I was a little disappointed that this storyline ended so quick. The Saturday strip indicates there was more to come, but I remember Dana posting that she had been given advice to not stretch out storylines like she used to. It makes sense, because Sunday comics usually have to be self-contained for the papers that only have a subscription for just that day, and it makes it a little confusing for readers that follow the daily story. “Read Monday to Saturday, then skip over Sunday to continue on the following Monday.”
I suppose a case could be made that RPGs are a type of fan fiction, but for the purposes of what I’m looking to write, it would have to be more along the lines of someone liking a particular gaming system and writing a new module for others to play.
The idea I had for the article/help page will cover more than I planned on because I found the series of messages John Rogers re-posted on his Kung Fu Monkey blog about adaptations. In short, completely original stories are not as frequent as adaptations, especially when it comes to movies.
The example he gives is that if there are ten major movie studios, then a combined total of about 10,000 scripts need to be in development at any given time in order to select the 10 each studio might turn into a movie for an upcoming year. It breaks down to stages of how many scripts are being worked on versus are far enough along that they could become a movie versus fit the right conditions of meeting a budget and attracting the interest of the right director and the right actor(s).
So in order to generate that volume of scripts, many of them are adaptations of another story, such as a comic book or a novel. Those come with a built-in advantage that some of the work is already done for you or there’s an audience you can tap into for your movie.
That’s what fan fiction and fan art is. It’s adapting someone else’s “world” with the things you’re interested in. People like Dan Povenmire and Jeff “Swampy” Marsh said they got started in cartooning by drawing other people’s characters. When they were planning an episode of Phineas and Ferb where the kids were teenagers, they remembered seeing some fan art that was really close to what they wanted, so they contacted the artist and hired her as a character designer. Ashley Simpson is now working with them full time as part of the staff for Milo Murphy’s Law. (Premieres next month on Disney XD.)
And, if you think about it, there are more adaptations out there than people realize. Any sequel, prequel, midquel, spin-off, reboot, reimagining, re-telling, etc., is an adaptation, even if the same person is involved with it. The Next Generation, Deep Space 9, Voyager, Enterprise and the movies are all adaptations of the original Star Trek.
The article will show that fan fiction (and fan art, I guess), isn’t necessarily a bad thing and in many ways is actually a necessary thing. Begin by adapting someone else’s ideas until you can create your own ideas, and just watch out for these problems while you’re taking those first steps.