFicFest 2011.  (See the whole slate for eight more by [livejournal.com profile] amilyn. My thanks to her for beta-reading mine, and for writing hers!)  They're assorted, answering a diversity of prompts.

  Available: The Ficathon | My Fansite | The AO3
  Length: 8x100 words
  Date: FKFicFest 07/29/11
  Rating: Assorted
  Characters:  Nick, Natalie, Lacroix, Janette, Feliks, Reese, Jenny, Jody, Perry
  Quotation: "She had been growing, working, straining toward this almost since she could remember, before her school chorus, back to her dad’s cassette tapes. Stravinsky, Parker, Lennon... even polka."

brightknightie: A stylized representation of a medieval knight on a horse surrounded by a sun.  Blue. (Bright Knight Logo Transparent)

I wrote "Malicious Mischief" for [personal profile] sholio's prompt in FKFicFest 2011.  This is the one in which a murder at the Raven defies Janette's cover-up skills, Nick is away pursuing the Abarrat, and Schanke and Janette are both quitting smoking.

Thanks to [personal profile] batdina and [personal profile] lastscorpion for beta-reading!  Thanks to [livejournal.com profile] wiliqueen and [personal profile] leela_cat for brainstorming!

  Available: The Ficathon | My Fansite | The AO3
  Length: ~9,100 words
  Date: FKFicFest 07/16/11
  Rating: PG
  Summary: While Nick is out of town, Schanke and Janette must cooperate to solve a crime at the Raven.
  Characters:   Schanke, Janette, Nick, Natalie, Miklos, Alma, Grace
  Quotation: "The woman herself was ebony-and-ivory gorgeous as always, pale skin revealed by a black evening dress in all the right places as she leaned back in her chair, shining dark hair twisted up behind her head. But her eyes were tight, and her fingers twitched toward the crystal ashtray that was no longer there."

brightknightie: Trophy declaring "Bright Knight Recommended" (Recommended)

What's Good?  Nostalgia in the just-concluded FKFicFest 2011 moves me to point out "Brown Paper Packages" by Susan G. (1995, PG, ~2K words) as July's recommendation-of-the-month.  This amusing, slightly sly, "meta" story recalls when new FK tales of all descriptions arrived on the email lists every day.

    The superior look on Janette's face was irritating. Just to prove her wrong, Natalie slid onto a barstool and began reading where Janette indicated. Almost immediately, her stomach dropped to the level of her toes—it was about her and... LaCroix? ... Horrified, she watched Janette briskly staple and stack set after set... "How long has this been going on?"
    "... It used to be Alma's chore, but the silly thing got the piles mixed up and Nicola received LaCroix's set in error." Janette sighed... "There was such a scene."

-----
What's New on FKFic-L?  Nothing posted to the fiction list in June.  However, two new pieces have posted in July so far, and I imagine that August will see many of the FKFicFest stories.


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brightknightie: A blue and white stylized Toronto skyline, circa 1992-1996 (Default)
Amy R.

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