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dollhouses as Fanfiction

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So, yesterday I saw the MLA Call for paper for a 2019 conference, and I had an idea.  .  .but I haven’t written a critical paper since grad school. The overall topic is FanFiction, and one of the possible topics on the flyer is "Fanfiction as a reason for adults to enjoy "childish" things".  .  .so I started thinking about my dollhouses and how I base them on stories like Beauty and the Beast or Harry Potter.  .  .but how they are my own version of fanfic.  .  .like, I don't write my fanfiction, I create it in a more tangible way.  .  .

 

For example, I made a Harry Potter bookstore. But I've actually had to explain to people that it's just a store I imagine would be located in Hogsmeade- there's no bookstore named the Odd Shoppe in the books by JK Rowling, and there is no witch named Bartina Bogtrotter in the books either. I made them up, as an addition to the stories I love.

 

Anyways, I was wondering if you had any thoughts or insight on something like this.  .  . I was thinking about maybe trying to work up a proposal but I'm not sure what type of thesis I'd set out to prove.  .  .

 

Have any of you used your dollhouses as works of fanfiction? There's obviously no academic journals on this specific topic I could consult, but I do think it's a valid expression of fandom.

 

I'd love to hear your thoughts!

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That sounds really fascinating!  I know a lot of people have backstories for their houses or room boxes, and I've seen quite a few based on movies or books.  There are probably a number of "fan fiction" miniature works out there.  Maybe your thesis could be something as simple as, "There are other ways to create fan fiction."  Or the ways in which written fiction differs from artistic fiction (not sure exactly what to call it).

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I haven't made my builds into anything I've read,  but my Magnolia Florida Cracker house was inspired not only by Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings' Cross Creek, but also by some of the old Cracker houses moldering in the state forests.

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9 minutes ago, havanaholly said:

I haven't made my builds into anything I've read,  but my Magnolia Florida Cracker house was inspired not only by Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings' Cross Creek, but also by some of the old Cracker houses moldering in the state forests.

Which could be another topic--what makes something fan fiction?  Is it just a recreation of a scene or location for a story?  Is it something inspired by a book or show?  Is an exact replica fan fiction, or does it require some personalization, or an added creative element on the part of the person who made it (like a new character or shop, as you put in)?

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5 hours ago, Debsrand56 said:

Which could be another topic--what makes something fan fiction?  Is it just a recreation of a scene or location for a story?  Is it something inspired by a book or show?  Is an exact replica fan fiction, or does it require some personalization, or an added creative element on the part of the person who made it (like a new character or shop, as you put in)?

I think fan fiction is usually when a fan of an existing work creates something new within that universe. The example Erin mentioned fits quite well as it's a fictional bookstore within a universe in which this place doesn't exist. A replica would be something that tries to be faithful to the original work, so that could perhaps be "fan art" but not exactly "fan fiction", if it makes any sense. 

I guess I was never much into fanfiction but I find the concept interesting. When I was a kid I used to read a lot, and then I'd be constantly trying to come up with my own stories when playing. I remember I used to build houses, cities and little dolls out of papper, then imagine their lives and stories. I probably enjoyed the building part more than the playing because I just kept adding more and more to the buildings until I lost interest lol. I wish I had more of a kid's imagination in me these days :/ 

I agree with you that fanfiction can be expressed through dollhouses. In my other miniature hobby I noticed a lot of people love to re-imagine characters and locations. I've seen several modded army figures with a personal backstory, some are used to play the tabletop game and others are just for display. I personally would love to one day build a wooden ship inspired by models I've seen in a sci-fi game, I don't have a clue about shipbuilding at the moment but that's definitely a challenge I'd love to try one day :) 

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9 hours ago, wormwoodz said:

...a lot of people love to re-imagine characters...

When I was building the White Orchid to be a Christmas house I combined Jack Frost with Santa.

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Several of my builds are based on stories I’ve written or am writing, and I know there are others on this forum that do the same. But these aren’t fan fiction. 

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I am obsessed with Poldark  lately. I am planning a colonial house for him and Desmelzda. I bout the Willow from greenleaf.

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As someone who's written fanfiction, been part of fan communities for a long time, done some academic research on it, and seen the wide variety of fan created responses to various media, I'd say your miniature work isn't necessarily fanFICTION, which usually refers to a text-based, written response in the form of a story that plays with the same universe and/or the same characters, but it is an intensely creative response to a book you love, and therefore falls within the realm of fan responses. Fanart would be a good term for it, or you could invent your own. ;) I've seen people respond to media with knitting, costuming, sewing, doll dressing, cakes, recipes, brewing specialty beers and meads, 2-d art, sculpture, composition, videos, quilts, podcasts, meta, gif sets, photography, tattoos, plays, embroidery, cross stitch, collage, stained glass...I mean, you name it, if it's a way of creatively responding to, extending, or altering a fictional universe, people are out there doing it, and it's amazing. 

Anyone who expects people to watch/read/listen to media and have anything more than a passive response, or to respond only by buying licensed consumer goods and not altering them at all, is either severely lacking in imagination or a network/studio president. We are creative, creating beings and whatever you want to call such endeavors, they are a great way to express ourselves and our passions.

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On 1/25/2018, 2:37:10, Mid-life madness said:

I am obsessed with Poldark  lately. I am planning a colonial house for him and Desmelzda. I bought the Willow from greenleaf.

 

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What an interesting thought!  I have certainly invented backstories for even the few builds I've done so far -- it makes it so much more interesting, not just easier, to think, "now, what color linoleum would Mrs. H have in her kitchen -- green, of course!" than "well, I like blue, or green ...".  I've seen a number of people's re-creations of scenes from favorite books -- Sherlock Holmes's study at 221B Baker Street, a Mapp and Lucia sitting room, and D.E. Stevenson settings are three that come to my mind -- but I hadn't thought of fan-miniatures as such, taking that extra step of actually inventing scenes.  I suppose this is because there is a difference between reflecting a setting from a story one admires (book or film/TV) and inventing a new episode in the lives of the characters from said book or film/TV -- it would certainly be easier to do the former in miniatures than the latter, since fiction is (generally) sequence-oriented where a roombox is a single setting.  The line begins to blur in something like Erin's Hogsmeade shop, which isn't in the book but certainly could be, as it logically fits in with Rowling's wizard universe.

I really enjoy the opportunity to combine two of my interests when the opportunity arises through literature -- knitting or sewing something that a favorite character might make or wear (from a period pattern, of course!), recipes (hobbit cookery!), etc. -- so roomboxes or houses seems to me a perfectly legitimate way of exploring one's own creativity at the same time as expressing one's admiration for a book or story, that emotional connection that can be extraordinarily deep with some books.  It's a way of making oneself a part of that universe, of entering into the story -- one's Narnian wardrobe, in a way.

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I would consider it a project inspired by the franchise, rather than fan fiction, unless you use the pieces to tell a story. I've known some people create a photo comic using their miniatures. One of the most impressive houses I've ever come across is this https://madshobbithole.wordpress.com/2010/01/18/my-hand-made-hobbit-hole-bag-end-from-lord-of-the-rings/

 

As a Tolkien fan, I've wanted to make something like this myself but I don't have the tools to cut the wood, etc... I've always found making a fan inspired dollshouse to be more engaging than just making a dollshouse. It's also quite natural for people to want to create their own versions of the books and films they love.

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7 hours ago, Icewolf said:

...As a Tolkien fan, I've wanted to make something like this myself but I don't have the tools to cut the wood, etc... I've always found making a fan inspired dollshouse to be more engaging than just making a dollshouse. It's also quite natural for people to want to create their own versions of the books and films they love.

Our late member Beverly/ Starfire's 1:24 Elrond's Library is still my favorite!

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