A Briefing

( A Brothers Consulted short story, and the prequel to A Burglary at Baker Street )


Stan Baker hadn’t thought about the word ‘borrower’ in ages.

He vaguely remembered a series of stories of the same name that he read when he was in primary school. They depicted tiny little people, inches high, managing to survive by living alongside human beings and picking tiny amounts of food and supplies from them. That much he could recall, so evidently the stories had more of an impact on him than he thought…

The last place he expected to experience nostalgia for a children’s story was during a surprise meeting with his employer.

At first Stan thought he’d misheard; he had been winding down for the night before receiving his summons. He’d hurried over so fast he hadn’t had time to brush away all the dog hair from the cuffs of his trousers and the hem of his dark wool coat, perhaps he was still reeling from the rush to his employer’s office.

No. The boss was completely serious. Apparently, the existence of people so small came to his attention through Sherlock Holmes, of all people. The consulting detective had become involved with some of the (actual, real) tiny people.

A pair of brothers called the Winchesters.

Stan didn’t get to learn much about them before his employer got down to business, unfortunately. As fascinating as the stuff about borrowers was, it was only a small part of the mission.

The agent thumbed through the file given to him and listened to the briefing in a bit of a haze. All the information was in his hands, allowing Stan to quietly marvel at the revelation of tiny people. A concept so fantastical that it was universally consigned to childhood imagination.

The others are never going to believe this…

Artwork by kittybaka-chan!

Have you ever considered writing a novel? I feel like you could definitely do it- I’m blown away by how quickly you can write really awesome stories.

@nightmares06

Aww, you’re very sweet!

I definitely want to write a novel in the future– I have a few different ideas (most with g/t, some with sci-fi or fantasy), and they run through my head a lot while writing.

Life has been getting in the way recently, mostly my job and personal life stress, keeping me from putting enough thought into the writing I want to do. I’ve been writing all this fanfiction because it’s so nicely self-indulgent after a long day of work. I can look at gifs and daydream stories in various setups. But yes, writing a novel is #thedream.


@neonthewrite

It’s so much fun (and super educational) to write stories like these together.

Personally, I have written a novel-length story here and there. Some of my work can be found on my Deviantart, including a snippet of Bowman Leafwing’s original story! That project is currently undergoing some pretty important edits, and there will be an announcement regarding the progress of that story sometime in the near future.

More brothers united? (pls?)

We’re still working on this story a bit, but you can be sure that there will be plenty on the way!


“I kinda like games,” Oscar recalled shyly. “I used ta play a game with a button, where I’d, um,” he almost faltered as sheepishness settled in. Humans had plenty of options for much more interesting things. “I’d try to make it roll for as far as I could get it and then have to catch it before it fell over…” He shrugged at the end of his explanation and fidgeted on the hand.

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Artwork by @mogadeer!

@randompasserbyer This means the world to me to hear!

I definitely recommend following some writing blogs on tumblr. There’s a lot that have good grammar suggestions, word replacement guides, useful tools to use for when you’re writing. I use stuff as simple-sounding as the title capitalization website here, simply because a lot of the time I completely forget the rules! (Bad memory is one of my main features currently)

Another thing is, even when you start writing, don’t get discouraged. Trust me, no matter how far into writing, we always look back at stuff we wrote years ago and cringe. I can barely read some of my older works without wanting to attack them with corrections. You can see a line of improvement that runs through my stories, all the way back from the first g/t fic I posted (which is no longer online for reasons), through my first Supernatural g/t fic Reversal of Fate, going through An Ounce of Courage, and then the BA series. In my opinion, I hit my stride right around when I was writing Taken, and getting someone to help out and edit and beta, and someone to write with, was one of the best decisions I made for my writing.

If you do get help with your writing! Don’t forget there’s a difference between criticism and constructive criticism! Don’t get down because someone tells you your chapters are too long. Your chapters are too short. Stuff like that is purely subjective! Did you have a reason for those things? If you did, then remember certain types of ‘help’ aren’t the help you need! I did have to learn this one a few times.

Write, and write, and keep writing. Don’t push yourself if you’re having a hard time. Listen to songs that get you emotional. Write what makes you cry. Express yourself and don’t be afraid. It’s all in there just waiting to come out. ❤

No problem at all! I don’t think we’ve actually had it come up before!


@nightmares06

I like the action, the scenes that leave your heart pounding. The more emotionally charged it is, and the faster things go, the better. Sometimes I need help calming it down because the tension gets so thick it might just snap me. Anything heavy in feelings or heavy in action is my jam, I might start to fade out on the calm, chill scenes between those.

I also quite enjoy designing cases or monsters, and layering up my OCs with surprising background tidbits.


@neonthewrite

I just really enjoy working with my cowriters in general, if I’m completely honest. They get me through the hellish work days!

But for specifics, I’m a lore nerd and also an interaction junkie. I like pitting characters against each other to see how their personalities will bounce off each other. It’s great to have the characters just take off on us because their chemistry works well.


@borrowedtimeandspace​–

I agree, the character interactions are always fun with this group of writers, but a lot of the time, the parts that make me weak involve the g/t interactions. There are so many size combos between all the characters the three of us share, and all of them react differently to being smol or lorge, and it’s just so fun to toss em at each other or watch them get tossed. Drama is always certain with these dorks.

I can’t help it, I’m a diehard sucker for tols and tiny folk.

@nightmares06 here!

Editing is always an interesting experience– writing I can do, editing I’m not awesome at, so I make it up as I go.

Mainly, the first thing you want to do is make sure you read a lot. Know what you’re doing when it comes to the main rules of writing. Follow writing blogs, read up on anything you’re unsure of. @legit-writing-tips is great about answering questions you might have, and other writing tumblr blogs will have tips to use ( @clevergirlhelps is one I follow ).

During the actual writing, since there’s normally two of us working on the story, we normally write the first draft in black font. Any future edits are then color coded by the person who changed things. Currently, @neonthewrite uses pink font and I use blue. We’ll often end up with something like so:

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The changes can be for more detail, finding words that repeat too often, misused words and various other things. There are other sites that can help locate passive voice, adverbs and so on.

http://www.hemingwayapp.com/ is one such that I’ve used in the past.

After we’ve both gone through the entire story, we find one of our various beta readers to have them take a look and find anything we might have missed, and after that is done, though we may go back and read the story again and perhaps change little things here and there, we declare the story ready for posting!

My biggest piece of advice is write, write and write. Never stop because that’s the way you learn! Get feedback and just have a good time!


@neonthewrite with my own two cents!

The above apps are great tools. Another thing I do when I’m editing, either in our collabs or my own work (or when I am acting as one of the aforementioned beta readers) is to read some passages out loud or at least picture how they’d sound in my head. I do this and end up finding repetitive words or sounds quickly, and it helps to feel the flow of a sentence or paragraph. Sometimes a sentence that looks okay simply wouldn’t sound good.

Keeping the story flowing is something I put a lot of focus on, especially when I edit stuff that was written by two people. This might not be as relevant for solo writing, but it bears mentioning anyway:

Sometimes, a paragraph would be better suited somewhere else, or even broken up into its sentences and scattered to the paragraphs around it. We call this “paragraph surgery” in our little group of writers, and it’s the reason you sometimes can’t tell who wrote which parts of a collab. It all comes down to flow.

If the editing process is causing you enough stress to prevent you actually writing, just hold off on it for a bit. Some folks can edit while they go with few issues. Sometimes, however, you run into something that you know you want to change, but don’t know how yet, and it freezes the story in its tracks.

It’s okay to skip parts like that, write the scene you’re dying to get to, and iron it out later. There’s a good chance that writing that later scene will untangle your thoughts about the previous one. It kinda comes back to the flow thing and the bigger picture; you just need more information sometimes and writing ahead can give it to you.

Write what you like, have fun doing it, and know that you are getting better at it with every word!


@borrowedtimeandspace chiming in!

As the baby of the group and someone who has not studied the ins and outs of writing, I sort of play it by ear. I’ve learned a lot over years of writing and reading and improving by doing, and I have gleaned so much from my cowriters. 

I agree with the above advice; when I’m editing I usually find myself going back and correcting small grammatical errors and adding things I forgot to write the first time around. Often times my pen or typing fingers move slower than my ideas, so if I go back and read I’ll probably remember something I thought about writing but didn’t make it to the page.

The more you read and write, the more you find your own voice. You get a better sense of what sounds right with regard to sentence and paragraph structure, and if you keep at it you’ll end up with something you’re proud of.

Let’s see… way too much, and not enough at the same time.

If we just count all the unedited stories we’ve written, there’s about 20ish stories waiting. Much less than that number has been edited, and most are around 10 chapters, give or take a few, but then there’s some (like the horror story) that have far, far more chapters waiting to go up.

We just love writing, and can’t stop (won’t stop).

The hard part is actually having time to edit, and with the way work has been, I might end up having to drop to two updates a week if things don’t slow down because by the time I get to the weekend these days I usually just collapse.

That part of the story was actually my cowriter’s idea, and I’m actually not overly comfortable with writing the character of the actors. I based Jared a lot closer to Sam than he actually is, and it probably took me about 90% longer to figure out those parts compared to anything with Sam and Dean. So I’ll probably be staying away from ever having Jensen and Jared in BA.