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[personal profile] lookingforoctober
About a month and a half ago, I read an amazing fanfic series in the Avengers fandom, and it was so inspiring that I started writing an Avengers story. A big Avengers story, taking on a lot of the implications of what happened in the movie, which I figured the MCU canon would probably never do, movies being shaped the way that they are. At the time, I was completely failing at my (misguided) attempt at making a fake deadline for another story I was writing (that never works, deadlines have to be real to work as motivation), and I'd been wanting to write something serial and open-ended and large for a long time, and it seemed like a good time.

So now I'm 20,000 words into the first part of this serial (I thought I was writing a chapter, but it's getting way too long for that label), and I'm scared to watch Iron Man 3 when it comes out on DVD.

In a way, I think MCU is a great place for writing fanfic because it's made up out of movies, and a series of superhero movies, just by their nature, have a lot of gaps in what they present. It's all exciting and action-packed and not so much with the follow-through or the deep characterization. So there's lots of room for filling that in.

But on the other hand, each individual movie is going to be a really significant event, which means that each movie is going to change the nature of the world, and quite possibly change the nature of the characters involved. A lot.

I mean, can you imagine having something in progress when Iron Man 2 came out? Where in Iron Man you had a guy with an iron suit of armor, but just a guy facing personal issues like being personally kidnapped and personally betrayed, suddenly you had a guy who lived in a world where said suit was THE weapon, and other people were trying to imitate it. A guy who had a place on the national or international stage because of the weapon he'd created.

This is not a reasonable extrapolation from Iron Man. I mean really. The Iron Man suit, while cool, is not THE anything. THE weapon? In a world that has thermonuclear bombs? What does the Iron Man suit actually defeat, besides unarmored people and other Iron Man suits/drones? And there's only one of them...or two once Rhodey gets his. I will grant you that there is a niche for such suits, situations requiring precision, maneuverability, and on the spot judgment (the Avengers movie basically claims that fitting into this particular sort of niche is especially useful for fighting aliens in urban environments), but overall...simply not the scariest weapon ever. Useful, but not game-changing.

So the world suddenly makes a lot less sense. (And I'm not even going to get into the whole "new element" thing...no, I'm not.)

But I suppose if you don't like it, you can always ignore that part, especially if you have something already in progress that would be broken by a world that looks like the Iron Man 2 world. Say you're now working in an AU and move on. It would be fine. Or at least mostly fine, though it would probably consume brain cycles trying to make it all work together somehow because saying you're going to ignore something and actually doing it are not the same thing.

But the bigger problem is that Tony Stark seems to be a different person, to some degree. He's faced with a problem, and he doesn't rise to the occasion, he does exactly the opposite and it's extremely cringe-worthy. I suppose if you're far enough into you WIP, you can probably weather that, keep with your original vision if the new characterization gives you problems, but...I feel like new characterization is hard to ignore. Far harder to ignore than new worldbuilding. There are all kinds of subtle ways that new characterization will work its way into the thing you're writing...

And I suppose maybe that's not entirely a disadvantage? Perhaps that's even what fanfiction is about, in a way...changing and responding as the canon changes? Because if you wanted to write entirely your own thing, you'd be writing original fiction. And yet...


(I also wonder to what degree this analysis would be different if I'd used the Captain America movie, which I generally liked, instead of Iron Man 2, which I generally disliked, as the example. Hmm.)
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