So the Hammer and Gobsmacker are still working their way through Riven. I’m not bleeding too badly yet. There’s nothing being mentioned that I didn’t kind of expect.
While I’m waiting on that, I’m up to my ears in historical research, dipping into all kinds of interesting stuff, figuring out what I want to keep, what will change and how that will impact the course of my alternative universe. Kid. Candystore. SO FUN.
I’m on the Chapter 14 lecture for my new class. There are only 15 total, so I’ll finish WRITING lectures at the end of next week. Then I get to start recording them. Joy.
Last night I tested organic (or at least grass fed no hormone) beef. And it’s the crap that’s in regular beef I’m apparently sensitive to. No swelling or inflammation or feeling like I’d been hit by a truck. Which makes me wonder if I’ve developed a sensitivity, or if there’s a lot more crap in beef now than there was even a few years ago. I’m still kind of scarred by watching Food, Inc. and some other documentaries on the commercial food industry. But anyway, it does mean I can still have beef, it’ll just have to be a rare thing since it’s so SO expensive.
So also in the world of writing, Amazon is monetizing fanfiction. I…don’t quite know what I think about this yet. First off, this isn’t opening the doors willy nilly to anything. They’ve acquired rights to particular worlds from particular companies (including stuff like Vampire Diaries, Pretty Little Liars, and others). From an author’s standpoint, nobody is going to be stealing your world and darlings without your permission (unless you’re traditionally published and your publisher decides this is a good idea and doesn’t care what you the author think).
The bigger concern from an authorial standpoint is competition. This will be particularly salient to those of us in the self published category. It means we have to work even harder to get Mary Jane to spend her limited discretionary income checking out OUR work, when she could go over here and get a story she knows she’ll probably love because she’s a rabid VD fan (aside–this abbreviation bugs me as it also stands for venereal diseases, which given the way they’ve taken that franchise, is not entirely inappropriate). Of course, there’s also nothing stopping us from writing some kind of fan fic that’s awesome and pulling those people in as potential new fans of our original work.
On a broader scale, one of my long term big problems with fan fiction has been the absolute crap quality of most of it. You have to DIG to find the gems, the well written stuff. And I have neither the time nor patience to do that. For the free stuff, I can’t really trust ratings because people tend to have different quality criteria for that. Will that change with a paid format? I would expect at least SOME standards to go up given people are having to spend money on it, but I’m not sure. I mean, the 50 shades franchise books have an average of 4 stars or higher and I know they fall into the crap prose category, so…
I have mixed feelings about fan fiction as an author. On the one hand, I always wonder why people would waste their time and talents writing about someone else’s characters instead of creating their own. I have a zillion and a half ideas and have no intention of wasting my time on somebody else’s characters. For my own part, I’m also divided on how I might feel about somebody playing in my sandbox. On the one hand, if somebody loved my world enough to want to play in it like that, that’s amazingly flattering. On the other, it’s mine, MY PRECIOUS. I’m so small potatoes, I have no concerns that anyone would ACTUALLY want to do this, so it’s entirely a theoretical argument at present.
Apparently there is a thing where for all the fan fic sold, the world owner does get a percentage of the sale. Which is kind of cool. It’s a sort of…passive income stream, which is not to be underestimated in this changing publishing world. The writer gets a bigger percentage of the pie (which makes some sense, I suppose, as they did the writing of that particular piece).
There’s a lot of concern, a lot of talk going on about this in the Twittersphere this morning. It will be very interesting to see how this plays out.