Unofficial continuations

Where stuff about fanfiction that doesn't fit into any other category goes. Try to make sure that new topics here actually couldn't actually go somewhere else.

Unofficial continuations

Postby Crescent Pulsar R » Thu Dec 16, 2010 7:25 pm

You know how there are a lot of old stories out there, ones that are good enough for you to wish that it would be continued, but as far as you know it's dead and the author can't be contacted? What you'd hope for is to get the author's permission to re-write and/or continue their story, if you were of the mind to do such a thing.

So, there's this story that I like, that's been dead for seven years, and I've gotten no response from the author (who hasn't written anything else for just as long) using what contact information I could find. Considering these factors, would it be so bad to write an unofficial continuation? (The quality of the author's writing ability aside, of course.) I felt that I should ask since I don't know how far the stigma is carried, and to what extent, beyond circumstances where it's done without permission while the author is evidently still around and contactable.
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Re: Unofficial continuations

Postby ckosacranoid » Thu Dec 16, 2010 7:38 pm

if nothing else if you have tried to contact them and nothing after 7 years then i guess it goes into fair game, but just make note in your intro that they story was someone elses and that if anyone has an issues with it or knows how to contact the writer then say something.
as long as you make note of who atarted the story and that you give credit then i dont see why not.
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Re: Unofficial continuations

Postby mondu_the_fat » Thu Dec 16, 2010 7:55 pm

This is fanfiction.

Fanfiction authors write about things and have no permission from the original author ALL. THE. TIME. 99.999% of the time, a fanfiction author won't even _try_ to get a hold of the original author. In the case of Takeuchi, she even actively goes against people using her works if they manage to catch her attention. That hasn't stopped people from writing SM fanfics.

I fail to see the problem here, especially if you can't get a hold of the fanfic author. A continuation, after all, is like a fanfic of a fanfic. As wrong as you aren't claiming the first fanfic to be yours, then its all good.
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Re: Unofficial continuations

Postby Crescent Pulsar R » Thu Dec 16, 2010 8:45 pm

I just prefer to make sure about such things, or I'll otherwise be too anxious about it to do anything with it, period.
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Re: Unofficial continuations

Postby Muramasa » Thu Dec 16, 2010 10:26 pm

Just out of curiosity, what story did you have in mind of continuing exactly?
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Re: Unofficial continuations

Postby Wyrd » Fri Dec 17, 2010 1:33 am

As Mondu put it, as long as you give credit to your inspiration, it is effectively a fanfic of a fanfic and should cause no problems. Linking to the original material instead of copying it into your story would likely be safer since you don't have the author's permission, but even that can be overlooked if you start with the disclaimer that you tried to contact the original author and are willing to take anything he wrote off of your site if he should ask that you do so. Anduril has done this several times with threads that started on Anime Addventures that he took a liking to and started writing a full story for. He copies in the original posts(edited only for spelling, grammar, and formatting) while giving full credit to the original authors for those parts that he didn't write.
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Re: Unofficial continuations

Postby Konsaki » Fri Dec 17, 2010 2:08 am

The suggestions here are pretty much what I did when I rewrote 'Lines of Destiny', though I'm also changing the direction the story is taking as well as just extending the original author's work. One thing I suggest is that you re-read the story you are planning on adopting and think about the direction that the original author seemed to be taking things. Based on your own thought process and writing style, you might want to change some things as to allow your own ideas to meld easier with the current point in the story. The only problem with this is the fact that, to do this, you need to basically rewrite the entire work in your own hand which can be a pain to do, but it allows you a complete way to mix the original story and your own style of writing so there's no jarring change when you drift into your own work.

On a personal note, I'm kicking myself right now for not having updated FPCF in the past few months, but I've just moved out of Jersey (Hell yeah! :) ) and am now back in South Korea (Hell yeah! x2 :D). Now that I'm settled in over here, I plan on producing more of the continuation side of things now that I'm past the 'canon' part of LoD and into my own work.
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Re: Unofficial continuations

Postby camk4evr » Fri Dec 17, 2010 4:26 am

Like Wyrd and others have said, since you've made an effort to contact the original author and it has been 7 years since they've updated, I really don't see much of a problem if you write a continuation so long as you credit the original author and include a link to the original story. However, I'd be prepared to take it down or rewrite it just in case the author later objects to it (though I think that would be unlikely unless you include the original text of the fic you're continuing). Honestly, though, I think it might be better just to rewrite the beginning, not only for the reasons Konsaki stated, but also incase something happens to the original fic (ie. site gets taken down).
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Re: Unofficial continuations

Postby Spokavriel » Fri Dec 17, 2010 8:20 am

Here's something to think about. No Fanfic author has official copyrights. Its a matter of respect that makes it any question of continuing someone else's story. And even if you do only link to the other story remember to make a back up copy. If it ends up being a case where that fanfic author has passed away or given up on writing fan works entirely then its usually only a matter of time until their site and stories are gone.

But I have a question. How come making the fanfics in the first place is seen and felt as an homage to the creators of the series and yet a continuation fanfic of a fanfic or derivation of one based on a fanfic authors work is seen as ripping them off?

In a way its the same moral question on both cases. Only difference is the us mentality. To me everyone's Human including the original author its no more ripping anyone off when its a fanfic author than it was the original author. Just remember to give credit and note the original sources in your disclaimers.

And if you offer to stop or take down the story don't be surprised if someone envious pretending to be the original fic author occasionally tries to get you to do so. I've seen fics taken out that way but I'd rather not go into details. And its not really my story to tell anyway but it got found out by the original fic author coming along later asking why the great continuation was now gone. Not a fun situation.
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Re: Unofficial continuations

Postby Crescent Pulsar R » Fri Dec 17, 2010 11:20 am

Well, I'll definitely give credit. Heck, I try to discredit my own works, if I can. ;/

I don't know if I'll link to the story and back it up in case it disappears in the future, or write what they did using my own style of writing before continuing it, but I'll probably figure out which way to go when it comes time to cross that bridge.

Spokavriel wrote:But I have a question. How come making the fanfics in the first place is seen and felt as an homage to the creators of the series and yet a continuation fanfic of a fanfic or derivation of one based on a fanfic authors work is seen as ripping them off?

Personally, I think it's a combination of availability and what sets an author of an original work apart from a fan-fiction author. The original author is less likely to be in a position to respond to just anyone, usually due in part to their popularity and/or financial success. It's a lot easier for them to say nothing, letting the non-profiting fan-fiction to flourish, or to censor all fan-fiction (such as how FF.net set up a list for authors that want that) instead of policing individual fan-works personally. A fan-fiction writer, on the other hand, usually spends time in public venues where a lot of other average folks do, such as forums and blogs, and aren't so popular that they would be overwhelmed and unable to read and reply to forum or blog posts, or E-mail messages. They're like a student in a school, just like you, there and available between classes, as well as recess and lunch, and perhaps even after school. An original author is like a superintendent of that school, a part of it but further removed than the faculty that runs it. Or something like that. Basically, a fan-work being continued is treated more delicately because you're more likely to get in contact with the author of said fan-work, and you'd rather not do anything that might have them demand your fan-work of theirs removed.

Konsaki wrote:On a personal note, I'm kicking myself right now for not having updated FPCF in the past few months, but I've just moved out of Jersey (Hell yeah! :) ) and am now back in South Korea (Hell yeah! x2 :D). Now that I'm settled in over here, I plan on producing more of the continuation side of things now that I'm past the 'canon' part of LoD and into my own work.

The part about South Korea, what with recent events with North Korea, makes me wonder why you sound more enthused than concerned. On the other hand, LoD being continued perked me right up. Don't tarry much longer, you! U_U

Muramasa wrote:Just out of curiosity, what story did you have in mind of continuing exactly?
"A Not So Simple Wish," by Ebiris. I have some issues with some of the characterization, personally, but overall I think it's too good -- and too ripe with possibilities -- to leave it unfinished.
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Re: Unofficial continuations

Postby Wyrd » Fri Dec 17, 2010 1:31 pm

Even though I am not stealing from anyone, I do open with a statement that my fic was heavily inspired by certain fics, such as Genma's Daughter, Sailor Ranko, and Girl Days, and borrows some details from them that I particularly liked. Some people will still attack me for stealing from them, but at least I am honoring the original source.
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Re: Unofficial continuations

Postby camk4evr » Fri Dec 17, 2010 2:36 pm

Spokavriel wrote:[color=#bd527b] Here's something to think about. No Fanfic author has official copyrights. Its a matter of respect that makes it any question of continuing someone else's story. And even if you do only link to the other story remember to make a back up copy. If it ends up being a case where that fanfic author has passed away or given up on writing fan works entirely then its usually only a matter of time until their site and stories are gone.


Actually, the fic itself is protected by copyright (the only part of fanfiction that breaks copyright is using someone else's characters, scenarios, and locations that aren't public domain). Hell, even the original creator can't copy ideas and scenarios from a fanfic based on their series (many authors have a blanket no fanfiction policy to protect themselves).

But I have a question. How come making the fanfics in the first place is seen and felt as an homage to the creators of the series and yet a continuation fanfic of a fanfic or derivation of one based on a fanfic authors work is seen as ripping them off?


Partly, I think, it's because there are still magazines (ie, Star Log), authors (ie, Mercedes Lackey), and companies (antarctic Press) that solicit fanfiction, and other fanworks for publication and fanfiction (on the net) is seen as a way to hone your writing skills. Partly, it's because there's no real legal protection (I mean you could, legally, sue someone but then you open yourself up to legal action from the original creator) so the fanfiction sites and the fanfiction community as a whole will work to "police their own". And partly, I believe that there's a little bit of an us against them mentallity involved as well.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Shinji: Well suppose some mysterious entities were attacking, and
Asuka:Oh please, Baka Shinji, that sounds like some cheap, pseudo-profound T.V. show. Low budget. Ambiguous ending.
-Asuka and Shinji discussing why you would build a giant robot. NGE: Shinji Ikari Raising Project Vol.6
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