zodiacal_light: A map of Tortall (tortall)
But that day is not today. :)

I am currently halfway finished (I think...) with an AU where Alanna doesn't become King's Champion, and I think it is, quite possibly, the thorniest AU I've ever tried to figure out.

Most AUs, the changes don't necessarily have a major impact on the rest of the series' plots. Well, they do, but the incidentals are all largely the same (like, say, details about what most characters were doing when), or the AUs diverge so wildly that nothing is the same, and it flat can't be run up through later canon.

This AU is requiring a major, major reshuffling of everything - but what it's requiring reshuffling of are those minor background details, like what minor characters are doing what when, and it's turning out that those things have a much more major impact on things like, oh, plot, or the unfolding of Jon and Thayet's progressive changes in Tortall, than I anticipated when I started this.

Also, so many characters are out of place, compared to canon, that I honestly don't know if I can even hash out how the Immortals War happens in this 'verse, let alone anything else. (Which is too bad, 'cause I really, really want to write this 'verse's Kel.) The weird thing is, most of the changes that need to happen by displacing Alanna are really minor - and yet, they build up. If Alanna's not Champion, someone else has to be, which gives a whole different flavor to Jon's reign, and a whole different tool for Jon to use. If Alanna's got a different role, a more constructive one, requiring her near-constant presence in the palace, then other things are similarly displaced, and there are a whole host of minor changes that her being a fixture of palace life brings - such as her children being there, too.

It's the ripple effect, but it's gotten so out-of-hand I don't even know that I can follow this fic through, despite how caught up in it I am. I'm doing my usual thing - writing one scene, taking the plot a tiny step further along, writing that scene - and in each scene, a whole host of new wrinkles are cropping up, and I don't know that I can iron them all out.

Which is vexing me. I just tried to actually plot this thing out - like, in an outline, which I never do - and I got so tangled up in it I deleted it and went back to my baby-steps approach. XD

I think what has me truly consternated is this: how far do these ripples echo? I think, looking over the above, that what my real problem here is is that in most of my AUs, it's obvious where and why things diverge from canon, even later on. Wyldon's still training master in one AU because nothing's happened that would change that; Wyldon's not in another because someone else has the job. And so on.

Here, I keep running into scenarios where I could easily see either happening, and have good reason for either. Like with Wyldon: I could easily stick with canon and make him training master still, which would lead to interesting plotty things, or I could easily stick another character in as well, for very solid plot reasons, and that would also lead to interesting plotty things. It's like keeping Alanna from being Champion sets everything adrift, and while it causes - like with any divergence - all these subsequent divergences later on, it also is so unimportant to later canon that it's hard to figure out how the change propagates.

...And that's more than enough self-indulgent rambling for one day. XD Back to fic.
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zodiacal_light: Humour: Because angst is not jolly. (Default)

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