So I've had this story idea sitting in my head since about 2005 - a long, long episode set in Himring covering the years from the Aglareb to the Bragollach (I'm not sure if I'll actually have the heart to do Nirnaeth Arnoediad - the original passage in the Silm didn't impact me much at first, but after writing about the Finweans and coming to love them well, it was almost painful on a reread).
Problem is? I can't do it.
Or rather, I can't do it without OCs. Maedhros is the only canon character there for most of that time. Most of the events pre-Doriath-Kinslaying feature him marginally at best. In short, there's a big great unfilled blank there - and it has to be filled with OCs or else it will be a very introspective story. And while introspective vignettes are all very well, you can't do that for a whole novel.
Now, I do not abhor all OCs. But I do know that most readers would rather read of canon characters whom they know and love - that is, after all, the point of fanfiction. And having a cast almost entirely of OCs would be off-putting, to the writer as much as the reader. The exceptions, of course, are fabulous - Isabeau of Greenlea's Andrahar stories and Surgicalsteel's Serindë come to mind - but it would be too much to expect such of my OCs before I even write them.
The second point - which all Silmfic shares in part - is that things take too bloody long to happen. Years pass, decades, centuries. According to the Grey Annals it was 400 years between Thingol pitching a fit about Quenya and Beren and Lúthien running into the Sons of Fëanor. That sort of timeline is way, waaaay too long to make each chapter more than a disjointed episode.
So now I might wuss out and cover only the time before and after the Bragollach, or even take a mortal character as my PoV character, in the style of Marnie's Battle of the Golden Wood, and use the whole thing as a Fëanorian character study - except I'm not sure how dark my Maedhros will be. I never envisioned him as very dark - the relevant bits of the Silm seemed to hint that he recovered mostly, except for a "shadow of pain" - but fanon seems to like leaving him either a wreck or fairly callous/soulless post-Thangorodrim.
As you can tell, I'm a bit daunted by the idea of my first long fic - and having to make up most of the events isn't helping. The other long fic I'd like to attempt is one covering "the making of Fingon" and why he was close to the Fëanorians. And - well, those who write fanfic will know what I mean when I say I read one of those fics: the ones that are so good that they make you want to stop writing in the time period they cover, because no way can you match something like that. For record, I read Ivanneth's The Follower, which is good enough that I could wish it were canon, except that it's unfinished. And now I wonder if I won't be covering ground too often tread if I do yet another Time of the Trees Fingon/House of Fëanor fic.
My long ramble was long - apologies for that.
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