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writing for and reading in unwieldy canons

I think I've mentioned before that I have a hard time writing fic for characters without placing in the context of some particular events in their universe. Like, I tried to write several variations of Natasha+Bucky for Beyond Panels, and it was like pulling teeth, especially with Natasha, because she's had so much variation in the way she's written and in her backstory. I can't just extract an ur-Natasha from all the 616 Natashas and say, yes, this is the character I am writing. I can't pick and choose that way.

Instead, what I can do is write a character with a particular run of comics in mind. So I wrote Edmondson!Natasha, all isolated and driven, and then I wrote early!00s!Natasha with Yelena, where she cares about Yelena and views her from the perspective of a wealth of spy experience, and also she has kind of a sense of humor about Yelena. Those are basically different Natashas, though, as far as I am concerned. I *could* fanwank the differences, but in order to do that I'd really want some kind of coherent narrative thread in the comics that take us at least in the general direction from one to the other, and AFAIK there isn't one (although to be fair I haven't read most of the team stuff Natasha's been in).

In any case, point is: I can write for specific runs or sets of runs (Betsy and Fantomex in UXF vol.1, UXF vol.2, and XF vol.3 come to mind as a related set of runs that are relatively unified). And that works fine as long as there's enough in the run to write a character. OTOH, I'd have a really hard time writing for, say, Wood's X-Men, because none of the characters get enough time or arc stand alone as characters in that book.

But what I figured out today was, I actually don't enjoy reading outside of specific runs, either. I'm a little slow, but it finally occurred to me to look for X-men fic on ff.net, which actually is pretty fantastic, because they have fic split into comics and movies. However, again, I don't actually want to read most of it, because it doesn't seem to be set in any particular portion of canon, so I can't place it. I don't know what the fic is responding to. It's even worse than trying to read fic for a particular book that I don't know; at least there, I can see where the holes are.

tl;dr superheroe comics fic is hard.

Crossposted from Dreamwidth. Comment here or there. (comment count unavailable DW replies)

Comments

( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
ladymercury_10
Aug. 10th, 2014 07:52 pm (UTC)
tl;dr superheroe comics fic is hard.
Agreed!

Man, I haven't written anything in forever. I keep trying to start things and then not finishing them. But yeah, I really like stuff that is grounded in a specific run and pulls in details from comics from that timeframe. It makes it more atmospheric somehow.
snickfic
Aug. 11th, 2014 12:38 am (UTC)
Yeah, I need that grounding. I can't really do without it, it turns out.
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )

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