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To canon-AU or not to canon-AU....

My next month of ficlets is nearly upon us. If you want to leave me a prompt and haven't yet done so, head on over to my previous post.

Now, while we're on the topic of fanfic, let me complain to you about my current canon/fanfic troubles...

My main problem is that I want to write another demented'verse fic. I have had an opening all prepared (in my head) for the past two-three years... the problem is that timeline-wise, in order to use that opening, it pretty much has to be set in S9. I kept hoping that SPN would give me a good window and plot idea... but, alas, I've got nothing.

So, now my question is: Do I go AU? The last demented'verse fic I wrote was set in S7, so I'd have to catch up that time anyway, and, I think anyone who read my rewatch of S8 has probably realized that I had a lot of problems with the first half of that season. So, on the one hand, this could be my chance to change things a little...

...On the other hand, once you start changing things, where do you stop? How much do you change things? HOW do you change things? Do I still just run into the same problems?

The problem I have with AU, and the reason I very seldom write it, is because working within the constructs of canon gives me limits that I can use to form my plots... and I'm just not sure how good my writing would be without those enforced parameters. Also, going AU would remove the short-hand that I rely on with the readers, where I don't have to explain what Sam and Dean are currently working through, because the readers already know. That's what makes crossovers fun, after all - it's that half of your characters know things the other half don't, and you can have tons of double-meaning dialogue, where the reader is in on all the secrets without my having to explain what those secrets are.

Part of me is thinking I should just forget it. Put that 'verse to bed. Because if I can't think of a plot that fits, maybe that's just the end of it then. But, then, another part of me is pissed off because if I was going to end the 'verse, I'd have preferred to end on Seers, Souls and Scandinavians, rather than Brains and Bones, because SSS had a much better ending, IMO, and would have served as a brilliant 'verse ending. I remember struggling with the decision to write Brains and Bones for that reason, but in the end I did... and now I'm wondering if I shouldn't've.

Blaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah

TL;DR: Struggling to write another demented'verse fic. Not sure if I should stick to my canon-nazi ways. AU is a slippery slope. 

Comments

( 35 comments — Leave a comment )
borgmama1of5
May. 30th, 2014 09:14 pm (UTC)
I know exactly what you mean about canon providing a framework.

I keep thinking about rewriting seasons 8 and 9 to be what I wanted from them, but then it's like a reverse domino effect--if I fix the rift between the boys at the start of season 8 then Sam isn't upset about Benny and doesn't send Martin after him and then does Dean still have to behead him to rescue Sam from Purgatory and...

If I don't have to make it fit between 2 points it's really hard to narrow down the possibilities.
hells_half_acre
May. 30th, 2014 09:22 pm (UTC)
Exactly.

Once you step on that butterfly, it suddenly becomes uncertain what future you're going to be returning to.
(no subject) - grasshopr_molly - May. 31st, 2014 01:02 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - hells_half_acre - May. 31st, 2014 01:24 am (UTC) - Expand
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jennytork
May. 30th, 2014 11:57 pm (UTC)
As someone who writes almost nothing but AUs?

DOOOOOOO IIIIIIIIT......

*grins*
hells_half_acre
May. 31st, 2014 01:25 am (UTC)
Easy for you to say, you've obviously had practice! ;)
(no subject) - jennytork - May. 31st, 2014 01:33 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - hells_half_acre - May. 31st, 2014 01:39 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - jennytork - May. 31st, 2014 01:43 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - hells_half_acre - May. 31st, 2014 01:50 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - grasshopr_molly - May. 31st, 2014 01:51 am (UTC) - Expand
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cappy712
May. 31st, 2014 02:23 am (UTC)
Maybe if you had someone or a few someones to pitch the verse that you are thinking of using and how it might fit....

I'm a willing sounding board if you wanted to try and pitch it - could the idea be re-tweaked and put into a different season? It might work with a rethinking of the opening??? Just a thought.
hells_half_acre
May. 31st, 2014 02:53 am (UTC)
Unfortunately, timeline wise, it pretty much has to be in S9... it's either that or I wait until S10... or some other future season. Which, I suppose is an option, and maybe one I'll end up using if I sit around stewing over this long enough. It works best though in S9.

The main thing is that regardless of where I set it, whether I use that opening or not, I still have to deal with the events of S8 and S9 and how they fit into that 'verse... so even if I ditch that idea, I'm still left with the same problem.
liliaeth
May. 31st, 2014 03:39 am (UTC)
You might disagree with me on this, but I think that this being demented verse, it would almost have to be au.

Think about it this way, leaving aside whether Sam knew Dean was still alive or not, or if he was in shock or whether he bothered to look for Dean or not... the fact is that he believed himself alone and had limited resources.

In the demented verse though, that is not the case. The moment Harry finds out that Dean is either dead or missing, he'd come look him up and help out.
With Harry's help, they'd probably at the very least try and find out if Dean is alive or not, which would make a huge difference in Dean's reaction when he returns.

You could still take the parts of canon that you did like, but alter them keeping those changes in mind, while getting rid of the whole 'Sam didn't even bother to look for Dean' bit because Harry'd be there.
hells_half_acre
May. 31st, 2014 03:52 am (UTC)
Yes, exactly. You've hit the nail on the head right there about why I've been struggling with what going AU means... as in, I know that I have to go at least partially AU, but the question is how much - how slippery is that slope? Do I just change the beginning of S8 and then synch things back up again, or do I change more so that I can actually fit in the story that I want to write?

But yes, you are dead on with why I pretty much HAVE to go AU for at least the "catch up" portion of the story... but what exact form that AU will take is still up for debate. I COULD have Harry get involved, fail to locate Dean, leave Sam in Texas, and then Dean could still be pissed off when he gets back that Sam didn't look for Kevin (perhaps Sam doesn't even tell Harry about Kevin for some weird reason like my headcanon of Sam actually having a psychotic break) and Dean could still be upset that Sam didn't seem to be obsessing about Dean's death like usual... and not much would change in the long run. Or having Harry around to help could change everything - they could find Kevin sooner, before Dean comes back, for instance, and the Dean wouldn't really have anything to be angry about (besides his usual PTSD) and the is Sam still fine with dying on the third trial? Does he still feel like he failed Dean and needs to be redeemed?

I don't know, it's a hard thing to juggle... and do I want to bother if I'm not even leading them to a cool future story set in S9, since I can't for the life of me think of a good plot for one past the opening?
(no subject) - grasshopr_molly - May. 31st, 2014 03:57 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - hells_half_acre - May. 31st, 2014 04:15 am (UTC) - Expand
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(no subject) - liliaeth - May. 31st, 2014 04:15 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - hells_half_acre - May. 31st, 2014 04:19 am (UTC) - Expand
supernutjapan
May. 31st, 2014 06:37 am (UTC)
Well, I want to read your Demented Verse so if you figure out a way to do it, please do it!

I think what someone said, figuring out a different way from point a to point b might be a good idea, then you don't have to go off on a totally different road and it would help you figure out a plot too.
franztastisch
May. 31st, 2014 09:29 am (UTC)
I feel I should say this. The first time I read demented verse, I hadn't yet got to the end of season 5. Therefore, your references to Sam in the panic room meant nothing to me. But regardless of this, I thought it was brilliant. The ftame of reference you're worrying about matters less tha you think because the story works even without it. I mean, I haven't watched past... 7x21 and I will still read and enjoy this story, if it happens. My not knowing the storyline of s8 and s9 will not change that. So even people who know those storylines will understand the story if you were to write it without that frame of reference. I wouldn't worry about that.
franztastisch
May. 31st, 2014 09:31 am (UTC)
And cleaEly the more important question is: will Nate turn up? :P
(no subject) - hells_half_acre - May. 31st, 2014 03:27 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - franztastisch - May. 31st, 2014 08:58 pm (UTC) - Expand
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morganlucas41
May. 31st, 2014 06:45 pm (UTC)
I know I haven't commented in a while, but just dropping by to say...definitely write more demented!verse. I hear what you're saying about straying away from canon, and I get how that can be a slippery slope. I don't know what basic premise you're working with, but would there be any way to start off at some point in S9, and then jump off into more AU territory after that? Either way, I personally would LOVE to read more demented!verse. And, given that I wasn't crazy about S9 in general, wouldn't mind if it was more AU. Not sure how helpful this is, but just my two cents!
hells_half_acre
May. 31st, 2014 07:36 pm (UTC)
It's always helpful to know that there are people who want to read what I'm struggling to write! It makes the struggle worth it. ;)
khek
Jun. 1st, 2014 02:12 pm (UTC)
More Demented!Verse, please! I don't care how canon has to be tweaked, I just want more. :)

I read AUs, and they don't bother me at all. I do think it's more interesting and believable when events diverge for a bit, then come back to the same point in a different way. And that way, you still have a point of reference for returning to canon.

If it's Kevin's storyline that's bothering you, is there any way to take it out completely? Like, Harry and co know that he's going to be killed, but they take him out to their world and put in some kind of construct to be killed by Gadreel/Sam? They know that it will make Sam feel terrible, but the only way to save Kevin is to have the boys think he's gone...and they'll eventually return him, healthy and whole and alive, to the Supernatural world.

I don't know...I'd actually buy anything that would return Kevin alive. And both universes have people "helping" by keeping major secrets for someone else's "own good".
hells_half_acre
Jun. 1st, 2014 03:26 pm (UTC)
Thanks!

I'm not really sure what storyline is bugging me... though, it did occur to me the other day that if I went AU, I might be able to save Gadreel... not that his ending wasn't good, it's just that I'm sad he's dead. So, I don't know... it's not so much that I want to rescue characters really, it's just perhaps that I can't figure out an interesting plot and want the option of completely changing things on the off chance that will inspire something.
( 35 comments — Leave a comment )

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