- Aug 10, 2009
I didn't misunderstand. I was responding to the first paragraph where you were discussing the love that fanfic writers have for the worlds they take from.Tom Phoenix said:No, you misunderstood me. I said the opposite. I think that most tie-in writers have absolutely no love for the worlds they are "thieving" from, hence why most novels end up being as bad as they are. If you are doing something purely for monetary gain, then you are not going to be motivated to produce anything deep or thought-provoking.OANST said:Oh, I agree that fan-fic writers love the world that they are thieving from. No doubt. They just lack the ingenuity and the insight to make something great. I don't care how well you can write. If your life is so sad that you fantasize yourself into other people's work then you are clearly not the next Cormac McCarthy or David Sedaris. You won't be wowing the literary world any time soon.
The complaint of people injecting their "Mary-Sue's" into fan-fics is a fan-fic reader's complaint. It's also not worth arguing from my point of view, since it is mostly a complaint about style. My complaint about fanfiction is that it is an intellectual death from the start.
So if I understand you correctly, you think that a work immediately loses any chance of being good the moment it is set in a universe that is not an original creation? Well, you are free to think so, although I think that is kind of stretching it. I mean, even "original" universes are not necessarily original, since even good established writers tend to borrow concepts from elsewhere.
La Divina Commedia by Dante Alighieri, which is considered one of the greatest works in literature, is essentially a collection of religious and historic tales, combined with philosophic teachings and biographical elements. Infact, it wouldn't be even that much of a stretch to call it a work of "fan fiction", beacuse the world which Dante potrays is essentially taken from the Bible and religious manuscripts. Dante may have fully fleshed out these worlds, but they still weren't his own original creation.
Now you are bringing up some very good points. Are all writers and storytellers not thieves of a kind? Sure, they are. We take from everything. Our experiences. Stories that have had a deep effect on us. Everything.
There is a difference, though. In the case of Dante, yes, he was definitely taking from religion. But, and this is a big but, Dante's world operated under Dante's rules. He was writing a fiction that encapsulated a religion that he fully believed was real, to begin with. It isn't fan fiction if you write about the real world. That doesn't make something non-fiction either. The real world is a real place. Whether you're a fan of it has nothing to do with it, and it isn't theft to put things in that setting. Dante believed that heaven and hell were real, and he wrote a fiction there. Even though he thought they were real they still exhibited traits that cannot be traced to any other religious work, though.
He wrote a fiction, and he wrote it using his own rules. This is one of the many things that fanfiction lacks. When you write in someone else's idea, you are conforming your story to that idea. The act of creation is limited to events.