This is why I hate, hate, hate having to take 'The Girl in Question' as we saw it as part of a story's fanon. I've managed to gloss over that damndably hateful episode with its awful Buffy portrait in Ishmael Sings of the White Whale and No Myth (which is still WiP), but now I have to deal substansively with it and it makes me unhappy.
It doesn't help that my anti-bashing gene keeps directing my fingers in ways I can't even begin to control. Because, of course, I have to be frigging reasonable about all the characters. AAARRGGGHHHH!
And here's the thing. The thing that really kills me. I may have joked I'd throw a Buffy-Xander vibe in it for laughs, but damn if there isn't actually one. Not shippy (HEY! This is ME, remember? I SUCK at shippy.), but still distressingly there.
I blame nwhepcat's B-day fic Water Hold Me Down. The one I started in November. The one I was sure wouldn't take all that long to finish. The one that I thought sure would be something like 250 pages long and nowhere near as long as Living History.
It keeps hauling me back in with its dark little whispers and its sniggering little ironies.
I have no idea who's writing the damn thing, by the way. It sure isn't me. I swear to god the story is writing itself while I'm not looking at it. It's turned into the living thing on me and I have to keep killing all the little tendrils it keeps throwing out because it's not following the very narrow narrative.
And yes, it is so a narrow narrative. The plot line is really, really simple. It's the execution that's complicated.
I will never write an AU again. I swear. I can't believe how hard they are to write and still keep everyone in character.
*kicks myself in the ass*
I've always admitted that there was a period of a few months where I hated Living History more than anything in the world. There were entire weeks where I would've done anything to just stop and walk away from it. Hell, there was a period when I actually had to because of the insessant flame wars the stupid thing would start on a certain Wanktastic-Het-Only-Xander-Fanfiction list.
The scary thing about Water is that I haven't hit the hate wall for it yet. The only other story of any length that that I've written that I never hit the hate wall for was Whisper. Whisper had me under this strange compulsion while I wrote. The experience of writing Water is very much the same, although I don't think you could find two stories that are more different.
*snarls at Water*
For people who've asked about the timeline of the Whisperverse, here 'tis. I know I answered this in comments somewhere, but I thought I'd put it in a post just so everyone could see it without crawling through comments.
November 2002 between 'Him' and 'Conversations with Dead People'
Water Hold Me Down
Primarily December 2003, but the coda stretches out to early March 2004 for both realities
History of Humor in the 20th Century
End of June 2004
Oooookay, then. I'm a little stunned by it. I've been writing this cycle for more than three years. Three years.
No matter which way I look at it? That's a lot of words.