ZedneWeb / Do-Gooders Memorial / Steven Scougall

Steven Scougall

When David mentioned the call for reflection on Do Gooders, I thought that I had to write something—after all, I’ve written eight chapters for the fic, so I must have liked it. I must have had thoughts about the fic, when it was going strong and later, when it waned. But I just couldn’t think of anything to write. So this is going to be a sort of ‘stream of consciousness’ sort of piece.

One of the things I always think about DG is that it was the first Impro that really spun out of control. By chapter 60 (the second last chapter—as I write this, #61 hasn’t come out yet) there were over a hundred regular characters, and an inordinate amount of plotlines. This made the fic incredibly hard to write for—to cover everything adequately, you had to write behemoths of chapters over 80K. And even then you weren’t covering everything.

This always leads on to me feeling somewhat guilty, because at least three of my parts introduced a hell of a lot. In #8 I introduced the DarkVerse as a genuine force, when Twoflower had deliberately written it out in #1. In #29 I introduced the Dragons of Heaven and Earth and at least twelve new implied characters. And in #36 I made things more confusing by introducing the Five Gods, which had an implied 35 characters. I feel bad about all this, and in later chapters tried to be as Double Dog Dare compliant as possible. I hope I succeeded.

This brings up a thought—specifically that of going against the spirit of an Impro. When Twoflower wrote the DarkVerse as being out of the picture, this was a pretty big clue that things weren’t supposed to be all that like Sailor Moon. Perhaps the Sailor Arc of Do-Gooders (#8 to #28, approximately) wasn’t, too much, but I always think of what would have happened if the DarkVerse had just stayed out of the picture. DG could have been a bit more manageable. ^_^

The other thing that went wrong with Do-Gooders is that it just went on for so long in the same vein, of things getting added and plotlines almost never being closed off. 60 chapters of new characters and angles and not much closure is difficult to follow…


Do-Gooders might have become a hulking behemoth that in later chapters was extremely difficult to read, let alone write for, but it was still fun. And, along with Ultra and MGH, it’s also taught some valuable lessons on how to write an Impro chapter, and how not to write an Impro chapter…

…but when I reread the above several paragraphs, they feel almost like an excuse, an apology—I’m back to apologising for Do-Gooders. I guess there’s no getting away from the feeling that Do-Gooders just became a mess and that I feel some responsiblity for this happening.

But, it was still fun, and I feel I learned a lot from writing for it.

Steven Scougall
8 June 2000