A trope defined as “a story in which one small change has a ripple effect, resulting in massive changes.”
We’ve all seen them lurking in the dark corners of our favorite websites: the story of how the OC from the "real world" gets somehow trapped in the world of their favorite television show, manga, or game. Some
of us may have even been guilty of writing one ourselves in our younger days. Ahem.
Normally what happens is that this OC/self-insert does little more than “mysteriously” know what’s going to happen. They develop or are shown to have abilities that help them to excel in their new world. They have parents that were abusive or uncaring so there’s no reason to go home. The character they love the most falls in love with them. If said character dies in-universe, the insert saves them or takes them back to the real world. Nothing changes outside of sarcastic or seemingly psychic commentary, and a dash of romance.
This is not what I want to see for this challenge.
You are to insert something from the “real” world into the universe of your chosen fandom. That something can be an OC, a self-insert, or a reader. Since that something is now in the universe, things are going to be different. Your “something” is the “nail” of this alternate universe of your chosen fandom.
You are, of course, allowed to follow what TV Tropes calls “The Stations of Canon.” Example:
You want to insert something into KHR!. The usual plot important points such as Kokuyo Land, the Ring Trails, and the Future Arc can all be involved. However
, the way these points unfold and end must be obviously different from what happened in the series. Perhaps your insert's presence means that Gokudera never becomes Tsuna's friend. Maybe your insert being there means Xanxus wins the Sky Ring instead. Something like that.
Basically, don’t just write the exact story with your insert something making snarky commentary and preventing all the bad stuff from happening. If the insert something stops one bad thing from happening, then some other unexpected bad thing would crop up as a result of preventing the other one. Make sure there are ripples that happen because of the insert something being there.
Does the reader want to get home? Will they and how?
2. Powers or Abilities
Make sure the reader has a reason to have powers or abilities similar to the main cast, or that they learn them at a reasonable rate. The real world does not have flames so the insert shouldn’t have that before arriving, but they could reasonably have been taught archery or some sort of weapon or martial art.
3. The New Universe
Is the new universe safe or threatening? If you thrust your insert into Naruto, most real world people aren’t going to be able to deal cheerfully with ninjas and death all around them right away, whether they are a fan of the series or not. Make sure the reactions are believable for whatever insert you fabricate.
4. How Much They Know
Is your insert up to date on One Piece or did they give up after the Alabasta Arc? Have they read spoilers for upcoming Marvel movies or just seen a few of the Phase 1 movies? Keep in mind what your reader knows, and therefore what they know to prevent and if they can.
5. Death—or Not
If your insert saves Sirius Black from death in a Harry Potter fan fiction, things are going to play out differently than they did in the series proper. The same is true for if the insert prevents Demyx from “fading” in Kingdom Hearts II. Don’t be tempted to tell the exact same story with two extra characters hanging about.
1. Word count must be 500+
2. Any sort of sexuality for any romances (including the insert or not) is fine.
3. Make sure this is a fan fiction. Having your fictional “real world” insert go into a fictional “fictional world” is not really in the spirit of the challenge.
4. Any fandom is fine for your fictional universe.
5. Don’t make your character have belonged to this fictional universe all along.
Essentially, what I’m looking for is a realistic, reasonably well-written version of an old, cringe-worthy classic sort of fan fic. Make the insert—whatever it is, so long as it’s a real world thing sent into a fictional world—believable. Obviously the part where they get to this fictional world won’t be so realistic, though, so go wild for that bit. Try to have fun!
As always, please feel free to e-mail me for clarification on anything here. I feel that I might not have made myself as plain as I could have, and I’d hate for confusion to prevent anyone from trying their hand at this.
, Webseries Characters: Various