gladdecease: (*this stuff is just /weird/)
gladdecease ([personal profile] gladdecease) wrote2016-11-05 12:50 am

thing the forty-sixth [the tfa fic that wasn't]

Long time, blah blah, life, blah blah, you know the drill by now.

Though tbh, I mostly haven't posted because I haven't been writing. (Life, seriously.) But I did put myself to work at a significant project for a few months, and I've been thinking about it enough lately that I decided to just post what I'd been thinking.

So, here is the story of the trope_bingo single fic blackout that didn't happen.

It was January 2016, and I was still in the first flush of love with Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Convinced I was going to write until my fingers fell off, so full of ideas I was, I took a look at my bingo card and realized... these could all work together. They could go in one fic. A continuation of the movie, plotty and fun and referential!

It started out easily enough, an outline coming together quickly:
Rey training with Luke, Finn recovering from his lightsaber injury, sensing that Rey is in trouble and running off across the galaxy (along with BB-8) to find and help her, meeting a dashing smuggler named Miranda and engaging in a brief Doctor Who crossover along the way. Rey's training involves disturbing visions of possible pasts because my card had all the AU squares, which suggest to her that the cliche line about the villain and hero being ~not so different~ applies to her and Kylo Ren. (More on that later.)

Meanwhile, Poe is BB-8-less and trying to do his job when whoops! captured by the First Order again. (I referred to what follows in my notes as "force torture ii: electric boogaloo; like most sequels, painful to sit through".) Certain FO people have trust issues re: Kylo's Force powers leading them to Rey & Luke, so they ask him to confirm his information with an alternate source.

Finn finds Rey and Luke at about the same time as the First Order; they separate briefly to take on Kylo/rescue Poe - that second one nearly doesn't work out this time, except that Miranda shows up to save the day. (Turns out everybody being rescued knows her - and why shouldn't they? She's Miranda Calrissian, after all.) The confrontation with Kylo ends ambiguously, with him unwilling to take further steps to ensure his own darkness, but also unwilling to turn back and ask forgiveness.

Finn returns with everyone in tow to find an Unimpressed General awaiting his return. He joined up with the resistance and immediately went AWOL with one of her best pilot's droids, endangering said pilot's life, lost her the best undercover op they've got, and... brought everyone back safe and sound, with a lot of valuable intel on the First Order.

(Finn gets a medal. Poe's the one to pin it on him.)
A straightforward, maybe overly referential story. Easily could've met the word count requirements of the challenge, if only I could just. Get it. Written. But after a point, I couldn't. Even stepping back from the outline, trying to map out individual character arcs, I just couldn't write past that moment.

The "we're not so different, you and I" moment.

It's the Force, showing Rey a universe where Luke found her on Jakku, took her to be trained, and she never forgave him for that. Stewed in her anger for years and years... eventually stabbing Luke with a lightsaber for getting to have the Force and his family, for letting Ben keep his. And then another vision, drawing more parallels between her and Han Solo's son. With a power behind it that Luke finds familiar... his old master's. (Yeah, this was a Rey Kenobi fic. I was taken by the PT parallels at the time, and thought there must be some reason to put all that effort into getting Old Ben's voice to say "Rey...!" during That One Scene in TFA.) And Rey meets Obi-Wan's Force Ghost, and learns from him that he wants that parallel - that he wants her to save the Skywalker gone dark where he could not. That he's begging her, as his [vaguely defined familial relationship], to do this.

And I could not get Rey to give a single solitary fuck.

Which understandably derailed the story a bit.

It didn't help that I didn't consciously realize that this was why I was having writer's block until months later, when I read this scathing take on the Rey Kenobi concept. I mentally went to object - I'd gone and written a Rey Kenobi story, sort of, and it hadn't done... oh. Yeah, it kind of had tried to do that, didn't it? But I couldn't actually make it work, because of the exact reasons stated in that blog post.

Not that I'm in favor of Rey Skywalker either - but that's more because ace Luke is near and dear to my heart, and I don't want that taken away from me.

Anyway! I was moving forward in this fic with such unprecedented momentum that having it cut short really knocked the writing out of me for a while. Oh, sure, CA:CW gave me some Bucky emotions (and tons of Wanda emotions), and when I binged Shadowhunters two of my favorite tropes reminded me that I love them through fics all-but-already-written, but nothing has gotten finished.

I'm hoping that talking about this one, and putting some of the completed scenes (and sillier fic planning) in the comments, will get me moving towards a completed, publishable fic before the end of the year. *crosses fingers*