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|Biography:||The purpose of this space is to hold my bio, so here it is: "We write fan fiction. However, despite enthusiasm, real-life gets in the way a lot and so I've an update-rate that may rival the bristle-cone's growth rate."
Beyond that, I would rather try to talk about the whys of my fan-fictionalisation stance. So ready?
Let's see: the beginning - I began picking up the pen in early 2002, when the combined lure of LotR the movie and LotR the book, proved irresistible. I've had ideas and plot-bunnies running amok in my head since, no thanks to musie, who has succeeded in his sedition attempts and staked a part of my mind for his own.
Despite all my whining and whinging, I can’t help but be taken along for the ride, clambering back on even when the seat of my pants' all worn out.
Creepy feelings of fatal affliction prompted worry about my devolution into an imitation wannabe.
What I truly want is to write serious, seriously funny that is. But I've come to accept that despite RL staples of skewered humour, pervy fancying, self-deprecation and cynicism, writing humour is beyond musie's best bunny spawning ploys, simply because he’s a stiff-necked canon stickler.
Thankfully, for my sanity, I find that how musie means gets some high-fives from this hefty quote:
""Serious reading is designed to bring the readers to a common experience outside the story, by writing papers that attempt to persuade others that this is the (or a) "meaning" of this or that item in the tale or (or attribute of the text).
But "escapist" reading brings readers together only when they are inside the story: and the more closely they compare notes, the clearer it becomes that they have not had the same experience, not in detail."
Orson Scott Card: "How Tolkien Means" (Meditations On Middle-earth, edited by Karen Haber, 2001).
Stale lembas closet attempts at “farnie” aside, I find the above quote apt and to the point because it describes the “Power of the Story” in Tolkien's work. In short, said Story is to be experienced, not studied or analysed. Enter the Story, go for the ride, don't rationalise or attempt to, as Card says in the same article, "decode" it.
Paradoxical it may be for someone who has both feet and hands poked deep in the fan-ficcing beast, groping and feeling the innards and insisting on calling a liver... well, a liver instead of changing it into a heart just because I don’t like the taste or look of it: I believe that’s called sticking by canon.
I'm not looking to contort a great work I love and respect into a vehicle for expression of my own unsated desires, or "righting" dissatisfactions about it. What I do hope to achieve is to enjoy my forays into canon, take nothing with me when I leave, and leave nothing behind save environment-save footprints, and if it’s a liver I see, a liver it is. *everyone say "BLECHEESE!" now*
No alternative reality or thesis-grade paper about that certain plotpoint. No, no, that’ll be creating that dreaded "common experience outside the story". What I want to do is take all those plot-bunnies going "well, this could have happened to lead to this here exposition by this guy" or ""looks like this may have happened on the side of this here event" to offer plausible plotlines which, if successful, look like they just might have been part of the Story, story-lets within the established framework: tales that hopefully manages, in their own small ways, to "brings readers together only when they are inside the story".
Big talk, much? I reckon so myself. But the truth is, the Tolkien world(s) are almost complete in, and perhaps inspite of, their reality as fictional creations.
Much as professionals like paleontologists, astronomers, archaelogists, and historians (even forensic pathologists and law enforcement agents) speculate, formulate, theorise and debate, thereby filling their chosen fields or causes with the colour, depth and dimensions – who is to say how right or wrong they are? Certainly, the dinosaurs, celestial beings, and even the characters out of our history aren’t going to sue the pros for their speculations. The key, is in the operative word – plausibility.
In Tolkienese, the appendices are great allies – though I'll admit I don’t know what I’m gonna do if I should ever be told that my own has to go.
Anyway, in finding my own voice in writing, I've cracked my head over a name that will fit me as well as I hope to fit it. After a few trials, I settled on the pen-name of Wayfarer: nicely anonymous, nicely evocative of travelling and yarn-spinning. Later I would discover that was what Bilbo was called in the narrative for the third age in the Silm. A sort of benediction, if I may be so bold, that my own small attempts are not adversely looked upon by the powers that be. There is hope yet...
I'm still lost in the labyrinth of Tolkien's creations, but I do hope to find time eventually to take a few leaps of faith into other fantasy and SF worlds I've grown up with. Some day, I might even find the nerve to get into and showcase original efforts. Perhaps I’ll even muster enough guts to tell the liver to mimic a different organ for a change - "hey you blood cleansing thingy, suck it in like the guts are told to!"