Yesterday was deathly boring, but thankfully I've got just enough writing energy left to see me through. I did some words on ALTAF yesterday - not many, but enough to kill the afternoon. It's odd going back into that universe after all this time of writing episode tags and post-ALTAF shippiness. ALTAF itself is not a fluffy story - at least, not until much, much later - and I have to keep reminding myself that it actually has a Proper Mystery and isn't solely a character study. I have the main plot for it figured out now, as well as the final couple of chapters being perfectly formed in my head, so it's just a case of filling in the gaps. The mystery side of things is sorted (probably rubbish, but I don't care - it's loosely based on an old X-Files plot) and I just need to try and slot in all the character stuff I wanted to cover.
The shippiness of ALTAF will build slowly - little moments here and there, usually interrupted or forcibly halted - until the key sequence towards the end. The hardest thing for me is having to write it in line with what we actually see in the series - not what we don't. I've been thinking so hard about the subtext and the episode tags and what I suspect is happening that I have to remind myself that it's my own headcanon - and even though that headcanon was based on what we already know, nevertheless it has no bearing on ALTAF. So that's difficult, because in some respects it feels like I have nothing to work with. I have a feeling "Mystery on Crooked Lane" is going to become a sticking point (again), and I'm really not looking forward to that. (That episode is the bane of my life.)
Er, yes. Hopefully more ALTAF words today if I can manage it.
I am still cheating with my re-watch by going to watch the J/M bits of episodes on YouTube. (If anyone does want to re-watch and doesn't have the DVD's, by the way, search for a user called "Instrumentuls" - he/she has posted every episode in full. Very useful!) Last night I went through both parts of "Gallows Gate" so I knew vaguely what to look for when getting screencaps later. For some reason, it's one of those episodes (or two, technically) which I never remember very well, but it does have some really lovely stuff in it - including a glimpse of what life could (or, more likely, would) be like if they actually lived together. Which obviously, I will talk about in more detail when we get there. ;)
Obviously, it inspired a little spark of something. Not sure where I would set it - it would have to be post-ALTAF I suppose, but only because I can't get myself into the mindset of any other alternative universe. All the post-ALTAF stories are a nice way of reminding me where the story is going and why I'm writing it - even though the uphill journey feels insurmountable sometimes, it will be worth it in the end. So yeah, another post-ALTAF ficlet, wherein Jonathan is trying to work, putting the finishing touches to Adam's latest Grand Illusion, and Maddy is wandering around and talking incessantly - perhaps, actually, also trying to work but using him as a sounding board for whatever ideas pop into her head about the book - to the point where he finally snaps and shuts her up in the best way he knows how. :P
I will let this one brew for a bit longer, rather than making the same mistake as I did with the post-ALTAF angstfic of starting it prematurely and hitting a roadblock. At the moment I have nothing more than a few little images (Jonathan's self-satisfied little smile as he wanders off again, Maddy's obvious confusion) so I don't want to jinx it by overthinking. If it wants to be written, I'm sure it'll let me know. :)
In other news, I've been thinking how to tackle Lisa's rainbow birthday cake and I have a pretty good idea how to achieve it. Probably the easiest thing is to make a double-batch of cake mix (so four eggs / 8oz ingredients), weigh it, divide it into seven and colour each bowlful separately, then essentially bake seven different cakes and stick them together. Works in theory, whether it works in practice remains to be seen...
The whole thing is going to get covered in chocolate fudge anyway, so as long as the layers look neat on the inside I'm not too worried about the outside - assuming it doesn't collapse under its own weight, obviously. That being said, not sure on filling - chocolate spread? Nutella? Marmelade for a chocolatey-orangey flavour? Answers on a postcard...
Right, this has killed the morning, at least. Hopefully I'll have something to do after lunch.