Author Topic: Fanfic in the publishing world - (Masters of the Universe vs 50 Shades of Grey)  (Read 35323 times)

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Offline noise_chick

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I don't know if I'm posting this in the right place or not... but I'm kinda intrigued by this topic.
Melissa Marr (one of my favorite YA fantasy authors) posted a link to this:
http://dearauthor.com/features/industry-news/master-of-the-universe-versus-fifty-shades-by-e-l-james-comparison

(And a warning, it's about a Twilight AU series - if that makes you barf.)

I hadn't heard that this had been done (especially by a somewhat major publisher. ) It will undoubtedly be a test case for where the boundaries of intellectual property lie. Also, what constitutes an "homage" - which I have seen done for tv series like Buffy and Firefly - I don't know if Josh Whedon just licenses those "famous authors write a short story about these characters" or what.

But I'm curious what people think - especially given that one or two members here have gone on to take the leap to publishing original material.

Maybe I'm just feeling philosophical.

(thanks to the original artist)

Offline eratatosk

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I saw that written up on The Bleeding Cool and I laughed and laughed.  I really want someone to do a mass market release of Hogwarts and the Giant Squid.  Viz: http://www.toplessrobot.com/2009/08/fan_fiction_friday_hogwarts_and_a_giant_squid_in_f.php. Only, you know, it'll have to be adapted not to violate copyright.  Perhaps a suite of books. The Pentagon and the Giant Squid.  The Vatican and the Giant Squid.  Sears Tower and the Giant Squid.  Quanico and the Giant Squid.  It'd be EPIC.

As far as whether it's gonna be a big copyright case -- man, I'd be surprised.  I don't do a lot of IP, but as long as major portions aren't outright copied, or trademarked properties appropriated, then you're pretty safe. 
"I do not understand why everything in this script must inevitably explode."

Offline AM Gray

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the issue now is that Vintage (the publishers) are denying that 50 shades is or was a fanfic...  In the Washington Post, Vintage is quoted as reaffirming this position:

Quote
Vintage defended “50 Shades” as an original creation with a passionate following.

“It is widely known that E.L James began to capture a following as a writer shortly after she posted her second fan fiction story,” Vintage said in a statement. “She subsequently took that story and re-wrote the work, with new characters and situations. That was the beginning of the ‘Fifty Shades’ trilogy. The great majority of readers, including fan fiction aficionados, have found ‘Fifty Shades’ deeply immersive and incredibly satisfying.”

This is just CRAZY. It is in no substantial way a rewritten work.

I for one, sincerely hoped that this would bring more attention to fanfic writers who have, in one sense, already proven that they can write a whole story with decent characterisations and story lines... but if they are not going to admit that it was fanfic, then Houston, we have a problem.

 'Dear author'  used 'turnitin' using each as a student paper, and got a score of 89% the same. The names are changed, some of the more obvious phrases. Bella in Twilight always exclaims 'holy crow'; here it is changed to 'holy cow'.

This gets into a very murky legal world of intellectual property and questions of just how much a fanfic bears to the original work. Yes, it's AU and AH. There has already been a lot of discussion on the net about whether it goes against the traditional perception of fanfic as an underground indie thing - is making money from it wrong? What if someone writes a fanfic of 50 Shades?  And decides to make the main guy a vampire? Of course, this won't be decided until a writer sues. Like the music sampling issues that has raised.

If they want to publish fanfic and the original author allows it; fine... or if the original copyright has expired like mixing Jane Austen with zombies, for instance. Or if it is a decent rewrite like Cassandra Clare turning a Harry Potter fanfic into the Mortal Instruments series.
But say it is fanfic or pay the original author some credit... but I don't know... this just feels wrong. If she had written another work, with a different storyline and sold it to her already existing fans... I'd have less of a problem.

But remember, this isn't the first time this has happened with Twilight fanfic. Check the list here of at least 30 works that have already done this. Most didn't change the name.

http://twifanfictionrecs.com/published-fics/

How other writers cope, will be the other issue. What if writers who see this happen, add their works to the fanfiction NO list? And reduce the list of works for everyone else?

Offline eratatosk

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 All stories build on the ones before.  It's all just endless retellings of Gilgamesh.  We're just better able to tell now what immediate retellings were burbling through the particular writer. 
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Offline AM Gray

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true - and no one owns vampires and werewolves... but it's the argument that it is rewritten that I object to. and now there is rumour of a movie deal - it'll be 9 1/2 weeks all over again - 91/2 grey ties???

I have the same issue with my stuff - Apologies is nearly up to 500k hits on fanfic... If I rewrote that to remove Twi references? could i do the same? I don't know - but i usually write the wolf boys in the twi world and they are so poorly sketched out by SM that in some cases when I have finished writing 120k on them, are they my character or hers??

ps @ eratatosk: you missed the english references - Sherlock and the giant squid mystery/casebook  -

Offline AM Gray

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I've copied below, a post from the blog of one of my favourite fanfic writers audreyii  - she usually says things so much better than I can ...lol

http://audreyii-fic.tumblr.com/post/19530186050/my-problems-with-fifty-shades-of-grey

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve probably heard by now about the Fifty Shades of Grey (50SoG) controversy. Nonetheless, here’s a brief recap:

Once upon a time, a woman now known as E.L. James published an Alternate Universe/All-Human (AU/AH) Twilight fanfiction entitled Master of the Universe (MotU) wherein Bella Swan is a virgin college student and Edward Cullen is a wealthy executive. Edward is a Dominant and Bella becomes his Submissive. Sexing takes place. The fic — based largely on titillating but thoroughly unrealistic interpretations of BDSM — became wildly popular amongst the fandom. Flash-forward to James doing a find-and-change nameswap on MotU (the novel is 89% the same as the fic) and selling it as the original novel 50SoG. After a period of self-publishing, Vintage purchased the rights for seven figures. 50SoG is now #1 on the New York Times Bestseller List.

Here’s why I’m throwing a fit.

The Insult to Fic Writers

I am a staunch defender of fanfic as an art in and of itself — because it is an art. Detractors may make smug cracks about lack of originality, but they completely miss the point. Fanfiction isn’t about originality; fanfiction is about literary interpretation. Staying in character and understanding the nuances of canon? Knowing how to remain compliant to the source material while still extrapolating and expanding? Exploring the societal themes and subtle nuances of a piece of pop culture in a narrative fashion? That’s not something everyone can do — including “real” authors. It is not easy.

(And yes, there’s also PWP. I bet “real” authors have fun too.)

Is there crap out there? Yes. It’s the internet, and the internet doesn’t have a gatekeeper making decisions about who’s good enough to share their words with the world. But so what? I assure you, I am a well-read individual, and some of the most moving prose I’ve ever encountered has been in fandom. Anyone who thinks fanfiction is lazy writing should try it and see how far they get.

That being said, just because it’s an art form doesn’t mean fanfic is original. It’s not. Fanfiction is by definition based off an established universe created by someone else. 50SoG may not involve vampires, but the characters are recognizable as Bella and Edward nonetheless (to an extent that’s frankly unusual for AU/AH/OOC fanfic, which I don’t consider to actually be fanfic, but that’s a discussion for another day). By claiming to have reworked her fanfic into original fiction, James is not only being blatantly dishonest (89% the same, people), she’s embodying the worst stereotypes about fanfic writers. That we’re lazy, that we lack talent, that we’re leeching off the “real” creativity of others. It makes every last one of us look bad.

Does this mean fanfiction writers shouldn’t branch out into original fiction? Of course not. Does this even mean that fanfiction writers shouldn’t get to cannibalize certain aspects of their fic into their original works? No. Just look at Cassandra Claire: while she is not one of my favorite people in the world, she did what E.L. James is trying to do — except in an honest fashion. Back in the day her Draco trilogy was one of the most well-read fics of any fandom. Cassie Claire removed the trilogy, took certain aspects of her personal characterization of Draco and some of her own language, and repackaged those aspects into an entirely new world to be sold as The Mortal Instruments series. The early success of those books had a great deal to do with Claire’s online following, but in time TMI grew to be a respected YA series in its own right. And that’s fine — because by the time she was done with it, City of Bones was not fanfiction. Unlike 50SoG.

Potential Blowback

While the whole of the subject is debated, the majority of fanfics are derivative works and therefore copyright violations. They are, however, harmless copyright violations. It is largely produced by fans (or anti-fans *cough*) who are for one reason or another invested in the original work, and owners who come down on fic writers have generally found they’ve done nothing but anger their previously-staunchest supporters. (Even I give Stephenie Meyer kudos for her tolerance of the fandom. I’m not the only one who gives the Twilight Saga regular — and well-deserved — thrashings in fic form; fic-writing anti-fans form a sizable sub-group of the fandom. But Meyer has never made a peep. She deserves unironic props for that.) After all, who does fanfic really hurt, anyway? It’s not like anyone’s making money off of it.

Enter Fifty Shades of Grey.

My guess is that Meyer doesn’t have a case against James; the story has probably been changed just enough. But while 50SoG might be slipping under the law, it has certainly not slipped under the radar. Millions of dollars are being made. The fanfic game has changed.

To the best of my (limited) legal knowledge, fanfiction has never actually been challenged in court. Whenever a copyright holder has set an embargo on fic (hi, Anne Rice!) those embargoes have been publicly obeyed. (Whether there’s a secret underground network of Interview With A Vampire AUs, I don’t know. Probably. The point is that they’re underground.) Now, though, there is a great deal of incentive for someone to figure out what the exact definition of fanfiction is, what constitutes a derivative work, and where the limits should be. 50SoG probably can’t be stopped, so the natural response will likely be to go straight to the source: fanfic as a whole. If people aren’t allowed to post the fic to begin with, they can’t piggy-back off followers of the source material and create a base that will catapult sales once the writer pulls a nameswap. After all, 50SoG would never have originally sold without MotU’s popularity. It is what it is because it is fanfiction. And there is a very real chance that James’s 89% Twific is about to spark a copyright holy war.

(By the way, if I were FFn, I’d get my ducks in a row. Maybe no one cared about the money from their advertising before, but they will now.)

Am I a legal scholar? No. Is this all speculation? Absolutely. Will any of this happen? Hard to say. But if there’s someone out there who thinks there won’t be fallout from a confessed fanfic sitting at the top of the NYT Bestseller List, I’ve got a bridge to sell you.

Trees Died For This

The most galling part? Fifty Shades of Grey is bad. It wasn’t even good fanfiction, let alone a published book. Observe:


The apartment is achingly empty and unfamiliar. I have not lived here long enough for it to feel like home. I head straight to my room, and there, hanging limply at the end of my bed, is a very sad, deflated helicopter balloon. Charlie Tango, looking and feeling exactly like me. I grab it angrily off my bedrail, snapping the tie, and hug it to me. Oh – what have I done? I fall onto my bed, shoes and all, and howl. The pain is indescribable… physical, mental… metaphysical… it is everywhere, seeping into the marrow of my bones. Grief. This is grief – and I’ve brought it on myself. Deep down, a nasty, unbidden thought comes from my inner goddess, her lip curled in a snarl… the physical pain from the bite of a belt is nothing, nothing compared to this devastation. I curl up, desperately clutching the flat foil balloon and Taylor’s handkerchief, and surrender myself to my grief.

E.L. James is no Stephenie Meyer.

I don’t like poorly-written stories. I don’t like it when poorly-written stories get published. I don’t like it when poorly-written stories make millions of dollars. Is it jealousy? Possibly — but I think it’s more a general dissatisfaction with the world. I don’t like poor music, or poor movies, or poor microbrews. I’m a firm believer that success should go to the people who have talent, and I can name ten “real” authors off the top of my head who write twenty times better than James and have a hundredth of the exposure. Just because the world isn’t fair doesn’t mean we have to like it, and when drivel like the above gets lauded as a literary revolution, I feel as though I’ve got a front seat to the downfall of Western civilization.

Conclusion


Fifty Shades of Grey is a insult to fanfic writers and stands a very good chance of damaging fandom as we know it.
E.L. James has become filthy rich through those insults and in spite of that damage.
This may be what the Mayans were worried about all along.


Offline noise_chick

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Thanks for the additional info AM Gray/eratatosk.

Here was a point that Melissa Marr made on Twitter (I first read about it on her twitter/facebook feed):

A book is more than PLOT. It's creating characters, mythology, world-rules. Borrowing wholesale, tweaking, & selling it as new=unethical.

Which I agree with. World-building... vs AU. There's the 'gray' area.

Rather weirdly, I picked up a copy of "People" today (for the "Hunger Games" article) and there's a "Hot or Not" book blurb on it. (doesn't mention the controversy- just the kinky sex.)
Googling it now gets me hits from CNN to USA Today. Cripes.
And there's talk of a movie?!?

Considering I just read the long involved saga of Neil Gaiman and Todd McFarlane (over copyrights to both Marvelman and secondary Spawn characters...) (And several of the cases were heard in my own backyard- Madison, WI, dontchaknow!) it'll be interesting to see how the legal world will interpret this in years to come.
http://slovobooks.blogspot.com/2012/03/neil-gaiman-and-todd-mcfarlane-story-so.html

(I bring that up because Gaiman did writing for Spawn- and introduced [sic] OFC/OFCs. Granted, he was contracted and paid, but they were HIS OCs... that were spun off later by McFarlane. It's not the same thing, but I can easily see those cases getting sited when/if this goes to court.)


(thanks to the original artist)

Offline AM Gray

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The kinky sex,  'naughty' side of the bdsm titillates the press - who keep overusing phrases like 'mommy porn' - but I understand the book upsets real bdsm fans because the Bella character's whole ethos is that this bdsm stuff is bad and she has to heal him; save him from this awful stuff...

I understand that EL James is a TV executive. I really think that could have something to do with the way her press releases have been picked up. Maybe? She knows how to use that world to her advantage? I would not have the first clue how to write a press release or where to send it.

Oddly, 'shades of grey' another story on the e-book bestseller list turns out to be a repackaged Brokeback mountain fanfic - aargh they're everywhere! lol

World building - yes and therefore who owns that world? That is the question? A good story has a world that you find yourself immersed in - where you invest in the characters and what happens to them.


Offline Bitten

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Thanks for starting this discussion and posting those links.

This is an interesting case, and I'm curious to see how it goes. It does seem unethical to me. If the author had paid some sort of licensing fee to SM, and if the author had been more honest about calling it a fanfic, then I'd have no problem with it. In fact, I'd be thrilled, because I'd love to see fanfic writers get more credit and respect. But using SM's characters, then pretending that they're original/ish, is blatantly dishonest. It makes all fanfic writers look bad.

On a related topic...For so long, we've wondered about whether our original fiction can be submitted to a publisher, or if we lose the copyright once we've posted something online. After reading this thread, I get the feeling that we could indeed publish our original works IF we have a big enough online following that the publishing houses would anticipate making a lot of money from sales. The cynical side of me thinks "what's to prevent someone from taking my original story and selling it to a publisher as his/her own work?" (Besides the fact that my original stories aren't good enough to be bought by anyone. :) )

It seems like all the rules will continue to change as the technology and marketplace evolve.

Offline AM Gray

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the rules are most definitely changing - Amanda Hocking self published her original works in April 2010, in a year, she had sold a million copies and earnt two million dollars.  In March 2011, Hocking signed her first conventional publishing contract for four books, at a price of two million dollars, with St. Martin's Press. It concerns a new young-adult paranormal series to be called "Watersong." All three books in her previously self-published Trylle Trilogy have also been sold to St. Martin's Press, and will be released with them in early 2012 with wider distribution.

She actually had to defend this decision on her blog; a number of people accused her of 'selling out'.
http://amandahocking.blogspot.com.au/2010/08/epic-tale-of-how-it-all-happened.html

http://amandahocking.blogspot.com.au/2011/03/some-things-that-need-to-be-said.html

Quote
And just so we're clear - ebooks make up at best 20% of the market. Print books make up the other 80%. Traditional publishers still control the largest part of the market, and they will - for a long time, maybe forever. Ebooks will continue to gain ground, but I would say that we have at least 5-10 years before ebooks make up the majority.

« Last Edit: Wed, Mar 21, 2012, 12:57 PM by AM Gray »

Offline eratatosk

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On a related topic...For so long, we've wondered about whether our original fiction can be submitted to a publisher, or if we lose the copyright once we've posted something online.

It seems like all the rules will continue to change as the technology and marketplace evolve.


again, I don't do a lot of IP work, but my understanding that in the US and in other Berne Convention signatory countries, the author gets a copyright as soon as an "original creative" work is "fixed in any tangible medium."  the copyright only extends to the "original" parts, so you don't get any rights over those things you borrow from other works.   Dictionaries are copyrighted, but only to the extent that they show original creativity, which tends, frankly, to mean page layout.  Anyway, as far as I know, as soon as you type it out on your computer, it's fixed in a tangible enough medium for copyright protection.  You don't have to register it unless you're planning on suing people who appropriate it for money damages, not just injunctive relief. 

 I don't see anything unethical about being inspired by one work, playing in that universe, then adapting it into your own.   That's a pretty standard path to learning and mastery.  There's a line where it crosses from creative appropriation to copying, and that's what juries are for. 

Good discussion!
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Offline Montgomery Burns 13

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Quote
I don't see anything unethical about being inspired by one work, playing in that universe, then adapting it into your own.   That's a pretty standard path to learning and mastery.

I totally agree with eratatosk here.  Actually I don't really understand why there is such a fuss about it.  Everybody get's inspired by something.  So what if the female character resembles Bella Swan?  There's thousands of young women out there in the real world who are like her.  Besides, unlike Bella she has sex before marriage, she is a student that lives together with a good friend, and she lives in a city, not a small village.  So apart from Ana being insecure I don't really see many similarities to Bella.  Moreover, I think there is not a single personality/character trait out there that hasn't been used as a template for the protagonist of one story or another.

Quote
There's a line where it crosses from creative appropriation to copying, and that's what juries are for.

Correct.  It's up to S. Meyers to decide if she wants to sue E. L. James, and then it'd be in the hands of the court.
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Offline eratatosk

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thanks, Monty!
"I do not understand why everything in this script must inevitably explode."

Offline Bitten

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I agree with that. Most stories are simply retellings of old stories & myths, and I have no problem with that. That's just the way it is. The thing that bothers me about this situation is the general knowledge that the story started as an AU Bella/Edward fanfic. The whole process was done in such a public manner: writing & posting the fanfic, labeling it as a Twilight fic with Bella & Edward sex, getting reader feedback, then subsequently tweaking it for publication.

If the writer had done the writing and tweaking in private, and then unveiling it to the world afterward with no mention of Twilight/Bella/Edward, it probably would have seemed like an original work. Or, if the names Bella & Edward had never been used in the first version of the story, it might still have seemed original. But then, if this had been labeled as an original story with two original lead characters, it wouldn't have been as popular with the online community, and thus, the publishing world might never have been interested in the work. Regardless of how well-written the story is, or how well the characters were portrayed, the main reason it became popular is because so many fans already love Twilight and were hungry for more Bella/Edward. To me, this seems like a direct theft, rather than a retelling of some classic old story form. I guess, in the end, the point is moot.

I am curious to see if SM gets involved in this, or if she'll just let it go.

I'm also curious about how all this relates to the fanfic writers in our own fandom. Does this mean that some of our good writers will have more of a chance to become published, or become involved in the writing of some screenplays? Will any of our original works stand a chance, or will "real" success only follow true fanfics? And is smut required for success on the internet?

Offline noise_chick

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I'm also curious about how all this relates to the fanfic writers in our own fandom. Does this mean that some of our good writers will have more of a chance to become published, or become involved in the writing of some screenplays? Will any of our original works stand a chance, or will "real" success only follow true fanfics? And is smut required for success on the internet?


It's an interesting point. I pretty much dismiss anything that isn't at least R or NC-17... though it's not directly because it involves smut... more that I presume the writer is... over the age of 14. (Although it's kinda unintentionally hilarious when I'm wrong, or the author is obviously a virgin who doesn't understand the dynamics body parts they're writing about...) I just... want something other than Mary Sue self-insertion.

In truth, I HATE romance novels. But they sell. And that is NOTHING but the rehashing of the same plot. Hell, Harlequin gives you an outline to follow when they hire you as a 'ghost' writer. (There have been times I've considered applying, just to get the experience.)

But "Mommy Porn" is a new genre. (Kinda like 'paranormal romance.') To me, it all goes back to the "men are visually stimulated, women are more emotionally/internally/word/conversation based." Look at playboy vs playgirl - playgirl is MUCH more text intensive. And... romance novels are a women's genre. I'm still kinda shocked you can buy this book at B&N rather than having to go to a porn store! (though yes, 10 years ago I worked there, and they don't censor their stock)

With kindles and amazon making it more discreet to download/buy e-pub (or fanfic - hell, I get  comments from mommies who read my stuff at fanfic.com - along the lines of 'my husband and children haven't eaten anything but microwave stuff for dinner cuz I couldn't put this down.' Believe me I LOVE that.) women seem to be venturing more openly into reading stuff like this.

(thanks to the original artist)

Offline Montgomery Burns 13

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Quote from: Bitten
The thing that bothers me about this situation is the general knowledge that the story started as an AU Bella/Edward fanfic. The whole process was done in such a public manner [...]

If the writer had done the writing and tweaking in private, and then unveiling it to the world afterward with no mention of Twilight/Bella/Edward, it probably would have seemed like an original work. [...] Regardless of how well-written the story is, or how well the characters were portrayed, the main reason it became popular is because so many fans already love Twilight and were hungry for more Bella/Edward. To me, this seems like a direct theft, rather than a retelling of some classic old story form. I guess, in the end, the point is moot.

Actually, when I read the story, I didn't know it was based on Twilight.  On the contrary, had I known it, I wouldn't have touched it.  I didn't know either that it was a popular fanfic before the author changed parts of it.  But I still have no problem with it.  So what?  She changed the essentials and now it is an original story, and that's what counts in the end.  As for capitalizing on the fact that it was a popular fanfic, I have no problem with it either.  What's wrong with it?  Why should I begrudge her the success?

Quote from: Bitten
I'm also curious about how all this relates to the fanfic writers in our own fandom. Does this mean that some of our good writers will have more of a chance to become published, or become involved in the writing of some screenplays? Will any of our original works stand a chance, or will "real" success only follow true fanfics? And is smut required for success on the internet?

Of course it's easier to sell your stories if you already have a following (and if the readers are willing to pay for your stories).  In the long run however, IMO the most important thing would be that the stories are well written.  Hehe, but it does help of course if people are talking about it.

As for the requirement of smut, yeah, sex sells.  A lot.  It's not for nothing that the porn industry is that successful.  I personally prefer plot to smut though.

@ noise_chick, what is "Mommy Porn"? :think
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Offline eratatosk

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I got into science fiction from Star Trek fan fiction more than 30 years ago.  Some of those authors went on to get Nebulas and Hugos for their original work. Marion Zimmer Bradley used to read and comment on Darkover fan fiction.  My impression is that there was a fairly robust and open relationship between lots of amateur and professional genre writers, going back and forth, right up until a disgruntled fan fiction author sued Bradley for appropriating her idea, and the publishing world Freaked Out.  They created this wall between the fan and the professional world.

I suspect, though I don’t know, that wall is more myth than substance.  That all the while, lots of people were working out their writing through fan fiction and moving into the professional world; they just didn’t talk about it.  Either because it was seen as sorta tawdry or because of the publishers’ worries of legal contamination, people stopped talking about it.

Until recently, when writers like Gail Simone very explicitly made the jump from fan fiction into published genre writing and public intellectuals like Henry Jenkins over at MIT http://www.henryjenkins.org/, and Cory Doctorow over at BoingBoing.net and craphound talk explicitly about it.  Wil Wheaton (whose hand I have shaked) has a hilarious bit about Wesley/Worf fan fiction.  It’s coming out of the closet. 

I don’t think 50 Shades of Grey will do anything to fan fiction.  It’s just a way of writing.  People were writing Hesiod fan fiction 2300 years ago.  We live in a particular legal regime that puts particular pressures on it, but whatever.  I can understand, I think, some of the betrayal some people feel about the author denying this is based on fan fiction, because that seems like a betrayal of this community.  But I suspect she’s been given well-meaning advice to deny it to protect herself.  It’s palpably untrue I’m told, but whatever.  Most people aren’t reliable witnesses.

I myself am totally out about being a geek and not particularly out about writing fan fiction.  Not because I’m ashamed, but because I don’t really want my family, coworkers and professional colleagues reading up on my erotic imagination.  (And a little abashed I have time to do it; most of my colleagues don’t). 
"I do not understand why everything in this script must inevitably explode."

Offline noise_chick

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@ noise_chick, what is "Mommy Porn"? :think


Heh... I hadn't seen the term before the "People" magazine blurb on "Grey." But here's an except from The Guardian:
http://www.guardian.co.uk/film/2012/mar/25/fifty-shades-mommy-porn

While James and her agent were being elaborately courted, one agent explained that Hollywood's desire for mommy porn – a term coined by the New York Times – finds its origin in the success of Twilight, a project that was initially aimed at 15-year-olds but soon found legions of fans in women of all ages.

Those are the same women who embraced Eat Pray Love, Sex and the City and Desperate Housewives, and made successes last year of Bridesmaids and the Oscar-nominated The Help, as well as turning the Belle de Jour books into surprise bestsellers and a hit TV series.

At the same time, films targeted at teenage and adult males have become unreliable performers. Two weeks ago, Disney's $350m John Carter joined the ranks of epic flops.

Managers at Book Soup on Sunset Boulevard said they'd long since sold out of Fifty Shades and reported an increase in demand for erotica since the publication last year of Scotty Bowers's Full Service, the tale of a homosexual hustler in Hollywood that purported to reveal the sexual secrets of actors such as Errol Flynn, Cary Grant, Charles Laughton and Katharine Hepburn.

"It started with the Bowers book, but now we're seeing many more people asking for scandalous or erotic titles," explained Manny Chavarria. But this desire will not be immediately sated: the Fifty Shades trilogy is not available until it is re-released on 3 April.


From that, I'd say it's just 'easily digestible, mildly naughty works with bored, married mothers as the primary audience.'

(thanks to the original artist)

Offline NorthernLights

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NEW YORK –  Universal Pictures and Focus Features have acquired the rights to E.L. James' bestselling erotic novel, "Fifty Shades of Gray."
In a joint announcement Monday, Universal and Focus called the word-of-mouth sensation a "special story."
First released by an Australian publisher, James' novel is an explicit tale about billionaire Christian Grey and college student Anastasia Steele. Vintage Books, a paperback imprint of Random House Inc, recently became the U.S. distributor of "Fifty Shades" and its two follow-ups, "Fifty Shades Darker" and "Fifty Shades Freed."
James is a London based writer.


Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/entertainment/2012/03/26/erotic-novel-fifty-shades-gray-acquired-by-film-producers/#ixzz1quIC0Ddx

Offline AM Gray

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yeah @ NL and paid $5m according to the goss

I found an old article from July 2010, where a bunch of fans met Stephenie Meyer and asked her about fan fiction - they asked her about banker edward, which was code for the 50 shades character.
 http://www.twifans.com/profiles/blogs/stephenie-meyer-talks-twilight?id=2644331%3ABlogPost%3A3359827&page=2#comments

Quote
SM: Fan-fiction has become kind of a mixed thing for me. like in the beginning I hadn't heard of it and there were some that were...I couldn't read the ones that had the characters IN character. It freaked me out. um, but I liked. there was one about Harry Potter and Twilight that was hilarious. And then there was one that was about a girl who was starring as Bella in the movie and that was funny. And uh, I hear so many people arguing about fan-fiction. This one and that one. It seems like they are not as much fun anymore. I don't know.

SM: (talking more about fanfics) As long as the writers of it, move on from it. I think it’s sad to spend so much energy on something you can’t own. And that makes me a little bit sad because all these talented kids should be, ya know, get your story out from under the bed and get it out there.

Alison: Well if you won’t write it, we have to have something.

Kim: The ones that I love are the ones that are so good, they could be a novel, if they would just change the names, because it’s nothing like the plot.

SM: That means it’s their own story and maybe they want to have a venue to try their stories out and that’s something too. Yeah, but you do have to kind of have to worry.


Offline eratatosk

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SM: (talking more about fanfics) As long as the writers of it, move on from it. I think it’s sad to spend so much energy on something you can’t own. And that makes me a little bit sad because all these talented kids should be, ya know, get your story out from under the bed and get it out there.


My eyes.  They roll.  As someone who just spent an AWESOME weekend at Emerald City Comicon (photo evidence of awesomeness available at http://www.flickr.com/photos/laura-kali/sets/72157629341844402/with/6888032780/) I think she doesn't understand fandom. 
"I do not understand why everything in this script must inevitably explode."

Offline AM Gray

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bwahaha - at least it made sense, as opposed to some of the things I have heard her say... shake my head

Emerald city - OMG - didn't Adam Baldwin insult Will Wheaton or something? His wife came out swinging at him on Twitter much to Adam's amusement.

ooohhh Blade...

Offline eratatosk

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bwahaha - at least it made sense, as opposed to some of the things I have heard her say... shake my head

Emerald city - OMG - didn't Adam Baldwin insult Will Wheaton or something? His wife came out swinging at him on Twitter much to Adam's amusement.

ooohhh Blade...


Yeah.  Love Jayne Cobb.  Not a huge fan of Adam Baldwin.  He mocked this video Wil Wheaton (and Neil Gaiman, Amanda Palmer, Felicia Day, Jerry Ryan, and a bunch of other people) did as a promo for The Bloggess's book.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mp6jr98GbHo&feature=youtu.be.  Wheaton called him on it, and Baldwin was a dick back to him.   
« Last Edit: Mon, Apr 02, 2012, 10:59 PM by eratatosk »
"I do not understand why everything in this script must inevitably explode."

Offline AM Gray

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aah okay - mystery solved - thanks

Offline Bitten

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Thanks for the link to the ECC pics! :)  And thanks for the quotes from SM. It's interesting to hear see those comments.

Offline eratatosk

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Thanks for the link to the ECC pics! :)  And thanks for the quotes from SM. It's interesting to hear see those comments.


thanks!  and you are welcome. It was a hoot to go, even if there are a whole lot of fandoms I don't recognize.  I stopped watching Star Wars after The Phantom Menace.  Grumble Grumble Jar Jar Brinks. Grumble Grumble Nostalgia for Feudalism. 
"I do not understand why everything in this script must inevitably explode."

Offline noise_chick

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Terribly amused that MTV is suddenly on board with the 'news' coverage of this.
http://www.mtv.com/news/articles/1682408/twilight-50-shades-of-grey-fan-fiction.jhtml?xrs=eml_MTVNews2-4-4-twilight-gray

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"Twilight" author Meyer seems to have mixed feelings on the subject, but she has admitted to enjoying a few authors and entertained an alternate universe of sorts herself for "Twilight" in a project she calls "Breaking Down."

"In the beginning I hadn't heard of it. ... I couldn't read the ones that had the characters in character," she once said during an interview with Twifans.com. "It freaked me out. There was one about 'Harry Potter' and 'Twilight' that was hilarious. And then there was one that was about a girl who was starring as Bella in the movie and that was funny."

Meyer's "Breaking Down" was a crutch to help her get through finishing "Breaking Dawn," a place where she could let loose with outrageous scenarios for her mostly straight and narrow characters.

"We came up with an alternate 'Breaking Dawn' called 'Breaking Down.' It was awesome!" she said. "Complete spiraling downward and destruction in Bella Swan's life and everyone around her."

Naturally, Meyer didn't publish that alternate "Twi"-verse, but there are other cases of famous authors who began their careers writing fanfic; take Cassandra Clare, who wrote a popular spin on "Harry Potter" called "The Draco Trilogy" long before she came up with "The Mortal Instruments."

We could also count Seth Grahame-Smith's best-seller "Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter" as a form of fanfic, along with the various "Pride and Prejudice"-inspired books like "Mr. Darcy Takes a Wife" and "Mr. Darcy's Diary: A Novel."
 


That last bit was the only really interesting thought to me. Because yeah, when copyright runs out... we get "Pride & Prejudice and Zombies." (Poor Jane Austin!)

That would be a nice fanfic challenge... putting Riddick in Victorian London or Shakespeare... "Romeo & Juliet"would never be the same - or better yet "Macbeth" or "Titus Andronicus." 
 :couch

(thanks to the original artist)

Offline ban sidhe

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Jack the Ripper ain't got nuthin on our boy!  An' he'd probably take him out
just 'cause he don't like gratuitous violence toward women.

Offline noise_chick

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Jack the Ripper ain't got nuthin on our boy!  An' he'd probably take him out
just 'cause he don't like gratuitous violence toward women.


*snork* You know, Ban... the Ripper murders stopped rather abruptly... perhaps a certain time traveling Furyan was irritated his favorite 'comfort women' were disappearing, or that the name 'Jack' was being disparaged.  :riddy
...nah.

(thanks to the original artist)

Offline AM Gray

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oh now - jack the riddick... no wait...