Links roundup for 22 February 2012

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.

If you write fan fiction, or fan comics, or have something to contribute about creator involvement, why not write about it in Fanlore? Additions are welcome from all fans.

We want your suggestions! If you know of an essay, video, article, event, or link you think we should know about, comment on the most recent Links Roundup — on, LJ, or DW — or give @OTW_News a shoutout on Twitter. Links are welcome in all languages!

Submitting a link doesn’t guarantee that it will be included in a roundup post, and inclusion of a link doesn’t mean that it is endorsed by the OTW.

News of Note
  1. torch commented:

    Suggestion: these news posts would be much more accessible if they had links with an actual description of where the reader will end up when clicking. Of course you can totally continue to do in-text links if you want, but how about adding the links, with clear descriptions, at the end of the post? (Note: I am in no way picking on this post in particular; I’ve been thinking about this for a while. Specifically, thinking “Maybe I should stop reading the otw link round-up, I never check out any of their links. …Because I don’t know where they go.”)

    • Claudia Rebaza commented:

      Thanks for your feedback! We’ve chosen to use embedded links because it enhances reading flow and allows us to pull together several sources at once. We assume that most of our users will mouse over the text to see what the specific link is if it’s important to them to see what site they’re being taken to (we do note if a link will do something unexpected like open a PDF or goes to a video file with no transcript). However, accessibility is very important to us — if this method isn’t accessible for you, could you give us a little more detail as to what the problem is? This will help us think about how to best address it. Thanks!

      • torch commented:

        I do mouse over the links, since that’s the only way of getting additional information. The thing is, I don’t think I should have to do that. I don’t care enough, to be honest, to spend that extra time with the mouseovering, not to mention clicking links to find out what I’m getting. I would like to be told clearly and up front. I mean, I’m not interested in reading something just because it’s been picked up as fandom news; I want to know if it’s fandom news I’m interested in, and if it’s related to a fandom I’m interested in, that’s all. The more information you give me, the easier it is for me to make a decision. I read faster than I mouseover. *g*

  2. Dana commented:

    You know, I have to agree with Torch here. I’m reading this article on a mac laptop in safari, and when I mouse over all that happens is the link gets highlighted.

    I too would appreciate it if you could include a phrase in your sentence that explains what the link is about.

    I guess it’s a change in writing style, along with the accessibility thing?

    Thanks for these posts.