Kindle Worlds and fanfiction

wool-uk-cover-finalThis morning while browsing the internet, I read Hugh Howey’s latest blog post “When Words Become Worlds“. He talked about how he’s now put his “Wool” universe up on Amazon’s Kindle World wherein readers and fans can now actually write and publish what is, essentially, “Wool” fanfiction.

That. Is. COOL!

I make it no secret that I once upon a time wrote fanfiction; it was how I cut my writing teeth, to be honest. I learned how to create a story and interesting characters by essentially playing in other creator’s backyards. It’s a time honored tradition; fanzines have been around for decades as readers try to emulate or continue the adventures of beloved characters. Some authors and publishers do see it as an infringement on their copyright (Anne Rice and Laurel K Hamilton come to mind) and some would argue that it could lead to problems in the future should canon and fanon collide.

When Kindle Worlds first came out, I was skeptical that it would work. In a way, I still am. In my mind, there’s a fine line between canon and fanon, but people differ on what they consider each. For example, as a kid I poured over the Star Trek: The Next Generation novels, looking for any morsel of my favorite characters. Internet and Fanfiction.net introduced me to more writers and fanfics, many of which were (IMO) just as good if not better than the source material. Indeed, some fanon ideas become practically canon in some circles (how on earth did Severus Snape become a sex symbol?!), so there’s a lot of crossover.

But who decides what is fanon and what is canon?

Publishers would tell you it’s them and what they decide to print/license, but many voracious readers prefer what fandom creates. Cassandra Clare of “The Mortal Instruments” fame started out writing Harry Potter fan fiction (which I *LOVED* btw) and managed to leverage her readership over to her novels. Same with EL James (“Fifty Shades”), and Sylvain Reynard (“Gabriel’s Inferno” series), both of whose bestselling series started out as Twilight fanfiction.

…meh, I’m screwing this up. Hugh Howey says it much more eloquently than me, but I’m interested in seeing where this all goes!

*~*~*

On a more personal note, I’ve had a lot of people asking me when I’ll be posting another snippet for Snippet Saturday. Well, this week is the first time in what feels like forever that I’m actually writing new material; it was also the first time I could enter my office without inciting something akin to a panic attack.

For the life of me, I don’t know why I felt like this the last two months, but I’m am SO GLAD that it’s over!!!

I have a lot of lost time to make up for, but promise that the snippets will resume. The hard part is not giving away too much information about the plot, etc; sometimes I wonder if I give you folks too much!! But then, nah, you deserve it for being as awesome as you are. 😀

I’m about a week away from announcing a release date for part 3 of Castaway. Once this part’s done, then it’ll be edits, cover art decisions, and *GASP!* actually releasing it!!

What are you saying? Why am I writing a silly blog post when I should be writing more AHW?! Okay, I’m a’gettin, I’m a’gettin!!! 😉

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Weekly recap

Nice upon a time, I used to blog. A lot. If I found something cool, I’d slap it up on my journal to show folks the daily coolness I’d found. And it was good.

Then Twitter came around, the perfect place for my short attention span, and that took me over. It isn’t that one is better than the other but one IS easier to use (I’m looking at you, Retweet feature) when you want to spread news or links or cool videos of kittens. However, I think it’s a disservice to bloggers to focus on one and not the other so I’m going to try my darnedest (is that a word?) to make time for all media, including this blog and Facebook.

So, that said, here are a list of nifty things I found this week.

Quitting The Paint Factory by Mark Slouka : an old essay but, despite it’s wordiness, it struck home

Interesting iReaderReview article : so true, but does this have to be a bad thing?

Great post/series about Alpha males

– bestselling traditional author Sue Grafton trashes indie authors, calling us “lazy” to go this route, then later apologizes (sort of)

– interesting NYT article on font choice and “believability” of the text – I use Calibri and Garamond, if anyone is curious 😉

– fell in love with fellow indie author Hugh Howey‘s “Molly Fyde” series : I’ve been told that “Wool” is better but seriously, I can’t stop fangirling over this series; I’ve always loved space opera and YA, and this is seriously the perfect mix of both

Worst. First lines. EVAR. Still have me rolling in amusement!

*

A quick note regarding AHW5: there’s a lot going right now in the background but I promise you I’m working on it and WILL be releasing it. I wish I had a release date set but as soon as I get that figured out I will let you all know. Promise!!!

Now, back to writing. I’m at this really nifty part where Lucy, Jeremiah and co are being shot at by… Well, it’s pretty cool. 😉 (too much teasing?)

Beat ’em til their bloody

I love to read. That probably doesn’t come as much of a surprise to most folks as they assume all writers like reading, but books have always been an important part of my life. Christmas and birthday gifts were almost always books I wanted or gift cards to bookstores, which were always used immediately to restock my TBR pile. My favorite place (and my parents’ – free books for a voracious reader!) was the library, both public and at school. I read any and everything I could get my hands on; my nose was constantly in a book. Adulthood has lessened that to a large extent, sadly enough, but I do have brief bouts of manic reading.

What does this have to do with my subject line? Well, I learned early on that I most enjoyed reading about suffering characters. The more dire the situation, the more I relished the read. Cliffhangers were awesome, provided the next book was immediately available, but I’d eagerly await the next part to see how it all turned out. I didn’t like stories with unhappy endings (still refuse to read or warch “The Road”) but I enjoyed watching characters grow even as they suffered.

Where am I going with this? Well, for the last week I’ve been on a reading frenzy (and yes, my writing has suffered to my dismay) of a scifi YA “Molly Fyde” series by Hugh Howey. It has everything a girl could want: action, adventure, kick-ass heroine, angst, love, betrayal, genocide, politicking…

*looks back at that list* Okay, so this girl doesn’t want everything on that list, but it makes a compelling read. I love smart series like this, the kind that give characters impossible situations and, when they choose, they have to live with the ramifications of their actions. When they make a mistake and it comes back to haunt them. Reading books like this make me realize how much I as a writer still have to learn – its HARD to beat up your characters, even if it’s for their own good or the good of the story.

But boy, does it make for one heck of a ride.

Beat 'em til their bloody

I love to read. That probably doesn’t come as much of a surprise to most folks as they assume all writers like reading, but books have always been an important part of my life. Christmas and birthday gifts were almost always books I wanted or gift cards to bookstores, which were always used immediately to restock my TBR pile. My favorite place (and my parents’ – free books for a voracious reader!) was the library, both public and at school. I read any and everything I could get my hands on; my nose was constantly in a book. Adulthood has lessened that to a large extent, sadly enough, but I do have brief bouts of manic reading.

What does this have to do with my subject line? Well, I learned early on that I most enjoyed reading about suffering characters. The more dire the situation, the more I relished the read. Cliffhangers were awesome, provided the next book was immediately available, but I’d eagerly await the next part to see how it all turned out. I didn’t like stories with unhappy endings (still refuse to read or warch “The Road”) but I enjoyed watching characters grow even as they suffered.

Where am I going with this? Well, for the last week I’ve been on a reading frenzy (and yes, my writing has suffered to my dismay) of a scifi YA “Molly Fyde” series by Hugh Howey. It has everything a girl could want: action, adventure, kick-ass heroine, angst, love, betrayal, genocide, politicking…

*looks back at that list* Okay, so this girl doesn’t want everything on that list, but it makes a compelling read. I love smart series like this, the kind that give characters impossible situations and, when they choose, they have to live with the ramifications of their actions. When they make a mistake and it comes back to haunt them. Reading books like this make me realize how much I as a writer still have to learn – its HARD to beat up your characters, even if it’s for their own good or the good of the story.

But boy, does it make for one heck of a ride.