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Author Topic: Fanfic Thread  (Read 7996 times)

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nolechica

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Re: Fanfic Thread
« Reply #165 on: May 15, 2015, 10:08:42 PM »
I have another question for readers and writers of fanfic, about posting completed works vs. works in progress. My personal philosophy as a writer has been to only post works which I was done with--they may not be complete in terms of the story (which I try to note in several places so people aren't surprised) but I have moved on and am no longer working on them. I think, "Well, I know it's not a full story, but maybe people will enjoy this portion of the idea, and/or be inspired by it themselves."

However, recently I have been contemplating posting some works that are truly "in progress," as in, I am currently still writing them. Well, by "currently" I might mean, every day I work on that story a little bit; or I might mean, I have more in mind for that story, and maybe in a few months or years I will get around to writing it down. The cases are not "closed" in my mind yet. (I should also note that I write by hand; so first I have to write the story down on paper, then I have to type it, then I have to post it. There can be big gaps between any of those steps.)

I was curious about the pros and cons people see in those two approaches, as both writers and readers.

I don't mind WIPs that are updated regularly, but if you are going to post something unfinished, put a warning on it.

nolechica

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Re: Fanfic Thread
« Reply #166 on: May 15, 2015, 10:15:05 PM »
Maybe this is a silly question--but for those of you readers or writers who are engaged with the fanfic community, how did you do that? I mean are there forums somewhere, like this one, where people talk about fanfic in general (hopefully with good moderation)? The most I've ever done is respond to the occasional comment left on my stories--the database I use doesn't seem to have a discussion forum attached.

That seems odd to me--I would think that would be the perfect place to discuss new stories, make recommendations, etc.. But, I know that properly moderating a forum can be a lot of work, and I can imagine that reviews and discussion might easily slide towards comments that make the authors uncomfortable. Maybe the database decide to forgo an official forum for reasons like that.

Fandom forums and discussion groups started out in places like Yahoo Groups - where many are still active. A lot of them are/were fanfiction based, where writers post a story for comment and discussion. This is in addition to archiving on AO3 or Fanfiction.net or a fandom-specific archive.

 Many more fandoms migrated to Live Journal, where fans had the flexibilty of having their personal journals and building up flists (shorthand for friends list) which could be a mix of personal friends and fans of their writing, and joining active communities for their fandom. Some communities were thousands strong. Live Journal, though, became a less friendly place for adult fandoms -- LJ succumbed to a moralistic 'think of the children!' moment, and although that passed, the damage was done. Fans started looking elsewhere and certainly my fandoms on LJ are a pale shadow of what they were. Alternatives were set up by ex Lj insiders - Dreamwidth is an LJ clone where some fandoms tried to recreate the LJ heyday, but I don't think it's ever really taken off. Having said that, fans are still active on both sites.

There are fandom groups on Facebook, too, btw.

The front of the fandom wave, as it were, moved on to Tmblr. Personally, I don't get that, because I can't see how you can get the same sense of community you have on Yahoo Groups or LJ/Dreamwidth on a platform where you can't really have discussions like this one, and where the big thing appears to be reposting other people's posts. You can certainly comment on posts, but I don't see the back and forth of Groups or LJ, and which gave fandoms their joys and strengths - and yes, occasionally their wars and arguments!

Explore any of these platforms for your fandoms, and you should find groups of like-minded fans to join.

Yep, I mostly read/post on LJ about fic or did until my fandom migrated to AO3.  As for moderation? Not really a thing outside of approving authors/stories.  Communities were mostly to post and comments could get interesting.  And some communities were anonymous authors due to subject matter.  Within tv/movie fandoms it could be different, but music was pretty open.

Slartibartfast

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Re: Fanfic Thread
« Reply #167 on: May 16, 2015, 12:21:22 AM »
In the non-fanfic writing community, authors happily split themselves into "plotters" (who plot everything out ahead of time) or "pantsters" (i.e. "fly by the seat of your pants").  I happen to love posting as I go, because it's a very different style of writing - I do go back and edit typos and such, but usually once it's up it's done and I don't have to spend time worrying about whether it needs another editorial pass or not.  I'm a die-hard plotter, though, so I never even start a story unless I have a pretty good idea what the first scene, the main conflict, and the major resolution will be.  I've also been writing fiction long enough that I can mull over an idea and say "that's about 15K words worth of plot" and then decide whether that's something I can commit to or not.

I think where WIPs often fall down is when the author is

a) a pantster, who
b) doesn't entirely know how long a story they want to write or what they want it to be about, and
c) bites off more than they can chew.

There's a reason I don't write full-length fics - the amount of work required to keep all the details straight gets exponentially bigger the longer your story gets.  I think a lot of writers start off with a premise, get several chapters into it, and then realize they really should have done X right at the beginning or they have no idea how to resolve Y or they actually want the story to be about Z after all and they don't know how to change the story's momentum.  Those are the stories which either end up abandoned or end up at 400,000 words with no discernible plot arc.

I have . . . 3 unfinished fics and 3 series in progress (i.e. the current works posted are "complete" but I intend to write more in that series).  I'm actively updating two of those unfinished fics and have more or less abandoned the third.  I have one more fic in my "Dear John" set (which I intended to write ages ago and haven't been inspired to even start), ideas for a few more in the second series, and the third is an ongoing list of shorter pieces with no particular arc to them.  I've also got half a dozen story ideas I've promised various people I would write for them and haven't gotten around to yet  :P  It sounds like a lot, but those are all things that wouldn't have gotten posted at all yet if I had to wait until I was 100% finished first!

starry diadem

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Re: Fanfic Thread
« Reply #168 on: May 16, 2015, 01:47:18 AM »
I have another question for readers and writers of fanfic, about posting completed works vs. works in progress. My personal philosophy as a writer has been to only post works which I was done with--they may not be complete in terms of the story (which I try to note in several places so people aren't surprised) but I have moved on and am no longer working on them. I think, "Well, I know it's not a full story, but maybe people will enjoy this portion of the idea, and/or be inspired by it themselves."

However, recently I have been contemplating posting some works that are truly "in progress," as in, I am currently still writing them. Well, by "currently" I might mean, every day I work on that story a little bit; or I might mean, I have more in mind for that story, and maybe in a few months or years I will get around to writing it down. The cases are not "closed" in my mind yet. (I should also note that I write by hand; so first I have to write the story down on paper, then I have to type it, then I have to post it. There can be big gaps between any of those steps.)

I was curious about the pros and cons people see in those two approaches, as both writers and readers.


As a reader, unless I know the writer or know from their track record that they finish their stories, I don't read WIPs. Burned too many times. There is nothing worse than getting invested in a story and the characters, and being left hanging. To be honest, what you say in your first paragraph would put you firmly in the camp of those whose WIPs I wouldn't read.

As a writer, I know how much it can help to get encouragement along the way. It can help motivate me to get the next chapter out. But in general, I try to post only when I've finished, if only becuase I know how easily I can be diverted onto something new.

« Last Edit: May 16, 2015, 06:22:19 AM by starry diadem »
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Two Ravens

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Re: Fanfic Thread
« Reply #169 on: May 16, 2015, 12:34:19 PM »
Another question! I woke up this morning to twelve new comments on an old story. A reader had found it and commented on every chapter as he/she read. Fun to read her thoughts as she went along, but how I do I respond to these comments? Should I respond to every one, or just the last one? What do you think?

AliciaLynette

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Re: Fanfic Thread
« Reply #170 on: May 16, 2015, 01:05:47 PM »
Two Ravens, in that situation, I'd just thank her for all her comments, and respond to any you feel a need to like  if she's mentioned a particuklar character/scene.  You don't have to say that she reviewed every chapter, just a general thanks should do.
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NestHolder

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Re: Fanfic Thread
« Reply #171 on: May 16, 2015, 05:34:11 PM »
I have another question for readers and writers of fanfic, about posting completed works vs. works in progress. My personal philosophy as a writer has been to only post works which I was done with--they may not be complete in terms of the story (which I try to note in several places so people aren't surprised) but I have moved on and am no longer working on them. I think, "Well, I know it's not a full story, but maybe people will enjoy this portion of the idea, and/or be inspired by it themselves."

However, recently I have been contemplating posting some works that are truly "in progress," as in, I am currently still writing them. Well, by "currently" I might mean, every day I work on that story a little bit; or I might mean, I have more in mind for that story, and maybe in a few months or years I will get around to writing it down. The cases are not "closed" in my mind yet. (I should also note that I write by hand; so first I have to write the story down on paper, then I have to type it, then I have to post it. There can be big gaps between any of those steps.)

I was curious about the pros and cons people see in those two approaches, as both writers and readers.

I'm not a fan of WIPs.  As a writer, I want to have got the story right before I post it, which means I have to have had a chance to revise and re-shape if necessary after my beta(s) has a go at it.  If you are a writer who knows every detail before you sit down to write, you might be able to get away with it, but my own experience is that it's better to write with a bit more latitude, and feel free to, say, go back to put the foreshadowing in afterwards (when you know how it ends),

As a reader, I want to be sure the story will *end*.  There was a long (long) (LOOOOOONG) popslash epic posted about ten years ago, updates twice a week, and we were all agog to read the next instalment of the story—but the authors had finished the entire story, edited and polished it before they started posting.  They just doled it out that way because nobody can read 600,000 words in one sitting...  I have found it works to post shorter pieces (everything is shorter than that one) in instalments, not least because it is fun to get comments at different points in the story, and therefore to see in more detail what it is that readers like.  I did one over three days, which worked very well.  But it's really irritating to get invested in a story that never actually gets finished, and that's a big risk with WIPs.


NestHolder

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Re: Fanfic Thread
« Reply #172 on: May 16, 2015, 05:37:44 PM »
Another question! I woke up this morning to twelve new comments on an old story. A reader had found it and commented on every chapter as he/she read. Fun to read her thoughts as she went along, but how I do I respond to these comments? Should I respond to every one, or just the last one? What do you think?

It depends on whether you'd like to have a conversation with the reader or not, I think.  You could just respond to the last one and let her know you've appreciated her comments, or you could respond to the particular points along the way if you'd like to have a discussion about any of it.  I think either approach is valid.

Lynn2000

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Re: Fanfic Thread
« Reply #173 on: May 17, 2015, 10:09:14 AM »
Another question! I woke up this morning to twelve new comments on an old story. A reader had found it and commented on every chapter as he/she read. Fun to read her thoughts as she went along, but how I do I respond to these comments? Should I respond to every one, or just the last one? What do you think?

I recently had a similar thing happen, though it was fewer comments and they came in more slowly--I didn't realize this was what they were doing. I ended up responding to each one, because I had responded to the first couple, and it seemed awkward to ignore the others and only respond at the end. I didn't want to feel like I was saying, "Okay, that's enough from you."

But in your case, I think it would be easier to justify just replying to the final comment, with a longer message that encompasses a few points from their earlier comments to show that you read and appreciated them. Maybe even mention something like, "It was so much fun to read your thoughts as you went along!"

Also, thanks for the thoughts on works-in-progress, everyone. It looks like the general trend is that doling out a more or less finished work in pieces is fine, but people get irritated when a story is literally still being composed, which shows in the plot meandering or worse, the author just loses interest and stops updating. That was kind of my thinking also. I have a lot of in-progress works and I'd be worried about feeling pressure to work on this one or that one, because I'd posted it, when writing is supposed to be fun for me, and I want to have the freedom to work on whichever story I want. So I think I will stick with my policy of posting only things I'm done with (whether they are complete story-wise or not).
~Lynn2000

baglady

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Re: Fanfic Thread
« Reply #174 on: May 17, 2015, 09:25:45 PM »
Confession: I have a story that has been unfinished since 2013. I will finish it. I have been writing subsequent chapters in my head for two years. There may not be anyone left to read it, but I'm determined to finish it.

Re AU stories: The best ones are those that can stand alone without any knowledge of canon, but having the canon as background makes it better. Three examples of "House" AU fanfics that I love:

House is a centurion in ancient Rome named Gregorius, and his BFF, James Wilson, is his slave, Jacobus. Despite being master and slave, they are friends.

Civll War setting. House had been a troublesome Army surgeon and was now a transport agent (person who transports the bodies of dead soldiers home for burial). Wilson is the soldier whose body he is transporting -- he and Wilson's ghost converse during the journey.

House is a tree stump, and Wilson is a butterfly. No, really!

House and Wilson's relationship -- what some have called a "bromance" and what Wilson himself once called "this stupid, screwed-up friendship" is at the core of the series. Knowing about all its bittersweet dynamics in canon makes reading the AU stories a richer experience. But any one of those stories, especially "The Stump and the Butterfly," is a beautiful piece of work on its own.

By the same token, watching "House" is probably a richer experience for someone who is a Sherlock Holmes fan than for one who isn't. The show made no secret of the fact that was inspired by Sherlock Holmes, from the names of the two main characters (House = Holmes, Wilson = Watson) to the random references throughout (House's address is 221B, the gunman who shot him in Season 2 was named Moriarty).
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