Kalliel (kalliel) wrote,
Kalliel
kalliel

Reasons why you should start your episode AU BEFORE the next one airs & you get attached to canon

This morning I finally added more words to that fic I started in June--the 10x18 "Book of the Damned" AU where Sam, Dean and Charlie discover that the Book of the Damned isn't something you read, but something you have to write, and then shenanigans ensue, and I discovered that however fucking hilarious the Stynes are in canon, they are even more hilarious to write.

But then I put the project on hold--technically because I went a-conferencing in Idaho and Nevada, but also because as I was writing, and all these things kept happening, I his this point where I was just like... how can I possibly justify this AU? XP

The only thing this is doing is make it worse for Sam/Dean/Charlie. And let's be real, the end of S10 does not need help with that. I mean, it's not like I started this story because I actively wanted to make their lives shittier. Like, I don't think it's torturing them just for the hell of it. Maybe it's a little gratuitous, but not egregiously so. Not that I have a great handle on what is and isn't gratuitous, but like. As one example. Let's say there's a lot of Sam H/C in this story (and there is). I don't like writing Sam H/C, and I'll only do it if I have to for the story; so I'm just assuming that in this case, that brand of misery has to happen for the story.

But at the same time, I keep trying to ask myself what this fic does that canon doesn't already do. And if all that is is make it worse, WHAT IS THE POINTTTTT.

"Because fan fic is fun" is an answer, I mean. But it's not really one I'm on board with, because it's not fun for me if it's not actually speaking to something--for instance, to canon, productively?? Which is dumb because I specifically started this summer project to JUST BE A DUMB ADVENTURE STORY, NO FRILLS. But if I don't like episodes that don't speak to the rest of canon, why on earth would I want to write a plot-fic that doesn't?

Another answer is "it's the way it happens, not what happens." And I do agree with that! And this fic, being fic, does give me some more time with Sam and Dean's 10x18 headspaces than 10x18 on its own, which is indeed fun and pleasurable. But I guess "what happens" and "what it means" are different things. And I still don't have an answer to "But why is this fic even happening?"

But maybe it doesn't have anything to do with the original 10x18 at all.

MAYBE IT JUST NEEDS TO BE FUNNIER.

MAYBE I NEED TO USE THE HAPPI(ER) ENDING, NOT THE HORROR ONE.

MAYBE MORE FEELS.

WHO KNOWS.

Some of today's spoils:
Charlie gasps, "Ho--ly... magic trick!"

Sam jumps.  "What you got?"

"You know the, uh, the gold--"

"--Flubber?" Dean supplies.

"X-Men #271 over Disney any day," says Charlie breezily.  "But anyway, I think that's stuff's supposed to be some kind of truth serum. Look!"

Dean does look, and so does Sam.  But as awesome as a magic truth serum is on a normal day, Dean has to admit that it's kind of a letdown.  If you're gonna take the time to scratch a book onto your own skin, you'd think you'd have outlined a little, or at least tried to stay on topic.  What business did a truth serum have in being front-and-center in the Book of the Damned?  A truth serum won't remove the Mark, and it won't tell them what happens if it stays.

Not directly, at least.

"Does it work on angels?" Dean asks.  "Metatron wasn't so receptive to our polite inquiries last time."

Charlie doesn't ask about Metatron.  She just says, "We don't know if--or how--it works, period.  But I mean, if you're gonna take the time to write it in blood, in a language no one can read, on your own skin, spinner's at least pointing at 'probably,' right?"

"We can't get to him. Metatron's in Heaven," says Sam, though there's an uncertainty there that's damaging Dean's warm-fuzzy.  Guilt, maybe.  But Dean supposes Sam has a right to react that way, after what Dean had done.

"It's been months.  Give it a rest, Sam.  The guy's probably better than ever," he says anyway.

"It's not him I'm worried about," Sam snaps.  But he glances at Charlie, and maybe Sam realizes he'll have to start offering more backstory than he's keen on, because he redirects neatly.  "Still, a truth serum could be useful.  If those guys are after Charlie--I mean, if they're after the Book--then it'll make it easier to figure out why, or for whom, or that sort of thing."

"But there's already the good ol' fashioned way of doing that," Dean points out.

Sam doesn't dignify that with a verbal response.  But the hard white line of his lips would like to know, What the ever-loving fuck, Dean?

"I'm just saying," Dean revises.  "There are other, proven ways of getting information out of a guy.  Why would the Book of the Damned double-dip?  I mean, like we keep saying, if I'm going to write something on my own skin, I'd want to make sure I've at least got original content.  Not a G-rated version of what's already out there."

"That's the thing," Sam says.  "It's not the G-rated version.  It's a truth serum, not Truth or Dare.  Maybe it doesn't seem violent, but it's still coercion--maybe whoever gets dosed doesn't even know it's happened, or doesn't know they're giving themselves away.  That's worse."

 Why does Dean get the impression Sam's starting to get a little semi-autobiographical with all this?

Charlie interjects before Dean can say anything.  "Guys," she says, voice tight and sharp.  "That was like five euphemisms and/or ellipses in a row.  If you're going to talk about torture, just say torture.  I was in Oz, remember?  At war.  I'm not going to freak."
Tags: fandom: spn, writing
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