When you write, do you view your fics as a holistic corpus, or do you think of them as isolated pieces? Not in the strict sense where everything you write is literally in the same 'verse, or a series of sequels or anything like that. But like, if you sit down to write a fic about Hael and Goron Walker on the moon, is it the same Hael and Gordon Walker you wrote about in some previous fic?
I guess that's sort of a weird thought. But when I write Sam and Dean, I think I do actually write them with the assumption that in addition to everything that's happened in canon, everything I've written for them has also happened--even if, perhaps, it happened in a single-episode alternate universe, so as to leave no marks but memories. (Seeing as I've killed basically everyone I've ever written at some point, this would have to be true. XD) Even if there are a hundred different strains of AU to my corpus, I always assume it's the same multiverse; it's a Mystery Spot, or a djinn dream, or a Sandover Bridge & Iron.
I think this probably runs the risk of getting away from canon a little too much, lol, and developing into these extremely stylized versions of these characters, but hey. That's nothing a long AU 'verse doesn't (rightly!) aspire to do, right? As it is, everyone already has their own headcanon satellite, in orbit around a master canon yet distinct from anyone else's little satellite. I figure that the drift away from recognizable canon off into deep, deep space is pretty well reigned in by canon itself, as it continues to develop, and as you continue to write to it/explore it/meet and diverge from it in a pattern of oscillations.
In a similar vein, I use the same OCs over and over again, though often in different capacities, or with different backstories. I totally recycle these people. XP Like, I'll change what happened in their life to suit whatever purpose they're serving in a fic, but at their core, they're always the same people.
I have an Anna Choi (who's been Michael's Busty Asian Beauty vessel in Ipswich, Meg's vessel in Ktown, and a little girl the Winchesters rescued from a monster in Ktown); I have a Veronica Caceres (who's mentioned as the weird childhood babysitter/hunter-with-a-dead-son in at least three(!) different fics, and a hunter with a live daughter in one fic); I have a Nanditha Ramachandran (who always has a BS in marine biology from UCSC, but has ended up a biologist!hunter in Alaska in one fic, and works at a Hallmark card store in Colorado in another).
Part of this is probably just me being lazy with choosing names and making up OCs, aha, but intertextuality as a concept is just fascinating to me (it's sort of a Sherman Alexie move, I guess) so I think it's fun to mess around with things like that. XD And to have those threads criss-crossing everything. I mean, if I hadn't brought it up just now, it's not like anyone has ever noticed, nor would I expect anyone to. It's not something that actually does anything for anyone who's not me! But I like having the threads, and I like the idea of my various Sams and Deans all having like, that one weird babysitter, or all having a memory of That One Apartment From Childhood, even if these things are ultimately immaterial.
For me it's part of building an exceptionally robust headcanon, haha, so it's like this whole intertextual filing cabinet I can mentally tag onto canon in one big hunk.
So what about you guys? I'm curious! :DDD What's your relationship to, or conception of, all of the very very very many words you've written (or images you've drawn, etc.), for whatever fandom you're in?