So, the task for Blogging101 for today is to a) write to/about your dream reader, and b) include something new. For the something new I choose… a silly pic from Pinterest:
Which reminded me that it looked kinda metafictional fanfic-y, which brings me to today’s topic. Are you exited, kids? Me too. (I’m lying, I’m being all chill over here.)
Boyfriend and me, we quote Star Wars at each other until we drop. (The old trilogy, that is. Yes, the really old one that didn’t have a Dark Tortured Sexy Manboy Chosen One Who Does Things Because Plot Hole in it.) Actually, there’s Star Wars in all aspects of our lives. Only Boyfriend is a bit less imaginative than me. He likes the wonder and mystery of things, the reasons best left unexplained.
I don’t. I ask questions about everything. I’m told it’s really annoying.
But since you are my dream reader, of course you will be interested, hang onto my every word, revel in my self-absorption and feast on mine Unconventional(TM) thoughts.
Like, my number one question is and always will be… actually it’s the whole subject of sex and reproduction, or rather the prevention thereof. I mean, in a galaxy far, far away that has hyper-drives and light sabers, are there super absorbent tampons that beep when they’re full? Wookiees have six nipples, how does that work for breastfeeding? Does the pill exist? Does it work for every species? Do you just take a hormone shot once a year and it’s 100% no baby? Does that work for every species? Do you store your uterus in an organ vault until you’re ready to use it? Are there still condoms? Are there still STIs? Are there vaccines to protect yourself from STIs? How’s the STI risk during interspecies sex, because, let’s be real, that’s a thing. Humans and aliens are fucking up a storm all over the galaxy, I know it and I want details.
Then there’s the whole can of worms that is the average person’s life. Star Wars, World of Warcraft, Lord of The Rings, anything… you only really know about the life of your average hero, but your average peasant, blacksmith, mom, child, tavern maid, or town drunk? The person who started from the bottom and stayed at the bottom, working tirelessly day and night, paying the costs of war? Nah, not so much, unless they’re needed as some sort of antagonists and/or background decoration in the form of a peasant revolt.
But fear not, for there is a silver lining on the horizon of literature and it’s name shall be… fanfiction!
Aaaand I hear the sound of crickets. Listen to the soft, soothing chirping in absence of any kind of enthusiasm.
This is the point where I tell you why I love fanfiction, in theory at least. It’s one of my favourite genres of literature, and yes, it should definitely count as a genre. It’s not plagiarism, not really. Basically, a fanfiction writer just picks up where the original author stopped. To me, at least, that’s what fanfiction should be for: Telling the Untold (ohhh, that’s a good title for a thesis, professors love that kind of pretentiousness, better write that down somewhere…).
Now, fanfiction, you could say, is the easy way out for a writer. How hard can it be to insert something into an already existing universe? Well, if it’s so easy, why don’t YOU do it? Hm? Hmmmm? Cower before my logic!
Seriously though, yes, it is easy. It is so easy it hurts. A bantha with ADD that was recently hit by a battalion of Imperial storm troopers on speeder bikes could do it (and probably is; as the triplet moons illuminate the endless sands of Tatooine, a sole bantha sits upon a promontory and ships his favourite Tusken Raiders… I think I just grossed myself out). But making it a good story, something that’s interesting and not the same as others, that doesn’t fall into a pattern… that, like with any genre, is a whole different matter. Anyone can do the old “Mary Sue saves the Fandom” type of story. Anyone could create a young Jedi/Sith/Elf/Orc/Troll/Dalek/Mixing Bowl that is Young And Inexperienced In All Aspect Of Life and yet Succeeds Where Others Have Failed through the power of Believing In Themselves and last but not least, finds True Love In The Main Or At Least The Hottest (In The Mind Of The Author) Character. And that’s the type of story I absolutely hate, unless it is done as a parody, or it is at least whimsically self-aware, or there is a metafictional element in there somewhere, or all of the above.
You’d like to think that there’s a whole academic discipline analysing fanfiction, intersectional scientific writing about the makers, makings and miracles of this genre. Aaand no, not much, from what I can see it’s just beginning to get off the ground, really, but if anyone has articles, feel free to link me to them. Which is weird, I think, because it’s such an interesting concept. I’m so getting in there. I can see it now: “The representation of female characters in fanfictions of the Star Wars Expanded Universe”. “Representation of masculinities in slash fanfiction pertaining to Japanese manga”. “Narrative techniques in fanfiction”. Come on, it would be fun!
Let me tell you a secret, perfect dream reader: One day, when I grow up, I want to teach at university. I want to teach a course on fanfiction as a genre. And I want to publish articles on fanfiction. It’s a stupid dream, of course, and it’s never gonna happen, but we all need a little something to say “One day” over just to get us out of bed in the morning instead of just lying there and waiting for death (and that bugger’s always late, couldn’t be on time to save his life). But if you’re my dream reader, of course you’ll agree that this is the best plan ever and the most interesting topic ever. Because you, dear reader, share my enthusiasm, right? Well, you better, or I have an opening for a new dream reader.
Just kidding, love ya, bye.