From Fanfic to Litwake
Ukrainian contemporary writer Yevheniy Lytvak propelled the development of online literature from the fanfiction genre to the litwake genre – a literary-economic phenomenon of blogger-author creativity. The author himself describes the term, harmonizing with his surname, as follows: "I conditionally call this genre 'litwake': an abbreviation from English, meaning 'literary awakening.' So, the new genre is a product of authorial imagination, the online environment, and internet readers." The writer is also the author of a petition on taxing bloggers (No. 22/154468-ep). Since the latest genre of web literature not only serves the function of social media content but also acts as a catalyst for a blogger's income and an economic activity factor. The last global news about online literature was about 15 years ago, specifically, the notorious "Fifty Shades of Grey" by E. L. James, which is a fanfic of the famous "Twilight" series. Fanfic is a work with an alternative plot featuring characters from other books, making official copyright registration impossible. Typically, such a work is posted online for free. Litwake is a work with a unique plot and original characters, with official copyright and is also posted online for free.
The text comprises approximately 355,000 words, making "The Era of Glory and Hope" the largest book in Ukraine and one of the largest in the world. No contemporary Ukrainian writer has produced anything comparable; the average Ukrainian book is five times smaller. Litvak himself expresses it this way: "I held the book in my mind and wrote it for over 10,000 hours until I 'released' it. I'm not talented. I'm obsessed. It's all about hard work, about obsession. Talent doesn't exist. We all have equal abilities. You can become anything if you're willing to dedicate enough time; you will definitely reach the summit." Historian and journalist Vakhtang Kipiani, who compiled the book "The Case of Vasyl Stus," highlighted the author's uniqueness during discussions of his online creative work.
Martin Yakub is a Ukrainian author of crime novels, including "Not Your Dog's Business" (Vivat, 2021) and "Dead Models" (Smoloskyp, 2019). He is also the author of Ukraine's best fanfic of 2023, "To Let Misfortune Pass Quietly" (Wattpad, 2023), based on the book "Era of Glory and Hope" by Yevgeniy Litvak. He was a finalist in the literary competition "Smoloskyp-2018" and made it to the longlists of the "Book of the Year BBC-2019" award.
Wattpad users have written the first fanfics for the book "Era of Glory and Hope" by contemporary Ukrainian writer Yevhen Lytvak, including:
- Martin Yakub's "To Let Misfortune Pass Quietly" (130 pages)
- Vasyl Shulhah's "Misfortune Knows No Bounds" (150 pages)
- Vasyl Shulhaher's "My Beloved Reptiloid" (435 pages)
- Vasyl Shulhaherovych's "Gedz 2.0" (135 pages).
This signifies that "Era of Glory and Hope" is the first book in Ukraine to inspire fanfiction. Martin Yakub's military drama "To Let Misfortune Pass Quietly" is the first Ukrainian fanfic for a book by a contemporary Ukrainian author. Set during Russia's full-scale invasion, the protagonist receives a military draft notice, and his best friend volunteers for the front line. The fanfic explores the theme of the Russo-Ukrainian war.
So, what does this mean for the publishing industry and the fanfiction community as a whole? It means that "Era of Glory and Hope" is the first book in Ukraine to inspire fanfiction.
Martin Yakub's "To Let Misfortune Pass Quietly": Stunning work! Very emotional, dramatic, and lifelike. As you read, you truly believe all these people could have existed. And, of course, I'm glad that Nicholas and Stefan's story ended with a happy ending. They endured for their happiness, their quiet peaceful life side by side until the end. You brilliantly used characters from "Era of Glory and Hope" (Solar's incredible teasing). In the original, Nicholas and Stefan weren't friends, but you gave us an incredible love story. I believed you! I understood and believed in these two men. I fell in love with them. I experienced the whole war, was captured, lost an arm. I died and resurrected. (Losing an arm – a nod to Max Hedza, who lost his arm in the ATO? Awesome!) I've read your books. "To Let Misfortune Pass Quietly" is your growth as an author! It's a stunning love story. I read a lot, and unfortunately, there are few worthy works. Mr. Martin Yakub, yours is one. I couldn't write something like that. Honestly. I dislike war; it's terrifying. Nothing is worse than souls scarred by war. You poured your soul into it. Bravo. Rarely do I write reviews, but here I want to thank the author for the idea and its realization. War is a complex topic, especially when you only know about it from books, movies, and stories. In my opinion, choosing such a storyline gives a special quality to the work. It's not just a love story; it's a tale that endured war, pain, fear, and suffering. Reading it feels like immersing yourself in that world, experiencing the entire journey with the characters. Although I don't know when you started working on the novel, I feel like you wrote it in just a few days. The words "Siverodonetsk" or "To Kherson - 15 km": it's just tears in my eyes. I think, undoubtedly, it was difficult and took a long time to write. But you did it. I don't even remember how many times I cried on this day while reading such emotional chapters. All 30 chapters in one day. Each chapter is saturated with the feelings and emotions the author poured into this text. I swallowed more than 150 pages of "To Suffer Silently" in one gulp, I smiled and cried, cried and smiled. Such works are rare. I applaud with tears in my eyes. Write more. Huge thanks for the emotions and unstoppable tears, very grateful to the author. This is one of the wonderful works, thank you! And I will return to this story more than once, at least to memorize: "You can break anyone, given the desire and time. But making a broken person want to live again is hard work, not everyone has the courage to take on it." Please keep writing! Looking forward to new stunning works! Good luck, author! Keep delighting readers with your stories!