When I first heard of fanfiction, I was pretty sure I didn't want to read any. I had reasons for this, of course, but they aren't really pertinent quite yet. What is
pertinent, is that I changed my mind.
The proximate cause was limyaael
, as it happened. You see, I started reading her journal, fell in love with her brilliant ranting on all things fantasy-novel, and began paging through all her old entries. Eventually, I ran into a post reviewing a fanfic
(in an unusual manner, as it happens), and I decided to investigate. So, I followed the link to Blood Magic
, a Harry Potter alternate-universe fanfic in which ...
Actually, just read Limyaael's description
. Or her other description
. Or, y'know, read the real thing, if you trust me that much. It's really quite good, even if you haven't read the Harry Potter books. (And I haven't.)
In any case, I was quite surprised, three days ago, when Eric Burns posted an essay about fanfiction
. And I was quite happy. Huzzah! Websnark agrees with me about fanfic!
Then I read the fic he'd linked (Special: The Genesis of Cyclops
; a X-Men novel-length fanfic, and it's Not Safe For Work like whoa
). And I ... didn't like it.
Or rather, I fell out of liking with it. It started off terrific, all psychological and exciting. The main character (Scott somethingorother – he turns into Cyclops) was severely messed up in realistic and scary ways, and it was great watching him recover from all the damage going on in his head.
But then ... romance started happening. And love triangles. And clichés so corny that even the characters acknowledged them. And I ditched it.
Now, to tell the truth, I've no clue when it comes to actual, real-life romance. I haven't even been on a date. I don't know how people act when they're in love. Not really
. All I have is this sense of out-of-characterness, this sense that the author was bending the characters to fit the plot.
So, I'm disappointed.
I originally intended to end this article with some hypothesizing about established characters, and prequelitis, and the fear of changing other peoples' creations, but I realized I didn't know enough to make any such claim. Instead, I will plug more good fanfic: archangelbeth
has been writing this cool series of In Nomine fanfiction she calls Interesting Times
(I link the first in the series).
It's not as stand-alone as the HP one, though. There were several spots where I was flat-out lost, and imagining the visuals was very difficult without having ever read the original In Nomine material. Apparently, In Nomine is a tabletop (is that the term?) roleplaying game, and a first-rate one, based on some big conflict between Heaven and Hell. Most of what I know comes from the several mentions it's had on Websnark
(they're in there, somewhere).
And now my eyes hurt. Goodnight.