My Thoughts on Fan Fiction

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Fan fiction can be a hotly contested topic in certain circles.  You can find fans who are very loyal to their favorite authors in their fandom, their favorite characters, or whatever their pet plot point is.  Then there are author reactions.  Some authors can be rabidly anti-fan-fiction.

I try to take a more relaxed approach, and not just because I write the occasional fan fiction piece of my own.  I like to see fan fiction as being an extension of the idea that imitation is the highest form of flattery.

So if I ever discovered fan fiction set in one of my worlds somewhere on the internet I think I’d be overwhelmed with joy.  That meant someone loved my world and my characters enough to want to play along.  I tell people, only partially jokingly, that if I ever become rich and famous, I want to run my own fan fiction site.  I want to make it nice, and have moderators, and some quality control for grammar and typos (but not content), and be able tin interact with fans who like my work enough to write some of their own.

Think about it.  You’ll nave have a more loyal fan and reader than a fan fiction writer.  They’ll be the first to buy your new book, and the fan fiction site could be a great place to converse with fans, and even get ideas from them.  As a fan fiction writer, I always thought it would be so neat to find out the author liked an idea I had, a scene I wrote, or a take I had on a character.  I’d like to be the kind of author who could offer that kind of interaction for fans.

And while I don’t expect to be rich and famous in the near future, it could happen.  And in the meantime, I’ll continue to use fan fiction as a place where I can experiment with my writing and learn new techniques and get valuable feedback from passionate fellow readers.

The important thing about fan fiction is to make absolutely zero claims on the characters or world that don’t belong to you and zero money, unless you’re on Kindle Worlds, in which case you should play by the rules and be grateful to the author who allowed their world to be posted there.

Now be honest, have you ever written any fan fiction?  Did you know that’s what it was at the time?  Did you ever share it?

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7 thoughts on “My Thoughts on Fan Fiction

  1. I actually have started writing many different pieces of fan fiction but no, I have not submitted a single one. mostly because they’re not finished and second, I don’t know if people will like them. I didn’t know that what I was writing was fan fiction. I have been writing little short things here and there since I was about eight or nine. I simply write for my own amusement.

    • I’m finding it’s pretty common for younger writers not to realize what they’re writing is fanfiction. I was probably nine or ten when I wrote my first one, but I didn’t know the term for it until college or later. Sometimes writing for your own amusement is all you need. I hope you continue to enjoy it if nothing else. Thanks for stopping by. (And sorry it took so long to reply. My life’s been crazy since September.)

  2. I had no idea that I was writing fan fiction when I first started, but then I figured some things out and started sharing with the world. Now I have 100’s of pieces both online and stored on my hard drive and I love the form. I can play and create, which is great because I’m in college as a professional writing major, aka all work and no play makes me antsy.

    I share your dream of my own site. My current posting local of choice has been ruined by pervs so I’ve moved here for more freedom, but I want to go back if we can get rid of our enemies. I want to share and connect with others because I think fanfics are great for writers learning their craft. Writing can be a fun way to create, so I want people to do whatever they want (within reason).

    • I also started writing fanfiction before I knew what to coll it (or that anyone else did it). I’m willing to be there are a lot of others out there who started the same way. I don’t have 100s of pieces, but I do have 100s of thousands or words worth of it. It’s definitely a great form to allow you to continue to play with fiction and develop your skills when you need a break from something too serious or too far from the joy of fiction writing.

      The community that I became a part of when posting my work was one of the best things about it. Some of the writers who had been doing the fanfiction for years before I came along were starting to publish original works and it was really inspiring for me. The freedom to explore any and all parts of fiction (even the perverse ones with sufficient warning for readers that it’s 18+ only) is one of the best things about fanfiction in my opinion.

  3. Nicole Crucial

    I used to write and read a ton of fanfiction–first on Fanfiction.net, then on Archive of Our Own. I actually still get an email every few days that a new person has left “kudos” on one of the stories I have posted on Archive of Our Own–a piece for a Disney show called Gravity Falls. (It’s more grown-up than it sounds, I promise!)

    I actually have a couple of friends, also fans of fanfiction, who are sweet enough to insist that they will be the first ones to write fanfiction for my books. 🙂 I think you’re right on the count that it would be extremely flattering, and I would support it wholeheartedly!

    I tend to look at fanfiction more as a writer, though–the days I spent writing fanfic definitely cultivated my skills for my original fiction. And I love to think that other young writers someday might cultivate their writing skills by writing fanfic for my books. 🙂

    • It’s great to know I’m not alone in thinking this. Fanfiction as practice is one of the primary reasons I still write mine (that and I know there are people waiting for the end of the story arc). It can be hard as a young writer to dive into world building and character development right off the bat, so having a ready-made world with at least some ready-made characters to practice with can be liberating. I know that my fanfiction writing has shaped my style and even my interpretation of the genre in some places, and there’s nothing inherently wrong with that.

      It’s also amazing to get the near instant feedback from readers. When I need a pick me up about my writing, returning to reviews of my fanfiction can really lift my spirits. I think it would be amazing to someday be able to encourage a young writer by complimenting them on fanfiction based on my work.

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