The Art of Written Jujutsu

Now I’ve seen everything, you say.  What in the world is Written Jujutsu?  Are making stuff up again, Nanci?

No I am not.

First, the principle of Jujutsu is to use your attacker’s energy against him or her, rather than directly opposing it. 

As I mentioned in past post, unfortunately not all who call themselves writers respect their fellow writers work.  I don’t know if it’s due to jealousy or just a nasty streak, or what, but encountering someone(s) like this can be devastating to a fledgling writer.

I’ve had numerous encounters like that, but one in particular stands above the rest.

About two years ago I started writing “Free Enterprise” which is Star Trek/Andromeda cross over fan fiction work.  Back then, it was originally named “Crossbow” but I changed the name due to personal reasons.  I will tell you why later.

When I started this work, I was a member of an Andromeda fan club, which was dedicated to Gene Roddenberry’s Andromeda and Keith Hamilton Cobb.  It was originally intended to be a written role playing game, but no one else wanted to play.  So, I took the ball and ran with it.  Originally back then I did this with the blessing of the Grand Pooh Bah of said club.  Supposedly, she was reading and enjoying it along with the rest of the members.

Everything was fine and dandy until I reached the 60th chapter or episode.  Out of the clear blue she wrote me a very nasty personal message on Facebook, taking me to task for deviating from Andromeda cannon, and excoriated my entire work thus far!

Hey!  Wait one cotton picking minute!  You wait until I write 60 chapters to trash the entire story?  Talk about seeing red, blue, orange, green and yellow!
From the very beginning I’d posted a general disclaimer that “Crossbow” was a work of fanfiction, and was not intended on intrude on Paramount & CBS Studios licenses and rights (they own both Star Trek and Andromeda). Crossbow was being written purely for my personal enjoyment (fans included) and not for profit.  Last but not least since it was my work, I intended not to stick to Andromeda cannon because I found said cannon to be utterly boring!

In my humble opinion, cannon made a certain Andromeda character stiff and unappealing.  Sort, of like Spock was during those beginning and original episodes of Star Trek(ie: “The Menagerie”). As the writers and Leonard Nimoy settled, relaxed and got used to the role, the character began to flow much better.  

So “Crossbow” was my great experiment to take one character (Tyr) out of one show(Andromeda) and stick him in another(Star Trek).  Within fandom most automatically know when you see the word crossover you know things are not exactly going to be by the book.  But, I guess common sense just aint so common. . . . . .

Anyway, The Grand Pooh Bah threatened me with all kinds of mayhem if I did not rewrite my story according to her specifications, ie: cannon!  Including hints of a lawsuit and reporting me to The Star!  Mind you episodes (or chapters) of “Crossbow” had been simultaneously posted on a Star Trek site twice weekly, the members loved it and were begging for more.  I’m not saying I’m such a great writer but, there was something drastically wrong with this picture.

On one hand had hundreds who loved the story, against one ill mannered loudmouth who didn’t.  Oh, whatever was I to do?

Here is where I went to the mat, and applied Written Jujutsu. . . . .

I wrote her back and informed her again of my disclaimers.  “Crossbow” was purely a work of fanfiction and done not for profit, so there is no legal leg to stand on there.  Neither, was I afraid of confronting The Star if I had to.  After all, I work with people who carry guns for a living, if I’m not afraid of them, I’m certainly not afraid of some television personality.  Cough. . . .

The last time I checked he did not own the rights to the particular character, so he could not sue me.  He wouldn’t have gotten much if he did, cuz I’m “po”.  

I also took the liberty of going on line and hunting down cases where Paramount (evil dogs that they are) had attempted to sue fanfiction writers and artists.  They lost overall.  They won in very minor cases where certain names or images which barred from use by fans. 

Why did they lose otherwise?  

Star Trek’s fanfiction is not being released for public consumption.  It’s only geared towards fellow Trekkies or Trekkers. In other words, who the heck else can relate to Trek fanfiction except fans of the show?  But, greedy Paramount saw nothing but dollar signs and wanted to horn in on the action.  They got their backsides handed to them in court. . . . . .

In my humble opinion, if Paramount & CBS’s so called professionally published books were not so poorly written, (now and again you find a diamond in the rough) there would be no need for so much fanfiction.  However, Paramount has this long standing ban against fans writing for them professionally (except Peter David).  I say, who better to know how to write than the fans?  Thus, Paramount cut off the nose despite their face, and this is why you have hundreds of fans publishing their own fanfiction works on line. 

So I cut and pasted copies of these legal briefs and sent them to her.  Since she lives in the United Kingdom I also sent her a copy of the United States Constitution.  I highlighted the First Amendment, which is the right to free speech which covers writing.  Yep, fanfiction fits quite neatly under that umbrella. . . .

I haven’t heard from her since.  Possibly because I soon after quit said club (too much Bravo Sierra), and unfriended her on FaceBook (more Bravo Sierra).  She did have limited contact with me on the Star Trek site, however, sadly that site went belly up in February.  I was saddened to lose the site, but not her.

By the way.  I changed the name of my fanfiction from “Crossbow” to “Free Enterprise” right after that donnybrook.  Why?  Because it is my free enterprise to write what I please.  Period! Dot!

Just in case you’d like to take a peek at the site which caused such a fuss in the first place, click on name.

Free Enterprise


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