What is Good GsG FanFic?

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What is Good GsG FanFic?

Post by taerKitty on Mon 30 Jan 2012 - 11:26

As I've mentioned in passing, I have a story in the offing. It's not posted on FF.net, nor am I posting links to it here for a simple reason: it's not fanfic. I would be a fraud if I didn't acknowledge that it owes a huge part of its conception to the GsG anime, but it simply is not GsG.

So, why am I talking about it here?

It's simple. As I said before, my story isn't fanfic. But what is fanfic? How far can we stretch the envelope of canon? Is, say, running away from the SWA a serious breech of canon? Now, there are two common endings to a running away plot arc: either the MC comes back, world-weary, worn, but wiser; or the whole escape sequence is the 'pilot' for the main chunk of the story - what does the MC do with hir powers, now that s/he is unfettered by pesky nuances such as orders, oversight, and ... I can't think of a word beginning with 'o' that means 'brainwashing'...

I can see the former as -barely- within canon. A cyborg goes AWOL for some reason (and it had better be a damn good reason!), encounters 'the suck' that is the Real World(tm), and, in the end, goes running back to the handler, all teary-eyed and pledging never again to leave.

Please keep in mind I'm not trying to start a flamewar here. (I'm new, so that would be very rude. And being very rude in a place populated with killer cyborgs is very foolish.) For example, I'm not talking plot devices or signature bits, such as "a REAL handler would never touch a cyborg with his bare hands - they always wore gloves!" Please go play I'm-more-otaku-than-thou elsewhere, please. I'm talking about what sort of major plot arcs are so far removed from the source material that you cringe at the mention of it, such as GsGs encounter a huge, glyph-inscribed stone wheel that rotates in place and shows other places.

This brings up another point - I'm not talking about crossovers, either. When you have a reality chasm, such as the aforementioned SG-1/GsG (SGsG-1?), a lot can be forgiven. However, if there is no SG-1 canon in the story, just a huge stone wheel and the girls go waltzing through, then ... is that canon?

Lastly, note the 'you' in the paragraph above (above the paragraph above, for you nit-pickers out there). I realize that one reader's 'extended universe' is another's 'sacrilegious violation'. I'm not looking for consensus, nor The Word of God. What are your limits, and why?


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Re: What is Good GsG FanFic?

Post by taerKitty on Mon 30 Jan 2012 - 11:28

Oh, and one more thing - FFS (and this time, I don't mean Five Star Stories), don't mention things that fellow members of this board do that you feel is apostasy. I'm talking about in general terms here, not "well, in so-and-so's story when so-and-so did such-and-such." No good can come of this.

(Yes, I know there's an edit button. I'm double-tapping because this is possibly a critical point, so I wanted to call it out specifically.)

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Re: What is Good GsG FanFic?

Post by mushi4fr on Mon 30 Jan 2012 - 11:45

I'm so glad you are asking this; I have similar questions of my own (not ideas - don't worry - just questions!)

I also appreciate the fact that you knowledge that you are new, and the whole reason you ask this question is out of respect. I just want to draw attention to that for any future bloggers. Smile

At any rate, I am also new and cannot answer this question. Sad but since this is a plot bunny forum, I wanted to do brainstorming with you in the meantime!

By the way - have you ever heard of the "Hero Machine"? Your tale appears to follow this!

It's basically a style of arranging a story to make an impactful, classic hero.

These plot points can be in any order, but essentially they go as followed:

Departure: the state of the world causes the main character's feelings to become unbalanced

-Refusal of the call
-Threshold Crossing
-"Belly of the Whale"

INITIATION: (once in the underworld, the hero is repeatedly challenged with mental & physical obstacles)

-Meeting with the Goddess (a name for whatever makes a problem go away)
-Woman Temptress (need not be an ACTUAL woman, btw)
-Apotheosis Rebirth
-Ultimate Knowledge

RETURN: Having found blissful enlightenment in the underworld, the hero may not want to return to the provenance.

-Magical Flight (or visions)
-Crossing the Return Threshold (indulgence)
-Master of two worlds (he is a shepherd and can speak the language of the world)
-Freedom to live: (he has fulfilled his destiny and can now do what he wants)

Okay, sorry, I basically just copied my lit notes. I have got to stop getting carried away like that.... Razz

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Re: What is Good GsG FanFic?

Post by taerKitty on Mon 30 Jan 2012 - 12:06

I'm familiar with some of that from Joseph Campbell's monomyth concept. He analyzed countless western stories of the heroic bent and came up with similar postulates

- the hero must be ordinary
- the hero must first run away from the adventure's call

etc. (Unlike you, I don't remember all the specifics, so I love the detail in which you posted.)

===

I don't know quite yet if I'm going to follow that arc. One thing I loved about the first GsG anime series is that it took its time to introduce the cast. Right now, I'm 15k words into my story and haven't set the 'escape' plot in motion yet. I've seeded for some scenes to give the MC reason to run, but I'm still working my way through what I plan to be 'establishing shots'.

So, right now, I'm not sure how the MC will enter the adventure, and if she'll hit most of the waypoints mentioned above. Now, in this setting, for an asset to want to leave, there's going to be an emotional struggle, hence I'm sure I'll hit the 'Refusal of the Call', but some of the others ... unsure.

That's another reason why it's non canon - I'm postulating DNA-ish bio-enhancements, again a la Hanna. Reason for this is simple - she's run off before, and if I was the Section 2 Chief, I'd have terminated her and recycled the cybernetics. She's just a piece of hardware, and what do we do with a faulty piece of non-warrantied hardware?

Strip it for parts and throw away the rest.

Likewise, the whole 'Cybernetics Eat Your Soul' (TVTropes again) bit where they slowly die from conditioning? While I'd not recycle a cyborg at the first sign of trouble, I wouldn't let them slowly fade in their handler's arms. At some point, it passes that threshold of 'not earning your keep,' and once past that point, why keep it around?

These were points I wanted to address in my story, hence my deeming it non-canon and saving others the trouble.

===

BTW, this is in interesting contrast with eastern heroism, which puts a premium on self-sacrifice and steadfast attendance to duty, no matter how menial.

In the story of the forty-seven ronin, the chief character lived as a disgraced beggar and drunk for over a year, sleeping in the street, accepting all manner of insult such as being kicked and spat upon. Then, after a year and a half, he had fooled his target into thinking he was a broken man, one not worthy of maintaining guard against. After his enemy recalled the spies and dismissed the bodyguards, that's when he went back to his men and told them it was all a ruse.

Yes, even his compatriots were not in on it. They saw their leader frequent brothels and bars, so much so that they tried to get him a geisha to at least save that tiny part of his honour and name.

Now, while the whole whoring and gamboling sounds like fun, the death of his dignity was the example of self-sacrifice, and the fact he maintained this cover for eighteen months, the attendance to duty.

Tl;dr form: eastern heros are not made of heroic acts, but of doing the right thing time and again (and again), for years if need be.

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Re: What is Good GsG FanFic?

Post by Nachtsider on Mon 30 Jan 2012 - 12:42

My limits? I never write anything that violates the status quo of the canon universe. All my stories comfortably take place 'between episodes', and don't alter anything that we see on-screen. Also, I don't write porn, in light of the fact that the cyborgs are underage.


The 'cyborg goes AWOL' thing strikes me as a cliche; a very obvious route for a fanfic writer to take. Which is why I won't ever use the idea, nor be very keen to read stories featuring it. Your interpretation, however, is sufficiently unique to color me interested - virtually all previous versions of the story feature the cyborg escaping with their handler, and never returning. It may not strictly be a GSG fanfic, but I think I can speak for most of the people here when I say I'd like to see you post a link to it once you're done writing.

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Re: What is Good GsG FanFic?

Post by taerKitty on Mon 30 Jan 2012 - 12:59

GsG porn is wrong in so many different ways. (And yes, I'm aware of Rule 34.)

Thing is, I can easily see a 'super-soldier on the lam trying to pass for normal' as a viable p[i]lot. You are a world-class killing machine, this time in a child's body. You want to live as normal people do, enjoy what normal people enjoy. But ...

- Those pesky men in black are still after you.
- You keep encountering situations where you can't just stand idly by and watch injustice or crime occur.
- Your friend from before also ran off and embroils you in another misadventure
- You find yourself using your unique skills and traits to further a greater good.
- Or, you're finally 'retrieved', but you hold some hidden ace so you negotiate a 'contractor' relationship with your former agency - "call me if you really need me, and only if it's within [insert noble job parameters here]. Otherwise, leave me the hell alone."

I can see that. In fact, I am surprised I can't think of something more directly fitting the above beyond The Equalizer.

As much as it sounds like a promising premise (until the major network bork it up or Fox cancels it before the season's over) it lacks that taint of melancholy, that whisper of cruel fate that is both the horror and the appeal of this series. On a more tangible note, it also is absent the fratello dynamic between the MCs, and the comparison-contrast thereof. It's missing the "why the eff are they sending little kids into such a hellhole" aspect.

It's missing what makes GsG, well, GsG.

We could turn the question on its end and ask, "What makes bad GsG fanfic?" though, as aforementioned, that is far more likely to lead to ill will. So, let's keep it positive - what makes GsG what it is, and what makes good GsG fanfic?

As for my fic, it's going slow, and I'm notorious for losing steam, so I wouldn't hold my breath. Smile

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Re: What is Good GsG FanFic?

Post by Nachtsider on Mon 30 Jan 2012 - 13:27

I must admit that I haven't yet attempted to explore whether or not any of the cyborgs want to lead normal existences. In my stories, they just roll with the fact that they aren't normal, and make the most of it. Admittedly, I don't make things as hard or dreary for the cyborgs as canon episodes do, therefore giving them less reason to lament about their lives. I tend to throw in amusing enough elements here and there that grant them some degree of contentment. In that regard, I'm sort of guilty of straying from the mood set by the canon, thus possibly placing my stories in others' bad books. Not that I care, though. I think the overly serious and melancholy air of the canon episodes can get absolutely boring at times. Razz

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Re: What is Good GsG FanFic?

Post by taerKitty on Mon 30 Jan 2012 - 14:31

Oh, but I want to try for Break the Cutie and Heroic BSOD!!! (Again, to use the timesuck that is TvTropes.org.) For me, as I said, what makes GsG so compelling is how it is not 'god mode' (thank you, Elfen, for that bit of vocab) and eventually, they will die. They may die while making their last breath mean something, or they may die off-screen felled by some as ignoble as illness or a nameless sniper's 12.7mm. (I refuse to believe something as paltry as a 7.62 x 51mm is enough to pot a cyborg.)

Being a n00b, I'm not accusing anyone of 'breaking canon' here. I'm just stating my preference, and what I plan to do. As author, if I am going to write something even claiming to be inspired by our mutual avocation, I'm going to strive for the feel and ambiance.

If you're interested, I have three chapters, each about 1k words, posted on FictionPress.com, though I'm writing ahead and holding off on posting 'in realtime' so I have a chance to tune it. This allows me to work in some 'Chekov's shoes' (my own term, inspired by the idiom 'waiting for the other shoe to drop) and some pre-retconn.

Again, I didn't join this site to spam it with "pl3@53 r3@d m@h 5t0r33!!!!!!!" b.s. I was very impressed with both anime series, and wanted to learn more. Apologies if I'm breaking a social rule here - I'll be happy to take down the link.

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Re: What is Good GsG FanFic?

Post by ElfenMagix on Mon 30 Jan 2012 - 21:04

I already stated what was said in the chat.
The idea is interesting, but its not GsG. Its outside and parallel to GsG and can stand alone on its own. Most Fanfict can not and will not stand on its own without knowledge of GsG. In fact, its very stupid for writers to do so by trying to squeeze in history and facts of the genre to make it look like its their own work (I am guilty of this in Elsa's Christmas Story, sadly, but i did it to set the reader up to a shocking ending.)

Of all the writer's here, I will read everyone's work when I have the time, but, if your works bore me in the first paragraph, I wont read it any more and post a PM telling you mow much it sucks! In truth, I seen works that bored me on the first sentence! So beware readers, do not get the mark of the Elf!

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Re: What is Good GsG FanFic?

Post by taerKitty on Mon 30 Jan 2012 - 22:18

I do the same thing. I've posted some number of FP reviews that concluded with "... and this is where I stopped reading." However, I always went into detail why. That's important to me. I review as I hope to be reviewed, so if you say, "Okay, this is where the failboat sails away," I'll gladly take it, so long as you tell me why.

Elfen, somehow, I doubt I'll be left wondering why, should that happen. Not that I'm aiming to collect that boobie prize, but if I do get it, I'll take it as a learning opportunity, not some personal affront.

Yep, this isn't GsG. I may yet write some GsG fanfic, too. Some honest-to-ghod canon-based stories. I had a bad experience a long time ago trying to write some, and having some otaku rip into it because of mistaken minutae. However, even back then, I didn't think it was personal.

I just learned to not write fanfic, not for that audience, at least. Here, it's very unfair to pre-judge you all based on what some git did in years past, so I'm not. Here, my reluctance to write it is simply from my own headspace, from that damned residual mental block, as well as wanting to push forward with that non-GsG story.

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Re: What is Good GsG FanFic?

Post by maverick375 on Mon 30 Jan 2012 - 22:35

My sequel to "Light..." is somewhat tough to categorize as a fan-fict. It certainly takes place in the GSG universe, but largely represents Michael taking on the SWA. If anything, it's more of a spin-off, though I plan to keep a "gunslinging girl" aspect to it.

My first work I kept largely grounded in canon, though the meat and potatoes happened alongside the canon more than it revolved around it. It's under the M rating on Fan-Fict.net.

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Re: What is Good GsG FanFic?

Post by ElfenMagix on Mon 30 Jan 2012 - 23:18

TK - I let most know where they went wrong. Most.

The truly bad ones get "Quit writing and don't quit your day job."

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Re: What is Good GsG FanFic?

Post by tremec6speed on Tue 31 Jan 2012 - 2:06

taerkitty wrote:As I've mentioned in passing, I have a story in the offing. It's not posted on FF.net, nor am I posting links to it here for a simple reason: it's not fanfic. I would be a fraud if I didn't acknowledge that it owes a huge part of its conception to the GsG anime, but it simply is not GsG.

So, why am I talking about it here?

It's simple. As I said before, my story isn't fanfic. But what is fanfic? How far can we stretch the envelope of canon? Is, say, running away from the SWA a serious breech of canon? ....
*
I don't have rules when writing fan fiction, where ever my mind takes me, I go without restrictions of any kind because I really only write for my own enjoyment. If I write something and everyone likes it but me, it's still lacking. If the reverse is true well, all I can say is it would be great to be sure if the tales that I get a kick out of are enjoyed by others too but if not, um at least I liked it! Wink
Therefore if someone makes an adventure where a cyborg encounters alien zombies from the future, I say go for it! Do it! If it rocks the author's world despite the fact that there is little in common with the source material, I say green light it! Others may say such stories are too distant from the original work, therefore it should not be called fan fiction. If the author who wrote it feels otherwise, I say each to their own. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion after all. Smile
Some people say there are no original stories, only variations on old themes. Mmm I don't know....
Also, how many times have folks heard lines like:
"Brave new interpretation of a family favorite" or how about: "Fresh retelling of a time honored classic"?
(um, fan fic?) Remember Tim Burton's interpretation of Washington Irving's Sleepy Hollow? Creative license to be sure, but still identifiable.
How many renditions of Hans Christian Andersen's Little Match Seller have been made through out the years? Some of those read like fan fiction to me.
(I'm referring to the ones where in order to 'introduce' the story to children, the Match Girl doesn't die as that is considered too harsh for kids even though her death is central to the story) In short when it comes to fan fiction, I do not think anyone is truly wrong in their opinions as to what constitutes fan fiction or where to draw the line creative license wise.
(a politically correct statement if ever there was one, ay? sweat )


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Re: What is Good GsG FanFic?

Post by Alfisti on Tue 31 Jan 2012 - 5:02

ElfenMagix wrote:Most Fanfict can not and will not stand on its own without knowledge of GsG. In fact, its very stupid for writers to do so by trying to squeeze in history and facts of the genre to make it look like its their own work...
I actually think it's sometimes worth re-hashing parts of the canon in a fanfic, particularly some of the more obscure bits, if only to jog people's memory or for the benefit of those newer to the fandom. The other reason of course is for some of the greyer areas of the GSG universe (we all know the debates on here: how does the armour work? Do cyborgs age... etc), basically to say "this is how I'm playing it". For example, I have a quick bit on the conditioning medication in my next chapter for that very reason, in order to tell part of the story I need to establish a bit of perspective in regards to how I'm handling it in my own head.

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Re: What is Good GsG FanFic?

Post by boomer_gonz on Tue 31 Jan 2012 - 13:24

taerkitty wrote:GsG porn is wrong in so many different ways. (And yes, I'm aware of Rule 34.)

sweat

As for what makes a good fanfic; the things required are simply to what make a good story in general. Be it novel, screenplay, epic, and so on; just remember the three P's. Plot Prose, and above all Progression. Nothing kills a story faster than a sense of going nowhere fast.


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Re: What is Good GsG FanFic?

Post by taerKitty on Wed 1 Feb 2012 - 0:31

Of course a good story is the foundation, but what makes a story GsG fanfic as opposed to ... say Gunsmith Cats? Let's say Rally gets shot. Bean Bandit and Minnie May set off after the shooter.

So, we have
- Adult 'chaperone'
- Under aged tyke bomb
- Lots of photo-realistic weapons

Obviously, this ain't GsG (though it does sound like a lot of fun!) I hope we all know the basics of storytelling. I'm trying out my fanfic pen and want to colour within the lines, that's all.

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Re: What is Good GsG FanFic?

Post by ElfenMagix on Wed 1 Feb 2012 - 1:47

Ben Dunn is in his own world with Gunsmith Cats and its a marketing play to re-release it as a Manga/Anime. I still have the original comics and figures over 20 years old!

Anyways, Sex and violence has its place if done right. Gratuitous sex scenes for fan service and eye candy is totally wrong, especially here. When Yu Aida created the original GsG, he did not care about censorship or what ever, as GsG was laden with the stuff. But I think he was making the point in that the girls were so drugged up in their conditioning that they would do anything for their handlers including sex. I hint of this past in my original story Solution's Resolution and despite the arguments against it, on many older posts here. In a secret sense, I believe its still going on. You can tell which handler is doing his cyborg.

Same with Violence. In discussion here, the average battle scene is less than 3 paragraphs, 5 lines of dialog and less than 6 minutes in action. Anything more is just over doing it. Like in Custart's Last Stand, an indian scout warned Custarrt that there were more Indians than his troops had bullets. You'd think he would listen, not know. We all knew what happened to him.

Graphic description holds true as well. Too much wording on it can send some readers away. Though building vocabulary is great, you can scare away an audience with a statement of "...and the 9mm fmj ended up resting inside his Medulla Oblongata." 99% of your readers out there will not know what the hell an a Medulla Oblongata is! or "The blood fountained out of his chest with each remaining heart beat where the bullet hit home at his breastbone.", will cause 1/2 of your readers to run to the bathroom and puke, while the other 1/2 screaming for more!

So be careful. The average reader has a 4th grade reading level.

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Re: What is Good GsG FanFic?

Post by tremec6speed on Wed 1 Feb 2012 - 4:06

ElfenMagix wrote:...When Yu Aida created the original GsG, he did not care about censorship or what ever, as GsG was laden with the stuff. But I think he was making the point in that the girls were so drugged up in their conditioning that they would do anything for their handlers including sex. I hint of this past in my original story Solution's Resolution and despite the arguments against it, on many older posts here. In a secret sense, I believe its still going on. You can tell which handler is doing his cyborg...
*
I guess Jose is the first person that comes to my mind as to who would have sex with his robotic child.
(a disturbing thought to be sure)
As Elfen said 'In a secret sense, I believe its still going on. You can tell which handler is doing his cyborg.'
To be honest, Jose is the only one that comes to mind if for no other reason than because of the conversation with Lauro where he asks Jose about whether or not the rumors are true.
Like Elfen, I have for some time thought about the author leaving clues in the version of GSG we all know and love.
I can't continue on this thought because it'll deviate from the subject of this thread, but I think Elfen might well have planted the seed to a thread in it's own right: Who do you think is doing their cyborg? How would our characters respond/react to the knowledge of or worse an encounter with this situation? How far up the chain of command does this go? Is it bitterly tolerated by the chief or outright endorsed by the techies who might argue it solidifies and insures total obedience, etc. study just whistlin'
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Re: What is Good GsG FanFic?

Post by Nachtsider on Wed 1 Feb 2012 - 12:22

I'm pretty sure Lauro's talk of 'rumors' merely meant 'rumors that Jose was a bleeding heart softie who actually cared for his cyborg'.


Man, dude, you have such a jaundiced view of the world, lol.

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Re: What is Good GsG FanFic?

Post by taerKitty on Wed 1 Feb 2012 - 12:40

"If you want to work in Section 2, you either lose your faith, or you lose your mind."

(Sorry, don't have an OC to say it yet, but didn't want to pass up the opportunity.)

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Re: What is Good GsG FanFic?

Post by tremec6speed on Wed 1 Feb 2012 - 21:48

Nachtsider wrote:I'm pretty sure Lauro's talk of 'rumors' merely meant 'rumors that Jose was a bleeding heart softie who actually cared for his cyborg'.


Man, dude, you have such a jaundiced view of the world, lol.


You're probably right Nacht, (I sure hope so, I like Jose Smile ) It's just that the way the conversation went,
what with Jose asking Lauro 'What rumors are those?' and Lauro saying ' Oh you know...'
Then the reply 'You can't believe everything you hear.' I picture Jose saying something different if the only point Lauro was making was his being an 'ol softie. At any rate, I really do prefer to see it as you said it! Razz


Last edited by tremec6speed on Fri 3 Feb 2012 - 1:53; edited 1 time in total
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tremec6speed

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Original Characters : Vinson/Helen/Salvatore + Gunther/Ayden. Baddies are a small group of 'techno-anarchists'

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Re: What is Good GsG FanFic?

Post by Danjo3 on Thu 2 Feb 2012 - 3:09

tremec6speed wrote:I guess Jose is the first person that comes to my mind as to who would have sex with his robotic child.
Actually, Sandro is the first person who comes to mind for me.

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Re: What is Good GsG FanFic?

Post by tremec6speed on Fri 3 Feb 2012 - 1:54

True.
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