Well, Mr. Ordover?

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DangerMom

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Dec 6, 1998, 3:00:00 AM12/6/98
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There's almost 50 messages in the thread that started in response to your
question "Why not be a leader?"

(Hmmm, could be over 50, including the separate "New Message" replies that have
gone up.)

I found each response fascinating, and familiar...so many reasons why we write
and read fanfic that are oh so true.

And I think it can be safe to say I'm not the only one who's curious as to what
you think about all those answers, John. Do you "get it" now?

DangerMom

John Ordover

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Dec 6, 1998, 3:00:00 AM12/6/98
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Not really. Every bit of enjoyment that people specify can be gotten
just as well writing your own stuff (in case people don't know, btw,
I've sold lots and lots of my own short stories to various pro anthos
and mags, most recently TALES FROM THE WHITE CASTLE in the URBAN
LEGENDS anthology). OTOH, as a result of my pro sales, I was asked if
I wanted to do a story for the ULTIMATE SILVER SURFER anthology (btw
-- the real fun is to reach the point where editors call you and -ask-
for a story for their anthology). There was one thing I'd always
wanted to do with the Silver Surfer -- I'd always wanted to tell him
to stop whining and get over it. So I wrote that story, and it sold
and they paid me for it and it was fun. And I supposed I can see that
it might also have been fun to write it and show it to my friends and
post it on-line. But I would never have written it under any other
circumstances than a pro market for it..

<Amusing side note on that story: friend of mine works at an SF
publisher. They had started recieving, for some reason, a swedish SF
magazine that reviewed their books -- in swedish. No one at the
company spoke or read swedish, but they'd flip through the mag just
for the fun of it.

Anyway, the friend faxed over the page that reviewed THE ULTIMATE
SILVER SURFER anthology to me because it had singled out my story and
my name -- he could read the title and name, of course - but neither
he, nor I could read the swedish and find out what they were saying
about the story!

Eventually I tracked down a swedish-speaker, and she told me that they
had singled the story out as the best in the antho, which was nice to
hear. So apparently, sweden loves my stuff.:)>

Anyway, like I said, writing pro fic has ALL the fun of writing fan
fiction. Here's a challenge -- why not set up a category on this
newsgroup: NOTMEDIA or N/M. Let people write their own stuff and get
comments on it. Best of Both Worlds, so to speak....:)

powellfamily

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Dec 6, 1998, 3:00:00 AM12/6/98
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Hello,

I have been following the thread and to be honest, I don't understand
the confusion on why fan-fic exists.

I don't see much difference in us writing Trek fan-fiction vs a series
of pro authors writing a media tie in book, or Charlotte Bronte and her
sisters and brothers writing fantasy stories as children based on the
historical figures of the day and Pilgrim's Progress, or anthology
works by many authors based on one author's world, or the recent trend
of writing new stories about characters from authors long dead, like
the series of new Perry Mason or Sherlock Holmes fiction or Scarlet
O'Hara books.

All of these examples, in my mind, are about answering questions about
characters of worlds of interest or about having the characters in one
more adventure. The pro-books are written because there is an interest
in the Trek concept/characters (or Silver Surfer or
name-any-media-product-here) on the part of the readership at large or
the authors themselves; fan-fiction is written because the fan-fiction
writer has that same interest but wants to answer the questions for
himself.

I would think that actively writing a story would be MORE of a
'leadership' type of action than just buying and reading the pro-works
of others.

I see no difference in you writing a published Silver Surfer story vs a
teenager writing a Silver Surfer fanfic (and I'm sure that someone is
writing Silver Surfer fanfic) or drawing his own Silver Surfer comic in
his basement for posting on a web page or alt.silversurfer.creative -if
there is such a thing. Oh, your writing will be more consistant and
polished, but I don't think that his story can be called less original
or that he can be called a blind 'follower' just because he didn't
write it for publication/mercenary reasons.

On a different tack altogether, humans just have a need to particiate
in the cultural landscape. Just as people write songs about 'Norma
Jean', or paint pictures of Campbell's soup cans, or parody the latest
REM song (wierd Al Yankovic and filk singers in Fandom do the same
thing, basically), or create banners in support of their favorite team,
we write fan-fic. Fan-fic is a participatory exercise in which you get
to creatively express your views on characters and use them in what-if
scenarios or create new adventures for them. Fantasy baseball leagues
work on the same principle, I would think.

It would seem to me that fan-fic is just another example of the human
need to participate and share common interests with others.

Sharron Powell
--
Surf Usenet at home, on the road, and by email -- always at Talkway.
http://www.talkway.com

Jane Harmon

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Dec 6, 1998, 3:00:00 AM12/6/98
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powellfamily wrote:

> On a different tack altogether, humans just have a need to particiate
> in the cultural landscape. Just as people write songs about 'Norma
> Jean', or paint pictures of Campbell's soup cans, or parody the latest
> REM song (wierd Al Yankovic and filk singers in Fandom do the same
> thing, basically), or create banners in support of their favorite team,
> we write fan-fic. Fan-fic is a participatory exercise in which you get
> to creatively express your views on characters and use them in what-if
> scenarios or create new adventures for them. Fantasy baseball leagues
> work on the same principle, I would think.
>
> It would seem to me that fan-fic is just another example of the human
> need to participate and share common interests with others.

Exactly. People who focus exclusively on the 'writing' aspect of fanfic
are missing the main point, which is its existence within a community.
Sure, people are going to write fiction for their own amusement without
the societal interaction with others (the Brontes' juvenilia is not a
particularly good example of this, since they had their own tiny society
amongst themselves ), but there is a human need to band together with
others of Your Kind. Writing and posting (and reading and critiquing)
fanfic is the social glue of this particular extended community. As
grooming is to gorillas, writing and discussing stories is to the fanfic
community.

So. Can I pick lice out of anyone's hair? -- Jane, passing the termites


Randy Landers

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Dec 6, 1998, 3:00:00 AM12/6/98
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John Ordover says

<<OTOH, as a result of my pro sales, I was asked if
I wanted to do a story for the ULTIMATE SILVER SURFER anthology (btw
-- the real fun is to reach the point where editors call you and -ask-
for a story for their anthology). There was one thing I'd always
wanted to do with the Silver Surfer -- I'd always wanted to tell him
to stop whining and get over it. So I wrote that story, and it sold
and they paid me for it and it was fun. And I supposed I can see that
it might also have been fun to write it and show it to my friends and
post it on-line. But I would never have written it under any other
circumstances than a pro market for it..>>

Then you don't get it. There's no difference in us writing for Trek
than you for writing a Silver Surfer story other than you got paid and
we don't. We do it out of our love for Star Trek, and you do it for
the money.

<<Anyway, like I said, writing pro fic has ALL the fun of writing fan
fiction. Here's a challenge -- why not set up a category on this
newsgroup: NOTMEDIA or N/M. Let people write their own stuff and get
comments on it. Best of Both Worlds, so to speak....:)>>

Those posts would be off topic, and would be welcome at
alt.creative.writing, NOT in a.s.c., but we're not here for that.
We're here for Star Trek, not original fiction.

I'm sorry you just can't seem to understand that.

--
Randy Landers
ORION PRESS
--------------------------------------------------------------------
For 13MB of quality Classic Trek fan fiction, go to:
http://www.mindspring.com/~randylanders/archives/oaindex.html
For 7MB of quality Next Gen fan fiction, go to:
http://www.mindspring.com/~lindamarcusky/eridani/index.html
For 1MB of quality Deep Space 9 fan fiction, go to:
http://www.fastcopyinc.com/orionpress/outpost/index.html
For 1MB of quality Voyager fan fiction, go to:
http://www.fastcopyinc.com/orionpress/deltaquadrant/index.html
For information on ORION PRESS and its fanzines, go to:
http://www.mindspring.com/~randylanders


powellfamily

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Dec 6, 1998, 3:00:00 AM12/6/98
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...(the Brontes' juvenilia is not a particularly good example of this,

since they had their own tiny society amongst themselves )

Ahh, but they did have a community based on fiction written about the
cultural icons of their day ... who knows who they could have banded
with in an age of the internet, TV, and satellites :-) (Yes, I know my
comment is weak here.. but speculation is always fun... :-)

>but there is a human need to band together with others of Your Kind. Writing and posting (and reading and critiquing)fanfic is the social glue of this particular extended community. As grooming is to gorillas, writing and discussing stories is to the fanfic community.
>

LOL... or congregating on weekends to watch football and talk stats is
to football fans... humans are social creatures,for sure. Hence the
popularity of chat rooms.

Sharron
-who is happy to have this virtual community to play in as well as the
real world communities in which she participates

Unzadi

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Dec 6, 1998, 3:00:00 AM12/6/98
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>So. Can I pick lice out of anyone's hair? -- Jane, passing the termites

Always! Mmmm....good bugs. A little crunchy, but we expect that this time of
year. It's part of the season.

If not for fanfic, I wouldn't have met many of my best, closer-than-siblings
friends. Therefore, I would know significantly fewer other writers who have
come into my personal community. Every time I read a new fanfic either in a
zine, or on a ng, it grows a little more. Most of the fanficcers I've begun
friendships with do intend to become professional writers...though not of Trek.

Is that surprising, or is it a natural outgrowth? The stories I like best in
fanfic are those that bring new kids to play in the sandbox. Where the
characters undergo significant changes in their lives during the course of the
story. Marry them. Bury them. Let them have children for pity's sake (not
that pity is a good reason to procreate, though it might make an interesting
theme...I'll have to work on that. <G>) Transfer them. Have them go native.
But for the love of all that is interesting, make them change!

If Trek is about exploring and widening horizons, IDIC and all that, then why
NOT be a little risky? If two characters, let's say, are pussy-footing around
a commitment for a decade or more, going through other partners, what if one of
those other partners *did* turn into something permanent? What if it was
happily so? Can't be done in places other than fanfic if the character wears a
Starfleet uniform.

I won't expect to speak for anyone else, but my own personal brain (as opposed
to the one I keep in a jar in my closet...that one's rented. <G>) doesn't have
a shutoff switch for my what-if generator when Trek comes around.

Anna
who enjoys thinking and writing about all sorts of things....


Friends don't let friends write bad fanfic!

Chamber of the Warrior Queen
http://members.aol.com/unzadi


Ryan McReynolds

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Dec 6, 1998, 3:00:00 AM12/6/98
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John Ordover wrote:
>
> >And I think it can be safe to say I'm not the only one who's curious as to what
> >you think about all those answers, John. Do you "get it" now?
>
> Not really. Every bit of enjoyment that people specify can be gotten
> just as well writing your own stuff

If you *want* to write your own stuff, sure. If you have no interest in
creating and writing your own original characters, then you won't find
that fun in it, will you?

> Anyway, like I said, writing pro fic has ALL the fun of writing fan
> fiction.

This is true, if you want to write pro fic. You often say things like
"you won't get anywhere producing fan fic, you need to submit to
magazines" and so forth. Did it ever occur to you that a lot of fan fic
writers don't want to be professional writers? They have well paying
jobs already. They don't want to write novels, or short stories, for a
living. They just enjoy Star Trek, have an idea they like, and choose
to write about it. I don't think anybody argues that pro fic isn't
rewarding (financially and emotionally). I also don't think that anyone
argues that fan fic is not the way to go if you want to go to writing
pro fic ASAP. Naturally, getting published (and hence paid) is the
important step in that path. But if you are not interested in
professional writing, and you have no interest in creating your own
characters and your own universe, why should you? Fan fic provides an
outlet for people who simply love Star Trek, love the characters, and
want to do things with the characters that they want to see. For some,
it is things they can't see on the shows or in the pro fic, such as any
"adult" stories out there. For others, it is just a cool idea they came
up with and they want to write about it. I think the reason people
write fan fic is simple. So is the difference between fan fic and pro
fic. I'll sum it up in two lines...

fan fic: i don't want to be published, and i don't care about the money.
pro fic: i want to be published, and i want the money.

Neither is "right" or "wrong," they are two completely different
entities. Some people may want to be professional historical novelists,
but still write fan fic on the side *for fun.* They two are not
mutually exclusive, but they do not in any way overlap.

-McReynolds

John Ordover

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Dec 6, 1998, 3:00:00 AM12/6/98
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I know, I know -- I'm not speaking about those who want to do it for
fun. More power to 'em. I'm speaking about those who think that fan
fic is the "farm team" or a "good practice vehicle" for a pro writing
career. Let me quote Alara again:

I'm quoting Alara from another thread - not sure if this violates net
protocol
or not -- if so, I apologize.


"...Fanfic and profic share certain traits, and writing one can help
you in writing the other; but only to a point. They aren't the same
thing. People who assume that fanfic is "practice" for pro writing--
either the fan writers who say "I'm writing fanfic to practice for the

big time," or the pooh-poohing editors like Ordover and writers like
Orson Scott Card who say "You're wasting your time writing fanfic,
because it won't help your pro fic"-- both miss the point. Fanfic is
something else. it's its own genre. "Practicing" for pro fic by
writing
fanfic is like "practicing" for romances by writing mysteries. What's
wrong with saying, "Well, I write mysteries 'cause I like to?" None of

this "I'm practicing to write something else."

: And even in fanfic, while you aren't necessarily creating an new
: character, that doesn't necessarily mean you're not going to add
: something to the character (there was a Q story in SNW like
: this).

I know. I wrote it. :-)

Personally, I think fanfic enables me to probe deeper
: into established characters and see where I can take them, and in
: the process try to improve my fledgling writing ability/hobby.

Right-- but that's the value of fanfic that profic *doesn't* have. Pro
fic
does not allow you to explore and expand on pre-established
characters.
There are fanfic techniques that are unavailable to the original fic
writer unless they turn to basing their work on myth (in which case it

really isn't original any more, now is it? :-))

: >
: >Either way, Ordover is completely right that fanfic does not hone certain
: >skills the pro fic writer requires.

: AMB> I am genuinely curious to know what you are referring to.
: Like any writer, I have illusions of grandeur, and any little
: tidbit would help!

To write professionally, you need to have mastered the skill of
creating
a world, a setting, and original characters who will all draw the
reader
in. You don't have a pre-made audience; your story will stand and fall
on
the merits of the characters and setting *you* created and described.
If
it's a boring setting or you described it badly, if your characters
are
unsympathetic or you don't make them come alive, you won't sell and no

one will read you. Fanfic doesn't hone those skills. The skills that
it
*does* hone-- the ability to work within established continuity; the
ability to use reader expectations as a tool for dramatic effect; the
ability to explore and more fully dimensionalize already created
characters-- are more useful in television and comic book writing than

they are in prose writing, but they *are* definable skills.

In other words, what I'm saying is that fanfic and profic are
different.
Fanfic isn't bush league pro fic or junior pro fic or practice pro
fic.
It's something else completely different, and must be valued on its
own
merits, or not.

--
Be good, servile little citizen-employee, and pay your taxes so the
rich
don't have to.
--Zepp Weasel

Alara Rogers, Aleph Press
al...@netcom.com

All Aleph Press stories are at http://alara.dreamhost.com .

.... which is EXACTLY what I have been trying to say, although Alara
said it
much better than I have been. I'd add a caveat, however, that
although TV and
comic books -seem- to be driven by the protagonists, they are in fact
really
driven by the -antagonists-.

For example, how many times have you seen people say "I'd love to see
another
Borg episode" or whatever? Heroes on TV and in comics don't really
change.
Batman is always Batman. What you want to master is the ability to
come up
with -brand new situations- and -brand new antagonists- for Batman to
find
himself in and fight against. Again, Batman is always Batman -- what
varies
(in the most simplistic sense) is whether he's fighting the Joker, the
Riddler,
Two Face, Mr. Freeze, or someone you've made up.

Perhaps that's part of what drives fan fiction -- since most shows and
comics
don't explore the characters very deeply or change them at all, that's
what fan
fiction focuses on doing. That's just my opinion, I could be wrong.:)

DangerMom

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Dec 6, 1998, 3:00:00 AM12/6/98
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John Ordover (Date: Sun, Dec 6, 1998 17:39 EST) wrote:

>>I know, I know -- I'm not speaking about those who want to do it for fun.
More power to 'em.<<

Oh my goodness...did you actually say you think it's okay for us to keep
writing fanfic because we like to do it??

Dear Lord...then maybe you do it get it after all!!

And it's very nice of you to post some helpful hints about "going pro" for
those who are interested. But perhaps you'd be a little less patronizing or
disdainful when speaking of those of us who'd rather keep on writing for
fun...sometime your comments seem to imply that NONE of us writing for zines or
the 'net know how to use a dictionary or spell-checker, or that we couldn't put
a decent sentence together to save our lives.
Yes, I've seen some badly written stuff out here, but (I've already said this)
I've seen a great deal more that's far better written, more thought-provoking,
and a more entertaining read, than most of the Trek-related pro novels that
have hit the shelves lately. (Not to mention some "original" SF/Fantasy
novels, too!)

One thought about the whole "leader/follower" question that started all this...

Publishing ST: Voyager fanfiction on the 'net has won me friends. It's given
me new insight into my ability as a writer. I get e-mail feedback from around
the world. My page is linked on scores of others...quite often in the "highly
recommended" category. One of my recent stories is currently in the running
for an award. One of my first stories win first place in this past year's ASC
voting.

And you know what? That feels good!

In that context, John, I may not be a "leader," but I certainly don't feel like
a "follower" either.

DangerMom


Voyager Fiction, Links, and more at:
http://members.aol.com/DangerMom/home.html

Gabrielle Lawson

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Dec 6, 1998, 3:00:00 AM12/6/98
to

John Ordover wrote:

> >And I think it can be safe to say I'm not the only one who's curious as to what
> >you think about all those answers, John. Do you "get it" now?
> >

> >DangerMom


>
> Not really. Every bit of enjoyment that people specify can be gotten
> just as well writing your own stuff

Yes, it can. I agree. I had loads of fun writing my historical fiction short
stories
(which have yet to be published, though I'm trying.) I get high. I bounce off the
walls. Same as with Trek. But I still write Trek, not because I'm hoping to make
it big as a Trek writer, though I wouldn't mind should the opportunity magically
appear. I think I'd rather be known for historical fiction. But if I didn't write
Trek right now, I'd not be having any fun at all. I don't have any historical
fiction
ideas. I wish I did. I sort of miss it. But I don't. So no Trek, no writing. No

writing, no fun, withdrawal, depression, crabbiness, you really wouldn't want to
know me when I haven't written in three months (or twelve--man, was that a bad
year)!

> (in case people don't know, btw,
> I've sold lots and lots of my own short stories to various pro anthos
> and mags, most recently TALES FROM THE WHITE CASTLE in the URBAN

> LEGENDS anthology). OTOH, as a result of my pro sales, I was asked if


> I wanted to do a story for the ULTIMATE SILVER SURFER anthology (btw
> -- the real fun is to reach the point where editors call you and -ask-
> for a story for their anthology). There was one thing I'd always
> wanted to do with the Silver Surfer -- I'd always wanted to tell him
> to stop whining and get over it. So I wrote that story, and it sold
> and they paid me for it and it was fun. And I supposed I can see that
> it might also have been fun to write it and show it to my friends and
> post it on-line. But I would never have written it under any other
> circumstances than a pro market for it..

You're not alone there. But I've never fallen into that pool. I remember
once in my college short story writing class, a student asked the teacher,
"What sells?" My response was "If I never make a dime as a writer, I'll
still write." I write because I love the creation of it. It's an amazing thing,
a power, a gift from God, to be able to string words together and create
lives (I do throw in a lot of original characters with my Trek ones, and,
of course, my historical fiction ones are all original). It's beyond words.
I can't describe that. That's why I write. Money would just be icing
on the cake. (Well, actually, feedback is icing. Money would be little
candy sprinkles or mint chocolate chips.) I get the cake either way.

(snipped cute story about Swedish mag.)

> Eventually I tracked down a swedish-speaker, and she told me that they
> had singled the story out as the best in the antho, which was nice to
> hear. So apparently, sweden loves my stuff.:)>

Congrats! But you might want to capitalize Sweden next time. They might
take offense. ;-)

It's great to get stuff like that. I've had Germans (and descendants of survivors)
tell me how much they loved my Holocaust/Trek story. That's incredible icing!
Would have been great with mint chocolate chips, but I'll take it anyway I can get
it!

> Anyway, like I said, writing pro fic has ALL the fun of writing fan

> fiction. Here's a challenge -- why not set up a category on this
> newsgroup: NOTMEDIA or N/M. Let people write their own stuff and get
> comments on it. Best of Both Worlds, so to speak....:)

Someone already commented on that. There is a newsgroup for such a thing.
But wouldn't those posted non-media works then be out of bounds for
publication, having been on the Net? I don't put the historical fiction stories
I want to try and get published on the Net for that reason.

BTW: I've not been one to try and reply in an argumentative manner. I took your
post as a sincere question and tried to answer it in a sincere manner. You asked
why. I love to tell people why I write (genre not withstanding).

--
--Gabrielle
I'd much rather be writing!
http://www.geocities.com/Area51/Shire/2460

Dilesj

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Dec 7, 1998, 3:00:00 AM12/7/98
to

In article <366b0774...@news.mindspring.com>, Ord...@aol.com (John
Ordover) writes:

<I've snipped quite a lot here, but it doesn't include the points I'm
replying to. If anyone feels I've distorted the argument by doing this,
please let me know>

> I'd add a caveat, however, that
>although TV and
>comic books -seem- to be driven by the protagonists, they are in fact
>really
>driven by the -antagonists-.
>
>For example, how many times have you seen people say "I'd love to see
>another
>Borg episode" or whatever? Heroes on TV and in comics don't really
>change.
>Batman is always Batman. What you want to master is the ability to
>come up
>with -brand new situations- and -brand new antagonists- for Batman to
>find
>himself in and fight against. Again, Batman is always Batman -- what
>varies
>(in the most simplistic sense) is whether he's fighting the Joker, the
>Riddler,
>Two Face, Mr. Freeze, or someone you've made up.
>
>Perhaps that's part of what drives fan fiction -- since most shows and
>comics
>don't explore the characters very deeply or change them at all, that's
>what fan
>fiction focuses on doing. That's just my opinion, I could be wrong.:)
>

Maybe that's why I've begun to prefer fanfic to the books then - I'm
not really interested in reading about a bunch of cyphers who never
change, never learn anything and are only made interesting by the
antagonists they encounter. I wouldn't watch Trek if that was what
I saw on the screen, and I don't want to read the novels if that's all
there is in them. The best Trek fiction, both professionally published
and on the net (and in 'zines) is interested in all the characters, not
just the 'villain of the week'. Some of the best fiction I have read has
had no villain, just the established characters forced into conflict by
circumstances. The Trek TV shows are unusual in that they have
allowed their protagonists to change and to develop.

All fiction is about character, and it seems to me that you are
applying lower standards to the ST fiction you publish than to other
forms (like 'original' SF). I honestly don't understand your attitude,
as from your posts it is obvious that you are an intelligent and
perceptive person. I can see that there is a limit to the amount of
personal development you can allow in a character who will be
appearing again in another novel by another author, but you seem
to be implying that the recurring characters are set in stone, and
therefore not to be explored, and that the only interesting
characterisations available are the one-off antagonists. Could this
be why the regular characters in some of the published novels I have
read have been so one-dimensional? Is that actually policy?

Diane J.
--

Live fats, die yo gnu!

Aleph Press

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Dec 7, 1998, 3:00:00 AM12/7/98
to
John Ordover (Ord...@aol.com) wrote:

: Anyway, like I said, writing pro fic has ALL the fun of writing fan


: fiction. Here's a challenge -- why not set up a category on this
: newsgroup: NOTMEDIA or N/M. Let people write their own stuff and get
: comments on it. Best of Both Worlds, so to speak....:)

See, now, *this* has me going "But why would anyone want to do that?"

I don't read original fiction on the Net. I read it in magazines, where I
know the editors and I know they choose quality work. For a Star Trek
story, I already know the characters and the setting; I can judge the
interest the story is *likely* to hold for me before I ever read it. For
an original story, odds are it will not interest me-- that's why I read
the stories of writers I already know are great, or why I read sf
magazines whose editors I trust, to find the handful of rare gems of
original fic that I'll really enjoy.

I read mixed media fanzines to get stories about my favorites. Some of
these carry original fic too. You know what? The original fic was *bad*.
Amateurishly written original fic is *much* worse than amateurishly
written fanfic.

Plus, there's the money issue. You guys were very nice in letting people
submit stories they;d published on the Net to SNW, or I'd have been
screwed. :-) But all the advice I read says "Don't publish your original
fiction on the Net, or you can't sell first serial rights!" I mean, it's
original fic, you *can* make money off it, so why not try?

I understand why someone would not want to try to make money off their
fanfic. They can't. But when you';re not trying to sell your original
fic, it kinda feels to me like you're saying "My work's not ready for
prime time." So, uh, why would I want to read it?

Alara, who loves to read well-edited, professionally published original
sf, but can't stand the dreck that passes for original fic in mixed media
zines

ImXFScully

unread,
Dec 7, 1998, 3:00:00 AM12/7/98
to
Fanfic IS, of late, more interesting than the profic I've seen. Yes, there's
some junk out there -- but there's some work of very real quality. It's been a
long time since I could say that about the profic.

Maybe that's the real reason we write fanfic, John. To give others, and
ourselves, the quality you can't seem to muster up.


Amy

JWinterCNA

unread,
Dec 7, 1998, 3:00:00 AM12/7/98
to
So what have we learned?

We learned that John Ordover doesn't like fanfic. SURPRISE!

He doesn't get why people write it.

(I could be wrong, being an amateur, but I don't think it's in his job
description in the first place.)

And we've managed to get an editor from a major publishing house involved in a
flame war.

What have we accomplished?

A major waste of bandwidth.

You're not going to change Ordover's opinion of fanfic. Last I checked, I
wasn't asking him for a critique of Alliance, nor was he interested. So guess
what. You're trying to sway an opinion that doesn't exactly matter to those
producing fanfic at large. Now, if he asks you for a manuscript or summary for
potential publication, then I think his opinion matters quite a bit.

Perhaps maybe we should learn to ignore articles in EW and the like. They
seemed far more interested in a Mulder/Skinner slash piece than fanfic at
large. And God knows, I would never want some Hollywood rag trying to explain
slash to the masses.

Time to put it rest for awhile, kids. The spammers are complaining about
access time.


J Winter,
Backup FAQ Maintainer
Alliance author
Troll stalker
SPAM slayer
Subversive element of the radical centrist movement

John Ordover

unread,
Dec 7, 1998, 3:00:00 AM12/7/98
to


You know, I've never questioned the writing ability of fan fic
writers, but I'm beginning to question their ability to -read-.:)

I have never said I hated fan fiction; I have never said I hate fan
fiction witers. I have never even commented on the quality of the
writing, which I can't do because I can't read the stuff anyway.

All I have said is that fan fiction writing is not the path to pro
writing. I have used the analogy of an Olypmic gymnast -- he might
be a fantastic athlete, but he isn't a professional athlete. Sure,
he might have the freedom to do the stuff he likes, but he's not going
to be a pro.

If he -wanted- to be a pro athelete, he'd have to do the kind of sport
that you can make a pro living at -- tennis, football, basketball,
etc.

For instance, if you want to learn to write original fiction, you
should write original fiction, since you need to learn how to
interoduce your new world, new characters, and new storylines all
while still holding the reader. If you want to write pro media
fiction you
're going to have learn to write within strict guidelines. Fan
fiction doesn't teach you either of these things.

Again, that has NOTHING TO DO with the quality of the stuff; for the
record: I don't hate fan fiction, I don't hate fan writers, and while
I may not get why you want to write in worlds controlled by major
corporations, instead of founding your own world, there's lots of
things people do I don't get.:)


li...@worldinter.net

unread,
Dec 7, 1998, 3:00:00 AM12/7/98
to
It's ironic, when I read this thread, plus all the other ones that have to do
with fanfic vs profic, the thing that keeps popping into my mind is that I
write both for the same reason.

When I got the idea for my novel, I was standing in line at the grocery
store--it was August 1, 1993. I live in St. Louis and it was during the big
flood of 93. Everyone was on pins and needles because the only thing that
was keeping us dry was the 52 foot high, 60+ year old flood wall that had
never been withstood as much pressure as it was during that time. Like any
good fantasy/science fiction writer, an idea was formed.

Some 600+ pages, 170,000 words later, I finally finished it.

It started off with 'what if...' or 'what happenned next?' and I **had** to
write it, because I had to find out for myself what happenned. With fanfic,
it's the same thing, an idea forms and the only way to purge yourself is just
bloody write it. Period. It doesn't matter if you're going to make $$ out
of it or you can sell it or post on the internet--it just has to be written.
Sometimes, only 10 or so pages come out of it, sometimes a novel
evolves...but either way, it's the storyteller in me, at least, that needs to
be satisfied. As a writer, (not quite pro, but have been paid for my
writing), I know that I'm not gonna make any money off this huge
Highlander/Buffy/Forever Knight crossover I just finished weekend, but as a
storyteller, I **had** to tell it--and see it through to the end. That's why
I write fanfic. And I'm sure that's why a lot of others here write it as
well.

Lisa
http://www.worldinter.net/~lisay/fanfic.htm

In article <366aa5e5...@news.mindspring.com>,


Ord...@aol.com (John Ordover) wrote:
> On 6 Dec 1998 14:10:20 GMT, dang...@aol.com (DangerMom) wrote:
>
> >There's almost 50 messages in the thread that started in response to your
> >question "Why not be a leader?"
> >
> >(Hmmm, could be over 50, including the separate "New Message" replies that
have
> >gone up.)
> >
> >I found each response fascinating, and familiar...so many reasons why we
write
> >and read fanfic that are oh so true.
> >

> >And I think it can be safe to say I'm not the only one who's curious as to
what
> >you think about all those answers, John. Do you "get it" now?
> >
> >DangerMom
>
> Not really. Every bit of enjoyment that people specify can be gotten

> just as well writing your own stuff (in case people don't know, btw,


> I've sold lots and lots of my own short stories to various pro anthos
> and mags, most recently TALES FROM THE WHITE CASTLE in the URBAN
> LEGENDS anthology). OTOH, as a result of my pro sales, I was asked if
> I wanted to do a story for the ULTIMATE SILVER SURFER anthology (btw
> -- the real fun is to reach the point where editors call you and -ask-
> for a story for their anthology). There was one thing I'd always
> wanted to do with the Silver Surfer -- I'd always wanted to tell him
> to stop whining and get over it. So I wrote that story, and it sold
> and they paid me for it and it was fun. And I supposed I can see that
> it might also have been fun to write it and show it to my friends and
> post it on-line. But I would never have written it under any other
> circumstances than a pro market for it..
>

> <Amusing side note on that story: friend of mine works at an SF
> publisher. They had started recieving, for some reason, a swedish SF
> magazine that reviewed their books -- in swedish. No one at the
> company spoke or read swedish, but they'd flip through the mag just
> for the fun of it.
>
> Anyway, the friend faxed over the page that reviewed THE ULTIMATE
> SILVER SURFER anthology to me because it had singled out my story and
> my name -- he could read the title and name, of course - but neither
> he, nor I could read the swedish and find out what they were saying
> about the story!
>

> Eventually I tracked down a swedish-speaker, and she told me that they
> had singled the story out as the best in the antho, which was nice to
> hear. So apparently, sweden loves my stuff.:)>
>

> Anyway, like I said, writing pro fic has ALL the fun of writing fan
> fiction. Here's a challenge -- why not set up a category on this
> newsgroup: NOTMEDIA or N/M. Let people write their own stuff and get
> comments on it. Best of Both Worlds, so to speak....:)
>

-----------== Posted via Deja News, The Discussion Network ==----------
http://www.dejanews.com/ Search, Read, Discuss, or Start Your Own

kira-...@geocities.com

unread,
Dec 8, 1998, 3:00:00 AM12/8/98
to

> Not really. Every bit of enjoyment that people specify can be gotten
> just as well writing your own stuff

That's not exactly true - not for me anyway. I write a lot of my own stuff and
have even been published - in SWEDEN (funny conincidence... )

But for me, fanfiction's largest appeal is the feedback you get. And you get
it at once. You don't have to wait around for the stuff to get published and
once it does you rarely get any commenting or feedback on what you write.

Also, the fascination with Fanfic is that the characters are already there -
they are ALIVE in your mind and you know that the readers will feel them as
being alive too.

I honestly don't feel that that is a negative thing.


> Eventually I tracked down a swedish-speaker, and she told me that they
> had singled the story out as the best in the antho, which was nice to
> hear. So apparently, sweden loves my stuff.:)>

I would love to find out what magazine that was :-D Since I am Swedish it
would just be interesting. Was this long ago. I didn't even know there is a
Swedish Scifi magazine you see ....

> Anyway, like I said, writing pro fic has ALL the fun of writing fan
> fiction. Here's a challenge -- why not set up a category on this
> newsgroup: NOTMEDIA or N/M. Let people write their own stuff and get
> comments on it. Best of Both Worlds, so to speak....:)

But that's just it. It's fun to write Star Trek because the characters are
already there. I don't deny that writing original stuff has its own reward,
it sparks your own imagination in a way that fanfic could never do. But why
do you have to chose? Why can't one do both?

kira-nerys

AMB Ricardo

unread,
Dec 8, 1998, 3:00:00 AM12/8/98
to
Aleph Press wrote in message ...

>
>I understand why someone would not want to try to make money off their
>fanfic. They can't. But when you';re not trying to sell your original
>fic, it kinda feels to me like you're saying "My work's not ready for
>prime time." So, uh, why would I want to read it?
>
>Alara, who loves to read well-edited, professionally published original
>sf, but can't stand the dreck that passes for original fic in mixed media
>zines

AMB> This is a benefit of fanfic, you can write, and give it to an audience
that has an interest. When I first entered the fanfic scene, February '98
actually, one of the things that peaked my interest, aside from some of the
really good stories people wrote, was the potential for people to read and
ideally critique my work, whatever it was worth. Now, I went through a
somewhat pushy process--I actually emailed my story to someone--but that
person was good enough to tell me where I needed work (and I definately
needed some brushing up on the fundamentals). Anyway, having gotten that
experience, I thought I'd do the same with some other people's writing, and
give them a methodical critique. For some it was welcomed, for others, it
seemed excessive, but I wanted to give back to a degree what I received, in
the hope that whenever I posted a story, or before that, have it beta-read,
and critiqued. That has happened only so rarely, but in my continual quest,
I decided I might as well, in part, do it myself. So, it's lead to a
process of self-analysis, along the same lines as personal self-reflection,
having the hoped benefit of improving the end result.

AMB> As for sending your mistakes to the net for people to read, personally,
that is one of the biggest incentives for continual improvement. Having
noticed some of the "awkward" lines in some of my work, I am ever more
vigilent. And if it's a major structural problem, people will tell me.

Later,

AMB.

Randy Landers

unread,
Dec 8, 1998, 3:00:00 AM12/8/98
to
kira-neyrs says

<<But that's just it. It's fun to write Star Trek because the
characters are
already there. I don't deny that writing original stuff has its own
reward,
it sparks your own imagination in a way that fanfic could never do.
But why do you have to chose? Why can't one do both?>>

Actually, and secretly, a few prowriters continue to write fan fic out
of the sheer enjoyment of playing in the universe without the strict
guidelines John enforces.

DragonGrrl

unread,
Dec 8, 1998, 3:00:00 AM12/8/98
to John Ordover
John Ordover wrote:

> There was one thing I'd always
> wanted to do with the Silver Surfer -- I'd always wanted to tell him
> to stop whining and get over it. So I wrote that story, and it sold
> and they paid me for it and it was fun. And I supposed I can see that
>
> it might also have been fun to write it and show it to my friends and
> post it on-line. But I would never have written it under any other
> circumstances than a pro market for it..

Well, you do know a little bit of what it's lke. I don't mean this in a
hostile way, but I just want to say that most of us don't need a pro
market to do it. We want to do it just because we want to do it-- not
because we get paid for it. There are a lot of us out here who don't
have any aspirations to become professional writers (well, I do have
some ideas, and when I write them down I'll try to sell them, but I
don't want to do it full time).

--DragonGrrl


jake...@mauimail.com

unread,
Dec 10, 1998, 3:00:00 AM12/10/98
to JWinterCNA, syd...@aol.com
Dear JWinterCNA and Sydvick,

You used to write some pretty good stories. Do you still have any works in
progress? If so, would you mind posting some of it?

When I read this group, I generally head straight for your postings. You both used
to write my favorite stuff on this group. Now it seems all you do is snipe about
that Ordover troll or post appraisals of someone else's work.

I really like your writing. But when it comes down to it, I'd rather hear Anne
Ripley telling Durant about the similarity between Sawerouwe's (sp) ruling class
and Cincinnati City Council. Or maybe one of McCoy's Doctor's Logs commenting on
the collapse of Pocket Books after its key player Ordover left on the SS Botany
Bay.

Please, write some more fiction! And post it! I'm your biggest fan (in physical
mass as well as literary intensity).

Just a thought!
Jake
Jake...@mauimail.com


J. Juls

unread,
Dec 11, 1998, 3:00:00 AM12/11/98
to
>Anyway, like I said, writing pro fic has ALL the fun of writing fan
>fiction. Here's a challenge -- why not set up a category on this
>newsgroup: NOTMEDIA or N/M. Let people write their own stuff and get
>comments on it. Best of Both Worlds, so to speak....:)

Well, there's already alt.prose .

Julie

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