Fanfiction

  • OTW Fannews: What's in a name?

    By Claudia Rebaza on Lunes, 14 October 2013 - 4:39de la tarde
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    • While 'Fangirl' is a much less used term in the media than 'Fanboy', both often come in for a shellacking when they do appear. WhatCulture.com used it when citing 10 Moments That Gave Fanboys A Bad Name. Perhaps, for once, women benefited from being erased since at least half the examples they cited occurred in predominantly female fandom circles.
    • VentureBeat meanwhile argued that 'Fanboy' is an overused term. " I realize that no one can simply grab the Internet by the shoulders and ask it to stop crying “fanboy!” every time someone shows their enthusiasm for something. But that’s not what this article is about. The point I’m trying to make by writing this is that a person’s point of view may not be clear over the Internet and that during a discussion, the gaming community should make an attempt to understand where the other side is coming from."
    • Meanwhile Apex Magazine argued that 'Fangirl' isn't a dirty word. "We’re battling decades of institutionalized sexism, racism, and imperialism. We’re working on it. We may still be struggling with all of the —isms but we’re clawing our way toward second wave fandom, particularly when it comes to female fans sharing the dais. We recognize that women really do game, read comics and geek out over all the things guys geek out over. But even in this enlightened age, the gendered term 'fangirl' has become a casual slur, used with impunity to mock and ridicule a certain type of fan."
    • It's certainly not difficult to spot troubling issues that fans face -- whether it's receiving offers to turn pro in all the wrong ways, finding a hostile environment for female professionals and fans alike at conventions, being exposed to demeaning reactions to one's appearance when posting YouTube content, having one's fannish endeavors misrepresented to a general audience or having only certain kinds of fanworks appear in the spotlight. But labels can be an enduring problem, especially when they're misused.

    How do you see fanboys or fangirls talked about? Write about it on Fanlore! Contributions are welcome from all fans.

    We want your suggestions! If you know of an essay, video, article, podcast, or link you think we should know about, comment on the most recent OTW Fannews post. Links are welcome in all languages! Submitting a link doesn't guarantee that it will be included in a roundup post, and inclusion of a link doesn't mean that it is endorsed by the OTW.

  • OTW Fannews: What does fanfic do well?

    By Claudia Rebaza on Sábado, 12 October 2013 - 4:32de la tarde
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    Banner by Lisa of women in the 1920s gathered around 3 women using typewriters

    • Romance site Heroes & Heartbreakers discussed Why Romance Fans Read Fan Fiction. "[E]ven between quality fanfiction and a good romance novel, there are essential differences. The most obvious is the prevalence of 'slash fiction'" whereas "Other differences are structural...Fics aren’t as standardized as novels, which can be refreshing when I want to read a love story but don’t want to commit to a full novel." In addition to being online, free, and plentiful, "there are plots I can only accept in fan fiction, because of their sheer implausibility" and "there are some plots fan fiction just does better."
    • While fanfiction didn't invent erotica, it's certainly done a lot to promote it. In an interview on The Frisky, two of the three authors interviewed got their start in it. "Avital:...Here I was reading a fan story about Eric & Sookie and then all of a sudden — whoa! This was way past anything HBO was showing or Charlaine Harris intimated at in her PG-13 books. Jeanette: That’s quite similar to the fan fiction erotica discovery process, Jess. Just, with fan fiction, you go looking for more of some characters you love, and then BAM! Hardcore graphic sex between those characters you love. What’s not to like there?"
    • ABS-CBNNews pointed out the visibility of Filipino characters and stories on Wattpad. "A number of Filipino users whose stories first appeared on Wattpad have also been picked up by publishers and are now selling well in bookstores, including 'Diary ng Panget' by HaveYouSeenThisGirl (PSICOM) and 'She's Dating the Gangster' by Bianca B. Bernardino (Summit). Recognizing their growing Filipino market, the Wattpad team is in the Philippines to join the book fair at the SMX Convention Center and meet their readers for the first time...The event also features a meet and greet with Wattpad’s hottest young writers...Over 900 Wattpad users have already registered to attend the event."
    • Mahou Tofu explored how everyone can be a fan fiction writer. "I guess the theme here is that everyone can pretty much relate to fan writers. Whether you have thought up a story that is slightly different from the one that was professionally written, read a fanfiction, or written anything ourselves, fan writing in general is something that starts with the word 'fan' for a reason. We are fanatics and there is a demand for more. We may not all be professional writers, but there is good stuff out there."
    • On the flip side, The Soap Box discussed the drawbacks of fanfic including unfinished stories, too much romance, endless stories, unreadable work and "unnecessary filler."

    What do you think fan fiction does well? Write about your favorite works in Fanlore! Contributions are welcome from all fans.

    We want your suggestions! If you know of an essay, video, article, podcast, or link you think we should know about, comment on the most recent OTW Fannews post. Links are welcome in all languages! Submitting a link doesn't guarantee that it will be included in a roundup post, and inclusion of a link doesn't mean that it is endorsed by the OTW.

  • OTW Fannews: Fan fiction films

    By Claudia Rebaza on Viernes, 11 October 2013 - 6:20de la tarde
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    • The release of a film based on a well-known former fanfiction writer's books raised a variety of issues in the press. Hypable noticed that the film was presumed to be bad solely for having a young female fandom. As Den of Geek recently pointed out, this is common for many fandoms where the audience is criticized regardless of the canon in question.
    • Few reviews of the film were all that positive but some critics took note of fannish factors. Per Zimbio: "Some people will turn their noses up at her for being rooted in such seedy, low-brow stuff, but in an age where Fifty Shades of Grey is a New York Times bestseller, who are we to judge? After all, thanks to her we have a movie where, for all its faults, at least there are strong female characters and a compelling closet-gay subplot I wish had been given more screen time."
    • China Daily fit their review into the context of young adult authors and the search for hits. "Gender politics aside, the kind of power Twilight wields is rare. It kick-started the search for the next female-focused young adult book series to be pillaged, effectively giving a boost to a moribund publishing sector, had a hand in mainstreaming fan fiction, saved an American television network (the CW) and, yes, was proof positive the XX audience could propel a property to $1.5 billion in global box office." The review concluded of Mortal Instruments "[T]here's a giddy appeal to MI:COB that makes it enjoyably bonkers despite its weaknesses."
    • Some reviews placed the blame for the film's weaknesses squarely on its fanwork origins. "This kind of nakedly derivative fan fiction lacks the depth that makes reading and cinema worthwhile, and misses the heart of storytelling: Discovery. We don't crack open books and go to movie theaters for the expected; we explore for the unexpected."
    • The Dissolve placed the film in the category of fan fiction movies. "Fan fiction, at its essence, involves appropriating characters and/or universes from existing narratives and rejiggering them to create new stories. Based on that concept, wasn’t it a form of fan fiction when New Line Cinema grabbed Freddy Krueger by the ratty striped sweater and tossed him onscreen with Jason Voorhees, to make 2003’s Freddy Vs. Jason? When Frankenstein was ripped from Mary Shelley’s novel and, eventually, pitted against the Wolf Man in 1943’s appropriately titled Frankenstein Meets The Wolf Man, wasn’t that a form of fan fiction?"
    • Meanwhile Poptimal saw the film's origins as a plus for finding an audience. "I would recommend City of Bones to teenage girls (or anyone still harboring one inside of them, -raises hand-)...The film is based off the book of the same name by author Cassandra Clare. I hadn’t read the book before walking in, but had no problem following along. And after walking out of the film, I now own the book. That marks a successful translation to me."

    What examples have you seen of "fan fiction films"? Write about it in Fanlore! Contributions are welcome from all fans.

    We want your suggestions! If you know of an essay, video, article, podcast, or link you think we should know about, comment on the most recent OTW Fannews post. Links are welcome in all languages! Submitting a link doesn't guarantee that it will be included in a roundup post, and inclusion of a link doesn't mean that it is endorsed by the OTW.

  • OTW Fannews: Working for a better playing field

    By Claudia Rebaza on Martes, 8 October 2013 - 5:01de la tarde
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    • Michelle Dean wrote in Flavorwire about why Kurt Vonnegut should not be part of Kindle Worlds. "The fights about identity politics in the fan-fiction community make those in good, old real world politics child’s play — which mostly tells you how crucially important those debates are to a great many people. There is, I am saying, in the better bits of fan-fiction a desire for a truly 'transformative' use. And it’s one we might do well to respect — even if we are in charge of some of the most prestigious literary estates in the country."
    • Fans are becoming more active in demanding their rights to fair use of their entertainment. But fans can also be confused about what steps they should take to protect themselves and which rights to assert. Business 2 Community published a set of legal myths about fanfiction, though the author noted she was not an attorney. The myths included believing that disclaimers protect you, and believing that fanfiction can't be plagiarized.
    • HuffPost Live hosted a discussion about the legality of fanfiction with various authors including Naomi Novik. In response to a discussion about how permissiveness varies from author to author, she pointed out "I'm one of the founders of The Organization for Tranformative Works, which is a non-profit that works to protect the rights of fan creators. And the Archive of Our Own is based on the principle that people do have the right under fair use protection in the U.S. to write transformative, non-commercial works of fanfiction, whether or not the author consents." Comparing fanfiction to the right of readers to review a work of fiction, she said "We generally recognize that people have the right to respond as they want." (No transcript available)
    • While hosting content digitally has made sharing fanworks easier and broadened the possibilities of who can take part, when a site used by fans closes or is sold, very often content posted there gets lost as was the case for Bebo users. In the end, the right to create needs to go hand-in-hand with the ability to share and preserve.

    What discussion have you seen about legal aspects of fanworks? Write about it in Fanlore! Contributions are welcome from all fans.

    We want your suggestions! If you know of an essay, video, article, podcast, or link you think we should know about, comment on the most recent OTW Fannews post. Links are welcome in all languages! Submitting a link doesn't guarantee that it will be included in a roundup post, and inclusion of a link doesn't mean that it is endorsed by the OTW.

  • OTW Fannews: Fanfic and publishing models

    By Claudia Rebaza on Martes, 10 September 2013 - 6:07de la tarde
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    • Digital Book World examined the motivations for including Kurt Vonnegut in the Kindle Worlds program and concluded that fanfiction = marketing. "The backlist works of iconic authors fundamentally need exposure and marketing. That’s how fans of one book choose to read others by the author, and how new readers discover the work. The marketing budgets of large, traditional publishers are overwhelmingly focused on their frontlist offerings, so the backlist is forced to 'sell itself.' This is not the practice of the movie, music or textbook business, but it is the practice of trade publishers."
    • OTW legal staffer Rebecca Tushnet also addressed Kindle Worlds in an article on Airship Daily. “Amazon’s doing an experiment, and the good thing about not paying advances is there's not a huge amount of overheads,” she explains. Groups like OTW are pushing back at Amazon’s exploitation of their genre. “It’s just another business model representing another way of Mechanical Turk-ization the world of literature."
    • Fast Company had an interview with Philip Patrick, director of business development and publisher of Kindle Worlds, who claimed Amazon wanted fanfic of properties that were already selling well on its site. Asked what "makes one author’s work more 'fan fic-able' than another?" he replied "Really it comes down to great storytelling, compelling characters, and vibrant geographies that writers are excited to explore. Some Worlds are more current or popular than others, of course, but there are many iconographic works and characters that Kindle Worlds writers are going to love, like Billy Pilgrim."
    • A writer at the Huffington Post described what may be the new reader pattern: Finished Your Favorite Book/Show? Try Fan Fiction. "Despite stereotypes to the contrary, fan fictions can be quite entertaining and of very high quality. It is not uncommon for fan fictions to be better than their source material. Continuity and fluctuations in tone are less of an issue with fan fiction than you might imagine. Consider that your favorite TV Shows are written by a large, revolving group of writers. The multiwriter nature of TV Shows makes many works of fan fiction seem perfectly at home within the rest of a series. In many cases, the only difference between a fan fiction and a canonical manifestation of a fictional universe lies in its creators' willingness to pay for official rights to the brand."

    What stories about fanfic and publishing do you know of? Write about them in Fanlore! Contributions are welcome from all fans.

    We want your suggestions! If you know of an essay, video, article, podcast, or link you think we should know about, comment on the most recent OTW Fannews post. Links are welcome in all languages! Submitting a link doesn't guarantee that it will be included in a roundup post, and inclusion of a link doesn't mean that it is endorsed by the OTW.

  • OTW Fannews: Analyzing fanfiction

    By Claudia Rebaza on Viernes, 30 August 2013 - 7:27de la tarde
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    • The Daily Dot wrote about Tumblr user destinationtoast's analysis of fanfic on AO3, which contradicted popular belief. "Explicit stories only make up 18.1% of the total, with G-rated fic being the second most popular rating. So it’s definitely not all 50 Shades of Grey out there. In fact, if you created a fanfic from all the most popular characteristics on AO3, you’d end up with a single-chapter male/male story (M/M takes up a whopping 45.5% of all AO3 content), rated Teen and Up, between one and five thousands words long."
    • Salon reviewed elements of Newsroom fanfiction and concluded journalists would find AUs more appealing. "What’s striking, though, at a glance, is just how few of the stories mention the news. Granted, fan fiction writers tend to focus on the bodice-ripping rather than cerebral elements of their chosen entertainments...Maybe if “The Newsroom” were surgically removed from the news — if Will McAvoy were an iconoclastic lawyer or doctor or, well, president, and MacKenzie McHale his slightly out-of-her-depth co-counsel or chief of surgery or veep — it would seem in better taste. It would be possible to evaluate the relationships as existing in the context of an office, rather than focusing so intently on what about the context is so wrong."
    • Buzzfeed posted an interview with a writer of what was claimed to be the longest fanfic ever. "The Subspace Emissary’s Worlds Conquest is currently over 3,500,000 words, making it almost three times as long as Marcel Proust’s seven-volume À la recherche du temps perdu, six times as long as Infinite Jest, and thirteen times as long as Ulysses. TSEW is “based” on the Nintendo fighting game Super Smash Bros. in the same way that Proust’s novel is “based” on a bite of tea cake, and it is a monumental thing. At present, the work has 28 chapters, which are grouped into a rough structure based on 32-bit role-playing games (Disc One, Disc Two, and so on.)"
    • Numerous sites posted about the live-action version of My Immortal, which "is widely regarded as the worst piece of fan-fiction that this world has ever seen." While it's easier to determine how many words long a story is than how good it is, another question is whether or not the story is even intended as fanfic. "Aside from the nonsensical plot, readers also believe that My Immortal was trolling because of the piece's aggressive assault on grammar and the English language in general."

    What fan analysis posts do you know of? Write about them in Fanlore! Contributions are welcome from all fans.

    We want your suggestions! If you know of an essay, video, article, podcast, or link you think we should know about, comment on the most recent OTW Fannews post. Links are welcome in all languages! Submitting a link doesn't guarantee that it will be included in a roundup post, and inclusion of a link doesn't mean that it is endorsed by the OTW.

  • OTW Fannews: Who's claiming fanworks?

    By Claudia Rebaza on Viernes, 23 August 2013 - 7:03de la tarde
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    • Momentum Books covered the usual concerns about authorship in the fanfic age. But they also cited the case of "Jordin B. Williams’ novel Amazingly Broken that has sparked accusations of intense plagiarism of multiple best sellers, identity fraud, and all-round skullduggery when it came to promoting the book. Readers were furious to find Williams’ book had directly plagiarised large passages from other authors of a similar genre, and the author has since been confusingly linked to a previous fanfiction story with a duplicate plotline...Perhaps these examples are a cautionary tale for aspiring authors looking to utilise online communities, or a warning to publishers to be wary of unknown writers."
    • Who owns fanworks may become a controversial topic, especially if media properties distribute it without saying if they got permission to do so. Collaborative writing projects have been online for a long time with open-source characters. These days successful projects may be closer than ever to fan-created works. Projects such as Wikia's collaborative writing offer is deliberately asking for fan participation. But there's no discussion of contributor rights in their announcement, or what agreements fans might have to sign.
    • Fanfic's ability to generate money is creating more open discussion about a project's fannish roots. But as this post at Today.com (which quotes TWC editor Karen Hellekson) mentions, who will benefit the most from this openness is still unknown. Says Henry Jenkins, "'The gender politics are very real here. The majority of fan fiction is written by women who are telling stories that don’t reach the public, because Hollywood has a hard time telling stories about women's lives.' He hopes that Amazon has women on its Kindle Worlds advisory board who understand the role women play in creating fan fiction 'or they’ll get serious pushback.'"

    What ownership disagreements have you seen surrounding fanworks? Write about them in Fanlore! Contributions are welcome from all fans.

    We want your suggestions! If you know of an essay, video, article, podcast, or link you think we should know about, comment on the most recent OTW Fannews post. Links are welcome in all languages! Submitting a link doesn't guarantee that it will be included in a roundup post, and inclusion of a link doesn't mean that it is endorsed by the OTW.

  • OTW Fannews: Fandom spinoffs

    By Claudia Rebaza on Domingo, 11 August 2013 - 6:28de la tarde
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    Handcuffs, ribbon, and a key by caitie~

    • Emma Di Bernardo wrote a post for the online zine Wom*news asking Twilight Fanfiction: Can It Turn Sexism Into Feminism? "The most popular, successful and fastest growing genre in Twilight fanfiction is Alternate Universe, or AU. These fics take away what many presume to be the most enticing elements of the Twilight series...That Bella loves Edward unconditionally and forgives him for any mistakes or sexist, misogynistic, or manipulative behaviour and...Bella is super submissive and basically the character equivalent of a doormat with no personality...Fans are given the chance to rewrite parts that they didn’t like about the books, or take the essential physical traits of the characters and use the already established familial and romantic relationships to shoulder an original plot."
    • Posting at The Writer's Block blog, Lyda Morehouse also cites fixing canon as one of her three reasons for writing fanfic. "Fandom used to be a word that encompassed the entire community of fans, no matter what their individual fandoms...I find it’s a whole different kind of writing than what most professional writers are used to because there is a serious amount of instant gratification...It’s not like sending a book off to a publisher and never hearing boo from your readers. I get feedback chapter by chapter for my fics, and sometimes a dialogue happens between the reader and the writer—someone will say, 'Oooh, I wonder if x will happen?' and the author writes back and says, 'I never thought of that! I might use that!” and suddenly a community is writing a story.'"
    • Speaking of Twilight fanfic and fandom communities, Examiner.com wrote about the continued interaction between author and fandom. "Fifty Shades of Grey fans got a heartfelt thank you from E L James on July 7. The author made an impromptu call into Seattle WAVE radio which was devoting 3 hours of airtime to the 'greysessed' fan community. Planning to discuss fan fiction, fan art and all things 'Fifty Shades,' host Lori Ness was excited when E L James called to give a 'huge thank you' to all her loyal fans. James went on to tell prospective writers to 'write for yourself.'"

    What fanwork spinoffs have you seen in your fandoms? Write about them in Fanlore! Contributions are welcome from all fans.

    We want your suggestions! If you know of an essay, video, article, podcast, or link you think we should know about, comment on the most recent OTW Fannews post. Links are welcome in all languages! Submitting a link doesn't guarantee that it will be included in a roundup post, and inclusion of a link doesn't mean that it is endorsed by the OTW.

  • OTW Fannews: Fanfiction around the world

    By Claudia Rebaza on Viernes, 9 August 2013 - 5:42de la tarde
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    Map of the world with pictures of fandom

    • The Hindu featured an article on writer Shreya Prabhu Jindal who discussed her start in fanfic. "Most of the audience members were eager to know how Shreya, in her early twenties, managed to write a book at such a young age. Shreya, an English teacher at Vasant Valley School, began writing when she was 13. As a young girl and a budding writer, she discovered fan fiction, and ever since, has written in that genre, relatively unknown in India. 'A lot of my writing is inspired by fan fiction. I visualise stories as scenes and there are cliff hangers in my stories.'"
    • The National of the United Arab Emirates wrote about Kindle Worlds. "[P]ushed to its logical conclusions, it has potentially major implications for the way the creative industries work, and, indeed, for what we mean by 'fiction'. As fan fiction comes into the mainstream, it’s possible to envision a future in which popular novels become only the first instalment in an ecosystem of further stories. And over time, will the great distinction we maintain now between the original work and the fan fiction simply fade away? Currently, our idea of the creative process, and of 'art', is tightly wound up with the idea of a single author – this is the idea of the creative genius, given to us by the 19th-century romantics – but in this networked age, perhaps that conception of art is finally losing relevance. Instead, we may come to see art as the aggregated efforts of a number of networked people: a creation of the global brain, not a solitary author."
    • Malaysia's The Star Online had two features on fanworks. One focused on online RPGs. "Nurhanani Fazlur Rahman, 19, prefers the unique collaborative effort involved in 'role-play fanfic'. And she doesn’t do her writing on forum boards like most of the others in the genre – she does it on Tumblr, as part of a community of about 30 authors from around the world. In fact, Nurhanani – or Nani, as her friends call her – has five separate Tumblr blogs, each dedicated to a character from the A Song Of Fire And Ice series."
    • The other feature focused on fanfiction's evolution. "Known simply as fanfic, this genre of storytelling has actually been around for quite some time. Some even say Charlotte Brontë and her siblings pioneered it when they started writing fantasy adventures based on Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington – an actual person. In today’s world, that’s known as real-person fanfic – very popular among One Direction and Kpop fans. And in the 70s, of course, we had the Star Trek-based Spockanalia fanzine, which was basically filled with fanfic. But thanks to the Internet, e-books and tablet devices, fanfic has really started to grow like crazy in recent years, including in Malaysia."

    What stories have you seen about fanworks in your country? Write about them in Fanlore! Contributions are welcome from all fans.

    We want your suggestions! If you know of an essay, video, article, podcast, or link you think we should know about, comment on the most recent OTW Fannews post. Links are welcome in all languages! Submitting a link doesn't guarantee that it will be included in a roundup post, and inclusion of a link doesn't mean that it is endorsed by the OTW.

  • OTW Fannews: Academic takes on fandom

    By Claudia Rebaza on Jueves, 8 August 2013 - 6:01de la tarde
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    • New York City's Museum of the Moving Image is hosting a presentation on vidding given by former board member Francesca Coppa, titled "Remix Before YouTube." The presentation is on Friday, August 9 at 6:30 p.m. in the Video Screening Amphitheater.
    • Drew Emanuel Berkowitz writes in School Library Journal about Fanfiction: What Educators Really Need to Know. "It wasn’t too long ago that educators believed writing stories based on television shows, movies, comic books, cartoons, and video games was “nonacademic”, “frivolous”, and even “inappropriate” for K-12 public schools. Recently, however, a growing number of teachers and librarians...have written about their successful attempts to bring fanfiction writing into their classrooms." Yet some educators "worry that in-school fan practices might not be able to maintain the qualities that have made out-of-school fan practices so appealing."
    • Austenprose provided a review of the book Among the Janeites: A Journey Through the World of Jane Austen Fandom, by Deborah Yaffe. "After the lively introduction which explores her motivations for writing the book, it is broken down into three parts, much like dramatic structure of Austen’s three volume novels. Within the ten chapters one or two different personalities in the Janeite world are featured as an example of the diversity of Austen’s fans and how they express their passion."

    What academic takes on fandom have you seen? Write about them in Fanlore! Contributions are welcome from all fans.

    We want your suggestions! If you know of an essay, video, article, podcast, or link you think we should know about, comment on the most recent OTW Fannews post. Links are welcome in all languages! Submitting a link doesn't guarantee that it will be included in a roundup post, and inclusion of a link doesn't mean that it is endorsed by the OTW.

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