The bad thing about fan fiction is that anyone can write it, and the good thing is that anyone can write it. But isn’t that the same with any kind of creative work?
It’s true that while traditional fiction only allows writers to subject their own characters to a range of emotional ups and downs, fan fiction authors can – and do – take characters that you love and do what they like with them. But, then, so can you. It’s a double-edged sword, and I think it’s a great one – if that weren’t already obvious.
I don’t like the fact that all fan fiction is grouped together and looked down upon. Not when there’s so much variety, and not when a lot of what’s on offer is actually very good.
Some people tell me I’m wasting my time writing fan fiction, because I’m never going to be paid for it, but is it really a waste if I love it? I consider it practice, if nothing else.
In a sense – because there is no monetary motivation – writers of fan fiction are better than a lot of writers of traditional stories, because they do it for the right reasons. There are thirteen-year-olds out there who have written several novel-length works and just given them to the world. I don’t find that a thing of shame, I’m impressed by it!
If you want to read more on this topic I suggest you check out this post, for a much better (more objective, less opinion-based) defence of fan fiction than I could ever hope to write.