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November 18, 2012
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Ask Not what Fanfic Can do for You...

Sun Nov 18, 2012, 9:18 PM
To the fanfiction community,

It's been quiet lately. Too quiet. And I don't mean in the "something awful's bound to happen" kind of way, I mean in the "where the heck is everybody?" kind of way. We're more than halfway through the month and I haven't set a Daily Deviation since Halloween. No one has sent me any suggestions! And while DDs aren't the be-all end-all, this is indicative of a more deep-rooted problem.

Look, I'm one of you, so I understand the ins and outs of this community. We're not as unified as, say, the general Lit community, for twofold reasons.

First off, we're not even a community so much as a modular collective. We're categorized by our fandoms--general Lit is accessible to all, but nine times out of ten, a fan fic speaks a language that only other fans can understand. And that's not necessarily a bad thing. Some of my favorite fanfictions are the ones that go hardcore geek.

Secondly, our pastime is not one that gets a lot of respect. Fan fiction has a bad reputation, and even I can't help feeling silly sometimes when I tell people that I write fan fiction. I'm not ashamed of it, but there is a stigma attached to it. And so we've all learned to sequester ourselves off and insulate ourselves amongst our own personal bubbles of friends. It goes against our conditioned nature to seek attention amongst the wider deviantART community. And when we do get it, we expose ourselves to scorn--almost every DD I've given has gotten the token "fanfiction sucks" message in the comments.

Changes are needed, but that's what I am here for. That's what I signed up to this position to help overcome. The general Lit community is constantly working to overcome the bigotry they face, and they've made great accomplishments in getting their own voice on this site. And they've earned it. Now it's our turn.

If we ever want to get out own voice, and the respect we're due, we need to earn it. I can't do that all on my own. At the end of the day, a CV's job is to encourage and coordinate the community, not carry it on his shoulders. I can help you, but you have to help me help you. If you find good fanfics, note them to me. If you have an idea for an event, note me. When I post activities, participate! (I posted a writing challenge in the lit forum and got only one fanfic out of it.)

I realize that my time as a fan fic CV is limited, and we can't build Rome in a day. But at the very least, I want to set a foundation for my successor. Fan Fiction is awesome, guys. Let's show people why, and have some fun while we're at it. Tell me what you want to see. Activities? Events? As writers, you should all know--communication is the key.

So! Let's have a fun little team-building exercise. Here's a fun little questionnaire you can fill out. feel free to give and much or as little information as you want. And come back and read the responses of your fellow authors! Who knows, you may find a new favorite writer amongst them.
  1. What's your name (actual or nickname, or just what you like to be called)?
  2. What is your quest?
  3. What is your favorite color?
  4. Where do you live?
  5. What's our age (general or specific)?
  6. What is your favorite book/movie/franchise to write about?
  7. What is your favorite genre to write in?
  8. Who is your favorite fanfic author?
  9. Who is your favorite "professional" author?
  10. How long have you been writing?
  11. What do you consider your biggest writing strength?
  12. What do you consider your biggest weakness?
  13. Name some of your other hobbies!
  14. What would you like to ask your fellow fanfiction writers? (Feel free to reply to their own questions!)



Add a Comment:
 
:iconv-for-vincent:
v-for-vincent Featured By Owner Jan 26, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
2012 was a tough year and, alas, I ended up becoming a work zombie for the latter part.
I'm just getting through the colossal number of deviations that have been building up in my inbox, so it's pretty much an indication of how behind everything I am DA wise.

Nevertheless, I have returned, more chipper and positive than ever :w00t:
Because chipper is better :)

Getting down to brass tacks now and yes, I for one admit that fan fiction doesn't get much respect, mainly because some of it tends to gravitate towards badly spelt and poorly grammatical works (guilty of both), and slash (guilty there too).

Good works however tend to be nitpicked into obscurity, and some writers don't take criticism lightly.
For some reason the spirit of "Wow, yeah! I'm going to write a fic for (fill in name) and exploration of interesting ideas seems to be on the wane as communities band around specific themes and certain mindsets, pushing out non-comformist fics to the fringe.

Having recently been in contact with a member of the Transformers Russian fandom, I've come to realise the English fandom has fallen into a rut of sorts, but I will not go on about that here.

Moving on, here are my answers to the questionnaire :)

1) What's your name (actual or nickname, or just what you like to be called)?
Vincent. Come to think of it, I don't really have a nickname :confused:

2) What is your quest?
To find the Holy Grail! Wait!
Lol, but really, I'm hoping to write something good one day, and become somewhat competent as an artist.

3) What is your favorite color?
Blue. No!
:laugh: It's red :)

4) Where do you live?
Just over the rainbow in the land of Oz. Town's suffering a munchkin infestation at the moment but a nice fumigation will clear that up :)

5) What's your age (general or specific)?
I'm an old crank pushing late 30s. Mentally, probably 10.

6) What is your favorite book/movie/franchise to write about?
Write mostly for Transformers. Used to write for the V for Vendetta fandom but... it doesn't speak to me any more, which makes me sad :(

7) What is your favorite genre to write in?
Don't have a preference for anything specific. I can equally write for horror as for fantasy.
Not particular to the romance fics but I'd probably be able to scribble a good romance story.

8) Who is your favorite fanfic author?
Hmm, don't have one really.

9) Who is your favorite "professional" author?
Again, it's tough to pick one. Always a big fan of Alan Moore, Asimov and Terry Pratchett.

10) How long have you been writing?
Funny question that. I've been cleaning up and came across some fiction I wrote wa-ay back when I was in school. Paragraphing is a joke but it's pretty solid fiction so in response, for a while now.
I think my years in Uni did a lot to hurt my creativity :(

11) What do you consider your biggest writing strength?
Capturing character personalities and plots. Also, jumping from genre to genre.
Did I mention how I can weave a fic out of thin air? Hours of fun to spin tales (usually humorous) out of nowhere.
I do that a lot while chatting online.

12) What do you consider your biggest weakness?
Spends too much time researching and picking at fics. Sometimes the research takes over and the fic dies of loneliness :(
And getting bored. Fics start to suffer after three or four chapters, mainly because I don't have the patience to continue them. It's tough to keep to a story. Not coming up with a plot, or characters, but staying with the story from beginning to end.

13) Name some of your other hobbies!
Given up a lot of the hobbies I used to have, mainly because I don't have time for them any more :(
Used to draw a lot, and I was working on a little fiction universe of my own but work comes first.

14) What would you like to ask your fellow fanfiction writers? (Feel free to reply to their own questions!)
Cool :)
a) What first made you pick up pen and paper, or keyboard?
b) Who is your best friend (as a writer)? What inspires your works?
c) Does your writing depend on mood or is it an organised process?
d) Do you write in order (from beginning to end), or jump from section to section in your works?

:wave:
Reply
:iconjzlobo:
JZLobo Featured By Owner Jan 26, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
Welcome back.

I'd love to hear your thoughts on how the English fandom has fallen into a rut.
Reply
:iconmaxcheng95:
MaxCheng95 Featured By Owner Nov 30, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
I always consider myself as a weekend writer and a weekend designer... :lol: I always just write whenever I feel like it. :) Oh, about the questionnaire, here it is:

What's your name (actual or nickname, or just what you like to be called)?
Max. It's not my real name since I'm a Chinese, but Max is a name I've been using since preschool.

What is your quest?
To become a Pokemon Master as well as an Airline Tycoon!!! Just to enjoy my life and my imagination of Pokemon and aviation by writing and drawing about them.

What is your favorite color?
Red, Green, Yellow, and Green

Where do you live?
Miami, Florida

What's our age (general or specific)?
17

What is your favorite book/movie/franchise to write about?
Pokemon, especially Pokemon Adventure manga series.

What is your favorite genre to write in?
Humor and Adventure, sometimes Romance, and I still need to practice that. :XD:

Who is your favorite fanfic author?
My personal favorite? ~Jolt11 and =Rainbowonders

Who is your favorite "professional" author?
I don't have a particular favorite...

How long have you been writing?
Almost 2 years.

What do you consider your biggest writing strength?
My imagination.

What do you consider your biggest weakness?
Lack of story describing techniques, especially on Pokemon battles and romance.

Name some of your other hobbies!
Drawing airports and randomly surfing the internet.

What would you like to ask your fellow fanfiction writers?
Are you always try to achieve high popularity, or you are satisfied as long as someone, even only one person, notices you, likes your work, and follows your work truly?
Reply
:iconprismaticmemories:
PrismaticMemories Featured By Owner Dec 1, 2012
You said green twice LOL

why do I keep forgetting you're older then me?

what what what what what what what what what what what what what ME WHAT WHAT WHAT WHY ME LOL HOW WHAT no like WHAT

to answer your question;
Second opition~ back before when leoar was active, I wrote even though he was the only one reading it XD but he kinda disappeared .___.;; but Eifi reads everything and I'm alright with that~

you?
Reply
:iconmaxcheng95:
MaxCheng95 Featured By Owner Dec 1, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
I'm with second as well, but there's also a fine line between the first and second.
Reply
:iconterrakhushrenada:
TerraKhushrenada Featured By Owner Nov 23, 2012  Student General Artist
Hey! so... since I guess this is sorta a roll call type thing, I figured I'd put it out there that my personal Fanfiction writing (Gundam Wing, with a bit of Cowboy Bebop for some) has been put on hold due to extreme stress and catastrophic metaphorical structural failure.... Ahhhahahahahahahaa... so unexpected for me, really... hahahahahahahaa.... :smoking:

When I have a bit more time I'll do that whole 'participating' thing and fill out the questionnaire... no time to focus at the moment!
Reply
:iconladybrookecelebwen:
LadyBrookeCelebwen Featured By Owner Nov 23, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
A day late, but:

1. What's your name (actual or nickname, or just what you like to be called)? In general, Brooke's good. As long as you don't insult, I'll answer to a lot of things though.
2. What is your quest? For what aspect of my life? At the moment, I'm focused on getting through undergrad, then grad, then a Doctorate.
3. What is your favorite color? Blue
4. Where do you live? In the United States
5. What's our age (general or specific)?19, 20 in a little less than three months.
6. What is your favorite book/movie/franchise to write about? J.R.R. Tolkien's The Silmarillion (not LotR or The Hobbit)
7. What is your favorite genre to write in? Angst or Humor, it just depends on the day and the idea. I tend to write a few stories a month, so both genres get to be seen fairly often.
8. Who is your favorite fanfic author? For the sake of my sanity, going with someone outside the Tolkien fandoms...nonjon, over on ffn, is always amusing.
9. Who is your favorite "professional" author? Tolkien (who it could be debated wasn't a proper professional author - I see people judging him for keeping his job as a professor semi-regularly.)
10. How long have you been writing? Who knows? The first time I posted something online was back in June of 2005.
11. What do you consider your biggest writing strength? How fast I can type (so I'm not struggling with anger at how slow I can work). With the actual writing, how I can get in characters' heads.
12. What do you consider your biggest weakness? The fact that I just can't see some characters how other people do.
13. Name some of your other hobbies! Researching things, debating, reading, nail art. :D
14. What would you like to ask your fellow fanfiction writers? What is your main fandom like?
Reply
:iconjzlobo:
JZLobo Featured By Owner Dec 12, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
The Transformers fandom is cantankerous, anal about continuity and detail, and passionate. No two fans hold the exact same beliefs about the many continuity controversies within the franchise. We make bad writers and bad editors quake in their boots.

But we also embrace the creators and actors we love, like Peter Cullen, Simon Furman and Nick Roche. We're also deeply creative; no other fandom I know has sparked online projects comparable to ~Transformers-Mosaic, which catapulted several fans into the professional field. The fandom lives in symbiosis with the franchise like no other, and it is awesome.
Reply
:iconladybrookecelebwen:
LadyBrookeCelebwen Featured By Owner Dec 20, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Interesting! I can say that my fandom is roughly the same about the many controversies within our canon. I've yet to meet two people who have exactly the same beliefs, and I've been in it for 7 years now.

It's interesting that your fandom has managed to catapult several fans into the professional field. I'm not sure if that's happened in mine yet (possibly? I know a lot of professionals were inspired by the books, but that's not the same thing). We do get a lot of online projects going though. Yay for similarities! (Except mine really can only agree that we like J.R.R. Tolkien. Every single other writer and actor has at least some hate, somewhere.)
Reply
:iconjzlobo:
JZLobo Featured By Owner Dec 20, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
I've been active in the Transformers online community for a decade now, myself.

Silmarion is just one book, right? Not a franchise, so bringing in a new generation of creators isn't a thing for that.
Reply
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