Links roundup for 7 July 2012

Here’s a roundup of fanfiction in the news that might be of interest to fans:

  • From celebrities digging into fanfiction about them (“‘I have a confession to make,’ explained Colfer at the New York City event. ‘The fan fiction of which you read, may have been actually written by me. I did publish some fan fiction about the two of us titled The Fifty Shades of Green. I’m so embarrassed.'”) to continued articles about Fifty Shades and the culture that spawned it, everyone seems to want to either write fan fiction, write about it, or develop the next big breakout.
  • Some, however, dig a little deeper in their discussions. Writer Rainbow Rowell who has just authored a romance novel about a fanfic writer said “writing it made me think about what makes these stories work.” She thus analyzes Fifty Shades of Grey and concludes “There must be something there that people are reacting to. Something worth thinking about.” She decides it’s the freedom that fanfic affords which is often absent in mainstream publishing. “[P]ublishing types will straight-up tell you to save your big kiss for the last page, to resolve every other conflict before the romantic one. Television series flog this formula for years. And it’s not a bad formula — it works. But as a reader and a writer, I’m tired of it.” Instead “Fan fiction authors…don’t care at all about what the rules are or what sells. Reading fan fiction makes you realize how many different ways there are to tell a love story. And how satisfying those stories can be.”
  • looks at fanfiction as a form of writing experience and points out that the feedback is incredibly useful to authors. “While you won’t often find fan fiction readers correcting your grammar, your readers will remark on the effectiveness or ineffectiveness of your plot development and characters. These are global issues—’big picture’ concerns about the content of your text. These are the same issues your composition course will likely focus on improving through classroom assignments. Grammatical issues can be fixed with a little practice and good eye, but global issues—like writing good transitions, organizing well, and being clear and creative—are harder to learn, especially when no one talks to you about improving them. Receiving feedback along the way is one of the best ways to improve your writing and, in the process, learn the important skill of taking criticism.”
  • The Monash Weekly takes a local look at fanfic readers and writers and what their experiences have been. “Ms Hansen says fan fiction has changed the way she looks at characters.‘When I first read Harry Potter, I was a fair bit younger and I took it at face value. Since reading a lot of fan-fics, I’ve actually gone, ‘Oh I don’t really like Dumbledore.’ I used to love him. I don’t think he’s a great character any more. I think J K didn’t do a great job.’ But ultimately, reading fan fiction has made the books she loves better. ‘I think it makes the whole world richer. You get more. It’s like chewing over your food slowly; you can taste more and different flavours come out. It doesn’t detract from the whole world in itself, but it does change my opinion of the original story.’”

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