Monday, May 24, 2010

Predictions of Doom for Fan Fiction?

Ok guys this is why I think Fan Fiction Writers, Publishers and Authors need to come to some kind of standard agreement - before that choice is taken away from us.

If the Digital Economy Act was enacted here, then that site which had the Diana Gabaldon sex scene re-posted as fan-fic of the other author (sorry can't remember who just now) could have been shut down.

As I understand from a solicitor friend of mine in Edinburgh the law would allow the shut down of any size sites - even Live Journal, Word Press, Facebook etc. He also said they are planning to shut down any sign of copyright infringement whether there is money involved or not - they are looking to set an example. The other unfortunate thing about this law is that it is a 'act first - prove later' law. They only need reasonable suspicion of copyright infringement. For this law, there is no 'gray' area.

So.... anybody ready to open a conversation about how we get the fan-fiction community and the authorial/publishing community to cooperate?

Monday, May 17, 2010

Time Riders - Character Building

Ok... so I have this idea for a new series of YA novels that deal with Time Traveling Teens.

Not to give too much away, but each Time Riding team is made up of 6 kids and their time traveling partner. Each book will focus on one of those pairs, but the other members of the team will make appearences.

There is also a villain, and a secret society called the Groomsmen.

The novels will play out in 7s. Six books to get to know the team and to set up the villain, and then a final book where the team (hopefully) defeats the villain.

Time Traveling will be connected to the hormonal flux of teenage years - so as the kids mature they lose the ability to travel. 

I could see easily doing another 7 book series with a completely new set of riders and a new villain.

To get geared up for the first book I need to get a handle on 20 some characters. I am doing research now and loving it!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Journal Entries {sigh}


Even when only doing hypothetical entries from childhood memories I fail.

I just am not really the autobiographical sort I suppose.

As for getting ideas to write about - I am *never* short of ideas. They spring up from my dreams, from observations of the world, from some deep well of my sub-conscious that really loves trivia and weird sh*t! Ideas are not the problem. In fact, I have the opposite problem - not enough time to develop all the ideas I have.

I think I shall reevaluate this workshop and its value for me as a writer. In the meantime I need to research horse cops of early 20th Century New York.

The latest story idea is pushing to be written and since I am done with any conceivable work on the novel currently being shopped (at least until an agent/publisher/expert reader demands changes) I am free to start in on.... (Duh, duh, duh!!!):

The Timeriders

Monday, May 10, 2010

Journal Entry #3 - Boobs

I was far too exhausted to write last night - so this is the first of two entries that will appear today.

What IS it with boys and boobs?!?!?  I am the only girl in 6th grade to have them and all the boys do is tease me or try to stick their hands down my shirt. It creeps me out!

Its not like I did something to deserve them - or that I even wanted them in the first place. The other girls all look at me with envy. I don't get it. To me they are nothing but a nuisance. Sleeping on my stomach is a pain now. Bras are uncomfortable. I don't like the feeling when my nipples shrink - it is like an itch you can't scratch.

They make me look ore like my Mom when all I want is to be able to ride and work like my Daddy. Boobs suck!

Saturday, May 08, 2010

Journal Entry #2 - Dream Escort

This is the second of my 'required' journal entries. I am using random memories from my childhood to create imaginary Dear Diary musings.

Last night I couldn't sleep. The cars just kept driving by my window all night long. I can't get used to this new life as a city girl. I really miss the ranch, my horse and the smells of clean country air. Everything here smells like car exhaust. The only good thing is the Donut Hole just down the street. Mama got us donuts for breakfast this morning.

Anyway, I couldn't sleep and I was tossing and turning and Charlie kept hissing at me to just keep still and Earl was snoring and Eric kept saying "You guys be quiet, Mom and Dad need their rest."  It really sucked.

Then I began to get a little sleepy, and I could see myself wandering in a field of fog or mist - completely surrounded by white. I was still awake, but it felt like I was already dreaming. Then the fog began to swirl and I heard hoofbeats. The horse came closer and closer, creating eddies in the mist until its great head appeared.

It had to be a Percheron, it was so big. A huge muscular chest followed the long face on an arching dappled neck. I could feel the thunder of his hoof-falls reverberating in my chest. He was outfitted in strange drapings - long hangings with square-jagged edges and some kind of black bird embroidered on the rump.

He carries a rider wearing a similar kind of robe or dress or something with a big black bird on his chest. This man has long hair and a short beard. Under his robe he is wearing some kind of jingly metal shirt thingy.

Somewhere in the back of my mind a connection is made - this guy looks like a knight. Only he looks nothing like a knight.  In movies or in the books they are always so shiny and so young - unless they are shiny and very old. This guy is like my dad, neither young or old. And strong, he looks really, really strong.

As his horse sweeps by me, the knight leans out of his saddle and scoops me up by one arm, depositing me on the hindquarters of his giant horse. My legs are practically in the splits! He rides me to my dreams and then disappears.

I wonder if we'll ride again tonight?

Friday, May 07, 2010

Journal Entry #1 - Walking

Note: I am supposed to be keeping a journal for a writing workshop I am taking. At the end of the week I have to write a poem based on one of the entries. Journal keeping is not a talent I have. A friend suggested that I use my Blog and simply point my tutor here. As I do not want it to get icky-personal I  plan to journal historic moments in my life. No reason to subject folks to the argument Chip and I had over diet and exercise today.

June 20th, 1969.

Grandma and Grandpa Wiseman are coming today. My sister Lynn's birthday is on Sunday and they are coming for that. But I don't really care why they are coming. I only care that Grandma has brought her walking shoes.

Every time she comes to the ranch, we walk everywhere! Looking for arrowheads. Visiting the old pioneer glass dump. Hunting for frogs, or crawdads or bunnies. Grandma Wiseman makes everything seem so magical. I mean she is a city girl but still notices things that I have never seen. She makes the ranch out to be a magical kingdom full of the wonder of God's creation.

My other Grandma just makes it all seem like work.

I can't wait til they arrive! I think I'll go check if they are here yet.

Thursday, May 06, 2010

Journelling - To Do or Not To Do

I am currently taking a writing workshop through the local library and the teacher has advised we journal as homework.

I have never really kept a diary (6 months as an 8 yr old doesn't really count) and although I do have some wonderful trip journals, those are short term event focused writing.

I have a really hard time journalling daily - not that I find my life boring - but that I just can't seem to find the oomph to actually write my day down.

Many people have told me I should write a memoir, and I sometimes play with the idea of doing it as a series of diary entries (probably the only way I could make writing about myself palatable) but beyond that I struggle.

What are the thoughts of the rest of you? Do you journal? If so, what about and why and how often? If not, do you think you should?


Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Fan Fiction a Continuing Discussion


I wanted to make this new post to let everyone know I am learning things here.

There is no more name calling, or over-reaction. My only consolation is that I was not the only one over-reacting.

What I am trying to do now, however is reach understanding. As I perceive it, the beginning stances of the two sides were these:

Me: I think Fan Fiction is stealing and non-creative.
FF: We never steal and are more creative than you give us credit for. Plus, we hate being insulted.

Ok - that is the he said she said. Now, if we want to be civilized I will try and understand why you say it is never stealing and you will try and understand why I think it is and after learning more about each other we come to a civilized agreement, even if it is to agree to disagree.

Before you comment on this post, I respectfully ask you to re-read my original post and the comments I have made there. I think you will see a clear change in my stance as I learn more about the world of fan fiction from reasoned speakers such as delwynmarch.

For the record - I no longer see fan fiction as non-creative. I also no longer think it is stealing, but I do believe there are some potential sticky issues about copyright that could be worked through with a good dialogue between writing communities.

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

I Remember

I went to a poetry writing workshop tonight and one of the writing exercises was to write a poem titled 'I Remember'. The workshop leader gave us 3 minutes to complete the task. Here is my effort:

I Remember Moving
 I remember the differences.
The trees, distorted, twisted by ocean breezes.
The impossible blue/green of the sea.
Exchanging waving wheat
For fluted waves.
No mountains.
No plains.
Just the ridiculous profusion of flowers
And the endless song of the ocean against the sand.
I remember moving.
I remember the differences.
The looming gray stone edifices, grime streaked with time.
The impossible fairie green of the grass.
The centering castle.
A crazy-quilt of 16th century bones carving the sky.
I remember cathedral bells arguing with buskers,
And the dour, rain-swept landscape
Peopled with enduring irony.
I remember moving.
I remember the sameness.
The vast praries unchanged by my absence.
The frosted mountains brushing impossibly tall fingers towards the sky.
Exchanging oceans of granite and salt water
For a land without oceans.
No beaches.
No castles.
Just the ridiculous politics of family
And the tug of a grandchild's embrace.

Monday, May 03, 2010

Lady Diana Starts a Sh*t Storm

Diana Gabaldon, one of my favorite authors, has created a Blog post which is currently receiving a tempest of comments on the subject of Fan Fiction.

I must admit I have never understood FanFic. I have known many people that write it and read it, and they all seem a little obsessive to me. I am likely to get flamed for this, but it is the truth. Each one of the folks I have known seemed to feel a real need to insert themselves into their favorite stories in some way. I don't feel this need. For me, when I read really good fiction it is an immersive experience - I wouldn't want to think of additional material for fear of breaking the bond I feel with the original.

I find interesting the types of exchanges that are occurring:

    Diana: The thought of my characters used pornographically disgusts me.
    FaFic Apologists: Well YOU have them get raped and abused and they have LOTS of sex.

   Diana: I feel as if my hard work is being stolen, and my ideas violated.
   FanFic Apologists: You called us thieves and pedophiles.

  Diana: FanFic a gray area in Copyright law.
  FanFic Apologists: We only do it because we love the source material, and we only sell it for charity.

  Diana: People should write original stories, not plagiarize others.
  FanFic Apologists: You are mean for not wanting us to plagiarize your characters - we will never read your books.

Although I find most of the arguments childish I must say that the FanFic community is adamant that they (mostly, or 99%, or 7/8ths) are reasonable people that will not write stories using characters of an author who objects.

If this is the case Writers of Fan Fiction, I challenge you:  NEVER post a story you have written using another author's characters without FIRST getting permission. This way, you can write all you want at home, but when you want to make it public (ie: post it on the internet) you only do so after having received the original author's blessing. This would keep the process honest and remove the copyright infringement issues that Diana is most concerned about. It does not infringe on your right to explore the ideas you are inspired by, and it makes a clear legal pathway to punish those writers (some, 1% 1/8th) that do not have respect for the source author now.

If my book does get published, it is likely to attract fanfic (fantasy/magic/romance stories tend to) and I just don't know how I would react. Just now, my sympathies lie with Diana. There is something vaguely creepy about letting someone else put their hands all over my characters.

Edited to add: Comments have begun arriving, and the first two are personally insulting. I will post them all, because I was hoping for a dialogue, and I don't want to list only those folk that agree with me. It would be nice however, if comments were constructive. If I am being naive, tell me and educate me.

"I have an opinion. It happens to be the right one. That is, until you show me something I did not know that causes me to change my opinion. Then... I have an opinion. It happens to be the right one."

Edited to add: a shamefully dropped comma. Tempers seem to have cooled a bit, although both Diana and I are still getting the occasional "I'll never read your writing" comments, the name calling seems to have mostly stopped. There have been some really wonderful comments that have helped me to understand the world of fan fiction better. I think, if we can all calm down that we can find a gracious way to get along.