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Fanfic Is

Fanfic is whatever you make it out to be. You cannot claim a whole genre of literature is bad: not romance, not sci fi, not fantasy, not contemporary. There will always be gems, no matter where you go, you merely need the tools to find them.

I personally slam on Disney for fanfictioning themselves to death. But, fanfiction does have a place. Here are three things you would learn if you took two seconds and two braincells and fanficked around a little on a Saturday afternoon.

Passion. Sometimes the hardest thing about writing is finding what you’re passionate about. And getting past all that initial worldbuilding and character building can be a really huge hurdle for some people. So why not start with a world already built, with characters already made. If it’s the way to start, you should start there. Cause you already have passion with regards to those characters. You’re already invested in what happens to them. So, you fanfic.

A heavy dose of “this is the life of an author” which can be many things. People might never read what your write. People might read what you write. Both are terrible, more terrible than finding half a fly in your spaghettis. You have to live with the knowledge that you probably already ate one half of the fly, and that this fly has probably touched every strand of spaghetti you’re about to eat. Anyhow, people reading what you write is just as terrifying as people never reading what you write. Because people, we’re more judicious than crows.

We will all write something bad. Perhaps the last miserable thing you wrote was a project from third grade, oh you gifted soul. But for most of us, we will write poorly-stitched-up bodies of text for a very long time. And you have to live with that. And so does everyone else. So, if it is bad, that’s how it is. Fanfic is. All that it is. And not all of it will be bad. So just write it already.

I call back to an earlier post of mine where I wish there were clearer ways to share and share alike in the literary world. We have such strict rules for images, surely a book is a type of written image too? Anyhow, the rules aren’t clear. And if anything they’re quite murky to the inexperienced. If Disney wrote fanfics and then rewrote worse versions of those fanfics, then why should you not as well?

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Disney is Fanfic

Hot take: Disney remakes are fanfic.

Let me tell you why.

Who in Disney isn’t aspiring to the glory of those good old classics? Those money busters. Those idea exploders. And those story spinners. The original Disney had their issues. But I loved them (don’t know about you). Fan fiction is written by a fan of the original movie.

Looking at interviews with the directors that remade these movies, they really do have a whole lot of love for those classics. You can see it. But, love isn’t enough to carry a corporate. We loved those classics too, and that’s why we’re falling prey to the Disney machine. The machine that wants to pump us full of old ideas different but not better. The fans have passion, but they make sweeping gestures at the plots we remember. With shaking hands they sketch for us, but we are craving Zdzisław Beksiński. Or maybe not, this is Disney, after all.

Disney uses the same characters to tell you a new story. Part of the appeal of fanfic is to build on old knowledge. If you can pull on old ideas, you have less explaining to do and you can focus more on the conversation you want to have with your viewers. For some that means having known characters act out your fantasies. For Disney it’s sanitizing anything questionable from their prior media. Have they added anything interesting to the conversation? Anything new? Anything compelling?

If you’ve seen it, tell me. So far I’ve found myself disappointed, but maybe I missed something.

They’re pulling on old characters and putting them in new patterns. These Disney remakes are nothing but culturally accepted fanfic. And tell me why we’re slamming fanfic when we’re filling our own heads with the stuff every day. Disney rewrites us something, but is it any better? Or just different? Or maybe worse?

Well, only you can really judge that.