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sapphicsunrise

Holy Association for Divinity and Ecclesiastical Studies

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i managed to make it to october 28 before caving and deciding to do nano, which must be a record for me. anyway, this is my new project. i'm gonna be a rebel for it (goal of 10k) because i have a Lot Going On, but i thought i'd tap into the one month a year where i ever have any motivation to strike out with OF and give this one a crack.

title: Holy Association for Divinity and Ecclesiastical Studies

in a nutshell: academics literally make a deal with the devil for funding.

synopsis: academia is rough. universities are underfunded, humanities departments are even more underfunded, and niche programmes like Religious History in an increasingly secular world are...well, they're deadweight, aren't they? surely the university could better spend this money on more STEM staff, or new buildings, or increasing the Vice-Chancellor's salary? the small Religious History department at [unnamed] University is set for the chop - unless, of course, they can secure external funding to keep them afloat. enter the Holy Association for Divinity and Ecclesiastical Studies - what seems, at first glance, to be a weird, fundamentalist sort of cult with incredibly deep pockets and an interest in higher education. turns out, it's not a cult at all - it's literally Hell. HADES. and with all the paperwork signed and the department saved, Lucifer has a few requests about rewriting his own history.

characters: the King of Hell/Lucifer/Satan,/the Devil, etc, etc; an eccentric gathering of academics; a handful of passionate postgraduate students; at least one long-suffering department admin; some demons, probably

setting: it's going to be ambiguously set somewhere in australasia bc this is pure self-indulgence and i don't want to research other university systems

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lisa. lisa. i am glad that u have, at least, acknowledged that 50k is vastly too many words, and 10k is a far more reasonable goal.

the mild and halfhearted scolding aside (did u even get any scolding vibes from that?) - this sounds so good. lisa. u have worked ur magic again. i was going to be all "DID U KNOW THE TITLE SPELLS HADES" but then i realised there is no possible way u don't already know that, so.

questions seem to be the done thing, and i will ask a few bc i really want to know more about this amazing (!) story idea, but the first and most burning question i have:

  • are any of the academics going to be eccentric to the point that they, for instance, gift a pair of pants and a copy of their own book to their girlfriend on her birthday

slightly more seriously:

  • what does lucifer think of us, i need to know
  • how is Academic Integrity going to play a part in the requests lucifer has
  • where is lucifer getting his money can he just make it (can i have some)
  • who are your main characters and please tell me about them
  • how big a role is new zealands new bird of the year going to play in this story
  • are we finally going to get confirmation that ibises are from Hell

remember to take care of yourself this nano <3 you're amazing and talented and capable but u also have a lot on your plate. we loooove you :wub:

Edited by BookDinosaur
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Hello Lisa!

All you rebels are so realistic with your goals. Love that you're doing an OF, and the theme is so intriguing.  Have you planned out your OF fully or do you plan as you write? 

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emily my dear,

don't worry, i picked up on those scolding vibes and they have been well noted

in response to your first question: i am not sure if that particular example will make it into the story but i will certainly be drawing a lot of inspiration from the frankly insane goings-on of my own department/school/institution, also it's been nearly a full day and i'm still laughing

for your other questions:

  • what does lucifer think of us, i need to know
  • i haven't figured this out entirely yet but he comes from a general place of historically rather negative feelings towards the human race & has adopted an air of disdainful aloofness in his dealings with us, but 'disdainful aloofness' describes about 50% of full-time academics so he really meets his match
  • how is Academic Integrity going to play a part in the requests lucifer has
  • oh, that's out the window. 100%. they've sold out and quite frankly, they don't care because they have much bigger travel allowances than the Rest of the History Department and the PhD students have the promise of some sweet postdoc fellowships, and if one does need to bring actual academics into it, lucifer has access to some never-before-seen source material that make original contributions to scholarship laughably easy
  • where is lucifer getting his money can he just make it (can i have some)
  • look, you don't ask the king of hell how he makes his diabolical dough, okay, you just take it and thank him profusely
  • who are your main characters and please tell me about them
  • most of them don't have names yet but there are four academics in the department, two and a half PhD students (the half is one who has submitted his thesis but is lingering, anxious and bewildered, until his thesis defence), one MA student, and four babby Honours students who are technically supposed to be completing their programme as part of the Greater History Department but had the misfortune of choosing supervisors/electives from within Religious History so they've been assimilated
  • how big a role is new zealands new bird of the year going to play in this story
  • i'm more inclined to setting this in australia bc it will be slightly easier to anonymise the university if it's not set in a country that has, say, eight universities in total of which approximately none teach explicitly religious history, so, in answer to your question, very small
  • are we finally going to get confirmation that ibises are from Hell
  • absolutely. i'm thinking lucifer will manifest for the first time with one on his shoulder. satan and his bin chicken

and ah! another question!

All you rebels are so realistic with your goals. Love that you're doing an OF, and the theme is so intriguing.  Have you planned out your OF fully or do you plan as you write? 

  • friend, i have never planned anything in my life
 
Edited by sapphicsunrise
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This sounds BRILLIANT!

(I always misspell brilliant the first time I write it. I thought you'd appreciate the irony.)

Thoughts/Questions:

  • The HADES acronym is SO GENIUS, I love it. When I first read the name written out, I didn't even notice because it doesn't sound gimmicky at all but then the acronym came and... perfection!
    • There's a newish novel called the The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas (it's AMAZING), and she is repeatedly asked if she knows the title's acronym is THUG, even though in the book the title phrase is literally and explicitly introduced as Tupac's explanation for the word thug. Seemed relevant. (also @BookDinosaur)
  • If you had the opportunity to negotiate with the devil in this way, would you take it? And what would you want from him/what would you use the money for?
  • Are the academic characters used as an ensemble cast, or is one character going to be more central?
  • Do you currently prefer Lisa or Elisabeth? (Irrelevant to the story, but important to me. <3)
  • Does the story involve any romance?
  • Will you include info about the areas of research of the academics/students? Or will those specificities be more assumed?
  • How to the characters first learn about HADES as a funding opportunity? Does Satan specifically target them, or to they find Satan more on their own?
  • Will you be posting this online at all?

I totally understand about being sucked into NaNo despite a lack of time. We can support each other there. Still, I selfishly hope you'll stick with this and maybe even finish it, because I SUPER want to read it.

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renee hello ty for the interest

  • If you had the opportunity to negotiate with the devil in this way, would you take it? And what would you want from him/what would you use the money for?
  • honestly? honestly. i would do exactly the same thing, which is half the reason i came up with it in the first place, and also, i'm pretty sure that any academic who says they wouldn't is lying to you, unless they're philosophers or theologians and therefore have an ethical or religious reason to not make a deal with the devil. i guess it depends on what he's asking for in return, but for me, a little bit of historical revisionism is a small price to pay for job security in academia. in this story there are a few perks involved with getting external funding for a research centre, like bigger travel allowances etc, but ultimately it comes down to job security. this is a ridiculous comedy story built on a solid foundation of critiquing neoliberalism in the academy
  • Are the academic characters used as an ensemble cast, or is one character going to be more central?
  • i think it's gonna be an ensemble cast - i think the tone i'm going for works best with a slightly removed, omniscient narrator - but we'll see how that goes because i might find myself with favourites.
  • Do you currently prefer Lisa or Elisabeth? (Irrelevant to the story, but important to me. <3)
  • i'm Lisa to most of my friends/important people in RL so i guess that makes sense as a general rule to apply here as well
  • Does the story involve any romance?
  • god, who knows. i only just named the characters. we'll see. potentially. i think with a cast this size it'd be almost inevitable. stay tuned
  • Will you include info about the areas of research of the academics/students? Or will those specificities be more assumed?
  • i think there will be info, yeah. i don't think i can be bothered coming up with individual theses for all my postgrads (but then again, it's the kind of thing i would totally do). for the academics, i'll include what undergrad courses they teach but i'm not sure about their specific areas of expertise. it's impossible to avoid talking about their research, ofc. as a general rule the department focuses on the Abrahamic religions - they cover others in broad survey undergrad courses (like the generic 100 level 'History of Religion' course) but they tend to have to steal lecturers from the wider History department to teach about religions outside of those three. 
  • How to the characters first learn about HADES as a funding opportunity? Does Satan specifically target them, or to they find Satan more on their own?
  • well, on the surface, they find HADES themselves by chasing obscure lead after obscure lead until they end up with an ambiguous call for applications floating around in the bowels of the internet. beyond the surface, god, who knows how Satan works
  • Will you be posting this online at all?
  • i think so - i'll just have to find a good home for it. i'll probably post it here tbh. watch this space
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ELISABETH - LISA - MY QUEEN, I'M SO GLAD YOU'VE RETURNED! :wub::wub::D:D 

I'm also so excited to see you're writing again - hopefully soon enough it'll be on bookshelves somewhere, yes? ;)

Anyhoo - question-time! 

1. How much inspiration are you taking from the people in your department? If you're taking a lot - i.e. basing characters on real-life people - is it a bit awkward or does it just help you write/plan? 

2. Are you planning or pantsing it this year? 

3. How are you writing Lucifer? Classic ugly demon or modern suave, well-dressed, Queen's-English-speaking gentleman? :P

I'll be back! ;) 

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ahh laura thank you you're a gem :wub:

also i took so long replying bc the site went down as i was posting this several days ago & i couldn't bring myself to type it all out again until now, but lo and behold, the site saved it?? o me of little faith

1. How much inspiration are you taking from the people in your department? If you're taking a lot - i.e. basing characters on real-life people - is it a bit awkward or does it just help you write/plan? 

well time will tell with this one?? there are a few of the academics that i do consciously have models for, but mostly i think they tend to fill broad archetypes that i happen to know examples of in real life. i'm taking more creative licence with the students, though the dynamics between them & their general experiences are taken from my own. it's not awkward as long as nobody in real life knows i'm writing this

2. Are you planning or pantsing it this year? 

pantsing. everything you see in this nest is the sum total of what i've decided to date

3. How are you writing Lucifer? Classic ugly demon or modern suave, well-dressed, Queen's-English-speaking gentleman? :P

i don't know yet because he hasn't arrived on the scene, but he definitely looks completely human and he's not openly malevolent. i imagine he'll write himself, or at least, i hope he will because i have planned nothing

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*creeps in here*

elisabeth have i ever told you that you are unbelievably creative and a genius because you are

*rolls away*

 

 

(will be back at some point with Questions and Coherent Thoughts)

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