philippos42: "Dark Vengeance!" (flip)
[personal profile] philippos42 posting in [community profile] scans_daily

OK, I feel kind of like this guy, lumbering out of Hades and asking the wrong person for "story time." But I have this thing on my mind.

(Not the SOPA thing, though yeah, take Danielle's advice and write your Congressmen. Heck, write other people's Congressmen.)

I know one or two pretty good writers on my flist, and there are certainly some good fan artists online.

And I think, why do you tie yourself to fan works? You don't own it; you don't control it; you don't get any royalties, ever--is it just a cheap way to get attention? In fact, you put all these disclaimers on your work, because it's not even public domain--the trademarks belong to someone else. Is it worth it?

I hear bluefall's pretty upset about what DC did to Birds of Prey. But I remember reading some of her Harrierverse stuff and thinking it was pretty cool.

Why not, for example, file off the bits of the Harrierverse that identify it as made of DC trademarks, and publish it as your own thing? You could do it as a webcomic if you found a willing artist.

There are so many concepts that want love, and we know what they are:

That heroic vigilante/detective single father guy, the marksman.
The slightly goofy couple who have fun chasing mysteries (maybe one of them has powers).
The broken bird who sends her agents into dangerous situations while she uses her hacking skills to be as absurdly prepared as possible.
The spooky young woman for whom violence is mother tongue, chasing justice and craving mercy.
et cetera.

Waiting and whining for DC (or whomever) to do these is pretty much useless. They're not bringing back these things, nor things like them, and they don't care.

But if it's yours, you can do what you want, and DC can't pull it out from under you, nor "ruin" it by going in a different direction.

Heck, you could leave the trademarks in the public domain, or copyleft it, if that's your thing.

Think about it.

Apologies for long wordy response

Date: 2012-01-18 11:03 am (UTC)
lissa_quon: (Default)
From: [personal profile] lissa_quon
As someone who has committed acts of fanart and currently has a rather large half written fanfic on her hard drive I do have to say, it is "worth it."

Though I do my own work as well so I'm not sure I count as a "fan-artist"

The fanart I DO sell a bit at conventions, (shhh). But the pieces I do I do because I wanted to do them. They were fun, and allowed me to share my love of a franchise with other people without being a creepy rambly nerd. They are also (for me at least) an exercise in playing with other styles or character types I don't normally do. I tend to get in ruts artistically and drawing fanart makes me get out of my comfort zone.

The fanfic - THAT I feel more compelled to do. The idea hit me and won't leave me alone until I worked on it, much like my original ideas have a habit of doing. And I get the same joy out of it that I do when I create anything. I don't expect the source material to resemble it anytime soon nor am I going to complain when my head canon isn't made into canon. I am at this point just considering it an exercise once again, in playing outside my comfort zone.;dr - its sometimes fun to play with someone else's toys or in someone else's sandbox for a change.

Date: 2012-01-18 11:24 am (UTC)
lilacsigil: Batwoman, red/black/white art (Batwoman)
From: [personal profile] lilacsigil
Why do you think fan writers *don't* do these things as well?

Fannish creativity is a community, and that community runs on creative and gift exchange - fics, art, comments, meta, fannish analysis - and that's something I enjoy. I'm also in crafting communities that do the same thing, trading art for nothing but more art and for community. The fandom is the object of commonality, not the writing or the art or whatever. Some people like to "whine", some people like to write their own stuff.

People always ask me why I don't manufacture and sell my gift cards and quilts and handbound books. The answer (apart from that I already have a job, and it's hard to make a living on craft) is that it's my hobby. It's fun. I can do as much or as little as I want, and make lots of friends in the process.

Date: 2012-01-18 11:32 am (UTC)
arise: (fire emblem ♥ maiden of dawn)
From: [personal profile] arise
For me, fanfic and original writing are fun in different ways, to the point where I feel like they're different creative processes. Fanfic is all about trying to get inside a world and its characters; original writing is making your own unique world and characters. That's not to say you don't employ one method when writing the other, but there is a difference. For example, if it's fic and you don't like writing Character A? Just don't feature 'em. If it's an original story, you've got a problem on your hands.

There's also the matter of readership. I don't write fic much any more, but when I did, it was great getting comments on it, especially constructive criticism. Original fiction is a whole different ball game there. It's not to say you can't get a readership, of course, but you don't have that ready-made audience that fandom provides.

idk, that's just my two cents :) Sorry it got tl;dr so fast!

Date: 2012-01-18 12:40 pm (UTC)
drakyndra: Oh Ozymandias, you so crazy (Watchmen: Crack of Heroes)
From: [personal profile] drakyndra
As several people have pointed out above, people write fanfic for entirely different reasons than original works, and it is almost always for love, not money (anyone who tries to make money of fanfic generally gets turned on by fandom as a whole). It also often as much about community as it is the content, and just because someone writes a story doesn't necessarily mean they want it to be canon.

On your point about "filing of the serial numbers" - it may just be my personal experiences, but from what I've read of published works that actually do this, they tend to come off as much weaker stories than either original works or fanfic of the author.

See, with original works you have to build everything from the ground up, characters and often world (if it is unlike the current day). You can create anything and everything to suit your story. Fanfic, on the other hand, doesn't have that freedom - but on the other hand it has the weight of canon behind it, and the assumption that most readers will know that canon. You don't have to explain what everything means, or create the backstory for characters because people already know these things, but it also means that you can throw in all these references to parts of the canon without having to explain exactly what happened, how it changed the people involved and so.

If the Joker says something about a crowbar to Batman, the audience knows exactly what that means, all the history and emotion tied into that word. If [Renamed Villain] mentions a crowbar to [Renamed Hero], who the hell knows what that means? Explanations become necessary in a way fanfic doesn't need.

I've seen this in both "filled off fanfic" novels that people I know have written, and some reviews of works by other former BNFs: Their original books often have an underdeveloped 2D feel, as if the characters are just being skimmed over. They have neither the weight of an established canon character behind them, or the development of an original one.

Or a comics example: Deadpool was a far better character when he was actually developed as an original character with his own traits, backstory etc., rather than being just a "filled off" version of Deathstroke.

TL;DR The skills that make someone a good fanfic writer don't necessarily translate over to being good at original works. Not everyone who writes fanfic wants to write original work; some just want to explore/play with established characters rather than making their own ideas.

Date: 2012-01-18 01:06 pm (UTC)
valtyr: (Infinity)
From: [personal profile] valtyr
Think about it.

You do realise that the fan community does actually discuss this stuff, at length, again and again? You're not presenting new ideas here.

There's dozens of reasons why someone might choose to write fanfic over pro work. But essentially, it doesn't matter. Because it's not any of your business, and for you to decide you know better than they what would bring them pleasure is patronising.

Date: 2012-01-18 02:16 pm (UTC)
katya: (Default)
From: [personal profile] katya
Many fic writers also write original stories. Some don't. Why? Because they don't want to.

As someone else mentioned, filing the serial numbers off what was once fanfic has a good number of undesirable results. One is that the characters and possibly the world are less developed because with fic you have no obligation to create those things (unless it's AU) because the canon has done it for you. The other issue is that people in fandom will get angry at you, because a major component of fandom is that you don't profit off fanwork. People in fandom WILL notice if your scifi gay romance novel is secretly characters from Stargate Atlantis, and they will not be happy. Just look at Cassandra Clare - after years as a fanfic writer, she became a published writer, and even if you overlook the information on her plagerism you see people mad at her because her original characters are "too similar" to Harry Potter characters, and because she reused a few scenes from her fic in her novels, even though those things are not actually Harry Potter, but her own ideas.

Date: 2012-01-18 03:49 pm (UTC)
blackruzsa: LJ main icon (John Constantine)
From: [personal profile] blackruzsa
I would bring up certain fanfics as examples, but I feel that maybe it isn't the time or place.

Thing is, I don't feel comfortable the way you belittle fanfictions or fanworks, but yes, it has been done that bits and pieces of certain fandoms have been used to make new works.

Fanworks, unlike most original work, draw communities. Fact is, virtually NO ONE will care about your original work unless it's the right combination of talked about and interesting, and no matter how spectacular it is, you're lucky to get one or two followers (this goes double for fanfiction, which don't get the benefit of face-value judgment like artworks do). Fanworks are a way for people to make friends, to exchange ideas, to have a readership or a following which motivates you to keep working. You get criticism, you get fans, you get feedback that you couldn't get from most original works no one will even look at.

And, as they've all said before me, not everyone wants to become an accomplished writer or artist. Some people do it for fun, or as a hobby, and it's more fun shared than it is alone or unnoticed. Plus, there're people you can RELATE to in a fandom. Whole friendships have been built on fandoms, friendships that last even as fandoms change, and I know this from personal experience.

"And I think, why do you tie yourself to fan works? You don't own it; you don't control it; you don't get any royalties, ever--is it just a cheap way to get attention? In fact, you put all these disclaimers on your work, because it's not even public domain--the trademarks belong to someone else. Is it worth it?"

Cheap way of getting attention is up there on the 'list of asshole things people say about fanworks'. Is it your business if it's just for attention? Does that make people like it any less? Does it make people any less happy if they enjoy it?

Excuse me, and I'm sorry, but fuck off.

Date: 2012-01-18 04:03 pm (UTC)
auggie18: (Default)
From: [personal profile] auggie18
I do fanart mostly because I enjoy it, but honestly? Some of it is because it gets attention. I did a short comic about the Young Justice cartoon that one of the show's writers liked. I got to talk to a creator because of my fanwork. My fancomic posts average more than twenty responses. My one post with only original content got about three.

Also, "waiting and whining?" Super not the point of fancomics. I know that Jean Grey and the Scarlet Witch are never going be domestic lesbians living in San Francisco in canon. I thought it was a fun idea. People seem to enjoy it.

To sum up? Fan stuff is a good way to get noticed, bringing attention to your original stuff. And, more importantly, IT IS FUN. FUN IS GOOD. PEOPLE ENJOY FUN.

Date: 2012-01-18 04:39 pm (UTC)
curlyjo1: Shrinking Violet (Default)
From: [personal profile] curlyjo1
How about, "We write fanfic/draw fanart because we like the original works."

Does that one work for you?

Date: 2012-01-18 04:50 pm (UTC)
crabby_lioness: (Default)
From: [personal profile] crabby_lioness
I'm dealing with this one as well. There's a longish fic in the back up my brain that started out as fanac. Now I'm at a point where it doesn't have to be.

If I post it as fanfic at least the fans will read it.

If I post it as an original fic fewer people will read it.

If I don't post it and try to sell it -- pfft. Yeah, right.

IDK what to do with it.

Date: 2012-01-18 05:33 pm (UTC)
biod: Cute Galactus (Default)
From: [personal profile] biod
There's not a lot I can say that hasn't already been said, but there is one thing.
Fanfics have their own unique joys: "What would X do if I dropped them in THIS?" and character study, or a setting which you feel wasn't fully explored, or an alternative to a plot twist you didn't like. Not to mention all the enjoyment of writing. If you like writing, if you LOVE writing, you don't give a damn that what your writing is using somebody else's characters, you do it for the joy in a turn of phrase and a well-concieved plot. Just because you use the toys of other writers doesn't mean your playtime won't be fucking awesome.
In fact, you've inspired me to write even more fanfiction, because I have not nearly run out of ideas. Thanks.

Date: 2012-01-18 06:45 pm (UTC)
From: [personal profile] mister_cairo
People write what they're inspired to write. That's one of the reasons the increasing duration of copyright protection is a terrible thing. What was once seen as a necessary evil to encourage the creation of works is now used to strangle them.

Date: 2012-01-18 06:46 pm (UTC)
just_kazari: (Default)
From: [personal profile] just_kazari
You obviously don't understand the concept of hobbies. You know, the thing you do because you get pleasure from doing it, and *gasp!* you make no profit out of it besides fun.

You should try it sometime, it might get that stick out of your ass.

Date: 2012-01-18 07:01 pm (UTC)
chocochuy: Following the steps of the Gentleman Ghost, Kobato becomes into a more Elegant Lady (Kobato the Lucky Lady)
From: [personal profile] chocochuy
One of the wonders of doing fan stuff like fanfics and fanarts is that you get to display your vision of certain characters without the fear of "corrupting" the canon. They are marvelous tools that not only answer the question "What if...?" but give us hours of fun, create bonds of friendship and let us go wild with ideas. Aye, they are not meant to be used to get some easy bucks but to expand our own visions of the dream-like entities that we admire.

I highly suggest you to try writing some fanfics or sharpen thy artistic skills, not because of wishing to be rich but to understand yourself and, mainly, to have fun. It`s a great therapy.

Date: 2012-01-18 09:49 pm (UTC)
v_various: (Default)
From: [personal profile] v_various
because of the jokes I can do.

The She-ra universe is ready-made, and other fans get it. It's about having fun, for me, and asking "why don't people make up their own language if they want to tell jokes" would be a similar kind of question.

I do get better every drawing I do, and explore, and I do make a little money off my art. But I'm careful not to overload myself, I draw because it's fun and when you start drawing on demand, to other peoples expectations, with deadlines you get burnt out. I think even that is something you can better at though, and each year I'm doing a little more.

But ya, mostly it's just fun.

Date: 2012-01-18 10:20 pm (UTC)
daphnie_1: Tony looking rather unimpressed (Marvel | Tony | Cool Story Bro)
From: [personal profile] daphnie_1
I think fanfic, for me at least, is a discourse. In a lot of ways fanfic can tell you a lot about how people interpret the canon, what it's strengths, and weaknesses are, charaterisation, the whole bag. It just happens to be a conversation that is constructed using short hand that everyone knows and everyone is fond of.

Fics are written in response to other fics, and to spoilers, and to critique the canon and to continue it and IDK. It really is a discourse because it's a way of engageing with the canon.

That's why I love writing and reading it - because it opens up new takes on the canon, and not to mention, starts conversations and freindships with other fen.

(I use fanfic as the example because it's what I'm used to but this absolutely does hold true for fanvids, Icons, fanmixes - you name it.)

Date: 2012-01-18 10:35 pm (UTC)
fifthie: tastes the best (Default)
From: [personal profile] fifthie
Because there's literally no difference between telling stories about characters that have previously been made up or have just been made up except owing to the bizarre cultural artifacts of modern copyright law.

If someone wants to tell a story about Steph Brown and the Birds of Prey doing stuff, why on Earth should they want to "file off" pieces of their creative work for the sake of what is maybe optimistically a 0.00001% chance of successfully monetizing it?

Date: 2012-01-19 12:19 am (UTC)
schmevil: (Default)
From: [personal profile] schmevil
This post is incredibly rude to creators of fanworks in general, and [personal profile] bluefall in particular. I guess it's flattering that you think her fic would work well as a webcomic, but a top level post hectoring her (and the rest of us) about "whining" and needing the attention?

JFC we've heard all of this before. You are not going to ~open anyone's eyes to the violence inherent to the system fandom. Take your condescension and go fly.

Date: 2012-01-19 11:39 am (UTC)
bliumchik: (Default)
From: [personal profile] bliumchik
People do that all the time. You don't hear about it because fanfiction is still considered a little embarrassing in profic circles (I've heard of one fanwriter turned pro who gets hatemail about it) and so they tend to expunge all connection between pro personas and fandom personas. I follow at least three pairs of blogs that belong to the same people in different arenas. That's just what it's like.

But most people, I think, just do it for fun/have non-writing dayjobs/etc. Why put in all the extra work to repurpose something for pay when you could be writing something new?

Date: 2012-01-19 11:43 am (UTC)
kamino_neko: Tedd from El Goonish Shive. Drawn by Dan Shive, coloured by Kamino Neko. (Stop it!)
From: [personal profile] kamino_neko
Filing off the serial numbers is what gives us Holy Terror. Is that what you want? What you REALLY want?

(Not that that would have been any good if he'd kept it a Batman story, but it's even worse with the obvious expies - how, I don't know, but Miller somehow pulled it off.)

Not that I think something that started as fanwork can't develop into something original and come out well, but it takes more than simply changing identifying details - in 2003, I started pondering an idea using Green Lantern. The idea started drifting away from GL pretty quickly (it helped that my character wasn't any canon Lantern, but rather a hypothetical successor to the current group on Earth) the time I started writing anything with her (2005), the only connection to Green Lantern was her powers. In 2009, it developed into a completely different universe, and she and the other JL expies (which I have 2 sets of...heh) have been reduced to secondary and tertiary characters. I think the current state of the universe is pretty good (and I really need to get around to capping off the current story arc...), but it wouldn't have if I'd just changed her name from Green Lantern.

I still enjoy doing fan-stuff, though. Sometimes, an idea like this just pops into my head, and I have to do something with it.


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