Friday, April 13, 2012

Friday Five: 5 Questions with Rene Thompson

...about Fan Fiction!

In the 3rd installment of 5 Questions, I interviewed Rene, Steven's wife, about her foray into writing. Rene writes Star Trek fan fiction. I've read tons of fan fiction so I'm somewhat familiar with the lingo (such as the term "ship") but Star Trek was before my generation so I'm not that familiar with it.

As a reminder, my questions are in bold font, the answer is prefaced with A:, and my comments are in [red brackets] to try to make things a little more organized and easier to read.

Q: What kind of fan fiction do you write and why?

Star Trek and occasionally James Bond but the vast majority is Star Trek. I wanted to deal with questions and situation that weren't covered by the writers of the show. What was happening after this scene, how did they react after the conclusion, why were they the way they were, how did they react with other characters in the show that they didn't normally deal with. And, of course, shipping. [A definition of shipping can be found here.]

Q: When did you get into fan fiction?

A: When I was about 13 or 14.

Q: What are some good resources for writers interested in fan fiction?

A: For Star Trek there are some magnificent sites, Memory Alpha and Vulcan Language Dictionary come to mind. If the show has a wiki with detailed background, that will definitely help.

And good grammar book and spell checker.

Also, read a lot of fan fiction of your subject so you can see the problems before you write them yourself. Mary Sue's/Marty Stu's (writing in a perfect character for one of the regulars to fall for) can be well done or it can be total tripe. If you create a "super perfect" person, you don't even have to ask, it's tripe. If you have your regular character doing or saying things that are totally out of character, then it's tripe. [If you can't tell if you have written a Mary Sue or Marty Stu, go here and take the test.]

Q: Are there any rules of etiquette concerning fan fiction that a writer of regular fiction might not know?

A: You MUST acknowledge that this is based on other's work and that the rights to the show are held by someone. You also need to, if your work is more adult, acknowledge that below the title and acknowledgments and credits. In that way, the reader has been warned. Some people, if there is any shipping in the story give the code for the shipping. For Kirk and Uhura it would be K/U, for Spock and Chapel it's S/Ch, you get the idea.

Q: In your opinion, what is the most popular subject of fan fiction?

A: Star Trek, then maybe Harry Potter and Star Wars. [I have read some pretty crazy Harry Potter fan fics! ;)]

Do you have any questions or comments for Rene? Post them in the comments below and I'll pass them along!

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