Friday, May 19, 2017

Heroes and Fan Fiction

Heroes - I've been talking a lot about them lately because of this month's SWG theme. I have a feeling that we all know a hero or two, but they are in the background, just doing their job. Because of that feeling that many people can be heroes if they have to be, I finally think I've settled on the characters and their defining situation for them. Of course, this is Tolkien-based fan fiction, so the characters (or supplementary characters and settings) are already written; the skeleton that we are clothing with words and color stands waiting. As fan fiction writers, we are fleshing out bare bones or planting crops in turned fields. The dirt already exists, I'm now trying to figure out how to best use it to my advantage and push ahead.

I love this graphic. The book is fulfilling, rich, stuffed
with meat and condiments. The movie is flat and
disappointing, and the fan fiction is rich, multi-layered,
and almost impossible to eat. Yeah - that's fan fiction. 

Fan fiction. It's such a simple concept that seems to carry so much baggage. Authors either welcome others to play in their pond, tolerate explorers around their boundaries, or they pull up their drawbridge and set their fire-breathing dragon upon the usurpers. Sometimes an author will state quite clearly that they prefer not to have fan fiction in their universe. I'm not sure anyone could successfully stop fans from writing about locations/characters that they love, but since the advent of the internet, fan fiction has moved from closed notebooks and desk drawers to virtual files and world-wide public audiences. The hidden fan fiction has become all too public and authors who pulled up that drawbridge are now fighting battles against fans that they never expected to.

Not every author welcomes fan fiction. Their
feelings are completely understandable, but they
are also missing out on some really wonderful
writing along with the forgettable. 

I'm pretty sure that fan fiction has been around for as long as stories have been told around the fires at night. Fictional themes of love, hate, jealousy and betrayal have rotated through multitudes of characters for millennia. When drilling down into plot structures, it's pretty evident that there's not a lot that's new out there. What an author provides to readers, and finally to fan fiction writers, are specific characters, locations and situations. The author built the swings, jungle gyms, slides and sand pits, but we - the fan fiction writers - are the ones playing on the equipment.

So, once again I am venturing out into Tolkien's playground. It's vast, it's got amazing depth, and it's one that I adore playing in. I wish each of you a truly fabulous Friday. I'll be trying to get my head around my characters so that their tale will become clear in my head.

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