Wednesday, April 26, 2006

King Arthur and the Goblet of Fire

Personally, I’m convinced that the legends of the Holy Grail are fanfic about the Eucharist.

That statement pretty well sums up my approach to writing.
There's a great post on fan fiction from Patrick and Terese Nielson's blog Making Light (gleaned from boingboing). Terese makes the point that fan fiction has been with us since writing began, and that the label "fan fiction" is an artifact of our copyright laws. Here's a great quotation:
The Pulitzer Prize for Fiction this year went to March, a novel by Geraldine Brooks, published by Viking. It’s a re-imagining of the life of the father of the four March girls in Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women. Can you see a particle of difference between that and a work of declared fanfiction?

As far as I'm concerned, this nails it. Writers have to follow their inspiration, not a culturally conditioned notion of what a writer's proper work is. Maybe for a bunch of writers this means being the "solitary genius" or whatever we're calling our romantic heroes these days, but for most it means being vaguely ridiculous in public.

Mind you, War of the Gyro isn't technically a fanfic, since it was conceived in conversation with an actual publisher with the actual capability to publish a novel under the Talislanta license, it's actually a spin-off. The fact that the publisher is no longer publishing Talislanta materials is only a minor setback.

But at this point, I'm dedicated to finishing War of the Gyro just for myself and the half dozen people who visit this page every day looking for a new chapter (yes, I know you're out there). Why? Because fan fiction is fun, and because I believe it can occasionally be really great. If you don't beleive me, pick up the latest by Dan Abnett or Robin Laws.

While I'm ranting, maybe you're wondering where the latest chapter went. There's a simple answer for that. I've had it for ages, but I'm sitting on it because I'm not satisfied with it. This is obviously my internal editor holding me back, so I'm going to go ahead and publish it within the next few days.


Blogger Phil said...

Yes, you need to publish the rest of the chapters, so that your external editor (i.e. myself) can start critiquing the work.

11:04 AM  

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