Yuletide reveal

Tuesday, January 1st, 2013 04:05 pm
jenett: Photograph of a pear tree, with "And a footnote in a pear tree" as text (and a footnote in a pear tree)
[personal profile] jenett
So, what I wrote was Sovereign Isle Is She, which is a character study/worldbuilding thing for about the first third of the movie Dangerous Beauty, long one of my favourite movies.

My recipient gets a lot of credit for writing a prompt that was so easy to work with. (lots of history, an appearance by Beatrice, and a focus on Veronica, check. I did not quite get the poetry in like I'd hoped, alas.)

It also got two (two!) recs in rec lists that I've seen, complimenting me both on the writing and the history (which the movie, despite being based on a real person, does not make easy, let me tell you.) I am deeply delighted by both of those.

What some of you may know, and others don't, is that one of my undergrad majors was Medieval/Renaissance Studies, mostly on the theory that I wanted to take a bunch of the classes anyway, and why not do a major. (Also, because Med/Ren Studies is such a delightful amount of real-world worldbuilding, and has all these complicated little eddies.)

And so being able to do a bit of fix-it history for the movie, and bring that into brighter light was especially fun.

It also - and this is another thing I love - meant I did a bunch of digging around for things like names for bits of period-appropriate clothing, terminology, who was doge when, and when the events in the movie actually took place, what the canals in Venice were named (until I had a moment that the names probably hadn't changed much in the intervening centuries, and that Venice is one of the few places where you can probably say that, and started looking at modern maps), and all sorts of tiny bits and details.

In terms of the actual writing, I more or less started from the prompt (which expressed an interest in the earlier part of the movie), mulled it over for several weeks, and then spent time watching the first hour or so a couple of times, and making notes, and figuring out where the open spaces in the story were. And then - given how the conversation with Beatrice and the wives goes later in the movie - both what kind of conversation they might have had earlier, and what Veronica might have thought about her choices.

The thing I wasn't sure about - but from various comments, seem to have mostly managed - was showing the "This is the best of the possible choices, but there aren't exactly a lot to choose from" ambivalence that's sort of glossed over in the movie. I kept contemplating how to fix that, and everything I tried felt a little too heavy handed, so I ended up removing my attempts.

So, thank you [personal profile] cinco for giving me something so fun to play with, and I'm so glad you liked the result!

And for anyone reading this from Yuletide: most of my journal is locked, but I add people more or less for the asking. Most of my creative output right now goes into Alternity, an alternate universe Harry Potter journal based thing currently in its fifth year of seven. There's more info in my intro post on my journal, which also includes links to me history-geeking several other things, if that's your kind of thing.

Alternity's taught me a lot about small things building up into larger ones, the way history does, but where you don't know which things are important until later. I think some of that definitely shows through in this story.
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