Alternate Realities

ariestess: It’s time for the Alternate Realities panle.

ariestess: Panelists, please change your font to bold red [like mine]. Everyone else, please use black text…

ariestess: Okay, first the ground rules. You MUST raise your hand for questions. The mods [those of us with an @ in front of our names] will keep track of the questions for everyone

ariestess: Panelists, please introduce yourselves. I’ll go first. I’m AJ, aka ariestess, aka A. Magiluna Stormwriter. I’ll be your moderator for this panel. I’ve written a few AUs and ARs over the years.

alannasky: hello

ariestess: We have bearblue and blackgrl71 as our panelists today.

bearblue: yay

alannasky: cool

bearblue: one handed…

ariestess: That’s right! Bear’s got a gimpy paw today.

bearblue: so slow, sorry…

blackgrl71: and i’m blackgrl71 or blackgrl works too. i’ve written quite a few AUs, mostly w/ x-over

quietheartedfsc: you’re a trooper, BB


blackgrl71: sorry about the wounded paw BB

bearblue: thank you

Shatterpath: gimpy paws are no fun

ariestess: Okay, so let’s get this ball rolling. What is it about Alternate Universes and Alternate Realities that is so damned interesting?

bearblue: new chances

Shatterpath: and lets us fix canon screwups!

olli01a: indeed

Shatterpath: and we can ask questions of ‘what if’

blackgrl71: for me, since i mostly do x-overs, it allows me to combine characters/fandoms somewhat easier

ariestess: *nods* Very true.

bearblue: cross-overs are very fun…

Shatterpath: Did anyone here ever game? Or read a ‘chose your own adventure’ book?

olli01a: is not every fanfiction a ‘what if’

ariestess: Crossovers are a lot of fun, that’s true.

bearblue: now and then…

Shatterpath: ARs and AUs are really that

ariestess: @olli :: That’s a good point.

blackgrl71: not yet. mostly because i’m afraid i’ll become addicted to em’

Liberty Stewart: things can also get very repetitive with the source material too

Shatterpath: true!

ariestess: @lib :: That’s also true, and allows for all sorts of variations.

ariestess: *in fanfic.

Shatterpath: I love the idea of coming to a crossroads, where canon went one way, and we, the writers, take the other fork

blackgrl71: olli: absolutely. but some people like it when you stick to canon. to me that seems somewhat limited because the charcters we love are often so interesting… or least we make much more interesting

olli01a: @shatterpath: i agree

ariestess: @blackgrl :: You bring up a good point. Is it easier to stick to canon or "strike off on your own", so to speak?

michelle_2011: i agree as well

alannasky: true…

bearblue: I like starting where we know the person….

blackgrl71: i mean what’s fanfiction if you can’t take canon, throw out it, or at least take it somewhere else?

Shatterpath: I totally understand the appeal of canon, the famliarity. But don’t we pretty much have to wander from that? Just to exploit the subtext?

alannasky: which alternative uni, alternative realities, or crossovers do u like to do?

Liberty Stewart: there’s also mixes between AUs and crossovers. for example yesterday i believe it was alsike sent me a link for a glee fic that takes place in the sky high universe, but no actually characters from sky high was there yet.

blackgrl71: Lib: very true.

olli01a: canon can be a good foundation. you have an already established universe you can use and change

ariestess: *nods* The allure of AU/AR and crossover is quite fascinating.

ariestess: And Alkmaion has the first questiom.

blackgrl71: Alannasky: btvs is easy because they have lots of strong female characters to work w/, Harry Potter too

Shatterpath: I’m still figuring out the definitions of AR/AU

bearblue: nodding

Liberty Stewart: @ala: i’m currently writing a crossover between smallville and the playboy club

ariestess: Okay, for Shatterpath and anyone else curious, here’s how I usually separate them.

Alkmaion: Where is the difference in AR/AUs?

Alkmaion: sorry, realized it a bit late

bearblue: yes and no

ariestess: Alternate Universe is the same characters in a different setting. For example, Sam and Janet from SG1 are in the medieval period, rather than in present day Air Force.

ariestess: Wait. *thinks*

michelle_2011: okay

Liberty Stewart: @ala: to further answer your question, i can’t think of a single fic idea of mine that isn’t either a AU, crossover or retcon

ariestess: And then Alternate Reality would be more like the Xena uber!fics.

Shatterpath: Yes, it’s a tad confusing, ’cause Ariestess is the smartest person I know

ariestess: @QH, did I just get that backwards?

Alsike: hmm

Alsike: that doesn’t work

blackgrl71: yeah, i’ve sort of given up on discerning the difference btw AR/AUs. but Ari’s definition works, at least that’s the way i think of them

ariestess: thank you,m doggie!

Alkmaion: @ thhanks aries

quietheartedfsc: ah…having issues…I missed it

ariestess: Sometimes I get them backwords.

Alsike: I think AUs are where the world is different, and ARs is where the world is the same but the characters have made different choices. Does that work?

docwho2100: yes

Shatterpath: hey, with this complicated an issue, a rough concenses is good

bearblue: yes

michelle_2011: I get the first defininion but not the second for AR/AU

Liberty Stewart: i never really saw any difference between AUs and ARs since a reality and universe seems pretty much the same thing

blackgrl71: lol… yeah, i’ve given up. i just know like Lib, most of my stuff is AU

quietheartedfsc: AR: same characters and names, different realities….AU: They look the same and that’s about it.

ariestess: Which means I had them backwards. I KNEW I was going to mess that up somewhere.

ariestess: Thank you QH!

quietheartedfsc: yw

Shatterpath: which means, the massive crossover fic of mine and Ariestess’ is both!

Alsike: I think it’s a spectrum. You have the possible worlds that are close to the original, and those are ARs, and then as you get less and less possible they become AUs.

ariestess: Oh, I like that idea of a spectrum, Alsike.

docwho2100: I like that

Alsike: I may have been doing too much philosophy lately.

alannasky: hehe cool

Shatterpath: gonna have to draw that spectrum…

blackgrl71: I think Alannasky had a question about what are some of our fav fandoms we like to drop in AU/AR?

Liberty Stewart: nice one alsike. i guess if there’s really any difference between the two, that would be it.

blackgrl71: i agree.

bearblue: all of them

alannasky: and thanks for answering question…the alter. reality is what was killing me since i have read au before

Alkmaion: Well, I once found a site that differed in continuation, divergence and altaverse

Alsike: oh no

Shatterpath: I think that AU has been our default term for a long time and we’re just now defining AR

Alkmaion: true

Alsike: I like to separate my AUs into fusions and alternate timelines

Liberty Stewart: fave fandoms huh to drop? for me basically anything i like or something that makes a fun enough story to tell ex. superhero worlds

Shatterpath: I have no favorite. So many different things have caught my fancy over teh years

Alsike: Once I start to know a fandom pretty well, I want AUs

Alkmaion: @Als well, we always seek new unknown things…

Alsike: A brilliant AU can be as satisfying as a novel.

olli01a: I prefer AR’s. Sticking to canon and just changing little things into something I like

Alsike: I just read this AMAZING Game of Thrones AR.

blackgrl71: i think some fandoms are easier to AU than others. but i’m starting to look at taking characters fr… the more mystical/fantasy fandoms and x-over w/ the ‘real’ fandoms: think NCIS w/ Harry Potter.

ariestess: I think I actually write more ARs than AUs and have been defaulting to the more generally accepted terminology.

Shatterpath: I agree

ariestess: And blackgrl, you have the next question.!

blackgrl71: you’ll have to pass along that fic because i LOVE Game of Thrones


bearblue: I like any that seem internally consistent

alannasky: thanks for the answers guys

Alsike: It’s a 70k Doreah fix-it fic.


blackgrl71: actually my question has been answered. sorry.

Alsike: That’s another thing – I like my AU/ARs to be longer than my in-canon stories.

bearblue: yes

Liberty Stewart: @black: there’s a AU in particular I’m working at where I can crossover pretty anything and it will make perfect sense how both can be there.

ariestess: Not ap roblem

Shatterpath: they do often require more explaining, yes

bearblue: though drabbles give nice hints at what could be…

Alsike: but AU drabbles are so infuriating

blackgrl71: i think it’s very hard to create an entirely new AU & not have it be a fairly long fic. at least for me.

Alsike: you wait and wait and wait for more, and it doesn’t come

ariestess: For me, AU and drabble shouldn’t be in the same sentence, unless you have a whole series of them or it’s a drabble in an EXISTING AU.

blackgrl71: drabbles have never worked for me. i always read them like a long prompt

olli01a: @ blackgrl: I agree

bearblue: I know, but thats when it becomes up to you to write the vision you gained

Alsike: I can write shorter fusions, like 2-3k, but I think they only work because the world has already been set up.

ariestess: @blackgrl :: I LOVE drabbles, but I also like the challenge they pose to a writer.

olli01a: as long as a drabble is based on well established canon or fanon

blackgrl71: thanks for the link Alsike

bearblue: or hope someone else does, but that can be a long wait…

Shatterpath: it can be done, but I think a writer has to have a knack. One I do NOT have

Alsike: You’re very welcome!

blackgrl71: i agree

alannasky: thanks al…will give it to a friend since he is a huge fan

Alsike: I always enjoy those 100 sentence fics, but I could never write them.

ariestess: @als :: 100 sentence fics?

blackgrl71: Alsike: LOVE your fics by the way!

alannasky: thanks black for asking ques.

ariestess: Like it’s exactly 100 sentences?

ariestess: Blackgrl, go for it with anohter question.

Alsike: when they write one sentence for each prompt?

Alert: blackgrl71 hand was lowered by ariestess

bearblue: thats like a shortish story…

ariestess: @als :: Oh! I’ve done those.

Alsike: @blackgrl – Thanks!

blackgrl71: ok, are there some fandoms that are harder to drop in an AU/AR than others?

Alsike: I’ve found CSI to be really hard. I’m not sure why.

ariestess: @blackgrl :: I think there are, but it depends on what you’re dropping into what.

bearblue: I would find crime series challenging because of the research

olli01a: I think AR is easier to write than AU

Alsike: Well, that’s why you’d want to AU them, so they don’t have to do the crime thing.

ariestess: Then again, after the monstrous crossover taht Shatterpath and I write, I can find ways to put anything together practically.

Alkmaion: @blue I can imagine that.

Shatterpath: Oll- Agreed

blackgrl71: for me, i’ve been trying to write a LotS x-over with the Kushiel novel series, but i can’t wrap my head around the language/dialouge, & obvioulsy the series is really ab old mythical stories, so lots of research involved

ariestess: @bear :: I rarely use the actual case in my stories. I cheat. LOL!

Shatterpath: i’ve had that problem!

Alsike: That sounds cool!

bearblue: but then its keeping character flavor… so they taste recognizable

blackgrl71: Ari: what ‘monstrous crossover’ are y’all writing?

Shatterpath: *eg*

bearblue: also at aries…

Liberty Stewart: @bear the only research you need to do is in regard to the show. i can assure you those writers do as much research than us, probably less


Shatterpath: BG- it’s a massive crossover we’ve been writing for over ten years

Alkmaion: @ blachfirl What kind of mythologies?

Alsike: Yeah – one of my favorite AUs was one where I took CM, L&O, and WMC and smashed them together into a world where they were all mafia people. Which meant I kept the crime, just switched the goals.

blackgrl71: and yes, that’s the other challenge; when writing an AU you have to keep the characters… ‘flavor’ intact or it doesn’t work as well. it’s like have 7 or 9 speaking slang

Alkmaion: blackgirl

Alsike: But the characters were a little lost.

bearblue: *nods at bg*

blackgrl71: i think there’s some greek, perhaps some chinese, etc.; i’m not sure

blackgrl71: but i’d definitely have to refresh my own memories of various mythologies in order for my story to work

Shatterpath: i research obsessively, but I have a limit to my attention span

olli01a: metoo

Shatterpath: and I have done some WEIRD research over the years

Alsike: me too

Alsike: like, um, dolphin sex

Alkmaion: @blagGreek I know well, Chinese is more tricky

bearblue: eep

Shatterpath: Like: When does brain activity start in a fetus? My empath had to know

Alsike: when does it?

blackgrl71: i’m doing a DWP dropped in the Cold War

Shatterpath: Or BOP’s Barbara’s actual spinal damage

Shatterpath: about 5 months

bearblue: its awesome

alannasky: wow shatter

Liberty Stewart: on a similar note to x-overs and AUS, does anyone ever write character amalgams?

Alsike: cool

blackgrl71: Alk: there’s also lots of celtic and hebrew, i’ believe.

ariestess: Sorry about that, my computer decided to give me a minor timeout.

bearblue: only for buffy halloween stories

ariestess: @lib :: What do you mean by character amalgams?

Alsike: I’m good on celtic and Japanese

bearblue: but I like reading them when they dont take over the original character

Liberty Stewart: @ariest: combining characters basically

Alsike: and, uh, tantric hinduisim, if I can be of any help.

ariestess: @lib :: Okay, that’s what I thought you mean. Just wanted clarification.

bearblue: If I wanted to read a princess fic Id have chosen that series

ariestess: I don’t think I’ve actually done an amalgam in fanfic. My big original lesbian high fantasy novel has some aspects of it from back when I first created the characters.

Alsike: I like taking a character and putting her into a different character’s role, but I don’t amalgamate in fic.

bearblue: nods

olli01a: nods

alannasky: wont lie i still dont get the amalgam think…can someone provide me an example

Shatterpath: yes

Shatterpath: Wicked

Shatterpath: from book to movie

Shatterpath: Ariestess and I were just verbally discussing that!

Alkmaion: @bg Celtic…also a bit tricky…many of the books are more on the esoteric side of things… might be a good start for an area one knows little

Liberty Stewart: two off the top of my head that i’m planning is a trixie from the movie bitch slap. there’s not much actually known about her so i’m fully acknowledging i’m using jill valentine (also play by julia voth) to fill in the rest

Shatterpath: and Legally Blonde from movie to play

blackgrl71: i think i’ve done some amalgam for a harry potter/btvs/death proof fic i did

bearblue: cordelia as emma frost, turns blonde, but keeps most of cordelia’s aspect….

Liberty Stewart: another is glory from buffy where i’m using lucy in the sky from the short film debs (also by clare kramer) to be her counterpart instead of ben

ariestess: To follow Shatterpath’s comment on Wicked amalgams. Fiyero in the book and Fiyero in the musical? Musical!Fiyero is an amalgam of Book!Fiyero and Book!Avaric.

blackgrl71: i’ve also read a story in which Cordelia becomes Belle Morte from the Anita Blake novels

bearblue: i dont know that i count same characters as amalgams

ariestess: @bear :: How so?

alannasky: so its like taking a character from one place and putting them somewhere as another character or changing something from the character to something else.

Alkmaion: Hmm…I once had fun with a Verse where Musicians replaced TV characters….The Corrs as charmed ones, David Bowie as Giles…

Alsike: lol

blackgrl71: Giles as David Bowie…lol, very cool

Shatterpath: I think you just broke my brain…

alannasky: lol

ariestess: @alk :: I need more caffiene or alcohol to process that one.

ariestess: LOL

bearblue: well unless the character is screamingly different in book and movies, its just an aspect of canon to choose from

blackgrl71: or is it David Bowie as Giles? either way, whoa! lol

alannasky: ok

ariestess: @bear :: Yeah, I can understand that. The example I used was simply because it really is 2 distinct characters from the book becoming a single character in the musical.

bearblue: ah

bearblue: then yes that counts. sorry

ariestess: @bear :: That’s okay. I sometimes forget that not everyone can be quite as much of a slobbering nutjob over Wicked as I am.

ariestess: *g8

bearblue: i blame medication….

ariestess: I can work with that.

olli01a: I think it is easier giving a character new traits instead of merging two characters

Liberty Stewart: i guess you can call chris redfield from resident evil afterlife an amalgam. though i prefer to call if paul anderson not knowing the source material and just writing wentworth as his most famous character.


ariestess: All right, we’ve got about 15 minutes here. Any more questions for our panelists?

blackgrl71: lol

Shatterpath: this has been very interesting!


Alsike: We haven’t had enough recs. Favorite AUs ARs?

Alkmaion: @bg well, Ziggy Stardust…and what does a vampire turn into *g* And there was o Master…but ‘The King’

alannasky: what is the worst au, ar, x-over u have read or ran into in ur live?

alannasky: good

ariestess: @als :: What fandoms?

bearblue: lately have been on a glee/buffy kick

michelle_2011: can we get more SG1 AR/AU?

bearblue: those are fun

blackgrl71: i’d like to see more Harry Potter AU/AR. i’m planning on doing one w/ Harry Potter/Underworld

alannasky: cool black

bearblue: worst… a gaming crossoveer…all stats no character or plot

michelle_2011: I like the Glory/Lucy instead of Glory?Ben idea too.

bearblue: was eyeball peeling bad

Shatterpath: lol

Alsike: There are some of those in the Sailor Moon fandom – eyeball peeling

docwho2100: : )

ariestess: One of the bad crossovers I saw [and mentioned yesterday at some point] was an ER/SVU crossover.

alannasky: thank god i havent run into those yet

Alsike: Though anything that’s basically – American HS AU! tends to be vile

Shatterpath: I don’t get Sailor Moon. It looks silly. But, then again, I’m writing MLP….

Alkmaion: @alsi second that

Alsike: MLP? My Little Pony?

ariestess: The author barely knew either fandom [and admitted it when asked], but decided to just pick up the entirety of SVU and plop it in Chicago because she liked Chicago better.

Liberty Stewart: @michelle thank you, give me a plausable explanation on glory’s lesbianism too

Shatterpath: Al- ah-yup

ariestess: Awful characterizations and all address, etc from SVU were kept the same in the ER world.

blackgrl71: i think anyone working w/ cartoons is kinda off-putting

Alsike: I’ve written some of that!

Alsike: privately

Shatterpath: Applejack stole my brain and applebucked my other muses to the curb

ariestess: @als :: I HATE the "they were hi school togther stuff"

bearblue: the sailor fandom has some deep roots… and the english version is very whitewashed, accoeding to sources

blackgrl71: LOL…

alannasky: it is bear

Alsike: yep, make the lesbian couple cousins

Alsike: that doesn’t increase the creepy

bearblue: lol

Liberty Stewart: @aries: i feel those highschool AUs are kind of lazy

Shatterpath: Black- until recently, cartoons would have borderline squicked me and then came the ponies. That said, the idea of writing somethign dirty is a HELL NO

bearblue: lol

blackgrl71: rofl

ariestess: @lib :: I do, too, for the most part. And unfortunately, most of them are poorly written.

Alsike: HS AUs can be so lazy – which is why I write them

bearblue: depends on the toon

bearblue: justice league =yes

Alsike: Love kim possible fic

alannasky: kim/shego

ariestess: @als :: LOL! Point taken.

bearblue: looney toons = mo

Shatterpath: i miss Shego and Kim….

ariestess: I haven’t written Kim/Shego in AGES

Alkmaion: honestly, the silvermoon kingdom has the ame appeal to me than the unknown, beyond Eriador realms of middleearth…terra incognita!

ariestess: And we’re down to 7 minutes left of this fantastic panel.

blackgrl71: yeah, but YOUR version is so much better and probably the only kind i’ll read… i don’t even like to read btvs in high school. i’m mostly a post-Sunnydale kinda girl



alannasky: hey ari, do u have the kim/shego fics in ffnet?

ariestess: @alanna :: NO, it’s on ShatterStorm Productions, specifically under the Frisked & Conquered subsite.

ariestess: I have stayed away from and hope to continue to do so.

bearblue: I don’t mind high school as long as they dom’t suddenly pull out wine bottles and start talking marriage…..

alannasky: ok then i will check them out

Shatterpath: I could never write Kigo for the same reason I can’t write for Pinkie Pie. I cannot do the humor justice

bearblue: heh

bearblue: humor good

bearblue: but don’t let that stopyou

Alsike: I love a good HS AU – so I write them, but so many are exactly the same story. You could just find/replace characters’ names

blackgrl71: Shatter: i have every plan to sign up for one of your calendar-fic-writing thingees, because you website was one of my origianl favs

bearblue: might surprise yourself

Shatterpath: I adore funny series and character, but if I can’t do them right, I’d rather not touch them at all

Shatterpath: doing them wrong is disrespectful

Alsike: agreed

ariestess: @blackgrl :: Thank you! We do have a calendar coming up in December. *shameless pimping*

Shatterpath: lol

Shatterpath: you hussy

bearblue: grins

blackgrl71: i do have to say that sometimes writing AU/AR makes it easier to sometimes get stuck. because oftentimes you ARE creating entirely new ‘verses so it really helps to have someone to bounce ideas off of

Shatterpath: Ariestess does all the work , I’m jsut the figurehead

blackgrl71: thanks for the ‘shameless pimp’ i’ll keep it in mind

ariestess: Okay, any final thoughs as we wind down our last 3 minutes of this panel?

michelle_2011: good panel

ariestess: Thank you to all of the panelists and attendees for making this such a fantastic and interesting panel!

blackgrl71: i’m always looking for beta readers so if anyone is interested let me know. and thank you sincerely everyone!

bearblue: thank you….

Alsike: Thanks for the panel!

ariestess: @blackgrl :: PM me on LJ [same name as here] and we’ll chat beta stuff.

alannasky: yup

blackgrl71: no problem. you’ve done an amazing job! even better than last yr

bearblue: agrees

blackgrl71: thanks for all your hard work!

olli01a: yep thank you very much

bearblue: agrees again

ariestess: Thank you! We appreciate hearing that.

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