beatrice_otter: Me in red--face not shown (Default)
Tell us the name of a favorite story you have written, and why is it your favorite.


Going through my fic, this was a really tough one to decide.  I eventually had to pick two.

Overall, I would say To The Lord I Will Sing (Tanakh, Miriam and Deborah) and The Storyteller (Big Fish, Jenny Beamen Hill) are my two favorites.

The Song of Miriam and the Song of Deborah have fascinated me since I first studied them.  They are, between them, two of the oldest fragments of text in the Tanakh (aka the Hebrew Bible or the Old Testament).  As patriarchal as the Bible can be, that's quite amazing.  They also bear some superficial similarities, enough that some scholars claim they're actually two versions of what was originally the same song.  I don't know about that, but Miriam is the only female prophet in the Tanakh and Deborah is the only female judge, and they were both awesome in their different ways.  This story allowed me to play with the Biblical text, highlighting the similarities and differences between them, and the interplay of language.  It also let me do interesting things with structure.  I had so much fun writing it.


The Storyteller was a Yuletide fic, and an attempt to work through the theme of Big Fish (an excellent movie, you should all see it if you haven't) from a feminist perspective.  The story is all about the unreliable narrator, as Will explores the fantastical stories his father told him as a child.  But what I didn't understand until I wrote this story is that Will himself is an unreliable narrator.  Making Jenny the main character of my story gave me a chance to explore the truth behind the stories, and the reasons people tell the stories they do, all while having fun with the lush world of the south shown in the movie.

beatrice_otter: Yuletide (Yuletide)
And now I get to talk about my story some. Woo-hoo.

First off, if you've never seen the movie Big Fish, you need to get it on Netflix or something. It's a great movie about--well, about a lot of things actually. Mostly about storytelling and reality, and about the relationship between fathers and sons, and the problem of the unreliable narrator. It was directed by Tim Burton, stars Ewan McGregor, Albert Finney, Jessica Lange, Helena Bonham Carter, and Danny DeVito. It's an awesome movie, well made.

Big Fish is about a man named Edward Bloom, who tells incredible and fantastic stories about his life, and his son Will who believes that all the stories are lies and just wants to get to the truth while his father is dying of cancer. The movie is a series of Edward's stories interwoven with bits of Will talking to and about his father. Will eventually accepts the stories for what they are as a part of his father whether or not they're strictly factually accurate. And through the movie (especially at the end) you find out that while the stories are certainly exaggerated, the fantastic people Edward claims to have known throughout his life are all real people who show up at his funeral. Despite his acceptance of his father's storytelling, and the appearance of people he thought his father only made up, Will still believes him to be the ultimate unreliable narrator.

Anyway, at one point Will goes to visit a woman (Jenny) he believes his father had an affair with (he finds the deed to her house in some of his father's papers). He asks her, she says no she didn't, and tells a story of her relationship with Eddie. Despite logical inconsistencies and fantasy aspects (which Jenny tell him come from Eddie's storytelling, when Will questions her), Will accepts her story at face value. Because he does, the viewer is supposed to, as well, because the movie is set up to contrast Edward-the-unreliable-narrator and Will-the-reliable-narrator. But the irony is, Will is almost as unreliable a narrator as his father is, if in different ways. Will's absolute belief in his father's unreliability blinds him to the truth behind it, and his desire to learn the truth leads him to believe Jenny despite the fact that her story is just as fantastic and logically inconsistent as some of the ones his father tells. And because of the way the movie is told from his point of view, I never noticed his unreliability as a narrator (which introduces the probability of Jenny's unreliability as a narrator) until my [livejournal.com profile] yuletide assignment made me go back and watch the movie with Jenny's point of view in mind. It was amazing the difference that made.

Anyway, I had so much fun writing this story. Like the movie, it's also about the ways in which stories impact reality and vice versa. It's also about growing up, and learning to control your own life, and about life in a small southern town, and the relationships between men and women.

The Storyteller (or the DW version)
beatrice_otter: I always have been what I chose (Choice)
Title: The Storyteller
Author: [livejournal.com profile] beatrice_otter 
Fandom: Big Fish
Rating: PG
Characters: Jenny Hill, Edward Bloom
Warnings: none
Word Count: 13,219
Written For: Rana Eros for [livejournal.com profile] yuletide  2008.
Betaed by: [livejournal.com profile] kittydesade and [livejournal.com profile] tesserae_, who each provided feedback that was very valuable to me.
Summary: The biggest fish in the river gets that way by not getting caught.


When Jenny Beamen was eight, a man came to town. )

Part Two

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