Talk:Recursive Fanfiction

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Created per discussion in Talk:Unauthorized Sequel. I did my best with the history parts but could definitely use help there from someone more involved in older fandoms or fandom history. The paragraph on remixing might also need touching up, as I'm not very familiar with the scope of what the term might apply to and the fanlore wiki was a little too vague for me to be sure of myself. - Hoopla (talk) 03:50, 15 July 2018 (UTC)

This is a super interesting page, thank you for getting it started! A couple thoughts:
1) Recursive fic v. remixes. The page currently suggests that not all remixes are recursive fic - and that remixes that change the ending/genre aren't recursive fic because they change/contradict things established in the recursed fic. But if recursive fic is "fanfiction of fanfiction," this would establish a narrowed purview for recursive fic than for fanfiction in general. (Since we, for example, consider canon-divergent fanfiction to still be fanfiction of the original work.) What constitutes recursive fic, and what doesn't, isn't actually clear to me - basically, I'm unclear on the parameters. I'm not sure if you, or anyone else, has more info on this - I'll do some research myself, but I wanted to reply here since you'd mentioned uncertainty about the remix paragraph.
2) Fannish usage. It'd be great to have more examples of fannish usage of this term - in addition to the examples of the phenomenon/discussion of recursive lit in a fannish context you've already included. I've found a couple, so I'll edit them in, but it looks like a lot of the usage centers around Dreaming of Sunshine - and I'm wondering if that's the origin for the term? Do we have any idea of earliest usage? I'll keep poking around, but maybe someone else will have an idea...
- Fandomgeographies (talk) 04:44, 15 July 2018 (UTC)
First of all thanks for fixing all my typos! I've been rewriting this page for what feels like an eon and all the words just started to run together.
1) I think my confusion about remixes comes from the way things are phrased on remixing. I'm familiar with the term in general - it's not hard to grock without having ever before seen a formal definition - but the page mixes the definition all in with the remix challenges. It says that remixes are "a different version of another fanfic" and that in challengers authors "rewrite" pre-existing fic. Some of the ways of remixing are certainly recursive (telling the same events from another POV, for example) but others seem less so. For example:
  • "focusing on a different point in time in the same sequence of events" - if this means something like taking a story wherein, say, first year Harry Potter encounters x, y, and z situations and rewriting it to be about seventh year Harry encountering x, y, and z (and frankly maybe that's not what this means at all?) then that would certainly be a remix, but I don't think it would be recursive unless it's established that the seventh year Harry is the same Harry who also encountered those things in first year. Unless continuity is kept, the 'canon' of the remixed fic doesn't actually matter to the remix.
  • "Writers sometimes incorporate the dialogue or description of the original work into their remix story." - In context I could take this to mean "sometimes writers stick strictly to the dialogue and descriptions of the fic they're remixing and sometimes they diverge" but I could also read it to be "sometimes remixes seek to remix using only the dialogue or descriptions" and I swear I've seen writing exercises, at least, where people try to write wildly different scenes with the same dialogue. I don't know if anyone actually does that as a fannish activity, but if they did it seems like it would be a remix and like it would not be recursive.
  • Do genre benders who go from het to slash (or the other way around) always genderbend, or do they sometimes rewrite the same story (the same plot points? the same descriptions?) with a different couple? Or, one could conceivably remix a gen fic into a romance and give it a different ending and change the tone without getting so far afield from the remixed fic that the it isn't a remix, right? It seems like there must be a lot of variation in how closely the remixer sticks to the text of the remix and it doesn't seem like there are any limits on that. If they rewrite it enough, wouldn't it be a stand-alone fic with its own continuity? Recursive fic can be canon divergent or AU (a popular recursive topic for DoS is "What if Shikako were born 6 years earlier?" and there's a long work where everyone's in a fantasy AU instead) but it does still largely depend on the recursed fic the way all fic depends on its source canon, and I think there's a lot of room in remixing for fanfic that doesn't have that kind of canon-fanwork relationship.
Much of this should probably get added to Remix:talk and that was vaguely on my to-do list, but if I'm way off the mark it'd be nice to know before I post there as well.
2)Aha yeah the Dreaming of Sunshine recursive scene is crazy prolific, but the term def pre-dates its use in the thread, which started in 2015. I found a non-tvtropes trope wiki entry that was written in 2014 and a 2013 MLP thread that uses it. The tvtropes revision history goes all the way back to October 2011, although I don't think that that's when the page was created. I seem to recall hearing recursive used this way for the first time around that time, though, in the exciting disaster of Homestuck shenanigans - MSPA Fan Adventures hosted several popular fan comics which then inspired fics and comics of their own, and I think that's where I heard it. I'll see if I can find anything Homestuck-related.

I also think that it's pretty common these days on SpaceBattles.com in their quest fics (a sort of interactive fic done on the forum) which might provide more examples of usage, although I don't use the site myself so I'll have to look around and maybe as for some help from some folks in the Dreaming of Sunshine fandom who frequent it.Hoopla (talk) 02:23, 22 July 2018 (UTC)
I had time to go and read a bunch of remixes and I think I cleared this up. Hopefully. - Hoopla (talk) 21:03, 22 July 2018 (UTC)


This page should discuss the use of omakes in fannish works too and how they relate (esp it was mentioned to me that they're in use on SpaceBattles.com) and I need to do research into that. So... this is a note to myself to Not Forget, mostly.Hoopla (talk) 02:23, 22 July 2018 (UTC)

Added a sentence or two about omakes and spacebattles and quests, although I don't know enough about the practice to add anything more.- Hoopla (talk) 21:03, 22 July 2018 (UTC)

Fandoms by Canon Type subcategory?

I would love to have a subcategory of Category:Fandoms by Canon Type for fandoms whose canon is another fanwork.

Mostly I'd like to browse through it, because how interesting--but I also have a (future?) contribution to the category: All the Other Ghosts is currently a stub, but there's definitely enough material for both the fic page and a fandom page.

I'm not sure what the category should be called, though:

  • Category:Recursive Fandoms?
  • Category:Fandoms of Fanworks?
  • Category:Fanwork Fandoms?

Thoughts? --Bikedancelaugheat (talk) 05:35, 22 April 2019 (UTC)

- Yes! I would also love this. I'm just creating a page for a fandom I'm in Rigel Black Chronicles which has a great deal of recursive fanwork - and even recursive works of the recursed piece. -User:distracteddaydreamer