Today I finished writing the fiftieth installment of my "101 Star Wars Variations" flash fiction. In a practical sense, it's a necessary milestone for August, because I hope to finish the suite by the end of the year. Needless to say, I've still got some catching up to do based on my current pace, no matter how accelerated I've made it recently.
As the title of this project might imply, "Variations" is my look at the saga with alterations ("from a certain point of view"), the story featured in the six films changed here and there, settling on individual characters and how it might be interpreted differently, or outright changed.
Prior to this, I've never really written Star Wars fan fiction. (Although I've been writing Star Trek fan fiction for years, I've long struggled with the term "fan fiction," being something I tend to interpret negatively; aside from my origins writing unsuccessful submissions for the Pocket Books Strange New Worlds contests, I've always striven to find my own voice in these efforts, which is the secret origin of everything else I've written since.) I'm deeply steeped in love for Star Wars, a fact of my existence that's about as old as my existence as a whole.
Writing these things has been a new challenge for me. I've taken the opportunity to stretch my own definition of what I'm like as a writer. Most of what I write can be considered thought exercise. Writing straight-out narratives or, you know, scenes, isn't always my top priority. I tend to immerse myself in the interior lives or narratives of my characters, which ends up taking precedence over whatever they're actually doing. Taking Star Wars as a framing device is a way of taking a shortcut around these instincts, then. It allows me to try and be a little more casual.
Which isn't to say I'm not indulging my own instincts, too. There's plenty to go around. The song remains the same, but the lyrics, the tune, they're always shifting, and I'm having a great time. Allowing myself to play in the sandbox has been a real revelation.
Anyway, I'll let you know if I've successfully completed this peculiar saga by the end of the year...