Fan Fiction Oral History Project with Kate

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Interviews by Fans
Title: Fan Fiction Oral History Project with Kate (MegamiTenchi)
Interviewer: Abigail De Kosnik
Interviewee: Kate
Date(s): August 8, 2012
Medium: audio, print transcript
Fandom(s):
External Links: Fiction Oral History Project with Kate
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Fan Fiction Oral History Project with Kate (MegamiTenchi) was conducted in 2012 by Abigail De Kosnik and archived at the University of Iowa Libraries.

This interview's medium is audio (length: 1:50:39), and it has a written 45-page transcript.

It was part of the series: Fan Fiction Oral History Project also referred to as "a Fiction and Internet Memory Research Project," "the Fiction and Internet Memory Program," and "Fan Fiction and Internet Memory."

The interviews conducted for this project were used for the book by Abigail De Kosnik called Rogue Archives: Digital Cultural Memory and Media Fandom.

Some Topics Discussed

  • Sailor Moon
  • Gossip Girl
  • her story "Run Devil Run" and the troubles it has on Fanfiction.net
  • Gossip-fic.net, a private site
  • being accused of plagiarism
  • Dair versus Chair, shipping wars
  • Fanfiction.net's draconian policies regarding content, and deleting fic without due process or warning

Excerpts

With Fanfiction.net, it's messy. I actually took down most of "Run Devil Run." There was a huge debate when I posted an epilogue chapter that was very graphic. And you know, there were people saying, This shouldn't be on here, I'm going to report it. It was strange because when you start writing a story and you start posting it as a work in progress, you don't necessarily know where it's going to go, even if you've outlined it. Though I labeled it as M-rated and it ended up going well beyond the basic M-rating, especially for Fanfiction.net. And I never thought about it. I never thought, Well gee, maybe I should take this down. It just didn't occur to me until people started saying things. And people started saying things because of my more popular story, and they found "Run Devil Run," and were disturbed by it. So, I guess the thing I feel with Fanfiction.net at this point is, if they're going to take stuff down, they'll find it and they'll take it down. I'll keep posting until then, because it's very inadequate. You know, they say summaries need to be rated K ... which I understand but at the same time, "Okay ..." And then they talk about, you know, the rating system ... What is rated, you know—rated R in this country is not the same as rated R in France. So their rating system doesn't translate well at all for most people. It's just disappointing, and I wish they would put in a real age filter and just let people write what they are going to write, and know it's the Internet.
What I find the coolest is the global span of the Gossip Girl fandom. They're everywhere. I have people in the opposite time zone from me that love my stories. It just boggles my mind. The age thing, it ... I have come across readers who are quite young reading my stories and I try to not freak out. Because I try and remember that, you know—that Sailor Moon stories I would read sometimes were definitely mature content, and I was their age when I was reading them. So ... you know ... (laughs) they're going through puberty they're having those feelings, and you know ... good on them for exploring what those relationships can look like in the future. But it does freak me out when I discover a thirteen year old is reading a story like Love You Some Day. I have that moment where I'm just like, Oh, that's—I don't need to know. (laughs)
On the Internet ... you know, it's easy to find out that my name is Kate. And I like to think that it's a lot harder to figure out the rest of that equation. I keep twice the social media of a normal person, because I have my Facebook page and MegamiTenchi's Facebook page. I have my Twitter and I have MegamiTenchi's Twitter, and I have a Tumblr for that account as well. So ... you know, there are a handful of people who know who I am in real life on the Internet. I send them letters and postcards, and we're real friends ... As far as my real life in respect to the fan fiction, I'm ... I think I'm probably a little bit special in that I'm very open about it. I feel like if I don't ... if I hide what my hobby is, and I'm shy about it, that's not good for fan fiction. If I dream of someday that fan fiction can be a legitimate hobby, it's not going to be as respected as a published author is, because they're different processes. But, you know, there are these great stories on Fanfiction.net that are good enough to be published. And people don't even know that fan fiction exists. So, I feel like it's my job as a fan fiction writer to be upfront and open about that, and say, I write fan fiction, and it's not something that thirteen year old girls do in their bedroom.
I am very much for the community. I've encountered other writers who have no interest in being a part of the community. They like to write their fan fiction, and that's enough for them. And I don't actually like that. I love to talk with the readers. I love to talk with other writers and find out how they're doing, if there is something I can help with... I do have —I actually have a couple of readers right now who have a desire to try and write some Gossip Girl fan fiction, and I'm completely upfront with them. I'm like, If you want me to look it over, give you some feedback, I'm more than happy to do that. It's just a really thing I ... The Gossip-fic.net site actually had a forum on it ... That forum died off about a year ago, and ... But before that, oh ... It was a really great community. We had a handful of writers, and we had some active readers. And we would—we would discuss characters, you know? "Is this something in character for Chuck to do?" and "What is the motivation behind that?" And we would help each other with stories. We would hold writing sessions. We would all get online and be in the chat room, and someone would start the clock, and we would go off and write for an hour. And if we got stuck we could be like, Oh no! I'm stuck, someone help me. At the end of the hour we would post a little bit of what we wrote and say how many words we got through ... And that was just beautiful, but then we would have people come in who don't have the best interests of others at heart, and we had to close down the forum.

References