OT/Gary Stu (fanfic definition query)

deborah deborah at suberic.net
Tue Jun 25 13:02:09 EDT 2002

On Tue, 25 Jun 2002, Katarina Hjärpe wrote:
|Um, no, and no. Slashfic is not primarily a pornographical genre but a 
|romantic one that ranges in its sexual explicitness from G to NC-17, where 
|even NC-17 isn't necessarily worse than anything by Jean Auel. And femslash 
|(female slash) exists in most of the main fandoms and several small ones: 
|out of the top of my head I can mention Buffy the Vampire Slayer, 
|Smallville, Dark Angel, X-Men and Star Trek Voyager. I personally wrote a 
|femslash story for Press Gang (definitely not beyond PG rating).

There's actually a dwj fan-fiction oriented list on Yahoo groups
somewhere.  Personally I think that dwj does not invite fan
fiction.  Fan-fiction often fills a need in the consumers of the
original fiction to fill gaps, to explore the "what ifs" for the
original author leaves open.  It's why serialized television
invites so much fan-fiction -- the success of the genre relies on
never resolving things.  Henry Jenkins' excellent book _Textual
Poachers_ examines the phenomenon.

In my opinion, when dwj leaves gaps, she leaves the tantalizing
impression that however she would resolve those gaps is far more
intriguing and mysterious than anything I, as a mere reader,
could possibly imagine.  There are exceptions.  The end of Crown
of Dalemark leaves a fairly standard fan-fiction-inspiring gap:
that of Maewen looking for Mitt.  Tellingly, a few of the stories
on the Yahoo groups list are based on this gap.

The Henry Jenkins book has an interesting and well-written
chapter on slash, as well.  One of the main arguments that people
put forth for slash is exploring unexplored character tensions.
It is unfortunate fact that there is a series dearth of
interesting women in much fiction, particularly in movies.  Very
often female role exists only to be a romantic character -- or if
a woman exists as a nonromantic cowboy type, she spends all the
time with the male characters (please, I understand that this is
an enormous generalization, and we can all think of a hundred
counterexamples, but as a general rule its tends to apply).
Let's face it, the movie version of the Princess Bride's
Buttercup is completely boring.  Who is interesting in that
story?  Inigo, Wesley, and Fezzik.  Prince Humperdinck, and Count
Rugen.  Now, not that I personally want to read any Princess
Bride slash, but this is an example of places where people want
to delve more into the relationships between the interesting

Again, I think it goes somewhat without saying why I don't
personally find dwj particularly slashable.  Her characters of
both genders are extremely interesting and have extremely
interesting relationships.  Nor does she dwell particularly on
only romantic or only non-romantic relationships.  She pretty
much gets everyone covered.

deborah at suberic.net
The main character is a misogynistic, hermaphroditic,
heavy-drinking, ultra-cynical aardvark. It's an acquired taste.
	-- A member of the DWJ list, on Cerebrus

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