What do you look for in a fan fic?

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction' started by RB_Kandy, Sep 30, 2012.

  1. DarKush

    DarKush Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    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).
     
  2. Timewalker

    Timewalker Cat-lovin', Star Trekkin' Time Lady Premium Member

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    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.

    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.

    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.

    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.
     
  3. jespah

    jespah Commodore Commodore

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    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/who-do-you-think-youre-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.
     
  4. Gibraltar

    Gibraltar Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    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) we’ve 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, there’s really no sense of tension when they’re placed in danger. I’m reasonably sure that Captain Kirk, or Commander Riker, or Major Kira aren’t 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, it’s the characters and plot that draw me into a story, and it’s 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 don’t matter nearly as much.
     
  5. Timewalker

    Timewalker Cat-lovin', Star Trekkin' Time Lady Premium Member

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    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.
     
  6. Gibraltar

    Gibraltar Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Hence why I said reasonably certain. I understand that's always a possibililty in a work of fan fiction, it just rarely ever is.
     
  7. Angry Fanboy

    Angry Fanboy Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2012
    Angry Fanboy

    I'd say I look for something a bit different in a fanfic, but not too different if you know what I mean.

    The problem with Star Trek fanfic is that so many stories tend to revolve around the same thing - a new crew is assembled to take charge of a new ship and off they go, which is fine but the market can get a little saturated and everything blends into everything else.

    So it's nice to see something that takes the existing Star Trek scenario and has a little fun with it with some 'outside the box' thinking.

    But then I don't personally enjoy things that go too far, killing off main characters and the like. I personally like my fanfic to be something that could be shown in an episode if you know what I mean.

    And of course the use ridiculous ten mile long behemoth Starfleet ships with eighty phaser cannons and a stockpile of 500,000 torpedoes more or less goes without saying as a big no no. :)
     

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