In the way of famous last words, a few years ago Laura (who tends to be the skeptic and critic) was telling her good friend J that she thought that it was terrible the way adults had glommed onto children’s books to write their arty-farty erotica.
Why Harry Potter? I’m not going to go off on a ramble about the genius of Rowling, though I do think that she has created a universe that has the genius of being graciously disposed to participation. It is a world full of characters that excite the imagination. I can’t think of any higher praise to offer than that. I do not write fanfiction as an argument for a better way to roll out the story, or as an alternative theory. I love the passion of the debates that I’ve seen on LJ about aspects of HBP, but when I put the book down I was satisfied with what I had read.
So, why write fanfiction if you are satisfied with the story? I think the ‘verse Rowling has created is interesting. I love the characters she has created. I probably love even more that she has, like Joss Whedon in the Buffy-verse, cut off certain possibilities. I think I write unconventional ships because the source material has left them to be written.
The fandom is peppered with disclaimers that start with ‘I am not JK Rowling’. J.K. Rowling is a British author, writing in a British setting. Elen is not. There are a lot of reasons to write fanfiction, and imitation of another writer’s style is certainly one of them. There are a great many readers of fanfiction who seek a faithful, authoritative imitation of their favorite authors in fanfiction.
I can’t entirely stamp out my voice and my ear, and I have come to the conclusion that I don’t want to. I use standard American English. I attempt to work in usage that seems British to me in dialog, but ultimately the narrative voice is mine, and I will not pander or use a cultural word palette without license. I suspect my views on this are informed by growing up in the South. To me a Southern accent is not the sound of poverty and ignorance. I will not reduce my slender understanding of the richness and variety of culture in the British Isles to what amounts to, in my writer’s ear, as tagging speech and thought with imitations that carry the threat of unwitting caricature.
The usual disclaimers apply: this is fanfiction. It is derivative and written without intent to profit. I write for adults, and I use all the bad words. Feedback and constructive criticism is always welcome!
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