One of my goals for 2011 was to finish all three of the fanfiction crossovers that were Works In Progress on January 1st. It’s looking like I might actually accomplish that goal! I’ve got one that’s still incomplete, but the plot is clearly winding up, (and leaving open the possibility of a sequel.)
To me, writing a crossover can be the ultimate fanfic high – not just playing with somebody else’s characters and telling your own story with them, but trying to find a way to make two different fandoms work together for more than twice the fun, and finding the common ground between them.
The first crossover I finished this year was ‘A Roswellian Alien in Metropolis’, and it was already nearly finished in December – 3 chapters out of four. This was a sequel to a Roswell/Smallville crossover that I wrote because of a challenge. The first story in the series, ‘Arrow through my soul’, involved Maria DeLuca going to Metropolis for a record deal and falling in love with Oliver Queen/Green Arrow.
By the time I finished that one, I’d already thought that there could be a sequel involving Michael going to Metropolis as well, and then I got the idea of Chloe trying to train Michael to become part of the Justice League. That gave me my opening scene, but it was actually when Chloe sent Lana Lang to keep tabs on Michael that the story really hit high gear. Somehow Michael and Lana have chemistry on the page. Who knew?
And that’s part of the fun of crossovers, of course, seeing how the different characters will relate to each other. Roswell and Smallville have very similar canons and mythologies, of course – both teen soaps originally from the WB network, featuring extraterrestrial teenagers hiding their abilities. It wasn’t hard to picture the two sets of characters, some in New Mexico and the others in Kansas, unaware of what was going on in the next state over.
Both of these stories have followed the pattern of a protagonist character from Roswell (in first person narration,) entering the world of Smallville and meeting many of that show’s characters, and facing a challenge from a Smallville antagonist. I’m still considering a third story in the series, which would play with that convention a little, and have Clark come to Roswell and meet with Max, Liz, Michael and some of the others.
The second crossover story to get a ‘The End’ this year is one that I’ve been working on longer: “Children of the Molecule”, my epic Roswell/Doctor Who adventure. Here, the main plot is primarily Roswellian, with the Tenth Doctor and Rose Tyler appearing in large part as a plot gimmick, an opportunity for the Roswell gang to visit the planets that have been mentioned on the show and travel back into the history of the show’s mythology. It wouldn’t be an enormously different story if I substituted Matt Smith’s Eleventh Doctor and Amy Pond, though there would need to be some changes in detail of course.
The first draft of ‘Molecule’ comes in at 28 chapters, around 200 thousand words, and it’s structured in four basic sections:
- Prelude: The Doctor’s arrival in Roswell and meeting the ‘I know an Alien’ club. (Chapters 1-3, roughly.)
- First voyage: Part of the gang travels to Kaalto township to do historical research. Mystery subplot, killer computer genies. (Chapters 3-11)
- Second voyage: Back in time to see the Royal Four at Brok Bay. Suspense subplot, haunting/possession events. (Chapters 12-25)
- Third voyage: Confronting Tess on Dimares moon. (Chapters 26-28)
There’s probably a lot in here that really should be cut or revised if I ever have the time to go back and do revision on my fanfic, but I had a lot of fun writing it, and I think that it would be a fun read for a lot of fans of either show.
The third crossover, the one that is still a scene or two away from being completed, is a bit of a different case. I couldn’t really figure out a way to do the traditional crossover between Roswell and Dragonriders of Pern, as there’s so much space and time between the two fandoms, and so much time that the Pern books spread over as well. So the idea for “Dragon’s Prey” was more of a re-imagining of Roswell on planet Pern than a strict crossover.
I have parallel characters for most of the key members of the Roswell cast – the ‘humans’ are native-born Pernese who don’t really know that their ancestors came from planet Earth. The ‘aliens’ crash-landed in the mountains near Ruath Hold, instead of in New Mexico near Roswell. And Max still saves Liz’s life by healing her with alien powers, but this time she was stabbed with a knife in a duel that didn’t involve her, instead of getting shot. (No guns on Pern!) The alien hunters are obsessive dragon-riders who think that strange visitors from the skies could be just as deadly as unintelligent, all-consuming Thread.
This story took off in its own direction fairly quickly, even though I was trying to start it with an obviously parallel setup to the Roswell series. (Which isn’t surprising – Roswell the TV show shared similar common elements with the beginning of the ‘Roswell High’ paperback series, and they diverged about as quickly.) The dragons and dragon-riders provided interesting new elements to play off of, from Max’s initial concern that anything he told Liz about himself could be found by dragon telepathy, to a fantastic dragon egg hatching sequence in which Max, Liz, and their Ruathan friends are all being studied by the riders for clues to who’s a ‘stranger from beyond the skies.’
After that, I spent a few chapters on Liz’s struggles to find a path on Pern, as an intelligent young woman who doesn’t want to become a dragon riders or settle for becoming somebody’s wife and mother, and who isn’t an obvious fit for any of the established craft halls. Max eventually persuades her to try studying healercraft with him, which brings her to the Harper/Healer hall at Fort Hold, along with Max and Alex, and eventually provides the setting for the climax of this story; a settling of accounts with a truly obsessive bronze rider who will stop at nothing to expose the alien that Liz is protecting. Unfortunately for D’Peerce, his confused dragon isn’t quite so unscrupulous.
So there you are, my Roswell crossover fanfic adventures of 2011. I had a lot of fun, and learned good stuff about writing from each of those stories. I’m not quite sure how much fanfic or what kind of fanfic stories I’m going to work on in 2012 – I think that once I’ve finished “Dragon’s Prey” I will actually not have ANY fanfic works in progress.
Wow. I don’t think I clued into that until just now. It’s been years and years and years since I haven’t had at least one fanfic pot bubbling somewhere on the creative stove. At least seven years eight months, according to one note I found on my records.
But that’s kinda cool too. I don’t want to leave fanfic behind, but I’ve been trying to concentrate more on writing my own stories, and having a clean slate of fanfic may help – I can pick a fanfic project or two for 2012 that will really help me build my magic and hone my craft for writing other stories.
Do you have a project you’re thinking of starting in the new year? Joyous Eve, everybody!