Bitmap’s Endless Summer is in full swing, and after a hilarious weekend skype session consisting of 4 episodes of Endless Eight, I can assure you that my sanity is all but lost. However, in the realm of fanfiction writing, crazy ideas are the norm, and are the seeds that sprout into the most unimaginably awesome reads.
The Premise is King
“What’s the most resilient parasite? A bacteria? A virus? An intestinal worm? … An idea. Resilient, highly contagious. Once an idea has taken hold in the brain, it’s almost. An idea that is fully formed, fully understood? That sticks.” – Dom Cobb, Inception
So you finished watching that anime that everyone is talking about, and from a writer’s perspective, you are absolutely thrilled by all of the plot elements that were laid out. Character backstories that read like psychoanalytical profiles, settings crafted with perfect architecture and scenery, themes that are hammered into your head like a megaton hammer until you begin to unknowingly live by that series’ aesops. You are fascinated beyond hope, and wish for more.
Luckily for you, such grand details most likely did not exist by themselves and are not independent of each other. Like the fanfiction writer, the creator of the source material grew all of these features from a single premise that the author set out for him or herself. The author has a small, yet nagging idea of what something would be like, and from there, magic happens. The original seed that was created by the author grows into the tree known as that anime that everyone loves.
As fanfiction writers, the same thought process occurs. Only by eating the fruit from the author’s tree do we get the seeds that we plant on our own to grow our own trees, to write our own stories. Every idea turns into a story, which spawn ideas in others, who in turn write their own stories. And thus we have this never-ending cycle of creativity and imagination.
Your Idea is wholly yours. You take it, and you run with it and see where it can goes. You ask yourself the question of “what if,” and run through a cosmic number of iterations based on the conditions that you set, and pick the one that suits your taste, and the rest is history. It starts with that Idea. Without the Idea, fanfiction cannot exist.
With that idea, you form a question in your mind, “what if this happened?” Your story, when written, aims to answer that question.
The Idea – Endless Eight Meets Madoka
Perhaps when I mentioned my idea last week, I may have been a little too ambitious on what I had planned with regards to the actual fic itself, as well as how I wanted to approach this project through the blog. I had the idea that I would write it by the end of August. It’s a bit of a stretch, but I still want to try it out, however, I want to not only write it, but I want to write about writing it as well. So for the sake of the blog, I want to do a series of posts on my fanfiction writing process, and hopefully share the sequence of steps that turns an idea into a piece of fanfiction.
To expand on what I said last week, I am elated with the story concept of Endless Eight, and its thousands of time loops. Primarily, it has something to do with my fascination with time travel in stories, and groundhog day loops in general. So when I decided that I wanted to do crossover fanfic, it would involve the use of an infinite recursion of time. A recent show that also happened to involve a groundhog-like loop was Madoka Magica.
So my idea was to take one loop from one series, take another loop from another series, and have them intertwine with each other, maybe even cross paths altogether. What would a conversation between Yuki and Kyuubey be like? Are witches the same as <celestials>? Are witch lairs the same as closed space? How does Mikuru’s time travel ability differ from Homura’s?
If Haruhi had one wish, would it be for summer to last forever?
These are questions that I want to answer, and in order to do so, we’ll need a story that addresses these things, but in an organized, plot-relevant fashion. For something as complicated as this, we’ll need to plan things out more in depth. More to come in the next post!