Fanfiction

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Fanfiction

Post by briellejee » 05 Mar 2018, 21:23

What do you all think about fanfiction as a genre of a book? As for those who don't know what that is, it's a novel or a story that was based off on either real people (especially famous actors and actresses or singers etc.) or based on a movie's characters (i.e. Fifty shades of Grey is a fanfiction of Twilight). Personally, I don't like this kind of book. Some of these writers of fanfics are mostly teenagers and most of the time, the subgenre of these fics are erotic romances. It's like an erotic fantasy for a character or a real person in ink. However, I would like to ask other views about this since i'm open for debates and discussions. Thanks!

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Post by GabbiV » 12 Mar 2018, 19:49

Oh man, I've never considered this even though I've been reading fanfiction for forever. I'd put the majority of them in romance, yes, the fact that the majority of them are written by teenagers just makes the genre (?) more interesting to me. These incredibly talented people put a lot of their hours into something that most consume for free, just for the love of the subject matter? That's amazing and I have so much respect for these authors. And also, considering that nothing is original, we can either expand the definition of fanfiction to include published works or focus the definition to include xyz traits of what we see as inherent to the genre (???). All this said I'm still hesitant to call fanfiction a genre, but I can't place why.

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Post by holsam_87 » 12 Mar 2018, 21:05

I also enjoy reading fanfiction, mainly because a lot of the time the stories answer a lot of the unanswered questions that I have from fandoms that I enjoy. While a lot of the authors are teenagers, that doesn't mean that they are bad writers per say. A lot of times the authors are participating in writing challenges, like National Novel Writing Month or NaNoWriMo in November, and that gives them a chance to have critiques in improving their writing.
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Post by tvess » 13 Mar 2018, 09:37

I think fanfiction is neat because it functions in a way to treat the characters as legendary figures. The story of the goddess Persephone has been told thousands of times in thousands of different ways, each tells you a bit about the people and the situation it was written in, fanfiction is the same way.

A lot if it is romance, and I think romance has its own value as a genre, but I think that the choice just reflects the authors. Adults have been taught that fanfiction is useless and childish, guys have been taught that fanfiction is "girly" and "emotional", so the people most comfortable are people that don't fit into those categories. For the most part, that leaves us with teenage girls, who have often been taught that romance is the most important thing they can have in their lives and that their lives are not worth it unless they have other people romantically approving.

Plus, most media is written for the adult straight white cisgendered male, and fanfiction allows the authors to insert their own experiences into the lives of characters, to view the media in a way that reflects their own experiences.

Also a lot of it isn't romance. People will write million-word epic fantasies just because they like the dynamic of the characters they're writing for.

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Post by GabbiV » 13 Mar 2018, 09:40

holsam_87 wrote:
12 Mar 2018, 21:05
I also enjoy reading fanfiction, mainly because a lot of the time the stories answer a lot of the unanswered questions that I have from fandoms that I enjoy. While a lot of the authors are teenagers, that doesn't mean that they are bad writers per say. A lot of times the authors are participating in writing challenges, like National Novel Writing Month or NaNoWriMo in November, and that gives them a chance to have critiques in improving their writing.
I love the whole mentality of being dissatisfied with the current source material enough to start publishing their own works to fill in the gaps. Kind of like "make the content you want to see".

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Post by GabbiV » 13 Mar 2018, 09:51

tvess wrote:
13 Mar 2018, 09:37
I think fanfiction is neat because it functions in a way to treat the characters as legendary figures. The story of the goddess Persephone has been told thousands of times in thousands of different ways, each tells you a bit about the people and the situation it was written in, fanfiction is the same way.

A lot if it is romance, and I think romance has its own value as a genre, but I think that the choice just reflects the authors. Adults have been taught that fanfiction is useless and childish, guys have been taught that fanfiction is "girly" and "emotional", so the people most comfortable are people that don't fit into those categories. For the most part, that leaves us with teenage girls, who have often been taught that romance is the most important thing they can have in their lives and that their lives are not worth it unless they have other people romantically approving.

Plus, most media is written for the adult straight white cisgendered male, and fanfiction allows the authors to insert their own experiences into the lives of characters, to view the media in a way that reflects their own experiences.

Also a lot of it isn't romance. People will write million-word epic fantasies just because they like the dynamic of the characters they're writing for.
I totally agree that most media is created for that specific and limiting audience, so I love that when creating their own rendition of the source material, the authors get to breathe new life into the characters, especially if they apply their own headcanons to the characters/events.

While I think in today's media landscape there are more attempts to be diverse there is still a long way to go to be truly representative of US's demographic. But I think that as there is a current limit to diversity in characters in media, there is also a limit on fanfiction genre. Like you said, most of it is romance that I've seen, so I wonder what kind of push would be needed for fanfic authors to expand into different genres, and their audiences to appreciate them.

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Post by kfwilson6 » 13 Mar 2018, 14:47

I think fanfiction is great if you just can't get enough of a particular story or character. I remember reading a lot of fanfiction for Twilight when I was in high school. It really satisfied a need for more experiences with characters. Some of the fanfiction was very clever and I enjoyed it. As an adult, I haven't really delved into it. I guess that's because I have access to more books and it is so much easier than 15 years ago when we had dial up internet, I wasn't old enough to drive, and Kindles were not a household item :)

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Post by rave_2 » 13 Mar 2018, 16:10

:shock2:

Fanfiction should never be a genre. Some of these fanfictions 1) are poorly written 2) tend to be erotic and 3) do not stay true to who the characters actually are. I've stopped reading them after reading too many terrible ones.
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Post by GabbiV » 13 Mar 2018, 16:44

rave_2 wrote:
13 Mar 2018, 16:10
:shock2:

Fanfiction should never be a genre. Some of these fanfictions 1) are poorly written 2) tend to be erotic and 3) do not stay true to who the characters actually are. I've stopped reading them after reading too many terrible ones.
For the sake of discussion, all of those points could be said of published works. But I do agree with you that fanfiction shouldn't be called a genre, in the same way calling a novel a genre isn't right.

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Post by rave_2 » 13 Mar 2018, 18:19

GabbiV wrote:
13 Mar 2018, 16:44
rave_2 wrote:
13 Mar 2018, 16:10
:shock2:

Fanfiction should never be a genre. Some of these fanfictions 1) are poorly written 2) tend to be erotic and 3) do not stay true to who the characters actually are. I've stopped reading them after reading too many terrible ones.
For the sake of discussion, all of those points could be said of published works. But I do agree with you that fanfiction shouldn't be called a genre, in the same way calling a novel a genre isn't right.
I'm fully aware of that, which is why I stay away from those kind of published works as well. :wink:
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Post by tvess » 14 Mar 2018, 08:28

GabbiV wrote:
13 Mar 2018, 09:51
While I think in today's media landscape there are more attempts to be diverse there is still a long way to go to be truly representative of US's demographic. But I think that as there is a current limit to diversity in characters in media, there is also a limit on fanfiction genre. Like you said, most of it is romance that I've seen, so I wonder what kind of push would be needed for fanfic authors to expand into different genres, and their audiences to appreciate them.
This is true. A lack of available characters often leads to a lack of characters in fanfiction. But fanfiction also offers the ability to insert certain types of diversity, with authors tending to make characters bisexual, or transgender even if the "canon" media has never claimed that or even implies otherwise. Sometimes even racial diversity is added, so long as it's plausible enough and hasn't been directly contradicted (i.e. Harry Potter is often written in fanfiction as a person of Indian descent because the books never specify, and how the potential of a black Hermione has gone so far as getting into a play). Plus fanfiction can take minor characters (often characters there just to say "see? we have [insert diversity here]" without major plot purpose) and give them their own stories or at least treat them as more important that the original media does.

A lot of fanfiction is about exploring the emotional aspects of characters that we don't see on screen. While that tends towards romance, it also explores other factors of their lives. If we consider Tony Stark from Marvel's Avengers, for instance, there is romance fanfiction, sure, but the authors also explore his PTSD, alcoholism, mourning of his parents and JARVIS, etc.

While I think fanfiction that jumps into different genres (which does exist) is neat, it sounds like you're asking for fanfiction to have an even amount of each genre to go along with the romance? Fanfiction is, at heart, about exploring emotions, so is romance, so it's almost inevitable that the two would mix. I think we're not getting away from emotion-focused fanfiction until major media focuses more on emotions. Most of it is taken from very action-y media, so it makes more sense to explore possibilities in a more subdued context. On that note, there is also fanfiction that takes emotional work and makes them more action-filled, like Pride and Prejudice and Zombies.

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Post by GabbiV » 14 Mar 2018, 11:20

tvess wrote:
14 Mar 2018, 08:28
GabbiV wrote:
13 Mar 2018, 09:51
While I think in today's media landscape there are more attempts to be diverse there is still a long way to go to be truly representative of US's demographic. But I think that as there is a current limit to diversity in characters in media, there is also a limit on fanfiction genre. Like you said, most of it is romance that I've seen, so I wonder what kind of push would be needed for fanfic authors to expand into different genres, and their audiences to appreciate them.
This is true. A lack of available characters often leads to a lack of characters in fanfiction. But fanfiction also offers the ability to insert certain types of diversity, with authors tending to make characters bisexual, or transgender even if the "canon" media has never claimed that or even implies otherwise. Sometimes even racial diversity is added, so long as it's plausible enough and hasn't been directly contradicted (i.e. Harry Potter is often written in fanfiction as a person of Indian descent because the books never specify, and how the potential of a black Hermione has gone so far as getting into a play). Plus fanfiction can take minor characters (often characters there just to say "see? we have [insert diversity here]" without major plot purpose) and give them their own stories or at least treat them as more important that the original media does.

A lot of fanfiction is about exploring the emotional aspects of characters that we don't see on screen. While that tends towards romance, it also explores other factors of their lives. If we consider Tony Stark from Marvel's Avengers, for instance, there is romance fanfiction, sure, but the authors also explore his PTSD, alcoholism, mourning of his parents and JARVIS, etc.

While I think fanfiction that jumps into different genres (which does exist) is neat, it sounds like you're asking for fanfiction to have an even amount of each genre to go along with the romance? Fanfiction is, at heart, about exploring emotions, so is romance, so it's almost inevitable that the two would mix. I think we're not getting away from emotion-focused fanfiction until major media focuses more on emotions. Most of it is taken from very action-y media, so it makes more sense to explore possibilities in a more subdued context. On that note, there is also fanfiction that takes emotional work and makes them more action-filled, like Pride and Prejudice and Zombies.
I love it when a small section of audiences can collectively alter the perception of characters, like Harry Potter and Hermione being PoC, until it becomes more widely acknowledged, like them being portrayed as such in a play, thus adding to the overall diversity of the work even if this aspect was overlooked by the creator. As more information becomes available to larger crowds, it's always nice to be able to add to character's in such a way that adds depth to the overall characterization, as well as a great way to add representation to otherwise overlooked demographics.

I should clarify that concerning fanfic and their authors, I feel like there is a reliance on romance to get kudos/comments/etc., which I think could be stifling for up and coming authors who may want to write storylines that aren't so focused on the romance per se but are still emotion-based. I get why romance sells and I don't want it to stop, but I guess I'm craving more of an exploration of other emotional avenues between characters since romance is more often than not the major genre in fanfic, with very little coming in second place.

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Post by Jfoust1988 » 14 Mar 2018, 13:21

Im 50/50 on fanfiction. I do enjoy reading it, if it is well written. I would consider it my guilty pleasure genre read. I however have issues with some for they way it's written (unbelievable, poor characterization, etc). I also don't like those who think they are simply writing for playboy and need no real plot.

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Post by tvess » 15 Mar 2018, 07:39

GabbiV wrote:
14 Mar 2018, 11:20
I love it when a small section of audiences can collectively alter the perception of characters, like Harry Potter and Hermione being PoC, until it becomes more widely acknowledged, like them being portrayed as such in a play, thus adding to the overall diversity of the work even if this aspect was overlooked by the creator. As more information becomes available to larger crowds, it's always nice to be able to add to character's in such a way that adds depth to the overall characterization, as well as a great way to add representation to otherwise overlooked demographics.

I should clarify that concerning fanfic and their authors, I feel like there is a reliance on romance to get kudos/comments/etc., which I think could be stifling for up and coming authors who may want to write storylines that aren't so focused on the romance per se but are still emotion-based. I get why romance sells and I don't want it to stop, but I guess I'm craving more of an exploration of other emotional avenues between characters since romance is more often than not the major genre in fanfic, with very little coming in second place.
I agree, it's pretty neat.

To be honest, I think you've answered your own problem here. If it's for the kudos/comments/etc. then it would make sense to support the non-romance works by seeking it out, sharing it, and giving kudos and comments whenever you can if that's what you want to see. Plus the best part of fanfiction is that if you're really craving something specific, you can write it yourself (though I know that's much more frustrating than exploring someone else's work).

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Post by GabbiV » 15 Mar 2018, 09:55

tvess wrote:
15 Mar 2018, 07:39
GabbiV wrote:
14 Mar 2018, 11:20
I love it when a small section of audiences can collectively alter the perception of characters, like Harry Potter and Hermione being PoC, until it becomes more widely acknowledged, like them being portrayed as such in a play, thus adding to the overall diversity of the work even if this aspect was overlooked by the creator. As more information becomes available to larger crowds, it's always nice to be able to add to character's in such a way that adds depth to the overall characterization, as well as a great way to add representation to otherwise overlooked demographics.

I should clarify that concerning fanfic and their authors, I feel like there is a reliance on romance to get kudos/comments/etc., which I think could be stifling for up and coming authors who may want to write storylines that aren't so focused on the romance per se but are still emotion-based. I get why romance sells and I don't want it to stop, but I guess I'm craving more of an exploration of other emotional avenues between characters since romance is more often than not the major genre in fanfic, with very little coming in second place.
I agree, it's pretty neat.

To be honest, I think you've answered your own problem here. If it's for the kudos/comments/etc. then it would make sense to support the non-romance works by seeking it out, sharing it, and giving kudos and comments whenever you can if that's what you want to see. Plus the best part of fanfiction is that if you're really craving something specific, you can write it yourself (though I know that's much more frustrating than exploring someone else's work).
Yeah I guess when it's written out like this the solution is simple, but I guess my experience belies a different outcome. I've seen too many fanfic authors try to branch out of romance, only for the work to go unappreciated by the general community, so the feedback alone dissuades them from writing anything but romance.

But yeah I definitely agree with the whole, write the content you want to see mentality.

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