Jay Lake (jaylake) wrote,
Jay Lake

Consumers, producers and fans

I have previously discussed the separation between consumers and producers of fiction, though to belabor the obvious, "separation" should be read as "continuum." (It was in comments following a link from neadods, but I'll be darned if I can find the thread right now.) This was not a value judgment in either direction, just a comment on how people behave, and perhaps self-identify, in terms of their relationship to fiction.

Yesterday in the car I was undertaking to explain to garyomaha the ins and outs of fanfic as seen by me, who was never a writer nor reader of fanfic, but who is a holder of revenue-producing copyrights. One of the things which cropped up on the thread mentioned above was my comment that I don't understand why anyone would go to all the trouble and effort to create a story in a fanfic environment when they could do the same in their own world, and control copyright and possibly realize income. (I don't need this explained to me here, I'm just recounting the conversation. Suffice to say I'm missing the fanfic gene and leave it at that.)

It occured to me as I said this to garyomaha that perhaps fanfic writers don't self-identify as producers, but rather as highly participative consumers. Maybe the behaviors and work product which I see as production are in fact a deep degree of engagement.

Food for thought. Comments?
Tags: fanfic, process, writing

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