|December 26, 2000
So I was reading Debra Fran Baker's very interesting essay on the
nature of Heroes and dark AU fiction -- it's here,
thanks, Ins! --
and I have to say I completely disagree.
OK, so not *really*, I mean, for the most part, the essay is her
personal opinion, and carefully based from that standpoint, but well,
it doesn't fit this little black duck.
For instance, she made the point that people watch shows with
clear hero/villain markers *wanting* to see the hero remain the
hero. That within the bounds of canon and authorial intent, the hero
would no longer be *him/herself* if changed into a villain.
That's a fascinating idea, and I'll certainly be chewing on it for
a while, but, at the moment, it goes completely against my idea of
fan fiction. Mainly, I'm here because I love this stuff. And I love
this stuff because I can take my favorite characters and events and
push them all the places the show can't or won't go --
With the vastly important limit that they *must* remain recognizably
themselves. That is to say, I can write Mulder as a bloodsucking
fiend, but he damned well better be Mulder -- and thanks to you, Debra,
for telling me I did it right. That series took a lot out of me. Part
of me is still shocked that it's *over*.
But anyhow, yes. I *don't* watch these shoes for traditional archetypes
of hero and villain. I *don't* always want the villain thwarted at
end. Part of that is general ennui -- I'm so *bored* with traditional
entertainment -- and part of it is just whatever perversity I was
born with, or nurtured into --
I'm in love with the dark outsider. With the person or creature who
can be darkly flawed while loving his family. For the Duncan who can
rape, the Fraser who can viciously taunt, the Buffy who's not too high
on herself to slay from behind. (And maybe, just maybe, I want to drag
them down off the pedestal. Make them real. Human. I've always preferred
that nutjob Batman to Superman.)
And just as some writers take the *good* qualities of these characters
and extrapolate them into fan fiction, so do I take the bad. I am also
in love with possibility, after all, with the terrifying way
important life decisions can change you forever.
Canon is not a portrait to me, not a landscape, not anything remotely
finished. I do not work in a world where the picture is *almost*
complete save for tiny holes -- missing scenes, anyone? -- I work in
a world where canon is simply a large number of points on a plane.
The writers connect the dots one way, I connect the dots any number
of other ways.
To me, the best fan fiction will always be the stories that connect
highest number of dots in the most creative of ways. The ones that
make me *believe* that the story is Truth, no matter how many
different ways Buffy kills off her Slayerettes. Truth, for at least
long as I read.
So, yes, I *am* into canon.
And I want my heroes as ambiguous as they can possibly be.
Bad Ben. Evil Dunkie. Slayer on a Rampage -- cases can be made for
all of them, and, IMO, *should* be made. Fan fiction is about
variety, after all. Who wants to read the same story over and over?
Heh. And to answer that question, I must go to the Spike, who
has a most interesting theory about Fannish Mythologies. Spike?
Write it down.