I have returned once again after finishing all my exams, and I was going to post something a little more of an announcement to inform you that I have returned, but it recently occurred to me something I need to rant about. When that happens, I rant and nothing gets in my way.
So, what’s it about this time? Well it’s actually about writing, surprise surprise.
I’ve been trying to be more active on Wattpad these days, and it’s due to not just updating my own stories; but also to read other people’s works, even if it isn’t my cup of tea. I try to keep an open mind, and this is one way of doing it. Perhaps it’ll also increase traffic of my own stories in the long run.
So what’s the issue? Well, when it comes to fanfiction, one thing I keep noticing is that when people write these things, they don’t come up with anything original. Sometimes what they will do is take their favourite character, and retell the entire original story all over again, just from that perspective. Or stick to the original backstory of the character and create a different plot.
I know, if you read my Didact fanfiction, I remained true to his backstory in the books and terminals, but I also wasn’t afraid to add twists such as he redeems himself, falls for a human, and doesn’t kill that human the first time he meets her. That being said, I made changes, but not very big ones. Mind you, if I took the Didact and turned him from a Promethean into a Lifeworker, then yeah some people might say to me “why the fuck did you do that?!?”
See the difference there, is the size of the changes that you make. From what I’ve done in my story, the changes are small ones.
In my Didact fanfiction, I stuck pretty much to what happens in Halo 4 when the Didact leaves Requiem, except my character replaces Master Chief, and the Didact isn’t as ruthless at first. I didn’t discard his entire personality, but gave him parts that would be, in this case, he is more likely to redeem himself. I also gave him more development, because in the games he was badly portrayed as you already know, like he just came out of no where announcing he is the new bad guy.
In my Star Wars fanfiction starring my OC Emi Takori, Plo Koon, and General Grievous: I gave Grievous more of a personality where he easily holds grudges against certain Jedi. Doesn’t mean he doesn’t want to kill them all on sight for what they did to him, and the losses he’s suffered on Kalee. That still exists in him, it just may not be as obvious.
The problem I occasionally get is, why don’t I stick to the canon, or the legends? Well it’s not that I don’t value the original story, backstory or whatever my fanfiction comes from. The argument that has come up to me is that sticking to the original story gives your own work more relevance and value.
That is something that I think is said, as a means to, that changing anything to your own creation is almost disrespectful to the original creators. I call that ridiculous, the original story should not cause the prohibition of using your imagination to create your own conflict, characters, etc. even if it doesn’t precisely match the backstory of the character or the canon. The thing is, writing a story to match exactly what the original has, in my opinion, does not have any thought of your own, or any creativity. You might as well just be writing the original story all over again, just from the perspective of someone else, or you’re basically creating a different story, but one that still runs true to the canon completely.
I’m not saying change everything completely, what I’m saying is, don’t be afraid to make a few things different and add your own things. Use your imagination. Why do you think I insert a character of myself into my stories? Why did I decide to write a story about Shan Yu where he decides to claim a woman as his prize for conquering China? I’m not adding my own characters to defy the canon, nor am I adding small changes to existing characters for that either. I’m doing this when I write, to add in some creativity to my work, to show I’m not afraid to do something different from the original content. I am also doing it to give existing characters that I either grew up with, or recently discovered, to give them a chance to shine in the spotlight, as their roles in the canon were not major, I give them more development if they don’t have enough.
If you enjoy writing stories based off universes that you love, don’t be afraid to twist things up a little. I encourage all of you to do this, and who cares if the stories that stick to the canon completely in a way get more reads than yours. Your creation should be unique in representing a movie, series, video game, etc. whatever you love.