ayngelcat: (Kickie - action)
[personal profile] ayngelcat
Which seems to have loomed again on anon threads.

For what it's worth, I've always liked this old essay, which describes TF as a 'mythology' rather than 'canon.' Maybe its why I've never gotten hung up on the canon issue.

I'm interested in peoples' views (but please no wank - its just an idea I can see some merit in!)


Date: 2012-08-19 04:02 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] dellessa.livejournal.com
My opinion? It's a multi-verse. It's canon that it IS a multiverse. So anything written by a fan is it's own verse. Sure...it may be part of the G1 or IDW group, but it is still it's own thing.

I don't think people should sweat the details. Seriously. It's for fun. =3

And maybe they shouldn't even used the label AU until it's waaaaaaaaaay out there. I just always take it for granted that it is, infact it's own verse.

tl;dr: Fanon=AU

Date: 2012-08-20 11:47 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ayngelcat.livejournal.com
That's a great way of describing it as well. And it's in keeping with one very important message from that essay which for me was - 'hey, lighten up!'

Date: 2012-08-20 01:48 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] dellessa.livejournal.com
IKR. Some people seem to forget that it IS a hobby and this IS supposed to be fun. And if you don't LIKE the way someone is writing something hey....giant back button at the top of the browser. It just makes me facepalm so much. =X

Date: 2012-08-20 03:04 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ayngelcat.livejournal.com
That is so true :-) And if you do keep reading, own the opinions and feelings and deal with them - don't publicly castigate the writer!

It can be harder I guess when things aren't warned for. But hey - I'll save that can of worms for another day!

I suggest that if the focus for a reader can stay on what they do like rather than what they don't, then that's a whole lot more positive - and fun XD

Date: 2012-08-19 07:39 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] dragondancer515.livejournal.com
Oh! Ooooh! I like this! He's so right! I think I'm going to repost this! Yeah, I don't hang up on canon questions either, unless it's either in my own work or someone specifically /asks/ for my opinion (and it's just that, an opinion). I also like "dellessa"'s comment about it all being a multi-verse /anyway/, and about Fanon=AU.

I think one thing I would add, in regard to fanfiction, is that depending on the author's intentions, there /is/ a measure of "canon", in a sense. It's definitely true that a fanfiction author can write whatever he or she wants and not necessarily be wrong. If he or she writes in a stated continuity (movie-verse, for example - meaning, they've /said/ "my fic takes place in the BV continuity"), puts her writing out there where others can read, and wants to be taken seriously by fellow fans, I do think there are some things she might want to keep in mind (though she certainly doesn't /have/ to).

For example, I write exclusively (at least for now) in the G1 cartoon continuity. Meaning I choose to base my stories, locations, and characterizations around those found in the cartoon (Megatron's a gun not a T-Rex, Bumblebee's perfectly capable of normal speech, Prowl's a former law enforcer rather than a ninja, etc - the other things aren't /wrong/, just "wrong" for the chosen continuity). Within that, there are some things that tend to be expected by fans in general: the Autobots live in the Ark which is buried in a mountainside (be that in Oregon or SoCal or wherever, since while the comics established that, the cartoon never did). Starscream tends to be screechy. Wheeljack is a straight-up engineer and inventor (LOL he'd probably /hurt/ himself if he tried to pick up a pair of swords...though I realize that'd be more "fanon" than "canon" since there's nothing in the cartoon to support that one way or the other). Point is, if an author states a particular continuity for her fic, readers are going to tend to expect to see certain things. The author certainly doesn't have to deliver on all, or any, of those within the space of the reality she's creating in her fic (like Dellessa said, ultimately all fanon is inherently AU), but generally when a reader comes to a writer's work, unless the work is specifically marked AU, the reader is expecting to get more of the same as what they're used to.

Of course, the only one it /really/ matters to is the writer, what /they're/ wanting to express. Readers can read or skip as they choose. Ultimately, they don't really have a say in whether something is "canon" or not for someone else's work. I try to VERY MUCH be a stickler in the details of my own works, or have /very/ good reasons for how/why I seem to deviate anywhere, but that's my choice. I tend to look for works by authors who do the same, but if someone doesn't, I can choose to not read but I have no place to say "ur doin it rong".

Gah, I've rambled. Ultimately, again, Dellessa's right - "I don't think people should sweat the details. Seriously. It's for fun. =3" I sweat the details for my /own/ works, because that's how I am. I don't for others, though. 9 times out of 10, I'll enjoy something even if it doesn't line up with my own view - it wasn't meant to - and if something just is too different for me somehow, I simply don't read it, but I'm certainly not going to say the author can't write it. =3


Date: 2012-08-20 12:02 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ayngelcat.livejournal.com
The ramblings are great - I'm glad you liked this and found it thought provoking :-)

I agree entirely that there are certain things that do go hand in hand with continuities. And perhaps the substantial deviation from those is where the 'AU' label should come in. or 'crossover' if G1 Optimus IS a T Rex, for instance LOL

One of the things which intrigues me about this whole issue is the number of times people cry "that's not canon!" when, in fact, there's nothing to support whether it is one way or the other. That goes for so many scenarios and characters, who (unlike some of the more popular, colourful ones) never really get developed properly for one to be able to say a particular depiction, pairing or whatever is canon or otherwise.

What I think often happens is a writer's disappointment that their personal fanon - the way they have portrayed a character/pairing or whatever - hasn't been adopted universally by the entire fandom. Of course, there's no justification for that. How could there be? LOL fanon is fanon. But it's much easier to mask the emotion which accompanies this by accusing the writer of 'non canon.'

And there's my bit of rambling. Personally, I love it all - especially different 'takes' on things. So long as the story's good, and it's well written and entertaining :D
Edited Date: 2012-08-20 12:03 pm (UTC)

Date: 2012-08-20 06:55 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] dragondancer515.livejournal.com
Yeah, the only time someone could really cry "that's not canon!" is when something DOES blatantly disregard something the base source material has laid out.

"What I think often happens is a writer's disappointment that their personal fanon - the way they have portrayed a character/pairing or whatever - hasn't been adopted universally by the entire fandom."
I think what happens is an instinctual reaction of "if others don't agree with me and don't interpret it the way I do, then I must be wrong...but I don't want to be wrong, therefore /you're/ wrong!" When really, NO ONE's wrong...because no one is universally /right/. But individuals /want/ to be "right", therefore /someone/ "has" to be wrong.

Me, if I don't see something the way someone else does, if I don't like or just don't agree with it, 9 times out of 10 I'll just let it go and move on. There /have/ been the occasions, though, when even if I don't agree, something in their interpretation has at least intrigued me, and if I feel the person might be approachable without me getting my head bitten off for questioning them or disagreeing with them, I'll ask how they came to their ideas, what they were interpreting or whatever to lead them there. Oftentimes, they've seen something I missed, which is awesome! Something new to think about. I may /still/ not agree (adopt their ideas as part of my own headcanon), but at the least I usually learn something.

"So long as the story's good, and it's well written and entertaining :D"

Date: 2012-08-19 08:35 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ultharkitty.livejournal.com
I really like that, and I think it's a large part of the appeal of TFs to me. I've never felt so compelled to create something for a fandom before (not even for the Cthulhu mythos), and I think it's because there's so much potential here.

That said, sometimes I like getting hung up on the canon details and using them to help shape my writing. But I'm not going to let Vortex's lack of claws in G1 stop me from giving him claws in fic if I want, and I certainly won't be leery of fusing together aspects from different continuities in anything I write. If people don't like that, there's plenty of other fic for them to read. And if they do, then that's really nice.

Date: 2012-08-20 12:09 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ayngelcat.livejournal.com
I agree, there is. And so much an open book, as I just said to [livejournal.com profile] dragondancer515. It's a shame when people get all canon nazi-ish. And I can't help feeling there are often underlying motives other than a real belief that 'this isn't canon' whether the accuser acknowledges this or not.

Perish the thought of Vortex with no claws! Bring on the claws, I say, canon or no <33333333333333

Date: 2012-08-20 09:08 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ultharkitty.livejournal.com
And I can't help feeling there are often underlying motives other than a real belief that 'this isn't canon' whether the accuser acknowledges this or not. I think you might have hit on something there.

Mmmmm, Vortex...

Talking of canon, we were re-watching that first Insecticon episode today and it made me wonder why Skyfire/Sideswipe isn't a more popular pairing.

Date: 2012-08-21 11:16 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ayngelcat.livejournal.com
Ha! Yes, funnily enough, I was watching that episode the other day (I LOVE that episode) and also wondered the same thing! LOL Judging by this and the Mirage and Skywarp pic, I'd say the fandon just doesn't go for some of these pairings so gratuitously offered up!

It's an ambition of mine to one day post all kinds of pairing pics like this and invite fics/drabbles :DD

Date: 2012-08-21 08:03 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ultharkitty.livejournal.com
Oooh, that'd be fun :D I've already written Skyfire/Sideswipe before, but I'd probably be up for trying that out again. They've got the potential for interesting size kink, not to mention happy enthusiastic boinking :P

Date: 2012-08-22 12:35 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ayngelcat.livejournal.com
You have? Well I'll be daimed. Awesome! Can I possibly have link? :-)

Date: 2012-08-22 12:55 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ultharkitty.livejournal.com
It's this one. The smut is consensual, but there's a dubcon element in that Sunstreaker is watching them and Skyfire doesn't know.


Date: 2012-08-19 10:56 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mdnytryder.livejournal.com
Great article, I never saw that before.

I don't understand why some people are so concerned with 'canon'. I recall the rants about Bay, and I would think, if Hasbro (the holder of 'The Canon') didn't like it, they would have stopped him. Just chill.

Hey, my writing is canon for me. And that's what counts.

Date: 2012-08-20 12:12 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ayngelcat.livejournal.com
Exactly - and there are so many holes in some continuities/story lines that how could you say where canon begins and ends? I'm thinking of the last movie especially LOL

I love your attitude - and am glad you liked the essay <33

Date: 2012-08-20 06:43 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] boreal-forest.livejournal.com

...'m sort of guilty of keeping myself to canon when it comes to my favourite mech. However, when there's so very little of him to start with, I want to use it for all its worth.

While writing I use things I know he's said in canon. Lucky for me, two of the issues Devcon is in are actually written. The last one a bloody short novel. Otherwise, I tend to use whatever time units his continuity uses, and I make sure to know where in his timeline I'm writing him. Places he's been in, characters he knows, old hunts... Yeah. I use referenses verrrry few would be able to spot, really, but it feels good to do so.

I want him to feel alive, and those canon details give him meat on the bones, in a way. The rest? Hehe, bloody good guesses. LOL!

I also use him quite a bit in RP, but then he still brings canon over. Keep in mind, however, that I don't mind reading mixed continuities, crossovers, AUs, etc. I love all the work writers put into world building, OCs or RP.

The creative process is beautiful. ;A;

So, yeah. I'll read it ALL. <3

Edited Date: 2012-08-20 06:44 am (UTC)

Date: 2012-08-20 12:17 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ayngelcat.livejournal.com
The creative process is beautiful <3333

And I agree - it's fun to wring as much out of the information (evidence?) we do have as possible. Even more fun to in no way deviate from what happens in an episode etc, but to put a different but credible spin on things. That is an enjoyable challenge.

I love the way you've studied Dev so well in every situation, and come up with such an in depth character. I'm trying to find time to get the Smokey background done in the next couple of days :-)

Date: 2012-08-20 08:11 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] boreal-forest.livejournal.com

Thank you... ;A;

But, yes. My NaNo-story is basically just that. Everything we don't know, but that I'm guessing he would do, etc. I have two huge projects in front of me now. Weee!

Date: 2012-08-20 06:42 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] dragondancer515.livejournal.com
"*blushes*...'m sort of guilty of keeping myself to canon when it comes to my favourite mech."

Heh . . . nothing wrong with that. In fact, it's /awesome/. I try to do that myself as much as possible and I /love/ others who do it too. The problem, really, is when one person starts getting nitpicky not on their own work but someone else's.

Agree 100% on everything else. =3

Date: 2012-08-20 08:13 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] boreal-forest.livejournal.com
Ugh, yes. I know what you mean. Thankfully, I'm nothing like that, since I rather enjoy good writing, not preaching The Right Way.

Also, thank you. (:

Date: 2012-08-20 05:30 pm (UTC)
redseeker: ({tf} starscream - apron II <3)
From: [personal profile] redseeker
I really liked this essay. And, with the definitions the writer gives, I'd say "mythology" is a good term for the massive tangled web of stories and details and characters that is Transformers.

I love drawing from "canon" to guide my own writing, and can get annoyed if reading something (even if it's something I've written) that seems to contradict the particular source material it's using without enough of a plausible reason why that contradiction takes place. Having said that, I really like playing around with the grey areas, the gaps in the stories, what isn't shown or mentioned in the official versions.

There's a trend in the fandom that I've noticed, being a fairly new-school fan, which is to make every continuity like G1 - characters must have the same personality, history, etc etc, even when, if you look at the other continuities, this clearly isn't the case. One example that I suppose I could talk about at any length is fan portrayals of a character like Starscream. TFA Starscream is very different from G1 Starscream, who is different from TFP Starscream, who is very different from Unicron Trilogy Starscream... yet I still run into TFA fics where Starscream's voice is described as "shrill" or "screechy" (compared to G1? it's a fucking purr XD), or his personality as "cowardly", that he used to be a scientist, etc etc whatever. I get the feeling the person has seen G1 and applied that to all other continuities indiscriminately, because to them only G1 is "canon". There's also the possibility to choose whether you want to include "expanded universe" type stuff as your "canon" - e.g. if I'm writing for Bayverse, do I want to say all the associated Bayverse comics are canon too? As someone who doesn't really have access or knowledge to/of comics, that would be hard for me, so I would tend to stick to the movies themselves...

Basically I expect fan-authors to pay attention to whichever source material they've chosen to base their work on, but at the same time, try not to get too hung up on every single detail. I mean, I'd love for all of my work to be 100% plausible and accurate, but I just don't have the time or access to enough of the "canon" to check every little thing. I've been writing a long TFA fic recently, and I'm sure I've made some mistakes, but between the episodes and the wiki I've done the best I can.

(Sorry for all the edits! :S )
Edited Date: 2012-08-20 05:35 pm (UTC)

Date: 2012-08-21 12:12 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ayngelcat.livejournal.com
I really like playing around with the grey areas, the gaps in the stories, what isn't shown or mentioned in the official versions. : Yep! That is a fave passtime of mine, too XD

I like the 'massive tangled web' description too - very apt.

That's a very interesting point you raise about G1. I only write and mainly read G1, but yeah, I can see how that does happen, and maybe without people even realizing. I would certainly like to think that if I did write other than G1, then I would research the characters properly and not fall into that trap!

I always say with the little details perhaps not being 100% - aside from anything else, there is such a thing as poetic licence! How many movies depaert from books under just that? It's all good fun. I'm sure that's a great story you write :->:-)

Date: 2012-08-21 05:34 pm (UTC)
redseeker: (Default)
From: [personal profile] redseeker
I sort of came into the fandom with the newer continuities, and it's only now, five years later, that I'm sitting down and watching some G1... and starting to see where people get certain things that I've seen in fanworks for other 'verses XD

Oh, absolutely. And, I would always be far more critical with regards to details in my own work than in others'. I actually love when a writer puts a new or cleverly different twist on things :)


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