I don't know what brought this to mind, but I remembered an old, unfinished fic that's been languishing in my Google docs for over 1.5 years now. It's a long, chaptered fic that I started and had half-finished when I started writing The Actor - that tells you how long ago it was. I worked on both fics at the same time, writing them on alternate days, until The Actor took off and I devoted my time to it. Since then, I've poked at this one but never really picked it back up again.
I pulled it out over the weekend and read it through, and, well, it's pretty close to done. There's a lot of fleshing out to do, but everything I initially wanted to do in it is written in at least the first draft. There were a couple of extra scenes that I wanted to write, but I'm not sure they would add anything. So, I've decided to return to working on this and hopefully get it done.
The biggest problem with it is that it is so very trope-y. 1.5 years ago puts this right at the beginning of my fanfic life, and you know how it is: that's exactly when a new writer goes, "Oh, I'm going to do a story about this, because no one's ever thought of that before!" Yeah, right.
So, when I finally get this done and start posting, I'm warning you, it's centered on a human OC who discovers she's an arched Time Lady. Yes, yes, it's a bloody tired subject. And as usual, it's me and my chameleon arches (do I ever write stories that aren't related to a chameleon arch?). And it's an OC. Smack me over the head with a large, floppy trout.
As I re-read it yesterday, I realized just how trope-y this story is, how it's everything a fanfic writer shouldn't do. And of course, I agonized about it. I don't know why. I'm just very susceptible to listening to people's advice and taking it to heart. I was looking at this fic, which is over 43k words and 100 pages long, and thinking about just how much work I'd be throwing away if I just abandoned it because it's everything everyone says I shouldn't do.
And you know what? Fuck'em. I like the story. I like chameleon arches, and this probably won't be the last time I use one. People say, "Oh, you're a fanfic writer, so you should be writing about the established characters in the fandom, because they're what make the world and that's what people want to read." Well, first, you already know my opinion about writing what people want to read. But beyond that, yes, Doctor Who has a fifty-year history and hundreds of characters to write about, but the Doctor travels a universe of countless planets and galaxies, of which he's visited quite a lot, meaning that there are potentially millions of people who have been affected by him. Why shouldn't I write about them? Why should I limit my stories to only the places he's traveled to and the people he's met on-screen, or even worse, only the forty-six people who can be counted as companions (TV only; expanded universe brings that number to probably about sixty)?
That's not how I work. I'll write a story about whoever I want to write about. And I'm not going to throw away a story idea that I like simply because it's been done before. And you know what? I really, really hate being pigeonholed as a fanfic writer, being told that fan fiction has only one definition that I have to stick to. I'd love to shed the label of "fanfic writer" so that no one can try to impose these restrictions on me, but I'm not an original writer and there's no label that applies that says, "I just write whatever the bloody hell I want within the framework of the frankly magnificent Doctor Who universe."
So there. Expect me to post a big long fic sometime within the next few weeks (announcing such makes me more likely to actually finish the thing), and picture me posting with a big obnoxious self-satisfied smirk.