Apparently Matt's Christmas Fic was just the first part of a story --- which makes it slightly better, in my view, since that was an abrupt ending. I do, however, get the feeling that the next part will reveal that either a) it was all a dream, b) Matthew really doesn't give a flying fuck about his own established canon, and/or c) He's setting up A2A.
I liked the part we've seen! I really did! It had some golden lines and wonderful interplay and allusions and innuendo that amused me. But I still felt (clearly), that I could do better and --- well, that's quite egotistical, isn't it? Now, Matthew's a screenwriter, so I already have the added advantage of more experience when it comes to prose, and also, I wasn't constrained by a word limit, or having to introduce everyone again to the audience whilst reinforcing characters for knowledgeable readers. I also got the strong, strong impression that this was a story Matthew wrote on the fly in between all of the other projects he has up and running. Even still, my immediate reaction was, "I can do better." Because, you know, I may hide it, but part of me is a competitive sort - especially against those who can't fight back.
I feel like I've come to a bridge now, when it comes to writing. I've been playing, I've been improving, and actually - you know what? - I'm not terrible. I'm not brilliant either, but I can string a sentence together, I can do nuanced characterisation, I've got some kind of narrative going on sometimes, which is nice. I'm feeling happier using clichés and following narrative convention, whilst feeling like I'm not compromising my integrity. I'm not taking it as deathly seriously, but I'm not just tossing out any old tosh either.
I need to start stretching my fingers into original fiction again. I love writing fan fiction because writing it (or, at least, the type I write) works on certain skills whilst happily ignoring others. And I honestly don't think well written fan fiction has any less literary merit than well written original fiction. But now I feel like I've got all of those initially problematic aspects of my writing up close to where I want them to be, or at least at a level where I can see what needs to be done, and now it's time to actively engage in improving the others. That, maybe, I have stories that are mine, mixed and derived from many others, but not set in someone else's stone, that deserve to be explored.
So, I've decided - 2008 is the year for original fiction. I'll still be fan ficcing, because there are still those other stories I'd like to tell, but I imagine it will be at a much slower rate than my current prolific nature. I'm also going to have work, so that will cut the writing time down again.
And yes! I feel positive about this!
(I feel like the overall message of this post comes across as 'ner ner ner ner ner, Matt, I can beat you.' Sad thing is, I'm not entirely sure that's not true, on some level.)