Ponderings: AUs

After school let out for the summer I decided to go through my computer and finish the unfinished stories and start getting them moved over to the “Look how much crap I have written” Disk.  I opened the NCIS folder, having decided to start there and realized I had six unfinished stories. All of them were AUs in the sense that Kate Todd never dies in my stories (except in the Doom Fic, which she actually only dies for a few minutes) but I wondered if I should actually call them AUs.  For examples, I shall list the summaries of these WIPs.

1. Dirty Deeds

Basically I’m writing a cliché.  Kate and Tony have a one-night stand the night before his wedding to Bianca (an OC).  Much angst is held because Tony is confused, Kate feels guilt and confusion, Abby and the rest of the gang are wondering why the hell Tony is getting married and Bianca has issues of her own.  AU because Kate is alive and Tony is actually getting married, but still staying close to canon.

2. As the World Falls Down

Kate & Tony (are you getting my ship for this fandom yet?) babysit Tony’s half-sister.  Kate has a strange dream inspired by Labyrinth and decides to make a move on Tony.   It starts off as a fluffy one-shot but Abby & Tim wanted their turn. So its more.  AU Kate but stays close to canon

3. The Christmas AU 1

Tony and Kate spend Christmas together during the great Snow-in. Canon AU

4. The Christmas AU 2

Jen, Kate and Ziva own a book store.  Ari is a patient at a mental facility where he is watched over by Dr. Leon Vance. Ducky runs a clinic with Gerald and Jimmy, Paula Cassidy a jewelry store, Cassie Yates a drug store, Tony a movie rental place and Abby a computer repair center.  Tim is a writer known for spending time at the book store.  I forget what I have Gibbs doing.  AU AU

5.  Untitled

Tony decides to take a job in LA for a few months to put distance between himself and Kate.  This is how She realizes how much Tony actually does within the group dynamic.  AU season 3

6. The One with a Casino

Jen owns a casino. Ari wants her casino, so he sends his best man Peter to try and blackmail and otherwise terrorize a stubborn Jen out of the casino.  Kate is a PI (partnered with Tony) and comes to work undercover to catch Ari & Peter in the act. Gibbs is Jen’s wealthy but retired boyfriend, Ducky and Jimmy bartenders, Ziva is head of security, and McGee is a frequent customer to the table where Abby is the dealer.

There is more (including, I think, a McAbby ficlet) but I will stop there. Especially since this is supposed to be a reading/writing original fic journal. But the point is most of those stick to canon in the sense that they have the same missions, the same things happen to people, but its altered slightly by the fact that Kate (and at times Jen) lived to see another season.  But then I also have the Casino and Bookshop fics.  If its AU to have Kate alive, what do I call fics where its not even in the same setting as the original product.

What if I have Rodney and John as professors at Atlantis University instead of who they are on the show?  Do I call that Au or do I have another label for it.  Or what if I write a fic where Vala never got off the Prometheus the first time?

So what I am asking my few readers is How do you define an AU and whats canon fic.

Research Queries

I promised myself I would post something every day, so I’m keeping my promise.  Its just that recent events have gotten me so annoyed that I’m not at all in a creative mood.  So I apologize in advance if this is below my usual level of so-so writing.

You know what?  Nevermind, I’ll just ramble and not write something.  Just think.

I have seasons 1 & 2 of NCIS for reference and 10 + 4 seasons of the Stargates. So I have plenty of reference material for my NCIS fic (Which since I’m watching it recently its become the forefront for a bit).  Except for the Ziva years.  I’ve seen episodes, but nothing that would give me a an idea about how to write Ziva or Jenny.  My sister claims Jenny is in season 2, but I haven’t seen all of season 2 yet.

Well, I have family for Navy references (My grandfather, Uncle, Aunt and cousin are all in the Navy or NROTC.  So I have somewhere to go for information other then the history section of the Navy’s website and wikipedia.

Here is a question to those who read this… Where do you do your most research?  Online?  Books?  Interviewing people around you?  For example, if you were writing a medical drama, or someone in your story had an injury, would you consult WebMD, a nurses handbook, or a nurse.  Perhaps all three?  Just wondering.  I know with original fiction people research alot in various ways, but what about Fanfiction.  Do you think it is just as important?  And do you make sure you have two or more sources for each fact or do you look it up, and decide its right?

I’m kinda curious about that now.  And how many people use Wikipedia as their definite source of information.  Like earlier today, My grandmother was telling me and my mother a story about her family and the fact they drank Pluto Water.  My mother and I had never heard of it so we looked it up to see if my Grandma’s memory was correct and it was.  According to Wiki, Pluto Water was a mineral rich bottled water, which acted much like a laxative would.

But if I was writing a story about the time period my Great Grandparents lived in and the time my grandma was a child, would I rely on just wiki?  Personally, I probably wouldn’t.  Wiki is good to have around when you need to remember something, check something out or want a starting place to start your research, but since its a user-edited encylcopedia and anyone can change it to say whatever they want (at least for awhile before someone who knows better corrects it) its not a good solid source for research.

An example I have of why Wiki is not a good definitive source is the Nelson Eddy/Jeanette MacDonald conflict.  Now there are two subgroups amongst the fans.  Well, those who care about it anyway, but half believe the two were happily married to other people, while another half believed they were in love with each other.  And for awhile the Wiki on these two stars would go back and forth wither or not the biography by Sharon Rich was true or not and wither Jeanette and Nelson had a love affair.   So someone who was just researching perhaps Operetta singers of the 1930s would be given false information depending on what fan he asked and what time he looked it up on Wiki.

The writing process

I was thinking today of what makes me a productive writer.  Apparently I haven’t been doing it lately, as the last bit I wrote was a while ago.  Well, completed anyway.  Lately all I’ve been able to write have been short segments, never a true story.  I start, delete and repeat.  Occasionally I save, only to a few weeks later open it again and delete it all.

Sometimes I’m inspired by other fics.  Sometimes other fandoms.  Occasionally its the music on my Ipod. 

Its not getting ideas thats the problem.  Its actually writing them down in a way that I feel satisfied with. 

For example. I have several stories going on in my head.  There is one where John Sheppard had a daughter he wasn’t aware about.  Cliche, I know.  It morphed into a repeat of POV (SG-1 episode) where Anya came from another universe.   She’s about 22-24 in my head (born when JOhn was about 19 years old).  She’s an astrophyiscist.  In her universe she’s the daughter that Dora lost in my fic “THe Baby Room”.  Instead, Dora died in that universe.  So Anya was raised pretty much by John by himself, till he joined the Stargate program and she kinda gained family in the people her dad worked with.  She likes to annoy Rodney by calling him Uncle Roddie (Which is normally a nickname for Rhodri but still).  She happens to have a thing for men in uniform, dating Aiden Ford on her side of the portal, and has a crush on Lorne in this universe.

In my head I’ve already had several scenes completed.  Went to the computer and nothing came out.  Some of you might be thinking ‘Thank God, no more children fics”.

I have to admit, I wish I would get ideas that weren’t children fics.  For those of you wanting to know what I’m talking about, they are also known as a Baby!fic although since my characters usually aren’t small children, but rather in thier late teens or older I don’t think it quite fits.  But it even gets to me after awhile.

Oddly enough, my original fics don’t have the same tendecy.  They do deal alot with families though.

Anyway, back to the point of this whole post.  Why can’t I write anything?  Why do I get blocked?  I read one author who claimed it was procrastinating.  Perhaps thats it, but I don’t think its the complete truth.

Lets see….I have over 30 WIPs, not including the several I want to write but haven’t started.  Most are fanfics.

We won’t get into my backlot of art projects.

I have three stories for Harry Potter that are essientially the same story, told from different avenues.  One of which I know excatly what happens.  I’m just having trouble filing it in with stuff between the bigger events. 

I have a House/Greys fic that is probably burnt out because of my dissatisfaction with the actual shows.

1 Star Wars story with a major Mary Sue Problem.  THere is also a Stargate Atlantis fic with a simular problem

I think part of the problem is I don’t have a regular beta.  So I don’t have someone going through adn asking  “Why this?”  or whatever they would ask that might spark that second go.  And then when I do get so far I look back and get discouraged due to the fact I don’t see what I wrote as being any good.  Because I don’t have someone saying “Hey wait a minute…Mary Sue alert!”

I’m going to stop writing this right now because its becoming less-self anylasis and more self-pity filled.

OCs: To Write or not To Write

Ever have an original character grow on you so much you want to write them even though they are probably a key to bad!fic?

For me this character right now would be Kate Todd’s son Nick.  So far he’s a very smart kid, active in basketball and looks just like his dad (I bet you could all probably guess who that is).  Then there is his brother, just as smart, but tends to blend into the crowd and is real artistic.  Not the same Dad (long story, might have to drop it because of the unbelievable).

I have had OCs that I’ve really enjoyed using.  Theodora Spinnet for example.  I use her alot, although more in my head then on paper.  ANd that goes for alot of my characters.  I write about twice as many stories in my head then I’ll ever actually write.

Possible NCIS Story

Ok, the story goes as such in my head.  Its just as the show depicts up untill the end of SWAK.  Twilight doesn’t happen, at least not the fact that Kate died.  She’s reassigned to a five year turn of duty with Stargate Command. So Ziva is still a part of the group.  Because as much as she annoys me, I still like her.

So its five years later (making it about season 7, though I doubt I’ll take season 6 that much into consideration) and Kate comes back.  One of their first cases happens to be a case where a Marine is killed (tell me, why is it always the Marine?).  They find he was involved in a yet-unnamed project that included genetic engineering.  At first this is believed just to be a research think tank, but soon its found out that they may have been doing practical tests, meaning actual children created with stolen DNA from various Military and civilians.  Most of the projects have failed either by not coming to term or within a few months of birth except for five.  Each run has 3 children, and the last two tests have had more successful results.  These children have enhanced senses, higher metabolism and the ability to take more of a beating.  They were trying to create super soldiers, but so far had just been able to successfully enhance the senses.

The team goes after the group for several illegal activities, including the stealing of genetic material to create the children.  The older 2 are 5 years old.  The younger 3 are 2 years old.  They appear a step behind them until they find a medical center the group had used with some blood tests left behind, which Abby is allowed to test for matches (in the case it is one of the people involved) and parental matches (in case they are one of the five children).

One of the blood test matches Tony and Kate as parents.  This of course throws the group for a loop.  They manage to track down the five children and take them into protective custody until they are matched with the biological parents who are given the option of either adopting the children as their own or allowing the children to be adopted out.   Tony and Kate think about for awhile and decide that they will adopt the young girl who was made with their DNA and share custody.

The group had named all five children after thier parents to keep track of what was used.  So T & K’s daughter is actually Caitlyn Antoinette.  Everyone decides to call her Kat though.

So I need to do alot of research.  It will have a B-Plot of a romance between Kate and Tony (thoguh I’m nto sure which of the two options I’m going with with the endings I have in my head).  It will probably be novel length.  I might even change things.

The group might be some sort of Trust organization. 

I do know that one day I’m going to write a fic where Kate has twin boys named Nick and Chris and it might be connected to this one (if I write it) or something all together different).

My Writing: A Self-Analysis

I made myself promise to write in this blog at least once a day.  I plan mostly to write about my writing, and my artwork/graphics and not my personal life since I already have an online journal for that. 

So what about my writing?    I write mostly fanfiction, and a little original.   I’ve been nominated for awards twice, but haven’t won, both for the same fandom (Stargate SG-1/Stargate Atlantis).  Most of what I write is one-shots because while I can have full length novels running around in my head, it has a hard time translating to words on a piece of paper or Word.  I sometimes write better when I’m on a computer then when I have a blank notebook in front of me.

I’ve always liked to write.  My earliest stuff that I can remember were poems and homework assignments for Creative Writing class (Short stories) in 9th grade.  I think the first story I wrote that I still have is a story called “The Wing” which was in responce to a challenge in CW to write a horror story since it was almost halloween.  In my story the main character moves to England and finds her next door neighbor, and the father of the guy she likes, is a Vampire.  Its not that good (It goes too fast), and one day I’ll rewrite it into a better and longer story.

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