[DWJ] Sequels by other hands (was I have to giggle about this somewhere...)

deborah.dwj at suberic.net deborah.dwj at suberic.net
Mon May 12 16:19:54 EDT 2008

On Mon, 12 May 2008, Minnow wrote:
> Well, we know from her letters what she thought about plagiarism of her
> books in general

Luckily we are discussing fanfiction and not plagiarism. One is
transformative, the other is passing off someone else's work as
one's own.

> Why don't the fanfic Heyerites write books of their own about people of
> their own, though, I wonder?

Why did Heyer write Regencies instead of non-fiction manuals
about automobile repair, I wonder?  Could it be because Regencies
are what she chose to write?

> There are oodles of Heyer-list authors who
> do that, and even who include a Heyer person as a minor walk-on homage in
> their books, without feeling obliged to be so slavish...

Since you don't read fanfiction by your own admission, referring
to is as "slavish" is an accusation which you can only be making
in ignorance.  Just as a non-fantasy reader deriding all fantasy
as formulaic JRRT derivations is liable to correction, the same
goes for fanfiction.  It is a broad genre, as subject to
Sturgeon's Law as any other, and as rich in the remaining 10% in
any other.

> I don't
> think I can properly understand this urge to do something second-hand.

I can't properly understand the urge to watch "American Idol" but
that doesn't mean I can judge it or the people who watch it,
never having seen more than 5-minute snippets of the show.  It's
not to my taste, and so I just don't watch it.  I certainly don't
opine on why the performers don't just write and perform their
own songs; that's not what they're DOING.

I would venture to say that everyone on this list falls into one
or more of the following categories:

1. Reads fanfic
2. Writes fanfic
3. Has never heard of fanfic
4. Couldn't care less about fanfic
5. Hates fanfic with a passion
6. Likes fanfic, but only of DWJ's works
7. Likes fanfic, but never of DWJ's works

I would further venture that all of us are fans of DWJ, good
people, clever readers, not violating any laws or ethical
standards in our aesthetic preferences, and not slavish.

If we must have a debate about the merits of fanfiction (and I'd
really rather not -- as a personal preference, not a moderator
preference -- since the pro and con people are unlikely to change
sides and the people who couldn't care less don't care), let's do
it without ad hominems.  Clearly fanficcers don't think they are
slavish or plagiarizing.

Given that we as a group manage to be civil about others'
opinions on JKR and HP (and in a group of DWJ fans, which is
likely to contain both rabid fans and religious haters, that's
pretty impressive), surely we can be friendly about something as
innocuous as fanfiction?

"You do not have to do everything disagreeable that you have a
right to do." 		-- Judith Martin (Miss Manners)

More information about the Dwj mailing list