ficnotes: the progress of sherlock holmes

via the culture concept circle
After last week's brief vacation in Potterland, we're returning to the equally delightful world of Sherlock (BBC) fanfiction. This week's fic is a full twenty-five chapters long and deals with the complicated emotional currents eddying around the three main characters: Sherlock, John, and Mary Morstan. Sherlock is in love with John, but isn't exactly sure what that means to him (or whether he's capable of pursuing a romantic and/or sexual relationship). John is in love with Sherlock but doesn't know how to deal with the fact this runs counter to his identity as a straight man (or also if a sexual relationship is what Sherlock wants). Mary marries John, but her motives for doing so are mixed at best and poisonously manipulative at worst.
Title: The Progress of Sherlock Holmes
Author: ivyblossom
Pairings: Sherlock Holmes/John Watson, John Watson/Mary Morstan
Author Rating: Explicit
Author Summary: "Sherlock is head over heels for John, but you wouldn't know it by looking at him. First-person present-tense series of short scenes from Sherlock's point of view, borrowing heavily from Arthur Conan Doyle's stories."
Length: 25 Chapters (61,999 words)
Available At: Archive Of Our Own in chaptered or series versions.
What I adored about this fic, aside from the loving attention to Sherlock's inner voice (his attention to detail, his precise notation of observation and emotion), was that ivyblossom took three incredibly damaged characters, put them in a situation in which they manage to cause themselves and one another even further damage, and then wrote at least two of them out of that situation into a better place. With some really loving and lovingly detailed Sherlock/John slash along the way.


  1. And Mary is a librarian in it! As a librarian myself, I did that to keep me honest, though I dipped her in the librarian-stereotype well. Sherlock would never be able to tell that I'm librarian; I don't touch books in my work and I don't have a cat. (I do have some great shoes, though.)

    Funny, I saw the title of your blog and thought, oi, wow, worlds colliding! I don't usually see my story mentioned on librarian blogs! Cool!

    I'm so glad you enjoyed it! :D Do you write as well as read? Writing fanfiction is probably the most fun you can have sitting down.

  2. Thank you for posting this! I'd been looking for this story so I could reread it. Marvellous.

    Thank you as well for posting the Paradox series a few weeks back. I read it, fell in love, and have since thrown myself headfirst into the BBCSherlock fanfic community. I'm even writing fanfiction again, after three years (of graduate school) without.

  3. @Ivy I'm glad you stopped by to say "hi" ... I started doing "ficnotes" when I realized that during the final stage of thesis writing that my brain didn't have the staying power for full-length novels, but I was gathering quite a long list of fanfiction I could review! Voila ... a series of posts.

    And yes, I've just started writing my own as well ... great stress relief, and fun to present as gifts to friends :)

    @fuyu-no-fuhei How fun to hear that sharing folks' work has inspired you back into writing! The Sherlock fanfic community has really been a great place to hang out these past few months.

  4. I stayed up way way way too late last night reading this (after the confidence instilled in your recs from staying up way way way too late about three nights in a row reading and re-reading the Paradox series), and, just, yes. Excellent story, excellent writing, and holy cow the hotness. So thank you. And Ivy -- omg. Just. Thank you!