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I wanted to address the Fanfiction Kerfuffle that I just saw on ONTD, but I didn't want to address it on ONTD. I do not believe it has ever crossed my mind to fanfic a book. I suppose it is common enough, but it makes me nervous. Ficcing a book puts the fanfic writer on to a direct field of conflict with the original author. And so I can see why an author would take exception to the practice. It is a presumptive challenge to the author to write stories about their characters while the author is still working on those characters.

This is the difference between a trademark character and a character under copyright, I suppose. Are people who are writing HP fic working from the books or the films? Film and television characters are trademarked, but loaned out to other writers all the time. And so they are not so much children of their original creator, but a collaboration. They are developing in the minds of others and the audience participates in their lives. This is not to say that I don't think original creators have the legal right to all material developed from their creations. We fanfic writers are lazy and are also parasites of a sort, because we feed our needs at the expense of someone else original inspiration. However, we are often just frustrated by the limited imagination of the original creator. In my opinion, fanfic writers simply long for more or greater development from a character. And often the direction of development is one that a creator will not be taking, like many slash pairings will never be served in real fiction. I assumed that I was taking Ten/Rose to a place that RTD could not go with them in most of my writings. Of course, Moff has shown us that RTD lacked balls as well as imagination, since the BBC has allowed River/Eleven sexual references in DVD or Webisode extras.

The JK Rowling idea that she doesn't want her characters to engage in R-rated interactions goes directly to this point of denial on the part of a writer. She might not want R-Rated stuff to happen, might not want to write it or see it, but other people might long for such material. This creates a market for something that the original author will not be offering up in a fandom. This is what opens the door to fanfiction writers, we write what character creators fail to envision or shy away from committing to paper or film. Are the creations of an author like that author's children? Does an author have the right to protect characters once they are introduced to a wider audience? Certainly, if a fanfiction author jeopardizes a creator's profits, I would say so. It is dicey to simply write further adventures for Harry Potter and company, something JK Rowling might write herself, because you are arguably decreasing her sales. It is even worse to claim that you own the story. And fanfiction writers do try to do this, claiming copyright protections they do not possess, for example. If you steal someone's characters and write a story, you can't then claim that a story idea was stolen from you.

But there is another common thing that happens today, AU-Fic authors who steal basic set ups and premises and then recast the characters from their favorite stories into other realms. For example, Buffy and Angel could become Bella and Edward when the story is moved to a wooded rural area and sold as original. Doctor #4 and Romana #2 could be recast as Thomas Pitt and Charlotte and given a murder to solve in Victorian England and voila, it is a new series. Many is the time I've read a book about a witch and clearly seen Willow in the description of the character. Then, Bella and Edward are recast in a smutty story and that sells lots of books and the author makes no excuses about lifting the characters from another source. Inspiration from a story is not quite the same as stealing. I believe Gaiman was inspired by Disheveled to write his tale about Idris. That's flattering, for me, because I flat-out pilfered Ten and Rose and many of the situations they found themselves in for that fic.
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The unexamined life might not be worth living, but the examined life is rather depressing in its sad patterns.

A reader, [livejournal.com profile] ladycat713 , asked me if I ever wrote anything more on my Buffy/Spike story The Sweet Spot AU. This story was very rich and promising, much like my BSG story Minotaur or Like Gum On Your Shoe, from the Doctor/Rose fandom. All of these stories were abandoned because I simply lost the thrill I'd taken in their respective shows. Also, none of them were particularly close to their end. They were just starting out when the ax fell on their fandoms for me.

I have always had trouble stretching my credulity around fanfiction. For example, some people can write whatever they like...Buffy is an English Teacher and Angel is an inner city cop with magical powers...and make it work for them in fiction. But to me, I have to believe that the characters I see on the show could in some way be the ones in my fic. So, if the Doctor doesn't appear to love Martha, I can't invest my time and energy in creating a story dependent on him loving her. If Buffy turns out to be a childish loser, I don't want her to be with Spike anymore, so I find the Spuffy has no magic for me.

This is why I can't write (or read) a lot of slash pairings, because I can't bring myself to imagine a world where they might happen. Well, I could, but it wouldn't be the same world where the show happens. Of course, I can put together a world where the Doctor loves Martha, but I wouldn't be able to work in the show as it aired. I would have to say, let's pretend there is an alternate Doctor Who, one I wouldn't watch and...now, convince me to watch it. Some writers probably could convince me, but it would be a very hard thing for them to do. On the other hand, Wincest, which doesn't particularly turn me on and would, in reality, be abhorrent to me, is still, in my view, certainly a possibility in the world of Supernatural. So, I could write it or read it and feel I was enjoying the show in an alternative form.

But, back to what my pattern of dropping fic says about me. Basically, it says that I want to enjoy the work. I love to write, but it is a life-consuming task (it literally leaves me drained) and I want to be able to fully believe in what I'm writing. If I lose that edge of excitement, that love of the show (its characters; its world), I lose my drive to finish.

And I think this may also affect my original writing. I have the makings of about six novels on my computer. I return to these stories over and over again, but I find that I can't sustain a passion for any of them that rivals my passion for...let's say...Ten/Rose. I think, for me, the secret of my fanfiction success lies in my passion for a particular story or coupling. Once the passion is gone, the thrill of it all is over and I seldom finish those stories. So, far, my original worlds are not as compelling to me as the ones I see on TV. I suppose I should spend more time in my original worlds. And hope that I can sustain my interest in them.

Finishing Disheveled, was in some ways, pure luck, because I firmly believed that Rose was coming back after Doomsday. If I hadn't finished before Journey's End, I am sure Disheveled would have languished in the same way that my BTVS epic Ichnobate did. Ichnobate was almost finished. I had maybe four or five chapters to go on it...and those were the best chapters, the pay-off. Then, the show tanked for me...and I just couldn't go on writing something that was not just uninspiring but actually painful to write.

Rae
who knows that she has let a lot of people down by needing to feel the thrill of writing rather than face the fact that sometimes it is a slog to the end.
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I have been working on my original work for a few weeks now. And I have made some progress. However, I have also been sporadic in my diligence and commitment. So, I have decided to uses the six sources of influence to supplement my willpower. You can learn more about these Six Sources and also, start working on your own goals, by visiting http://www.changeanything.com

Here is what I was asked in one of the motivation surveys they do on this site:

"Does it matter to the people around you if you never accomplish this goal?"

I thought, "Why would it matter to them?" But I think they wanted to know if people secretly expected me to fail...or succeed. In other words, how many of you expect me to actually produce a book or six for the published market? It occurs to me, considering remarks made in passing, that many people are surprised that I haven't got books out already.

I mean, I know if I never published anything, most of you would still be my online friends...because you are and I'm currently NOT published..and you are definitely not a shallow bunch. But since this question is obviously designed to motivate me in some way...probably by letting me know that people do think I can do this...do you sort of think it would be a shame if I didn't try to produce some original work?

"What is up with that Rae? I was sure I would see her writing every day and working toward this goal, but nothing is happening," you say?

I ask this because I didn't know what to put for that survey question. But also because I recently got in touch with someone I used to know in High School...and he said..."I expect you are writing for a living!" And I was shocked, because back in High School, I wanted nothing but to become a vet. But here was someone who knew me quite well and was surprised that I wasn't a professional writer by now. He and I both wrote for the school paper and I beat him out for a writing award once, so perhaps that explains it.
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Holly Lisle has an ax to grind against what she terms GLS, Genuis-Level Suckitude. She points out that many Pulitzer Prize winning works actually suck. And she's right about that, in my less than humble opinion. But her rules for Suckitude have a particularly telling rule for most of the SciFi "genius" writers out there. She has a rule against hope and one against coherence. There is even a rule against plot. But I immediately think of Rose and Donna and for that matter the Tenth Doctor when I read this rule...

XII. Thou shalt equate self-determination with heresy.

Self-determination is hope on steroids. Self-determination states that things could be better than they are, and believes the individual can do something to make them get better. In permitting your characters to express self-determination, you would be suggesting that your characters -- those malcontent bastards -- might in some way wish to see their worlds improve, or might even take a hand in improving them, or might have confidence in their own competence or the functioning of their own minds.


Read the rest of the rules or more stuff by Holly Lisle at her site...

http://hollylisle.com/index.php/Workshops/how-to-write-suckitudinous-fiction.html
rabid1st: (Default)
To decamp, to abscond, to depart in a hurry.

[ Mock-Latinate formation, purporting to mean "to go off and squat elsewhere" .]
In the 19th century, the vibrant energy of American English appeared in the use of Latin affixes to create jocular pseudo-Latin "learned" words.

"We did not steal your horse. He simply absquatulated."

"The Doctor makes a habit of absquatulating when threatened by alien forces."

I love that word.

Rae
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So, it has been a long time since I have posted anything that resembles fiction here at the Rabid Journal. And looming on the horizon we have that annual exercise in futility and failure...The National Novel Writing Month. November is the wickedest month. And so, WriSoMiFu was born and it was...less awful, but still pretty darned demoralizing. Feel free to experience it for yourselves at [livejournal.com profile] wrisomifu

This year, I pledge to suffer for my art...every frakkin day...for at least 20 minutes. Maybe you will get some fic out of it.

Actually, I am thinking of posting my old Buffy Fic...since I had to rescue it from the Geocities meltdown. It would be in a less polished state than newer fiction...but it would give you all something to read while I labor away in my lonely corner of the living room.

Rae
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Is he right about that? What say you all?

Let's weigh in on our least favorite and most favorite episodes.

Do, please, if you can, explain your answers.

Read more... )
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Under the cut we go to avoid the spoilers for those who have not seen it. Read more... )
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This is from the Times excerpt from his new book...

How do you know when to start writing?

From: Russell T. Davies To: Benjamin Cook

Tuesday April 3, 2007 02:34:17 GMT

I leave it till the last minute. And then I leave it some more. Eventually, I leave it till I'm desperate. That's really the word, desperate. I always think, I'm not ready to write it, I don't know what I'm doing, it's just a jumble of thoughts in a state of flux, there's no story, I don't know how A connects to B, I don't know anything! I get myself into a genuine state of panic. Except panic sounds exciting. It sounds all running-around and adrenalised. This is more like a black cloud of fear and failure.

That's me, exactly!

On the other hand...maybe ALL writers feel this way. Writing is sort of like giving birth--rewarding, but scary and draining--I don't do it until the proddings of my nature make it inevitable.

Also, I would like to note that he says the intention ALL ALONG was to send David off with a bang at the end of S4...and have Billie back for it. As I have repeatedly said, they always planned for a break after David's run. Also, Billie agreed to do 4 episodes. She's only done 3 so far. Makes you wonder exactly what the scene on the beach would have looked like...if 2009 Specials weren't on the books. Would we have had 11 going on while clone 10.2 stayed? That might have made it easier on me. But I still think we might get 11 going on...at Christmas...only NOW...I think 11 will look just like 10.

Rae
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Some have already reported in...nobody hates it, yet. So, we will see if I can slap it up soon.

Rae
rabid1st: (Default)
A journel of a thousand pages can be really messed up on the first day of scribbling if you use a purple gel pen.

Wrote for ten minutes.

Journal Entry. Self-involved emo. Does that count? Kes? Caia? Bueller?

Have decided to play it safe...play fair...and play around with Disheveled 21 for ten minutes, too. Back later to update on my progress (or lack thereof).

Rae

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