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Discussion Cory Doctorow: "In Praise of Fanfic"

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction and Writing Resource' started by LAJ_FETT , May 20, 2007.

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  1. LAJ_FETT

    LAJ_FETT Tech Admin and Collecting/Lucasfilm Ltd Mod star 10 Staff Member Administrator

    Registered:
    May 25, 2002
    I was reading the May issue of Locus Magazine and Cory Doctorow has a column praising fanfiction. I found it on their website and thought I'd share it with you:

    [link=http://www.locusmag.com/Features/2007/05/cory-doctorow-in-praise-of-fanfic.html]Locus Online[/link]

    3/21/2011: Unlocking per user request.
     
  2. Maeti

    Maeti Jedi Youngling

    Registered:
    May 17, 2007
    That is an amazing article. Thank you for sharing!
     
  3. Knight-Ander

    Knight-Ander Jedi Padawan star 4

    Registered:
    Jul 19, 2002
    That was an excellent article highlighting the positives of fan fiction (something rarely heard) as well as pointing out some of fan fiction's faults. Thanks for posting the link.
     
  4. karebear214

    karebear214 Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Sep 7, 2002
    Definitely a sweet article
     
  5. LAJ_FETT

    LAJ_FETT Tech Admin and Collecting/Lucasfilm Ltd Mod star 10 Staff Member Administrator

    Registered:
    May 25, 2002
    I thought you'd enjoy it when I read it. :)
     
  6. Healer_Leona

    Healer_Leona Squirrely Community Mod star 9 Staff Member Manager

    Registered:
    Jul 7, 2000
    What a treat to read.

    That last paragraph is especially wonderful. [face_love] [face_love]

    Thanks for finding it and sharing it with us. LAJ_FETT! [:D] [:D]
     
  7. MariahJade2

    MariahJade2 Former Fan Fiction Archive Editor star 5 VIP

    Registered:
    Mar 18, 2001
    I haven't read anything so positive and encouraging in a long time. Thank you. :)
     
  8. KELIA

    KELIA Manager Emeritus star 6 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Registered:
    Jul 26, 2005
    That was wonderful. Thank you so much for sharing.

    It's so nice to see fan fic and it's writers truly appreciated and defended for a change. :):)
     
  9. LilyHobbitJedi

    LilyHobbitJedi Jedi Knight star 5

    Registered:
    Aug 29, 2005
    What a wonderful read! Nice to hear that someone out there does appreciate us.
     
  10. Jturtle

    Jturtle Jedi Padawan star 4

    Registered:
    Jun 9, 2006
    Thanks for sharing. It was enjoyable to read and a nice change of tune. :D
     
  11. Healer_Leona

    Healer_Leona Squirrely Community Mod star 9 Staff Member Manager

    Registered:
    Jul 7, 2000
    What a wonderful read! Nice to hear that someone out there does appreciate us.

    Ahhh, but we are, by each other and that is exactly it! Cory Doctorow is one of us!

    Now as we know so many writer's have started out in fanfic, or at least dabbled in some way, what is the turning point that makes them forget the sharing process that makes fanfic so wonderful?

    I can totally understand, in part, the possessiveness they feel for their characters. They've put a piece of themselves in their works and it's difficult to let go of our literary child. Fanficcers can go through those same frustrations with OC's borrowed.

    The thing is, with those characters we do take and play with, we do so mainly out of love. What more gift can we give someone whose so stirred us?
     
  12. Fifilla

    Fifilla Jedi Youngling star 3

    Registered:
    Mar 9, 2006
    Very interesting article - thanks for posting the link! :)
     
  13. Herman Snerd

    Herman Snerd Jedi Master star 6

    Registered:
    Oct 31, 1999
    Nice to read something so balanced and fairly written. :)


    What I like best is that how the article points out that despite the extremes of disrespect by both writers and fanficcers, at the core it's really an homage to the creators by legions of extremely devoted fans.
     
  14. dianethx

    dianethx Jedi Master star 6

    Registered:
    Mar 1, 2002
    Wonderful article. Really expresses the joy and need of writing fanfic.
     
  15. Alethia

    Alethia Jedi Master star 5

    Registered:
    Feb 13, 2005
    A question I've been asked and asked myself, very many times, is what would we do, were we best-selling published authors and we learned that there was fan fic written about our characters?

    While most of us think the answer of "I think it'd be brilliant" or something in a positive light would be a certainty, I have come across people who have turned "traitor" and said that they wouldn't like it and would shut it down.

    I'm not really sure how many of us will ever find ourselves in a situation like that. But I have to say that reading the article just made me smile. It's nice to hear good things about fan fiction and have it actually encouraged, for once.

    Yes, seeing your character, who you fully intended to be straight, in a homosexual relationship with a minor, is going to be squicky and you're not going to be happy. But, even though you might not agree with the portrayal, at least you know that the author of said work read and enjoyed your work to the extent that they were driven to write about it, even if it's in a rather...unintended way.

    So thanks, Cory, for putting fan fic in a positive light and while pointing out the problems (and yes, there are certainly problems), not letting them overshadow the greatness that we call fan fic.
     
  16. Onoto

    Onoto Jedi Knight star 5

    Registered:
    Oct 7, 2004
    That was a truly fantastic piece. Great find!
     
  17. earlybird-obi-wan

    earlybird-obi-wan Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Aug 21, 2006
    THANKS for letting me share this article
     
  18. Jade_Max

    Jade_Max Jedi Master star 5

    Registered:
    Jun 28, 2002
    Awesome article! [face_peace] Thanks for sharing! :D
     
  19. DarthBreezy

    DarthBreezy Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Jun 4, 2002
    Indeed, it was an excellent read - Fellow fan fiction writers, I encourage you to post a comment, let the author know his words were heard and appreciated!
     
  20. rhonderoo

    rhonderoo Former Head Admin star 9 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Registered:
    Aug 7, 2002
    Great article!

    I went to a signing by author Dan Wallace who does the New Essential Guide to Characters (as well as Droids and Planets). His advice to children there was to write Fan Fic. He said if writing about your favorite characters kept a person writing, then it served its purpose. He was discovered writing small stories about his fave characters.
     
  21. LAJ_FETT

    LAJ_FETT Tech Admin and Collecting/Lucasfilm Ltd Mod star 10 Staff Member Administrator

    Registered:
    May 25, 2002
    I'm glad you're all enjoying it! :)
     
  22. JadeSolo

    JadeSolo Manager Emeritus star 6 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Registered:
    Sep 20, 2002
    My two favorite parts:

    On the other hand, this business of telling writers that they've given their characters the wrong words and deeds can feel obnoxious or insulting.


    Writers can't ask readers not to interpret their work. You can't enjoy a novel that you haven't interpreted ? unless you model the author's characters in your head, you can't care about what they do and why they do it. And once readers model a character, it's only natural that readers will take pleasure in imagining what that character might do offstage, to noodle around with it. This isn't disrespect: it's active reading.



    They're both extremes, and they're both so true. And even though Doctorow's in favor of fanfic, he gave good representation of the other side. It's nice to see a level-headed article.
     
  23. oqidaun

    oqidaun Manager Emeritus star 5 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Registered:
    Jul 20, 2005
    What a refreshing article!
    Bravo!!!
     
  24. C1-J2

    C1-J2 Jedi Youngling star 3

    Registered:
    May 16, 2007
    Great article! It's a rare point of view, indeed (well from the pros anyways!).

    Thanks for sharing!

    Take Care,
    C1-J2
     
  25. LLL

    LLL Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Jul 16, 2000
    This is the comment I have attempted to add.

    I don't know if it will all go up, though.

    I always try to start an argument these days by agreeing with my opponent. So, let's do that. Let's take this premise as fact: Writing isn't real writing unless it's your own original, made-up story, in your own original, made-up world, with your own original, made-up characters. People who don't do that aren't real writers. People who don't do that have no talent.

    Okay.

    My husband, who by this criteria is a real writer -- an award-winning real writer -- has it straight from novelist Lenore Hart that her next book will feature the Mark Twain character Becky Sharp. Huck Finn from a woman's point of view. Huck Finn fan fiction, dignified by the fact that Huck Finn is no longer under copyright.

    Does that mean that Lenore Hart is now taking a step down?

    Did Sena Jeter Naslund, who has an MFA and three other books on the shelf -- one novel about Marie Antoinette and the other about Dr. Watson of Sherlock Holmes fame -- step down when she wrote _Ahab's Wife?_ And two of her other books besides?

    For that matter, did Marion Zimmer Bradley step down when she wrote _The Mists of Avalon?_ Was _The Once and Future King_ , perhaps, a step down for T. H. White?

    Oh, and we *know* _Yesterday's Son_ was a big dip down for A. C. Crispin. It was the first ever Star Trek bestseller, and it started out life as ... you guessed it ... a piece of Star Trek fan fiction. Without it, she wouldn't have had a professional writing career.


    I posted more but this is all I will put up here.
     
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