A word on derivatives

Posted by Sherry Roit on Tuesday, December 30, 2014 Under: opinion piece



Fan-fiction. It used to be a very secretive topic. Taboo, for most. Divisive. It is still these things for some, though these days, people are far more open about it. Heck, some have even been published after first writing derivative fiction.

But I'm not here to talk about the legalities (as there are laws in place when it crosses a line) or whether it's morally right or wrong. And of course, any author has every right to dislike it, and take legal action when it crosses a line. They have every right to ask it not be written, and shouldn't be heckled for that.

What has always bugged me, and what I'm here to write about, is the idea that it destroys the original. People who dislike fan-fiction, or any derivative art (which includes film remakes, etc.) so often speak of how it RUINS, omg RUINS the original. "The TV show has RUINED the books/story."

Really? There is no logic in this assertion, which given people are being emotional, I suppose I should expect - and I do. It's when attempting a calm discussion over the truth of the matter, that logic should come in, but often still doesn't.

It's like this; unless someone goes to great lengths to physically destroy every single copy of whatever the work in question is, it will always be just fine and dandy. A reworking/adaptation, aka, derivative, is just that - derivative. The original is still there for you to enjoy. It honestly, among other things, begins to sound as if people are saying the original wasn't strong enough on its own to withstand tinkering. It also begins to sound bratty, or sad, or any host of things.

Look, I completely understand how the creative person behind the original (and also the fans) could feel that they are witnessing their friends and family being dragged through the muck, as it were, but the ORIGINAL will ALWAYS be there. 

Didn't like the movie? You can go back and read the book. Didn't like that fan-fic you ran into? Go back and read the original.

Authors? I put it to you that you are giving your power away when you act as if fans have just RUINED OMG RUINED your work. How can they? It is, and will always remain, your creation. But! You must also know that when you put it out there for others to see, part of it doesn't belong to you anymore. If you didn't want it ever tampered with, interpreted in some way you didn't intend, then your only recourse is never to share it. Period. You don't have to like it, but that's how it works.

No one can ruin the original with their own imaginings. Yes, I am being repetitive, but it needs repeating. Be glad you have fans, who loved so much being in your world, they wanted to stay in it. That the characters were so vivid, they feel as if they're real, just as you do.

If someone rewrote part of what you did because they hate what you did? Well...that sucks. But it's just a POV. Depending on the scene, they could just be sad you killed someone off, or a couple didn't hook up, whatever. Unfortunately, if a majority think you dropped the ball - maybe you did. But don't beat yourself up, or them. Think about what it was that could've been different, or better. Or not? If it's how you wanted it, so be it, because...

It's still yours. It began with you.


In : opinion piece 


Tags: fan-fiction 
blog comments powered by Disqus

A word on derivatives

Posted by Sherry Roit on Tuesday, December 30, 2014 Under: opinion piece



Fan-fiction. It used to be a very secretive topic. Taboo, for most. Divisive. It is still these things for some, though these days, people are far more open about it. Heck, some have even been published after first writing derivative fiction.

But I'm not here to talk about the legalities (as there are laws in place when it crosses a line) or whether it's morally right or wrong. And of course, any author has every right to dislike it, and take legal action when it crosses a line. They have every right to ask it not be written, and shouldn't be heckled for that.

What has always bugged me, and what I'm here to write about, is the idea that it destroys the original. People who dislike fan-fiction, or any derivative art (which includes film remakes, etc.) so often speak of how it RUINS, omg RUINS the original. "The TV show has RUINED the books/story."

Really? There is no logic in this assertion, which given people are being emotional, I suppose I should expect - and I do. It's when attempting a calm discussion over the truth of the matter, that logic should come in, but often still doesn't.

It's like this; unless someone goes to great lengths to physically destroy every single copy of whatever the work in question is, it will always be just fine and dandy. A reworking/adaptation, aka, derivative, is just that - derivative. The original is still there for you to enjoy. It honestly, among other things, begins to sound as if people are saying the original wasn't strong enough on its own to withstand tinkering. It also begins to sound bratty, or sad, or any host of things.

Look, I completely understand how the creative person behind the original (and also the fans) could feel that they are witnessing their friends and family being dragged through the muck, as it were, but the ORIGINAL will ALWAYS be there. 

Didn't like the movie? You can go back and read the book. Didn't like that fan-fic you ran into? Go back and read the original.

Authors? I put it to you that you are giving your power away when you act as if fans have just RUINED OMG RUINED your work. How can they? It is, and will always remain, your creation. But! You must also know that when you put it out there for others to see, part of it doesn't belong to you anymore. If you didn't want it ever tampered with, interpreted in some way you didn't intend, then your only recourse is never to share it. Period. You don't have to like it, but that's how it works.

No one can ruin the original with their own imaginings. Yes, I am being repetitive, but it needs repeating. Be glad you have fans, who loved so much being in your world, they wanted to stay in it. That the characters were so vivid, they feel as if they're real, just as you do.

If someone rewrote part of what you did because they hate what you did? Well...that sucks. But it's just a POV. Depending on the scene, they could just be sad you killed someone off, or a couple didn't hook up, whatever. Unfortunately, if a majority think you dropped the ball - maybe you did. But don't beat yourself up, or them. Think about what it was that could've been different, or better. Or not? If it's how you wanted it, so be it, because...

It's still yours. It began with you.


In : opinion piece 


Tags: fan-fiction 
blog comments powered by Disqus
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