CharlieMC (charliemc) wrote,
CharlieMC
charliemc

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Kindle Worlds? In a Word: NO

Apparently Amazon has decided to embrace fanfiction (better known to many of us as fanfic). Really? Those interested can read about Kindle Worlds HERE.

There are many reasons to debate against this concept. Fanfic online has always been free -- and zines were basically bought in order to pay for the work that went into creating a hard copy document. Others have said it better than I, but ultimately I think fanfic IS a gift we share with each other, the way fandom is something we share.

And having been a slash girl since the beginning (yes, I know that 'girl' is probably hard to swallow considering my age -- just LIVE WITH IT!), I don't like the idea of anyone telling fic authors that they can't write slash.

But let's face it: This isn't an opportunity for ALL types of fanfic to suddenly reach a wider and more mainstream audience, anyway. They're looking for a VERY FEW specific fandoms -- and many of the most popular fandoms will never be on any list. Frankly, there are legal reasons for that. The same reasons that we include templates with our fic that clearly state we 'don't own' the original property...

Fanfic writing used to be very hush-hush, by the way! I still remember how shocked I was when Marilyn and I 'discovered' tons of it floating around online! Many zines were sold cautiously -- and some were only sold to a tight circle of readers. Nobody wanted to get into trouble for writing and sharing fanfic. And one of the ways we avoided problems was to constantly remind everyone that we were NOT making money on the product.

Of course, from what I understand, this isn't a great way to actually make any money, anyway. It is, apparently, a terrific way to give up all rights as an author to your creations, though. Hahahahaha. Um, I guess I'm not all that anxious to create my own 'world' inside a given fandom, then have someone else take control of my concept. In fandom we've usually played very nice with each other. No, not always, but much of the time... Maybe I'm kidding myself, but there has been little to gain by stealing ideas from one another.

You know, many of us have spent countless hours helping us with their work, by the way. In the 'real world' of writing, what we do is called editing (I know, because I do edit writing for my job) -- in fandom we call it beta-ing. And we do it constantly and free of charge. All we're thinking about is ways to make the end product BETTER (and to help others to be better writers). Because we all gain when the fanfic is improved, after all!

The thing to remember: We write fanfic because we LOVE the given fandoms we're writing for -- and because we need MORE stories to enjoy! Basically whatever the fandom is, we can't get ENOUGH of it, so we have to write additional stories to keep things going...

Marilyn and I literally started doing this in the 1960's -- though we got serious about it a decade latter. We always knew that there could NEVER be enough stories about any fandom we enjoyed. And it's no surprise to us that people get truly hungry to read more and more.

How will Amazon -- and Kindle Worlds -- change fanfic? Hard to say. For those of us who love slash, it sounds like there won't be much impact -- because they state clearly "Pornography: We don't accept pornography or offensive depictions of graphic sexual acts." Look, I've NEVER considered the sexual acts depicted in slash fic to be pornography -- but I learned a long time ago that what one person considers explicit writing isn't always the same as what another person considers it to be. I've been know to be... um... descriptive sometimes -- yes, even blatantly so, now and then. But most of my writing is TAME compared to what's out there. You know, sex is a part of live -- and there are a lot of people writing about it! Romance novels frequently have more descriptive sex scenes than I'd ever think of writing, and they're sold main stream every day. (grin)

Sex scenes is only one small part of fanfic, after all. Though how we pair people up in our favorite fandoms is a very BIG part of the writing! Though I have my own ideas about who belongs with whom (don't we all?), I've found that I'm really open to reading pair-ups that I don't actually agree with. And I've always said, a good writer can convince me -- at least for the time it takes to read a fic -- that a pairing is PERFECT. For example: No, I don't like Harry Potter with Hermione Granger -- I just don't see them as a couple. But that doesn't mean I've never read a fanfic about these two that didn't strike me as wonderful. (Of course, I don't really like Harry with Ginny -- and that's book canon! But let's not go there right now...)

I'm starting to ramble. Discussions about fanfic often cause me to do that, I'm afraid. I love reading and writing (and beta-ing) fanfic. Always have, always will. I've been involved with it since the beginning of fanfic writing, and I feel very passionate about the subject. And it's always been an emotional and passionate subject for people, by the way. Because it's wrapped up in our fandoms -- and we LOVE our fandoms (remember me saying that before?).

I look askance at Amazon wanting to sell fanfic. But that's silly! People are already selling fanfic all the time now! Yes, in many cases they're taking fanfic and re-writing it to APPEAR not to actually be fanfic. "Fifty Shades of Grey" is a perfect example. If you're not aware, it started out as Twilight fanfic before ending up a huge best seller. And I've seen a LOT of slash being written and sold, too. Check Amazon for erotic fiction featuring Sherlock Holmes sometime, if you don't believe me... I discovered that while looking for the Mary Russell novels...

I'm not saying there's anything WRONG with selling fanfic, by the way. If you have the chance to do so and want to do it, more power to you! Good luck -- and I hope you can actually make a lot of money. Some of the VERY BEST writing I've ever read has been fanfiction, written by fandom authors. Just because we can share it for free, doesn't mean we HAVE to do so. And if you can take fanfic mainstream, I think that's great.

I always knew fan authors were so good that they should be PUBLISHED. I'm just not sure I like the way Kindle Words is doing this...

Well, I think this debate will be revisited over and over again in coming days, weeks, months and years. The world of writing has changed so much with the internet and eBooks! Who would have guessed?

And I'll never forget the first time one of my fanfics appeared in a zine -- it was so cool! I was really proud, too. And back then it was all about having your name on an actual hard copy BOOK. How times have changed...

If you're a reader -- or especially if you're a WRITER -- of fanfic, I'm interested to hear what you have to say about this, by the way. I know many of my Friends here at LJ aren't really involved in fandom or with fanfic, so this probably isn't an interesting subject for you. But if you like to read, remember that writing is writing -- even if the work is fanfiction...

Okay, my subject says 'NO' -- but maybe that's too quick on my part. I guess we'll have to see how things progress. And how well fandom authors are treated by publishers!

On that note, I'm off to bed!

Tags: 2013, amazon, authors, fandom, fanfic, harry-potter, harry-potter-fanfic, may-2013, slash, slash-fandom, writing
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  • 11 comments

  • Reading! I Love It!

    A new favorite author — what a delight! Actually, coming BACK to reading after being away from it is sheer joy. I have spent my entire life reading…

  • Marilyn's Presentation -- the Murdock Talks

    Tonight Marilyn gave her presentation for the Murdock Talks at the Museum of the Oregon Territory on Tumwater Drive in Oregon City (run by the…

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