The Wide, Wild World of Fanfiction

Chapter One: Songfics, Vidfics and why Evanescence is the Devil.

Author's Note: Hello y'all! This will be a series of rants regarding fanfiction. How it works, why we do it, what's wrong with it.

This chapter revolves around the growing trend of songfics and their kid brother, vidfics.



I have a dirty secret.

I have written songfics before.

Are you scared yet? You should be. Songfics are very commonly written in every genre, from Angel to Wrestling. More often than not, however, songfics are bad. They're terribly trite and obviously no effort was put into them. They're too short, too clich├ęd and often have no purpose other than the author having her pride and joy stuck somewhere on the Internet.

My main problem with the songfic genre is the utter lack of effort that more often than not goes into them. An idiot eight year old would be able to copy and paste lyrics and write maybe one line of story in between them.

No one knows where songfics came from, and a lot of us don't want to know. My guess is that they were inspired by a song and decided to write a story about it, and it stuck. In any case, songfics are here to stay for a long time.

Now, songfics can be good, very good. If enough description is used and enough is occurring in the story then a songfic can be a great way to convey your feelings. Of course, you have to wrangle your song into working with you. It seems ridiculous if you have you characters simply miming the actions done in the song. Example:

Okay, let's say the songfic is.uh."Tourniquet" by Evanescence. That song is done a lot, and can be taken very literally. What someone could do with this is take the lyrics and weave a complex story, complete with flashbacks and dialogue, which led the character to suicide. However, when I see this song done, I see a boring story with someone in the process of committing suicide, with or without description. I don't really like the group, but the song does have potential for an interesting songfic.

I'd like to address vidfics, now. I don't know much about vidfics, but I do know what they are, and what vidfics are bad. Vidfics are done less often, but do show up commonly in some fandoms (I've noticed them in Gundam Wing.)

Vidfics are like songfics, but the entire story is done in the style of a music video. Hence, while the song is playing, there can be no dialogue and actions and descriptions must speak stronger than the song lyrics.

If done properly, vidfics can be a blast to read. You have a format ready to mold, which can be changed in almost any way possible!

Now: The drawbacks. The more vidfics you read, the less innovation you see. Authors often forget that sequitur storytelling doesn't always need to be done. Most vidfics are simply a story being told, moving at a normal pace, only occasionally with a short, relevant flashback. You don't need to do this.

If you're writing a vidfic, feel free to go wild! Embrace surrealism! Have flashbacks that your present characters enter, have fantasies, have flash- forewords, do anything that will convey the feeling that you want your vidfic to have!

My final topic is why Evanescence, Linkin Park and the Goo Goo Dolls are the devils. The reason is simple: You see their songfics everywhere! They're over-used as hell! There must be over one hundred Bring Me To Life songfics, and In The End is done to death. No innovation can be found in Iris, because it's been beaten down some fandoms. My own favorite songfic band, Garbage, have quite a few songfics behind them, too. Of course, you can always find a fresh spin on one of their less known tunes (As Heaven Is Wide, My Lover's Box, Silence Is Golden).

There you have it. Thus concludes this rant. Stay tuned next time when I talk about the thing that's pissing me off at the time! Be it Slash fanfic, Alternate Universes or the Xelloss/Filia pairing, I'll rant about it!

See y'all later, Bane