A Handful: I can guarantee you that George R.R. Martin would AT LEAST hate fictionkin with a fiery passion.
I mean, the man hates people writing fanfiction about his books, because he feels like it infringes on the story he wrote and it bastardizes the characters (which, as my past bad self-insert spam showed y’all, isn’t an entirely unfounded feeling).
If he knew people out there…
Because the very nature of the claim implies the author/creator of the work did not create it, it already existed, which is pretty infuriating.
My husband didn’t get why I was so upset by the idea until I posed it to him in a way that he could relate to. Say he met a fan of his band who came up to him and said “Hey, I actually wrote all your songs but good job channeling them and publishing them for everyone else, you did a great job capturing my work and what I was going for.”
tl;dr: You don’t know anything about fictionkin/fictives. Or writing, really. Got it.
That’s like walking up to someone who built a sculpture and said “Hey, I totally had the idea of that sculpture, so all of the skill that went into making it is invalid”. See, here’s the thing, writing is a skill. You don’t just sit down and crap something out- even if God himself comes down and whispers in your ear, if you don’t know how to write a decent story it’ll be shit. Tales that recount historical events are not invalid just because they didn’t make up the event- they still require knowing how to weave the language, knowing what adjectives and verbs to use out of a myriad of synonyms, knowing what parts to emphasize and such.
And then fictionkin it’s even more difficult, because even if there is some world where the story happened- REALLY HAPPENED- authors rarely have a great connection to it, or they’d be aware of this, so they get snippets and fragments and whispers and have to cobble it all together. If you knew ANYTHING about fictionkin and fictives, you’d know that often our canons aren’t 100% accurate to our lives and memories, because the authors leave things out and change them to make a better story.
You’re basically saying that journalists and historians aren’t really writers just because they write about things that “really” happened, you’re erasing ALL of the effort that goes into the craft of writing, and it’s obnoxious and pathetic and that you’re using it to tell people who DO EXIST that their EXISTENCE is wrong is pitiful.
I know a lot about writing. I’m a writer myself. I’d never insult historians or journalists. You’re going out of the very word that’s inspiring the debate in the first place. FICTIONkin.
“Worlds where they really exist” would be inside the author’s mind only. The fact you give that idea any plausibility just…how can I debate with you? We’re not on even ground. If you’re going to be very vocal about being a fictionkin, I think you should expect the negative feedback because of what you are implying to everyone who does not subscribe to that theory.
I would wager the “canons are not accurate” because you are not actually the characters, who are fictional, who are created by the author, who is the only person who knows them perfectly, because they created them. Also, they’re not real. I am not erasing all the work that goes into writing, YOU are. Also show me where I said someone’s existence was wrong or pitiful, I never said that.
I think you’re disrespecting the authors, who are the inventors/creators of the characters. Did you yourself not say “I realized I was Bruce Banner after roleplaying him”. That’s pretty much my case in point there.
I’m not going to encourage anyone who follows this completely irrational and insulting line of thought and then calls me a bully for not believing they are a fictional character. Believe whatever you want, I don’t have to believe you, and if I ever found a fictionkin using my material, I’d sue the pants off of them. From being a writer, I can tell you, there’s no “channeling” involved. There is skill, and there is creativity. But it’s 100% mine. And I’m willing to bet that’s the same for every fiction writer on this planet, and who ever lived. You’re insulting the power of their minds and their creativity and the very works they’ve created by claiming to actually be their characters. I don’t get what’s so hard to understand about that.
You and I are never going to see eye to eye, but I hope you can at least understand the outrage and where it’s coming from?
I’m a writer as well. Screenplays mostly, which is a different medium to be sure, though no less difficult and exhausting. And this is the stupidest argument I’ve ever heard. If someone created their own story from scratch, and put all that time and effort to create an amazingly complex plot and a rich setting with vivid characters—to the point where they’re actually offended by people trying to change these things in their own writing—do you really think they’d give a shit that you like their rhetoric? A painter doesn’t want to be remembered for their brush strokes, nor does a composer want to be remembered for their time signature. These are pieces of the art, true, but that’s not what art is—art is emotion, creativity, inspiration… and a ridiculous amount of hard work. By saying none of this comes from the artist, you are taking away what that artist truly cares about. That is just the most horrible thing you can do to someone who works in a creative medium. Not just saying you don’t like what they did or something simple like that, but simply saying they didn’t do it? And saying that it’s a fact, because… you say so, with all your knowledge and authority on the thing that THEY created? Seriously, I don’t know how you people live with yourselves. You’re the most insulting people to me, and to all the artists that I’ve idolized for my entire life. Neil Gaiman, Nicole Galland, Holly Black, Terry Pratchett, Edgar Wright, Edgar Allan Poe, J.K. Rowling, the Coen Brothers, Russell T. Davies, Joss Whedon, Stephen Moffatt, Ben Edlund, GRRM—you’re blatantly insulting all of them, and taking away everything that they’re trying to accomplish.
And you know what that “not 100% accurate” thing is? That’s called headcanon. That’s called shipping. That’s called you deciding you don’t quite like the way the author did something, and deciding you’d have preferred it to go another way. Fans do this all the fucking time—come up with their own ideas, their own “alternate universes” all the fucking time. So how come when YOU GUYS say it, suddenly it’s more accurate than the creator of the series, but when another fan says something that conflicts with your idea it’s just because they’re an ignorant human who can’t truly know the happenings of that world like you can.
It’s just so transparently vain, to say that you know a story better than the creator. So vain to say that years and years of someone else’s hard work was just secondhand. So vain to say that you’re really truly an awesome character from a popular series that lots of other people love, but no one else is. So vain to say that out of the great cosmos a soul found it’s way from, not only another planet, but another dimension, came zooming all the way through space in time to find earth, and just so happened to land in your body. And you have no explanation for it, other than you just being that awesome and that lucky and the universe just must like you better than everyone else. And I’m the ignorant one here?
Honestly, the narcissism, feeling of entitlement, and just “better than thou”ness of it is near nauseating. And I can’t believe that when someone tries to call bullshit, you try to make it sound like oppression.
I stand by my original point. There are writers out there who would hate you for this, and I wouldn’t blame them for a second.
I fucking hate fictionkin and fictives. How dare you say we don’t know anything about writing? Guess what, here’s another writer. I can create a good story with good characters because I have something called imagination. If I ever published a book and found out that someone is claiming to be one of my characters, I’d be so fucking infuriated. Like someone said before, I would sue the crap out of them. Because it’s just plain insulting. How can you say that canon isn’t accurate? The only canon is the one that the author created; the things YOU imagine are called headcanon. In case you didn’t know, the first time the word canon was used (when talking about fiction) was to make reference to the works of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, who manage to create an incredibly fascinating character that unfortunately some people are claiming to be. And you say we should believe them? These people; people who actually say that they are a character and know more about the story and its world than the actual author. How fucking disgusting and self-entitled. I once saw someone on Tumblr who “identified” as Cthulhu. They made a post and wrote smiley faces and all kinds of crap. Really? Cthulhu and smiley faces? It’s completely insulting. Fictionkin and fictives ARE offensive to the authors who actually created the characters. In fact, they are offensive at any writer. And hey, we actually have a proper reason to be offended, unlike you! Writing is really hard; sometimes we have to deal the well-known “writer’s block”. We need to actually pour all our creativity and imagination to produce something good. We have to edit our stories a million times because we don’t feel satisfied. We can get really fucking stressed. But we don’t stop until we feel accomplished. And when we’re done, we read them and we feel proud of ourselves because we think “I made this”. You’re not going to invalidate all of that work. You’re not. If you do, then don’t get mad at us for calling you a fucking asshole, because that’s what you are.
PS: Writing is NOT a skill. It’s not just knowing how to use words and configure sentences. Writing is a process that involves creativity and more.