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"Back" - an Up Fanfic - #1 in the Muntz Saga

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"Back" - an Up Fanfic - #1 in the Muntz Saga

Postby karly05 » Wed Aug 19, 2009 4:17 am

Plunging in - I'm still kind of a newbie here, and this is my first time posting fanfic on this forum, so I hope I'm not stepping on any toes or breaking any rules. :)

This vignette is basically a "teaser" for a bigger story arc, but how much of that will actually get written, who knows. Oh, and I know I've got Muntz too old, according to some threads on the Up forum, but I needed him this age for my overall timeline, so... there he is.

EDITED 2/28/10 - Trying to get back into writing mode... I've made a couple of tiny fixes to this one, but most importantly, I've rethought my timeline. I've now got Muntz at 25 at the time of the Newsreel, which meant changing the date on the photo. I'm also making one eentsy-weentsy change to "Cut" (something that just started bugging me), and I have every intention of doing a major re-write to "Late." Anyway, changes to "Back" are minimal, but here's the revised version.

*****

Back

Carl’s hand was clammy as he gripped the handle and opened the door. He and Russell had been through most of the Spirit of Adventure by now, but Carl had kept putting off this room, until it was the last unexplored space.

It was just as he remembered it from the photos in Life Magazine – the December, 1933, issue in which C. F. Muntz had been named “Man of the Year.” The furniture rivaled that of the most glamorous Hollywood mansions of the era: Art Deco masterworks in a glossy burl walnut, with ebony trim, and aluminum banding around the bases. The dressing chest and bedside tables boasted deeply veined black marble tops. Italian. The word flashed through Carl’s mind – how on earth had he remembered that? The furniture was Italian. The bed was enormous, with a curved headboard emblazoned with the winged “M” logo in aluminum trim. Carl wondered if Muntz had ever found it too big. His own, modest bed had seemed so vast and vacant without Ellie, he couldn’t imagine sleeping alone in this monstrosity.

At the foot of the bed, atop the Turkish carpet, was spread a tiger-skin rug. Carl walked carefully around it. Having just survived his own encounter with Charles Muntz, he found the relic less romantic than he would have even a few days ago. To his right was the massive dressing chest, topped by a broad, beveled mirror in a stepped frame. The explorer’s everyday odds and ends were still spread across the dresser, but Carl hardly noticed them. His eyes were drawn to the mirror. Tucked into the frame, where it jogged in at right angles, was a photograph. No more than three inches square, it was old, and fragile, but the subjects still gazed clearly at him. Carefully, he slid it from the mirror frame, and adjusted his glasses to take a closer look.

A young woman smiled up at him, her arms around the neck of a large, black dog. Both looked as if they had been caught in the act of laughing; the dog’s tongue was lolling, and there were dimples in the woman’s soft cheeks. Her eyes were bright, and her short, brown hair was rumpled, somewhere between a wave and a curl. She was not pretty, thought Carl; rather ordinary, actually, but the smile lit her up and painted her as clever and engaging. The dog, who was actually more of an overgrown puppy, seemed familiar to him, and not just because of its resemblance to more than a few dogs in the current pack. Even in black and white, Carl could almost feel the sunshine and fresh air around them, and it brought back memories of his own youth, picnicking with Ellie on their Hill.

“Who’s that, Mr. Fredricksen?” Russell was at his elbow, craning to look at the photo.
Carl turned it over, and read aloud the inscription, in Muntz’s handwriting, on the back. “Dorothy and Magellan, 9/21/29.” With an unexpected twinge of 8-year-old excitement, Carl beamed. “Of course, it’s Magellan! He probably was just a puppy back then. He was Charles Muntz’s favorite dog,” Carl explained, holding the photo so Russell could get a better view. “We used to see him in the old newsreels. I can still remember him in the automated dog bath,” he smiled. “Magellan, Drake, Cortez… Muntz used to name his dogs after famous explorers. Ellie and I knew them all.”
“But, who’s Dorothy?” asked Russell. “Was she his wife?”
“No,” he shook his head, studying the laughing young woman again. “Muntz never married.” Rummaging in the memories of their childhood Explorers Club, Carl recalled, “He was supposed to. He was engaged to a girl – New York socialite. They called her the Most Beautiful Girl East of Hollywood – but you couldn’t prove it by me,” he grinned a little. “Oh, they were in all the papers; it was going to be the Wedding of the Century. Boy, was Ellie steamed about that!” he chuckled fondly. “Charles Muntz was supposed to be dedicating his life to Science, not marrying some silly powder puff. But, of course, there was all that business with the Explorers Society, and Muntz came back down here, and – well…” No need to recount the rest.
Studying the photo, Russell ventured, “She doesn’t look like a silly powder puff. She looks nice.”
“Oh, this isn’t the girl,” Carl said. “Her name was Daisy Van…Something-or-other. And she was blonde. And much younger.” He was contemplating Dorothy again, and noted, “This photo is nearly as old as I am. Charles Muntz couldn’t have been more than nineteen or so.”
“She doesn’t look like a teenager, either,” said Russell. “She looks old. Not elderly," he explained. “But – grown up.”
“Well, young people grew up quicker in those days. Dressed nicer.” Russell was right, though. Carl would have guessed her to be in her mid-twenties; certainly past her teens.
“Maybe she’s just a friend,” Russell suggested. “Or a cousin, or something.”
“No.” The longer Carl looked at her, the more he understood. This Dorothy looked nothing at all like his Ellie, but that light in her eyes, shining into Muntz’s camera, was too close to the light his own camera had always caught in Ellie’s to be misunderstood. “Whoever she was – she wasn’t just a friend.”


*****
Last edited by karly05 on Sun Feb 28, 2010 6:11 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Postby ffdude1906 » Wed Aug 19, 2009 5:01 am

*stands up and applauds*

Bravo! Bravo! I tell you, I'll be watching this thread like a HAWK. Excellent first chapter, I'm loving every line. I like that you're still including Muntz in the story, and expanding on his character (well, your interpretation of course). That was probably the one thing I think should have happened in the movie to make it better, besides making it go on forever! :P

This is more or less the kind of fanfic that I like, something I think Pixar would write themselves (but I haven't read too many Pixar fanfics), and isn't full of crossovers or things that just completely toss it up. It stays true to the movie in it's original form. Not saying breaking from the formula is a bad thing, it's just not what I enjoy reading personally.

I eagerly await the next excerpt! This is gonna be good, I can tell!
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Postby wannabechef91 » Wed Aug 19, 2009 6:01 am

More please. ASAP. :D
I simply love it! This just couldn't get any better. I hope you'll post the following chapter as soon as possible. And I too currently working on with Up fanfic. Any advices?
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Postby ffdude1906 » Wed Aug 19, 2009 6:07 am

Haha, I agree chef. I'd love to read yours as soon as you get some done!

I'd want do to a fanfic, but some of the detail you've put into this has blown me away. I'd never really think to include details like mapping out rooms, describing how things are set, it just wouldn't be anything on this level. You've got chops, and so do some of the others on these boards, I'm just not as drawn into their stories (Up just grabs my attention more quickly at the moment, hopefully I'll be able to branch off and get to read some other fics the way they're supposed to be read) Plus, I've never been much of a writer, or reader for that matter.

Really though, we want more NOW! :P Can't rush perfection though, I understand ;)
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Postby wannabechef91 » Wed Aug 19, 2009 7:03 am

Yeah, thanks ffdude1906!
My story will about the last days of Ellie in Carl point of view (I'm suck with prepositions). The story would be heartwarming and sad (IMO). My friend said the storyline is kinda weak, so I have to edit some of the scenes.
I'll make a tagline under my sig as marketing strategy LOL.
The story would be posted a chapter for a week. Currently, there were 'x' Chapter.
I don't wanna spoil the fun.
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Postby karly05 » Wed Aug 19, 2009 10:48 am

Wow, thank you for the compliments! :D There isn't exactly a "next chapter" - but there are more stories (I learned long ago that I'm not good at keeping up with the "Chapter" thing - I'm much better off doing short stories that are separate-but-related). As I said, this is a "teaser." I started with this one at least in part because it has Carl & Russell in it - I hope I'm not discouraging anyone by saying they're not in the other stories I'm working on right now. (They may be back eventually, if I stick with this long enough.) Young Charles Muntz is my central character. The next story I have practically finished takes place in 1935 and is built around a moment from the newsreel.

Muntz's bedroom furniture really exists (well, without the big CFM logo!). I went looking online for Art Deco furniture, to get ideas of what it would look like. I love the internet!

wannabechef, I hope you will post your story here when you're ready. It sounds like you have a good idea to work with. I don't know if I have any advice, but for me, the most important thing is getting the characters right - to make your readers think, "That's exactly what Carl would do (or say, or think)!"

Thanks again - now I'd better get to work!
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Postby Bryko614 » Wed Aug 19, 2009 10:56 am

Excellent job! I love the writing style. It keeps you on the edge of your seat as information slowly comes out. I would love to see more of this.
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Postby ffdude1906 » Wed Aug 19, 2009 1:09 pm

Ahh, well regardless, you've done a great job putting this together, and I can't wait for your next Up fic! :D
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Postby thedriveintheatre » Tue Dec 22, 2009 7:20 am

Very well-written and a spectacular debut as a fanfic writer, karly. Is this your first time writing? If not, when did you first start? You have a very natural 'author's voice' that captures the reader's attention and like ffdude said, draws him/her into the story. I like the beginning:

He and Russell had been through most of the Spirit of Adventure by now, but Carl had kept putting off this room, until it was the last unexplored space.


That sentence grabbed me straight away and kept me reading the story, a hurdle most first-time writers have to cross; the very first paragraph.

Let's see, what else did I like? I enjoyed reading your description of Charles' bedroom. They say a person's house reveals a lot about their character, and it shows! I like how Muntz names his dogs after famous explorers, and I'm curious how you'll explain the later change to the Greek alphabets in the movie.

The photograph of Dorothy is an enigma indeed, I'm predicting she'll play an important role in future chapters.

Overall, a stunning start! You have a good command of the language, nary a grammatical or spelling mistake as far as I can see, and you have certainly grabbed this reader's attention. Now I'm gonna go on to "Cut"... :)
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Postby karly05 » Tue Dec 22, 2009 12:08 pm

Wow, tdit, thanks so much for your comments! Nope, not my first time writing, not by a long shot - I've always loved to write, and I've been writing fanfic online for years, BUT all the previous stuff was under a different "net-nick," and the site where it was posted no longer exists. I really need to find a way/place to repost some of it. (I did post my old ABL story about Hopper, "A Grasshopper's Life," here, since it is also Pixar-related.) Without admitting how old :wink: I will concede that I'm probably toward the high end of the age range here, but I've always been a Big Kid who loves animation.

I'm glad you enjoyed "Cut," too. I'm honestly not 100% happy with "Late," and may pull that down after the new year and do a rewrite (It's way too long, and there are some things I'd like to redo - for one thing, we learned from the retro "Spirit of Adventure" poster that the company should be "Muntz Industries"). Then I really need to get back on this. As I said to begin with, I'm not sure how far I'm going to go with this (I've got a big arc of ideas, but not sure how much will translate into concise stories).

Oh, and I never have had an explanation of the Greek Letter names for the dogs, except the presumption that, after a while, there were so many dogs that he had to have some orderly system of identifying them. :)
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Postby karly05 » Sun Feb 28, 2010 6:15 pm

I hope this isn't an inappropriate "Bump," but I made a couple of slight changes and am revising my timeline (noted in the intro to the story).
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