Discussion in 'Fan Fiction and Writing Resource' started by DarthScholar, Apr 9, 2013.
I hope you get a good grade on your paper
Agree with the above posters; you don't have to "rebel against" or "dislike" official media in order to want to write fanfiction. It's about inspiration, like Bale said--just like how drawing a horse doesn't mean you're "rebelling against" horses, it just means you appreciate the way they look; it inspires you. If I write a story about something that didn't happen in the official media, or wasn't covered, it's because big gaps and mysteries are extremely inspiring for me.
The only kind of rebellion I see in fanfics are hate fics, like these "umpteen ways to kill Jar-Jar" fics that pop up on FF.N all the time. But that is obviously different from the majority of fanfiction.
I also disagree with Jedi_Lover: breaking down the public support for fanfiction will never be enough to end it, even if that ever did happen. People who were writing fanfiction just because they wanted attention will stop writing for obvious reasons, but people who wrote because they had that urgent drive to write... and this includes most fanfic writers I've known personally... will keep on writing, even if it means keeping it to themselves, or have to email it privately to all their friends, or whatever. It won't be visibly apparent that they're still writing--but that doesn't mean they will have stopped.
I have seen at least three published authors chalk fanfiction up to a lack of creativity. I've also seen authors try to discourage fanfiction as pointless since you "can't make money" by writing it. Some people just really, *really* fail to understand the basics of writing, I think... but I guess that kind of misunderstanding is equal on both sides, because I don't understand how any kind of artist can not understand something as simple as feeling the need to act on your inspiration. I suppose the only sort of inspiration they would consider legitimate is what you see/hear in real life? Tellingly, I've yet to see a fantasy writer attribute fanfiction to a lack of creativity (which makes sense since it's mostly Tolkien/mythology fanfiction in its own right). Most of the authors I've seen say such things seem to focus more on earthfic, so I have a hunch that kind of outlook is something of a symptom of genre-blindness; it's well and good to be inspired by a real-life court case or the drama between a bickering married couple, if you want to write fiction in a standard Earth setting, but things don't work that way quite so much in sci-fi and fantasy.
I totally agree with you that people who really want to write for themselves will write...and we will never know that they are doing it. But fanfiction as we know it...posting on forums, doing writing challenges and such will die because legally those forums will not be able to exist. When the forums die so will much of the enthusiasm to write...especially when it comes to new or future potential writers. These forums inspire people to write. Without them we will probably lose hundreds of future fanfiction writers.
The bottom line is we will never know how the banning of SW fanfiction would affect anybody's will to write. Even the most ardent writer might get bored of writing stories that will never be seen by another person. After a while they just might say, "Maybe I should write some original fiction that I can share without worrying about Mickey Mouse's lawyer breathing down my neck."
I wrote my MA thesis on something similar, actually, so good luck with yours and great choice of topic!
I think it can be an act of rebellion, but usually it's a quiet one, and not specifically against LucasFilm. I wouldn't go so far as to call it "rebellion" in most cases, but there is an element of disobedience, I suppose I'd call it, to some fanfic. Plenty of fans are unhappy with various aspects of canon, and arguably, rewriting it to suit yourself is rebelling to some degree. Personally, I hate that they killed off Anakin Solo, so in my fics, he tends to be alive, even if he doesn't actually have a role in the story. I guess you could say that's me rebelling against canon. I'm making my own canon, with blackjack, and hookers! Other people don't like seeing certain pairings, so in their fics, they have different pairings. AU fanfic is not flat-out rebellion against LucasFilm, but it is a challenge to canon, I think. It's a way to explore alternatives, but in doing that you're automatically going against the official version. I don't write fanfic as an act of rebellion, but I do go against the official stuff if I don't like it. People do try to "fix" canon with fanfic at times, just for themselves, I think.
@Jedi_Lover: that could be. I can't help thinking of my own childhood and teenager-hood, though; I wrote hundreds of stories (some agonizingly long) with absolutely no intention of ever sharing them with anyone else. I didn't get inspired by other peoples' fanfiction because at that time I didn't even know what "fanfiction" was, or that it was a "thing" that people did and shared with others--as far as I knew it was just something I did, there was no legal/possible way to share it, and/or there wasn't anybody out there who wouldn't think it was completely stupid to write about something someone else invented. I certainly wasn't any less productive than I am now--quite the opposite.
I'll admit I had (have?) a bit of an obsessive streak, so certainly not all writers would react to that kind of isolation the way I did. A better model would probably be an individual fandom where fanfiction was prohibited or strictly limited for a while, such as the Dragonriders of Pern series.
@Mayla : I can understand that. I used to draw all the time as a kid and I never showed anybody my drawings.
Writing, for me, is another matter entirely. In my case I never wrote a story in my life (other than ones required in school) before being introduced to fanfiction and many of my friends were the same way. I started writing for the social aspect of it by doing challenges. It wasn't a love of writing that drove me to write. I did it because it was fun to try to figure out a story to meet a particular challenge and it was interesting to see what other's did and what they thought about your entry. Without the social aspect I would probably stop writing and stick to drawing.
That's pretty much the opposite reason to why I write. I always had a big imagination, which has been a problem in the classroom for all my life. At any given time, I have more stories going on in my head than I could possibly write down. It's not a social experience for me at all so my fanfiction comes from living inside of my head. That said, I took some creative writing workshop courses in college and wish I had a community of fellow writers (I'm the only one in my family who does this). I don't do it for the love of writing itself. It's hard work. Who likes suffering from writer's block? Getting a story out there clears my head and gives me a good feeling of having made something out of my imagination. I like sharing my stories here but for some reason, I never felt any need to show them to my family (though I actually wrote some fanfic in my classes and showed them to my closest friends).
When I was a kid, I wrote, but I didn't write often. My brother was the "writer" of the family, so I felt that my writing simply was never up to par. My dad also is a writer and journalist. My thing was art and it still is my thing. I still hold a very low opinion of my writing, despite being told that it is good. I like to write, and I like the challenge of translating what I see and hear into prose. But, I don't consider myself a writer.
I write because it is a bit less time-consuming than drawing a comic. And even with comics, I still write. I find it far easier to work from a script or an outline. I also write to better my ability. Since I hold such a low opinion of my writing, I'm constantly writing vignettes and character studies and tweaking my prose and trying new things. It's constant practice.
It is also somewhat cathartic. If I have a bad day, I translate it into prose. Then, my characters have to deal with some form of that bad day. I can then see where I went wrong, what else I could have done, and alternate outcomes. I don't write rage fics where characters relentlessly torment each other, or beat on a weakened version of that day's antagonist. I write that lousy day and all of its lousy aspects and instead of having the characters make the same dumb mistakes I did, I have time to think their actions through, and the outcome changes. I admit the fact that I make stupid mistakes, but writing them out allows me to change them and learn from them, and even atone for them, should the story go that way.
Fan fiction is not a rebellion against LucasFilm. I find that assessment insulting. I adore Star Wars, I am hungry everyday for more of this wonderful universe. To sate my hunger I dive into this brilliantly beautiful sandbox of toys that span thousands of years. This is the property that ignited my imagination when I was five, this is one of the pillars of my creative flow, so yes, I write fan fiction.
I write to celebrate Star Wars, to celebrate my love of this saga. I don't write to rebel against anyone. I will always hold true that the EU is really just glorified fan fiction, anyway. So why can't we few thousand fans celebrate with our own fiction?
I for one, don't see writing fanfiction as form of rebelling, but as
@Obi-Wan21 said: "I write to celebrate Star Wars."
However, I will say that I have personal dislike the way NJO and those stories released after that were handle, as made me focus more during this period, to write my version of post-Endor stories. The new movies will not make me give up on those stories, because they hold a dear place in my heart, and also it is my canon and the new movies is another canon. People say the best way to improve one's writing is write, write, write... well how better then to write in your favourite franchise.
See it like this if the author of Fifty Shades of Gray (it is the best example I can come up with), never wrote Twilight fanfiction, she would never be a best selling author.
I also love AU and like to read fanfiction stories, some are far better then certain type of authors that wanted to force their views into a well established franchise, but that is different story.
I also don't understand why some authors are against fanfiction and no reasons they say will convince me, that is solely for ego reasons. I know that a few years ago Anne Rice is one of those authors. George R.R. Martin strongly opposed to fan fiction, believing it to be copyright infringement and a bad exercise for aspiring writers. Personally, I see it as a way of flattering to support one's work and also it free advertisement. I mean
@Jedi_Lover story Alter Perceptions has made me rekindle my love with Star Wars and unboxing my old Star Wars books, when I was at the time very disappointed with EU. If this story was never written it would never rekindle my love in Star Wars and I would be continuing be disappointed with the franchise and perhaps not that all interested in the new movies, like I'm currently today.
It's common practice for English teachers to assign fanfiction. I wonder what Martin thought when he was going to school. Long before the word was even invented, kids had to write stories based on the books they read in class. In high school, I had to write a story on To Kill a Mockingbird. Don't remember what the exact topic was but I wrote about Atticus confronting Mayella on lying in court. If it really was bad exercise, teachers wouldn't assign fanfiction to students (yes, the word still stands even if the student isn't a fan of the book they write about).
Oh, I can see why some authors would be opposed to fan-fiction; they worked hard to create something and they don't want anyone else messing it up. And there is the lurking danger that if authors don't not defend their territory they could lose their copyright, a very serious menace if they're depending on the writing to pay the rent.
But this whole idea that writing fan-fiction is bad for writers is just elitist poodoo. If one wishes to make a living at writing, then one does have to write original stuff and likely move out of fanfiction. There just are NOT enough hours in the day to have a life, write fanfic AND write original fiction, too.
I know that feeling too well. Between work and applying for grad school, it's hard enough to write just one kind of fiction. My original novel has been on hiatus for months but why are plot bunnies for fanfic more active in my mind right now?
I write fanfiction for several reasons. If nobody ever read my fanfic, I'd be writing it anyway.
1. I like to write.
2. It's practice for writing "real" novels -sometimes I can concentrate on the plot/characters/the technical aspects of writing more easily in this pre-made world than I can in original fiction, and there's no pressure for it to be publishable, because it probably isn't. It's a nice break once in a while.
3. It fills a gap in the existing official story. Among other things, I've written the missing regeneration of the 8th Doctor for Doctor Who, and my current Star Wars fanfic stars lots of women, aliens, and non-white humans, all of which I feel are lacking in the official Star Wars universe.
4. Sometimes, it fixes something I really hate about the official material. Canon Darth Revan is absolutely wrong. I need to re-write canon Revan, simply for my own satisfaction; it's the one thing I absolutely can not accept. (Canon Jaden Korr is also the most boring choice available for the player character in Jedi Academy. Sometimes it's canon that lacks creativity.)
5. It's fun to play in the Star Wars universe. Most of my fanfic is original characters and situations taking place away from the canon characters and events. My current story has cameos by Bail and Breha Organa and Ylenic It'kla when the main characters stop on Alderaan, but other than that and a passing reference to Darth Vader or the Emperor, and some timeline shout-outs, there's hardly anything having to do with established canon.
Just a random comment:
Hugh Howey, the author of the Wool series, approves of fan fiction set in his universe, links to it on his site, and even ENCOURAGES AUTHORS TO CHARGE FOR IT. There are several Wool stories for sale on Amazon by other authors. When I read that on his blog, I was absolutely flabbergasted.
You know... for public domain works, you could write and sell fan fiction of it.
There will be some things which fans don't like in official material, which is probably why some fans would choose to write fan fiction, (death of Chewbacca for instance?) but I think that there are two main reasons why fans write fan fics. The first is that they are inspired to write their own stories based in the Star Wars universe because it has given them ideas which they must write and that is the reason why I personally started writing and it is probably the same for the majority of people who write on the boards. The second reason is that some fans want to self-insert themselves into the Star Wars universe because they like a character so much that they must interact with them (even if it is a fantasy....)
Yup. There's a romance publisher that contracts authors to write sex scenes to insert in public domain works, like Pride and Prejudice.