Anonymous asked: Ok I'm hoping you can help me. I have written fanfics about Toms characters but I really want to jot a few down about the man himself but and it's a big but (hurhur) I feel wrong about it. I know he's a sexy fucker but I feel too intrusive because Tom is real. Help?
My dear Anon! I have so many feelings about your question. Buckle up for a TIDKWE novel-length response. ;)
A few points to consider:
First, you have to use your own comfort level as a guide. Fandom has a wide range of activities, and sometimes you feel very squidgy about something that other people are completely fine with, and vice versa. These feelings change over time, as well. So don’t try to automatically dismiss your feelings.
Here is what I will say, for me, and maybe it will be useful for you as well.
When I was first in fandom, I felt really weird about RPF (real person fiction). I thought it was super weird and creepy and I would never ever do something like that. But something else I felt in that time was that the distance between myself and the people I admired as a fan was very close and short. I felt as if I could almost reach out and touch them. Twitter! Tumblr! Interviews! I was in a heady rush of contact. It all felt so real.
And this is a challenge of fandom. What celebrity does to our brain harkens back to a time when the only people you saw were people you knew. When you saw someone’s face a lot, it meant you knew them. Celebrity fools our brains because we see that face so often we feel familiarity. But in large part, we really don’t know the objects of our admiration.
So what does this all have to do with your question?
I made a diagram…
Okay, so we live in zone A, all the time. Celebrities live in zone B. Things pass from A to B, and from B to A. Sometimes they are inappropriate and sometimes they are appropriate. For example, fan letters and money for movie tickets goes from A to B, and that’s appropriate. Performances and autographs go from B to A, and that’s appropriate. To me, the difference is that it is appropriate when no one is dragged across the dotted line against their will.
What does this mean in practice? Well, to me, fanfiction of any kind exists in zone A. It is fans talking to one another. As long as you don’t go get the celebrity and drag him to the fanfiction, or if you don’t take the fanfiction and shove it across the boundary to zone B to force a reaction from celebrities (ahem… lazy journalists who shove fanfiction in celebrites’ faces for a cheap reaction shot… ahem…), then to me, it isn’t inappropriate. You can bet that if you publish your fanfiction on fanfiction.net or here on tumblr, a celebrity knows what these places are and what they are about; when you see a URL related to a fan site, you know what you’re getting into. In other words, a celebrity would have to come looking for my fanfiction in order to read it, and if they came looking, they could get what they were looking for, and that would be their own choice.
Now, all of that is theory. There is a more personal way of looking at it, too:
1. You can always write anything you want in the whole wide world and keep it private. Emotions and fantasies aren’t bad in themselves. It’s what you do with them.
2. Letting out fantasies, to me, is better than stuffing them in and shaming yourself for them. Others may not agree with me here, but I find it better to look at the monster of my desire in the face rather than claim it isn’t there and have it burst out completely beyond my control in some inconvenient time.
3. After writing RPF for a full year, I can say that writers of RPF on the whole understand that they aren’t really writing about the person themselves — none of us know Tom, not really — but rather, we are writing roles for him to play. It’s just that instead of hiring him to act them out in a movie, he danced through our collective imaginations instead. It’s cheaper and faster, and more populist. Anyone who can dream a scenario can cast it and make it happen. Our muse often happens to be Tom, but your muse could be anyone at all. In my experience, writers and readers understand the difference between actual Tom Hiddleston (a stranger to us), public-persona Tom Hiddleston, which is the version that we see in his public appearances, and fanfiction Tom Hiddleston, who is really a manifestation of our own selves, painted on his comely face and given life in his own skillful gestures.
Does this make any kind of sense?
If I were you and I really wanted to explore this part of my imagination, I would start by writing a scenario for my own private enjoyment. Then offer it to a few close friends to read. Then consider publishing, or don’t — depending on your own personal comfort level. Just keep it in zone A and in my opinion, you have nothing to be ashamed of.
Lots of love to ya