Wednesday, February 9, 2011
'Ey, You! Let's Talk about AU!
Although they've long been a major part of Daria fanfic, alternate universe stories seem to be showing up more than ever recently. These range from gender benders where a canon character switches sexes (like HolyGrail2007's Finn Morgendorffer or InvisibleDan's James Lane) to "what ifs" with relatively small changes that lead to big ones (like Roentgen's Hallowed Halls of Fielding) to major shifts in the entire canon universe (like Charles RB's God Save the Esteem or LadieT's Jane Morgendorffer).
Part of the reason for the increase in AUs is that canon only provides so much material to work with. After a while, it seems like most of the ground has been covered and it becomes sensible to look for new spins on old situations. A small (or huge) change here or there, and suddenly you have a fresh foundation to work with!
Another reason is that it's just plain fun to explore "what might have been." Just about every event during the course of the show has the potential to branch off and become a new story--or even a new series. Why not explore the path not taken and see where it might end up? Especially if it's one that leads to personal and spiritual satisfaction. That's why they don't want you to take it.
One further reason, of course, is that it's a great opportunity to play God with the characters and utterly rearrange their lives. A few taps of the keyboard and suddenly the Morgendorffers have a third daughter or Trent is a middle schooler with a crush on high school Daria. That kind of power can be irresistible. I'd make them crawl, I tell you. Crawl!
Of course there are plenty more factors at work here than the few I've mentioned, but now I'd like to open it up for you to chime in. What appeals to you about reading or writing alternate universe stories? What AU hasn't been written yet that you'd like to see? Does this blog make me look fat?