I was really interested in the latest "hot topic" from #HQ on the subject of fanfiction, featuring a really lovely multimedia experience in the Bladerunner universe. I find it very refreshing when fanfiction is given the time of day beyond sophomoric, pointless, grammatically-mangled, art-devoid self-indulgence. I am a firm believer that despite the veritable wasteland of awfulness, it can be a valid form of expression and a wonderful tribute to a beloved canon, and wanted to share my response to the questions posed, and ask your opinions.
# # # 1) What would you say is the most wonderful aspect of fanfiction? What is the most dreadful?
Let's start with the worst, since it seems to be what everyone's most familiar with. The horrible, out-of-character self-indulgences. The unadulterated pornography, the terrible, illiterate garbles, the Mary-Sue self-inserts. They are horrible. They are irritating, sometimes infuriating, disrespectful to the original creations, and they are EVERYWHERE. I'd say that's the worst part about the bad fics or art - their prevalence. It's so much harder to find the good ones.
But when they're good - oh, how good they are.
I'd say the best element is catharsis. One of my favorite goals, whether in writing original fiction or fan - (Yes! I write fan fiction!) is emotional connection to the characters, and engagement of the reader. I can't tell you how liberating and therapeutic it is, to have a terrible, unresolved or painful issue in a work of fiction, maybe something that wasn't given the time or attention it deserved, glossed over in the need to get the next issue or episode out the door - taking it, and resolving it to the best of your ability. Give characters closure that they desperately need. Give READERS closure. It's incredible the fondness and affection we develop for fictional characters. If they're compelling and they resonate with us, we think about them long after we're done reading or watching. We worry about them. We wonder how they're doing. Fanfiction, when it's done correctly and respectfully, is a way of spending more time with old friends. Making their lives better, and our own.2) When you first came across a fan fiction treatment of one of your favorite books or movies, you were:
e.) Jealous that you hadn't thought of it sooner
f.) Happy to have fellow devotees of your "guilty pleasure"
g.) Inspired to start writing your own fan fiction?
Again - if it's literate, creative, and above all, respectful,
I am always overjoyed. It's a show of love and appreciation for something wonderful, and shows me that I am not alone in loving it. It is NEVER a guilty pleasure, for I feel absolutely no shame for it. And yes, I'll take a healthy dollop of inspiration, please.3) Which work of fiction, literary, film or TV, that hasn't had any treatment in fan fiction, should have some asap, in your considered opinion?
Sometimes I think my tastes run too much to the obscure. I'm a reluctant hipster that way - I don't WANT to wear the glasses, but I do! Most of the things I love, nobody has ever heard of - and therefore, have written no ficcage! And if I were to write my own, it would largely get no attention. I'd get more writing original (which I also do, avidly). I'd love to see some (good, literate, RESPECTFUL) love for lots of classic adventure games and RPGs, like the King's Quest series, Betrayal in Antara, Hotel Dusk: Room 215, films and shows like Titan: A.E., Batman: Beyond, Static Shock, GI Joe: Renegades - the list goes on. 4) Can you think of examples of fan fictions which you thought were superior to the original source material being "extended"?
I'd like to remind everyone that the expanded universes of Star Trek, Star Wars, Dungeons and Dragons,
and countless other series with novel continuations, are simply fanfictions that were considered good enough to be published. Like any collection of works by different authors, the quality varies - but I can honestly say, I've loved some Star Trek novels more than actual episodes, and feel they get to the hearts and minds of the characters in a far more detailed and intimate way.Bottom Line, Fan Fiction is:
a.) A homage
b.) Insulting graffiti
c.) Good clean fun
d.) Brilliant, career launching platformAll of the above
is possible. Asking what fanfiction is is like asking what art or writing is. Is writing in general an expression of beauty, affection, emotion and ideas, or is it valueless trash? The spectrum is broad and huge. Fanfiction can be awful. It also has the capacity to capture precious essences of beloved characters, bring them to life for new adventures and experiences, and expand on the familiar to create something entirely its own.
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Discuss. Feel free to share thoughts.
Answers to the above questions?
Agreeing or disagreeing is fine, hell, suggest a good fic, I don't care. Just have fun.