Tag Archives: fangirls just wanna have fun

Rose B. Fischer: Fangirls Just Wanna Have Fun (Discussing the Lighter Side of Fanfiction)

Designed by Rose B. Fischer.

Designed by Rose B. Fischer.

Good morning everyone!

I have a little sad news today. It’s time to wrap up our fanfic fun here on Science Fiction, Transmedia, and Fandom. I’ve had a great time here, and I loved getting to share and connect with other Star Wars fans.

If you missed any of the posts in the series, you can check them out at the links below.

I have a lot more I could say on the topic of fanfiction, so if you’ve enjoyed this series and would like to see more, please do drop a comment or let Natacha know.

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Rose B. Fischer is speculative fiction author and creative entrepreneur. Her current project is The Foxes of Synn, a low-tech science fantasy serial. Click here for more information. She is a survivor of domestic violence who lives with multiple disabilities. In the early 2000s, she became homeless after leaving her abusive spouse. She later entered a transitional housing program while attending college. These experiences inspired her to begin writing non-fiction, and have had lasting impacts on her approach to fiction writing. She publishes science fiction, science fantasy, horror, and biographical essays. On her website, she writes about the intersection of storytelling, social responsibility, art, and pop culture in the internet age. She also offers custom designs and templates for indie authors, musicians, and other muse-herders. Her website, rosebfischer.com, features a growing collection of free and pay to use stock art, as well as tutorials and many other features for writers, artists, readers, and viewers.

Rose B. Fischer: Fangirls Just Wanna Have Fun (Discussing the Lighter Side of Fanfiction)

Designed by Rose B. Fischer.

Designed by Rose B. Fischer.

Sometime last year, I was interested in how fanfiction and fanfic writers are percieved in the WordPress community.  I came across the following comment on an author’s blog.

“Fanfiction is the literary equivalent to running around with a toy lightsaber pretending to be Luke Skywalker.”

I didn’t engage with the commenter because I thought it would just start a fight.  I can’t remember the blog where I saw the statement, so I can’t provide a link.  I did have a productive discussion with original poster in the comments section, so I wish I could remember. The comment has stayed on my mind for a long time now, and I think this is a perfect place to address it.

I’m not sure what the commenter means by this.  I would either interpret it as “Fanfic authors aren’t real writers.” or “All fanfiction is juvenile wish fulfillment/author insertion with no cultural or literary value.” I disagree with both of those viewpoints, but let’s put that aside for the time being.

Suppose that all fanfiction authors were less skilled or committed to the craft of writing than people who write original fiction. So what? Why does that matter? Skill level doesn’t make or break a writer. People become more skilled in creative pursuits as they practice.  Meanwhile, they are doing something that makes them happy.  There’s no objective way to measure another person’s talent, commitment or “chops” as an artist.  It’s not fair to make statements like this.

Suppose all fanfiction was the literary equivalent to a child’s imaginative play.  Again, so what? The games and imaginary adventures that I had as a child were rich and complex. They brought hours of enjoyment to my siblings and I, created bonds that have lasted into adulthood, and they helped shape me into the writer that I became.  I’m not ashamed of them. I’ve even used some of them as the basis for adult fiction.  (And now that it’s come up, I think I may blog about that in the future. Thank you, Natacha.)

There is no harm done when a writer creates a story–any story–for pure recreation and enjoyment.  What difference does it make if the story is not the Great American Novel?  It’s supposed to be fun!

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Rose B. Fischer is speculative fiction author and creative entrepreneur. Her current project is The Foxes of Synn, a low-tech science fantasy serial. Click here for more information. She is a survivor of domestic violence who lives with multiple disabilities. In the early 2000s, she became homeless after leaving her abusive spouse. She later entered a transitional housing program while attending college. These experiences inspired her to begin writing non-fiction, and have had lasting impacts on her approach to fiction writing. She publishes science fiction, science fantasy, horror, and biographical essays. On her website, she writes about the intersection of storytelling, social responsibility, art, and pop culture in the internet age. She also offers custom designs and templates for indie authors, musicians, and other muse-herders. Her website, rosebfischer.com, features a growing collection of free and pay to use stock art, as well as tutorials and many other features for writers, artists, readers, and viewers.

Rose B. Fischer: Fangirls Just Wanna Have Fun (Discussing the Lighter Side of Fanfiction)

Designed by Rose B. Fischer.

Designed by Rose B. Fischer.

Previously, I shared about a long-running fanfiction series that I write called Vader’s Cat. For anyone who’s just checking in, it’s a humorous series about an orange cat who adopts Darth Vader. I wrote the first story in the series as a gag. I was trying to cheer up a friend who was going through a difficult family situation.

She found some abandoned kittens in real life, and we were joking about how we thought a kitten would do wonders for Lord Vader. Later, I mentioned it to Natacha. One thing led to another, and I wrote Cracking the Dark Lord in a couple of hours. At first, I only intended to share the story with a small group of friends: Natacha, our mutual friend Sarah who was the person I wrote it for, and Jess, who’s been my roleplay partner in Star Wars for 10 years.

They all liked it so much (and laughed so hard) that I changed my mind and posted the story to the internet.  The reaction was unexpected and overwhelming.  I had more comments from readers asking for further cat stories than I had ever gotten on another piece of fiction — even my epics that run hundreds of chapters. Most of the commenters wanted to see A New Hope era cat fics, so I wrote a couple more that basically follow the plot of A New Hope up until the confrontation between Obi-Wan and Vader. Reaction to the stories was staggering by comparison to my previous works.  People wanted more Cat.  But I had a problem.  Obi-Wan just couldn’t die in a series meant to be funny.  So, after talking it over with Natacha, I found a way to save Obi-Wan, get in some marvelous banter and a “Run, Luke!” to boot.

I figured that would be it.  I could end it there.  But comments kept pouring in. The stories didn’t take much effort to write and they actually cheered me up when I was having a hard time with my more intensive writing projects. So, I kept going.

Of course, I couldn’t give every reader exactly what he or she wanted to see.  I couldn’t produce Cat stories on demand or devote my life to writing them, but I loved the sense that what I was writing made other people happy — happy enough to comment and say so.  That’s my favorite aspect of the project, and one of my favorite things about writing fanfiction at all.

The stories bring enjoyment to people.  I can’t think of many better reasons to do something than to bring happiness to others.

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Rose B. Fischer is speculative fiction author and creative entrepreneur. Her current project is The Foxes of Synn, a low-tech science fantasy serial. Click here for more information. She is a survivor of domestic violence who lives with multiple disabilities. In the early 2000s, she became homeless after leaving her abusive spouse. She later entered a transitional housing program while attending college. These experiences inspired her to begin writing non-fiction, and have had lasting impacts on her approach to fiction writing. She publishes science fiction, science fantasy, horror, and biographical essays. On her website, she writes about the intersection of storytelling, social responsibility, art, and pop culture in the internet age. She also offers custom designs and templates for indie authors, musicians, and other muse-herders. Her website, rosebfischer.com, features a growing collection of free and pay to use stock art, as well as tutorials and many other features for writers, artists, readers, and viewers.

Rose B. Fischer: Fangirls Just Wanna Have Fun (Discussing the Lighter Side of Fanfiction)

Designed by Rose B. Fischer.

Designed by Rose B. Fischer.

It might surprise you to hear that I’ve never been much for comedy.  I’m pretty good at injecting humor into a dramatic story, but straight up comedy isn’t my thing.  I enjoy satire and stand-up comedy, but the majority of “comedy” entertainment usually makes me want to strangle people.  No one was more surprised than I was when Vader’s Cat was so well-received.  I wondered  if I might have found a new calling.  So, I tried again.

My second attempt at comedic fanfic was a nonsensical crossover between Star Wars and ThunderCats.  (For anyone not familiar with TCats, it was an 80s cartoon featuring a race of cat-people.) One of the characters, Jaga, was pretty much an animated version of Obi-Wan Kenobi with feline facial features.

See below.

Jaga (Thundercats)

Jaga (Thundercats)

My premise was that Jaga and Obi-Wan met in some plane of existence where most beings are blue, glowy ghosts.  It was entirely tongue in cheek.  There was even a drinking establishment called The Blue Glowies Bar.  This time, I planned for a series.  I had a whole list of wacky adventures and other dead characters for Jaga and Kenobi to interact with.   I was ready and raring to go.

And the whole thing bombed.

I got a grand total of five comments and relatively few views.  One person who commented was a regular reader of my other SW fanfic and just asked what ThunderCats was.  It never occurred to me that many fanfic readers wouldn’t know what a ThunderCat was or that Jaga’s character was inspired by Obi-Wan.

Another person appears to have missed the memo that the story was a comedy and left this:

There was a Thundercats episode set in the astral world. In the astral world Jaga looked like he did in life. Lion-o was Jaga’s charge, but he wasn’t a student.

Other comments were more supportive and asked for the story to continue, but ultimately I decided that there wasn’t enough interest to warrant the effort.

I’m still glad I published Ghost Story. It helped me realize that I write fanfiction for other people, not myself.  I write it because I want to share it with other fans.  I want to give them enjoyment.  That’s not really true with my original fiction, where I write primarily because I have a story to tell and I don’t care much if anyone else appreciates it.  (Except of course that if I publish it, I would like to get paid, so I’m kind of hoping enough people will like it.)  Whenever anyone asks me why I write fanfiction now, I tell them, among other things, “Because someone else will be happy I wrote it.”

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Rose B. Fischer is speculative fiction author and creative entrepreneur. Her current project is The Foxes of Synn, a low-tech science fantasy serial. Click here for more information. She is a survivor of domestic violence who lives with multiple disabilities. In the early 2000s, she became homeless after leaving her abusive spouse. She later entered a transitional housing program while attending college. These experiences inspired her to begin writing non-fiction, and have had lasting impacts on her approach to fiction writing. She publishes science fiction, science fantasy, horror, and biographical essays. On her website, she writes about the intersection of storytelling, social responsibility, art, and pop culture in the internet age. She also offers custom designs and templates for indie authors, musicians, and other muse-herders. Her website, rosebfischer.com, features a growing collection of free and pay to use stock art, as well as tutorials and many other features for writers, artists, readers, and viewers.

Rose B. Fischer: Fangirls Just Wanna Have Fun (Discussing the Lighter Side of Fanfiction)

Designed by Rose B. Fischer.

Designed by Rose B. Fischer.

I write fanfiction because it’s fun.  I wanted to share this because I think fanfiction is a hot button topic in the social circles I belong to.

Fanfic authors get a LOT of flack for their writing, and I’ve written other posts about why I think fanfiction can (and should) be taken seriously.

This time, I just want to say that everything doesn’t have to be so darn serious and important! I don’t understand why it has to be such a big deal if fans want to write stories about their favorite characters.  Everyone has certain things we just do because we want to, because we enjoy them, because they’re fun.  Fanfiction is one of those things for me.

My most popular long-running fanfiction project is a series of short stories entitled Vader’s Cat.  It’s about an orange kitten who adopts Darth Vader and grows up to be a big, fat attitude problem with fur.

Most popular/memorable line: “My cat finds your lack of faith disturbing.”

Ultimately, my plan is for Emperor Palpatine’s feline allergies to be his undoing. The cat will become a hero of the Rebel Aliance, and poor longsuffering Vader will only be able to look on in disgust. It’s silly. It’s ridiculous.  I laugh so hard when I write the stories that I’ve almost wet myself more than once.

Why do I write it? Because it’s fun!

Even in my more serious work, I try to make sure that there’s humor and a dose of silliness.  Sometimes I play with running gags that only other fans would get.  Sometimes I “reinvent” or mirror famous canon moments within a larger story to get a laugh.  In my SW epic, Han’s “I know.” becomes a recurring line that several characters use on their girlfriends. I’m afraid one of them is going to get thwapped for it.  I love humor like that, but it really only works in fanfiction,  because the author needs to know the audience will follow the joke. Vader’s Cat wouldn’t be nearly as enjoyable if Vader himself wasn’t a cultural icon.

If it’s fun for me, I know it’s fun for my audience.  Graphic novelist Jeffrey Brown uses the same brand of gentle irreverence and fan humor in his work that I use in Vader’s Cat.   When I first saw Darth Vader and Son and Vader’s Little Princess, all I could think was “GOSH, if only I could draw comics.  Vader’s Cat would be brilliant!” Either way, I’m glad the stories bring so much pleasure to my fellow fans, and I’ll be talking more about that next time.

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Rose B. Fischer is speculative fiction author and creative entrepreneur. Her current project is The Foxes of Synn, a low-tech science fantasy serial. Click here for more information. She is a survivor of domestic violence who lives with multiple disabilities. In the early 2000s, she became homeless after leaving her abusive spouse. She later entered a transitional housing program while attending college. These experiences inspired her to begin writing non-fiction, and have had lasting impacts on her approach to fiction writing. She publishes science fiction, science fantasy, horror, and biographical essays. On her website, she writes about the intersection of storytelling, social responsibility, art, and pop culture in the internet age. She also offers custom designs and templates for indie authors, musicians, and other muse-herders. Her website, rosebfischer.com, features a growing collection of free and pay to use stock art, as well as tutorials and many other features for writers, artists, readers, and viewers.

Rose B. Fischer: Fangirls Just Wanna Have Fun (Discussing the Lighter Side of Fanfiction)

Designed by Rose B. Fischer.

Designed by Rose B. Fischer.

Hello, everyone.  Many of you probably know me from over on my blog, rosebfischer.com.  Either way, I’d like to take a minute to introduce myself and thank Natacha for inviting me to guest post here on Science Fiction, Transmedia, and Fandom.

I’m Rose. I write speculative fiction, and I blog about nearly everything, including books, pop culture, and storytelling.

In the last year or so I’ve been writing and blogging a lot about social issues like Disability Awareness and homelessness.  If you’re interested in those topics, feel free to pop over and visit.

I write original fiction, and I also post fanfiction under the pen name of Lionchilde.  The biggest two fandoms that I write for are Star Wars and Stargate: SG-1.  I’ve completed (but not yet published) 3 original novels.  At last count, my fanfiction.net account had 97 stories published in various fandoms. Six of them are epics that took several years to complete.

If you know me at all, you know that I take my fanfiction very seriously. I don’t consider it “practice” or any less important than my original work in terms of the time, effort, and commitment I give it. So most of my posts about fanfic have been of a serious nature. This time, I thought it would be interesting to look at the lighter side of creating fanfiction.

A lot of people ask me why I write it. I have a lot of reasons.  Most authors have more than one reason for wanting to write something. For fanfiction authors, our motivations vary a lot from person-to-person. The one thing I think we can all say is that we write fanfiction because we want to — because it’s fun.

I have six posts for you that will run on Tuesdays, every two weeks from May to July.  I’ll be talking about some of my own work, mostly in the Star Wars fandom, and sharing my thoughts about general perceptions of fanfic and the people who write it.

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Rose B. Fischer is speculative fiction author and creative entrepreneur. Her current project is The Foxes of Synn, a low-tech science fantasy serial. Click here for more information. She is a survivor of domestic violence who lives with multiple disabilities. In the early 2000s, she became homeless after leaving her abusive spouse. She later entered a transitional housing program while attending college. These experiences inspired her to begin writing non-fiction, and have had lasting impacts on her approach to fiction writing. She publishes science fiction, science fantasy, horror, and biographical essays. On her website, she writes about the intersection of storytelling, social responsibility, art, and pop culture in the internet age. She also offers custom designs and templates for indie authors, musicians, and other muse-herders. Her website, rosebfischer.com, features a growing collection of free and pay to use stock art, as well as tutorials and many other features for writers, artists, readers, and viewers.