Fanfic 101

by Taranea


Hi, I'm Taranea. Some of you may know me from fanfictions such as "Burning Arrow, Wildfire Heart", "Life could have been so different" or PMs titled "Where The Hell Is That Next Chapter of Wikipedia?!"

In reviews and messages I at times get asked how I manage to write the way I write, keep everyone in character and come up with plot ideas and dialogue. So, when I'm done feeling insanely flattered, sometimes I think about how to give an answer and actually explain the thought processes that go into a fic of mine. And since for me the best way to show something is usually a step-by-step example, I decided to take you onto a tour through the writing corner in my brain, where most of my characters and plot bunnies live and thrive. Here, you will witness the birth of a fanfic as it would happen in my mind when something suddenly inspired me (or I simply have nothing better to do). As for today, I have just sat through a 'House, MD' marathon, so today's lesson will be all about crossovers…

Chapter 1: Hedgehogs In Hospitals – How To Cross Fandoms, Not Readers

My mental writing corner. For the purpose of the fic, our surroundings consist of the inside of Princeboro Plains Teaching Hospital – or rather, the 3 ½ rooms they actually show on the show. Various Sonic characters are draped over furniture, some curiously inspecting X-ray machines and MRIs, but all of them are looking slightly uncomfortable in the unknown surroundings trapped with a worryingly grinning author. There are no other humans around, mostly because Hugh Laurie demands a rather high salary, but also because our furry cast are supposed to assume the roles themselves.

Now, the first step is always to find a fitting character for each role. As for the main part, Dr. Gregory House himself, one could easily consider our blue-furred hero. A lot like this:

Sonic: (suddenly collapses and looks horrified) "Help, I…I can't walk anymore! What have you DONE to me?!"

Now, popular mistake. Just because both House and Sonic are the titular characters of their shows it doesn't mean they are well-matched counterparts.

Sonic: "Oh gods, what are you talking about?! My leg doesn't obey me anymore! It hurts! Somebody, please, kill me!" (He starts sobbing. Uncontrollably.)

Point Proven. A bad choice. No, for crippled House we need an anarchic, intelligent, yet permanently grumpy character.

Shadow: (collapses) "What the hell, I can't walk?!"

See? Works beautifully, they've even both got a motorcycle. Sonic, on the other hand, fits perfectly into the role of the supportive friend Wilson, endless source of goodwill and cheer.

Sonic (standing again, carefully looks at the upside down-nametag on the white coat he's suddenly wearing) "…I'm head of Oncowhat – department?"

Errmm…make that nearly perfect.

Shadow: (meanwhile howling) "I still can't walk! I am going to kill everybody!"

This is the part where it's a good thing that the computer screen separates you and your characters. Somebody get him a cool cane to stop him whining, please?

Shadow: "I am going to take this cane and shove it-!"

Also, a note for you humour writers, it is important to know where to place a cunning interruption. Let's go fill the rest of the roles. House's boss Lisa Cuddy is a manipulating, beautiful, strong-willed woman that knows him well and is his equal in a battle of wills. Clearly, the choice is obvious: Only one character has the necessary qualities and is mature enough.

Rouge: (smiling) "Seems like I'm your new boss, Shadow. I feel flattered."

Shadow: (now standing with the help of his cane, he looks at a script of 'House, MD') "...according to this, my character makes constant remarks about your breasts."

Here is where I conveniently vanish from the scene to let the characters sort this out.

Rouge: "You write any lines of this sort and you die."

Riiiight. Remember guys, if you want to be good authors it is important to love each of your characters unconditionally. Now, next up, House's team. We have a caring female, Cameron, who often questions the ethics of House and is nice and supportive toward the patients-

Rest of Sonic crew: "We'll get Cream."

However, she is also going to sleep with another cast member, take drugs and have a crush on House!

Cream: (Has been called and smiles at people) "Yes? Can I play together with everyone?"

Crew: (sweatdrops) "Maybe…later…"

Dangerous business here, people. Not to mention plain icky. No, for the character of Cameron we need someone just a little bit older. I have selected Amy.

Amy: (pulls out giant mallet) "I am ready to question House's ethics!"

That's great, Amy. Because, you know, with that cane he also can't really run away.

Shadow: "I begin to understand why my character is addicted to painkillers…" -.-

Indeed. Next, let's pick Silver as a substitute for Doctor Chase – cute, sparkly and clearly fodder for yaoi-fangirls –

Silver: "Wait, what?"

Relax. You're only going to sleep with Amy.

Silver: "Oh, good – wait, WHAT?"

No worries. In my fanfics rarely more than a kiss ever happens anyway. Everybody knows that for the other stuff you have to go to my alternate profile.

Sonic: "People, don't go there. Seriously."

Anyway, please also note that this choice is not without controversy. Technically, Silver is too caring and involved to play the callous Jonathan Chase. Perhaps the Australian doctor should be played by someone lacking a moral backbone and displaying a more emotionless attitude. Another candidate could be…

Metal Sonic: "Resistance is useless. Prepare to be diagnosed."

However, that would also mean a whole load of other complications…

(very probable outcome)

Rouge/Cuddy: (storms into House's office, obviously angry) "House!"

Shadow/House: (playing with cane and Chaos Emerald. He drops them both at her entrance and looks up annoyed) "What?!"

Cuddy: "Your employee is trying to kill Wilson. Again."

House: "Yes. I enjoy watching them."

Remarkably in character for both series, don't you think? But since the story can't really work without Wilson…back to the Silver version.

Sonic: (now severely mutilated) "I'm…dying…"

Toughen up, this is a hospital. You're not the only one with that problem. The rest of us, however, still need the third and final member of House's team. Eric Foreman, neurologist, single, stubborn, and always, always serious.

Knuckles: "Why do I sense impending doom…?"

Your levels have rap music. It's obvious. Aaaand the core cast is complete! Let's have a test run, people. You just got a new patient who has…let's say obesity and an obsession with frogs.

(The Sonic characters shuffle into House's office and assume positions. They're trying to act.)

Shadow/House: "Err…differential diagnosis, guys. Go."

Silver/Chase: (looks at the patient's file which has a picture of a giant purple cat. He looks a bit helpless) "The obsession…that should be a neurological problem, right?" (glances up hopefully)

House: "Sure. So do an MRI. Let our neurologist handle it."

Amy/Cameron: "Uh…not possible, House. Sorry."

House: (frowns) "Why not? That's how they do it in the series, right?"

Cameron: "Technically, yeah. But right now Foreman is busy guarding the Master Emerald."

House: (headdesk)

No, no, no! Beginner's problems! No big deal. Somebody go get Knuckles and we can try this again.

Sonic: (steps up) "Hey, wait a moment. What about Tails? Which role does he get in this? I want my li'l bro with me."

Oh, sure. This being a Taranea-fanfic, he will be the patient who dies in the second chapter to add drama.

Tails: (rocks in a corner)


Aaaah, the power. Other characters can potentially include Blaze as House's ex-wife, the GUN Commander as evil millionaire and hospital president Vogler and maybe Espio as a particularly nasty version of that total jerk of a detective, Tritter.

Shadow: "So I have been married to Blaze, Amy's flirting with me and then there's constant underlying tension with Rouge?"

Pretty much. That, and in fanfic circles they pair House up with Wilson all the time, anyway, so get ready for some sonadow moments.

Sonic: "Shadow. You distract her, I break her keyboard."

Ahem. Do not meddle in the affairs of slashers, for you look cute and go well with other men. Moving on, so far we have established the characters and their relationships. That is actually the easy part of any crossover. The much harder half is to come up with a plot that gives motivation for the characters to play along. When you do a crossover of any sort, there always has to be an internal reason for the characters to act according to their new role. A crossover should, if it isn't done purely for the humour, always show some sides to the characters or explore relationship possibilities that are not viable or readily apparent in a canon universe. Don't just do a crossover thinking 'I like both of those series!' but always also have some idea what could be an interesting plot that would result from these two universes colliding.

Shadow: "Great, now she's ranting. When she starts with her describing metaphors, can we go for a coffee break?"

Hush, you. The fanfic is about to start, so you better get behind that fourth wall again, k?

Shadow (In House's office again): "Oh yeah?! Well, I got news for you: There's no possible explanation you could come up with for me to want to work with this premise. I am not medically inclined and I don't need to keep this job like House does because as Ultimate Lifeform I need neither food nor drink nor a home. Your habit of letting us keep our powers in AUs and crossovers is your downfall now." (He laughs haughtily)

Well, AU stories featuring you guys without your powers are pointless, because the powers define them. Take the powers away temporarily as a plot device, fine, but start writing a high school or a human!form fic without mentioning super speed, Chaos Control and megalomaniac doctors once and it's not Sonic fanfic, period.

Amy: (pipes up) "So we get to keep all our powers this time, too?"

Rouge/Cuddy: (nods with a dry smile) "Unfortunately. This is the second time today that hospital equipment was destroyed by a 'Wilson Boom'."

Sure. You have to understand and respect both fandoms to make a crossover work. Eliminating features of characters would be shoddy work.

Silver/Chase: (horrified in the OR) "Foreman, you messed up the brain surgery! You just killed that Thorndyke boy!"

Knuckles: "Whoops. Butterfingers."

Eliminating entire characters, however, is fair game. Also note that, no matter your genre, exterminating Chris is always an improvement. So, with this obstacle out of the way, let us begin the story…

Shadow/House sits behind the desk in his office, elbows on the wood. He glares at the trademark whiteboard, looking more likely to Chaos Blast the contraption than to write any symptoms on it. He takes a breath.

"I told you, no. Not doing it. This is ridiculous. Lord of the Rings, Yugioh, Harry Potter and Doctor Who was silly enough, but there's no chance in hell you can make these two universes work. I am not going to play doctor."

Rouge/Cuddy enters. "House. There's a new case for you."

"Forget it. Not cooperating." The Head of Diagnostic Medicine leans back in his seat, closing his eyes. The door opens a second time to admit his best friend, who smiles.

"Hey, 'House'. Just seen the file on your new patient. Seems like you would be interested."

"Not unless it's the author of this nonsense and I can dissect her. Why would I-"

Amy/Cameron enters the room, slapping the file onto the desk. "At least take a look. I think it's an autoimmune disease."

Knuckles/Foreman nods. "Yup. And pretty rare, too."

Silver/Chase frowns. "You guys think it could be lupus?"

Shadow finally snaps, leaping onto his one good leg. "I don't CARE! Just what part of 'complete bollocks'-?!"

Sonic/Wilson takes that moment to return and wheel the patient in question in. "She wanted to see her doctor," he says in explanation, and the effect on the suddenly silently staring Shadow is immediate. The girl in the chair smiles.

"Hello, Doctor House. I'm Maria Robotnik. Thank you so much for taking my case."

Shadow sighs, giving one last miserable look straight into the camera. "You are DEAD, woman."

Cue Opening Credits.

Aaaand CUT! Ta-daah, a new fanfic is ready to be typed up. Since I'm already torn between Shadow's childhood, Arabian deserts and time-travelling police boxes it won't be typed up by me, but feel free to think up any ending you like. :P

I have a feeling the summary would look a lot like this:

While House is busy trying to solve the mystery of a young patient's immune system not working, his team still has to adjust to the sudden ability of their misanthropic boss to now throw Chaos Spears. But at the same time, Wilson is facing a crisis, because a young kid on his ward has for some reason grown two tails and is about to die because of the mutation…

Episode One: Everybody Dies

Heh, wow. I think at last I managed the first crossover entry between Sonic the Hedgehog and House there is. XD As for this fanfic, I'm gonna mark it complete for now, but there's always a chance of a second chapter if I can find any other ridiculous-enough aspect of fanfic to write about. :P Also, please note I got one step closer to my goal of writing for all genres, since this is my official first self-insertion! ;) Hope you liked, and if you read, please review? :P