Posts Tagged ‘Doctor Who’

Fan fiction is a fascinating phenomenon.

(Okay, I’ll stop the alliteration.)

Writers, generally, want to be read. They want people to see their work, read their work, and like their work. (Ideally also buy their work, but I’m setting that aside for right now.) Most writers, however, experience a wide gap between themselves and their audience. They’ll get beta reader and editor feedback, of course, and getting published is a kind of feedback too (they like me, they really like me!) but for traditional authors it can take months for reader reactions to trickle down. Write the book, edit the book, sell the book, give it away even, and hope for those Amazon reviews to start rolling in. (Along with the dollars of course.)

Fanfic, on the other hand, has instantaneous response. Post a work on AO3 or other site and within minutes the hits start happening – followed by likes, kudos, comments, whatever form the site’s feedback takes. It is fast and it is – or can be – massive. Popular works may have hits in 6 figures. Some have hundreds within their first hours of being posted. And fic readers, when they like something, they say so. They are effusive in their praise. They gush. And that reaction has an effect on the writer.

I have some small experience of this.

I don’t write fanfic to be read. I write it because sometimes, when a story ends, I’m not done with the characters. I want more of them; I want to spend more time in their world. Sometimes I want to delve into a character’s thoughts and feelings, to explore their experience in more detail. Because I have an extremely low tolerance for either bad writing or erotica, reading other people’s fanfic is an unsafe choice for me. If I want more, I have to write it.

The pieces I put up on whofic, back when I first started this little writing game, got limited response: a few hits, an encouraging comment or two. Nice to hear, but it didn’t change anything I did. Then, I posted my first Broadchurch fic on AO3, and received this comment:

“Good start! Looking forward to the next installment.”

I wasn’t planning a next installment. The piece was a standalone, an epilogue, an extra moment of resolution to an emotionally harrowing series. It was enough. And yet, when I saw that comment, my brain began to spin: what if there were more where that came from?

That brain-spin resulted in an entire series of fics, some of which have received over a thousand hits. For a dabbler like me – particularly one who doesn’t write that staple of fanfic, erotica – that’s pretty impressive. They’ve also received some rave comments. Readers love the stories and want more. Even after I closed the series – S2 made the entire plotline moot – commenters expressed hope that I would resume.

It is a little bit hard to say no, even when I know the story is over.

I continue to write fics here and there as inspiration strikes. Most of them, like my whofic contributions, get little attention. Every now and then, however, one of them will surprise me. In the middle of Broadchurch‘s second season, a moment with Ellie’s thoughts as she waited to see Alec in the hospital received 25 kudos in its first 24 hours online. In the aftermath of Daredevil, Matt’s chance meeting with the Ninth Doctor and Rose had a similar response – and now has the highest kudos-to-hits ratio of anything I’ve ever posted. An exploration of the dissolution of the Ponds’ marriage received startlingly high praise, given the number of similar fics and the exacting tastes of fans.

It makes me wonder if I’ve got more of those in me.

Writing fic is fun. Writing known characters true to form is a challenge that helps me become a better writer. Getting inside characters’ heads helps me become a more empathetic person. Writing fic is a great exercise and a great opportunity.

And every once in a while, it’s really really good for the ego.

On that note, a reminder: ‘The Edge,’ an original story with roots in fanfic, is free right now on Smashwords with coupon code ZX74D.

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Another fic finished

Forgot to mention – that ages-old Doctor’s Daughter fic finally has an ending.



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An Ounce of Home

A fellow blogger (http://infinitefreetime.com/) posted a prompt. This happened:



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And not by me this time!

Some weeks back a favorite blog of mine put out a call for contributions. I sent in a pitch or two; they sent back a request, and voila! I’m on The Mary Sue.

Expounding on nerdery of course.




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Those fics I mentioned the other day? Posted.



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Well didn’t I just get sidetracked.

Since setting aside The Edge as complete some weeks ago, I’ve been working on The Way. As I said at the beginning of the year, my intent has been to finish things before moving on to something else. Funny how that doesn’t always work.

In spite of helpful input from my writers’ group, and in spite of how much I love the characters, I’ve been really stuck on The Way. I’ve been – horrors! – bored with it. I’m not sure I’m telling the right story. I’m tired of working on the same scenes over and over again. So, while bored and stuck, I went through my Yarny file in search of amusement.

First, I reread The Edge and declared it complete. I’ll be submitting it shortly.

Second, I found two things. One is an incomplete short fic (The Doctor’s daughter) that was startlingly much better than I remembered. I posted it on whofic (http://www.whofic.com/viewstory.php?sid=54298) and already have encouragement to finish it. The other is a nearly-complete original story. I was really surprised by how not-sucky it was, considering I gave up on it so long ago I didn’t remember it at all. I’m going to pull it together – it doesn’t need much – and maybe submit that too.

So in spite of my intention to finish The Way once and for all, I may be finishing some other things first. With luck, I’ll have fresh eyes for The Way afterwards. I really do want to finish it; I love the characters, I want to tell the story, and it’s so close! But maybe it just needs more space.

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There’s been a ton of speculation about who the mysterious lady from the Doctor’s past will turn out to be, in this year’s holiday special. Many are pulling for Romana or the Rani, classic characters who have yet to be revived. Some even call for Jenny, the Doctor’s ‘daughter’. My money is on someone new; I think Moffat is going to make someone up and pretend they’ve been important all along.

No one so far has mentioned Susan.

I had an idea for how it could happen, and though it won’t be that way, I thought I’d write it up.


The Doctor and Clara land in this new place, for whatever reason. Though centuries have passed, and both have changed their faces, he and Susan recognize each other at once. There is a warm reunion – he is overwhelmed AGAIN with guilt but she has nothing but forgiveness for him.

How did it happen? She lived her life on Earth for many years, getting by as one does, rebuilding that world side by side with her husband. But human beings are so frail, with only a single heart; his gave out after only 50 years, and she was left alone. Still youthful but no longer attached to the place she had called home for so long, she made her way off planet and away.

Ever her grandfather’s closest relative, she wandered. She had adventures, she saw wondrous things. She made friends; some even traveled with her for a while. (She didn’t have a TARDIS, so was forced to use more conventional means.) When war broke out, she made her way to Gallifrey.

Here we could have some lovely flashback footage of Carole Ann Ford as she looks today, caring for the wounded and generally being courageous and unstoppable just back of the front line. She is old, she is weary, but she is the Doctor’s grandchild and she will not give in.

Then it all stops: the Daleks are gone, every star vanished from the sky. After a moment’s wonder, she gets back to work, healing and rebuilding as she did on Earth. Gallifreyan society gets back on its feet and begins to reestablish its bureaucracy. Wearing thin, patient Susan regenerates into a younger, reinvigorated body.

This new body is even more like her lost grandfather. Susan quickly loses patience with life on Gallifrey; there is no curiosity, no interest in the outside universe. Being brilliant, she finds a transport and a way off planet, and returns to a life of travel.

Until she meets her grandfather again.

At this point they have whatever adventure Moffat has planned for them. When it is over, the Doctor (old or new) asks Susan to join him again. She declines; she is a grown woman now, and she doesn’t need him anymore. She wishes him the best and hopes to see him again.

The Doctor and his granddaughter have a proper goodbye, and each continues on their own adventures.


It won’t happen; but wouldn’t it be nice? 🙂


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Day 10

I didn’t write 1000 words today. Instead I revised and posted this: http://www.whofic.com/viewstory.php?sid=51567

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It’s all a game

to you you play

and play and pause

to save the day

then on your way

Not for you the pain

the empty place

where once the one you love

did wait

now gone away

Until one day

the grief comes home to stay

the game no longer play

the brave face

the faith

all gone and you

alone remain.

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You gave up
resigned yourself
to life without her.
Both knowing the cost
and considering the risk worthwhile.
But she knew you would return to her
never wavered in her faith
never wondered.
A thousand years could pass
and she would still be there
free to leave you any time
she would remain.

And you?

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