madra_liath: (Godot)
[personal profile] madra_liath
For this year's Ace Attorney Big Bang, I wrote a story called Ripples. It's a twist on "It's a Wonderful Life" style fics, in which a suicidal Diego is visited by an angel who shows him visions of a bleak future without him. The trouble is, Diego keeps pointing out contradictions in the angel's visions. There's a full summary and list of content warnings at the link above. There's also a fanmix by [personal profile] stillarium, which you can download here.


A few nights ago, [personal profile] akadriver did a live reading of Ripples in the Big Bang chatroom, and I provided some author commentary. The transcript is below the cut. Enjoy!

(Prologue)

akadriver: gosh this starts off really sad!

akadriver: I really like the comparison between him and Simon

Madra Liath: thank you!

akadriver: this whole prologue is heartwrenching, mannn

akadriver: ...a bespectacled man in a trenchcoat, hmmmm...??

Madra Liath: the prologue started out very mechanical

Madra Liath: a lot of the character introspection was written after the first draft on PK's advice

Madra Liath: (you get author commentary, that's your reward for live-reading)

akadriver: yessssss

Madra Liath: the stuff about Diego's medical issues was also added later, because he mentions it near the end of the fic

Madra Liath: I've always thought that the parallels between Simon and Diego were interesting

akadriver: I definitely already have suspicions as to who this angel is x)

Madra Liath: gooooood

akadriver snerks at the line about his ego keeping him alive

Madra Liath: I figure post 3-5 Diego would be a lot more self-aware and willing to admit that he handled things badly

akadriver: *nod* with a year in the clink, it's not like he doesn't have much to do but ruminate

(Act One)

akadriver: Simon Peter xD

Madra Liath: you'll note that this makes Diego Jesus

akadriver cackles

Madra Liath: yeah, the idea that Simon really is the hero that Diego wanted to be is one I've wanted to explore since finishing DD

Madra Liath: Diego's thoughts on Simon here were also added later

Madra Liath: this is another chapter that at first was very mechanically written

Madra Liath: though not as much as the prologue

akadriver: I like that he grew attached to him despite himself

Madra Liath: :)

Madra Liath: Diego was a defense attorney, I think he'd try to help someone who was actually innocent

Madra Liath: This whole story is one I've had in my head forever, but Act One was a late addition, because new game

akadriver: one of the trends on the kink meme I've really, really liked since DD came out is the one where people write about how other prosecutors relate to Simon

Madra Liath: yeah

akadriver: so this bit is really happy-making, except for the fact that I know your kill-count in this story is really high

akadriver: so I know I'm going to be sad in a minute

Madra Liath: I'm glad that I did add Act One, because it includes characters that are fresh in everyone's minds

akadriver: hahaha Diego's reaction to the line about crying

Madra Liath: yeah, he wouldn't like that XD

akadriver: shiiiiit :(

akadriver: whoa you weren't kidding about the blood and the gore

Madra Liath: another thing about doing Act One is that we start off with an immediate, near future consequence to Diego's suicide

Madra Liath: yeah I really wasn't

akadriver: this is actually pretty shocking, wow

Madra Liath: as the story goes on the consequences are less obvious and more of a knock-on effect

akadriver: ohhhhhh my god I am not prepared for Aura and Athena

akadriver: hooooly fuck

Madra Liath: This chapter actually has the highest body count

Madra Liath: yeah

akadriver: my face is literally D:

Madra Liath: I think Aura's unhinged enough to do this

Madra Liath: when we first met Aura in the game, I thought she and Simon were estranged

akadriver: *nod*

Madra Liath: it wasn't till the end when she started crying that I realised OF COURSE, BIG SISTER, BABY BROTHER

akadriver: wow, angel there is not handling Diego with the kid gloves

Madra Liath: no, he's really not

Madra Liath: there's a reason for that

Madra Liath: it'll probably make more sense when you find out who the angel is

akadriver: I like that Diego can't help but snark

Madra Liath: In the first drafts, he smirked a lot

akadriver: the quip about hoarding feels to me like some really well-needed comic relief

Madra Liath: and PK suggested that it was a bit too much, so I scaled it back

Madra Liath: she was totally right

akadriver: oh man is Apollo's outfit the first non-blood red thing Diego has seen so far?

Madra Liath: she liked the hoarding line too

Madra Liath: yep

Madra Liath: PK was a fantastic beta

Madra Liath: this story is so much better for her input, you have no idea

akadriver: oh, shoot

akadriver: people are dropping like FLIES in this chapter

Madra Liath: it's because - well, you'll see in a minute

akadriver: haha I just realized, shoot. ahaha D:

Madra Liath: lol

akadriver: wow, this chapter

Madra Liath: there's so many deaths because Simon is such an important character

Madra Liath: although perhaps Apollo doesn't *have* to die, but still, Phantom

Madra Liath: and I don't think he'd let his best friend's murder go unsolved

akadriver: *nod* right

Madra Liath: as Diego points out, much to the angel's frustration

akadriver: that was really heavy

(Act Two)

akadriver: aw, now I'm sad about the birds

akadriver: and both Pollys don't fare well in this hypothetical universe :'(

Madra Liath: oh yeah, I forgot to count Taka in the list of characters who die

Madra Liath: PK was adding up the bodies and she came up with one more than I expected and I was trying to think, "...Clay?" but I'm guessing she meant Taka

Madra Liath: Taka almost didn't appear in the fic at all, I forgot about him at first

akadriver: ahaha

Madra Liath: then I was like, oh yeah, hawk

Madra Liath: I'm glad I did, including him also solved a problem for me later on

akadriver: oh no, Machi

Madra Liath: (emmy I haven't forgotten about Patchwork Polyamory, I'll go back to reading it after this!)

Madra Liath: originally this was going to be the first vision of the future

akadriver: ffff, Tigre is a monster in this

Madra Liath: and I don't think it would've been as effective because it's so far into the future

akadriver: *nod*

Madra Liath: Some of this is based on Little Lion Man

akadriver: okay, I love that the ethnic slur for Borginians is Wingdings

Madra Liath: Tigre was harassing Machi and attempting to assault him when Diego intervened, that's how they met

akadriver: I will always love that

Madra Liath: also from Little Lion Man

Madra Liath: but I'm sure someone else has used it

akadriver: *nod*

akadriver: oh man, definitely getting LLM feelings here

akadriver: with the line about not knowing what shape Diego will be in in eight years

Madra Liath: I actually considered making this a prequel to LLM

Madra Liath: but I decided against it because new readers might be put off with all of LLM to read

Madra Liath: and also because the ending doesn't really work if it's a prequel

Madra Liath: the angel wincing is a nod to LLM

Madra Liath: if he knows the future, then he'd know that Diego is going to suffer a stroke

Madra Liath: or it could just be because of Diego's established medical problems

akadriver: oh, iiinteresting *nod*

akadriver: whoa, Machi, that was *vicious*

Madra Liath: this is partly based on LLD's Machi in The Rapist

Madra Liath: totally different animal to Machi in Little Lion Man

Madra Liath: would you like to know a gruesome fact about Daryan's death scene?

akadriver: ....sure!

Madra Liath: I had Machi stab him in the neck and shoulder because that's where a shark has gills

akadriver: ohhhhh wow

akadriver: that's

Madra Liath: this is the second death involving the neck

akadriver: wow

Madra Liath: and Diego's trying to hang himself

akadriver: oh god poor Thalassa

Madra Liath: I didn't realise that till later

Madra Liath: yeah :(

Madra Liath: there's a lot of suffering for other characters too

akadriver: the parallel with Maya :(

Madra Liath: this chapter took the longest to write - almost a month

akadriver: CRESCEND.O.A. oh my god

Madra Liath: PK loved that pun

akadriver: oh no Klavier

Madra Liath: funny and horrifying at the same time

akadriver: I'm simultaneously giggling and feeling dread

Madra Liath: I had to add Klavier in somewhere

akadriver: wow, angel, you're a dick

Madra Liath: angel's a total dick

Madra Liath: but there's a reason for his dickishness

Madra Liath: in Act Two, Diego sees people whose crimes/loved ones remind him of his own situation, even though he's never met them

Madra Liath: bringing it closer

akadriver: I do like Diego's rebuttal toward the end there

akadriver: and that it's going to lead to some pain in the next chapter aaaa

Madra Liath: again, it's Machi's actions that directly cause all this

(Act Three)

akadriver: oh shoot Pearl

Madra Liath: so many It's a Wonderful Life style fics have the character just accepting that their absence will ruin the lives of others

Madra Liath: I wanted to do one where the character argues about it

Madra Liath: I have a feeling Pearl will have to face some demons as she gets older

Madra Liath: I'm really happy that in DD she seems like a normal teenager

Madra Liath: but troubled!Pearl is a good concept that I'd like to see explored further

akadriver: yeah, it definitely feels in character for Diego to be arguing all the way

akadriver: aw, Maya's circumstances :(

akadriver: aaaa fucked up Kurain stuff, I love fucked up Kurain stuff

Madra Liath: me too

Madra Liath: I think Maya says or hints in canon that her father's dead

akadriver: I wrote a short fill once where Iris has an abortion

akadriver: and then a couple months later found that someone sporked it

Madra Liath: oh, did I read that?

Madra Liath: the fill I mean

Madra Liath: bah, pay the sporking no mind

akadriver: and one of their complaints was that they didn't think the Fey family/Kurain tradition was that fucked up

Madra Liath: unless it was actually funny

akadriver: no, it wasn't a funny sporking :(

akadriver: it's called Kurain Geneology

Madra Liath: ...Iris' father ABANDONED HER IN THE MOUNTAINS because his new wife had a daughter and two was enough

Madra Liath: that's not fucked up?!

akadriver: shoot I can't remember off the top of my head the correct spelling

Madra Liath: her mother didn't even care

akadriver: yeeep

Madra Liath: Genealogy

Madra Liath: I'll look for it

Madra Liath: your fill, not the sporking

akadriver: the prompt was someone wanted to see someone not be punished or unhappy for having an abortion. a positive outcome with no shaming, basically

akadriver: http://archiveofourown.org/works/1076978

Madra Liath: ahhh

Madra Liath: I'll check it out when we're done here

Madra Liath: reading Ripples I mean

akadriver: oh my gosh I think I remember you and PK discussing this bit about Pearl not being found

Madra Liath: anyway, canon might contradict Mia's line about her father deserting them, but perhaps she and Maya don't have the same father

akadriver: oh my god this is so sad

Madra Liath: or they just told Maya her father was dead

akadriver: oh my god Maya's pregnant again

Madra Liath: I specifically wanted Pearl to be NEVER SEEN AGAIN

Madra Liath: because I think that's actually worse

akadriver: there are tears in my eyes, this is heartwrenching

akadriver: jesus, poor Maya

Madra Liath: Maya's son is named Jet because it's a semi-precious mineral, like pearl

akadriver: ;________;

Madra Liath: I looked all over for another mineral that would do for a boy's name

tellezara joined the chat 5 seconds ago

tellezara: Hi folks! I am semi-afk editing my thesis but thought I'd log in and say hi ^_^

akadriver: hey Maz! :D

Madra Liath: Hi Maz!

Madra Liath: aka's live-reading Ripples and I'm providing author commentary

Madra Liath: that's her reward

Madra Liath: and hey! I just got my second review for Ripples

akadriver: I'm enjoying this reward

akadriver: it's a palliative for the pain I'm going through right now

Madra Liath: oh I love talking about my fics

akadriver: oooh NICE contradiction, Diego

Madra Liath: I think this is the first time I've done it while someone's reading one

akadriver: shoot, I didn't even think about his point

Madra Liath: yeah, I'm really proud of that

akadriver: that's a damn good point

Madra Liath: another thing you rarely see in It's a Wonderful Life fics, at least in this fandom, is the angel being a relative stranger to the person feeling suicidal

akadriver: ahaha title drop

Madra Liath: YEAH HE SAID THE NAME OF THE FIC WOO

akadriver: deeefinite suspicions of angel's identity crystallizing in my brain

Madra Liath: yes!

akadriver: definite suspicions about his motivation

tellezara joined the chat 5 seconds ago

akadriver: stemming from that line

akadriver: and the title of the fic holy crap

akadriver: I hope I'm right

akadriver readreadreads

tellezara: Haha I just was reading your commentary :D

Madra Liath pumps fists in the air

tellezara: I hope I'll have a chance to read everybody's stuff properly soon :3

akadriver: time travelling in his underwear xD

Madra Liath: cool!

akadriver: OH MY GOD YES IT IS HIM

akadriver also fist-pumps

Madra Liath: again, I realised as I was writing this that people might be picturing Diego as he appears in game

akadriver: wow that's like

akadriver: instant gratification

Madra Liath: I just wanted to underscore that he's actually in his underpants and a T-shirt

Madra Liath: I'm so proud of that last line of Act Three

akadriver: haaaaah the materializing coffee cup

akadriver: oh god this is an AMAZING payoff

Madra Liath: YES

akadriver: I am so satisfied right now

Madra Liath: I was hoping and hoping people would love the big reveal

(Act Four)

akadriver: ahaha wow angel, that was emotional

Madra Liath: I don't think anyone's explored this aspect of the angel's character and backstory

akadriver: this is so fantastic, omg

Madra Liath: that's why I really wanted him for this

akadriver: and Diego acting like they're in the courtroom

Madra Liath: \o/

akadriver: gaining some ground and being comfortable in it

Madra Liath: I started writing Act Four at the same time as the Prologue and Act One

Madra Liath: this is the chapter where I ended up having to write down all the points I wanted each side to make and then move them around so that the argument rose and then ebbed naturally

Madra Liath: initially it ebbed quickly and then built up steam again, which didn't work

akadriver: aaaa Diego's arguments are reaaaally satisfying to read

Madra Liath: ooh I'm glad

Madra Liath: again, this is the self-awareness he's gained following his crime

akadriver: because one of my issues with the DL-6 brouhaha isn't "the spirit medium was WRONG"

Madra Liath: he made his decisions, he had a choice

akadriver: it was "oh hey the police are ACTUALLY CONSULTING a spirit medium"

Madra Liath: and so many people were involved in DL-6 and they all had choices

akadriver: even if it is a real thing and if things had gone RIGHT, it's not difficult to see someone leaking this practice to the press

akadriver: and who knows what kind of press scandal that would cause

Madra Liath: totally

Madra Liath: and someone did leak it

Madra Liath: someone was a drunk who ran his fucking mouth

akadriver: oohhh the "people aren't dominoes" line <3

akadriver: this conversation feels like a testimony in the best way

Madra Liath: I'm so happy!

Madra Liath: I wanted it to have that feel

Madra Liath: I figure Diego would've read PHoenix's cases obsessively, especially anything that had to do with Mia

Madra Liath: and that's why he's so familiar with DL-6

akadriver: ooh yeah that makes sense

akadriver: wow this is so sad

akadriver: this chapter is a character study, and I love it

Madra Liath: I'm so happy!

akadriver: okay I love the coffee gag

akadriver: did I have a slight hand in that? because if I did, I'm proud

Madra Liath: yeah, I think you did

Madra Liath: Diego's "I have no character" speech was one of the first bits of this that I thought of

akadriver: augh, that gave me feelings

Madra Liath: one of the things that fascinates me about Diego is his complete inability to cope with what's happened to him

Madra Liath: contrast with Maya, who grieves normally, takes comfort in her traditions, and can still find joy in silly things like samurai shows and burgers

akadriver: *nod*

Madra Liath: and with Diego's sayings about how a man should behave

akadriver: I'm feeling like this story is really one about giving him closure

Madra Liath: one of the things I love about AA is that it includes tough, resiliant women and fragile men

akadriver: and for angel as well

Madra Liath: the second review I got for the story said something similar

akadriver: ooh, interesting

DreamWriter (brides): and now i have read everything. so now it is time for online class stuff... but i'm gonna go to the other computer.

DreamWriter (brides): bbiab

Madra Liath: okay!

akadriver: okay Emmy!

akadriver: omg the line about Mia

akadriver: my heaaaaart

Madra Liath: PK liked that as well

Madra Liath: she said that fandom usually portrays Mia as a saint and it's nice to see her as a little bit selfish

akadriver: *nod*

Madra Liath: the angel's forehead-scratchy, "oh, just one more thing" is lifted from Columbo

Madra Liath: that's one of his character tics

(Epilogue)

akadriver: oh my god the start of the epilogue

akadriver: ahaha aw man, that's undignified

tellezara: Mia is very driven so a bit of self-focus makes a lot of sense IMO

akadriver is cackling

Madra Liath: yes

Madra Liath: I had to throw that in because I'm twelve

Madra Liath: also because opportunity for banter

Madra Liath: with which to hide Feelings

akadriver: that is A+ banter

Madra Liath: Simon is a good guy, too

Madra Liath: Saint

Madra Liath: I'm glad I included Taka, because there's the possibility that the "angel's wings" were Taka's wings and that Taka cut him down

akadriver: oh wow

Madra Liath: the other option is that the cheap prison pants ripped

akadriver: this is amazing

akadriver: I like that you made it all kind of ambiguous

akadriver: I am completely satisfied

Madra Liath: this is partially because I originally considered making it a prequel to LLM

akadriver: it was really worth the wait :D

akadriver: *nod*

Madra Liath: and as you'll remember, Diego is suicidal at the start of htat

Madra Liath: *that

Madra Liath: which doesn't make sense if he knows that horror will happen if he dies

Madra Liath: but it's intended as a standalone

Madra Liath: in its current form

Madra Liath: thank you for livereading it while I was here :)

akadriver: man, I'm going to be thinking about this story for awhile

Madra Liath: I loved being able to provide commentary

Madra Liath: oh I'm so pleased!

akadriver: Acts 2 and 3 though, wow

Madra Liath: they were your favourites?

akadriver: I'm glad I could liveread it with you! this was fun xD

akadriver: they were a ride!

akadriver: and I lovelovelove the reveal

akadriver: I think my favorite was Act 4 though, that was an excellent conversation

Madra Liath: I'm very proud of Act 4

akadriver: I can definitely see how much effort you put into that

akadriver: I'm really emotionally satisfied with the outcome, too

Madra Liath: yay :D

Madra Liath: PK was a great beta for me, the story is ten times better because of it

Madra Liath: she wasn't shy about pointing out clumsy wording and other technical stuff

Madra Liath: in addition to suggesting things like "more character introspection"

Madra Liath: I took, about 95% of her suggestions

akadriver: I really, really loved the introspection

akadriver: right from the bat it felt very powerful

Madra Liath: :D

akadriver: so definitely, thank you so much for writing it!

akadriver: it was a really interesting experience finally reading it after hearing about you talking obliquely about it for months xD

Madra Liath: thank you so much for reading and commenting!

akadriver: glad I could entertain! hehe!

Madra Liath gives you a thumbs up
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