Welcome to my first (published (sort of)) attempt at writing some fan-fiction. This may, in fact, be the only time I make such an effort, so enjoy it while you can – or before George Lucas notices and demands his share of the vast profits I will doubtless reap from this enterprise.
My original plan was to write a lengthy post exploring the ins and outs of fan-fiction, with my own entry providing a sort of epilogue to the piece. However, I decided: sod it – let my story stand on its own. There’s not meant to be any suggestion there that Sacrificial is such an evolutionary step in the world of fan-fiction that it couldn’t possibly be diluted by any other content. To the contrary, I think the proposed examination of fan-fiction itself will probably be more interesting, and to include vague witterings about why I’m writing a story featuring Princess Leia would probably distract.
So I’m putting all those witterings here.
Sometime over the previous weekend (February 20, since you probably don’t want to have to work out the date for yourself) I found myself half-asleep and pondering a specific scene from Star Wars (and by ‘Star Wars’ I, of course, mean ‘Star Wars: Episode IV: A New Hope’, just so we’re clear). The scene in question was Leia being held prisoner on the Death Star while Governor Tarkin sets about showing off his new toy and destroying her home planet.
I often put far too much thought into these semi-conscious musings, which resulted in me wondering why Leia didn’t do more to save her planet, other than telling a half-lie and doing little else than whining “Nooo” at a key moment. The answer is, before you say it, because that’s how George Lucas wrote it, but these things take a life of their own very quickly. If they didn’t then I imagine film history would have followed a vastly different path – but at least we would have been spared the prequel trilogy.
Now I have no interest in rewriting the scene as we already know it, and I’m not a great fan of revisionism or retrofitting – yes, Lucas, I’m looking at you. In any event, my train of thought expanded beyond the scene itself to wondering about Leia’s guilt. We don’t see much, if anything, in the films of her mourning Alderaan, or debating if she could have saved the planet. Neither do we see anyone else pay much mind to Alderaan, nor do we even come across anyone who’s a bit pissed off that their whole planet has just been wiped out.
So, with all this buzzing around in my head my brain inevitably started working out the narrative possibilities. After a day or two it got to the point where, even though I didn’t really want to spend valuable writing time on ‘mere fan-fiction’, the story simply wouldn’t go away, so I sat down and started writing. You can judge the results for yourself – there are links below for either epub or pdf versions of the story.
I’ll be discussing my thoughts on fan-fiction in greater detail in my next post, but one thing I did want to mention is that Sacrificial is probably one of my most efficient pieces of writing to date. I managed to write it in just over a week, which given my usual pace is nothing short of Olympic standard. It also tells what I hope is a relatively broad-ranging tale using just one location, two characters, and a time span of probably no more than about 20 minutes.
Hope you enjoy it. As always, all feedback, good or bad, is welcome.