The Big Meow, by the way, is not nearly as noir as that title implies, at least not so far, although their are hints it may move in that direction. The Big Meow is the third book in the Cat Wizards series, themed around '40s Hollywood and experimentally being written as a professional online serial, and it got as far as Chapter Eight before life happened to the author and it hasn't been updated in several years now, which leaves YW fandom in the interesting place of having an abandoned online WIP in their canon. And I know I have no right to talk about people leaving WIPs hanging, but I really really want it to be finished. Especially if she's going where it seems like she's going with ace Rhiow/Hwaith, within a noir context (Although more than I want it finished I just want some sign that dduane still knows where the internets is. :/ I never thought I'd see the day where Le Guin had a bigger online fandom presence than Duane.)
Speaking of leaving WIPS hanging! There's that Top Gear Big Bang I unwisely signed up for that I really do need to get moving on at this point. I'm only signed up for 10,000 words, and I've done 10,000 words before - in fact I have 10,000 of Top Gear WIP sitting on my hard drive right now - and yet I still am not holding my breath, because I have not *finished* anything over 10,000 words.
But I'm going to try anyway! I have started a thing of putting on Write or Die for 1,000 words every night before bed, and even if so far all I've written is Dresden Files idfic, who knows, I may actually manage some longer finished fiction this year.
I need to pick an idea to write for the Big Bang, though. So I'm putting it up for a vote. Feel free to vote for whichever one, even if a) I don't know you; b) you don't know me; c) you don't know Top Gear, or d) you have no intention of reading it regardless. I do not promise to abide by the poll numbers anyway ^_^
Continue "A Very Nice Shade of Blue," the Doctor Who crossover of doom.
Finish the crossover prequel to VNSoB, "The Special Edition ATMOS Compilation DVD".
Write the sequel to the James/Oz vampire AU crackfic.
"The Secret Garage", the Secret Garden/Top Gear remix/fusion/AU/crossover thingy.
Write the crack slavefic OT3 AU.
Write the sequel to the d/S fic with Richard's collar from the anon meme.
Finish the OT3 sexswap story from the other anon meme.
Here are some more details about each story to help you make up your mind (and to help me get my thoughts straight.)
1. A Very Nice Shade of Blue
Already posted portion: Chapter One
Summary-as-is: This is the story where Bessie comes on to Top Gear to team up with Oliver, James's Panda, Sarah Jane's Figaro, K9 and TGD to foil a plot by some Sontarans to kidnap the 10th Doctor's TARDIS. (And, okay, there are also some humanoid-types running around getting the way - including the Tenth Doctor and his old school chum Captain Slow, and a motley, ever-expanding crew of UNIT, Torchwood, Top Gear, and unaffiliated humans.)
Pros: a. Will be easy to make the word count; when I sit down to write on this I get 4,000-5,000 words at a go, so two more chapters would do it.
b. This is the founding myth of my version of Top Gear and the first story I really want to write for the fandom.
c. It has an a amazing plot and lots of character interaction to come.
d. I have a fairly good outline carrying me forward.
Cons: a. I will not finish the thing in 10,000 words. I will be lucky if it finishes in 50,000. So I could either write a few chapters and fake an ending or try to write way more than I ever have before.
b. It has a fairly twisty plot and a cast of dozens.
c. Everybody does a Top Gear/DW crossover.
d. It would require quite a lot of canon rewatch/review, especially for DW, while writing it.
2. The Special Edition ATMOS Compliation DVD
Already posted portion: [illustration] The Sunset After the End of the World
Summary-as-is: An account of what the Top Gear crew were up to during the Sontaran Stratagem/Poison Sky Doctor Who two-parter (hint: Jeremy lights things on fire) intercut with ATMOS-related clips from the show in the years leading up to the episodes. May or may not include Minister Saxon's turn in the Reasonably Priced Car, and attempts to minimize the amount of gloating Jeremy does about how zero-emissions cars really were an evil plot to destroy the Earth.
Pros: a. Have a really good outline for this; and the choppy structure with the show segments should make it easy to make wordcount by dividing it into shorts.
b. Somebody needs to write about what Top Gear did during ATMOS.
c. Lets me work on the DW crossover without having to tackle the giant plot spaghetti monster up there.
d. I've wanted to try happy-ending apocalypse!fic for awhile now.
Cons: a. Would need to review/rewatch a lot of Top Gear to write the show segments.
b. Are there that many Top Gear fans who even remember what ATMOS was?
c. Requires Doctor-Who verse to have some sort of continuity/timeline.
d. Every time I've tried to work on it, words have been like pulling teeth.
3. The Oz is a Vampire sequel
Already posted portion: [sequel to this] Tasting Notes on AO3
Summary-as-is: This would probably be set up as a series of common myths about Vampires, with each section discussing how one of them applies to Oz during one of the episodes of Big Gay Wine Adventure II, and how James and Oz's relationship develops (which may or may not ever end up being sex.)
Pros: a. People seemed to like the original?
b. It's James! And Oz! And the crack vampire AU! Which is love!
c. Structuring it as a collection of 1,000-word-or-so episode tags should help me get the word count.
d. It would let me stay in Dresden Files' noir fantasy headspace, which would be awesome. ^_^
Cons: a. It's James. And Oz. In a crack vampire AU.
b. I don't actually have a plot for it or anything yet.
c. James/Oz is just such a summer thing for me that it seems wrong to write it in January/February
d. I would have to do a lot of drinking. :P And James/Oz rewatching.
4. The Secret Garage
Already posted portion: n/a
Summary-as-is: It's 1910, and when young James May is sent to stay with his distant relative Aunt Kilner, in her eerie mansion at the family's glass factory in Yorkshire, he discovers - first - young Master Jeremy, ill and hidden away in secret rooms at the back of the house; second, Richard Hammond, a street kid who knows all there is to know about engines and machinery; and finally, an 1898 Daimler automobile slowly rusting away in a locked garage.
Pros: a. It's a Secret Garden/Top Gear RPF crossover! And it works.
b. Since I'll be following the original pretty closely - and the original's even public domain - I can cheat lots.
c. Top Gear as late Edwardian steampunk gothic with the TG3 as adorable children! There is so much I can do with that, both in terms of actual social commentary, and adorable fluffness!
Cons: a. It's a Secret Garden/Top Gear crossover.
b. To do it right, I'd need to do quite a bit of serious research into the period, esp. regarding class and technology.
c. I would be tempted to try to put in all kinds of important social commentary on this like class and environmentalism and the cult of technology and disability and imperialism, and it would either be faily or get entirely out of hand.
d. As it stands, it draws fairly heavily on Jeremy's episode of WDYTYA, which people wouldn't necessarily know, and because of the way it uses that lesser-known backstory, it approaches a bit to my rpf limits.
5. The Crack Slavefic AU
Already posted portion: n/a
Summary-as-is: Lord Jeremy Clarkson needs a second bodyslave, to emphasize his taste and status, to adorn and sweeten his home, to delight his flesh and spirit. Instead, he buys James May. It works out surprisingly well for anyone. (This wants to be the fluffy sort of slavefic AU, the kind SGA fandom used to excel out, where yeah, slavery sucks, but abuses are heavily policed & it's fairly common to earn one's freedom. Actually my brain insists this is future!fic for Study-in-Emerald-verse, and most slaves are just glad that they have a human master to shield them from the upper classes.)
Pros: a. This story delights both my id and my sparkly worldbuilding instincts, and nobody has done TGS slavefic yet, afaik.
b. It has a lot of Richard Hammond (Lord Clarkson's first bodyslave) lounging around indolently in nothing but jewelry and silk harem pants.
c. It would require basically no research, since it has basically no relationship to any sort of reality.
d. If I get far enough, I will get to the part where James goes to retired courtesan Oz Clarke for advanced sensuality training. >:)
e. Doing it for a 10,000 word Big Bang gives me a length goal to aim for, as opposed to my instinct for this, which is just to wallow vaguely in the worldbuilding until I get tired of it.
Cons: a. Slave!AUs are fraught with opportunity for fail, and I don't know if divorcing this from reality entirely & basing it mostly on early Roman slavery makes that more or less likely.
b. It doesn't currently have any plot other than a very vague relationship-development plot, and that never works very well for me.
c. People expect sexslave AUs to have lots of sex in them, including dubcon. Since it's me, this one wants to be the first ever fluffy, consent-conscientious, asexual sexslave AU, especially since the James who lives in my head is
d. I would be tempted to just wallow vaguely in the worldbuilding for 10,000 words rather than writing an actual story.
6. Safety Collar Sequel
Already posted portion: [sequel to this] Safety Collar on AO3
Summary-as-is: From a kinkmeme prompt about collars, the existing story has Mindy and Richard in an established & negotiated D/s relationship, and Mindy deciding to grant Richard's collar (and, thus, the role of his Dom) to James when they're on trips together. The sequel would explore how those relationships work, with lots of detailed negotiation around kink and poly, D/s scenes actually written out, how they talked about bringing Jeremy in and what happened after, experimenting with different roles, making things work in and out of the bedroom, etc.
Pros: a. I'm fairly sure there would be an audience for this.
b. The wife giving her husband's collar to his not-quite-boyfriend is one of my favorite RPS scenarios ever (even if AFAIK it only exists in this fic.)
c. I think I could write it as just a collection of loose vignettes with slow relationshp/character development, without having to worry overmuch about plot and structure.
d. I could play a lot, and in-depth, with D/s, from all sorts of perspectives.
Cons: a. This really calls out for someone who knows a lot about RL D/s and can make it realistic, which is not me, and I've had trouble even finding primary sources to do research for it.
b. The main James/richard relationship (of course) wants to be plain nonsexual D/s, and real-world nonsexual kink is even harder to find sources on.
c. In fact this story wants to be as non-cracky, hewing as close to real-world experiences, as possible, and I still have a tiny trace of RPS scruples about that.
d. It would probably be a bunch of fairly amorphous vignettes, and I'm not sure how I would structure it enough to give it a proper ending, or what that ending would be.
7. The TG3 Sexswap
Already posted portion:Genderswap OT3, in which Richard is a man.
Summary-as-is: On the last TGS anon meme, somebody prompted genderswap. And then the stop-writing-girly-Richard troll showed up to add "in which Richard is a man." Somehow, this led to me deciding it neccessary to write a story where Stig-ex-Machina turns Jeremy and James from cis men into trans men, and turns Richard from a trans man into a cis man. As it stands now it needs some more talking, some Jeremy-being-Jeremy, at least one m/m sex scene, some careful cuddling, and then, at minimum, a resolution and denoument (once I figure out what Richard decides to do.)
Pros: a. I really, really want to finish this.
b. I got reviews that imply that other people really, really want me to finish this.
c. I don't think I'm in danger of this one wanting to turn into a giant epic.
d. I really, really want this story to exist.
Cons: a. I'm not sure I could get 10,000 more words out of it, at least not without padding it more than I'd like.
b. I'm fairly sure that anything I added wouldn't be as good as what's already there, that I've lost whatever muse got that much written.
c. I'm terrified that it is/will be full of trans!fail.
d. Writing a sex scene between a previously-cis-now-trans man and a previously-trans-now-cis man may be well beyond my already meagre m/m writing qualifications.
e. I still haven't decided how to end it.