Fanfic (OT?)

Nat Case ncase at hedbergmaps.com
Wed Apr 18 12:11:10 EDT 2001


>Same thing with fan-fic, I suspect. Write it if you like, share it with
>"family" (i.e. other devotees) but never confuse it with the kind of writing
>you send to publishers or competitions. And don't think you can necessarily
>use it as a "learning tool" for later original writing, because it's
>teaching you a totally different skill. You'll learn structure and pacing,
>and maybe plotting, but tere will be a whole series of elements missing and
>you'll have to unlearn a lot as well.
>
>Sallyo (ducking).

No need to duck! I think you put your finger on it. I'm a devoted 
amateur in many areas, and I think amateurism is greatly underrated. 
There is a difference between doing ANYTHING for money as part of the 
wider world of commerce, and doing something for fun on the side. 
Amateur arts can be more precious (e.g. "grandparent stories"), more 
naive, and more derivative, but they are done solely for the love of 
the thing. I wish more arts classes would make a point of celebrating 
amateurism, and really de-glamorizing the professional world. When 
you write for money or in the public realm, you are entering a world 
with its own rules, and those rules affect your work. I think it can 
be argued that most of the "best" work form an aesthetic and immortal 
standpoint is going to end up being professional, but there are 
fleeting pleasures in fanfic, school theater, singing songs in the 
pub, and dancing out in the park, which I hate seeing squelched. I 
just wish that instead of assuming what people want is to become pro, 
that professionals and teachers would really line up what the 
differences are between to the two, and encourage budding artists of 
whatever stripe to do what they enjoy!

Nat (who is hereby signing off list for two weeks to go run up and 
down the US East Coast...see ya May 2)
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