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Discussion Has Worm fanfiction saturation reached the point in which one can write fanfiction without having

Discussion in 'Fanfiction Discussion' started by Tahu1809, Nov 7, 2016.

  1. Reveen

    Reveen Dunked On

    It's more an argument for why randoms should form their own Holy Inquisitions.:V

     
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2016
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  2. DezoPenguin

    DezoPenguin Text Wall

    Location:
    USA
    ...Theoretically, you can be a second-tier fan, that is to say, a fan of the fandom and not of the original work. There's nothing wrong in saying, "I've read X, Y, and Z fanfics and am a fan of them because they are good and enjoyable stories." It's just important to remember that (a) if that's what you are, you're not a fan of "Worm" or whatever, you're a fan of "Worm fanfiction X, Y, and Z," and (b) if you write fanfiction based on the fan-works, it's not going to be good fanfiction of the original material.

    Also, I think it's perfectly possible to write fanworks of something without being dissatisfied. (Unless you count "there isn't more of this" as dissatisfaction.) That's part of the major point of "original flavor" fanfiction. If you're writing a Sherlock Holmes pastiche, you're very likely to...just want to write a Sherlock Holmes story similar to those Doyle wrote. Likewise, there are plenty of fanworks that expand on canon material without changing or contradicting it (for example, most of my Phantasy Star works are designed to explain how things happened, look into characters' heads as they happen, or just explore stuff that happened over the 2000 or so years of history that weren't actually shown on-screen in-game).
     
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  3. Fernandel

    Fernandel Lovely Writing, Tendency to Waffle Councillor

    Yeah, but those are distressingly rare. And generally not that great.
     
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  4. They tend to be way better than anything written to "fix canon".
     
  5. Fernandel

    Fernandel Lovely Writing, Tendency to Waffle Councillor

    If it's the goal of the fanfic, I may agree. If it's something done out of necessity to make the story work or add an interesting twist, I would disagree.
     
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  6. Bludflag

    Bludflag shitposter extraordinaire

    Location:
    Croatia
    He’s specifically talking about the first option. Since the start, actually.

    This thread would be a lot better at its purpose if people paid attention and assumed the other participants have a basic knowledge of writing.
     
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2016
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  7. Fernandel

    Fernandel Lovely Writing, Tendency to Waffle Councillor

    Look have you seen fanfic in general

    Why would I assume such a thing
     
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  8. Look at those goalposts fly...

    While there are indeed some good fics on the first page, there are some equally shitty ones as well.
    Probably because for every reviewer who can manage a coherent critique (and would presumably only read/review good fics), there are a hundred idiots who don't get further than 'You're story is the best' or 'Add some Kushna x Naruto lemons, thats so hot.'

    As to fix fics:
    1) If you 'fix' everything, you no longer got a story, you just get a 'and they lived happily ever after', which gets boring after the first 10k words.
    2) When you write fix fics I expect you to know canon. Fixing fanon doesn't make you look smart, it makes you look like an arrogant idiot.
     
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  9. Vindictus

    Vindictus Monster in Disguise

    Location:
    Texas
    Oh, hey, just noticed I missed this.

    Yeah, I think that a lot of people either miss or just don't really understand the whole power structure thing. Most of the handful of people I've seen who try to play with this... Honestly, they don't do it very well. They either clumsily treat everyone in authority as abusive, or justify the status quo with 'It's a necessary evil' pretty quickly- And, when image is addressed, it's treated as a sort of accident as often as not. Skitter's deliberately cultivated reputation for ruthlessness becomes Taylor just being naturally creepy, or the influence of her shard, that sort of thing.

    Admittedly, it's been a year or so since I last read Worm- And IIRC that was following along with a Let's Read that had a choppy update schedule- so my memory of this may be fuzzy, but this is probably because the themes of legitimacy and image are mostly subtext, which gets pasted over pretty quickly when people start changing stuff to suit their tastes- Which tend to be more 'Grim and gritty superhero story' than anything else on the balance.

    Which is perfectly okay. Fanfiction doesn't have to tread the same water as canon, and I'd rather read a grim and gritty superhero story than someone trying to include branding decisions when they barely know what a brand is.
     
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  10. Reveen

    Reveen Dunked On

    Taylor's canon characterization in general kind of gets the shaft all the time in fanfic and nobody really notices.

    I mean, in general Taylor is a very appealing and relatable character for the gen pop of SB/SV. She's a intelligent loner geek with insecurities and hidden badass potential, and she's a female character without being feminine. On the surface she's tailor made for the 'intelligent' loner geeks with insecurities and hidden badass potential (lol no) of SB/SV to latch onto.

    But at the same time, in the actual story there's a lot more going on with her than that. Her narrative voice is dense with thought. She's constantly thinking about herself, her situation, the people around her. Questions of her own morality, perspective, and identity. New things she's learning. Her character is defined by the details in her point of view, and her story wide shifts in personality and identity, and the fact that she can't really be pinned down as being one definite kind of character. Worm in general is made what it is by the minute details.

    Buuuut, the story is really long, and minute details get lost in translation when people base their fan fiction off of memory. Things get simplified and boiled down to basic plot points and repeated phrases. Taylor's somewhat self-centred attitude and bias in favour of herself and her friends gets turned into "unreliable narrator" and the nuance, in which Taylor actually does have a lot of introspection on her own morality, gets wiped away. Her increasing ruthlessness as she fights to survive incredibly dangerous situations becomes "escalation!", because the narrative voice that contextualizes those actions as heat of the moment survival isn't there.

    The result is that unless the writer is being specifically careful to replicate her canon voice, she gets trapped in this limbo state where she does have a few bullet points of characterization for writers to go off of, but at the same time when stripped of the nuance she's a blank enough slate to project anything onto. So we end up of hundreds of iterations of the same character that are similar on the surface, but are almost always off kilter and off the mark.

    Which isn't baaaad, but as long as people aren't under the illusion of being true to her canon characterization. A lot of writers don't manage this.

    I mean, there's a ton of dumb fanon shit going around. Like how Uber and Leet are often portrayed as lovable even though they really aren't, or how people seem to think Rachel is some sort of dog-hybrid cavewoman. But with Taylor it's chronic, and she's far and away the most written about character.
     
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  11. Ellf

    Ellf Hivelord

    Location:
    Ohio

    Yeah. This is true. It's especially so when people consistently use Third Person Omniscient to write rather than using the First Person narration that canon has. It's far too easy to characterize Taylor poorly when you're seeing into everyone else's thoughts about her as well.
     
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  12. Morphic Tide

    Morphic Tide Crazy Brainstormer, Munchkin and Wannabe Min-Maxer

    Location:
    MI, USA
    Oh? Would you say that the Twilight Saga is truly worthless trash, when it managed to be one of the most popular series of books for a rather large demographic? Conversely, would you call books with basically no purchases that get amazing critical acclaim good? It's the masses that determine what is good, because they deem what is good by making it popular. I hate this fact even more than you, because it makes it so that insane money grabs are the standard. *glares at Pop music, the overflow of CoD based FPS games and 'young adult' romance book*

    Popularity is caused by the masses considering something to be good. The critics have little power over this. Saying that bad characterization and incoherent plot automatically make a story horrible, no matter how well it sells or how good the masses think it is, is akin to saying that pop music is worthless trash because it flagrantly ignores 'good' music tendencies. Being prim and proper is no substitute for actually being good, nor is fitting all the classic factors of what is good a guarantee that something will be popular. *points at Pop music, things like Twilight being popular and the dominance of CoD type FPS games*
     
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  13. Fernandel

    Fernandel Lovely Writing, Tendency to Waffle Councillor

    Yes. I have absolutely no problem with saying that.

    Because the "popularity determines quality" is an old chestnut trotted out everywhere, and it ignores that quality is determined by other criteria than just sales numbers.
     
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  14. Ser_Serendipity

    Ser_Serendipity The King

    Is this supposed to be a hard question or something?

    Popularity and quality have no relation to one another. I can't tell if you're faking being dumb to lure me into a rhetorical trap, or if you're just being dumb.
     
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  15. I think it's possible to get basic knowledge of any franchise from osmosis or a glance at summary
    Whether the fic is good or not is more in question.
    As well as if the fic is consistent with the work it is being partially based on. Many good fics I've read have had very thin connections, in that they might as well have been original works.
     
  16. Reveen

    Reveen Dunked On

    That's not a good thing though.

    The only thing worse than being totally ignorant of something is having only basic or incomplete knowledge of it and being unaware of important details and nuances but plowing ahead anyway.

    I'd rather a writer just write a Wormfic in total blindness than them thinking they can just go off of cliff notes.
     
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2016
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  17. Morphic Tide

    Morphic Tide Crazy Brainstormer, Munchkin and Wannabe Min-Maxer

    Location:
    MI, USA
    What, then, can quality of a subjective medium be judged by if not the fact that it is deemed worth spending money on many people? Seriously, books, movies, music and games have little objective quality outside of being comprihensable(and functional in the case of games) because people have different opinions on what makes for a 'good' book, movie, song or game.
    When you are talking about something that is inherently subjective in enjoyment, then popularity is directly linked to quality. The subjective quality, how much people like the thing, determines popularity basically directly. Granted, the phrase "Don't know what they want" is important here, highly popular things may be rather bad, but are the subjective best of the group of things that are in a position to become popular.
     
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  18. Ser_Serendipity

    Ser_Serendipity The King

    "It is good if it is profitable?"

    This just in, Avatar is the greatest movie of all time. Did you just learn the word "subjective" a week ago and decide to go hogwild with it?

    Also, Jesus, whining about pop music and CoD. COD actually IS a mechanically excellent game with unbelievable production values, so that's a very weird example to bring up (and makes me peg you as very young to boot) and pop music covers such a wide range of artists and styles that it's a worthless nomenclature. Quite a few "pop artists" are genuinely talented and produce technically impressive, "good" music.
     
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  19. Fernandel

    Fernandel Lovely Writing, Tendency to Waffle Councillor

    I can think of a helluva lot of criteria that determine whether a piece of fiction is "good".
    • Emotional resonance with the audience. A movie can be wildly successful and still leave it's audience without any emotional impact. Summer blockbusters come to mind.
    • Verisimilitude and believability in terms of plotting and characterisation.
    • How the story treats and interacts with its genre, and how successfully it does so.
    • Quality of artistic craftsmanship like writing, setting, camera work, dialogue, and acting.
    • Etcetera.
    Yes, these are all :turian:"subjective criteria":turian:. However, they are a helluva less arbitrary than trying to tie a piece of fiction's level of quality to its economic success.

    Because the latter might just be dumb fucking luck and convenient circumstance.

    Also, Call of Duty has a simple plot and it executes it well. Modern Warfare genuinely had a very good story for a single-phase campaign for its time, as it shook up the image of FPS protagonists as righteous soldiers fighting pure evil in WWII shooters by them being morally questionable bastards and being led into a slaughter by arrogant superiors, and you were also mortal. It also gave us a new setting and new atmosphere.

    It interacted excellently with its genre; its writing was simple, but did its job excellently; the atmosphere was great, and the music genuinely good.
    And the writing also resonated emotionally with the audience -- I remember being highly engaged when fighting my way through the Marine missions in MW to get the job done and save as many of my buddies as I could, even though they were fucking stupid.

    People like to make fun of CoD, but man, it does some things very, very well. The main trouble the series has is quite simply not knowing when to innovate when it needs to.
     
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2016
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  20. Acatalepsy

    Acatalepsy Firewall Proxy Moderator

    Location:
    The Diamond Age
    We know a lot of it is dumb fucking luck and convenient circumstances, plus a little bit of feedback effects and group dynamics. This is the kind of thing we do scientific studies on (this is music, but the principle applies I think), where, if you take two separated, randomly selected groups, you can make a band #1 within one (again, randomly selected) population and #40 (out of 48) in another. While a work's intrinsic quality (however you choose to measure that) clearly has some effect on its popularity, differences in such do not account for all, or even much, of the differences in economic success.
     
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  21. Fernandel

    Fernandel Lovely Writing, Tendency to Waffle Councillor

    Well aware, but it refutes the ridiculous idea that economic success is the criterion that determines the quality of any given piece of fiction.

    If economic success is actually caused by dumb luck and circumstance, it's certainly not a criterion that can be used when determining artistic quality.
     
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2016
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  22. Morphic Tide

    Morphic Tide Crazy Brainstormer, Munchkin and Wannabe Min-Maxer

    Location:
    MI, USA
    You seem to have completely ignored the last line, where I state that bad things can get popular because they are the best of a bad lot of visible things. And while CoD itself is a mechanically well made game, it's production values are due to several factors that have nothing to do with it's quality as a game except for graphics. Production values bloat pointlessly due to oversized teams and a refusal to reuse assets that aren't out of place in the new game. Seriously, the only thing they reuse is the game engine, and sometimes they've had to replace that, too!
     
  23. Ser_Serendipity

    Ser_Serendipity The King

    I ignored it because it was completely meaningless. Bad things are sometimes popular. What of it. That doesn't make them "good."

    Edit: also "CoD's really good but I don't like it so it's bad." What?
     
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2016
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  24. Morphic Tide

    Morphic Tide Crazy Brainstormer, Munchkin and Wannabe Min-Maxer

    Location:
    MI, USA
    "best of a bad lot" means that the thing is bad, but less so than what surrounds it. It means that the other options are worse. Another relevant phrase is "don't know what they want," which is responsible for the summer blockbusters having rather low quality but massive advertising budgets, or trailers made to look extremely good.
     
  25. Fernandel

    Fernandel Lovely Writing, Tendency to Waffle Councillor

    ...None of this adresses the question of "How to determine quality", though. :confused:

    We've been dancing this rigmarole for a while, and it's getting exhausting. So what's your thesis statement? What's the point you're trying to make or argue for?
     
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