Discussion Constructing reality, writing fan fiction - anthropology thesis - FINISHED, wanna read?

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction and Writing Resource' started by Iverna, Jun 22, 2009.

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  1. Iverna Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Feb 20, 2008
    star 4
    Ahoy!

    I've been around the boards for a while, read a TON of fan fiction, looked at lots of pretty art, and wrote/drew some of my own. I'm currently studying for a Masters in Anthropology in NUI Maynooth, and will be starting my research year in September. This is where all of you guys come in. I want to do some of my fieldwork here, looking at fan fiction writers and fan artists both.

    So, some info. Quoting from my proposal:

    "This project centres around reality and creativity, the ways in which people construct and interact with different realities, as well as the ways in which they use this process. I am interested in how realities are created and interacted with, and the uses to which they are put. The project will look at several theories on the nature of reality and creativity's, specifically literature's, influence on it. I want to explore the ways in which realities might be developed in resistance or opposition to each other, as well, and how these realities provide a setting in which people may explore and express emotions, thoughts and ideas that their dominant reality does not enable them to go into."

    Basically, I'm interested in WHY people write fan fiction, and WHAT they do with it. I love the idea that SW fandom creates this kind of separate reality in which people can interact and which people can actually build up further through fan fiction, art, games, etc. I'm hoping to combine actual fieldwork with more philosophical treatments of reality, creativity and imagination. I think it's fascinating how people "get into the head" of a particular character, how they come up with stories, what these stories come to mean to people, and so on. Fan fiction seems to be this incredibly creative, productive part of fandom, and I'm really interested in writing as it is, so it seemed like a good area to focus on.

    If you have any thoughts on this, or any input, I'd really welcome it. And I'd really appreciate it if anyone is interested in chatting to me about this stuff--feel free to use this thread for discussion! Why do you write fan fiction, how do you come up with stories? What's your favourite type of fan fic to write, who're your favourite characters to write about, etc? Any thoughts on the whole "constructing reality" deal--whether you agree or disagree--are welcome too. So yeah. I'd really love to hear from you. Feel free to link me to something you've written, as well, or something someone else wrote that you really like. I'll be sure to read it and leave a review.

    I'm not going to go around with surveys or anything--anthropological fieldwork is great in that I get to just chat to people about a subject that they're interested in, hang around with them, and see what they do.

    Some technical info:

    We're pretty much obliged to change everyone's names if we mention them in our thesis, which includes usernames, so anyone quoted will be anonymous like that. I will also ask express permission before quoting someone. I'll make my finished thesis available for people to read, if anyone is interested. Likewise, if anyone wants to know more, I can make my proposal available as well, I just didn't want to clutter this post up with potentially boring ramblings. ;)

    Right, I think that's it. As I said, I'd love to hear from you. Even if you don't write yourself and just like reading--that's cool as well. Go for it!
  2. Lilith Demodae Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 1, 1999
    star 4
    I write because everywhere I turn there's another story, another what-if, another emotion, another situation I want to explore.

    I write fiction because it gives both myself and my reader an escape valve from the thoughts and emotions involved, a way to distance ourselves from the shock and horror and pain as well as the love, laughter, and joy that might overwhelm us if it were to be couched in terms of reality.

    I write fanfiction because it allows me to be slightly lazy in my writing, since the world-building has already been done and I can focus my energy strictly on the characters and their actions and motivations.

    I write mostly original characters, because then I don't have to deal with 'precedent' or readers accusing me of not portraying a canon character correctly. Most of the fandoms I play in are so broad, so large in scope, that it strikes me as silly to restrict myself to an already explored corner of it. Also, I find it easier to 'get into the head' of a character that incorporates at least a couple of facets of my own personality. Without some common frame of reference, understanding is impossible.


    If you have any questions, or want more detail or anything like that, feel free to PM me. :)
  3. JediXManSerenaKenobi Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 27, 2007
    star 4
    I write fanfiction because there are just so many new possibilities to explore - new relationships, new scenarios - and I have the power to control that situation without reference to anyone else. It's a whole new world in a world you and others already love. It brings you closer to the characters you write about, as odd as that sounds, and you can really expand on those characters, bringing them even more to life with your own personal twist in each of them. It's so freeing, I think. At least for me - and the plot bunnies never stop coming. It's just so cool.

    Also, I love the fanfiction community. I've "met" so many wonderful people online who share my love for writing and creativity.
  4. JediMaster_Jen Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 3, 2002
    star 4
    I write for two very basic reasons--it's fun and it allows my creative side to show. :) I enjoy the escape from daily life that it provides. I enjoy the fact that it takes me back to a time when life was simple and I just sat around as a child and watched the films.

    I connected with the characters then and I continue to do so now. It's a realm that I, and so many other are so acutely aware of in a very real sense. It's almost as if these characters are as real as our friends and families, yet without the demands and responsibilities. That's why it's fun. There are no expectations; the characters can become anything I want them to be and I, as the writer, have supreme control over what exactly that is.

    As for the social value of a site like this and the people that make it happen--it's immeasurable. I've met some terrific individuals on here that share the same passion not just for writing in general, but for creating something unique and personal within a realm that already exists on it's own. :)

    I mostly write established canon characters, but put them into AU situations. I find the freedom that comes with going in the opposite direction of what is already known quite liberating. I can do anything with the characters without the expectation that they'll always do what they did in the films or the books.


    If you need or want more info, please PM me. :)
  5. Lady_Jade Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    May 22, 2004
    star 4
    Like everyone has already mentioned, I write partly because there are so many what-if scenarios out there. If I didn't like something in a movie or one of the books I have the freedom to change things if I come up with a plot line. That is what got me to write my first fanfic about Luke's and Mara's wedding because I hadn't read Union at that time and they are my favorite couple and I just wanted to give them a wedding.

    On the other hand, I also write because I have to. I like writing songfics because sometimes I'll hear a song and will automatically thing of a character that it fits and then an hour later I'll have my story. Sometimes the urge to write is so strong I have to drop everything (even if I'm in class) and pour all my thoughts onto paper. Writing is my form of expression. Whenever I need to let out an emotion I put that into my stories or into a poem or just whatever appears on the paper.
  6. DarthBreezy Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jun 4, 2002
    star 6

    Sometimes it's due to dissatisfaction with 'official' events, or the desire to explore the 'what if'...

    To Paraphrase Cynical21 We write because we MUST...
  7. Alexis_Wingstar Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 16, 2006
    star 4
    First off, anything I post in this thread, you have permission to quote if you see fit.

    Why do you write fan fiction? There two main reasons I write fan fiction: To build up my writing skills in the various genres (humor, action, romance, etc.); I enjoy it.


    How do you come up with stories?
    I don't come up with stories. Stories hit me upside the head with a 2 by 4. :p Seriously, I have no idea how these ideas get there. Sometimes I will overhear a snippet of a conversation, no matter how mundane it may seem at the time, and next thing you know, my mind is building a story around it. It's writing it down or typing it up in a coherent form that will be enjoyable for others that is the challenge... and I like challenges.


    What's your favourite type of fan fic to write? Whatever strikes my fancy at the time. Usually my stories are a mix of humor, drama, and angst with a smattering of action thrown in. I gravitate to AU, but usually with a firm grounding in canon... I know that may not make sense so let me explain. In one of my AU fics, I wrote an AU in which (and I know this is a cliche AU) Anakin doesn't join Palpatine, instead helping Master Windu kill the would be emperor. The story began pretty much where ROTS started, yet there was quite a bit of internalizing, showing Anakin's thoughts, and when we get to the first scene with Ani and Padme in the apartment, he notes how her personality is much like the ideal Jedi... always selfless... when she was more concerned about their baby than her own fate when he told her that he dreamed she died in childbirth. This realization gave him an epiphany, and from that moment on, it was like a pebble tossed in the water where the ripples spread outwards. He still struggles with the decision, but it's his love for Padme that gives him the strength to turn down Palpatine, instead of his fear of losing her leading him to go Sith.


    Who're your favourite characters to write about?
    I usually like to write original characters. I have written some of the canon. I think my favorite canon characters to write are Beru and Owen, Luke's aunt and uncle. I like writing minor characters because there is a wealth of material that hasn't been delved into with them, unlike the main characters.
  8. mavjade It's so Fluffy Fanfic & New Movies Manager

    Manager
    Member Since:
    Sep 10, 2005
    star 5
    I want to explore the ways in which realities might be developed in resistance or opposition to each other, as well, and how these realities provide a setting in which people may explore and express emotions, thoughts and ideas that their dominant reality does not enable them to go into."

    First off I want to tell you how amazing and I feel very true that statement is. I would really love to read your thesis when you are finished! I think a lot of writers (myself included) write because they can express things they would never dare in their real life. Writing, especially in the form of fanfiction where, for all intensive purposes your are anonymous, allows you to dream and express those dreams freely and without worry that people in your real life will judge you. It's almost as if you can live vicariously through the characters, being who you truly are, being who you want to be, or just pretending to not be in your own world at that moment in time. That being said, not everything one writes is a desire or a dream to be someone else, sometimes it's just plot.

    Why do you write fan fiction?
    I write because it is part of who I am. It is as much of me as my brown hair, my bad math abilities and my short stature; they are a part of me that I can not change. Yes, I can dye my hair, use a calculator, wear high-heels, or lay in bed and imagine but at the end of the day I'm still a brunet, I can't multiply in my head, I can't see in the top cabinet and I'm overflowing with words that scream to be let out.

    I write fanfiction mostly for the reasons I stated above; there is freedom in anonymity. I also write fanfiction because it can be a challenge to write in someone else's universe, especially one that is so well loved and known. To be able to write someone else's character and portray them correctly takes, in some ways, more skill than making your own. (I'm not saying there is no skill in writing your own characters because there is, very much so, just a different kind of skill.)

    How do you come up with stories?
    Most of the time, they come up with me. Someone says something, I see or hear something that inspires me and a story forms from that inspiration. Sometimes I get inspired and that idea festers for a while, realizing it isn't a fully formed idea I place it on the back burner for more inspiration and sometimes it hits me so hard I have to start working on it right this instant.

    What's your favourite type of fan fic to write?
    If I had to say which type of fanfic I like to write, I would say romance but, if you ask my muse which type she likes the best she would most assuredly say angst.

    I frequently have romantic story ideas and plans to write only happy, fluffy fics but once I'm done I realize the story is very angsty and potentially sad. I don't know what that says about me psychologically but it happens more often than not.

    Who're your favourite characters to write about?
    It really depends on which fandom we are talking about. In Star Wars I really enjoy writing about Luke, Mara and Ben, each for different reasons. Luke is the ultimate hero- the unassuming, modest, protector of what is good and just. Mara is the role model- a powerful, opinionated woman who has learned from her past to make herself a better person. Ben being their child is a wonderful product of his parents, exhibiting some of both Luke and Mara; their good traits and their not so good character traits.


    I hope all of that made sense, I'm a little tired at the moment, but feel free to PM me if you want to talk about it more. I could expand on each of these questions, I just didn't want to write an essay and bore you to death! ;)
  9. Iverna Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Feb 20, 2008
    star 4
    Wow, okay, I wasn't expecting this much of a response! That's awesome!

    Lilith - thank you--I'll send you a PM like you said!

    Serena - well, I suppose it makes that writing a character brings you closer to them, since you have to really think about who they are. So you use existing characters to explore new situations or something, right? Can you say where you get the ideas for those scenarios? Because that, to me, is interesting--some people can, some people don't know where the ideas keep coming from!

    I hadn't considered the social aspect of it all in that way--although I really should have!--so thanks for pointing that out. It's always nice to have like-minded people around, isn't it?

    Jen - thanks for that, you've touched on some very interesting points. I'll send you a PM!

    Lady_Jade - never underestimate the power of the "what-if", right? :D And you're right, I suppose fan fiction lets people just change stuff that they don't like in canon. I've done that myself, so I know what you mean!

    And wow--sounds like writing is very important for you! I know some writers who really struggle with getting themselves to just sit down and write. Sounds like you don't have that problem! And interesting point about the emotions. Do you give your emotions to characters to express, or do you just write down what you're feeling? Like, how does it work?

    Breezy - oh, I get that--canon has annoyed me in a few regards on occasion, as well! And that quote... what happens if, for whatever reason, you don't/can't write?

    Alexis - thank you! You write fan fiction as practice or something? Do you want to be a professional writer someday?

    Sounds like you're an inspiration magnet! *lol* Lucky you. I think there's a lot of people who'd love to be like that!

    D'you have a link for that fic for me? It sounds interesting! And I see what you mean. It's not entirely AU, just changing one detail and exploring how that affects everything... right?

    Good point about the minor characters as well. I've seen very little of that, but you have a point. I suppose they're a bit more like writing original characters because we know relatively little about them. And we can all see what potential they have by looking at the phenomenon that Wedge Antilles turned into!

    mavjade - cool, I'll definitely send you my thesis to read when I'm done! You make an interesting point about living through the characters. People have touched on that with regards to online "identities"--as in, the identity we assume online--but you're right, it also seems to be true for characters we write about. I think there are a lot of people who use writing to express something that they otherwise can't. Seems that way, at least.

    I'm sending you a PM--don't worry about rambling, this is all very interesting. It's cool because essentially we're all doing the same thing, writing, but for so many different reasons and in so many different ways. So don't worry about boring me. ;)


    Whoah, okay. This is great! Anyone else have anything to share? As I said above, even if it's just to show me some examples of your writing, I'd be very interested in that as well.
  10. Ubersue Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Sep 1, 2008
    star 3
    Good luck on your thesis, Iverna! I would love to see it when you're done. :)

    I love fanfiction on multiple levels. Okay, I'll list them:

    1. I enjoy reading it. I'm a total sci-fi nerd and I love it. :D
    2. I want to publish stuff eventually, and fanfic teaches me a lot about writing and even marketing your work. Fanfic is great in that there's no pressure because none of this stuff is allowed to be published anyway because of copyright laws, your audience is right here and you know exactly what their tastes are, and people are friendly and give good feedback. Also, it's a cooperative environment and there are threads (ie the Creche Thread, the Beta Readers Thread, etc) devoted completely to helping people who want to improve their writing.
    3. It's fun to socialize with like-minded folk. :D None of my "real life" friends care whether or not Luke Skywalker married the right woman. [face_laugh]
    4. Writing is a way of constructing my own reality that I can escape to when I'm bored or stressed. Thinking up my own stories is the most immersive form of escapism that I know.

    Ways that I come up with stories (can you tell I like lists? :):

    1. Other people's stories. For instance, Jade_Max wrote a great romance in which Luke married Mara Jade to avoid being forced to testify against her for war crimes as the Emperor's Hand. That gave me that idea for a fic that I'm working on in which the New Republic takes her to trial and Thrawn offers her sanctuary if she will abandon Luke and join the Imperial Remnant.
    2. Current events and thread discussions. There was a thread discussion on Sept. 11 about what the GFFA's equivalent of 9/11 was, and the consensus was Order 66... long story short, I was pondering this while listening to some Rolling Stones on my way to work and suddenly I had an idea for an Empire era protest singer.
    3. The old standby fangirl crush. Example? Any OC/canon pairing. :p
    4. Discussions and collaborations with other writers. Also, writing challenges from various discussion threads.
    5. I get a lot of vignette and short story ideas from rejected scenes or developed subplots from my epic. So far they've all been a lot more popular than my epic. :p

    My favourite type of fanfic to write is humour because I feel like it's the simplest and easiest for me to tell if it's any good or not. I write a lot of drama too. I'm trying to write a bit of everything but still develop my own style. It's challenging, but fun.

    My favourite characters to write are definitely OCs. Actually, what I really like writing are the interactions between different characters, like a senile aging Han Solo spilling all the family secrets to a young relative, Mara grumpily trying to sleep while Luke cheerfully tells her it's time to wake up... that kind of thing. I like playing different characters off of each other. I think I like writing situations and the characters are secondary.
  11. RK_Striker_JK_5 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 2, 2003
    star 7
    Iverna, if you wish to quote me, go right ahead. Although I doubt I'll have anything quotable. ;) And when this essay is finished, I'd like to read it too, please. )

    Anyway...

    Why do I write?

    I write because... I have to. I originally wrote it almost as a lark, as something interesting to do. After 1999 and the switch to Del Rey... I have to. I have to give some of my favorite fictional characters the happy ending they deserve.

    I read Star Wars to get away from the sheer hell my real life was. I wanted an escape. Jacen, Jaina, Wedge, Luke, Tenel Ka, Tionne, Nomi, Mon Mothma, Leia, Lando and the rest provided me that. Now that my life is better and theirs sheer hell, how can I turn my back on them? To do so would be a betrayal. Ficticious or not, they deserved better.

    Also, I have no other creative outlet. I'm tone deaf, couldn't carry a tune with a tractor beam and my drawings are abstract at best. But... I can write. Almost above-average, too.

    My favorite type of fanfic to write is the crossover, because the possibilities are nigh-infinite. And the creative muscles to make it a 'good' crossover are stetched to the limit. Crossovers get a bad rap, so to be able to write one well is a mark of excellence. I like stories with a happy ending, too. That's the ones I like to write.

    My favorite characters are usually those from the Young Jedi Knights series. That book series is what got me into Star Wars, not the Original Trilogy. Darth Vader was a man with asthma to me when I first picked up 'Heirs of the Force' back in 1995. Jacen Solo and Tenel Ka in particular. Also, Tionne and Lusa. Both are highly-underutilized characters, so I like to 'show up' Del Rey by actually using them. Jacen and Tenel Ka have the sweetest romance. Marrying them off is a pleasure of mine and has happened many times in my fics.

    I hope that helped, Iverna. Would you like me to PM you a link or two to my fics? It might be a bit presumptious for me to simply drop them into the thread. [face_blush]
  12. Danaan Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 23, 2008
    star 4
    Good luck with your thesis! It's always daunting when you start out on a new project like that. I'm in the process of starting to write my Ph.D. dissertation, so I feel the kinship, for sure (though I'm in pol sci).

    Feel free to quote me, too. Any help to a fellow social scientist, after all! Just to shoot a question back at you - do you feel that your academic writing impact your fanfic writing? I'm asking because it seems to me that my long habit of writing such texts impact on my fiction writing (and not necessarily in a good way, I dunno yet)...

    Why do you write fan fiction?
    Lots of factors went in my taking this up. I've long been a tabletop role-player, mostly a Storyteller, so the habit of thinking out plots, characters and such is very old. But I'm also getting older, and with that have come certain frustrations with tabletop roleplaying. One is lack of time, but primarily I'm concerned that what I do has no permanence. We sit down, we tell a wonderful, adrenalin ride of a story that has us absolutely holding our breath for a few ours, completely caught up in the passion of the storytelling. And then you turn the lights back on, and its gone. At best, it will persist as an internal joke, as the handful of people look back on a good memory together. It seems a waste to let such fascinating stories just die and fade away.

    Another is that I'm very curious to what degree my experiences as a table-top Storyteller could translate into proficiency in other art forms. My first thought was film, mostly because I'm a film buff and I've always had a very low self-confidence with fiction writing. You see, I tried it a couple of times before I knew about fanfic boards like this one and was never content with my production. Rather the opposite - I was quite embarrased, so there was a point when I decided that I'll never get anywhere as a writer and just put it aside. So film, then? I started looking into it, but I really don't have any money for that - I'd need a camera to begin with, and that's very expensive. So instead, I contented myself to try to write screenplays. The fact that screenplays really don't work on boards like this finally led me back to fiction writing - after all, I want to see if my story would be interesting to anyone else.

    And as I finally decided to write fiction after all, another motivation played in. Can I develop my writing, improve my skills, and convey an interesting story without using all those cliche devices and techniques that way too many professional sci/fi/fantasy/best seller writers seem to depend upon to create tension/suspense? I'm so tired of some of those, so therein lies the challenge that keeps me interested in writing as an artform and pushes me to try and improve myself. By the way, I found out why my earlier work was not so good - novellizing a screen play provided me a chance for very structured writing, which is apparently something I need, to have the plot completely mapped out before I go. So now I know why I didn't do well before!

    How do you come up with stories?
    Well, I'm kinda new to this. But my current megaproject is basically spawned from another challenge to myself. I am among those who were terribly disappointed by the PT. And I finally decided that I should put up or shut up. Basically, I told myself that my experiences of storytelling table-top should have given me enough insight to write a good story, and surely I can write something better than we were offered on the big screen? Now, that might be seen as complete hubris by many - making the claim that a complete nobody like myself could write better stories than a celebrity like George Lucas. But if nothing else I will have tried...

    What's your favourite type of fan fic to write?
    Star Wars Prequels re-write is my megaproject, for now. It will likely take several more years to complete. But I have others coming up in other fandoms as well...

    Who're your favourite characters to write about?
    Well, again, I'm new, so there is little of my previous work to choose from. But making Anakin and Obi
  13. Alexis_Wingstar Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 16, 2006
    star 4
    Alexis - thank you! You write fan fiction as practice or something? Do you want to be a professional writer someday?

    Yes, to see an original story with my name (or pseudonym) on the cover is a dream of mine. To actually make money from it would be an added bonus :D

    Sounds like you're an inspiration magnet! *lol* Lucky you. I think there's a lot of people who'd love to be like that!

    It's a blessing and a curse, actually. Imagine driving on the highway and seeing a dead raccoon on the pavement and next thing you know you aren't paying much attention to the road as the critter's possible life story plays inside your head. Or while writing one story and coming up with an original character that is only supposed to take the main character's order in a restaurant, and next thing that waitress has a story of her own, and you can't concentrate any more on the story you're originally writing (and you have readers who are nudging you to complete it).

    D'you have a link for that fic for me? It sounds interesting! And I see what you mean. It's not entirely AU, just changing one detail and exploring how that affects everything... right?

    You want links? I have sausage links, hotdog links, chain links, and this: Master of War. As to your question, yes, pretty much. It's an exploration of how just a slight change of how one thinks about things can make someone choose differently.

    Good point about the minor characters as well. I've seen very little of that, but you have a point. I suppose they're a bit more like writing original characters because we know relatively little about them. And we can all see what potential they have by looking at the phenomenon that Wedge Antilles turned into!

    Precisely :D Wedge is one of my favorite examples of a very minor character in the movies turns into a star in his own right. Lando Calrissian is another, though he wasn't quite as minor as Wedge.

  14. Jedi_Sword Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 27, 2005
    star 1
    Hi, Iverna!

    First off, I think that is so awesome. I just finished undergrad with an Anthropology and Music double concentration, having studied abroad at NUI Galway, doing an independent study having to do with Anth and Music... anyway, similar to what you're doing in that it has to do with how people express themselves! Basically... I would love to read your thesis, I'm sure it's going to be very interesting. :)

    Okay, onto answering your questions...

    Originally I began writing fanfic because I was dissatisfied with a particular plot twist in the canon literature. This was back in the 90s, before I knew that these boards existed, so I didn't share it with anyone. But, being a young writer, I felt that regardless if anyone was going to ever read it or not, I ought to make it my best effort, if for nothing else than the practice. I went through a brief stage where I stopped reading Star Wars books that took place after my fanfic, because if I read them then that meant that my own story was not real... To go back to your proposal quote - I was constructing a reality, while at the same time refusing to interact with any other Star Wars reality. Fortunately I got over that, but sometimes I still feel the conflict from pushing against a reality that isn't going to change, even if it changes on my computer or in my mind. For instance - I am an avid Kyp and Jaina shipper, but alas, no matter how many fics I write about them, I know it won't change the canon. Although, I suppose that I could say that my fanfic is just as real as any published Star Wars book - and it is since they both exist - but I see it as a secondary reality.

    Anyway, that was a bunch of confused thoughts, hope you can make some sense of them!

    Good luck!
  15. Jedi_Master_Cazz Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 13, 2005
    star 4
    Oh wow! This sounds like a great thing! I'd love to read the finished product when you're done!

    Why do I write fanfiction? That's a pretty hard question to answer, mostly the very same reasons that everyone else does. Especially in my teen years, which, thankfully, are pretty much behind me. All the extra teen angst and joy and laughter and hormones:D can be channeled into something else. I am very thankful to have had fanfiction to channel that into rather than letting it run ragged in my life, most likely destroying many relationships:p

    I mainly write SW fanfiction. When I write in other fandoms its akin to a one night stand I guess, a dappling. For star wars, its all about whats not shown. Its a story about the greater scheme of things, so fanfiction for me is about showing, and more importantly feeling what is not shown. That's why I'm part of the minority that stick with the Canon characters, rather than creating OC's, which I have never been able to pull off. For me it can be anything to start a story, like once, there was this one particular shot of Vader, where the eyepieces in his mask seemed to well with tears, that I almost was moved to tears myself when I began thinking of a story at that point, while watching the movie. I take the attitude of an actor when I write my stuff. To master a character that has already been set up and known, is what I aim for. It's the same as an actor playing a role someone has already written. A lot of people see a character belonging to an actor, because that's who they see portraying that, but the character starts with the writer. For me its the same, I write and 'get into the head of,' a character GL has written who was played by so-and-so. So if I was writing Anakin, I'd be 'getting into the head of the Anakin Skywalker in George's head who then created the Anakin Skywalker in Hayden's head who then created the Anakin Skywalker in my head.' Dear god I hope that made sense. 8-} Therefore, when I write these characters, I try and make every second of it a nod to the writer and the actor. You would not believe how intently I study the actors on film, deciphering every little word, every tilt of the head to add to the soup that represents the character in my head.

    Although I've never posted anything here other than vignettes, I've written/writing... lets see... 1, 2, 3, 4, and a massive Saga. The first four are a few years old, the fifth however has never seen the light of a Word document and still exists in my head, and on scraps of paper, but I've been cultivating it since I was about fourteen, I'm now eighteen, so it's roughly the same age as ROTS.

    I did, however, have a three year stint in a RPG separate from tf.net, playing Luke Skywalker. I use the same technique for getting into the heads of characters for my fanfiction as I do for any RP I do. Therefore, because of these three years, I feel that I know Luke very well. He has become a best friend and like an older brother to me, when I feel bad, I usually go and write something about Luke. So, characters, especially an enigma like Luke, do take practice.

    I think I've bared my fanfiction soul enough so far, lol, so if you have any more questions, just pm me and I'd be happy to continue.:p

    And another thing, you have my utmost respect and congratulations for tackling the puzzling question of fanfiction. Many a Journo has attempted it and failed.[face_peace]

    (For a great example of Canon character Mastery-- "From My Point Of View," by Elana. Truely Spectacular, my favorite Vader fic of all time. http://boards.theforce.net/The_Saga/b10476/20256309/p1)
  16. DarthBreezy Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jun 4, 2002
    star 6
    No here's a 'weirdy' for you - If you want to know what makes a writer 'tick' (especially an odd duck such as myself) - read the intros to some of Stephen King's works - especially to his short stories such as "Night Shift" where he talks about 'the sludge that gets trapped in our mind filters' and how we process things - fascinating reading, even if you don't like fearsomes.

    The one thing I hate(and with an UTTER Passion) is that how 'Fan Fiction' is looked down as a form of 'lessor writing' - that it's considered 'practice', or sloppy.

    I can assure you that fan fiction writers work just as hard on their fics as any writer, and although we 'borrow' the names and events as a jumping off point, writers have been doing this since the dawn of thought.

    Take for example this character:

    The hero is called to adventure, he resists but in the end he has no choice.

    The Hero meets the protector and Guide and offers supernatutural aid.

    The Hero encounters the first threshold where the protector must leave the hero to cross alone.

    He meets companions along the way.

    The hero fights the symbolic dragon.

    The Hero reunites or is recognized by his father.

    The Hero becomes 'divine'...

    Yeah, everyone one knows this is Luke, or Campbell's "Hero of a 1000 faces", but I actually got 'the list' from a book by David Colbert, called "The Magical World of Harry Potter..."



  17. Broken_Circle Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Apr 24, 2007
    star 1
    Why do you write fan fiction?

    I think I started writing fanfiction because I was fascinated by the moments in everyone's lives where things can go so many different ways - what are called shatterpoints in Star Wars canon. It's amazing to think that a slight difference in a split second of time could cause so many different consequences. I also write as a means of getting into someone else's head and out of my own. I know my own tendency to brood if given the chance, so I try to avoid it by writing about someone else from their point of view, which means that I have to quell my own thoughts in favor of theirs.


    How do you come up with stories?


    Quite honestly, it's always been as if I could hear or see the characters doing something and from that one scene usually comes a story. An image will just flash across my mind or something someone says quite out of context will trigger a plot bunny.


    What's your favourite type of fan fic to write?


    One-shots. Sometimes a character comes across so vividly for a single second that a one-shot says more about them than a 200 page epic ever can. I often have trouble continuing with longer stories - I just lose the muse and can't seem to get it back. With one-shots, though, you don't have to keep coming up with an endless font of ideas, just write whatever comes to you and let it be enough.

    Who're your favourite characters to write about?

    I usually like to write canon characters, but not the main characters in a story. The main characters can be present, even important to whatever I'm writing, but the main character of my stories is usually someone who got short shrift in the canon, someone I felt deserved better than what they got or who deserved more development. I despise it when characters are left two-dimensional because life is never that simple, and a good story should reflect that.
  18. brodiew Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 11, 2005
    star 5
    Why do you write fan fiction?

    I write fan fiction for a number of reasons. First, I like it. It is fun, and monumentally easier to write in an existing world, than to create one of my own. Secondly, to a certain extent, I need it. The feedback received a particularly motivating form of validation. In other words, reviews are addicting. Thirdly, and I am very appreciative, my first master instructed me in the art of leaving good, thoughtful reviews. Here is where my obsession kicks in: I even fiend for acknowledgements of my reviews. Sick, huh? My master created a monster. Thirdly, I get a lot of satisfaction out of writing something others enjoy. That?s a real kick!

    How do you come up with stories?

    My writing has always based on events or things from my own experience. I wrote a vignette 2 years ago featuring Han and Leia losing a child in the womb because this happened to a friend of mine and I didn?t know how to process my feelings. Fan fiction can be quite cathartic. Recently, however, I wrote an OC vignette featuring a low power Jedi working in the AgriCorps. This was born out my recent immersion into country music, a new musical arena for me. That said, stories come from my experience.

    What's your favourite type of fan fic to write?

    I?ve never been an epic writer. In fact, I only have a few short stories under my belt. The majority of my writing, on this site and elsewhere, has been limited to vignettes and drabbles. I?ve also written about 10 poems over the last four years, ranging from humorous to dramatic to angst ridden.

    Theme wise, I?ve been all over the map. What style of fic I write is directly related to my mood at the time I?m writing. Deep, huh? So I?ve written humor, drama, romance, and angst. I prefer to write dialogue and have never been that great at filling in the background.

    Star Wars has been my one and only love since I jointed tf.n in October 2005. Only in recent months have I ventured in to LOST and Star Trek:2009 fiction. My primary love at the moment is Star Trek:2009.

    Who're your favourite characters to write about?

    For Star Wars, it?s usually the Big Three; Han, Luke, and Leia. I?ve had a lot of fun with them over the years.

    Right now, it?s Jim Kirk, Bones McCoy, Nyota Uhura, and the rest. Star Trek is getting in my blood like Star Wars was in the beginning.

    I hope this is helpful. :)
  19. DarthBreezy Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jun 4, 2002
    star 6
    Playing follow the leader....


    Why do you write fan fiction?

    Because the STORY demands it... I guess you really have to be a storyteller to understand.

    How do you come up with stories?

    The only way I can describe it is, "I listen"... The stories write themselves...


    What's your favourite type of fan fic to write?


    Star wars - over the last few years post ROTJ, but perhaps I'll delve into the rebellion era one day, soon enough.


    Who're your favourite characters to write about?


    Right now, Luke and his AU extended family.
  20. amidalachick Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 3, 2003
    star 5
    I'd be interested in reading your thesis when it's done! It sounds really cool. :)

    Why do you write fan fiction?

    My main reasons for writing fanfic, in no particular order: I'm not creative enough to come up with my own brand-new worlds/characters/what-have-you. Fanfic gives me a framework to start from that I can expand upon and just go crazy with. Then there's the social aspect. I love the sense of community here, and I love being able to share my stories, get feedback, and interact with other fans. And, of course, I love the fandoms.

    How do you come up with stories?

    I think I just spend too much time watching TV. :p Especially with my earliest stories, a lot of them started because I saw something on a show and was like, "Oh, wouldn't it be funny if this character was in that situation?" And then I'd write it. I'm still not very good at sitting down with a blank screen and just coming up with something. I need some sort of prompt. The great (though sometimes annoying!) thing is that those prompts can come from anywhere. A word, a quote, a song, a conversation, a scene from a TV show (:D)...anything. Once the idea's in my head, I can work on putting it into words.

    What's your favourite type of fan fic to write?

    I love writing humor and fluff fics. It makes me feel so good when something I've written makes someone smile and maybe brightens their day and just brings a little bit of happiness into the world. And humor is a real challenge for me as a writer. All genres have their difficulties, and doing anything good takes effort, but I find humor is especially tricky to do well. Keeping characters in character, even when they're in the most absurd situations, is another challenging area for me and something I enjoy working at.

    Who're your favourite characters to write about?

    It varies, and my favorite characters in a fandom aren't necessarily my favorite to write, because with some of them, they're just so awesome that I'm intimidated and afraid of not doing justice to their awesomeness. But generally, I'm drawn to canon characters with relationships where they have lots of banter (the snarkier, the better!), dysfunction, and a genuine affection underneath it all.
  21. Iverna Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Feb 20, 2008
    star 4
    Whoah, okay, more replies. Eeep, I'm really behind!

    Ubersue - I'll let you guys know when it's finished and you can read it! :)

    I like your lists. Nice and organised. Thanks! [face_peace] Actually, you sound a lot like me there. I love fan fic for most of the same reasons. It's always cool to be able to discuss SW with someone... none of my rl life friends care either!

    Do you only write when you're bored or stressed, by the way? Or is it just then that it becomes a means of escape?

    Your Mara fic sounds interesting, can you link me or is it not posted yet? I just read your "Speckleberry Pancakes" one (can't respond there because it's locked) and absolutely loved it. Anakin was priceless! [face_laugh] We don't really get to see moments like this (or moments like the ones you listed) in canon, which I suppose makes sense... but it's nice to have them in fan fic!

    Empire era protest singer sounds really cool as well, actually. Not something I'd ever considered, but yeah, it makes sense. Awesome idea!

    Yeah, sorry, lots of questions. It's just really interesting!

    PS: I love your sig quote! *lol*

    Striker - yep, when it's finished, I'll make it available to you guys! It'll be a while, though!

    I hear you on the happy ending. I've found it harder and harder to read canon because I just hate what they're putting all my favourite people through!

    Now that my life is better and theirs sheer hell, how can I turn my back on them?

    That's SUCH an interesting way of looking at it. Good point, though. You sound like you really care about these guys!

    So writing is your way of expressing yourself creatively? I'd love to read some of your fics. If you want to PM them rather than post them here, go right ahead! :)

    I've never tried a crossover... but yeah, they do seem to have a worse rep than fan fic. I don't really know why fan fic has such a bad rep to begin with, that's another thing that I want to look into. If you have any insights there, by the way, I'd love to hear them!

    That book series is what got me into Star Wars, not the Original Trilogy.

    Oh, wow, me too! I think I read them before I even watched the OT. My cousins told me to read them and then they got me to watch the movies as well. Heh. I love the YJK characters as well. And you're right about Jace and Tenel Ka, I love that couple as well.

    Like I said, I'd love a PM with some links. Your stories sound interesting, from what you've said here, and I'm always looking for more fan fics to read!

    Danaan - thanks! Yeah, it's kinda daunting. I'm more scared of the philosophical aspect than the research aspect though. Complexities upon complexities! Good luck with your PhD as well, wow. I hope it goes well for you!

    Firstly, to your question - I'd say, definitely yes. I did NaNoWriMo last year (original stuff, not fan fic) and afterwards I found it really hard to get back into essay-writing mode. It took me a while before I could write in an academic style again! And after writing lots of essays at the end of the year, it was hard to start writing descriptively again, as well. Aside from that, studying anthropology has taught me a lot about how culture operates and how people work. I'm working on some original fantasy stuff at the moment and my academic knowledge is having a major impact on how I now construct my fantasy cultures etc, and how I write people's interactions. So, yeah, it definitely has an impact!

    I've never done roleplaying, but I can definitely see your point. It does seem kind of sad for something so intense and great to just fade away. What would you say is the toughest thing, or are the toughest things, in going from storytelling to story writing? I watched a professional storyteller at work recently and it was fascinating to see, especially in light of my own writing...

    Your challenge sounds awesome. I can totally sympathise, as well. Fantasy and sci-fi are so full of cliches that it sometimes seems impossible to avoid them. I think that what you're doing
  22. DarthBreezy Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jun 4, 2002
    star 6
    In part because so much of it IS so poorly written (and before anyone accuses me of getting on a high horse about my own work, trust me, there is a lot of stuff that I don't EVER look back on - I only leave it up on FF.Net as an example of the 'writer's evolution', and although poorly written, they are MY poorly written stories, and part of the overall universe!) There is a lot of work (especially when we are just starting out) where the creativity is stifled... stunted. We cling to using only established stories/characters/situations as they are 'safe' and familiar, and we feel they are less likley to 'bite', but then we get the equivalent of "Luke Skywalker comes to High School".


    Of course there is also the 'hobby' factor - Somehow, it seems if you don't get paid for your work, it's considered sub par, however there is a lot of so called 'professional' work out there that I wouldn't use as fire lighters. Not because it contains characters/stories I don't 'agree' with, but for the fact that the writing style makes my eyes bleed. Books that are the written equivalent of William Shatner singing "Proud Mary"... (You can PM me for one that springs to mind).

    On the other hand... you should check out the last few pages of the OC thread...

  23. RK_Striker_JK_5 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 2, 2003
    star 7
    Iverna
    That's SUCH an interesting way of looking at it. Good point, though. You sound like you really care about these guys!
    I am cursed with the knowledge that, in some quantum reality, all fiction is real. So the post-YJK is happening somewhere... :mad:

    I do care about them, in an esoteric way. Like I said, if it wasn't for them... yeah.

    So writing is your way of expressing yourself creatively? I'd love to read some of your fics. If you want to PM them rather than post them here, go right ahead!
    I'm a... little self-concsious about that. [face_blush] I'll PM them to you, thanks. :)

    I've never tried a crossover... but yeah, they do seem to have a worse rep than fan fic. I don't really know why fan fic has such a bad rep to begin with, that's another thing that I want to look into. If you have any insights there, by the way, I'd love to hear them!

    The problem with crossovers is one word-versus.
    Who would win in a fight, the Enterprise or a star destroyer? Babylon Five or a starbase? A stormtrooper or GROPO? A-

    You know what? Who the kriff cares??? What would happen if Data represented droid rights in the GFFA, or if Harry apparated into the Praxeum? The Transformers wake up on COruscant?

    The big fight is cliched five ways from Sunday. Having two protaganists-or antagonists-simply talking is one of the rarer crossover events happening. Having them interact without fighting is so rare...

    I would recommend to you to write a crossover. Nothing big, just a cponversation. Someone from SW and someone from one of your other franchises sitting down and talking.

    I'm also going to toss another question out there for debate, if anyone has any thoughts on it: why d'you reckon fan fiction gets such bad press? I've come across instances of it, but I'm not entirely sure why. I mean, okay, maybe some of it isn't very good - although everything I've read on here has been, to date - but neither's a lot of original stuff on the 'net. So really, what do you reckon is the difference? Any thoughts on that? And has anyone actually ever met with negative reactions for writing fan fiction? I'd be really interested to hear about that as well.


    I have to agree with Breezy. A lot of fanfic is pretty bad. *Takes a look at his older stuff and shudders* There's a lot of dead-end streets some authors use. Myself included.

    There's some stuff out there I'll take over profic any day of the century, but other stuff I'd almost read the NJO over.
  24. Broken_Circle Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Apr 24, 2007
    star 1

    I usually write about the characters doing something completely different. It's escapism of a sort but it's also a method of reminding myself that I should probably be grateful for what I have because life doesn't get much worse than some of the stuff that happens in Star Wars/Harry Potter/Lord of the Rings.


    Sure! I have to warn you that not all of it is Star Wars, though - in fact, the vast majority is from other fandoms. The one and only Star Wars fic I've started is at http://boards.theforce.net/Message.aspx?topic=29267309&brd=10475&replies=0. My other work is at www.fanfiction.net/~ariannamalfoy.

    As to why fanfic has such a bad rep... I'm really not sure. Maybe part of it is that people perceive a lack of imagination and originality in using other people's characters and universes - it seems lazy to some people.
  25. Iverna Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Feb 20, 2008
    star 4
    Hey once again!

    A few people said they'd like to read this thing once it was done, and - it's done! The finished thing clocked in at about 35,000 words, so it's long. Rather than email everyone individually, I uploaded it to my deviantART account (hey, it works...) here: "Rogues and Goddesses: Creativity and the construction of realities among fantasy and fan fiction writers" (M.A. thesis)

    Download the ZIP file, extract the contents, and you should have the entire thing in one PDF file.

    Thank you once again to everyone who took the time to answer my questions and provide insights. I really couldn't have done it without you guys. [:D] And props go to Lady_Tahiri who suggested the title. Hence also the preview image, although it doesn't really refer to K/J... still, I got a kick out of it!

    That's it, really. I just wanted to drop in to let you guys know that it's done, and available to read at the link above. Thanks, and happy reading!
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