Monday, April 30, 2012

Reading some of the other posts about the fan-fiction article reminded me of an assignment from my creative writing poetry class.  We were given several confining stipulations that forced us to think outside of our normal range.  The challenging aspect of the confinement actually helped to produce much better level of writing.  Fan-fiction can cause the same reaction, because the rules are established within the original work.  Although "cheating" by changing the rules established within the original work is not unheard of, some of the best fan-fiction accepts the challenge of working with and against the established rules.  It can actually be pretty fun.


The printed newspaper has a nostalgia for some people.  I personally don't like the smell of newspapers.  There is just something off about the smell that I can't quite place.  Maybe it is the combination of the type of paper and ink?  The ink also stains your hands.  Ew! Anyway, newspapers have lost their edge in this high tech world.    Integration of videos, interactive elements, and new graphics may be the only way to really save the newspapers, but it may not be enough.  Do we need to save newspapers or should we go in a new direction?


I don't tend to enjoy fan-fiction as much as original works, but there are a few great ones out there.  What is great about fan-fiction is the variety of interpretations writers have about specific works.  A great website with a very simple design is  It is a members only website, and bullying is not tolerated.  It gives writers a place to write what they want without being put down.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Fanfiction - I'm loving it!

I cannot remember exactly when it happened, but I do remember my first contact with fanfiction. Or at least the first contact that I was aware of anyhow. I was maybe 13 years old, let's say, and I wanted to find something that would quench my thirst of Harry Potter books when I was waiting for the next one to be published. I was fiddling with Google mindlessly, just to find something, something that I could read about the topic. Anything.


DeviantArt is an addiction of mine and I love it. I have not been able to get on much this semester because I have been so busy (last semester and all, woot!), but I try to get on for a bit sometimes. It is a little like Pintrest I think (I've never used Pintrest), but you get to go on and submit your own art but then you can also go through and select other peoples art that you like and "fave" it. You get your own personalized art collection and a place to show off your own artistic skills. You can submit anything from animation to literature. When we started this class, I thought a lot about deviantart and how it works, and I thought about how some of DA's features could be implemented with Din. They are very different, but they have some similar aspects to them. They both are a place to showcase artistic talent.

Undergraduate Magazines at Weber State University

So, I've been meaning to post these. I went to a conference a couple weeks ago at Weber State University. At the conference, they had a Q and A with the editors from their undergraduate literary magazines (they have 2).

Here are a few points from their discussion:
  • publicize early. The two weeks before deadline, they hit publicity hard.
  • know your timeline and your competition. Because Weber has 2 undergraduate magazines, they are careful to not have submission deadlines at the same time--they split them over the fall and spring semesters.
  • go outside the college. Distribute copies to local businesses, high schools, coffee shops. (They run a workshop for high school students about how to run a lit mag, and other topics. Then they send them home with a copy of their magazines.)

End of the semester

In case anyone else liked the Design book we used, I thought I'd post the link to her other book here.

(she has many others, I just noticed that the back of our book talks about this once specifically.)

Any other good books or websites that are helpful to design newbies?



So I have a confession to make.

I love using adobe illustrator. When I use illustrator, I lose track of time, forget to eat, and enjoy every minute of it. (I mean, seriously, people actually get paid to do this??) So, out of my abiding fascination with Illustrator, I'd like to share 7 reasons why you should check out Illustrator today.

As if that isn't cherry enough, I will share them in haiku form. Okay, not really, but would you buy it if I said couplets? Iambic pentameter? Free verse? Okay, at least they have parallel formatting (kind of).

My Eyes!

Have you ever gone to a website, it loads, and then you immediately start to try and click away but can't find the back button because the websites awfulness has blinded you? Of course you have, and once you finally make it back to your safe place, you realize that you can never get the image of that hell out of your head. Take this website for example:
Warning: you may scream in terror and pull an Oedipus Rex. (Stabbing your eyes out, not marrying your own mother. Sicko.)
Anyway, the people who created this monster (it just wants to love and be loved) did so for educational purposes. They did everything you were not supposed to for website design, and they did it well (or horribly). So, if you ever make a website, you will now always have this in your mind as a reference of what not to do.
Pickles and Chickens,

Some things should just not be in print anymore

And newspapers have always been one of those things. I am still attached to reading an actual book, but it has never been enjoyable to try and read a newspaper. In fact I would say you were crazy if you said you enjoyed reading a newspaper. They are made of flimsy paper, that you have to fold and unfold over and over to find the article that you want, and that is only part of the article. Newspapers were made for the digital age, they were just ahead of their time and didn't know what to do with themselves. I think the dollar or so subscription rate after however many articles read is a good idea. I don't follow any specific newspaper so that wouldn't really affect me, but if there was one I really liked I wouldn't mind paying that.
Here is the main problem I see for newspapers who want to charge for subscriptions. Almost everyone who gets their news online does not get it from a newspaper. They usually either search for something on Google, or start at a headlines hub like Yahoo or MSN. These usually link you to their own content or to news outlets like Reuters and CNN. The only thing an online newspaper is good for then is local news, which I don't care for all that much personally. The way I figure it is, if it is important enough I will hear about it from somebody or it will show up on the national news. Most of the local articles that show up in local news papers are local, and they are usually scraping for articles. So you get things like this article from the Las Cruces Sun News:

Pet cemetery spring cleanup

Nancy Leu, of Las Cruces, works on some weeds at Alicia Melgaard Memorial Pet Cemetery on Saturday as volunteers participate in the spring clean up at the cemetery. This is the first time Leu has helped at the cemetery. The cleanup will continue today.

 Yep, that's the full article. I would be upset if I had to pay half a cent for that honestly, which is what you'd essentially be doing paying for a web subscription of a newspaper. Now I know the Sun News is no New York Times, but there is nothing in the New York Times that I want to pay for that I can't get for free. 

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

The future of the newspaper

The future of media?
I thought it was interesting that we read about new payment models for newspapers around the same time media mogul James Murdoch is testifying.

In fact, as I was reading the assigned article, one of the links to the side was about Murdoch's testimony, which I clicked. A choice tidbit from the article was Murdoch's view of where news is going:

Internship Presentations

I thought it might be worth a shout to repost an announcement from Dr. Wojahn about the upcoming internship presentations. They're always pretty interesting, a good place to sniff out potential internships if you're looking for one, and I notice one or two of our classmates are presenting.

Personally, I think it's pretty cool to see how what we learn/do in the classroom translates to real work environments.  Here is the info~~

English Department Interns will be presenting on their semester of work at the following times/places. Please do join us to hear what English majors can do! You'll be amazed!

FRIDAY, APRIL 27th in Rm 229
3:30-3:45 Leslie Gomez (Apostrophe Books)
3:45-4:00 Susy Castillo (News 22)

TUESDAY, MAY 1st in Rm _209_
3:00-3:15 Cathilia Flores (Las Cruces Public Schools)
3:15-3:30 Bill Hickox (Grace Requires Understanding Inc.)

3:45-4:00 Eve Price (Theatre Department)
4:00-4:15 Angela Simental (University Communications & Marketing Services)

Five other interns will be writing reports in lieu of the presentation. They worked at places ranging from the English Department to the Student Success Center. 

Monday, April 23, 2012

Function of Fanfiction

I agree with Chris Rosenbluth that fanfiction is often a product of obsessive rumination on a certain series for whatever reason. However, I think fanfiction can provide a useful practice space for creative expression. Fanfiction can be a really effective way to build one's skills in creative writing, especially if one aspires to fiction. When one is interested in fiction, the ready-made environment of a particular franchise can free one up to experiment with character development in a world where rules are already established. Perhaps the most salient example of how writing fanfiction might impact a writer's development comes from an old email RPG/Collective Fanfiction site, Angels of VC Andrews ( Now, bear with me, as this admission will likely be embarrassing for all of us. Once upon a time I read all the VC Andrews novels I could get my hands on. After having done so, I determined I wanted to be a writer. Fortunately for me, there was an internet RPG/Fanfiction list serve that would allow me to explore the VC Andrews world I loved so dearly. In order to become a part of the list serve, you had to select a character, take a test to determine you'd read the series in its entirety, and then you had to audition for the character. Auditions were two pages long and demonstrated a commitment to the character's personality. In addition, you had to demonstrate technical skill and the ability to craft a scene. People who failed the auditions were gently critiqued by list alumni, who then volunteered to privately review and work with the writer to get to a level they felt comfortable with before auditioning again. Fortunately I passed, and wrote as Annie Casteel for about two years. The other thing that I gleaned from a fanfiction community was the value of the deadline: members of the group were required to post at least one page of text twice a week and were penalized briefly for missed posts. In this way, fanfiction helped me to develop a respect for deadlines, because the story couldn't move forward unless your character responded. Additionally, working with other writers to build a story encouraged me to think of multiple possible scenarios, which is really important in creative writing: your ending is not always effective, and it's a good idea to consider another way the story might work.  Working with other writers to build a fluid or cohesive story really forces you to think on your feet.
I could extoll the benefits of fanfiction for hours, but I'll try to wrap it up.
 Despite its basis as a fanmade art, situated in a certain kind of fandom subculture, I do think that fanfiction actually might operate as a useful pedagogical tool in a variety of disciplines. In fiction and poetry, I think some of the basic tenets of fanfiction can apply to teaching creative writing. I teach English 111 and 211, and generally I seek to apply concepts of rhetoric to popular culture, because it helps my students to see the connection between what they learn in an academic setting and how they might apply that to our culture. I think you could craft all manner of assignments based on fanfiction that would help aid the teaching process in the humanities and the arts.

Newspaper or Online Publications...

Newspapers are simply impractical. I'm not going to go all conspiracy theory Eng111 "What if all the computers exploded and the world was like Fight Club" on you, because that's ridiculous. No. At this point, I'm comfortable with the idea that computers, technology, and the internet at large are destined to outlive me, and everyone else in the world. That said, the world is changing minute by minute. Purchasing a newspaper in the morning is the equivalent of receiving less than a quarter of the news you have access to on the internet. You're paying for something most people are already paying for by way of having internet access. It's simply ridiculous, UNLESS you're geriatric and never learned to use the computer. Until those people die off, I guess we'll have to keep the newspaper around for nostalgic value. I understand that this opinion is informed by social class. I can afford the internet, and therefore a news paper seems like an extraneous cost to me. Now, I understand that this particular stance might beg the question: well, if newspapers are extraneous, then are books extraneous as well? Should we just convert books to internet-accessible objects as well? To this, I would say no. The difference is that I don't consider basic journalism an art form. When I read the news, I'm reading short bursts of events and columns and ideas that are rapidly changing. It's fiscally irresponsible to continue producing Newspapers when we have a much more comprehensive alternative whose very medium is designed to reflect rapid changes and breaking news. New events and developments generally occur moments after, before and during the printing and production of a newspaper, so using valuable resources to produce something so temporary seems silly. I'm not sure I would feel the same way about this were it not for the glorious internet which delivers my facts and events to me at a rapid and efficient speed...

Blind Submissions

I'm all in favor of blind submissions, perhaps because I'm a person with many biases. I think especially for a publication system aspiring to reflect a feminist community, blind submissions are necessary to ensure that we really are offering spaces based on the merit of the work as opposed to the author's personal or career history. In addition to influencing the decisions of the submissions team, sometimes submissions attached to a particular name can deeply impact the experience of reviewing and editing.
For example, I used to work at a publishing house in Wisconsin. My boss was good friends with an old professor of mine. I had known my professor for years - and when he submitted his novel to the editorial department, I was shocked to find scenes that featured (pearl-clutching...) graphic sex, violence, and extreme situations. It was very difficult, initially, to work through the manuscript while maintaining an attitude of professionalism. Fortunately he had already been published with our company and his book was a follow up, so the responsbility of accepting the piece for publication was out of my hands. But it was very challenging to make editorial suggestions when I knew the same professor had been over my work a thousand times..
Also, in the MFA program, it's occasionally difficult for me to separate a writer from his or her work. Ie: when I'm reading one of Chris's submissions, I can hear him narrating in my head. This is problematic when the voice that Chris has constructed is a child, a female, or a raspy old woman. So yeah, sometimes knowing the author prohibits my absorption in the story's reality, based on my relationships with my peers. Sometimes this positions me as more of a critic than I would otherwise be - simply because the glamour of reading a short story is tempered by the knowledge that is has not yet been published and belongs to one of my friends. Maybe sometimes that makes me more critical than receptive... Either way, blind submissions are the way to go for DIN. And maybe for all smaller literary magazines that don't pay.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

News on paper or online?

Personally, when I read a book, I really do want to book in my hands, I want to turn the page, feel the paper and see the words on the paper. Even though my books can show some sign of opening and closing, I still like to guard them and keep them on the shelf. I don't like lending my books, what if the person spills coffee on it? Or folds the corners of the pages? No way.

The market made me do it!

The writers mentioned in this article that it would be good for newspapers to get in front of the trend of charging small fees to paper subscribers to get online access.  I wonder if that is really the case.  It seems like, sometimes, if a company has to do something unpopular, it is best to wait until others have done it.  That way, the company can claim they held out as long as they could, but eventually the market forced their hands.

worth it?

I don’t know whether charging small fees to print subscribers to get online access will work well or not.  I don’t know if there are enough people that still buy paper copies of newspapers to make charging these people a small amount for online access particularly profitable. 

Anonymous Reviewers

I wonder if the people reviewing manuscripts of people they think are younger or less experienced give these people more slack, or if the reviewers are less likely to accept these manuscripts.  I guess it might also depend on how secure the reviewer felt.  If it were a new reviewer, he or she might not want to accept something from someone who didn’t seem to have experience, and therefore had probably not had many reviewers select their work for publication before.

Anonymous Review

This was a really interesting article.  I once knew someone who emailed people a heroic news story, supposedly about himself, which he had cut and pasted.  The problem was that in supposedly his interview, he used the words “each other.”  In real life he always used the words “one another.”  This made me suspicious, so I dug around on the net until I found the actual newspaper he had copied.  Little things can really give a person away. 

Friday, April 13, 2012

Newspaper Musings

I realize the article was about newspapers charging more for digital access, but I couldn't help but think about the newspaper industry in general as I was reading. 

Thursday, April 12, 2012

A Fundamental Misunderstanding

To understand the following argument better read Penn Jillette's argument and then watch the video that Robyn used in her response, "Politics & Frames of Civility in Gaming," if you haven't already:

Though I took issue with a lot of Mike Huckabee's rhetoric, I found a particular fundamental misunderstanding in his monologue that I see constantly in people who argue against videogames for any number of reasons (that they cause violence, they dumb people down, etc.):

"some of the self-righteous elites who buy it will do so without a twinge of guilt over promoting murder, mayhem and mutilation of other human beings."

Now, I understand that he is only flipping the rhetoric back to the some liberal pundits who decried Sarah Palin for her "violent" rhetoric on her website which (they say) led Jared Loughner to shoot Senator Gabrielle Gifford in Tucson a few months ago. But this idea that first-person shooters (FPSs) "promote murder, mayhem and mutilation of other human beings" is something that needs to stop. It's been an extremely popular talking point ever since people tried to find a scapegoat for the Columbine shootings and blamed it on the kids' interest in the game Doom, and it has no basis in fact.

Penn's argument is the starting point for my argument. Those that say that games promote violence and other awful things are the same people that he mentions who are "just not going to understand" the nuances of gaming because they've only experienced it on the surface. I have begun to do some research into the reality of the virtual worlds of games and how they effect the real world, and I have found that although there is a certain reality in the virtual worlds themselves, it does not mean that the players cannot separate themselves from the experience. To say that games promote violence would be like saying playing paintball, or laser tag, or football, or hockey, or Pacman promotes violence. Though these games can be considered violent within the context of the game itself, it does not translate to contexts outside of the game. If it did, we would have to wear pads everywhere we went to avoid being hurt when we were tackled by 300-pound defensive tackles. However, we would probably be too busy running around in a dark room eating little round pills and fruit while being chased by ghosts to worry about it.

My point is that people accept roles within the games that they play that would never, ever, ever translate into the real world because the rules of the real world prohibit that sort of role. If someone is crazy enough to actually shoot someone for no particular reason, then there are probably way more important issues in that person's life than what type of videogames they play.

Evolution of media

I thought this was interesting, but I did not understand exactly what the blog was looking for. The article addressed a lot of things we are talking about now, about the evolution of media, the distribution of media to the general public, and the possibility of the public creating more media as new forms become available. Benjamin applied similar terminology and analysis to wooden-block printing, newspapers and lithography/photography that many now apply to facebook and youtube. I don't understand some of his thoughts about fascism, but the term has probably changed quite a bit in meaning since the piece was written.
I hadn't even heard of crowdfunding before this, but it sounds like it is important.  Reading the article, I was wondering how much an impact it could really make, then I read the part that said there had been over a million people contribute.  I had to read again to make sure it was not 1 million contributions overall, and it did say 1 million people contributing.  Considering that there were probably people why contributed more than once, this is a huge movement.


The interactive textbook that Stacey provided had some interesting applications to the design and creation of our online magazine. I found the section on the psychological implications of color to be fascinating. The fact that different colors have different meanings based on the culture is something that we could particularly look at when designing the journal.

Since there are certain cultural significances that the West holds when it comes to colors we should be always aware of these significances. I'm thinking back to the Diner idea with last year's Din magazine in which the splash screen was incredibly dark and almost spooky looking. I don't know if every culture would interpret that image in the same way, but in the West it comes off as spooky because of the implications that black has with death. It was an incredible idea to use the neon to show the relationship between din and diner, but in order to see it the environment had to have been dark. Perhaps the image would have been more effective if the setting took place at dawn, when it was still dark enough to use the neon, but light enough for it to not carry with it the spooky feeling that the color black carries with it.

I think if we keep these cultural significances in mind while designing this year's magazine, then we can avoid sending messages that were not originally intended.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012


Crowdfunding is an interesting subject. I have donated to St. Jude's Hospital and the Red Cross, which had had successful online campaigns. I didn't know the term for these campaigns.
I think it is a concept that can do so much good and help people during natural disasters and things of that nature. It is certainly more fun than a telethon --- plus many people are connected via Facebook, Twitter, etc.
It is an immeadite way of receiving funds, and based on the readings, I would be more inclined to participate and find out about a campaing online, than if it was advertised on TV, radio or other types of traditional media.

Here's a cool video on Crowdfunding and Crowd Sourcing: Crowdfunding Explained

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Fanfiction as a motivator

There is research relevant to digital literacies and fan fiction—that is, how multiliteracies provide young adults with motivation to find and embrace confident voices or identities.  The research also investigates ways that young adult readers and writers treat fan fiction as an affinity space where they can feel safe and understood.  It furthers enhances the exploration of how the phenomenon of fan fiction connects digital literacy with traditional literacy formats to motivate a community of confident young adult readers and writers.  Fanfiction followers would respectfully demand a renegotiation of what constitutes thought and practice when considering young adult literacy skills. 


This is an example of a socio-economic phenomenon if there ever was one. During Chris's presentation, the most fascinating thing to me was the psychology behind donating. I'll give a quarter to a homeless guy every now and again if he holds the door for me, but that's different than just forking over thousands of dollars to strangers with questionable ideas and no intent to pay
you back.

The concept of altruism does not factor into the equations illustrating the flow of capital between markets in capitalism. All the theories attempting to explain an individual's motivation to give money to one of these sights are only that- theories, all based in psychological speculation. Economic models rely on certain accepted realities to operate. One of these is that all consumers in the given market are reasonable, rational people, who allocate their disposable income for the sole purpose of maximizing their marginal utility. And in this case, people are not doing that. It's similar to when consumers make impulse purchases, compulsive purchases (like drugs or alcohol), hell, even drunken purchases on ebay, which I'm guilty of several times over. These result from hiccups in the human condition economic models cannot quantify, and therefore, cannot account for.

This is one of the reasons why the government is quick to jump in. Besides the fact this online crowdfunding forum presents problems for tax assessment and collection, investment regulation, and ponzi schemes or loan sharks, it's simply difficult to understand. The establishment is never quick to accept novel or game-changing ideas. The bottom line is, with the current administration striving to improve conditions for entrepreneurs and small businesses, they will more than likely look for ways to accommodate these forums rather than supress them, provided they can find an unobtrusive way to regulate them. While it may not coincide with my personal ideal of capitalism, it does help people out who need it, which is pretty cool.

Fan Fiction

After reading this article in defense of fan-fiction, my perspective has changed. Being an outlier of the fan-fiction community, I have only heard of the negative stereotypes that are attached to this writing style. The only real experience that I have with amateur literature is through media sharing sites like deviantart, and that has left a terrible taste in my mouth for anything remotely related as those types of pieces tend to be appallingly awful. However, I now see merit in fan-fiction and media sharing sites; the idea of communities forming around the vision of one person is inspiring to say the least.

As a teacher these communities that are created by fan-fiction are spaces in which I could only dream of creating for a classroom, or even a small group of students. I want students to be excited about reading, writing and critical thinking and see it as something other than some dull task that must be completed in order to pass a class. These communities promote all of these things. Whether the writing is bad or not, these people are reading, thinking critically about those readings, and applying that knowledge to their writing. Though it seems strange to say this, fan-fiction is an incredible phenomena that may contribute more to society than it detracts. I mean that in the sense that people are dealing specifically with what they read and observe rather than passively accepting it as the way it has to be. If I can get students to do that, I believe that I have done my job--if students can do those things, they will be better prepared to deal with and critically think about many other things, not just fiction. The skills garnered through analyzing, critiquing, and contributing to fiction, can be applied to anything (politics, advertisements, religion, media outlets, etc.).

Though the majority of fan-fiction may be unreadable, I believe that those that participate in this community are better equipped as critical thinkers than most other readers.


After reading what crowdfunding was I could't help but think of the commercials that are aired every day dealing with the animal shelters. I must be honest I cannot watch these commercials until their end because to me they are too sad and I just want to call and donate all the time.  Guess those commercials are accomplishing their objectives.

On Fan Fiction

I alluded to this idea in a comment to a previous post, but I think it deserves some expansion. My gut feeling is that fan fiction is probably terrible and something Star Wars fanboys and fangirls do so they can satisfy their repressed sexual urges through depictions of gratuitous pornographic renderings involving Princess Lea and Jabba The Hut, scenes they write while sitting under the dim glow of a single bulb hanging from the ceiling of their parents' basement, their fingers caked with residue from the bag of Funyons they've devoured and sticky with Slurpy runoff, the Big Gulp-size, none of this medium stuff. Of course, this stigma—which let's be honest isn't something original or unique to me—applies not just to Star Wars geeks, but Star Trek geeks or Harry Potter geeks or Twilight geeks or Jurassic Park geeks or just geeks in general, because to be a geek (and I'm a HUGE geek for many geeky things) is to be slightly obsessed with something, and writing fan fiction, taking someone else's story and feeling compelled to expand it or turn its margins into a new narrative center, is itself a function of obsession, and necessarily so. You have to be obsessed with The Lord of the Rings if you write LOTR fan fiction. There's no way around it.

Artists don't fancy themselves geeks. They don't want to associate with geeks or even be lumped into the general class of Geekdom, along with these aforementioned fan-fiction geeks. How can they be geeks when they are busy communicating with higher powers, dancing with muses to create truly authentic works of emotional expression? Unless they're being ironic, in which case they can be as cheeky as they like because they're doing so earnestly to make some larger point about how absurd something is. For instance, I don't think there would be any debate over the artistic merits of a literary work that somehow used fan fiction in an ironic way—perhaps by creating a character that writes fan fiction or an author whose work is appropriated into fan fiction. Artists love being Earnest and Sincere, and for some reason, a reason I believe is tied to the caricature I earlier portrayed, fan fiction just isn't seen as being earnest and sincere. It is automatically relegated to the geek.

This, of course, is bullshit. There is nothing inherently inartistic about fan fiction. There is nothing that makes art inspired by other art necessarily bad.

The problem is that this type of work is perceived as being terrible. True, it is perceived this way because most of it is, by any reasonable standard, absolutely, mortifyingly dreadful. But not necessarily so. After all, how is fan fiction different from Run DMC sampling and appropriating Aerosmith? By sampling "Walk This Way," Run DMC wasn't dismissed as ruining the original intent of the sampled work and thus relegated to the class of shitty cover bands playing dive bars across America, a wasteland reserved for wannabe hacks with no talent, a place to which we automatically banish writers of fan fiction. Not at all. Run DMC tore up MTV and secured a place in American pop-culture history. Why, then, could a piece of fan fiction not achieve the same end? Why couldn't someone write a truly inspired and inspiring piece of fiction based characters created by someone else?

The answer of course, at least to me, is that fan fiction certainly could do these things. And if it could do them, then I'm hesitant to dismiss the entire form without considering the merits of each individual work. Some fan fiction will be good. Most of it will be bad. Just like every other form of fiction.

As long as we apply the same critical lenses to fan fiction as we apply to traditional forms, everything should be okay because the awful stuff will get filtered out while the good stuff will receive fair treatment.

I'm fairly confident I could write some killer fan fiction using the same techniques and craft tools I've cultivated in my pursuit of traditional literary fiction. In many ways I already do. Every sentence I write is somehow inspired by Philip Roth, or Sam Lipsyte, or Jack Kerouac, or David Foster Wallace, or any of the other writers I shamelessly crib in my day-to-day life as a writer. Fan fiction is just overt about the theft. The crime, however, remains the same, which seems to make it less criminal.

Monday, April 2, 2012

My Sister Reads Fan Fiction

But my sister also likes Walker, Texas Ranger. No offense to any Texas Ranger fans (or my sister), but I generally dislike most things my sister enjoys. She knows this, and I tease her about it constantly. Anyway, I don't like fan fiction for a couple reasons: it's a creative crutch, and I feel it takes away from the original intent of a book, movie, or TV show. I feel that people who are unsatisfied with the original content of a production are only taking it at face value and are not critically understanding either the characters, or the arc of the story. The creator of something has a reason for making a production the way it is, and an amateur trying to change it or add on to it I feel only takes the people who read fan fiction away from the creator's intentions of the original piece. I know I wouldn't want people to create fan fiction for any of my work. I mean, it would be flattering, but at the same time I feel like they don't understand my work. I also feel that it is a creative crutch. By that, I mean they were only able to do something creative based off the the work of someone else. I feel the same way about Hollywood adaptations and remakes, but that's a whole other blog post. Anyway, if someone feels like they want a story to go a certain way, then they should write their own story, with their own characters and situations, and have them do the things they want. As for the erotica and slash fan fiction, I imagine its just as bad as watching a porn spoof of a movie. The story is irrelevant, you're just there for the sex. I can totally understand if fan fiction is your guilty pleasure, but I cannot condone contributing to it. It just goes against what creativity should be.

I have contributed to crowd funding before

I usually don't do stuff like this, but I really like Jeffery, he's a cool guy. I donated a dollar to his cause because I have chipped a tooth, and I know how bad it sucks. Anyway, I thought of this when I was reading the articles, and I have actually never really heard of the idea before, or that there was a term for it anyway. But I had actually contributed to it. It was really interesting to see how many people donated to him, and how fast it was before he raised the money he needed. He was able to get his tooth fixed and was back to his normal shenanigans in no time. I think I am gonna try this out to get a new iPad.


Crowdfunding sounds like a great idea if you have a campaign of dedicated individuals who believe in the project.  With any type of funding campaign there has to be a devotion of a lot of time and energy, or it will be a colossal waste of time.  For Din, it could certainly work, and it is a worthwhile project.  With all of the tech savvy students willing to pool resources for a common goal, the start up capital seems to be a minimal consideration.