pauraque_bk: (Default)
[personal profile] pauraque_bk
Since the new X-Files miniseries was announced, I've been thinking about what it's like being in fandoms with open vs. closed canons.

I've always struggled with writing in open fandoms, particularly TV fandoms, because I felt like there was never enough time, even during the summer hiatus, to finish exploring the existing canon before there'd suddenly be more and more and more. It wasn't only a matter of getting jossed, but also of feeling overwhelmed by how many things were happening to the characters, and spending so much time mentally processing the stories I was being told (and discussing them with other people in fandom) that it was hard to focus on writing my own. This is a large part of the reason that I didn't start posting XF fic until a few months after the show had ended; for the first time, I could write it without feeling rushed or fearing that the rug would be pulled out from under any story I came up with before I finished it.

Harry Potter suited me better because of the long breaks in between new canon. It felt like there was enough time to digest what we'd learned and write our own stuff before we'd have to reconsider what we thought we knew.

But in pretty much every fandom, I have a hard time seeing new canon as something to look forward to. Maybe it's because I've had the experience too many times of watching a series keep staggering along after it's clearly run out of gas (XF is definitely an example), but I tend to approach new canon with a sense of dread instead of excitement, like I'm always bracing myself for the worst. Being deeply invested in fandom, there's not only the worry of things sucking, but also the fear that new developments will set off new conflicts among fans or poke at already-existing sore points. By the end of the HP series I really couldn't enjoy reading the books, or even read them as books and not as fodder for fandom. It was sometimes hard to tell how I felt about canon events because all I could think about was how others would react.

For all these reasons, when a series ends, it tends to be a relief for me. And when canon is closed, fandom activity inevitably tapers off. It might take a very long time to wind down completely, but down is the overall direction from that point. But with the loss of that sense of urgency and eagerness to find out what happens next, fandoms also seem to lose a lot of their wankiness and the intensity of their conflicts, in my experience. A big fandom at its peak can be a wild ride — too wild for me, sometimes.

HP is kind of an odd case because with Pottermore there has been a constant trickle of "new stuff", and it's been interesting to me how many people who are still in the fandom look at PM with not only a lack of interest but almost a sense of exhaustion. Like — stop. Just stop, it's enough, we don't need this anymore. Not everyone, of course, but I know I find PM a bit annoying because at this point I'd rather just have the canon set and the rules laid out, and it doesn't bother me a bit that the fandom as a whole has basically decided that PM canon is optional.

Then of course there's the Fantastic Beasts movie at some point, and who knows what'll happen with that — or with the XF miniseries, I guess, though since that fandom has been so dead for so long it's harder to believe that it'll have a big effect? I dunno, I just always feel like new canon is a double-edged sword.

What do you guys think? Do you tend to be hungry for new canon or do you like a long hiatus to focus on fanworks more? Do you stick with fandoms after the canon is closed or do you tend to move on to something where there's new material to look forward to?

Crossposted from Dreamwidth. Feel free to comment wherever you're comfortable.

Date: 2015-05-19 05:06 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] akatnamedeaster.livejournal.com
By the end of the HP series I really couldn't enjoy reading the books, or even read them as books and not as fodder for fandom. It was sometimes hard to tell how I felt about canon events because all I could think about was how others would react.

This is one of the reasons I've ended up sort of glad that I didn't delurk into fandom until after canon closed. I read fic and followed some journals but didn't really form any really solid fanon ideas until after I came out and started interacting with others, even though I had been reading fic for a good long while before that.

Do you tend to be hungry for new canon or do you like a long hiatus to focus on fanworks more? Do you stick with fandoms after the canon is closed or do you tend to move on to something where there's new material to look forward to?

In an active fandom, I want the new canon asap. I'm currently half in/half out of Walking Dead fandom and I personally find the 7 month hiatus annoying as hell, even though, I'm already familiar with the source the show is based on, I want to see the twists on the comics and want to see it yesterday.

However, like HP, I don't see myself doing anything within TWD fandom, until after canon closes. One, because it's such a hot property right now, the wank and ship wars and other BS is intolerable to me and two, characters die so frequently, I want to see who's left standing this time before getting too attached. ;)

As for sticking around, well, it'll be eight years since HP's canon closed and I'm still here. It takes a lot to get me to move on from a fandom.

Date: 2015-05-20 01:54 pm (UTC)
pauraque: bird flying (Default)
From: [personal profile] pauraque
This is one of the reasons I've ended up sort of glad that I didn't delurk into fandom until after canon closed. I read fic and followed some journals but didn't really form any really solid fanon ideas until after I came out and started interacting with others, even though I had been reading fic for a good long while before that.

I think you point out something interesting here, which is that it's often interaction with others that fuels investment in one's interpretations of characters and events. Which in turn can motivate the need to create, to put your own version of events out there. The process of articulating your thoughts to others can clarify in your own mind what you believe and want to see happen, and responding to others' questions (or even criticisms) about your ideas can strengthen and add detail to them.

I mean, to some extent this is like — duh, we know fandom feeds on interaction, that's what fandom is. But it's endlessly fascinating to me how that arises, how when you are lurking you can feel like you aren't sure what to write or that you might want to write one or two things, but once you start talking to others your creativity can go in directions you never expected. I know this has always been my experience in every fandom I've been in.

it'll be eight years since HP's canon closed

Get out, no way. *counts on fingers*

Well, shit. The years I've spent in closed-canon HP now outnumber the years I spent in open-canon HP. I had no idea it had been that long since DH!

Date: 2015-05-19 05:27 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] author-by-night.livejournal.com
I like a long hiatus, but I've found my other fandoms have used the hiatuses to be virtually non-existent. Although they're also TV shows, and I find TV fandoms tend to have a shorter attention span. My book loves don't have fandoms, or they're closed canon fandoms like Harry Potter.

I think Harry Potter fandom is an odd case, in that it's... totally different from what it was before, with mostly different people, even. I got into the fandom pretty much as it was growing to its epic size right after GoF (although technically I was in fandom before - but only by about a month), and most people I know still in fandom got in way later - 2005-2007ish tends to be the date, but a few people even later. (Most of my 2000-2002ish friends have either disappeared into the ether or find it amusing I'm still here, but have moved on.) So I think for me, canon has always been evolving because even in between the books, JKR would reveal new information that might debunk an entire WIP.

So I don't really mind, possibly in part because I came into fandom at a time when canon wasn't nearly as established anyway. At the same time, that extreme was less likely until a new book (when you knew your WIP was compromised anyway), whereas now there's a better chance a WIP will be debunked.


Edited Date: 2015-05-19 05:32 pm (UTC)

Date: 2015-05-20 02:09 pm (UTC)
pauraque: bird flying (Default)
From: [personal profile] pauraque
I got into HP something like six months before OotP came out, maybe a bit more. The fandom was already massive by then and still growing. A lot of things have changed over the years. Definitely most of the old guard have moved on to newer fandoms, yet we're still getting fresh blood even now from people who either only lurked before, or have just discovered the books.

even in between the books, JKR would reveal new information that might debunk an entire WIP

Yeah, it used to drive me up the wall when she did that! I remember her going out of her way to shut down fan theories she'd read online because she thought that fans spending time considering them "wasn't productive" since they were never going to happen. It really boggled me that she apparently couldn't understand how speculation could be enjoyable in itself, even leaving aside the relationship to fanfic specifically. Maybe her intention was for people not to be devastated by disappointment when their pet theory didn't come true, but it seemed totally unnecessary and purely anti-fun to me at the time.

Date: 2015-05-20 06:24 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] author-by-night.livejournal.com
yet we're still getting fresh blood even now from people who either only lurked before, or have just discovered the books.


Yeah, and I honestly do like that. It's fun, even if it makes me feel a little old school at times. :P (There was one occasion where I felt there was a bit of a divide, though. But I'd rather not ramble about that here.)

but it seemed totally unnecessary and purely anti-fun to me at the time.

See, I always felt the opposite - I liked the new info because it gave me things to work with, and I only thought JKR was maybe a bit dismissive once, when she shot down Luna/Neville. I didn't ship it, but found her response... odd. I actually thought JKR was pretty supportive of her crazy fandom. I guess some theories were debunked, but I never minded that either. *Shrugs*




Edited Date: 2015-05-20 06:24 pm (UTC)

Date: 2015-05-21 01:10 pm (UTC)
pauraque: bird flying (Default)
From: [personal profile] pauraque
I wouldn't say she's unsupportive, but there's a difference between support and understanding. I can't remember exactly what theory she was shooting down when she made the "speculating about this isn't productive" comment, but it particularly stuck in my mind because it made her seem so oblivious to the idea that maybe the point of fannish speculation isn't to get the "right" answer (the canon answer) but just to have a good time wondering. A similar case was when she shot down Knight2King, which disappointed me not because I learned it wasn't true (I was already pretty sure it wasn't!) but because it cut off discussion and possible fic about an interesting scenario. Responding to such a fun theory with a flat "you're wrong" seemed to me to utterly miss the point and it did make me bristle.

But I think as someone who's never been in fandom it must be hard for her to imagine the power her casual remarks have over such a large number of people, and how different fanfic-writing fans are from fans who leave it at consuming the source material — let alone the diversity of opinions among fans of both types.

Date: 2015-05-19 06:16 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] indybaggins.livejournal.com
I feel that was about Sherlock episodes, I have a list of things I still want to write about, characters that I still want to love and create stories for before the big deadline of another episode and the upheaval that will bring.

Date: 2015-05-20 02:11 pm (UTC)
pauraque: bird flying (Default)
From: [personal profile] pauraque
Yeah, I've heard it both ways from Sherlock fans on my flist — people who are dying for new episodes, as well as people who already feel rushed to finish their fics before more canon comes into play.

Date: 2015-05-19 07:16 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] tamlane.livejournal.com
What an interesting post! Some of this rings true for me as well, particularly dreading new canon because of the reactions it evokes within fandom. I've never been involved in a TV fandom, but then again, I've never really been involved in any fandom other than Harry Potter. No other media has captured my imagination the way HP did. I have favorite books and films and TV shows, of course, and I'll mentally ship characters, but I've never felt the same burning need to toy with canon and explore all the possibilities. In HP fandom, there are just so many possibilities. A lot of tl;dr to basically say I'm approaching this discussion as a one-fandom girl. :D

I discovered HP fandom after the release of OotP, but it felt more like a way to pass the time while waiting on new canon. I was rabid for new canon. In fact, I'm not sure I would have ever gotten involved in fandom if it hadn't been for that long wait time. Being so brand new to it all, nothing could have prepared me for the release of HBP. People went absolutely nuts, didn't they? And I understand why, but it's not something I can easily relate to because I don't have OTPs, and I adore novelty, and I always felt confident that JKR knew what she was doing overall and would take the story where it needed to go. And all the ensuing wank was a buzzkill at a time when I wanted to be squeeing because OMG NEW CANON! I wasn't around for the release of the last book because of major life changes, but I think I would have dreaded it, too, after seeing the reaction to HBP.

When I read the last sentence of the series, canon was closed for me. I felt like my curiosity had been satisfied, and all the rest was JKR beating a dead horse. Pottermore feels very "so what?" to me, and these days JKR's comments and additions are more annoying than exciting. All that said, I CAN'T WAIT for Fantastic Beasts. I think it's going to be different enough that it won't evoke those "JKR is besmirching everything!" reactions, and I think it's going to be a much-needed breath of fresh air for HP fandom overall. I'm ready for another wild ride. :D

Date: 2015-05-20 02:49 pm (UTC)
pauraque: bird flying (Default)
From: [personal profile] pauraque
I discovered HP fandom after the release of OotP, but it felt more like a way to pass the time while waiting on new canon.

See, by the time I got into HP (between GoF and OotP), I had already been in X-Files and Star Trek fandoms for years, so when I finished reading GoF my immediate reaction was not "OMG when's the next book coming out?" but "OMG where's the fic for this???" There was no question of waiting for more because I already knew I wouldn't have to. :D

I think when OotP came out I felt like you did about HBP. I really loved the book — it was the last one I could read without anxiety about what would happen and what it would do to fandom, because I wasn't yet invested enough nor knowledgeable enough about what wanks were likely to happen. But a lot can change in two years, and by the time HBP rolled around I was definitely in the camp of the Bitter Old Fic Queens who harshed your newcomer squee. I was dreading the shakeup, and, to be honest, I had absorbed a lot of negative fandom attitudes about JKR. I remember reading the book as fast as possible to find out what would happen, probably white-knuckled with anxiety... You think maybe my lack of enjoyment of the book was not JKR's fault as a writer? :P

When DH came out I was on a break from heavy involvement in fandom, which I usually say is because I was really busy with other things — and that's not false, but I also don't think it was a coincidence that it happened when it did. I don't think my heart could take another experience like the HBP release.

I CAN'T WAIT for Fantastic Beasts. I think it's going to be different enough that it won't evoke those "JKR is besmirching everything!" reactions, and I think it's going to be a much-needed breath of fresh air for HP fandom overall. I'm ready for another wild ride. :D

I have no idea what the movie will bring, but I hope you're right that it'll give the fandom a shot in the arm. The pessimist in me wonders if it'll instead generate a new, separate fandom that is not rooted in the history of HP fandom here on LJ, and will just be a bunch of kids on Tumblr hyperventilating about how Eddie Redmayne's face is ruining their life. We'll just have to see!

Date: 2015-05-20 03:49 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] tamlane.livejournal.com
When DH came out I was on a break from heavy involvement in fandom, which I usually say is because I was really busy with other things — and that's not false, but I also don't think it was a coincidence that it happened when it did.

I hear that. I was on fandom overkill by the time DH rolled around. Definitely didn't have the energy for the wank anymore. Hell, people were STILL bitching about the epilogue when I came back 5 years later!


The pessimist in me wonders if it'll instead generate a new, separate fandom that is not rooted in the history of HP fandom here on LJ, and will just be a bunch of kids on Tumblr hyperventilating about how Eddie Redmayne's face is ruining their life.

LMAO!! I take it some of this has maybe already begun? XD I don't think that's pessimistic. I think it's realistic. I love LJ, but I can't imagine people flocking here in large numbers again, can you? I *am* looking forward to new characters and new fic, though.

Date: 2015-05-20 04:13 pm (UTC)
pauraque: bird flying (Default)
From: [personal profile] pauraque
I take it some of this has maybe already begun? XD

Not that I specifically know of — just a guess!

But really, you're right that it can be both. There can be a Fantastic Beasts fandom happening on the newer platforms and we can also use the new canon here in established HP fandom. It's a little startling to think about how much fandom as a whole has changed since DH came out in 2007. That was before Tumblr was used as a fannish platform, and well before AO3 existed.

Date: 2015-05-20 06:32 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] author-by-night.livejournal.com
And honestly, even before that, there were a lot of spaces. HP fandom is actually a lot more restricted. There used to be tons of websites, the ff.n HP fic archives, Ao3, messageboards... insanity. The only difference is that it was more of a chain, for the most part - there were some more separate aspects, I always felt like The Leaky Cauldron and MuggleNet were almost their own fandoms within the fandom (this isn't a criticism, just an observation), whereas in a lot of ways LJ was almost the fandom's Facebook page. So if I had a response to a thread on a forum that was a bit OT and/or tl;dr, I posted it on LJ, and I added friends I met from there. I guess that sometimes happens with tumblr on LJ, but I feel like it can be pretty separate, too.

Date: 2015-05-21 01:17 pm (UTC)
pauraque: bird flying (Default)
From: [personal profile] pauraque
FictionAlley was also separate to some degree and seemed (from what I knew of it) to have a very different fan culture from LJ. And even within LJ there could be separate circles that didn't overlap very much. I think this is kind of inevitable in enormous fandoms — when X-Files was big, it had the same kind of fragmentation. There is a threshold where you just can't keep up on every part of the fandom anymore because there simply aren't enough hours in the day, and I think that's why the fragmentation starts to happen, just to make it manageable. Of course, once it starts, it's self-reinforcing because people get used to their particular space and group of friends.

Date: 2015-05-20 10:13 pm (UTC)
ext_1581797: (Default)
From: [identity profile] notearchiver.livejournal.com
When I read the last sentence of the series, canon was closed for me. I felt like my curiosity had been satisfied, and all the rest was JKR beating a dead horse. Pottermore feels very "so what?" to me, and these days JKR's comments and additions are more annoying than exciting.

All of this.

Date: 2015-05-19 07:20 pm (UTC)
torino10154: Advanced Potions Making book (SDK_Potions book)
From: [personal profile] torino10154
HP is kind of an odd case because with Pottermore there has been a constant trickle of "new stuff", and it's been interesting to me how many people who are still in the fandom look at PM with not only a lack of interest but almost a sense of exhaustion. Like — stop. Just stop, it's enough, we don't need this anymore. Not everyone, of course, but I know I find it annoying because at this point I'd rather just have the canon set and the rules laid out, and it doesn't bother me a bit that the fandom as a whole has basically decided that PM canon is optional.

This is me totally. I think if she had written the encyclopedia, put info down in a book that would sit on my shelf along with the others, I'd find it harder to ignore. As it is though, if people are reading HP in 50 years, will they know the stuff she randomly threw out like bread crumbs?

To go back to the beginning, since HP is the only fandom I have, I have nothing to compare it to. I started out just talking canon with people--all the theories--but didn't start writing until about 4 months before DH came out. So I've had all of canon virtually the whole time I've been writing.

I remember when stuff about Minerva came out and someone (I am not 100% sure who) said something about with new info, a door closes, rather than opens. You can no longer play with her backstory because XYZ happened. It annoys the crap out of me that Snape's from Cokeworth since that's not explicitly stated in the books and I never, ever write it down in fic. But now when I read a fic that says he's from say, Manchester, I cringe just a little bit because I know that's "wrong".

I actually have no idea if I've answered the question you were asking. :/

Date: 2015-05-19 08:04 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] akatnamedeaster.livejournal.com
It annoys the crap out of me that Snape's from Cokeworth since that's not explicitly stated in the books and I never, ever write it down in fic.

Ugh, this. Northern boy Snape will live in my heart but he's been effectively skewered by PM.

One thing I really liked about HP is that everything wasn't spelled out for us, especially since we were seeing everything through Harry's eyes and only know what he knows about the adults. I loved that she had left all those holes wrt to non-essential information. It's only a shame that Sony needed her to toss out her notes to pad out their e-tail site, especially when it's not so well thought out stuff like Remus' backstory.

Date: 2015-05-19 08:13 pm (UTC)
torino10154: Advanced Potions Making book (SDK_Potions book)
From: [personal profile] torino10154
I just wrote out a big rant but backspaced it. LOL Needless to say, I feel the same way.

Date: 2015-05-20 03:06 pm (UTC)
pauraque: bird flying (Default)
From: [personal profile] pauraque
I think if she had written the encyclopedia, put info down in a book that would sit on my shelf along with the others, I'd find it harder to ignore. As it is though, if people are reading HP in 50 years, will they know the stuff she randomly threw out like bread crumbs?

That's a great point. It's not crazy to imagine that people will care about this series 50 years later — Star Trek's 50th anniversary is coming up next year, and I believe Doctor Who had its 50th recently as well. If creators want later additions to be considered canon, they need to document them in a way that new fans coming to the series a long time from now can be aware of them, or they will be forgotten anyway.

I remember when stuff about Minerva came out and someone (I am not 100% sure who) said something about with new info, a door closes, rather than opens. You can no longer play with her backstory because XYZ happened.

I agree, and I think this is one of those things that JKR has always struggled with understanding about fandom. She's always seemed to assume that what the fans want is closure — it's why she used to shoot down fan theories in interviews even while the books were still being written, why she included the epilogue rather than leaving it to readers' imagination what the Trio did after the war, and why Pottermore is the way it is.

As fanfic writers, this feels terribly frustrating to us, because it's the exact opposite of what we need to have our fun. We feel more satisfied when we come up with the answers ourselves rather than having them handed down from on high.

This is why I have always felt a smug sort of delight that next-gen fic took off as it did after DH, because it takes what JKR obviously intended to be an endpoint, a happily-ever-after, and turns it into a springboard for a whole slew of new stories. You just can't keep fic writers down — you can write "The End" all you want, but for us, it is never the end.

Date: 2015-05-19 10:32 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] melodyssister.livejournal.com
I'm also a one-fandom girl, and maybe even a one character girl: HP fandom is almost entirely about Snape for me, and mainly SS/HG at that. I joined the fandom only after it closed - I read PS when it came out and was so underwhelmed that I only read the other books when my sons started reading them (so, around 2007). In other words, I've always had HBP, and I could really do without DH. OTOH, I'm a consumer, not a creator, so far, and I can enjoy jossed premises as much as canon-compliant ones, even AUs, so long as they convince me in and of themselves.

Date: 2015-05-20 03:23 pm (UTC)
pauraque: bird flying (Default)
From: [personal profile] pauraque
I think if I'd only had Book 1 to go on, I wouldn't have been an early joiner to the fandom. I saw the PS movie first, and my reaction was that Snape was the best thing in the movie and I wanted to know more about him. My brother, who was already a fan, told me to read the books, so I did, but I didn't get truly hooked until PoA. I loved that Snape had more to do in it and I thought Lupin was a great character (Snape/Lupin was my first HP ship). My interests in other characters branched out quickly when I started reading and writing fic, but without Snape I doubt I'd be here at all!

Date: 2015-05-19 11:43 pm (UTC)
ext_7739: (Default)
From: [identity profile] http://users.livejournal.com/_hannelore/
I guess I can barely remember what comes out of Pottermore, so it doesn't feel so much like it spoils anything for me. If there's something I like, I can adapt it, if I don't, then I don't think a lot of people in HP fandom care if you're not PM-compliant.

I'm not even in XF fandom, but I did enjoy the series (to a point), but I am anxious for THAT because I don't want to see what they could possibly do to it. There could be polar bears. :|

I am sort of excited for Fantastic Beasts, though. It's different enough from next gen and it will be interesting whether it ends up being a shot in the arm for HP fandom or not. I wouldn't say I'm hungry for new canon, but in this case I don't mind that it's coming.

Date: 2015-05-20 03:27 pm (UTC)
pauraque: bird flying (Default)
From: [personal profile] pauraque
I don't think a lot of people in HP fandom care if you're not PM-compliant

I don't think most people care either, it's just left open. I've seen author's notes specifying that a fic is PM-compliant, and that it isn't. There doesn't seem to be a general assumption either way, sort of like the epilogue. I've never seen someone reply to a fic "correcting" a detail that conflicts with PM; if someone doesn't use the information it's just assumed that they don't like it rather than they don't know it.

Date: 2015-05-20 01:29 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] alchemine.livejournal.com
By the end of the HP series I really couldn't enjoy reading the books, or even read them as books and not as fodder for fandom.

I had that problem too, and in a way it damaged both the books and fandom for me. I started reading the books just before PoA came out in the US - I had read SS/PS and CoS the summer leading up to its release - and I remember waiting eagerly for GoF to arrive the following year. I got into fandom and started writing when the first film came out (literally, I came home from seeing it and went looking for fanfic), and from that point on, I was never able to read any of the books with the pure unalloyed pleasure I'd taken in the first four, and I also wasn't able to enjoy fandom as much I had during the first year and a half. I stuck around for another couple of years - the last two pieces of HP fanfic I wrote were post-HBP, in autumn of 2005 - but it was never quite the same. Most of what I've written since then has been for [livejournal.com profile] yuletide, and those fandoms are usually ones that I enjoy, but don't consider myself part of in the same way I did for HP, so whether they're open or closed doesn't matter as much to me, if that makes sense.

Date: 2015-05-20 03:41 pm (UTC)
pauraque: bird flying (Default)
From: [personal profile] pauraque
It does make sense. Writing for Yuletide feels very different from writing in an active fandom, no matter what the status of the source material is. Aside from the obvious anxieties of writing in an exchange for someone you probably don't know, it can be relaxing in a way to write without the commotion of other people's fanworks, discussions, and opinions surrounding you.

Yet it can also feel isolating if you're used to having that buzz of activity to keep the fire lit under you. I've heard a lot of fandom people say this about trying their hand at original fiction after focusing on fanfic for a long time — that it's lonely to suddenly be the only one who cares about the characters and world that you're immersed in.

It's been my experience that once you reach a certain threshold of involvement in a fandom, you do end up sacrificing the thing that probably brought you to the fandom in the first place: that pure pleasure and delight that you felt when you discovered it. Seeing new canon for a fandom you're already deeply invested in can never be the same as it would have been if you'd just read the books/watched the show/whatever and had no idea about the fan community surrounding it. I don't see it as a good or bad thing, but just a can't-have-your-cake-and-eat-it-too thing. They're different levels of appreciation of a thing and they both have pros and cons. Usually when the con side gets too heavy is when a person quits a fandom, and that balance tips at different weights for different people.

Date: 2015-05-21 12:47 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] kellychambliss.livejournal.com
Coming late to the party, but I think there's still plenty of fun to be had here.

As with many things, I'm of two minds (probably several minds, actually) about canon issues. As a fanfic writer, I've been devoted to only two fandoms -- HP and Star Trek: Voyager. With HP, although I read the books as they came out (starting with OoP), I didn't actually join fandom until 2008. So I never had the disappointment of seeing new canon upend a preferred theory of mine. I did have that experience with VOY, though, as the characterization became more erratic with each new season, and hoped-for plot lines didn't develop. But in a lot of ways, the weaker canon got, the better it was for fandom: there was so much to fix and redo, so many opportunities for fanficcers. So I guess I don't really mind either situation -- new canon or no new canon, just as long as people stick around the fandom.

That's sort of how I feel about Pottermore, too. Otoh, I am disappointed by the various backstories JKR has provided: shallow, stereotypical, heteronormative. Otoh, the PM stories have given me a lot to play with as a writer. I really enjoy finding ways to incorporate new canon into my head canon. I always prefer to make my characters as canon as possible at the same time that I make them my own, and it's a fun challenge to try to bring my own canon and official canon into sync. (Of course, I'm also happy just to ignore PM when it suits me. And book canon, too, if I want.)

In RL as well as fandom, I am a person who sticks with things -- jobs, friends, TV shows, book series, etc -- usually to the bitter end, often long after they have ceased to be good. So I'll be in HP in one form or another forever, I suppose. Same with VOY. That fandom died a quick death after official canon ended, but I still poke around in it from time to time.

Date: 2015-05-21 01:28 pm (UTC)
pauraque: bird flying (Default)
From: [personal profile] pauraque
But in a lot of ways, the weaker canon got, the better it was for fandom: there was so much to fix and redo, so many opportunities for fanficcers.

Yes, I agree with this. It's always seemed to me that the best fandoms for fic are the ones where there is a lot that begs to be fixed or expanded on. If the source material feels so complete that you leave it totally satisfied — or so excellent that you don't think you could do any better — it tends to discourage the growth of a creative fandom.

I only lurked in VOY, but I remember that as the writing on the show got weaker, I became more immersed in reading fic, even to the point where I'd miss episodes of the show and barely realize that I had. I'm pretty sure there are eps I still haven't seen. I also kind of remember (and you can tell me if this fits your recollection) fic getting less canon-bound as the series went off the rails, with more elaborate AUs and fewer post-eps or otherwise deeply-enmeshed-in-canon stories being posted.

Date: 2015-05-22 05:28 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] kellychambliss.livejournal.com
I'm pretty sure there are eps I still haven't seen
Same here. Despite having been a VOY fanatic for its first six years, there are at least two episodes in the last season that I know I have never seen. By Season Seven, they had made such a travesty of Janeway's character that canon no longer offered me much.

fic getting less canon-bound as the series went off the rails, with more elaborate AUs and fewer post-eps or otherwise deeply-enmeshed-in-canon stories being posted.
This doesn't quite square with my experience. There definitely were a lot of AUs and such, but among the writers I mostly followed, canon-compliance remained pretty strong. Several of my favorite writers did an entire, elaborate "new season" after canon ended. "Voyager Season 7.5," I think they called it. Very canon-like.

Date: 2015-05-22 06:14 pm (UTC)
pauraque: bird flying (tng engage)
From: [personal profile] pauraque
It probably had to do with the particular writers I followed, then. I'm curious how they managed a virtual season after the final episode of the show — did they focus on what happened to everyone after they got back to the Alpha Quadrant? I wrote for an X-Files virtual season after that show ended, but it was very AU.
Edited Date: 2015-05-22 06:15 pm (UTC)

Date: 2015-05-22 06:27 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] kellychambliss.livejournal.com
You know, I'm ashamed to say that it's been so long since I read Season 7.5 that I have forgotten most of it! Of course, it's AU in the sense that none of it happened in canon, but my memory is that it built on existing canon and tried to stay within its parameters. But I could be misremembering. Here's a link - https://www.fanfiction.net/u/139635/Voyager-Season-7-5

Also, my apologies for the giant dangling modifier in my first paragraph! English teacher's worst nightmare -- public grammar errors /g/. I can only plead. . .I don't know. Temporary insanity.

Date: 2015-05-23 12:34 pm (UTC)
pauraque: bird flying (Default)
From: [personal profile] pauraque
Oh, thanks! I guess I could have googled that myself, couldn't I?

I didn't read it as a dangling modifier, but merely a dropped "I'm". Perfectly acceptable in this informal context, I think!

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