[abrupt post beginning because previous topic changes 'enough' here to warrant separation] Perhaps I will find out if I can reconcile those, since last night (two nights ago, now) when I could not sleep I started work on a new story and slowly realised this could be the cross-genre erotic work I've been saying I'm unable to write. The idea I started writing with was a woman who becomes possessed by a water spirit or minor deity - I expect the distinction will be unclear in the story too. As I thought about this woman, Meredith, she turned out to be a detective, a private detective even, and I started wondering if I could make a proper mystery story of it too. It seemed suddenly very doable. What I started writing opened with Meredith and her friends taking a day out on the beach to catch up with each other. For the story I want it to be now I need to extend back from that point. Meredith needs to be established as her own character, her own personality, her own sexuality so she isn't just 'someone who gets possessed by a water spirit'. I need to establish her as a detective and give her a mystery to solve (probably at least one large and one small mystery)) so we'll have that for an 'A' plot and 'Meredith deals with her body and mind being inhabited by a water spirit' as a 'B' plot. I have been considering having Meredith be a former librarian, since sometimes people with library degrees do branch out into private research and investigation but I need to add something else because I want her in an on-site potential action role too. Inclined to give her a working, non-romantic partner because I think a two person firm might be more interesting, so I need to work out who this person is and what ey does too. I also need to arrange so that this story doesn't step on the toes of the jedi detective series I've been wanting to do (more on that, but not much, if I ever get my next 'real' writing in progress post out of limbo). There is some appeal to having this water spirit be the only magical thing in the world, mainly because it seems like something a bit different to do, like interstellar science fiction without FTL anything. I doubt I will since there's a lot of fun to be had otherwise (vampires, frex, combine a great deal of criminal mystery potential with a lot of erotic potential, and if I ever have an idea suited for that, this would be the venue for it [this, or a Magic Club story if I ever get around to those]), but I want to make some decisions relatively early. If magical things exist openly instead of secretly or not at all then I probably want one of Meredith's friends to be a professional magician and have it non-obvious that this isn't stage magic until after her encounter with the spirit (whose name is Maris, and I don't know why I've been dancing around that until now). Since this story has been pulling some strong appeal for me to weave a few stories together into a Unified Erotic Setting I am definitely leaning toward other magical things existing but being largely rare. Easy to put some broad strokes on. Soft science fantasy setting; Meredith was never living on our Earth, but always at least a fictionalised version with fictional locations, easy enough to make that a nice colony world but there's no Earth at the bottom anyway. Travel to strange new worlds, make contact with local spirits and gods, negotiate terms of interaction or settlement. Potentially Winter Gift and the unwritten Emerald Green take place in this setting's past. Don't know setting's position on non-human people who aren't creatures of magic (i.e. faeries, spirits or deities like our Maris), probably depends on what Emerald Green demands. So I'd better do something about that soon. I need to sort out what sort of investigator Meredith is, and what sort my unnamed jedi detective is, and hopefully arrange for them to have some interesting divergence in style. They both seem to have a similar set of tools (albeit one with The Force and one with maybe super database searching skills) but neither having much in the way of forensics. Trying to come up with a good title got a lot of noirish suggestions from Ami, so maybe a noir or hardboiled sort of style might work well. Or my imagined version of what they are, since I have regrettably not read much in that mode. A personal, strongly emotional style maybe feeds into intense sex scenes which would be a plus, and contrast well with the other series which makes another plus, if I can pull it off and sustain it. Worth a shot. As for the rest of Meredith, I know she loves climbing, she has a great deal of tactile sensuousness, especially concerning her feet and what she walks on, and she is a switch. Probably, given the foregoing, the sort who would order the person she's topping to flog her in precisely the right way, as a non-exclusive example of something ordinary to her. What about her other enjoyments, she's been a librarian, what does she read? I suspect Meredith enjoys mystery fiction for a lot of the same reason she's a professional investigator: enjoyment of solving puzzles. I wonder if she likes physical puzzles too? I think she has a stable relationship with someone who subs to her, and attends one or two local clubs where she mostly tops and sometimes bottoms. So, need to detail the who and how of her personal relationships early on too. And that gives us something of a 'C' plot now: how Meredith's personal life and relationships cope with the strain of the A and B lines. Tempted to have Meredith's professional magician friend be the other partner in her firm, but that may push the story in a more magic-heavy direction than I am wanting so far. Consider dropping that friend entirely. That's about where we are at so far.  Is it a story? There's no plot yet, no end or beginning, just a small cloud of concepts. Eventually a plot will come along. One usually does.