I don’t know if anyone has ever done this before but, here ya go… The Different Types of Fanfiction!
I probably left a few out, but these are the most common, compared to their base fiction’s canon plot. Enjoy! XD
The crack fic is enough for a reblog.
My favorite part is when authors write these themselves, and then you have a big, shiny, convoluted map that’s all canon.
Being the visual person that I am, I love this!
(Though… Shouldn’t the AU have specks of red in it, since the characters/characterizations/certain details are usually the same? For example, in An Exercise In Worthless, Dean is still suffering from nightmares/trauma-induced Issues, just as he does in canon, though beastofthesky translated canon into something that fits the new universe beautifully. Beast also kept Canon!Dean’s intense dislike/fear of flying, which would be another speck of red… I don’t know, it’s just something that occurred to me.)
“…the increase of crime is not from the increase of netural [sic] criminals, but the great increase of criminal opportunity afforded by the invention of the auto.”
President Hoover established the National Commission on Law Observance and Enforcement in May 1929 in an effort to identify causes of criminal activity. Thousands of citizens wrote to George Wickersham, the commission’s chairman, to offer information and to express opinions about the causes of crime in the United States.
Letter from John E. Ayer, M. V., to the Crime and Law Enforcement Commission Citing the Automobile as Increasing Crime and Liquor Trafficking, 05/23/1929
From the Records of the National Commission on Law Observance and Enforcement
1) I need to find me some good hooch-runnin’ music (‘cause I’m working on writing a new Benny/Phil crossover that involves them working with a new driver (and part-time psychic) to run illegal liquor down to Portland, Oregon (in this universe, prohibition was a state’s rights thing — Washington is about as wet as the coastal rainforests; Oregon decided to go dry)
2) Are there any good SPN moonshine-running fics, preferably with an emphasis on Dean/Cas? (yes, I’ll go look on my own, promise.)
This lovely meta, which does a lot to explain why Clip Show went the way it did, smacked me over the head with a frying pan on its way to making its actual point. This is what did it:
[Sam] has spent the majority of the season revisiting old issues: the codependent relationship with his brother, his desire to live a normal life, his guilt over losing Jessica, and most recently and importantly, his guilt over Dean going to Hell and his inability to stop it.
HOW DID I NOT NOTICE THAT THE TRIALS ARE PARALLELS TO EARLIER SEASON ARCS? In fact, once I started thinking about that, I realized that there’s even more structural calling back to the series’ plot in this season, showing up in more than just the trials. The back half of this season, once we got done with the flashbacks, is basically a compressed version, a model, of the major beats of the entire series’ plot—just told through parallels. But for simplicity’s sake, let’s start with the trials and then back up.
Trial 1. Kill a hellhound: a hellhound dragged Dean off to hell, because, in a twisted way, of Sam (of course Dean got himself into that, but do you think Sam doesn’t feel any guilt? If so, you are watching the wrong show). It’s pretty obvious and straightforward.
Trial 2. Save an innocent soul from hell: Sam couldn’t save Dean, but at least he saved Bobby. At the same time, it’s a revisiting of Cas saving Dean.
Trial 3. Cure a demon? That’s all about Ruby. It has to be. He thought she was different; she, and later Meg, were about as close to a “cured” demon as anything I can think of. They’re both dead (and I’m happier now than I was that Meg’s gone, because otherwise she’s the logical choice for a cure and that’s the LAST thing I’d want for her), and Ruby was lying anyway, but if we’re talking about major points of earlier seasons? This is the right progression when it comes to the ones that revolve around hell. I’m also very, very hopeful that this means the cure they’re working on now, which is full of holes and unsatisfying on so many levels, will turn out to be bullshit (since Ruby’s “good guy” persona turned out to also be bullshit).
Okay, so backing up from the trials, let us consider “As Time Goes By.” The first couple of seasons revolved around chasing down the yellow-eyed demon, Azazel—a special, unusual, powerful denizen of hell who destroyed their family by removing a parent. Eventually, Azazel killed their father, as part of a bargain that would let the boys move forward and fulfill their destinies. (And by “fulfill their destinies” I mean “do the opposite of fulfilling their destinies, and flip their destinies the bird on the way”, but structurally that was the narrative reason for that deal. John, obviously, had reasons of his own, but that’s not the point right now.)
Abaddon, by attacking the Men of Letters, caused Henry to jump forward in time and destroy the Winchester family by removing a parent all over again—or, rather, destroy it before it got destroyed in the beginning. (Goddamn time travel lingo.) She took John’s father away physically, while Azazel took Sam and Dean’s mother away.
When she and Henry Winchester show up in 2013, the plan Henry and Dean make is essentially a bargain: Henry’s life for stopping Abaddon. The reason this is the right bargain, narratively, is that it again allows the Winchester line to go on to fulfill its destiny—although John actually fulfilled his, a soldier to the end, while as we know the boys took a few turns. It’s a very close parallel to “In My Time of Dying.”
So earlier in the season we had the introduction of a special, extra-powerful demon (what has three syllables and starts with A? Both demons! This is meaningless, I’m just having fun) who destroys an iteration of the Winchester family by removing a parent, and to whom the father (Henry) gives up his life in order to keep the story going by keeping his (grand)son(s) alive. This basically brings us to early season 2, structurally.
Then we get to the trials, and if I really wanted to I’d argue that the existence of the trials at all, as a more general thing separate from the associations of each individual trial, could be seen as analogous to Azazel’s Super Fun Survival Camp for Gifted Children. Buuut I think it’s probably a little weak, so I’ll leave it. Regardless, the trials themselves mirror the events of seasons 2-4, as I showed above. In fact, their attempt at curing Abaddon ended up freeing her; killing Lilith freed Lucifer.
Honestly, when it comes to season 5, I don’t have much to say; Kevin certainly seems to have reached a Chuck-like state of Zen misery (and come out the other side?), and Crowley’s systematic destruction of their legacy is, I guess, a kind of tiny apocalypse and/or could be read as similar to how in season 5 the boys lost everyone close to them but Bobby. Neither of these ideas is particularly compelling, but it’s possible that whatever happens when Abaddon shows back up (which she obviously has to) will help me out here, since I’m tentatively ready to call her a stand-in for Lucifer (unkillable, let out of a cage due to ill-advised demon-taming shenanigans, needs to be put back in a cage). Hilariously, it occurs to me that in a twisted way, this could make Crowley Michael (but only if I worked for it; in other ways, Naomi’s a much better analogue).
And now, we’re getting Cas off on a questionable quest without Dean’s knowledge in order to try to fix Heaven. Season 6, hi, how you been.
It should be pretty obvious at this point that the season is recapping a lot of territory. I think this is a brilliant choice: I know there’s a three-year plan, but the whole idea leading up to closing the gates of hell is about it being Over. Sam Getting Out. Dean…reconciling with Castiel and probably not getting out, but at least he can kill simpler stuff like in the good old days. Given that, it’s fitting that they started the season with Sam in the kind of life he wants to have when he Gets Out, and Dean fighting his way across Purgatory to get to Cas (with a surrogate brother): they bookended us. Of course I don’t know what the end will hold, and it’ll hardly be a neat, tied-in-a-bow conclusion, but the general structure we’ve been given here is:
Both brothers are shown in a world that’s related to, if not the spitting image of, The Goal. After being drawn back into hunting, because they always do, they find a way to change the game completely. They then essentially relive the entire journey of the series up to now (excepting season 7, of which more in a minute) in the process of trying to make that happen and reach The Goal. Come back around to where you started, except where you started isn’t quite the same where that it was when you left: good old spiral storytelling.
As for season 7: I don’t think it’s going to be replicated the same way in this season. For one thing, there’s not much room left in the script, and for another, sending Cas away again is just not a good narrative option at all at this time. Maybe some parallel of 7 will come later; maybe they think, like I do, that that season is nearly impossible to echo briefly, because it’s so dependent on long, slow emotional change. (Plus alcoholism and dick jokes.) I don’t know.
But regardless, it’s hard to look at those trials and think all this is a coincidence. It’s going somewhere, and since we know there’s at least one more season in the works, I’m now very curious to see how and where they’re going to veer off the path of retelling and head somewhere new. A spiral returns to the same place, but always curves away at the same time: around and around, but moving upward. (I’m thinking of like a slinky-style spiral here, just go with it.) I want to know what’s around the bend.
This is just freakin’ brilliant. This, right here? *Points at the above* This is what I love about being involved in fandom. People who not only see this stuff, but then they articulate it so the rest of us can see it as well.
Good thoughts on Amazon’s Kindle Worlds (fanfiction)
I’m with Scalzi on this.
I was going to link Scalzi’s article myself. It’s a good one.
Adding a fourth rec for Mr Scalzi’s thoughts here. Looks like Amazon really does mean “the life of the author + 75 years” as their length of time that they own the rights to whatever you give them.
I don’t think I’d stake my future solely on producing work for Worlds, but that’s utterly and completely Just Me. (And since I’m not planning on joining Worlds anyway, y’know.)
READ THIS Gav wrote it while I screamed at her about Fanlib and franchise tie-ins and flailed a lot on twitter. A great summary of the many many problems with amazon’s new scheme to profit from fans writing fanfic.
I am reading this while on my lunch and Boss Lady keeps looking over at me because i CANNOT STOP LAUGHING.
More thoughts on the whole Worlds thing.
Amazon is now monetizing fan-fiction. I mean, I guess? The press release (with scads more detail) is right here. I am of two minds on this. Maybe three minds. MAYBE… Read The Rest
Chuck’s got some… Well, it’s not exactly insight, but he does manage to help put into words some of what I’ve been feeling. Plus he’s got a spiffy bunch in the comments who can hash out A Thing without devolving into spittle-flecked maniacs, so that’s nice.
Don’t pay for fanfic,y’all. Don’t be that guy. Let me respect you in the morning. Jesus tap dancing Ken Cosgrove, Accounts on a cracker, don’t let another corporation run roughshod over a free, creative enterprise.
Star Wars, Star Trek, World of Warcraft, Ravenloft/Advanced Dungeons & Dragons/Forgotten Realms books are pretty much fanfic taken to an official level.
Thing about that is that the authors are getting paid. It’s Yog’s Law in action: money flowing to the writer.
If you want to pay for fanfiction from Worlds, that’s on you. I’m just wondering if the writers are going to get anything… Ah, and after a quick look, it seems they are. Hm, well, that changes things a little… And it explains the whole copyright thing.
Get ready for Kindle Worlds, a place for you to publish fan fiction inspired by popular books, shows, movies, comics, music, and games. With Kindle Worlds, you can write new stories based on featured Worlds, engage an audience of readers, and earn royalties. Amazon Publishing has secured licenses from Warner Bros. for Gossip Girl, Pretty Little Liars, and The Vampire Diaries, with licenses for more Worlds on the way.
Content Guidelines for Kindle Worlds
Pornography: We don’t accept pornography or offensive depictions of graphic sexual acts.
Offensive Content: We don’t accept offensive content, including but not limited to racial slurs, excessively graphic or violent material, or excessive use of foul language.
Illegal and Infringing Content: We take violations of laws and proprietary rights very seriously. It is the authors’ responsibility to ensure that their content doesn’t violate laws or copyright, trademark, privacy, publicity, or other rights.
Poor Customer Experience: We don’t accept books that provide a poor customer experience. Examples include poorly formatted books and books with misleading titles, cover art, or product descriptions. We reserve the right to determine whether content provides a poor customer experience.
Excessive Use of Brands: We don’t accept the excessive use of brand names or the inclusion of brand names for paid advertising or promotion.
Crossover: No crossovers from other Worlds are permitted, meaning your work may not include elements of any copyright-protected book, movie, or other property outside of the elements of this World.
No explicit sexual content? So much for that, then.
I’m no copyright expert, but this doesn’t sound nice:
- Amazon Publishing will acquire all rights to your new stories, including global publication rights, for the term of copyright.
- Kindle Worlds is a creative community where Worlds grow with each new story. You will own the copyright to the original, copyrightable elements (such as characters, scenes, and events) that you create and include in your work, and the World Licensor will retain the copyright to all the original elements of the World. When you submit your story in a World, you are granting Amazon Publishing an exclusive license to the story and all the original elements you include in that story. This means that your story and all the new elements must stay within the applicable World. We will allow Kindle Worlds authors to build on each other’s ideas and elements. We will also give the World Licensor a license to use your new elements and incorporate them into other works without further compensation to you.
Okay, wait. Amazon wants me to write fanfiction, and then their own rules basically cancel that out? *Blinkblink*
OH. Oh, okay, they’ve basically got a list of approved universes for which I can write fic. Eh… Pass. The point of fanfic is that I choose my narratives, I choose the content, I choose the interpretations, and I’m not beholden to anything—not even the source material, within reason*.
Worlds sounds to me like they’re looking for the next
Stephenie Meyer** E. L. James or Cassandra Clare (which reminds me that I’ve been meaning to do a post about them), which is not an enterprise I’m interested in supporting at all.
As for the licensing thing, it’s not as bad as it looks at first glance, and it makes sense to me, since they’re working with content creators for franchises. They have a license to The Vampire Diaries, you write a missing scene wherein Klaus*** declares his undying appreciation for Caroline’s scones (without any original content, i.e. characters, etc), it’s basically part of the TVD world and therefore falls under the licensing agreement. (I think that’s how it works, anyway; I am not a lawyer, etc.)
It’s an interesting idea, but the implementation is leaving me side-eyeing Worlds. Granted, I’m not really their target audience, since they aren’t working with any properties I’m interested in (at the moment, anyway) and the rules are, uh… Well, let’s talk about those rules, shall we?
- Pornography. At what point does my sex scene become pornography? At what point does my choice of vocabulary become an “offensive description of a sexual act”? Is it dependent on who is involved?
(Because let’s face it, if there are publishers out there who automatically give any same-sex story their highest/most restricted rating regardless of the content (hand-holding and cheek kisses are PG for het couples, NC-17 for same-sex couples? Ha ha ha ha FUCK YOU.) then what’s stopping this massive company with a decidedly tarnished reputation when it comes to stocking QUILTBAG media from doing the same thing?
Whose scale are we using? Because my limits are not the same as my mother’s limits, my best friend’s limits, a random person from my neighborhood’s limits. And I’m thinking about plain intercourse, here—once you start bringing kink into the mix, then what? Rimming grosses some people out; done right (in all senses) it can be the hottest thing going. How about a man in frilly knickers? Is that too much, or is that okay?
…or is it the infamous “I know it when I see it” scale?
- Violence. As much as I’d like to say I’m torn, or behind this one (because I don’t like gore/torture/am seriously squicked by body horror and yes I know that makes me a bizarre candidate for “fan of Supernatural” but hey Misha Collins has nightmares and he’s on the show so), I have to ask the same questions I do for pornography. Where’s the limit? I have a line from The Gunslinger (the first of The Dark Tower series) seared on my brain that made me quit reading.
Seriously, I’m thinking about it now and it’s still grossing me out and I read it a couple of years ago. Whose level of mental scarring are we using to measure the term “excessive”? When does descriptive narrative cross over into gore-porn/torture-porn territory?
- Offensive language. Again, if I have a character whose traits include the use of horrible language, at what point is their language crossing the line?
- Poor Customer Experience. Can I claim I’ve had a “poor customer experience” when A) I didn’t buy anything and/or B) I groaned, rolled my eyes, and quit reading an otherwise lovely story because the protagonists reached for the gun oil instead of shifting their lazy aroused asses and getting something, anything, that would be a better lube-alternative?
I’d also like to think that this will be used to weed out poorly-written ‘fic, but I can see it being used for purely vindictive purposes as well. We’ll see, I guess.
- No Crossovers (Except From Our Other Properties); No Copyright Infringement. Heh. Ha. Ha ha ha ha! Hee. *Ahem* Sorry. Sorry, that’s… Wow. That’s… Yeah, okay, I’m really sorry but what part of amature fanfiction did y’all miss?
Infringement isn’t the fucking point of fanfic! Technically, yes, it is a violation (unless you’re working from a Creative Commons-licensed source), but it means that the work is vivid enough that people want to make it their own, pay tribute, however you want to frame it. If a fan wanted, truly wanted, to infringe on the rights of the source creator? They’d get themselves a friggin’ lawyer. For the most part, we just want to be part of something that’s caught our minds and hearts and set them ablaze.
- Product Placement: This one’s basically a giant WTF? to me. Maybe it’s because I don’t watch any of the listed shows and therefore have no idea about the content of the product placement in the source media, but it would never, ever cross my mind to put stuff in a story (especially a fanfic) to shill for a particular company. And, sadly, no one’s ever offered me money to shill for them, either.
- Copyright Stuff: The first point is, as far as I know, standard. Whenever I sell a story, I’m granting the buyer the right to my work for a set time period (two, three, or five years, usually; one place it was six months). While I don’t have much of a problem with it, I do want to know how long their “term of copyright” is. ‘Cause as of right now, copyright is the life of the author plus 75 years, at least in the US. If they mean they get the copyright to whatever original stuff I come up with for that long, then…no, I don’t think so. Especially not without compensation.
The second point is basically saying that Amazon gets the right of first refusal, which means that if you write a story about Caroline opening a bakery and she hires an original character who then gets the bakery when Klaus whisks her away to a life of whirlwind romance and vampire-y intrigue, you can’t publish any original stories about your OC and the bakery (without any mentions of TVD/TVD characters) anywhere else until you’ve offered them to Amazon first. If Amazon says ‘nah, pass’, then you can go offer your stories to other publishers.
Like I said, it’s not as bad as it looks, at first.
One of the more interesting things about that second point is the fact that Amazon apparently intends the stories on Worlds to be part of a communal sandbox in which anyone can play. That’s skirting the line of Creative Commons while retaining the copyright… I’d like to see what Cory Doctorow has to say about that (and Worlds in general).
I’m not going to be contributing to Worlds, but it’ll be interesting to see what happens with it.
* as long as the characters are in character, then they can be mer-folk and ex-cons for all I care. *points at Out Of The Deep*
** I was thinking about the source of James’s work, not James herself. Oopsie.
*** All I Know About The Vampire Diaries I’ve Learned From My Dash: Klaus + Caroline 5ever, basically. And I’m one of the few people who doesn’t find Ian Sommerhalder attractive, but that’s neither here nor there.
Everyone on my Tumblr dash, PLEASE watch this. Especially if you are a creative artist:
Adobe is going to scrap their hard copies (disks) for their software (Photoshop, Illustrator, After Effects, Flash), and have you pay a subscription for the latest software called the Adobe Creative Cloud. $50 per month. Could you really afford such an expense in the long run?
This is really disturbing. Please hear what he has to say, it really is a serious situation for working artists. Pass this along so others may know about the Adobe Creative Cloud and how horrible it is.
Yep… Just went to see how much Flash costs. You know, to just buy the program? Guess what? After spending a while looking, it appears that you CAN’T anymore. You have to pay an outrageous subscription fee. I hate adobe. Is there a petition going around to stop this nonsense? Because I want to sign it.
I’m a writer, not an artist, but I feel for people for whom this is going to be a problem.
I use Dropbox to back up my work. Dropbox is cloud-based, but I have a local copy — which is something that is as vital to me as it is to artists.
Here’s a question for Adobe (and everyone else who touts Cloud Storage As The Best And Brightest Of The Future!!1!):
How am I supposed to get my work off of your servers when my network is down? How am I supposed to make my living when I can’t—power failure on the other side of town (where my ISP/local ‘net access DNS servers live), natural disaster tears up data cabling, [your scenario here]—access my data? How is not having a local copy anything resembling an intelligent move on my part?
How is forcing me into a situation where I have to tell people who are depending on me—to produce something, or to, y’know, feed them, etc—that I cannot because the company which makes the software that has become the industry standard has chosen to ignore common sense a wise thing to do?
One thing that makes me panic like no other is the thought of losing all of my work. The idea that all of the hours I’ve put into what I’ve created could be gone in an instant… You have no idea how much that terrifies me.
Dropbox is a great back-up solution, and when I bought my netbook a couple of years ago, I was able to get at my work without a hitch—I’m deliriously happy with Dropbox. But if Dropbox/Google
Docs Drive were my only option (and I had to pay on top of it, no less)? I’d be investigating my options with alacrity.
Certainly doesn’t seem like a wise business move to me, but what do I know, right?