By Lynn S. M. [lois_and_clark_fan_at_verizon.net] (Replace _at_with@)
Submitted June, 2010
Summary: Lois has just posted her first fanfic to a Star Trek message board. What sort of feedback will she receive?
Read in other formats: Text | MS Word | OpenOffice | PDF | Epub | Mobi
Disclaimers appear after the story.
I once again owe Female Hawk (Corrina) a huge debt of gratitude. Her fantastic suggestions brought the story to life, and her constant encouragements helped me to persevere until the story had a satisfactory ending.
As always, feedback welcomed.
Lois had had a day like no other; a day she knew she would mentally relive countless times throughout her life. She had almost succeeded in being a stowaway to the space station, had miraculously escaped being blown up, had witnessed the first real-life superhero in action, had succeeded in hitching a flight by him to the Planet, and had just capped her day by sending Perry her write-up of the first interview anyone ever had with said superhero. She really should be heading home, but she was just too excited.
This would be the perfect time to work on her romance novel; but Superman kept monopolizing her thoughts. Brett Baxter had seemed like the perfect romantic hero for her novel, with his well-defined body, rugged good looks, and smoldering eyes; but he faded to insignificance compared to a man who could actually fly. Concentrating on Brett would be quite a challenge. Still, she felt like indulging in some leisure writing. While she struggled to focus on her earth-bound hero, her eyes dwelled upon her computer’s screen saver. She had still shots from several of her favorite movies and television shows: Rick telling Ilsa that they would always have Paris; Gary and Gwendolyn from The Ivory Tower gazing into each other’s eyes; Spock giving the Vulcan salute; Marty McFly standing in front of Dr. Emmett Brown’s flying DeLorean cum time machine. Lois only turned the screen saver on when she was working late at night after the rest of the day shift had headed home. No sense in proclaiming her guilty pleasures to the world.
Oh, it was no use. Every time she tried to summon the image of Brett in her mind, all she could envision was Superman – Superman launching the space module, Superman speaking with such empathy to Amy Platt, and, of course, Superman smiling at her while holding her in his arms in flight. Sooo.... She wanted to write, but could think only of Superman. Why not write a story about him? She couldn’t really do that, of course – liability issues and all. But what if she came up with her own superhero who was similar enough to him to be recognizable, but different enough to make the lawyers happy? Hmmm... What could she call him? Got it! Superdude! Let’s see... He could be dressed in green tights with a blue cape and a matching blue-and-green eye mask.
What powers should he have? He should be strong and be able to fly, of course. And maybe he could double his size when he wished. How about telepathy? No – that would give him too much power. Oh, wait -- how about telepathy that worked only upon contact -- kind of like Spock’s mind meld? Yeah, that would be good. And now that she was thinking about Spock, she thought that this might be a good time to try her hand at writing some Star Trek fiction. She had stumbled upon the Star Trek message board STficmbs.com recently and had enjoyed some fanfic posted there; she had even left some feedback using the nom-de-screen WandaD.
So, she was going to write about Superdude on the Enterprise. How to get him there? She pondered the problem for several minutes. She wanted Superdude to be from the present time, which meant that there had to be some time travel involved. She let her mind wander as her eyes half-registered the changing images on her screen. When she saw Marty McFly, she knew she had her answer -- the DeLorean.
But she simply could not picture Superdude just sitting in the passenger seat of a car, even a suped-up time-travelling one; it was just too passive for him. She needed something more active, more exciting. Something like -- a mid-air car crash! What if the DeLorean materialized right in front of Superdude, who was flying back from a rescue? As they crashed mid-air, the DeLorean would disappear, with Superdude as an unwitting hitchhiker. It would reappear in the 23rd century, where Scotty would beam Superdude and Doc Brown aboard the Enterprise.
But Lois didn’t really want to write about Doc Brown – McFly was the character she had always liked in the Back to the Future movies. (She had had a crush on the actor who played him, right from the first time when, as a teenager, she saw him on the TV series Family Ties. She still thought him pretty foxy.) So perhaps the DeLorean could disappear as soon as Superdude extricated himself from it, and only Superdude would get beamed aboard.
Lois wanted to tell the story through the eyes of an ordinary human; enter the heroine named...? The scene from Casablanca flashed onto Lois’ screen. The heroine’s name would be Ilsa. Ilsa Paris. She’d need to be from the present, so she would have to be in Superdude’s arms when the crash occurred. Now, why would Superdude be carrying her? Maybe he had just rescued her from a supervillain.
Yeah! Now that Lois had come up with the hard part of the story -- getting Superdude and Ilsa onto the Enterprise -- she figured that the rest of the story would come quickly. She sat down for a long typing session. Three hours later, she posted the finished and edited story to STficmbs.com and turned off her computer. She was now officially tired enough to sleep.
She arrived at the Planet early the next day. She was bleary-eyed from lack of sleep, but eager to read the feedback for her story. She had made a point of getting to work early enough to read the message board before even Perry showed up for the day. She was pleased to see that there had already been a couple of responses to her story.
* From ILuvChekov *
Congratulations on posting your first fanfic. I loved the use of the DeLorean – How did you ever come up with the idea of a flying, time travelling car? Please write more!
I was only disappointed that you set the story in the first season of Star Trek. I missed Chekov!
* From RedShirt *
I just read your story right after seeing the space module go up. I’ve read the Batman and DareDevil comic books for years, but how incredibly kewl is it to have a superhero in RL! You sure wasted no time in getting that fellow written into a fanfic! Only you got his colors wrong – His tights are blue and his cape is red. Also, he doesn’t wear a mask. I think you might need to adjust the colors on your TV. ;-) But seriously, does the “S” on his chest really stand for “Superdude”?
Lois rolled her eyes at the responses. ILuvChekov was obviously still in the middle of hormone-raging youth – too young even to have seen the Back to the Future series. She must have discovered Star Trek via after-school reruns. RedShirt seemed pretty juvenile, as well. Still, it was nice to have people reading and replying to her story. And at least the response from ILuvChekov was reasonably positive. She composed her reply:
* From WandaD *
Thank you both for taking the time to read and respond to my story.
ILuvChekov, I’m glad you liked my story. The DeLorean is from the Back to the Future movie series.
RedShirt, the man who launched the space module yesterday is called ‘Superman’. You can read an exclusive interview with him in today’s Daily Planet newspaper.
At the end of the day, Lois once more checked the STficmbs.com site. There was quite a bit of feedback to her story. Almost all of it was negative, but two responses really stood out.
* From TribbleMaker *
WandaD, whatever makes you think you can write a story? That was about as hackneyed a piece of fanfic as I have ever seen. There was nothing original about it whatsoever – even your “original” characters’ names were rip-offs.
And as for the plot – such as it was – I have only to cite the following:
Spock turned from the observation deck portal and gazed intently into Ilsa’s eyes. When he spoke, his voice maintained its typical calm; but Ilsa nevertheless detected a trace of huskiness in it. “I finally understand what motivated my Vulcan father to marry my human mother.” He caressed her cheek with two fingers. “I have feelings for you. It is highly illogical, but nevertheless true.”
Before Ilsa had a chance to respond, the deck doors slid open to admit the captain. “Mr. Spock, there has been a change in the duty roster. You are to report to the bridge at once.”
As Spock left, Kirk turned to Ilsa with his best come-hither smile. “Rank does have its privileges. I wanted -- no, I needed -- to have some time with you. Alone.”
Two words for you: Mary Sue. If you don’t know what I mean, then look it up (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mary_Sue).
I mean, having James “’T’ stands for ‘Tomcat’” Kirk falling for Ilsa – OK, I could buy that. But having Superdude, McCoy, and even Spock doing so, as well? Come on – Get real!
Lois saw that the next post was from ‘BillsFan’. A William Shatner groupie, no doubt. She read on.
* From BillsFan *
WandaD, Don’t let TribbleMaker get to you. Beginning writers often struggle to come up with novel ideas. Although you will need to work on developing original plots and characters, you already have a good command of the English language and you are able to communicate your ideas clearly and concisely.
TribbleMaker’s diatribe was bad enough, but BillsFan’s “encouragements” were even worse – She actually thought Lois was a beginning writer! Lois -- the three-time Kerth winning journalist. Lois -- the author who was well on her way to finishing her first romance novel.
Obviously, the readers on this message board were too immature to appreciate fine writing. TribbleMaker, for example, clearly didn’t understand the classic concept of a love triangle (well, in this case, more like a love pentangle) and the dramatic tension inherent therein. Lois decided that her future fanfics would be about The Ivory Tower; the people on its message board were clearly more discerning that the readers on the Star Trek one. And her serious fiction writing would be about Wanda.
To paraphrase Rick: Forget about Paris. You’ll always have Detroit!
Lois quickly closed her browser when she heard the elevator stop. The doors parted to reveal Clark and Perry talking sports.
“...the Tigers. What about you?”
“I’m a Bills fan, myself, Chief.”
Lois did a mental double take. Bills fan? Bills fan?!? --- BillsFan???? No -- He couldn’t be. Clark – a Trekker? Never! Then again, how many people at the Planet would have pegged her as liking the show so much that she actually wrote about it?
Lois shook her head to dissolve such ridiculous speculation. That she had even considered it told her that she was spending too much time on the message board.
She sighed and turned back to her computer and her work notes for the day. Time to do the type of writing that even she knew she did best.
Perry closed the door to his office and then logged into one of his favourite message boards. He put on some music to post by... William Shatner’s Tambourine Man. He loved that song – Every time he heard it, it made him smile and he could feel his blood pressure lower. He was indeed a fan of Bill’s.
Disclaimers: I do not own Lois or Superman. They belong to Warner Brothers and DC Comics. The DeLorean and Marty McFly belong to whoever owns the Back to the Future series. I am stating the obvious when I say that I don’t own anything Star Trek or Casablanca related, either. I just borrowed bits and pieces from each of these universes for a little not-for-profit fun.