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?