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On origin of ideas

This last story, "Every Mirror", was a long time coming (relatively). It started after watching "Robot of Sherwood", when the trailer for "Listen" was shown. It started with the Doctor asking, "What's that in the mirror, or the corner of your eye?" and both me and my husband jumped up from our chairs and yelled, "They're bringing the Family of Blood back!"

It became very apparent in the next few seconds that they weren't, and we started talking about how cool it would be if they revisited that episode, especially to see what happened to Daughter of Mine, since Brother of Mine wondered if the Doctor would ever let her go. Of course, the current showrunners seem to be trying to distance themselves from anything pre-2010 (or retconning that stuff completely), so I remarked that it would never happen. And my husband said, "Then you should write it."

That's one of the awesome things about my husband. He gives me great ideas.

We talked a little about what might happen or how Daughter of Mine might progress, but the story came out very different from the original ideas. One of the major things I ended up discarding was an idea that to gain release from the mirror, Daughter of Mine would offer the Doctor information on where Amy really was in Series 6; after all, she could see anything that any mirror sees and could easily get that information.

Much of the story was a challenge for me, because it's very different from my usual style. First, it's in present tense, my first present tense story ever. Second, I like action and movement in my stories, and this one was all about no action and no movement. There needed to be a feeling of suspension and timelessness, which was hard to do. Third, the Daughter of Mine character is dark and violent, something I don't really identify with.

One thing that occurred to me is that "Every Mirror" has another source that influenced it. In The Sandman, at one point, when describing Dream's Gates of Horn and Ivory and his helmet, the narrator says that he fashioned them all from the bodies of three gods that tried to conquer the Dreaming. Dream respected the third and youngest of the gods and had regretted that he had to kill her, and thus made the helmet out of her skull. I think that little story snippet heavily influenced how this story came out. You know, I wouldn't be surprised if many of my ideas/stories have roots in Neil Gaiman's work, especially The Sandman. He's just briliant.

Anyway, I'm very pleased with how "Every Mirror" came out. I feel like I've learned a lot, that I've accomplished something. It feels a lot more meaningful than most of the other things I've written.



( 7 comments — Leave a comment )
Oct. 9th, 2014 06:36 am (UTC)
Ohhh, that's very interesting learning about how the story was born. I cheered when I saw the alert for that, the idea sounds fascinating! :D

(But yeah, they're definitely distancing themselves from the RTD era… Ah well, every showrunner does their thing. And there was the Girl in the Fireplace parallel, of which relevance in the general arc I'm still not sure, though that was a Moffat ep…)
Oct. 9th, 2014 07:26 am (UTC)
Call me a cynic, but to me, it was a "hey, remember when I did that cool thing way back when" nod. Either that, or they came up with the idea of the robots thrown back in time and harvesting human parts, and said, "We better make it related to the robots in The Girl in the Fireplace or the fans will complain that we're just rehashing the same idea again."
Oct. 9th, 2014 06:11 pm (UTC)
That sounds likely to me… XD I didn't really get the relevance of the parallel anyway, as I said. When you call back so clearly and precisely to a specific plotline, it's bound to have a point, right? …right? *scratches head*

XD yeah, that too, possibly. Then again, there were a lot of parallels to be made in that first half of the season… so…
Oct. 9th, 2014 07:27 pm (UTC)
Yeah, the parallel drawn in Deep Breath really left us confused, too. *shrug.
Oct. 10th, 2014 06:12 am (UTC)
That's just a big "oh well" XD
Oct. 9th, 2014 01:19 pm (UTC)
Ohhh, that's interesting!! Sometimes the best ideas come that way: you think something is going to happen, it doesn't - so you fic it, lol!

And I did notice it was in present tense. A hard way to write a fiction, but gorgeous when one pulls it off. And you more than pulled it off, bb. You created a fantastic, riveting piece of fiction. Brava to you! And extra hugs to hubby for the push!

Sometimes the way we plan it and the way it happens are two different things. Most of the time, the way the fiction works itself out (despite you) makes for a better fic. Love that, really...

Oct. 9th, 2014 04:13 pm (UTC)
Present tense is so hard! I found myself slipping into past tense a few times, and even just a few minutes ago, I found a past tense verb that slipped past my proofreading I don't know how many times.

When I started writing this, I started in past tense as usual, but I switched right away, because I realized that this story needed a feeling of immediacy and yet timelessness. The reader needed to feel in the mirror with Daughter of Mine, and not be looking back at what happened to her. I was far out of my comfort zone with this, but sometimes you need to challenge yourself. I'm not sure I want to do this again. Not to mention, reading present tense fiction usually bugs me, and I don't want to inflict on my readers what I dislike myself. :)
( 7 comments — Leave a comment )

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