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Is Fanfiction really that bad?


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339 replies to this topic

#1 The Crow

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Posted 04 August 2013 - 07:34 PM

Do you frown upon fanfiction and think of it as for people who have no creativity like some? Or do you find it as a fun Way for fans to express how much they like something?

Edited by The Crow, 05 August 2013 - 06:58 AM.


#2 Stubby

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Posted 04 August 2013 - 07:49 PM

[MOD]

Just a reminder of the rules about fanfic on this forum:

Q. Can I post fan fiction?

A. Definitely not. Short stories set in Westeros or using characters from "A Song of Ice and Fire" are not to be posted here (and if you've written one, don't even _mention_ the fact). GRRM doesn't approve of fan fiction, so we honor his wishes on the board concerning this. Taking this a step further, individuals who are aware of fan fiction elsewhere should not point users of the forum to it. This includes linking to fan fiction in your personal profiles, or linking to a site that links in turn to fan fiction. Failure to observe these rules will lead to a warning at minimum.


As long as these rules are respected, this thread will continue.

[/MOD]

Edited by Stubby, 04 August 2013 - 07:50 PM.
Typo


#3 Darth Richard

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Posted 04 August 2013 - 08:01 PM

Yes.

#4 Ser Scot A Ellison

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Posted 04 August 2013 - 08:41 PM

Depends on the fan fiction. Some is decent. Much is terrifyingly horrible.

#5 Theda Baratheon

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Posted 04 August 2013 - 09:05 PM

Some of the most hilarious things I have ever read have been fan-fiction. So for that, I am glad that it exists.

But at the same time, I never read it unless someone links it to me first and have no interest in it other than something amusing my friends have linked me.

I don't think it's inherently bad, but it's not something I really take notice of at all.

It becomes incredibly creepy when people start to write ''fan-fiction'' about actual, real people though...

#6 Roose Boltons Pet Leech

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Posted 04 August 2013 - 09:30 PM

Fanfic is as old as storytelling. Dante's Divine Comedy and Milton's Paradise Lost are Bible fanfic. Virgil's Aeneid is Homer fanfic. Shakespeare wrote fanfic of fanfic.

#7 Roose Boltons Pet Leech

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Posted 04 August 2013 - 09:32 PM

Depends on the fan fiction. Some is decent. Much is terrifyingly horrible.


Sturgeon's Law and all that. Since fanfic doesn't have quality control, you'd expect it to be worse on average than original published works.

Edited by Roose Bolton's Pet Leech, 04 August 2013 - 09:33 PM.


#8 Sci-2

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Posted 04 August 2013 - 09:50 PM

Nothing intrinsically wrong with fan-fiction.

I've read some entertaining (an in some cases excellent) fan-fiction based on RPG settings.

Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality is one of the best fan-fictions, and some consider it far superior to the original work.

#9 SeanF

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Posted 05 August 2013 - 02:26 AM

Some of the most hilarious things I have ever read have been fan-fiction. So for that, I am glad that it exists.

But at the same time, I never read it unless someone links it to me first and have no interest in it other than something amusing my friends have linked me.

I don't think it's inherently bad, but it's not something I really take notice of at all.

It becomes incredibly creepy when people start to write ''fan-fiction'' about actual, real people though...


One of the funniest I ever read was "Day of the Barney" and it's sequels.

#10 Inigima

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Posted 05 August 2013 - 06:53 AM

Almost all mind-blowingly terrible and I judge nearly everyone who reads or writes it

See also: https://twitter.com/fanfiction_txt

#11 Valya of Myr

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Posted 05 August 2013 - 06:58 AM

Some are really bad, some are really good. It's like with books.

#12 Werthead

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Posted 05 August 2013 - 07:13 AM

In most cases, yes, fanfiction is awful. Whilst there is no barrier to really well-written fanfiction being out there, there really isn't a huge amount and what there is is usually buried under a ton of absolute crap.

That said, there are a few websites which act as reasonable filters and promote the good stuff when it appears. Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality, for example, came to attention that way and is generally well-regarded. There's also some oddball things, like Stephen Brust's official Firefly novel which was finished but never published, so he released it to the Internet as de facto fanfiction, despite him being a professionally-publshed novelist (I hear the book is okay, but not outstanding).

#13 I know I know

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Posted 05 August 2013 - 07:18 AM

A single read of "my immortal", by the unforgettable Tara G, and you will have to forgive fan fiction as a genre, and understand how it should be approached.

A dramatic reading:
http://www.youtube.c...h?v=UA_VSQqn32M



That being said... GRRM has requested that we don't do it, for his stuff. So we shouldn't, for his stuff.

It's just simple courtesy.

#14 Roose Boltons Pet Leech

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Posted 05 August 2013 - 07:30 AM

A single read of "my immortal", by the unforgettable Tara G, and you will have to forgive fan fiction as a genre, and understand how it should be approached.


I have a soft spot for legolas by laura. There is some material that is truly So Bad It's Good.

#15 Eugene V. Debspalm

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Posted 05 August 2013 - 07:39 AM

I'm quite fond of fanfic. That is, it is mostly terrible as literature, but the point of reading - and even more, writing it - is not to create something that can be enjoyed and consumed exactly the same way as an original text. Rather, i've come around to the point of view that it's a way of engaging with a given work, analyzing it, complaining about it, arguing about it, deconstructing it, etc. Even when it's not done in a conscious way (like "Methods of Rationality",) it's still people basically describing how they feel about something and how they're reading it, and even if what you get is a pornographic Mary Sue/Draco fic set in outer space, well, that's what the book made someone think of. (and to take this example, for an adolescent girl that's probably a safe and comfortable way to explore sexuality, and that strikes me as an entirely legitimate "use" for a YA book.) That's their relationship to the text, and that's their way of expressing it and liking that text. I respect authors not wanting to see that stuff, but for the most part I don't think there's anything heinous about it. To the contrary.

#16 OwaynOTT

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Posted 05 August 2013 - 07:44 AM

Isn't Hugh Howey actively encouraging fanfic set within his woollen universe and isnt there a novella/novel on its way? Be interesting to see if anything worthwhile comes of it.

#17 OwaynOTT

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Posted 05 August 2013 - 07:45 AM

Oh and surely Sanderson's WoT send-off is fanfic /wink.png' class='bbc_emoticon' alt=';)' />

#18 SeanF

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Posted 05 August 2013 - 08:46 AM

I have a soft spot for legolas by laura. There is some material that is truly So Bad It's Good.

I will always have a soft spot for The Eye of Argon, which if not strictly speaking fanfic, is a "tribute" to Conan the Barbarian.

#19 Ser Scot A Ellison

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Posted 05 August 2013 - 10:12 AM

20 years ago I found a fanfic crossover between Dune and Star Trek. The author captured Frank Herbert's voice so well I was embarrased for Anderson when his crappy books hit the shelves.

#20 Maithanet

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Posted 05 August 2013 - 10:51 AM

I remember reading and enjoying Nora Jemison's DBZ fanfic back when I was in high school. I liked those stories more than her later published work, although it's probably just that my tastes have changed.

But I personally think that fanfic is a fine place to start as a writer. You can take some characters and situations you already like and play around. Nonetheless, I understand the criticism that fanfic is sort of like training wheels. You don't have to invent characters or settings or anything, because that is already done. Making interesting characters and settings is obviously a huge part of good writing. It is sort of like making a cake from a box instead of from scratch: it's usually not as good, but it's a helluva lot easier, and in its own way can be satisfying. But if you want to make a really great cake, you probably should start from scratch.