Saturday, March 21, 2015

On Fanfiction As A Creative Outlet

This is actually part of the "Author's notes"  for my Hayate no Gotoku! Fanfic, "Sore Ga Ai Deshou." I'm putting it up here as well as a stand-alone post for those who just aren't interested in reading the fanfic.

As someone who has dabbled in writing original fiction and creating English visual novels at some point, I'd like to say that from experience, it's often tempting to think of things in terms of gradation or scale.

It's easy to think that making a visual novel is "superior" to writing original fiction and that original fiction is always superior to writing fanfiction such as this one. After all, objectively speaking, there are definitely several advantages to going "original" and even better, making a full-fledged visual novel, such as the capacity to monetize your efforts and the lack of any copyright issues with making derivative work out of someone else's stories and characters.

Therefore, one could make the argument that you start out with a crutch by writing fanfics and then graduate to designing your own world and characters with original fiction - after which, you're ready to graduate and enter the "big game" with your own visual novel project or even a full-fledged, non-VN indie game and further than that, becoming an AAA game developer or even a movie director.

Monetary considerations and objective differences aside however, I find that the gradation does not really exist -- or rather, it exists only in one's mind when it comes to personal satisfaction. It's easy to think that the difference in scale should naturally dictate a much higher degree of personal satisfaction, but in may case -- and I may be just an exception, I find that it's more a matter of going through cycles rather than a linear path.

So while you might think that whichever medium you're working on right now is so infinitely superior to the one that you "graduated" out of, this is not really the case (for me) in terms of satisfaction level.

I believe that once you have attained a certain degree of skill in which you know you can be competent in any given medium that might be available for you, it's really just a matter of going through different cycles wherein you might favor a different channel of expression during a particular cycle. In this sense, now all the particular channels available for you stand on equal footing and it's really just a matter of personal bias which one you think is "the best."

In my opinion, this applies not only to creative tasks, but to any other "thing" that you might be hung up on at the moment. So yeah... think about it and let me know your thoughts in the comments.

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