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The truth about Fanfics - by James

The truth about Fanfics

Well it's my first article EVER here, so stick with me. I'm going to take a little bit of time to bring your attention to the "fanfics" section here at starmen.net. If you can't remember the last time you REALLY sat down and tried reading one, or have an immediate excuse as to why you don't, this article is for you.

As fans of EarthBound, we all have one or two things in common-a long time fondness for the game, and a desire to have the series continued in proper form. However, while we wait for the latter, what would be the best EarthBound related thing(outside of a cameo appearance in some other game-although personally I don't care too much for that) that could possibly happen in the meantime? If you said "An anime mini-series or movie"...you're right. However, since we don't have any of that, what's the best alternative?

Probably fanfiction. Stories by people who actually know the game, as opposed to a production from people who may be fond of it, but are probably involved for other reasons. Fans of EarthBound can remember all the loose ends they "caught" at the end of the game, and include them in the writing. Once you've done that, you can work on a plot. Once you've done that, you can work on a story.

As with most kinds of stories, it usually takes more than plot to make things worthwhile. It takes a genuine effort that consists of patience and consideration. It also takes HOURS(sometimes), which gives submitters every right to complain if their work isn't posted in a reasonable amount of time. Sure staffers have lives, sure it's all just for fun, but if a section is officially open, then the submissions made should be handled with respect. Thankfully, that does seem to be the case at the moment.

Although there are limits(more on those later) placed on what can be included in a story, the only REAL limit is that of the imagination. This works both ways. Both the person writing and reading have to be open minded and creative...and that's what makes fanfics so much fun. If given a chance, they can sometimes give you all the entertainment and suspense that you'd experience if you popped your latest anime into the VCR/DVD player.

In a forum other than the one here, one of many intelligent things I heard a certain poster say was this: "It takes a certain amount of skill and/or difficulty to convincingly write ANY character." True. Since there is so little character information/development/interaction in EarthBound, writers of these particular fanfics have a certain amount of freedom(maybe Prince Poo has a girlfriend who helps him deal with the pressures of running a country), but still can't be too careless(if Paula had a fight with her parents she probably would sneak off to see Ness, but probably wouldn't run away and use telepathic persuasion to get rich quick).

Unlike animation or a live action movie, which you'd probably prefer, fanfics don't give the experience of sight and sound. It's up to you to imagine what you're being told. This is both a challenge and an advantage, because while fanfics can't(and shouldn't) get too carried away when it comes to violence and *ahem* other stuff, you can set the limits when it comes to visualizing a scene in your own mind. Again, this imagination thing works both ways. There's no harm in writing relevant things in a subtle manner(CAN have Poo and his girlfriend being affectionate before the story ends. CAN'T have...well almost anything overly suggestive), as long as you remember the rules(CAN claim Ness blew the aliens apart. CAN'T go into details).

What it all comes down to is this: You never know where a fanfic is going to take you or how skilled the writer is at the moment unless you actually take the plunge. If you don't have the patience that's okay, but you may miss out on a really good story.

So next time you don't know what game to play and don't have anything to watch and don't have anyplace to be for awhile, grab some ice cream and click on a fanfic. If you like what you see...well, keep reading! If and only if you enjoy the story, consider e-mailing the writer and letting him or her know. Who knows, if that person decides to pursue a career in writing, your e-mail could end up making a difference in their big break. Okay, so that's unlikely, but not impossible! If it does work out that way though, just don't ask for any compensation afterwards 'cause, well, you'll probably have your own career to worry about! ;)


Other Submissions by James

Author Sort Ascending Sort Descending Title Sort Ascending Sort Descending Description Sort Ascending Sort Descending Date Sort Ascending Sort Descending Rank Sort Ascending Sort Descending
James 101 - Chapter 1
A medieval spin on “EarthBound” with a techno twist.
2/17/05 0.00
James 101 - Chapter 2
A medieval spin on “EarthBound” with a techno twist.
2/17/05 0.00
James 101 - Chapter 3
A medieval spin on “EarthBound” with a techno twist.
2/17/05 0.00
James 101 - Chapter 4
A medieval spin on “EarthBound” with a techno twist.
2/17/05 0.00
James 101 - Chapter 5
A medieval spin on “EarthBound” with a techno twist.
2/17/05 0.00

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