Limits of Fanfiction - What is appropriate?

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monkeywitha6pack
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Re: Limits of Fanfiction - What is appropriate?

Post by monkeywitha6pack » Tue Feb 11, 2014 3:39 am

I don't think that's the point that's trying to get across here, I think they are saying there is a limit to what people enjoy not theses re what you are allowed to do and not to do in a fanfic. Allthought the topic has derailed a bit I think that was the original intent
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Re: Limits of Fanfiction - What is appropriate?

Post by SpunkySix » Tue Feb 11, 2014 3:45 am

monkeywitha6pack wrote:I don't think that's the point that's trying to get across here, I think they are saying there is a limit to what people enjoy not theses re what you are allowed to do and not to do in a fanfic. Allthought the topic has derailed a bit I think that was the original intent
Hm... I still feel like that's rather subjective. As long as it's not horribly contrived- meaning that it makes sense in-universe- and it's well written, I really don't think there's any subject matter that would be universally disliked. Even if one person enjoys reading it, doesn't that make it worth posting?
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Re: Limits of Fanfiction - What is appropriate?

Post by monkeywitha6pack » Tue Feb 11, 2014 3:57 am

Basically it depend on a bunch of things who's writing what it I etc etc,
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Re: Limits of Fanfiction - What is appropriate?

Post by Liminaut » Wed Feb 12, 2014 1:59 am

SpunkySix wrote:Without reading through all of this, I have to say, I'm not seeing why fanfic needs to have limits at all. I for one think seeing a hypothetical where Hisao never has a heart attack would be interesting, and as far as I know, I'm not out of my mind or anything.
Read through the thread. It's very good. And you'll see the epic battle of Mirage_GSM vs. the zombie writer horde :lol:

I think you are confusing two very different questions:

1) What should people write?
2) How can the genre of fanfiction be used effectively?

The answer to (1) is "go knock yourself out, it's your time and your story".

The answer to (2) is a lot more interesting. What kind of stories does it make sense to use a previous setting as a basis, as opposed to making up your own? The people on this thread give a better answer than I can -- so read the thread.

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Re: Limits of Fanfiction - What is appropriate?

Post by SpunkySix » Wed Feb 12, 2014 8:21 pm

Liminaut wrote:
SpunkySix wrote:Without reading through all of this, I have to say, I'm not seeing why fanfic needs to have limits at all. I for one think seeing a hypothetical where Hisao never has a heart attack would be interesting, and as far as I know, I'm not out of my mind or anything.
Read through the thread. It's very good. And you'll see the epic battle of Mirage_GSM vs. the zombie writer horde :lol:

I think you are confusing two very different questions:

1) What should people write?
2) How can the genre of fanfiction be used effectively?

The answer to (1) is "go knock yourself out, it's your time and your story".

The answer to (2) is a lot more interesting. What kind of stories does it make sense to use a previous setting as a basis, as opposed to making up your own? The people on this thread give a better answer than I can -- so read the thread.
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Re: Limits of Fanfiction - What is appropriate?

Post by brythain » Fri Feb 28, 2014 12:00 am

For me the challenge is to make something sound believable to most of the people who have entered the milieu with me, and yet make it original. That's not a limit to fan fiction in general, but a limitation I would impose on myself. In this case, supposing I were to craft a 'future'-based fanfic, I'd ask some of the following questions:

1. Assuming Hisao remains a key character, how long does he live? How does he die?
2. What are the plausible reasons for any characters to remain 'active' or go 'inactive' in the plot?
3. How do the canon trajectories allow for ballistic extrapolation, or does it 'go chaotic' quickly?

For example: Most people see Hanako as growing stronger and less brittle - how plausible is this, for how long, with what results? Does she have reason to interact with Hisao? On what level, and for how long? Is introducing a strong OC a good thing for stories about her? (etc, etc)

The answers vary, and each set of answers will give a different tale which I can see as having 'grown out' from KS canon.
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Re: Limits of Fanfiction - What is appropriate?

Post by brythain » Fri Apr 04, 2014 1:02 pm

Following up from this post

So what is the limit to 'transgressive literature' in fan fiction?

Things always need shaking up. But will any old shaking up do? Or must there still be some rules to follow?

My take on it is that over time fan communities form, develop, evolve. Unwritten rules come with that, and transgressive texts eventually either enter the received body of fan fiction or are marginalised. Some hover on the boundaries forever. I'd be interested to analyse the existing body of text in this forum just to see how it's worked out over these years.

Actually, I've already started reading. Am amazed at the pre-release fanfics, and the ideas, derivative or not, that bloomed in those years.
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Re: Limits of Fanfiction - What is appropriate?

Post by LorSquirrel » Fri Apr 04, 2014 8:27 pm

In my humble squirrely opinion, if a "transgressive" story is well written and tastefully done, then I believe that it is okay for it to exist.

Now what qualifies as well written is up to each person, but as to what counts as tastefully done, I'd say it means a story that isn't shocking just to be shocking, for example; I vaguely remember a fanfic in which Lilly died in a car crash along with her unborn child. It just happened right out of nowhere and Hisao didn't think about it much afterwards, or even seem all that effected by it. That was just shocking for the sake of being shocking, unfortunately I can't think of a fanfic on this thread that has actually done some like this tastefully, mostly because the majority of writers seem to want to avoid anything that they think may paint them in a bad light. I guess the only way to do it tastefully is to not do it in a one-shot, because something as shocking as say, a character death, is something that is really only tastefully done when it is something that deeply effects the rest of the cast in the story.

Uh, okay. I think I might have wondered into my own little tangent there, but I hope my general point came across :?

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Re: Limits of Fanfiction - What is appropriate?

Post by ProfAllister » Sun Apr 06, 2014 10:19 am

Well, let's start from the beginning.

It's generally accepted that the purpose of art is to make a statement and/or elicit some sort of (emotional) response from the audience. There are some modern theories which might disagree, but let's try to stick to the basics.

As with all art, then, the question becomes this: "What is the end (i.e., intended result/reaction) of this work?"

Transgressive works are based on the idea that "Sacred cows make the best hamburgers." By violating some norm, you force your audience to reflect on the norm, what it means for this norm to be broken, and whether the norm was justified in the first place.

As an expected result, transgressive art tends to be inherently offensive (and potentially subject to fraud). This is the basis for the idea that an artist can defecate on a carpet and call it art. However, it's important to remember that not all shit stains on a carpet are the considered product of a conscious artistic decision. Sometimes, the dog just couldn't hold it in.

So, in short, transgressive art is only worthwhile and meaningful as long as the transgression leads the audience to respond in a considered fashion. Unfortunately, the inherently subjective nature of the experience of art and the concept of "naturally-occurring art" blurs the lines considerably. Generally, the conclusion is that art is art only when the objective (that is, unchanging) portion of the experience tends to elicit a consistent response from the target audience.

Of course, that's just the baseline. Advertisements, pornography, literature, etc. all fall into that catch-all category. From that point, you need some criterion for judgement as to what value different art might have (Personally, I use Maslow's hierarchy as a general guideline - the higher up the hierarchy the filled need, the more meritorious and valuable the work).

So yes, I would consider transgressive art acceptable, provided it offers something beyond mere shock value.

As for the actual occurrence of transgressive art that actually comes up here, I'd say there's actually very little, and it generally falls into one of four categories:

A: Dark, brooding, and violent (See: much of Doomish's oeuvre)
B: Anything that might conflict with Hanako's status as the moe equivalent of pink slime (See: Mendacium)
C: Anything that implies that Lilly might be anything other than Mary Poppins with a killer rack (See: Two Hallways)
D: Anything that leaves open the possibility that Jigoro or Nomiya might have an ounce of humanity between the two of them

While there are certainly arguments to be made regarding the quality of some of the works, whenever controversy comes up, it relates more to violation in question (e.g., "[Character] would never do that!"). I will admit that the examples I've presented deal primarily with character interpretation, and some interpretations are in fact more justified than others, but that ties into the next point:

In order to be transgressive, the transgression must offend the sensibilities and mores of the community.

Seems straightforward enough, but it's the "of the community" that's the clincher. We're talking about this community right here. What does that mean?

The basis of this community is KS itself - a visual novel with (softcore) graphic depictions of sex. Because of the origin, much of the community at least has a vague familiarity with 4chan. It is often affectionally referred to as a "cripple porn game." Two of the most popular jokes involve corprophagy and lemon-flavored sodomy, respectively. This is the sort of community that demonstrates the need for the NSFW warning (You should totally check this out, but, fair warning, you could get fired if people know you looked at it.) In other words, it's pretty hard to shock or offend us in the normal way.

Which, then, brings us tot he specific work that sparked this discussion. Was it transgressive? Not really - the people complaining weren't clutching their pearls and harrumphing about how unorthodox it was - they were saying it wasn't terribly clever or funny, leaned too heavily on in-jokes, wasn't very well-written, and was, to be quite frank, bland and uninspired. For that work to have been "transgressive," it would have to have been a transgression of the rules of writing fiction. And, in all fairness, many authors have done a better job of that without even trying.
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Re: Limits of Fanfiction - What is appropriate?

Post by d2r » Sun Apr 06, 2014 2:39 pm

I have to admit I've been shocked to see that Munch's story spawned a discussion of this length. I mean, it seems like it was obviously intended as a joke in narrative format, as opposed to an actual, serious attempt at artistic narrative or something. Aren't we overthinking it a little bit?

If we're gonna go and say stuff like that shouldn't be written because of the characters behaving "strangely", the same would apply to all the chocolate jokes, or to all the feminist conspiracy gags, or that one story where Lilly was a brothel madam. Nobody finds EVERYTHING funny.
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Re: Limits of Fanfiction - What is appropriate?

Post by monkeywitha6pack » Sun Apr 06, 2014 3:38 pm

Little things can spiral into large conversations and discussions, heck this thread was started because of one chapter of a story, it's human nature
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Re: Limits of Fanfiction - What is appropriate?

Post by brythain » Sun Apr 06, 2014 7:44 pm

d2r wrote:I have to admit I've been shocked to see that Munch's story spawned a discussion of this length. I mean, it seems like it was obviously intended as a joke in narrative format, as opposed to an actual, serious attempt at artistic narrative or something. Aren't we overthinking it a little bit?

If we're gonna go and say stuff like that shouldn't be written because of the characters behaving "strangely", the same would apply to all the chocolate jokes, or to all the feminist conspiracy gags, or that one story where Lilly was a brothel madam. Nobody finds EVERYTHING funny.
Haha, not quite. This is just the thread where we take out such discussions so as not to clutter the story area. It began with discussion of an Iwanako story, believe it or not...
Post-Yamaku, what happens? After The Dream is a mosaic that follows everyone to the (sometimes) bitter end.
Main Index (Complete)Shizune/Lilly/Emi/Hanako/Rin/Misha + Miki + Natsume
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Re: Limits of Fanfiction - What is appropriate?

Post by Leaty » Mon Jun 23, 2014 5:00 pm

I'm digging up this thread because the subject of BEFFs (Bad End Fix Fics) came up in the Book Club thread, and I wanted to comment on why I think they're all terrible. This is my explanation of why I feel that way, cut from a response to a forums member who asked me to critique their BEFF before they posted it:
To put it bluntly: I hate reconciliation fics. I don't see the attraction in them, short of a player getting a bad ending on their first playthrough of the visual novel and panicking that now that's the "real" ending for the player. To me, the point of the bad endings is that Hisao fucked up irrevocably. He's messed up so badly that the relationship can't continue, and usually the actions you have to take to get those endings justify it completely. I have a sibling who believes that Hisao is never actually written in character during the bad endings, because the choices he makes to get there aren't things consistent with the way the character is written, and while I don't agree with the sentiment, I do think that every reconciliation fic I've ever read genuinely does force the characters to act out of character in order to get the desired result...

I don't like reconciliation fics because to me, they feel like empty movement. If I wanted to see the relationship succeed, I'd just get the good ending.

Or to put it another way: I've mentioned a few times that I like Jane Austen, particularly Pride & Prejudice. If you go on Amazon (yes, Amazon) you can find a lot (and I mean a lot) of Pride and Prejudice fanfiction. For sale. And, for a time (mostly while I was stuck on a military assignment where there was a lot of sitting around and nobody in command gave a shit about me,) I read a ton of it on my Kindle. But here's the thing: Every single one of these stories was actually the exact same. All of them were about Lizzy and Darcy's relationship exploding and them getting together in a slightly different way. There was one particular author who wrote several stories with this premise! Lizzy fucks up somehow, circumstances conspire to bring Darcy back into her life, they talk about their feelings, and then they get married. What's the damn point? If I wanted to see them together, I'd just read Jane Austen, because she was obviously a much better writer than any of these moony hacks.

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Re: Limits of Fanfiction - What is appropriate?

Post by Mirage_GSM » Mon Jun 23, 2014 5:20 pm

I don't see the attraction in them, short of a player getting a bad ending on their first playthrough of the visual novel and panicking that now that's the "real" ending for the player.
I agree mostly, and I think most BEFFs are so bad, because this is the reason why most of them are written.
If someone has an original story he wants to tell and it happens to fit neatly after one of the bad endings, more power to them, but a lot of stories like that are just written to "fix one's headcanon" and that is never a good reason for writing a story.

In a lot of cases you could also substitute "crossovers" for "BEFFS"...
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Re: Limits of Fanfiction - What is appropriate?

Post by dewelar » Mon Jun 23, 2014 5:26 pm

Mirage_GSM wrote:
I don't see the attraction in them, short of a player getting a bad ending on their first playthrough of the visual novel and panicking that now that's the "real" ending for the player.
I agree mostly, and I think most BEFFs are so bad, because this is the reason why most of them are written.
If someone has an original story he wants to tell and it happens to fit neatly after one of the bad endings, more power to them, but a lot of stories like that are just written to "fix one's headcanon" and that is never a good reason for writing a story.

In a lot of cases you could also substitute "crossovers" for "BEFFS"...
I do agree with a lot of this, except for "[fixing] one's headcanon" never being a good reason for writing a story. I think it can be, under limited circumstances, such as a person who has never written anything before who finds themselves inspired to write something for the first time in this way. Whether or not it leads somewhere, putting a spark to an as-yet-unlit creativity fuse is not something I could ever dismiss as never being good.
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