Daunting is the nature of my endings, this one is the worst. No more about that, I would like to promise.
Look, I get that when you write a novel, particularly one that you are selling through a self-publishing effort, you need to use as many different marketing tools as you have at your disposal. This most certainly includes any relevant politics or controversies that will get your book known. Note: relevant.
But I do not see how this is something you even need to bother about when writing fanfiction.
I shouldn’t read it, I know. I don’t remember why I even tried today. Procrastinating, I’ll read anything to get away from what I should be doing right now. But I came across this ridiculous piece that had an excessive diatribe about how homosexuality is beautiful and should be accepted–followed by a boring, poorly written piece of crap that had nothing to do with the characters or any established element from the original work this is supposed to be a fanwork for.
Why not just write something original then?
I don’t know what bothers me more, that this person wrote a dull piece of crap and just slapped recognisable names onto it, or that the dull piece of crap is an anvilicious lecture on the cold cruel world not accepting gay people.
Wait, no. I tell a lie. I do know what bothers me more. The fact that this received very positive reviews that are clearly based solely on the reviewers having the same opinion as the writer and being overjoyed that someone agrees with them.
Heck, I agree that violence and hate for any reason should be stopped. But I’m not going to ignore the fact that the only thing that makes this fanfiction is that the characters named are from a video game. They aren’t even in character, not in their own personalities, or their interactions with one another.
They aren’t even in a situation that would make sense in their original context–in fact, they were written in a situation prohibited by their actual situation in their original context. No, don’t tell me it’s probably AU. There was no reason to use any of these characters if this is supposed to be the story. It is like writing a One Piece slice of life fanfic wherein Luffy is a successful lifeguard. Or a fanfic about Richard Kimble chilling out at a police bar.
Are those worse than someone writing Roger Rabbit fanfic where he is a teenage Japanese schoolgirl who fights monsters? I don’t know. I’m just sort of obliquely annoyed now.
I guess I still don’t care what other people write for their fanwork. But come on. Don’t use a soapbox to get positive reviews. You have to know that stating your opinion (especially citing it as a reason to have written the piece) in the work is going to get comments on that opinion. Often at the expense of any feedback regarding your actual writing.
Why would you amputate your chance to improve like that? To feel good for a few seconds because a total stranger told you that your politics are pretty?
Maybe I just mistake the review system for something that is actually about improvement through feedback. It really just ends up being a bunch of circle-jerk, review-farming, meaningless pats on the back or flaming.
I’m going back to writing my novel now. If I don’t, then I’ll at least whinge around and procrastinate doing something worthwhile.