OT/Gary Stu (fanfic definition query)

Kathryn Andersen kat_lists at katspace.com
Tue Jun 25 18:30:33 EDT 2002

On Tue, Jun 25, 2002 at 10:20:24PM +1000, Sally Odgers wrote:
> Oh yes, I do make the same complaint with historicals! I'm not at all a fan
> of bringing in the Prince of Wales or Rasputin as a major or viewpoint
> character in a novel. Mentioning them as scene setting is fine, but oh -
> make up your own characters... if only because you won't be hogtied by their
> actual fates.

(grin) Ah, well, at least you're consistent!
> It's not the same when someone uses fairytale... (Like Beauty and Rose
> Daughter, or DWJ's F&H) because the versions can be so different; that's
> taking a situation or setting.

Some fanfic does this, but not a lot.
> Two final comments on my (personal - don't forget I'm not saying I'm
> *right*, just that it's my opinion) rejection of the idea of fanfic;
> 1.   Most writers (the one's I've read...) don't get it right. They make
> characters I know and like talk or act out of character. ... I make an
> honorable exception of an SG1 fanfictionist whose url I'll give anyone
> interested...

Sturgeon's Law.
> 2.   I just kind of think it's a waste to write something you can't sell or
> "publish" in any normal way.

Well, as has already been said, it's done for love, not money.

> Oh, I quite agree! That's why I said *from my point of view*. Most of
> the writers I have known have wanted to share their work.
> You can share a cat with a friend - it's there and it's admirable. And
> interaction between you and a cat is for company and friendship.
> The flowers bring joy to anyone who looks at them. They grow and react
> to sunlight.
> However - writing brings pleasure only to those who *read it* (and to
> those who write it).   And that involves having it out there to be read.

Ah, the question of audience.  I would agree, yes, that a writer usually
needs an audience -- but disagree that fan fiction *doesn't* have an
audience.  Indeed, with the advent of the World Wide Web, fan fiction
has a *huge* audience, much larger than it used to in the days when fan
fiction was published only in fanzines.  And what's more, that audience
is much more likely to interact with its authors than a published one
is.  (My own comparison is that I've gotten much more feedback from
net-published stories than from fanzine-published stories)

Sallyo, do you have a comparison as to how much audience response you
got for your books before and after you had a web page?  Or did you
always have a web-page?

Kathryn Andersen
"We got both kinds of music - country AND western."
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