Saturday, February 5, 2011

In defense of fanfiction...

Before anything else: The wonderful Elena Solodow over at You're Write. Except when you're Rong. created a super-cool new hashtag for Twitter.: #lastlinetoday. At the end of the day, post the last line of whatever you wrote that day. I intend to start, seeing as how my Twitter tends to lay dormant for months at a time when it's not NaNo. Though my last lines tend to be long after I've shut my computer down for the night, so maybe they'll be posted the next morning? As sort of a start to the new day? Hmm...

Now onto actual blog posting!
So, in one of my late-night deliriums of inspiration I've been talking about lately, I started a fanfic. Just a short little drabble, brought on by the superficial similarities between two characters of two different fandoms. It's fun and it's something outside of my other projects, giving me somewhere else to flex my writing muscles a little without having to worry about world-building or character casting or anything. I've never really written fanfic before (aside from one alternate character interpretation fic for two minor minor minor characters of Tales of Symphonia that can be found here for the interested) and I have to say: it's hard.

I have respect for fanfic writers. I think I've blogged before about literary sandboxes and whatnot (though I can't find the post and if I haven't, I will soon) and how fanfiction can be really awesome. I enjoy reading my share of good fanfiction (because there is certainly a lot of not-good out there). I mean, good writing is good writing is good writing, right?

I can see where haters of fanfiction are coming from. I mean, most of what you'll find is badly written, etc. etc. etc. and the authors aren't coming up with the characters and setting themselves, but there is something to be said for writing a character that isn't your own.

It's one of the reasons why it is so hard to find a good fanfic. When you are writing your own characters, you're allowed to flub them at first, finding their voices, exploring their psyche and letting them grow organically. But in fanfic, you've got a character already laid out. They've already been made to someone else's specifications and you're not really allowed to tailor them all that much. Out-of-character moments run rampart in bad fanfics because the authors try to fit the character into a role rather than letting the role grow out of the character.

It's hard for someone like me who never knows anything about her characters unless she sees it unfolding in front of her. It's very easy to fall into flanderization and pick just one trait of a character and let that be the basis of the story, which isn't fair to the characters or the original creators. 

The whole thing is very foreign to me, but I think it's good practice. It is nice being able to think about how an established character would react to something, rather than trying to make up my own character's opinion on a matter. And that's good for me, maybe teaching me some of the benefits of different styles of writing. 

So yeah, I'm having fun with it. That and I'm writing it mostly on WriterFeedPad, which is always a pleasure. Every time I use it, I like it more. 

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