Writing for your own sake or for the amusement of your prospective readers?
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July 22nd, 2010 (3:18 PM).
what's your sign?
I confess - some of the comments or jokes I put in my writing are obscure ones, the sort of thing that you would only get if you were educated in a certain subject which amy or may not have any relation to the topic at hand. For example, a recent chapter of my Total Drama fanfic heavily referenced the bootleg games Pokemon Diamond and Jade (not Diamond and
, Diamond and
). It's stupid, but it makes me snicker, and there was at least a little bit of explanation included before the in-joke flood came in.
In the realm of fanfiction and not jokes it's not quite as easy to do, considering a lot of the things included in the fanon are at least somewhat recognizable by the reader. Regardless, I managed an obscure reference here too. (Robotic Murkrow horde, anyone?) As long as it's not stupidity for the sake of stupidity and there is an opportunity to add author's notes at the end of the chapter - or, in other words, most mediums on the Internet - then writing things that nobody else will understand is acceptable... if only in very small dosages.
For example: I read a fic a short while ago. It was entertaining... but only a VERY obscure reference to dangling off cliff faces and people singing in helicopters made me respect the writer
more. On the other hand, I can definitely see how the meaning would be lost to anyone who holds no relevance to the name Cliff Hanger. While it may be tempting to add a zillion things in that you may like, whether everyone else gets it or not is also a large factor to consider.
But this isn't what you're asking.
You're asking if we should let the desire for others to like our writing override the desire for us to like our writing
. And honestly, I'm going to have to take the purple pill and say that there ought to be some sort of balance.
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