Young Wizards “30 Day OTP Challenge”

by Diane Duane
30 Day OTP logo

It occurred to me suddenly that I’d forgotten to post about this at “Out of Ambit”: so here’s a copy of a posting that’s appeared on Tumblr and at LiveJournal. (Tumblr buddies, if you’ve seen this before, please excuse the repost: I’m testing the echo between the blog and my Tumblr.)

For those of you who don’t know what this is all about: It’s a challenge to draw or write a piece of fanfic about your One True Pairing every day for thirty days. It started with this August 2012 posting at “One Hundred Suns” and started spreading around Tumblr after that. (You can use this link to see what other people are doing with the concept: at least the ones who’ve remembered to tag their posts.)

My interest was casually piqued by this some time back. But not until the other morning, when I saw what the very talented Reapersun had just done with Day 1 — raising the bar quite high — did I realize this might be something I wanted to do too. So: I’m in it for the 30 days.

The links to them, and some more info, lie below the cut.

1: Holding hands | 2: Cuddling somewhere | 3: Gaming / watching a movie | 4: On a date | 5: Kissing | 6: Wearing each other’s clothes | 7: Cosplaying | 8: Shopping | 9: Hanging out with friends | 10: With animal ears  | 11: Wearing kigurumis | 12: Making out  | 13: Eating ice cream | 14: Genderswapped | 15: In a different clothing style | 16: Doing morning rituals | 17: Spooning | 18: Doing something together |  19: In formal wear | 20: Dancing | 21: Cooking / baking | 22: In battle, side by side | 23: Arguing | 24: Making up afterwards | 25: Gazing into each other’s eyes | 26: Getting married | 27: On one of their birthdays | 28: Doing something ridiculous | 29: Doing something sweet | 30: Doing something hot

Nita’s question on Day 1 is pertinent. “Is this canonical?” I’ve got no quick answer for this except “Well, at least some of it, sooner or later, yeah.” Those who’ve referred to this as “fanfic in her own universe” may possibly have the concept by the wrong handle. I’m not sure this actually can be fanfic, since (a) I doubt I qualify as a fan of the Young Wizards material except in the most general sense (well, of course I’m a fan of it, I wouldn’t be writing it otherwise, would I? — but that’s not usually what we mean when we say “fan”: usually you’re a fan of something of somebody else’s, yes?) and (b) I am this fictional universe’s creator and copyright owner, and (I think) commonly accepted as the arbiter of what is to be construed as canon… which confers a different sort of status on this material than if I were writing in someone else’s universe.  …Anyway, not to get any further hung up in the barbed wire of over-definition, it seems likely that at least some of this material will appear in a canonical context sooner or later. (Someone asked: will you be gathering this material together for publication as an ebook? Answer: Sure, why not? It’ll be ready between Christmas and New Year’s at this rate: check this page over here, if you want to, for updates.)

It should also be mentioned that I’m viewing this material more or less from the point of view that’s being established in the YW New Millennium Edition timelines. The new timeline hasn’t been worked out completely as yet — it’ll still be in process until we get through to the new version of book 9 — but considering Nita and Kit to be about 16 here, and possibly even a bit older, would probably be helpful. Those more familiar with the old timeline should simply know that in the NME timeline, Kit’s “skipped a grade” issue of the original timeline has been dropped in favor of the idea that he’s in an “advanced track” for his grade. His age is the same as Nita’s (in the new timeline, both being born in 1995: his difference in grade is due to the local school district’s policy on what month children have to be born by, in a given year, to be admitted to kindergarten at age 6. …But one other thought: since it’s a trope invoked more than casually in the YW books, time travel may occur.

And a last issue, while it’s on my mind. Some people here and there have expressed concern or mild disappointment about the fact that I’m invoking Nita and Kit here as my OTP.  Let me throw a few thoughts into the mix, for those concerned to consider:

  • I may not be using “OTP” in exactly the sense that many people use it. When I think of the YW ‘verse, Nita and Kit are, for me, the first pairing I think of, yes.  But this, like everything else, is subject to change without notice.
  • Such usage should not be construed as automatically implying romance… at least not the usual kind of romance. Terms like “boyfriend” and “girlfriend” are merely convenient labels, often more convenient for those outside the relationship than those inside it: and the characters involved are aware of this (as will become obvious in Games Wizards Play).

And most to the point:

  • Such usages as “OTP” and the girlfriend/boyfriend dyad — insofar as they get used — should not be taken to imply that such usages are necessarily permanent. This series of books is far from over, and there are developments awaiting, further along in the timeline, that some people will probably find… surprising. But if anyone’s expecting me to do “the usual thing”, or what passes for it in other YA fantasy series, I should warn you that you’re likely to be mistaken.

So: onward. And have fun!

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