Mister Eclectic (howeird) wrote,
Mister Eclectic

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A Different Take on Fanfic

Something posted by zanda_myrande triggered a tangential thought about fans writing scenes, stories and even entire books using the universe and characters made famous by a successful commercial author.

What this reminded me of is my various avocations. I'm an actor. I have done leading roles many musicals over the years with community theaters. I know that  am talented enough to have made it on Broadway or in Hollywood, and many of the people I've been on stage with are as well. I also play in a local community concert band, and again many of these people have been or could be professionals. I'm not at that level, though at one time I was pretty close. I used to be a professional photographer and now belong to a few clubs where others are also at that level, but choose to do something else for their main source of income.

The point I'm rambling toward is this: there's a lot of talent out there.

What separates the fan writer from the mega-published is mostly luck. Many fan writers show as much discipline, assertiveness and marketing savvy as the pros. Many continue to submit their work for commercial publication. The difference between a rejection notice and that first advance check is mostly luck.

Of course there are people like me who lack the focus to write a book. And some people like me who enjoy our non-artistic day jobs (and the paycheck and benefits it comes with) too much to pursue other dreams. IMHO, someone who only has one dream needs to get a life. But I digress.

The corollary I'm rambling toward is this: Just because you're a famous published author  who has invented a new universe doesn't mean there aren't 100 others out there who are talented enough to do the same. I'll grant that you ought to be proud of having done so, and you're entitled to be given credit for the original idea. But we all know the line about imitation and flattery, so give it a rest already.
Tags: philosophy, politics

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