That's funny. Anyway, if you haven't been here awhile, I'm answering questions on the reg at my ask.fm account. Also, here's trivia for ch7!
Favorite line - or exchange of lines - from ch7.
"His problem is he's a whiny little bitch," Brick answered.
"My problem is you're a giant fucking prick," Butch retorted.
Favorite line - or exchange of lines - from ch7.
- On the subject of favorite lines from this chapter, I actually had a really difficult time identifying one I liked. I don't know if it's because it's been so long since I looked at this chapter that my tastes have changed, or if that's just reflective of this chapter's quality compared to others. There's certainly small moments I love in this chapter that come to mind (Buttercup sharing her snowcone with Bubbles, Blossom fidgeting and thumping her water bottle when she's talking to Brick), but nothing that strikes me as a "nicely written" moment, if you know what I mean. I ultimately went with the above exchange because I've always liked the rhythm of the lines, especially when you say them out loud.
- The first title comes from “Sick Muse” by Metric; the second from ELO's “Mr. Blue Sky,” one of my favorite songs of all time. An idea I had that didn't make it into the fic is that this ELO song is the “welcome” dance that she and the rest of her fellow freshmen do for their first ever performance. Then, come their Senior year, they revisit this dance but perform to the Lily Allen cover of it.
- Okay, so Yssa pointed this out long ago – in the opening of this chapter, each intro section with the respective couples are all variations on them saying “Hi” to each other. The funny thing, that wasn't even intentional on my part. It just came out that way when I wrote it. So... good job, brain!
- ...Blossom already had some things floating around her head—they could showcase each team individually, and then move into group choreography for the entire Company all throughout... - The song I had the entire Company dancing to in my head was I Gotta Feeling by The Black Eyed Peas. Shut up, I wrote this back in 2009/2010. You know what, I don't even care, that song is still good. Get out.
- He stared at her for a second before replying, "Buying a mattress, obviously." Her face expressed the tiniest fraction of frustration at his response. - I can't help it, I like this bit a lot because Brick's response to Blossom's question is word for word how she responded to herself during her internal dialogue right before this scene. I like that it indicates similarities between the two of them and how they think, and I like the fact that Brick could never know that the reason she reacts that way is not because he was being a smartass – it's only peripherally related to him; she's more irritated with herself for proving herself right.
- "Just that I have a way with percussive instruments," she said lightly. - I don't need to remind everyone that Bubbles played drums in Mime for a Change, right?
- Boomer came up beside her and started to plunk out something classical that she couldn't quite place. - Originally I had him play Beethoven's Moonlight Sonata but one of my betas recommended I change it since the piece isn't terribly difficult and Boomer's supposed to be a virtuoso. The better, unintended effect of changing it was now the narrative sounded like it was more in Bubbles' voice and it also wasn't as distracting – calling out a specific piece pulled you out of the story for a second. It flowed much better after making that change. Win/win!
- After a pause, her face clouded over, and she muttered, "We tried to go somewhere, once. But... we were afraid something would happen." - Reference to the episode Speed Demon.
- "Where'd you learn to play the harmonica?" He paused in his playing long enough to grin at her. "Just picked it up." - FORESHADOWING!
- As Bubbles partook of her sister's refreshment, Boomer glanced at his brother's snowcone, then looked hopefully at Butch. Those green eyes narrowed and shot a warning beam at his brother's feet. - Any chance I get to squeeze in the differences between how the Girls treat each other and how the Boys treat each other, I take it. That stuff is all very intentional.
- Buttercup practically flung what remained of the snowcone at Boomer ("Sweet!") and took off... - Maybe Buttercup did this on purpose. I like the ambiguity of it.
- "I looked under your hood," Buttercup said to Brick... - This whole exchange is so stupidly euphemistic and sometimes I think I should have cut it out of the chapter but I also like it because I have a terrible sense of humor.
- "War!" Boomer suddenly shouted at the top of his lungs. "What is it good for?" "Absolutely nothing!" Bubbles responded. - Y'all know this song, right? I don't need to flag what it is, do I?
- He had just exhaled and his lungs were immediately protesting the lack of oxygen. He tried not to struggle for breath—it was demeaning and pathetic—but with no air in his lungs and his windpipe being crushed it was impossible to avoid. He only saw her eyes, sharp and bright and a severe, glowing green. - Buttercup is a fucking badass and any opportunity I can get to show everybody just how fucking badass she is, I will God damn take it. This is one of my favorite moments that I've written for her. (I also like Brick trying so hard to continue looking cool, even when he's being strangled.)
- Brick racked his brain furiously for a suitable explanation, and all he could think of was a book title, over and over. "It targets people with... with darkness in their hearts." - Everybody know what book this is referring to, right? (Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad, aka the book that was the basis for the film Apocalypse Now.)
- Amidst the fizzling blue smoke Butch coughed and grumbled sarcastically, "Yeah, that's Blondie, alright."/"Not to sound clichéd here, but I'd be a little more worried about what she's going to do to us."/"What just…" Butch started, then stopped as his eyes focused on the scene in front of him. "Happened." - I pretty much just turned Butch into a walking cliché bank during this fight, and I still struggle with whether I like it or hate it. I mean, would Butch turn into the walking quip machine during a fight? Yeah, probably. Do I still fucking hate those lines, regardless of who's spitting them out? Yep! God, do I ever hate them.
- "Sorry about this, cutie." Bubbles whipped around just in time to see Boomer slug her in the face with his bat. - I still like this, though.
- "I really like you," she whispered, and his eyes went wide. After a second to process the info, he beamed. "That's awesome! Also not really surprising, I mean, I'm a pretty likable guy—" - Something I'm always trying to work at is maintaining a good balance of drama vs. levity. I don't like when stuff is too heavily tipped in one direction, and I really appreciate when humor is utilized to release a buildup of tension. I consider the above-mentioned Butch lines an amateurish attempt at trying to replicate that effect. This little exchange between Bubbles and Boomer is closer to what I'm aiming for.
- And as Bubbles pulled back, just a bit so she could look at him, it felt like all the world was watching as Boomer's eyes softened and a furious blush rose to his face. - The entire end of this chapter is STRAIGHT-UP referencing the end of one of my favorite short stories of all time, Dos Palabras by Isabel Allende, or Two Words in English. You can read it here.