melannen: Commander Valentine of Alpha Squad Seven, a red-haired female Nick Fury in space, smoking contemplatively (Default)
melannen ([personal profile] melannen) wrote2010-04-10 02:49 pm

On original fic and fanfic

There are currently a couple of debates going around - about the problem of Sue-shaming and about mixing original fic and fanfic in communities and archives - that have combined with other stuff to make me want to write about original writing.

So, re: the debate going around about whether AO3 should allow original stuff in with the fanworks:

There are some people who want to keep a wall between original and fan fiction, and want to keep AO3 limited to fan writers. And I can see their point - I, too, am far less likely to read something if it's original: it's harder work to read, less likely to be id-tastic, when I'm in the mood for fanwork I don't want original, and either the average quality of original fic is less, or I simply don't have good enough filters for finding the good stuff with original as compared to fan work. Plus, many original writing communities are not only very different in culture to fanwriting communities, some of them are openly hostile to fanwriting, or to some of the values that my particular fanwriting community espouses.

The problem I have with that viewpoint is that the separation between original and fan work *isn't* a wall. It is, at best, a long sloping gradient with something on it that might be an attempt at a wall that has fallen over in places and wasn't very straight to begin with (and has only been there for a paltry few decades anyway.) The boundary between original and fan work is not a hard boundary. People have brought up historical RPF several times already, but as far as I'm concerned, it's only the tip of the iceberg.

I write stuff that is definitely fanfiction. I write stuff that is definitely original fiction. And I write stuff that, um, I have no bloody idea if it's one or the other.

And the thing that attracted me, as an author, to AO3, is that it's one archive where I don't have to worry if my fanwork is "enough" for it. Is it slashy enough, or too slashy? Shippy enough, or too shippy? Too porny or not porny enough? Too long or too short, not canonical enough, not finished enough, too crossovery, too script-y or meta-y or poem-y to be a proper story, not angsty enough, too much or not enough... on AO3 I can just put everything up, as a proper archive, without having to stress over categories.

I would love if "not fan-fic-y enough" was one of those categories I didn't have to worry about on AO3. And since - *for me* - the most important role of AO3 is to be an archive for fanwriters to universally preserve and organize their work, I want all the edge cases to be allowed; if that means blanket allowing original fiction (and I suspect it does), then so be it. I would, however, support a restriction that every author account must have at least one definite fanwork uploaded, to preserve the archive as primarily fannish and to filter out people who are hostile to fanfic culture. And a rule that any original work hosted on AO3 must allow derivative work.

And, sheerly out of curiosity (and not intended to be anyone's opinion on what should or shouldn't get posted at AO3): Here is a poll about some of those "edge" cases. What do you think, fandom-at-large? Original or fanwork? (And no, you don't get tickyboxes or third options. You must make a judgement! Like archives always make me do!)

Poll #2693 Is it original fic or is it fanfic?
Open to: Registered Users, detailed results viewable to: All, participants: 128


Historical RPF about dead people!

View Answers

Fanfic
90 (70.9%)

Original
37 (29.1%)

Non-historical RPF about living people!

View Answers

Fanfic
112 (88.2%)

Original
15 (11.8%)

Historical fic set in a specific place and time but with mostly-original characters (because the people I'm writing about went unrecorded by history!)

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Fanfic
14 (11.0%)

Original
113 (89.0%)

Fic set in the present with original characters, but all about their relationships with real celebrities, places, and/or current events!

View Answers

Fanfic
44 (34.9%)

Original
82 (65.1%)

A story set in fandom with characters who are all recognizeable fangirl achetypes!

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Fanfic
92 (73.0%)

Original
34 (27.0%)

A story based on a story my great-grandma wrote that was only ever published in a tiny edition!

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Fanfic
87 (69.6%)

Original
38 (30.4%)

A story based on something in my high school literary magazine!

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Fanfic
86 (69.9%)

Original
37 (30.1%)

Fic based on a friend's unpublished and unfinished original novel!

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Fanfic
99 (80.5%)

Original
24 (19.5%)

My original story that my friend pulished fic about before my story was finished!

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Fanfic
7 (5.5%)

Original
120 (94.5%)

A non-canon AU I wrote in my own original universe that uses fannish tropes like AMTDI or "five things that never happened"!

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Fanfic
53 (43.1%)

Original
70 (56.9%)

A story where my original characters meet fandom characters!

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Fanfic
125 (99.2%)

Original
1 (0.8%)

A story my original characters meet historical characters or celebrities!

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Fanfic
55 (44.4%)

Original
69 (55.6%)

A fusion where my original characters are put into a fandom-canon universe but no canon characters appear!

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Fanfic
119 (94.4%)

Original
7 (5.6%)

A crossover where my original characters meet me and my friends!

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Fanfic
29 (23.6%)

Original
94 (76.4%)

A crossover where my original characters meet my friend's original characters!

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Fanfic
63 (51.2%)

Original
60 (48.8%)

A story about recognizable living real people where all the names have been elided or changed!

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Fanfic
56 (44.8%)

Original
69 (55.2%)

A story about anthropomorphized objects or concepts!

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Fanfic
39 (31.5%)

Original
85 (68.5%)

A story about anthropomorphized *fannish* objects or concepts!

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Fanfic
92 (73.6%)

Original
33 (26.4%)

A retelling of a myth or fairy tale where all of the names, the setting, most of the details and the ending are different!

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Fanfic
42 (33.3%)

Original
84 (66.7%)

A retelling of a myth or fairy tale to make it work in the framework of my original universe or with my original characters!

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Fanfic
33 (26.6%)

Original
91 (73.4%)

An obvious parody/pastiche of a published author's style and subject matter that doesn't reference any of their characters or settings!

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Fanfic
57 (45.6%)

Original
68 (54.4%)

A side story to my fanfic epic, about two original characters from the epic, which based only on internal evidence could be set in a non-fannish world!

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Fanfic
91 (72.8%)

Original
34 (27.2%)

A novel set in [fandom A] that's all about original characters who live around the world from canon events so the only explicit reference to canon is passing allusions to distant events!

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Fanfic
112 (88.9%)

Original
14 (11.1%)

An AU story based around minor OCs from an AU of an AU of an AU that has since been thoroughly jossed!

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Fanfic
95 (75.4%)

Original
31 (24.6%)

A novel about characters that started out as fanfic OCs or AUs of canon characters but I have deliberately moved outside the fandom context!

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Fanfic
24 (19.2%)

Original
101 (80.8%)

A shared world written by many authors with no "primary" text or "series bible"!

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Fanfic
28 (22.6%)

Original
96 (77.4%)

Biblefic!

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Fanfic
106 (84.1%)

Original
20 (15.9%)

A slashy story about an angel that draws heavily on traditional Western angelology and eschatology, including [list of canon texts in original sense of canon texts], but is not based on specific text!

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Fanfic
32 (25.8%)

Original
92 (74.2%)

A Lovecraftian horror story that mentions the Necronomicon but is otherwise completely original!

View Answers

Fanfic
48 (38.7%)

Original
76 (61.3%)

A story that is direct commentary or critique of tropes, plots and characterizations specific to a very small subgenre but with all made-up proper names!

View Answers

Fanfic
41 (33.9%)

Original
80 (66.1%)

A novel that is mostly an original work but in which the Doctor makes a cameo (because he can!)

View Answers

Fanfic
62 (49.6%)

Original
63 (50.4%)

A professionally published story using other authors' characters and settings that the pro author loudly insists is not fanfic!

View Answers

Fanfic
104 (84.6%)

Original
19 (15.4%)



(I will stop there before poll gets even longer, but for the record, none of these are hypothetical cases - they are all either things I personally have written, or things other people who identify as fanwriters have done that I could point you to.)
whatistigerbalm: alan by redsch ftmfw (Default)

[personal profile] whatistigerbalm 2010-04-10 06:51 pm (UTC)(link)
I thought the point of keeping AO3 fanworks-only was because original works already have legal protection, not because they're generally crappier?

[edited for clarity]

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cypher: (wuzzle pirate)

[personal profile] cypher 2010-04-10 07:00 pm (UTC)(link)
...OW that was hard to do. And I had to skip a few questions for bias.

I...seem to come down on the side of "yeah, it's fanfic" more often than not, though I'm still struggling with how to define the reason I make that call.
kiwikiwi: Colette Brunell and Marta Lualdi, Tales of Symphonia (KoR) (ToS: Re-flowering you)

[personal profile] kiwikiwi 2010-04-10 07:17 pm (UTC)(link)
I had difficulty with this one
A non-canon AU I wrote in my own original universe that uses fannish tropes like AMTDI or "five things that never happened"!

is this, then... taking a source's characters and moving them into your own setting?

Or an au of your own setting and characters, meaning like ..that scene you really wanted to write but just couldn't make it work with the rest of the plot, sort of thing?

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erinptah: (Default)

[personal profile] erinptah 2010-04-10 07:31 pm (UTC)(link)
This poll is ridiculously interesting.

There were a couple where I wished I had other options - "parody" or "meta" or "commentary" - but I ended up lumping those under "original." F'rinstance, "A story that is direct commentary or critique of tropes, plots and characterizations specific to a very small subgenre but with all made-up proper names!" is just what it says: commentary. Same with "An obvious parody/pastiche of a published author's style and subject matter that doesn't reference any of their characters or settings!", which is, well, parody.

I'm kind of boggling at "Fic set in the present with original characters, but all about their relationships with real celebrities, places, and/or current events!" Doesn't that cover huge chunks of contemporary original fiction? Think of every franchise you know that's set in NYC. Are those all supposed to be fanfiction? Of what?
whatistigerbalm: alan by redsch ftmfw (Default)

[personal profile] whatistigerbalm 2010-04-10 07:38 pm (UTC)(link)
There were a couple where I wished I had other options - "parody" or "meta" or "commentary"

Me too; I keep going ack to the legal side of things but AFAIK parody and commentary are, while derivations of sorts and thus not "original", forms of creative thinking and writing protected in ways that fanfic is not.

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naraht: (Default)

[personal profile] naraht 2010-04-10 07:38 pm (UTC)(link)
...I can't even begin to answer these questions.

But I'm fascinated by the answers! It was a brilliant idea to do a poll.

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torachan: (Default)

[personal profile] torachan 2010-04-10 08:03 pm (UTC)(link)
I originally thought allowing original fic was a good idea, but then some arguments persuaded me against it, especially the idea that the archive might get overwhelmed by non-fannish types, some of whom could be actively hostile to fanfic. But I like the idea of your rules. That would keep out people who are hostile to fanworks.

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hl: Drawing of Ada Lovelace as a young child, reading a Calculus book (Default)

[personal profile] hl 2010-04-10 08:26 pm (UTC)(link)
If I may be so bold, the point is not allowing non-fannish types to post there. They already can, if they write something lj fandom considers fannish (even if they don't consider themselves fans--though, er, why would they want to?). The point is that there are already fannish types for whom the fandom experience also has original works with fannish sensibilities.

I personally really doubt we will be deluged with non-fandom people posting stuff. What it could happen is that fandom people post more original stories than other fandom people may want.
naraht: (Default)

[personal profile] naraht 2010-04-10 08:54 pm (UTC)(link)
The point is that there are already fannish types for whom the fandom experience also has original works with fannish sensibilities.

This seems to me to get right at the heart of the matter. And so it becomes a "who gets to define fandom?" question.

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pseudo_tsuga: ([Kate Beaton] reading is crazy)

[personal profile] pseudo_tsuga 2010-04-10 08:32 pm (UTC)(link)
Wow, some of those polls are very close and some are even tied! I thought anthropomor fic would be solidly in the fanfic side.
torachan: (Default)

[personal profile] torachan 2010-04-10 09:14 pm (UTC)(link)
That was one of the few I had no hesitation in saying was not fanfic.
anatsuno: a women reads, skeptically (drawing by Kate Beaton) (Default)

[personal profile] anatsuno 2010-04-10 09:25 pm (UTC)(link)
your poll is both very interesting and yet pointless to me in the present debate regarding AO3. I shall explain... Because I believe in the existence of a vast grey area, and because I recognize that our issues regarding the AO3 policies are mainly that we're thinking about 'fannish sensibilities' versus mundanes yet without wanting to define fandom in a closed and selfish sense by excluding others who are doing fannishness differently (see the discussion on Zvi's post about whether we should define the fic by its community or the community by its fic, etc).. I do not think that these questions have absolute answers. What counts, for me, in the case of posting to the AO3, is whether or not their author thinks the fic is fannish.

In 'normal' circumstances, your last example, of "A professionally published story using other authors' characters and settings that the pro author loudly insists is not fanfic!", is fanfic in my view. By which I mean I do not think it is structurally or qualitatively different by nature from fanfic, and hence it should be called the same.

And yet, it's not fic that the author considers fannish, and it's not fic that they'd want posted on the AO3, so in the context of this discussion my answer might change!

So I took the poll as best I could (and I know you have asked for answers detached from the AO3 question - it's just where my brain is at, which does change things), but I was unmistakeably influenced not just by the vocabulary (use of Biblefic, etc) but the formulation of the questions, too; ie whether the question made it sound like the putative author counted it as fanfic themselves or not. In other words - self-identification and choices are important (to me) in this respect, too.

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copracat: Amelia Post grinning (amelia)

[personal profile] copracat 2010-04-10 09:56 pm (UTC)(link)
I think your excellent poll is unnecessary. It's not about policing the creators (that doesn't seem, to me, to be what OTW or AO3, or Fanlore etc, is about at all) but asking the user uploading a work to decide this: is your work fannish or is it original? If you consider it to be original and in no way fannish, if you can't attach a fandom tag to it, then it's not for AO3.

The key thing is in your post: some of them are openly hostile to fanwriting. Do not want. And while I don't believe that people who hold that view are likely to come near AO3, I do want to discourage users who value original work ( and by original I mean not borderline, but this is orginal and not fannish at all, says the author) over fan work.

If the user thinks of their historical novel as belonging in a fandom tradition, then come on down. Etc.


naraht: (Default)

[personal profile] naraht 2010-04-10 10:06 pm (UTC)(link)
It's not about policing the creators (that doesn't seem, to me, to be what OTW or AO3, or Fanlore etc, is about at all) but asking the user uploading a work to decide this: is your work fannish or is it original? If you consider it to be original and in no way fannish, if you can't attach a fandom tag to it, then it's not for AO3.

It's easy to say that the decision is entirely in the hands of the creator. But I think you have to remember that the creator doesn't create in a vacuum. Fandom especially is all about community, and by having this very discussion we're taking part in creating a community view about what fits under a tent and what doesn't. I know that I am having second thoughts on labeling my own fic based on the ways in which this discussion is going.

So whatever rules AO3 adopts are definitely going to alter the discourse around this issue. I don't think that's avoidable.

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feuervogel: photo of the statue of Victory and her chariot on the Brandenburg Gate (Default)

[personal profile] feuervogel 2010-04-10 10:17 pm (UTC)(link)
(via [personal profile] naraht)

There were a lot of questions I wanted to be able to choose both, honestly. Historical RPF about dead people could go either way, I think. I mean, is the Sharpe's Rifles series fanfic or original? It reads like original, though Cornwell is clearly a history fan. OTOH, EBear's Stratford Man duology reads kind of like Kit Marlowe/Shakespeare AU RPF (with a heavy dose of Arthurian myth-fic.)

So clearly, in some places, there's a huge grey area, while other things are fairly clear cut. (As of now, there are a handful of poll questions with 100% for one answer and 0 for the other, while the rest are split.)
dharma_slut: They call me Mister CottonTail (Default)

[personal profile] dharma_slut 2010-04-11 08:31 pm (UTC)(link)
How about the Flashman series?

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cheyinka: a spoof of an iPod ad, featuring a Metroid with iPod earbuds pressed against each of its 3 internal organs (iMetroid iScree)

[personal profile] cheyinka 2010-04-10 10:17 pm (UTC)(link)
For me the division is:
Does it involve someone else's (fictional) setting (even if it's an AU of that setting)?
Does it involve someone else's (fictional) characters (even if they aren't recognizable to some readers)?
Does it consciously imitate (or parody) someone else's writing style?
If at least one of those is "yes", it's fanfic.
(e.g. A story about King Cayleb Ahrmahk visiting San Antonio: fanfic. A story about my grandmother visiting Tellesberg Palace in Charis: fanfic, too. A story with my own characters and setting, but where I'm attempting to mimic David Weber's writing: also fanfic. Names alone won't do it, though, so despite the fact that I almost threw the book across the room when I finally realized what "Prince Nahrmahn Baytz" would sound like if I said it aloud, that doesn't make the Safehold series fanfic.)

I could really go either way for fairy tales / myths / religious stories. In my head if I think of the story as fictional it's fanfic and if I don't it's original fiction, which doesn't help anyone but me :D

Technically this excludes all RPF, unless RPF is really about someone's public persona, and thus sort of about a character? (I don't feel very strongly at all about excluding RPF from "fanfic". I just don't read it and so it's not part of my mental definition.)
naraht: (Default)

[personal profile] naraht 2010-04-10 10:25 pm (UTC)(link)
Technically this excludes all RPF, unless RPF is really about someone's public persona, and thus sort of about a character? (I don't feel very strongly at all about excluding RPF from "fanfic". I just don't read it and so it's not part of my mental definition.)

I can see that it may not be relevant to you whether RPF is excluded or not, and therefore you may not be particularly interested in crafting a definition that addresses those concerns. But I think it's worth pointing out that a definition like that is also going to end up excluding people (me among others) from fandom, to a greater or lesser extent. So if you don't feel strongly about it one way or another, it might be better to come up with a more inclusive definition.

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also:

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elke_tanzer: for the wuzzle wranglers! (AO3 Wuzzle Wrangler 3)

O.O

[personal profile] elke_tanzer 2010-04-10 10:25 pm (UTC)(link)
I threw my hands in the air at the poll, because I honestly don't care whether I think any of those things are fanfic or original... if the author says it's "fanfic", I'll believe them. I don't always believe authors claiming that something is "original" but it's not worth my energy to care much about it.

Enough transformative pro-published books exist in the world (some of which are oh so derivative) that any distinction I might try to make between "fanfic" and "original" is already blurred. If someone wants to claim that their work is completely non-transformative, then I figure they shouldn't want to post it to the AO3.

*helpless shrug*

But maybe I'm missing some crucial point in all of this.

*scurries back to tagwrangling, where things make more sense*
Edited (another attempt at clarity) 2010-04-10 22:26 (UTC)

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amyhit: Fall on me, black helicopter, you're all I see. (Default)

[personal profile] amyhit 2010-04-10 10:46 pm (UTC)(link)
i began doing this poll because i was bored. as i went through the questions i realized what a beneficial experience it was. if there's one thing this poll makes extremely clear (to me), it's that rationality only goes so far in the original fiction/fanfiction debate. also, that i myself am not nearly so clear on my own standards as i may have assumed i was. you've put these questions together very well.

thanks! it was all quite illuminating.
starlady: the OTW logo with text "fandom is my fandom" (fandom^2)

[personal profile] starlady 2010-04-10 10:56 pm (UTC)(link)
Why did you have to make me decide, ugh. P.S. I see you in there, High Wizardry, you can't hide!

I found myself mostly answering "original", which...not only goes against my principles but almost certainly comes out of the fact that I still define myself as someone who mainly writes original fic and dabbles in fanfic. (She says, even as she tinkers on her Holmes stories while her original novels languish.)

I would originally have said "no original fic", but I have very rapidly come around to the idea that more is more. Personally I think that as long as the policy states that the AO3 is not a self-publishing venue, there should be fairly loose rules. More like guidelines, really.

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cesy: "Cesy" - An old-fashioned quill and ink (Default)

[personal profile] cesy 2010-04-10 11:03 pm (UTC)(link)
Interestingly, there were several things that I marked as original, but that I would still count as part of fannish culture and that I would want to see on the AO3.
majoline: picture of Majoline, mother of Bon Mucho in Loco Roco 2 (Default)

[personal profile] majoline 2010-04-10 11:12 pm (UTC)(link)
Okay so I completely can't do this poll and I will tell you why - it's the building upon previous history.

If I work my way from the top, I put all of them in fanfiction. If I start at the bottom, most of them end up original fic.

I have a problem with this distinction anyway, because of my love of Shakespeare and mythology. Where is the line? Is there a line besides the one dictated by law and traditions?

If people want to participate in fandom and not make us pay, then they can play too.

I mean, where does the line end? I'm kinda leery still about living people but I kinda don't know if that's my only line considering I've been considering writing fannishly about my life.

(but I would love to read all of those examples! I think I recognize quite a few of them! Maybe later we could get the names?)
naraht: (Default)

[personal profile] naraht 2010-04-10 11:20 pm (UTC)(link)
(but I would love to read all of those examples! I think I recognize quite a few of them! Maybe later we could get the names?)

Another vote for the names here! Maybe with another poll, so we can compare our assessment of the actual fanworks to our assessment of the abstract situation.
amaresu: Vala standing to the right hand side looking disturbed (stargate-vala)

[personal profile] amaresu 2010-04-10 11:42 pm (UTC)(link)
I can't even answer most of these. I honestly don't know if they count as fanfic or original and I think my opinion would change pretty easily.

I think you're argument has been made.
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[personal profile] rainbow 2010-04-11 12:15 am (UTC)(link)
I found this via a link on my network page, and it's fascinating, and much more complicated than the definition of fanfic I'm familiar with from the 70s (which is simply a fan-written story based on another person's source material, ie using their characters, setting, etc.).

So I've tried answering from that perspective, but a few were hard because there weren't enough details, like the great-gm story -- is it a retelling of the story or playing in ggm's universe? The first I'd call original, the 2nd fanfic. Ditto lit mag. (And ditto the other questions re retellings of myths and traditional fairy tales, vs modern ones with a known author.)

Some questions weren't clear to me. Does "non-canon AU" mean non-canon AU of *someone else's source material* or one's own source material? First would be ff to me, 2nd would be orig.

Does "fandom characters" mean fictional characters, or does it mean people involved in fandom? If it's using other people's created characters, I'd call it ff.

Edited 2010-04-11 00:18 (UTC)

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elf: My icon (really) (My icon (really))

[personal profile] elf 2010-04-11 12:20 am (UTC)(link)
An AU story based around minor OCs from an AU of an AU of an AU that has since been thoroughly jossed!

You broke my brain.

I've seen AUs of AUs, but not 3rd-gen AUs, and not minor characters of those taken into their own AU. I WANT EXAMPLES.

Um. And I clicked "fanfic" on almost everything, and left a couple blank 'cos I'd have to think of it as case-by-case decisions (which means it'd be impossible to make a policy about it those).

I don't want AO3 to host "original fic." But I can't think of any way to phrase a "no original fic" policy that doesn't exclude some types of fanfic. You left out the various gamerfic categories... story of our party of adventurers in a published dungeon-crawl module? Story of the adventurers' time between adventures? AU story where characters that were written up but never actually played have adventures not actually possible in that gaming system, but using some elements of the gameworld? (It's like OC historical fic, only in a non-historical setting. How far from the published details is it allowed to get before it stops being fanficcish and becomes an original setting?)

I don't want someone making those judgment calls. Don't want anyone at AO3 having to decide, "gee, is this *really* some kind of fanfic, or is it original fic?" (And let's not think of how this nightmare connects to fanart, okay? How do you tell the difference between a picture of an OFC exchange student on her way to Hogwarts and one who's "just" an original-art modern witch on a broom?)

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sara: S (Default)

[personal profile] sara 2010-04-11 12:34 am (UTC)(link)
Chalk up another one for "can't do the poll."

*casts hands in air* I want a big archive for "not commercially intentioned fiction." Because I honestly think most of the noncommercial fiction I get online is better than the commercial fiction I can go buy in the store, and it goes places that aren't commercially viable and are more in keeping with my interests, ethics, and politics. And I think organizing noncommercial fiction under the benevolent umbrella of a nonprofit corporation is a good plan. And I honestly do not give a rat's ass where the characters are drawn from, because given how little TV I watch? Most of the fanfic I read might as well be original (I have spent many hours reading SG1 fic, frex; I have never yet watched an entire episode front-to-back).

Blargh. Also I would like a chocolate bar, a pony, and someone to come over and cook me dinner (unlikely, so I should probably go eat a chocolate bar and cook for my damn self).
sqbr: pretty purple pi (I like pi!)

[personal profile] sqbr 2010-04-11 02:48 am (UTC)(link)
But lots of fans sell their fanart and fanfic based on out-of-copyright works(*). Do you think they should be excluded from the archive?

(*)There's also parodies but they're less often coming from an explicitly fannish place

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[personal profile] lady_ganesh 2010-04-11 12:55 am (UTC)(link)
My answer to this poll is 'did the author call it fanfiction?' It is imperfect-- death of the author, weird legal issues and all-- but that is, honestly, the rule I think should be in place for the AO3. As a tag wrangler, what we've been told to do above all is respect the author's wishes, and I feel 'this is fanfic' is the same category. If you consider it fanwork, then yes, please put it on the AO3.

And related to this-- and something I em>have seen cropping up-- is that there is still no archiving available for fanvidders and fanartists, and as far as I'm concerned that should be the top priority over debating whether or not fully original works in any medium are allowed. For me, that's the real crux of the matter.
elf: OTW logo & text (OTW text)

[personal profile] elf 2010-04-11 01:07 am (UTC)(link)
no archiving available for fanvidders and fanartists, and as far as I'm concerned that should be the top priority

Well, yes. But.

To allow "original" works, the archive need do... nothing. Maybe create a canonical tag in "Other media" called "Original fiction" (which there may already be; I forget). The debate about original works takes no (specific) resources from the archive, although it may distract some coders & other participants. Since they're all volunteers, the claim can't (reasonably) be made, "they should be working on *this!* Not paying attention to *that!*"

To allow art & vids, code needs changes, servers need maybe expanding, and so on. I don't want that work to stop, but I can't see how the current debate impedes that goal at all.

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law_nerd: Alert German Shepherd Dog with big ears (Loco)

[personal profile] law_nerd 2010-04-11 01:10 am (UTC)(link)
Lovely bit of mental exercise ... thanks!

The only question that I found difficult to answer was: "A crossover where my original characters meet my friend's original characters!"

To me it depends on whether authors are collaborating (original fic) or one is written in response to the other (fanfic).
eleanorjane: The one, the only, Harley Quinn. (Default)

[personal profile] eleanorjane 2010-04-11 02:27 am (UTC)(link)
Augh, that poll broke my brain. I answered it, but I suspect if you asked me again in a week some of my answers might vary. I tend to be in favour of explicitly allowing all the edge cases, and allowing original fic written with fannish sensibilities.

Ugh. Grey areas, I do not like you! Please to be clarifying yourselves for me! *sigh*
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[personal profile] halfeatenmoon 2010-04-11 04:57 am (UTC)(link)
I've been following these debates a bit, and not commenting much, but something about your poll, and seeing RPF of living vs dead people right next to each other, made me think about the way historical fiction keeps coming up as a borderline case. Because my gut reaction was that historical RPF is original fic, and living people RPF is fanfic, but that flat-out doesn't make sense.

Historical RPF, more than music/actor/other living people RPF, is a place where I think fandom is defined by the community more than the source material. I'm barely even involved in historical RPF, but it seems like something that would be regarded by people outside of fandom as original fiction, but yet can rely on that fandom sense of community to be understood. It can have the fandom in-jokes, the discussion of canon, writers and beta-readers helping each other with canon nitpicking, everything that comes with writing fanfiction. I'm sure some historical RPF probably doesn't make sense to someone who isn't in fandom, because I'm sure some of it is written for a fandom audience. But I'm equally sure that some of it is probably completely comprehensible to someone who knows nothing about the fandom and reads like original, historical fiction.

It also raises some thoughts for me about how LJ/DW-based fandom seems to think of fanfiction as being about characters. I've been a part of fanfic-writing communities in other online spaces where it was just as common, and sometimes even the norm, to write fanfic that used only the setting of the canon we all liked, but telling stories with original characters. I can see that translating into historical fanfic as a particularly murky area. If you have a fannish community, a group of fans who are all fans of, I don't know, a particular part of history, and are all invested in the 'canon' of historical facts and like writing about them, I can see someone writing fanfic that has little to do with the 'canon characters', or features OCs or perhaps no characters at all, just to explore the time and place that makes up the 'setting' for that fandom. It would absolutely look like original fiction, because it has no 'canon' characters and isn't based in a made-up world, but to its audience, it's fanfic.

Hmmm. Long thoughts. I'm someone who's happy and actually eager to include people who write original fiction in fannish spaces, though I understand the aversion some people have in the case of AO3.
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[personal profile] lady_ganesh 2010-04-11 03:17 pm (UTC)(link)
Because my gut reaction was that historical RPF is original fic, and living people RPF is fanfic, but that flat-out doesn't make sense. Yeah, this debate has been interesting, because it really brought home how many assumptions I've made about work-- and how some of them are mine, some of them are norms I've absorbed, etc.

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