And this is where the story starts…and it shows, ho boy.
There’s a trope called Old Shame that theorizes that for your work to improve, you have to start somewhere and work out the kinks along the way. And along the way, you can do stuff that makes you look back and wonder what the hell you were thinking.
I feel that a lot from Black and White. While I was able to avoid more than a few of the stumbling blocks of fanfiction, Black and White is still shot through with them. Perhaps the biggest one is the start of my dreaded ‘frankenfanon’, where I mix and match elements from three or four DC sources at once (the comics, the animated series by Bruce Timm and Paul Dini, and the standalone world the Teen Titans cartoon, with the occasional other) and try and keep it all in some kind of understandable order, so you get weird time mashups where Tim Drake is in the relationship with Starfire that Dick Grayson was in in the original 1980’s series (good thing I deaged Starfire several years, isn’t it, or that could be AWKWARD). And then there’s my thievery of a variety of material, mostly jokes and clever lines, including a certain answering process I’m still using every now and then: I beg off by saying I never claimed it was mine, I was just trying to expose the humor to more people, and hell, not like I took any money from your pockets right, heh heh heh…please forgive me. And don’t sue me.
Though it is said good writers borrow from the best and great ones steal outright, but I’d rather not use that as an excuse, it may not prove the most stable of grounds. Moving on.
And then there’s the fact a misread piece of information caused me to put Jump City in Florida instead of California and by the time I realized it was too late to change it (and on top of that, it makes Titans East make no sense, but well, what can you do). And even though I know and respect the concept and responsibilities of fanfiction better then most, I am still prone to its weaknesses. Was I really faithful to Raven’s character in how I designed the unfolding relationship? Did I make my original character a Gary Stu despite my best efforts to NOT do that? Did I introduce elements to a series where it seemed out of place? And really, have I improved to go beyond these problems any?
Actually no, my greatest regret is what I had Savior do in Chapter 11. Boys and girls, NEVER THROW A SONG IN A STORY BECAUSE AT THE TIME YOU LIKE THE TUNE. YOU WILL REGRET IT. IT WILL AGE AS WELL AS A DAYFLY. PLEASE LEARN FROM MY MISTAKES.
In any case, here’s where it starts. Before Savior became an overbearing asshole. Before my fight scenes became books in and of themselves. And before I weaned myself off stealing whatever wasn’t nailed down for my own sake…wait, I still do that. Bugger it all.
But we all have to start somewhere. Here’s my own particular take on a strange, wonderful, horrible world. Maybe it’s your cup of tea, maybe not. I did my best. And I just work here.