Avox in Arcadia (perpetual) wrote,
Avox in Arcadia

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Labor of Love

As writers of fanfiction, we expand on characters and mythology that speak to us, probing their depths and taking them where canon won't, or where canon hasn't yet. We'll take pains to make it clear that we don't own the source material, but we love it. It's always about how much we love it.

One thing we don't do is create it. If I write a story about Buffy, I can offer my own spin, display my own writing style, and give her something unexpected to do, but I can only do that because someone else already made Buffy into a character I love enough to want more of her. It's like a coloring book: maybe I decide to give Buffy black hair, and maybe I'm really good at shading in the background, but the only reason it looks like a picture of Buffy is that someone else drew the outline for me, and I have nothing to do with how well that outline was drawn.

Throughout the past three seasons of the comics, there's been criticism that it reads like fanfiction. Sometimes I agree, but couldn't figure out why. Because the characters are OOC or the plot is especially weird, some say, but if that's true, those still aren't the hallmarks of fanfiction.

I think I get it now. The writers are clearly fans of the source material, but they themselves have been unable to create the material that makes the audience fall in love with it. Like us, they choose their crayons carefully, employ the skills they have, and stay within the lines. However accurate or enjoyable the results, they're supported entirely on someone else's masterpiece.

We're reading because we love Buffy. I don't think it's even possible to love Buffy because of what we're reading.
Tags: dark horse buffy comics, fandom, writing
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