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Blitzen Profile
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Squire

Registered: 12-2004
Location: falkirk
Posts: 596
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Fan Fiction


Do any of you read/write fan-fiction.

I've always had a sort of snobbish attitude towards it; it isn't real writing after all.

Certainly a lot that I had sampled was inferior quality.

But recently my mind is changing. I found out that Limyaael writes fan-fiction as Lightning Under the Waves or something like that. This gave me pause for thought; I love her non-fiction, so why not her fiction?


Then I read a Spider-man fan-fiction, set between the movies. It was good, too, although it reached a bit where it would have made a great ending, and kept going. Nothing after that was as good as the start.

This was when I realised that these people (some of them, anyway) are learning the craft by writing these fan fictions. Okay, not all of the craft, since they aren't learning characterisation, but they are learning plot and things.

All the rubbish things that I wrote and binned when I was learning, they write and POST ON THE INTERNET!

Sorry for shouting, but that last bit was important. I knew what I was writing was bad, and so must they. I'd never have put my work out there like that and I applaud them.

Anyway, the point... I wrote a novel and let David and Haadad read part of it. David pointed out to me that parts of my novel were copyrighted by other people. So I put it aside and forgot it existed.

But it is an excellent story, one of the best (if not the best) I've ever written. It needs to be read. So should I post it as fan-fiction, and lose my snug snobbish superiority? Or should I bin and forget?

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4/23/2009, 1:07 pm Link to this post Email Blitzen   PM Blitzen
 
Reythia Profile
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Knight of Honor

Registered: 11-2005
Posts: 1883
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Re: Fan Fiction


I don't have a problem with the concept of fan fiction. A couple of authors of fantasy/scifi series that I read have recently published collections of fanfic work by other authors, based off their universe and sometimes even their characters. (Eric Flint's "1632" series and David Weber's "Honor Harrington" series both have a couple such anthologies.) My experience has been that most of these shorter (50-100 pages, typically) fanfic pieces provide equal enjoyment to the reader.

Of course, that's not to say that the average fanfic you find on the INTERNET is of as high caliber!! Blitzen, I think you come by your "snobbishness" honestly, since the vast majority of fanfic IS posted on the internet and IS tripe.

...But, then, isn't most of what's posted on free internet sites either garbage or work that needs help? Like you said, most of the work posted online (whether fanfic or original stories) is written by people who are learning to write -- often teenagers. Of course it's not as good as works that are published! But that's the fault of the writers, not the subject.

So yes, if you think that your fanfic piece is of the same caliber writing as anything else you'd submit, then I think you should submit it.

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David Meadows Profile
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Squire

Registered: 09-2003
Posts: 693
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Re: Fan Fiction


quote:

Blitzen wrote:
But it is an excellent story, one of the best (if not the best) I've ever written. It needs to be read.



It does need to be read. It's a pity about the copyright problem, but the characters are so important story that I can't see how you could drop them and still have the same story.

Incidentally, does using those characters make it fan fiction anyway? Where do you draw the line?



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5/1/2009, 1:22 pm Link to this post Email David Meadows   PM David Meadows
 
Blitzen Profile
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Squire

Registered: 12-2004
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Re: Fan Fiction


I figure not making your own characters is fan fiction. But that doesn't hold up when you think about, as an example, spider-man.

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5/1/2009, 7:40 pm Link to this post Email Blitzen   PM Blitzen
 
Reythia Profile
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Knight of Honor

Registered: 11-2005
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Re: Fan Fiction


When you either use known characters or else a known universe for a plot that is entirely your own, that's fan fiction. Because the plot is entirely author-driven, fanfics can sometimes be very engaging and are still, in my opinion are still "real" writing. Additionally, some of the best fanfics I've read have been distinctly set in the universe of another writer and use the setting of the other writer's characters as part of the setting, but are focused on a totally new, author-created character set. Often these could be made into stand-alone stories without too many changes, but I suspect the author simply chooses to formalize the inspiration source that led her to create the story, making the stories fanfic.

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5/2/2009, 4:23 pm Link to this post Email Reythia   PM Reythia AIM MSN
 
QS2 Profile
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Shepherd

Registered: 03-2006
Posts: 2138
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Re: Fan Fiction


Fanfiction is real writing yeah, I've seen a few of them that are truly amazing in their own ways and were much more fun to read then most normal fiction. And yeah, some of them eventually diverge so far from the original work that there really is little of it left. emoticon

So I guess I agree with Reythia here, I also some times wonder why they don't modify them to standalone stories, but I guess they are more comfortable with them like this.
5/8/2009, 2:25 pm Link to this post Email QS2   PM QS2
 
Blitzen Profile
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Squire

Registered: 12-2004
Location: falkirk
Posts: 596
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Re: Fan Fiction


I queried an agent about this on her blog. Her suggestion was to query 100 agents and let them decide

1) if it is publishable
2) what to do about the royalties.

After all, the story that was copyrighted is a blooming copyright nightmare.
 
See if you can guess what it is...

It is not copyrighted in any country except the UK (and possibly Australia) where it will never run out of copyright...

David, you're exempt.

I need to do some serious editing.

---
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[url=]http://dun-scaith.blogspot.com/[My Blog[/url]
7/14/2009, 2:31 pm Link to this post Email Blitzen   PM Blitzen
 
TheKid965 Profile
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Journeyman

Registered: 07-2006
Posts: 55
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Re: Fan Fiction


I don't have any problem with fan fiction. I've written some in my day, and can attest that it is in fact "real" writing. The only difference is that, for the most part, the hard work of characterization and worldbuilding is already done for you. For you tabletop gamers out there, it's absolutely no different, in theory at least, than when you buy a new campaign setting module for your favorite system - you're given the pieces and some suggestions, but it's still up to you to put your own stamp on that world with your own storyline or adventure that uses those pieces.

The only thing wrong with fanfic is that it cannot be published for money, so if you're looking at writing as a career then you'd be best served not to spend too much time playing with someone else's toys. With that said, it can be a pleasant diversion every now and then to recharge your creative batteries, like that old comfortable pair of jeans you've had since college that you just can't bring yourself to get rid of even though they're so threadbare by now you can't wear them in public.

And for the critics who think all fanfics are nothing but poorly-written wish-fulfillment stories and/or cheap sexual fantasies with atrocious spelling and nonexistent grammar, all I can say is that you really should dig deeper than just fanfiction.net. There really is good, even great, stuff out there, if you know where to look and learn how to separate the two or three grams of gold nuggets from the sixteen cubic meters of silt accumulation in that particular river.

It is even possible, with the proper connections, to make money with this stuff -- after all, the couple million Star Trek novels that're on the shelves of every Barnes & Noble in the world are really nothing more than professionally-written, officially-licensed fan fiction. Of course, with rare exception every single one of those authors got their foot in the door by creating their own stuff first, building a reputation, and then getting noticed by whoever in Paramount or Pocket Books that's responsible for overseeing the Trek publishing empire.

So my suggestion would be to use fanfics as "training wheels" while you're honing your craft, and return to them as necessary to explore new ideas or further sharpen your skills. But don't exert too much energy on them, unless fanfics really are all you want to do. Which is fine if that works for you, of course, but there may come a time when you'll have to make a choice between playing in somebody else's sandbox (and not being able to take the toys with you when you leave) or building your own...

7/24/2009, 2:50 am Link to this post Email TheKid965   PM TheKid965
 
Firlefanz Profile
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Lady of the Land

Registered: 05-2003
Location: Germany
Posts: 6873
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Re: Fan Fiction


Kid, that's a very well put discussion of what fan fiction is about, I'd say.

Thank you! emoticon

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Hannah Steenbock
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7/24/2009, 5:53 am Link to this post Email Firlefanz   PM Firlefanz Blog
 
QS2 Profile
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Shepherd

Registered: 03-2006
Posts: 2138
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Re: Fan Fiction


Well, to be entirely fair, even on fanfiction.net there are the occasional gems. emoticon
7/24/2009, 7:18 pm Link to this post Email QS2   PM QS2
 
David Meadows Profile
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Squire

Registered: 09-2003
Posts: 693
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Re: Fan Fiction


The other day I read some Harry Potter fan fiction that was... er...

Well, I'll be blunt. It was about Harry having sex with Hermionie emoticon . I was searching for something else and found it by accident. Honest!

But, whatever you think about the subject matter, this short piece was extremely well written. I mean, it really got inside the minds of the characters and felt very realistic. I would say it was by a very good writer who had put a lot of thought into the characters.

I actually really liked it emoticon



---
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7/27/2009, 2:19 pm Link to this post Email David Meadows   PM David Meadows
 
QS2 Profile
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Shepherd

Registered: 03-2006
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Re: Fan Fiction


The sex part thus was entirely incidental to making it interesting? emoticon emoticon
7/27/2009, 2:41 pm Link to this post Email QS2   PM QS2
 
David Meadows Profile
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Squire

Registered: 09-2003
Posts: 693
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Re: Fan Fiction


That's actually an interesting question emoticon

No, the sex was essential, as it was the springboard for exploring their emotions and attitudes. Without the sex, there would have been nothing interesting to say about the characters.

I would definitely say it was an example of non-gratuitous sex emoticon



---
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Reythia Profile
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Knight of Honor

Registered: 11-2005
Posts: 1883
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Re: Fan Fiction


Ahhhhh... And NOW I see why Meadows REALLY went to see the new Harry Potter movie! He'd heard there was some romance in it and was hoping for a bedroom scene!

As for what Kid said, I agree. The Star Trek example was a good one. Anyone who's ever read a decent number of them knows that there are some that are just OK, but others that are excellent. ("Q-Squared" by Peter David being the absolute best, of course!)

This post proves, once again, that I am a good little geek.

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Reythia Profile
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Knight of Honor

Registered: 11-2005
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Re: Fan Fiction


I was shocked to see a mainstream article about fan fiction. It was sort of interesting to see it described "for the outsider", I thought.

CNN:"The Boy Who Lived Forever"

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Firlefanz Profile
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Lady of the Land

Registered: 05-2003
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Re: Fan Fiction


That's a very interesting article. Thanks for sharing!

  emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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Hannah Steenbock
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7/12/2011, 6:05 pm Link to this post Email Firlefanz   PM Firlefanz Blog
 
QS2 Profile
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Shepherd

Registered: 03-2006
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Re: Fan Fiction


It seems surprisingly reasonable, I'd expected more bias, but perhaps I'm being unfair with that line of thinking. emoticon
7/12/2011, 6:12 pm Link to this post Email QS2   PM QS2
 
Reythia Profile
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Knight of Honor

Registered: 11-2005
Posts: 1883
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Re: Fan Fiction


quote:

QS2 wrote:
It seems surprisingly reasonable, I'd expected more bias, but perhaps I'm being unfair with that line of thinking. emoticon


emoticon I had precisely the same thought, actually.


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Pastor Rick Profile
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The Reeve

Registered: 07-2005
Location: Texas
Posts: 2463
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Re: Fan Fiction


My wife and one of her girlfriends wrote and self-published a fan-fic book just for fun. Neither of them have ever tried to see if there was a way to "really publish" the book because of the copyrighted material they used in their project. So there are less than a dozen copies of their work in print. I like the book myself but does anyone here think they would have a real chance of getting a genuine publisher to look at it?

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7/13/2011, 5:13 pm Link to this post Email Pastor Rick   PM Pastor Rick Blog
 
Firlefanz Profile
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Lady of the Land

Registered: 05-2003
Location: Germany
Posts: 6873
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Re: Fan Fiction


The problem is the copyrighted material. You'd need the original publisher's permission.

I have a friend who writes fantastic novels based on the Star Trek universe. I think she does a print run of five for her friends. (I'm privileged to get print copies, signed, even.) There is no chance whatsoever to get them officially published, since Paramount severely limits what may be done with the series, up to the point where the official novels became stupid and boring because they didn't allow authors any leeway.

Her novels are a great example of "good" fanfiction that respects the setting and the characters (she never uses official characters, actually, and created her own race of shapeshifters). I think that's exactly what the article talks about. People using their creativity to show what else might happen.

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Hannah Steenbock
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Reythia Profile
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Knight of Honor

Registered: 11-2005
Posts: 1883
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Re: Fan Fiction


quote:

Firlefanz wrote:
The problem is the copyrighted material. You'd need the original publisher's permission.



Ditto. Then again, Rick, your friend could always ask the author/publisher. The worst outcome is that she STILL can't publish it.

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