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20 February 2016 @ 12:23 pm
Fandom Snowflake Challenge 2016 #12  
#12. Discuss what makes you fannish.

I love stories, and media fandom is story-love shared. It's the black-sheep, back-alley cousin of humanities academia. We tell and retell stories, and deconstruct and reassemble what stories mean for us as individuals and our culture as a whole, with certain broadly common values of enthusiasm, loyalty, creativity and compassion.

That probably covers "fannish" as an intrinsic inclination. :-) But I'll say a few more words about what makes the inclination manifest in different ways in my life.

With most stories — including dearly loved, highly respected stories — I'm content as a reader or viewer. I don't cross from devoted audience to fan-creator. I'm always happy to discuss them, but I rarely seek out discussions about them. Because I live in fandom, I'll enjoy fanfiction or fanart for them when a friend recommends it, and I may even create fannishly in them for someone else, but the engagement is different. I may own every version ever released, and may rush to the bookstore, comics shop, movie theater or broadcast network for each new installment, but that's enough. That's all I need.

The key difference between two otherwise similar stories that I cherish, where one drives me to full, interactive fannish engagement and one doesn't, seems to be... incompleteness. Something missing or mistaken. Ending too soon, or ending wrong. Not answering its own questions, or answering them wrongly. A story discovered out of sequence, with no access to the other components for a very long time, maybe ever, enough time for bridges to build across my imagination.

What inspires me to my own deepest fannish engagements isn't specific genres or tropes, actors or writers.

I think that it's something about the feeling that the story needs us.

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