Yes, we all know writing is a solitary pastime, however we do need to connect with others writers from time to time. In this virtual age many of us have connections across countries as well as in our own place in the world. This is achieved with local writing groups or through the wonders of the internet.
With our imposed isolation those precious moments of physical connection have been extinguished for the time being and ‘virtual’ has become the norm. We have all seen the virtual book readings, book launches and promotions. The greatest thing as far as I am concerned are the growing number of virtual writing groups.
I have such a group, who link up on Sunday’s for three hours of writing. We can see each other and there is a brief hello and details of what project we are tackling. Then it is heads down and write! At the end we report on progress and feel accomplished. We may not be ‘together’ but we are!
The added benefit is that we are accountable and that drives us to write. No matter the circumstances there is always a way to stay connected.
The definition of fan fiction or fanfiction is stories created by fans of original works of fiction rather than the original creator. Since the advent of the Internet it has become a popular form of fan labor. It is not commissioned or usually authorized by the original work’s creator or publisher, and is rarely professionally published but rather qualifies under ‘fair use’. Attitudes differ by the original authors and copyright owners of these original works to fan fiction ranging from indifference to encouragement to rejection. Copyright owners have occasionally responded with legal action.The term “fan fiction” came into use in the 20th century.
Fan fiction is both related to its subject’s canonical fictional universe and simultaneously existing outside it. Most fan fiction writers work is primarily read by other fans, such as Spockanalia (1967) based on Star Trek, which was mailed to other fans or sold at science fiction conventions. It is interesting to know that women dominated fan fiction initially in 1970 by 83% and increasing to 905 in 1973. Due to the accessibility of the Internet it is estimated fab fiction comprises one third of all content in regards to books. In 1998 the site Fanfiction.Net came online allowing anyone to upload any fandome content onto it’s not-for-profit platform. This practice came to be known as ‘pulling-to-publish’. In 2013 Amazon.com established Kindle Worlds enabling certain licensed media properties to be sold in their kindle store. The terms included 35% of net sales for 10,000 word plus or 20% for short fiction from 5,000 – 10,000 words but with restrictions on content, copyright and poor formatting.
Around 1960-1970 in Japan dōjinshi began appearing where independently published manga and novels, (known as dōjinshi), were frequently published by dōjin circles. Many were based on existing manga, anime, and video game franchises.
Today there are a multitude of fan fiction internet sites for all sorts of genres from comic heroes to romantic couples to TV shows. It is a growing ‘genre’ and a vehicle for many authors to showcase their work.
This is my blog’s 4th anniversary on WordPress so of course, I wanted to celebrate. With some help from a great friend, I have a new banner, which displays my published books (so far!).
What do you think of it?
When the next four are finished/completed/ published, I will have to re-think the banner for sure.
My blog has grown over the last four years with numerous followers and commenters and a wealth of information and fun. I love the connections I make through this medium – writers from all over the world. People I would never have the pleasure of ‘meeting’ in any other way. Proof of these connections are the number of flags I have managed to collect on my flag counter, which gives me a real kick when I see another one added. (I know I’m a kid, but it makes me happy. For example I just purchased 3 Minion soft toys to hang near my writing desk – never underestimate the power of a smile.)
My blog has developed over the years and I have maintained and updated it as my experience and body of work has increased. It is my own personal showcase in many ways and I am honored so many of you share it with me. None of us know what the future holds but I hope to continue developing this blog and connecting with more of you. Sharing our writing journey is a wonderful way to support and encourage each other.
“Blogging is a communications mechanism handed to us by the long tail of the Internet.” Tom Foremski
“Don’t focus on having a great blog. Focus on producing a blog that’s great for your readers.” Brian Clark
Today’s prompt is – What quote would you devise to sum up your feelings about your blog?
There is an added bonus to writing fiction – we delve into places, careers, hobbies, technology and scientific areas that we would otherwise not come into contact with. To enable us to write with confidence and ensure that the story holds true to reality (to some extent – sci-fi and fantasy are exceptions of course). We cannot write blindly about something totally foreign to us and expect our readership not to call us up on its inconsistencies or discrepancies. As with most authors and writers, our internet search results could be viewed with suspicion, or abject horror in some cases! Thorough research, however, should not be solely gathered from the internet (it isn’t always 100% accurate, shocking I know!). It is best to also utilize library resources, interview people, or even travel to locations, if at all possible. These are all fundamentally more rewarding and can give us more indepth information and insights. Some of which gives us a more realistic viewpoint on the subject and vital details to give our narrative authenticity.
In my novel, The Twesome Loop, the basic theme was reincarnation. This is a subject I researched and read about for many years during my nursing career (long story I shall not go into now). Because of that personal knowledge, I was able to reflect how souls meet again and again and also what it feels like to become another version of yourself. Here’s a previous post to explain that last part – https://mandyevebarnett.com/2014/01/20/reincarnation-fact-or-fiction/)
My current work in progress, Willow Tree Tears, centers around barrel racing, something I have seen only once. So obviously, I needed to study the way the courses have developed over time, the type of horses used and what the women who race are like. After finishing my first draft I was particularly upset to see a TV preview for Rodeo Girls – a so called reality show. The truth is, after contacting a couple of professional barrelracing organizations, the show is far from the truth and has been Hollywoodised! In fact, the women I discussed this with were extremely angry with the portrayal of rodeo women on the show. This tempered my fears some what that my novel was inaccurate, as my heroine is a down to earth young woman, with great determination and love of the ranching life.
What ‘new’ discovers have you found when researching your novels?
I read this blog piece a few days ago http://tatterhoodblog.com/2014/03/16/siri/ , which resonated with me on many levels. We are fortunate to have the ability to connect with people from all over the world with the click of a button. Barring time differences we can speak face to face with them as well as converse via various technologies unthought-of in quite recent history. Technology can be a burden but also a gift. Personally, I have met other writers from as far away as America and Warsaw, to name just two. People I would never have met any other way. The American writer posted on a non-writing site and our reponses to a topic were so familiar we began emailing each other. After several months, we found out our lives were mirrors of each other’s life experiences. This culminated in us visiting each ‘homes and becoming firm friends. We call each Soul Sister. The young woman from Warsaw, blogged how she felt alone in her writing, this was a call I could not ignore, so responded with a membership to my writers group as we have virtual as well as local members. www.wfscsherwoodpark.com She has since managed to publish her work and enjoys the connection with other writers. This is the positive side of the internet, as well as research possibilities for anything under the sun, we care to find out about. Our curiosity for knowledge can be satisfied with almost no effort at all.
However, not all connections can become physical ones and that is the shame of the internet. We cannot jump on a ‘plane at the drop of a hat in order to travel to far away countries to visit these contacts, for the most part. Our ‘relationships’ are limited to short conversations and ‘funny’ facebook posts. In short it is not a’ true’ friendship with shared experiences but that being said, still important connections for a host of reasons.
Do we hold these ‘virtual’ relationships above physical ones though? Are we so wrapped up in them that we do not connect with those around us?
How many of you open a conversation in a coffee shop, on a train or bus, even in the food store? People around us are as interesting as those on the computer screen. Has technology taken this ability away? I remember watching my Mother striking up conversations with complete strangers all the time. As a shy child I found this alarming but as I grew up I realized without human contact, we become isolated in a crowd.
We should not be afraid to connect with people – everyone has an interesting story to share after all. Who knows it might be a story idea.
What has been your experience with internet contacts?