Sic transit glora...glory fades

This post is about Fanfiction. So here's an unrelated picture.

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So I've mentioned elsewhere I started my writing career by writing fanfiction. Nope, I'm not going to link it here. I'm sure some sleuthing reader could figure it out but I'm not going to help in any way shape or form.

Yeah, it's terrible.

But damn if I didn't enjoy writing it. It helped me start writing original stuff, too (which is also online and yeah, it's also terrible and no, I'm not going to help you find that, either) and it kept the writing juices flowing.

I never finished what I started. I always wanted to. But I'd run into a problem that would become characteristic of my life as an aspiring novelist: Great start, first few chapters, then run out of steam and quit in frustration.

Sometimes that frustration led to mass deletions. Sometimes those mass deletions were triggered by my computer straight up dying on me. And that is why I now have EVERYTHING saved in multiple USB drives, Dropbox, and hard copies.

And to be fair, I was also an arrogant asshole about the kind of fanfiction I wrote. I figured, look, I'm not writing a Mary Sue. I'm just writing about a guy in this particular author or game's universe. I'm not like those other guys I HAVE STANDARDS!

And then I stopped.

Because I I don't know, but I just stopped having time to write.

Correction: I had time to write, I just decided to spend it playing videogames, hanging out with my friends, having unrequited crushes on some classmates, and playing Tibia.

In which I managed to escape the clutches of an unruly mob in Carlin. Also pictured: AIM, and multiple MSN windows open.

In which I managed to escape the clutches of an unruly mob in Carlin. Also pictured: AIM, and multiple MSN windows open.

Now, a quick aside here: I loved playing Tibia. I met a lot of people I'm still friends with through there. I learned conversational Portuguese. I mean, I probably could have lettered in a sport if I wasn't so hooked on the game but <SHRUG> I don't regret playing it. It came out around the same time as Runescape and everyone in my class played it to the extent that some classmates would actually walk into freshman English, turn on the lights and go UTEVO LUX. And because it was a 2D game, I could play it with my shitty modem.

Now, I loved the game because the lore was interesting. Yeah, yeah, World of Warcraft has interesting lore too, but again: shitty modem. You try logging into Azeroth on a 28.8 and see how interested you remain with a framerate slower than the average sloth.

So that helped me click with Tibia's lore more. Maybe because there were a lot of parts of the game that were unfinished and left a lot of room for the imagination. And the intrigue, man! There were spies, and wars, and exploring, and quests, and politics, and it was awesome!

So I started writing fanfiction or it, to make up for gaps in the lore, and to explain current events, current mysteries, and give a fictionalized account of my own little character, who was the server's biggest troll at one point and the self-titled Prince of Thais. Writing those stories were AWESOME.

Actually, the writing itself was terrible but in my head, it was awesome.

But I think a year or so into it, I realized that, I had enough good ideas that could stand on their own. Characters, plotlines, I didn't need the Tibian universe when I could develop my own.

A universe where I wasn't limited to my screen or to someone else's characters, My world, my stories, my plotlines, my ideas. Once I started my own worldbuilding, I opened myself up to worlds of such a breath-taking scale. Politics of the Axe, as my novel project was called, was conceived as a trilogy and one day, I'm going to finish it. It's a promise I made to myself.

I'll never be ungrateful for the fact that it was Fanfiction that got me my start in writing.

I came across an article recently on Vox about fanfiction (which is what prompted this entry) and I just wanted to talk a little about it.

I don't think it's as bad as people claim. You could argue that there has been a literary precedent for creating fanfiction. And there are a lot of good defenses out there for Fanfiction and some people who are not so keen on it. All good points!

Me, I fall on the, hey, if it works for you, all the power to you.

When I get published and someone says, wow, I bet that XY character would look really good with my main character Mary Sue, good! I'm not going to complain. Once my work is out there, the reader can derive their own truth from it. If they want to ship my characters, same thing. I'm creating works of fiction for an audience and if it'll make them happy that the guy from Short Story 1 falls in love with the girl from Short Story 7 then why should get in the way of that?

I am an entertainer. I entertain. Zapatero a sus zapatos. Sutor, ne ultra crepidam.

If it makes people happy to write fanfiction like I once did. GOOD. I'm not going to read it because I don't want to be tied down in potentially messy litigation, but if it makes someone happy, let them write it.

Now, there are limits and I struggle with what those definitions are. I don't really buy the GiveCapABoyfriend Tumblr movement, but I don't think there's too much of an issue with Elsa from Frozen, but I think at the end, that decision should come from the original authors. Let them represent LGBT people beyond having them killed just for just for dramatically undramatic effect. Let them change characters to be more diverse, as these folk explain better than I could. But let them come up with it!

Then there's KindleWorlds. Oh man. I'm glad that it wasn't around when I was writing fanfiction and that none of those fandoms were about shows I followed.

So, really, it's all subjective.

As for me? Well, a few months ago, I developed the idea of writing Mass Effect fanfiction as kind of a writing stretch. I wasn't even three sentences in when I realized that it was going to be completely horrible.

I'll let someone else do it. If it's good, send it over. My favorite parings are MaleShep!Ashley and FemShep!Liara.

 

 

BLOG TITLE FROM BRAND NEW'S SIC TRANSIT GLORIA...GLORY FADES