1. teeekilicious18
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    teeekilicious18 Member

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    What's the difference between writing a "spin-off" and "fanfiction"?

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by teeekilicious18, Dec 20, 2013.

    I almost think they're the same, but they're not right? I'm thinking of writing 'spin-off' from Great Gatsby the movie, what do you think? (which I'm still thinking of the concept)

    Then after that I want to write a 'spin-off' from glee...Title: "One and only Rachel Berry"

    I AM A FAN OF BOTH :D
     
  2. M. B. Wright
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    M. B. Wright Member

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    A spin-off to me is more related to media such as a TV series. At least, that's what comes to mind for me. For example, if you want to do a "spin-off" of Glee, then you'll make another TV series based on it. A fan-fiction, to me, is the "writing" and "story-telling" equivalent of spin-offs.
     
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  3. teeekilicious18
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    teeekilicious18 Member

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    So if I want to write a spin-off for Great Gatsby, I have to make that into a television series? I want to continue a story though, not a sequel, but somewhat a mix.. Like ICarly spin-off, "Sam and cat" and not a sequel like "Gatsby 2" or fanfiction of it... You get the picture right?
     
  4. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    I would say a spin-off is a kind of fan-fiction, though fan-fiction carries with it the idea that it is written without any sort of rights or ownership to the characters being used. A spin-off would be a legitimately owned franchise. Traditionally, on television it picks a character up out of the story that has or is about to come to its conclusion and drops them somewhere else. Same person, same "universe", different story, usually comes with a physical move of address so as to provide a new backdrop. Nearly always an ancillary character that gets noticed by the audience as interesting. Like Frasier Crane got a spin-off from Cheers where he became more and more of a regular character and as that show waned his character had been sufficiently popular and well fleshed out as to give rise to Frasier. Frasier was very successful, as was The Jeffersons that was a spin-off of All in the Family. Most spin-offs, though, are flops.
     
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  5. teeekilicious18
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    teeekilicious18 Member

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    okay thanks :) but do you think it would be a great idea to write a spin-off for great gatsby?
     
  6. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    The important part to any spin-off (to any story, in fact) as the the ensemble gels well. Spin-offs flop because too often they depend on the strength of the one character the audience already knows to carry the show or story. Take Joey, for example, the failed spin-off of Friends. It failed because the group of characters in Joey just never had that same chemistry as in Friends. Were you to create a spin-off from The Great Gatsby, you need to think about the strength of the whole story-line and all the characters involved. If it's just a vehicle to give character X some more mileage, then I would say it has a poor start.
     
  7. Simpson17866
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    Simpson17866 Contributing Member Contributor

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    Whether you were told to do it or not ;)
     
  8. shadowwalker
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    shadowwalker Contributing Member Contributor

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    Basically what I was going to say - a spin-off indicates "authorized"; fanfiction is, at most, encouraged but never "official".
     
  9. Renee J
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    Renee J Contributing Member

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    I think a spin off can also be written by the same author.
     
  10. ChickenFreak
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    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

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    In my view, a spin-off is a separate story line that uses one or more of the supporting characters from the main story line. Rhoda from Mary Tyler Moore moved to another city and started having Rhoda-centered events. Angel from Buffy moved to another city and started having Angel-centered events. If Spock had returned to Vulcan and opened a clinic to help Vulcans get in touch with their feelings, the stories about that would have been a spin-off. The same if McCoy had gone home and started a little country practice.

    That all sounds rather like a sequel. The difference between a spin-off and a sequel is, IMO, in part about whether the new material is about the main characters or less central characters. I feel that if you wrote a book about what happened to Daisy, that would be a sequel, because she was a major part of the central plot of the novel. If you wrote one about what happened to Nick Carraway, that would be a sequel. (This is all based on the novel; I haven't seen the movie or seen whether Nick is treated as a central character or again mainly a viewpoint character.)

    I don't think that there necessarily is a difference between a spin-off and fanfiction. Fanfiction can be a spin-off or a sequel or neither. To me, fanfiction is defined by (1) the author not owning the characters and not having an unambiguous legal right to write and publish about them and (2) a more ambiguous vibe whereby the author feels free to put his own spin on the characters. So *to me*, and not necessarily to anyone else, fanfiction is both defined by lack of ownership, and a sense of reckless freedom.
     
    Last edited: Dec 20, 2013
  11. lex
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    lex Contributing Member

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    I had always imagined that the significant difference is a legal one to do with authority and rights: a spin-off is either created or authorized by the rights-owner, whereas fan fiction isn't and is sometimes going to raise some legal issues, unless the copyright in the original has expired. But that probably just shows you what I know about it, which is very little indeed. :oops:
     
  12. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    you imagined right, lex... and obviously know more than you thought you knew...

    that's exactly what a spin-off is... and fan fiction can be legally iffy, depending on what's done with it...

    if someone not connected with the original series should write a spin-off without permission and try to sell it, the legal department of that series would come down on him/her like a ton of bricks...

    if a storyline is simply continued, with the same characters/setting/whatever, that's a 'sequel'... and the faces the same legal roadblocks as noted above for unauthorized spin-offs...
     
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  13. teeekilicious18
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    teeekilicious18 Member

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    damn so im gonna skip this... and back to my own novel...
     
  14. Evarnae
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    Evarnae New Member

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    There's no reason to skip it if it's something you want to do! You could just simply write it for yourself and for the joy of writing it at all or write it for publication and change the names and setting enough to be a different story entirely (more books and movies than you'd think are like this).

    If you did write it, it probably wouldn't be classed as a spin-off or sequel because it hasn't been commissioned by the studio or written by the copyright owners but there's no reason you can't write it as a fan fiction. There's no shame in fan fiction as long as it's a good story, like with all writing.
     
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