The Day in Fanfic

Helen Kaye has just discovered slash fanfic and she doesn’t get the appeal.

[The] "writing" tends to be based on existing television show characters where the
male actors are not gay on the show but where the slash writing puts them in
homoerotic relationships.  Yes, this appears to be a violation of, well,
everything.  Using other people’s characters?  That certainly doesn’t seem right
to me.  Putting these well known characters in situations that, at best, can be
described as out of context?  Well, that’s just wrong in my book. 

Meanwhile,  John Scalzi sees fanfic, even "slash" fanfic, as a barometer of success.

Honestly, though, if I were the creator of a science fiction or fantasy media
property (as opposed to a mere book author) and I didn’t find evidence of fanfic
online, I would be very worried. People don’t write fanfic if they
aren’t already so enthralled by your universe that they can’t handle the fact
you’re not producing it any faster, and are thus compelled to make some of their
own — the methadone, if you will, to your pure, sweet media property heroin… And if they’re writing slash (fanfic with sex!), chances are excellent that
you’re sucking in all of their take home pay that doesn’t go to rent, food and
cat products. It is the Buffy slash writers who paid for Joss Whedon’s boat (or
whatever other particularly silly display of wealth that he’s purchased for

You know how I feel on this topic, so I’ll refrain from comment. ..but yours are certainly welcome!

(Thanks to Wendy Duren and Jim Winter  for pointing me to these posts)


8 thoughts on “The Day in Fanfic”

  1. If you really want to freak yourself out, do a google search on transformers cos play.
    I haven’t had the guts to do it, but according to a friend of mine it was the scariest slash-esque thing they have found.

  2. As a writer, I’m kind of split on the subject (and openly hypocritical). On the one hand, I’d be flattered someone would be inspired by my work to the point they had to write something to get them through until the next release.
    On the other hand, there’s this feeling of “You did WHAT to my baby?!”
    Fortunately, since legal wisdom precludes one from reading fanfic based on one’s own work, I’ll never have to worry.
    Unfortunately, I’ll probably never have to worry anyway, unless someone buys television rights. Then I have to worry on two fronts.

  3. As a slash writer, I’d just like to say this:
    Slash doesn’t have to be the root of all evil. Slash doesn’t have to be horribly character-mangling. Slash doesn’t have to be bad, plotless porn. Slash doesn’t have to have awful characterisation.
    Slash can be good. Slash can be touching and heartstring-tugging. Slash can keep the characters reasonably in character. Slash can be rated G.
    Slash can also be rated NC-17, or anything in-between. Slash can be awful and plotless. Slash can destroy the characters. But it doesn’t have; it doesn’t always do those things; it isn’t always those things. Slash is fun, and no more a waste of time than any other kind of fanfic, if the author really does love the characters and the fandom.
    I write slash because I genuinely love the fandom; I genuinely love the characters I pair together. The only difference between me and a het fanfic writer is the kind of pairing I write. It would be just as ‘wrong’ to write a gay character into a straight pairing. I’m sure people do it anyway, and I’m sure they get quite a bit more support and compliments than slash writers, and they probably get a lot less flak. This seems more wrong to me than slash ever will (except MPreg. That’s just creepy).
    Saying that /all/ slash is awful just because most of it is is like saying that /all/ fanfiction is awful just because most of it is, and that debate has already been resolved. Please, just consider my point of view for one minute. 60 seconds only, then you can go back to hating all slash or whatever. That shouldn’t be too hard. For the sake of the few good slash writers out there, please think about it.

  4. Can I assume you write LOTR slash? Aragorn is your favorite? Based strictly on your handle. If not, ignore the rest. Ignore it anyway. No skin off my nose.
    Are all those boys gay? Tolkien meant them to be gay? That’s Tolkien’s subtext? That the heroes in LOTR are gay? Every single last one of them? That’s the secret message we’re to glean from that series?
    I owe Lincoln another five bucks. I better get a job that pays better.

  5. ” For the sake of the few good slash writers out there, please think about it.”
    There’s no such thing as a good slash writer. All slash is unmitigated crap unless you’re dealing with true gay characters (L WORD, QUEER AS FOLK, WILL & GRACE, etc.) Bartlett/Josh, Kirk/Spock, etc is slash abominable masturbatory shit and indefensible.

  6. I am personally offended by some of the posts/comments made here. I am a major fan of not only fanfiction, but slash as well. I am also a fanfiction writer and most of what I write is slash. I deal with the Harry Potter fandom only and ‘ship’ Harry/Draco. You have a problem with it? Fine. That’s your opinion and you are more than entitiled to it. What gets me is when people come together and openly bash fanfiction and the people that write it. You don’t /have/ to read it. Hell, you don’t even have to think about it. So why bother those that do like it? It’s a personal choice.
    Fanfiction writers are not out to get authors. We are not trying to personally break every copyright law put in place. Most of the fics I read have disclaimers. I put disclaimers on most of mine. Something along the lines of “I do not own the Harry Potter characters in any way, shape, or form. That would be JK Rowling. This fic is in no way meant to infringe upon her rights.” And so forth and so on. So, you see, we are not all out to get JK Rowling. We’re simply ‘borrowing’ her characters to write something for entertainment value. And I really don’t understand how people can chant ‘they’re not gay’ about the characters. Most of JK Rowlings characters go undefined and therefore leave plenty of room to be either gay, bisexual, or straight. Not to mention the fact that their relationships are relatively unexplored seeing as the books are for young children as well as adults. So, in all truth, no argument can be made about the characters sexuality until JKR decides to define it. Meaning fanfiction writers can write the characters however they see fit to.
    Now, taking the argument of Harry/Draco. What’s to say that Draco isn’t gay? JKR doesn’t explore his character at all. Not to mention the fact that he’s quite androgenous. And Harry? Yes, he had his first kiss in OotP and it was with Cho Chang, a girl. But, if I remember correctly, he didn’t enjoy it. Even more reason to suspect him of being homosexual. Now about the hate factor of their relationship. Just because you don’t like someone’s personality does not mean you don’t find them attractive. There are many people that I strongly dislike and I still begrudingly admit that they are quite attractive. So there’s a reason for a slash fic right there. Perhaps they are fighting one day and Harry’s temper get out of hand. Or Draco’s temper gets out of hand. Just because it’s a fic doesn’t mean it needs to be pretty. I’ve seen rape/noncon in many fics. There are so many aspects to a relationship between Harry and Draco. However, I am not saying that all Harry/Draco fics are well written because they’re not. Some of them are horrible. I’ve seen some that go straight from punching each other to ‘I love you’ which isn’t plausible. Anyway, I’m sure you get my point.
    In conclusion, just think about the people you’re talking about, because this is something that we devote our time to and love. And think about what I’ve said- even if it’s just for a minute.

  7. I Agree whole heartedly with what Kala said. When I first got into the Slash fandom I was about 15/16 years old I thought it was wrong and sick and how could someone put Jack and Daniel together in a romantic setting. Then one day i stumbled across a fic that hadn’t been properly marked as slash and read and actually enjoyed it.
    It gradually grew to the point where I started to write my own fanfiction. I mostly write Stargate Jack/Daniel and i know from me that I do it because the two men have such a strong friendship that i could see them taking the next step just the same as any hetrosexual couple.
    Slash isnt about trying to get two males into bed together. Most i’ve read is about exploring the relationships of the characters. As for slash writters not being any good thats crap. there are some very good authors. Mission Impossible by Dangermouse is an example of a very good slash fic. has some really good ones. I’m not saying you arn’t entitled to opinions but Has anyone that is saying Slash is so bad actually taken the time to read any of it? Take the time you may find you like it.
    Cya Aussie Mel


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