1. When people turn on a fandom, or even the authors of a fandom, one of my inclinations is to say that the fans never actually loved the author/fandom in the first place. It’s more like they liked it a lot. Maybe they adored it and gave it an important place in their life, but that’s it. They invent an image of what the stories/authors need to be, and they get attached to that image, rather than the actual thing.

    And that’s why people turn on a dime and go off the deep end. Let’s take peoples’ reactions to authors, for instance. When the authors say they have to take a break for health reasons or whatnot, a lot of people will chime in and say ‘Take your time, author, your health comes first’. But a lot of people really won’t be fair to the author when some circumstance doesn’t line up with something in the fans’ heads.

    Some fans will be really upset if the next story doesn’t come out fast enough, or the couples they ship don’t become canon. Or they’ll say that they won’t sell fan works for real money/pirate books if the author is poor, but that they won’t hesitate to do so if the author is rich. Or they’ll feel resentful or even go on the attack if an author has different political views than them.

    So, fans will claim to care about/love an author, but it’s really more like ‘I think they’re really cool, and won’t resent/disrespect them so long as they meet my expectations’

    But the reality is that high quality stories take a lot of time and effort, especially for indies, so maybe they can’t finish the next book as fast as fans would like. And maybe if fans are allowed to ship whatever characters they like, that should go doubly for the authors that own their characters in the first place and might have a logical reason for canonizing certain couples. And when it comes to money, a person’s rights should be respected no matter how much money they make. And pirating works can have big repurcussions, especially for traditionally published works.

    As for politics, it’s perfectly fine to disagree with an author or even feel a bit upset at them, but authors are individuals with their own lives. They are under no obligation to be the mouthpiece for anyone’s views and expectations. Calmly calling an author out would make sense in some cases, but some people take it too far.

    It’s sort of the same with the stories themselves. We don’t own them. Of course they’re going to do things we dislike now and then. It’s fine to talk about it and dislike it, but maybe be a little more reasonable about it?

    I don’t like the newer Star Wars movies, for instance. The original three were fine, and I’m one of those rare, weird creatures that actually likes the prequels. But the new films Disney’s making…were about what I was expecting. I don’t feel invested in the story and characters. They just weren’t interesting. It just feels like Disney is cranking them out to make money.

    I don’t go on long, hateful rants about it, though. I might write about why I dislike it and present ideas that might improve it, but I don’t exactly think it’s Disney’s duty to adhere to them.

    I sort of feel the same about the Boruto series, though I feel more invested in that whole issue. But, most of my critique of the series will be through analyzing it in future blog posts and maybe a few fanfictions that approach the story in a way that makes more sense to me.

    Honestly, I never was the sort of person to completely trash an author or series, but growing up I was still a bit of a jerk. People would make comments online like ‘Ha ha, the recent Naruto Shippuden plot lines are Kishimoto’s brain diarrhea’. I wouldn’t say anything like that, but I would silently agree, since I was frustrated at some of the lower quality parts of the story. Other times, I would hear about authors like Rowling having a hard time keeping track of their story’s world building elements.

    I would tell myself that I would make sure every part of my stories were high quality, and thought that I could remember all my world building and ensure that there were never any obvious inconsistencies. Over the last few years, though, I realized the sheer amount of work that goes into making media.

    If someone does a lot of intensive world building over many years, they aren’t going to remember every detail of every character at all times. As far as Kishimoto goes, he might not write absolute perfection all the time, but so much of Naruto/Naruto Shippuden is very brilliant. He deserves a lot of respect for the years he’s spent world building, characterizing, writing and drawing a series that has spoken to so many people(and quite possibly under stressful deadlines). The fact that a sorta cruddy sequel like Boruto exists only attests to that. Boruto wouldn’t exist if people didn’t love the initial Naruto series.

    • notleia says:

      Going straight into the weeds here, but since you’ve posted some about Myers-Briggs, have you looked into the Big 5/Ocean personality test? Psychology types seem to like it more than Myers-Briggs because your Myers-Briggs type usually fluctuates depending on your mood or any number of influences. I only end up INTJ most consistently, but I’ve also gotten ISTJ and INTP. On the flip side, Myers-Briggs is useful to help writers get into the thoughts of a different personality type than they are precisely because it does try to predict reactions.
      Anyway, the OCEAN thing is an acronym is about a person’s level of Openness, Conscientiousness, Extraversion, Agreeableness, and Neuroticism. I was surprised that I scored pretty highly on Openness, but I do like new ideas and new experiences (but not new people, because I score about negative billionty on Extraversion).

      • Some of your speech patterns do strike me as INTJ sometimes XD. Of course I don’t have a super great grasp on the other types yet. I know those other types you mentioned can talk a bit similarly at times. One thing that seems to separate INTJs from a lot of others is the sheer amount of drive and independence INTJs have, so that’s been a useful factor for me to keep in mind when it comes to typing.

        I’ll have to look into the OCEAN thing, but as far as Myers Briggs goes, I’ve liked a lot of C S Joseph’s discussions on the matter. It’s a little hard to decipher some of his stuff, especially since he might relate certain behavior to terms a person might not initially use to describe herself(he described INTJs as having ‘performance anxiety’, for instance. That threw me off at first because I don’t think of myself as having that. But I realized that he was actually talking about things like INTJ’s social awkwardness and not wanting to embarrass themselves or upset people, which is definitely true for me. Not all INTJs have those traits on the same level, though.)

        But, C S Joseph discusses Myers Briggs in terms of underlying cognitive functions, which seems far more reliable than the tests, once people really start to understand how the functions/terminology works. If you’re interested, maybe look through all his videos pertaining to INTJs, ISTJs and INTPs and see if anything strikes a cord with you? He also has videos discussing the cognitive functions he uses for typing.

        As far as writing…the fun part for me is that I’m realizing how many of my characters are very INTJ ish in some respect or another. Some of them aren’t, but INTJs are good from the standpoint of being proactive characters that can actually fuel the plot. I want more personality variety in my stories, though, so I’m diligently studying C S Joseph’s stuff, and am quickly learning that INTJs are bizarrely different than everyone else. Which kinda explains a lot of my childhood experiences…

  2. Excellent, spot-on article! I thought the reworking of Lewis’ text was particularly pointed and effective.

  3. Rachel Nichols says:

    My mom wants to see the Disney reboot of Aladdin. I think it’s a waste of time. She knows not to invite me to watch it on the big screen. I hope she enjoys the experience. Woo hoo! Everybody’s happy.

  4. Catherine Turney says:

    To many fans, changing the sex of a pre-existing character is simply another exercise in ‘shrink it and pink it’: in order to increase sales, an item originally made for and sold to men would be made in a smaller size and made available in pastel colors and marketed as ‘for women’.
    The original Captain Marvel wasn’t a woman. Instead of just ‘shinking and pinking’ Captain Marvel and other existing male characters in an attempt to add women to existing characters’ fan bases and generate interest through controversy. why not create original female characters?
    I don’t find characters who’ve merely had their sex changed symbols of female empowerment: in fact, I see them as the reverse — as proof that the PTB don’t think female characters could gain an audience large enough to be worth the investment, and that female customers aren’t worth the effort to provide anything but a retread of a male character.
    I’m waiting for the day that Jean Valjean is re-purposed. Or Quasimodo. Or Sydney Carton. I won’t be arguing about them online any more than I aired my opinion of complaints that Little Women didn’t get an armload of awards: I simply won’t be spending my money on the books or the DVDs.
    FD: Little Women has been redone five times, and has been more ham-handedly ‘feminized’ with each iteration: the March Girls were not twenty-first century feminists, as anyone who’s actually troubled to read the books would know. Altering original characters from books written in another era so that they would appear to be right at home in our own doesn’t, in my opinion, merit an award for creativity, even if it is done by a team of women. We have excellent female-centered, female-authored fiction being written now that could be made into movies without the characters having to be altered until they were nearly unrecognizable.

What do you think?