?

Log in

No account? Create an account
A question for fellow writers - Light One Candle

> Recent Entries
> Archive
> Friends
> Profile

Other Places My Fics Are Archived
FanFiction.Net
The CalSci Library (A Numb3rs Gen Archive)
The Invisible Man Virtual Seasons
The Sugar Quill

October 25th, 2006


Previous Entry Share Next Entry
11:16 am - A question for fellow writers
Hopefully, this won't sound too morbid. ;-)

Over on fanthropology several weeks back, there was a discussion about how people handle their fannish identities--stories about how people have put plans in place in the event of their death, for fellow fen to delete slash fic off of their computers or whatever.

This isn't what I'm asking about, but the discussion made me revisit an old line of thinking that I hadn't pondered in several years:

What do I want done with my stories (fic and original) in the event of my death?

Some authors want their journals, etc., burned. I'm not sure about that, but I'm also not sure I would want to risk just anyone reading them. What about fic? I'd love it if my stories lived on, in their archives, after I'm gone--but I'd need someone to keep an eye on said archives and be my proxy person, wouldn't I?

What about half-written ideas?

Part of me says, you know, it'd be easier to just say I want the hard drive wiped and all my papers burned. Words to dust just as my body returns to dust.

Another part of me thinks I should at least specify someone to look at the stuff and see if there's anything worth salvaging.

I'd love to hear the thoughts of other writers on this topic.
Current Mood: contemplativecontemplative

(40 lit candles | Light a candle)

Comments:


[User Picture]
From:amberdulen
Date:October 25th, 2006 06:33 pm (UTC)
(Link)
I actually have a note in my unofficial will-n-testament to the effect that either my sister or scionofgrace should finish whatever I'm working on at the moment; to keep trying to sell the things I'm currently trying to sell; to not try to sell anything I'm currently not trying to sell; and that they can read my journals if they want, but they should not be shocked. There are also some notes on what to do with my online accounts.

This may sound weird, but I'm always like, "I'd better finish this book as soon as possible, in case I die."
[User Picture]
From:kalquessa
Date:October 25th, 2006 07:02 pm (UTC)
(Link)
Hey, it's not weird to be prepared just in case. Falling pianos happen more often than you'd think! *nods*
[User Picture]
From:jd3000
Date:October 25th, 2006 06:44 pm (UTC)
(Link)
No more morbid than posting famous last words. :-D

I'd like my unfinished fics and ideas to be loosed to the four winds, metaphorically speaking. Available and free for anyone to take, adapt, and finish as they'd like. If just one of my story concepts that I never got around to writing made a good work, I'd be happy.

-JD
[User Picture]
From:jd3000
Date:October 25th, 2006 06:59 pm (UTC)
(Link)
I'd probably feel differently if any of my ideas ever made money and I had a family to support, but this is the way it is now.

-JD
[User Picture]
From:feliciakw
Date:October 25th, 2006 06:45 pm (UTC)
(Link)
You know, this might sound bad, but I don't put a whole lot of thought into it, not because I think it's morbid, but because, well, I won't be around to care. I mean, I've made out my will for my RL stuff. Fannish stuff, I guess I figure it will float around cyberspace until the sites it's on all become defunct or whatever. Stuff on my laptop? Hm . . . I don't know. Like I said, I won't be around to care.

My good stuff, I'd probably ask someone to take care of it, leaving it to that person's own discretion as to what that means--maintaining it in an archive or removing it from the 'Net. Half-finished stories? I'll contact you privately. :-)

More important to me is that my friends and close acquaintances in fandom know that I'm gone at all. What happens to my fannish stuff is secondary to that, I guess.
[User Picture]
From:izhilzha
Date:October 25th, 2006 07:18 pm (UTC)
(Link)
I mean, I've made out my will for my RL stuff.

I haven't. Not since my first attempt at age 14, anyway. :-) (Good lord, that's probably still in my papers somewhere.) Mostly because what do I have to leave to anyone? Books, a car, a violin. That's it. Might as well go to my parents and get sold to help pay for the sibling's college tuition or something....

The rest of me is bound up in my writing.

Fannish stuff, I guess I figure it will float around cyberspace until the sites it's on all become defunct or whatever. Stuff on my laptop? Hm . . . I don't know. Like I said, I won't be around to care.

I've used that thought/excuse for just about everything related to what should happen to me/my belongings after I die. It's only lately that I've started thinking that's kind of selfish--shouldn't one make provision to clean up one's own mess? I just recently put all my online information in one place, to facilitate that particular cleanup; I told my mom I don't want a fancy coffin, and that if anyone at my memorial says, "don't cry" I will come back and haunt them from beyond the grave; and I finally decided to be an organ donor.

No, I won't be around. But I have enough of a responsibility complex that I think I should at least decide what I want, to make it easier for those who are left behind and grieving. You know?

My good stuff, I'd probably ask someone to take care of it, leaving it to that person's own discretion as to what that means--maintaining it in an archive or removing it from the 'Net. Half-finished stories? I'll contact you privately. :-)

Yeah, I should make a decision along those lines. And re: the last bit there...right back atcha. :-)

More important to me is that my friends and close acquaintances in fandom know that I'm gone at all.

Exactly.
[User Picture]
From:lizamanynames
Date:October 25th, 2006 06:49 pm (UTC)
(Link)
This has actually come to my mind more than once.

The only conclusive decision I've made on the subject is that folks should morn the loss of my original characters if they've the mind too.
[User Picture]
From:izhilzha
Date:October 25th, 2006 07:19 pm (UTC)
(Link)
The only conclusive decision I've made on the subject is that folks should morn the loss of my original characters if they've the mind too.

Now I have the weirdest image of someone holding a virtual wake on LJ. Heeeee.
[User Picture]
From:kalquessa
Date:October 25th, 2006 07:01 pm (UTC)

Kind of long and incoherent, but you said you were interested in thoughts...

(Link)
I plan to leave behind every random scrawl because I am an extrovert and so things that only I know/think/write are of little to no value to me. I actually kind of like the idea of someone reading through all my old paper journals, laughing at what a prat I was as a teen, and what a loon I was before insomnia medication. To me, writing is a way of becoming immortal, like raising children or building a bridge or doing anything else that ever-so-slightly affects the future world. I kind of dig the idea of that kind of immortality in a selfish way.

In a less selfish vein, I derived a great deal of comfort and knowledge from reading Tolkien's drafts and notes, published by his son after his death, and if my half-baked drafts of dead stories help someone out that same way, they're welcome to them.

I guess I should qualify this with the fact that I never write anything that I don't intend to have read at some point. That doesn't mean that everything I write gets read, just that when I'm writing it, I'm assuming that it's at least possible that someone might read it. If that makes sense. If I want thoughts to be completely private, I keep them in my head. Since I'm very external, the list of thoughts I keep to myself is minimal, but it does exist. Everything else gets spoken or written down, and is available for public consumption after I've kicked the bucket. I won't be around to stand awkwardly off to the side, craning to see what page they're on and asking them every time they laugh what was funny, which is all to the good.

I realize that not everyone has this policy, and a lot of people write things down that they don't want anyone else to see. I tend to think that this is sort of like asking to have your secret diary found and read, to the horror of all involved, but I realize that some people feel that they need to write these things just to get stuff out. If I had a similar practice I would write the secret diaries and then burn them ASAP because you never know when you're gonna be hit be a freak wildebeest stampede.
[User Picture]
From:kalquessa
Date:October 25th, 2006 07:40 pm (UTC)

Re: Kind of long and incoherent, but you said you were interested in thoughts...

(Link)
Aaand I got way off subject there and didn't realize exactly how off until I went back to read. Heh. Yeah. 'Cause you were talking about fanfic and stuff online, and I....was not, so much. Since I have no fandom writings that anyone knows about, that wouldn't be an issue for me. I'd kinda like it if Bill or somebody kept my LJ online, though, so future generations can benefit from dear sarcasm letters and random interludes of wuv should they choose to do so.
[User Picture]
From:rose_in_shadow
Date:October 25th, 2006 10:49 pm (UTC)
(Link)
Funny... I was just thinking about this the other day and I made a mental note to leave a "what-if" letter to my parents to tell my online buddies if something happened. I know I would want to be told if something happened to any of you.

Writing.com, a site I belong to, actually has a system in place for this. Their portfolios become memorialized; on the site for as long as the site exists. Here's an example. I think whoever contacts the webmaster has to have proof of their death though; like a death certificate or something. But it's nice, I think, to see that their writing will still be enjoyed.

With my own stuff, I think I'd do what someone has said; cast my various scribblings to the wind. Only the unfinished pieces, mind you. I usually become too protective of the finished ones :D.
[User Picture]
From:izhilzha
Date:October 25th, 2006 11:29 pm (UTC)
(Link)
Writing.com, a site I belong to, actually has a system in place for this. Their portfolios become memorialized; on the site for as long as the site exists.

That is completely awesome. More writing/fic archives should do this kind of thing.
[User Picture]
From:scorptilicus
Date:October 26th, 2006 02:33 am (UTC)
(Link)
Personally, I would love it if someone were to find all of the little notes and barely started stories I have lying around in various places. And they are in various places. The hard drive, random papers throughout my room, the back of my class notebooks. I think that these stories would be an interesting way for someone to get a small glimpse into the stories that sit in my head, and that may forever sit there. It's one of the reasons I like Douglas Adams' Salmon of Doubt so much, it's fascinating for me to get that glimpse and to wonder just what might have been. If seeing that might give the "reader" a glimpse into my wild and crazy thoughts, I think that it would be pretty cool.
[User Picture]
From:izhilzha
Date:October 26th, 2006 05:07 pm (UTC)
(Link)
If seeing that might give the "reader" a glimpse into my wild and crazy thoughts, I think that it would be pretty cool.

That's an interesting point. I guess my gut-level reaction is "I'm not Douglas Adams, so why would anybody care?" but then again, there are family members and friends who would, so..... :-)
[User Picture]
From:kerravonsen
Date:October 26th, 2006 09:20 pm (UTC)
(Link)
I haven't really thought about my fannish legacy. Since I maintain my own webserver, it's likely to go off the air as soon as the bills stop being paid. Then folks would only be able to find it on the Wayback Machine -- unless somebody mirrored it before it vanished.

As for my half-finished ideas, I don't see the point. A couple of years ago I tried to give away plot-bunnies, and nobody, not one person, took them up. I doubt the reaction would be any different after I'm dead. (pouts)
[User Picture]
From:izhilzha
Date:October 26th, 2006 11:09 pm (UTC)
(Link)
As for my half-finished ideas, I don't see the point.

That's pretty much my thought. I have observed that most people who write a lot have their heads full of their own ideas, their own ways of seeing the world. At the most, all an unfinished idea of mine could do is make someone laugh (or groan, or be shocked), and maybe stir some thought. Anything written "based on" a half-finished story and notes is only going to be like something written using a line from a book as a story prompt, imho.

Although, thinking about this, I've started to believe that I should assign one of my writing buddies to go through my writing stuff after I die, not to finish anything, but because they'll be most interested, and it is their brain that a stray phrase or thought might strike chords in, for later development.

The stories won't be mine, but my own inspiration might lead another creative brain towards thoughts it didn't know before.

> Go to Top
LiveJournal.com