Playing Reflection

Word Cloud

In my previous post, I blogged about how I’d introduce the concept of fanworks/fanfictions by using an online drabble generator because it would be a fun way to “play” with this concept, since playing with creativity allows room for expansive thoughts that may not occur when we’re “serious” about it. In other words, sometimes creative ideas only come to us when we’re least expecting it, and when we’re having fun playing with something, it allows our brain to “take a break” and think on something else. That is why I figured that the drabble generator would be a playful way to introduce fanfics to people who are not familiar with it, rather than do it lecture-style. Another reason I chose the drabble generator was to not daunt or overwhelm newcomers to fanworks. A 100-500 words drabble will be more doable than telling someone to write a story that’s 5,000 words long! Granted the generator writes one for the user, but the results are ridiculously humorous to the point where it is bound to leave some sort of a memorable impact on a person.

In actuality, creating and consuming fanworks are essentially playing. Many of us fans create and consume because we want to have fun, and to many of us, fanworks are our “playthings”. We take established characters and universe, and manipulate them into our own creative works, and then we share our finished products with other fans because we want to share our interpretations, our vision of the fandom we all play in together. It’s not different from a group of children playing with Legos, builds something, and then share it with each other.

I think fanworks are another way to get those who are not interested in reading, writing, and drawing to get them interested in it. I use myself as an example. I’m an avid reader, but I do not enjoy reading the classics like Wuthering Heights or A Tales of Two Cities. However, fanfictions are something I can read for fun, and I enjoy reading the ones that are beautifully written. Because I started reading fanfictions, that encouraged me to write my own. Prior to that, I did have an interest in writing, but that urge to write didn’t grow until I started reading fanfictions. Therefore, if I knew someone who saw reading and writing as a chore, I’d introduce them to fanfictions, or to fanarts and cosplaying if they are into drawing and sewing. The way I see it is that if they can have the option of creating something with their favourite characters from their favourite medium, then why not let them? After all, it is meant to be fun.

Fun and quick, that’s what drabbles are for. Fans write drabbles because it’s meant to be quick, and it is also a challenge to some to see if they can write in a concise way that presents just as much emotion in a longer piece of work. That’s why, I view drabbles as a good way to introduce fanfictions. Whether it’s in an English class or through a writing workshop, I see it as a good ice-breaking activity that allows us to play and have fun.

Playing with Fanfiction

TypewriterIf I were to introduce the concept of fanworks, more specifically the concept of fanfics, in a playful way, I’d start off with this online drabble generator. A drabble is fanfics that are usually no more than 100-words long, but some people may up the maximum word count to 500-1000. This drabble generator allows someone to input characters of their choices along with the adjectives, adverbs, nouns, verbs, and other elements. Once that’s all done, just like mad libs, the user’s word choices are then assembled into a drabble. After the drabble’s generated, each of us would share our drabble out loud and laugh at the results. Here is one I did for fun:

Draco and Neville
by William Shakespeare

Enter Draco

Neville appears above at a window

But, soft! what light through yonder window breaks?
It is the computer, and Neville is the dog.
Arise, bright dog, and hug the shiny watch.
See, how he leans his shoulder upon his hand!
O, that I were a glove upon that hand,
That I might touch that shoulder!

O Draco, Draco! wherefore art thou Draco?
What’s in a name? That which we call an arm
By any other name would smell as happy
Dost thou love me? I know thou wilt say “like a lullaby that lulls you to an eternal slumber.”
And I will take thy word; yet if thou swear’st,
Thou mayst prove handsome.

Swain, by yonder shiny watch I swear
That tips on a table the small chocolate–

O, swear not by the watch, the large watch,
That eagerly changes in its strong orb,
Lest that thy love prove likewise strong.
Sweet, expensive night! A thousand times expensive night!
Parting is such intelligent sorrow,
That I shall say expensive night till it be morrow.

Exit above

Sleep dwell upon thy shoulder, peace in thy hand!
Would I were sleep and peace, so quickly to rest!
sleepily will I to my bright arm’s cell,
Its help to hug, and my happy arm to tell.

I admit, when I got this, I burst out laughing because this generated drabble is now a spoof on Romeo and Juliet, with two guys from Harry Potter, mixed in with words Shakespeare himself would not have used. Doing this activity with someone who wasn’t familiar with fanworks or fanfictions would be a fun and unique way to introduce them to these concepts.