Scribbler’s Saga #16 – Fan Fiction

Posted: February 28, 2017 in Uncategorized

© 2017 G.N. Jacobs

Should writers employ fan fiction as part of their overall package? Short answer, yes…or no. I currently say yes, I’m having a blast writing a Wonder Woman story where she marries Batman and he dies suddenly (a distinct possibility when your raison d’etre is running around Gotham dressed like Dracula and breaking criminals’ arms). And therein is the whole reason to say yes. I had fun. I kept in practice for my own projects, when I’m blocked. It’s aspirational to write such beloved characters in the hope of being hired to write similar stories in the future. 

The No camp usually falls into these refrains. You’re wasting your time because nobody takes fan fiction seriously. No one has ever been hired for a professional job based off fan fiction for that character. Write your own work. All mostly true. Don’t care.

And then you get certain stories that can’t be told with original characters because savvy readers will know immediately that ah, a Wonder Woman clone or ah, a Batman clone, why didn’t you just write a Batman Elseworlds fan fiction? Put more simply, my dormant original core spandex characters who mimic certain aspects of Batman, Wonder Woman, Flash, Hulk, Iron Man and the like can’t die anymore than Main Continuity Batman can die, without building resurrection into the fabric of the universe. I can’t kill off Dark Warrior until just before I give up the whole mythos, permanently. I’ll just write stuff thank you very much. There is no Mother May I in what we do. And I can toss off a few projects for free as long as I keep writing.

How does a writer go about getting into the fan fiction game? A writer has three choices that I know about: Wattpad, FanFiction.net and post it yourself on one of many free or cheap blogs available. Put a gun to my head, go with Option Three. At least, for the near future.

I’ve been on Wattpad.com for a while though my output runs in spurts when my own feelings about fan fiction run towards the No camp. Wattpad is supposed to work as both a fan fiction site and as a last ditch publishing venue for short stories that circumvents the nerve wracking process of send submissions, wait three to six months for them to say No that writers way better than all of us have gone through since the invention of the literary or genre magazine (they still exist even if most are digital only). By contrast, FanFiction.net is fan fiction only, the founders created FictionPress.com for the non-fan fiction stories.

Regardless of how each of these sites splits up their content, each site or family of sites functions as a peer-reviewed community where you read other people’s work leave comments and they do the same for you. This might be why I haven’t gotten much readership off my Wattpad account, I have trouble keeping up with reading all kinds of writing thrust under my nose for me to get off my ass and write more literary criticism, coverage and thoughtful essays. Anything more substantial than a Facebook reaction. And I just haven’t had the time to post anything to FanFiction.net.

Until the day writing this post, I was okay with I’ll post it and get to the social aspects of the community later. I understand reciprocity, but I just needed to get the story up where somebody would read it after I told them to on Twitter and Facebook. Again, I’m tossing off some work for free as part of an overall package of keeping busy until I rake in J.K. Rowling money for finally doing something that hits its audience just so. So what happened that I’ve now moved my current work The Widow Wayne on my WordPress site – http://www.smokinglizard.com?

Basically, the technology of each each of the two sites stopped working with my mobile tech in different ways, so Option Three, Baby! Publish it yourself. I could’ve rested the why on creative control or some such hifalutin reason, because WordPress and Blogspot usually trust I’m going to do my own editing and curating. But really, the software broke at an inconvenient time and I’m out the door, Man.

With Wattpad, I discovered just this morning that suddenly apps that are supposed to mesh together across my iPhone and iPad stopped doing that. I kept getting a Device Conflict Error message that the version of The Widow Wayne I had written on the iPad now conflicted with trying to update the same file on my iPhone.

No amount of tapping Keep this Version on the phone cleared up the conflict. Nor did deleting the iPad version of Wattpad and reinstalling it do anything. Yeah, this is something that an update will likely clear up, but I don’t have time for that wait. By contrast, my mobile WordPress app which has the same general capability of allowing editing and other updates from any mobile device to which the app knows my WordPress password.

In fact, my attempts to fix this made things worse because none of the previous work that I know should not be affected sometimes refused to display onscreen from the iPad. So I went to the iPhone Wattpad feed and Cut and Paste my current work into my Word app and then posted the work onto my site before making sure the links dropped onto Facebook and Twitter.

I had initially intended to move The Widow Wayne over to FanFiction.net, a site that loves to stick even the slightest bit of dormancy with a request to re-enter password and email, or just Sign in With Facebook. I went through the process where I Cut and Paste the password from my password list, despite already having done it about a week and a half earlier. And then, this site despite supposedly having the buttons wouldn’t let me publish the story in multiple parts.

Trust me, Wonder Woman marries Batman and takes over for him upon his death is likely to be a novel length adventure written a bit at a time, like an old serial. Gotham is such a richly drawn setting and the whole point for me is seeing Wonder Woman who has more in the way of overt superpowers interacting with Batman’s famous Rogue’s Gallery who are used to the guy with the utility belt. Yeah, it will take a while. 

I’ve moved the writing over to my site. I might keep these apps for when I get around to browsing for other writers’ stories, but…I’m done.

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