I thought I’d take a break from OWS for a bit to discuss my writing. It is why I started this blog in the first place. Thinking of something to write every day has had me quasi-geared towards finding material for my blog. Great.
But it’s been keeping me from my indfic.
Thank goodness for fanfic.
I love writing fanfic. There’s so much less one has to explain, keep straight, or look up. An admired writer once told me, “It’s fanfic. You can make [character(s)] purple if you wanted to.” [FYI- that writer is Donna Barr and we were communicating via email of my depiction of her character, Stinz Lowhard.]
But… I like being accurate. Sure, you could make character X purple. Or put them on the moon. Or make them walk across the ceiling for the lulz… but would they still be character X? Or are you making a new character based on the character you love?
This is where cannon meets fannon. It’s also where Movie vs Book tends to raise a lot of fire. When you change the environment that something is depicted in [even if it’s a transition from prose to stage] things have to change.
You can’t always find an actor that looks exactly like X should. And you can’t always write character X walking into world Y and have it turn out to be a good story.
So when my figment, Sara Louise Adrien, wanted to be a pony [I have a strange relationship with my creations] I had to really think about things. The things that made her wonderful in my X-Men: Evolution fics could not translate directly into the land of Equestria.
Verbally abusive mom? Ponies aren’t abusive moms of any kidney. This is a world where ponies are (mostly) nice to other ponies and, if not fully befriending - at least accepting. So I couldn’t put Jaqui in a horse skin and have it work.
So… Jaqui became a dragon. Literally. Who has yet to appear in my fic. Dragons strike me as being a lot more… physical… than verbal, so she’s both a dwarf dragon and obsessed with exactness. And Sara, now Star Wishes, is a lot more high-strung and strung out than her mutant version, as a direct result.
Absentee dad? Er. The story surrounding Sara’s adoption is still unravelling in my head [I’m debating whether or not Dragon-Jaqui destroyed Star’s village in the final act of the Dragon-Equine war and was forced to adopt the only survivor…] so I’m currently not mentioning dad at all. I have another debate as to whether or not pulling a long-lost dad out of my butt at the end would make for satisfying narrative.
Pretty much most of this got thought out before I put finger to touchscreen [I write on an iPad - it goes everywhere with me] to place the first words in my story.
Even if you’re writing fanfic - where the world-building is unnecessary - there’s still a bit of history and continuity to consider. Some you may know. Some, you may draw conclusions for from things mentioned or shown in cannon [that which we see or is stated by Word of God (the creators of said work) ] to create your own or shared fannon [stuff the fans hold to be true, regardless of what the work explicitly states or the creator has said].
For instance, back when I was running Realm of the InterNutter [it’s down and out for the count, until such time as a sufficiently large mallet can be found] I had the fannon town of Heirelgart for Evo!Nightcrawler to grow up in as a well-rounded individual. It also had centaurs in it, which explained why an entire town could be so casual about a kid with blue fur and a tail. I was happy to share Heirelgart with anyone who asked - or gave credit - and it was entirely up to them as to whether or not they wanted the centaurs with it.
Give it a decade or so and Nightcrawler’s home town may be mentioned in cannon as being Heirelgart, just because it got around :) I like that idea. I’m not going to squeal “copyright” or sue for millions. I’m going to grin like a smug little bastard ‘cause something I made up is Out There. But I digress.
Fannon or cannon, I like to stay as consistent as I can to make the story read true. And I’m an obsessive-compulsive, sometimes. Which is why I sent Laura Faust a note asking if there was a Cutie Mark Code writers as
anal precise as me could use.
Of course I’m going to share any reply. I’m not selfish.
Anyway. I was trying to make a point, wasn’t I?
The point I’m trying to make, I guess, is no matter what changes you make when writing something, the work comes out better for those changes making sense. If only sense to you. You are your first audience when you write. That’s why so much writing advice boils down to, “write what you love to read”, because you’re going to be re-reading that sucker ad infinitum to make sure it’s all good.
And if you can’t please yourself with what you make, how can you find anyone else who likes it?