OTW Fannews: Fanwork transitions

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  • Even while fanfic writer Bianca Bernardino is seeing her work turned into film, another author is turning to fanfic of her own work. As L.J. Smith explained last year, “[E]ven though I have written the entire series, I don’t own anything about The Vampire Diaries. And from now on, the books will be written by an anonymous ghostwriter, just as Stefan’s Diaries are. It will say ‘Created by L. J. Smith’ on the cover, but I am not allowed even to change a word in the ghostwriter’s book.” Instead, Smith has released the first of a series through Amazon’s Kindle Worlds.
  • J.K. Rowling’s changing views on relationships in Harry Potter led to articles across the Internet, from The Washington Post to The Wire recording fan reaction. But blogger Lucy Softich reminded readers that “it doesn’t change anything.” “It was also really interesting when she told us Dumbledore was gay, but it didn’t really affect the story. It didn’t add subtext that wasn’t already there, or validate any arguments. Authors decide how to write their books, yes, but once they’re published, they can’t change anything…Fanfiction, on the other hand, can do anything. It can take the smallest interaction between characters, and turn it into a shipping war. It can take the merest hints, and create new and unexpected plot-twists. It can highlight things everyone else overlooked. And unlike books, its not permanent.”
  • While more people trying out fanfiction are pleasantly surprised by the experience, Emma Cueto at Bustle suggests that the real problem is that too many people don’t understand what it is. “Look at the book (and movie) The Hours, which was inspired by Virginia Woolf’s Mrs. Dalloway. Isn’t it just meta-fanfic where the book that inspired the fan fiction is also part of the story?…It just happens to be very well done and rooted in a literary great, so no one bothered to notice. Then there are shows like Once Upon a Time that put a new spin on fairy tales, or Sleepy Hollow and Dracula that grew out of classic novels…Don’t tell me that isn’t just fan fiction with a budget.”
  • Kendra Mack at Open Source focused on the importance of participation in fanwork communities. “But female fans have long participated in (and led) fan communities before this RW shift, remixing and making new meanings from fictional texts. Henry Jenkins has written about the influence of television fan fiction writers in the 1980s, many of whom were women…This practice of fan refocalization continues today with shows like Adventure Time, a (personal favorite) cartoon with two male character leads that has many fans creating derivative fiction and art focused on the secondary female characters. The show also received positive fan reaction and high ratings after airing an episode in which the gender of all the characters are reversed, not to mention a slew of fan art and fiction involving the gender-swapped heroines.”

What fanwork transitions do you think should be remembered? Write about them in Fanlore! Contributions are welcome from all fans.

We want your suggestions! If you know of an essay, video, article, podcast, or link you think we should know about, comment on the most recent OTW Fannews post. 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. Lucy Softich commented:

    Thanks for the shout-out, Claudia! You’ve collected some great articles here, and I’m honored to be mentioned among them.

  2. Tiffany commented:

    I really like the article but LJ Smith was never really the author of Vampire Diaries, Alloy came up with the idea, storyline, and everything for it, and just hired her to write it out, she is just mad that she wasn’t allow to go her own way with something that was never really hers. I will not be reading her fanfiction, especially when it show how bitter she it.