And I've discovered more often than not, it's in situations involving the DWADs.
Just for the hell of it, I sent them a story proposition for a laugh - just as my mate Ewen did.* This backfired, though - they liked it.
See, I was hoping for a hilarious rejection letter, but instead Lighthope sent me a message about how intriguing the idea was, and how he wanted more details. I gave him more details. He wanted to know more. Obviously I made the critical mistake of choosing a well-conceived story that was eminently suitable to the current Doctor-companion team. And, obviously, not wanting the story to be accepted. I'm sure if most writers took this stance they would by Murphy's law recieve far fewer rejection letters...
So, after blocking Lighthope's email and hoping he would completely forget my existence and turning my attention to maybe writing some of *deep breath* Attack of the Cybermen/Vengeance on Varos/Androgum Inheritance/To Catch a Thief/Don't Be Evil/Afraid of the Daleks/The Emperor Club/Gray Areas/The Meek and the Wild I was thinking, hang on, I have the power to be accepted... what if I used this power against them? Mwu ha ha and so on and so forth.
The idea was quite simple - to write a story that on the surface would simply appear to be a surreal tale in the vein of The Mind Robber but in actuallity had a reasonably clear subtext about the uncanonical nature of the DWADs and that they only really exist because of the singular nature of DW fandom and their own gigantic American egos.
How do I communicate this? With an odd re-jigging of an abandoned Pat Troughton story apparently working-titled "The King's Bedtime Story", wherein an immortal 'king' would be read stories by his captives. The working title for my version would be, fairly predictably, 'Bedtime', as it would be a concept feared by the prisoners, for when the dreaded Bedtime comes the king sleeps for thousands of years, leaving them in the darkness and at the mercy of his most unjust Chamberlains.
The 'king' would be a mortal man named Arkan - a name I pulled out of thin air but curiously is the name of a Serbian commando and oddly suited - who sold his soul for the secret of eternal life. He only maintains it in a pocket-universe, but still has used his power to bring in more mortals - the purpose of the 'Bedtime' story is to ingest new, living, concepts into his Universe and thus allow its power to grow. Sadly, the process takes some thousands of years, but due to the abstracted nature of the universe time has little meaning and his prisoners linger on.
Of course, the Doctor and Moira arrive in this madness, and soon the concept of 'the Doctor' is introduced, and becomes dangerous almost immediately. Arkan realises that if he can become the Doctor, he can be free - for if he can satisfy The Guardian of the Outer Universes that he has a purpose in N-Space he can be free.
With this backstory in mind, hopefully this, the one scene I wrote, should make sense:
ARKAN: Doctor. I suppose that your appearance here was inevitable.
THE DOCTOR: Clearly. Where is 'here' exactly?
ARKAN: This is, in a manner of speaking, the heart of the Universe. The Nexus Point from which all reality eminates.
THE DOCTOR: And there's precious little of that around. Could there be some form of plumbing problem?
ARKAN: The Guardian can deal with such banal entreaties, if you meet him. Judging by your past adventures, Doctor, I'd guess that this is the stage where you ask for me details on my ingenious designs..
THE DOCTOR: A clue? No.
THE DOCTOR: You sold your soul to live forever. I've seen it all before.
ARKAN: It was a bargain, Doctor.
THE DOCTOR: I can imagine. But I haven't even mentioned spending your eternity with figments of your imagination who loathe you.
ARKAN: A momentary set-back.
THE DOCTOR: I agree. The sad thing is that when you're immortal a moment can last.. oh, ten thousand years?
ARKAN: Seconds! Mere seconds!
THE DOCTOR: That scale would make your moment of triumph that you've been ranting about so a true case of 'blink and you've missed it'.
ARKAN: I don't need to listen to you anymore, 'Doctor'...
THE DOCTOR: No, you do not, and yet you are. Fascinating - in a realm as uncompromisingly dull as this one, at least. It suggests a form of symbiosis between us.
ARKAN: Don't flatter yourself, Doctor. You're nothing but a necessary evil.
THE DOCTOR: Necessary is an important word - 'vital to continued existence'. If whatever link there is between us is broken... then you cease to exist.
ARKAN: Don’t be so literal - that cannot happen. It was possible for you to arrive here, but it is completely impossible for you to leave.
THE DOCTOR: Not if I use the TARDIS.
(Arkan laughs. We hear the key being thrown through the air and caught by the Doctor)
ARKAN: Try it. There, you have the key.
THE DOCTOR: The simple fact that you've given it to me tells me that it shall be useless.
ARKAN: Correct, of course. As you should recall, the key and the lock mechanism are imbedded with metabolic decoding sensors-
THE DOCTOR: (wearily) Of course I know that, it's my key.
ARKAN: They only function when given the metabolic and isotropic imprints of "The Doctor". And I'm The Doctor now.
THE DOCTOR: This is all nonsense. You are not The Doctor.
ARKAN: Identity is a fragile thing, Doctor. And all of us.. all beings are so small. Quadrillions of us make up the known universe - our identity is irrelevant, but we have our function. And when the cog known as the Doctor disappears from the universe, another must arrive to fill its function.
THE DOCTOR: That's what your banking on? Existential balance sheets? It won't work. I've only been in this sorry excuse of a universe for a day at the most.
(Arkan laughs again. The Doctor, sounding fed up, cuts him off)
THE DOCTOR: Oh, what is it now?
ARKAN: 'A day at the most'... for a Time Lord you can't keep... but then I'm sure you've heard it before.
THE DOCTOR: I have. More than once.
ARKAN: You haven't been here for a day, Doctor. Or two, or three. You've been here for sixteen years.
(At this news the Doctor sounds shocked)
THE DOCTOR: WHAT?! No, that can't be... they'll need me! Let me get back..
(Arkan laughs throughout the Doctor's next words)
THE DOCTOR: I HAVE to get back... who knows what evil forces are at work?... stop laughing, man!
ARKAN: THEY need YOU? I think not. All they need is someone to be 'The Doctor'. Because it is more than a man, more than a folk-hero, more than master-plans and chess games and funny clothes and teeth and curls! No, it is a concept. A force, even... the anthropomorphism of the Universe's very foundation-stone, the Random Factor. And that shall be me.
THE DOCTOR: If what you say is true, if there is a void in the Universe that now needs to be filled, then what's to stop other forces from other universes to make the attempt?
ARKAN: Nothing. But I shall defeat them. Because I AM THE FIRST!
Yeah, not particularly subtle, but I was hoping it would slip them by, even the '16 years' bit. Again, though, I found myself loving the concept but not really interested in writing it all, so it's been languishing on my harddrive... along with a couple of throw-away quotes that were going to be in there somewhere:
ARKAN: Haha, you are unable to debate my logic, Doctor!
THE DOCTOR: That's because you don't have any. Hollow and empty rhetoric. Full of sound and fury, symbolising nothing.
ARKAN: Your fury is impressive too, Doctor. But then, the light burns the brightest before it burns out..
MOIRA: I think you should rest, Doctor...
ARKAN: Rest? No! Rest is for the wicked - and I'm not wicked, am I? Of course not - I’m the Doctor!
MOIRA: You’ve mentioned it once or twice, yeah…
Make of that what you will. In the meantime, I've decided that National Novel Writing Month can go fornicate itself with its own pencil, and that finishing several pieces of fic will be preferrable to not finishing a hurriedly written novel.
*See how much effort I go to just in case somebody I don't know stumbles across this site?