Jul. 10th, 2006

[identity profile] thepouncer.livejournal.com
I’ve been thinking about making this post for a while, because I read a lot of Atlantis stories, and frequently I’m thrown out of a story (that isn’t an obvious alternate universe) because of deviations from canon that seem random or nonsensical. In my less charitable moments, I chalk those deviations up as errors, as mistakes that could have been caught by a good beta or by researching the show a bit more. Other times, I’m able to shrug and continue. But it always lessens my enjoyment of the story in question and if the deviations are too egregious, I stop reading and go on to the next one.

There have been stories that I thought were otherwise marvelous, but the canon deviations were too overt for me to embrace them fully. I’m not talking about characterization, because that’s often in the eye of the beholder. As a reader, I try to immerse myself in an author’s words, but if a story contradicts canon for no good reason that I can see, my critical faculties blare an alarm: wait, what was that? Why? Why would XYZ happen given that the show said ABC? Instead of going with the flow of the story, I’m busy trying to problem-solve. I can’t relax and enjoy the writing, because I haven’t been given a basis for the changes. Suspension of disbelief only takes me so far.

Of course, I like canon. I like the show; I think it has room for stories that are humorous and funny and romantic and adventurous and serious and angst-filled – an entire spectrum of emotion and potential without venturing into alternate universes, although those can be cool too.

Further discussion, using Sabine's The Pegasus Society as an example )

How do you feel about deviations from canon? Do you notice them? Do they bother you or not? Are there things that you see all the time? Things that don’t fit into the three categories above?

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