Thursday, October 22, 2009

"Get a life! It's just fan-fiction."

"Hey, folks, it's just fan-fiction; chill the [edited] out."

I've seen this on more than a few profiles. The author(esse)s spout this phrase to justify any and all things, because, after all: "it's just fan-fiction."

Yes, I know: "it's just fan-fiction," but one conforms to what one reads and what one writes, and the author(esse)s that thoughtlessly write this dismissive motto, I believe, have not looked deeply into the meaning of the words they write.

"It's just fan-fiction." So I can write about rape or coerced or forced abortion callously or even gleefully, says the author(ess).

"It's just fan-fiction." So I can murder an annoying character, says the author(ess).

"It's just fan-fiction." So I can proxy racist or sexist language, says the author(ess).

"It's just fan-fiction." But the author(ess) has written those words, and the author(ess) has thought those thoughts.

But "it's just fan-fiction" so there's no accountability to those words, and I, the reader, who take their meaning seriously need to get a life.


It may be "just fan-fiction," but, silly me, I can't read stories that treat characters as objects or ends. Au contraire, I prefer to read and to write "just fan-fiction" that encourages me to think about things more than "just fan-fiction."

But that's just me, silly me, a bear with little brain, and, after all, it's "just fan-fiction," isn't it?

Or is it? Are you writing "just fan-fiction"? Or are you writing literature? Are you indulging in gratuitous ... whatever ... or are you writing about something that make you laugh so hard you cry, or cry so hard you [well, in my case, cry more] have to laugh at yourself. Are you writing "just fan-fiction" that encourages our girls to think of themselves as just objects in order to receive any love at all ("Oh, in the fanfics I read Edward sexes Bella all the time, so for my BF to like me I have to put out")? Maybe you can write "just fan-fiction" where the girl is the heroine? Where the reader sees [predominately] herself as a person of worth and with self-worth: as a writer or poet or Amelia Earhart or Jane Austen or Bella Swan or ... herself ... the person nobody else can be: a person of value, a lovable person on her own terms, just as she is.

Nah! Who am I kidding? After all: "it's just fan-fiction" so I should just get a life.

Or is my getting a life the point at all? Ever?

If somebody reads my fanfic, and they not only get a life, but they ...

... start writing their own essays and stories?

... start seeing hope in their bleak work-a-day world?

and they ...

... stop thinking themselves as a victim of ... something ...

and they ...

... don't take their own life ... what's the worth of that?

Is the point of your fanfic for me to get a life?

I hope so.

I sincerely hope that your fanfic is so compelling, so touching, so meaningful, that I find, in it, a reason to keep breathing where I had no reason before.

Just fan-fiction? Yes. But it also can be Art, it also can be Literature.

For someone, it can be more than "just fan-fiction."

That all depends on you, my dear author(esse)s.

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