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Old October 21 2012, 11:23 PM   #31
CeJay
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Re: What do you look for in a fan fic?

Don't most fan fic writers write, first and foremost, to their own tastes? Yes, it's Trek and yes it is within an established format or genre conventions but not so much because that's what the target audience expects but because that's what the writer is most interested in.

This is certainly is true for me but obviously I can't speak for everyone. Some writers may pander more to their audience than others.
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Old October 22 2012, 01:45 AM   #32
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Re: What do you look for in a fan fic?

^
I'm in agreement with CeJay here. At least if the fan fic writer wants to enjoy themselves more, I think it would behoove them to write in the time period or with the characters they feel most comfortable with. I was a big fan of DS9 and the Dominion War, so I based my Dark Territory series in the post-Dominion War era to exploring what might have happened after DS9 ended. The good thing about that for me was that it also allowed me to also incorporate TNG and VOY into stories as well.

I think you first got to find something that interests you to keep writing when you hit the eventual writer's block or when life gets in the way. But also I do think most people who write want to share what they've written. But if you're not enjoying what you're writing, if you're too worried about the audience, you're probably not going to like what you produce and they probably won't either.
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Old October 22 2012, 02:59 AM   #33
Gul Re'jal
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Re: What do you look for in a fan fic?

^Another agreement from me. I also write because I enjoy it and also choose subjects (and races) I like most. But I know that I'd also like some audience, because writing into nothingness would take all joy of writing away. So while not writing purely and only for the readers, trying to guess what they'd like, I think a lot of fan fic writers still would like someone to read and enjoy their work, even if it's written for fun and from their internal need of writing stories.
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Old October 22 2012, 11:52 AM   #34
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Re: What do you look for in a fan fic?

^This.

We do like someone to be reading. After all, otherwise, we'd just be confining our stuff to our hard drives, or our noggins. But we don't.

I think writers also do (or probably should) write to the audience at least a bit, in the sense of creating art that is accessible and understandable. I don't believe it's pandering to make the vision clear. After all, the readers aren't in our heads (at least, I hope not). Hence if the character's internal motivations are important, they need to be explained or at least hinted at, and not just - oh, the readership will get it.

Well, what happens if they don't?
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Old October 22 2012, 02:28 PM   #35
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Re: What do you look for in a fan fic?

rabid bat wrote: View Post
^This.

We do like someone to be reading. After all, otherwise, we'd just be confining our stuff to our hard drives, or our noggins. But we don't.

I think writers also do (or probably should) write to the audience at least a bit, in the sense of creating art that is accessible and understandable. I don't believe it's pandering to make the vision clear. After all, the readers aren't in our heads (at least, I hope not). Hence if the character's internal motivations are important, they need to be explained or at least hinted at, and not just - oh, the readership will get it.

Well, what happens if they don't?
You're talking about making a story accesible or even coherent to a reader. That's different than to pander to your audience.

An example would be to write a Voyager fan-fic because you know there is a big audience for it even though you don't really care for Voyager at all.
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Old October 22 2012, 05:00 PM   #36
Sandoval
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Re: What do you look for in a fan fic?

Tribble puncher wrote: View Post
I also run from anything that has poorly photoshopped celebs in federation uniforms.
Good call. Many here could take note of that.
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Old October 22 2012, 07:23 PM   #37
JoeZhang
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Re: What do you look for in a fan fic?

And frankly, I find it sad that there's someone out there to whom something so basic about human nature needs to be explained.
I understand it, it just always surprises me that people are so feeble minded and needy (I'm talking generalities here not specific or individual posters).
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Old October 22 2012, 08:51 PM   #38
TiberiusMaximus
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Re: What do you look for in a fan fic?

Oh, so it's okay to insult people if you insult them all at once? If you're so against fanfiction - or just don't "get it" - why are you even here?

Earlier, you called fanfiction "a small box." Well, if you think about it, fanfic is just another genre. Any genre could be considered "a small box."

So you want to write a fantasy novel? Why does it have to be fantasy? Why put yourself in such a small box? Why limit your creativity so much? Does that make sense to you? Probably not, because it's ludicrous.

It's not "needy" to want something appreciated by its intended audience.
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Old October 23 2012, 08:37 PM   #39
Sandoval
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Re: What do you look for in a fan fic?

Getting a little tense in here isn't it? My kind of place...
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Old October 25 2012, 04:40 AM   #40
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Re: What do you look for in a fan fic?

Personally, I look for a collection of vignettes / stand-alone stories that help fill in the blanks character-development-wise. I love a good slam-bang battle-scene entry but every now & then, I like a slow, suggestive / steamy bedroom scene to start things off.

I personally think the TOS, TNG, DS9. VOY stories & characters are mostly played-out. I like to see "lower decks" stories or all-new/original crews, ships, et al.

Post-Dominion War-era (ie: "Star Trek: Titan") perhaps on a frankenstein fleet vessel, or a story / series in the TMP-era set on a Loknar-Class or Phobos-Class vessel with ~NO~ references to Chapel, Spock, or Kirk. Maybe a spin-off from Sulu/Excelsior or Chekov or Styles (Enterprise-B).
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Old October 28 2012, 04:06 PM   #41
DarKush
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Re: What do you look for in a fan fic?

rabid bat wrote: View Post
^This.

We do like someone to be reading. After all, otherwise, we'd just be confining our stuff to our hard drives, or our noggins. But we don't.

I think writers also do (or probably should) write to the audience at least a bit, in the sense of creating art that is accessible and understandable. I don't believe it's pandering to make the vision clear. After all, the readers aren't in our heads (at least, I hope not). Hence if the character's internal motivations are important, they need to be explained or at least hinted at, and not just - oh, the readership will get it.

Well, what happens if they don't?
I do think most of us do want others to read our stuff, so I agree with you on that. But one way I think we do that, or should do that, is to make sure our works are well written enough to convey the story. I'm not so sure about writing to please the audience explicitly though. I mean, I think the writer should pick whatever time period (for example) they like, on the assumption that there will be other fans who like that time period as well, and just try to write the best story they can (on another assumption that if it is well written it will hook in fans and bring in new readers).
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Old October 28 2012, 08:18 PM   #42
Timewalker
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Re: What do you look for in a fan fic?

Admiral2 wrote: View Post
JoeZhang wrote: View Post
I don't read Fan Fiction at all - mainly because when I have checked out what has been recommended, the material seems to be largely reactionary and conservative (in the narrative sense) - if you aren't constraited by the need to have a financially successful product - why put yourself in such a small box?
Because it still needs to be successful in terms of readership and, unlike you obviously, most people that are inclined to read Trek fanfic want to read new stories from that small box, and will declare anything from outside of it "not Star Trek." It's about knowing your target audience. If I want to do something outside the Star Trek box, I don't write Star Trek.
Some people have very specific personal preferences for ST fanfic. I've been discovering my own, by reading scads of what's online and recalling what originally drew me to the physical fanzines I own.

I've discovered that most slash stories make me feel queasy. I'm not homophobic; I have enjoyed some slash stories... but they had to be written for more reason than "I'm gonna write a Star Trek story where two guys have sex!" They need to be in character and a reasonable part of the plot. They also need to be not too explicit.

So I could enjoy a Garak/Bashir story since those two characters had subtext all over the place throughout DS9's run. Some fanzine authors wrote Sulu as bisexual, so it was reasonable for him to enjoy relationships with women and/or men.

But Kirk/Spock? Just... no. I honestly cannot fathom any circumstance where those two characters would seek a sexual relationship with each other. So I avoid those stories. They're the ones that tend to make me queasy when I read the descriptions of them, and the few I've actually read over the years. Just not my cup of tea at all.


I once got into an argument with a fellow con attendee back in the '80s. She was staring at a copy of In A Different Reality in utter disgust, ranting about how it "just wasn't Star Trek" for Spock to marry a fellow officer! Well, I read the series of stories where that relationship developed (over a period of several years) and in addition to the undeniable fact that Spock and Ruth loved each other, Spock would - like Sarek - be able to later claim that "it was the logical thing to do." When the reader takes into consideration that Spock's new wife was a scientist, musician, and telepathic... yes, it was logical.

TiberiusMaximus wrote: View Post
Why does it need to be successful in terms of readership?
Because nobody wants to write something that nobody ever reads. That's kinda like asking, "If you're not going to sell that painting for money, why bother making it look good?" Uh, because I want it to and I want the people who see it to enjoy it.

The painting might be for your mother. If so, you'd make it something she would enjoy, right? That's an example of knowing your target audience, even though you're not making money.
There's a saying: If something is worth doing at all, it's worth doing well. Even if nobody else ever reads it, why not make it the best story you can? This world would be a lot poorer culture-wise if people only did a good job on things they expected to be paid for.

CeJay wrote: View Post
Don't most fan fic writers write, first and foremost, to their own tastes? Yes, it's Trek and yes it is within an established format or genre conventions but not so much because that's what the target audience expects but because that's what the writer is most interested in.

This is certainly is true for me but obviously I can't speak for everyone. Some writers may pander more to their audience than others.
I've noticed on fanfiction.net that some writers ask for suggestions on where to take the next chapter. If somebody requests a particular character, or the resolution to a situation, for example, that's what the author promises to write.

Seems a bit lazy to me, as though the author has no idea where the story is going, or how it's going to end.

rabid bat wrote: View Post
I think writers also do (or probably should) write to the audience at least a bit, in the sense of creating art that is accessible and understandable. I don't believe it's pandering to make the vision clear. After all, the readers aren't in our heads (at least, I hope not). Hence if the character's internal motivations are important, they need to be explained or at least hinted at, and not just - oh, the readership will get it.

Well, what happens if they don't?
That's what feedback is for.

Or if the reader simply doesn't want to spend the effort to figure out a poorly-written story and moves on to something else, that's a valid response, too.
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Old October 28 2012, 10:16 PM   #43
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Re: What do you look for in a fan fic?

I think we all realize (whether we write or not), for writers, it's rather frustrating when there is no/little feedback. Hard for the writer to figure out what's going on there. Is it perfect, so no one feels the need to add anything? So horrible that the readers run screaming and will never come back? Too long or dense to plow through? Readers like it but just don't have the time to say anything about it?

For a lot of the online world, extensive feedback is just not going to happen. If you look at a Social Technographics ladder - http://www.jeremyfloyd.com/2011/08/w...ure-talkin-to/ you see that the biggest chunk of people just read. Then a smaller chunk just hit "like" (or vote for stuff). Then an even smaller chunk review.
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Old October 29 2012, 12:20 AM   #44
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Re: What do you look for in a fan fic?

In fanfiction I am primarily interested in well-drawn characters, strong writing, and interest-capturing plots.

I favor Original Characters over Canon Characters because with many of the canon Trek icons (most especially those of TOS) weíve seen nearly every aspect of their respective personalities explored and analyzed the canon movie/TV productions, the authorized novels, and in fanfiction itself.

And with canon characters, thereís really no sense of tension when theyíre placed in danger. Iím reasonably sure that Captain Kirk, or Commander Riker, or Major Kira arenít going to be killed during the course of a story. With original characters, the author is free to do whatever he/she pleases with characters of their own making, and very little (if anything) is out of bounds.

Ultimately, though, itís the characters and plot that draw me into a story, and itís the characters and plot that keep me there until the final page. The era the tale is set in, whether it takes place on a ship ship vs. outpost, these things donít matter nearly as much.
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Old October 29 2012, 06:19 AM   #45
Timewalker
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Re: What do you look for in a fan fic?

Gibraltar wrote: View Post
And with canon characters, thereís really no sense of tension when theyíre placed in danger. Iím reasonably sure that Captain Kirk, or Commander Riker, or Major Kira arenít going to be killed during the course of a story. With original characters, the author is free to do whatever he/she pleases with characters of their own making, and very little (if anything) is out of bounds.
Hello - it's fanfic. You can kill off the Captain or Riker, or Kira if you want. You can take the characters off in totally new directions.

One series I read a long time back had Spock marrying a Human/Vulcan woman named T'Marse (she was a navigator on the Enterprise). Pon farr happened, T'Marse got pregnant, and Spock decided to resign from Starfleet. He and T'Marse put together a private scientific research vessel that included a couple of other scientist couples with their families, and went independent.
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