Hokay so. Instead of doing readings for class like I should be, or watching TV episodes because I only have <1GB of bandwidth left for the next 2 days of the billing cycle, I decided to take a plunge into the world of J2 fanfiction. Someone else on my flist has made some much more eloquent and thoughtful posts than this will be, but something occured to me that I just really want to get out there.
So, in essentially all of the J2 fanfics I've read (I haven't read many), whether it be AU or show-timeline, real people are mentioned. I don't know if it has to do with the BTS footage that basically introduced everyone to the audience, or if SPN is just more prone to realism in fanfic, but I really like this. It feels odd, discussing realism in RPF
, but even in RPF, there's a basis there - a source material that the authors draw from. In this case - Jared and Jensen. I know that while the story in itself is a fiction, the characters it portrays are not, and it's so much easier to submerge myself in a world that's ready-made. When they mention Kripke - I know what he looks like, I have an idea of his diction, his gestures and movements. It adds greatly to the atmosphere of the story and the world-building.
I think that like in any story, world-building and characterization are both very very important. I'm new to SPN, so I don't know much about who Jared and Jensen are really friends with outside each other, but it seems plausible that they'd hang out with guys they used to shoot with, star with. Seein fictional depictions of real people other than the main protagonists included in RPF is such a huge joy for me as a reader. It just makes it more - not real, because it's fiction - but true, more honest. This may not be everyone's cup of tea, I understand, but I just don't see the need to create random characters out of thin air for a world that already exists, that you essentially use to create fiction out of.
I guess this brings me to my next point, which is Merlin fandom.
Perhaps it's due to the relative inexperience of the cast, or the different nature of the show, or I guess my own weird expectations, but - there are things we know about the guys. We know their siblings' names. We (okay maybe not everyone) know basically all the names of Bradley's drama school mates, and a whole bunch of Colin's drama school mates, and his friends from Armagh. Maybe it's this creepy stalkery knowledge that really gets me out of a fic when I see Bradley talking to George or someone about Colin. Why can't Bradley call up Jonathan? Or Mark? Or, (lol wishful thinking and wouldn't make sense in any story unless it involved excessive nudity and partying) Alex? I want to see RPF where they exist.
But, beyond my creepy stalkerish bits - what about the crew? So many fics take place on set/around set - the crew is listed on IMDB, and many many of their names are publicly known, too. Why can't we see more Stumpy in fic, being hilarious and giving Bradley crap about something? Or why can't Katy drop by and make a snarky remark about the fans or how she feels bad about having to be a hard-ass all the time? And what about GMK - where is she in all of this? I get that RPF is fiction, I do, but when you've got so much source material to choose from - why ignore so much? Why not use all you've got? I'm not saying everyone should be writing B/GMK break-up fics, but why not mention her? Maybe they're just friends, maybe they are going out, they broke up. Or - subvert it. Maybe she's his beard and Colin is truly his one true love. But it's obvious that she and Bradley have spent time together, and I think in a post-S3 story, putting GMK as the BFF who gets Bradley with Colin would make more sense than either Katie or Angel, but I'm probably just projecting.
Perhaps I just haven't read enough B/C fic, and maybe this is all out there somewhere, but I'd love to see the world of B/C expanded beyond just the boys, Katie, Angel, Anthony and Richard. There are other people there. All the time. Why can't we use these real people for world-building? Why is there this impenetrable wall about this in Merlin fandom that SPN doesn't seem to have? Is it just the notoriety of the fans and more general interviews with creators and actors? The actors' own willingness to disclose more? A larger fandom with more people scouring, finding things out? Or has all that information become a great part of the collective fandom consciousness, embedded in fanon completely? How do things become fanon anyway, and how do we break apart from it?
[ETA]I guess what I'm incoherently trying to say is that with regular fanfic, people work hard at world-building; if it's a roadtrip fic - they'll plan the trip on google maps, get the times right, check all the pit stops; if it's a historical regency AU - all the timelines and language will be checked over. I guess I'm wondering why this isn't done to the same extent (at least in Merlin fandom) with RPF. The source material is all there.[/ETA]
I don't mean to offend anyone by this rant (?), or seem ungrateful for the copious amounts of amazing B/C RPF we do have in fandom, but I guess I'm looking for something more specific and just haven't found it. I'm sure there's some meta about fandoms and privacy in there, but it's buried under my inability to make my thoughts flow coherently. Maybe this will prompt me to try my hand at writing long fic and RPS? Who knows. I feel like this was way too whiny than I'd intended.
I'll just leave you with this. It's not exactly fitting, but I've been staring at it for the past couple of hours: