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课堂之外,同人小说

课堂之外,同人小说

我们翻译这篇文章的理由


今年八月第77届雨果奖公布,出人意外的是,其中一项的得主不是某位作家,而是欧美大型同人网站AO3。作为一个非营利性网站,它的壮大全靠两个字,热爱。很喜欢微博上的一条评论:“同人文学是疲惫生活里的英雄梦想”。它就像一个庇护所,暂时屏蔽了唯利是图与独善其身,大家因为纯粹的喜爱聚在一起,获得一瞬难得的单纯快乐。我们的老板表示,这不就是我们吗?所以大家快来加入吧!(划掉。)回到文章正题,热爱才能坚持,坚持才能进步!

——郭嘉宁


👇


课堂之外,同人小说


作者:JULIE BECK 

译者:郭嘉宁 & 何翔宇

校对:黄倩霞

策划:郭嘉宁 & 张松


What Fan Fiction Teaches That the Classroom Doesn’t
课堂之外,同人小说
Everyone leaves feedback and reviews for one another, leading to a sprawling, communal learning environment
人们互相留下反馈和评论,塑造一个庞大的、公共的学习环境
  
N. K. Jemisin, the only author to win the prestigious Hugo Award for best science-fiction or fantasy novel three years in a row, partly credits fan fiction for her ability to draw in readers. Jemisin started writing fan fiction, in which authors imagine new stories based on preexisting fictional works, while in grad school for counseling. “I was miserable and lonely. I didn’t have a lot of friends, or stress relief,” she told me. “Around then was when I became internetted, and one of the first communities I discovered was a fan-fic community.” Through talking  with other authors and writing her own stories about Dragon Ball Z (among other things), she found friends, got feedback, and, as she put it, “blew the cobwebs off writing abilities I hadn’t used since college.”
诺拉·K·杰米辛(N. K. Jemisin)作为唯一一名连续三年获得雨果奖最佳长篇小说奖的作家,认为同人小说某种程度上帮助她吸引了读者粉丝。杰米辛在研究生院做心理咨询时开始写同人小说,这类小说会根据已有的故事构思新的作品。杰米辛跟我说:“当时我很痛苦和孤独,没有什么朋友,也无法缓解压力。那时起我开始上网,很快便发现了一个同人小说社区。”通过与其他作者交谈并创作改写《龙珠Z》(以及其它作品),杰米辛结识了朋友,得到互动反馈,她称“这扫除了我写作上的障碍,从大学起我就不写文章了。”

For instance, this writing helped her hone her ability to hold readers’ interest. “Fan fiction tends to have a built-in hook because it’s written in a world you’re a fan of; you’re predisposed to like it,” she said. “You have to find a way to make it not just the world that people are tuning in to read, so they are interested in your story.” To this day, Jemisin said, she still writes fan fiction, and treats it as a way to try out new genres and skills, such as using the second person, which she does in the Broken Earth trilogy, which earned her the three Hugos.
这种写作方式帮助锻炼杰米辛保持读者兴趣的能力,“同人小说往往有一种内在的吸引力,因为写作的背景世界是你所痴迷的,你很容易就会爱上它。”她说:“你必须找到一种方法,创作出不一样的情节,这样读者才会对你的故事感兴趣。”杰米辛说,直到今天,她仍然在写同人小说,并把它当作尝试新体裁和新技巧的方式,比方说第二人称的写法。在为她赢得了三次雨果奖《破碎的地球》(Broken Earth)三部曲中,她就采用了这一方法。

It’s common for contributors to fan-fiction websites to see their skills develop like this. In these online communities, writers of all ages and skill levels—from adolescents still refining their grammar to professional adult authors such as Jemisin—are learning and teaching others how to write, and write well.
这种技能的提升对同人小说网站的作者们来说很普遍。在这些网络社区中,不同年龄段和不同写作水平的作者(从仍在完善语法的青少年到像杰米辛这样的成年职业作家)都在学习并教授他人怎样写作,怎样才能写好。

A fan-fiction site is a uniquely energetic learning environment. Unlike in the classroom, where a writing prompt is as likely to be met with groans as with enthusiasm, writers on fan-fiction websites are thrilled to be there, excited to write, and passionate about the material—because it’s based on a book, TV show, movie, video game, or something else they already love. “It’s really clear that if you have a genuine interest and a personal identification with the topic that you’re learning about, your learning is going to be more engaging and, as a result, more successful,” says Katie Davis, a professor at the University of Washington’s Information School and a co-founder of its Digital Youth Lab.

同人小说网站是一个独特的充满活力的学习环境。不像在教室里被要求写作时,反馈除了热情外也会充斥着抱怨。而同人小说网站上的作家则乐于在这写作并且对素材充满热情,因为这些背景材料来源于书、电视节目、电影、视频游戏或是其它他们已经深爱的事物。“显然,如果你对正在学习的内容充满兴趣感到认同,那么你会更加投入并且更有收获。”华盛顿大学信息学院教授、数字青年实验室的创始人之一凯蒂·戴维斯(Katie Davis)说道。


Davis, along with her University of Washington colleague Cecilia Aragon, recently spent nine months studying a couple of fan-fiction websites, focusing mostly on young authors writing on fanfiction.net. (Older, more experienced fan-fiction authors tend to prefer the website Archive of Our Own.) They published their observations in a new book called Writers in the Secret Garden, and described their theory that people on these websites are actually teaching one another to write through a kind of sprawling, communal learning that Aragon and Davis call “distributed mentorship.”

戴维斯和她华盛顿大学的同事塞西莉亚·阿拉贡(Cecilia Aragon)花费九个月的时间研究了几个同人小说网站,她们将主要精力放在研究fanfiction.net上的年轻作家身上。(年长、更有经验的同人小说作者更喜欢 Archive of Our Own)。她们在《秘密花园中的作家》这本新书中公布了他们的观察结果,她们的理论用“分布式指导”来形容这些网站上人们通过一种分散、共同的学习方式来互相教授写作的现象。


Though writers may develop traditional two-person mentor/mentee relationships on fan-fiction websites, the researchers posit that much more often, people are being diffusely mentored by the entire community. An author frequently receives many small pieces of feedback in the form of reviews (sometimes thousands on one story) that are in conversation with one another and that “are cumulatively much greater than the sum of their parts,” Aragon told me.

尽管作家们可能会在网站上发展成为传统的师徒关系,但研究人员发现更常见的情况是人们会得到社区的广泛指导。阿拉贡告诉我:“一个作者经常会收到许多短小的评论反馈(有时候一个故事会收到上千条),这些评论彼此互动,聚集起来产生不一样的效果。


One example from their book is how commenters responded to a writer’s question about portraying Princess Luna, a villain from the show My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic. One person wrote: “From the limited amount of stories that I have read, Luna is usually portrayed as a gamer or somewhat out of touch with modern culture.” Then another offered their take on that advice: “While I’m picky about the kind of technology that I would introduce into a story, Luna being behind the times is right on the money.”

书中举出了一个例子,是评论者们如何回应一位作家对《小马宝莉:友情就是魔法》中的反派角色卢娜公主提出的一个问题。一人写道:“我读的内容不多,其中卢娜通常被描述成一个游戏玩家,与现代文化有些脱节。”随后另一个人其他人提出了他们的看法:“虽然我对故事中使用的技巧很挑剔,但卢娜落伍的设定非常完美。


These communities also “allow for a lot of different forms of expertise,” says Rebecca Black, an informatics professor at the University of California at Irvine who has studied fan fiction (but who wasn’t involved in Davis and Aragon’s project). “Even if you aren’t the best writer, you might know everything there is to know about a certain character in the series.” People can switch between the roles of teacher and student, depending on their strengths and weaknesses.

加州大学欧文分校信息学教授丽贝卡•布莱克(Rebecca Black)曾研究过同人小说(但没有参与戴维斯和阿拉贡的项目),她认为这些社区“需要多种多样的专业知识”。“即使你不是最好的作家,你也可以对剧中某个角色了如指掌。”人们可以根据自己的长处和短处,在老师和学生身份之间转换角色。


Generally, fan-fiction writers’ strengths are effusively celebrated, and any feedback on their weaknesses is very gently conveyed. Reviews of fan fiction are overwhelmingly positive—Aragon and Davis found that out of a sample of 4,500 reviews on fanfiction.net, only 1 percent were what they called “non-constructive negative” reviews, or “flames” (such as: “I never thought that human spawn could create such a horrible piece of crap”).

一般来说,同人小说作家的长处会得到极大的赞美,而任何关于他们缺点的意见都会小心地表达。同人小说的评论绝大多数是积极的,阿拉贡和戴维斯在从fanfiction.net获取的4500条评论的样本中发现,只有1%是所谓的负面评论,或来自于“愤青”(如:我从来没想过,人类可以制造这样一个可怕的垃圾)。


Tamsyn Muir, a science-fiction writer from New Zealand and the author of the new novel Gideon the Ninth, remembers the reviews on her early fan-fiction stories (parodies of Animorphs and long, gritty tales based on the Final Fantasy video games) as almost entirely positive. “You didn’t have to do that well to get a lot of positive feedback,” she told me. In fact, in her early days of writing and posting fan fiction online, she said, she got only one actual critique. “Somebody had said, ‘I think this story is okay, but it feels a bit template. It just feels like a very generic story.’ I was so angry, because it was the first piece of really constructive criticism.” The anonymous review turned out to be from her brother—after he watched her fume all day, he fessed up. “He was like, ‘I don’t want you getting complacent,’” Muir said.

坦森·缪尔(Tamsyn Muir)是一位来自新西兰的科幻小说作家,著有新小说《第九基甸》(Gideon the Ninth)。当她回忆起自己的早期同人小说(科学奇幻小说《动物变性人》的仿作及基于电子游戏《最终幻想》创作的长篇真实故事)时,发现收到的几乎全部是正面评论。她告诉我:“你不需要做的很好就能得到很多正面反馈。”她说,事实上,在她早期创作同人小说并上传到网上的时间里,只收到过一条真正的批评意见。“有人说:’我觉得这个故事还不错,但感觉是照着模板写出来的,好像是一个可以套在任何背景下的故事。’当时我非常气愤,因为这是我收到的第一条真正有建设性的批评。”缪尔最后发现那条匿名评论出自她的哥哥之手——在看着妹妹恼火了一天后,他终于坦白原因。缪尔说:“他当时说,’我不希望你太过骄傲。’”


While it probably takes more than unalloyed positivity to strengthen one’s writing, hearing what readers respond well to is useful for writers, and an outpouring of encouragement may well motivate writers to keep writing, which can only improve their skills. “People often discount the positive feedback, but for a lot of struggling writers and English learners, those copious amounts of positive feedback were really important,” says Black, who has studied how fan fiction helps English learners grow as writers in their new language.

虽然纯粹的积极反馈可能不足以提升一个人的写作能力,但是了解读者的喜好是对作者有益的,并且大量的鼓励很可能会激励作者继续写作,从而提升他们的技巧,有益无害。研究同人小说如何帮助英语学习者提高写作能力的布莱克表示:“人们往往不看重正面反馈,但是对于许多正在苦苦挣扎的作家或是英语学习者而言,大量的正面反馈是非常重要的。


Still, constructive criticism (or “concrit”) is a welcome and integral part of fan-fiction websites (although some writers or communities may specify that they’re not looking for concrit). When fan-fiction reviewers offer a specific critique, they often present it in the middle of a “compliment sandwich,” according to Muir and Black, slipping negative feedback between the bread of effusive praise, and often adding a self-deprecating comment such as “But what do I know?” to soften the blow.

不过,建设性批评(在同人作品中简称为“concrit”)仍然是同人小说网站上备受欢迎,不可或缺的一部分。(虽然有些作者或是社区可能会明确表示自己不需要建设性批评。)缪尔与布莱克表示,同人小说的读者在提出批评意见时,也往往会将其夹杂在“鼓励三明治”中,即悄悄在溢于言表的赞美之词中塞入一些负面反馈,且为了减轻对作者的打击,常常还要为自己的反馈加上一句自嘲的评价,如“但是我又懂什么呢?”。


Aragon and Davis’s research also found that the communal tutoring happening on fan-fiction websites leads to a quantifiable improvement in people’s writing, at least by one metric. They analyzed 61.5 billion words of fan-fiction stories and 6 billion words of reviews from fanfiction.net, tracking the “lexical diversity,” or complexity of vocabulary, of users over time. They discovered that for every 650 reviews writers received, their vocabulary improved as much as if they had aged one year. (The average age of authors in this sample was just under 17, so this may not hold true for older writers—even if they are honing other, more advanced, less measurable skills, such as story structure, pacing, or character development.)

阿拉贡和戴维斯的研究还发现,至少在一个衡量标准下,同人小说网站上的社区辅导帮助成员在写作上取得了可量化的进步。他们分析了fanfiction.net 上615亿字的同人小说与60亿字的评论,记录随着时间的推移,用户的“词汇多样性”,或者说词汇的复杂性的变化。他们发现,作者每收到650条评论,在词汇上取得的进步就相当于年长一岁所提升的水平。(在这个样本中,作者的平均年龄略低于17岁,因此这个结论可能不适用于年龄较大的作者——不过这部分作者正在锻炼的是更加高阶,不易测量的技巧,比如故事结构,叙事节奏,或是人物塑造。


Jemisin said she’s found several trusted readers to share her work with through writing fan fiction, and compared it to the sort of peer workshopping that happens in college creative-writing classes. “Fan-fic is one big giant writing workshop,” she said, “one that’s voluntarily joined and cranks on and on.” Fan fiction, then, is a way to instantly get extensive amounts of targeted feedback in a low-stakes environment where, unlike at school, no one’s being graded.

杰敏森说,在创作同人小说的过程中,她会将自己的作品分享给几个信任的读者,杰敏森将这个过程比作在大学的创意写作课堂中进行的同学互评。她表示,“同人小说是一个大型的写作研习班,每个人都是自愿加入,使它保持运转。”也就是说,同人小说是一个平台,它与学校不同,没有人会被打分,于是作者可以在低压的环境下立即得到大量针对性反馈。


It also teaches something that schools rarely do: what it’s like to write for a real audience “versus a teacher who’s read the same essay topic 1 million times,” as Black says. Muir, who used to work as an English teacher, has experienced this from both sides. She credits fan fiction with helping her learn to connect with readers, and in the classroom “being a storyteller is something I’ve always struggled to teach. We don’t give kids the opportunity to be writing for an audience.”

布莱克表示,在同人小说的创作中,作者还可以学到学校很少教授的内容:如何为真实的读者写作,“而不是写给一位已经阅读了无数篇同标题文章的老师。”缪尔曾经是一位英语老师,拥有作者与老师的双方体验。作为作者,她将自己与读者建立联系的能力归功于写同人小说的经历。作为老师,在课堂中,“我一直觉得很难告诉学生如何讲故事,我们没有给他们机会去为特定的读者写作。


Anne Jamison, an English professor at the University of Utah who has studied fan fiction, sometimes tries to apply its lessons to her teaching, both in college and when she works with younger students. For instance, with elementary-school students, she finds that fan fiction is a way to get them invested in writing. “I go into a second- or third-grade classroom and say, ‘Everybody start writing stories about Minecraft,’” she says. “They ask if they can keep going through recess, they’re so excited.”

在犹他大学教授英语的安妮·贾米森(Anne Jamison)教授曾经研究过同人小说,她尝试将从中学到的经验应用到大学课堂上,或是教授年龄更小的学生的过程中。比如说,对于小学生,贾米森发现同人小说使他们愿意投身到写作中。她说,“我走进一间二年级或是三年级的教室然后说,‘大家现在开始写关于我的世界(Minecraft)的故事’。他们非常激动,到了课间休息还不肯停下,问老师能不能继续写。


“The authors whom we interviewed unanimously and unequivocally communicated their belief that fanfiction had helped them hone their craft,” Aragon and Davis write in Writers in the Secret Garden. Some felt that fan fiction had taught them things they could never have learned in school. And Aragon and Davis think that the sort of distributed-mentoring community that exists in fan fiction isn’t just useful for improving writing. They mention DeviantArt (an online community for visual artists) and Ravelry (a knitting website) as places where distributed mentoring may also thrive. “If you have this basis of interest-driven learning in a supportive community,” Davis says, “that sets the stage for learning pretty much anything.”

阿拉贡和戴维斯在《秘密花园中的作家》(Writers in the Secret Garden)中写道:“在我们采访过的作者中,所有人都明确表示,同人小说帮助他们精进了写作技巧。”其中有人相信同人小说教会了他们一些在学校里学不到的东西。阿拉贡和戴维斯都认为,如同人小说网站的这类分布式指导社区不仅仅对提升写作有益。他们提到了DeviantArt(一个在线视觉艺术社区)与Ravelry(一个编织网站),在这些网站上,分布式指导模式可能也大有用武之地。戴维斯说:“如果可以在一个充满鼓励的社区中进行兴趣驱动式学习,那么在这个平台上你几乎可以学到任何东西。



课堂之外,同人小说

  • 本文原载于 The Atlantic

  • 原文链接:https://www.theatlantic.com/education/archive/2019/10/how-fanfiction-improves-writing/599197/



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