I also want to finish my second Bleach fic ASAP. I started it in like, September, and have been working on ever since, inasmuch as the severe limitation on my school-in-session free time allowed. But idk, it got longer than I intended and that was exciting for a while and I thought maybe it would evolve into a plot!fic but then it just didn’t feel that great and now it feels like an obstacle to projects that work better in writing than my love for Bleach does. Because boy I love Bleach! I really do. But I think I’ve circled back around to my feeling that fic is not the expression of that that I find most valuable. I spent today mostly pulling it back down and simplifying and deleting. And like:
1) I’ve been vaguely thinking about why that is (or continued to think about it, since I had this convo with myself here in the summer, too).
2) Ugh, what to do with this fic, then! Because I like finishing things and shoving them out into the world, because otherwise they just feel like clutter staring me down. But I’m also like, good lord. I’m basically the only person to whom this fic will matter, so I feel like I need to actually like it? But if fic isn’t even the ~ideal vector~ for my Bleach love, is that even possible. XD
I think part of the "why" is that Bleach does tap the lover-of-spreadsheets in me more than SPN does. I love it in factsheets and bullet points, headcanons that don’t need storylines to be their best. I love it in a tell, don’t show way—whereas like, SPN, I only ever want the showing. I love and Sam and Dean best when they cannot be told.
Another part of it is Bleach characters just not having the same relationship to the world or to themselves as Sam and Dean do. Their interiority isn’t as bonkers (or at least, I’m not inclined to write it that way), and they’re a little more divested, I guess, of the bodily act of living, being supernatural creatures. But they’re also not multiversal planes of light, or however Castiel explained angels, and so not given to that kind of whackadoo either. Which isn’t at all a knock on Bleach and its characters’ ability to be fascinating—they totally are! Just in this very particular way that apparently I cannot write about.
I do think they have their own affordances. Like, I’ve found it interesting to think about how my Bleach faves process trauma, when they are just so psychologically and ideologically different from Sam and Dean or anyone else in SPN. There’s a level of guilt that drives SPN that just does not operate in Bleach, and my faves have this pretty orderly way of understanding themselves and their world that I find fascinating but that doesn’t really work in prose (imho). And I wonder like, how much of that "not working" is just me not having that skill in writing and needing to develop it, and how much of it is it simply not being my style/interest, and how much is actually characteristic of the source text.
I don’t think it’s lack of familiarity with these characters that makes them less fun to write than, idk, bullet point. Because part of me is like, yeah, feeling like they’re not coming out quite right does detract from the experience, probably. But I also figure if I know them well enough to have hyperspecific headcanons I am interested in exploring but also get self-conscious about because I feel like I’d have to show the architecture that got me from Canon Point A to Headcanon Exploration B in the first place, we are pretty (read: overly) well-acquainted. Because then I’ll do some noodling with Sam and Dean where they’re really doing fuck-all, and the scene’s not that great and the characterization is fine but not scintillating—specific enough to feel like I’m pushing them somewhere interesting but also maybe too weird in a way that will need reeling in to be to my taste, and even with all that working against it still feels like the right medium for that to be happening in, trash scene or not.
Clearly I should just be making Bleach lists to see how that feels instead of speculating endlessly about it, LOL. That just feels a bit stupid if it’s not collaborative, whereas fic is at least like, exercise. Anyway, the fact remains that I have this fic and I need to finish it so I can be freed from it—but also somehow need to find my way into liking it, because otherwise declaring it "finished" will feel like I’m telling myself a lie.