Acclaimed SF writer Charles Stross has posted an essay on the perspective-problem in fiction writing:
"Conjugate Characters, Not Verbs"
Authors and would-be authors take note: Stross analyzes one of the most difficult stylistic issues ANY writer can come up against. I wholeheartedly recommend his essay.
And now for something completely different...
I love satire and parody, but I don't like "fan-fiction". I think it's a ******* immature thing to do. Grownups should not write fanfiction; if they are so ******* eager to be writers, they can ******* make up their own original ******* characters.
And now I read about this sad, sad, sad, sad... sad person who not only wrote her own fan-fiction novel set in the STAR WARS universe... but also published it on Amazon.com.
Someone called it an act of "weapons-grade stupidity". That pretty much sums it up, no?
Why do these things happen? I like to think that people are, on the whole, fairly sane. But apparently insanity can strike anyone, at any time. There you are, walking down the street with a clear eye and a sharp mind... and POW! you fall and hit your head.
When you wake up, dazed and confused, you find yourself possessed by a single hypnotizing notion: "I am INSPIRED! I must write a fan-fiction novel and readers will love it because I am so INSPIRED!"
Do not confuse "obsessed" with "inspired".
And don't even try to defend yourself with Special Pleading: "Yeah, of course I know about copyright and all that... but MY fanfic is different! It's as good as the original, in fact!" (Yadda yadda...)
1. Robin Hobb explains why she is opposed to fanfiction.
2. A huge discussion about fanfiction over at Making Light.