Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Classifying what I do

I was thinking about some stuff a few days ago and while it started off pretty solid it quickly moved into the abstract.

So there are posts that are just ordinary blog posts, of which this is one.  There's deconstruction (hope to have a new KP one up today.)  And then there's the fiction.

Leaving aside the difference between describing fiction and actually writing it (a distinction which can get blurry when you describe it by having one character give an in-universe exposition dump to another) it seems to me that there are three kinds of fiction I do here.

There's original stuff (The Princess Story, Ash, Not Even The Angels In Heaven, The Band Story, A World Without God, so forth) that's pretty straightforward.

Then there's the derivative stuff.  At first it was pretty much always of a given form.  If you look at Edith and Ben or Snarky Twilight, or If the Heroes did their jobs, or Skewed Slightly to the Left, or any of the giant gobs of one-offs you see that they all have one thing in common.  They don't augment the original, they don't add to it, they don't work outside its bounds.  They replace it.

They're all retellings.

I'm taking the original, changing it, and hopefully my version is better, but it's still a version of the original.

In this role I sort of end up being "chris the cynic: unauthorized ghostwriter."

Stephanie Meyer or Jerry Jenkins or C.S. Lewis gave me a rough draft and I'm bashing that into a shape that I think works better.

Given that that's where I tend to be with my derivative fiction it's kind of surprising that the Kim Possible thing I've done the least of is "Here's how it is" since that's going to be my attempt at giving the show the same sort of retelling treatment.

Instead the things I've done are a different sort of derivative fic, one that's probably been around as long as retellings and certainly reaches to the beginning of the written record.  With the exception of Life After where time is a bit fucky, my Kim Possible work all falls into the "After the end" category of fan-fiction.

The other non-retelling types being prequels (before the beginning) and things that fill in gaps.

But those are all the exception for my writing, I think.  I feel like I do a lot more retelling than sequel/prequel/gap filling work.

It's not that I've never done such things before.  A Light in the Darkness is a gap filling work that tells what happens to other characters while Jenkins is focusing on the tribulation force, and in so doing casts the entire existing series in a different light.  That was written in 2010, before Stealing Commas existed.

But the Kim Possible fics do feel like a departure for me, and I've been thinking about that.  As you might have guessed given that I asked for input on whether or not to keep putting the new bits here.

So that's some of what's been going on in my head.


  1. There's also speculating about stuff in a not-particularly-fictional way, which I quite enjoy. Things like your photography or image manipulation posts.

  2. Yeah... I thought she just meant derivative works.

    I started in fandom a zillion years ago with "I love [thing]! I want more! (Also, with sexytimes. And same-gender partners.)"

    Later I learned about different things that are more critical and/or transformative, including some of the amazing stuff Slacktivites wrote for Left Behind.

    This doesn't have a point, I guess...

  3. No wait, there was a point! The point was, your KP works are more of the 1st thing, which is great, than the 2nd thing, which is also great! But sometimes the first thing requires, and pretty much always rewards, familiarity with the source material. So I personally will be better able to enjoy them after I read enough decon posts to know something about the universe and characters.

    1. This was an excellent point - glad you remembered it!

      What Lonespark said.