Dear Alysha - Nø. 1

     Our topic today . . . RP’ers.

      Specifically, the world of them on Facebook.

     I come to you with this subject because recently I saw not one, but two tweets from authors who have recently discovered the names of their characters are used on Facebook in the manner of role-play. In both of these tweets, the author was in shock, and unable to discern how they felt about this subject. It is an old, yet reoccurring topic, I know. If it’s not an author discovering their characters are being role-played, they’re discovering their characters are being written in some form of fan fiction.

     Both of us are on both sides of this fence. We may not be published, but we both have and continue to create our own content in the form of stories. So that got me thinking . . . how would I feel?

     Right off the bat, I empathized with the author.

     This shocked me, because again, I’ve written role-play in multiple forms and fashions. Which sparked another question - Why did I immediately feel that way? Simple question, simple answer; my characters, my story, it’s all mine; call me Gollum. Then I started thinking more.

     As writers and creators, we need to start somewhere. Not all of us can put pen to paper and create something fresh and new, not at first. I couldn’t. I started first writing in fan fiction. I used someone’s characters and put them in a very different situation, in a very different time. Then, I tried my hand at a crossover. I took two different stories, by two different authors, and molded them into one. I asked myself, who the fuck am I to criticize anyone who takes the characters of others and plays? Because as long as they do not publish those characters, playing is exactly what they are doing.

     That got me evaluating the motivation of my first conscious decision to write. I realize when I sit and think about it now, it wasn’t motivation, it was inspiration. Which as writers, we know the difference between the two. I’m sure (thinks of dreamy Jack & Kyle) you remember exactly what I mean about inspiration. It wasn’t a physical need, but an emotional one. This reminder made me think of how I got to where I am today, which isn’t published, but happily writing my own characters in a world I created, which then brought me back to my original question, but with a very different answer.

     I know we spend countless [beep] hours writing a story, we spend hundreds more editing. We sacrifice time with loved ones, time to ourselves, and things we love to do, and in most [beep] cases the daylight or moonlight. Then, we submit our souls to publishing houses we dream of stamping their label of approval on our work, and if we’re lucky, if we’re marketable, and good enough, we’ll make the cut. This is the vicious, beautiful, wondrous cycle. So many great stories go unnoticed; so many amazing authors’ voices are unheard. I’m sure I’ll be one of them, but if in that maddening circle of a writer turn author’s life, one person hears me and runs with it, then I would say to them . . . I love you.

     It would be an honor to have written a story or characters that inspires someone else (even if it is just one) to open a laptop or pick up a pen, and start writing. You never know where that will lead. You could have the next best selling author putting one word after the other, and wouldn’t have done so if you wouldn’t have worked your ass off and published. Even if they’re not a best seller, or I’m not for that matter, I know the personal joy writing gives me, and would have probably never started if it hadn’t been for one book . . . one author.

     So I ask this question of you, Alysha. Let’s say your series is published, and one day, you’re on Facebook and they recommend your character to you as a friend. You learn, your fans are writing your characters. What are your feelings on this matter?

Your fan *wink* always,

Alysha's Reply

"The timing of this topic is rather interesting, my dear Hope. As we've discussed off these blogs, recently there was the whole ‘clean reader’ saga which the author world blew up at someone daring to change the words that they wrote. I’m not going to comment for or against as that’s not why we’re here, though you've got to admit that RPers can walk a similar line.
As we both know, and others mightn't, I first flexed my writerly muscles as an RPer. It’s something I haven’t really spoken about in a long time, but I’m a little biased on the subject as this is where I got my start . . ."