I want to talk, in a rambling fashion, about the writing of AUs. In particular, the type of AU where you pick up characters--fictional or historical or whatever--who were never actually in the same room, and put them in a scenario together, which neither ever experienced, or would have experienced.
One of the funniest comments I got on my Fringe/Caseyverse crossover
was that I'd messed up the timelines of the two universes--during Season 1 of Fringe, Sadie wouldn't be born yet. Given that I was trying to write crack, well, OK, I did not particularly care. But it did somehow disturb my order of the universe; I had broken the laws of time. (That's a regular feature of the Caseyverse, though.)
Which brings me to this thing I'm writing now, for a, um, unnamed late-December fannish event. (Whose culture of secrecy I have yet to properly understand.) The story I'm writing contains two individuals who were never in the same country at the same time, as far as I can tell. They're pretty perfectly matched as a pairing for the story, and the prompt I'm using is, well, literally the best prompt I have ever written for, and I wrote this
, so I'm clearly happy.
But I'm not clear on the mechanics of how I'm supposed to get these characters into the necessary scenario. More to the point, I'm not clear on whether this is something I'm supposed to give a shit about. I mean, the important point is that they're in [place] on [means of conveyance] using [mechanical object] to [verb] [noun]. As long as I write that--and the conversation after they [verb] [noun] from [mechanical conveyance] wherein they talk about [thing they have in common] and possibly [verb]--I'm pretty much golden.
But I want to know. What were they both doing in [origin point] before the whole [noun] situation began? In what way did they end up together during the journey towards [destination]? Why [destination], apart from the fact that one of them lived there at one point? Given that they are not of the same generation in their respective canons, what age are they both? And does this take place in person A's timeframe, person B's timeframe, or in [timeframe I prefer, during which neither of them are actually alive]? If I go with [preferred timeframe], how are they different? More important, how is the world
different for them not having existed and [verbed], given that their [verbing] seems to me a very important thing? Granted, not necessarily from the point of view of [verbing] [noun], given that [noun] don't really [verb]. But from my point of view, who loves them for what they actually did
? I don't know what a world without them doing it, when they did it, would even look like.
Maybe I should let go. [Verbing] [nouns] with [mechanical object] is not a thing that requires a whole lot of good backstory. It's just what it is. And I don't necessarily have to write a great deal; just enough to tell this story adequately. If the story is about [verbing] [nouns] with [mechanical object], and the comedy comes from the fact that it's these people doing it, well then, just have them [verb] the damn [nouns]. Easy-peasy.
But Scully should have been pregnant in The Old X Designation, and these two people never met. They probably never even heard of each other. (Wait, *runs to wikipedia*--yes, the dates fail to align nearly perfectly.)
So, dear audience: how much should I care about this? Some? None? Entirely? Do you think this sort of worldbuilding shows through in a snippet universe like this?
Also, is it considered within [exchange] rules to recruit someone to illustrate your fic? Because, I gotta say, X and Y on [means of conveyance] using [mechanical object] to [verb] [noun] is the default icon I have always wanted.