fanfic and dwj (was Re: this is gonna be weird)

deborah.dwj at deborah.dwj at
Wed Nov 17 12:10:50 EST 2004

On Thu, 18 Nov 2004, Sally Odgers wrote:

|That's actually pretty good... it borrows from the peacock story. I think
|I've mentioned before that I don't "get" the motivation for fanfic though?
|I've occasionally (in the course of business) had to write about someone
|else's characters. I always find it a disagreeable experience.

For me, it depends on the characters.  A good serial television program,
for purely marketing reasons, is going to have plenty of unresolved
tenstion among multiple assortments of characters, unexplored plot
lines, and other holes and spaces to play in.  It's how they keep you
watching their show instead of "Trading Mommies" week after week.
(Although it occurs to me that there's probably reality tv fanfiction.

DWJ is a counter example.  A good book leaves spaces for your mind to
play in, but less unresolved resolvable stuff (a modernist novel might
leave plenty unresolved, but it won't leave spaces to make it tidy).

I can see places where Buffy characters, or River on Firefly, or even,
oh, Hawkeye on M*A*S*H could have gone, and want to explore those
possibilities.  What if Hawkeye had hooked up with Margaret?  What if
Henry hadn't died?

I don't find myself thinking that about, oh, Cat or Blade.  There's a
different narrative structure.  If Gwendolyn hadn't switched with Janet
-- the entire book would have been different.  As for afterwards, what
is to wonder?  How did Christopher grow up to be the man he did?  What
happened along the way?  I'm *satisfied* with what DWJ has given me.  Do
Luke and David stay friends?  I don't think I could write that half
interestingly enough?

And then there's the pairing stories, and I'm just not interested in
seeing Matt and Maewen's reconciliation.  That being said, I once saw a
gorgeous love scene someone wrote between Elizabeth Bennet and Mr.
Darcy, so it *can* be done well.

As for the slash, which I usually love: I'm much more intrigued by
Torquil the flamer than I would be by Torquil the lover of, oh, grown up
Christopher Chant.  He's more fun as an implicitly but not explicitly
sexual person.

To me, anyhow.

I don't suppose that I have ever been so happy.  No; was it happiness?
Something wider and darker, more like knowledge, more like the night: joy.
				- Ursula Le Guin, "The New Atlantis"

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