Here’s a roundup of stories on fan fiction that might be of interest to fans:
- One of the most common forms of creative expression by fans has been the written word, and an increasing number of creators are either being asked about it, are writing about it due to the influence of other creators or are even offering fans tips on how to improve their work. This last step may be a lose/lose situation. “I don’t want break the heart of a fan by judging it like I would if they were a writer on the show but that’s the only way I CAN judge it. I might consider giving notes if they were looking for constructive criticism but only if I knew them really well. Many people who SAY they want criticism don’t. They just want me to be thrilled with their work. That’s an emotional land mine I’d rather step around.”
- Certainly fans don’t need encouragement to write fan-fiction although they are increasingly being given incentives to do so. But the impulse has sometimes begun whole new genres of work. In an interview, comics scholar Jared Gardner claimed “the earliest comics creators began their careers imitating their favorite cartoonists and came to New York or San Francisco with a portfolio in hand of their best examples–and often made their first sales peddling some of this fan work…on the streets.” Unlike costly formats such as films, “Comics…have always invited audiences to pick up a pencil and try it themselves: from the earliest days of the form creators and publishers have encouraged readers to send in their stories, their sketches–even offering how-to guides for drawing favorite characters,” he said, concluding “In a way, the history of comics is the history of fan art and the fanzine.”
- In recent years the general fandom audience, if not the general public, has become more familiar with fan fiction as part of the remix impulse at work in both high and low culture or as a core expression of fandom longevity. Certainly fans are not terribly accepting when the creators themselves turn out sloppy tie-in work, so perhaps this is one explanation for why many general fandom sites are beginning to do regular recommendation postings for fanfic, or even issuring writing challenges.
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