Tuesday, August 9, 2016

August Writing Challenge Submission Number One by Justine Graham and Erin Darroch

                                                      Make Mine a Double
                                     By Justine Graham and Erin Darroch

Leia Organa smoothed the skirt of her formal dress and settled into her seat at the table beside Han Solo as applause faded around her, feeling jubilant and more than a little bit tipsy. She’d just finished delivering the last official presentation of a rather long and tedious post-war Core Worlds conference,  and it had gone very well—or, at least she thought so; it was all becoming a bit of a blur. Certainly the warm response from the audience this afternoon was even better than she’d been expecting. Cheerfully, she decided she ought to consider drinking four glasses of Rydonnian spicewine before every speech from now on. Although that beverage was far more potent than her usual choice of drink, it seemed simultaneously to smooth away all of her irritations and to stimulate her senses in the most enjoyable way; plus, it was deliciously easy to consume.

On the dais, the Chancellor of Sacorria took the podium again and began droning on and on about something or other, and Leia had to stifle a yawn. After a morning of back-to-back lectures, followed by four solid hours of keynote speeches, group discussions and formal presentations—as well as far more alcohol than she was accustomed to imbibing in one afternoon—even Leia’s eyes were beginning to glaze over.

Unwisely reaching for her wine glass yet again, she glanced sideways at Han, who appeared to be doing an excellent job of feigning attention to the Drallan speaker at the front of the room. With a glimmer of amusement, Leia wondered if it were actually possible for her Corellian sweetheart to sleep with his eyes open. He certainly seemed to be doing that right now, and Leia wasn’t the least bit surprised. Although he’d volunteered to accompany her to the conference, acting in the dual capacity of pilot and personal security, he had a much lower tolerance than most people for such brain-draining, bottom-numbing activities. Leia noted with interest that, despite the fact he wasn’t ordinarily much of a drinker, the tumbler full of Corellian whiskey in front of him was easily his third or fourth. Eyeing him speculatively, Leia decided he must be bored out of his mind and in need of a little light entertainment.

Buoyed by her celebratory mood, and feeling the effects of the unprecedented amount of wine she’d consumed already, Leia dropped her hand beneath the table to Han’s thigh and gave him a little squeeze through the coarse fabric of his dress uniform trousers. His only response was a little twitch of a smile at the corner of his mouth. But when she began tracing a lazy, swirling, circular pattern with her fingers, beginning at his knee and traveling slowly up the inside of his thigh, she saw him arch one eyebrow almost to his hairline. Leia paused, biting her lip to keep from smiling, and then resumed sneakily stroking her way towards his groin. Han shot her a quick, incredulous glance before composing his face and directing his gaze back towards the podium, clearing his throat and shifting just a little lower in his seat.

With a furtive glance around to ensure that no eyes were upon them, Leia grew bolder. Keeping her elbow tucked in and being careful of appearances, she dragged her fingers up Han’s inner thigh until she reached her ultimate goal and began a slow, deliberate stroke. She was rewarded by the immediate and vigorous response of his body to her touch, and increased the pressure of her caress ever-so-slightly, enjoying the corresponding twitch under her fingertips. But years of playing Sabacc had evidently equipped Han with the superb ability to bluff, so although she could feel him rising to the occasion, as it were, the only outward sign of his predicament was a slight catch in his breath and a barely perceptible clenching of his jaw.

And still the Drallan Chancellor droned on, thanking each speaker in turn—and with needlessly elaborate detail—for their respective contributions to the week-long conference and to the war so recently ended, sending half the delegates off to sleep, and the other half gesturing for more wine to numb the pain. Leia smirked to herself, enjoying the more tangible distraction she’d discovered under cover of the sumptuous tablecloth, and wondering how much longer they were going to have to endure the litany of gratitude before they were dismissed. The sound of her own name brought her focus sharply back to the room, though, and the Chancellor’s next words stopped her teasing ministrations dead in their tracks.

“And in addition to the lovely Princess Leia of Alderaan, whose fortitude and leadership has been such a shining example to us all—and whose, ah, very lively speech this afternoon kept us all greatly amused—our gathering has been graced by the presence of another illustrious representative of the New Republic: General Han Solo of Corellia!"

Leia pressed her lips together and surreptitiously withdrew her hand from Han’s lap as the hundred or so members of the audience began shifting around to look towards their table at the rear of the room. All eyes focused on Han and, to his credit, he managed to summon a little smile and even sketched a reasonable salute to the crowd. Leia registered his response only dimly, however, because her wine-fogged mind was suddenly trying to work out if she’d actually intended her speech to be amusing.

“General Solo,” the Chancellor boomed from the dais, “we so seldom have the opportunity to hear from you directly, although your bravery in rescuing the princess from the first Death Star and your courage in subsequent battles against the Empire have long been applauded by us all. We would be deeply honored if you would please take the podium and say a few words to the assembly.”

As the audience applauded the Chancellor’s suggestion and continued to look towards Han with expectation, he swiveled his head in Leia’s direction. Glancing at him, she instantly read the plea in his eyes; it was as plain as if he’d spoken the words aloud: You got me into this, Princess. Get me out of it. Fast!

Leia’s eyes widened. Leaning forward, she reached for her wine glass and lifted it to her lips once more, trying to maintain a straight face.

She could intervene, she supposed....

But where would be the fun in that?


An hour later—and with two more glasses of spicewine coursing through her system—Leia, with Han at her side, joined the milling crowd of conference delegates as they trailed behind Lady Marzenia Ashnus, the Sacorrian Minister of Culture, as she proceeded down the vaulted corridors of the Dorthus Tal Parliamentary Palace, through one of the ubiquitous formal parlors and out onto an adjoining stone terrace. After the seemingly endless speeches had finally come to an end, the crowd had been divided into smaller groups and assigned to official guides whose job it was to accompany the delegates on a walking tour of the palace and grounds; an excursion that was meant to be one last “treat” for those who’d endured the full duration of the conference. Presently, Lady Ashnus was urging the twenty-odd members of her group to take up places along the stone balustrade bordering the edge of the little terrace, and directing everyone’s attention to the quaint but beautiful town square below. Though it was just past sunset in Dorthus Tal and the light was beginning to leave the Sacorrian sky, there was still plenty of illumination from the softly glowing village lights, and most of the crowd leaned over, craning their necks for a view. Leia hung back slightly, though, and Han stayed with her, a few steps behind the rest of the group. The Minister’s bright, melodic voice prattled on, relaying snippets of history and pointing out elements of architecture, as the guests crowded around making appreciative sounds and venturing polite questions.

To Leia, the sound of Marzenia’s voice, the muted chatter of the guests and the hum of activity from the square below all blended into a singular droning with a lulling quality. Were it not for the odd unintentional jostle or the sharp, rousing laugh of another guest, Leia was certain she could fall asleep standing up. The generous measures of alcohol she’d imbibed had softened all of her senses and left her feeling relaxed to the point of lethargy—and increasingly woozy. She wondered if anyone would notice if she slipped away to one of the palace parlors to curl up on a sofa for a nap.

Behind her, though, Han’s looming presence offered a renewed focus for her waning attention, as he drew near enough to touch. He seemed to have forgiven her earlier attempt to torment him with her teasing caresses. Or perhaps, she mused with an inward smirk, he was just back for more entertainment. Whether intentionally or not, he’d certainly positioned himself well, she thought as she cast a glance over her shoulder to be sure there was no one behind them. Keeping one hazy eye on the distracted crowd and feeling grateful for the cover of the deepening twilight, Leia slipped a hand down behind her own hip, relying on familiarity and physical memory to guide her hand to its goal.  

This time, she was rewarded not only by the telltale hiss of his sharply indrawn breath, but by the slight forward press of his hips against her palm. Out of the corner of her eye, she saw him lift his tumbler of whiskey to his lips and take a sip. To outward appearances, he seemed as interested in Lady Ashnus and her history lesson as any of the others in the group, but the insistent nudge against her palm told a different story. Pressing her lips together to stifle the urge to laugh, Leia cupped her palm over the growing bulge and felt the heat of his body rising under her hand. One tiny part of her mind—the part not completely debilitated by too much alcohol—was mildly scandalized by her own indecorous behavior. But she was having far too much fun to stop now, and Han certainly wasn’t going to interrupt what she was doing to remind her of the rules of etiquette.

Conveniently, Lady Ashnus still held the attention of the crowd, now directing their focus off to the western edge of the square, so Leia continued her surreptitious caresses. Dragging her fingernails up the length of him, she scraped lightly against the rough fabric of his trousers, creating a faint vibration and eliciting a shiver from Han that reverberated through her fingers. Enjoying his reaction, she traced the thick outline of him again through the fabric, increasing the pressure of her touch as she felt him twitch heavily in response. She repeated the motion a few times, firmer and slightly faster than before. Abruptly, Han closed the narrow gap between their bodies, nudging Leia’s hand out of the way and sliding one splayed hand around her hip to pull her fast against him. Leia wrapped both of her arms around his as it encircled her waist, and then tipped her head up at an angle to catch a glimpse of his face. He met her gaze with a smoldering one of his own, and Leia couldn’t help herself. Heedless of the nearby audience, not even checking to see if anyone was looking their way, she stretched up and lifted her mouth to his. Han obliged her unspoken request, his mouth descending on hers and capturing her lips in a deep, hungry kiss for one long, delicious moment. He tasted faintly of whiskey and Rodian peppers, and the touch of his lips made Leia dizzy with desire, but he withdrew too soon, and she was left feeling slightly bereft—although she supposed, somewhat hazily, that it would be highly inappropriate to continue such passionate caresses in present company.

Turning her attention back towards the tour group, Leia squinted and tried to focus on what Lady Ashnus was saying, but the full force of that last glass of spicewine was just beginning to hit her system and she felt as though her eyes were crossing. She blinked slowly, trying to clear her vision, but soon gave it up as a lost cause. Closing her eyes for a moment, she leaned her head back against Han’s chest and watched the darkness swirl and swim behind her eyelids. Han pressed up against her, the hard ridge of his erection jutting insistently against the small of her back, and Leia smiled. She answered him with a languid nudge of her hips, a deliberately slow movement designed to make him crazy, and was gratified to hear him release a low groan, which he swiftly converted into a little cough and a clearing of his throat. Leia grinned, straightened up, and opened her eyes.

“Yes, General Solo?” The clear voice of Lady Ashnus pealed like a bell through the evening air. “Did you have a question?”

Behind her, Leia felt the tensing of Han’s body as all eyes turned in their direction once more, but he had long ago mastered the art of pretense. Barely skipping a beat before he responded, his rich baritone voice was a warm caress against her ear. “No, no questions,” he responded over the heads of the small crowd. He lifted his tumbler, now nearly empty, in a toasting gesture. “I just wanted to say, I’m really enjoying this evening.” Smiling, he brought the glass to his lips and tipped the remaining liquid down his throat.

Lady Ashnus smiled widely, clearly thrilled by what she interpreted as Han’s praise. “Thank you, General. I’m so pleased to hear that.”

Han beamed another smile and waited for her to return her attention to the group before Leia felt him relax and heard him expel a pent-up breath. He gave her waist a little squeeze with the arm still encircled there, and she felt the firm reminder of his highly aroused state prodding against the upper swell of her hip, before he released her and reached to set his empty glass down atop the flat stone balustrade.

The Minister, calling out now over the murmuring chatter of the crowd, encouraged everyone to follow her back into the building as the tour resumed, and she began extolling the significance of the antiquities awaiting them in the vast corridors of the palace. Leia turned to follow, politely allowing the rest of the crowd to pass through the doors before she moved to fall in at the rear. Suppressing a little snicker, she wondered if their next stop would provide another opportunity to entertain her bored Corellian companion.

Before she reached the threshold of the palace, however, she felt Han’s strong hand close around her wrist, and then his urgent tug pulled her around to face him. In an instant she saw that he was far from bored now. The look of unbridled lust in his eyes told her that his first impulse was to drag her to the rough stone floor of the deserted terrace and give her exactly what she wanted—and what he obviously wanted, too. With both hands now around her wrists, he pulled her close, and their mouths met in a molten kiss, tongues tangling in a delicious fusion of wine and whiskey that made Leia’s head swim. Then Han’s hands seemed to be everywhere at once, raking deliciously down the slope of her back to her hips and pulling her firmly against him, then skimming up the smooth bodice of her shimmersilk dress to gently squeeze and stroke her breasts, before sliding warmly around the nape of her neck, his fingertips venturing under the loose arrangement of her hair to graze her scalp, sending shivers of longing racing down her spine. He drew back and met her eyes with a gaze that went straight to her head like another glass of wine, before descending to capture her mouth again in a kiss that made her moan.

Taking full advantage of the fact that they were alone and out of sight of the others—at least, for the moment—Leia boldly returned his urgent caresses. She worked her hand between them and slid the flat of her palm down lightly over the front of Han’s trousers, then dragged her fingertips back over the hard length of him with gentle pressure on the way up, delighting in the strangled groan that escaped his throat. As he bent his head and began to blaze a trail of scorching kisses down her neck, she slipped her hands under the hem of his uniform jacket and hooked her fingers into his belt loops, then pulled his hips tightly against hers. The momentum made her teeter precariously on her heels, and Han tightened his grip around her waist to prevent her from toppling over completely.

Through the fog of lust and alcohol, from some far-away, wine-drenched corner of her mind, the voice of her saner self cautioned—not here, not here—and Leia paused, trying to gather her words. Before she could voice her concerns, though, she found herself in motion, being led by the hand over the threshold of the terrace, through the parlor and down the plushly carpeted corridor, stumbling slightly behind Han as the ornate interiors of the palace passed by in a gilded blur. Slipping down a side hallway that veered off the main corridor, Han brought them to an abrupt halt in front of the first door he found. Leia peered blearily around his shoulder at the placard on the front, squinting at the Aurebesh characters printed there, and dimly made out the words “Executive Council Meeting Room” in bold letters that swam before her eyes, and then she squinted again to read “Authorized Personnel Only” in smaller script below. This printed injunction elicited a fit of laughter from her; knowing Han, he would consider being half-crazed with desire and desperate for privacy to be authorization enough.

“Ssh, Princess!” Han hissed, giving her hand a little tug. “You wanna get us caught?”

He nudged the door open, and Leia found herself ushered into a large, windowless, ornately decorated room, which was dominated by a long, rectangular central table and surrounded by an array of carved wooden chairs with upholstered seats. Leia drifted into the room and stood swaying, vaguely aware of Han poking his head out for a quick glance up and down the hallway before shutting it quietly behind him, plunging them into complete darkness. There was the sound of Han fumbling around for a moment, and then the room was softly illuminated as he located the light controls and dimmed them down to minimum. Leia blinked and squinted as her eyes adjusted, then swiveled unsteadily on her heels as her muddled brain registered the sight of Han stripping off his uniform jacket and then dragging a couple of chairs in front of the doors to act as a barrier.

The floor started to tilt at rather disconcerting angles beneath her feet while Han assembled his makeshift security system, so Leia kicked off her shoes and made her way over to the conference table, then began an awkward attempt to hitch herself up onto it. The heavy, slippery fabric of her formal gown hindered her movements, however, and she slid back to the floor with a thunk. Leaning back against the edge of the table, she cupped both hands over her mouth in an effort to muffle another burst of helpless giggles. Han appeared in front of her then, frantically shushing her again—though he seemed to be laughing, too—and wrapped his hands around her waist. Then, as if by magic, she was perched on the edge of the table, and he was standing a few steps back, raking her from head to toe with a heated gaze. Leia smirked at him, tilting her head to one side to keep him in focus. For a moment, she sat swinging her dangling feet coquettishly, and then she leaned back on her hands and parted her knees in silent invitation.

“Gods, Leia,” Han ground out, and suddenly he was between her thighs, his strong arms wrapped around her back and his hot mouth fastened on hers. He kissed her deeply, coaxing her lips apart, and stroking her tongue with his. Leia breathed a little moan, wound her arms around his neck and deepened the kiss, delving deeply into the delicious feel of his lips against hers and relying entirely on the strength of his arms to keep her from falling back.

Dimly, she was aware of him fumbling one-handed with the full skirt of her dress, shoving the heavy fabric up until it sat bunched around her hips, and his roughened fingers stroking the soft skin of her inner thigh. His deep voice reverberated in her ear, muttering what sounded like questions: something about too much to drink, something about waiting, something about later?

“No, not later,” Leia insisted, gasping, and clutched at his shoulders to hold herself upright. “Now.”

“You’re sure, Sweetheart?” His voice was hoarse, his breathing ragged, his tone sincere. But he was already sliding his hands up the bare skin of her thighs again, hungry for her, wanting her to say yes.

Resolutely, Leia lifted her hands to either side of his head, trying to hold him still so she could give him her Most Serious Look. She found it helpful to close one eye. “I know exactly what I’m doing,” she whispered fiercely, then drew his mouth to hers for another deep, urgent kiss. She broke the contact and drew back a millimeter, breathing heavily. “And I know what I want.” Tangling her fingers in his hair, she pressed her mouth to his once more, drawing his lower lip in and sucking lightly on it until she heard him groan.

He dragged his mouth away from hers and along the line of her jaw, then pressed his face against her ear. “You’re driving me crazy, Leia.” As he spoke, his hands continued roaming restlessly under her skirt, venturing higher up the inside of her thighs, stroking the tender creases there with his thumbs.

“Mmm,” she hummed with pleasure at his touch, and smiled in satisfaction at his words. “That was the plan….”

Han growled low in his throat and slid his hands around the curve of her hips, snagging his fingers in the thin Morvolian lace of her panties. She heard the rending of the material, and felt the delicate garment give, and then a firm tug as he pulled them free. She had a muddled, fleeting thought about the expense of that tiny, ruined scrap of fabric, but it was lost in Han’s muttered curse as he pushed the folds of her skirt up out of the way again, his hands fumbling in his haste. Leia sighed, smiling, and leaned back, coming to rest on her elbows.

Then his dark head dipped low as he sank down between her thighs, and her awareness splintered, conscious thought giving way to pure physical sensation, fragments of perception driven by her senses alone….

…the heat of his breath between her legs…

...the deft touch of his fingers…

...the silken stroke of his tongue….

She lifted her knees and draped her legs over his broad shoulders, then dropped her head back, concentrating on every exquisite caress of his lips and hands. In the midst of her abandon, the voice of her saner self whispered to her again, and a single thought flickered through her mind: what if someone finds us here, like this? Her drunken mind tried to imagine the scandal that would erupt if the last princess of Alderaan were to be discovered looking so thoroughly debauched, with the roguish Corellian’s head buried between her thighs.... The idea was strangely thrilling, though, and it fueled her urgency. Leia whispered Han’s name, half plea and half demand, and arched her hips, urging him on with a heightened sense of need.

She felt him straighten up in response to her voice, her legs sliding down to dangle to either side of his hips again as he rose to his full height, and then she felt the warmth of his hands through the shimmersilk of her dress as they stroked her waist and ventured higher up her body. Leia sighed and stretched out on her back beneath his touch, giving herself up to pure sensation once more…

...his strong fingers stroking her breasts, tweaking her rigid nipples through the thin silk...

...his eyes, dark with desire and urgency and need, meeting hers in the dim light…

...the nudge of movement near her knees and the distant metallic clink of his belted trousers striking the floor....

He settled between her thighs and she felt him for the briefest of moments: strong and hard and impossibly warm against her sensitive flesh. Then he hooked his hands behind her knees and she felt the exquisite, stretching sensation of fullness deep in her core as he entered her in a single, powerful thrust. They groaned together, and Leia felt overwhelmed for a moment with the pure pleasure of their union, the satisfying weight of his body pressing against hers, and the heat of his presence inside her. Then he began moving within her, driving everything else out of her mind, everything except for the sweet friction between them...

...the taste of his mouth, whiskey and spice, and the familiar scent of his skin…

...the sound of his ragged breathing, and her own breathless moans…

“General Solo? Princess Leia? Did you get lost?” The high, melodious voice of Lady Ashnus rang like a gong through Leia’s addled mind, silencing her in an instant and bringing Han’s movements to a sudden halt.

Their eyes met and they clung to each other, locked together and frozen in place, as they listened to the sounds of their erstwhile group passing along the main corridor nearby. Once again, they heard their names being called as their solicitous tour guide retraced her steps, looking for them. Despite the imminent danger of discovery, Leia erupted into a fit of uncontrollable snorting giggles, which were quickly smothered by the palm of Han’s hand. Widening his eyes, he shook his head at her, fighting to keep his own laughter in check, and wincing slightly as Leia’s body spasmed beneath him in suppressed mirth.

The Minister’s voice drifted to them once again from farther away. “They must have decided to depart before the end of the tour,” she mused aloud, her voice tinged with disappointment. “That truly is a pity. General Solo seemed quite fascinated with our history, and I’d saved a few of the most interesting pieces for last. Well, I suppose we should move on….” The sound of the Sacorrian woman’s voice faded along with her footsteps, and it became clear that the tour group was once again in motion, and heading away.

Leia finally released the tense breath she’d been holding, then found Han’s eyes again and they both burst into quiet snickers and snorts of helpless laughter. Leia shifted up onto her elbows and Han, still buried deep inside her, scooped one strong arm behind her back and pulled her up to meet his gaze. She clutched his shoulders and beamed a happy smile up at him, squinting a little as she tried to focus on his face. His hazel eyes were slightly red-rimmed with the effects of the alcohol he’d imbibed, but they were alight with amusement, too, and gleaming with hungry intent.

As he gazed at her, he slipped his other hand under her skirt, sliding slowly up and down the length of her thigh, creating a delectable friction that made Leia’s blood thrum in her veins. Her eyes flickered to his sensual mouth; she wanted to devour those lips, to nip and nibble and kiss her way across the tender flesh, and she licked her own lips in anticipation. Then his warm mouth was pressed against hers once more, and every nerve ending caught fire. Opening her own mouth a little wider to accept the teasing tip of his tongue, she gasped as he began to move inside her again. He hooked one hand behind her knee to hitch her closer—as if they could possibly get any closer, as if they could merge—and the intensity of their mutual need transformed the last of their gasping laughter back into urgent moans, and groans of pleasure. Han then resumed his steady movements, rocking her body slowly at first, and then with increasingly powerful thrusts, as their tongues tangled together and Leia’s fingertips raked through his thick hair.

After a moment, they broke apart, panting for breath, and Leia tried to meet Han’s gaze once more. Though the room was swimming and he looked a little blurry around the edges, she managed to give him a triumphant grin. “Bet you’re not bored now, Flyboy,” she said archly.

She was rewarded with a gleam of white teeth and the crinkling of his eyes as he broke into a grin, and then he dipped his head down to drag kisses up the side of her neck. He pressed his lips against her ear, and his rumbling voice hit Leia’s system like a double-shot of Corellian brandy, instantly and deliciously trebling her intoxication.

“You’d win that bet, Sweetheart,” he murmured. “You’d win that one hands-down.”

The End

Authors’ Notes: The setting and timeframe for this story were borrowed from a longer fic we wrote together (“The Only Constant”). This little interlude could serve as a follow-up to that story, so if you’ve read that and you’re wondering...yes, the sadly ruined Morvolian lace undies are brand-new. But that’s a story for another time. :)


  1. Wheeeeewwww. *fans self*

  2. Nicely done. I like the build-up there, and I always love seeing them just being kind of playful with one another. One small thing I loved was the mention of Leia and her "Most Serious Look." Given the context it was quite hilarious but also easy to picture.

    Thanks for the contribution!

  3. Wow, it's gotten awfully quiet around here.

  4. Naughty, naughty Han & Leia, love it! Her Corellion sweetheart, awwww.

  5. Thanks for the comments guys. Glad you liked it. :)

  6. So this was hot! I read it earlier, and am just now getting around to being able to comment. It's fun to see Leia let loose every now and then. I personally have often wondered if she ever had any opportunity to misbehave a bit. Now Han, I can totally see doing this, but I thought it was cute that as drunk as they both were he wanted her to explicitly tell him that she wanted to go through with it. That's so Han, scoundrel and nice man!

  7. That's our boy :)
    Thank you, everyone!

  8. This is fabulous, ladies. I read it over breakfast this morning after I'd just had a shower, and afterwards it felt like I needed another one...this time cold!! Very hot indeed. Loving naughty Leia!

  9. Just to let everyone know, so far I have not received any other submissions.

    1. Working on one!

      Wouldn't worry too much about slow submissions - August is huge vacation season for families people kids. Places in my village that are usually jammed like nobody's business are empty during August.

    2. "families/people with kids" - Ugh, texting has really done a number on my proofreading skills.

    3. I think you're right; it seems exceptionally quiet all around (not just this blog). I guess *some* people are out sunning themselves on a beach somewhere, instead of tapping away at a keyboard in a darkened room. Perhaps I should reconsider how I like to spend my vacations...!

    4. This comment has been removed by the author.

  10. Wow, this brings to mind that Buster Poindexter song, "Hot Hot Hot." :) Really enjoyed this. Leia would have to be at least a little tipsy to let this happen, and it's terrific. :)

  11. Sorry, sorry, you wonderful authoresses. Life got a little too real for a moment; dealing with some hospice and that's never a fun situation.

    But THIS is definitely a fun situation! Holy s**t, this was a great response to the prompt. I love that you have Leia stepping out of her comfort zone here and Han almost compensating for it. When Leia's essentially too far gone to keep track of the people around them, Han is. It's almost like role-reversal: she's learned to let loosen a bit and he's learned to reign himself in. Such a great demonstration of how they complement each other so well.

    Okay, but then the sex. Because let's be real, that's the best part. It's hot and it's in character. I make no secret that I personally think Leia is a little more adventurous in the bedroom room (or conference room, as it were) than what we see in a lot of fic. I think she'd be confident enough in herself and Han to be able to handle a situation like this. So, yeah, it's in character. I also like the fragments you inserted in the middle of the actual sex itself. Anyone who has written a sex scene knows how hard it is to balance the physicality with the emotions, and I think the fragments work well here. They're so DRUNK; their thoughts are running in fragments anyway. Add in hormones and fun and there's no way you can expect either of them to be running on full sentences. I think it underlined both parts of the challenge: drunk and sex. Done and done.

    Bravo, you two! Well done! Loved it!

    1. Oh for God's sake: bedroom room? Someone take away my keyboard, please.

  12. Thank you clair1976, bubble beard (love the name), Kels and Rogue for all the lovely comments.

    Re: characterisation, I'd like to clarify that this scene is set about six months post-RotJ, and Justine and I imagined that Leia would have relaxed *considerably* by then in terms of her intimacy with Han.

    We also see Leia as being bold by nature, confident and adventurous, in general. And while we think she may have been slightly less so in their "courtship" phase, and in the earliest days of their sexual relationship, we reckon her true nature would re-assert itself in due course as the trust between them grows, and that would be reflected "in the bedroom", as it were.

    Add in large quantities of more potent alcohol than she's accustomed to, and we have behaviour as we've depicted it here. (That's our defense, and we're sticking to it! lol)

    There's another fic we've written together that we haven't yet published, which takes that idea just a *little* bit further still.... Meep! I'm not saying Leia's going to turn into a whip-wielding dominatrix in our wee "universe" (can you imagine), but she ain't exactly shy, either. ;)

    And yes, I'm aware that I probably think faaaaar too much about this sort of thing. hahaha!

    1. and can I clarify whether or not you are a co author of the kismet series? bc holy shit I think I probably already memorized every word of that fic from reading it over and over again. (not even exagerrating, i swear) as far as reality goes in my head I consider that one as the canon universe for han and Leia.

    2. Hi bubble beard,

      Susan Zahn (suezahn) is the creator of the Kismet series. She started it many years ago, long before we met. Her most well-known stories (e.g. "Into the Fire" and "Mergers and Acquisitions") were written by her alone, a long time ago. I only wish I’d written them! However, I was deeply honoured to be invited by Sue to collaborate with her on four stories that now fit within that universe.

      Like you, I'm also a huge fan of Sue’s work and I have completely absorbed those stories as my own personal headcanon. I started corresponding with Sue after I reviewed some of her stories and then asked if she'd mind much if I used her version of certain elements (e.g. Han's family background; the conception of Ord Mantell as a sort of 'Las Vegas in space' and a space station, rather than a planet, etc.) These were elements I preferred to official canon and I thought it was just the courteous thing to do to ask her first before I appropriated them for my own stories. She very graciously agreed.

      At the time, I was reacting to having my heart ripped out by TFA and had just returned to active fandom after a long hiatus (I’ve written for years under another name but hadn’t published anything online since c. 1997-8). Sue read my first new story (“Remain in Light”) after my request to her, and invited me to collaborate with her on some Kismet stories she had in mind, but hadn’t written yet.

      Actually, as I was writing this post I remembered that Sue recorded her own version of events in the preface of her latest 'zine, "You Could Use a Good Kiss" #3. See below:

      "I also owe a great debt to Erin Darroch. When I started this project [Nb: publishing Kiss
      #3] a year ago, I had low expectations of writing new material in my series before publication. Then in January, while still deeply smarting from the events of The Force Awakens, I received a message from Erin asking for permission to write her own story set within the slightly altered SW universe I’d created (particularly Ord Mantell and Han’s background). I was flattered and nonplussed, but agreed. Then within a week or two I read what she’d written and was blown away. She not only GOT it, but she was GOOD! We shared the same characterizations, tone, attention to detail, and obvious love for Han and Leia. I told her of other ideas I had, and proposed we work together on something. What you see here are the first two stories we completed in time for inclusion in this book. We have completed more since my cut-off deadline, and they can be found under suezahn and erindarroch at both fanfiction.net and archiveofourown.org. In addition, Erin slogged through this book, more than once, to help ensure overall consistency of plot, time line, dialogue, and narrative between both old and new materials, long after I’d reached the saturation point."

      So, that’s the story of how I got involved in writing in the Kismet universe. Since then, Sue has gone on another hiatus; she’s off gallivanting in the woods when she's not busy with work. I’m hoping this hiatus won’t last 7-8 years like the last one, though. She and I have sketched out several more stories to write together, which are just waiting to be developed when she’s in the zone again.

      In the meantime, I’ve continued writing on my own and with another fantastic collaborator (justinegraham). Justine and I both hold the Kismet series as personal headcanon so, with Sue’s kind permission, we sometimes include little elements of that in our stories.

      Long story, I know. Sorry for the wall of text! I just want to be clear that Kismet belongs to Sue, not me! =]

  13. I am tinkering with something! We'll see.
    Great story! Lots of great parts, but I especially enjoyed Leia trying to fight through her haze or just surrendering to it.

  14. Yes, good call on August being slow, it always tends to be slow.

    Some of you are raising some interesting points. I've noticed in more recent years the trend has shifted to Leia being a little bit more adventurous as far as the sex is concerned, definitely not afraid to lead the way on some things ;)

  15. Wow, thank you so much for the wonderful comments, guys! I can't wait to see what you have in store for us!

  16. I should admit now of course I'm just as guilty for not writing anything yet. Well, I started but have hardly made any progress as everyone's clothes are still on, nobody is really drunk yet and they aren't even trading innuendo. So yeah, it's going to be a while!

  17. I find it totally believable that Leia would be sexually adventurous. I've had a harder time thinking of environments where Leia would relinquish enough control over a situation to get sloshing drunk, particularly while serving in an official professional capacity. I can see her trusting Han and feeling comfortable enough to drink to drunkenness around him, as well as her/their close friends, but depending on how much attention Leia receives from gossipmongers in everyone's fictional worlds, I think it's more challenging to believably write Drunk!Leia. Drunk!Han is definitely much easier. LOL. You two do a good job of making it believable that Leia would be willing to drink too much at this event that she and Han attend. Good job!

    1. Funnily enough, I don't see Han as much of a drinker. That is, I think he'd be the sort to cultivate the image by hanging out in cantinas, always having a tumbler of whiskey to hand, letting people think he's a little debilitated by alcohol. But I see him as someone who's wary, alert, and in control at all times. Otherwise, he'd be dead.

      Don't ask me where my headcanon comes from...I scarcely know anymore, after all these years. Probably a mishmash of every fic I've ever read or written over 30 years.

      But I guess, considering his lifestyle and choice of career before meeting up with the Alliance, I just assume he'd be long dead at the hands of some old adversary or other, if he were the type to get sloshing drunk in public.

      As for Leia, I can't see her getting drunk AT ALL (in public or in private)...until perhaps post-ESB. I imagine she downed a few after Bespin, maybe? Drowning her sorrows for the first time ever....

      Hmm! Plot bunny! :) Although I'm sure there have been a thousand fics written about that already.

    2. You know, I'd never really given that a lot of thought but that makes sense to me, that Han wouldn't really be one to drink a whole lot all the time. You're right, considering he is a PILOT and has to often make quick escapes, he can't really be drunk very often.

      I actually wrote a little one-shot with Leia being drunk before ESB, but she does it basically to spite Han and prove him wrong. I do agree it wouldn't have been something that would happen often.

    3. As much as I think Leia was pretty tightly laced pre-ESB, I really love fics that depict her "letting loose" in that era, especially because they also tend to depict Han being caught completely off-guard and being flummoxed by evidence of her vulnerability.

      I haven't written much of that sort of thing myself because I don't think I have the knack for writing the kind of UST I like, but I do very much enjoy reading it. I just have a LOT of reading to do to catch up....! Right after I finish writing the next fic.... lol

    4. It's funny because really like 95% of what I write is after they are very happily together, not before. So I totally relate to staying away from all the UST stuff beforehand. But for some reason that particular little story came out, not sure why!

  18. I'm in the same boat. Love reading pre-ESB and UST, but can't write it to save my life. It's funny that some of us all have the same problem!

  19. You two seem to have a way of making me seek a cold shower, ice, and a vibrator. Bravo!

  20. Bah hah hah! I'm rofl @ StatsGrandma. Oh, lawdy! I haven't laughed that hard in a while. Ummm...should I say "thanks"? Or "you're welcome"? lol lol lol

    Justine's gonna die laughing when she sees this. I'm thinking we need to include your quote somewhere in our profiles on FFnet. You know, as a kind of reader "testimony".... =D

  21. Oh, mercy me. I was at work when Erin told me about this. I laughed until I cried, totally ruined my mascara and had a coworker convinced some horrible ill had befallen me that reduced me to tears. I sooooo needed that laugh, thank you!
    Hey, this could be a new ratings system. One for a fan, two for a fan plus a bowl of ice, three for...well, it just escalates from there :)

  22. Very hot, indeed. I thoroughly enjoyed this and could just picture (a sexy image itself) Ian's arousal.

  23. I have to admit I read this earlier on a spontaneous road trip and didn't get a chance to comment... Why? Well I was so engrossed in it, that my spouse was like "whatchya reading? What's so interesting? How come you're smiling? What IS that?" Umm. So I only got it initially in short parts. But when I finally got a chance to do it in one shot. Woooo! Seriously hawt. Made my road trip very enjoyable.
    I totally love leia as a tease. A fiery woman who can get a bit crazy because the world around her is so structured. The "Okay, Hotshot" Leia!!!
    I like how she totally has Han under her control and still surprises him.
    The writing you gals do.... The emotional depth and detail. I can't think of others that write with that kind of insight. It just sucks me right in.
    I know I am gushing here. There's just so much to say! Anyhow, I'm going to reread it again... With some chocolate, and wine, then an ice cold shower....

    1. It's delightful to hear that you were so engrossed (and smiling) it drew your spouse's attention! That made me laugh.

      Thank you very much for the kind comments, too. I've been having a bit of a crisis of confidence this week with regards to writing; feeling like I have nothing at all of value to contribute and especially that my particular writing style must be very tiresome to readers, so why bother sharing it? =\ That could have something to do with me reading others' stories while I'm trying to write one. I should know better! I tend to compare my style to others' and always find myself somewhat lacking.... (I'm looking at you, KnightedRogue, and your a-mazing "Mighty Things". lol)

      I'm sure the feeling will pass in due course, but comments like yours, Angela, definitely help me remember that there's room (and an audience) for all sorts of styles. :D So, please...gush all you like! haha

      Now maybe I'll stop moping over my inadequacies and leaving Justine to do all the work on the next fic....

    2. That is such a common thing for pretty much all of us as writers, reading other people's stuff and being like, wait... I think mine really sucks because this person is so good and I'm not like that!!! I think we even discussed this way back in the early days of the blog when we had more topics about being a writer in general. I often think the same thing about my own writing for the most part. I love writing dialog, but descriptions and feelings all seem to come off like reading a manual or something, nothing exciting about it. But then when I read some regular books by people who actually get paid to do it, you notice that everyone has their own styles, and that's ok. Does the story suck you in? I think that's probably the more important thing. Or at least as long as BAD writing doesn't keep you from enjoying the story.

    3. Welp. You should feel NO such insecurity in your writing. None whatsoever. I read your stuff and think: "Crap. I don't explain enough." Your vocabulary is better than mine, too. AND "Remain in Light" was part of the reason I started writing again after eight years - I was so happy to see that others were so upset by TFA like i was. :D

      So, the admiration train goes both ways, my dear. Insecurities happen to everyone, absolutely everyone! :D

      (But thank you for reading "Mighty Things" -- I admit I love seeing your reviews in my inbox!)

    4. Ah, thanks to you both. I normally get a lot of pleasure from writing, no matter what. But I think I'm feeling a little rundown--and in a slight state of shock--due to the school year starting up again. I don't know why September takes me by surprise every year; deep denial, I guess!

      Speaking of reviews for "Mighty Things", I'm wayyyy behind on posting those. Once I got stuck in to the story (and got a little free time), I just binged on it, hardly stopping for a break--and glaring at anyone who dared interrupt me! I'm going back now to pick out some favourite things....

    5. No worries! I'm just happy you're enjoying it!

  24. Can I ask you guys why you both post your co-authored stories on ff.net so it's just literally exactly the same story posted twice? I get that everyone wants to get their own reviews and their own traffic and archive their own stories, but it also just seems a little confusing maybe and one author always seems to get more comments/traffic than the other.

    1. I returned to writing after being absent for 17-18 years. My first new fic was "Remain in Light" which dropped at just the right time to garner lots of followers in the wake of TFA, which was great. When I started collaborating with Sue Zahn, though, she had many more followers than I did, so having my own presence on FFNet (and my own copies of the stories we wrote together) allowed me to pick up a few more readers and increase my traffic. Justine hadn't published before we decided to collaborate, so her having her own profile and posting a copy of the story there allows new readers to find her and follow her, too, boosting the amount of traffic she receives for all of her stories.

      Frustratingly, FFNet does not have the facility for posting a single story with joint authors, and it seems unfair for one person to "claim" the story when it is very much a collaboration. Even if we were to take turns publishing to our respective accounts, I wouldn't feel comfortable with that (i.e. with publishing only on my account, and leaving Justine or Sue out of it). And I'd hate to have "my" story not included on my own page, too. All that work, and nothing to show for it! It would feel incredibly...anticlimactic!

      Because, for me, knowing that others have read and enjoyed my stories is the main point of publishing online. If I just wanted to archive copies for myself, I could do that without sharing them on fanfiction sites.... I get great pleasure from hearing from readers, as I'm sure most of us do.

      I never imagined anyone would find it confusing when we both post the same fic, although I suppose for people who follow us both, they'll get double notifications.... Just pick one! We freely and immediately share any reviews with each other. We're pals. :) If you do happen to notice that one of us is getting more reviews/traffic than the other, feel free to redress the difference. :D

      We also publish on AO3 where we can attach both names to a single instance of the story. FFNet should maybe look into facilitating that, because obviously it's preferable....

    2. I am glad that TFA actually brought a lot of people out of the woodwork and inspired lots of writing. For anyone who hadn't been paying attention before, I swear the number of stories on ff.net went up by a factor of 10 on a daily basis. It was overwhelming!

      I agree that ff.net should have an option for more than one author to put their name on a story, for sure. I was just curious, but I can understand what you're saying.

      Another somewhat related question out of curiosity, how do you go about your collaboration on writing? I would assume that you are not in the same room together! I know when Push and I have co-authored stories it was more an exercise in just getting each other to write and we did not plan out the story or have an end point in mind (except for of course the #1 rule of Han and Leia fanfic writing: only happily ever after endings allowed ;) ) and we just traded off writing chapters, I'd write one and pass it along to her and she would then completely independently write the next chapter and hand it back to me. But again, our goal in this venture was definitely different than yours as ours was more of a writing exercise than anything else. So how do you do that?

    3. I also want to know about this. :)

    4. When Sue first invited me to collaborate with her on the Kismet stories she wanted to finish in time for her Kiss 3 'zine, I think the idea was for us to swap docs back and forth via email (she's in the U.S.; I'm in Scotland). Within about, oh, three minutes, we realised that was going to be a gigantic pain in the backside and it would never work.

      I've used Google Drive extensively for work, so I suggested we give that a try, and we found it to be an amazing tool for collaborative writing.

      Two or more contributors can be in the doc at the same time, writing simultaneously, and the (very clever) software keeps everything straight. Each writer has a coloured "tag" on the cursor, so it's clear where the other writer is on the page. One of us can watch in real-time as the other writes something. Although we could--and sometimes do--directly edit something the other one has just written, as a courtesy we would normally use the sidebar chat box to supply a better word or suggest a change, or initiate a chat discussion about whatever it is. The longer we write together, though, the less we stand on ceremony.

      You can see when the other writer logs out. Also, when you log out for a while and your partner keeps writing, when you log back in, the doc will show you a little blue button that says "See Changes" (and you can then view a version of the doc that has all the new additions highlighted). It's actually a really, really cool and useful tool.

      Another good thing about Drive: it keeps archived versions of the story after each change. So if you, say, get rid of a paragraph and then later decide you want to use it, you can go back into the archive to retrieve an older version of the doc, copy the paragraph and paste it into your current doc. It also keeps track of who wrote what, via coloured text.

      I don't even know how many plot bunnies I have sitting on my Drive right now; probably 4 or 5 with Sue and, um, 10 or 11 with Justine! Some of those may never come to fruition, but it's good fun dipping in and out of them as the mood takes me. We also have some shared docs that contain things like timelines to keep our facts straight.

      I should say, you really need to be able to set aside any ego, and have a reasonably thick skin to collaborate like this. I'm fairly easy-going; it's very difficult to offend me, but I can see how some people might bristle at what they see as "corrections" when a co-author changes something they've written. For my part, if I jot something down and Justine (or Sue) comes behind me and tweaks it, I almost always agree with their improvements. If I don't, we discuss it. [Or, in the case of me and Sue, we get on Skype and argue loudly about it for an hour, usually over a glass or two of wine. haha!]

      Skype's another element of collaboration that has come in handy. It's a great tool if you enjoy talking at length about the complexities of the relationships in GFFA, and whether or not the Falcon could *possibly* have a hold of any size below the deck plates, and if Han would ever call Leia "baby" (etc.) My poor husband and daughter have been subjected to fragments of these conversations. Yes, they think I've gone round the bend.

      I've written on my own for many years, but there's something especially nice about sharing the process with someone else who is as bonkers about SW and Han/Leia as I am. Writing with Sue and Justine has been a real pleasure for me; long may it continue!

    5. Haha, I can relate to arguments over silly little things like "Would Han call Leia baby?" (I don't think so - although I think I did once have him do it, it still didn't seem right) And in my head the Falcon is sort of an endless, vast space with plenty of room even though the logical side of my brain realizes that that makes no sense at all, and really anywhere they'd sleep would have to be pretty tiny! Anyway...

      Ok, so I can see the logistics with the Google doc. But like, how do you decide who is writing what? Or is it just like whoever gets to it first starts typing and then the other person waits to see how it's going and maybe offers something? Like is it back and forth sentences, everyone in on the same scene? Do you plan out like, "Ok, in this scene Han and Leia have a discussion about whether or not they should go on this mission, Leia thinks they should, Han thinks they shouldn't." Or do you just write and see what happens? I guess that part I don't understand.

      I'm sure it would work quite well for the right couple of writers with the right personalities. I had a lot of fun collaborating with Push although I know I wouldn't want to write that way all the time. Especially since she is a better writer than I am, so I might have in my head a way to say something, and then she'd write it and I'd be like, "Damn, that's way better." And then I'd just wind up sitting back and having her write it all since she'd do it better anyway.

  25. This comment has been removed by the author.

  26. I get where you're coming from. With both Sue and Justine there are moments where I sort of throw my hands in the air and think, "Why am I here!? I can't write like they can!" But, to be fair, we each have something to offer, and our various strengths and weaknesses have so far balanced out.

    As for the process, I guess it depends on the pairing. It's pretty fraught at first, or so I've found. Not for the faint of heart! I was nervous writing in front of another person for the first time, full-stop. But having Sue Zahn observing while I wrote in her "universe" was a little bit daunting. I got over it fairly quickly, though. She already had some ideas for stories she wanted to write, such as the gist of "Just Rewards" and "Full Disclosure", as well as some specific scenes she'd outlined years ago that eventually wound up in "Vested Interest". Our time difference worked well, too, as one of us could be writing when the other was asleep or at work. For example, she described a scene she had in mind in which Han overhears some nasty gossip about Leia. She described the actions she thought he'd take and how the scene would be resolved. I was taken with that idea and basically wrote most of that when she was offline. She didn't ask me to, and I didn't actually intend to do it. I just woke up the next morning and half the dialogue was already in my head, so I rattled it out. Sue logged back in later and said, "Wow. That's pretty much exactly what I had in mind!" Then she tweaked it and added bits and pieces, until we were both happy with the finished product.

    Similarly, I've sketched out a little outline or a bit of dialogue for a scene and said goodnight to Justine, only to wake up the next morning to find the whole scene (and then some!) has been written. I jokingly refer to this as the "shoemaker's elves" effect (if you recall that old fairy tale), and it's fantastic! lol

    (cont'd next post; I'm hitting the word cap here!)

    1. When we're starting a new fic from scratch, usually it's rooted in some old idea one of us has had for ages. Justine has a bank of stories and parts of stories she's written but never published. She has offered a few of these for collaboration (likewise, so have I with mine). And sometimes we come up with ideas together. Usually we "set the scene" (the date/era, location, etc.) and then make a bulleted list of main plot points and key sequences, and the overarching theme. If we already have a snippet of dialogue or something, we can insert it into the outline where it belongs. Then we start actually writing...

      My first collaboration with Justine came about as a result of her review of my solo fic "Cargo Handler", and some private correspondence we had after that. She suggested I write a follow-up that centred on an pseudo "inspection" . I thought it was a great idea and invited her to write it with me. After we finished that one-shot, we asked Sue for a beta. She came back saying, "Meh, it's *nice* but it doesn't *go* anywhere! You've got all that build-up and then...nothing. It needs to be longer...". So, we outlined a full story that related to the first scene, and wound up writing an eight-chapter fic called "The Only Constant".

      I don't know if this rambling narrative is illuminating at all, but I guess what I'm saying is that the process is kind of a natural consequence of who we are and how we approach things individually, coupled with how we relate to each other. We've built up trust in each other, which is essential. And you really have to fight the tendency to just sit back because someone else seems "better" than you, or go into a snit because your partner has deleted some of your prose! lol It's really not an endeavour for the easily offended....

    2. Gosh, I can't imagine. This is amazing info to have!

    3. Thanks for the rambling, really interesting. Glad it works for you although I must say I don't know if I could do it. I like using a beta reader and bouncing ideas off someone. I've used Push before and been like, "Ok, I need this thing to happen in this scene somehow to push the scenario forward, but I'm not really sure how to make it happen." And then she might have the perfect solution to my problem. But actually having someone write it for me, I don't know if I could do it. Same goes for having someone physically watching while I type words! It just somehow seems different than sending a finished product to have them peruse and edit if needed. It's cool that you guys can really make that process work. I really just don't think I could, and I'm actually also a pretty laid back person.

    4. As Justine said in her comment, having someone sitting there *watching* while you struggle with a sentence (or even a single word) is uncomfortable at first. It made me squirm a LOT in the beginning, but once you relax into it, it's so much fun. I guess that's why we just keep going (even though we have solo projects sitting on the back burner).

      A good portion of what we're doing when we're writing is just hanging out with each other, chatting, and occasionally debating some fine and/or ridiculous point of the GFFA. We may even leave the doc open while we go about our daily business (housework, laundry, watching tv, whatnot) and just drift back to the computer to see what the other one is up to...and then maybe drop in a word or two...or become inspired and add on to what the other one is doing.

      I guess it's a little bit like having a built-in beta reader (and acting as a built-in beta reader for your partner) but it's also more than that. It's a fusion. A story that is co-authored has to be viewed as "ours" (not "mine").

      In a traditional writer/beta relationship, the beta reader would make suggestions but not actively write the pieces you're missing or struggling with, whereas in a collaboration the story belongs to us both and I view it as perfectly acceptable for my co-author to finish my sentences. Indeed, as Justine says, when we have the basic outline of an exchange in our heads but we've run out of steam for actually crafting it, we'll just plop it down on the page in very rough form (i.e. in fragments, with ellipses or empty spaces for words we can't quite come up with in the moment). Sometimes we return to find our co-author has "magically" cleaned it all up, fleshed it out, found the perfect word, etc.

      So to whom does that new bit of writing belong? To the person who came up with the idea and outlined it, providing the framework? Or to the person who came along and tidied it up, then dressed it up in ribbons and pearls? We say it belongs to us both; there's no distinction.

      You know yourself best, Zyra, and it *may* not be for you (I suppose it's not for everybody) but what harm could it do to give it a try?

      Heyyyyy, we've never attempted a threesome (har har). We could have a go at crafting a 100-word challenge together.... ;) In fact, we could have a mass collaboration, with all-comers! How insane and fun would that be!? I wonder what the limit is on co-authors in Google Drive... hmmm....

      Off to investigate!

  27. If I may add to Erin's comments...I adore the collaborative process because it brings in new ideas and new avenues to a story that I had never thought of and likely never would.

    It is a little daunting to begin with...having someone watch as you struggle over sentences or even single words...but it does get easier. Plus, I really do seem to write better as a result. plus, it's motivating, and keeps me on track. Often it's hard for me to tell if the tone or direction is skewed, and she will pick up on it and suggest alternatives. It's the benefit of having a 'second set of eyes', I always say.

    I find the time difference to be a real bonus, actually. I'm in Canada...we're separated by five hours. It's such a treat to see something you've roughed out transform into something totally beautiful overnight! To leave a sentence trailing off to find it completed and polished...it never fails to make me do a little fist pump in the morning. We do make sure to tell each other if we're really, really enthralled with something we've written and don't want it altered or cut, but I can honestly say every modification of my work is for the better and just improves the story all around. :)

  28. Erin wrote: “feeling like I have nothing at all of value to contribute and especially that my particular writing style must be very tiresome to readers, so why bother sharing it? ………I should know better!”

    I agree! I think even the “best” suffer from this. You’d never bother to improve without a bit of self-doubt to drive you.
    When I look at your (Erin/Justine) style vs letsay… Knitzkampf’s; to me, there is a huge difference in style. IMHO But each is to me equally valid, fantastic and enjoyable. I would happily strive to attain to either. So I can see where you are coming from when reading others’ works.
    But please continue. Please! If your muse is calling, rest assured there’s a lot of other folks who would enjoy hearing from her too. 

    Erin wrote: “there's something especially nice about sharing the process with someone else who is as bonkers about SW and Han/Leia as I am. Writing with Sue and Justine has been a real pleasure for me; long may it continue!”

    Yes, please! The fanfics you gals provide are so much more satisfying than the majority of the novels. Ah heck, letsay ALL.