Wednesday, May 22, 2013

"I felt a great disturbance in the Force, as if millions of voices suddenly cried out in terror..."*

Amazon announced Kindle Worlds today - which will be a 'place for you to publish fan fiction inspired by popular books, shows, movies, comics, music, and games'.

My heart stopped beating there for a couple of seconds when I saw the article regarding it on The Mary Sue, and, after it started working again, my immediate reaction was 'Uh buh?'

I learned to write by writing fanfics (though, at that time, I had no idea what a fanfic was). A lot of my friends who are currently writers started out the same way; they began by writing fanfics before moving on to their own original stuff. A lot of us still write fanfics from time to time, mainly when we need a break from our other stories or from life in general.

Fanfics have a quite a sordid past; some authors think it's okay, some authors don't. There have been several debates and articles written about the legality of fanfic over the years. However, regardless of if you like fanfic or hate it, almost everyone agrees that fanfics should never be published or sold for profit.

By creating Kindle Worlds, Amazon has caused quite a stir. Now not only is it okay to write fanfic, but it's okay to publish it too! The authors will earn a profit, and the rights holders will get royalties.

The world may never be the same again.

But, as much as this is interesting and exciting news - I don't know if it's going to work out. Why will people pay to read fanfics when they can find them for free on sites like Fanfiction.net, An Archive Of Our Own, Tumblr, Wattpad, and Figment? Plus at this time Kindle Worlds is only available for a select amount of series - like Vampire Diaries and Glee. Others will be added over time, but I doubt they'll be able to get everybody to agree with them as I am sure there are still people who are not okay and will never be okay with fanfic (for example, I highly doubt that Anne Rice Disney will give their okay for others to play in their worlds)

What are your thoughts, dear reader?

On other fronts, Patricia C Wrede has several helpful blog posts that she has published regarding Writing Methods, Action, Landscape Vs Setting, and Dialogue. A friend, Jewel E Leonard, shared this link with me earlier this week: it discusses the top 10 Storytelling cliches.

I'm still plugging along at writing when I can. Sewing has taken the priority though; first I was rushing to get several things done for our visits to the local Renaissance Faire, now I'm working on a friend's wedding dress. It's a gorgeous number that she bought off of ebay, but she wants a blue panel between the lace layer and the under skirt. Expect a lot of sewing updates soon. A lot of them!

*This quote from Star Wars felt oddly appropriate as I am sure there are people all over who are both celebrating the announcement of Kindle Worlds and cursing it's creation right now...

3 comments:

  1. Your friend sounds like she has a great vision for her wedding dress, but that means a lot of work for you...

    The Kindle Worlds thing... well, truthfully there have always been "authorized" fanfiction stories published for profit. Remember the Timescape Star Trek novels? They started out with some fanfiction writers, but eventually they shifted to professionals to keep up the standards and reduce the slush.

    I think they are hoping to do a similar thing with the Kindle Worlds series.

    And yeah... I love writing my fanfiction, but it'll never make it on Kindle Worlds.

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    1. I've been thinking about the wedding dress and how to do this ever since she told me (many many many moons ago) that she wanted to do this. I could take a seam ripper to the skirts to separate it from the bodice - but using a seam ripper on lace terrifies me. I'm afraid I'm going to rip holes in it! So, I've decided to sew the panels of the blue fabric together, and then hand sew it to the under skirt - which is going to be a bit of a pain in the butt around the zipper, but over all it should work out just fine.

      I was never a big Star Trek fan as a kid - I was always more into Star Wars - but I'll have to take a look at those.

      Ditto regarding my fanfiction ending up on Kindle Worlds. I highly doubt that the estate of my favorite author, Anne McCaffrey, will sign over the rights to allow it. And, like I mentioned in the blog, why would anyone pay for it when they can find it online for free?

      It'll be interesting to see how this all works out when Kindle Worlds launches...

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  2. Christina,

    Kymele didn't say it, but I will tellour "dirty little non-secret".

    She and I have been friends since almost forever, and we both cut our writing teeth on particularly bad Star Trek fan fiction (I can blame it all on her, because she force fed me Trek until Spock hypnotized me and I fell passionately in lust....)....umm, oh, what was I saying....?

    We kept several notebooks of what I will very loosely call "storylines". It was a way to deal with high school ennui and our changing selves.

    From that writing, my original worlds and peoples were born.

    Without Star Trek, without Spock, they wouldn't exist.

    For a long time, I felt shame about this, because I accepted the prevailing "sordid" label.

    That stopped me from writing the original elements, because they were inextricably connected to one another.

    A year or so ago, I claimed it all. Star trek and Spock are abiding passions, for me. They have made me the woman I am, in so many ways. I can no more separate Trek from me than from my stories...

    So I decided not to try. Now, I am writing a double series - a sweeping saga of Spock, and the woman who will become, after much turbulence, his wife.

    Either series will stand on its own. For those who choose to read both, there will be added richness, other elements to discover, new patterns in the weaving of fictional realities...

    But I don't think my fan fiction will ever appear in Kindle Worlds, or anywhere else, for pay. I don't bet on horses at the racetrack, and I don't write Spock's story for pay, either. I feel free to play there, and to share my playing free of charge....but Star Trek has given me so much. I can't seek profit there, only offer the gift of my vision of it to those who might appreciate it.

    Making that choice has opened me up as a writer. My original stories will be offered for sale, without hiding that there is a fan fiction side of things out there for those who might choose to read it.

    I'm not hiding, and I'm not ashamed. And I do my absolute best to do right by my characters, Trek or not.

    And I am intrigued by your sewing....I have had a machine for a few years, and have yet to dare try to learn howto thread it! =)

    Oh, and some of those early Timescape novels (especially, for me, the A.C.Crispin ones), were phenomenal, and much better than some of the later, "professional" ones. I think it's a matter of whether the book was written for passion, or for profit, first...those early efforts came from writers who burned with their "what-if's", and had to set them down....it makes for GOOD reading! =)

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