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The end of a journey

108812 words later, I'm finally done. The word that comes to mind for this feeling is "cathartic".

You might have noticed that I haven't written anything new recently, as in, for the last few months. There have been a couple of pieces here and there, but nothing regular, and I've completely ignored my two WIP short story collections that I do still want to finish. The reason why is that I've been completely obsessed with one idea, to the exclusion of everything else.

To be totally honest, it's not just a single idea. Those 109k words are spread over nine different stories, three of which would qualify as novellas (and one of those is just shy of a novel), but they all come from the same place. They're extensions of The Actor, from the thought that things could have turned out a lot differently in the last chapter, depending on what decision David made. Now, I know that you may not have read the story (it's long - 35k+ words - and not everyone's cup of tea), so I'll just say now that what I write below is going to spoil the heck out of that story, so if you want to read it sometime in the future, stop reading here. :)



Okay, I warned you.

I'm not really sure what put the bug into my head about this. After all, I finished writing The Actor around February, 2014 and I didn't start writing most of these until the start of this year, but ever since I started on this track, it's been the only thing I've thought of. I have a few other stories that I've started, but these ideas quickly suffocated them. I think the main thing is that I really like the character of David and I wanted to explore him a lot more.

The first story started out as an insertion into The Actor, so it didn't interrupt the continuity of that story, but I moved on to wanting to know what happened if David had decided to postpone opening the watch for a while - how does he deal with the revelation of who he actually is and what he has to do? In one of the stories, he decides to go visit Donna, to assuage his guilt at having killed her by seeing that she lived the life she wanted between the time she left the Doctor and her death at his hands. This short is one of my favorites of this batch of stories.

I then switched to an entirely AU arc, and it's given me the opportunity to explore some ideas that I can't figure any other way to address. In one the first of the three novellas, before David can open the watch, it gets taken from him and smashed: though the watch isn't fully destroyed, it releases part of the Doctor's life force, transforming David's body into mostly Time Lord, without the Doctor's consciousness. Later, the Doctor creates a clone of this body and transfers David's consciousness to it, then opens the watch to complete the transformation of the original body back into the Doctor. Yes, it all sounds really stupid, but I figured, heck, this is Doctor Who, where you can have Time Lords turning into humans, TARDISes inhabiting humanoid bodies, moons that are really eggs, and fat aliens zipped up in human skin suits, so why the bloody hell not?

What I ended up with, then, was a human transformed into a Time Lord, though with some bit of his humanity still intact. How does he deal with this? We've seen a few characters in similar situations, but they're not quite the same. Jack is a human who is made immortal. Jenny is born with Time Lord physiology but doesn't yet have the training and education. River is a human with Time Lord traits, so she didn't have to deal with suddenly transforming from one to the other. To me, David is unique in that he is fully human but changes into a different species, complete with differences in thought patterns. Since he's only partially transformed, he still partially thinks like a human (the way I characterized him, he's a bit schizophrenic, with a Time Lord voice and a human voice in his head that argue with each other); coupled with his general doubts about himself and his abilities (which were part of his personality in The Actor; remember, in my mind, David is not at all patterned on the real person, what little I know of him), he has a tendency to completely lose his way.

The structures of the stories were also completely different than traditional Doctor stories. David isn't a leader. He has friends, not companions. He doesn't have far more knowledge of the universe than everyone else. He doesn't even have a TARDIS - he's in the process of growing/building one. He's not the Doctor, and his stories reflect that. One of the most interesting stories to write was set during "Power of Three": while the Doctor's figuring out what the cubes are and is trying to stop the Shakri, David, unbeknownst to the Doctor, is living on Earth and has to cope with the mass cardiac arrests and the results of that event from below. I enjoyed some of the plotlines I created and I've toyed with the idea of trying to rewrite some of them into canon stories that I can actually post, but the premise - the lone human/Time Lord, virtually powerless, trying to live his life as best he can - is so different from the DW universe that I can't find any way to adapt them.

I finally wrapped up the last story in this arc last night, with David finally finishing his TARDIS and leaving on his next great adventure - the rest of his very long life - and I realized this morning that I'm no longer feeling that pressure of telling his story in my head. Like I said, it's cathartic. I feel like the character is finally happy to have it all told, finally at peace. The stories, especially the long ones, are very rough and I'll probably return to them periodically to tighten them up, so his voice hasn't completely left my head.

Anyway, these were the set of "personal" stories that I've been mentioning off and on in my posts. I won't post them, because I really want "The Actor" to stand on its own and end where it does, and I think offering AU interpretations destroys that. (Though I have to say, I do wish sometimes that someone could read them, especially a couple of the shorts that I think are quite fun.) But I'm very happy with all of it and I feel very satisfied.

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Comments

( 7 comments — Leave a comment )
doctorxdonna
May. 23rd, 2015 03:21 am (UTC)
I just want to congratulate you on your accomplishment. 100k+ words is nothing to sneeze at. I finished a story recently that was just over 100k, and I felt a great sense of accomplishemnt when it was finally done a year and a half after I started it. A few months? That's damn impressive. Rock on with your bad self, woman.
shivver13
May. 28th, 2015 01:17 am (UTC)
Thank you! It's... well, not "easy", but it flows well when the idea is just gripping your brain. I'm kind of happy that it's relaxed its stranglehold on me.
a_phoenixdragon
May. 23rd, 2015 12:03 pm (UTC)
This is marvelous!! What an achievement! And I'm so glad it did what you set out for it to do...told the story, made the character and yourself content. That's just stellar, lovie! I am thrilled to death for you and so, so proud all at once!

*HUGS*
shivver13
May. 28th, 2015 01:20 am (UTC)
Thanks! It was an interesting feeling, having a character inside saying that he wanted to get out on paper. It turns out he still has a few things to say, but he's not nearly as insistent anymore. The Scottish brogue is not nearly so loud and constant as it was.
flowsoffire
May. 24th, 2015 07:34 pm (UTC)
Wow, what a huge accomplishment! This whole verse (for lack of a better word) sounds really interesting, fascinating to explore indeed. Lots of potential. It must have been a great journey to embark in, congratulations for leading it all the way to its end :)
shivver13
May. 28th, 2015 01:28 am (UTC)
It was! And still is! David still tells me stories, just not so insistently. But it was a fun ride and I'm very proud. Thank you! Oh, and I just thought of a way to adapt one of the stories, so maybe someday it'll see the light of day. :)
flowsoffire
May. 31st, 2015 08:03 am (UTC)
Yay! Sounds wonderful :D
( 7 comments — Leave a comment )

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