After asking for, and receiving, some good constructive criticism on Insanity Underrated, I spent over a week thinking about the fic, discussing it with my beta reader, poring over my outline, and otherwise contemplating things. During this time, I did not work on the story. I needed to make some decisions. I have now made those decisions and I am happy, confident, and sure of what I have decided. It may not please everyone, but my fanfiction was never about pleasing "everyone". It is first and foremost about pleasing myself, and I will make no apologies for this fact.
One of the things the comments made me realize was that I have done a poor job building up to any kind of point. Or rather ... I didn't seem to have a point in mind, even though I do have an outline which is guiding me through. So I made some changes. I want to stress that these are changes I am happy with, but they are also changes that attempted to take into consideration some of the constructive criticism. I revamped my outline slightly. It will go more AU than originally planned, and will say something sufficiently different from canon that I think the exercise is worth carrying through. However, in order to build up to that point, and to get there in a believable way, I will have to follow a certain amount of canon. To do otherwise would be to fundamentally change the goals of the fic, and that is simply not something I am comfortable with doing. Part of the problem with the last chapter in particular is that Katie did not edit most of it, so it was likely overall of poorer quality than it ought to have been. But that is MY fault. It is my fault and it is something I am going to work on.
But there are certain things that will not change. Everyone has a different way of interpreting the characters of Kara, Lee, Sam and the rest. Everyone comes at those characters with their own experiences and their own ways of seeing things. And that's okay. Variety is truly the spice of life - after all, wouldn't it be boring if we all thought exactly the same way? ;) I understand that not everyone will agree with how I choose to write them. I don't always agree with the way other fic writers write them. But I accept that the writer has a different perspective than I do, and comes at the situation with their own biases and ideas. I am afraid that if I fundamentally alter the way I write these characters, then the fic will cease to be mine. It will instead belong to other people, and I can't work like that. I'm sorry, but I can't. I will and have taken into account all of the constructive criticism I have received over the last several days, and I am very grateful to those who provided it. However, the final decision is mine. Again, I apologize profusely if that offends anyone or if anyone is upset about it. There are plenty of fics out there - it's a big fandom! There are certain kinds of fic that just don't interest me all that much - for example, pre-Miniseries and Academy fic - and that I therefore tend not to read. And if you don't find my fic to your liking or if the way I write the characters bothers you? That's okay. You are under no obligation to read my stories. I won't be upset, honest! :) I post them here and link them on communities just in case the odd person does happen to get enjoyment out of them. But they are first and foremost written for me. And the moment they aren't? Well, to be totally, brutally honest, I think that's when it would stop being fun for me.
Again, I understand that not everyone's motivations for writing fic are the same. It's okay. I respect that. We are all participatory (or not) in fandom for our own purposes. That's the way it needs to stay. These are my purposes. If yours are different, awesome! That's what makes fandom such a diverse and interesting place.
I will be continuing with Insanity Underrated. If you've become disenchanted with it or feel the quality has gone downhill or what-have-you, that is your prerogative and your opinion. Feel free to scroll on by; I won't even know. ;) But I need to keep writing this fic. I need to finish it. I will continue to write it even if nobody reads, or tells me that they like it. I just ... need to do it. I can't explain it beyond that. It has brought me so much joy and happiness over the past months and it was a definite ray of light to me last week when I learned that an old and difficult health problem may have resurfaced. Maybe it's stupid to place that much value on a fic. But if it is, I will be stupid, and I will be stupid proudly.
I am happy with the changes that have been made to the outline. I believe that they will result in a more cohesive fic that is not simply a slave to canon. I feel more confident about it. And yet I believe that the changes still manage to preserve the integrity of the story. I have thought long and hard about these changes, as several folks encouraged me to do. I thank them for that encouragement, as the extra thinking did help me quite a lot. :) And I will now proceed, happily and with excitement about what is to come.