Discussion Things fanfic does right

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction and Writing Resource' started by RK_Striker_JK_5, Oct 28, 2010.

Moderators: Briannakin, mavjade
  1. RK_Striker_JK_5 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 2, 2003
    star 7
    From the fanfic pet peeve thread:

    Well, here it is... What can a fanfic do that can make you smile, laugh, be impressed with grammar?
  2. Overboard4aFel Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 16, 2010
    star 2
    I'll venture out into this thread... I'm a little afraid of commenting on the other one, due to fear of being entirely too guilty of incorrect grammar ;)

    My favorite thing that a fic can do to intrigue me is to offer me a completely different perspective on something I already understand and think I fully comprehend. For example, a POV from an OC or an AU on a time that's well-traveled.

    The right mix of genres can make or break a story for me-- I like my action, but I also like a little mush, but don't forget some sort of mystery and suspense... That's something that I have really come to appreciate about these writers-- a lot of them out there can throw together an amazing mix!

    Ok-- that's my two cents.


    Oh, and feel free to go spell and grammar check my paragraph. I need as much help as I can get... ;)

    O4aF
  3. DarthIshtar Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Mar 26, 2001
    star 9
    Spell 'do' right? :p

    Have a good balance of a variety of genres. Keep characterization consistent. Treat men and women in non-stereotypical or absurdly feminist or sexist ways.
  4. LaForzaViva Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 6, 2008
    star 1
    I like seeing what people write. Whether it's rehashing a previously done epic (redoing KotOR), or taking elements of canon and spinning a new story out of it, or simply creating new worlds and people, I love reading a lot of it.

    What will keep me engaged in a story is how well and how thoughtfully characters are developed. The plot is important, but I can survive without a jaw-droppingly epic story as long as the characters are there. That's what I try to do in my stories (currently only one) is to give people a reason to care about my characters. Because, I swear, I put a lot of time into them.
  5. vader_girl Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Sep 3, 2003
    star 1
    Thanks for starting this, RK_Striker. :)

    I admit to being a sucker for a good hurt/comfort story; it's my favorite genre. I also like stories that explore characters in-depth, getting inside their heads so that we know why they are acting a certain way. As someone mentioned, I do like a mix of genres in a story, particularly a lengthy story as opposed to a vignette.

    My favorite era is the CW era but I'll open any story that says it's an AU in which Anakin doesn't turn to the Dark Side.
  6. memorysong Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Oct 28, 2010
    I love when fanfics investigate the characters and show so many more dimensions than given in the movies. Before reading fanfic, I thought Obi-Wan, Anakin and Darth Vader were all so stereotypical characters. Oh, how I was wrong.

    I also love AUs in the canon universe; there seems to be endless possibilities in Star Wars and I am constantly amazed by the different circumstances and situations writers can come up with. I was never really a fan of AU before I got into SW fics, but now I adore them.
  7. Ceillean Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 13, 2001
    star 5
    Fanfic just makes more sense to me. At least right now, seeing how canon is slowly going down the drain. [face_plain]

    I like to read about "normal" things in between all the typical action stuff that's associated with Star Wars. The little average things make characters more alive to me.
  8. RK_Striker_JK_5 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 2, 2003
    star 7
    Technically it is spelled right. Just not used correctly. ;)
  9. moosemousse CR - FF:UK South

    Chapter Rep
    Member Since:
    Oct 3, 2004
    star 6
    I think it's harder to say what fanfic does right that to say what it does badly. One fic might be good because it has certain elements and another fic that has the same elements could be bad because of it.

    What I like to see is more exploration of the GFFA, more OCs doing different things and not just being Jedi or something else that's been done a lot. Even just a different angle on canon events is rather good, building a bigger picture of what happened and how it affected more people than just those in the canon telling of the event.
  10. Jade_Pilot Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 10, 2005
    star 5
    ^^this!
  11. Mechalich Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Feb 2, 2010
    star 4
    Given that the Star Wars universe is a shared world to begin with, at its best a fanfic can tell a story that is just as much a part of the universe and just as good as any other Star Wars piece. The only difference is not having a stamp of approval from Lucasfilm. This is different from writing a fanfic for a universe that belongs to a single creator, wherein there is really only one proper vision; Star Wars is much more expansive.

    I feel Star Wars fanfiction is at its best when offering new characters and stories that respect and build upon what already exists, in both traditional and experimental ways. It is an excellent way to expand upon neglected characters or underdeveloped ideas and places. The universe has room to roam, and fanfiction is there to wander the neglected reaches.


  12. vader_girl Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Sep 3, 2003
    star 1
    This made me think of "missing scenes" fics, which I love and which there is a lot of room for because so much ground is covered in such a small amount of time in the films.

    One example: several years ago there was a challenge to write the scene in which Anakin proposed to Padme. It got over 20 responses, many of which are in the archives. That's a "missing scene" that wasn't touched in the film and as far as I know, has not been touched in any pro fic.
  13. Overboard4aFel Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 16, 2010
    star 2
    Dang you. Now I've got all sorts of plot bunnies running amok in the confines of my cranial bowl.

    Now where's that shotgun.... ? ;)

    I agree entirely, by the way. Perspective changes everything. (My, that was pithy. [face_plain] ) While many people hated Karen Traviss, that was something she was able to do-- give us a different perspective (Please no KT fight from this) Same with Aaron Allston. It's real nice when someone is able to give us something new out of something we think we already know...

    Anyway. On to pest control.... [face_devil]

    O4aF
  14. emerald54 Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 4, 2007
    star 1
    I love reading about the little people in the background. The mechanics that have to paint on all those kill marks, the aides that haven't the faintest idea what Palpatine is, a pilot that isn't in Rogue Squadron but still does the right thing. That may fall into the giving people/things different dimensions (I'd point to the Vader Monologues if you want a crack example), but I agree with O4aF. KT may... lack in certain areas, but she did give us a whole new perspective on the Clone Wars.

    Anyway. On to pest control.... [face_devil]

    Ah! Don't shoot the bunnies! NaNosanity is only a few days away.

    Emerald
  15. madman007 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 22, 2007
    star 4
    Many Star Wars fans have a list of all their favorite scenes, as do I. Mine are among the usual, but one in particular IMO sums up the entire point of Star Wars.

    In ROTJ, Threepio is telling the Ewoks the saga from A New Hope To Empire while the Ewoks are sitting around a campfire. That's what Star Wars is about. The kind of stories your parents or grandparents told you about. Only instead of Once Upon A Time..., it starts out with A Long Time Ago In A Galaxy Far Away...

    George Lucas told the main story. I believe fan fiction fills in the gaps and adds to the glorious world that George created. And we get to play in it as fan fiction writers.

    I only started to write fan fiction after ROTS came out in 2005. I can't tell you the thrill I had when I typed out on my computer for the first time, Skywalker.

    And the other best part? No lawyer or "suit" from Lucasfilm is behind your back saying you can't write something in the Star Wars canon. Don't like how the professionals are handling the current story? Make up your own! After all, we are told that these events happened a long time ago. Who's to say one version of the story is right?
  16. Lolly_Tolly Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 12, 2008
    star 4
    I like that fanfic writers usually do research in order to make objects, settings, and titles etc, correct, whereas professionals just make it up as they go along.
  17. JediMara77 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 5, 2004
    star 4
    Ever since I was little, I always enjoyed writing. I had a crazy imagination back then and was encouraged by my teachers to keep writing. Somehow, I lost my passion for writing as I grew up, but I always had a talent for it. I became a history major and was one of the only people in my classes who actually enjoyed writing papers. My past three jobs have all involved writing and editing in some way, but I gave up my dream of being an author a long time ago (in a galaxy far, far away?).

    I've been a Star Wars fan for many, many years, and I first became aware of fanfic when I first got the internet in high school. I tried my hand a few stories that were awful, and found it fun, but never pursued it. I read lots of fic at first, but somehow lost interest over the years. I had a somewhat "superior" attitude when it came to fic - I thought that, if I was going to spend my time reading Star Wars, I wanted to read the "pro" stuff.

    But I've been finding myself dissatisfied with the direction of profic, and found myself really, really missing the EU. I missed reading about characters I had grown to love. After attending Celebration V, I even picked up a few EU books and, to my surprise, got sucked back into that world. And then I discovered fanfic on these boards, and it was like a whole new world opened up to me. I didn't have to wait for Timothy Zahn's newest book to read about Mara Jade again - she was still being written about on this board! I didn't have to complain about the direction of the EU after the NJO - there are so many AUs that fix that! I didn't have to wish that Del Rey would commission novels about events or stories I always wanted to read about - people were writing them here! And not to mention my favorite thing about fanfic - the missing scenes, and filling in the blanks of the films or EU in ways that make the "professional" stories that much deeper and better.

    So, in conclusion, what fanfic does right is give the reader options. Yes, most people will always follow the official canon, and even as mad as I get, I will always want to know what Lucasfilm says about the life of my favorite characters. But, I can always play in the sandbox and make up my own stories, and that is great. :)
  18. DaenaBenjen42 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 15, 2005
    star 5
    Don't like how the professionals are handling the current story? Make up your own! After all, we are told that these events happened a long time ago. Who's to say one version of the story is right?

    In other words: it's a big multiverse out there. Explore it.
  19. iceaffinity Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    May 23, 2010
    star 1
    I'd have to say...give opportunities to explore. [face_love] It's a big sandbox out there. For me, I like reading/writing mostly secondary characters - who are they, where do they come from, where are they going? It gives the chance to see 'old' things in a new light, add new dimensions, and have more of something I already love and enjoy.

    It's also just kinda fun messing with the characters. :D I doubt many of them would appreciate the situations their fans put them in.
  20. emerald54 Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 4, 2007
    star 1
    Another thing: The what-ifs. I love reading about how one thing can change the galaxy/universe/world. Stargate fanfiction tends to do that very well.

    I vaguely remember a buy Obi-wan a new life fund in someones signature, though that was ages ago.
  21. SithGirl132 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 6, 2005
    star 4
    I love the possibilities that fanfiction offers. There are various things in profic that don't work, whether poor characterization, odd plots, and things that I don't really care about. Fanfiction is good for filling in all of the gaps that profic doesn't or won't touch, and often has changed my mind completely on some plot developments and characters.

    It's a way of staying involved in the fandom, regardless of how much I like the developments of profic. The GFFA is huge and has so many stories we can tell, and the possibilities really do keep me in the fandom quite often.
  22. SilSolo Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 5, 2004
    star 5
    Since I'm pretty addicted to fanfiction, there's gotta be a few reasons why I like it.

    Good humor. I always like a good bit of appropriate humor in a story, no matter what genre it is.

    Diversity. I can find just about everything in fanfiction.

    Plot. I like epic stories with good plots.

    Characterization. I really enjoy reading stories that keep characters in character but yet, at the same time, shed new light on them. It doesn't matter if the character is major or not in the canon, but I especially prefer the lesser known characters.
  23. Harpalyce Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 19, 2010
    star 3
    To reiterate what others have said, fanfic's real strength is that it exists outside of canon but paradoxically within it as well.

    It's rather like a river cruise. (Yes, silly analogy, but roll with me here.) The main canon is that straight shot down the river, carried along by the current of the plot. The big cruise ship is great, but it only goes down that one way, even if it carries a lot of people in it. Fanfiction is getting out there in your own little motorboat. Maybe you can't carry as many people with you - fanfiction doesn't get big press, or big paychecks, after all - but you can go into the little watersheds, up against the tide, into the wetlands, up the tributary rivers; you can turn off the motor and stare at the blue herons, or cast our your line and go fishing.

    It's all the same river, and the same general area. But with fanfiction, you can decide where you're going and what you want to focus on. That's a tremendous amount of power. And I honestly think that it shows the strength of the original story, plot, and characters. After all, if the river wasn't a beautiful one, nobody would want to get off the cruise ship.
  24. Ubersue Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Sep 1, 2008
    star 3
    My favourite thing about fanfic is that it's free from the confines of publishers. Science Fiction series sell better when they're action and military oriented, so that's what you get. I love science fiction, but I can't really get into action and military type books so much. That's probably why my favourite Star Wars books were the collections of short stories. Loved the one where Boba Fett was chatting with all the other people who were trapped in the Sarlaac.
  25. TKeira_Lea Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 10, 2002
    star 5
    I quite like your analogy.

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