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Blog: an open-source(?) fictiverse

Let me try to break this down into small, digestible pieces.

Part 1: An original fictiverse

A couple of years ago, I had this idea for a setting within which stories, artwork, and even music and other media could be set. It's just barely derivative enough -- more referential than derivative, really -- that it seems like quite fertile creative ground, but not derivative enough to be at all infringing on anything. (You can read what I've written so far here, or you can read my explanation of the basic premise below.)

Long before that, I'd had this idea... well, let me back up.

Part 2: Open-source fictiverses

One of the big problems with doing fan art of any kind is that someone else controls the copyright, so there's only so much you can do with what you create in that fictiverse.

The thought was originally inspired by Star Trek fandom -- which over the last decade or more has produced a quite amazing amount of video of equal or higher quality than the original show... but Paramount controls the rights, and has already prevented at least one feature-length film from being produced. It seems likely that if the fans had been free to produce and sell original works set in that universe, we would now be flooded with a lot of pretty high-quality video, art, and writing (as well as a larger amount of lower-quality work, but that price seems more than fair).

Part 3: Putting these together

The "long before that" idea, then, was: how about we create some fictiverses with the potential richness of Star Trek (or Lord of the Rings or Dune or whatever your favorite example is), and open them up for others to create in?

Today's idea was in two parts: (1) I could make the setting I mentioned earleir available as one such fictiverse... and (2) maybe PaperDemon would be a good environment in which to do that, because maybe some artists would find it appealing and run with it.

Part 4: The premise of my fictiverse (spoilery?)

...is an alternate 20th-century in which:

  • The Beatles were female
  • ...and also apparently inexplicably immune to a lot of the gender-discrimination that would have taken place had this been the reality
  • ...and their lives actually involved the sorts of adventures depicted in their fictional works (mainly Yellow Submarine and Help!).

...except the names and details are all original. I don't want to plagiarize or even really parody any particulars of their real lives or the films (no more than, say, The Monkees did); the point is more to talk about things like friendship and how we deal with stress while remaining whole, creative people, in a setting where amazing things can happen. (That said, the text as written does reference some details of the Beatles' early lives; I'm still working out where to draw the boundaries.)

I'd like it to have a lot of happy endings, even if the story-arcs go through some very difficult and dark places.

What do you think?

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