Bedtime stories you tell your children about them

Phoebe and Her Unicorn started a series this week where Phoebe requests a bedtime story. Here’s the link to where it begins. It follows the traditional pattern where the father (or mother) puts their child into the story, and it’s a little interactive where Phoebe will make a suggestion on what will happen at a given point.

I don’t remember much of my childhood, so I don’t know if my parents told me any stories like this. So I thought I would ask the group approximately what percentage of the stories you told your kids were ones that you invented on the spot and how many were ones where your kids were a part of the story.

The reason why I’d like to know this is because I realized a couple of days ago that these stories are probably the first fan fiction people hear. I’d like to use it as part of an article or help page on why fan fiction is okay, as long as some common pitfalls and mistakes are avoided. Maybe help some kids develop an interest in writing more instead of giving up because it gets rejected when they don’t share it the proper way.

All of them. Not all contained the kiddo in question, though. That number is more like 75%. But I hated reading books to the kids and trying to answer all their ridiculous questions…but if I just made up a story then I could make the answer be whatever I wanted immediately. And the story was as long or short as mommy felt like that night. :slight_smile:

I didn’t really tell stories that much. We read books together. And she’s reading the Chronicles of Narnia with her mother. And I brainstorm with her when we’re somewhere new, like what she would be like if she was from here, or lived here, or it was 1685 and she was traveling here on a wagon. Besides dying of dysentery.

OTOH, we play Pathfinder together, does that count?

I think her mother tells her stories like that. That’s a mommy thing when they cuddle.

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.

Only for morons.
It took me 1 Saturday/Sunday/Monday to figure out that the Sunday strip was a separate item to the story line running through the rest of the week :frowning2:

Well, considering that the James Bond movie License to Kill was changed to that title instead of License Revoked because it was thought moviegoers wouldn’t know what the word “revoked” meant, and that the second Star Trek movie wasn’t called The Vengeance of Khan for the same reason, comic strip syndication companies that offer that kind of advice might actually think their readers could be morons.

I would have thought that “vengeance” was a more widely known word than “wrath”.
Shows how much I know - I should never underestimate ignorance. Either by the public, or the people who are supposedly catering to the public.

Totally this. Even supposedly unique stories are sometimes derivative. Did Robert Jordan read Lord of the Rings, and say to himself “Man, that was way too short, and the characters didn’t complain about each other enough” And “Dude, put the world building in the book, not under a separate cover”

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I am going to work on this shortly because I’ve been thinking about it at random times, and one of the most interesting thoughts I’ve had is that most things are adaptations. You adapt someone else’s characters to make your fan fiction or fan art. If you’re in an art class, you study the work by other artists and you may copy their style or artwork for practice. Same with writing, where you read other people’s books and see if that gives you inspiration.

Sequels, prequels, mid-quels, reboots, spinoffs. Technically, these are also adaptations, even if the same people are involved in the source and what follows.

In it’s simplest form, coloring books are adapations. Someone had to adapt a picture into an outline form, and then the one with the crayons or the colored pencils adapts it further with the colors they choose and how they apply those colors.

The Mac and the Windows OS were adapations of what Xerox PARC did with a GUI. All cell phones, TVs, cars, motorcycles and any other invention that’s been made more than once is an adapation of what came before.

Chemists and scientists adapt the physical world to make new substances, compounds and medicines.

As an administrator of wikis, I’ve dealt with a lot of instances where someone tries to push their fan fiction onto a wiki or claim it’s the truth, and I have to really come down hard to get them to stop. Some don’t, so it becomes vandalism.

But what I really want to do is show that we need fan fiction and fan art, and provide guidance on the best way to share it, even if it means it needs to be tagged in a specific way or put on a different wiki so it stays separate from the facts.

Regular main stream fiction is fanfic for real life.

Including shipping and Mary Sues.

All the ideas are already there, it’s the mixture. Kind of like cooking, it’s not like carrots were a new thing, but OMG someone put them in a cake!!!

Just look at TVTropes… on a day off, with nothing to do.

Still in the research phase of this set of articles, but a hint as to what will be in it are coloring books, how smartphones are related to music boxes, and Lego sets, Tinkertoys, Disney Infinity’s Toy Box mode and Raid on Bungeling Bay.

Graphic for one of the upcoming articles on this subject:

Got two of the sections done after spending a lot more time on them today than I had planned. First one is here and the link to the second is at the bottom.

There will probably be three more sections that lead up to this and then I can post it on the main site for everyone to look at.

Comments here or there welcomed.

After working on this off-and-on for over a year, I finally got it done and just shared it with the world. It turned into a group of eight blogs to cover the different topics. The first one is called “Embrace, don’t chase: Everything is adaptation”.

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