191: Penning the Perfect Fanfiction

HardRockSamurai

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It's nice to see an article which recognizes fanfiction for what it truly is, a creative outlet for gamers, rather than smut pieces with your favorite video game characters in them.

I've read a bit of fanfiction, and so far, my experience with it has been a little strange. Sometimes I'll find a story that is so well written I could have sworn it had been copy+pasted out of the actual game; and sometimes I'll find one where Master Chief and Harry Potter team up to fight crime in Narnia.....nuff said.....

Any writer of fanfiction could stand to benefit from reading this article; I enjoyed it a lot!

Please do a follow up :)
 

rossatdi

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Aug 27, 2008
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Finally! An excuse to write that Gordon Freeman - Snake love story set in the Mushroom Kingdom I've always wanted to!

Personally I think fanfiction is a wonderful demonstration of people with too much time on their hands.
 

whyarecarrots

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There is only one perfect fanfiction:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?gl=GB&hl=en-GB&v=OHxyZaZlaOs

;)

That said... Dark Messiah: Bratz Ponyz could come close.
Loved the comment about Henry V as well
 

RebelRising

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whyarecarrots said:
There is only one perfect fanfiction:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?gl=GB&hl=en-GB&v=OHxyZaZlaOs
I've lost count of how many times I've seen those videos - truly a masterpiece.

The "birds and sun coming down from the top of the sky" always gets me.
 

Lord Krunk

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The_root_of_all_evil said:
One thing you missed out on though. NO MARY/GARY SUES!

If I see one more damn "Reader Fantasy Character", I'll assume it's just Russel T gone back to his original idiocy.
Ah, but what is a fanfic without a Gary Stu/Mary Sue? Well, my definition of fanfic anyway.

And then you see something like this [http://comics.shipsinker.com/], realise it's a fanfic, and can not believe your eyes. No Mary Sues? No shipping (minus the one frame where Grace kisses Romana)? A genuine plot?

This ain't a fanfic. It's so much more.

I was in the middle of writing a webcomic revolving around Team Fortress 2's Engineer and his teleporter (due to working without an exit) being able to send people anywhere and everywhere. Naturally, fun with Gmod will ensue, and when it's done, you will finally witness a brawl between the Heavy and Left 4 Dead's Tank. Oh, Francis and The Demoman are related, and the Secret of the G-Man will be revealed, by the way.

Sound cool? Anyway, I will take this article into account for ideas.
 

whyarecarrots

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RebelRising said:
whyarecarrots said:
There is only one perfect fanfiction:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?gl=GB&hl=en-GB&v=OHxyZaZlaOs
I've lost count of how many times I've seen those videos - truly a masterpiece.

The "birds and sun coming down from the top of the sky" always gets me.
The dead pants are a masterpiece of tragic scene setting as well.
 

Dectilon

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"If i may humbly suggest, it's your own fault for not ignoring the utter garbage."

Unfortunately, the garbage floats to the top and the few serious, misguided attempts disappear into the abyss. Mainly because people have no taste whatsoever.

It goes like this: If you actually CAN write you're wasting your talent. If you CAN'T write then you're giving writers in general a bad rep. There's no way to win.
 

Mr.Switchblade

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Dec 1, 2008
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pparrish said:
Penning the Perfect Fanfiction

The quickest way to a gamer's heart is through his imagination - and what better way to capture it than through a delicious piece of fanfiction? Peter Parrish offers five and a half easy steps to crafting your videogame-inspired masterpiece.

Read Full Article
Become a good writer, don't involve yourself in fanfiction. Almost any other method imaginable is more likely to improve your writing skill than pirating someone's ideas.
 

tustin2121

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Dec 24, 2008
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I'm sensing some sort of sarcasm or satire in the piece...

Hey, some fan fictions are really good. Just avoid the slash stuff, and you'll find lots of good things.

One of my favorite ones is Harry Potter [http://www.fanfiction.net/s/3425232/1/] one that doesn't have any of that crap he mentioned in his last section of the article. (Somehow, I feel that promoting fanfics here is, wrong somehow... :) )
 

Clashero

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Excellent article!
Seriously, a site like http://www.fanfiction.net/ can be, at best, be called a "collection of rather derivative works, of rather dubious quality". The term I like to use is "A raging madhouse. A certified nexus of idiocy"
 

Ultrajoe

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Apr 24, 2008
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RAKtheUndead said:
Dectilon said:
It goes like this: If you actually CAN write you're wasting your talent. If you CAN'T write then you're giving writers in general a bad rep. There's no way to win.
Precisely what I suggested in the discussion for The Art of Fandom. The only way to win is not to play.
In the words of someone more versed in Fanfic than I, you're missing the point. Fanfiction is social, sharing stories and skills with other people of a similar frame of mind. You aren't writing for an audience of potential readers, and hence 'wasting talent', you're writing for an established audience within accepted constraints. That's why they get posted on sites like Fanfiction.net, so the established audience and those who wish to read such stories can find them. The writer does not seek the reader in Fanfiction, the reader seeks the writer. People make friends, write reviews of other stories and help each other to rise in ability inside the community.

Fanfiction is inherently personal in it's rewards, and when people try to apply the standards of 'original' literature (That's a laugh) to it, they inevitably reach an incorrect conclusion about the motivations that drive the community.

And most importantly, Fanfiction doesn't want you. This isn't an insult, it's just the nature of Fanfiction (as discussed) to not actively seek readers outside of a narrow demographic. They post what they have for people they often know to read, or for other fans of that 'universe' to find. If you wander into their community, and seek out their stories, don't go complaining about what you find. Fanfiction writers are not exclusively writers of only Fanfiction, they just enjoy the challenge and community of that subsection of literature while they pursue their own stories.

Think of it like lawn bowls, amateur pottery or pigeon breeding. From the outside, very unfulfilling. But people involved in such communities only ever do what they do for the opinion of others in that community. The nuances of it may put off outsiders, but they don't mind because they are only competing against other bowlers, other potters or breeders. And most importantly, while these people choose to spend their time on such activities, they aren't defined by them. Steve is the finance manager of a large production company, he has two children and likes to fish. His favorite meal is nachos, and he often eats them while writing the occasional 40K fanfiction. Fanfiction isn't all consuming, it's a hobby, a pastime or often a way to explore the depths of a larger network like the aforementioned 40K.

Sure, articles like this highlight the shit that comes out of the community, but can you say the average 'original' story is any better? Can you say the creative process behind that two page masterpiece about a lost and magic race of mystic ancients with tri-bladed swords called 'vrudrungs' was any more professional than the mind behind 'Full-life consequences?'. Fanfiction has it's creative sins magnified by the fact that it is dealing with known characters, and thus it is easier to identify as find as pure shit. But those sins are hardly exclusive to it's members, because every such culture is full of hacks and idiots.

Penultimately, the article gets the motivations behind fanfiction wrong. The process doesn't go [Adoration/Devotion/Fanfiction] as a huge fan of 'Twilight' decides that the world needs to know just how much she loves the movie. No, often it comes from genuine inspiration. What if? What if the imperials had won and the empire had ruled the galaxy? They think, they imagine, they have a creative impulse as genuine and pure as the minds that came up with the original material, and then they are inspired to write about it. Just like Lucas did when he watched a western or samurai film and thought 'Fuck, this would be great in space!'. To say they think [mario] and then add plot and setting is inflammatory and ignorant of how sich things come to be. Inspiration or curiosity strikes, and a story is born.

Finally, i'd argue that writing well within the constraints of another persons vision is a hell of a lot harder than with your own setting.

I could go on for much longer, but i feel like i'm pissing into a hole of faux-justified prejudice here. I would have thought a community of gamers, who constantly whine about how mainstream society keeps misunderstanding their motivations and desires, would have a bit more maturity when looking on a very similar community.
 

Simriel

The Count of Monte Cristo
Dec 22, 2008
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Clashero said:
Excellent article!
Seriously, a site like http://www.fanfiction.net/ can be, at best, be called a "collection of rather derivative works, of rather dubious quality". The term I like to use is "A raging madhouse. A certified nexus of idiocy"
Agreed good sir! Shall you join me in my quest against fanfiction?
 

Clashero

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Simriel said:
Clashero said:
Excellent article!
Seriously, a site like http://www.fanfiction.net/ can be, at best, be called a "collection of rather derivative works, of rather dubious quality". The term I like to use is "A raging madhouse. A certified nexus of idiocy"
Agreed good sir! Shall you join me in my quest against fanfiction?
It's not that I hate fanfiction. It's just than 99% of it causes me to experience physical pain while reading it. I sincerely dislike taking a character and giving them a new story, but creating a new storyline, with new characters in the same universe as the source material, without any pieces stepping on each other's toes, then that's fine.
I'll point my budding novel as an example. You could argue that it's set in the world of Assassin's Creed. In fact, playing the game made me remember "wait... I have a book about these assassin guys" and decided to write something in that vein. Shameless self-promotion follows: http://clashero.deviantart.com/art/Alamut-revised-94362690
 

Simriel

The Count of Monte Cristo
Dec 22, 2008
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Clashero said:
Simriel said:
Clashero said:
Excellent article!
Seriously, a site like http://www.fanfiction.net/ can be, at best, be called a "collection of rather derivative works, of rather dubious quality". The term I like to use is "A raging madhouse. A certified nexus of idiocy"
Agreed good sir! Shall you join me in my quest against fanfiction?
It's not that I hate fanfiction. It's just than 99% of it causes me to experience physical pain while reading it. I sincerely dislike taking a character and giving them a new story, but creating a new storyline, with new characters in the same universe as the source material, without any pieces stepping on each other's toes, then that's fine.
I'll point my budding novel as an example. You could argue that it's set in the world of Assassin's Creed. In fact, playing the game made me remember "wait... I have a book about these assassin guys" and decided to write something in that vein. Shameless self-promotion follows: http://clashero.deviantart.com/art/Alamut-revised-94362690
I say that allowing the 98 % of bad fanfiction to exist because 2% is decent, the same respect i would allow someone who suggested we should NOT kill the aliens who where attacking earth because 2 of the entire race where nice.
Also., if you have talent, like i do, Create an original IP, and use the things you like as inspiration.
 

Ultrajoe

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Apr 24, 2008
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Simriel said:
I say that allowing the 98 % of bad fanfiction to exist because 2% is decent, the same respect i would allow someone who suggested we should NOT kill the aliens who where attacking earth because 2 of the entire race where nice.
Also., if you have talent, like i do, Create an original IP, and use the things you like as inspiration.
Yes., oozing with talent.

Your analogy is flawed, though. Aliens implies they are kicking down your door and shoving bad fanfic into your mouth, when if you stopped looking you wouldn't have to endure it. A better example is 'I want to kill this race of alien cannibals, despite the fact that two percent are perfectly acceptable. Now, to march into their domain with sword and bolter blazing!'
 

Simriel

The Count of Monte Cristo
Dec 22, 2008
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Ultrajoe said:
Simriel said:
I say that allowing the 98 % of bad fanfiction to exist because 2% is decent, the same respect i would allow someone who suggested we should NOT kill the aliens who where attacking earth because 2 of the entire race where nice.
Also., if you have talent, like i do, Create an original IP, and use the things you like as inspiration.
Yes., oozing with talent.

Your analogy is flawed, though. Aliens implies they are kicking down your door and shoving bad fanfic into your mouth, when if you stopped looking you wouldn't have to endure it. A better example is 'I want to kill this race of alien cannibals, despite the fact that two percent are perfectly acceptable. Now, to march into their domain with sword and bolter blazing!'
I prefer the good old Plasma gun myself. Yeah it overheats, but its got that 'dark age of technology' feel to it.

Edit: Also i see Fanfic as an affront to writers with talent and creativity. I Basically see it as an assault on my mindset.