Wednesday, October 13, 2004

Fan Fiction

I went to Books/ Lord of the Rings and found three authors whose writing I enjoyed. Here are the pen names, URLs, and descriptions of one of each of their stories.

Lord of the Rings

1) Chaos Chao,
Bilbo escaped the clutches of his neighbors and relatives at the very end of his 111th birthday...see his adventures on his way to Rivendell, and the new friend he meets on the way...(a VERY original character btw) FYI, Leggy and Gimmi and Aragon cameos!

2) Dimfuin,
Character study on Faramir: After Faramir and Eowyn have been married for 14 years, she dies suddenly and Faramir is thrown headlong into what is, was, and might be. Join me as we ride an emotional rollercoaster with our favorite hero...

3) Hollyshort111,
ok so what would happen if there were 4 people tracking the orcs? well this is what i think would happen the 3 friends meet some one they did not expect to meet and they meet Legolas's long lost sibling oh just read to find out more R&R

Here is the URL to my piece that I wrote to LOTR. I had a lot of fun with this. Let me know what you think:

Why is fan fiction so popular?

It's a good question why fan fiction is so popular. I enjoyed reading the writings especially about LOTR, but would I take the time to write my piece if it wasn't an assignment? I don't know that I would. It was fun and helped bring out bring out the creative part in me, but I may not be the audience that fan fiction is looking for. I believe that fan fiction is popular because there are a lot of aspiring writers out there and what would be a better way to get some feedback and new ideas?

Another reason it may be popular is the chance that a writer feels that they may be discovered. For example, I was talking to Preston and John at the dinner on Thursday night and we were talking about Jibjab. The guys created their first production "This Land is Your Land" and it became so successful they appeared on Jay Leno, created another production, and now I understand they have been given a contract to create a feature film movie. People put in money to win the lottery, why not put in your submission on fan fiction? =). I know not a great analogy but it is what I have now.

Now how can these factors be harnessed to improve formal instructional uses of technology? If I am an English teacher, why not recommend to my students to submit to fan fiction. There may be some liabilities here, but initially I think it would be a good idea. Another idea may be to have a grade school or university create their own fan fiction with a prize for the winners. Let the teachers give constructive feedback because they will not flame the students.

I wonder if this same model could be applied to MIT's OpenCourseWare? How about a place where university teachers could submit their writings or examples for their classes? Would teachers be willing to do this? Or if MIT created a mirrored site where content could be submitted and reviewed by other teachers. MIT, USU, Rice and the other universities in the consortium could all submit their writings or have classes linked together. Teachers from other universities could submit theirs and make comments. I am sure this is nothing new to you David, but I wonder if a site like this has potential.

In summary, this has been a fun week learning about, reading, and writing to fan fiction. I am excited to know that my first fiction has been published!


Blogger HLeary said...

I liked your fanfiction story, it was great! It was amazing while looking over fanfiction to find so many people who could add little stories like yours. I am not a great creative writer, but I found that reading others writings started to open up my mind to creativity. I like you idea of having a place for teachers to submite writing ideas. Have you seen Tapped In? It isn't exactly what you are talking about, but an interesting site for educational professionals anyway.

October 17, 2004 at 6:33 PM  
Blogger bhchia said...

hi wader,

sorry. I don't read fan fics, so i did not read yours, but i do take your insights seriously.

you suggested applying this fan fic approach to higher education institutions like MIT’s open courseware, and have faculty peer review each other. But I don’t think that works because of a variety of reasons. First, not all institutions are like MIT and openly share their content. The dirty little secret about most faculty in universities around the world is that their own course materials are probably made up of bits and pieces from other people’s work. Yes, copyright and plagiarism even at the professor level. And even if there were faculty who were 100% original, would they be willing to put their work open to scrutiny to the world? there are only so many Dave wileys who don’t care about image (flip-flops) and take criticisms like taking a snack… how would it look on their resume to see their course compared to another and have it look pathetically weak? How many brave faculty you know will want to take this risk?

Just my 2 cents. Also, like heather said, tappedin is quite an interesting site. Basically supercharged chatroom... should check it out.


October 17, 2004 at 9:58 PM  
Blogger David said...

"I believe that fan fiction is popular because there are a lot of aspiring writers out there and what would be a better way to get some feedback and new ideas?"

Do you really think that all the people writing fanfic are aspiring writers looking to publish something? I can't believe its that simple...

Nice writing!

November 8, 2004 at 8:49 PM  
Blogger Wader said...

David, it's not as simple as that, but I would venture to say the majority do. Other reasons may be peer recognition, a creative outlet (worked for me), or simply interest in the media like (LOTR).

November 9, 2004 at 7:38 AM  

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