Is What We Do JAFF or Something Else?

Is What We Do JAFF or Something Else?

Here I am in the first week of a blog tour for the FIFTH book in a series, and I am now questioning where it can be placed upon the Jane Austen Fan Fiction spectrum. This ultimately begs the question, “what is JAFF?” And, furthermore, as the genre evolves, how might the boundaries of JAFF change the further we move away from the origins of Regency Romance and deeper into the 21st Century?

Stacks of books

There will be those who question if Regency Romance and its subset, Pride and Prejudice Variations, needs to seek out new means of presenting the transcendent themes inherent in the Canonical novels. After all, authors have been composing variations on the ODC stories for over a century with the last 20 years seeing a resurgent popularity rising out of the 1995 film. I cannot agree that the field must remain static and faithful to the highly readable guidelines laid down decades ago. However, I am not arguing that authors must find try to “outdo” the others with something more graphic (yes, sex) and gratuitous (yes, violence) in order to keep the required plot lines “fresh.” That, I believe, is wrong-headed thinking.

In fact, the popularity of our genre offers something else entirely. Well-read observers of the publications being released cannot help but notice that, as more individuals seek to express themselves through the writing of works based upon Austen’s originals, we are seeing what can only be described as natural growth and change. Much as the Classical music embodied in well-established Haydn and Mozart in the late 1700s was transformed by a young Beethoven after the Eroica in 1803 into something new, so, too, the field originally laid down in the 1920s by Heyer now is responding in the second decade of the 21st Century because new voices are taking paths through wildernesses yet unexplored.

This does not make any novel or novella hewing to the traditional modalities a less worthy outing, especially if the author takes care to refresh older plot tropes and adds unique, but not unwarranted, devices that surprise the readers. On the contrary, I can easily list a cavalcade of twenty (or more) writers who consistently produce superb mainstream work that makes me whisper, “I wish I had written that.” However, like the Academy Award winner, rather than try to mention all by name and forget one or two, I will simply say that you know them when you read them.

We are in a glorious period of trial and error. New voices courageously examine different ways of interpreting Austen’s great themes for a 21st Century Millennial audience. New, powerful books and series grapple with questions not only of love and romance, but also of slavery, the relationship between the rulers and the ruled, and the fact that wealth does not automatically confer virtue any more poverty does not suggest an infirmity of character. Likewise, authors are now accepting the challenge of turning many stereotypical side characters into fully three-dimensional heroes and villains.

I am not arguing that to be “new,” one must ignore Elizabeth and Fitzwilliam. On the contrary, I have discovered in my own work that ODC is the center around which the universe revolves. However, there are so many interesting questions to ask and, to those questions, posit answers.

As Rod Serling would say “May I offer for your examination…”

If George Wickham was of an age with Fitzwilliam Darcy, was educated in a like manner, and afforded similar pecuniary resources, why did he turn into a darker mirror image of Darcy? Would this not be contrary to John Locke’s ‘tabula rasa’ found in the ‘Treatise on Human Understanding?’ Are we left to somehow assume that because the adolescent Wickham was still ‘just’ a steward’s son, the offspring of a servant, he could never act like a gentleman?

Actually, he did. In fact, Wickham acted much like many aristocratic scions through his gambling, carousing, and running up of debt. His ultimate sin was that he welched on what he owed unlike the rich boys who got bailed out by Daddy. We are left to wonder if the genteel Austen was commenting about Wickham aping his betters or wielding a sword suggesting that the aristocracy was acting like the crass lower classes.

I attempted to provide an answer for the shaping of Wickham’s personality as it was portrayed in the Canon in this most recent book The Exile: The Countess Visits Longbourn.

I believe that we are observing a change from what has driven our genre for decades to something that can only refresh the field. T’is no longer “fan fiction” except that those who write it have immersed themselves in the universe created by Jane Austen. Likewise, the readers may be “fans” of the themes laid down by Austen, but they are also discriminating readers seeking to find literature that appeals to them in the same motion that it challenges them.

This process is opening up exciting new literary channels that can only demand that readers begin within the space created by Austen. Authors have a different task, I believe, and that is to broaden their work away from hewing so tightly to Austen into being inspired by Austen and using the memes and mores of the modern age.

Jane Austen Fan Fiction implies to a degree, I think, that the work is less serious, the creation of “fans,” when that is the furthest thing from the truth. Yes, each author is a “fan” both of the original Canon as well as the subsequent outpouring of material that carries the ideas and characters along, often to the same destination. Readers, too, are “fans” of the same. There are moments, though, when JAFF becomes a throw-away term to readers of other genres.

So, if the appellation has difficulties, what are we to do? Recall that “science fiction’s” Golden Age (1930s-mid-50s) involved a lot of work that had BEM’s (sorry, Bug-Eyed Monsters) threatening plucky men and submissive women. It had limited appeal to any but teen-aged boys grappling with their own sense of powerlessness. How did it grow past that stage into the “speculative fiction” of today? Simply, it evolved until it was something new and refreshed with offerings by a new generation of writers–women and men–who looked at the world around them and found great material with which to create new fiction. Oh, many of great authors of the Golden Age found a way to change with the times and managed to survive the 1960s and still stand astride the field into the 1980s.

For me, therefore, I find that much as we do not speak of ‘Science Fiction’ anymore, rather naming it ‘Speculative Fiction,’ calling that which we write ‘Jane Austen Fan Fiction’ is exclusionary to those not already reading the works.We, too, can do the same as the SFers, by daring our authors to take a risk and challenge us to rethink our preconceived notions of what we expect from a book growing out of Austen.

And that is why I am suggesting that (as I plan to do) we begin to move away from calling that which we do as JAFF. For instance, my new Twitter handle is “AustenesqueAuth.” I believe that we should change our brand to a term familiar to many of us, but also one that would imply less “tribute band” and more sensibility to creating a broader appeal.

Austenesque Fiction

I would cherish your thoughts on this.

&&&&&

Please enjoy this excerpt from The Exile: The Countess Visits Longbourn. And please be sure to enter the drawing for a copy of the e-book by leaving a comment below. Deadline for the give-away will be midnight EDST, Wednesday, 2/21/2018. The winner will be announced on Wednesday, 2/24/2018

This excerpt is ©2018 by Donald P. Jacobson. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction of this work through either electronic or mechanical means is strictly prohibited. Published in the United States of America.

Here Wickham, accompanied by a new acquaintance, Captain Richard Sharpe, ponders the reasons he descended so far from the advantages afforded him by Old Mr. Darcy. Corporal Charlie Tomkins and Sergeant Henry Wilson are soon to be detached by Sharpe from the South Essex Regiment into the service of Wickham’s 33rd, “Wellesley’s Own.” Some additional name references are found in Bernard Cornwell’s Richard Sharpe novels. Tomkins and Wilson are new characters who have been seen in my earlier non-Bennet Wardrobe novella, “The Maid and the Footman.”

Chapter XXII

Tomkins walked point while Wilson brought up the rear. The positions suited each well for the attention of an aggressor would be focused upon the two officers walking side-by-side thus leading him to ignore the small, wiry man out front to their certain chagrin. Anyone charging from the rear would immediately run headlong into the broad shoulders and swiveling shako of the redoubtable Sergeant Wilson.

Thus protected from the denizens of London’s alleyways, the Captain and the Lieutenant, greatcoats warmly wrapping them against the chill dampness, continued their conversation.

Sharpe mused at the many parallels between his life and that of George Wickham. Both had moved above their station in the face of resistance if not outright hostility from their betters; Sharpe much further…from the docks and workhouses of London while Wickham had had a comfortable start as the son of the man charged with the day-to-day management of one of Britain’s largest estates. Both were surprisingly well educated, although Wickham had enjoyed a university experience while Sharpe had bent his own mind toward improvement. Finally, both men had discovered some degree of purpose in a martial existence.

Sharpe had peeled back a number of the layers that made up the onion known as George Wickham. Yet, like Aristotle’s hydro-argyros,[i] Wickham proved to be mercurial, refusing to be held in place to be measured, to be weighed. Thus, Sharpe had to channel his own inner Major Hogan, to apply the techniques that worthy used in the service of Wellesley in the pursuit of the Lieutenant’s inner truth.

Much as Hogan would quiz a French captive, Sharpe laid his conclusions before Wickham. Their validity was not the central point for a compliant Wickham would correct him if he was in error, and, in so doing, would provide more information, perhaps much that he sought to conceal.

Beginning at the end was often a way to get at the beginning. Sharpe was seeking an understanding why two men of an age, raised in a similar manner, and given like opportunities would be shaped into such diametrically opposed beings.

Sharpe began his gambit by looking at the critical moment, the crux, which proved to be the point where Wickham’s life swung in a different direction.

He squeezed the sore spot, “From what I can see, your life has had a Vauxhall Gardens way about it…all froth and fizz, full of an unreal quality, but possessing little of substance that would appear worthwhile in the harsh light of day. And, like the excitement of a young girl upon her first trip to the pleasure dome, you soon discovered that all good things must come to an end.

“Thus, the death of old Mr. Darcy put paid to your seemingly endless winning streak. He had covered up your sins for you, as did his son. You discovered that your distance from Pemberley had softened the impact of your behavior upon your godfather; that it had served to allow the old man the chance to deny what he prayed was not true.

“Not so his son, for that young man often had to pick up after you. His patience lasted only as long as the father lived because the youth sought to spare his sire the disappointment of dashed hopes for your elevation from your background.

“You were forced to make your way in the world, but you quickly discovered that you were unprepared to do anything but playact as a rich man’s son.

“Sadly, you were not a pampered fop, were you?”

Each declaration struck a body blow to Wickham, already weakened by days of self-reflection. For a time, the only sound to be heard was a continual scritching as the grit beneath their feet was ground to dust between leather soles and damp cobbles. The group was passing along the boundaries of Hyde Park, following the carriageway, deserted now in the midnight blackness.

Then Wickham sighed, a deeply depressed release of air that carried the freighted feelings that had so borne upon him since he had first tried to explore his emotional motivations. He glanced up, his sight catching the guttering streetlight upon which he focused until all else vanished from his awareness. As his mind drifted away from his conversation with Sharpe, his pace slowed until he stopped, forcing the other three to begin to hold their places until they realized that the fourth member of their little tetrarchy, silently staring at the lantern, was no longer with them.

Wickham’s eyes drifted shut. His breathing became deeper and more regular the further he slid into the trancelike reverie. A sense that another had joined him became stronger. This being/part/portion had always been within, but buried by layers of emotional scar tissue laid on one offense—perceived or real—at a time. Yet, this segment of him had been growing stronger ever since that August morning in St. Clement’s when, in spite of his previous pedigree, he agreed to protect another. Time—both in reality as well as an imagined constraint—vanished as the sentience came closer. Words, communication felt, not heard, initiated the instant an image appeared in Wickham’s mind’s eye.

Who are you?

>not question…yourself…third part

Third part?

>long-hidden…Buried…what could be

What could be? Do you mean that I am not destined to be as I am?

>birth is not Mark of Cain…all lies

No…impossible to rise above. Darcy made sure of that.

>not/never Darcy…brother in soul…always felt responsible for your pain.

{silence}

>sigmund/anna right of it.[ii]

??????

>wickham/rake all ‘id’…little ego…no super to moderate it all

>all pleasure, gratification…like infant…feed…happy…substitute for sex release

>denial…displacement…rationalization old ways

{silence}

>darcy all super-ego…all social norms…all propriety…self-regulation of id

>punishes ego…his own and you…with guilt

>you…id…you…weaker ego…

And where is my super-ego?

>too long you lean on Darcy for it

>here, now…always been although weak…now in open.

Why were you gone?

>death…mother, father…Old Darcy blind to your loss

>regressed…became small boy in man’s body

And I had no social constraints because society expected none from me!

>yes

Godfather assumed that I would have same social compass as his son!

>yes

So no guidance. He assumed I was receptive. I needed comfort…that which could never be gained because Lady Anne had no attachment to me in spite of her husband’s promise to Papa.

Mama left me and Papa could only weep. In that instant my super-ego was arrested.

>yes

So I regressed?

>yes

I became like a babe? A young boy? All id, you say?

>yes

So the child became the all-father because there was no father figure?

>and no mama as love-object—no fear of consequence of search for love objects, gratification.

>ask

Does this have anything to do with why I hate Darcy so?

> [nullness]

Oh, Lord, it does!

Lady Anne…I wanted her as my love object. But she had eyes only for Darcy.

The one extra degree of separation was too much for her to bond.

All I could feel was her rejection!

So I was avenging myself on Darcy by pursuing Georgie…but I was really making love to the image of their mother!

>[nullness]

The enormity of it all! How perverse that a man’s life is directed from infancy by forces over which he has no control. Rather he hangs like a fly caught by a spider in her web, his struggles creating vibrations that tell her where to find dinner…and I can feel the quivers foretelling my own doom![iii]

>yes…but no more…free now.

Wickham’s eyes flashed open as his exhaled breath froze—hanging in front of him like some ill-formed creation of a darkened mind. Sharpe had yet to complete his last step before stopping to begin his turn toward his companion.

Remarkable! Such revelations in the instant between one breath and the next!

&&&&&&

[i] The element mercury (Hg)

[ii] An operating premise within the Wardrobe Universe is that a person’s Inner Guide is not constrained by Newtonian concepts of time. Thus, it is logical for Wickham’s Inner Guide to reference the work of Sigmund and Anna Freud from the early 1930s. See notes on “Inner Guide” and Psychoanalysis in “The Exile” Part 1. Notes # lxxx, lxxxiii. It is my belief that the structure of Wickham and Darcy in the Canon is prescient on Austen’s part. She writes Wickham as nearly all id and Darcy as possessing an overpowering super-ego. Like Baby Bear’s chair, porridge, and bed, Lizzy is the perfect balance of id, ego, and super-ego.

[iii] Max Weber emphasized this metaphor in his explorations of sociology while Clifford Geertz utilized the Weberian ideas of “webs of significance” in anthropology. Here Wickham anticipates Weber, Freud and Geertz.

28 Responses to Is What We Do JAFF or Something Else?

  1. Hi,
    How about we go with ‘JAVS’ – (Jane Austen Variations and Sequels). I know what you mean by JAFF reminding us of fan base stories written on free web sights. But it’s also like “jello” and “q-tip”. We call them by a universal name that people recognize. I have read so many JAVS that I now have my own standards. I like sequels the best. Stories after the wedding. Don’t get me wrong, I also like really well written variations on the original JA books. Want I’m not overly fond of are writers who copy a JA book and adds a few tweaks here and there. The bottom line is as long as you wonderful authors keep writing, I’ll keep reading not matter what the genra is called. Thanks for the hours of reading pleasure!! Billie

    • Hmmm….”JAVS”…a decent thought. One of the biggest problems we have with Amazon when we set up search terms is the one that most persons use “Pride and Prejudice Variations.” This might be a solution along with “Inspired by Austen” and “Austenesque.” What all of us need to be acutely aware of is that our genre is maturing as a lane in the broader literary world. We have, I believe, moved past the tribute band stage and into that realm of offering thoughtful and provocative alternate histories growing out of the fertile soil created by Miss Austen. Hope you will enjoy all of the new work being produced by those of us who love the world of JA!

  2. From the moment I read stories dealing with the plot of Pride and Prejudice to exploring the blogs dedicated to the reading of Jane Austen’s novel, etc, I only know the term most people use is Austenesque. I could be wrong but I associate the term Jane Austen Fan Fiction as published works found in forum but not professionally edited (much like those found in http://www.fanfiction.net/). And Austenesque fiction are books that can be bought on online retailers like Amazon.

    I find that the excerpt is quite deep. Overall I think The Bennet Wardrobe series is quite thought provoking and so I haven’t begun reading them yet as I’m not into deep things. I prefer a simple storyline with a satisfactory conclusion. But one day when I’m ready, I will delve into the series.

    • I so appreciate your thoughts. I think you undersell yourself. The ideas about which I write are pretty universal. The underlying concept of the Wardrobe itself is fairly straight-forward, although it becomes more interesting the deeper we go. I would happily engage with you as you read (and that is an offer to my readers…we might have to figure out the forum) through the series. Start with The Keeper. Of the books, this one (Mary’s story) hews most closely to a narrative without timeloops (although there are a few to allow characters to grow).

    • Authors need readers…and readers help define the universe within which we create. I look forward to your thoughts on my work…but all of our AuAu collective are remarkable authors!

  3. Thanks for such a thought-provoking piece, Don. I’ve been reading Jane Austen’s works for just over fifty years but I have to confess that when I first came across the term “Jane Austen Fan Fiction” and its acronym, just over four years ago, it didn’t exactly inspire me with confidence. The very term “fan fiction” seems to imply amateurism and, I guess, a decided lack of quality in the writing. I’m stating the obvious in that I very quickly learned that it was decidedly NOT the case for quite a number of authors, of whom you are a prime example yourself.

    I’ve seen detractors using the review process on sites like Amazon to accuse writers of being too lazy to think up their own plots or characters. If only they’d stop being the lazy ones and take the trouble to actually read the works they’re denigrating. I don’t only read Austeneque fiction but since I discovered it, some of the best writing I’ve seen in years has come from the talented pens (or computers) of this genre’s authors. Many thanks to all of you!

    Now, referring to your excerpt, how fantastic to see Richard Sharpe there! One of the shelves in my bookcase (in addition to the ones devoted to Speculative, Austenesque and other fiction) is devoted to my Sharpe collection and I’ve got a good number of them as audiobooks, too. Speaking of which, is that a publishing format you’d ever consider joining some of your colleagues in?

    • Thank you for everything you said. I could not agree with you more. Two epic sagas that shaped me include multiple Bernard Cornwell series, Harry Turtledove’s Alternate Histories where he inserts fictional characters into alternate timelines (The Guns of Appomattox ‘got me’ first!), and finally Patrick O’Brien’s Jack Aubrey books. I have inserted his ‘particular friend’ Stephen Maturin into the ‘Lessers and Betters’ books. And, of course, Holmes, Watson, Theodore Roosevelt, John Quincy and Louisa Adams, and Sigmund Freud have all made their bows.

      As for audiobooks…that is something on my menu…but I tend to be focused on the creation of the underlying source books within the universe. I am concerned that the editing and proofing of the audio may be too time consuming. But after the final three main novels…then I will.

  4. A thought-provoking post, thank you. I too think the term “fan fiction” denotes a lesser or “teenage” version of whatever the author is a fan of. Especially to those unfamiliar with the original, or unfamiliar with quality Austenesque work. I personally prefer sequels or prequels to the original books, I just don’t like the originals to be “tampered with” ! 🙂 I have written Kitty Bennet’s story and ODC is still involved but not center stage. I have created an entirely new cast of characters, along with the existing ones. I agree with one other poster that I don’t care for explicit sex or violence in these books or really in anything I read, just my preference. And I tend to believe it takes far more writerly skill to bring interest and passion to characters and a plot without relying on those types of gratuitous scenes. I’ve also written a contemporary novel about a heroine who relies on Austen’s wisdom to “reboot” her life. It will be interesting to see how the use of terminology for our “genre” evolves! Is all JAFF self-published?

    • Hi…the new model of publishing where there are no particular gatekeepers (publishers) to ensure that the level of quality remains at the highest level can tend to produce both curds and whey. Serious authors try to produce their best work and present it in the best format for the best reader experience. If authors are uncomfortable in editing, there are professional editors who will smooth their work. A coterie of willing beta readers helps keep plot lines crisp and concise. The myriad of books in the Austen Inspired universe are rising from those who self-publish, but that does not suggest that self-publishing is the only route.

      I have been pulled toward the side characters because they offer the greatest amount of room for an author to find plausible explanations for behavior–see Kitty’s conversations with Freud in “The Exile: Kitty Bennet and the Belle Epoque” or why Mr. Bennet excluded all of the daughters except Lizzy from the Longbourn bookroom in “Lizzy Bennet Meets the Countess.”

      I am adopting both “Austenesque Fiction” and @LauraHile #AustenInspired to describe all of my future work.

      Hope you will dip into the Wardrobe’s Universe. The current books (in order) are: “The Keeper,” “Henry Fitzwilliam’s War,” “The Exile: Kitty Bennet and the Belle Epoque,” “Lizzy Bennet Meets the Countess,” and “The Exile: The Countess Visits Longbourn.” Look forward to your reviews!

  5. I don’t usually discuss what I am reading with others. If it comes up, they usually start telling me about this wonderful book they are reading and it turns me completely off. What we enjoy in books (or movies, or art), is such a personal thing, at least to me, that I keep it close. Although, a few years ago, a lady sitting in the row behind me on an airplane was apparently reading my Kindle over my shoulder, and the names of Elizabeth and Darcy caught her eye, so she asked me what I was reading as she knew it wasn’t P&P. I explained “Jane Austen Fan Fiction” to her, and, who knows, maybe another convert was born. But looking at it now, the words “Fan Fiction” does seem to make it sound … trite, or vapid. But, looking at the array of Austen-inspired stories I have read, I think there are degrees in how to categorize them.

    Anyway, too much heavy thinking for a Saturday morning. But, I am curious to see how Wickham handles his sudden self-realization. Thank you for sharing and for the chance to win a copy.

    • LA…Thank you for your thoughtful response. Your point about the personal nature of what we read (my tastes revolve from Austenesque to Napoleonic Naval to Espionage). My movement toward a reimagining of the genre can be expressed as a simple change from “like Austen” to “from Austen.” I hope you will enjoy this book. BTW…the sequence of Bennet Wardrobe books runs “Keeper,” “Henry Fitzwilliam’s War,” “Exile Part 1,” Lizzy Bennet,” “The Countess”

  6. You certainly give a persuasive argument and the term ‘Austenesque’ encompasses a wide range. I think this will take time to evolve, like anything else. The term has been out there…Meredith’s blog name, ‘Austenesque Reviews’ is a prime example, and one of my first findings when looking for books related to Jane Austen’s books/movies way back when!

  7. There’s so much in this blog post! I’ll try to somewhat organize my thoughts 🙂 A few of them are:

    For me, one of the appeals of this genre is that it is less likely to have graphic sex or violence. Now, I’ve been known to write a good sword fight. Chop up giant undead wolves that disintegrate when re-killed, etc. However, I do that in my fantasy books, where I like to read and write that sort of thing. I did convince Renata to let me put one slightly gruesome scene in one of our variations, and I don’t feel it was our strongest work. That was when we first started writing together (me having only done fantasy at that point) and, since then, I bow to her wisdom and my own increased experience with the genre. The same goes for explicit scenes. I find they’re less likely to be lurking in JAFFs. I am fine with them in books, but not when they sneak up on me. I need to know that’s what I’m getting into before I decide to pick up the book. As for writing them, I simply could not. Hats off to those who can. My face would turn so red, I’d likely faint. As I use a standing desk, it doesn’t seem worth the risk.

    I agree with the idea of retiring ‘JAFF’ as a term. I do think people who don’t understand look down on that term. That’s sad for us, and for them. They’re missing something wonderful. I like your term, Austenesque. I’ve been using Jane Austen inspired, or Pride and Prejudice re-tellings. When I do book signings, people pick up the books and say, “What are these ones?” I reply, “Jane Austen Fan Fiction,” and you can see their eyes glaze over. I have to launch right into selling them on the idea. “People love this genre. You wouldn’t believe how popular it is. Several of these are Amazon best sellers.” That last bit always gets their attention. I then usually add, “Everyone loves to see Elizabeth and Darcy fall in love all over again.” I can often make the sale, but I have to scramble to make up ground after opening with, Jane Austen Fan Fiction.

    Also, I love that cover. It’s beautiful.

    • Summer…I wanted to start a conversation because you describe exactly that which I encounter. Assuredly the “J-A” part of “J-A-F-F” is not problematic. It is, I fear, the “F-F” that leaves prospective readers non-plussed. I, too, wrestle with the scenes of a graphic nature. Usually lovemaking is alluded to in a lead-up and off-camera. Violence is a bit more difficult. Again (and you will have to read the books) violent acts usually happen on the other side of a door or in a third person sense (for instance, Richard Fitzwilliam observes the mauling of Kitty Bennet in “Of Fortune’s Reversal” from a distance). Thank you for your comment!

      • Yes, people hear Fan Fiction and you can see them thinking, “Yeah. Okay. Where’s your funny outfit?”

        Now, the answer is, “In my closet, right next to my other funny outfits,”** but it’s sad that keeps them from reading something they would enjoy.

        As for content, all content has its place. With anything, it’s a question of timing and quality of execution. I’m just not a fan of books that take a drastic swing in tone, then swing back after a specific scene. As if that scene were dropped in from outer space and written by a different author for the purpose of derailing reading. Then again, some people like surprises 🙂

        **That is, unless my ‘funny outfit’ is on my person :p

  8. Wow! You forced us to think deeply with this post. I’ve never thought of the difference between JAFF and Austenesque. You have given us much to think about. This inner examination with Wickham’s character… or lack thereof… was amazing. It answers so many questions. What he will do with that revelation is still to be determined. Thank you for this insightful post.

  9. You have given your readers much to think about. If the JAFF term changed to a more encompassing term with the name Austen, I think that the readership would increase. I must confess that I like my stories revolving around Darcy and Elizabeth rather than a story only about a minor character.

    • EE…Oh, you wound me (grin)…I urge you to dive into any of the secondary character books that are out there. Since the characters were so thinly developed by Austen, the authors choosing to center a story on Mary, Caroline, Charlotte need to build characters essentially from the ground up. f course, I would modestly suggest that you look at the first books in the Bennet Wardrobe!

  10. Thank you for the interesting post and excerpt. I could see moving away from the term jaff and think Austenesque author is a great way to describe it.

  11. I suppose I am one of the few readers who would like JAFF to evolve away from Darcy and Elizabeth. I actually prefer to read stories about the other characters of P&P, and stories based on the other books. This might be because I am not in general a romance reader – JAFF books were my first attempts at reading romance – my favourite genre has been and still is historical mysteries

    • Since I am writing a series about the side characters, far be it from me to argue with you. However, I do urge you to consider that the minor characters exist because of their relationship with Darcy and Elizabeth. That does not mean that their lives are without meaning if they are not interlocked with ODC. More of us are working toward the Austenesque ideal rather than “Fan Fiction.” Look forward to your thoughts on the books!

Comments are precious!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.