Fanfiction Authors… Offended?
So, yeah, I’ve read a good amount of fanfiction lately… a lot of it regarding the That Guy With The Glasses crew. Surprisingly, these authors have quite the good English literacy, and paint a vivid picture of what they want to portray with their words. I wanted to start by saying that these authors have the potential to do great pieces of work on their own.
That having been said, it would appear that this tiny fandom is feeling quite distraught.
Links have appeared on our forums to some said entries, and the authors are panicking that Bennett the Sage will read aloud some of their work for the Internet to hear on an upcoming Masterpiece Fanfic Theater episode (highly likely at this point, considering Bennett said he’d be reading a fanfic that involves everyone at TGWTG).
One author has recently written out an explanation for herself and her group to preempt anyone arriving looking for horrifying TGWTG slash fiction. Honestly, in personal opinion, there should be no need for a fanfiction author to defend themselves, just as any fan art artist or AMV editor should not explain why they portrayed their art the way they did.
Well, allow me to actually first state personal opinions on the fictions, and ones I’ve been written into.
To me, they are harmless, although incredibly humorous. Especially since we all appear to always be in the same place at the same time or paired together in situations that quite obviously would never happen. Hey, it’s called fan fiction for a reason, you know. I mean, think of it this way – the lot of us are scattered across the United States, and some of us across the world. Some can’t drive. Most still live at home with their parents (Doug included, if I recall correctly). Some have no job other than the videos gig (which, believe you me, won’t pay the bills UNLESS you’re Doug). So, as you can see, getting to one other to begin with is… well… quite difficult. Then the pairings that occur in these things are the same sort of humorous pairings you get in any fandom. Rivals is suddenly a keyword for “secret butt-buddy”, characters who never appear with one another suddenly have a great deal to do with one another, and so on. It’s nothing unusual, and you can see it coming from a mile away. And while harmless, as you can imagine, as it relates so closely to me, while some scenes should probably feel more dramatic than they do, I find myself laughing a great deal, and then moving on. Obviously, it’s just outrageous fiction.
Though, I think if names like “Spoony” and “Linkara” were replaced with names of characters of the author’s own creation, it might suddenly be twice as serious to someone like me. But then, you risk the chance of no one wanting to read your piece, because you’re building a story based on expecting your readers to already have an understanding of who the characters are and how they already behave.
But then… do you WANT it to be read by a mass audience?
Herein lies the question. Because it would appear that, while the authors make their fiction publicly available, they… DON’T want people to read it…? Or perhaps it’s just that they don’t want it spread around as though it’s some kind of virus. That’s understandable, though that wasn’t quite what was stated. And the authors would rather we didn’t know about their pieces. I’m sorry… I guess you’re a little late for me. ^_^; All I’m saying is, it’s very easy to make your entries private, among one another. That could be done, right? But surely, you want others to read it to a certain extent, or else you wouldn’t make them public. For example, I’m completely not concerned about the things I write publicly. The only reason why I privatized my LiveJournal entries from years 2004 through 2006 was because it would appear that I offended my own parents enough that it needed to be done, as it was causing home-life turmoil ever since I left home. Honestly, I didn’t personally care, and as you can see, I HAD left those entries public (and had been quite proud of how open to the public I’ve been) for a good five years. But there are some cases, such as my own, where the heat is on too much, and if it matters to you this much, you bite the bullet and privatize your entries.
So, I have to ask in this situation, what’s more important? Being a part of this tiny niche group? Or letting the world read your work?
It’s honestly a tough call. If you’re all that embarrassed, it’s probably a good idea to make the entries private and visible to your group alone. However, if you want your work to be seen, you’ll need to understand one harsh reality –
Not everyone will be pleased with your work.
As with ALL of my work that I’ve ever initially posted, even if they were taken poorly by the mass public, I never removed them. I promise, I KNOW my work is not the best. I try to improve every day. But with each video I post there’s always a select few who will say, “Why do you continue to make videos?” People will make personal jabs at me as a human being. They’ll make fun of my acne, my voice, my looks overall. But I rest well knowing one thing.
This is the Internet.
When you make a work public, it’s available to absolutely everyone around the world. My skin has taken years to toughen to its harsh reality, and sometimes I slip back into depression or feel personally injured. But then I remember, who do I make my work for? It’s for the people who constantly DO come back for more, and most importantly, I do it for MYSELF.
So, just ask yourself one question.
Does writing what you do make you happy?
If it does, what does it matter who reads it? What does it matter what people think of it? I mean, I can promise someone will make fun of it. I can promise someone won’t like it. And I can promise someone will be very loud about it. But now it’s for you to decide.
Does their opinion even really matter?