Sunday, August 14, 2016

Fan-fiction writers can't help wondering what if?; Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 8/14/16

Atiya Irvin-Mitchell, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette; Fan-fiction writers can't help wondering what if? :
"What if Harry Potter’s parents lived? What if Spock and Captain Kirk were in love? What if Joan of Arc was a woman of color hearing the voice of God in 21st-century New York instead of 15th-century France?
For readers and writers, there is a place made up of such what ifs — fan fiction.
Although fan fiction today is filled with tales of vampires and wizards, the practice of writing new stories featuring familiar characters predates them as well as copyright laws. The term was coined in 1939 but is believed to have existed centuries before...
The fan-fiction world is a space uniquely dominated by women, LGBTQ people, people of color and individuals for whom those identities overlap. They say that the publishing world is dominated by white, heterosexual, able-bodied and cisgendered people.
“There’s next to no good queer representation in media,” Ms. Schmitt, 20, complained. “The reason why fan fic is used to talk about queer representation is because writers start so young and they’re disappointed in not seeing themselves. ... It’s a way of taking control.”"

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