Discussion Combining the Universes (The crossover discussion thread)

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction and Writing Resource' started by Skywalker_T-65, Dec 7, 2010.

Moderators: Briannakin, mavjade
  1. Lilith Demodae Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 1, 1999
    star 4
    Could the Doctor destroy the Empire and send Palpatine running and crying for his mommy? Quite probably. Would he? Probably not. Not really his style. Could Mal give Han a run for his money and beat that less than 12 parsecs record? Only if he really needed to and didn't hugely endanger his crew.

    'My fandom is better than yours' has never interested me. If I don't like a fandom I usually don't bother writing about it. And initial conflict can be entertaining, provided it is, as mentioned by someone else, in character.

    When I have a decent crossover idea, I usually prefer writing action/drama. A little romance is okay, so long as it isn't the point of the story. There needs to be more plot involved than "Will X fall in love with Y?" It works fine as a sub-plot, and don't get me wrong, I'm a huge fan of the herione and her man riding off into the sunset together, but well, ... it's just not my thing to make it a huge deal.

  2. Onderon1 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 18, 2008
    star 4

    Liking the thread a lot. :)

    Just a quick note, since I want to avoid shameless self-promotion ([face_blush]): I've found it helps to simply enjoy oneself when writing crossovers. Yeah, it's wish fulfillment ... but isn't that what 'fic is: Fixing what we see as having gone wrong in canon? :D

    Not to mention that there are so many common threads in various milieus that if a crossover seems obvious, I say run with it. (Within TOS, of course. [face_peace])

    There are risks, of course; it's possible to go over the top in making "everything" interconnected. Say you place Earth in the Unknown Regions - to me, that makes the best sense in terms of slipping Earth in the GFFA and having it make sense. What writers need to avoid is having every character in Milieu A be somehow related/connected to every character in Milieu B.

    Yes, I'm guilty of this myself - and this is coming from the guy who crossed over SW, the Marvel Universe, Potterverse, SG-1, Farscape, and X-Files in the same AU. [face_peace]

    (I've had to restrain a few crazy plot bunnies - one would've connected the Weasley, Summers-Grey, and Jade-Skywalker families through blood ties, with Molly Weasley as Mara's aunt. :p)

    In short - IMHO, have fun, don't get too crazy, but don't be afraid to be silly, either. :D [face_peace]

    - [face_peace],
    Onderon1
  3. Skywalker_T-65 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 19, 2009
    star 6
    Yay we cracked a hundred posts!! Also I have posted my new crossover and here is the link, The Sol Hope. I don't have time to put more today but I will tommorow okay. Please read and review my story or it will be abandoned in favor of my other idea's (which I don't want to do).
  4. Salacious_Drabb Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 24, 2007
    star 3
    I wrote my first Star Wars crossover (first SW anything, really) in years this weekend. Sadly, I can't post it here, because it violates the TOS.
  5. Skywalker_T-65 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 19, 2009
    star 6
    Here is a new discussion since not many people replied to the other one.

    If you were to crossover something, what time period would it be in (PT/OT/EU etc.) and would you change the timeline. For example would you put someone from another series who became evil but was redeemed, to warn Anakin enough to stop him from doing it himself. Let me know what you think.
  6. RK_Striker_JK_5 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 2, 2003
    star 7
    Eu, and of course I'd change the timeline. It'd be a worthless crossover otherwise.
  7. Skywalker_T-65 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 19, 2009
    star 6
    Well I would change the timeline too, and I think it is obvious that you should, but I had to ask. That being said, will someone please read my story, I don't want to have to abandon it like Jedi Gundam. And in answer to my own discussion, I like writing in the Saga personally, since if you change stuff there you change the rest of the timeline (more so even than Before the Saga), and yes I would change the timeline.
  8. Lilith Demodae Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 1, 1999
    star 4
    I love the original tril just the way it is, so I mostly leave it alone and usually only write in the Pre or Post eras, and usually end up turning them AU.
  9. Skywalker_T-65 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 19, 2009
    star 6
    Okay, since most people who are reading this are reading it for the discussions, I had an idea to get new people. What if we use it for discussion's and also for a help thread. You know help people who want to write a crossover get ideas, or other things like that. What do you guy's think?
  10. RK_Striker_JK_5 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 2, 2003
    star 7
  11. Skywalker_T-65 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 19, 2009
    star 6
    Well thats good news, I was wondering if anyone else would offer to help. So, I guess I will put that it is a help thread into the title now.

    And I have a new discussion that goes into helping people.

    If someone asked for help on crossover ideas, what would you tell them? And how would you help them write it?
  12. Ubersue Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Sep 1, 2008
    star 3
    Well, that depends on exactly what they need help with. I'm always coming up with ideas, but does anyone else want to write them? :p

    I guess I would ask them the following:

    1. What are you stuck on exactly?
    2. What are you in the mood to write? (ie fandom, genre, characters, specific situations, etc)
    3. Do you want a challenge or something easy?

    So let's say someone wants to write a crossover between Twilight and another vampire genre, but wants it to be action-centric and not romance-centric. I'd ask:

    1. What kind of action/mood? It helps if they name of a movie or a book that they want it to feel like or resemble in some way.
    2. How much research are you willing to put into for a fandom you're not familiar with?
    3. Are there any characters that you want or don't want in this?

    So now let's say this person wants something that feels kind of like Interview With The Vampire (the movie version), they're willing to watch a movie and read a few webpages, and they don't want Jacob or Edward in this. I would then suggest:

    1. There are some similarities between Twilight and IWTV, notably those dastardly political Italian vampires in New Moon and the vampire politics in IWTV. Consider bringing those characters together and getting an idea of how they work together.
    2. You might want to make this a period piece before Edward has joined the Cullens. Maybe focus on Dr. Cullen and his life in Europe, and his antogonistic relationship with the other vampires due to ethical differences.
    3. If it's going to be an action story, the easiest thing to do is to give someone a reason to want to kill your protagonist. Maybe Dr. Cullen has been trying to change how the Order does things, and his meddling causes them to seek his execution.
    4. Time for a basic plot! So let's say Dr. Cullen has been trying to change the Order from within, but is attacked and nearly killed by his enemies. I personally would focus the story on his attempts to evade capture and escape to somewhere anonymous, eventually leading him to Washington and a treaty with Jacob's ancestors, but how you want to do it is up to you.

    Voila!

    Okay, I should really get back to work now. :p
  13. Skywalker_T-65 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 19, 2009
    star 6
    Come on people we've only had one reply on the new discussion? We need more than that. Can you guy's (and girls) help me here.
  14. Lilith Demodae Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 1, 1999
    star 4
    What help I would offer would greatly depend on what they were crossing and what problems they were encountering.
  15. Harpalyce Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 19, 2010
    star 3
    Oh goodness, I'd forgotten about this thread!

    I was actually talking with a friend about this very topic earlier.

    My first bit of advice was to really just not take it all that seriously. Fanfiction is already an endeavor that should be considered with some levity.

    Generally if you don't get stuck thinking of how the two universes mesh, you can handwave it. I know that's where my friend was getting worried. No crossovers will knit together 100% beautifully, so you shouldn't try to explain every single detail to perfection. By doing so you'll attract people who want to figure out the technical details of how it all fits together when (I feel) fanfiction should really be more about the interaction between characters. Or, at the very least, if you're attracting readers who are about that character interaction, they probably won't care about all the little fiddly bits of making it all fit together.

    This isn't saying that, in a serious crossover, the reason for the universes colliding should be completely ignored by the characters. "A wizard did it" is often a cheezy handwave on its own. But for a humor story, AND SUDDENLY, TRIBBLES is just about par for the course.

    Ultimately I find it's more about how the characters react than how the situation is explained to the reader:

    - Characters don't need to understand every detail of how or why, they just need to recognize it as an event and be concerned/interested/etc.

    - Characters are not guaranteed to love each other from the start, either.

    For the first point, if you're writing closely following a character (e.g., in their head, even if it's not in first person - third person very limited, in other words), this is where having a character who is quickly bored by tech is a good thing. You can cut to the meat of the story while acknowledging there are large forces at work.

    ...at least, that's the theory I've been using for the Mass Effect 2/Star Wars crossover I'm working on. :)

    For the second point, it often comes across as a bit too twee if characters immediately recognize each other as important without being given strong reasons to do so. It's also incredibly fun to take a character like, say, Darth Vader, and have him be written off by other characters as a lunatic - until he proves otherwise. It's also a great opportunity for humor and a little lampshading, if you're a fan of a permeable fourth wall.
  16. Tevase2 Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 12, 2011
    star 1
  17. Skywalker_T-65 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 19, 2009
    star 6
    Okay it has been a while since the first challenge, so here is a new one.

    Drop the Death Star (with Vader on board) into any other universe with space travel. This doesn't have to involve destruction (unless you want it to) I just want the reactions of both groups. And that being said, make sure it is believable.

    Still new at the challenge thing, so if anyone has ideas for one let me know via PM so I can use it (I will give you credit for it too, unless you want it a secret).
  18. Katana_Sundancer Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 13, 2009
    star 4
    Hey! Just found this thread. Very interesting... I've always been cautious of crossovers, though I love them when they're well done.

    My favourite crossover fic has to be 'Force' by Mara Jade Jedi, with Sam Carter from SG-1 taken to the GFFA.

    My personal crossover bunny is for the Young Jack Clone from SG-1 to find himself at the same high school with the Animorphs. Done correctly, I think this could become very interesting (and funny!).

    Just my two cents worth.
  19. Skywalker_T-65 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 19, 2009
    star 6
    Come on, what happened to all the other people who were repling to the thread. Is it really that boring now, that no one wants to reply to it? Remember, I said if you have ideas just post it or let me know and we can discuss it. Just please don't let this thread die like the other one.
  20. Skywalker_T-65 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 19, 2009
    star 6
    Upping the thread in hopes that someone will pay attention to it and reply.
  21. Ubersue Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Sep 1, 2008
    star 3
    I'm afraid my muse isn't cooperating with the challenge. :(

    But a question I've been meaning to ask everyone is, though the subject has come up in passing before:

    Do you have any crossover pet peeves?
  22. RK_Striker_JK_5 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 2, 2003
    star 7
    I have two!

    The first one is when the conflict is driven solely by the author and to 'diss' one universe.

    The other is more insidious and one that cheeses me off. I don't know if it has an official term or name, but it's when you do a crossover... but you're basically just adding names and a few lines of dialogue to the main setting.

    I've read some HP crossovers where almost nothing has changed in the plot and story arc, save for some added dialogue. Same with naruto, Avatar: The Last Airbender and the like. One of the HP ones was with Sailor Moon!

    Ladies and gentlemen, by season two, the Sailor Senshi were fighting an enemy trying to kill all life in the universe. That's not an exaggeration, either. Yes, I know you can't have Usagi and her team solve everything for young Harry, but come on!

    Of course, Rei and Makoto would probably make a sidetrip to cripple Petunia and Vernon, too.
  23. Skywalker_T-65 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 19, 2009
    star 6
    Finallly we got more posts.:) Hmm... pet peeves eh? Well that can be the new disscussion since I have no ideas at the moment, since I was worried if the thread would die or not. As far as my peeves go, it is probably the same as Strikers. Since I have read a lot of Gundam crossovers where one Gundam universe owns the other one just because of favortisim. And I have also seen stories where very little actually changes. Take LOTOR crossovers with SW, in the end very little can change dialouge wise, or story wise, but that is one of the rare cases where that is normal.
  24. Harpalyce Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 19, 2010
    star 3
    After mulling over this for far too long, I finally have come up with a long-winded response...

    My main pet peeve? Crossovers that don't embrace the fact they're crossovers.

    To see what I mean, I'm going to ramble on and theorycraft a bit here...

    In my mind there are 2 types of crossovers -

    1. A MERGING crossover, where the two universes are separate and meet in the middle. An example of this would be the earlier challenge of "plop the Death Star with Vader on it in somewhere". The universes remain separate and distinct.

    2. A TRANSLATION crossover, where the essence of the characters remains the same, but they are translated into another universe.

    I had trouble thinking of an example of number two, so I ended up giving myself a plot bunny thinking of one - sigh. Take a Star Wars/NCIS crossover. I admit NCIS is my favourite guilty pleasure TV show. Obviously there's no Naval Criminal Investigation Service in the land of Star Wars - at least, not as presented in NCIS. They can't be hunting terrorists from Iran, there is no Iran. They can't deal with the tensions of Ziva on the team and her links to Mossad because there is no Mossad and there is no Israel; we're in Star Wars universe here.

    That doesn't mean a crossover's impossible. You can translate Ziva into being, say, a Bothan, maintaining the tension there. Maybe instead of NCIS, they're working within COMPNOR, and instead of terrorists from Iran, they're hunting terrorists from the Rebels. Ziva can still retain her essential Zivaness, fumbling over common idioms in Basic; Gibbs can still remain the resident laconic badass who often thwacks his team upside the head; Abby can still be the oddball forensic investigator; Tony can still be the suave womanizer who spouts pop culture references; McGee can still be the nebbish one who moonlights as a best-selling author.

    Now that I've explained this a bit more, and now really want to write said crossover, I can explain my pet peeve better:

    Crossovers that don't realize they're crossovers simply refuse to address it within the story.

    For the first type, characters simply don't react to these new things. There's no skeptic among them, there's no confusion. I don't mean that every crossover should have some lampshade hanging and be populated by genre-savvy characters, but that tension is why a crossover is so appealing to write!

    For the second type, you could more accurately sum up my pet peeve as a "bad translation". To lean on my example from above, it would be as if this translation got characters wildly out of character - turning Gibbs into a weepy pile of emo, Abby into a strictly by the book authoritarian figure, etc., etc. Or more basically, forgetting that Ziva can't be with Mossad because there is no such thing on Coruscant!
  25. Skywalker_T-65 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 19, 2009
    star 6
    o_O Wow that was a good response, Harpalyce. I guess that some people do write crossovers like that. And thinking about this gave you a plot bunny? Well at least someone is getting ideas from this.
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