Update 6/17 Morning: I added some clarification and new revelations and instigations and interpretations in the comments section on this posting.
A long time ago I got an e-mail accusing me of being too soft on my characters and refusing to kill them off. Example given was not killing Penny Gabriev at the end of Demiurge, amoung others.
Allow me to rant a moment.
The egotistical anus opening in me says that I revitalized darkfic with my first Ranma 1/2 darkfics, and spawned a hundred copycats who also wanted to do stories where things go wrong and shit happens. The realist in me says maybe some of my stories inspired a few rather than being some messiah leading the way, but regardless, the movement I’m about to talk about is still valid.
Because when I read darkfics after I started getting into fanfic writing, I noticed a trend. Things start out mediocre for our characters, then they get worse, and worse, and worse, until everybody is dead or destroyed or otherwise damned for all time. The whole exercise felt like a Maquis de Sadian mastrubatory frenzy of pain for the sake of pain and little more. A “How messed up can we make this?” thing where SOMETIMES there’d be some worthwhile irony or thematic reasons for everybody to get wasted, but usually, nope. I’m not going to name names (but I will point out a story where Ranma-chan got pregnant and eventually everybody killed themselves for one reason or no reason at all, simply because I forgot the title and thus am not naming names.) And thus you slap [Darkfic] on it and suddenly you’re deep and important and anti-fanfic-mainstream.
You know what I say? Fork that.
That is not my bag. I don’t care for stories like that and I will not write stories like that. My characters can experience pain, death, suffering, humiliation, violation, and every other multisyllable word of agonizing horror. I DO enjoy exploring horror, fear, and pain. Especially trauma. I’ve been through a fair share of downplayed and mocked trauma myself. But when all the smoke clears, when the bodies are counted, there will be a reason for it all. The main characters will survive, they will learn, and the experience will help them enter a new era of their life which was better than before. You cannot appreciate the highest mountain until you visit the lowest valley.
And if that makes me a wimp for not wanting to eviscerate my characters just for the sake of ‘tragedy’ masked in the form of a body count, then observe the limpness of my wrist as I flip you the bird, bucko.
That should also count as fair warning that Sailor Nothing has a happy ending, even if the path to get there is paved in blood yet to come. Sorry to disappoint the more hardcore “darkfic” sheeple. (And no offense to anybody who isn’t offended. Or something.)
I’m breaking my spine trying to get the SN finale to make sense, satisfy, and have meaning. I have a road map now from SN10 all the way to the finish in SN11. I think it has meaning, but I also think it sucks, but I’m a bad judge of my own work and rather than agonize about it like I did last night causing me endless health problems today, I’m gonna nail this fucker to the wall and move on and let the fans decide if it worked or not. I’m not unhappy with it, just frustrated and seeking some closure.
And yes, my name is Stefan Gagne, and I’m very tired.