Chapter 21: Declaring War is up, everyone! And a postmortem, too. It’s been a while since I wrote one of these. This post has been brewing for a while. After chapter 21, I knew I had to write about John.
Characterization and Plot
A lot of readers have trouble picturing John in A Study In Magic. Martin Freeman’s face solidifies our image of Dr. Watson, so no wonder. I didn’t even take the easy route of changing John’s name (side note: my earlier drafts called her Jane). Anyway, the moment I realized ASIM!John is … you know, I refused to proceed until I nailed down the image on paper. Here is the most recent sketch:
I apologize for the wretched coloring. I’m still learning how to use Adobe Sketch. The dark grey block in John’s hand is a mug. I forgot to add a handle 🙁
Back to characterization. During the planning stage of A Study In Magic, I realized John was meant to be a mirror image of Lily Potter. Not in the usual sense of “Mirror Image”. Like, Bellatrix Lestrange as the dark, distorted, and child-sacrificing female figure in contrast to Molly Weasley’s warm, wholesome and nurturing one. No, Lily was the mother who died for her son, whereas John was the mother who killed for him.
Lily: “Kill me instead.”
John: “You threaten my son, I will kill you.”
For any other child, John won’t be a great mother. She’s too much of a maverick and Sherlock takes up 80% of her time, which leads to neglect. But she is the perfect mother for a boy set on a hero’s journey. The perfect companion. So how did this translate to gender change? I wish I knew. My gut declared Lily’s replacement had to be a mother. Sherlock is a sexless and solitary figure, for all that he’s masculine and has one true friend. So, by default, John ended up with the role. That’s it.
For the Next Chapter
I’ve titled it, A Day For Grace. It’s that quiet moment before the final battle. Things that needed to be said are said.