Reviews for This Gentleman's Beef with Fanfiction
JHeartbreak chapter 1 . 9/13/2012
I don't read fanfiction... I can't stand it.
Most fiction is fanfiction. All fiction is fanfiction. I mean, in the sense that, there are only so many characters, so many plots... the best writers are still just rewriting the stories they've heard. Shakespeare had many sources, in fiction, poetry, and history, and we can trace what a lot of them were. Is that not fanfiction? Is "Antony and Cleopatra" not fanfiction about Antony and Cleopatra?

And Milton's "Paradise Lost" essentially makes Satan into a Shakespearian villain, a Macbeth/Iago.

And Wordsworth makes Satan into a poet - Wordsworth and Coleridge and Blake, all of them.

We are all rewriting each other. I can see a reason why fanfiction could be perfectly adequate practice for 'real literature'.

Except that, obviously, most fanfiction is not even genuinely taking the characters as they are. Which stories seek to genuinely catch the Naruto-ness of Naruto, and would rather give Naruto's skin to another character?

Well, I still won't read any fanfiction. But those are my thoughts.
LyssBliss chapter 1 . 8/18/2012
You've got a great... I guess you could call it an argument... debate, perhaps even a story. I'm not sure which side of the topic I am on. I do understand your points (which are very good) but I still think fanfiction is fun nonetheless. The point of writing is to enjoy it and fanfiction allows us to "play" with writing. But we also need to improve as writers too.

For the last 3 years, I've done roleplaying and I've definitely improved from that noob that I used to be but in the last 3 years that I've TRIED to write a story... I've only ever barely gotten to the second chapter. Roleplaying and writing original fiction are two different things. I agree that fanfiction and original fiction are two different things. (Which is obviously why they have 2 different sites, duh! Warith, you are an idiot.) But in the end, I guess the point is, did you become a better writer and did you have

But back to your "story". The way you maintained a British accent throughout the whole story is really impressive. I always find it hard to speak in a different tone than the way I speak but you did a great job with that and used plenty of British phrases.

The way you used the audience to help sort of make the story humorous was great! It also helped break up your arguement into smaller segments. If you had spent the whole time just ranting on and on and on, I would've stopped reading. But you had the audience step in right before a big point, stopping the "flow" of the story and bringing attention to the points.

So, all and all, an amazing job.
Jinspire chapter 1 . 8/11/2012
How on Earth is this so helpful and funny? You barely missed that fruit, sir. My favorite parts? The whole " Are you a son of a bitch? You know, is ya mum a female dog?" and "The fanfic writer is free to forgo all of that and get right to "the good stuff"... and any attempts to re-establish are just supplementary and many times will be classified as 'unnecessary' by the fanfic reader!" Why the latter? I agree with that, very much so. For now on when I'm sitting there, bored, reading Bleach fanfiction, I will take that into consideration as I review that particular piece. However... If you were to write a fanfiction, and not an original work, and the characters are set in an alternate universe, wouldn't you need to reestablish this characters, as what they are in canon has been changed to fit into this new world?
I think yes and no. Don't repeat their whole life story, rather, describe what they are in that universe, what they've been through (it should at least be similar to what happened in canon).
Of course, that's only in those types of situations. XP

Yeah... I'm not going to evaluate things like this about grammar and stuff, because that's just silly. _' That's all I had to put.
Liarra chapter 1 . 8/6/2012
While I agree with a lot of your point, I do think that fanfiction can be good practice, so long as it is understood as such. Personally, I was having a bit of writer's block when I decided to just do an extended writing exercise with Harry Potter fanfic. It has been fine and has allowed me to work on plotting, characterization etc. without the pressure of the mass amount of research and plotting that I need to do for my next-up original story, which is still a work in progress. However it can become a trap, one can lack improvement, poor quality of work online can make it more difficult to get published etc. - there are definitely downsides, however they are not unavoidable.
HerpDerp8215 chapter 1 . 8/8/2012
Hey, I remember you mentioning that you were going to write this so I thought I'd check it out. First off, I'm loving your tone and framing for this piece. It put a smile on my face. :)

I'm so glad you brought up how fanfiction writers don't *establish* things when writing because they're using pre-existing source material. It's an excellent point, and I can't even begin to count how many original stories I've seen here that skip all exposition and go right to the rising conflict. Almost everyone does it, or at best waits untill the end of their first chapter to drop the whole conflict on us.

Regarding fanfiction as a whole, I'm really not much of a fan either. I think there is potential for gaining grammar skills, as long as you can get legitimate feedback, but you can't really improve yourself as a storyteller by leeching off of someone else's ideas. Just look at Cassandra Clare. Her fanfiction lead to a publishing contract and a boatload of money, but her actual work still can't shake free from those fanfic archetypes.

Good Piece. I look forward to more. :)
IAMCOOKIE chapter 1 . 8/6/2012
Interesting! I can relate to this. Really.
I also completely agree with: 'By not actually creating your own characters and settings the fanfic writer's ability to establish things is being starved.'
The angry, pistol-holding audience was a nice touch, too. :)
I can assure you, sir, that I will be back for the second half.
poisedtokill chapter 1 . 8/2/2012
Firstly, I'd like to say that was a fairly entertaining essay. Secondly, welcome to fictionpress.

Now on to my opinion: My fanfic days are long gone; they ended the second I stopped being a horny and deprived teenager. (No more waking up an hour before school to write erotic fanfiction. I've moved to erotic "friend fiction." jk *Bob's Burger's reference*)

Incidently, this brings me to something you mentioned in your essay: "Cheap praise." It's true that you'll find little of that here. Because none of your readers will be pre-invested in your stories, you have to reel 'em in hook, line, and sinker, using only the alloted characters of your summary box. It's hard to get people to read your amateur shorts and novels what with hundreds of years worth of great books out on the market, written by professional and critically acclaimed authors. Heck. I count myself lucky if one person reads something I post on here when they could be using their time to read "Moby Dick" or "Catcher in the Rye." So yes. There is a "cheap praise" aspect to fanfiction that is not true for original fiction.

Also you say that it is not a good exercise for aspiring writers. Well, I'm going to debate that here in a second, but first let me say this: not everyone that writes is an aspiring author. Some people do it solely for their own personal enjoyment.

Write first and foremost for youself. Then for others.

Now, as for it being or not being a good exercise... well, I think for YOUNG authors (middle schoolers and such) it could be beneficial to write fanfiction. It teaches you to keep your character's personalities straight, and to keep your stories sensical. Which I think is something that needs to be learned when first starting out.

Anywho, thanks for drawing me into this debate. It's been fun. ;)