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What makes it "Redwall" fan fiction?
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Thread: What makes it "Redwall" fan fiction?

  1. #1
    Patroller: General LordTBT's Avatar
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    Post What makes it "Redwall" fan fiction?

    I've been doing a lot of thinking lately as to what makes fan fiction exclusively "Redwall", and would appreciate the input of others. I personally don't write or read Redwall fan fiction, therefore responses from those who partake in both would be great.

    If you'd like to assist, please ponder the following:

    1. What makes it "Redwall"?

    2. What types of characters, places, weapons, make it NOT Redwall?

    3. Do characters such as humans, orcs, elves, etc mean it's no longer Redwall?

    Thanks.
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  2. #2
    Patroller Folgrimeo's Avatar
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    I always had a simple view of what was Redwall fanfiction and what wasn't: If it includes any major character or location from the Redwall series (and uses it in some meaningful way), then it's Redwall fanfiction. This goes along with the same definition I had for Star Fox fanfiction, since some of the fanfiction I read had almost no ties to the source material other than a few characters. Not to mention characters that act nothing like themselves. I'm hesitant to call anything that seems to follow the formula or spirit of Redwall a Redwall fanfiction because I've read a story like that before. The spirit will seem slightly off unless there's some explicit references, like goofy hares.

    So what I'm saying is, we have some idea of what makes a Redwall story. A fanfiction would either have to contain existing characters or locations from the Redwall universe (just to put you into that mindset) or follow the Redwall spirit very closely to feel like a Redwall fanfiction. I haven't seen any fanfiction that does the latter because it reminds me of Redwall but it isn't strong enough to seem like it's in the same universe.

    You could have a story where the vermin are mice and the heroes are foxes, but if you stick Matthias in there anywhere, you've got Redwall. Part of the reason is that I'm no stranger to characters being completely out of their element. Basil in the future? Slagar traveling to the past? Constance meets the Cat in the Hat (okay, that never happened, but it could)? For people that are more quick to deny something is related to Redwall once the situations or locations start getting outlandish, then... well, you're better at spotting Redwall and non-Redwall fanfiction. You require that it matches more of the spirit. I just look at names.

    I think it'd be interesting to test this theory. Take some fanfiction that on its own has few references to the source material other than characters and locations. Replace all the characters and locations with those from some other series. See if the story feels any different as a result. If it does, I'd say it's because you were influenced by the names and that the story doesn't follow the spirit too well in the first place, so that it really is as easy as sticking Matthias in there.

    But just to show it's not quite as easy as all that, I do know there's some point where it starts getting too far out there. If you try making Basil meet up with John Cleese... well, that'd be cool, but that's so far away from Redwall that you'd second-guess it. You were expecting something else when you clicked that link. I bet putting the cast into a Western wouldn't work either. And guns. As soon as you start giving the woodlanders guns or modern weaponry, it stops working (but you might disagree). But strangely space works for me.

    So I guess it depends on how far you're willing to stretch the spirit of Redwall, that it's different for everyone partially since everyone has their own idea of what Redwall is. My idea of what a Watership Down fanfiction is would be a lot more restricted because Hazel and company have limited knowledge of the world (they think in their own way and miss some things that would be obvious to us) and they behave more realistically than animals from other series.
    Last edited by Folgrimeo; March 19th, 2009 at 02:05 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by LordTBT View Post
    1. What makes it "Redwall"?
    It takes place in Mossflower woods or surrounding areas (Noonvale, Salamandastron, etc), OR has known Redwall characters in it (Matthias visting the future and driving a car would be a silly idea, but still a Redwall fanfic). If it is set in the Mossflower universe, then it needs to have at least some anthro characters, even if it's told from the POV of a human. A Mossflower setting does not quite guarantee that it's a Redwall fic, but it's a huge help. If it has that setting, it's very hard to stop it from being a Redwall story.

    Quote Originally Posted by LordTBT View Post
    2. What types of characters, places, weapons, make it NOT Redwall?
    A lack of any anthro characters at all. I'd say that's about it. Even if you depict modern technology (squirrels with sniper rifles, or a badger using a microwave), it still has some Redwall-ishness to it, as long as there are antropomorphic characters with Redwall-ish names. It's all about the spirit.

    Quote Originally Posted by LordTBT View Post
    3. Do characters such as humans, orcs, elves, etc mean it's no longer Redwall?
    Again, not necessarily. A human or elf could visit the Abbey and interact with the inhabitants, and it would still be a Redwall story. Now, if you have Abbot Mortimer visiting Helm's Deep, that gets a little more sticky, as you are clearly dealing with a Redwall/LOTR crossover. In such crossover situations, I would say the category depends largely on the setting and introduction.
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    Patroller: General Ferahgo the Assassin's Avatar
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    What about a story taking place in a universe extremely similar to and obviously influenced by the Redwall world, yet not making mention of any specific characters or locations? It seems a bit unfair to deem such a story original fiction when the influences are so obvious and strong.
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    Patroller Petunia's Avatar
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    A lot of Redwall fanfiction includes a completely original cast and setting, but these may resemble parts of other Redwall stories. I've noticed many Redwall fanfics about searats and corsairs with no connection to the characters and places in the books, but they are still clearly Redwall fanfiction. I think this is because of the kinds of characters there are. A talking searat captain with clothes just seems so Redwally. Of course, these are usually on Redwall-focused sites, but I think one could see the connection without knowing that.
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    Patroller redwallfan91's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ferahgo the Assassin View Post
    What about a story taking place in a universe extremely similar to and obviously influenced by the Redwall world, yet not making mention of any specific characters or locations? It seems a bit unfair to deem such a story original fiction when the influences are so obvious and strong.
    While I see what you are saying, regarding classifying it as "original", the dictionary definition I have says this:

    a genre of imaginative amateur writing that uses characters and events from mass entertainment or popular culture
    I think that you can go either way; the definition has been given very narrowly by some I've met, and more broadly by others. I don't know that I have a specific answer. I've never been into fan fiction, simply because I don't have the time or interest. When I create, I want to do so on my own turf. I don't feel comfortable "copying" another's work. Not that I have a problem with other people doing so; I see nothing at all "wrong" with itóbut for myself, I don't. I do read and enjoy some of it though.
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    The orcs would have to be with cute furry vermin and fight redwallers.

  8. #8
    Patroller: General LordTBT's Avatar
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    This thread has been helpful.

    In the same vein, now discuss "fan art". If it's a drawing of an anthropomorphized squirrel doing just about anything, is that Redwall fan art?
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    Patroller Tsarmina 07's Avatar
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    I'd consider it Redwall fan art if it's supposed to take place in the Redwall universe. So if it's a character from Redwall or just a random squirrel that's supposed to be in Mossflower (or any Redwall location), I think that would be fan art.

    I don't think any drawing of an anthropomorphized animal is automatically Redwall fan art. The artist could have gotten the idea of drawing an anthropomorphic animal somewhere else.

    Not really sure if it counts as fan art if the artist was inspired by Redwall but drew something that isn't an actual scene, character, or location from the books.
    Last edited by Tsarmina 07; August 2nd, 2009 at 05:53 PM.

  10. #10
    Patroller: General Ferahgo the Assassin's Avatar
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    Anthropomorphic animals in general are definitely not automatically Redwall fanart. I judge Redwall fanart basically the same was as fanfiction - obviously if it directly involves characters, or is meant to be set in a universe that involves specific locations or history mentioned in the books.

    If it's extremely similar stylistically but is not intended to be Redwall-related, then it's usually either a ripoff or was "inspired" by Redwall.
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