Wednesday, October 5, 2016

IWSG: Fan Theories

Today is IWSG day, a monthly event Alex Cavanaugh started to get writers sharing about their insecurities and other stuff happening in their lives. I am late to post today, but we still have a couple of hours left in Wednesday and here I am! This month’s IWSG question is: When do you know your story is ready?  My story might feel ready after I have had it properly critiqued, have given it an honest revision, have taken a break from it, and when I revisit it after a break, I don't itch to revise everything I see. Right now, my story is not ready.

Today I'm here to share an insight, not an insecurity.

There are a lot of fan theories about popular stories of various mediums on the Internet. These fan theories range from the one about the classic film Grease, that Sandy actually died when Danny tried to rescue her from drowning, as referenced in "Summer Nights," to the speculation that HARRY POTTER’s Ginny Weasley drugged Harry with a love potion, to Gilligan being Satan while the other inhabitants on Gilligan’s Island were the seven deadly sins, to how, in the movie (or theatrical production, which I'd recently seen) of The Wizard of Oz, Dorothy's Bizarro twin was actually the deceased Wicked Witch of the East, whose face is never shown. But interestingly, the two ladies share a shoe size. 

The creator of Grease dismissed the fan theory about his musical being merely Sandy's coma dream. It wouldn't surprise me if other creators of stories coming under speculation would brush off out-there fan theories as well. Still, I find some fan theories quite insightful, regardless of whether or not I believe in them. The "what if" questions presented in some of these fan theories challenge my notion of what seems familiar and comforting in these stories and encourages the exploration of a darker or more twisted perspective of what could be lurking beneath the surface. (I should add though that fan theories where everything was just a dream or a fantasy in the protagonist's head don't do much for me.)

Taking the concept about hidden stories past fiction into reality, I am reminded that it's important to take a closer look at what, at first glance, might seem familiar and comforting and to remember what is intentionally projected in any environment for an audience might not necessarily reflect what is actually there. 

Do you have any fan theories surrounding a story? What fan theories have you heard that you find interesting? (I myself could spend a day discussing my fan theories about the movie Inception.)


Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

The top wobbles in the end - he's really home. (My theory and I'm sticking to it.)
Fan theories of our own work can be fun. (Although I've had one fan theory thrown at me that scared me!) When fans do that, it means they are really involved in the story and it got them to thinking.

John Wiswell said...

I love the theory that Inception was all actually an inception on Cobb to get him over his obsession with his wife's death, so that he could go home and be the father his children needed. It makes too much sense given how much the entire cast immediately cares about him, and how many of them touch his top. Makes his whole speech about how inceptions work ironic.

Pat Hatt said...

Fan theories are great for all kinds of work. Some sure make you raise an eyebrow, but people are thinking, which is usually good.

Liz A. said...

I just read something (yesterday, I think) where various creators of work confirmed said strange fan theories. I have no idea if I still have the link, but if you're interested I can try to find it. (One was for Aladdin. The peddler in the first scene and the Genie are the same character.)

S.P. Bowers said...

I love the what if questions. They always take you to interesting places, even if they're not places that work out or that you stay at. And I'd love to hear your Inception theories.

Dianne K. Salerni said...

That GREASE theory seemed really far-fetched to me, considering it was based on a single line from a song (and Danny's version of what happened -- remember Sandy said "he showed off, splashing around."

Other fan theories have a lot more credibility. I saw a very interesting one about the truth about Eleven and the Demogorgon from STRANGER THINGS. I won't post any spoilers here, but if you Google their names, you'll find the theory pretty easily.

Jennifer R. Hubbard said...

At the end of GREASE, Danny and Sandy board a flying car that takes them into the sky. I imagine that is where the "death" theory comes from.
In Lois Duncan's KILLING MR. GRIFFIN, many readers wondered if Mr. Griffin was David's long-lost father, because both men wore a Stanford class ring. But Duncan denied this, and it doesn't fit with the character of Mr. Griffin, who was super-responsible while David's father was not.

baili said...

creativity is a gift ,sometime we can find it where we cannot even think it could be

Jeffrey Scott said...

I've always loved fan theories. So original and thought provoking. I have heard of the Gilligan's Island fan theory before. Back when Lost was on television, I was involved in a weekly fan theory of the week. I would talk in great detail with fellow watchers of the show and enjoy podcasts surrounded with fan input on possible theories.

And then there was the fan theory involved around Star Trek. In the original series, the Klingons looked much like humans. Then, inexplicably, they had ridged foreheads in the films that followed the original series and every other incarnation of the Trek Series. With no explanation. It was speculated the Klingons were involved in genetic manipulation, but it wasn't until years later, the franchise decided to use that theory as a basis for explaining the early original series Klingons.

So yes, I love fan theories and I could also spend all day long doing research on them.

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