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Poll: Author's Notes

The (Cyber) Bag of Weasels

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"About as much fun as a bag of weasels"...when I first saw this Irish adage, it made me think of the life of a writer: sometimes perilous, sometimes painful, certainly interesting. My paper journal has always been called "The Bag of Weasels." This is the Bag of Weasels' online home.

Poll: Author's Notes

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cliffhanger
Over the past few months, I've been kicking around some thoughts on author's notes with a few of you and, as I'm contemplating my new shiny blog and what to write about in it, I thought I might eventually like to do something on author's notes and how and when they're used (and possibly misused). I have my own opinions on this, of course, but I'm interested to see how those opinions match up to other people's perceptions, so I thought I'd put up a completely unscientific LJ poll about it.

I may use the results of this in my eventual post, of course, but I won't quote anyone directly without permission. Please feel free to elaborate, rant, and ramble as much as you would like in the comments.


Poll #1242135 Thoughts on Author's Notes in Fanfic

Do you use author's notes on your stories?

Yes, always.
23(20.2%)
Sometimes.
84(73.7%)
No, never.
7(6.1%)

If you use author's notes, when and why do you use them? Please check all that apply.

When I am using obscure canon that I don't expect my readers will know.
2(1.9%)
When I feel like my readers absolutely need to understand the canon I'm using in order to appreciate why I wrote the story as I did.
1(1.0%)
When I think that readers might complain that I have made canon mistakes when, in fact, I have not.
1(1.0%)
When I think that readers might be interested in where I got the canon ideas that inspired the story.
6(5.7%)
When I think the story presents an opportunity to teach readers about a canon fact they might not already know.
0(0.0%)
When I need to keep myself straight on what canon details I used and why.
0(0.0%)
Other reasons (please elaborate in the comments; anonymous comments are welcome)
15(14.3%)

As a reader, what are your feelings on author's notes? Please check all that apply.

I like them because it's a chance to get insight in how the author interpreted the canon and shaped the story.
37(31.4%)
I like them because it's an opportunity to learn more about the canon.
2(1.7%)
I like them because it saves me from having to research questionable details before writing a review for the story.
3(2.5%)
I don't like them because they clutter the story.
4(3.4%)
I don't like them because I am smart enough to do my own research if I need to.
0(0.0%)
I don't like them because picking apart the story takes out some of the creativity and fun of fan fiction.
1(0.8%)
Other reasons (please elaborate in the comments; anonymous comments are welcome)
16(13.6%)

Please check all that apply:

Some authors overuse author's notes.
2(1.7%)
It's annoying when the author's notes are longer than the story.
2(1.7%)
I have avoided some stories or authors because of an excess of author's notes.
0(0.0%)
I have sought out some stories or authors because they craft author's notes really well.
0(0.0%)
Some authors could use more author's notes to help me as a reader.
0(0.0%)
I tend to skip the author's notes entirely.
1(0.9%)
I tend to read the author's notes first.
3(2.6%)
I tend to read the author's notes last.
1(0.9%)
I really enjoy writing author's notes.
0(0.0%)
I dislike writing author's notes.
0(0.0%)
I sometimes feel like I have to write author's notes or chance losing readers or receiving unjust criticism on my use of canon.
0(0.0%)

Please list the fandoms for which you read and/or write.




ETA: In reading and answering comments for the past few hours, I realize that I failed to clarify a major point. Giving credit where credit is due--to others in fandom who have shaped a story (beta readers or researchers, for example) or citing the research or creative work of other writers--is not really what I'm curious about here. As writers, we are ethically and sometimes legally obligated to do this; I don't see it as a choice at all but a minimal requirement when using someone else's work. So, for this poll, "author's notes" means everything but the credit we are obligated to give as authors. Likewise, this includes information that communities might require in the form of "author's notes": challenges, ratings, warnings, et cetera.

Yes, this will further invalidate the results of my very unscientific poll, but please feel free to keep replying both in the poll and in the comments. :) I really appreciate the insights people have shared so far, particularly from outside the Tolkien fandom.
  • Daaaamn, I voted with the wrong journal. :( Oh well...
  • It is interesting that LotR author's on the whole use more detailed author's notes than Silmarillion author's when the canon is more concrete, definable and their reader's know it better. Why? My theory is because they get attacked and are defensive. I got harrassed about my canon all the time when I wrote LotR fics principally and tend to be meticulous in knowing the canon (not that I never depart).

    I like author's notes as end notes, or a foreword, but not interpersed throughout the story. If you are using a weird Avari vocabulary word footnote it, otherwise spare me. I do not like to be told that Feanor had seven sons or that Elrond called Aragorn Estel as a kid. Give me a little credit.

    I actually really like some author's notes. Especially if interesting and not that commonly shared references are used. However, annoying others may be I read them ALL. I never mind a short canon "quote" to orient me as to setting at the front of a chapter or story. Unless it is a drabble. In that case there should be a artistic and not informational point for putting it there. (On drabbles--a true drabble according to the definitions I have seen should count the introductory remarks and author's notes in the word count. Not that I am a fan of a true drabble--just stating that I have read that.)

    I don't much care what inspired an author to write the story--at least not IN the story. Write me an email if you want to chat about it. I spend a lot of time discussing my writing with friends who have the same obsession. I would hope my audience for my stories extends beyond those who really care that Feanor reminds me of my dad or that there were seven siblings in my family. Or that my ex-husband is an idiiot or that I read books.

    I adore Claudio/Darth Fingon, because he has the guts to name a story Caruvanyes Alassenen and not translate it or footnote. He shows the courage of his convictions and also loads his stories with tiny canon details, that enrich them if you spot them, but writes them well enough that one doesn't have to know them to enjoy the stories. It also means I go back and read them again later when I know the period or setting better.

    I just wrote a story that is intended to be read by both Silmarillion and LotR fans. I wrote separate chapter of rather lengthy author's notes. Prmarily, because I made canon departures than any Silm geek would recognize and accept, but I was worried about the LotR readers. Also, I violated some LotR fanfic conventions. I included a disclaimer after my thanks and acknowledgements of help: "You do not need to read these notes unless I wrote something above that annoyed you and you would like to argue with me, or unless you really enjoy geeky musing over the process used in the bending and twisting of canon."

    I'd like to give the reader that choice, but to write in such a way the story is entertaining and satisfying without the notes.

    Excuse me for the length, but you raised a hot topic for me here. I actually am cutting back what I could say on the subject if I really let loose.

    P.S. I am terrified about your "new shiny blog"--I HOPE I can access it. It takes me ten minutes to go in and out of JunoMagic's now, so I read her LJ version, but I never comment any more and miss all the discussion, because it is not user friendly. (At least not by me and my wonky computer.)
  • Okay, so I haven't really written any fanfic except that joke about Beren and Luthien, but I have to say I wouldn't have felt comfortable posting even that without saying, "This is just a stupid thing I wrote in 15 minutes with minimal editing to try posting on the web site [so it's not something I'm looking to improve on or use to grow as a writer]" somewhere. So I suppose if I ever did get into fanfic writing, I might use author's notes to warn people that it's probably a waste of time to leave anything more than a quick comment, if they want to say anything at all.
  • This is an unscientific response, since I'm not a fannish writer. Also, I'm using a flexible definition of "author's notes" because I don't know what it means to the fandom communities.

    I think there are instances, and writers, who can use notes well, and these add to the story. However, in the vast majority of cases I've seen, notes are either overused to mention useless facts (I've just finished reading this book that completely overused footnotes, and they think it's for humour but it's really just annoying) or it's to deflect criticism from the get-go.

    Not digging at Niki because I understand why she did it in the instance she mentioned, but there's the huge potential to say, "I know I'm not very good, but here's my story anyway." That's unnecessary unless there some compelling reason, like Niki stated, to let people know you're really not taking it seriously (and it's usually compliment fishing). The fact is, most people are taking it seriously, they just want it set up that, if they're criticised, they can say, "but I said it was only rough/rushed/not good/etc!"

    I like reading something on its own. One of the best things about Anti-Com was that, even if I got "author's notes" (emails), it was separate from the entry. I think we did read a few entries with author's notes in the story but I don't recall them ever being necessary. Now, maybe fandom is different and - like footnotes and citations - there is a certain type of academic writing that requires explanation. But for the most part, I think people overuse them. That doesn't mean you shouldn't use them, just that most people shouldn't. :-P
    • I love when you reply to my fannish posts! (And I really do appreciate your perspective from someone familiar with both online communities and the publishing world but not involved with fandom. :)

      However, in the vast majority of cases I've seen, notes are *snip* to deflect criticism from the get-go.

      I would totally agree with this, from both the fannish and o-fic writing perspective. I used to think that it was funny that author's notes were discouraged on Critters submissions and nearly every piece had them. "This is my first story. Please be as harsh as you'd like." Or random factoids--"This is based on Lovecraft's Cthulu"--that aren't necessary to enjoy the story. The story should stand on its own, regardless of experience or inspiration.

      In fandom, I can understand it a bit more because certain canatics eejits people who don't know their canon or who are less flexible-minded will seek to spear any author and story that defies their narrow and usually incorrect ideas. I think some Tolkien writers get beaten into submission where author's notes are concerned simply to deflect pointless criticism (that often riles up other less-than-knowledgeable fans or further advances incorrect ideas or "fanon") by pointing out, yes, I do know what I'm talking about. For example, I was once told that I need to use more "A/N" when writing about my ideas on Elven afterlife because people won't believe it's based on canon. Heaven forbid they should have to pick up a book and find out for themselves! (Or even email me and ask where I got my crazy ideas ... admittedly, they are pretty crazy. ;)

      The fact is, most people are taking it seriously, they just want it set up that, if they're criticised, they can say, "but I said it was only rough/rushed/not good/etc!"

      That too. I loathe when I see these sorts of things in stories. "This isn't very good, but I thought I'd post it." If you don't think it's good, wft did you post it? "I suck at summaries." (That one particularly makes me grit my teeth; my resolution for 2009 might be to not read any stories where the author claims in the summary to suck at summaries. :^P)

      It's fishing for much petting and crooning of, "Oh, no, you did a really good job, don't worry!" and is just ... well, annoying.
  • Hmmm this is such an interesting question because as a writer I find myself sometimes just skipping the author notes and sometimes when I think they are needed (minor character/unloved character (in general) like Celegorm/, obscure events or when stuff is used from HOME that might actually contradict Silm (like with Requiem, but I deliberately linked it off site/archive)). I never get annoyed by the length of author notes, it's the writer's call to do so, however over the years the need to draft them (despite having a file with research - however the better I know the characters/events (like the Nirnaeth I just know every detail by heart)), the less I feel the need to write them). Am I making any sense here?

    I sometimes feel that the story should sell itself, not the author notes, so I strive to write my material in such a way that the reader doesn't need them (although with some bunnies, HOME based for example, you do need them because not everyone owns HOME). A kinda added bonus so to speak :) Another added bonus is that one of my betas is not familair with the Silm, so when I give her a Silm story to beta, she gives me excellent feedback on where the story needs extra stuff, thusly the need for author notes grows less and less :c)

    Edited at 2008-08-15 08:55 am (UTC)
    • Yes, I absolutely understand what you mean! :) I remember when I first started posting AMC, I was actually in the process of writing what was almost a companion piece, explaining every wee canon interpretation I had made. I'm kind of mortified to consider it now, and I either p-locked or deleted what little bit I'd posted of it only a few months into the project. These days, I assume my audience is either 1) intelligent enough to get all but the most obscure references or 2) resourceful enough to look it up or 3) bold enough to ask. ;)

      I think a lot of this, for me, was just the experience of being utterly new in this community of people who all seemed so much more talented and knowledgeable than me. I dreaded getting into a canon argument over one of my stories. (Now, I look forward to the possibility ... >:^))) I can think of a few instances where fans who'd been around much longer than I was at that point (which meant longer than a few months :^P) who badgered me about things that I knew were wrong, but I wouldn't defend my ideas because it seemed that everyone had some secret information from some secret source that I didn't. (I now know that most of that is fanon ... ;) I very much wanted to deflect such criticism and unwarranted arguments, so I tried to cover every possible objection I thought a person could make.

      These days, I'm more confident; I'm not an expert on Tolkien by any stretch of the imagination, and I don't know that I ever will be. But I've devoted a lot of time to studying his work, and if someone wants to debate canon with me ... well, bring it on! ;)
  • I use author's notes nearly always, for very different reasons and in different formatting, depending on fandom and status of a story.

    I use A/N:

    • to thank beta- and alpha readers, or people who helped me with that chapter in some other way

    • to thank my readers for taking the time to follow my WIP and to encourage them to leave comments and let me know what they think about the story so far

    • to provide references for textual allusions or quotes

    • to highlight sources for important aspects of the chapter, be they canon, fanon or my own ideas

    • rarely, to reply to anonymous comments

    • sometimes, to clarify issues that cropped up in comments, for example to remind readers that the author does not necessarily share the opinion of characters

    • to offer links for further reading, either for the background or for short stories connected with the main story, or explicit scenes that are posted separately

    • to pimp other stories

    • to annoy canatics



    When a WIP is completed, I clean up the A/N, so that they only contain what I regard as necessary (references) or interesting. Depending on the length of the overall story I then insert a little note every few chapters that although the story is finished, I still enjoy hearing from my readers and encourage them to drop me a line.

    To illustrate:

    For my collection of Sindarin tanka, I first explained what tanka are and why I eneded up writing in Sindarin. For each tanka I also added a comment about the translation.

    For "At Night" I wrote a really loooong A/N that was my way of making a little fun of the tendency to write A/N that are three times as long as the text of the story, and some pseudo-academic blah blah about the interpretation of LaCE.

    "Apprentice" contains many, many, many textual allusions and quotes, so that's what ends up in the A/N in that story, as well as where I found an essay on the historical uses of unicorn horn.

    In LOTR fandom, my A/N were mostly about canon. In HP fandom they are mostly about textual allusions or sources of my own ideas.

    However, unless I am trying to poke fun at A/N, I keep them as short as possible.

    When I was new in HP fandom, I got involved in a discussion about A/N and a BNF expounded at lenght how awful and superfluous they are.

    Since then I have received numerous comments and mails that praised my A/N in "Apprentice" and told me how much the readers in question enjoyed learning more about the background of the story, history or literature.
    • Heys *hugs* I am wondering though if I have a different view on author notes now. For me beta thanks usually end up in the summary or story notes, at the start! And they are always there, however author notes.

      I am wondering about this one:
      sometimes, to clarify issues that cropped up in comments, for example to remind readers that the author does not necessarily share the opinion of characters
      How often does this happen to you and what level does it have to reach before you do so. For example if just one reader has comments, compared to the others, would you include it still? I sometimes feel that I shouldn't be in the position to explain canon or story decisions to a reader.
    • (no subject) - dawn_felagund - Expand
  • Found you via metafandom (on delicious)

    I mostly use authors notes when I'm writing an AU, either to explain what canon I have deliberately excluded (if it's not fully explained in the story itself) and at what point the story diverges from canon, or to briefly indicate how the story differs from canon if it's wildly AU.

    I do it that way because as a reader I'm kinda fussy about AUs: if I see a story labelled AU without some kind of indication what kind of AU it is, I won't read it. There's such a huge spectrum, from "alternate endings" to stories which transplant the characters into a whole new universe.

    So for me it's a "do as you would be done by" thing.
    • Hmmm, good point. I might consider that more of a summary than an "author's note," but that is something I would certainly think I'd like to include in an AU... and have. But when I do, it's very short, and it doesn't have ANALYSIS, I don't tell them what the story is about. I just say... "Stockwell won the election. Justin is an angel." (Real note on a Christmas AU I wrote in the Queer as Folk fandom.) I wouldn't ever tell anyone what my vision for the story was, or what I thought it meant.
    • (no subject) - dawn_felagund - Expand
  • I like authors' notes, assuming they're not idiotic. ;)

    A note of the "I just wrote this in ten minutes and it's unbeta'd, sorry" is, on the one hand, annoying...but on the other hand, it just spared me the effort of reading the story because it tells me enough to stay away from it. Giving me really obvious facts ("Actually, Haldir didn't die at Helm's Deep like he did in the movie" annoy me not so much because they presuppose that I'm a moron, but because it suggests the author doesn't have a great deal of familiarity with canon. Though as in the first instance, I suppose that sends up a flashing red "hit the back button!" signal.

    I tend to use A.N.'s when I've incorporated something obscure, or have some additional trivia to share. In my Marchwarden story, Haldir and his young friend are discussing the constellation of Menelmakar, which correlates to our constellation of Orion, and has the same root word as Elemmakil, who was the other principal character in the story. It certainly wasn't necessary to point out these details for the reader to understand them, but because they were rather serendipitous discoveries that amused me as an author, I wanted to share them.

    That said, if I have to read a major thesis before embarking on a 2000 story, I think I'd be a little daunted...
    • I like authors' notes, assuming they're not idiotic. ;)

      Ha! I think this is the most spot-on comment I've seen so far in this lengthy discussion! (Two pages now ... eep!)

      "Actually, Haldir didn't die at Helm's Deep like he did in the movie" annoy me not so much because they presuppose that I'm a moron, but because it suggests the author doesn't have a great deal of familiarity with canon.

      I mentioned in my reply to heartofoshun somewhere up *there* that I wonder if, at times, the daftest A/N serve more to 1) deflect criticism from readers who really don't know the canon and 2) to point out that, "Hey, I do know more than that ignorant lot who has just seen the movies and thinks that Haldir really dies at Helms Deep!" Like, hey, look at me, I read the book!

      Or maybe I see too many ulterior motives in the innocent author's note. :)

      Incidentally, I use author's notes to the same purpose that you do: to point out obscurities that I don't think most of the people on a particular archive will know or to draw attention to facts that I myself find interesting. I do try to tuck these things out of the way--usually at the end of the story or, on my personal website, with an internal link so that it's easy to skip them--for people who really don't care.
  • I did a quick scan through my stories at SWG to see how often I had author's notes (or what I considered author's notes, even if I may have typed them in chapter notes or story notes or wherever). It's probably about 50%, which is more than I'd expected.

    The main reasons I use A/Ns seem to be to give credit - for example, with the drabble Mercy that was inspired by yours - or to explain why the piece was written - challenge, gift, what part of the original story I wanted to explore for myself. I suspect if I were to write something based on an early version, -- let's say the BoLT version -- of some event, I might put a note as to which part of canon I'm using to act as my disclaimer. (Of course, I post -- on the occasion that I post anything - almost solely to SWG these days, so I don't feel the need to disclaim things like I do other places, such as FFN).

    I also admit to checking both "I tend to skip author's notes entirely" and "I tend to read them last". It's either one or the other, depending on how I'm feeling. Sometimes I just want to read the story. Sometimes I'll read them after I read the story to see what the author had to say. I can't remember many times where an A/N really helped me understand the story -- there probably have been times, but I don't recall any specifics.

    That was a longer comment than I had anticipated. :)
    • Yay for long comments! :) That seems to be the trend on this discussion.

      Regarding credit and such, I realize now that I have a fundamental flaw in this poll: I didn't even consider this. Not because I forgot about it but because, to me, these things are absolutely essential; there is an ethical or even legal obligation to give credit where credit is due. I didn't imagine that anyone would click on a story and say, "OMG, she thanks her beta? She cites the passages in the book that she quotes verbatim?? Fuck this!" That was my shortcoming, I see, and now the data is all mucked up, but the discussion has been good at least. :)

      Anyway. I found it interesting (and had a little snicker) about your comment on Ye Pit o' Voles because I completely relate to this! There are some stories that I won't share there because I know that most of the mouth-frothing canatics just won't get it, and it's not worth my time to deflect their idiocy and I refuse to write A/N as long as the story explaining myself. However, I do change my A/N depending on my perceived audience. I mentioned in my reply to heartofoshun that I had to do a massive overhaul of the A/N of my MEFA-nominated stories this year because, posting on SWG, I assume that most people will know (for example) the Quenya names of the sons of Feanor. However, with the story being up on the MEFAs, people will read it who won't, so I added a lot of notes so that they could understand and, hopefully, enjoy the story.

      I suppose that's the moral that I take from this enormously long discussion: A/N are great when they allow a broader audience (such as general Tolkien fans who aren't Silm experts) to enjoy a story they'd otherwise have to skip. Otherwise, the opinions seem to be a bit mixed.
  • Author's notes are for terse acknowledgments of editors or anyone who helped, plus any information about ficathons the story was written for. The shorter the better. I was sort of surprised to see all those canon-related options in the poll when the "mention your beta-reader" option was missing. This must be a difference among fandoms. I'd find canon-related info to be clutter, because I'd assume my readers could figure that out for themselves.
  • My reasons for using authors' notes, when I use them, depend on the fic.

    If I wrote something for a challenge, a fic exchange, as a present for someone, or whatever, I always include that in a note so that readers will know.

    I also generally stick an author's note on when I'm writing an AU, to avoid confusing readers when they start reading and things aresuddenly different from canon, and I tend to stick notes on my comics-based fic to tell readers what point in canon it's set during.

    One thing I've noticed in Magnificent Seven fandom (and which I as a history geek alway enjoyed) is that some writers use author's notes at the end of the fic not just to explain the canon they're using, but to provide background/list their sources for the historical details they've incorporated into the fic. I've seen a few Age of Sail fics do this, too, and I did it myself when I was writing Tombstone fic (though in that case, it was because we were playing fast and loose with historical fact, changing a lot of things around and making stuff up wholesale, and I wanted to make sure readers knew that we were altering history on purpose and not because we'd been too lazy to do research - so there were notes at the end of each chapter saying which characters/events were real and which weren't).

    Bernard Cornwell essentially does a similar "this is how history really happened and here's what I changed" note at the end of most of his Sharpe books, in his case I think because he clearly fanboys the Peninsular campaign and thinks readers ought to know about it 'cause it's nifty.
    • Hi there and welcome! :)

      Your ideas on explaining historical information (and deviations) go along pretty well with how canon tends to be shared in author's notes in the Tolkien fandom. Because we have so many canon sources--some contradicting others--some authors find it essential to either explain this or to justify why they cast a particular piece of "canon" to the wind. This is interesting to me, to see a similar practice evolving around a different usage of large amounts of textual-based information in a different fandom.

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts!
  • When I've used author's notes, it's mostly been to thank people who helped me with research, to explain things going on that the point of view character observed but didn't understand and to provide a url to a website that helped me solidify details. I always put them at the end of the fic or at the end of a chapter of the fic so that they don't distract readers who don't care about how nicotine addiction works and where I got my information on it or who I talked to about common breakfast foods in Japan. If a particular fic or chapter doesn't need a note, it doesn't get one.

    How I feel about author's notes as a reader depends on where they are, how they're formatted, what sort of information they convey and so on. I will stop reading fics that have lots of parenthetical author's notes, and very long notes at the beginning of a fic sometimes put me off starting. A note that's only a line or two at the beginning of a fic doesn't bother me, and quite long notes at the end of fics usually don't bother me, not unless there's more note than fic.
    • Hello and thank you for contributing! :)

      I think you bring up a really good point with how they're formatted, and I'm seeing this a lot in the comments that I'm reading: People saying that they prefer notes to be at the end or no more than x-number of lines long and so on. The lesson I'm taking from this: If you're going to use author's notes, at least make them unobtrusive or, preferably, avoidable entirely! :)

      Parenthetical authors notes ... wow, that thought alone makes my head spin.

      I can't say that I've ever seen this. But I do know that it exists; I write Tolkien-based fiction, and I have heard of some authors who translate Elvish parenthetically in the story.

      Galadriel said, "Namarie, mellon."

      (A/N: "Namarie mellon" means "goodbye friend.")

      Gimli gruffly replied, "Goodbye, milady."


      *head 'splode now*
  • I use author's notes because some challenges or archives require them. I personally don't read them, don't like them, and don't understand why or how they arose in fandom.

    I believe that stories need to stand on their own.
    • I just read the comments, and want to add: When I say "author's notes," I don't mean "thank you to my beta" or whatever... I mean notes about the STORY. I always thank my beta and my readers, and if anyone has helped with the story in some way. Those, to me, are acknowledgements or even dedications, which I've also used. And I will link to previous chapters of a story, or mention it was written for a challenge.

      It seemed to me from your post that you were referring to, basically, meta-ing and giving context to our own fics in the author's notes, and those are the kind of notes I don't like.
  • Here via metafandom.

    Like someone else commented, I was surprised that the options for why I use author's notes almost exclusively involve canon, though I suppose this is just a difference in fandom. I use them for acknowledgements. Thanking my beta, mentioning the ficathon and prompt it came from (if it came from a ficathon), saying it's written for someone's birthday, mentioning if it's a sequel to something else, etc.--I also often take titles from poetry, so I'll acknowledge the poem/poet and often provide a link to the poem. I don't think I've ever used an author's note to talk about canon, even in my fandoms with many layers of canon (like a TV show with additional books and comics), though I suppose I might, if there was something in the fic with a really obscure source. But really, I mostly use them for acknowledgements.
  • (no subject) - capncosmo
    • Hi and welcome! :)

      That makes a lot of sense. I did not think of foreign cultures in my poll because ... well, in my fandom, all the cultures are foreign insofar as they don't even really exist! :) (Don't tell my muses!) However, now that I think of it, I have seen stories that place Tolkien's characters in a modern culture and will explain details of that culture that some readers might not "get."

      Well, except once, but part of the request was to have author's notes longer than the fic :P

      :^D Sounds like an interesting challenge! There was once a Silmarillion award that had, as a category, Most Excessive Author's Notes, or something on that order, poking fun at how ... erm ... discursive our fandom can get.
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