PDA

View Full Version : In defense of fan fiction



Celia Cyanide
07-11-2010, 10:44 PM
I never thought I would say this...but I started writing fan fiction and I really like it.

I've been very stressed out lately. As much as I love writing and acting, it's taken over my life and become more of a job, and something that I NEED to do rather than something fun. I had been reading some Batman related fan fiction, and it was kind of fun to read. To see what other fans would like to do with the characters, playing what if? I always thought I could do that, but it would just be a waste of time. But the other day, I wrote a couple, and it was so much fun! I felt so relaxed when I did it. I showed it to some of my other Batman friends, and they enjoyed it. And because it's fan fiction, I never have to take it seriously.

I just wanted to say that. :)

Maryn
07-11-2010, 11:19 PM
I starting writing fiction with fan fiction, shared with other fans only. It gave me the encouragement I needed to see that I was capable of original fiction, too. Not to mention that with some substantive changes, some fanfic can be rendered unrecognizable as such, and sold. It might not work with superheroes, but it certainly works with action heroes, for instance.

And even if you only share it with like-minded fans, it's fun.

Maryn, who churned out fanfic stories for a while

Celia Cyanide
07-11-2010, 11:34 PM
Not to mention that with some substantive changes, some fanfic can be rendered unrecognizable as such, and sold.

Oh, no! Don't tell me THAT! I don't wanna take this seriously! AHHH! :)

I read some of the stuff about Joker, and some of it was pretty lame, but a friend of mine really likes and understands the character the way I do, and it's interesting. (You know who she is, Maryn) I had some free time, and I got an idea, and I wrote it. I think from now on, I'll try to take some time to do it when I'm stressed! It really helped me.

Ol' Fashioned Girl
07-11-2010, 11:36 PM
There are those who will argue vehemently both ways... but for me, it's like a vacation. And like Maryn, I've churned out fanfic stories - some in the not-too-distant past. :) Some of my best writing has been fanfic. I like it. :)

Mistress Elysia
07-11-2010, 11:46 PM
I'm with all three of you - fan fiction is, well, good fun. I started out with the whole 'oh, fan fiction is for people who can't spin a decent tale on their own' attitude, but then I started writing a story based on the computer game Neverwinter Nights: Hordes of the Underdark and it ended up being the longest, most engrossing, enjoyable piece of writing I have ever indulged in. Yes, it's full of terrible my-bads such as adverb abuse, flamboyant use of far too many adjectives and use of the passive voice, but the sheer freedom of not having to write something that may one day be considered 'publishable' was just so refreshing... for all its faults, it was *fun*. And isn't that what writing is meant to be? :)

Marian Perera
07-12-2010, 12:20 AM
At the start of last year I was burned out from too many rejection letters. Something about a certain cartoon appealed to me, though, and I started writing fanfics for that. It was surprisingly enjoyable to create something with the security of knowing I would never have to submit it anywhere. That rejuvenated my love for writing, and six months later I made my first sale.

Fanfic writers have been condemned here before - in the last such debate, there was even a claim that fanfic writers might cause physical harm to writers of original work. As someone who's done both, I wasn't sure whether I was in danger from myself. :) And then there's the idea that if you write a story with someone else's characters you're not creative. I thought that was even funnier after I read a fanfic by George R. R. Martin (http://www.suvudu.com/2010/04/cage-match-2010-championship-5-rand-althor-versus-15-jaime-lannister.html) where Jaime Lannister and Rand al'Thor fight a duel.

In the end, yes, it's fun. I love it.

Susan Littlefield
07-12-2010, 12:44 AM
Never written fan fiction before, but it sounds like you guys have great fun with it!

Amadan
07-12-2010, 12:47 AM
Nothing wrong with writing fan fiction.

I'm quite proud of some of my work which was fan fiction. It's still popular, and I think it was pretty good writing. I won't associate it with my real name because of the unfortunate stigma attached to fanfic, but I'm not ashamed of writing it.

Marian Perera
07-12-2010, 12:48 AM
Never written fan fiction before, but it sounds like you guys have great fun with it!

Part of the pleasure for me is working with very minor, obscure characters (sort of the Rosencrantz and Guildenstern of that fandom). They're mostly blank slates, so I got to develop them and characterize them more fully than the cartoon did. And it's always fun when people say that they never really noticed these characters before reading my fics. :)

kuwisdelu
07-12-2010, 12:50 AM
You're all sick and should be ashamed of yourselves! :sarcasm

Amadan
07-12-2010, 01:02 AM
You're all sick and should be ashamed of yourselves! :sarcasm

Oh, hi there Diana Gabaldon. :P

Boudicca
07-12-2010, 01:05 AM
I definitely enjoy writing fanfiction. It's low-stress, fun, and you don't have to fight for an audience, since your audience is right there as members of the fandom. And then you can write the things you so want to have happen in the original work, but which never will *smirk* ...If you know what I mean.

Maryn
07-12-2010, 01:45 AM
I suspect we know. You've probably crafted lengthy and detailed scenes in which the characters, you know, cook.

Maryn, just kidding (because she takes cooking so seriously)

shadowwalker
07-12-2010, 02:19 AM
I've unashamedly written fanfic for many years. People who criticize it always point to the crappiest stories they can find and ignore the really good stuff (and the immense creativity that goes into them). And many authors of the original works are flattered and actually encourage it - there are really only a few "killjoys" out there :tongue

So welcome to the wonderful world of fanfic - enjoy! :D

RoseColoredSkies
07-12-2010, 02:40 AM
I wrote fanfiction for 6 years and I have to say I really enjoyed it. I clocked in 300 stories to my penname before I bowed out in March 2009. I ended with an epic Star Trek: Voyager alternate reality. It was so much fun. But now, I just let the fantasies of Jack and Ianto run around in my brain giving me entertaining (and sometimes naughty) brain pictures.

Marian Perera
07-12-2010, 03:10 AM
People who criticize it always point to the crappiest stories they can find and ignore the really good stuff

Which is a bit like criticizing romances by pointing to bodice-rippers, or criticizing fantasy by pointing to all the books where a Chosen One farmboy goes on a quest against a Dark Lord.

RedRajah
07-12-2010, 03:12 AM
I use fanfiction (obscure fandom: 7th Sea) as a stress relief and overall practice.

SPMiller
07-12-2010, 03:17 AM
Because there's not much I love more than the opportunity to point out how different I am from you weirdos, I never wrote fan fiction and likely never will, but I've probably read more pro fanfic than you.

kuwisdelu
07-12-2010, 03:27 AM
I wrote what I realize now was fanfic back in my earliest days of writing when I was 7 or 8 before I figured out I could come up with my own stories and liked doing that a lot better.

I have no interest in writing fanfic, and I don't read any prose fanfic — but I have been known to read doujinshi now and again. :D

Celia Cyanide
07-12-2010, 04:16 AM
I've unashamedly written fanfic for many years. People who criticize it always point to the crappiest stories they can find and ignore the really good stuff (and the immense creativity that goes into them).

Yes, some of it is terrible. And believe me, something has to be really, really terrible when it's Batman related, and I don't like a single thing about it!

But when I was a kid, I used to make up my own Batman adventures, when I was playing by myself, and it was fun. Now I can use the writing skills I've learned to do it in a more sophisticated way.

Medievalist
07-12-2010, 04:36 AM
I know a handful of pro writers who still write fan fic, and I know a lot more pro writers who used to write fan fic and still read it.

Matera the Mad
07-12-2010, 05:38 AM
I starting writing fiction with fan fiction, shared with other fans only. It gave me the encouragement I needed to see that I was capable of original fiction, too. Not to mention that with some substantive changes, some fanfic can be rendered unrecognizable as such, and sold. It might not work with superheroes, but it certainly works with action heroes, for instance. And even if you only share it with like-minded fans, it's fun. Maryn, who churned out fanfic stories for a while :D I am SO right with you. It took a good round of ficking just to prove to myself that I could finish a novel. As for the re-purposing of a fan-fic, I'm doing that right now. The story was very AU to begin with. The MC was an original character, there were only slight elements of the fandom involved until a certain part that I will have to totally reinvent, and it was just too good a tale to totally dump. I've had to change the MC too, because I had already recycled the the original, but.... Wottever. Writing fan-fic helped to get me where I am now, and I wave my fic-flag proudly.

Cyia
07-12-2010, 05:53 AM
I just wandered off a link to a piece of fanfiction (in a 'verse I'm not actually familiar with) that was probably one of the best pieces of novel-length fiction I've read in a year. Sadly, no one warned it wasn't finished and hasn't been updated since September of last year... now I want to break something.

And yes, I've written fanfic myself and enjoyed it, so there :tongue

Susan Littlefield
07-12-2010, 06:16 AM
Yes, some of it is terrible. And believe me, something has to be really, really terrible when it's Batman related, and I don't like a single thing about it!

But when I was a kid, I used to make up my own Batman adventures, when I was playing by myself, and it was fun. Now I can use the writing skills I've learned to do it in a more sophisticated way.

We just watched an old batman movie the other day. It was really fun!

SueLahna
07-12-2010, 08:09 AM
I freaking love fanfiction. I use my ff.net account as my mad scientist lab of fictional experiments. I always use original characters, and I'm rarely in the verse of the story unless I absolutely have to be. I'm usually stealing characters away on a crazy whirlwind ride, and they've actually helped to develop my own novels!
Examples:
I wrote a Criss Angel (yes, laugh, I don't care) fanfic and pretty much threw him in Vegas vampire madness. And realized vampires have a subculture social construct of politics, language, AND their own religion/funeral rites. Yep. Vampires have a freaking religion. At least mine do.

Somewhere in my shoebox is an Alias fanfic I did, mostly starring Sark and my own female OC assassin. I realized assassins are great characters. You can make these completely amoral, tactless people, and its ok, cause they're freaking assasins. I plan to take many of the ideas spawned from this and write and espionage book with it.

And I know its just the beginning. My current main work is a Harry Potter fanfic, where Voldemort actually serves a higher power, and said higher power deals in demons, which get inside the school because the opperate on the same level of magic as house elves....I'll shut up now.

My point being? Fanfic is a great way to get the creative juices flowing, without the stress of "but what if it doesn't sell?!?" I get great reviews, and make people happy, which in turn makes me happy.

Bottom line- fanfic, when done well, is awesome. The end.

Libbie
07-12-2010, 08:10 AM
WHY SO SERIOUS?

DancingMaenid
07-12-2010, 10:59 AM
I really like fan fiction. It can be a lot of fun. I started writing it because I was really stressed out with my writing and just wanted to have some fun and try something without much pressure. It's given me more confidence when it comes to my attempts at novel-writing, and actually made writing a lot more fun for me, in general. I've also met some hugely talented and skilled writers.

friendlyhobo
07-12-2010, 11:58 AM
I almost hope wish this thread will get accidentally locked or something before a party pooper comes in and ruins this sweet bonding experience.
I used to read/write fanfiction (it has become one of many hobbies that has had to fall by the wayside due to life), but I am still surprised (and hurt) when there are people who detest it so much, or worse, can't understand the pleasure others derive from it. Do these people not enjoy movies or TV shows the same way? Do they not feel the same connection with characters or have the same 'what if' questions? I can understand if they don't necessarily want to write those ideas out, but they can't see why others do? I think I've been holding that in.
Yay fanfiction thread that isn't a scary argument!

Celia Cyanide
07-12-2010, 04:22 PM
WHY SO SERIOUS?

hahahaha! well played! And yeah, the fan fic was pretty much TDK Joker.

Celia Cyanide
07-12-2010, 04:32 PM
but I am still surprised (and hurt) when there are people who detest it so much, or worse, can't understand the pleasure others derive from it. Do these people not enjoy movies or TV shows the same way? Do they not feel the same connection with characters or have the same 'what if' questions? I can understand if they don't necessarily want to write those ideas out, but they can't see why others do?

As I said, I just started writing it the other day, but I have always understood the motivation to write it. When I was a little girl, I used to make up my own Batman adventures, and when I was a little older, I had so many ideas for where I wanted the comic book arc to go. And now that I'm an adult, I watch Dark Knight, and start wondering things about Joker's past, how he really got the scars, what motivates him, and what he's thinking while he's doing all of this.

I think maybe the reason why some people hate fanfic so much is that they think the fanfic writers take it much more seriously than they actually do. For the most part, people just write fanfic to share it with other fans and have fun. Even the "real" writers who do it don't consider it "real," and take it a lot less seriously than their regular writing.

KTC
07-12-2010, 04:45 PM
You're all sick and should be ashamed of yourselves!

ditto dat

shadowwalker
07-12-2010, 05:03 PM
I think maybe the reason why some people hate fanfic so much is that they think the fanfic writers take it much more seriously than they actually do. For the most part, people just write fanfic to share it with other fans and have fun. Even the "real" writers who do it don't consider it "real," and take it a lot less seriously than their regular writing.

I think there's a continuum from writers who just slap something together and those who are deadly serious about it. I put myself in the area of "this is for fun but I take the actual writing seriously" - ie, I use it to try new things in writing and practice my writing. So it's been as much to improve as it is for fun.

But when we're accused of being lazy, stealing from the original authors, and being, in general, unable to create anything original - the "Holier than thou" attitude - then it's hard not to get "serious", not so much about fanfic as our integrity as writers in general. But I think the detractors take it more seriously than the writers do.

SPMiller
07-12-2010, 05:13 PM
Oh? It's not necessarily legal. If the writer of whatever books you're infringing on wants to sue you, she can, and she'll win, so respect her wishes.

Celia Cyanide
07-12-2010, 05:33 PM
Oh? It's not necessarily legal. If the writer of whatever books you're infringing on wants to sue you, she can, and she'll win, so respect her wishes.

Yes. We know that. Thank you.

Amadan
07-12-2010, 05:36 PM
Oh? It's not necessarily legal. If the writer of whatever books you're infringing on wants to sue you, she can, and she'll win, so respect her wishes.

Actually, it's not at all certain that she would win. It has yet to be tested in court.

However, it is likely that the author (or the author's publisher) has more money for lawyers.

Also, it's likely that should an author someday take a fan fiction writer to court and lose, then all professional authors would suddenly become much less tolerant of fan fiction. (The MZB effect amplified.) So that's another good reason to respect the wishes of authors who prohibit fan fiction of their work, even if you don't respect their reasons.

ETA:
Yes. We know that. Thank you.

Duoh! Sorry, I got successfully derailed, didn't I?

Cyia
07-12-2010, 06:47 PM
As I said, I just started writing it the other day, but I have always understood the motivation to write it. When I was a little girl, I used to make up my own Batman adventures, and when I was a little older, I had so many ideas for where I wanted the comic book arc to go. And now that I'm an adult, I watch Dark Knight, and start wondering things about Joker's past, how he really got the scars, what motivates him, and what he's thinking while he's doing all of this.

I think maybe the reason why some people hate fanfic so much is that they think the fanfic writers take it much more seriously than they actually do. For the most part, people just write fanfic to share it with other fans and have fun. Even the "real" writers who do it don't consider it "real," and take it a lot less seriously than their regular writing.

Another popular version of fanfic is the "virtual season" for cancelled TV shows. Even shows with smaller fandoms can have fans who want to "continue" the story, especially if the series got canceled on a cliffhanger. Usually people are invited to submit story ideas to a group who either initiates the "season" or those who are considered the fandom's better writers and a series of novelette or novella length episodes get posted to someone's LJ.

Unlike novel fanfic, TV/Movie fanfic seems to get a better response from the creators. I know with the last fandom I wrote for, the show writers read many of the things that were posted and found it flattering when one of their own episodes was used in someone else's piece. They liked knowing that they'd struck a chord with a viewer.

And I'm pretty sure I've mentioned this before, but there is an actual academic value to fanfic. Some English lit classes use it as an assignment.

"Rewrite a portion of The Scarlet Letter from Aurthur Dimmsdale's POV."

"Make an Epilogue for Hamlet as though he'd never died."

"Create a new character for A Tale of Two Cities. Add their actions and dialogue so that they interact with the existing story without changing any of the original dialogue itself."

"Take three literary heroes or villains and write a conversation between them."

The student not only has to think about the characterization, but also the original author's style and voice.

Celia Cyanide
07-12-2010, 06:52 PM
Yes, you're right! I forgot about that! I was asked to write another chapter to The Outsiders in junior high.

shaldna
07-12-2010, 07:56 PM
I love fanfic.

That is all I have to contribute to this discussion, mainly because I remember how out of hand it got last time.

Shady Lane
07-12-2010, 08:14 PM
I love fanfiction. I've dabbled in writing it, but mostly I read.

Manuel Royal
07-12-2010, 08:42 PM
I've unashamedly written fanfic for many years. People who criticize it always point to the crappiest stories they can find and ignore the really good stuff (and the immense creativity that goes into them).No, not always. My dislike of fanfiction isn't based on quality.

Phaeal
07-12-2010, 09:16 PM
"Rewrite a portion of The Scarlet Letter from Aurthur Dimmsdale's POV."


Okay.

Arthur scratched his sweating neck under the infernally tight falling collar. If Hester didn't stop winking at him, he was going to forget that brilliantly cogent point about the Antinomian controversy that he had prepared for his sermon. Moreover, he feared a reiteration of the humorous sally Governor Winthrop had delivered after last Sunday's meeting: Ah, young Dimmesdale, be that a parched ear of corn in your breeches, or are you just glad to see me?

I wrote a prequel for The Scarlet Letter. It was rated X. I didn't turn it in to the teacher. She got my emo Antigone sequel instead. ;)

I used to write Star Trek FF waaaaaay back in the day, before the Internet made FF easy to distribute. That culminated in a Star Trek:TNG novel that I started subbing to agents seconds before Pocket Books slammed the door on the series. Still love the story -- I'll probably recycle it into one of my own milieus before long.

I did some Harry Potter fanfic early in that craze. Sirius/Remus: Yummmm.

I seem to have lost interest in writing and reading fanfic, but I find the phenomenon itself fascinating. Has anyone put out a really good, in-depth book about it yet?

Celia Cyanide
07-12-2010, 09:20 PM
To a certain extent, I can understand why it bothers some people. There are certain fandoms that just piss me off. One of them is VC Andrews.

Medievalist
07-12-2010, 09:31 PM
I seem to have lost interest in writing and reading fanfic, but I find the phenomenon itself fascinating. Has anyone put out a really good, in-depth book about it yet?

There's a bunch of fan fic writers, mostly of the media-tie in sorts, who call themselves "aca fans." That's "academic fans." Google it both ways.

They present papers and write books. The books and papers I've read and heard pretty much sucked; they were coyly self-referential about the fans' own fan-fic.

friendlyhobo
07-12-2010, 10:25 PM
I've read that one article about the history of fanfiction and the origins of the dreaded mary sue. It's out there on the net somewhere, I can't find it, but it was very professional and informative. Anybody what I'm referring to?

Cyia
07-12-2010, 11:04 PM
I seem to have lost interest in writing and reading fanfic, but I find the phenomenon itself fascinating. Has anyone put out a really good, in-depth book about it yet?

Not sure about books, but I know there are college courses that deal with it as a "cultural phenomenon".

I've had people contact me through FFn for written permissions on using segments of my stuff in class assignments / presentations in the US and Germany. (which I didn't give because I'd pulled down the pieces they wanted to use and didn't want to hunt them down again.)

Phaeal
07-13-2010, 12:32 AM
I've read that one article about the history of fanfiction and the origins of the dreaded mary sue. It's out there on the net somewhere, I can't find it, but it was very professional and informative. Anybody what I'm referring to?

This may be the one you're thinking of:

http://www.merrycoz.org/papers/MARYSUE.HTM (http://www.merrycoz.org/papers/MARYSUE.HTM)

ChaosTitan
07-13-2010, 01:39 AM
I discovered fanfiction about eleven years ago, and I wrote it for about five years. I gave it up when I decided to "go pro" and started querying agents. But I don't regret a single story I wrote or hour I spent on a fanfic. It got me back into prose writing, and I'm not the only published author who started in fic.

I dabbled back into it this past winter/spring, as a way to keep my sanity during a particularly difficult few months.

DancingMaenid
07-13-2010, 02:03 AM
I think maybe the reason why some people hate fanfic so much is that they think the fanfic writers take it much more seriously than they actually do. For the most part, people just write fanfic to share it with other fans and have fun. Even the "real" writers who do it don't consider it "real," and take it a lot less seriously than their regular writing.

Honestly, I do take my fanfic seriously. I think if I didn't, it'd be disrespectful to the stories and the fans I share them with. All my writing, original and fanfic, is done for fun. But I care very much about crafting good stories that are enjoyable to read.

friendlyhobo
07-13-2010, 02:42 AM
This may be the one you're thinking of:

http://www.merrycoz.org/papers/MARYSUE.HTM (http://www.merrycoz.org/papers/MARYSUE.HTM)

Yes thank you! The simple fact that there is a link to the freaking bibliography for this article makes me so happy.

Manuel Royal
07-13-2010, 04:35 AM
I guess we should distinguish between fiction based in an old work (something that's been part of our culture long enough to be public domain) and work that's currently being produced. For instance Stephen Baxter's The Time Ships is a very clever sequel to Wells' great The Time Machine. And any number of writers after Doyle have written Sherlock Holmes stories (and damn few of them get the feel right).

Then there are odd meta-fiction works like the "Incompleat Enchanter" stories by L. Sprague de Camp and Fletcher Pratt, in which modern (c. 1940) psychiatrists are able to enter universes that match famous works of fiction such as Spenser's Fairy Queene.

But usually when people talk about fanfiction, it means stories set in a canon that is still being created by its rightful owners. I couldn't do that unless I intended my work to become part of that canon, as an authorized novel, film or series episode. Just playing with the characters would feel dirty, and not in a good way. Like sneaking into somebody's house and putting on their underwear. I don't blame others for doing it, but I don't understand the drive behind it.

Somehow it doesn't bother me with comic book characters, though, like Celia's beloved Joker. The DC and Marvel comics have had so many different writers, such tangled, contradictory storylines, and so many retroactive continuity changes and rebooting, and so much flat-out amateurish writing, that I can't blame the fans for feeling they have as much right to the characters as do the corporate entities that own and market them.

ETA: Note that The Time Ships was authorized by the Wells estate. If I recall, somebody in Germany wrote an unauthorized sequel back in the '30s; I read a translation some time in the 1970s.

Margarita Skies
07-13-2010, 04:47 AM
I love reading fan fiction...but I wouldn't write it. That's all I am going to say. Don't shoot me. :flag:

Marian Perera
07-13-2010, 04:50 AM
There are so many instances of people using the characters created by others these days that aren't fanfiction - novels based on works in the public domain, novels where the original author may not have wanted a sequel but the estate gave permission for one (poor Margaret Mitchell!), parodies, novelizations, etc.

Personally, if I had to choose between a fanfic that stayed true to my characters and a parody which mocked them, I'd pick the fanfic, but that's just me.


I love reading fan fiction...but I wouldn't write it. That's all I am going to say. Don't shoot me.

Not sure who you're addressing here, the fanfic writers or the people who disapprove of fanfics. :)

Celia Cyanide
07-13-2010, 05:18 AM
Somehow it doesn't bother me with comic book characters, though, like Celia's beloved Joker. The DC and Marvel comics have had so many different writers, such tangled, contradictory storylines, and so many retroactive continuity changes and rebooting, and so much flat-out amateurish writing, that I can't blame the fans for feeling they have as much right to the characters as do the corporate entities that own and market them.

Indeed. In the case of the Joker, the man who is credited with creating him most likely did not. With most superhero comics, their worlds are still being created and recreated, and not by the same people who originated the characters.

shadowwalker
07-13-2010, 06:02 AM
Somehow it doesn't bother me with comic book characters, though, like Celia's beloved Joker. The DC and Marvel comics have had so many different writers, such tangled, contradictory storylines, and so many retroactive continuity changes and rebooting, and so much flat-out amateurish writing, that I can't blame the fans for feeling they have as much right to the characters as do the corporate entities that own and market them.

But what's the difference, really, between comic books and "real" books (no offense intended, just not sure how to otherwise distinguish them) or TV or movies? It's still fanfic. (And there are plenty of TV shows where the writing is/was just as tangled - the fandom I write in has a running joke about the continuity problems and canon contradictions.) So I guess I don't see one area being any "dirtier" than another.

friendlyhobo
07-13-2010, 06:27 AM
I love reading fan fiction...but I wouldn't write it. That's all I am going to say. Don't shoot me. :flag:
On slight variation, I like to read it, I've written some, but I WILL AND WOULD NEVER EVER post what I've written on the internet. Why? It's bad and I don't want to make it any better.

JimmyB27
07-13-2010, 07:16 PM
Fan fiction is fine, just don't try and publish it (I'm looking at you Brian Herbert).

JimmyB27
07-13-2010, 07:22 PM
There are so many instances of people using the characters created by others these days that aren't fanfiction - novels based on works in the public domain, novels where the original author may not have wanted a sequel but the estate gave permission for one (poor Margaret Mitchell!), parodies, novelizations, etc.

Ok, you caught me, I didn't read the whole thread.

This is exactly the sort of thing I'm talking about in my post above. I hate what Brian Herbert did to his father's universe. But, I suppose, technically it's not fan fic. It does, however, suck mightily.

Phaeal
07-13-2010, 08:35 PM
[Stern paternalistic voiceover:] Son, there is no law against teh suxxor. Thank God. The prison system is overloaded enough. [End, stern paternalistic voiceover.]

Manuel Royal
07-13-2010, 08:40 PM
But what's the difference, really, between comic books and "real" books (no offense intended, just not sure how to otherwise distinguish them) or TV or movies? It's still fanfic. (And there are plenty of TV shows where the writing is/was just as tangled - the fandom I write in has a running joke about the continuity problems and canon contradictions.) So I guess I don't see one area being any "dirtier" than another.Comic books have had the same characters worked over by literally dozens of writers; they, and the "canon" in which they exist, have been retconned, reimagined, rebooted, and sometimes just screwed up to a point where there's no definitive version of a given character, and the "rules" are fluid and arbitrary.

DC and Marvel deserve fanfic.

friendlyhobo
07-13-2010, 08:42 PM
But, Manuel Royal, whatever your gripes with it, you can understand why other people would want to write it?

Manuel Royal
07-14-2010, 01:13 AM
But, Manuel Royal, whatever your gripes with it, you can understand why other people would want to write it?No. But people do a lot of things I don't understand. Some people care about professional sports, or believe in God. That's their right; I don't have to understand it. It makes sense to them.

friendlyhobo
07-14-2010, 02:40 AM
No. But people do a lot of things I don't understand. Some people care about professional sports, or believe in God. That's their right; I don't have to understand it. It makes sense to them.

I guess. I don't care about professional sports, but I can understand why those other people do. They like the sport, the rush and excitement of rivalry, a sense of community with the other fans.
Still don't give a crap though.
But yeah, it is their right (to write!) about whatever they want.

Manuel Royal
07-14-2010, 03:24 AM
When my appendix ruptured, I had some days of high fever and dreamed an entire episode of Seinfeld. I wrote it down later, to keep as a mental curiosity ... so I guess that counts as fanfic, in a way. (I just recently incorporated one element of it into a badger-related tv script.)

shadowwalker
07-14-2010, 03:32 AM
DC and Marvel deserve fanfic.

Any book/show/movie deserves fanfic if it affects its readers/viewers enough that they want to dwell in that world a little longer. It's a compliment.

Detective Conan
07-14-2010, 03:45 AM
There's a lot of fanfiction floating about the nets these days. I recently came across these "alternate take" Harry Potter books that are extremely well done, taking a different approach to Harry's life after the events of book 4. However, I've come across just as many stinkers, too.

But, hey, fanfiction isn't the only stinky fiction ;)

shadowwalker
07-14-2010, 06:13 PM
You'd be surprised (or maybe not) by how many sites/blogs there are out there that point out the really crappy stories - and they are, for the most part, run by supporters of fanfic (writers and/or readers). It's an effort to not only warn readers about these abysmal things, but to try and raise the bar. I have one myself. :evil

Marian Perera
07-14-2010, 06:21 PM
Link, please? :)

shadowwalker
07-15-2010, 01:18 AM
Link, please? :)

http://community.livejournal.com/lousyfic/

:D

shaldna
07-15-2010, 01:50 PM
I know my love of fanfic comes from my love of the original stories. Most of us have had those moments when we wondered what would have happened to our favourite characters if they had made a different choice, gone a differenet way, if a character hadn't left/died/etc, or just the simple 'what happens next'

Fanfic allows people to find out. They can take all those ideas and thoughts about characters they love and give themselves the alternative that they thought.

And anti-canon is always popular, especially in terms of couples.

I love fic, (i'm a ginny/draco, cas/dean, and lately a vecchio/frazer girl)

Parametric
07-15-2010, 02:07 PM
You'd be surprised (or maybe not) by how many sites/blogs there are out there that point out the really crappy stories - and they are, for the most part, run by supporters of fanfic (writers and/or readers). It's an effort to not only warn readers about these abysmal things, but to try and raise the bar. I have one myself. :evil


Link, please? :)


http://community.livejournal.com/lousyfic/

:D

And deleterius (http://community.livejournal.com/deleterius) and pottersues (http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/pottersues.livejournal.com) and marysues (http://community.livejournal.com/marysues/) and and and ...

Alitriona
07-17-2010, 06:18 AM
I write fanfic, I'm currently finishing up a multi chapter fiction. I used it to improve my writing and because I love to read fanfic, I thought why not? I also wrote a short story that would need intense editing to be any good. I wrote it as a challenge, 11,000 words in less than a week. That is massive for me.

Neither story could be reworked to be published, so it really was just for enjoyment.

Bartholomew
07-17-2010, 06:24 AM
Every now and then, I write Star Wars fanfic.

No one ever sees it. :)

Alitriona
07-17-2010, 09:11 PM
This is great. It feels life admitting to sitting in pjs, eating ice-cream at four in the afternoon. LOL

I do that too btw :-)

Celia Cyanide
07-18-2010, 06:55 PM
Yes, it does feel like that! It's so nice to know that other people enjoy doing this, too.

I only show it to other fans, and it's fun to hear that they thought I did interesting things with the characters, but kept them who they really are.

Lady Ice
07-21-2010, 03:22 PM
I love Shakespeare fan fiction. The Othello threesome was brilliant.

Gillhoughly
07-21-2010, 09:14 PM
I've indulged in fic myself back in the day (when I had the time!). Heck, a couple years back I started an Invisible Man fic (and then got busy). Lately I've been ripping off Sherlock Holmes since the Robert Downey Jr. film came out.

Well, to be accurate I've been mentally ripping off the clothes of "Dr. Hawtson" but that's TMI!


Dr. Hawtson is too sexy to wear a hat.
http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_eP-TQH6WbX0/SoCjVI_9NLI/AAAAAAAAImg/GmPn3nggE7I/s400/Sherlock+Holmes+Character+Movie+Posters+-+Jude+Law+as+Dr.+John+Watson.jpg




Some of you may be interested to know that Lois McMaster Bujold filed the serial numbers off a Star Trek fic she'd worked on for years and sold it to Baen books as Shards of Honor. It was the basis of her whole Hugo-winning Vorkosigan series.

NYT bestseller Rachel Caine gave up writing at one point in the 90s. Her books were not doing well, editors were playing musical chairs; she had to change her pen name and wasn't selling new stuff, so she packed up and fled into fanfic.

She turned out some amazing work druing this low point, but importantly, it kept her writing muscle warmed up until she tweaked a back burner idea and turned it into her Weather Wardens series. In her spare time she still writes fic, posting it on a closed site under a pen name not associated with her pro writing. She acknowledges she doesn't own the characters and will take the stories down if the copyright holder has a problem--and I know she would do that.

Oh, her Stargate fic led to a pro sale with a publisher who held the license to publish those books for MGM.

In the early 90s I got stuck between my third and fourth books, obsessing on a Brit TV series and producing three fanzines. (This was back in the days of hard copies!)

The practice improved my craft, and I took the lessons learned into my pro writing.

I only object to the few fic writers who ignore a copyright holder's request to opt out. If another writer doesn't want you playing in their universe, then the polite thing is to respect that and move on to another fandom. It's just showing a little basic courtesy.

The few ficcers who don't respect that, well, I've noticed they tend to kick out the worst possible dreck that causes eyes to bleed and planes to fall from the sky. So I can certainly understand why the copyright holders might be wincing!

Case in point would be "Lady Silly Potatohead" and her Twihard tribute novel. She went way off the deep end with press releases, plans for promotional videos, plans for her life story, and whining to SMeyer for "permission," then pressing forward regardless. She became a fandom legend, but not in a good way.

She's an extreme example of what not to do, though, and certainly a few shrimps short of a barbie!

The great majority of ficcers are much nicer and more sensible!

I've always seen fic as practice. One may be a great composer, but you play the works of others to get the juices going!

In regard to fics based on works that are out of copyright, I say flank speed and go for it. Some publishers are having a field day with things like "Pride and Prejudice and Zombies."

Frankenstein & Dracula have been plundered, Jane Austen and Shakespeare's works have been fair game.

Just remember....


http://101reasonstostopwriting.com/uploads/2007/09/aspiration_med.jpg



http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/images/icons/icon10.gif

Celia Cyanide
07-21-2010, 10:20 PM
I only object to the few fic writers who ignore a copyright holder's request to opt out. If another writer doesn't want you playing in their universe, then the polite thing is to respect that and move on to another fandom. It's just showing a little basic courtesy.

Yes, and I don't understand why someone would respect a writer enough to want to write fanfic in their universe, but not respect their wishes when they don't approve.

You don't need to post it publicly. Mine is hidden.


Case in point would be "Lady Silly Potatohead" and her Twihard tribute novel. She went way off the deep end with press releases, plans for promotional videos, plans for her life story, and whining to SMeyer for "permission," then pressing forward regardless. She became a fandom legend, but not in a good way.

Another example would be the "Exorcist Synchronized" guy who wrote a film treatment for a movie about characters from the Exorcist. It was a bunch of garbage about Reagan using lightsabers, and how homosexuality was of the Devil. Not only did he write it, but he kept bothering the production company about getting it made, until they issued a cease and desist order.

Gillhoughly
07-21-2010, 11:56 PM
It was a bunch of garbage about Reagan using lightsabers, and how homosexuality was of the Devil.


:Jaw:

djf881
07-22-2010, 12:57 AM
If the original source is public domain it's not really even fanfic. Neil Gaiman's "American Gods" or Michael Chabon's "The Final Solution" are not fanfic. Things that are in the public domain are available for you to appropriate and make your own. I would suggest adding trendy monsters. I am currently working on "20,000 Zombies Under The Sea."

Celia Cyanide
07-22-2010, 01:18 AM
If they're not fan fiction, what are they?

djf881
07-22-2010, 01:27 AM
If they're not fan fiction, what are they?

Original stories.

Celia Cyanide
07-22-2010, 01:49 AM
Original stories.

I don't think it's original to write with someone else's characters, even if no one holds copyright anymore.

Gillhoughly
07-22-2010, 04:23 AM
Meh--Shakespeare stole from a lot of sources, so did Tolkien, only we call it "borrowing" or "homage" or "inspired by".

:D

If it's in the public domain it's fair game to me, providing my agent can sell it! ;)

Celia Cyanide
07-22-2010, 07:13 AM
Yes, it's fair game, but I dont know if I agree that the only difference between fanfic and an original story is the characters being public domain. That's what means you can sell it, I don't know if it makes it an original story.

DancingMaenid
07-22-2010, 08:40 AM
I like the phrase "transformative work" myself, especially since a lot of published stories (such as Wicked) re-imagine the source material in some way.

But I don't see a big difference between published fiction based on other stories, those licensed novels based on TV shows or movies, and fan fiction posted online. They're all essentially doing the same thing, though each category can have a lot of different styles and motivations involved.

kuwisdelu
07-22-2010, 08:43 AM
And technically, a fan fic can have an original story. In fact, lots of them do. It's the characters and sometimes the world that aren't original.

Bartholomew
07-22-2010, 10:47 AM
This is great. It feels life admitting to sitting in pjs, eating ice-cream at four in the afternoon. LOL


^_^

It's a good way to get my writing muscles warmed up.

shaldna
07-22-2010, 02:12 PM
This is great. It feels life admitting to sitting in pjs, eating ice-cream at four in the afternoon. LOL

I do that too btw :-)


haha. We should have a support group.



Hi. My name is Claire and I like fanfic

Celia Cyanide
07-22-2010, 05:12 PM
And technically, a fan fic can have an original story. In fact, lots of them do. It's the characters and sometimes the world that aren't original.

And I'm not naming names, but but you can have original characters and an original world, but not an original story at all.

kuwisdelu
07-22-2010, 06:56 PM
And I'm not naming names, but but you can have original characters and an original world, but not an original story at all.

That too.

Stormhawk
07-23-2010, 01:50 AM
I wrote fanfic, I had fun. I had a series going for almost three years - nothing epic, wasn't a BNF (big name fan) or anything, just had a small group of crazy fans who liked the take on the fandom.

I was a young, dumb, teenager, and didn't have CANON INTEGRITY tattooed to my forehead, so I went ahead and introduced new characters and concepts, and twisted canon (but like I said, it was fun :D).

Over the series, I had three co-authors come on board, writing original characters in my "canon", we also had a few people just write out-and-out fanfic of it. ...and we had a crack!version of the canon for forum RP, which was completely awesome.

However, after those few years, I began to realise that I couldn't keep doing fanfic forever, so decided to file off the serial numbers - I had enough original characters and concepts that I'd tacked on that I felt I could do it.

And I did.

Took me five years, seventeen drafts of the first book, ages and ages and ages of worldbuilding, two genre changes, and a writerly breakdown where I quit writing for a year, but I did it.

And I'm happy with it. It bears almost no resemblance to the fanfic series now, but that's just because it evolved.

BRB, posting a new chapter for my new, larger, crazier fanbase. :P

ccv707
07-23-2010, 06:39 PM
I could never write fan fiction myself. I wouldn't feel like I was "creating", and being based on someone else's property, I'd feel too limited, but I'll admit there's some very good fan fiction. It's rare, but if you look hard enough you can find it. The Xenogears After the Fall fan fiction, basically two entire books worth of prose, is actually pretty damn sublime. I hadn't believed in the quality of fanfic at all before I discovered it, and after I realized it was possible to pull it off and in a very convincing way. Another person wrote a novelization of the Silent Hill 2 video game that was also very well done. Both of these examples impressed the hell out of me.

Alitriona
07-24-2010, 12:40 AM
I have read a lot of fanfiction that was better than most books. Yes, there is the crap and lots of it. I only read rec's from my friends so I don't actually get as far as actually reading the crap. There are several stories I've read in the last year or so that I would have happily parted with money to read.

Ugawa
07-29-2010, 07:41 AM
I love the freedom you get when writing fanfiction. You know you never have to edit it or worry about others criticizing it, so you can just have fun.

If I'm writing FF, I can write 6K words in one sitting. And sometimes I'll churn out some good metaphors or sentences that I can use in my original writing.

Even if I become published, I'd probably still write and read fanfiction. I know some people hate the idea of it, but I can't see the problem. And it's a great writing exercise.

x

Alitriona
07-29-2010, 02:24 PM
I love the freedom you get when writing fanfiction. You know you never have to edit it or worry about others criticizing it, so you can just have fun.


x

There is a misconception that this is true. It's not, that's the difference between the good stuff and the less than good stuff. The best fanfictions in my opinion are the ones that have been edited by more than one person. I know one of my friends has a fiction that goes through several rounds of edits before posting. As, for criticizing, of course there is in fanfiction. It can be harsh even for the best stories, in fact sometimes it's worse if the story is any good because some people love nothing better than to tear the writer down if they are well known.

It can make good preparation for the writing world at large though.

Amadan
07-29-2010, 04:59 PM
I love the freedom you get when writing fanfiction. You know you never have to edit it or worry about others criticizing it, so you can just have fun.



I agree with Altriona. Unedited fan fiction sucks as bad as any other unedited writing. Now, if you just churn out fan fiction for fun and it's only meant to entertain you, that's fine. But writing never exposed to criticism is almost certainly not good writing.

Celia Cyanide
07-29-2010, 05:22 PM
I agree with Altriona. Unedited fan fiction sucks as bad as any other unedited writing.

wellllll...I have to disagree with this, but only slightly. There are many people who write fan fiction who have no interest in being better writers and only want to play around in the worlds and make the characters do what they want. I understand their instinct to do this. However, their unedited writing is far, far worse than the unedited writing of fanficcers who already understand what good writing is.

I would have no trouble getting some constructive feedback from the people I share my fanfic with. However, I would not spend as much time with rewrites as I would with my "real" writing. To me, that would defeat the purpose. I do it to relax and have fun, and if I worried that much about it, it would just be very stressful.

shadowwalker
07-29-2010, 05:27 PM
My fanfic has always been edited as I write, and critiqued with a beta group for comments and changes before ever going on my website.

kuwisdelu
07-29-2010, 09:29 PM
And some people just write good first drafts.

Ugawa
07-29-2010, 09:44 PM
There is a misconception that this is true. It's not, that's the difference between the good stuff and the less than good stuff. The best fanfictions in my opinion are the ones that have been edited by more than one person. I know one of my friends has a fiction that goes through several rounds of edits before posting. As, for criticizing, of course there is in fanfiction. It can be harsh even for the best stories, in fact sometimes it's worse if the story is any good because some people love nothing better than to tear the writer down if they are well known.

It can make good preparation for the writing world at large though.


I agree with Altriona. Unedited fan fiction sucks as bad as any other unedited writing. Now, if you just churn out fan fiction for fun and it's only meant to entertain you, that's fine. But writing never exposed to criticism is almost certainly not good writing.

Yeah, if you're posting it somewhere it should be edited and will be criticized. But I was talking from personal experience, and I usually leave my fanfictions on my computer collecting dust. If no one's going to see it, then I don't have to worry about editing or criticism.

I was only speaking about the freedom I feel. I wasn't trying to judge other's perception of writing fiction. :)

x

ETA: I just realized that in my first post I wrote the word 'you'. I didn't mean it like it sounds. I meant me, but from a stand-offish point of view. If that makes any sense :P.

x

Shadow_Ferret
07-29-2010, 09:48 PM
When I first started out writing in high school, I wrote Conanesque stories and used Conan's other name, Amra. I refuse to call it fanfic since I don't even think that idea existed back then. :tongue


Neil Gaiman's "American Gods" ...

Fanfic of what?

JMC2009
08-23-2010, 04:29 PM
Just curious what y'all think abuot fan fiction. I've been around several people that are heavy into it, both reading and writing (and I suppose I'm lumping "fan music" such as Wizard Rock and TwiRock into this). I have my own hangups about it, but I want to hear your untainted thoughts.

Thanks!

Amadan
08-23-2010, 04:32 PM
Try using the Search function. There have been a number of previous threads about it.

Phaeal
08-23-2010, 05:00 PM
No, wait! I'm already popping the corn!

:popcorn:

Seriously. The fan fic debate is a recurring battle at AW, and fan fic threads generally end up locked after several bloody skirmishes. There are passionate supporters, passionate detractors, and those consider fan fiction an abomination and capital offense and mortal sin and generally naughty.

I would be flattered to have fans who love my worlds enough to want to live in them. Gotta watch the legal ramifications, though.

Ol' Fashioned Girl
08-23-2010, 05:08 PM
It's like suddenly finding a re-run of your favorite ol' TV show. You haven't seen it in years and you can't quite remember how it ended. You have to watch.

BenPanced
08-23-2010, 05:18 PM
No, I was thinking it's that show you never really liked and you seem to land on the same episode every time.

Marian Perera
08-23-2010, 05:19 PM
Just curious what y'all think abuot fan fiction.

This is what I think about it. (http://www.fanfiction.net/~qos)

defyalllogic
08-23-2010, 05:31 PM
BTW the search function at the bottom hasn't worked for some time now... that's all

ETA: This should help you search if the search feature is just a regulate Google search for you (like it is for me) rather than a forum search (http://absolutewrite.com/forums/showpost.php?p=5144976&postcount=3)

JMC2009
08-23-2010, 05:33 PM
Thanks for the responses. I suppose I need to learn how to use the search feature better as when I put in 'fan' nothing was returned and 'fan fiction' brought up too many to go through

BenPanced
08-23-2010, 05:37 PM
Thanks for the responses. I suppose I need to learn how to use the search feature better as when I put in 'fan' nothing was returned and 'fan fiction' brought up too many to go through
Reading through four or five threads should be enough of a statistical sample.

defyalllogic
08-23-2010, 05:38 PM
I'll start. FanFic is a fun exercise to help stretch your imagination muscles and keep you interested in off seasons of books and shows. but just like journeling it should leave the privacy of your own space and never be profited off of because it's like having someone research and take notes so you can write a term paper. sure you wrote it but you didn't really do the work and if it's not good be associated with their hard work and previous paper they wrote and the research they did then thet's just plain rude.

JMC2009
08-23-2010, 05:44 PM
Reading through four or five threads should be enough of a statistical sample.

*slaps her wrist* Bad writer for not being clear. The threads it pulled up had nothing to do with fan fic.

ChaosTitan
08-23-2010, 05:46 PM
BTW the search function at the bottom hasn't worked for some time now... that's all

ETA: This should help you search if the search feature is just a regulate Google search for you (like it is for me) rather than a forum search (http://absolutewrite.com/forums/showpost.php?p=5144976&postcount=3)

Really? The search function at the top of the forums works perfectly.


To the OP:
http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=171079&highlight=Fan+fiction

http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=185456&highlight=Fan+fiction

http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=156722&highlight=Fan+fiction

JMC2009
08-23-2010, 05:50 PM
Thanks for the links! I'll take a gander there. Sorry for reopening the worms.

defyalllogic
08-23-2010, 05:55 PM
Really? The search function at the top of the forums works perfectly.


i always forget about that... Thanks!

shadowwalker
08-23-2010, 06:20 PM
This is what I think about it. (http://www.fanfiction.net/%7Eqos)

And my thoughts:

http://shadowwalker.info/home.html

quicklime
08-23-2010, 06:25 PM
to me it seems like a bit of a jerkoff.....i would say no writing is a bad exercise, but at the same time, if you have actual stories, I'm not sure your time is well-spent instead chasing someone else's characters and style in fanfic.

Do you have some real stories to tell? Do you hope to sell them? Soon? If so, fanfic is one more writing exercise, but it is also one more thing you're doing when you could be writing your own work

Manuel Royal
08-23-2010, 06:26 PM
*slaps her wrist* Bad writer for not being clear. The threads it pulled up had nothing to do with fan fic.It probably ignored "fan" as being too short, and pulled up every thread with the word "fiction". Which would be a lot of threads. I think it'll work better if you put "fan fiction" in quotes. Or try "fanfic".

In any case, as noted, it's the topic that just keeps on giving.

Susan Littlefield
08-23-2010, 06:30 PM
Just curious what y'all think abuot fan fiction. I've been around several people that are heavy into it, both reading and writing (and I suppose I'm lumping "fan music" such as Wizard Rock and TwiRock into this). I have my own hangups about it, but I want to hear your untainted thoughts.

Thanks!

Just this weekend, I was talking to my cousin and my aunt about when she wrote a children's story for him when he was a boy- she wrote him as a character into The Chronicles of Narnia, but made the story up, while writing in the main characters. He's 23, and to this day he has fond memories of that story.

I've never written fan fiction, because I like making up my own stuff.

shaldna
08-23-2010, 06:34 PM
I don't want the usual kickoff that we tend to get on these threads. Let's just say that some of us are for and some of us are against.

I'm for.

Marian Perera
08-23-2010, 06:46 PM
Do you have some real stories to tell? Do you hope to sell them? Soon? If so, fanfic is one more writing exercise, but it is also one more thing you're doing when you could be writing your own work

True, but if I need to take a break from my own writing, I read or blog... or work on a fanfic. Reading and blogging were also things I was doing when I could have been writing my own work.

This summer I wrote a few chapters of a fanfic and completed the sequel to my novel, which I just submitted to my editor. The two didn't interfere with each other.

Stellan
08-23-2010, 06:51 PM
I think that the reasons people write fanfic and the reasons people write--and attempt to publish--original fiction are usually quite different, which adds to the misunderstandings between the two communities. To me the basic difference is that fanfic is a hobby, not a job.

I've written and read fanfic before. Sometimes it was because there were gaps in the original story I wanted to explore. Sometimes it was because I wanted to see a particular scene play out with the characters that I'd never see in the original. Sometimes it was a form of roleplaying or collaborative storytelling with characters we all knew and loved.

It was never about wanting to make a career out of it, or improve my writing through "practice" with someone else's world. It was about fun, not work--and while my original writing is fun, it's also work.

Really, the only thing the two had in common is my love of creating stories. That same itch was also scratched by playing Dungeons and Dragons. Now, most D&D games take place in other people's worlds, with other people's characters sometimes being major players, but few people go on about it being inferior to "real" roleplaying, where you make everything up yourself, draw the maps yourself, come up with all the creatures, etc. I approach fanfic pretty much the same way.

ETA: I guess if you look at it from the job/hobby perspective, it would seem pretty odd for, say, an accountant to encounter people who make expenses spreadsheets for fun--and use their spreadsheets as the templates, no less! :tongue

quicklime
08-23-2010, 06:55 PM
True, but if I need to take a break from my own writing, I read or blog... or work on a fanfic. Reading and blogging were also things I was doing when I could have been writing my own work.

This summer I wrote a few chapters of a fanfic and completed the sequel to my novel, which I just submitted to my editor. The two didn't interfere with each other.


to be sure, I don't think they HAVE to interfere. The entire question seems a lot to me like the one posted last week in the novels section about writing novels or shorts; the 2 (in this case fanfic and original stories) are very different animals, and while fanfic stands to teach you say 50% or 80% of the writing you would use in writing your own work, the question becomes if you are better off doing that, or just moving on to your own work and learning 100% right off the bat.

in your case, you are using it to decompress, and it is a far better exercise than watching judge judy.

Personally, fanfic does nothing for me, but I think for those where it does, there is no right or wrong answer.

Alitriona
08-23-2010, 07:10 PM
I'm for fanfic too. Writing, reading but not selling.

I have learned a lot by writing it. I tend to read fanfic with original plotlines and I only read stories recommended by my friends so they tend to be a high standard.

I agree with s.thorn my fanfic writing is fun, not work. I turned to fanfic when I was getting nowhere with my manuscripts and I was getting feedback that told me I needed to work on my writing. This was a way to do it in a no-pressure way. Is my best writing ever? No. I just enjoy it.

This is me. http://www.fanfiction.net/u/2042637/Eila

JimmyB27
08-23-2010, 07:49 PM
It probably ignored "fan" as being too short, and pulled up every thread with the word "fiction". Which would be a lot of threads. I think it'll work better if you put "fan fiction" in quotes. Or try "fanfic".

In any case, as noted, it's the topic that just keeps on giving.
You can also search on thread titles only. That'll stop stuff like me comparing the Dune prequels to fanfic showing up. :tongue

Irysangel
08-23-2010, 08:32 PM
I adore fanfic and think it's a great way to stretch your writing muscles. I don't think most people get into fanfic to sell it (and they shouldn't) - I just think they're genuinely so excited about something that they want to keep playing in that world, and I totally get that and totally understand it. I used to write fanfic all the time.

Legally, I can't read anything done in my world, but I would consider it the highest form of flattery if someone did fanfic in my universe. That would just rock.

Cyia
08-23-2010, 08:44 PM
This is the topic that never dies. Like vampires. What are your thoughts on those?

:D

ChaosTitan
08-23-2010, 08:55 PM
I adore fanfic and think it's a great way to stretch your writing muscles. I don't think most people get into fanfic to sell it (and they shouldn't) - I just think they're genuinely so excited about something that they want to keep playing in that world, and I totally get that and totally understand it. I used to write fanfic all the time.

Legally, I can't read anything done in my world, but I would consider it the highest form of flattery if someone did fanfic in my universe. That would just rock.

Ditto all of the above.

BenPanced
08-23-2010, 09:34 PM
This is the topic that never dies. Like vampires. What are your thoughts on those?

:D
http://pics.livejournal.com/benpanced/pic/000cc3hk

There. Twilight snark and lolcatz in one package.

AlexPiper
08-23-2010, 09:45 PM
I think "Fanfic" is sort of like "television" inasmuch as you can't really paint the entire field with one brush stroke.

Can fanfic be good for the writer? Sure. You have the opportunity to play in a world you already know, with characters you're already familiar with. In effect, the world-building's been done for you. Moreover, you have a built-in audience of fellow fans who will read your work and give you feedback. It's a great starting place, like training wheels while you learn to ride a bike. Of course, if you intend to start using your bike to commute, eventually you take off the training wheels.

Can it be flattering for the writer? Absolutely, just look in the thread above. What better compliment is there than "I love your world so much I want to tell stories in it," for a writer? (Though, of course, some fanfic authors cross a line and start saying 'the author really messed up the characters there,' usually when a relationship they were fond of doesn't turn out the way they hoped.)

Can it be trouble for the writer? Yes. A local writer I know someone send her (via snail mail, no less, as this was some years ago!) a long story they'd written involving two of her characters. In this story, her protagonist proceeded to bind, restrain, torture and rape his love interest in an extremely uncharacteristic manner. The author was horrified, and not surprisingly formed a pretty negative view of fanfic as a result. And of course, there's the infamous lawsuit involving Marion Zimmer Bradley's Darkover books, which touched off a lot of anti-fanwork sentiment as well.

And like many fan communities, there's always going to be instances of drama you can point to in the fanfic world. A personal favorite for me is someone who wrote Harry Potter fanfic and came up with their own original character they stuck into the stories. Someone else liked that character and decided to use it in /their/ fanfic. This being a tale of Drama and Woe, the first fanfic author went absolutely ballistic about their 'creative property being misappropriated,' completely ignoring the fact that they'd been 'misappropriating' J.K. Rowling's world and characters in the same way to begin with.

:Shrug:

Point being, 'fanfic' encompasses a wide variety of things. And then there's a wider 'fan-works' community overall; sometimes the same authors who really dislike fanfic are really thrilled to receive fanart of their characters or settings, or to receive someone's "radio-play" style audio adaptation of their books.

There's really never going to be a single answer that even a majority of people can agree on with regards to fan-works, any more than you can say that 'all television programs are great' or 'all television programs suck.' There's just too much variety to easily label the entire field. :)

Cyia
08-23-2010, 10:31 PM
There. Twilight snark and lolcatz in one package.

This is why you're my favorite.

Soccer Mom
08-23-2010, 11:55 PM
Because we have so many (and they are linked above,) I'm going to lock this thread. Feel free to reanimate one of the other threads.

ETA: Upon further consideration, I just merged the new thread into the most recent Fanfic thread and unlocked. Enjoy.

Manuel Royal
08-25-2010, 12:08 AM
I don't write fanfiction based on other people's works, but I am planning to write a novel incorporating both a fictitious series of novels, and fanfiction based on those fictitious novels.

SueLahna
08-27-2010, 08:31 AM
I adore/obsess/love vampires.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ydt2SmRPq5o

If you tell me something has vampires, I will read it, and determine to get through it, no matter how bad it may suck. I've read Twilight. I am trying very, very hard to read the Historian. My current obsession is LJ Smith's Vampire Diaries, because Damon is such a wonderfully snarky character it just makes me happy. Like Spike in beginning Buffy all over again :[

singsebastian
12-23-2010, 02:25 AM
I love fan fic. It's a great way to expiriment with your writing style and to try different ways to write before applying it to an original story. Also, fan fiction is free. All ya gotta do is search for what you want to read. :)

Stijn Hommes
12-25-2010, 03:35 AM
And like many fan communities, there's always going to be instances of drama you can point to in the fanfic world. A personal favorite for me is someone who wrote Harry Potter fanfic and came up with their own original character they stuck into the stories. Someone else liked that character and decided to use it in /their/ fanfic. This being a tale of Drama and Woe, the first fanfic author went absolutely ballistic about their 'creative property being misappropriated,' completely ignoring the fact that they'd been 'misappropriating' J.K. Rowling's world and characters in the same way to begin with. I actually came close to using a fellow-fan's original character but I decided against it in the end. Personally, I would find it a great honor if someone decided to write fanfic based on anything I created. I just hope they make the effort to do it justice...

Droemar
12-26-2010, 11:06 PM
I think forum roleplay is a better pastime, because it encourages writing AND the exploration of character. I'm not a fanfic fan because it lures people into a false sense of confidence; that their writing is good because they're writing about Zelda, not because they've established good characters and balanced it with good world-building. All that work has just kind of been done for them. I also take issue with characters that aren't themselves. If someone looks like Draco Malfoy, is named Draco Malfoy, but acts completely out of character for Draco Malfoy: that's not Draco Malfoy.
Fandoms can also be very volatile things, especially online. I mean, Cassandra Clare had a built in hatedom and fan wank before she even got published professionally. Her bad fanfic is still following her around.
When fanfic is used to stretch creative wings, it's great. But when it becomes Srius Bznezz and status jousting, it becomes a massive waste of time that distracts from the fact that the point of fanfic is TO WRITE.

Marian Perera
12-27-2010, 12:13 AM
I actually came close to using a fellow-fan's original character but I decided against it in the end.

A couple of other fanfic writers have asked if they could borrow or allude to an original character of mine in their work. I agreed happily each time - though that was partly because I knew them and had an idea what kind of fics they would write. But either way it was flattering.

Anne Lyle
12-27-2010, 12:45 AM
I've written fanfic (under a pseudonym) that I'm still quite proud of. One was of the "Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead" variety, weaving a new story into the background of a favourite anime series, the other was a short LotR story inspired by the movies but based on a re-reading of the appendices of the book. And then there was the utterly mad Blackadder/Merlin crossover that I wrote in a moment of crazed inspiration :)

The more serious the originating work, the more serious my fanfic tends to be. I would never have someone act totally out of character - for me, the whole fun is to extend the world in new and interesting ways, not to use someone else's characters as sock-puppets for my own neuroses.

Cyia
12-27-2010, 01:30 AM
I actually came close to using a fellow-fan's original character


I've had this happen with a character of mine. He appeared in multiple things I wrote and was declared "fanon" by a particular group of people in the fandom who then added him to their own stories. Very few asked permission (which is pretty much the way fanfic works, anyway)

It's WEIRD to see something you created in someone else's hands, especially if they screw up the character's personality - and most people do.

One character is nowhere near the level of an entire series being used, but when you see a character you built, who is nearly mute and speaks maybe 10-20 words in a 60K story, and suddenly he's spouting chunks of dialogue that are paragraphs in length, you want to throttle the person who wrote it and scream horrible things at them. (At least I do. :tongue)

Strangely enough, while I don't know a single fanficcer who would think of leaving off an attribution to the original creator of a series, very few think to mention the creators of original characters they've co-opted. It's odd.

Scandiaca
12-27-2010, 06:11 AM
I must say, I use fanfiction as my little personal playing field. If there is an idea rolling around in my head and I am not quite sure of how it will work out, I write a fanfiction with it.

I got my standard set of characters, know how they work and where to post what to get an good feedback. Sad to say, but in some fandoms, as long as you use a certain paring, people will read it, no matter what. If I get positive response, I can use that idea in my "offical" work. Also sometimes I try out some plots with fandom characters because in that way, even if the plot doesn't go as planned and it won't go with the story, I still have a little fanfiction one shot piece I can share. And nobody will ever know ;P

CDancourt
03-08-2011, 01:11 AM
[QUOTE=Anne Lyle;5644745]I've written fanfic (under a pseudonym) that I'm still quite proud of. One was of the "Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead" variety, weaving a new story into the background of a favourite anime series, the other was a short LotR story inspired by the movies but based on a re-reading of the appendices of the book. And then there was the utterly mad Blackadder/Merlin crossover that I wrote in a moment of crazed inspiration :)
[\QUOTE]

I remember that one! Great stuff :D

I LOVE FanFics. How one can twist the reality of others imagination always impress me. I also realized that I wrote fanfiction even before knowing people actually post on the internet with their owns... I did the same for nearly two years now on ff, and I still do. My fics are generally AU and so far away from the original characters (beside the looks, some relationships and names) that it had been easy to change one (unpublished) into original work.

I read and write fanfic everyday. Actually FanFiction took me here :D

amora10
03-08-2011, 01:51 AM
I enjoy writing fanfic. It gives me a break when my current WIP is getting on my nerves. I also enjoy reading how people have interesting takes on a well known characters or settings. It's a breeding ground for creativity although not all the time for spelling and grammer.

lol, sometimes I write fanfics for my WIP and see where it takes me. Great worldbuilding process.

Lillie
03-08-2011, 02:28 AM
I read it and sometimes write it.

It's just fun.