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You Are What You Do?

In response to another postslantedlight said: 

 I know you've been talking about AUs in a whole 'nother venue, but just because it follows on a little bit - I think that's one reason why I eventually (and it took a long-ish time) fell in love with AU stories about the lads, I'm fascinated by the way some authors can take the characters that I love (and it is their characters I love, not just CI5) and place them somewhere completely different, and yet they're still the characters that I love. A whole new world for them to react with and against and around - which means new reactions, new explorations of the characters themselves... Of course some AUs don't manage that at all, and then I get bored quickly, but oh the best ones...

Which started me thinking about how we define ourselves. And, by extension, how we define or  identify the characters we write. 

I think of myself as a writer. This is how I define myself to myself, assuming I need a definition (or an excuse). I've had a number of day jobs through the years, but those have never had anything to do with anything but a pay check. I'm a writer. It's what I do. It's what I am.

Maybe this is why I have problems with AU fan fiction. Meaning "Alternative Universe" fan fiction. That would be, for example, The Professionals (a 1970s British television crime show) as elves or vampires or sorcerers or regency bucks instead of the 20th Century crime fighters we know and love. Because part -- a large part -- of what I love about these characters is based on what they do. They are the characters they are because of the job they do, right? 

They define themselves as The Professionals, and it's safe to say that it's not just a paycheck for them, it's not just a job -- it's, yes, an adventure. It's a vocation. 

But it's not just the job. These characters are products of their time -- God help them because it's the 1970s -- and the result of their various (yes, made up) life experiences. So if all that is changed, how can they still be the same characters? And if they aren't the same characters, who gives a damn? Why not just read a novel about a vampire or an elf or a regency buck?

Now, when I say I have a "problem" with AU fiction, I don't mean an actual problem. I mean, it just doesn't do anything for me. I'm not saying it shouldn't be written or that it isn't terrific stuff, just that so far, I'm not interested in reading it because I'm a fan of the show and those particular characters. 

An even greater stretch for me would be The Charioteer AU fan fiction. Ralph and Laurie as ... well, anything but Ralph and Laurie? How could they be anything but Ralph and Laurie and still be...Ralph and Laurie?

And if you know what I'm trying to say, please explain it to me. 

But Ralph and Laurie are such a product of their time and place -- but then, we all are. I can picture Ralph and Laurie in other professions, since we know their "professions" are temporary as it is, but I can't picture Ralph as a astronaut or Laurie as a selkie and still believe that it would be the same Ralph and Laurie. 

And does that matter? 

I have no idea. I'm just thinking aloud here. And part of what I'm thinking is ... why wouldn't you just make up your own characters if you're going to essentially start from scratch. How can an AU character be "out of character" since everything that made that character what it was would be missing from the equation.

Maybe I just don't have much imagination.

Then I got an email from a reader who always asks the most interesting questions:

When you opened yourself (though I don't know how much,maybe it could be another 'Adrien' we're reading in the journal etc.)  with your various writings beside the published stories,  do you think that you will be revealling too much of yourself that your stories becomes a tad naked that they lose their individual  mysterious factor?  I mean, for example,now when I read your stories I would have to remind myself that it's a complete history in
itself and I shouldn't objectify the author with the character just because you mentioned you identify yourself with 'Adrien'.  I know a story is a story, but isn't imagination just a various nets of experiences? 

You mean, am I suffering (or are you suffering, more to the point) from over-exposure? 

Good question. I'm not exactly sure why I'm even keeping a journal, except that I like to think aloud and it's fun when people let me bounce ideas off of them. Writing is a lonely business and it's nice to touch base with the outside world now and again. If even it's just to have my head slammed against the wall.

I identify with my characters, I guess; certainly with Adrien, but I'm not Adrien. And I wouldn't want anyone confusing me with a fictional creation. I think any character we create is strengthened or weakened by our own personal experiences and wisdom (or lack therein). We can't write what we don't know -- which is not at all the same thing as writing what you know, although I don't know if I have time in what was supposed to be a five minute post to explain.

Sure, I've used a number of my own experiences for my writing, but even more I've used a lot of research and a lot of imagination. I draw on the emotional resevoir we all have and I apply those feelings to fictional situations. No one has ever tried to kill me (though I'm sure a number of people have thought about it), but I've been nearly killed accidentally, so it's reasonably simple to take the fear and panic of nearly getting wiped out, and apply it to a fictional situation where Adrien thinks he's going to die. 

Anyway, lots to think about there -- and possibly material for another post at another time. 

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( 12 comments — Leave a comment )
trueriver
Jun. 6th, 2007 07:26 pm (UTC)
I draw on the emotional resevoir we all have and I apply those feelings to fictional situations.

YES - I understand that and that's how I approach my writing...

I enjoy your posts very much, they are a great insight into the writing mind and very inspirational too - thank you!

I would tend to agree about finding it hard to imagine Ralph and Laurie as other than Ralph and Laurie. I certainly love them BECAUSE they are of their time and situation. As I swim in their universe I become more immersed, not less, and want to learn and understand and *feel* them more deeply - not transplant them otherwhere...
jgraeme2007
Jun. 7th, 2007 12:58 am (UTC)
I enjoy your posts very much, they are a great insight into the writing mind and very inspirational too - thank you!

You're so awfully kind -- you all are over at the Renault comm. Lovely, civilized people.

I would tend to agree about finding it hard to imagine Ralph and Laurie as other than Ralph and Laurie. I certainly love them BECAUSE they are of their time and situation. As I swim in their universe I become more immersed, not less, and want to learn and understand and *feel* them more deeply - not transplant them otherwhere...

Yes, I think byslantedlight has a point. It's harder to get away with AU when the canon is a novel. A lot less is left to the imagination.

In fact, now that I think about it, I had someone a long time back saying she wanted to write a fan fic based on my Adrien series but that it was hard because I had complicated the characters. (I loved that.)

I guess the motivation is the same though. Wanting to explore the characters more deeply, wanting to spend more time with them -- I guess part of the challenge with TC is trying to recreate a universe that no longer exists and that most of us never knew except through history books or as children.
byslantedlight
Jun. 6th, 2007 10:20 pm (UTC)
Deinitely an interesting question, but I wonder a little bit if we're thinking of AUs and/or "identity" in the same way, or completely differently, having read your thoughts here. For example I've always, but always written. Since I was about 6 years old in fact. It's just something that I do, and I can't imagine ever not doing it. I'd love to be paid for it, sure - my dream job, that - but I never have been yet, so it's not about a paycheque for me either, it's just something that I do. In fact it's probably the most constant thing that I do - but it's not my whole identity, and I don't "identify" with it as such. I'm a (mature) student, but that's not totally who I am, I'm an anthropologist, and a teacher and a historian and all sorts of other things, but that's not totally who I am either. If I'd applied for an MA in English rather than Anthropology, if I hadn't quit my teaching job to go travelling, if I'd at some stage married, or become a Buddhist, or taken up rock climbing, would I still be the same person? Yes, I think I would, it's just the experiences that would have varied, perhaps some of the ideas that I held.

I do think that experiences can take us in certain directions, and can teach us all sorts of things, and shape our paths etc blah etc, but I also think that if you give us different experiences you're not changing our basic character as such, you're just taking that character and presenting it with different things to deal with - it's our character that will determine how we handle our experiences to a greater degree (generally) than the other way around. "Life-changing experiences" are, after all, relatively rare?

I don't know The Charioteer at all, but Bodie and Doyle now... *g* To me, the characters react in certain ways to certain things. Doyle gets angry much faster than Bodie - but he's also less volatile in certain situations (cf Bodie being at risk with Doyle being at risk, for example). Doyle expresses frustration more dramatically than Bodie does. He appears to be more inwardly conflicted than Bodie, less sure of who he is. He's strives to improve whereas Bodie is more settled, accepting of who he is. Doyle's sense of morals is louder than Bodie's, but not necessarily any more deeply held. Doyle worries at things, Bodie doesn't appear to. Those aspects of their characters have come from somewhere, they were formed back in a (non-canonically existant) time before we knew the lads as "The Professionals", but they are who we know as Bodie and Doyle. Yes, their job is a big part of what they are in canon, but take those parts of their character - and all their other complexities, which it would take far too long to include here - and put them in another place (god forbid even vampires or elves) and they're still the same characters. And I like those characters.

Of course it's much easier to fuck up those characters without the familiar backdrop of CI5, and that's where I find alot of AUs fail badly. But done well, you don't end up with two generic blokes living in Cornwall, or working in a circus, or raging across the desert, you end up with Bodie and Doyle in a different situation, coping with those travails.

Hmmn - I wonder if it might be harder to AU something like The Charioteer because books tend to map out the background to characters, to place them very firmly in the context of how their character formed, rather than having them suddenly appear, mysterious as anything, fully-developed people? They tend not to leave us wondering how did they get here?, they tell us? Whereas Pros lends itself to the imagination, because there are so many different ways the lads could have arrived at their place in CI5, and none of them were really explained (unless you count the story by Brian Clemens from the TV Times, which is arguably not canon) just hinted at.
byslantedlight
Jun. 6th, 2007 10:22 pm (UTC)
AUs that work for me are AUs where the lads keep their character. In Cornish Bird Watchers, by Lizzie, for example, Doyle is a nosy sod with a bad temper and an innate sense of justice. Bodie is easy-going enough to follow him most places, until he needs standing up to, and then he does it. They're snarky, funny, and sexy as hell. They're the same blokes as in the eps, to me, but they're dealing with different times and different places. In Suitable Gravity by DVS Bodie is a supremely confident secret service agent, and Doyle is a cop with a strong sense of morals etc. They're snarky, funny and sexy as hell. In both fics they react to things as Bodie and Doyle would react to things in the eps. I reckon. *g*

On the other hand, I struggle with AUs that paint Doyle as a weeping, easily frightened in one way or another, fainting flower. (Puh-lease - the bloke has never fainted in his life - he'd punch his way out of a... well, a very tough thing! Well, okay, maybe that time his arm was broken with a baseball bat...) Neither do I believe in any Bodie who is portrayed as an over-wrought, body-conscious type. But even if they were set in CI5 I wouldn't believe in those characters.

Why wouldn't you make up your own characters if you're just starting from scratch? My answer would be - you would. An AU that's "starting from scratch" isn't an AU to me, it's a whole different (not just alternative) world, with original (and probably not very good if you were actually aiming for B&D and missed that badly) characters.

There are Prosfic writers who've "filed off the serial numbers" to their original writing and thus turned it into "original fiction" - and this is something that I really don't get - if you were writing the lads, then surely you're writing the lads? And if not then yeah, as you say, why not write "original fiction" to start with...

So...I have a strange feeling that if I'm not over my character limit then I'm just about to be... has any of this made any sense at all?!

(P.S. - dunno who that chick slantedlight is, but she's got the lj name that I originally wanted! And she's kinda into country music, and is all American-like. *g*)

(PPS - I was way over my character limit. In theory I should be concise enough to delete half of this - in practice I guess I'm too lazy...)
jgraeme2007
Jun. 7th, 2007 01:15 am (UTC)
Character and Background
On the other hand, I struggle with AUs that paint Doyle as a weeping, easily frightened in one way or another, fainting flower. (Puh-lease - the bloke has never fainted in his life - he'd punch his way out of a... well, a very tough thing! Well, okay, maybe that time his arm was broken with a baseball bat...)

AND when he got shot in the leg, but I agree, I don't see Doyle as a fainting flower. Of course, if he's going to be saddled with a history of rape and abuse or blood diseases or brain damage, then I guess these things would change how he reacts to stress -- and I guess that sort of ties into my feeling that some of the non-AU is still sort of AU.

And, I confess, I've enjoyed one or two of those -- although I'm too squeamish to read Kathy Keegan's stuff for example.

So much depends on the skill of the writer, too.

I do get a little impatient with the double-heapings of disaster and disability they both get saddled with. I mean...listen to their damn theme song. No characters with THAT theme song are going to be so severely damaged. It's not in the nature of things. It violates my delicate TV-nurtured sensibilities. They have perky, happy theme music. THEY WILL BE OKAY!

Neither do I believe in any Bodie who is portrayed as an over-wrought, body-conscious type. But even if they were set in CI5 I wouldn't believe in those characters.

The best of fan fiction, for me, plays delicately on themes within the episodes. The worst takes those themes and blows them into shrieking neuroses.

There are Prosfic writers who've "filed off the serial numbers" to their original writing and thus turned it into "original fiction" - and this is something that I really don't get - if you were writing the lads, then surely you're writing the lads? And if not then yeah, as you say, why not write "original fiction" to start with...

I've heard this. I think I've only read one well-known instance of it. In a weird way I can sort of see the attraction, if you do love the characters -- and some of this fiction is really good enough to be published. Personally I'd be nervous as hell about getting sued.

So...I have a strange feeling that if I'm not over my character limit then I'm just about to be... has any of this made any sense at all?!

Oh yeah, you're thoughts are especially of interest because you are such a good writer in this artform. That would be fan fic, not livejournal -- although, there too, I suppose.

(P.S. - dunno who that chick slantedlight is, but she's got the lj name that I originally wanted! And she's kinda into country music, and is all American-like. *g*)

Damn. Sorry! I was thinking of the fics -- all these dual identities are throwing me.





jgraeme2007
Jun. 7th, 2007 12:49 am (UTC)
Character and Background
If I'd applied for an MA in English rather than Anthropology, if I hadn't quit my teaching job to go travelling, if I'd at some stage married, or become a Buddhist, or taken up rock climbing, would I still be the same person? Yes, I think I would, it's just the experiences that would have varied, perhaps some of the ideas that I held.

This is an interesting philosophical view -- and it probably ties in to the greater question of whether one can be born inherently good/evil or whether character is mostly shaped by outside influences. Destiny, fate, sun sign -- or deprived childhood?

Or a combination of things?

I do think that experiences can take us in certain directions, and can teach us all sorts of things, and shape our paths etc blah etc, but I also think that if you give us different experiences you're not changing our basic character as such, you're just taking that character and presenting it with different things to deal with - it's our character that will determine how we handle our experiences to a greater degree (generally) than the other way around. "Life-changing experiences" are, after all, relatively rare?

I'm thinking CI5 probably falls under the "life-changing experiences" category -- like war or prison camp or...um... marriage.

But it is enticing to bat the possibilities back and forth -- philosophical questions, yes, but they tie-in to the psychological reality of how we choose to create the characters we do.

And some writers are better at creating characters than others -- just as some are better at capturing/copying characters than others.

but they are who we know as Bodie and Doyle. Yes, their job is a big part of what they are in canon, but take those parts of their character - and all their other complexities, which it would take far too long to include here - and put them in another place (god forbid even vampires or elves) and they're still the same characters. And I like those characters.

When you put it like this, it makes sense, and I suppose that's part of the charm of these AU novels. It's like Let's Pretend -- moving the paperdolls from one dollhouse to another. I don't mean that in a disrespectful way, the boundless imagination of some of these AUs entertains the hell out of me, even though I feel no urge to read them yet.

Hmmn - I wonder if it might be harder to AU something like The Charioteer because books tend to map out the background to characters, to place them very firmly in the context of how their character formed, rather than having them suddenly appear, mysterious as anything, fully-developed people? They tend not to leave us wondering how did they get here?, they tell us?

Good point. Less to develop and expand upon, a narrower field to work -- easier to violate canon. The Charioteer fan fiction mostly carries on from the end of the novel or expands on a couple of crucial but sketchy scenes. I don't think I've seen anything AU, but I haven't read it all.

Beautifully written, what I have read, but that's an intimidating thing: trying to write to the standard of Mary Renault.

Whereas Pros lends itself to the imagination, because there are so many different ways the lads could have arrived at their place in CI5, and none of them were really explained (unless you count the story by Brian Clemens from the TV Times, which is arguably not canon) just hinted at.

True. Those unknowns are some of the most attractive aspects of it from a writing standpoint.
blkandwhtcat
Aug. 5th, 2007 06:26 pm (UTC)
I know this is a late response, but I've had this discussion in private emails with another Pros fan. I'm new to "slash," and new to the Pros fandom, but in general, I hate AUs. The reason I LIKE Pros fanfic is because Bodie and Doyle are two tough, very masculine, edgy men who have a dangerous job as agents in a covert elite intelligence/law enforcement agency. Also, the setting is the late 1970s-early 1980s, and that's part of the fun of the story (although I can't ever stop thinking that if they're written as gay and fucking around, that's a very dangerous time, which is why I'm tolerant of the early "lets be monogamous" agreement that features in a lot of the fanfic. I'd rather read that than have every story dealing with the guys dying of AIDS). So, when the characters are taken out of that setting, I have far less interest in reading about them. If they aren't in CI5, then how are they Bodie and Doyle?

The very few AUs that I have enjoyed either keep the guys in CI5 but change how and when they get there, or cleverly work canon into the AU. An example of the first would be the most excellent "Whisper of a Kill," which has one of most original opening scenes I've read, when Bodie is stalking Cowley to assasinate him, and ends up handing over his gun and saying he wants to work for him. We had a discussion about whether this was, in fact, an AU, since the plot and characters are firmly grounded in the CI5 world. Bodie just comes in at a different time, in a different manner.

An example of the latter is the witty "Professional Dreamer," where Phillip Bodie is a writer who writes novels about "The Professionals," Bodie and Ray Doyle, and Ray is a nerdy librarian who loves those novels. A hit on the head makes Ray think he's Ray Doyle and Phillip is Bodie, and that they are the characters in the book (ie, the characters on the show). It's clever and funny, and the characters are AU and yet they are still "in character." While they aren't in CI5, Phillip has a lot of Bodie's background, Ray is engaged to Ann Holly, and despite the AU setting, the plot contains espionage, life-threatening situations, dangerous bad guys, and chase scenes. It's one of the very few AUs that works for me, because even though the guys aren't in CI5, the writer captures the essence of Bodie and Doyle, and only someone who is familiar with the characters will appreicate all the tongue-in-cheek allusions to the show. Hard to do, muchless do well.
jgraeme2007
Aug. 9th, 2007 06:24 pm (UTC)
I've had this discussion in private emails with another Pros fan. I'm new to "slash," and new to the Pros fandom, but in general, I hate AUs. The reason I LIKE Pros fanfic is because Bodie and Doyle are two tough, very masculine, edgy men who have a dangerous job as agents in a covert elite intelligence/law enforcement agency.

Ah. Can I ask how you discovered slash fic? Did you ever read gay or M/M fiction before discovering slash?

I started out writing gay mystery fiction -- this was about a decade ago. From what I can figure out, when it's written to appeal to women, it's called M/M fiction, which I think has its roots in fan fic and slash, but I'm not clear on that point. Anyway, there's a pretty good market for it, regardless of what you call it.

Like you, my fascination is with these particular characters and their world. I can't imagine being interested in any other TV show to this extent -- let alone writing fiction for it, but a few months ago I would never have believed I'd be joining in discussions and reading Pros fan fiction either. Something about these characters is unique and riveting.

So it doesn't work for me to reincarnate them as circus perfomers or vampires or whatever.

That said, if I look at the AU as a completely separate work, sometimes I can enjoy it. I just have to not think of it as Doyle and Bodie.

Also, the setting is the late 1970s-early 1980s, and that's part of the fun of the story (although I can't ever stop thinking that if they're written as gay and fucking around, that's a very dangerous time, which is why I'm tolerant of the early "lets be monogamous" agreement that features in a lot of the fanfic. I'd rather read that than have every story dealing with the guys dying of AIDS).

It's an interesting time for all kinds of reasons, including police procedure, so yes, it's part of the fun for me as well.

And I'm fairly tolerant of most of the fan fic conventions, although some writers handle them more seamlessly than others.

So, when the characters are taken out of that setting, I have far less interest in reading about them. If they aren't in CI5, then how are they Bodie and Doyle?

Exactly. They aren't. Although there are readers who claim that they are still fundamentally themselves. The problem I have with that, is that life and our experiences (jobs and careers being part of that) shape who we are. We aren't BORN emotionally, mentally, physically or spiritually mature -- it's an ongoing process. Life is a journey, and the stops along the way, shape who we are.

So Doyle as an elf or Bodie as a mercenary who never joined CI5 cannot possibly be the same characters.

Well, and if I'm honest, I've got no interest in reading about elves, regardless of whether they're Doyle or not. Mercenaries...maybe.

The very few AUs that I have enjoyed either keep the guys in CI5 but change how and when they get there, or cleverly work canon into the AU. An example of the first would be the most excellent "Whisper of a Kill," which has one of most original opening scenes I've read, when Bodie is stalking Cowley to assasinate him, and ends up handing over his gun and saying he wants to work for him.

That's a fic I want to get my hands on. I keep hearing good things about it.

And, I agree. In a sense all slash fic is AU. All fan fic is AU. It's happening outside canon, so of course it's a slightly alternate universe. I don't mind a little tweaking -- changing the order of episodes for example (I personally believe the series should have ended with Discovered in a Graveyard) or making Doyle and Bodie lovers or playing with some of the conventions. Adding scenes, filling in background, all of that is fine.

When it changes too much...Cowley is evil or Cowley and Bodie are lovers, or Bodie is Cowley's son...or people are time-traveling or going to visit elves...

It just doesn't work for me.

jgraeme2007
Aug. 9th, 2007 06:30 pm (UTC)
and blah, blah, blah
Never had that happen before -- I apparently exceeded the characters allowed per post? Anyway, as I was saying...

We had a discussion about whether this was, in fact, an AU, since the plot and characters are firmly grounded in the CI5 world. Bodie just comes in at a different time, in a different manner.

I think only by the strictest definition would this be considered AU.

An example of the latter is the witty "Professional Dreamer," where Phillip Bodie is a writer who writes novels about "The Professionals," Bodie and Ray Doyle, and Ray is a nerdy librarian who loves those novels. A hit on the head makes Ray think he's Ray Doyle and Phillip is Bodie, and that they are the characters in the book (ie, the characters on the show). It's clever and funny,

Yeah, I did read that, and I did find myself laughing aloud in places. It was very well done. Perhaps it went on a little too long, but I did enjoy that one very much.

It's one of the very few AUs that works for me, because even though the guys aren't in CI5, the writer captures the essence of Bodie and Doyle, and only someone who is familiar with the characters will appreicate all the tongue-in-cheek allusions to the show. Hard to do, muchless do well.

Yes, it was very clever and funny. And clever and funny is so much harder to pull off than angsty and heavy. Although comedy rarely gets the credit it deserves.

starwatcher307
Jan. 8th, 2008 08:10 pm (UTC)
I'm not stalking you, honest!
.
But after reading the first friends-linked post, I was interested in what else you had to say...

Anyway, about AUs -- I think BySlantedLight covered it pretty well. I can't speak to The Professionals because I've never seen it. My fandom is The Sentinel, and I don't know that you've seen that, but if I use that as an example, maybe you'll be able to parse what I mean.

Premise of the show -- Character A (Jim) has genetically enhanced senses. Managing these senses is difficult; he needs the support and guidance of Character B (Blair) to avoid being overwhelmed by them. That doesn't change in the AUs I've read. But that's just the 'hook', not the character.

Jim -- difficult childhood, military man at 'elite' levels, leader of men, self-sufficient, independent, very practical and down to earth, gruff, no-nonsense exterior with softer, caring interior, does not like change, seems drawn to 'protective' jobs (first military, then cop), very sparse with words and emotional displays, prone to be suspicious in most circumstances, tall, well-built, older.

Blair -- wandering childhood that was carefree on the surface with hints of abandonment issues, highly intelligent and highly educated, accustomed to fitting himself into many sub-cultures and situations, lifelong observer of peoples and cultures, peace-loving but will fight at need, very verbal, comfortable with any type of people-food-lifestyle, enthusiastic in most situations, empathetic to everyone, prone to be accepting of most explanations / circumstances, unconventional grooming (hair and clothes), short, sturdy, younger.

Now, you can take the 'essence' of these characters and put them anywhere from the Roman era to the space era. If one holds to the 'hook' -- genetically enhanced senses -- it it believable that it could occur any time throughout history. The background that formed the characters of these men may differ in detail, but still lead to similar results.

Very broad example -- in canon, Jim left the military because a superior was in league with drug-runners, betrayed Jim's unit, and Jim's men died. In a Civil War era AU, Jim left the military because a superior sanctioned the massacre of an Indian village, after locking Jim in the stockade when he objected, so that he could not persuade the other soldiers away from such a heinous act. The same root of high-level betrayal was given different details which fit with the era, and led to similar results -- a man left lost and rootless until he found a new 'niche'; he became the town sheriff instead of a cop.

As you and BySlantedLight pointed out, AUs can be difficult to do well -- perhaps because many people are less able to pull out the 'essence' of the character and translate it to another time and place. But when they are done well, they are delightful. It's great fun to see how "our" guys would act / react in a different world and different situations.

I mean, it just doesn't do anything for me.

It may never. Perhaps Bodie and Doyle are so much a part of their era that they don't "translate" well. But maybe now you can understand why some of us really groove on a well-written AU.
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jgraeme2007
Jan. 8th, 2008 08:37 pm (UTC)
Re: I'm not stalking you, honest!
"I mean, it just doesn't do anything for me."

It may never. Perhaps Bodie and Doyle are so much a part of their era that they don't "translate" well. But maybe now you can understand why some of us really groove on a well-written AU.


Boy, how old was that post? You know, many interesting thoughts on AU, but I'll just address this one -- by the time I'd left the Pros fandom, I'd come to change my mind -- well, maybe soften my stance -- on AU fics.

And I think this was a logical progression -- my original love for Pros was based on those characters and their relationship dynamic, and so writers who could capture what I felt to be essential about the characters were the ones I liked best, and by extension, a writer who could move those "essential" characters into an AU wrote stories that I, to my own surprise, ended up enjoying. Although, honestly, I never did read a lot of AUs, none of the real "classics."

Still, they did turn out to be more fun than I expected.
starwatcher307
Jan. 8th, 2008 10:04 pm (UTC)
Re: I'm not stalking you, honest!
.
Boy, how old was that post?

*g* June 2007. I thought not so old, but it's amazing how quickly things can change sometimes.

Still, they did turn out to be more fun than I expected.

I'm happy for you. And you're right; a good writer who can capture the essential characteristics can convince me of pretty much anything.
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