Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.

Fan Fiction

Expand Messages
  • ERATRIANO@aol.com
    In a message dated 09/06/2000 9:08:23 PM Eastern Daylight Time, margdean@erols.com writes:
    Message 1 of 4 , Sep 7, 2000
    • 0 Attachment
      In a message dated 09/06/2000 9:08:23 PM Eastern Daylight Time,
      margdean@... writes:

      << It does seem rather, well, discouraging is not quite the word I'd use, but
      it's probably more polite than what I'm thinking, which is that any attempt
      at what I'll call Narnian fan fiction by its devotees has been thoroughly
      stomped on by Douglas Gresham and the Estate over the years, but they're okay
      now with letting a
      commercial enterprise do it. Who are they getting to write these "original
      stories," I wonder? >>

      And fan fiction in general; I have seen fanzines from time to time, and some
      of them have been truly humorous and enjoyable. Though I'm not a Star Trek
      fan, those 'zines seem to have some of the longest histories, and get stomped
      on pretty bad as well. I think it's really too bad; such grassroots creative
      spirit is truly enjoyable, and often better than commercially marketed stuff.
      I guess were I successful I wouldn't want any old person to do what they
      liked with my world and people, but still, shouldn't there be a middle ground?

      Lizzie
    • Cai Cherie
      This is an unexpectedly interesting issue and I have found myself giving it alittle more thought than I d originailly anticipated. From what I can see, its
      Message 2 of 4 , Jul 25, 2005
      • 0 Attachment
        This is an unexpectedly interesting issue and I have found myself giving it alittle more thought than I'd originailly anticipated. From what I can see, its not quite a black and white issue, and its in the shades of grey that things become fascinating.

        Bluntly, I find -most- fan fic unreadable. Why? Well, anyone who is willing to forgo their own world-building possibilities for someone else's, on a whole, is often either lacking in, or unsure of, their own vision. And that lack or unsureness of vision will show up in other parts of the work and limit it. Fan fic usually lacks flavor. It tastes, not like a nice smelly brie or a crumbly sage darby, but like processed cheese. Now, alot of people can't tell the difference between them all, or even prefer processed cheese, but to many people fan fic is too formulaic to be pleasing.

        Most good authors have something undefinable that makes them them, and makes their work their work. To move from cheese to music -- Dylan has gone thru alot of styles but you always know its Dylan. And scores of people have gone thru Dylan phases, but you still know in a heartbeat when its specifically John Lennon or Bruce Springsteen working off Dylan. And how you know its John Lennon or Bruce Springsteen deals with something deeper than style, a certain form of isness or quintity that strong artists possess, and that their works possess.

        Fan fic seems to be part of an early pomo trend, that for surfaces, for mishmash, for the celebration of the weak artist who moves from style to style without a trace of anything other than style. Some people like it; I find it so boring I wonder at others' enjoyment. Its as if our culture has been brainwashed to adore mediocrity. But then, silly me, I am so behind the times I'm ahead of them.

        Hmmm, how then to explain some of the later versions of Sherlock Holmes? All the wonderful novels and movies that have come from other authors than Doyle? What of retellings of great myths? What of...

        Here's a thought: if the character or story is strong enough to seem like more than a mere character or story... If the character/story has something more like the same isness or quintity that a strong artist does, then perhaps (and only perhaps) the character/story can substain other authors. Such a character/story seems to have stored within itelf the mythopoetic ability to generate writing that retains the character/story's original isness. Have I just described an archetype? Yes, by coming at it from another angle.

        So, does fan fic come from generating archetypes or from static stereotypes? For me, it all depends on that . And needless to say, in the hands of a strong artist's vision it will come more alive. Its the aliveness of the vision that matters.

        Cai, blunt and awkward as usual, but always a faithful steward






        __________________________________________________
        Do You Yahoo!?
        Tired of spam? Yahoo! Mail has the best spam protection around
        http://mail.yahoo.com

        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • Ellen
        I have been lurking in this discussion, though I definitely have some opinions which Cai s post has prompted me to share. Warning - long ramble ahead,
        Message 3 of 4 , Jul 26, 2005
        • 0 Attachment
          I have been lurking in this discussion, though I definitely have some
          opinions which Cai's post has prompted me to share. Warning - long
          ramble ahead, however, I have some personal experience with some of
          these issues which will hopefully offer some insights.

          Cai Cherie wrote:

          >This is an unexpectedly interesting issue and I have found myself giving it alittle more thought than I'd originailly anticipated. From what I can see, its not quite a black and white issue, and its in the shades of grey that things become fascinating.
          >
          >
          I agree completely.

          >Bluntly, I find -most- fan fic unreadable. Why? Well, anyone who is willing to forgo their own world-building possibilities for someone else's, on a whole, is often either lacking in, or unsure of, their own vision.
          >
          >
          <some good analogies snipped for brevity>

          Again I agree. I have never been a fan of fan fiction. However, like
          many Tolkien fans, I often have wondered what happened in the parts he
          skims over or did not write about. And yes, I have written about some
          of those things, primarily for myself. I even had one short story from
          the point of view of Galadriel returning to Valinor which was published
          in Amon Hen. I had written it for my own enjoyment and my love of
          Tolkien's character, and only submitted it after I saw that similar
          things were published.

          For over a year, I participated in "roleplay" bulletin boards on a
          Tolkien website. This consisted of making up one or more characters in
          Tolkien's world and writing stories with others who would then post and
          write their character's actions and point of view. Naturally, most of
          what was written there (including my own) was pretty dreadful, but the
          point was that here was a group of people who loved Tolkien's world so
          much they wanted to be a part of it. There were some good writers on
          the board, though, and we eventually found each other. One friend and I
          wrote a story that followed the lives of two elves who were among the
          others sent out with Glorfindel to look for Frodo. When it turned into
          a love story, we did research in the Laws and Customs among the Eldar
          essay in HoME to get some ideas about the marriage customs of elves.
          The story also went into the battles between Lothlorien and Dul Guldur
          during the War of the Ring, something I've always wanted to know more
          about.

          I also participated in a thread about the elves crossing the Helcaraxe,
          for which, again, those of us writing all referred to Sil and HoME,
          though this was much more difficult to write, I think, because Tolkien
          had written so little about it and we were scared to death to go off
          into too many strange tangents and risk doing something to desecrate the
          work of an author we revered.

          Was it good fiction? Would Tolkien have approved of any of it? I am
          sure the answer is no on both counts. Thinking back, I know there were
          some things I would like to change if I were interested in doing
          anything more with it, which I am definitely not. But it was not only a
          lot of fun, I think it helped me as a writer because I got used to
          sitting down and dashing off three or four single spaced pages in an
          evening. There was very little pressure to make it perfect, because we
          were doing this for fun, knowing that there was no remote chance of
          publication. A few people on the website followed the story and enjoyed
          it, though I think we would have kept writing even if no one was
          reading. My main writing partner did some excellent work and I would
          read her post, and then get so many ideas that my fingers could barely
          keep up with my brain. As a writing exercise and just for the sheer
          enjoyment of having my own character in Middle-earth, the experience was
          very rewarding.

          Ultimately, I got burned out on this sort of writing for many reasons,
          not the least of which was that I was working on some other writing of
          my own. As some of you are aware, I had originally hoped to turn the
          story of Beren and Luthien into a ballet, but this was not something the
          Tolkien Estate was interested in. My adaptation could I suppose be
          called "fan fiction" in the loosest sense of the word and I greatly
          enjoyed working on this (I still have every page of Tolkien's Letters
          and his biography that mentions the story bookmarked with a post-it).

          The fact that the Tolkien Estate said "no" was one of the greatest
          blessings I have experienced as a writer. I had so much respect for
          Tolkien's story that it limited my own creativity, though I did have to
          greatly adapt the story (streamlining, cutting out events and
          characters, etc. As George Balanchine said, "There are no
          brothers-in-law in ballet.").

          We still had a ballet to put on, and this change freed me to take the
          story in some new directions while retaining Tolkien's themes of love
          and loss. I had never tried to write my own fantasy because I believed
          it was simply too difficult - I did not have it in me to create a
          world. (To quote Cai, I was both "lacking in" and "unsure of" my own
          vision.) And certainly, I couldn't even come close to what Tolkien did,
          so why bother at all? To make a very long story short, the ballet The
          Willow Maiden was a success, the novel based on the ballet (and greatly
          expanding upon it) is nearly complete in a first draft, and I don't
          think any of this would have been possible if I hadn't gotten in some
          good practice working in Tolkien's world.

          Moving from writing in someone else's world to writing in my own has
          unlocked my creativity as a writer in ways that spills over into my
          other, real-world fiction. Of course "my" world is not truly mine
          either - in addition to Tolkien I have many other influences including
          Norse mythology. I am much less socially conservative than was Tolkien,
          and this was always difficult for me writing in his world and trying to
          respect the choices he made though they might not have been my
          choices. Now, I can write something that reflects my own
          sensibilities, not those of someone else.

          In short, fan fiction and the like definitely has its uses, but I
          believe, based on my own personal experience, that a real "grown up"
          writer does not rely on someone else's world.

          Ellen

          Willow Maiden website now up at:
          http://denham.virtualave.net/willowmaiden.html

          >
          >
          >
          >


          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        • WendellWag@aol.com
          There s a long article in the current issue of Time (July 18, 2011) about fan fiction: _http://www.time.com/time/arts/article/0,8599,2081784,00.html_
          Message 4 of 4 , Jul 9, 2011
          • 0 Attachment
            There's a long article in the current issue of Time (July 18, 2011) about fan fiction:
             
             
            Wendell Wagner
          Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.