Q&A Writing # 1

I’ve been gettings some amazing comments and feedback from Soulmates-for-real, and we’ve had some brief conversations about my stories.

She recently asked me two questions:

  • Have I ever been tempted to write Sam & Dean fics?
  • Would I ever consider writing J2 Non-AU?

As I began answering these questions, the length of these answers—as it so often does when I write—spiraled out of control. So, I thought I might as well post these answers here, in case anyone else is curious.

Have you been tempted to write Sam and Dean fics?

Short answer: No.

Long Answer: No. Because…

A long time ago, when I was in my “first” fandom, Buffy, I wrote Spike/Angel stories, and those were always non-AU’s. But that was to fill a perceived “void,” a relationship/romance I saw that the show didn’t fulfill.

To me, Supernatural has always told the story of Sam and Dean the way I want it told; there have certainly been episodes, character arcs—and later in the series—storylines I didn’t like. But, to me, the core relationship between Sam and Dean has always felt solid; I never felt anything was missing, there were never any holes I wanted to fill.

So, I never felt any need or interest to write them. Although there were certainly bumps in the road, for the most part, I felt the writers of Supernatural wrote them better than I ever could.

Another reason is my slight (slightly?) OCD approach to writing and getting details right. I tend to obsess over what others probably view as meaningless details.

If there’s a sunrise in my stories, you can bet that I’ve researched the time of sunrise and sunset in that precise location, at the exact date it takes place in the story.

If my characters go on a road trip, every stop is timed precisely using google maps and its “plan my journey” feature.

When I choose a location for my stories, I research average temperatures, demographics, native flora, and fauna; if there’s a cottonwood tree in my story, it’s because I’ve researched that cottonwoods grow in that location.

So, that rules out stories set within the show, the thought of having to factor in canon, locations, what clothes Sam and Dean were wearing, what license plate was on Baby, the layout of the bunker, or which motel room they were in at the time of the hypothetical story… I mean, I think my head would implode.

I also think I’d feel very constricted and unfree, hampered in my creativity by all the details and characters that have already been established in that world.

I could write AU’s but, to me, that would take away the very thing that made Sam & Dean and their relationship so interesting.

So, no, for several reasons I don’t want to write Sam & Dean.

Partly because I think writing within the confines of the world of “Supernatural” is a hassle, but mostly because I don’t feel I have anything to add to that story.

I don’t want Sam & Dean to be anything else than what they are.

Would you ever consider writing J2 non-AU?

I doubt it; for two reasons.

The first one ties into the Sam/Dean answer. Just as I don’t see any romantic relationship between Sam and Dean, I don’t see one between real-life Jared & Jensen.

I don’t believe their marriages are fake, and although I’m sure they care deeply about each other, I don’t think they’re secretly in love.

To me, the Jared & Jensen I write about is as fictional as the characters they portray.

I don’t believe I have any genuine insight into who these two people are when they’re in private, and that’s fine; I don’t need to, and I don’t want to.

To be honest—and this is true for all actors/authors/musicians I like—I rarely watch interviews, clips from cons, Q&A’s, and the likes because I’m always worried I’m going to find out something about the person that might ruin the character or story for me.

The line or fourth wall, if you like, between the actor and the characters they portray have always been very dense to me. Although I can deeply admire certain actors, I only fall in love with their characters.

I guess what I’m trying to say is that, like with Supernatural, I think the story of real-life Jared and Jensen is fine the way it is; I don’t feel any need to add to it.

When I write a J2 story, I borrow their physical appearance and a few mannerisms and play around with them. The Jared and Jensen I write are a fictional mix between J2’s public personas and Sam & Dean.

They’re characters, not accurate portrayals of these two individuals.

I don’t write J2 because I want them to be a “real” couple; I write J2 because I think their chemistry, personalities, physical appearance, and mannerisms translate well into characters I can tell (hopefully) interesting stories with.

Which ties into my second reason, my evolution, and my motivation as a writer.

I’ve been writing fanfiction for about fifteen years—not fast and not consistently—but, nonetheless, I’ve been writing off and on during that time.

When I started, I wrote really bad smut; just straight-up porn—bad porn.

By the time I wrote my first story in the SPN fandom, JADE, I’d learned what a plot was and found my “voice” as a storyteller, even if I, personally, don’t feel it was particularly well-developed yet.

Somewhere during these fifteen years, my motivation as a writer slowly changed. At some point, I fell in love with the craft of writing, with writing itself, and it became a refuge—escapism.

The stories I write, the tiny worlds I create, are what I retreat into when I’m stressed, tired, and emotionally overwhelmed; when I’m sad, lonely, when I need to switch off, and when I’m bored.

When I first started, I wrote because I wanted certain characters to do things they didn’t do in the show and because I wanted to be part of fandom.

Today, I use characters and fandom to create worlds I want to escape into, worlds that will hopefully become a temporary refuge for others as well.

If you read my stories chronologically from the earliest to the most recent, you can see my interest as a writer change.

Fifteen years ago, I wrote straight-up smut, while my most recent story has no graphic sex at all. I began writing fanfiction because I thought the idea of spike and angel having rough, vampire sex was super hot.

Today, the question that interests me as a storyteller is: how much can I change Jared and Jensen and still make you feel like you know them?

It’s fanfiction, so, as readers, you click on the story because of J2, but am I good enough as a writer to create original characters you’ll care about?

How flawed can I make these people and still make you root for them?

How real can I make these people feel?

Can I write a novel-length story, take out all the graphic sex, and still make you as a reader feel like you’ve experienced a great, intimate romance?

That’s why I enjoy writing AU’s; it’s my world. I make the rules, I decide its boundaries, and I get to create and populate it; I love that.

So, no. I don’t think I’d write a non-AU J2; I’m having too much fun dropping my fictional versions of J2 into all these strange situations and worlds.

So, there you have it; these are my two overly long answers.

Feel free to ask me more questions; I don’t mind answering them. Just be prepared; you might get an essay for an answer instead of a simple yes or no.

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