“I have no idea what I was thinking,” the Writer said as she looked over the story notes for Three Tequila, Floor. “This doesn’t make sense at all.”
“That seems pretty par for the course with your writing,” pointed out Terry as the dhampir resigned himself to appearing in the MuseFic. “I suppose this means I have to help untangle the plotlines.” He moved so he could read over the Writer’s shoulder.
There was a long pause.
“You’ve got to be kidding me. I thought you said you had an outline.”
(Ye Olde MuseFic follows, sussing out motivations and plot holes– thus Spoilers Ahead!)
“It is an outline!” The Writer pointed at the rough collection of sentences for each scene. Or what could be a scene if you squinted hard enough.
“Alright, stop, we’re starting from the basics.” Terry materialized a chair from nowhere and sat down. “What’s the main problem of the story?”
“There’s a dhampir who thinks he’s a vampire who ended up in charge of a flock of vampires. The flock is being chased by a team of vampire hunters and they hid near the college because there are a lot of dhampirs here and they’d blend in. The vampire hunters are dangerous because they might kill the local Good Guy damphirs. So they are trying to get the vampires to go away (or die) so the hunters will follow and everyone is safe(ish) again. And all of this needs to happen before the Council finds out and send more unicorn teams, because then they might try and smite all the Evil on campus. Who aren’t really Evil.”
“That’s… more coherent than I was expecting.” Admitted Terry.
“The Council does find out and they send another team, but they are Evil-lite tolerant, although everyone had assumed that Fluffy was exaggerating when he sent in the reports. So that’s a threat that goes away as soon as they have a chance to talk.” The Writer flipped the notes around. “The dhampir isn’t a nice person, but he’s also not really looking for a fight. The vampires are violent folks who love fights. The hunters are much more inclined to go out in a blaze of glory without caring who gets hurt.”
“So we have us, the other unicorn team, the hunters, and the vampire flock?” Terry was trying to work out the logistics and it was giving him a headache.
“I think that’s all.” The Writer squinted at her notes.
“I hate to ask, but do any of them even have names?”
“Right, so let’s back up a bit and figure out who all the new players are, what they want and how they end up at the final plot point.” Terry settled back in the chair, waiting.
“I’m gonna need some art supplies for this…” There was a flurry of index cards and markers and when the dust settled the Writer had transferred what little notes she had for each group onto the cards. “Yeah, wow, I have almost literally nothing.”
“What do you need to have in order for the final showdown to happen?”
“I need hunters with enough pragmatism to pull it off and vampires with enough evil in them that it doesn’t feel like a bad ending, just not the best one. I still need Sam to be furious, but for the readers to also identify with the hunter that made the call.” The Writer frowned down at the index cards. “Huh, well there that’s an easy fan-casting.”
“Look, we’ve got vampire hunters here and I’ve been working on the Secret Lives of Superheros AU fanfics and those fictives would work just fine over in this universe. They just need to be tweaked a little.”
“You might be taking ‘homage to the genre’ a little far if you use actual characters from the show’s you’re parodying.” Terry pointed out dryly.
“I’ll rename them,” the Writer shrugged, “Actually no, I won’t, I’ll just never refer to them by name.”
“Because that won’t be awkward.” Terry was quickly giving up hope that the ‘verse he’d been born into was ever going to be a serious place again.
“So we swap out the hunters with Faith, Xander, and a haunted car,” there was a flurry of furious note-taking, “which actually doesn’t change things as much as it ought to.”
“Why do I have a feeling you’re now actively looking for a way to tie Teen Wolf into this.”
“I have no idea why you think I’d stop at only two fandoms,” the Writer gave him a disappointed look. “But those will be other stories. Buffy is enough cross-contamination for now.”
“Fine, so that’s the hunters, then what about the other unicorn team? I don’t think,” he checked the notes,”‘young guy and qilin’ is particularly descriptive. Why did they send this guy? What does he bring to the plot? Also, why qilin and not a generic unicorn?”
“Because it sounded cooler,” the Writer nodded solemnly.
There was another pause.
“…And the rest of the answers I will make up as I go along.” The Writer shrugged. “To be honest they aren’t that important to the story, it’s just not logical for the Council not to get involved.”
“If you assume they are begin logical then that means the other team is experienced with vampires, dhampirs, and hunters.” Terry frowned. “There’s a good chance the team will also be here to evaluate the reports that Fluffy has been sending in. So far in the series they have been pretty hands-off, but this might be the tipping point.”
“Hmm, darnit, but that does make sense.”
“So we’ll leave him nebulous for now, what about the Bad Guys?”
“Vampire leader just woke up dead one day. He has no idea how vampires or dhampirs work outside of pop culture and he was never much of a horror fan. He ended up in charge because it never occurred to him that he wouldn’t be and the other vampires play along… for reasons. There has to be something special about him, or why would that have worked? Vampires aren’t social or pack hunters in this ‘verse. But they will defer to age, only this guy isn’t very old.”
“Maybe it has something to do with who turned him?” Terry offered. “Vampires don’t turn people on purpose, it’s accidental. Dhampirs can turn people, we just don’t like to because then we’re responsible for them. If it was a dhampir who turned him I should be able to find out who.”
“That’s a tale for another story, I think, but I like it.” The Writer pondered over her notes. “So this guy is an experiment of some sort, but not a nice person even before he was turned.” She paused. “And for some reason I really want to call him Mike.”
“We’re fighting Mike the Vampire.”
“I could name him Todd,” offer the Writer, “but he seems like more of a Mike.”
“You could also stop naming vampires after Wraith.” Terry muttered, but the Writer was already lost in her scribblings, reworking the outline. He waited a minute to be sure the MuseFic was safely over and then snuck out a window.
The Writer pretended not to notice.
And all was well.