Thursday, March 4, 2010
The Perils of Fan Fiction - Part I

Lately, I've been thinking about fanfic.

This is new to me. Up until this this point in my life, I've spent more time thinking about how turtles have sex than about fan fiction.

Don't get me wrong. I don't have anything against fan fiction. It's just....

It's like this. Let's say you came up to me and said, "So, what do you think about Dnipropetrovsk?"

I would look at you blankly.

Then you would say, "Dnipropetrovsk? Major Ukrainian industrial center?"

To which I would shake my head dumbly.

Dismayed, you would continue, "Come on! It's the third largest city in the Ukraine! More than a million people live there! How can you not know about Dnipropetrovsk?"

At this point in the conversation, I would probably explain that I'm sure that Dnipropetrovsk plays a vital role in a lot of peoples' lives. I'd admit that I'm not surprised that folks have strong feelings about how it used to be a major military asset for the USSR. I'm sure that a lot of people live, breathe, and spend a big chunk of their waking time thinking about Dnipropetrovsk.

But I'm just not one of those people. I've never known anyone from there. Never visited. Never seen a movie set in the city. For all these reasons, Dnipropetrovsk has been off my radar for my entire life.

It's the same thing with fan fiction.

Admittedly, in these last several years, I've become aware of fan fiction through a slow osmosis. At any given convention there are going to be panels on the subject. You'll hear conversations in the hall. Occasional jokes.

Even so, fan fiction has only been dimly present on the edge of my perception.

The one notable exception is that I've known, sooner or later, that someone was going to do fan fiction about my stuff. Using my characters. Set in my world.

Truth is, I've looked forward to it. When people start writing fan fiction about your stuff, it shows that your writing has attained a level of popularity. It's like fanart, in my opinion. No matter how you feel about the art itself, the fact that someone went out of their way to do it is really flattering.

That's the most I ever thought about it. The thought of folks writing a Potter vs. Kvothe cage match never really bugged me.

How other writers feel on the subject has never concerned me very much. I know emotions tend to run hot on the subject. Some people love fan fiction. Some people hate it. Some people view it as legally actionable, others see it as a crime against god and nature.

The first people I met who were firmly on one end of the spectrum are the awesome folks who won the photo contest that I ran a while back. The first time I ever met them out at Gencon, they expressed a firm distaste for fanfic. They even made up this picture for me.

When I went down to Indianapolis a year ago, I they dressed up for a reading I did at their local library. And, as a joke, I had Kvothe and Bast pose for kiss because we were talking about the bit of Yaoi that got written.

You can see from the expression on Kvothe's face that she doesn't condone this sort of behavior.

It didn't really strike me as odd that people who engaged in cosplay would look down on people who wrote fan fiction. There is a viscous of territorialism in geek society, as shown by this flow chart that Brunching Shuttlecocks put together years ago:

(Click to Embiggen.)

It reminds me of a quote that used to get tossed around when I was in grad school. "Why is the competition on academia so fierce? Because the stakes are so low."

I think some similar psychological force is at play in geekdom.

Hold on.... I just realized something. Our award-winning cosplayers, by putting together a series of images that tell a story have created a narrative. A narrative that features characters someone else created.

Does that make their entry to the photo contest fan fiction? Are they all closet fanficers?

Whoo boy. I'm glad I'm not there to hear the great wailing and gnashing of teeth right now. I'm guessing those are fighting words....

Anyway, I always figured how people felt about fanfic was a personal issue. It's like Jefferson said: "It does me no injury for my neighbor to say there are twenty gods or no God. It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg."

That's been my philosophy. You love fanfic? Fine. You hate it? Also fine. It really doesn't effect my life in the least.

But then I accidentally wrote a piece of fan fiction, and everything changed....

(Stay tuned for part two, space cowboys.)


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posted by Pat at


Blogger Rebel Goddess said...

You know we're now all desperate to know.

BTW, I'm a fanfic reader / writer and have to say I stick with (Song of Ice and Fire writer) George R.R. Martin's view of it:

Don't write it if you want to be a serious writer. You're playing in someone else's universe from which you can never make money and whose characters will never be truly yours.

On the other hand, Nonjon & JBern both offer better per word amusement than many published authors I've read, including Mr Martin's...

March 4, 2010 10:34 AM  
Anonymous MAS said...

I'm ambivalent about fanfic. Don't write it, don't read it. But I love the Jefferson quote you used, Pat.

March 4, 2010 10:46 AM  
Blogger logankstewart said...

I'm mostly indifferent to fanfic. I don't read it. I don't write it. I don't berate folks that do, though. I just prefer things that are canon.

I'm interested to hear about your fall into fanfic. What could it be about? Hmmmmm....

March 4, 2010 10:53 AM  
Blogger Micah said...

When established authors write fanfiction they call it a 'tribute anthology'...which makes it somehow ok.

March 4, 2010 10:55 AM  
Anonymous Amos Alexzander said...

Being a prospective writer myself, I must agree with you on the idea of someone writing a fanfic one stories, I would love to have even one fanfic on anything I may get published years from now. Simply for the fact that "When people start writing fan fiction about your stuff, it shows that your writing has attained a level of popularity." as you so well put it.

March 4, 2010 11:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Please let it be a facfic based on a great book called The Name of the Wind. A great working title would be.. oh... The Wise Man's Fear?

That would be some great fanfic. Can we see some of that?

No? crap.

March 4, 2010 11:04 AM  
Anonymous Mrs. Doc said...

The only thing that bothers me about the fanfic and fanart linked to here is how often Kvothe looks like a girl. Or IS a girl.

March 4, 2010 11:05 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Would your fanfic happen to be in the Cowboy Bebop Universe?

March 4, 2010 11:08 AM  
Anonymous UK Chris said...

Don't read it (unless you consider all the Dragonlance stuff not written by Weis or Hickman). But I agree, the fact that people actually went out of their way to use your sandbox is a bit flattering.

March 4, 2010 11:13 AM  
Blogger Simply Wren said...

Is fanfic so villified because in reading a novel or group of unified stories, so much (if well done) is left unsaid and therefore in the realm of the reader? So if someone else should take that source material and "add" to it, it feels as if they were interlopers into each reader's understanding? The original author has that prerogative, because, well, it's his/hers, but to be "legitimate" the fanfic writer would have to be really, really good and match exactly the tone, style and intent of the original author - and so few are.

March 4, 2010 11:32 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just thought I'd let you know, if by some chance you didn't already, but you got a very good review from PA and they recommended you on their site.

March 4, 2010 11:50 AM  
Anonymous Steffi said...

Love that chart--but how can filk be missing from it? It's no real geekdom hierarchy chart without filkers! (Which, I assume, would rank even lower than sci-fi fanfic...and before you people mobilise against me, I'm a filker myself :-) )

March 4, 2010 11:53 AM  
Blogger Christopher said...

My feelings are...When one dwells often in a fantasy land created by another and develops a bond with the world and it's characters, their way of spending more time in the landscape is to write about it. Some of it may be decent, some may be terribly horrid but all is creative.

Perhaps that individual would like to share his/her words with others who are like minded for constructive criticism in attempt to improve their skills and so they post it up for them to view.

I don't feel anyone should trample under foot the creative inspiration of others and berate them for seeking advice or feedback.

Aside from that, folks who are serious about writing, will not dwell in another man's land for long, they usually have aspirations of developing their own world.

March 4, 2010 11:54 AM  
Anonymous LaurafromNY said...

@ Mrs. Doc

I was wondering why Kvothe looks like a girl in some of the fan art...maybe the long, bright hair, (gives a vixen-like quality).

Fanfiction is awesome simply because most writers start out this way, (regardless of whether or not you actually write the words down or change and scene and play it out in your head).

Besides, I've read some fanfiction (based on animes) that are even BETTER than the original plot/story. Then there are some that seem to be written by three year olds and by three year olds with very, VERY dirty minds...

March 4, 2010 12:17 PM  
Blogger Laura said...

/laugh/ Oh, my. I think I need to step in and clarify, quick.

I'm the Kvothe in the photos, and I'll readily admit that if I need to explain the joke, it means we didn't pull it off well. The "I hate fanfic" pic came while Kvothe was standing in for Fela during a lighting test, and the joke was that any fanfic featuring Ambrose pressing Kvothe up against a wall was probably not a scene Kvothe was gonna enjoy. Hence, Kvothe's opinion (not mine) of, "I hate fanfic."

Personally, I have no strong opinion on fanfic. Most of it is laughably bad, but some of it is really excellent. What we talked about originally, what *does* get me riled about fanfic, is when the fanfic scribblers are not true to the original characters.

If you need an explanation for the second pic, that would probably be it. As I read book 1, Kvothe's and Bast's relationship is something other than lovers. So I'd imagine Kvothe merely tolerating his randy puckish friend, knowing that Bast would be off after another cute femme in a moment.

So now that I've undermined some of the post... would anyone like to see my drafts of Kvothe's dazzling life fronting a boy band? :)

March 4, 2010 12:17 PM  
Blogger Jason said...

It's funny, but I feel about fanfic much the way that I feel about "shared universe" anthologies and the various "property" novel lines like Star Trek, Star Wars, Battletech, etc.

They're all writers trying to tie into the ideas/settings created by others. How well they succeed is a question of their skill, and to a degree the strength and opportunities present in the original work. "Expansions" don't work if the original author didn't create a setting vibrant enough to expand on, and they don't work if the current writer isn't skillful enough to take advantage of them well.

In both cases, someone's using another author's "story engine" to write from. They're not inventing as much, they're not learning worldbuilding, etc, etc. But that doesn't necessarily imply bad prose or bad ideas. Just that it's a potential crutch.

The main issue with fanfiction (as opposed to "shared universe" anthologies or the series novels) is the problem with the internet. There's no editors or agents - no barriers to publishing. Like all websites, that allows more of the weaker stuff to get published, and makes it seem worse.

Sturgeon's Law applies: 90% of everything is crud. The difference is that the publication process helps to winnow out some of that crap, whereas someone's homepage, or a mailing list, etc, generally doesn't.

March 4, 2010 12:17 PM  
Blogger Naelok said...

I'm surprised you don't have a post about how you are now in with Penny Arcade. Reports indicate that Scott Kurtz is picking your book up now too.

That's going to sell you like a million more copies of your book I bet.

March 4, 2010 12:20 PM  
Blogger Pat said...

I'd love to read that....

March 4, 2010 12:24 PM  
Blogger Jason said...

@Laura: Heh, that's about the healthiest opinion I've heard, and exactly what I thought those shots were implying - not "I hate all fanfic" so much as "I hate being put in this position by a fanfic author".

So, at least one person got it. Hope that helps.

March 4, 2010 12:24 PM  
Blogger Laura said...

@Jason -- yay! thank you!
@Mrs. Doc -- I'm sorry, we ran out of males.

March 4, 2010 12:29 PM  
Blogger Been said...

Hmm, I believe you talked about writing this particular piece of fan fiction while touring England (Manchester to be precise). I wouldn't want to spoil the topic for everyone else though, so I'm going to keep quiet it's horrible nature.

To keep things topical, I don't read fan fiction much nowadays, but I used to read a pages of the stuff a number of years back when I had a ridiculous amount of free time on my hands. The one thing that struck me, even then, was how the majority of them insisted on trying to pair up all the main and secondary characters with each other. Not so bad in itself, but sometimes the pairings people came up with were outright bizarre. One I still can't wrap my head around was a Dragon Ball Z one which paired Pan with Tien of all people (Yes I know, I liked Dragon Ball Z. It was the 90s). The 40-odd year age difference was just glossed over and I don't think either of them were ever brought up again.

Nothing wrong with the idea of pairings in general, one of the reasons people write fan fiction is to focus the characters they like, but when it's just off-handedly pairing characters to one another without any sort of reasoning or purpose just irked me.

March 4, 2010 12:38 PM  
Blogger Mad Hatter Review said...

Let me guess. You're contributing to the Firefly short story collection. It has to be something from the world of Whedon.

March 4, 2010 12:38 PM  
Blogger Loki said...

I have no interest at all in fan-fiction, because to me, canon has always been vital to my enjoyment of any story. The knowledge that what happens can and will have ramifications in later stories is the main reason I can buy into a story as "real" while I read it. ("Tributes" by published authors and the like strike me the same way - if they're sanctioned by the original creator and/or play into an established canon, yay, if not, I could not care less). That said, I obviously have no issues with anybody else liking it. To each their own.

As to this one... didn't the good Mr. Rothfuss mention having an idea for a Dr. Horrible fanfic in the shower at one point? And didn't he stress it was the first time he even thought to write such a fanfic ever? (If it is, sir, you should totally contact one of the Whedons about it. Who knows, maybe they'll let you do a comic or something... ('cause if it is canon, I'll suddenly want to read it!))

March 4, 2010 12:55 PM  
Anonymous faevii said...

I ... I don't know why I still remember you having mentioned this before, seeing as it was over a year ago, but I do. Must have been the horrified tone in which I read the sentence "I had written fanfic." :D

March 4, 2010 12:55 PM  
Blogger peggy38 said...

I wonder where "People who make a printout of the geek hierarchy for future less geeky than some titters" fall in the geek hierarchy?

As for fan fic, I just don't see the point. If you are going to take the time to imagine fictional situations and to bother to write them down, you should be able to create your own stories. To me the greatest honor you can give an author is to write something original and bad-ass and then give him some of the credit for inspiring your work.

This I plan to do for you, Pat, one of these days. NOTW got me jumpstarted again on my own novel ;-)

March 4, 2010 1:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Singing in the shower and then coming up with the fanfic, huh?
(that's from your previous blog about said fanfiction)

It can only be Dr. Horrible, me thinks.
Though that thought shows how much I assume that hunky creative brain of yours is capable of doing, seeing as it has you not only creating a clever story, creating original music, singing and creating lyrics in a short timespan, plus still managing to thoroughly scrubadub that delightful beard of yours... hmm, maybe I assume too much?

Dr. Horrible or not, I'm sure it's witty and insightful and ever so slightly darker and more realistic than the original.

I once had a fanfic thought about the world of the Four Corners, where a man had the 'knack' to accidentally cause harm to others. It followed his life and Kvothe's in parallel, so you saw it was his fault the tree fell on the road and stopped the caravan's, he who made the farmer and his son leave Tarbean early, and so on... A very sad little story, with a quite clever ending if I say so myself.

But when after the thought, the story and the ending had come to me I remembered I should be doing more creative stuff than copying an idol's world... so I continued working on an original novel.
In which I blatantly copied a scene from The prisoner of Askaban, without noticing it.

Creative impulses can be fickle.


March 4, 2010 1:14 PM  
Blogger Manrix said...

Yeah, I can also still remember the horrible fanfic you'd been talking about. One thing though: that took you like six hours or more, according to that blog (if I remember correctly) and now you're saying you've spent more time thinking about turtles having sex? I must say, I am suprised. And a bit worried.
Does this stem from the same source as you lesbian unicorns? xD But now that I think of it, Beagle made unicorns a serious business, and homosexuality does occur in nature (especially among the more evolved creatures), so I guess that's not that weird.
Still, turtle sex? It not just worrying, it sounds boring as well... ;)

March 4, 2010 1:17 PM  
Blogger Vulpes Fulva said...

You wrote Buffy fanfic, didn't you, Pat?
I will laugh at you for days. Then I will read it.. and love it... and probably write a fanfic short story of my own. :(
I've never liked fanfic, just because so much of it out there is the prattling of pasty, Naruto-wet-dreaming-13-year-olds.
But I guess I've written a form of fanfic before.
Pat, I remember reading that you had an early love for Dragonlance, as did I. As did a bunch of my friends. Around the same time, we were introduced to table-top RPGing, and it didn't take long for us to put a game together in the Dragonlance universe, Krynn. We rolled out our own original characters, created alternate/parallel timelines, and created new plotlines. I wasn't the DM, but as the game got into its 3rd year, I started writing. I have a 15-page start to a manuscript that details the life of a character named Vaesthalas (my player character in the game). I will never finish it, of course... I would rather work on wholly original novels that might actually get me somewhere... but it was well-written enough to be accepted with the rest of my graduation portfolio a year or so ago, and the guy who read it was a genre-fiction hater.
Anyway, that's my fanfic story, sorry if I made anyone angry because they had to scroll forever to get past my comment.


March 4, 2010 1:19 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Most things get better when I kick them...

March 4, 2010 1:24 PM  
Anonymous Erik said...

So, am I the only one who misread the title?

March 4, 2010 1:44 PM  
Blogger Evan said...

First of all, allow me to echo the congratulations on the review that Name of the Wind received from Penny Arcade. I hope it does translate into more sales for you and more people reading your book. I'm firmly convinced that a world where everyone has read The Name of the Wind would be a better world.

I think that my feelings toward fanfic really depends on whether or not the author is done with the story, and the medium in which it is written (novel, movie, video game, etc...). For instance, I cannot fathom reading Kingkiller fanfic, because you're not done with the story yet. I can't imagine reading someone else's interpretation of the story before the author's own interpretation is done. I felt the same way about people who were obsessing over Harry Potter fanfic before the 7th book was released. I felt like they were spoiling the author's storyline for themselves by confusing it with other storylines. It's like Harry Potter meets Infinite Crisis...only bad things can happen.

However, I must confess to reading a lot of Chrono Trigger fan fiction when I was younger, but that was because I thought the storyline was basically over (Chrono Cross wasn't announced yet). I didn't want it to be over yet, so I got into reading fanfiction about what happened to the characters after the game ended.

Love the blog by the way. Your College Survival Guide excerpts always seem to put a smile on my face whenever I need to hear a good rant.

March 4, 2010 1:50 PM  
Blogger Laura said...

Most certainly not the only fanfic based on your work, you know. Simple search gave me this:

March 4, 2010 3:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


Please post the link for the Kvothe fanfic with the boy band.

March 4, 2010 3:26 PM  
Blogger Laura said...

@Anon - Boy band? I don't see that one...

March 4, 2010 4:24 PM  
Blogger kytyn said...

just last week I was doing a search for a Tick quote and found some post-series Oz/Xander/Willow fanfic... (which turned out to be quite sweet)

Dropped by to see if the Penny-Arcade post was mentioned here yet.

March 4, 2010 4:29 PM  
Anonymous Andrew said...

I never really thought about writing fanfic until I was reading Antigone and, at the same time, rereading NOTW last night. Of course, I got quite confused when Creon began shouting at Ambrose for being such a weak man, following Eurydice and supporting her in her quest to bury her brother, Kvothe. But after that, I realized how awesome Skarpi's stories would be as a movie, or at least an elaborate play. Stay tuned; I may be sending you a script in the near future. I'm thinking Morgan Freeman for Tehlu.

March 4, 2010 4:29 PM  
Blogger The Art of Kim Kincaid said...

Among all that fan art, is my drawing of Kvothe that I spent alot of time on, except someone has taken it and colored it (rather garishly) without my permission. To me, that's sort like fan fiction. They take someone else's work and alter it without asking. And though it's flattering, in a way, it would be nice to be asked. There, I'm done with my momentary rave and I'll go back to my cave.

March 4, 2010 4:50 PM  
Blogger Pat said...

That's kinda irritating. I'd give them a stern word and growl at them, but it seems like it's just an empty profile with that one picture.

March 4, 2010 4:59 PM  
Blogger Jennifer said...

Fanfic can be awesome, especially the great slash that always pops up. It makes me laugh. I'm kinda scared to go looking for slash based on Name of the Wind, though. Some fanfic can be really great, and some is just sad. I do have to wonder where character writings for RPGs fall in, because I'm totally guilty of that.

Ah well. Can't wait to see what kind of fanfic you've come up with, Pat. We're all waiting, I'm sure.

Also, can't wait to see you soon here in Lafayette, IN. My manager called me, and sent me an email to tell me she talked to you. It only took me a year of bugging her to finally arrange something. I'll bring proper tribute.

March 4, 2010 5:02 PM  
Anonymous Mark said...

Words Cannot express how much I love that chart.

March 4, 2010 5:25 PM  
Blogger Mossy said...

Awesome chart!

I write fanfic, myself, I must confess. Not the "sticking two characters from a series together regardless of the narrative" sort, though. I'm part of the cadre of Warhammer fans that writes stories set in that universe, 40k or Fantasy, with self-created characters and an actual somewhat serious approach.

And I like to flatter myself in thinking that I'm one of the better/best of them...

March 4, 2010 6:19 PM  
Blogger Timotheos said...

Fanfiction is something that I've never been interested in, either; whether from a writer's or a reader's standpoint.

I agree with the sentiment that if you seek to be successful, then writing about someone else's world and characters is not going to help you at all.

If a piece of fanfiction came across my path and it was interesting, I might stoop down to read it -- especially if it was very well written and expanded upon a story that you were already familiar with.

Then again, why read fanfiction when you can just wait for the TV series? :p

March 4, 2010 6:27 PM  
Anonymous K said...

do i sense a Firefly story? i'm excited. (and there's a reason that "Firefly" is the only word capitalized here.)

March 4, 2010 7:13 PM  
Anonymous LouWainwright said...

If, as I hope and expect, this is Firefly fanfic...SQUEEE!

Also, in case anyone else who loves the idea of published fantasy authors writing Firefly fanfic is unaware, here is Steve Brust's Firefly novel. Yes, a full length novel. DAMN THOSE BASTARDS AT FOX!

March 4, 2010 9:06 PM  
OpenID phiredrops said...

Space Cowboys? Wait ... was that a Cowboy Bebop reference?
Your Awesome is showing.

March 4, 2010 9:37 PM  
Blogger Jason said...

@The Art of Kim Kincaid:

See, that strikes me more as outright plagiarism than fanfic. I mean, I guess it's still arguably a "transformative work" or whatever, and if the person's honest about having colored it...

Meh. I feel even less positive about image manipulation than fanfic. I feel like the latter, while still derivative, is at least more... honest somehow. Not to offend all the amateur colorists out there, or what-have-you, but it's just not the same as coming up with a new story about a character. It's more like rewriting just certain bits of the original author's scene and then publishing that.

March 4, 2010 9:44 PM  
Blogger Atreus said...

Haha - it is ok, it happens to us all. I even once wrote a fanfic to, of all stories, Eragon by Christopher Paolini. A few years later, I realized how much my little attempt sucked... but was even more disturbed to realize it was probably better than the source material.

In truth, I think it is fine, natural, and healthy for the writing process. It gives you a set world, with set parameters and physics, characters and locations, allowing you to simply relax, take a burden off yourself, and just write something. Hell, I know half the difficulty in writing is simply the creation process - hah, "simply" - keeping track of dates, locations, and plotlines. So to work with those preset is sometimes comforting.

Great for creating new characters as well, testing how they will work in different environments.

Hmmm... once I get some new info on the Kvothe-verse *cough cough* I think I might try something there as well.

Anywho, hough childish in appearence, FanFic is a wonderful place to just relax, let off some burdens, and do something a little whimsical. Like climbing into the play-areas at McDonalds.

March 4, 2010 9:48 PM  
Blogger Christopher said...


The Name of the Wind is the best book I think I've read in quite some time. I'm sure you noticed that Jerry and Mike over at PA made note of it. Hopefully, that will bring in some more readers for you. Great that two writers/artists that I admire so much like the others' work.

Thanks for writing.

March 4, 2010 10:04 PM  
Blogger Ken said...

I see the expansion and continuation of some characters, even by established authors, as just another form of fanfic.

L. Sprague DeCamp, Robert Jordan and others writing Conan stories.

The dozens of pastiche stories written using Tarzan.

Established authors can be fans too.I think they just don't want the shared world to end.

March 4, 2010 11:01 PM  
Anonymous MLBurt said...

Reading that chart out loud is one of those fun things that gets impossible to do out loud as you go on... because you're laughing so hard.

Patrick Rothfuss has brought so many good things into my life. Including an excuse to kind of chuckle to myself whenever the word "oot" comes up (usually during bad scottish accents).

March 4, 2010 11:15 PM  
Blogger bryan.bischof said...

I too instantly thought Cowboy Bebop. That would be very interesting. I can't really imagine you doing that kind of scifi though, however awesome it is.

March 4, 2010 11:28 PM  
OpenID jedi_bria said...

Now I have to wonder if that was the fan fic you wrote in September 2008, or is this something new?

Okay, to be fair I didn't remember where that entry was, but I remembered it existed. Then tonight I was looking for the cat hat dragon*con picture and found the fanfic entry above it.

March 4, 2010 11:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh wow, your every post simply a masterpiece of world literature =)

March 5, 2010 12:20 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

When Chronicler woke the next morning, the redness of his eyes betrayed the crushing sadness wrecked upon him by the tale’s ending. He clasped hands with Bast, then Kvothe, not saying anything, as there was nothing left to say. There were no words capable of following all those that had been spoken the past three nights. With a final glance back to the two men standing by the bar, Chronicler settled his pack on his shoulder and walked out of the inn. Out of Newarre.
“I’m surprised you didn’t tell him, Reshi,” Bast said quietly.
When Kvothe turned to his student, a ray of morning sunlight falling through the window found his cheek, reflecting brilliantly off of his cold, diamond-like skin.

“Are you offended, Bast?”

“Well, Reshi—“

His response was cut short by the press of Kvothe’s lips. It held the passion of Kvothe the Bloodless, Kvothe the Arcane, not Kote the innkeeper. It nearly brought Bast to tears.

“No, Bast, I couldn’t tell him,” Kvothe whispered, “I had to keep one thing, the most important part of my story, to myself.”

March 5, 2010 12:22 AM  
Blogger Nic said...


March 5, 2010 12:37 AM  
Anonymous Bo said...

I kinda like FanFiciton. I think that it gives fans a great opportunity to explore the characters they know and love, and it hurts no one. It's also a good opportunity for amateur writers to get a feedback and a confidence boost.

That said, I do find it aggravating to have to wade through all the crappy fanfics to find the few good ones.

March 5, 2010 1:22 AM  
Anonymous Dylan said...

I heard of The Name of the Wind through fanfiction. An author (Joe6991/Captain Joe) had posted a note about being so excited because he was mentioned here for an award he sent Pat for most kickass novel of the century that Pat posted a picture of on the blog(March 2009).

March 5, 2010 1:41 AM  
Blogger marky said...

I know exactly what you’re talking about, Pat.

As far as I’m aware, the male Turtle either swims in a circle around the female, or gently claws at her face. This mating ritual can last up to 45 minutes, and if successful, the male turtle can look forward to around 15 minutes of sexual healing.

45 minutes foreplay, and then 15 minutes of sex. Does this sound familiar guys? Nope? Yeah, me neither.

WV: dozzi - My Italian girlfriend asked me, "Dozzi my bum-a look big in zis?"

March 5, 2010 5:21 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Two fanfics of which I'm particularly fond: First, Steven Brust's Firefly novel. Second, the two (and counting) volumes of stories set in William Hope Hodgson's Night Land edited by Andy Roberts.

March 5, 2010 9:31 AM  
Anonymous John Wesley said...


Laura, if you ever run out of males again, please oh please come to my house.

March 5, 2010 2:19 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm sure it was based off of the Marrow Project, which as you all know, was only the greatest role-playing game ever in the 90's. Anything else would have been a rather large waste of time...

March 5, 2010 2:22 PM  
Blogger Linda said...

If someone writes about your fictional 'verse and your characters, it's the greatest compliment imaginable. It means that you have written something that so thoroughly captured someone's imagination that they couldn't let it go. You made something so cool that others couldn't let it go, couldn't let it gather dust on the shelf, but instead kept it alive in their minds -- and, often, in their hearts -- by writing about it.

You write something we love. We celebrate it in our own writing.

I will never understand how this can be seen as a bad thing.

March 5, 2010 3:36 PM  
Blogger Chris(slim) said...

IT WAS NIGHT AGAIN. The Waystone Inn lay in silence and it was a silence in three parts. The first part was a hollow, echoing quiet made by book II not being there. If there had been a book pages would be turned,crinkled and read. If there had been readers, they would talk of magic, love, fighting...but no, of course there was no talking. The third silence was not an easy thing to notice. If you listen for an hour you might begin to hear it. The silence lay in the hands of the man who sat behind the computor pointedly ignoring the pages he had written and discarded long ago. The man had true brown hair and a full beard. His eyes were dark and distant, and he moved with a weary calm that comes from being up all night with baby Oot. The third silence was his, which was appropriate because lets face it, he is the author.

I have no problem with fanfic. What else do you do while you wait for the next book? Maybe there should be some sort of legal character abandonment law. If there is no completion of a series or next book in a series, every four years you forfeit all copy rights to that character. Speaking for myself I will never buy another Martin book. Just because of his attitude towards his readers. I know he will not loss sleep over it but then again I will not have to read a 1000 page book for a 600 page story filled with 400 pages of self involved verbal diarrhea. Sorry, what was the question?

March 6, 2010 12:13 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

hey with the geek heirarchy, what happens if
A. Your 12 but not 13
B. you are in multiple categorizes

March 6, 2010 12:34 AM  
Anonymous Tom Fitzgerald said...

Pat and fellow readers!

Just want to alert you to an obvious, but wealthy treasury of NOTW fan fiction.

Hit up google images and type in some key events from the first book! This is how I found what I regard to be one of the best pieces of Pat-fuss fan fiction. Take a look see:

March 6, 2010 5:09 AM  
Blogger IanGoldfarb said...

Awesome! I'm nearly through my third round readin' Name of the Wind. Love it! But I need more stuff to read. Please be writing Cowboy Bebop fanfic, because that, would, be, AWESOME! It is my fave anime series. The director, is on the money, he did Samurai Champloo, also spectacular, but I prefer the stylistic music choices and world of Cowboy Bebop.

Your the best Pat. Question, is it wierd to not know someone and still think the world of them, or is that reasonable considering I connect to you through your work. Whatever, your awesome either way.

Hey, this is my first time writing on your wall. I've been reading your blog for a year but this is my first active moment, Wierdness.

March 6, 2010 1:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm a fanfic writer/translator... to me it has seariuosly helped me create my own stories and charachters and I have to say, before that, I was a beyond painfully awfull writter and would love read something about your book (wouldn't do it myself 'cause...
well it ould give you a heart attack to read something so bad )

March 6, 2010 6:40 PM  
Anonymous Sarah said...

^^ honestly, I think bast and kvothe are the perfect couple. I like them even better than my past favourite yaoi-couples. I'm really into fanfic. especially yaoi.

March 7, 2010 1:56 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yay for fan fic! I hope theres some boyxboy action in the next book. like kvothe and bast. or kvothe and like the kick-ass adem leader or something. yeah im a freak and i wouldnt have me any other way :P

March 8, 2010 1:42 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

A Cowboy Bebop reference and doth mine eyes detect one from the Simpsons as well?

March 8, 2010 2:10 AM  
Blogger V said...

I first met fanfic in the Marion Zimmer Bradley Darkover Anthologies. I loved that she was generous enough to share her world. Of course, for every story in these anthologies, there would have been hundreds rejected. So what? Because someone does something badly, does that mean that noone should be allowed to do it at all? And what of all of us amateur creatives, who perhaps want to play with words and ideas, but dont have the skill to create a full world, or character? I am glad that Pat isn't threatened by other peoples tributes.There are other authors that I love, who have really strong worlds, but who bite and rage if someone even considers writing fanfic. So disappointing.
Some final thoughts: You really think Beowulf was only told as a story by one Bard? And what about music sampling? And if I can make up a story with Cinderella in it, why shouldnt I makeup one with Kvothe?
Thanks again Pat, for what I consider an enlightened point of view. Dont let some litigious lawyers ( or some future crazy fan) ever spoil it for the rest of us who just want to play.

March 8, 2010 5:13 PM  
Blogger Captain Yossarian said...

Fellow Cowboys, as much as I’d love to believe there was a :reference", I’m afraid in light of existing evidence it’s just not the case. I speak here RE: Pat’s post on Joss Whedon he made a few months back. Here’s an exact citation: “Despite the fact that I'm not really interested in space cowboys or whatever...” Emphasis Added(Rothfuss 60)

The facts are the facts, and the fact is, no one who’s ever seen Cowboy Bebop would make such a statement—we have to accept, gentlemen, that sometimes a cigar is just a cigar.

Works Cited:

Rothfuss, Patrick. "Seven Stories Concerning Joss Whedon - or - The Road to Damascus." Web Log post. 11 Jan. 2009. Web. .

March 9, 2010 3:05 AM  
Blogger Nemeslith said...

Hey, Pat! I found something you'll find... I don't know. It's a yaoi fanfic, a HOT yaoi fanfic. Weird...
Have a look:

March 9, 2010 11:54 AM  
Blogger janlancer said...

Most of the fanfic I've read so far are pornographic in nature therefore the things that happen in them are things impossible to happen in the works they are based from. I equate them to doujinshi.

March 9, 2010 1:51 PM  
Blogger Josh Powell said...

*crosses fingers* Please be firefly fanfic, please be firely fanfic, please. Steven Brust wrote some fabulous Firefly fanfic...

March 10, 2010 4:39 PM  
Anonymous Baldsilver said...

yo, i've been a bit behind on the comments, i think i have three to do here. Time seems to escape my reach lately. Anyways, quick stuff, dunno about ur geek hierarchy. I mean, what is a geek? but then again now i'm getting onto my view on myself vs. yours. Which i cant really get into. I guess ill just say interesting that you think the things on that list mean geek. Now imma go check out ur other posts, later

March 12, 2010 5:34 AM  
Anonymous Spoe said...


Yeah. I'm in a category not there either: Published RPG Author/Design Consultant.

March 18, 2010 8:36 AM  
Anonymous Rainstopper said...

There have been more than a few published authors that have admitted to writing fan fiction. Furthermore, it is not a new phenomenon; several classical authors wrote their own versions of Alice in Wonderland in the years after it was published, for example.

But is it helpful? The clear answer is yes and no.

As my above statement yields, writing fan fiction obviously does not automatically bar someone from becoming published. For some, I believe it presents a fun way of refining story-telling skills and honing in on one's personal writing style. In the case of longer fan fiction stories, it can even test one's willpower and help develop organizational skills.

But there are drawbacks. Writing fan fiction, with some few exceptions, does not teach one how to create his or her own universe; this is the penalty anyone has to pay for using another author's ideas. I think this is what George R.R. Martin had in mind when he advised against writing fan fiction if you plan on trying to get published in the future. It is too easy to fall into another author's universe and remain there.

Every writer goes about his writing differently. I think we could all also agree, then, that all authors go about developing their skills differently. For some, fan fiction can be a vital tool, while for others it may be a deadly trap.

P.S. Cowboy Bebop usually ended its episodes with "See you, Space Cowboy." It would make a perfect parallel if Pat also ended his segment with those words, but indeed a cigar could just be a cigar. I loved Cowboy Bebop, so I just had to throw that in.

Oh, and yes, I have both read and written a lot of fan fiction.

March 21, 2010 9:51 PM  
Blogger Jennifer said...

I love fanfic. =) I write it. I read it. Mostly, I just get impatient waiting for books and found this was a good way to wait. I still love the real stories a lot more.

And, wow, you wrote one. =0 Now I really, really, really want to read it. Pretty please? With puppy eyes? And hugs, of course.

March 25, 2010 8:00 AM  

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