Friday, 18 March 2011

You Are The Writer!

I don't spend a great deal of time over at the DC Comics message boards - I'll drop by if I'm shamelessly advertising one of the Annotations sites I've done but mostly when I do visit, I'm happy to just read the posts. I'm a lurker more than a contributor there if I'm honest.

Whenever I do call over there, though, there's one thing that always baffles me: the fan-fic threads. Pop along to just about any board and you'll see a thread where someone has started a story about that hero or team whether it's Booster Gold:

the Doom Patrol:

or even Zatanna:

Now I've no objection at all to people writing stories about their favourite characters - in the real world, I'm a part-time writer myself so I'm going to be the last one to judge anyone for putting metaphorical pen to the equally metaphorical paper of the message boards. It's not that people want to write these stories or even have others continue them - I've written a fair few collaborations myself over the years.

The thing that baffles me is this:

Eight words at a time

Nine words for the Star Sapphires (the Green Lantern Corps obviously have enough monthly titles to sate anyone's need for GL stories!)

Seven words for Power Girl (and yes, that first thread is suggesting that Brian Michael Bendis would make a great writer for Power Girl.)

Do you see a pattern developing here? In all cases, the thread starter has selected a ridiculously small number of words for his/her fellow writers to continue the story. Am I missing something here? Is it an attempt to limit the number of words in order to somehow conversely increase the number of participants, thus increasing the chances of the story continuing?

In that case, the Secret Six and the Teen Titans must be really popular:

Four and three words respectively though you have to wonder why the Secret Six writer needed to point out that the story should be kept clean! That stipulation isn't the only one, either:

No problem writing a story about the Justice Society or Cyclone, but if you have to write a Magog story . . . it has to be "How to get rid of him" The poor guy's had his head blown off by Max Lord and still people can't feel the love.

Elsewhere, other minor characters are getting some affection:

Both the Justice League Detroit and Justice League Europe get a comeback story on the JLA board!

Aside from the tiny word count allowed, can you see the one thing each of these threads have in common?

Every single one of them is on the first page of the boards. They're still being added to on a regular basis. Whatever it is that keeps people going back to them is passing me by - I simply don't get it - but somewhere a whole bunch of fans are writing stories ten, nine, eight or even less words at a time for their favourite heroes.

Except Green Arrow.

Poor Ollie.

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