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View Full Version : All fic is AU. Discuss.



Major Clanger
April 27th, 2004, 10:43 AM
What's your opinion? Should we write/read fic at all? What about the stuff that veers so much from Canon that it's hardly recognisable as Stargate?

As a writer, do you feel vindicated when an idea you had (and/or wrote) turns up as a plot (point) in a later series? Or is it annoying?

And, the big one: why do you write/read fic?

Skydiver
April 27th, 2004, 03:41 PM
i get a kick out of it when an idea of mine shows up. Like the Imagers from Smoke and Mirrors....i had that idea three years ago or more.

I consider it a compliment if an idea i have shows up in the show, to me it's a bit of an affirmation that maybe my interpretation of the characters isn't that horribly off from the show.

as to why i write....well i like sam. i like to explore more than the superficial stuff the show gives us.

when i first found fic, it annoyed me that there was a distinct lack of sam fic out there, so that's why i started to write

ShadowMaat
April 30th, 2004, 07:50 PM
Fic is gonna happen regardless of whether or not it "should". I have no problem with the idea of fics- it's a great outlet, it helps you develop your writing skills, gives you some possible insight into characters, etc- but I do feel that some people abuse the privilege. What I find particularly offensive are deathfics. And by "deathfic" I mean a fic written for the express purpose of killing off a character, not as a way of creating drama or a relevant plot point or to explore the surviving characters, but for the sheer spiteful purpose of making a character dead. I think it's sick and not a little disturbing that some people could feel so strongly about a FICTIONAL character that they not only wish him/her to be dead, but will go to great lengths to describe HOW he/she should die.

Speaking more generally, I don't read a lot of fics because first of all, I'm extremely anal about things like grammar. Seeing some of the atrocities performed on the English language (barring folks who have a genuine reason for poor skills) makes me cringe. I also can't stand to see characters acting in ways I consider to be "out of character". I want my fics to be as true to canon as possible.

If any of MY ideas ever showed up on the show, I think I'd be deeply disturbed. ;) But once the shock (and paranoia) wore off, I'd be kinda pleased. I'd see it as my idea being "good enough" for the show rather than, "Hey! Those @$#% ripped me off!" Not that I'd actually think of it as MY idea. Nifty coincidence, maybe, and fun to think of it as "mine", but in reality I know that coincidences of that nature happen all the time. *shrug* That's Hollywood for ya. hehe.

Skydiver
May 1st, 2004, 09:52 AM
they're very much nifty coincidences. I wrote a fic in a zine that bears a bit of a resemblance to Death Knell (just in a basic similar plot way) but i know full well there's no way in hades anyone from the show even saw it. Just a case of GMTA.

with people using the imagers to immitate other folks, well that's a gimme idea, you can't create a device like those and never have them used again unless you go out of your way to destroy them. It's like sarc's showing up in fic, the show placed these devices in the universe, it's not a huge leap to think that anyone will never use them again.

xathras
May 1st, 2004, 01:36 PM
Just a case of GMTA.
OT: What does GMTA mean?

In the sense that fic is by definition not cannon, then yes all fic is AU. Should people read/ write it? Reading it doesn't hurt anyone, and at worst is a waste of time. Writing it also seems mostly harmless (with the exception of hate-fic: sad, and real-people-fic: downright creepy) and could help folks improve their writing or get the feedback they need to show their work to a wider audience.

ShadowMaat
May 1st, 2004, 01:44 PM
OT: What does GMTA mean?.

Great Minds Think Alike.

I've written a couple of very fluffy fics involving real people, but it was strictly for parodying purposes and had them acting wildly out of character. I'll admit, though, most real people fics are best left alone (or even unwritten) and one or two of mine probably kinda pushed the limits. *shrug*

Nolamom
May 1st, 2004, 03:20 PM
I have to admit though, Shadow - your fics are always a fun read! :)
Nola

ShadowMaat
May 1st, 2004, 03:45 PM
I have to admit though, Shadow - your fics are always a fun read! :)

Only if you're a sick, demented little freak like me. ;)

Skydiver
May 1st, 2004, 06:09 PM
real person fic is spooky...so is bashing death fic.

closest i've ever come and ever will come to real person fic is the wormhole extreme fic where sg-1 goes to wormcon and meets the actors...and some real fans show up in the fic.

but all of these fans sent me thier anecdotes and gave permission to have cameos, that was part of what made it fun

angsty_otaku
May 2nd, 2004, 07:47 AM
most fan fic are created to be add-ons to the show and thus stay as canon as possible. it helps create the feeling that the fic is a part of the stargate universe as the readers know it. the reason i like writers like Badgergater is because her stories are believable. the essense of the characters are captured, what we read in the fiction is almost like what we'd see in the show.

there are fics out there where characters are obscenely out of character...like extreme jack and sam jealousy where jack goes and gets drunk everytime he sees sam with another guy. the ones where sam weeps uncontrolably *sp* at the sight of jack with another women and then must resign immediately. and in jack/sam or janet/dan or any other ship fic for that matter...the type of thigns the "lovers" say...some of the ship fic that i've read are just major cliches from plot to lines...things that the characters would never say in any situation. there are the ones where the entire sgc is trying to pair up sam and jack. or the ones where daniel is the source of every bad thing that happens to the team. it's just not believable...

was i way of with this answer? >.< sorry >.<

ShadowMaat
May 2nd, 2004, 08:08 AM
most fan fic are created to be add-ons to the show and thus stay as canon as possible.

They may stay as canon as possible, but they still haven't actually happened on the show so it can't be canon, itself. It's still AU. ;)


was i way of with this answer?

Not at all. That's one of the reasons I avoid shippy fic like the plague. I'm not a shippy person anyway, but the atrocities performed on characterization by a majority of shipfic just boggles my mind. Some of them are as bad as deathfics- speaking strictly in terms of the gaps in logic, the mental contortions and the flat-out contrivedness of it all which get used in order for the characters to do what the writers want them to do.

And no, I'm not saying ALL shipfic is bad. I know there are some excellent authors out there. But there is a LOT of shipfic and not all authors are... careful about keeping the characters relatively in canon. Although if you really want to get technical, the problem isn't related strictly to shipfic. There's a lot of genfic out there that exhibits the same problem.


or the ones where daniel is the source of every bad thing that happens to the team.

Been reading some of my fics? ;) Nah, hopefully I'm not that bad, unless I'm parodying situations.

Sparki101
May 2nd, 2004, 09:53 AM
Yeah. I wouldn't say that you MUST read fic though. Saying that, I avoid all titled AU's and crossovers unless the author has a very strong line of arguement and reasoning throughout the story.
I don't really see the point of AU's, becaue the writer can get away with anything and can reason it on the fact that's it written in an Alternative Universe.
Writing true to the storyline and characterisation of Stargate takes more skill and discipline.

Seeing as I am in the process of writing my first fic, I don't have alot of my ideas come up in Stargate. I imagine I would be annoyed if they took my original idea and then carrying on my storyline into something that I didn't like.

I read Fic cos I can and I want to. :)

KatG
May 2nd, 2004, 01:23 PM
Fanfic is fun. It's an opportunity to close a scene or fix something that you felt was lacking. I read fic that is canon, and fic that isn't. The only thing that bothers me is when the characters act completely out of character from how you believe the character would act in that situation. (if that makes any sense).

I also enjoy AU fic. Even co-wrote one. The fun with AU fic is that you can take the characters out of character because you change the dynamics that make them who they are. For instance the Sam from the AU in POV couldn't imagine joining the AF, while our Sam couldn't imagine not joining. What made the difference? What was the defining moment that made the paths separate? These same "what if" questions make for numerous scenarios in AU fic and can be quite fun to play with.

mathpiglet
April 29th, 2011, 05:19 PM
I enjoyed reading this thread from way back in 2004.

s09119
April 29th, 2011, 05:23 PM
I enjoyed reading this thread from way back in 2004.

Don't you love stuff like that?

WraithRichard
April 29th, 2011, 05:24 PM
Fanficing stuff is not new. Even stuff that messes with the previous stuff.

mathpiglet
April 29th, 2011, 05:25 PM
Don't you love stuff like that?


I do. You find all kinds of fun stuff when you go looking. You see people who seemed so interested and then only posted a few times. I always wonder what made them decide to stop posting.

WraithRichard
April 29th, 2011, 05:32 PM
I do. You find all kinds of fun stuff when you go looking. You see people who seemed so interested and then only posted a few times. I always wonder what made them decide to stop posting.

To be honest, I've considered it after a long lull, but you guys always post something interesting and/or hilarious to draw me back.

s09119
April 29th, 2011, 05:35 PM
It's easy to lose momentum with fanfiction. If all your early reviews are "Meh" to "Dumb," why would you want to keep writing for that audience?

WraithRichard
April 29th, 2011, 05:42 PM
It's easy to lose momentum with fanfiction. If all your early reviews are "Meh" to "Dumb," why would you want to keep writing for that audience?

Or, as many of my fandoms have, you run out of people to talk to. The thing become isolated and stagnant and boring.

SF_and_Coffee
April 29th, 2011, 11:27 PM
I hope SG never becomes stagnant and boring!

thekillman
April 30th, 2011, 02:59 AM
i love to see the brain children (more like brain civilization) of the Gateworld Fleets make it to Stargate. ranging from the Nomad project (ships sent out by earth to "seed" subspace buoys to speed up first contact and explore galaxies further away) which bears resemblance to Destiny and it's seedships, to the Drones and their resemblance of the Swarm(machine species made to fight a war from one side. eventually they adapted to their failsafe, and overcame their masters and continued their programming)



i love fanfic because it offers great food for thought.

WraithRichard
April 30th, 2011, 07:05 AM
i love to see the brain children (more like brain civilization) of the Gateworld Fleets make it to Stargate.
i love fanfic because it offers great food for thought.

If fanfic is food for thought, my food probably leaves a bad taste in one's mouth.

thekillman
April 30th, 2011, 08:50 AM
i don't know.

S09's food is what nurtures my brain when i crave for stargate

mathpiglet
April 30th, 2011, 12:02 PM
It's easy to lose momentum with fanfiction. If all your early reviews are "Meh" to "Dumb," why would you want to keep writing for that audience?

Hmmm. That's true.


Or, as many of my fandoms have, you run out of people to talk to. The thing become isolated and stagnant and boring.

This place is huge with an enormous number of posters! I don't think you will run out of people to talk to for ages!


I hope SG never becomes stagnant and boring!

Three series with many years of episodes. It should continue for a long time yet. Many people may still become fans even without new episodes airing.

WraithRichard
April 30th, 2011, 03:20 PM
Three series with many years of episodes. It should continue for a long time yet. Many people may still become fans even without new episodes airing.

I only recently managed to permanently get into it (my fiancée nearly ruined it for me).

mathpiglet
April 30th, 2011, 03:22 PM
I started watching just over a year ago. I needed something to watch while I was on the treadmill and my son suggested this.

thekillman
May 1st, 2011, 07:32 AM
Three series with many years of episodes. It should continue for a long time yet. Many people may still become fans even without new episodes airing.

it has generated sufficient material to create original fiction for decades. which is precisely why MGM will never permanently abandon it. in terms of analogies, we're in the fridge.

Stargate itself has a beautiful premise because the Gate is an artifact which allows low-threshold interstellar travel. unlike ship-based or jump-point based stories

Kunoichi
May 1st, 2011, 07:50 AM
I count myself lucky to have been a fan of the franchise since the film came out! :) I think (and hope) that there is enough fan interest to keep discussions going for a long time to come. If any form of the show is still being transmitted on tv, there will always be new fans being attracted and there are plenty of long term fans who are happy to keep things ticking over. Look at other fandoms, Trek has keep going with periods of time where there hasn't been much new material to work with and so has Star Wars.

I think there is definitely an argument for fanfic being AU. If someone writes a fic that deviates from canon, then it is pretty much AU. So all shipper fic that involves a relationship that hasn't been confirmed, at the stage in the SG timeline the fic is set, is AU. Any fic where the characters behave in a fashion that the onscreen characters wouldn't is AU or fic written to 'correct' a plotline the author didn't like is AU.

mathpiglet
May 1st, 2011, 09:48 AM
I count myself lucky to have been a fan of the franchise since the film came out! :) I think (and hope) that there is enough fan interest to keep discussions going for a long time to come. If any form of the show is still being transmitted on tv, there will always be new fans being attracted and there are plenty of long term fans who are happy to keep things ticking over. Look at other fandoms, Trek has keep going with periods of time where there hasn't been much new material to work with and so has Star Wars.

I think there is definitely an argument for fanfic being AU. If someone writes a fic that deviates from canon, then it is pretty much AU. So all shipper fic that involves a relationship that hasn't been confirmed, at the stage in the SG timeline the fic is set, is AU. Any fic where the characters behave in a fashion that the onscreen characters wouldn't is AU or fic written to 'correct' a plotline the author didn't like is AU.

Many authors would argue that the way they write the canon characters is completely believable even if it was not shown on screen. I tend to think that any fiction written by a non-sanctioned author is AU. Some AU may be very close to canon, but it's still AU. But that's not necessarily a bad thing.

s09119
May 1st, 2011, 09:54 AM
Many authors would argue that the way they write the canon characters is completely believable even if it was not shown on screen. I tend to think that any fiction written by a non-sanctioned author is AU. Some AU may be very close to canon, but it's still AU. But that's not necessarily a bad thing.

Agreed. My fiction changes a few episodes' plots, so it's technically AU from canon, but I don't think that's bad at all. In fact, I think it's better for writers to toss out things they find TPTB did that were silly rather than shoehorn in reasoning for (IMHO) bad ideas they had.

SF_and_Coffee
May 1st, 2011, 09:57 AM
Agreed. My fiction changes a few episodes' plots, so it's technically AU from canon, but I don't think that's bad at all. In fact, I think it's better for writers to toss out things they find TPTB did that were silly rather than shoehorn in reasoning for (IMHO) bad ideas they had.
Exactly. I know damn well I'm writing in an AU. Heck, I planned it that way. Beats making myself crazy trying to work with what I thought were some of the dumber things that got added into the canon later on, after the season where my AU diverges.

Kunoichi
May 1st, 2011, 10:08 AM
Many authors would argue that the way they write the canon characters is completely believable even if it was not shown on screen. I tend to think that any fiction written by a non-sanctioned author is AU. Some AU may be very close to canon, but it's still AU. But that's not necessarily a bad thing.

Agreed. Just because something is AU doesn't make it bad or against the spirit of the show. I've read some excellent fic that completely disregards stuff that has happened on the show. I suppose my problem comes with fic that is so different from the show (unbelievable characters etc) that I wonder why the fic is listed under 'stargate'.

Aragon101
May 1st, 2011, 10:10 AM
Canon is limiting.

if you write something which the character never experienced in the show, how do you write THAT in a Canon way? You can't.

AU is not bad or evil or 'the easy way out'. It all depends on the quality of the work itself and whether the reactions and actions of hte characters/situations is reasonable and believable in the context of the story.

mathpiglet
May 1st, 2011, 12:00 PM
I agree with both of you. However, I have read some fics in which the character behaves in a totally unbelievable way and had the author try to convince me it was possible. I suggested they find a character closer to the type of person they want, or if no such canon character exists, then make one up!

SF_and_Coffee
May 1st, 2011, 12:03 PM
Yep, that's the beauty of working with OCs. You can make them be almost any way you want them to be.

mathpiglet
May 1st, 2011, 12:06 PM
Absolutely. Don't try to turn a lion into a lamb.

Kunoichi
May 1st, 2011, 12:23 PM
I agree with both of you. However, I have read some fics in which the character behaves in a totally unbelievable way and had the author try to convince me it was possible. I suggested they find a character closer to the type of person they want, or if no such canon character exists, then make one up!

I think this is where it becomes complicated. I've read fics where a character behaves out of character but is believable because of the set up of the story, but I've also read fics where the canon character is so unbelievable that you wonder if you watch the same program as the author, and there is no justification within the story for why this character is behaving the way they are.

I think sometimes there are issues of authors not liking a canon character so much that they try to change that character into the person they want them to be, not what they see on the tv. I kind of think that if you don't like a character that much, then don't write them in your fic or make up a reason why they are not featured and write an OC for the role you want.

mathpiglet
May 1st, 2011, 12:25 PM
snip
I think sometimes there are issues of authors not liking a canon character so much that they try to change that character into the person they want them to be, not what they see on the tv. I kind of think that if you don't like a character that much, then don't write them in your fic or make up a reason why they are not featured and write an OC for the role you want.

That's brilliant! I had not thought of that.

Aragon101
May 1st, 2011, 05:00 PM
That's brilliant! I had not thought of that.

I see it alot in SG, and i've often found people who try to impose their own version of certain characters (particularly Sam) on me andsay my writing is OOC. In Apostle's Message, i have her using alien technology to help defend against a potential invasion of Earth which leaves her with a permanantly fried nervous system. (don't worry, she gets better) but in the meantime, she's lost Jack who's still frozen, Bra'tac is gone, Teal'c is in quiet warrior mode and no help, so she only has Daniel who's trying to help but also kinda getting in her way since she's too stubborn to hang back if there's an emergency even if she's unwell. She's pretty much on her own and having to go into 'soldier sam' mode to survive. Makes sense to me, but... Apparantly this is 'laughably' out of character. I do have her swear at one point (Another character is shocked that she does) so maybe its that but i have to wonder.

SF_and_Coffee
May 1st, 2011, 05:08 PM
I can completely imagine Sam in "soldier Sam" mode, swearing and all. The woman's an Air Force officer, for heaven's sake. Not only that, but she's also the daughter of one. She's seen it, she's heard it, and I'm pretty damn sure she's done it. Remember, she tells us right off the bat in Children of the Gods that she logged over 100 hours in enemy airspace during the first Gulf War. You don't do something like that and remain any sort of an innocent, even if you'd been one going in, which you almost certainly wouldn't be. So no, trust me, this would absolutely NOT be out of character for her.

ETA: that's the beauty of fanfiction. On the show, especially once it was no longer on Showtime, they really couldn't include the amount of foul language that would almost certainly be a part of everyday life in a military unit under the kinds of extreme stress caused by being on the front line of human interaction with a wider and highly dangerous universe. In fic, we as authors have more or less free rein to de-sanitize the speech patterns of the characters to whatever extent seems reasonable for people in their positions. I know that in my fic, Jack has a bit of a potty mouth, and so does his buddy Frank. It shows in their internal self-talk all the time, and on occasion they say it out loud. Sam does as well, although she too is more likely to think it than to voice it aloud. But sometimes she does. As for Teal'c, we all know the Jaffa swear; they just don't do it in English. And someone like Daniel would have knowledge of more cuss words than all the rest of the SGC put together. :D

(I'm the daughter of a Navy veteran, the relative of several more, and I have my share of ex-boyfriends who were in the Air Force, as well as many friends who are former military. If I had a dollar for every piece of colorful language I've ever heard out of current and former military mouths, I'd be a wealthy woman!)

thekillman
May 2nd, 2011, 05:27 AM
I can completely imagine Sam in "soldier Sam" mode, swearing and all. The woman's an Air Force officer, for heaven's sake. Not only that, but she's also the daughter of one. She's seen it, she's heard it, and I'm pretty damn sure she's done it. Remember, she tells us right off the bat in Children of the Gods that she logged over 100 hours in enemy airspace during the first Gulf War. You don't do something like that and remain any sort of an innocent, even if you'd been one going in, which you almost certainly wouldn't be. So no, trust me, this would absolutely NOT be out of character for her.


in pretty much every Jack-era episode, it's the Jack/Sam combo that goes all military (aided by teal'c) and Daniel just hangs back and doesn't get hurt. granted he does fire, but the majority of the fighting is done by that trio.


Sam more recently focuses on technology since Vala and Mitchell can fight just fine, but Sam remains Air Force so she can definitely stand her own.


that's the beauty of fanfiction. On the show, especially once it was no longer on Showtime, they really couldn't include the amount of foul language that would almost certainly be a part of everyday life in a military unit under the kinds of extreme stress caused by being on the front line of human interaction with a wider and highly dangerous universe

it's a simple effect i even notice in songs. here in the netherlands we don't really believe in censoring unless it's absolutely insulting. we have Cee Lo Green perform his "**** you" song (known as "forget you" in most countries) on TV, Live, in front of 3 million people watching. because we can.

similarly swear words aren't filtered out on radio. well a few channels do. but i always laugh really hard when they do.


swearing is part of life. in fact, when people swear they feel less pain. it's proven.


anyway, yes fic is AU but why would it be any less important? Stargate has set up it's Multiverse quite nicely, so while the Main Universe is the only universe of concern to Stargate the show, that doesn't mean others can be of concern to us.

most fics deviate from the Main Story at the point they start, which means that the people they write about are still the people we know and love.

SF_and_Coffee
May 2nd, 2011, 08:24 AM
yes fic is AU but why would it be any less important? Stargate has set up it's Multiverse quite nicely, so while the Main Universe is the only universe of concern to Stargate the show, that doesn't mean others can be of concern to us.

most fics deviate from the Main Story at the point they start, which means that the people they write about are still the people we know and love.
Exactly true, I think. Not to mention that Stargate was one of those franchises that invited its audience to 'play along' and use their own imagination. In fact, it was often required to make the show work. So if some of us are still using our imaginations with regard to it, that shouldn't be any big surprise. ;)

thekillman
May 2nd, 2011, 11:32 AM
Exactly true, I think. Not to mention that Stargate was one of those franchises that invited its audience to 'play along' and use their own imagination. In fact, it was often required to make the show work. So if some of us are still using our imaginations with regard to it, that shouldn't be any big surprise

true.
Stargate over it's run has created like, what, a dozen different universes? including multiple timelines.