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Fanfiction on the Radio

On Radio 4 this afternoon there was a nice little programme about fanfiction that might be of interest to a lot of you:

When Harry Potter Met Frodo: The Strange World of Fan Fiction

If you are not in the UK and are not able to use the BBC iPlayer, if you express an interest in hearing the programme to me, then I'll see if I can get an mp3 for you.

It was nice to hear AO3 involved and there's a lot of talk about crossovers, slash and 50 Shades of Inescapable Grey, plus a bit for quinara about Iliad fanfic. I might just have flared my nostrils though at the implication from some literary writing group type that the although fic writers were welcome to read their work to his group, he didn''t expect the quality to be as good as his literary writers. Grr.

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I might just have flared my nostrils though at the implication from some literary writing group type that the although fic writers were welcome to read their work to his group, he didn''t expect the quality to be as good as his literary writers.

Are you surprised? Even some fanfic writers believe that, let alone people who never had anything to do with fandom.

Not really, but this guy was reasonably familiar with fic, if not wide read. I understand the argument that some might be wasting their talents, but it harps back to the snobbishness some people get over genre writing. The way I see it, a good writer is a good writer, regardless of what genre they choose to write, so the action might take place on another planet or involve Luke Skywalker in Tudor England, so what?

Frankly, I don't even understand the argument that they're "wasting their talents". I can see how not writing at all could be wasting a talent, I can even see how writing what you think will sell instead of what you feel you should write could be wasting a talent. I don't see how not publishing your writing in print would be wasting anything.

Agreed on snobbishness front. It just drives me nuts! Recently, my roommate mocked me because he saw me with a book about romance fiction. It was a serious, academic book I needed for a paper I'm writing, and yet I got laughed at, because I'm researching historical romance.

I never said I agreed with that argument, only that I could see there was some reasoning behind it.

Historical romance is my genre, but I don't ever think someone couldn't (or hasn't) written a great historical romance. It's the treatment of SF that really winds me up though, because I think it's incredibly important to driving technological advance.

Ugh, sorry, that came out much more angry than I intended. It's personal -- I've had people tell me that I'm "wasting my talent" writing fanfic, and I'm still mad at them for that. I didn't mean to attack you.

I think SF has been getting more and more acknowledgement the last few years? Though I might be biased, because I socialize mostly with people who either like SF or go to school with me (and English faculties I've seen research literally every genre). I don't really read that much historical romance myself, but it bugs me that I get laughed at for writing an academic paper on a book like that. Because, let's face it, I owe the mockery to the fact that historical romance is considered a genre "for women".

I didn't take as an attack, I totally accept that argument.

I hear 'you're wasting your talents' almost every day (not generally about writing most of the time), yet no one suggests what I might be using my 'talents' for exactly. I have come to the conclusion that writing fanfic is probably more satisfying for it's direct engagement with it's readership (or used to be when I was more popular) than say novel writing anyway.

I have come to the conclusion that writing fanfic is probably more satisfying for it's direct engagement with it's readership (or used to be when I was more popular) than say novel writing anyway.

That's more or less my train of thought :). Also interacting with other writers is very satisfying.

Plus there is the myth people assume that being a writer is automatically going to make you a lot of money.

LOL, yes. Because every novel ever written gets published, and every published novel sells in millions of copies.

We can't all be J K Rowling.

direct engagement with it's readership (or used to be when I was more popular)

This is why I think I might be turning to original novels for a little while after I've finished my Get It Done thing. Of course you know this, but I'm stuck in this loop where no feedback is ever enough, so I can only really write for myself (and beta comments from people/you I force to read it). Might as well polish something up that I can try and show the world - not least because everyone wants to hear about fourth century Alexandria...

You'll have to tell me whether the Iliad fanfic is anything cool and funky, or just one of those squidgy-anachronistic Achilles/Patroclus slash novels, because I can't quite bear them!

I had a feeling you might weigh in on that!

It's funny how the feedback thing manifests. It pushes you away and grinds me to a halt (though I think work being busy is responsible for a lot of my problems too).

Achilles/Patroclus was exactly what it was. Now I come to think it through, I have no idea why you would have liked that. Um.

Oh, I forgot to mention before, Radio 4 also had a Siouxsie documentary a few weeks ago and I might just have the mp3 of that too.

I should have weighed in earlier, but I've been round a friend's house watching the Paul McGann Dr. Who movie... It's like they took away everything that bores me about Who and replaced it with 90s gothic cliché; it was great! But anyway, I'm worried I've just found that fandom really isn't the same if everybody's not interested in what everybody else is writing. (Also, giving myself RSI by making a fanvideo I don't feel like anyone but me really got anything out of sort of brought it home physically that I'm just going to end up making myself miserable.)

Achilles/Patroclus is deceptive that way... But no. A, just no. B, too often these things are so divorced from the setting it just feels like a gimmick, which is irritating, or else it's about making the relationship (about two characters who aren't Achilles and Patroclus) safe by whacking it in a classical setting.

And oooh, I would love to hear the Siouxsie documentary!

I seem to remember watching that and I think I enjoyed it. I can give or take Dr Who.

Having gone back to listen to that bit again, I think although it's brought forth as an example, it's part of a wider discussion of how stories are appropriated and reused throughout history and how media ownership of the last century or so limited that practice. I thought that might interest you.

I can certainly sort you out with the Siouxsie one, although the sound is a bit fuzzy in places because I am terrible with the sound meter.

It's bizarrely exemplary for its time period. The love interest woman was rubbish, but the Xander butt-monkey Asian street-gang-kid had some great one-liners and a snappy jacket. And there were bats in the TARDIS.

That does sound interesting! Maybe I'll give it a go.

Good times. Although I usually feel ignorant about Siouxsie because I don't get far into the repertoire.

I just remeber a motorbike.

Is 25mb too big for you? Somehow zipping it won't make as much difference to this one as it did the other.

Btw, reading that back, I should have typed Historical romance isn't my genre. I have never read any and nor do I intend to ever. I just want that said. :)

For a moment there I thought I didn't know you at all...

My crappy typing creates a totally false representation of me!

If only you had other ways of constructing an online persona! (This is sounding like a cause for gifs again...)

Actually this might be the time to get out the voice recognition on the new laptop. Although I will have to do the how tutorial this time as I got into a right tizzy with it.

Ooh, you should try that! And tell me more about Windows 8; I think it's time to get a new computer and you can't seem to get 7 anymore. :(

Windows 8 is getting on my nerves a bit, tbh. Though about from the Start screen they keeping showing on the TV, it's not that unlike any other Windows. I try to dodge the Start screen as much as possible. In the end it's just trying to do a bit too much.

Yeah, I figured out it was a typo ;).

Oh good, you are getting to know me already!

I was looking on the Radio 4 website for something else that had been spoken about on Radio 2, and saw this programme was on. I'd missed some of it so have made a note to listen again on the iPlayer.

I just turned in early for The Infinite Monkey Cage and just happened to catch it.

I missed everything on R4 today - I went from a case meeting straight to a clinic that ran late...

Must go and listen, though...

You should I thought it was very interesting and sympathetic.

Yeah, I'd been tipped off by a fellow flistee, and as it coincided with the drive home from work it made an interesting, if somewhat distracting, listen. Like you, I was a tad miffed by Dan whatever his name was, but apart from that I thought it was a fairly good documentary.

And after that I got my first taste of The Infinite Monkey Cage, which cracked me up...*not* a good thing when driving down the M1...

I daresay I would have found it anyway due to boredom driving me to root around the iplayer constantly, but it was a lucky find, I don't normally listen live.

Radio 4 is so full of little gems! I used to love listening to it in the car on long journeys, but nowadays it always seems to be The Archers and I have no time for that (I'm not that into drama). The Infinite Monkey Cage is great and it's still early in this series!

I really wonder how many more times some journalist is going to "discover" fanfic. I mean, it's been a major force on the internet for the past 15 years--are there really still people who don't know anything about it? With the literally millions of fics available on the internet, are we still pretending it's not mainstream?

Fic is not mainstream in the same way that porn is not mainstream: They both totally are, even if a lot of people don't admit to the consumption of such.

I agree, there does seem to be a lot of that. However, I have yet to come across anyone in RL that's even heard of it and I have always been very open about my ficcing.

If you can, and if it's not too much trouble can I get a mp3 version. Thank you

Sure, where would you like me to send it to? (it's 14mb)

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