GENERAL DISCUSSIONS

Fanfiction: Room for interpretation?

POSTED BY: DANNIISUPERNOVA
UPDATED: Wednesday, August 22, 2007 14:32
SHORT URL:
VIEWED: 4095
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Wednesday, August 8, 2007 8:51 PM

DANNIISUPERNOVA


I'd like to open up a discussion about interpreting characters differently in FFic. Sometimes people's interpretations are viewed as inciteful or they are viewed as over the top. But given not only Firefly's short run, but the sheer number of writers out there, shouldn't artistic liscense be applicable?

_____

"You know that's gonna fall off."
-----Nathan Fillion (to me while drunk)

How are ships unlike food?
1. If you try it and don't like it, you don't have to do it again.
2. You can have as much as you want, when you want.
3. Cravings can be very specific.
I mean, hello it's not as if there's 'ship police?

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Thursday, August 9, 2007 1:17 AM

SPACEANJL


Absolutely with you on this. There is work out there that takes characters so way off base that you don't recognise them but for the names, but there are also pieces that draw on what we know and work with it.

If you are writing a piece that projects into the future of the characters, then you have to draw on what has gone before. People do not remain static; they change and grow. For example, Zoe the widow will be different from Zoe the wife. Simon is getting a little less smooth and proper. Jayne is beginning to realise that there are some things you can't buy and shouldn't try. And River...well, li'l crazyboots is growing up and getting some context.

Writing within the timeframe of the series/BDM, you have a certain amount of freedom, because there is quite a lot of official background out there. But then, I'm a stickler for research, being trained that way. Everyone will bring their own interpretation into the mix.

I have some very strongly held opinions myownself on what would happen in the future (all 100,000+ words of it to date), but I'm working with all the scripts to hand, trying to keep an authentic flavour. Mostly. Sometimes the madness gets away with me.

Not a big fan of AU stuff - certain things have happened in the official timeline, and cannot be gainsaid. (Wash was a kebab last time we saw him - ain't nobody getting up from that.) And whilst certain relationships are 'established', there is no saying how they might alter over time.

Mind you, we can't say what Joss was going to do. Hell, there might have been shadow puppets, for all we know. Or interpretive dance recital...

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Thursday, August 9, 2007 8:34 AM

DANNIISUPERNOVA


Well canon is nice and all, but isn't that the point of fanfiction itself? Maybe some people (as just an example) feel that Mal and Inara would never really end up together. A lot of things are open for interpretation, whether they be romantic chemistry or the reaction to a change or a fight.

I mean isn't that why it's called "fanFICTION". It appears that you're more of a purist then me and that's fine. I'm just saying people specifically critiscizing certain characterizations as "bad" because of their personal beliefs about the character.

_____

"You know that's gonna fall off."
-----Nathan Fillion (to me while drunk)

How are ships unlike food?
1. If you try it and don't like it, you don't have to do it again.
2. You can have as much as you want, when you want.
3. Cravings can be very specific.
I mean, hello it's not as if there's 'ship police?

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Saturday, August 11, 2007 2:49 PM

NBZ


I think this works both ways.

There is room, but it has to be done right. It must feel like the characters. And then there is what people actually see in the characters.

I like the crew (Well, Mal) to be less than heroic. I want them to cross that grey area and occasionally do something which is totally wrong.

In the Firefly Companion 2 there was a plot discussed where they come across a baby, and being who they are decide to sell it. Many people feel that would have been out for characters. I myself absolutely love that idea (hint hint to the writers...). It is just so wrong, it is right.

Joss felt it was too dark for where they were, but accoridng to that bit the writers were still thinking about that even when writing the first comic series (Those Left Behind).

People may disagree with me (and I know many do with this particular notion), but I am of a mind that the core of a character does not change.

The only exception is probably when growing up.

Mal, Zoe, Jayne and Inara have already done a lot of growing. They are what they are due to what life has thrown at them. Change in them is very hard. It will only happen if they really want it to, which has not been even hinted at. Freedom means a lot to Mal. Same with Inara in her own way. Jayne actually likes violence.

(Too late for Book and Wash... but I would put them in the above boat if they had survived)

River has been crazy and young, so we do not have too much idea where she will go. Plenty of room for exploration.

Just gotta remember that she feels everything including the violence (See her cowering in the BDM and aversion to guns in the Pilot... but she can overcome it as she did in the BDM and in War Stories...). She will probably not be an ultra violent type.

Kaylee is pretty set in her ways too, but she could lose a little lightness. Then again Wash didn't...

Oh, may as well mention Zoe again. Yes, she lost her husband, who was a very big part of her life, but she has lost people in the past too.

Probably not a husband, but I would hazard a guess that around the time of the war she lost most of her family. Being a spacer and all I would have expected a mention otherwise.

For a while she will have more fo an edge, maybe laugh less, remember what they and Wash would have been doing in each situation.

(They are in a firefight, she calls the ship for backup... Would be used to calling for Wash)

In the end she will be all right. Maybe even stronger. More commanding.

Saying all that, I WANT MORE CANON FROM JOSS & CO.!!!

uhm.. sorry.... (We all do)

/Backs out of topic...

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Saturday, August 11, 2007 5:12 PM

PLATONIST


I'm with you nbz.

WE NEED MORE CANON! and not just that comic book thingy.

The BDM turned everything upside down. Like a hotcake flip. Joss admitted this in early Serenity screenings, when he did his show and tell.

Zoe is a widow, Inara is back and looking all uncompanioning, River is flying, Kaylee and Simon are hooking up, Mal has discovered poetry and Jayne, well Jayne.

Open to interpretation, yes, but there are some universal adult constants that don't change, like grieving for a beloved partner (Zoe), finding work, when there is no work to be had (Mal), finding yourself (River), surviving (Simon) and desperately wanting to get horizontal with the person you love (Mal and Inara).

And of course, keeping it family.

We need more of this new verse! ASAP! BUY THE DVDs!









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Saturday, August 11, 2007 5:55 PM

STINKINGROSE


If there is no interpretation from cannon, we'll all end up writing the same five stories.
OTOH, there are things that just feel really really wrong in some fics.

I try to follow the general guideline of "stay true to the character". If change happens it will not be a sudden thing, unless you can build it in seamlessly. Epiphanies do not happen every day.

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Saturday, August 11, 2007 6:30 PM

PLATONIST


When writing fanfic, I would go with how these characters "react" to plot developments and changes. There is enough character canon to anticipate behavior when introducing foils.

You can create subtle changes or reactionary changes. Inara's breakdown in HOG, and her leaving, major reactionary outcome. Mal frickin going to the Darkside of the Moon, subtle outcome...well... at first glance. We get it, It makes sense.

Kaylee and Simon breaking up... possibly. Kaylee hooking up with Jayne shortly after...not so much. We know it's not Melrose Space. Can you still write it? Yup! It's your story whether or not it makes any sense to anyone but you. Is it canon pure or not? Again, open to interpretation.

Same for all these not so canon ships. There is little in canon to support any of them. It's fiction. Interpretate away.

Only Joss holds the real writing license. Everyone else is just playing.


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Sunday, August 12, 2007 3:33 AM

STINKINGROSE


You know, it just occurred to me... there's more fanfic than there was actual show.

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Sunday, August 12, 2007 4:20 AM

NBZ


There is only about 17 hours of actual canon.

ScrewTheAlliance himself probably beat that many times over in a single one of his stories!

But then again the fanfics normally have a slower pacing.

In Firefly, each actual episode was paced over approximately two days. The BDM upto the "stand down" point could have been similar, maybe slightly longer. After that It would take some time to get the ship repaired, the funeral etc...

On the other hands we can have whole fanfic chapters about a single meal (well I don't think there has been one, but you et my point).

Platonist got me thinking about Inara and over reacting. We (well, I) always thought the reason she left Sinhon would be a big one. Maybe it was just another over reaction? Another love? that could be a good thing to explore in fic... see how Mal reacts to seeing the "other" other guy.

PS Mal/Inara is not canon for me (mutual attraction IS canon though). It has potential, but any hooking up is anti-canon. Wash/Zoe is canon and so is Simon Kaylee because it actually happened.

Mal/Inara were probably never meant to happen. The issue being Inara. Mal was willing to accept her as is in HoG. There would probably have been (massive) problems later, but he was willing to give it a go (while knowing her job). Inara had an issue with commitment/closeness/something.

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Sunday, August 12, 2007 4:49 AM

SPACEANJL


Quote:

Originally posted by danniisupernova:
Well canon is nice and all, but isn't that the point of fanfiction itself? Maybe some people (as just an example) feel that Mal and Inara would never really end up together. A lot of things are open for interpretation, whether they be romantic chemistry or the reaction to a change or a fight.

I mean isn't that why it's called "fanFICTION". It appears that you're more of a purist then me and that's fine. I'm just saying people specifically critiscizing certain characterizations as "bad" because of their personal beliefs about the character.

B]



*snicker* Purist? Me? I'm a diehard Jayniac, baby, with an OC to prove it. But I'm with you on the M/I not working front, for reasons which make some other people gag and shriek.

I like to annoy people with my own massive political conspiracy theory. But hey, it's a big 'verse, and we all get to play in it. I personally back out of anything Jaylee, Rayne or slash, because I can't see it.


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Sunday, August 12, 2007 5:43 AM

GWEK


Quote:

Originally posted by stinkingrose:
You know, it just occurred to me... there's more fanfic than there was actual show.



Yep, at www.stillflying.net alone, we've got 25 episodes! (Although our Season One finale is adapted from THOSE LEFT BEHIND and pretty much the entirety of the movie is spread across Season Two.)

www.stillflying.net: "Here's how it might have been..."

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Sunday, August 12, 2007 8:02 AM

PLATONIST


I find thinking about M/I's romantic arc fairly futile. It hurts my brain after a while.

I too consider them more "implied" canon rather than actual canon. It is hard to speculate where Joss was going with them,
he seemed to like exploring who they are and what they could be. He established a strong mutually shared passionate love, ironically one of the strongest on the ship. So strong that the feelings manifest into waves (like light or sound)... that River feels and reacts to in OIS.

But, they do have many obstacles, Mal's broken state and Inara's job, her pride, Mal's control, the list goes on and on...

Defraging the obstacles could and would have taken the length of the show. There is a lot of writing potential there. Joss obviously had to fast forward because he realized that he was running out of time, hence the movie resolution which is? That she may stop running and face her
reluctance to commit? Again, my brain starts hurting! LOL

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Sunday, August 12, 2007 8:21 AM

DANNIISUPERNOVA


Quote:

Originally posted by SpaceAnJL:
I personally back out of anything Jaylee, Rayne or slash, because I can't see it.




EXACTLY! You can't see it. I just see people sometimes getting down on people for liking certain things and stuff and I don't get that. I just think it's kinda silly to draw lines up in the fandom based on beliefs about characterisation. Like it you read a fic and a character does something that you think is out of character, giving it a lower score or a bad review based solely on that fact...why say anything at all? is all I'm saying.

_____

"You know that's gonna fall off."
-----Nathan Fillion (to me while drunk)

How are ships unlike food?
1. If you try it and don't like it, you don't have to do it again.
2. You can have as much as you want, when you want.
3. Cravings can be very specific.
I mean, hello it's not as if there's 'ship police?

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Sunday, August 12, 2007 9:41 AM

NBZ


Quote:

So strong that the feelings manifest into waves (like light or sound)... that River feels and reacts to in OIS.


I thought that was to Zoe/Wash (where she had to get away...). I will have to watch OiS again.

Mal/Inara can work IMO (and where they were at the end of the BDM there is every opportunity they would take some basic steps to test the waters), but ignoring the issues will put me off a fic.

But some people like that sort of stuff. As you said, it hurts the brain to think too much about it.

@DANNISUPERNOVA - I don't think it is right to comment on fic which does not meet my thoughts. It should not be done. The author went through the hard work to think up the situation and write it. That deserves respect.

On the other hand I think it can be ok if done right to specify what someone likes to read, and what their thoughts are on these generic topics that occasionally pop up.

A few months ago there was a spike where a lot of people who didn't see Rayne, but kept quiet about it finally lost their cool. Whilst an anti-Rayne voice was much needed, some people who read or write Rayne probably did feel pressured by the fact that it suddenly jumped out of nowhere and had such power behind it.

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Sunday, August 12, 2007 10:22 AM

PLATONIST


I think the question when rating a Fanfic is are you evaluating the writing quality or judging the content? Subjective or Objective?

I don't think it is fair to rate low solely because you don't particularly like the ship that is in the content. Again, it comes down to your character interpretation. If, as the reader, it doesn't work within your character references then don't read it. And DON"T give it a low grade based solely on content.

The only love scenarios I find offensive are when a BDH is "in love" with River. I think there are some strong moral implications, which shouldn't be ignored, that surface from creating such a scenario. She was not only portrayed as underage but mentally traumitized. That just makes me a little uncomfortable. Again, I don't read, comment or rate.

River crushing on a BDH, kinda fun and sweet. Their reactions could be hilarious!

River "in love" with an OC around her age, as she grows... I love, love, love

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Sunday, August 12, 2007 2:39 PM

WYTCHCROFT


ok so... i may change my mind after posting but...

1) it's a free 'verse, do what you want with it - in the trekkless 70s - (side bar, never give up hope, Star Trek - Dr Who, big gaps, still they came back eventually) fan fic explored all forms and media without constraint, some of the romanticism around the cult of spock looks silly maybe NOW but it was all fuel for the fire that the fans kept burning.
(see what i did there? i'm not even a trekkie!)

2) If you lose the 'feel' of the show - expect to lose fans - just like a real episode would. just take it, curse, stew, come back fighting - but just check you are not, in effect, creating something ENTIRELY new - because all you need do then is change the character names and you got your own project going on!

3) relationships take time to build and develop so don't rush into something that seems artificial and makes the characters seem like puppets (they spent a long time doing this in Buffy and despite this the Spike and Slayer relationship still alienated some people in S6 despite the groundwork being as early as S2's last episodes.)

- a good idea (maybe) is to pick key moments in the character arcs that are already known and explore from there.

4) Be your own Joss - would you accept the work as pitched? Is it right for Firely ultimately as you envision it?

Finally the whole canon thing is real open given how little show we got (boo hoo) if Joss is anything to go by then look at the summers' residence in season 7... a lot of the forced environmental closeness [not to mention directorial tricks] mirror the action on Serenity but wait - all the characters in THAT family are freaked... they hardly relate anymore... the eventual horizons for firefly would probably be anything but cosy... (but not necessarily humourless).

ta ra.

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Monday, August 13, 2007 5:27 AM

MAL4PREZ


Quote:

Originally posted by danniisupernova:
I'd like to open up a discussion about interpreting characters differently in FFic. Sometimes people's interpretations are viewed as inciteful or they are viewed as over the top. But given not only Firefly's short run, but the sheer number of writers out there, shouldn't artistic liscense be applicable?

Sure, there's artistic license. Part of the joy of fanfic is that we get to take these characters places that Joss couldn't. We get to try all kinds of craziness, all we want, weeee!

Quote:

just think it's kinda silly to draw lines up in the fandom based on beliefs about characterisation.
But here's the sucky thing about fanfic - we're using characters that someone else created, and we're writing for an audience that knows these characters extremely well. Fact of the matter is, people are drawn to fanfic *because they love Firefly*, not because they love the random fanfic writer. If you want to please the readers, you have got to respect that, and make every effort to be true to the characters that, after all, belong to no one but Joss.

Which isn't to say you can't go outside canon. Write Mal/Simon as lovers running a gay brothel if you want, but if you try to pass that off as Firefly canon, you're going to get flamed. And you won't have many readers, because you're not writing what most fans want to read. They want more Firefly. Plain and simple.

Then there's the question of what's artistic license and what's out of character... (I could just copy nbz's first post and paste it here - well said dah'ling!) Hell, it isn't a black and white thing. We can (and do LOL!) argue all day about who these characters really are, what they really would do. There's no solid line separating "in character" from "out of character", and taste certainly comes into it. But it's pretty clear when something strays out of line - it gets an outcry from the readers.

Also, there's a huge difference between having the characters change due to forces in their lives, future events and such, and having them just suddenly - hey presto! - act completely different than they did on the show. Any fic with the latter isn't going to go over well.

As for ratings (which are, in the end, pretty much meaningless except to our fragile egos LOL!), I'd prefer that ratings indicate a writer's ability to write English, but that's not going to happen here. This is fanfic. It's about having more Firefly, so characterizations are a big part of it.

Reality sucks LOL!

-----------------------------------------------
hmm-burble-blah, blah-blah-blah, take a left

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Monday, August 13, 2007 8:24 AM

PHOENIXROSE

You think you know--what's to come, what you are. You haven't even begun.


Quote:

Originally posted by Platonist:
I think the question when rating a Fanfic is are you evaluating the writing quality or judging the content? Subjective or Objective?


I don't think the two are mutually exclusive. There are certain scenarios that usually make me shudder (Jayne and pretty much anyone springs to mind) but in the hands of a gifted writer it can be convincing. I can still say "Well, I'm not sure that's where he'd go, but at least this is plausible."
Anything, anything, outside the established canon needs a slow build up. That includes Mal and Inara getting busy, and certainly River hooking up with anyone. I love reading good Rivership fic, myself, but if it's just her falling into bed with Jayne, I find it to be just wrong. That kind of thing should be clearly labeled. Some people want to just read smut for smut's sake, and I'm not going to tell them they're wrong, but that's not what I want to read. I want more Firefly.
A lot of people aren't willing or able to write that much. I know I've had a few ideas that I couldn't write the proper build-up for, so I just don't yet. I stick to the past of the characters, or try to fill in their thoughts during certain scenes. I stick to the canon as much as possible. I've not written a single thing that was post-BDM and I'm not sure if I ever will. Maybe my ideas will bloom properly and maybe not.
Anyway, the point of this long-windedness is that care should be taken with the writing regardless. If something strikes me as off, it's often because it's not written with enough care. I've read Mal/Simon slash that was just abrupt and ridiculous, and I've read Mal/Simon slash that actually explored the reasons behind it, and I didn't mind that as much. Do I buy it myself? Not really. Would I flame an author that layed out convincing reasons for a pairing like that and wrote pretty well? No, no I would not. Did not. Have not. Haven't really bothered to flame the terrible writers or the pure smut writers or the writers who's style just didn't feel 'Firefly' to me but was otherwise good. I accept that they're going to flood fanfic and fighting them is a waste of my life. But I'm not here for other people's fantasies, I'm here for more Firefly, because right now it's the only way I can get it.
There are a lot of ways these characters could grow and change and act. As long as you take the time to establish a behavior that we haven't seen from them before and the voices ring true, I have very little problem with it. But having a fantasy about Jayne and Kaylee and writing it out of the blue is not going to get high praise from me.


Human beings, who are almost unique in having the ability to learn from the experience of others, are also remarkable for their apparent disinclination to do so.
A troll's hair is still pointy, even when it's wearing a hat.

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Monday, August 13, 2007 8:55 AM

MAL4PREZ


Quote:

Originally posted by PhoenixRose:
But I'm not here for other people's fantasies, I'm here for more Firefly, because right now it's the only way I can get it.

LOL! Another thing well said. Wasn't that well said?

-----------------------------------------------
hmm-burble-blah, blah-blah-blah, take a left

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Monday, August 13, 2007 1:23 PM

PLATONIST


Yes, well said! It is why we come to read.

Writers often don't consider audience (or fans in this case) when writing.
There is nothing new there.

I guess I adherently feel the need to play Devil's Advocate when in defense of writers. Writing comes from such an inner place. It is often a vessel for self-expression and divergent thought. Remember, some of our greatest writers wrote what people didn't want to hear. Some call it the lost art.

I know we can all identify fantasy scenarios and characters. And, of course, very unplausible plots and pairings. Some of the writers here are very young and inexperienced. I think you get my meaning... enough said.

Wouldn't it be better to support them in the creative process rather than tear them down for putting themselves out there and taking a chance?






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Monday, August 13, 2007 2:50 PM

NBZ


Yeah, posting a fic is probably a daunting prospect for lots of people.

It's easy to beat on another's ideas, but hard to come up with good fic of our own. As long as it is readable, I do not care too much about grammar - but I have stopped reading a few fics where it was too hard to follow what was going on. Probably first time efforts.

On another note, I just re-posted my Christmas piece, so anyone got a grudge about any of my comments, now is the time to follow it through.

http://www.fireflyfans.net/sunroomitem.asp?i=17542

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Monday, August 13, 2007 3:51 PM

LEIASKY


>Wouldn't it be better to support them in the creative process rather than tear them down for putting themselves out there and taking a chance?

Isn't constructive criticism better than a pat on the back with a simple 'this was good, keep it up'? - which is really what most people are after even though they don't say that it is.





"A government is a body of people usually notably ungoverned."

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Monday, August 13, 2007 4:45 PM

EMPIREX


I think you are right, Leiasky - but I think it also depends on the writer. Some people aren't interested in honing their craft and some are.

I recently posted my first two fics and while I appreciated the "good job" comments, only 2x2 actually gave me constructive criticism. I know my writing skills aren't on the same level as some of my favorite authors and she knew exactly where my story's weakest point was and I knew it too because I had struggled with that part. Can't get anything by her! ;D But the point is, I was glad for her critique because *next* time, I'll use it and learn from it.


Patsy: When you were two years old, we tied you to the central reservation of a motorway.

Edina: But you were like a homing pidgeon, sweetie....back within a week!

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Monday, August 13, 2007 5:10 PM

LEIASKY


>Some people aren't interested in honing their craft and some are.

Definitely true. But its not my job as a reader to discern whether that particular author wants to hone their craft by really wanting constructive criticism or if they are just writing to get praise for their body of work.

It's my job to leave a review if the story moved me in any way - whether positively or negatively.

I do try, nowadays, where I didn't used to bother in the past, to always mention something good about a story if I have left criticism.

"A government is a body of people usually notably ungoverned."

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Monday, August 13, 2007 5:23 PM

EMPIREX


Quote:

Originally posted by Leiasky:
But its not my job as a reader to discern whether that particular author wants to hone their craft by really wanting constructive criticism or if they are just writing to get praise for their body of work.

It's my job to leave a review if the story moved me in any way - whether positively or negatively.



Absolutely. You are right! The BSR's format has a rating scale and a place to comment. It's a given that people will comment on your fic here. If a writer can't take getting negative comments, perhaps they should find a different place to post their work. Or note that they don't wish to receive feedback.

If a writer begs for feedback, but then can't take someone being honest with them, then that's their problem.

This happened to me once: Someone left a low rating (it was like a 6, I think) and didn't even explain why. Nothing! Not even a comment to say: "Sorry, but I thought this sucked." LOL!

*cries* Why?!? Tell me what I did wrong!!!



Patsy: When you were two years old, we tied you to the central reservation of a motorway.

Edina: But you were like a homing pidgeon, sweetie....back within a week!

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Monday, August 13, 2007 5:50 PM

PLATONIST


Constructive criticism is always part of the process, especially for those that ask.

What I've noticed is how it seems to fall on deaf ears here, and unfortunatly for us, some of those authors are also the most prolific writers.

And have quite a following of readers that want a cliche-ridden fanfic that reads more like a fill-in-the blank mad lib, instead of a thought provoking
sample that one would expect to be able to be generated from a compelling cast of characters.

Fans of the author (more likely the romantic ship) are probably least qualified to give honest feedback because not all readers know quality. So we end up with high ratings for mediocre work. The writer is mislead into believing their fic is a success.




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Tuesday, August 14, 2007 4:41 AM

LEIASKY


>Fans of the author (more likely the romantic ship) are probably least qualified to give honest feedback because not all readers know quality. So we end up with high ratings for mediocre work. The writer is mislead into believing their fic is a success.

I agree with everything your post above said but decided to highlight the above because it is really important.

I've definitely fallen into that category in the past, myself.

"A government is a body of people usually notably ungoverned."

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Tuesday, August 14, 2007 5:28 AM

MAL4PREZ


Quote:

Originally posted by Platonist:
I guess I adherently feel the need to play Devil's Advocate when in defense of writers. Writing comes from such an inner place. It is often a vessel for self-expression and divergent thought. Remember, some of our greatest writers wrote what people didn't want to hear. Some call it the lost art.

You're so right! I love the aspect of writing which is self-exploration. That's a large part of what it is for me, and I do want to encourage other writers to give themselves free rein. I really do! I guess I should remind myself more how hard it is to post fic the first time. I remember I was a wreck! Every new comment had me jumping up and down if it was good or thinking - OMG! They hate me! - if it was at all bad. It's such a vulnerable position to be in.

So, to try and stay in the thread's subject, don't you think that the more a writer interprets this verse in their own way, the more personal their fic is, and the more risky to post? In that case, criticism can seem very hurtful and maybe even personally insulting, even if it was kindly meant and gently worded.

But isn't that one of the tell-tale signs of a Mary Sue fic? Any criticism becomes so personal that the writer can't take it? To me, this is the real problem with Mary Sue or any overly personalized fic - the writer is so attached that they can't stand back and see things clearly, the good and the bad. Then they can't ever grow.

Hmm. What - me? Tangentialize on a thread? Never...

Quote:

Originally posted by Platonist:
Fans of the author (more likely the romantic ship) are probably least qualified to give honest feedback because not all readers know quality. So we end up with high ratings for mediocre work. The writer is mislead into believing their fic is a success.

Well...this writer would be a success as far as his or her audience is concerned. Who am I to argue? Well, who am I to argue unless the writer starts making a fuss and demanding more feedback? Just be careful what you ask for LOL! As Leiasky can attest, I have the Red Font of Doom!!!

-----------------------------------------------
hmm-burble-blah, blah-blah-blah, take a left

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Tuesday, August 14, 2007 5:44 AM

LEIASKY


>Just be careful what you ask for LOL! As Leiasky can attest, I have the Red Font of Doom!!!

She does! I cringe every time I open a chapter to see what she's done to it. It's never as bad as I think and its always got some really good criticism. Makes me look at a situation I've written from another perspective - one who isn't nearly as close to the story.

I wanted to grow a bit in my writing so I asked someone who not only writes well, but has a better knowledge of characters that I DON'T have a good handle on, to beta for me. It's worked really well.

Not everyone is like this. Some don't even use a beta, some don't care to, some write what they want and don't care at all for believable characterization, and everyone rates stories differently.

You just have to take the positive with the negative and either learn from constructive comments, or ignore them.

"A government is a body of people usually notably ungoverned."

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Tuesday, August 14, 2007 5:48 AM

MAL4PREZ


Quote:

Originally posted by EmpireX:
This happened to me once: Someone left a low rating (it was like a 6, I think) and didn't even explain why. Nothing! Not even a comment to say: "Sorry, but I thought this sucked." LOL!

*cries* Why?!? Tell me what I did wrong!!!

I hear you! I can think of a few particular chapters of mine that I really liked, but they got low ratings with no negative comments. I know not everyone will like my stuff, but I want to know why!! Just to understand, not to defend.

That experience is why I made the "fragile ego" comment above. I was talking about me!! My fragile ego took a hit over that - and I did whine about it publicly at the time, even though I know very well that ratings don't matter at all! The ego is so easily bruised...


-----------------------------------------------
hmm-burble-blah, blah-blah-blah, take a left

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Wednesday, August 15, 2007 3:03 PM

STINKINGROSE


My first fic garnered a few well meant comments which made me cringe a little, but I went back and checked and the person who chid (chided) me oh so gently was right. I had completely forgotten what a script looked like.
(No, I have not gone back and edited that first post.)
I love getting comments. The 'way shiny' ones give you the warm fuzzies, the "this really didn't work for me" ones ensure you can get more warm fuzzies next time for better work.
I actually don't seem to get much feedback on anything I post, usually run a rating of "9", and am wondering if I'm writing to the same 10 people every time and they just read it twenty times each...
I swear BEB is a one-man fan club! (Love ya babe! You're great for the inflated ego!) He's just so damned supportive of everyone.
I like reading the comments *other* writers get because that lets me see what readers don't like about things in general, not just my own idea. Let's face it, getting perspective on your own stuff can be hard because you're so in the middle of it and it all works in your head. I've tried finding a Beta, but I can't recall anybody telling me to go ahead and send it over to them. I just run spell check, try to find the obvious grammatical errata, and hope for the best. I'm also still learning to navigate a website and all that good stuff.
I *only* write post-BDM because, to me, it just feels like sacrilege to change anything from what was written by the creators. (New religion anyone? That sounded really bad..)
I just feel like *I personally* should not attempt to alter "canon", whereas others are free to do so, and even quite good at it sometimes. I am not a trained professional and should not try this at home, if you follow my derailment of thought.

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Thursday, August 16, 2007 1:39 PM

WYTCHCROFT


there seems to be no connection between comments and ratings at times.. i think the ratings thing is bogus and never use it. feedback is where it's at. don't forget supportive mcomments can lead to dialogue (and maybe genuine criticism and praise) through the profile messaging system etc.
the rating is so instant and harsh i could never bring myself to be that mean without knowing the writer's previous work and capabilities well.. to be able to judge a pieces success by THEIR standards.

everyone who submits deserves to be read... and i find something of interest/entertainment in almost all of it. same as with the threads.

but it's an arena up there at times (believe me).

make somebody a browncoat today - don't drive no/one away

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Thursday, August 16, 2007 3:14 PM

PHOENIXROSE

You think you know--what's to come, what you are. You haven't even begun.


Quote:

Originally posted by stinkingrose:
I *only* write post-BDM because, to me, it just feels like sacrilege to change anything from what was written by the creators.


I don't really change anything, I just fill in the blanks. Having written four little ficlets, I can hardly call myself prolific, but the last two, for sure, were just filling in some history for Wash and Zoe. Changing canon would be, like, if I wrote it so they never got married or something crazy like that.
You know what? I lied. I did write a little bitty story of Zoe's grief after the movie. I sure seem to focus on that relationship a lot...


Human beings, who are almost unique in having the ability to learn from the experience of others, are also remarkable for their apparent disinclination to do so.
A troll's hair is still pointy, even when it's wearing a hat.

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Friday, August 17, 2007 1:49 AM

STINKINGROSE


It's a good relationship with plenty of meat on the bone. There's worse things to focus on!

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Friday, August 17, 2007 2:20 PM

ZONER


-vump!-

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Tuesday, August 21, 2007 11:37 PM

SPACEANJL


Quote:

Originally posted by stinkingrose:
I *only* write post-BDM because, to me, it just feels like sacrilege to change anything from what was written by the creators. (New religion anyone? That sounded really bad..)
I just feel like *I personally* should not attempt to alter "canon", whereas others are free to do so, and even quite good at it sometimes. I am not a trained professional and should not try this at home, if you follow my derailment of thought.



I'm with the above here. All I ask is we don't go nailing any folk up to anything. (Except maybe plagiarists, and people who abuse the apostrophe.)

I'll admit to having stepped outside of my own rules the once to write something very strange. But bottom line is, I'm writing my own homage to a much loved obsession here, and people can flame me all they like for my interpretation of the characters and for my own ideas about the political machinations, economic necessities or domestic developments, it won't actually stop me seeing what I see on the backs of my eyelids.

As I said before, I just back out of anything that I don't like. That simple. Similarly, I rarely leave criticism. Who am I to criticise what somebody else sees? I'll offer an opinion if asked specifically, but otherwise, I merely lurk.


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Wednesday, August 22, 2007 1:27 AM

CBSTEVE


I've just read all the responses here and found it very interesting since I'm kind of new here, only being a member since July 12, 2007. I've posted a few fanfics and images and received such positive comments and ratings it has encouraged me. I've also receivied criticism but I'm well school in that school of hard knocks since I've been trying to make it as a screenwriter/novelist for more than 12 years now, with a lot of rejection, missed chances, blown oppurtunities, and some limited success.

This place is great because it allows you to work on your craft and get feedback almost instantly. The screenwriting business is extremely crowded and very few people make it. Writing short stories and novels is also very trying because the reading and getting back to you pace of most publishers is glacial, if they even bother to accept your manuscript in the first place.

As for following the plot and character's threads as presented in the material from the show, movie, and comics, I'm all for following canon and all of my stuff does. But that doesn't mean I'm against those that don't. These are fanfics, for Christ sake, and anybody can write what they want. Doesn't mean I'll read it or like it, but I'll defend your right to write it. It's a big 'verse, our Internet, and there's plenty of room for all points of view. As for the ratings system, I think its just a gauge to let the authors know what you think and doesn't really mean a whole lot. Comments tend to be short and usually just a "I like it or not", except for a few who leave longer ones pointing out a flaw or something they particularly enjoyed. I try to leave longer comments cause I know that is what will help people improve their future work.

Anyway, more power to the 'verse and long live the Browncoats!

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Wednesday, August 22, 2007 11:31 AM

DANNIISUPERNOVA


Quote:

Originally posted by cbsteve:

As for following the plot and character's threads as presented in the material from the show, movie, and comics, I'm all for following canon and all of my stuff does. But that doesn't mean I'm against those that don't. These are fanfics, for Christ sake, and anybody can write what they want. Doesn't mean I'll read it or like it, but I'll defend your right to write it. It's a big 'verse, our Internet, and there's plenty of room for all points of view. As for the ratings system, I think its just a gauge to let the authors know what you think and doesn't really mean a whole lot. Comments tend to be short and usually just a "I like it or not", except for a few who leave longer ones pointing out a flaw or something they particularly enjoyed. I try to leave longer comments cause I know that is what will help people improve their future work.

Anyway, more power to the 'verse and long live the Browncoats!



If I knew you in real life, this is the part where I'd fling myself into your arms and be all "kiss me you fool!" and then the dramatic music would start. But that's so cheesy. So I'll just say that your awesome and have done with it.

_____

"You know that's gonna fall off."
-----Nathan Fillion (to me while drunk)

How are ships unlike food?
1. If you try it and don't like it, you don't have to do it again.
2. You can have as much as you want, when you want.
3. Cravings can be very specific.
I mean, hello it's not as if there's 'ship police?

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Wednesday, August 22, 2007 12:19 PM

CBSTEVE


Thanks, Danni, but my wife might have something to say about the kissing part. I'll also have to remember that kissing girls makes me kind of sleepy. Have a goodday!

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Wednesday, August 22, 2007 1:30 PM

ROMANCEGURU


Looking at the big picture here, and characterization quibbles aside, I kind of get the feeling that a lot (not all) of the brown coats on this site want fic’s that are as close to Joss incarnate as possible and leave little room for creative interpretation.

Whatever happened to the allowance of imagination? As writers, isn’t it key to think outside of the box? I don’t think it’s fair to limit a writer to canon.

Do your best to write the best characterization you can, then write them wherever you see apt. I could care less. Makes for a more interesting read IMO.

We all have our preferences whether it be canon, AU or specific ship, and we can all read or write to suit those inclinations. I hate to see people scrutinized for what they personally enjoy. Go artistic freedom.

***********************************************
"They say never hit a man with a closed fist, but it is on occasion hilarious."

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Wednesday, August 22, 2007 1:32 PM

LEIASKY


Quote:

Originally posted by cbsteve:

As for following the plot and character's threads as presented in the material from the show, movie, and comics, I'm all for following canon and all of my stuff does. But that doesn't mean I'm against those that don't. These are fanfics, for Christ sake, and anybody can write what they want. Doesn't mean I'll read it or like it, but I'll defend your right to write it. It's a big 'verse, our Internet, and there's plenty of room for all points of view. As for the ratings system, I think its just a gauge to let the authors know what you think and doesn't really mean a whole lot. Comments tend to be short and usually just a "I like it or not", except for a few who leave longer ones pointing out a flaw or something they particularly enjoyed. I try to leave longer comments cause I know that is what will help people improve their future work.

B]



Everyone should write what they want. I agree. I do. My friends do. Some stuff might not ring believable with me, but I'll tell them that, usually in a review. They take my comments or leave them. That's an author's perogative.

It's when the writers who don't like the feedback they get and then come and whine about it that's annoying.



"A government is a body of people usually notably ungoverned."

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Wednesday, August 22, 2007 2:32 PM

DANNIISUPERNOVA


oops! You've figured out my devious plot to steal your identity!

_____

"You know that's gonna fall off."
-----Nathan Fillion (to me while drunk)

How are ships unlike food?
1. If you try it and don't like it, you don't have to do it again.
2. You can have as much as you want, when you want.
3. Cravings can be very specific.
I mean, hello it's not as if there's 'ship police?

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