Saturday, March 1, 2008

Vanishing Love

Fan-fiction is a special genre of writing where authors are "riffing on someone else's foundation," as a friend of mine describes it. Most of it's done on several boards on the Internet. Many fan-fics are written as opportunities to pair up various characters from movies and TV series. I've read very little of it, myself. It's not that I'm not interested, but a lot of fan fiction is of medium quality (or less), and I'm a slow reader, so finding the good stuff takes me too long.

I also find that reading too much shuts down the part of me that makes images for painting. So I've actually cut most reading and movie watching recently. The results have been good for me - more painting ideas than usual - but I do miss reading.

Recently my friend asked me to look at some of his fan-fiction, written under the pen name Alex Markov, particularly a series he wrote for the characters and world of Pixar's The Incredibles. It's called Vanishing Love.

I was hooked in the first chapter, because he did such a terrific job capturing the characters, the sound of their dialog, and the plot got off the ground in the first few paragraphs (tell me if you think the family discussion in the first chapter, and the circumstances during it, is perfect Incredibles family interaction). I really enjoyed The Incredibles - it's my favorite Pixar film, and they haven't made one I haven't liked. So I was enticed by the opportunity to pick up the story a year or so after the movie ends, with Violet having the emotional upheaval normal for that age, (but nothing like normal when the teen is a super). I limited myself to two chapters per evening, to stretch it out and give the writing a good thoughtful look. It was hard, by the last six or seven chapters, to stick to that limit.

The writing is good throughout and some of the characters get some well deserved additional development (Jack-Jack and Agent Rick Dicker are good examples). By the time I finished this I felt I had actually seen a sequel, and I could recall exactly how some of the scenes looked. Some of the dialog made me laugh loud and long. There are some subtle allusions and references that reward a careful reading. Irony, poetic justice, parental and relationship observations galore, and plenty of Pixar style humor.

While not explicit, there are adult themes, same gender romance, and some strong language in this story. It's not PG, and it might even be pushing it for PG-13. But I liked the transition of the kid movie characters into more grown-up issues, and I think it's very much in the spirit of the original creation.

If you are interested, the author loves to get comments and will write back if you offer your thoughts - especially thoughts to improve the story or the writing. Look for the "submit review" button at the bottom of each chapter. This same author is even more into the Kim Possible series, and explores a whole series of interesting possibilities.

1 comment:

alex m said...

Hey! Look at me! I'm famous! *grin* Seriously, thanks for taking the time to read my little story and an extra round of thanks for sharing your thoughts and opinions about it with me.

Alex.