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The thing that strikes me as massive hypocrisy, however, is the fact that we have such a huge roleplaying section on the site. The message is, essentially, that fan fiction is okay as long as you do it in groups. Pretending to be an Aes Sedai or a Warder is fine, but if you write multiple Aes Sedai and Warders then you're writing fan fiction which is somehow suddenly bad. If anything, it goes to show that RJ hated his fan base almost as much as Tolkien did. :P

 

 

Just a note, the RP section on DM had to be personally approved by RJ before it got running, and is under several restrictions that he placed. (mainly about not making up stuff about the origins of artefacts the the Horn or Portal Stones etc...). 

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personaly I hate the Idea if Re-writing his books and am not to happy about writing about his charictors as that can lead to a breaking down of his story. its kind of like if somboy released a lord of the rings four it would damage the first three. 

 

However there is a lot of potential to write in his world without including his charictors or his story line. for instance talles from the trolloc wars or from the breaking of the world. Im talking about story that do not afect his plot or charictors just using his world. simple non world changing tales.

Edited by thehoovedone1
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Haha, Dawnflower, you're very wrong about good readers being good writers. A famous writer whose name escapes me once said that people who read books are very strange compared to, for instance, people who listen to music. A person who hears a beautiful symphony doesn't instantly think he could write a symphony, yet a person who has read a few books always somewhat believes he could do just as well on his own. Reading a good book doesn't make you a good writer; writing does.

 

You can't compare reading a book and listening to music.

Listening to music can be compared to imagining the world and characters that fill it, as you are reading the book.

You can perhaps compare a musician to your brain, as this is the very tool that makes those funny symbols on the page turn into castles, monsters and magicians, just like musician playing an instrument turns similar symbols to tunes that can be heard.

You can certainly compare reading a book to reading a sheet of music that represents playable music in form of written notes.

The two even have the same shortcomings - stuff looks good on paper but the music is just not the beauty you expected it to be.

Just like imaginary world is not always as consistent and believable as it seemed on paper.

 

With music sheets. you can see what each section of the orchestra is supposed to do, whereas simply listening to it doesn't tell you that much about the technical side of it, though you can still enjoy and admire it.

When you read a book, all of the technical elements and tricks that the author used are plainly visible; they can be separated, dissected and analyzed in light of the whole story.

 

You can't do the same with music just by listening to it, unless of course you are a master of each instrument that creates a tune and can clearly separate the sounds from each other and imagine the effort required of the musician to produce them.

I doubt there is more than a handful of people in the world that can do that, while there are many, many writers.

 

I agree about good readers not necessarily being good writers but the opposite is definitely true - a good writer *has to be* a good and voracious reader.

What does it even mean to be a good reader? Is it reading fast? Noticing and remembering tiny details that later prove to be crucial for the storyline? Instantly spotting inconsistencies and continuity issues? Unraveling plot twists before they are concluded?

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Seems that if you want to write in the WOT and don't want to not do it, you can always write TOR or Harriet for permission to use the characters, provide an outline of what you want to use them for.  They will say no, but you might luck out and catch someone drunk.  Use the inspiration from WOT to write your own entirely separate and entirely non-copy Fantasy story.  You can even give a nod here and there to favorite authors and books.  Or do like RJ did when he disagreed with LoTR and rewrite it paying heavy attention to changing the beginning because most country bumpkins wouldn't give a wise old wizard the time of day who was trying to peddle some story that you have been chosen to be the world's savior.  Throw in some common fantasy elements, create a magic system of your own, some time-twisted references to Ann Landers, ballistic missiles, and Glen Armstrong, salt the character traits with mythological characters, and then model your nations after various cultures and ethnic groups and you've got your own killer High Fantasy story.  One last necessity is that you MUST be a fantastic story teller with vision, otherwise you are wasting your time.

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Frankly, if you want to write WOT fan-fiction, you can do whatever you like. If you're not making a profit, it's unlikely that TOR would pursue you for copyright violation. That said, don't expect to host it on the Dragonmount site.

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It wouldn't be harmful. That's what makes a lot of this kind of sad. The terrible quality of most fan fiction is also its beauty, in a way. Fan fiction is an avenue through which inexperienced writers can hone their fundamental skills before moving on to creating their own works. It's also a way for good writers to continue the story after the end of the official books.

 

(Wow, note to self: Do not write from a cell phone, or else you sound like a sixth grader writing his first essay).

 

The thing that strikes me as massive hypocrisy, however, is the fact that we have such a huge roleplaying section on the site. The message is, essentially, that fan fiction is okay as long as you do it in groups. Pretending to be an Aes Sedai or a Warder is fine, but if you write multiple Aes Sedai and Warders then you're writing fan fiction which is somehow suddenly bad. If anything, it goes to show that RJ hated his fan base almost as much as Tolkien did. :P

 

WTF? Tolkien hated his fan base? Where da..... where did you get that?

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So due to my busy life I was just now able to finish the memory of light and I am super bummed that it is over. Now to the topic does any one plan on writing and short stories that take place after the last battle? I my self am thinking about doing one but not sure if it should take place right after or a few years later.let me know what you think

 

How do you define fanfiction?

 

Terez Posted 09 December 2012 - 10:19 PM

 

Brandon is a fan. He's not the original author of the books. So yes, what he writes is essentially fan fiction when he's filling in gaps in RJ's outline; there's no way to argue around that. Brandon's fan ideas have worked their way into the book, and there's nothing inherently better about his ideas than other fans' ideas, and there is also nothing inherently better about one person's ideas than a melding of several people's ideas. In fact, I'd argue it's the opposite on both points. And Brandon's ideas have already been influenced by fan ideas; you can't avoid that either. There's no telling whether Jason's arguments to Brandon were actually representative of RJ's vision, but I don't see any reason why anyone would assume otherwise. Brandon was obviously convinced by those arguments. The flaw here is that Jason mentioned it at all.

 

 

 

The opinion of our bookclub is this: fanfic written by amateurs is harmless, written by so-called pro is dangerous. A few years back there were at least 600-700 ffs, mostly slash. You know, threesome (Lan+Rand+Mat) and that kind of stuff.

 

But sometimes fans think that the original author missed the 'real' path. That happened in the case of Harry Potter. There are several groups, and they mostly agree that the last books are ffs. The really die-hard fans says only the first three books are canon but with Goblet Mother Rowling gone astray. Middle die-hard fans think the canon is the first four books, low die-hard fans think that about the first five books, a third-half of the fans think that the last book is just ff, a fanservice, nothing more. And they write their own stuff: real books, sometimes with better characters and better story than Mother Rowling, and the stories are longer, so much longer. Longer is the keyword. They want to live longer in those worlds, and they will pay the price for it.

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...Mostly slash? I'm kind of curious now, which sites are you referring to? Because that's certainly not the case at fanfiction.net, which has the biggest fic base that I've been able to find and yes, I have been actively looking over the years. I'm kind of getting a sensationalist vibe off your statement here...

 

And in your second paragraph, what you're referring to is a phenomenon called "alternate universe" and there's a lot of it going on in just about every fandom. "What if Harry had been sorted into Slytherin?" "What if the Dragon had been Reborn a woman?" "What if Tony Stark and Loki were having lots of kinky sex?" And I don't know what you mean by longer fanfiction stories being more dangerous. They're no more canon than 500-word ficlets. I'm not really following your line of reasoning here.

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So wait... "Fans may be better writers than the original author, and this is dangerous."

 

How is that a bad thing? If I can read a better version of Wheel of Time damn right I will. I'm loyal to the story, not the author.

Edited by Tranovious
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QuoteMostly slash? I'm kind of curious now, which sites are you referring to?

 

A colleague of mine had a huge (downloaded) collection and it was so weird. One cannot escape from these images. (The stuff was not from ff.net that's for sure, as far as I remember.) There was a similar site (ASOIAF) which had also dozens of stories but they had to close it quickly.

 

(When the first Lotr movie appeared in theaters more than a decade ago there were at least 80-100 stories about Boromir and Frodo just translated! to Hungarian, when the second one came there were at least hundreds of stories about Faramir-Gollum-Frodo-Sam. I think there has to be thousands in English.) 

 

And I don't know what you mean by longer fanfiction stories being more dangerous. They're no more canon than 500-word ficlets. I'm not really following your line of reasoning here.

 

We often talk about that in our bookclub. And most of us think that way: we disagree when the modern lit. critics say the story belongs to the reader, the reader can do anything to this story (skipping/skimming/scanning, censoring, altering, mashing up) because there is no real author, and the personal perception is the most important thing. The so-called author is just a starting point.

 

No, the story belongs to the author.

 

http://grrm.livejournal.com/151914.html (Shorter version: http://fantasyhotlist.blogspot.com/2010/05/george-r-r-martin-on-fan-fiction.html)

 

Write your own story, if you want to write anything! (That's why I hate remakes.)

 

 

How is that a bad thing? If I can read a better version of Wheel of Time damn right I will. I'm loyal to the story, not the author.

+ why is it dangerous?

 

better version of Wheel of Time: while Wot has many faults it is the best epic fantasy series ever (nobody can surpass TGH-TDR-TSR-FOH-LOC, it's not possible, 20 years passed and one cannot see anybody (sure Martin's first three books are exception) who could take the throne from him)

 

 

A 3000-4000 (!!!) pages long HP fanfic (there are at least two Hungarian ffs in that long, so I can imagine that there are similar long ffs in English) can substitute the real series in many readers' eye. And there are so many ffs! But I don't like that approach. HP belongs to Mother Rowling, WOT belongs to Jordan. I know several people who will never read the original books, because they think that ffs are better. I think that's a very sad thing.

 

Wot has 12 books (main series + NS). Would I like to read more? YES! But the original author is dead, and this world is his.

 

When you look at your child, you know that your child is not the most beautiful, not the smartest etx child in the world but you love them more than anything else in the world.

Edited by udbabor520
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You're not making any sense. Fan fiction does not hurt authors, it just doesn't. It's the literary equivalent of people making fan-made trailers for movies they like. If you come across a fan trailer (or fan fiction) and like it without seeing the original source material, nine times out of ten you (if you're an intelligent, normal human being) will go read the original. I've already purchased all fourteen (well, sixteen counting New Spring and the encyclopedia) Wheel of Time books. If someone writes decent fan fiction and I read it, I have not stolen any money from Jordan's widow. The simple truth is, I care more about myself as a reader than I do about the dead author's estate suing some teenager for writing a story with a main character named Rand rather than Randal. Books are like any form of entertainment. If I can get a better experience through mods built for Call of Duty 4 than I can in all of its yearly sequels, I won't be buying them. It's not my fault, it's the creator's fault for not being better than his fans. Of course, this scenario falls apart a bit because in the video game case you've stopped buying products that are still being created, whereas in the case of fanfiction you're enjoying reading stuff for free, after you've already purchased and read a series in its entirety. I'd like to meet someone who enjoys fan fiction without reading the original source material. They're probably a moron, because fan fiction is built in its entirety around references that they don't understand. The person who reads fan fiction without the source material sounds like a straw man to me.

 

Fan fiction only helps the author. It keeps their community alive, because new content is constantly being created. Because that community is still alive, new members are constantly joining. Those new members read the books, then if they like them enough decide to stay in the community. Those people who have chosen to stay contribute to the cycle, creating new content and recruiting new members. [Removed]

 

As to you saying that nobody can surpass Wheel of Time... well, if that's the case then where's the danger in fan fiction existing? Your entire argument was that it's scary because they write their own stuff, "sometimes with better characters and better story than Mother Rowling."  If that can't happen with WOT then what's the worry? I just don't understand how you can base your whole argument for fan fiction being wrong around the worry that you might get a superior product at a lower cost. [Removed]

 

 

*This post emasculated by the jerk who spent the whole series hiding in Shara*

 

EDIT: Also, Dumbledore's Army and the Year of Darkness and The Snape Chronicles sound awesome. So thank you for introducing me to the world of Harry Potter fan fiction. Looks to me like Rowling knows how to build a community. I'll have to get around to reading those two soon. 

Edited by Tranovious
something about feeling emasculated and communism
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Removed, removed, removed. Can I see the original post? :)

 

Also, Dumbledore's Army and the Year of Darkness and The Snape Chronicles sound awesome. So thank you for introducing me to the world of Harry Potter fan fiction.

 

I'm not into HP (fanfics) but everyone knows this series so it is easy to use it to illustrate points. I asked a few members of our bookclub yesterday and they gave me some astonishing facts: there are 8 (!) long series (written in Hungarian) and its avg. lengths 1.5 million words. One friend told me that she has almost 10000 (written in English) ffs in her harddisk. And these ffs are not short! I'm totally speechless. (Quality? :wink: )

 

I'd like to meet someone who enjoys fan fiction without reading the original source material. They're probably a moron, because fan fiction is built in its entirety around references that they don't understand. The person who reads fan fiction without the source material sounds like a straw man to me.

 

Have you ever heard a tv series called GoT? Most of my mates have the books but they will never read them through! Their opinion is that: the books are long, boring, too much description, the last books are bad etc, so they basically look down the original works and they only see a fanfiction (version). Or HP and the MoR is slowly more popular than the canon.

 

 

 

The rest: I disagree with almost everything you have said if I understand you correctly. I am not sure if you have understood me. The books belong to the authors not to the readers. (In plain English, I will never accept that the reader's perception is more important than the author's will.) This is my 'basic principle.' I understand the desire of the fans that they want to read more about their favourite characters but (as I see) fanfictions tarnish the original works. (Plus, 'Sequels are worse than the originals.'You know what sticks in readers? The bad ones.)

 

They basically say that: it could have happened this way, or it could have gone that way etc, the initial point, the original idea does not matter at all. I think it is a very bad thing.

 

There is one story, one setting, one starting point, one ending

 

 

One of the most daunting elements of crafting a new original fiction story is the world-building. When I write an original fiction novel (as I'm in the process of doing), it takes months of research and planning before I have in hand a world that's sufficiently organic in which I can write. And much of my writing time is spent trying to ensure I communicate key points of this fictional world during the story in an unobtrusive way. Fanfiction is a massive shortcut to this creative process, as it allows use of the source material ('canon' in the lingo), a borrowing of characters, world, setting, plot, and larger themes. Fanfiction writers can afford to be a bit sloppy with respect to how they go about telling the story as they can (generally) assume their readers are familiar with canon. If I write fanfiction, I can allow an Albus Dumbledore or Harry Dresden cameo in a scene without having to carefully manage the reader's impressions of the character. This is such a big shortcut, one that goes on subconsciously among fanfiction readers and writers, that most don't even realize it.

 

While you have a point that all literature is influenced by prior work, there's a vast difference between adopting a few archetypes (wood elves, superficially similar to those in Tolkien's work) and borrowing wholesale from that same story (the character Legolas interacting with Ents in Fangorn forest). The two are not at all equatable. Incidentally, it's telling how many fanfiction writers (myself included) make the move to original fiction once they feel they have the chops and experience; one doesn't hear of many (any?) stories of the opposite, professional writers taking up fanfiction. If the two were indeed equally valuable, one might imagine more parity.

 

I'd liken the difference in skill involved to that of mastery of, say, the pan flute vs. mastery of the piano. While music can be made on both and the very best pan flute music no doubt has a charm of its own and its own fan base, it's a far easier task to reach proficiency on the pan flute than on the piano. I believe most would regard a virtuoso piano performance to be of considerably higher value than a top-tier pan flute performance in large part because of the increased complexity and nuance of the task. Sequels to novels are easier in many regards, but they are still extensions of a universe originally conceived by the author and generally involve the addition of many new characters, plot elements, and further world-building. Also, for most marketable fiction, it's assumed that enough back story and (possibly redundant) detail is provided that the novel can be read without the prior volumes, so a lot of the same challenges are present as in the original volume (you have to gently and unobtrusively introduce key elements of the world, characters, etc. into the text).

 

In this sense, I'd say that sequels probably fall somewhere in between fanfiction and crafting the first story of the series in terms of difficulty and are a bit less of a creative effort than the first story in a series. A bad sequel rehashes too much and isn't much better than fanfiction, really. A good sequel is indeed something more.

 

 

/off

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Yeah, you missed out on some choice insults. I think you defeated your own argument though - most fan fiction writers as they get better move into creating their own worlds. That's really the biggest reason I care about the issue. Fan fiction, like role play, is a kiddie pool where you learn before diving off the deep end. It is important for communities, and the original author's vision doesn't matter one bit to me if somebody else's is better, but the best defense of fan fiction is as a training ground for the authors of tomorrow.

 

I don't particularly like fan fiction, I just keep being forced into the role of defending it from morons who don't have good reasons to hate it. In fact, I've been vilified by Fanfiction,net before for my claim that, gasp, fan fiction is inherently less creative than the work of the original author. So I get where you're coming from, you're just wrong.

 

...Happy, Barry?

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but the best defense of fan fiction is as a training ground for the authors of tomorrow. - most fan fiction writers as they get better move into creating their own worlds. That's really the biggest reason I care about the issue. Fan fiction, like role play, is a kiddie pool where you learn before diving off the deep end.

 

If this is as important as you claim can you please provide a number of examples of published and award winning authors who went that route?

Edited by Suttree
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George R. R. Martin is the quickest example. Although, his route was a bit less fan fiction in the modern sense. He wrote a few original stories and then was hired to write stories about real super heroes. I suppose I could go root around for other examples if you care enough. 

 

EDIT: Also apparently Orson Scott Card on a quick google search.

Edited by Tranovious
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That is not fan fiction.

 

Afraid you are going have to back up your claim. I personally would be shocked if there are many. It certainly isn't the crucial "stepping stone" to becoming a great author that you make it out to be. That's not to say that some authors don't enjoy it.

 

Slight aside but I always thought Donaldson's quote when asked whether he would be interested in finishing WoT was quite enlightening as to how many authors view working with someone else's characters etc.

 

But I'm posting this because I want to make a more general point. I wouldn't agree to work with someone else's characters, settings, themes, or stories, even if you held a gun to my head. That's what hacks are for. (Don't get me wrong. Being a hack can be a perfectly honorable profession. It simply isn't *my* profession.) Now, if you held a gun to the head of someone I love, I would naturally agree to anything. But I would be lying. Unashamedly. Stalling for time until I could take a whack at you. The very idea of trying to do someone else's work fills me with existential nausea.
Edited by Suttree
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When did I ever say it was a crucial stepping stone, or at least imply that it is unique in that aspect or of particular importance over other forms of writing? If you're implying that practicing dialogue and description is somehow bad... well, that's a bit strange. Any form of writing is a crucial stepping stone to writing. Fan fiction is writing with water wings. They can come off when you learn how to swim.

 

Here's a list of authors you're probably aware of who wrote fan fiction, found it on Google pretty quickly. Orson Scott Card, among others, wrote several works of fan fiction.

 

Here's another one. I don't know all of them but Larry Niven stood out on this. 

 

I'll be honest, I don't care enough to find specific examples beyond these lists others were kind enough to put together for me. And besides, knowing you, even if I did it wouldn't exactly matter, you'll just pull the argument in circles for a few weeks until I leave on June 11 and you think you've won.

 

The simple fact of the matter is, whatever gets people writing is good. Fan fiction tends to be a place where a lot of people start exploring. The fact that fanfiction.net has more than a million members is proof enough of this. If you can't put together good dialogue, good description, an intelligible plotline, and correct spelling/grammar in a universe that isn't your own, I doubt your ability to do it in one that is.

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I'm aware of the first article. It had little if anything to do with mos of those authors development if you read through the examples.

 

When did I ever say it was a crucial stepping stone, or at least imply that it is unique in that aspect or of particular importance over other forms of writing?

 

but the best defense of fan fiction is as a training ground for the authors of tomorrow. - most fan fiction writers as they get better move into creating their own worlds. That's really the biggest reason I care about the issue. Fan fiction, like role play, is a kiddie pool where you learn before diving off the deep end.

 

Must have misunderstood where you were going with the above.

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Yes you did. See, I said most fan fiction writers, as they get better, move into creating their own worlds. What I didn't say, is "most current writers were once fan fiction writers but they got better."

 

I don't think the difference is very subtle, but if you want I could go smack my face into a brick wall a few times and then come back to check. :P

Edited by Tranovious
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I'll admit it was a bit of a hyperbolic term, but I think the argument in its entirety didn't really lean in the direction you were interpreting. *eye roll because I'm clearly the smartest guy in the room*

Edited by Tranovious
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Thanks for posting that. Do you think that sometime down the line some one write book that picks up a few hundred years after the last battle?

I would have said no, once, while the fan in me screamed that the work was left unfinished, in regards to the prequels of Tam and Perrin/Faile, as well as Moiraine and Lan coming to the Two Rivers.  Yet I was reminded of something that RJ said when he released his short story "The Attack on Shayol Ghul." 

 

 

 

At present I do not intend to write any of those books, but I won't say that a story or two might not creep out eventually. I do not normally do short fiction. My editor claims that for me, a short story means fifty thousand words. As for the question, though...I hope that those fans (and the rest of you) will be satisfied for the time with what follows, a fictional bit of "non-fiction," a piece from an Age called the Third Age by some, an Age yet to come, an Age long past... 

This leaves me believing that while RJ never wanted people to write in his world with the main novels, that he admitted that he couldn't do short stories and obviously attempted it with TSaSG leaving the door open for the future, like what Brandon did with Unfettered.  There's obviously content and enough in the notes for some things to perhaps do a book of short stories and short works that answers a lot of basic questions.  Something like an AOL Aes Sedai making an Angreal, or a Ter'angreal.  Making White Bridge for example.  Some other POV's from the Breaking apart from the Aiel, the creation of the Ways and more Ogier interaction.  Certainly some stuff on Tam Al'Thor's adventures as a youth, maybe some Jaim Farstrider tales giving us a look at Shara.

 

We can't rely on Brandon as he has his own worlds to write in so a Ghost Writer would be a good idea.  Don't continue the story, but flesh out some of the history, offer small tidbits here and there that answer the long-time questions. 

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Meaning no disrespect to anyone, but I do not think the fan communities will die. Has the lotr community died? No. That may be at least partly due to the movies, but the fact remains that the fan community will remain as long as there ARE fans. Rather than lose popularity, works like lotr and even the works of Shakespeare have only become more popular and more famous. You don't need new content for the work to stay popular, not if it was worthy of the popularity it had in the first place. But I think we CAN help the community flourish by spreading the series, by telling people and recommending it to them. As long as there are fans, there will be a community.

I agree. This site is much more that the discussion forums. In addition, new people will discover the WoT.

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