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Does canon really matter? · 7:40am July 1st

Honestly, does canon really matter when it comes to fan fiction?

Not to dismiss canon completely, but I feel like if you really want to tell a story that deviates from the original narrative you can. I suppose it really depends on how you tell the story. The only objection I have if you turn a character that's clearly depicted as good from the show into an evil one without giving any logical explanation for why it happened. The same for an evil character being turned good.

For example: Here be something that would be extremely silly. Turning Morgoth from the Lord of the Rings into the good guy and the free Peoples of Middle-earth into the bad guys.

Report Bendy · 138 views · #canon #fan fiction
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Comments ( 25 )

It depends on the story I guess, That's why there are Alt Universe tags

You can reach a point where you may as well just be writing an original story, but otherwise, not so much.

It's just that most people who read fanfiction are massive nerds who like the canon, and are likely to call you out if you openly contradict it.

I suppose. You can really tell any story then.

Drastic deviation from the canon storylines can ruin fics for me.
I emphasise, drastic deviation.
A different or new character, some slight alteration to the narrative and such are fine, but nothing that interferes with a character's development or growth.

Im kinda doing that with a story Im doing, granted they're not drastic changes, but I do change the scenes to better fit whats going on. Also, gotta agree with the villain turning good or the good guy turning bad without any explanation as to how and why they changed.

yes, and while you could potentially populate Alternate universes with original characters, most characters will eventually fall into certain archetypes. So instead of making a character, thats kinda sorta like a character from the Show, you might as well use that character, so the Reader can easily identify them. (Unless the original character also appears in the Story. Like, remember when Season 3 Rainbow competed against Season 1 Rainbow?)

Canon does matter. It's a springboard from which you base your ideas, often altering canon details or even diverging from them completely. However once you've gone far enough from canon you may as well just write original fiction. On the other side of that, if you're writing original fiction that's super close to an established universe in terms of setting, characterization, etc. you might as well just write it in that established universe. Basically, Canon matters because you NEED to base your ideas off of it for your fanfiction to matter. Go too far and it often just benefits you to write actual wholly original fiction to release yourself from unneeded restrictions.


...that's the long answer.

The term originates from religion; fans are treating all books as holy books, and this is not the first time I asked what the fuck is wrong with them for doing so. Seriously, read the biblical Apocrypha and try to tell me that "canon" is at all a good idea.

For lack of a "Reply All" button, as Estee puts it:


It's good for a reference, or at least a starting point. Taking it too seriously..? I'll leave that to the Trekkies.

i like cannon

whoops that's the wrong one

True, plus I think it also matters if the writer is correcting something wrong with the canon in the first place, such as a bad instance of writing or a character error

Nice false equivalence there. Here's the thing: A single word can have multiple definitions that are each used in different contexts. For example, the words set and run both have hundreds of definitions. Further, words have both connotation and denotation associated with them. The latter is the literal meaning of the word, whereas the former is the feelings or ideas that a word implies or invokes. The magical thing about language is that the connotation of a word or phrase can change based on the context in which that word or phrase is placed, as well as the tone associated with it (e.g. using a phrase sarcastically). All of this adds up to one big thing: Language is constantly evolving and changing. In 1930's USA the slang phrase "Dog soup" meant a glass of water, but it doesn't have that connotation anymore so people don't use it. Because of this, the connotation of "canon" within literature is not "this is absolutely and utterly true and unable to be changed" but "this is the setting, plot, and characterization that the original creators used for the source material". In fact, canon itself DOES have a separate definition for literary works, where it means "the works of a particular author or artist that are recognized as genuine." This reinforces the idea that canon within literature refers simply to the original work, how it was structured, and the details within it.

Given this connotation AND denotation for canon within the context of literature You're literally making a false equivalence on the basis that canon can mean only one thing in all contexts, and that makes it objectively a bad thing. Honestly, the fact you threw out a generalized blanket statement like "fans are treating all books as holy books" shows you clearly cannot separate between the two definitions and that in my own observations you seem to have some sort of hatred towards the term when the term is perfectly valid.

So, I'll end this by using your own words: what the fuck is wrong with you?

You really haven't read a lot of star trek fanfiction then. It's mostly the fans with sticks up their asses who are still pissed about discovery and how it diverged from their oh so sacred canon. I can see why they don't like it since it blatantly throws away details from previously made series, but at the same time if you're going to be a fan of a series of works with different people working on them at different points in time across multiple decades, you need to reconcile that there will be holes in the continuity, and that retcons will eventually have to happen unless everything is planned out well in advance.

Part of any fandom is not taking fandoms seriously. To do so leads to anger. Anger leads to the Dark Side. The Dark Side has cookies.

yeah but the cookies are oatmeal raisin specifically baked to look like chocolate chip.

One reason I enjoy fanfiction is because the characters are familiar, so you don't need to waste time on exposition. We know what Twilight Sparkle is like and where she lives. Thus if you deviate too much from canon, then I think you always need to have some context behind it.

It doesn't have to be anything complicated. Even a simple note in the description will suffice, such as "This story takes place before season 5" or "This character is the opposite gender". You can have artistic freedom, just take the time to explain what you changed first.

The equivalency should be false, but the amount of vitriol certain fans show for any deviation from canon makes it look a lot closer to the truth.

EDIT: Come to think of it, the fanaticism Bendy is questioning even worse than real religions; I mentioned the Biblical Apocrypha above, and to the best of my knowledge most Christians aware of them have no problem with texts existing, it's just not to be taken as things that actually happened. (And that's ignoring the ones who believe that none of the Bible is meant to be taken as a recounting of real events, who probably form the silent majority at this point)

You keep referring to it as fanaticism, but bendy never called it such nor is it a form of fanaticism. All you're doing is making more blanket statements. also:

the amount of vitriol certain fans show for any deviation from canon makes it look a lot closer to the truth

This is really dumb to say. you're effectively saying "I still think I'm right because a vocal minority of all people in any fandom spew vitriol at anything that diverges from canon" as if that makes you correct in any way. It doesn't. It's just another blanket statement and frankly the implication you're making with usage of the word "certain" seems to be that you're trying to make it seem like the vocal minority is larger than it really is. Quit making excuses for completely disregarding canon entirely. As I said in my original comment, canon matters because it's the basis for any fanfiction. You can pick it apart and use aspects of canon while disregarding others for personal headcanons or other ideas, but you still need to stick to some aspect of canon in order to still be writing fanfiction. Canon is meant to separate official stories from unofficial ones by saying "This setting along with the characters and plot are the original depiction and thus is the baseline" but you seem to be so obsessed with relating it to christian apocrypha that you don't see it for what it is. All I've gotten from you is that you completely do not like the concept of canon, even though you categorically cannot have fanfiction without the existence of canon.

TL;DR Your point is still invalid, canon objectively does matter as it delineates all of the available details that can be used in fanfiction and even gives a metaphorical anchor for AU stories in that authors and readers have a baseline to compare to the AU itself.

Bendy absolutely posts dumb questions that vocal minorities would go apeshit over, and then completely fails to reach said vocal minority because he's a more of a hidden treasure than a big name. I don't actually know whether he does this on purpose, but taking Bender as a role model implies things. (I'd be more annoyed at his failure to get a rise out of such people than his attempts, as is probably clear)

"Fanfiction" just means you're better about citing your sources than Shakespeare was, because at the end of the day you're just rearranging things that have been around longer than you have. It's actually a bit surprising that Disney hasn't tried to take the entire concept of fanfiction to court, given that they're already both infamously litigious and the reason why it takes so long for things to become public domain.

In the past authors HAVE taken fanfiction writers to court. It used to be that being in fandom wasn't something you were public about. Disney would lose though, and they know it because a lot of fanfiction falls under fair use since it's taking content and using it in a transformative manner.

Do they know it, though? Didn't they sue a kindergarten over a mural?

In any case, I feel like my actual take may have been lost in the shuffle, so: yes, canon "matters" on some level for the reasons you said, but some people take it way too far and whoever created the modern laws surrounding copyright is one of those people. (Again, everything Shakespeare ever wrote was either borderline plagiarism or a dramatization of real events, and I have so little respect for the era's historians that I'm not totally convinced of the distinction.)

their lawyers certainly do. Suing over a mural is an issue of potentially risking their IP (and this is why companies like nintendo are almost overzealous in sending C&D letters and lawsuits, and also why they took down lets plays of nintendo games on youtube for such a long time). Also modern copyright law is not as bad as you'd think. It needs to be looked at from a different perspective (patent trolling is a big problem) but in general the system benefits way more than it hurts.

It does take ridiculously long for things to enter the public domain, though, due to Disney's lobbyists trying their best to keep Steamboat Willie out of it.

Yeah that's one problem. Again, overzealous protection of what they consider theirs.

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