Tag Archives: fanfiction

How Many Fiction Writers Update Their Works with Newer Editions?

It’s accepted that university text books are updated every few years, even expected, in order to stay current with social progress and knowledge gained.

So, why not fiction too?

With computers over the typewriters of yesteryear, the edits are just as easy, and fiction readers also want up-to-date books.

Especially in this increasingly fast-paced age, all writers learn and grow and find out more about both themselves and the world around them and should grant themselves the space for updating their works.

PS: one consideration for chapter-by-chapter fanfics on fanfic sites is to not flood subscribers with repeat chapters of works they have already read just for the sake of a few changes. Better to make minor edits in the original story itself, such as grammar fixes, or to upload a second version with more substantial additions or changes all in one go, rather than posting each chapter separately.

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Kenny’s Snarky Response; Wraith Are Not Monolithic

*Found on a wiki article: “The Wraith came to that planet and demanded that all the Balarians be delivered to them.”
Correction: “A Wraith Commander” or “A hive of Wraith.” Dave (fandom-given name) is a Commander who represents one hive or one faction. Not the entire Wraith race.

*Found on a GW article: “On a distant hive ship the Wraith have begun Ronon’s own conversion process”
Correction: The Wraith “has.” Not “have.” Again, Rhys (fandom-given name) is a singular Wraith.

The acts of a few Wraith do not represent those of all Wraith.

Other cultural groups are not to be simplified as monolithic or stereotypical. That is racism and poor writing.

When Todd and John conspired to break from the Genii prison, then one would say “John conspired with Todd,” and not “the Wraith have conspired with the humans.”

Todd does not speak for all Wraith any more than John Sheppard represents all global human cultures, or Westerners, or males, all SGA viewers, or any other group. Todd and John only represent themselves (or those they have valid ambassadorship for, such as their military units or when Todd was given the right at the Lantean table to represent the 7 hives who would later be joining both him and the New Lanteans in a battle against the Asurans).

Asking Kenny what another Wraith hive is doing and expecting him to magically know is to deserve his snarky response: “I do not know. I’m not on the ship.”

How Writers Vs Non-Writers Judge Characters

Looking at the quality of posts coming from Stargate sites, I’ve noticed that fanfic writers tend to be more open-minded and make more thought-provoking posts which are more inclusive and ask questions without blasting blame at characters and also other Stargate fans.

Non-writers tend to march in and loudly judge all the characters, from individuals to entire races, their ideas usually being to kill just about every character off. Well, doesn’t that make for a short and boring series? LOL. And, since when is violence the answer? Thank goodness these people are not judges/jury/executioners or we would all be dead. 😛

Writers know better. They can better put themselves in the places of others to write their perspectives.

Writers also understand that complex characters create intrigue. As one writer said her professor told her class: create characters whose lives are complicated and messed up, like a pile of spaghetti—and then take that and mess it up some more! That makes for more interesting characters and opens plot possibilities to challenge them.

Fellow creatives, keep up your thoughtfulness and insights and keep writing those complex characters. People, including the haters, will be talking about them for years. 😉

***This post was inspired by Michael fans who are also writers, as Michael fans tend to be. They know what they are talking about and one can learn a lot listening to them!

What to Do About Post-War Wraith Who Resist Change?

What if Todd, his scientists, and the New Lanteans found the perfect retrovirus, stable and permanent as Michael’s and even better? The Queens would be covered, all memories and Wraith culture and telepathy would be intact, and Wraith would still have their abilities to regenerate, live nearly immortal, and to heal their young and one another (because their feeding hands could be there too, as there is nothing to say one has to use their handmouth any more than one has to use a hand to make a fist). The Wraith would even be free to move to another galaxy and never have to look at a human again.

In spite of this, what if some Wraith would still not want to change? For reasons of racism against humans, enjoyment of privilege and power, stubbornness, thrill-seeking of culls and runner hunts, genuine fear, mental illness, or whatever?

Wraith who would have the choice, but who would refuse to change, would be needlessly and recklessly putting themselves and others in danger. They would eventually be killed by humans, some sooner than later.

Should their friends and family try to save them? Should the Wraith who want to take the retrovirus conspire with the New Lanteans against their resistant friends and family and forcefully administer the retrovirus to them? Some sites estimate nearly half of the Wraith hives have already been lost and that could further motivate Wraith survivors to act to save as many others as possible.

Is this the forced evolution of a race, creating additional races/hybrids/subspecies/whatever term you want to call the biological label, and eliminating the other branch? Or, is it just gene therapy, as some humans have Wraith and Ancient DNA and abilities and they are not classed any differently?

Is this moral, for either the New Lanteans or the Wraith to do?

Could this create a Michael 2.0? Michael was all alone, but the Wraith in this scenario would still have their homes and families. Would the dissenters be angry at their friends and family for betraying them and altering their bodies against their will, even slightly, even if trying to save them? Would they eventually get over it? Would most of them fall in line and go along with everyone else?

Might a few take it upon themselves to try to add Iratus bug DNA back into themselves to undo the change or accidentally go too far and turn into someone such as Bug Shep 2.0? How about runner hunting anyhow, even if they don’t feed on the runner? Would they have to be imprisoned? How would life in prison be for a near immortal being? Are they better off angry and alive than dead at the hands of a human?

Many of these questions are still relevant to writers who come up with other solutions than a retrovirus for the Wraith. Every group has its troublesome members and even violent criminals. What can be morally done about them?

***These questions are based on a what-if scenario someone asked me. This person’s scenario involved possibly also erasing the culling memories of just dissenting Wraith, but I am not sure such a secret could be kept in a telepathic race. A dream or a stray thought might slip from a non-mind-wiped Wraith, such as memories of past cullings, battles, or runner hunts, leaving the mind-wiped Wraith to question their brothers. Also, if the Wraith stay in Pegasus, someone in the galaxy, if even a third party such as a Pegasus human or a rouge Asgard, is going to blab, deliberately or accidentally. There are also past signs of cullings, such as the human-made carvings Teyla showed John, of which similar writings or depictions could be anywhere.

***The place where the other SGA fan asked me is so clogged up with off-topic, xenophobic garbage that is nearly impossible to have a thoughtful conversation of any kind, so I collected my questions and thoughts here. It was a diamond question in the rough. Typical though. 😉

Alienizing Wraith is Still Humanizing Wraith

Wraith fans sometimes try to set their OC Wraith apart by adding to their OC world-building. But, the majority of the so-called “alien” additions are actually customs that global cultures have had for thousands of years (or used to have, before being steamrolled over by Western colonialism and cis-hetero-masculine-dominant religions).

Inclusiveness for non-binary people, community bathing, not sleeping on Western-style beds, community child-raising, non-nuclear families, and community sleeping, for example, are all parts of Earth human cultures.

Even in Legacyverse, the games, fashion, and names are found in a mashup of the ways of other cultures, both past and present. The words “zenana,” “blade,” and “Consort,” for instance, were taken from court life, Eastern and Western, but with the Wraith Queen being the court leader, rather than a human king. What was once old is now new again.

Similarly, on-screen details about Wraith, such as matriarchy, tribal style tattoo art, males having long hair and wearing nail lacquer too, chanting, and martial arts have existed globally on Earth for thousands of years.

Recognizing these traditions, here or on other planets is great. But, to label any non-Western traditions as “alien” is to erase global Earth cultures and to mythologize the white Western way as the only human way.

Also, humans can and should have what Wraith do too: environmentally-friendly, lab-grown items and respect for the environment. Some of that exists to us now, from emerging cruelty-free, lab-grown and cultured materials, such as from pineapple leaves, coconut water, kombucha, and mushrooms.

Within SGA, the White-cis-hetero-masculine-ableist-colonialist way is what is represented to the Pegasus galaxy’s citizens, though the military’s presence. At least the Goa’uld in SG1 had a better picture of humanity as a whole, by their posing as various global and multicultural deities and figures.

When it all boils down, there is no way around that we are all more similar than different.

(((Note: Mistaking global traditions, past or present, for alien is seen more so from comments on Wraith fanfics than in the fanfics themselves. Often, the authors are very well-versed in history and know exactly what they are using as building blocks, even disclosing them and expounding on them when readers do ask.)))

The Lone Good Wraith Trope Part 2: Todd is not to be Tokenized

tokenism.  noun. “the practice of making only a perfunctory or symbolic effort to do a particular thing, especially by recruiting a small number of people from underrepresented groups in order to give the appearance of sexual or racial equality within a workforce

This includes fictional races too. Adding Todd (or a Wraith OC) as a token to a story line while killing off and demeaning all the others of his race is still racism. It writes out Todd’s friends, family, and crew, such as Kenny and Bullseye (and any Queen/s who may be providing him with masked warriors).

Having token characters is also poor world-building. Some sage advice from a Carson fan, found on a scifi forum thread about developing characters: “If you blow up your main character and the thought of them being dead or injured does not make you cringe or even cry, I would recommend you try to rewrite them from the start.” Well, the same point applies to fictional races. If 99%-100% of a race are just cannon fodder, then something got messed up. Go back, reexamine, see good and bad in all races, and rewrite.

Even Ronon Refers to Wraith as People and Uses Proper Pronouns

In “Enemy at the Gate,” Ronon says about Todd, “He got betrayed by one of his own people. Now he wants us to help him clean up the mess. End of story.”

If Ronon can use the same words Wraith use for themselves (my people, your people, our lineage, he/him, etc.), then anyone can.

Frell xenophobia, outgrouping, and othering.