There are not a lot of fandoms that would call to me. My friend Umiko once asked me to write her into Harry Potter, but probably a week later, she was writing herself into something Tamora Pierce, so that never went anywhere.
Generally, when I want to write fan stuff, it’s because I love the world, the premise, or some vague or abstract concept introduced in the original work. I liked the soldier Gardens (and the ease with which I could invent theme jargon) go Final Fantasy 8, even though the story was incomprehensible and the characters unrelatable cardboard.
One that I did do something with, though I didn’t actually write anything, was for Kingdom Hearts. At first, it was sort of like what I’m sure everyone did–pick a couple of favourite characters from video games and Disney movies. That was the drive of the original game, wasn’t it?
I had played the game a lot, so I found myself thinking inside the constraints raised in the game, both in mechanics and in storytelling. And marketing, a little. Re: mechanics, I constrained my “party” to three people. The central and original protagonist, a video game character (from an Enix-published game, which is really grasping when it comes to the SquareEnix distinction) and a Disney character.
Mine were Magnet, my original thief character, Will of Illusion of Gaia (post-game’s-end), and Huey Duck.
Another thing that came from the mechanics of the game was that, although it only really shows up in the picture, items are represented by a sort of Faberge-meets-Rubik’s-cube thingamabob. The crate was really just the only nod to background I was willing to draw, but those are in the game as well.
I used one location–the hub town called Traverse Town, which is kind of a non-place where things just ended up when worlds ended. And I used the concept of travelling between established worlds on a quest to find someone.
Now that I’m thinking about it again, and looking at it, it looks like I used a lot of elements in the game. Huey, for example.
Each character had a backstory and an arc of development. In the game, Donald’s nephews had a shop. I went with that.
Huey worked himself up into preparing for journey to look for his uncle, leaving the shop with his brothers, when he caught a thief in the shop. He didn’t want to go by himself, so he traded his silence about the break-in for her assistance on his trip.
Magnet wound up in Traverse Town after her world ended and became a thief to survive. She intended to just drop Huey like a stone once he had her out of Traverse Town, but he foiled this plan by making magic tokens that would transmit their locations between each other and send out an alarm if they were ever on different worlds.
Before they could leave Traverse Town, they were beset by one of the many random attacks by Heartless, and saved by a Jack of All Stats warrior–Will. He was as homeless as either of the others, and insinuated himself into the party by being amiable and knowing a bit more about what was going on.
No idea why I never wrote this. Discomfort over the concept? Or maybe, considering when I came up with this, I was in the middle of writing some novels and I think I left the country.