Hi! I was considering writing coffee shop AUs of some of my ships, and I was wondering if there were any tips/pet peeves/logical mishaps usually found in coffee shop AUs that you could give me. Sorry if you've answered this already.
If I put on my editor’s hat and put my personal feelings about them to the side, I would say the biggest issue with coffee shop AUs is that people don’t push the envelope far enough when it comes to the AU elements or the plot itself. With a majority of fics X is a Barista and Y is a customer, usually someone suave and hipster-ish. Most of the time it’s set in our world in the current time and Y falls in love with X, coming back with increasing frequency to the shop. Not much happens beyond this small slice-of-life narrative filled with shy, fleeting glances. And like, this is fine in isolation, but when upwards of 75% of the fandom(s) is writing the exact same setting and exact same sequence of events, it can get redundant real fast.
Like sure, X and Y can meet in a coffee shop, with one a Barista and the other a patron, but why does it have to be in our time? Why does it have to be in our world? Like what if this coffee shop is set in 1980s Miami, or a coffee shop that happens in-universe, for example? What if the coffee shop is not actually a coffee shop? What if it’s a front for money laundering, or while serving coffee a terrible disaster happens and our X/Y couple has to band together out of convenience to survive it? What if there’s a secret entrance to the sewers beneath this coffee shop that leads to a secret nest of mole people and one of our characters is the first to discovers it? Like, some of these ideas seem far more ridiculous than others, but fiction should be to push the limits of our imagination while working within predefined spaces (i.e. fantasy genre). Narratively all of these ideas could be pulled off.
So my biggest advice for coffee shop AUs is the same advice I would give for any trope, really. Subvert that trope and push the narrative further.
… actually, it was over a few hours ago, but i was busy! so, how far did you all get?
The Coffee Saga: Part 17
wha-!? WOW! you guys got asriel into pretty much all of the coffee goals. i am utterly speechless. this is AMAZING. in this last stretch, an extremely generous coffee crusader even pushed through a few more goals! huge, huge thanks to you. let’s see what those goals are.
650 coffees: chara and asriel show frisk how cooking is done
675 coffees: chara, asriel, and frisk SOLVE WORLD HUNGER
699 coffees: 35 year old frisk marrying 36 year old chara – asriel is there
729 coffees: chara makes lasagne for asriel – wearing the infamous naked apron
asriel was already in the 650 goal, but now he’s being added to the following three as well! you’re just 19 coffees until the next goal, too.
750 coffees: asriel showing off his “chaos saber” to chara NSFW!
… which, as it would happen, is also relevant to asriel!
i really don’t have the words to express our gratitude. we’ll keep working as hard as we can for all of you!! thank you so much! this huge amount of coffee art will take time to complete between the comic pages, but we will work diligently as always. on that note, the first completed coffee art featuring asriel goes up later today!
asriel coffee drive: the results
you all accomplished a LOT. here’s a list of all the goals that were hit, all of which will include asriel thanks to your overwhelming generosity and support!