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When is fanfic not fanfic?

Lilybet

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POSTS: 7

Report this Mar. 17 2011, 3:38 am

Fanfiction is, as defined by wiki, stories about characters (or simply fictional characters) or settings written by fans of the original work, rather than the original author.


 


A piece of original writing has completely original settings and characters.


 


I've written plenty of fanfiction, but now I have two ST pieces and I'm not sure in which column they go. They contain both:


 


ORIGINAL


Original charcters, check.


Original setting, check.


 


FANFIC


Uses concepts and technology from ST, check.


Uses alien races from ST, check.


 


 


Where do I put them? Fanfiction.net or fictionpress.com?

OtakuJo

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POSTS: 16362

Report this Mar. 17 2011, 6:23 am

I got stories on both those sites, (fanfiction in my experience is almost always a mix of canon and original characters.) and the answer seems pretty clear. If it uses the Star Trek 'verse at all, then ff.net -- definitely. Go for the "Star Trek: Other" section if you are not sure exactly what series they cover most closely.


Fictionpress is only for stories with all OCs and with your own 'verse.


Hope that helps, and all the best for your writing.


Have you ever danced with a Tribble in the pale moonlight?

Orlenda

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POSTS: 84

Report this Mar. 17 2011, 6:30 pm

Its still got elements from trek, canon characters or not-its fanfic!


 

OneDamnMinuteAdmiral

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Report this Mar. 17 2011, 7:57 pm

Does that mean that technically any Star Trek book not by Gene Roddenberry could be considered fanfiction?


Are you sure it isn't time for a colorful metaphor?

OtakuJo

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POSTS: 16362

Report this Mar. 17 2011, 8:33 pm

Some people do consider the pocketbooks to be fanfiction... I am not sure that it makes that much difference to the stories what you happen to consider them.


The original question however is on whether a fan-written piece of unauthorised (unpublished) fiction should go on a site for fanfic or for "original" stories,


And the answer is clearly that it is fanfiction, since it is set in the Star Trek universe. Therefore it belongs on the fanfiction site.


(If you have read the rules for fictionpress.com and fanfiction.net, they do state quite clearly that one is for fanfiction stories and the other for "original" work ~~ ie. not set in someone else's 'verse. Neither allows work that belongs on the other site.)


 


ps Lizybet: My suggestion remains the same. fanfiction.net -- category, Star Trek: Other.


Have you ever danced with a Tribble in the pale moonlight?

toranaprem

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POSTS: 621

Report this Mar. 18 2011, 12:22 am

Well, as I understand it fan fiction is just what the name implies, a fan writing fiction using the universe and/or characters of her or his fandom.


Most of the published Star Trek novels and stories are officially sanctioned fan fic. The first published Star Trek stories and novels were entirely by fans (and almost entirely female ones, who still write the vast majority of fan fiction).


Just because the officially published fan fic is deemed appropriate and saleable enough to wear the official Star Trek logo, doesn't mean that the work is any superior (or less fan-ficy) than what many other fans have written.


Fanfiction.net is the place to post, as others have said.

konarciq

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POSTS: 930

Report this Mar. 18 2011, 7:32 am

Some of the official novels are so fanfic-y that I just can´t believe they actually accepted that for an official novel... While on the other hand, there is some real quality fanfic out there on ffnet that would not disgrace the official pocketbooks. The border between the two is rather blurry, if you ask me...


But to answer your question: I agree with every one else here: if you´re using anything at all (universe, characters, alien races etc) from the official ST shows/movies, then it should be published under fanfiction.


Warning though: the Star Trek: Other category seems to get extremely few reviews - if any at all. If you want your story to be read, it might be wise to consider placing it in its closest ST show/movie category.


If there is nothing wrong with me, then maybe there´s something wrong with the universe? -Dr. Crusher

Treknoir

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POSTS: 1784

Report this Mar. 18 2011, 7:39 am

Quote: konarciq @ Mar. 18 2011, 7:32 am

>

>Some of the official novels are so fanfic-y that I just can´t believe they actually accepted that for an official novel... While on the other hand, there is some real quality fanfic out there on ffnet that would not disgrace the official pocketbooks. The border between the two is rather blurry, if you ask me...

>


I'm glad it's not just me. I have tried to get into the "officials" but most of what I have read is garbage. And there are great unofficial fanfic stories floating around. Oh well.


It is curious how often you humans manage to obtain that which you do not want. - Spock

konarciq

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POSTS: 930

Report this Mar. 18 2011, 8:09 am

They say ("they" being the publishers/editors) that they prefer to work with established SF authors. But I seriously doubt whether that´s always been the case, seeing how badly some of the official novels are written. And not just writing style, but also MarySueishness... (Have you tried Uhura´s Song? If you haven´t, don´t bother. It may be very well written and have a good first contact plot in itself, that´s true, but it´s a Mary Sue story if ever I read one...)


Further narrowing down the amateur author´s options is the editor´s decree for the different series that new stories should be taking place in this or that time period. They are only really interested for example in TNG stories that take place after season 7 and before Generations. That places a lot of strain on exactly which crew you´re working with, and personally, I´m more comfortable with the TNG crew as they were in the first years of the series. And as if there couldn´t have been dozens more adventures taking place in between the ones we got to see on television...


Maybe we should start a thread pointing out the novel-quality fanfictions to other ST fanfic enthusiasts :-)


If there is nothing wrong with me, then maybe there´s something wrong with the universe? -Dr. Crusher

Treknoir

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POSTS: 1784

Report this Mar. 18 2011, 8:51 am

Quote: konarciq @ Mar. 18 2011, 8:09 am

>

>They say ("they" being the publishers/editors) that they prefer to work with established SF authors. But I seriously doubt whether that´s always been the case, seeing how badly some of the official novels are written. And not just writing style, but also MarySueishness... (Have you tried Uhura´s Song? If you haven´t, don´t bother. It may be very well written and have a good first contact plot in itself, that´s true, but it´s a Mary Sue story if ever I read one...)

>Further narrowing down the amateur author´s options is the editor´s decree for the different series that new stories should be taking place in this or that time period. They are only really interested for example in TNG stories that take place after season 7 and before Generations. That places a lot of strain on exactly which crew you´re working with, and personally, I´m more comfortable with the TNG crew as they were in the first years of the series. And as if there couldn´t have been dozens more adventures taking place in between the ones we got to see on television...

>Maybe we should start a thread pointing out the novel-quality fanfictions to other ST fanfic enthusiasts :-)

>


Ugh. I read Sarek recently. A novel considered (so I've been told) as one of the best novels. It was good (though I had issue with some of Amanda's story), except for the plot involving Kirk's nephew. Ugh! All of that could have been left out. And yes, we get it that Kirk is AWESOME!!!!!!


I looked up the meaning of MarySue and I'm not into that type of fanfiction. A lot of people do like it. I guess it's like a warm blanket to them. I'm not looking for established characters to be built up or torn down. I just want to read a good story, mostly fanwank free. LOL And it's interesting TPTB encourage fanwankery by their "rules" for novels, yet technically such novels aren't canon.


Uhura's Song is on my recommendation list on Kindle. I read the summary and some reviews and decided to pass.


I have mostly stumbled across good fanfiction stories. I would appreciate some quality recommendations.


It is curious how often you humans manage to obtain that which you do not want. - Spock

ACottrill

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POSTS: 281

Report this Mar. 18 2011, 1:30 pm

I'm one of the people that consider the novels to be 'fanfiction' type things. Even if they're very well done, and even in the series' adopt some information from them. Star Trek is, originally, a television series...not a book series.


 


I absolutely LOVED 'Sarek.' But, yes, I felt that it was a bit on the fanfiction side, more than usual, just because it was so 'softly' written. I don't know a better word for it. Also, I'm not a Kirk fan, AT ALL, so I agree the nephew bit could have been left out.


 


I've never written Star Trek fanfiction. I don't read it, either, when it comes to going to a site or something to read it. I read the novels, and that's the only extracurricular Star Trek I involve myself in.


'-reward for your good heart occurs in this world as the knowledge that love is its own reward and that there are others who appreciate you for who you are.' - Walter Koenig

Treknoir

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POSTS: 1784

Report this Mar. 18 2011, 2:23 pm

Quote: ACottrill @ Mar. 18 2011, 1:30 pm

>

>I'm one of the people that consider the novels to be 'fanfiction' type things. Even if they're very well done, and even in the series' adopt some information from them. Star Trek is, originally, a television series...not a book series.

>I absolutely LOVED 'Sarek.' But, yes, I felt that it was a bit on the fanfiction side, more than usual, just because it was so 'softly' written. I don't know a better word for it. Also, I'm not a Kirk fan, AT ALL, so I agree the nephew bit could have been left out.

> I've never written Star Trek fanfiction. I don't read it, either, when it comes to going to a site or something to read it. I read the novels, and that's the only extracurricular Star Trek I involve myself in.

>


Glad to see I'm not the only one. As annoying as the nephew subplot in Sarek was, it was the constant hype of Kirk in relation to his nephew that made me want to hurl. I'm surprised his nephew didn't slit his wrists from insecurity. Your uncle is AWESOME!!!!! You, not so much. LOL And the poor young man couldn't be great or heroic completely on his own.


Most novels I have read are no better than unofficial fanfiction. Some are good, some okay, some awful. I don't blame the authors. TPTB limit what they can do and write. I understand reasonable limits, but it seems the restrictions also limit creativity and set the novels up for rampant fanwank and marysue-ism (love that term).


If the stories aren't canon, why not let really creative writers go for it? I haven't given up on ST novels yet. I will try a few recommendations from other series (I've focused mainly on TOS) to see if my opinion will change.


 


It is curious how often you humans manage to obtain that which you do not want. - Spock

toranaprem

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POSTS: 621

Report this Mar. 18 2011, 2:59 pm

I often worry that any fan fiction (be it published or not) that includes a lead female original character (particularly in TOS which had no female leads to begin with) gets tarred and feathered as "Mary Sue".


I think it's a way to keep women afraid of writing stories about women in these universes. And it saddens me that so many female fans seem to be knocking down other female fans with the accusation. We sisters are already poorly served by the way they treat the few female characters that we do get, without us shitting all over female fans attempts to add female roles that aren't there for male fan service.


That said, I haven't read Uhura's Song yet, or Dreadnaught! (but I want to) two of the classic female-centric TOS novels (back when they existed) that often get labelled as "Mary Sue".


And as most of the fan fic I read is K/S.....well, there aren't exactly lead roles for women in that kind of fiction, for obvious reasons.


But Dwellers in the Crucible is my all-time favorite published Star Trek novel. And that one is all about two female friends (a vulcan and a human woman). It is made of so much awesome I can hardly stand it. Kirk and Spock pretty much make a cameo appearance at the end. Talk about a change of pace!


"What will they find when I am ripped apart? 'I love you, captain' written on my heart."

OtakuJo

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POSTS: 16362

Report this Mar. 18 2011, 6:27 pm

Well yeah the thing about Mary Sue (I don't write Mary Sues -- in fact I did one of those MS tests just for fun!! But I am sure that they can be interesting, with a bit of effort on the part of the author.) is that she is so hard to spot, but the characteristics that people list as MS can also be those things that make a character interesting. I get the feeling that if we started deliberately working to avoid them all, we would end up with some pretty boring characters.


I like a lot of the novels (others, less so) but the problem I find if there is any might be that they are not badly written, so much as not well-edited. I like perusing ff.net as it gives more options to find the kind of material that I like to read as well, and really nobody can say they've read enough to know that it is "all good" or "all bad".


In recommending the "Other" category, by the way, is really only if the story doesn't fit into any of the series categories. If it is all OCs, I would say that it does not fit, because people who go into for example DS9 usually want to be reading about DS9 characters. (and likewise TNG, TOS &c.) But then that's up to your judgement.


Whether you will get reviews for it would also depend in part, I imagine, on how (what's the best way to say this...?) "visible" you are on ff.net already. If you already have other stories which people are reading and liking, I would say they may give your original characters a go regardless of category. Although that's just a guess.


Ultimately you know your story better than I... but my opinion is that unless it features at least some canon characters, or heavily features a particular setting, it really doesn't belong in any category but "Other".

ACottrill

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POSTS: 281

Report this Mar. 18 2011, 7:52 pm

I define a 'Mary-Sue' as ANY character (male or female) that's just ridiculous and unbelievable. I RP in the Harry Potter and Star Trek worlds and I'm alright with Original characters. But, if you present a character to me that's perfect, but has an emo complex because no one likes them, but they have these crazy super powers....it's a Mary Sue. ir: I'm blond, blue-eyed, slim build, but no one likes me, because I was abanodoned as a baby and adopted by witches because I developed a crazily powerful psychic ability to wipe out the face of the Earth. Oh, and I'm only 14. Woe is me, being the most powerful being on Earth and so unloved.


Sorry, but that character is ridiculous and unbelievable.


Give me a true, filled out character. Even if it's a female lead in the TOS world...if she's a REALLY thought out character, I don't have a problem with it. I've seen witches (HP type, not wiccan) be thrown into Starfleet uniforms and things of that nature. It can, seriously, just get so dumb. I don't claim to have read a GREAT number of ST books, but there's a few I would deem 'fan-fiction' like (Ishmael, Sarek, etc...), but I thought they were really well done. Haven't come across a truly unbelievable one, yet, though.


And, like I said before...I don't read Star Trek fanfiction outside of the novels.


'-reward for your good heart occurs in this world as the knowledge that love is its own reward and that there are others who appreciate you for who you are.' - Walter Koenig

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