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.
2 thoughts on “In Defence of Fan Fiction”
Congratulations on the new site, Ellie Rose! Interesting blog, too! There are Fanfic films, as well as novels, by the way – Clueless, for instance, is based on Emma. And of course Bridget Jones’ Diary. Both the novel and the film are based on Pride and Prejudice. My writing friend Barbara Silkstone has just issued the third of a series, Mr Darcy’s Secret, based on (guess) yes, Pride and Prejudice. And all of these examples are actually sold and earn their authors money – so why not go for that? No need to give your work away free, if people like it!
Thanks for your comment, Gerry. I’m glad you like the blog.
I’m aware that films and comerical novels are based on other literary works. The post I’ve linked to at the bottom of mine discusses that very thing in detail. But that fact remains that a lot of fanfiction falls into a gray legal area. In order to avoid being sued for copyright infringement one either needs to base their content on something that’s now considered public (by the fact that it was written so long ago, by a person who is no longer with us, such as Pride and Prejudice) or change the story (names of characters and places being the least of this) that it barely resembles what it first started out as. A lot of my own fanfiction is based on Buffy the Vampire Slayer, abiding by the rules of that specific universe, so in order to get out of copyright I fear I’d have to re-write so much that it’s just not worth it. Not when I can focus on my “original” stories for profit.