Writers Anonymous
Writers, come in. Talk about your stories, problems, any advice you need, critique, etc. You don't have to be good, you just need to want to write! Fanfic or original fic writers, all are welcome. Read the rules before posting or risk Rhea's displeasure.
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SimonSeville27

Not in my writing, because the squiggly red lines comes on...

And that is an amazing made up word... I think I'm going to have to start using it. (You're going to feel so guilty if this becomes a national thing all because you posted it on here...)

2/21/2012 #91
Hippothestrowl

I don't think I would do that - but then Shakespeare made up lots of words so you're in good company! I do make up words in posts sometimes though but derived from others like angrify instead of annoy and disembrightenate instead of darken. I think I got this occasional habit from a Simpsons episode where Homer used embiggen. I'd never use anything like that in a Potterfic though - not even in dialogue. I guess it depends on the genre. It definitely would fit nicely in a Simpsons type of fic so I think Dinkle-dork would too.

2/21/2012 #92
Corinne Tate

Dag-nabbits, I should be writing! All these forum posts are keeping me from writing the final chapter of my WIP. I post on Thursday, and I've gotta write a triple wedding and a hot honeymoon. Yeah cliche I know, but I did promise a HEA after the half dozen chapters of angst and heartbreak in the beginning.

2/21/2012 #93
SimonSeville27

I've been doing the same thing for the past few days..

You're way too nice in your WIP... in mine I ended it by killing a favorite character off, bringing them back, and killing them off again...

2/21/2012 #94
Corinne Tate

It's a lot harder to kill vampires.

But then again this is the story where the heroine was carrying around the disembodied head of her lover.

2/22/2012 #95
SimonSeville27

But then again this is the story where the heroine was carrying around the disembodied head of her lover.

That's just wrong...

2/22/2012 #96
Corinne Tate

It may have been wrong, but it sure was fun to write. Being a vampire, the head was eventually reattached to his body, and he was almost perfectly fine. Also wicked of me was that his memory of the last few weeks had disappeared. He didn't remember falling in love with the heroine.

2/22/2012 #97
SimonSeville27

Also wicked of me was that his memory of the last few weeks had disappeared. He didn't remember falling in love with the heroine.

Well of course... I don't think any of my friends that have had their heads reattached had memories of falling in love with the person that had to cart their head around town until they found someone to put him back together. Maybe one, but it's rare...

2/22/2012 #98
Hippothestrowl

New conversation:

Which of us is first and foremost a writer and the subject only secondary? I ask this because I can't imagine myself having the passion to write for a category other than Potter. I used to read a lot when I was younger then there was a big gap then UK television deteriorated so badly I scarcely watch it anymore and started reading again. But of all the stuff I've read I can't remember feeling so hungry for more as when I finished the last line of the last Potter book. I loved Tolkien and all Burroughs stuff but I was satisfied at the end; with Potter I wanted more. So anyway, searching the net for a Potter-fix, comments, interviews, anything (how sad is that) I came across fan fiction to read. A month or so later I wondered if I could write as well.

So my interest in fiction writing is Potter-driven. Clearly there are a lot of Potter-driven writers. Now I'm thinking writers are split between being category-driven, eg, a Trekky, or writing-driven; which are you? Or is there anyone who is multi-category-driven?

Another new conversation:

simon.seville27 you mentioned killing off a favourite character. I'm in the process and it hurts. I can't believe I'm even considering this. I never would have thought I'd be bothered about a character I'd created but it seems to fit the story at this point. Anyone else ever actually felt bad about killing off a character? I can't decide if my emotional involvement is with the character (as a virtual person) or the loss of a really useful fiction device I could use again in another story. Probably both.

PS. Hope no readers are reading the above potential spoiler.

2/22/2012 #99
SimonSeville27

simon.seville27 you mentioned killing off a favourite character. I'm in the process and it hurts. I can't believe I'm even considering this. I never would have thought I'd be bothered about a character I'd created but it seems to fit the story at this point. Anyone else ever actually felt bad about killing off a character? I can't decide if my emotional involvement is with the character (as a virtual person) or the loss of a really useful fiction device I could use again in another story. Probably both.

Well, in this particular case I was writing about my least favorite of the canon couples, so while I killed off all of my readers' favorite character, I actually was killing off my least favorite, which definitely worked for me. That being said, I absolutely know what you mean. I (Okay... complete cartoon obsessed nerd moment here) wrote a one-shot where my two favorite characters died in a fire, and it was actually disturbingly difficult for me to write the scene that reveals that they're dead. And actually in my series of stories, I had a scene where everybody thought they were dead, but they weren't, and I still got extremely emotional writing the funeral scene, even though they weren't even dead. (Okay that was even more nerdy than I thought it would be.) Point being, when you have a character that you really like, it can be difficult. But I think if it's the best scene for the story, you should do it.

Which of us is first and foremost a writer and the subject only secondary? I ask this because I can't imagine myself having the passion to write for a category other than Potter. I used to read a lot when I was younger then there was a big gap then UK television deteriorated so badly I scarcely watch it anymore and started reading again. But of all the stuff I've read I can't remember feeling so hungry for more as when I finished the last line of the last Potter book. I loved Tolkien and all Burroughs stuff but I was satisfied at the end; with Potter I wanted more. So anyway, searching the net for a Potter-fix, comments, interviews, anything (how sad is that) I came across fan fiction to read. A month or so later I wondered if I could write as well.

Definitely subject-driven here. I do enough writing in law school, and I can't believe that I would spend as much time writing if it was another category or original fiction. It's not that I wouldn't enjoy writing original fiction, it's just that I doubt I'd be willing to dedicate as much time to it. The thing I like about fanfictoin, is you not only get to write about a subject you love, but then I start getting in conversations about my fandom over PM with other people obsessed with the show, which makes writing here even more fun. So I definitely have to say that I am subject-driven.

(Now that's the benefit of being the only person from my fandom here... I don't have to worry about spoiling stories.)

2/22/2012 . Edited 2/22/2012 #100
Corinne Tate

I like to tell my kids I could write from any prompt. For me, it's all about the writing, and I've got several original stories I'm either working on or have outlined awaiting the time to have at em.

I love the writing! I fit pretty well into the Twilight fandom because the story is a piece of cake and keeps me from having to look up references to keep everything straight. If I wanted to learn the story lines of another fandom, I could probably write for any of them. For me the disrespect afforded Twilight makes it perfect. I can get away with all kids of creative foolery with that series and few people are going to accuse me of destroying a masterpiece. (Yes, I have been accused of ruining the "perfect" love story, but I consider that a badge of honor.)

As far as being mean to or murdering characters, either beloved or despised, I just have to go for it. I try to write very close to reality (supernatural, sparkly vampires aside) and death comes for the lovable as well as the despised. I read a lot of comics when I was younger, so the idea of them being gone for good just doesn't occur to me.

In my WIP I killed off almost half the canon characters before my story was past page one. It was in a war that almost happened in canon, which I revisited and carried out. Not pretty. I took out the most beloved character of the series, and did so quite gleefully. Of course in the story I wrote some of the most angst riddled chapters I've ever seen, let alone written. I've also introduced a very evil villain who did pretty terrible things, including r***, i***, torture, mind control, and some pretty nasty genetic experiments.

I actually have no problem with doing wicked things to characters. I almost always see them as characters, and look at it as a chance to explore grief, mental anguish, survivor guilt, and all kinds of brokenness. I have written a couple teenage girl OC's who were a little more hands off. One little girl was stalked, r***, and tried to kill herself, but I couldn't bring myself to actually end her. The two characters were friends, and I'd created her almost specifically for this bad outcome. But as my daughter is a teenage girl, there was a bit of transference on my part, so the girl received a transplant, and survived.

My readers had major issues with the deaths of so many beloved characters. I was accused of making them have to add tissues to their shopping list. One reader had to stop reading entirely until the story hit happier waters. I also had one who kept reading thinking I'd somehow bring the beloved character back. (He's still dead) I don't believe in writing angst just for angst sake. I don't want to write an extended pity party.

The bad stuff is the meat and potatoes of writing. In Harry Potter, the story couldn't have happened without the deaths of James and Lily. I think the key is to treat such events with delicacy and the right amount of emotion. I may chortle over killing off Edward (beloved, sexy, hot, vampire,) but by all means I'll write it in a caring and sensitive way. Even after 35 chapters of recovery and moving on, I had one reader comment on getting choked up when his piano music CD played in the car. That means I've done my job.

2/22/2012 #101
SimonSeville27

I actually have no problem with doing wicked things to characters. I almost always see them as characters, and look at it as a chance to explore grief, mental anguish, survivor guilt, and all kinds of brokenness. I have written a couple teenage girl OC's who were a little more hands off. One little girl was stalked, r***, and tried to kill herself, but I couldn't bring myself to actually end her. The two characters were friends, and I'd created her almost specifically for this bad outcome. But as my daughter is a teenage girl, there was a bit of transference on my part, so the girl received a transplant, and survived.

Now see, when it comes to OCs, I feel no pain in killing them off, regardless of age. Of course, that's because I create all of my OCs as glorified human shields so I don't have to kill the real characters. I do have to admit it was really fun in my series of stories to write about my OC Brian. When he was born he was premature and needed a heart transplant, which of course came from his infant cousin who conveniently was rendered brain dead in an accident that was arguable Brian's father's fault. Then I spent the next few stories developing his personality while his mother was in a coma, and when he was twelve she finally woke up, so I gave her about a year with Brian before I gunned him down in his sleep.

My readers had major issues with the deaths of so many beloved characters. I was accused of making them have to add tissues to their shopping list. One reader had to stop reading entirely until the story hit happier waters. I also had one who kept reading thinking I'd somehow bring the beloved character back. (He's still dead) I don't believe in writing angst just for angst sake. I don't want to write an extended pity party.

What Corinne? That character's too good for a head reattachment?

As far as being mean to or murdering characters, either beloved or despised, I just have to go for it. I try to write very close to reality (supernatural, sparkly vampires aside) and death comes for the lovable as well as the despised. I read a lot of comics when I was younger, so the idea of them being gone for good just doesn't occur to me.

That's why I have so much fun with my readers. In my series, the story revolves around how Simon and Jeanette invented a time machine and it ruined everybody's lives. So they actually have a working time machine, and can bring people back from the dead, so my readers never believe any of the characters are really gone. Of course, I have no intention of ever having them use the machine, but it sure makes it fun for the reader to wonder if Simon is ever going to hop in his time machine and bring his son back to life.

2/22/2012 #102
Hippothestrowl

That's given me an idea so I can have my cake and eat it too but I won't say what type of cake it is except it's not a time-turner. ;)

2/22/2012 #103
Corinne Tate

Meyer created some of the toughest vampires in fiction. They don't burn up in the sun, they don't age or die naturally, a stake won't go through their hearts, they're super strong and fast, and they're nearly impossible to kill. One has to be torn apart by another vampire, and the parts have to be burned in order to keep them from reforming. They're worse than D&D trolls.

When they went to war in my story, the opposing side with the evil villain had a new weapon to exterminate vampires. Thermite. The vampires who were killed in the war were incinerated with thermite - no heads left to attach.

Sometimes (actually a LOT of times) my writing is a way of confronting what I see wrong with the canon works. I've had to get creative with some of the why's of the story. Why the heck do they sparkle? Why are they (the men) fertile? Why did the Cullen kids go to school? Why can't they be killed? The list is really quite extensive.

As far as your time machine goes, I'd be real careful about using that. One of the biggest issues I've had with Star Trek is the way they kept tossing in time episodes.

Oh, and did you read Pet Semetary by Stephen King? Absolutely the worst character death I've ever read. Tore me up so bad, and that was before I had kids. The main character's son was killed, and he thought he had a way to brink him back... hoo boy! If I could write grief on that scale, my readers would hunt me down and eviscerate me with rusty kitchen utensils.

2/22/2012 #104
SimonSeville27

Oh I know the time machine is ridiculous... this story is mainly my playground for ideas that aren't good enough to be a real story, but I still feel like writing. And actually they only ever used the machine in the first story, after that the entire story is people hunting them down and to try and get the two of them to re-build the time machine for various nefarious purposes. I actually hate all the time travel in Star Trek myself, like I said though, it's an idea playground.

2/22/2012 #105
Maiafay

Oh, and did you read Pet Semetary by Stephen King? Absolutely the worst character death I've ever read. Tore me up so bad, and that was before I had kids. The main character's son was killed, and he thought he had a way to brink him back... hoo boy! If I could write grief on that scale, my readers would hunt me down and eviscerate me with rusty kitchen utensils.

That just comes with practice. And life experience...and realizing that grief is handled very differently by different people. When my grandmother died, I had an aunt who tried to commit suicide, and a mother who had a nervous breakdown, and two other aunts who handled it with the normal tears and numbness. I've studied psychology in my spare time and it's helped with canon characters, OC's who have suffered (or will be) suffering losses. Sometimes I think though, that life experience is the key when it comes to writing grief realistically. And I don't mean YOU personally having to go through it, but watching someone else can be just as painful.

I actually hate all the time travel in Star Trek myself, like I said though, it's an idea playground.

I liked it. But then again, I like Dr. Who as well, which is nothing but time travel. I'm more into alternate universes, and time travel can be the cause of those. Paradoxes and all that. It's an interesting concept that has rules - and does not. As the Doctor said: " People assume that time is a strict progression of cause to effect, but *actually* from a non-linear, non-subjective viewpoint - it's more like a big ball of wibbly wobbly... time-y wimey... stuff."

2/22/2012 . Edited 2/22/2012 #106
The Lauderdale

Does anyone else slip in the occasional made up word or slang to their writing, outside of dialog?

Typo names. The best examples would be Forod and Afrted.

Poor Afrted.

It's worse, because he was an Elf. An Orc, you really can just make up a name, any name, as long as it "sounds" suitably Orkish. An Elf? Tolkien has created a largesse of Elven languages from which to construct a suitable name for your Elf, and there are no end of resources online to aid the desperate author. But actually making up, ie. fantasy-BSing, an Elf name in Tolkien fandom may be one of the ultimate acts of irreverence. My main Elf character, Eleluleniel - her name was completely BS-ed in a moment of Orkish irreverence on my part, many years ago, in a deliberate attempt to create the ultimate stereotypically beautiful, perfectly unpronounceable fantasy name.

Why I did this in an otherwise serious story is one of the great mysteries of my life.

I actually have no problem with doing wicked things to characters. I almost always see them as characters, and look at it as a chance to explore grief, mental anguish, survivor guilt, and all kinds of brokenness. ...

Now see, when it comes to OCs, I feel no pain in killing them off, regardless of age. Of course, that's because I create all of my OCs as glorified human shields so I don't have to kill the real characters. ...

Baffling admission: I love my characters, even the evil ones. Not that it stops me from having horrific things happen to them, but they are in a weird way like my little head-family. I balk at buying Christmas presents for them, though. (And if you get that reference, good for you.) Probably the closest I would ever come to that would be writing happy meta crack!fic for them, but I've never done that.

2/22/2012 . Edited 2/22/2012 #107
Maiafay

I balk at buying Christmas presents for them, though. (And if you get that reference, good for you.)

I got the reference and no, I will resist the diatribe that's welling inside right now. That, and her lack of editing. I stopped reading when she repeated a description three pages later, in the exact same way. I was like...really? Really?

And killing canon character, I have no issues. Killing OC's. I have none either, as long as it stays true to the story. I find killing OC's for the sake of killing OC's is just as bad as killing off canon characters because you hate them. For me, it's plot, and if the plot decided that say, Chris, a main character from Resident Evil has to bite it in the first chapter to set the tone and plot for the rest of the story - then it has to be done. I try not to be biased.

2/22/2012 . Edited 2/22/2012 #108
SimonSeville27

Baffling admission: I love my characters, even the evil ones. Not that it stops me from having horrific things happen to them, but they are in a weird way like my little head-family. I balk at buying Christmas presents for them, though. (And if you get that reference, good for you.) Probably the closest I would ever come to that would be writing crack!fic for them, but I've never done that.

Well, it's just the truth... I mean, I don't really create any OCs in my WIPs other than people to fill minor roles like a lawyer or doctor. In my long series though, I have to have some OCs because frankly I only have so many canon characters to kill off, so I need to have other people to be killed. I'm not a big fan of creating any elaborate story line with OCs. Not that I don't think other people should use OCs, but I just don't find writing fanfiction enjoyable with a cast of non-canon characters, so they tend to have a short lifespan. Now of course in your case, it's different because you have to use OCs in your story. For me though, the thing that makes my fandom interesting are the canon characters, so it just doesn't make sense to place that high of a value on an OC's life.

And I do have some OCs that have lived in that series, but usually what happens is I think of a story line and need someone to get killed, so someone magically appears in the story and then meets their maker. Again, this is my idea playground, not my pride and joy of writing. Should the day come where there's a big OC in a WIP, it would be a different story.

2/22/2012 #109
Corinne Tate

I didn't kill any canon characters just because I didn't like them. In fact it was a mixed bag who died. Those who died were heroes who saved their loved ones, and in the case of the one, he actually knew he was going to die and went into battle anyway. It was part of the story I wanted to tell, not just an exercise to see if I could get away with it. Since my fandom is about a romance, and characters are often paired with other characters for various reasons, I wanted to write a new pairing. But I didn't want to go down the shallow road of having them cheat on their partners, go through a divorce, etc. So I widowed both characters. It was their grief and the healing process which helped them grow closer. It's really worked out to be a good story, and it's believable enough my readers now want them to be together.

I guess for me there's no real difference between OC and canon characters. If I'm using them in a story, they're all MY characters. I typically follow the rules of canon to some degree, but I don't feel like I have to keep everything exactly as the author left it. I've done a what if story, I've explored a couple minor characters, I've done a prequel, and my WIP is post series. I try to make it so my stories could have happened with some very minor changes.

Like I said before, it's more about the writing for me, and not so much about the fandom and the canon stories. The canon is the challenge for me, not the actual motivation.

2/22/2012 #110
SimonSeville27

I didn't kill any canon characters just because I didn't like them. In fact it was a mixed bag who died.

Same here.

I think the big thing for me is when I create an OC, I know if they are going to die from the beginning, so it feels like I create them just to get my readers attached and kill them off. Which in some ways I do, because I'm writing the character for the plot that I've created. On the other hand, the canon characters are more established, so I'm attached to them. I still kill both groups off, but I detach myself emotionally from the OCs that I know don't have a good future...

Plus the canon characters are so strong in my fandom, that people get really emotional when they're killed off, but they don't care about OC deaths, so there's a big difference. People in my fandom flame you when you start killing off canon characters left and right, so you need to do it sparingly. When you write tragedy like me, you have to have some other people to kill off, or you'll have a very dull tragedy.

As an example, in one of my stories, I left a cliffhanger where someone was killed after a shooting. It was made to sound like either Brittany or Jeanette died, but it turned out that a police officer was killed. I got this review:

WHEW! I am sorry about earlier...I thought you killed off one or both of the characters injured. I would have gone bizerk if you did! Lucky for you it was just an officer...I know its sad that she died, but she died in the line of duty and unfortunately stuff like that happens.

So for my stories, it makes a quality cliffhanger to use an OC as a shield... I'm not saying I never have or will make an OC in it for the long haul, but people just don't care about them. The thing you have to remember is that my fandom has no story, it has characters. There's a reason we have three different (okay four, but we don't talk about that movie) canon time-lines in our fandom, because the only thing that is unique about the fandom are the characters, so writing is much different in my fandom.

2/22/2012 #111
The Lauderdale

Now of course in your case, it's different because you have to use OCs in your story.

Yeah, that's a good point. In my stories, at least my LOTR stories, I actuallyonlywrite OCs. It's set in Tolkien's world, but there are no canon characters involved. (The closest I have ever come was a throwaway comment by one of my Elf characters: "It is said that Legolas and Gimli frequent Rivendell and are a great source of information on Dwarves and their customs and on much else besides." It may be said, honey, but you're not gonna meet them.) And it's true that, when I think about it that way, there are minor characters who I don't feel strongly about, although I tend to think of them as all potentially interesting characters with lives offstage if I chose to follow them.

So there's a pattern here of canon characters and original characters, and in many cases (but not my fic) the canon characters are the major players in the story, whereas original characters are created to fit the minor rolls.

[ETA: roles. Argh. One for the grammar pairs.]

2/22/2012 . Edited 2/22/2012 #112
Hippothestrowl

In my case I never planned the death of one of my favourite OCs. She just got into a difficult situation and it occurred to me 'what if she doesn't survive this one?' Gulp. The character has developed over the span of 250,000 words and is now one of the central characters. I know I have to do it but I just can't believe how hard it is to let her go. In one sense it's throwing away an asset; in another it almost feels like separating from a friend.

2/22/2012 #113
Maiafay

I'm not saying I never have or will make an OC in it for the long haul, but people just don't care about them.

It may depend on the fandom, some more than others will be forgiving of OC's - and OC's in the hands of novice writers tend to be fodder. However, saying people don't care about them isn't true. Canon characters are OC's to their creators. We love them. Any OC is capable of invoking that same love if the author knows what they're doing, and can craft a story where the OC has purpose other than knocking canon characters out of the way. Again, it depends on fandom, and the ones I belong to (as Lauderdale) have plenty of opportunities for OC interaction. But in a fandom less forgiving, you can still make an OC people care for. It's harder work, but doable.

2/22/2012 #114
SimonSeville27

Okay, I agree with you for most fandoms, but I did want to explain some things about my fandom that might clarify my statements about my own OCs...

Any OC is capable of invoking that same love if the author knows what they're doing, and can craft a story where the OC has purpose other than knocking canon characters out of the way. Again, it depends on fandom, and the ones I belong to (as Lauderdale) have plenty of opportunities for OC interaction. But in a fandom less forgiving, you can still make an OC people care for. It's harder work, but doable.

In my fandom, it may be doable, but it's a waste of time. You might as well just write original fiction if you do that.

Like I said, OCs just don't work well in my fandom. The thing you have to understand to understand what I have been saying, is that my fandom has no plot. It has no well established story line. The setting is California, in either the sixties, nineties, or present day... There's nothing to work with in my fandom except the characters. All that has been developed in the cartoons and movies is the characters, which is what brings people to this site. Those characters on the other hand are so well developed that people have strong emotional bonds with the characters. In a PM I received, another author described them to me as 'family'.

For us, there's nothing to plug an OC into. I've seen stories in my fandom that focus on an OC. They are all the same. The author does a self plug Gary Stu where he's a chipmunk and forms and even more loved band... Do people read them? Yes. Do people like them? Sometimes. But the problem is that they aren't fanfiction. Without the characters, the only thing you are copying is the fact that you have talking chipmunks... they could just as easily be writing a fanfiction about Chip n Dale... Because of that, OCs aren't popular in my fandom at all. In fact, they usually end up stealing away one of the Chipettes, so they're actually pretty hated by most of us...

The only OCs that work in my fandom are ones that are put in a story with a canon character. Some of these OCs are extremely popular among my fandom, even to the point where people start writing their own fanfiction using those characters. Yet, none of them are nearly as loved as the canon characters, because every person who reads in my fandom is there because they have an emotional attachment to one or more of the characters. These are characters that have been built up over more than fifty years, and no single novel is going to make a character that is more loved by the readers on this site...

Quality fanfiction in my fandom is not done by making OCs, but putting the canon characters into unique settings and situations. Very few people would be interested in a LOTR fanfiction about Aragorn fighting in the American Revolution. Very few people would be interested in Star Trek fanfiction about Captain Picard as a Warewolf in 20th Century America. Why? Because the story is about the setting, not the characters. People read fanfiction in these fandoms because they like the settings that were created in the canon. Yet, the most popular of the made for TV movies in my fandom was a character being turned into a Warewolf... that's because people didn't care what the setting was, they only cared about the characters.

In almost any other fandom, I would agree with you... but this is one of the exceptions. Using an OC to fill a needed role or as a child to one of the canon couples is one thing, but the second bullets start flying, all of my readers start crossing their fingers that the OCs are standing in front... I'm not saying I don't kill off canon characters, because I do, I'm just saying that sometimes you have to create a few stand ins to catch bullets for you.

2/22/2012 #115
Maryilee

I don't see this as all that out of line for a Twilight fanfic. I've not read the books, but I've been forced to watch one of the movies when I took my daughter. Teens drink, unfortunately, and they do inappropriate things. They lie and tell their parents that they're staying at a friend's house. I was a 'good' teen--never got into any trouble, but even I did a few of these things. I never drank and drove, and my best friend didn't either, but plenty of other did. My sister had a huge party one time when my parents were out of town. She was about 18, so she didn't need anyone staying with her (except for my other sister who was 20). The rest of us were grown and had our own families, but I recall that my brother stopped by to check on things, and someone at the door tried to charge him $5 for a cup. I think my brother cleared out the party, but if he hadn't stopped by, my sister would have gotten away with it. For the record, she's now a teacher and has her master's degree in special ed, so she wasn't a typical bad teen either. Just young and stupid at the time.

Maybe this kind of thing doesn't happen at your house, but it's not uncommon and I don't think a writer showing that in a fanfic condones it. I show torture in my stories, but that doesn't mean I condone it. this really happens in RL, but not at my house. I think it's irresponsible of writers to portray this as acceptable. S'cues me, my age and maturity are showing.

2/22/2012 #116
The Lauderdale

Quality fanfiction in my fandom is not done by making OCs, but putting the canon characters into unique settings and situations. Very few people would be interested in a LOTR fanfiction about Aragorn fighting in the American Revolution. Very few people would be interested in Star Trek fanfiction about Captain Picard as a Warewolf in 20th Century America. Why? Because the story is about the setting, not the characters.

I'm going to put this down to a lack of familiarity with Tolkien fandom, and how many people write/read for it, and just how much crazy-brilliant (or crazy-stupid) stories they are willing to write. Yes, in my case the setting is the most important part of the source material...for the purposes of my writing and my stories. That's because I don't write the canon characters and what makes my fic "Tolkien fic" are certain world and racial concepts: it's taking place in that world, it's happening fifteen years after the "Great War" (ie. the Ring War), these are what Elves and Orcs are like, this is what people in those worlds believe and the languages they speak. So yes, for my purposes, setting is the most important part of Tolkien's original material.

But other people are very much the opposite. They're focusing on the canon characters, and writing stories that could take place anywhere because they deal with universal concerns, just being dealt with by canon characters. (This is especially common with hobbits and hobbit writers, because hobbits tend to operate sort of at a remove from the rest of Middle-earth and are very focused on their families and mundane life.) And others - probably most others - are doing both: both the canon characters and the Middle-earth setting important to the story and how it makes sense.

And yes, there will be cliques who make sweeping statements about what you can and cannot write for LOTR fandom and what will and won't be good, and plenty of "You might as well just write original fiction if you do that" in Tolkien discussions, which are often highly personal and subjective. I won't get into that with anyone unless there is a specific story or series in discussion: let's just say that I have seen people pull off some amazing things, and it depends a lot on the skill of the writer and their ability to work with and/or creatively expand the canon.

(I am, however, in no place to judge with AatC - used to watch the cartoon, saw and do not remember "The Chipmunk Movie" as a child, do not read any of the fanfiction - so I won't.)

Re: your Revolutionary War example, Middle-earth was conceived as a kind of alternate past for our world: ie. Middle-earth is Earth according to Tolkien's cosmology. So you're right, you're not likely to find Aragorn fighting in the American Revolution (unless someone was writing a time travel or time slip story) because he's been dead for millenniums. But Elves in the American Revolution? Absolutely, because Elves are immortal and not all of them sailed to the Undying Lands. Maglor and Daeron of the First Age (two AWOL Elven minstrels of the First Age), and just about any Mirkwood Elf (with the exception of Legolas) are prime candidates.

2/22/2012 . Edited 2/22/2012 #117
SimonSeville27

I'm going to put this down to a lack of familiarity with Tolkien fandom, and how many people write/read for it, and just how much crazy-brilliant (or crazy-stupid) stories they are willing to write. Yes, in my case the setting is the most important part of the source material...for the purposes of my writing and my stories. That's because I don't write the canon characters and what makes my fic "Tolkien fic" are certain world and racial concepts: it's taking place in that world, these are what Elves and Orcs are like, this is what people in those worlds believe and the languages they speak. So yes, for my purposes, setting is the most important part of Tolkien's original material.

But other people are very much the opposite. They're focusing on the canon characters, and writing stories that could take place anywhere because they deal with universal concerns, just being dealt with by canon characters. (This is especially common with hobbits and hobbit writers, because hobbits tend to operate sort of at a remove from the rest of Middle-earth and are very focused on their families and mundane life.) And others - probably most others - are doing both: both the canon characters and the Middle-earth setting important to the story and how it makes sense.

Errr... I worded that part of the review wrong (That's what I get for responding between classes) Anyways, what I was trying to say is that both of those are fandoms that have a large following that are interested in the setting and could care less about the characters. So while their are a lot of fans who are there for the characters, you have readers that are completely willing to ditch every character in the show and read an otherwise original story in that universe. And that those people who are there for the setting wouldn't likely be too excited about a story that ditched the setting to follow the characters into completely different worlds.

Certainly not all people are like that, but many are. Similarly in my fandom, readers are mainly interested in the characters. The difference is that since there is no setting to get attached to, every person is there for the characters instead of just a small group. So like a person who reads LOTR fiction for the setting wouldn't be interested in a story in a different setting, our readers aren't interested in a story with different characters.

Didn't mean to make it sound like a general statement... I was trying to say that people focused on the LOTR and Star Trek universes aren't terribly interested in reading stories unrelated to that setting. (I feel like a whole section of that post was deleted... I don't know though... I'll chalk it down to being tired...)

Re: your Revolutionary War example, Middle-earth was conceived as a kind of alternate past for our world: ie. Middle-earth is Earth according to Tolkien's cosmology. So you're right, you're not likely to find Aragorn fighting in the American Revolution (unless someone was writing a time travel or time slip story) because he's been dead for millenniums. But Elves in the American Revolution? Absolutely, because Elves are immortal and not all of them sailed to the Undying Lands. Maglor and Daeron of the First Age (two AWOL Elven minstrels of the First Age), and just about any Mirkwood Elf (with the exception of Legolas) are prime candidates.

That was my major point, because my fandom has no issue with shooting Alvin into the 38th century with no explanation... But I really want to read a story with Elves fighting in the American Revolution now...

2/22/2012 #118
The Lauderdale

I just managed to find an ancient post (forum.fanfiction.net/topic/2872/7805474/4/#39649925) discussing the nature of settings in different fandoms, and how different how canon characters, or potentially original characters, may function within those settings.

Both the examples I give there, though, are places with a definite setting: one macroscopic, one metropolitan, but even the latter has its granularity. Thinking about AatC fic again, are there a lot of crossovers? I seem to remember an episode in which Mr. T made a cameo (I also remember Cartoon All Stars to the Rescue, but I'm reluctant to count that...) They seem like they'd be prime candidates for crossover, since they don't have a hard and fast setting of their own. Or when you complained earlier that all of the slash stories within that fandom involve i***...seems like that would be a prime case for an original character if an author wanted to explore one of the boys discovering that he was gay or bi, or even just questioning his sexuality.

I did some poking around for Elves in the Revolutionary War, but all I found was some kind of enormously long LOTR/Buffy crossover, and I can't say I'd recommend it based on what I read. OTOH, I can find Maglor in a few different historical conflicts. He really does seem to be the prime candidate: there even seems to be a term coined for him, "Maglor in History." I guess he's like Middle-earth's equivalent of the Wandering Jew (for anyone startled by that term, hit Wikipedia.) Looking just now, I found stories about him fighting in the Trojan War, meeting Dante Alighieri, and arguing with 19th century orchestral conductors.

2/22/2012 #119
Corinne Tate

Hippothestrowl

At least in Harry Potter you'll still have the ghosts and those crazy moving photos. I'm not sure how I'd treat this character myself. It sounds like you've grown her character and expanded her role in your story. I can see that it might be hard to get rid of her, especially if you didn't plan it. But then again Harry Potter has never flinched away from character deaths. I think in your fandom it would be really had to kill off characters. They actually do more than look pretty.

Maryilee

I get that teenagers drink and it's almost an acceptable rite of passage. I do believe that it's irresponsible for an adult writer, to write to a teen audience, about underage teen binge drinking, and make it seem perfectly fine and acceptable. Why have laws against such things if we don't plan to take them seriously? My objection with the story wasn't that these kids did what thousands of other kids do. My objection was that the responsible adult knowingly sent them to a Halloween party where alcohol was served in abundance, and there were no parents present. Of the six who went to the party, only one was actually an underage teenager, but the other five abandoned her and either allowed her or encouraged her to get falling down drunk. Then when they took this drunk and injured teenager back home to the responsible adult in charge, he laughed and passed it off as harmless fun!

There's a reason we call this kind of behavior stupid. It's because: Of the thousands who go out and party and drink, there are those who are killed in drunk driving accidents, r***, robbed, drugged, or wind up in the emergency room with alcohol poisoning. My sister-in-law at 18 went out to meet some friends for a party. Around midnight someone opened a car door and pushed her out onto her front lawn. She was barely conscious and mostly undressed. She didn't know what happened to her. Another relative went to a party and got drunk. He wasn't driving, but on the way home, he told the car driver he felt sick. The driver told him not to puke in his car. He opened the door, and fell out of a car doing 60 and was killed.

I get that in fiction, a writer can write whatever they want. But I'm just not going to smile and nod and go along with the idea that underage drinking should be acceptable; especially when the writer is over 21. I'm sure they're not legally contributing to the delinquency of a minor, but to me it feels like it.

2/22/2012 #120
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