Your Children Are Not Yours

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Shyamalan
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Re: Your Children Are Not Yours

Post by Shyamalan » Thu Mar 03, 2011 3:30 am

TheHivemind wrote:Certainly there was never going to be any kind of lesbian makeouts in Emi's path,
Wait whaaa...?

Guest
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Re: Your Children Are Not Yours

Post by Guest » Thu Mar 03, 2011 7:08 am

Aura wrote:for clarification if you can't interpret my contrived thoughtflow: I think fan creations are quite all right.
I wonder if this might be too inquisitive, but since we seem to be in an introspective mood anyways — you mentioned in our earlier discussion on the subject that you do draw some form of line for fan creations (at least vis-à-vis Katawa Shoujo), the measure of which is their similarity to the original work, and well — you don't seem to have mentioned it in the blog post. Is it included, so to speak, in the transformative characteristic you spoke of, or...? Is it a question of moral ownership of words or something else entirely?

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Smoku
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Re: Your Children Are Not Yours

Post by Smoku » Thu Mar 03, 2011 12:24 pm

Aura wrote:First example that comes to mind is the Touhou series because of its immensely huge fan scene. I think in many cases touhou fanon surpasses canon, and many fans even totally disregard the "plots" of the original games, or other descriptions ZUN's made of the setting.
I came for a visit all the way from the touhou fandom here (which I'm a part of). This man speaks the truth. we, touhoufags, make tons of touhou stuff. But that's cause in Touhou games you don't have much info, actually. The plot and characters have so many metaphorical holes to fill, we have many ways to do so. It's elastic, flexible for our fan needs. Like a giant playground.
That's unlike ready and completed, detailed series. But a good example nontheless

Fronzel
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Re: Your Children Are Not Yours

Post by Fronzel » Thu Mar 03, 2011 2:11 pm

The idea that anyone can tell anyone else what to write or not write is absurd, just as you can't tell anyone what to think or not think; writing is a form of recorded thought which why the "children" analogy is a bad one. Once you release a work (a thought) to be experienced (and thought) by other people, it's not yours alone. Don't talk to me about copyright; that's just about money.

If fan fiction is wrong, what about alternate interpretations of the same work? Shakespeare's plays have been staged in many different ways. Are these all wrong?

Vigilant
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Re: Your Children Are Not Yours

Post by Vigilant » Thu Mar 03, 2011 5:39 pm

As some level of writer not on the professional, or even acknowledged internet level, I'd like to point a few things out that should be relevant here (warning : pages of text approaching. Skip down to the *-*-* denoted section if you want to skip to the shorter points ) :

"A genius cannot understand the agony of an ordinary person." - Archer
Most of the people that get the most passionate in talking down fanfics as useless, trivial, etc are themselves either natural-born writers and/or already highly experienced at it. What gets missed here is you tend to forget a lot of the little struggles and learning processes you've gone through when you yourself have traveled so far from the starting point. In the case of natural writers, it may also be that you never were at that starting point in the first place, and have no comprehension about a person that can't naturally do x,y,z.

Some people don't learn from fanfic writing, but some people also don't learn from practicing an instrument, and will continue to be dischordant for the rest of their days. That doesn't change the fact that in both cases other people do learn. If you're oblivious or blatantly ignoring the mistakes you make, yes, you're not going to change, and that'd happen no matter what you were writing. For the people that do pay attention and learn, there's a number of things you can pick up from fanfic writing even if you don't introduce a single new idea:

1) Writing style : Everyone has to decide how they want to break up paragraphs, what perspective they want to write in, how they arrange conversation and narration together. There's a lot of basic stuff that goes on here.
2) Believable characters : Each bad reaction you get can key you into how you might have gone too far, or too little (character is flat and lifeless). Despite having a working example to imitate, it still gives more than a few people trouble to write characters well, let alone canon-reasonable.
3) Flow : Ok so you know the plot of your favorite show, or even a particular episode. Can you properly portray it after you change a few things and start writing in a different style and/or medium than the original? Committing ideas to paper always has some issues even if the concept a writer wanted to roll with seemed perfect and clearly defined.
4) Spelling/Grammar : Some people are going to laugh at this especially considering the lack of this in most fanfiction, but again, if you're bothering to give a crap you notice those red squiggly lines showing up as you type, and learn to find out what mistakes you commonly make.

And why most people bother to post them online in spite of all those problems? Motivation. Saying you're going to do something for a goal makes it so much easier to go through with it. 'I have to keep writing because it's going to go online and people will read it' or 'I've already put the first chapter online i better keep going.' Anyone that doubts this only has to look at nanowrimo, which is an entirely arbitrarily declared month that somehow manages to make a lot of people write who would never have 'gotten around to it' otherwise. I lucked out and got to use my horrible self-insert/marysue fic for a school assignment, so only one other person really has evidence that it happened.

*-*-*

I actually did learn to be a writer from fanfiction. The experience of just getting up and writing down the imaginings in my head showed me i could take things and become a writer. It was a horrible piece of fiction that I'll try and probably hide forever, but it introduced characters, concepts, and ideas i still use in my works today. And more importantly, writing was something i never knew i could try until I got that first chance to write. Starting your first story is one of the hardest things you can do, quickly followed by the difficulty of seeing one through to the end. Both of these are completely independent of what that first story is. If Twilight slash fics end up getting someone on the road to being a good writer, well... I won't lie, that particular case seems highly improbable :P But if it does, more power to you.

I also mirror previous comments. You can't FORCE people to see a story exactly how you planned it. I laugh at the people who need to legalistically debate ambiguous endings. Whichever thing you wanted to happen can happen in your head, and if you want to tell other people about what you imagined, that's sharing of ideas. if a particular author is really hurt by fanfiction writing, i'd say it might be the nice thing to not publicly spread fanfics around, but they're still going to be written and passed between friends. My first reaction to a story i like is to think about playing with it, other people are the same. To completely stop anyone from writing fanfiction is only possible if you make people completely uninterested with the intricacies of your story.

I'd for instance hope the devs are proud about the rabid Misha speculation, since it shows that they really got a ton of people interested in that character, who may never have been expected to garner so much attention.

Also i reject the idea that fanfiction is somehow implicitly less effort than fanart. That is again a matter of how much care someone puts into it. That horrible fic i keep mentioning was over 30,000 words long and took the entirety of a month working at high speed to complete. This is clearly a bit of a high example, but in general, to do even a good thing elapsing a few pages, will take at least a few hours if not a few days to write. Which is about the same time table for a decent quality piece of fan art that doesn't look like Sweet Bro and Hella Jeff. I can guarantee you for instance, any of the entries on this http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/M ... mendations probably took at least that long if not much longer. Oh, and typically, multiply the time needed if the author is less experienced. I've had the opportunity to watch a few people learn to write from the early squares, and I can only repeat my first point : we all forget how hard it was the first time.
Last edited by Vigilant on Fri Mar 04, 2011 1:04 am, edited 1 time in total.

Wan-wanniche
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Re: Your Children Are Not Yours

Post by Wan-wanniche » Thu Mar 03, 2011 5:43 pm

Good point, Fronzel. Nonetheless, the writers and producers of original works will bitch or not bitch depending on their personality.

Ultimately, We the Fans read books and play games because we like thebook or the game, not because we think the author is a great person, one who shares our outlook on life.

To be honest, most of us wouldn't give a shit if they suddenly dropped off the face of the earth, until we realize that a series won't be continued because they are gone now.
Rin takes an unexpected lead in the updated polls.
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Is this unexpected? Have you met Rin:)?
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TheHivemind
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Re: Your Children Are Not Yours

Post by TheHivemind » Thu Mar 03, 2011 8:50 pm

Guest wrote: One final example. A story is written about an alien on earth. It is otherwise unremarkable and considered original. The author then reveals that the alien was a time lord. Is the story now a fan work?

It is. It's also bad writing, because if it takes the author stepping forward and saying 'oh by the way this alien was a time lord' then they've completely failed to demonstrate within the story that the alien was a time lord. If you have to step forward and say 'Oh by the way this is what I meant' outside of your story then you are not writing very well (FYI this extends to authors like JK Rowling saying 'oh by the way Dumbledore was gay' too, not just fan works.).
Fronzel wrote:The idea that anyone can tell anyone else what to write or not write is absurd, just as you can't tell anyone what to think or not think; writing is a form of recorded thought which why the "children" analogy is a bad one. Once you release a work (a thought) to be experienced (and thought) by other people, it's not yours alone. Don't talk to me about copyright; that's just about money.

If fan fiction is wrong, what about alternate interpretations of the same work? Shakespeare's plays have been staged in many different ways. Are these all wrong?
While I agree that fan fiction is not wrong, I would say that different stagings of Shakespeare's plays are a poor example here. A different stage direction of a play is built into the writing of a play--it's part of the medium. Now a play that tells the further adventures of that dumbass friar who got both Romeo and Juliet killed by wandering into a plague house? That's fanfiction.

You'll find that a lot of stuff can be considered as fanfiction (like Wicked is basically really bad Wizard of Oz fanfiction, etc). Different versions of the same myth are kind of 'fanfiction' if you squint. Assuming of course you have a really broad definition of fanfiction, of course. The narrower definition Aura used helps to set apart the published stuff from the hobbyist stuff, which is more what was being discussed.
Shyamalan wrote:
TheHivemind wrote:Certainly there was never going to be any kind of lesbian makeouts in Emi's path,
Wait whaaa...?
Man all this conversation and that's what you latch on to? Come on.

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griffon8
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Re: Your Children Are Not Yours

Post by griffon8 » Thu Mar 03, 2011 9:19 pm

TheHivemind wrote:
Shyamalan wrote:
TheHivemind wrote:Certainly there was never going to be any kind of lesbian makeouts in Emi's path,
Wait whaaa...?
Man all this conversation and that's what you latch on to? Come on.
We all pay attention to what's most important to us. :lol:
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Bara
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Re: Your Children Are Not Yours

Post by Bara » Thu Mar 03, 2011 9:29 pm

TheHivemind wrote:
Shyamalan wrote:
TheHivemind wrote:Certainly there was never going to be any kind of lesbian makeouts in Emi's path,
Wait whaaa...?
Man all this conversation and that's what you latch on to? Come on.
Just take it as further proof of how every word from the Devs is valued by us fans as pure gold. :roll:

(Damn... I couldn't say that with a straight face.)

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Merlyn_LeRoy
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Re: Your Children Are Not Yours

Post by Merlyn_LeRoy » Thu Mar 03, 2011 9:55 pm

TheHivemind wrote:While I agree that fan fiction is not wrong, I would say that different stagings of Shakespeare's plays are a poor example here. A different stage direction of a play is built into the writing of a play--it's part of the medium. Now a play that tells the further adventures of that dumbass friar who got both Romeo and Juliet killed by wandering into a plague house? That's fanfiction.
Technically, so is Romeo and Juliet (see The Tragicall History of Romeus and Juliet by Matteo Bandello about 30 years earlier). And Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead is Hamlet fanfic. And Forbidden Planet is The Tempest fanfic. And KS is A Midsummer Night's Dream with cripples. Or not.

Venger

Re: Your Children Are Not Yours

Post by Venger » Fri Mar 04, 2011 1:08 am

Man, that original rant by Robin Hobb is a serious laugher. I'm going to go point-by-point on how retarded it is.
Writers who post a story at Fanfiction.net or anywhere else and identify it as a Robin Hobb fan fiction or a Farseer fan fiction are claiming my groundwork as their own. That is just not right.
Don't most fanfics have a big-ass disclaimer on them? And major fanfiction sites generally have catch-all disclaimers of their own. Really, there's no leg to stand on here.
At the less extreme end, the fan writer simply changes something in the writer’s world. The tragic ending is re-written, or a dead character is brought back to life, for example. The intent of the author is ignored. To use an analogy, we look at the Mona Lisa and wonder. Each of us draws his own conclusions about her elusive smile. We don’t draw eyebrows on her to make her look surprised, or put a balloon caption over her head. Yet much fan fiction does just that.
Image
"Fan fiction is a great way to learn to write!" No. It isn’t. If this is true, then karaoke is the path to become a singer, coloring books produce great artists, and all great chefs have a shelf of cake mixes. Fan fiction is a good way to avoid learning how to be a writer. Fan fiction allows the writer to pretend to be creating a story, while using someone else’s world, characters, and plot.
It may not be a great way to learn technical skill at writing, but it IS a good way to generate and hold interest, and writing in an established universe is a nice way to ease yourself in. Sure, a lot of people use it as a crutch, but then a lot of people never progress beyond cake mix either. Speaking of that analogy, I'm pretty sure most artists gain interest in their field from imitating others. You think Lady Gaga started writing her own songs at age 10? Hell no, she was mangling the lyrics of shit she heard on the radio just like anyone else. For a supposedly famous writer, this lady is downright terrible with these analogies.
"Fan fiction doesn’t attempt to make money off the stories, so it doesn’t really violate anyone’s copyright." I beg your pardon? Where did you get the idea that copyright is all about money? Copyright is about the right of the author to control his own creation...I’ve seen all those little disclaimers on stories at fanfiction.net and elsewhere. Legally and morally, they don’t mean a thing to anyone...Yes, the author can still sue you, even if you put up those statements.
Moronic. The only way you could sue and win for copyright infringement would be if you could prove the infringement harmed you in some way. For a non-profit work of entertainment based on something in the public sphere? Good luck winning that case. The best part is that the website she linked to points that out, so if she took the 10 seconds to read it she might have learned something.
Fan fiction is unworthy of you. Don’t do it.


I own a physical copy of this book:

Image

It is a thrilling blow-by-blow account about what might happen if The Amazing X-Men met up with the crew of the U.S.S. Enterprise to fight demi-mutants on an uncharted world. It is pure, unadulterated shit. I also own the S.D. Perry series of Resident Evil books. You simply cannot convince me that either of those are better, either in content or in writing style, than Half-Life: Full-Life Consequences.

In conclusion Robin Hobb needs to get laid.
Last edited by Aura on Fri Mar 04, 2011 2:47 am, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: fixed your images for you

DMGnome
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Re: Your Children Are Not Yours

Post by DMGnome » Fri Mar 04, 2011 1:18 am

I'm curious, why did you choose those particular fanworks for the blog post?
Fans destroy things by loving them too much. This is one of the fundamental laws of the universe.

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Aura
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Re: Your Children Are Not Yours

Post by Aura » Fri Mar 04, 2011 2:56 am

You mean the image?

A couple of them were to illustrate the "fan works are awful" explanation, some were to support the "fanworks pervert the original work" angle and some were to point out that "fan works can actually be pretty nice". You can decide which is which. As for why I chose the specific ones, it's just what has imprinted in my mind as an example of each. I wouldn't have used an exerpt from kosherbacon's fic for example, if not for someone making a passing and humorous remark about the "I'm pooping backwards" line on IRC a week or so ago. I haven't even read that story!
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Re: Your Children Are Not Yours

Post by Guest » Fri Mar 04, 2011 10:25 pm

"Fan fiction doesn’t attempt to make money off the stories, so it doesn’t really violate anyone’s copyright." I beg your pardon? Where did you get the idea that copyright is all about money? Copyright is about the right of the author to control his own creation...
What a load. Copyright was invented so artists could have a chance of living off the proceeds of their art, traditionally something that was nearly impossible. Do you think government made these laws to protect the dignity of artists? It is entirely about money.

Fronzel
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Re: Your Children Are Not Yours

Post by Fronzel » Fri Mar 04, 2011 10:34 pm

TheHivemind wrote:
Fronzel wrote:If fan fiction is wrong, what about alternate interpretations of the same work? Shakespeare's plays have been staged in many different ways. Are these all wrong?
While I agree that fan fiction is not wrong, I would say that different stagings of Shakespeare's plays are a poor example here. A different stage direction of a play is built into the writing of a play--it's part of the medium.
Shakespeare's plays have few stage directions compared to modern plays. And sometimes the ones that are there are difficult to comprehend; "Exit, pursued by a bear."

But that's not the only issue here. Performances, props and decision about what lines or scenes to leave out, if any, alter the work. I think it was Orson Welles who staged an production of Julius Caesar in the '30's that was obviously an anti-fascist commentary. Naturally, this was beyond Shakespeare's intent.

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