theoneandonlylobster asked: Can I add to your fanfic post that The Hunger Games is massively inspired by the myth of Theseus and the Minotaur? In that myth, every seven years, seven Athenian boys and seven Athenian girls had to be to be sent to Crete to be devoured by the Minotaur in Daedalus's Labyrinth. Or are you no longer taking submissions on that post?
Hi! :D Yes! I am definitely always still taking submissions, preferably via my LiveJournal post because it’s easier to organize (and it’s desperately overdue an update), and that’s a great point about the Hunger Games.
In general, though, I’ve tried to stay pretty narrow in terms of what I allow onto the list, because I think if you start going the “inspired by” route then it’s easy to ruin the argument as it specifically relates to the practice of writing fanfiction, because literally everything is *inspired* by everything else. Harry Potter is inspired by Henry V and the life of Christ, The Lion King is inspired by Hamlet; but even though a lot of people call The Lion King a Hamlet fanfic, it’s not that simple because the people who wrote the Lion King didn’t set out to create a Hamlet fanfic (though you could argue they did set out to write fanfic of Osamu Tezuka’s Kimba the White Lion and wound up plagiarizing instead).
In the same way it’s clear Suzanne Collins was aware of the mythology upon which she drew, and it’s important to talk about that, but she didn’t set out to expand, elaborate, or retell the story of Theseus and Ariadne, no more than Nolan did in Inception, even though they both draw upon that myth for inspiration.
I tend to try to exclude things that *reference* earlier myths and stories but don’t explicitly retell them deliberately. Even though R & Jules in Warm Bodies are meant to be Romeo and Juliet, that’s as explicit as the similarities between those two stories get, so I don’t think it belongs on the list of published fanfic.
With that list, the point I’m trying to make is that people have been writing fanfiction, explicitly returning to previous stories and retelling / expanding / reimagining those stories for centuries, as well as drawing on them to make new ones with mostly new plots and new characters. For the sake of keeping my argument strong, I try to limit the list to the first practice and not the second, though it does get tricky sometimes and I welcome debate about what should/shouldn’t be on it. :)
Thank you for asking!