Fan Fiction

The general idea of fan fiction lies in people rewriting the lives of popular television or movie characters. Often going directions that the original writers would never have intended for their movie or tv show.

Generally, the writers of fan fiction have grown attached to the people they watch on tv or in the theater, but have come to realize that the actors are only puppets following along a set path set out by the writers. Fan fiction allows them to seize control and become the puppetmaster.

What if a newspaper allowed readers to seize control of events and public figures within a traditional news story?

I'm imagining any article on a news site being open for editing and published as fiction. The potential writer could then submit it, just as any other correspondence to a news site, for consideration to be published on the site. Their work of fiction could then be reworked into another derivation, and so on.

The goal is that by allowing the reader to direct something that is normally outside of their sphere of theory, could empower and entertain the writer and potential readers. Interestingly, the process of moving from a being the inactive receiver of a piece of content to the creator of the content requires a complete change in mindset. It forces the writer to try and understand the motivations of each of the characters, as well as to imagine alternative directions that the world could have gone in. By stepping into the author's shoes, the reader is changing the power relationship and learning more about the original author's intention at the same time.

Of course, when the audience seizes control, there is always the few who feel the need to use their new power to resolve the sexual tension they believe exists between the two male protaganists.

Your local city council member may not enjoy being turned into a 70's era, Firebird-driving, vampire and the local newspaper has never been very broad in the types of opinion and criticism they'll accept into their publications. However, audiences have been flocking to non-traditional sources of social commentary (Daily Show, the Onion, You Tube, etc) and becoming more informed because of it.