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Mar. 13th, 2012

Fanfiction, Writing, and Omnific Publishing

I write fanfiction.

It's not exactly something I'm ashamed of, although if you asked me in real life and I didn't know you all that well, I would probably deny it. It's not because I'm ashamed of my “goofy-ass hobby” (to paraphrase someone on Fandom!Secrets a while back), it's because to be honest, it really is just a hobby for me. It's something I do for the lulz and to exercise my creative side (in my current line of work, and what I'm going into once I get a degree, there's really not a lot of freedom to be creative). And depending on what the hypothetical relationship between us is, I might have other reasons for denying it. I'm not about to tell my boss or my coworkers about my hobbies- that's none of their concern, and besides, I know them well enough to know that they probably wouldn't approve. Since it's not something I make income on, it's just a way for me to blow off steam, I don't really feel like anyone but me needs to know about it.

I am not delusional, I know I'm not going to make tons of money if I just decided to write something original. And, if I may be blunt, I don't really want to publish my original fiction- most of it I don't even publish online at all. To me, my original fiction is more personal, and a lot of it I wrote during more difficult times in my life, and the content really kind of reflects that.

But this is just my own personal opinion. I know that plenty of people write fanfiction to practice to get better with their original fiction, because their end goal is to become a published writer. That is perfectly fine. I am not the Grand High Poohbah of Other People's Business. If your end-goal is to become a published writer, more power to ya. In fact, let me know if you do get something published so I can read it- I like to read good books. If your whole purpose for writing is just for fun, that's great too- welcome to the club. I don't even mind if you enter your fic in a charity auction (like Fandom Helps- last March they did an auction for tsunami relief in Japan)- that's a good way to get fic you want AND to help out people in need. Even though the legality of it is a bit questionable, it's not like anyone other than a complete psychopathic copyright lawyer would care that money was made on fanworks, especially since the writer doesn't get to keep any of the money they make.

What I do have a problem with is repackaging fanfiction to be sold as original fiction, with a few minor tweaks.

I am not talking about official licensed tie-ins. My father has about ninety billion sci-fi books based on Star Trek in the house, using Star Trek characters. All of these books were approved by the official franchise, even though technically a lot of them started out as fanfiction.

What I am talking about is things like Omnific Publishing. At first blush it appears to be your standard self-publishing company- there's a lot of those, you can even do it with Amazon. And from my experience a lot of self-published books tend to be utter crap (there's a reason major publishers like Simon&Shuster and Penguin Books make you get an editor), there are some really good ones out there. So what's the problem? Yeah, they might come up with some lousy books, but then again, that's par for the course in self-publishing, as well as mainstream publishing. I've read terrible self-published books, and I've read terrible mainstream published books. One more self-publishing company isn't spelling the END OF BOOKS AS WE KNOW THEM.

But if you do a little digging online you find that this company got its start professionally publishing fanfiction. (Please note that the above links are all to different social media sites- JournalFen, Livejournal, and Absolute Write, and include information from anons, so not everything may be entirely correct). Which is basically putting a big sign up over your stuff that says “SUE US PLEASE.”

I really dislike how certain individuals and organizations go overboard with regards to copyright infringement. The RIAA once tried to sue LimeWire for more money than exists in the world (several trillion, the worldwide GDP is about $1.4 trillion [USD]). People writing fanfiction is not going to cause the Apocalypse. But even I recognize that there are some things that are over the line, and mooching someone's intellectual property, messing with it a bit, and then trying to claim it as your own is dodgy, to say the least. At my university, if you try to do that with regards to academic work, you literally get put on trial in front of the Honor Society, and if you're found guilty, they'll expel you.

Honestly, though, I don't really care if a few arrogant fangirls get smacked down with copyright law for trying to make money on their fanfiction. What worries me about this is that this could potentially bring fanfiction into the mainstream public eye. I'm not saying that to sound like hipster, either- it could cause serious problems for people who just want to play in the sandbox for their own entertainment, so to speak. I write a lot of fanfiction, and I do it for fun, because I love the worlds and characters. I'm not trying to make money off of it, and neither is anyone else I know who writes fanfiction. But considering what's happened in the past when butthurt people get wind of stuff like this (see:SOPA), I have a feeling that this could eventually blow up into a clusterfuck of epic proportions, culminating in some seriously damaging lawsuits. And then those of us who just want to do our hobby in peace could find ourselves in some expensive legal trouble.

It sets a dangerous precedent, I think. If the enemies of free speech and expression can make a convincing case for “hey look, these people are stealing shit and making money on it,” we could eventually start to lose more and more rights, and what we'd taken for granted since the Internet's inception could come crashing down around us.

I am not saying this to be a doomsayer or a conspiracy theorist. I'm just saying that you might want to keep an eye on this sort of thing, and take steps to protect yourself. All I'll say here is that it might be a good idea to back your stuff up and make sure everything is disclaimed to infinity and beyond. It probably wouldn't protect you in a court of law, but it might offer some measure of security for a time.

Feb. 15th, 2011

The Programmed Boy, chapter 2

The Programmed Boy
Rating: Whole thing NC-17, this chapter PG-13
Warnings for this chapter: Sexual innuendo, some ideologically sensitive material

Part One

Read more... )

Mrs. Urbonienė is loosely based on my great-grandmother. She liked to mess with people by speaking Lithuanian when she didn't want them to understand her. Mrs. Smith is important... she's... not my favorite character to write, though. Mrs. Yaxley is just your average nosy old lady.

Also, if you're wondering what Mrs. Urbonienė says to Mrs. Smith, it roughly translates to "By all means. But you won't be able to do it." It's been a while since I spoke/heard Lithuanian regularly and I've largely forgotten it.

Jan. 24th, 2011

The Programmed Boy, Chapter 1

The Programmed Boy

Rating: Whole Thing NC-17, this chapter PG-13

Warnings for whole story: Language, explicit sexual content, violence

Warnings for this chapter: Language; cute, shy, anatomically correct computer boys.

Summary: Sherman Lewis is the world's youngest (and crankiest!) computer science professor. DATACLICK (Digital Android Telecom Appliance Created to Launch and Initiate Coded Kernel) is the world's first fully functional android, created by a team of Sherman's students for a project. Can the adorably naïve android soften the angry professor's heart?

I got the idea for this particular story quite a long time ago. I'd had several drafts originally, but never really got anywhere with them. Here we are, now, with the Computer Boy Saga, part 1! He's adorable, isn't he?  I want one.

Jan. 18th, 2011

ATTENTION: Original Fic has MOVED!

I came to the decision today that putting my original fiction in with the rest of my blog, with the personal status updates and essays and articles was a bad idea, so it's been moved to a Livejournal account. I've always despised the Livejournal interface, but I'm slowly getting more used to it as I've been using it to read some fanfiction not available anywhere else, and I no longer harbor a pathological hatred towards it. So... yeah. Moving the fic.

I'm not shutting this blog down, though- this will remain my personal/essay blog. Feel free to stop by if you want!

Dec. 19th, 2010

Lifestyles of the Bored and Disenfranchised, part 1

Lifestyles of the Bored and Disenfranchised, Chapter One

Rating: R

Warnings: Language, minor ideologically sensitive material

Pairings: m/f, m/m

Summary: An unexpected event throws together six extremely different people, resulting in complex relationships between them all- some friendships, some romantic entanglements, and some enmity.Read more... )

Chapter One



This started out as a simple character study, and became a full-on original fiction. It's kind of boring now, but that's because you have to understand these characters for it to really make sense. Anyway, I'll probably update this again before Christmas.

Nov. 18th, 2010

Bottled Fairy

Poor Flurry. What he thought would be a routine food-gathering mission turns into something much steamier when he gets captured by two curious humans.

Rating: NC-17/R18/Adult
Warnings: Microphilia, kinda-dubcon, m/m/m

This was inspired by a picture I saw on the yaoi board of a certain website. It was of a small fairy, getting fucked by a Q-tip. It made me feel like a creeper for liking it, but it was too damn hot to ignore, and then this idea came into my head. I started writing this at 3:00 PM. It is now 10:15 PM. Except for a break to go to class and grab some food, I've been working on it since then. I probably should have been studying for finals which are coming up really soon, but whatever. Hopefully you enjoyed.

Now I'm going to sleep so I can haul my ass out of bed for 9:00 AM class.

Nov. 11th, 2010

Help Desk

Reason #1110 that you ought to have at least a faint idea of what you're calling about when you call tech support.

Rating: PG

The other old original fic that was up on my old Blogger account before it crapped out on me. Loosely based on true events.

The Machine Woman's Letter To Her Victim

Copying the other two original fictions I had up on the Blogger account before it locked me out- they're still publicly accessible, but I can't get in to fix formatting errors. Also has been partially re-written.

Rating: R
Warnings: Mature sexual themes, violence


Yeah. I don't really remember why I wrote this. It's definitely not the best thing I've ever written, but I'm fond of it all the same. Actually, this was sort of the basis for my Kuroshitsuji fanfiction That Butler, Cybernetic, only obviously that story is very different. But this is the idea that gave rise to that one, so there you go.