Not only am I here, writing about writing, I'm also asking a question which is either obvious, or completely insane, or both.
Is there such a thing as too much canon?
Or rather; Is there such a thing as using too much canonical material in a story?
Because I've been pondering if that is, indeed, my very problem with my latest fan fiction. I can't let go of the source material.
I mean, if all you are doing in a piece is rehashing dialogue from the source in question, or using events from the source in question (and not showing it from another perspective), or really, just not adding anything all that more additional, where is the appeal in reading it? Where is the innovation? What makes it a text where the fan has had their writerly say?
I'm not saying I necessarily do it to this extreme, but I think I still do it. Even though, when I venture into other people's fan fiction, I can often buy something which is, in my mind, Alternative Universe, because their work is internally consistent and just plain good, I accept it readily. I enjoy it. I still think their characters are in character, and their story in the same tone as the canon, because they convinced me of it, persuasively.
Yet, I can't find myself traipsing over the threshold. I'm not sure I'm adding enough which is new.
I would argue that there is certainly such a thing as using not enough canonical information in a story (if you change the characters names, locale and professions all together - how is that fan fiction?) But is there such a thing as using too much?