Jane Austen discussion

is fan fiction based on Austen a good idea?

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message 1: by Chahrazad (new)

Chahrazad | 29 comments hello everyone!
I have read a couple of Austen based novels and can't get over the disappointment.
I don't know whether it is because I keep comparing or that these stories are actually boring.

Anyone out there thinking the same?!

message 2: by Sophie (new)

Sophie | 1458 comments Which have you read? I have read a few pride and prejudice variations and I have enjoyed them. I think a well written one can be successful. But the problem is that people compare them to the originals!

message 3: by Chahrazad (new)

Chahrazad | 29 comments I've read a sequel to Emma and currently reading Darcy's Voyage.
my problem is the comparison indeed. I just can't help longing for Austen's effortless style and the element of surprise in her writings and her wit for that matter. sigh***
what do you advise me Soph?

message 4: by Sophie (new)

Sophie | 1458 comments How are you finding Darcy's voyage?
I recommend.... (Hang on a tick)

message 5: by Sophie (last edited Jun 04, 2013 12:01PM) (new)

Sophie | 1458 comments I never thought I would enjoy variations of my favourite novel, Pride and Prejudice but then I read Falling for Mr Darcy by KaraLynne Mackrory (http://laughingwithlizzie.blogspot.co...)

and I wanted to find some more to read so after a lot of research I found ....
The Houseguest by Elizabeth Adams (http://laughingwithlizzie.blogspot.co...)

Bluebells in the Mourning by KaraLynne Mackrory

Darcy's Voyage by Kara Louise

and I loved them all!
And I have...
'Only Mr Darcy Will Do' by Kara Louise
'The Journey' and 'An Arranged Marriage' by Jan Hahn
'A Fair Prospect' by Cassandra Grafton to read soon :)
(my reviews are in the brackets ;))

message 6: by Sophie (new)

Sophie | 1458 comments Although, I will say, if you decide to read any of them don't blame me if you don't enjoy them ;)

message 7: by Chahrazad (new)

Chahrazad | 29 comments that's a long list that I have to check :D
I'm half way through Darcy's Voyage and I'm reminded of how much I hate Caroline Bingley! Can I say that I don't quite miss Mrs Bennet?! :-D
I actually am starting to like it now that the voyage is over and they're in Longbourn :-)

message 8: by Sophie (new)

Sophie | 1458 comments Yes haha, I hope my review help give you an idea about them :)

I liked Darcy's Voyage :) It was fun to see what events from the original novel would be like with this previous meeting!

message 9: by Bianca (new)

Bianca (bookhoarding) | 13 comments How about fanfiction for Sanditon? I recently read it and feel super frustrated that it's unfinished. Have any of you read Sanditon fanfic, and are there ones you would recommend?

message 10: by Sophie (new)

Sophie | 1458 comments I haven't sorry! :(

message 11: by Chahrazad (new)

Chahrazad | 29 comments I haven't either! :(

message 12: by Clarissa (new)

Clarissa | 1 comments There is an edition of Sanditon that was finished by "Another Lady", you could look for that just to see how it ends.

message 13: by J. (new)

J. Rubino (jrubino) | 195 comments I'm not sure I understand what you mean by "a good idea". I don't object to people writing it or reading it; I think the problem comes in when a work of fan fiction deviates from Austen's style, language, characterization and narrative technique and, having read that, a reader then goes to Austen with the same expectations.
I have never found Jane Austen boring. In comparison to a contemporary romance novel, or to a lot of fan fiction, she may seem so, but I think Austen is better compared to writers of her era. I have read a few novels that were quite popular in the 1800s and by comparison, Jane Austen is remarkably modern, witty and an accomplished prose stylist.
I also think it's a matter of what you like about Austen. If you like the characters above anything else, they you would probably want to see more fiction about Darcy, Elizabeth, Emma. I think most people who are really captivated by a character feel that way - it's why series fiction has lasted as long as it has and why a lot of fan fiction is so popular.

message 14: by Chahrazad (new)

Chahrazad | 29 comments thanks J. and I quite agree with you. I think that Austen is far better than anyone and every attempt at imitating her is bound to fail.

message 15: by Sophie (new)

Sophie | 1458 comments I agree that no one can better her. So I believe that if your mind is open to trying to enjoy some fan fiction, the only way this will be possible is by going at it with a resolve that you know it won't be as good as Jane Austen's own writing. That is how I have approached fan fiction and i am glad I have read some fan fiction; it was a bit of fun and often a good laugh to read some of the variations I have read :)

message 16: by Louise Sparrow (new)

Louise Sparrow (louisex) | 300 comments I agree, I think fan fiction should be taken for what it is, there are few modern authors as good as Jane Austen after all.

The only thing that I'm not entirely happy about is what they charge... fan fiction should be free in my opinion but there are so many P&P variations that are released as new novels. Some deserve to be treated that way because they can stand on their own, some are works of love/fandom and shouldn't really charge and some like the Zombie one are purely cashing in something they can't hope to equal.

message 17: by Chahrazad (new)

Chahrazad | 29 comments that's a good point Louise! indeed some of them don't deserve a penny! I found that case with Lynda Berdoll's Darcy takes a wife. awful book indeed.
have you read it Soph?!

message 18: by Sophie (new)

Sophie | 1458 comments No I haven't read that one. (Did I read about it somewhere that it isn't clean?)

I don't like the fan fiction which takes the stories and tries to claim it their own. It should not be done that. It must be accredited to the original plot. Also, modern adaptations I can't stand! Like the zombies one or the sea monsters (sense and sensibility) etc. I don't like thins being brought into this era and weird takes on them.

I also avoid at all costs variations which aren't clean! What is the need?! (There are so many out there which aren't clean and I just can't bear to read them! Although I hear it is a parody, 50 shades of Mr Darcy - are you kidding me!? )

message 19: by Sophie (new)

Sophie | 1458 comments Also, I prefer, but am not against, to read fan fiction which are variations and 'what if's' of the originals rather than what happens after the originals. I like to read about other ways of bringing the hero and heroine together rather than a detailed looked into their happily after (which I can imagine in my head)

message 20: by Chahrazad (new)

Chahrazad | 29 comments I wouldn't have said it better Soph!

message 21: by Louise Sparrow (new)

Louise Sparrow (louisex) | 300 comments I definitely prefer 'what ifs' to sequels too, I don't think I've found a sequel I entirely agree with.

You know I do agree about the clean stories and I would choose them over others, but to be fair, I don't really mind if they aren't clean as long as they are well written and it fits in with the plot, it is just that it isn't necessary and doesn't add anything.

I did like Pulse and Prejudice by Colette Saucier for example, which is a 'what if Mr Darcy were a vampire' variation. I have a soft spot for vampires anyway but I thought she wove her story into the original very well. It is not clean at the end but taken as a vampire romance rather than a regency romance it does work.

message 22: by Sophie (new)

Sophie | 1458 comments Often it is not tastefully done. And yes, it really isn't necessary and doesn't add anything!!

See, that would not be a book for me not liking vampire etc type stories and having Darcy as a vampire... Nah, not for me. As you say, as a vampire story it would not doubt work, as a regency pride and prejudice take off romance I imagine it wouldn't!!

I have read a 'what if Mr Darcy finds an injured Lizzy just after Jane's stay at Netherfield and helps her home?' (Falling for Mr Darcy, KaraLynne Mackrory) a 'what if Mr Bennet died and Lizzy receives the news just before Darcy's intended proposal?' (Bluebells in the Mourning, KaraLynne Mackrory) A 'what if Lizzy and Darcy meet on a voyage to America before ever meeting like in the original?' (Darcy's Voyage, Kara Louise (this sounds strange to put them on a voyage to America but it was a lot of fun and didn't seem out of place or weird when I was reading it at all!)
And a 'What if Lizzy and Georgiana form a strong friendship earlier and Lizzy is invited to stay at the Darcy house in London, unbeknownst to Darcy?' (The Houseguest, Elizabeth Adams)
I have a few more to read and so far I have enjoyed them all :)

message 23: by Louise Sparrow (new)

Louise Sparrow (louisex) | 300 comments I liked Falling for Mr Darcy, I will have to read the other one by that author! I've bought The House guest too, it's on my to read list.

The other P&P variations I've read so far I haven't been quite so impressed with.

message 24: by Sophie (new)

Sophie | 1458 comments Bluebells is great. I liked it more than her first one :) and houseguest was a lot of fun :)

Which others have you read?

message 25: by Louise Sparrow (new)

Louise Sparrow (louisex) | 300 comments For variations, Pied and Prodigious, Mr. Darcy's Refuge and Fault or Virtue... they're ok but for one reason or another they aren't on my favourites list.

I've also read a couple of modern/inspired by stories and I'm currently reading Death Comes to Pemberley.

message 26: by Sophie (new)

Sophie | 1458 comments How is Death comes to Pemberley?

message 27: by Louise Sparrow (new)

Louise Sparrow (louisex) | 300 comments So far so good. It's more about the mystery than continuing the relationships but I'm okay with that. It's set several years after P&P and our favourite couples are happily married with children.

Some of the behaviour of the characters seems more in keeping with the Colin Firth version than the original book but nothing too bad yet.

message 28: by Rose (new)

Rose (plainsrose) | 4 comments Oh, I did not care for Death Comes to Pemberley! But I did like The Highbury Murders, which actually sounds like Austen and has the wit of Austen.

message 29: by Sophie (new)

Sophie | 1458 comments I am glad you are enjoying it :)

Shame you didn't Rose. It doesn't appeal to me. Nor do the Highbury Murders, when are they set again in relation to the original?

message 30: by Rose (new)

Rose (plainsrose) | 4 comments Soph wrote: "I am glad you are enjoying it :)

Shame you didn't Rose. It doesn't appeal to me. Nor do the Highbury Murders, when are they set again in relation to the original?"

Highbury Murders is set about a year after Emma closes.

message 31: by Sophie (new)

Sophie | 1458 comments Thanks :)

message 32: by Shelley (new)

Shelley | 34 comments I agree with Chahrazad.

"Is fan fiction based on Jane Austen a good idea?"

No. These lesser writers should create their own characters.


message 33: by Patricia (new)

Patricia Gulley Of course no one can compare to Dear Jane, but I love reading continuations or stories about the secondary characters. Some of my favorites featured Lidia Bennet, Charlotte Collins and Jane Fairfax. I agree any hint of modern terms or language puts me off and I stop reading. Authors should do their research.

message 34: by Deedee (new)

Deedee | 1 comments Jane Odiwe novels (continuation of Austen's) are entertaining.

message 35: by Patricia (new)

Patricia Gulley Jane Odiwe, I agree with you. I don't care for rewrites or retellings, but 'years later in the life' are fun.
I'm also a big fan of Stephanie Barron. But, then, I do love a good, in the English tradion, traditional mystery.
BSP, because I write mystery.

message 36: by Maria (new)

Maria | 94 comments I loved Jane Odiwe's "Searching for Captain Wentworth" and another novel I really enjoyed is "Persuade me" by Juliet Archer. I recommend both of them!

message 37: by Patricia (new)

Patricia Gulley Sorry, updated versions of Austen's novels are not for me. I never like them.

message 38: by Kristy (new)

Kristy (travelswithboooks) | 1 comments I've read a few retellings and sequels. Pamela Aiden's trilogy is the best retelling of P&P IMHO.

message 39: by Terri (new)

Terri Edwards (teresaluvsbooks) | 7 comments Not many people "do" Austen very well, but Jane Odiwe does it very well, one of the very few, I think. And yes, Pamela Aiden's trilogy is good. Stephanie Barron is also a favorite.

message 40: by Diane (new)

Diane Teresa wrote: "Not many people "do" Austen very well, but Jane Odiwe does it very well, one of the very few, I think. And yes, Pamela Aiden's trilogy is good. Stephanie Barron is also a favorite."
I don't care for fan fiction in general but also enjoyed Pamela Aiden's trilogy. They are from Darcy's point of view and I thought well written and sensible. The first and third were especially good.
I haven't read anything by Jane Odiwe but will give her a try

message 41: by Terri (new)

Terri Edwards (teresaluvsbooks) | 7 comments I agree about Aiden's books; especially enjoyed the first and third. The second was a little "out there" but still good. Yes, you should try Jane Odiwe.

message 42: by Patricia (new)

Patricia Gulley If you like Persuasion, I highly recommend Laura Hile's Mercy's Embrace. A 3 book story of elder Elliot daughter. Quite funny too.

message 43: by Megan, Moderator & Ardent Janeite (new)

Megan | 724 comments Mod
I loved the Mercy's Embrace series. Well worth your time to read.

message 44: by Bill (new)

Bill (bill_bee) | 81 comments Teresa wrote: "I agree about Aiden's books; especially enjoyed the first and third. The second was a little "out there" but still good."

I also agree about Aiden's books. The first and the third were the best. The second fills in the time between the Netherfield Ball and the meeting at Rosings (if I spelled that right?) with a Gothic tale that might have got a little out of hand. But I liked it well enough.

message 45: by Marcy (new)

Marcy (marshein) | 2 comments The only thing that I'm not entirely happy about is what they charge... ..."

Aren't these books, fan fiction, written by writers like any other book? Why on earth shouldn't they charge for them? The worst written books cost money, I'm not saying all are worth the cover price, but nonetheless, writing is a profession, it requires time and hard work to write a book, and those who sweat over it deserve to be compensated, whether you like their final product or not!

message 46: by Louise Sparrow (new)

Louise Sparrow (louisex) | 300 comments Because they didn't come up with the characters, they didn't make them popular and they certainly aren't up to the quality that would have done so.

If you write an original novel, you own everything about it and so, even if it's bad you have a right to make money from it. Even if you make it different enough from the original as to be 'inspired by' and of good enough quality, it's not so bad.

If you're doing it for love of a story and are good enough that people keep coming back, then I can see that it's good if you can make a living out of it. (I'm not talking about whether I personally think it's good but whether they're good enough to be an author in their own right)

If you're just cashing in on someone else's success and some of them really seem like they are... It doesn't feel right to me.

Interestingly, Amazon.com are arranging the rights for people to get royalties for some fanfic now (of course you have give them the rights to everything including your image if you sign up)

I think I find that a little more honest actually, a writer who gets paid for openly writing fanfic as opposed to a writer who re-writes someone else's book and publishes it as an original work.

Don't misunderstand me, I have enjoyed some of these books and I accept the risk of a bad novel when I buy them. I have also read some fanfic I would be prepared to pay for, maybe not the full price of an original novel, but still.

Victoria_Grossack Grossack (victoriagrossack) | 94 comments Why shouldn't some of the books be good? I think it's a challenge to make them good, but that doesn't mean it's impossible.

I believe that some movies are better than the books on which they are based. Two come to mind: Slumdog Millionaire and yes, the version of Sense and Sensibility for which Emma Thompson received an Oscar for the screenplay, which IMHO was a brilliant adaptation, cutting out the less important characters and some of the meanderings.

One reason that these can be good is because they bring another dimension and set of eyes to the problem. They can see what worked, and what did not, in the original.

I think the same principle should hold true for those who write. Now, I think most will not be better than the original - writing well is tough, whether you're using your own characters/world or not - but not impossible.

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