Thursday, 20 June 2013

Fanfic Or Not To Fanfic

"Fan fiction can be defined as any piece of writing inspired by the original work of another."

I am a fan fiction fan.  I"m also a fan fiction writer.

And yes I can hear the cries of shock, horror and outage from here.  Because admitting that you like fan fiction (much less saying that you write it)  is a bit like admitting that you like porn (which some...okay a lot... of fan fiction is).

Fan fiction never has an easy time.  Those that hate it see it at best as lazy writing and at worst as plagiarism, stealing and akin to selling your soul to the devil.  And don't even mention Fifty Shades of Grey.

And yet despite all this I love fan fiction with a passion... and I'm not the only one. FanFiction.Net a website devoted to fan fiction works has more than 2 million users.

2 million.

That in itself should tell you the popularity of fan fiction.  Of course just because something is popular doesn't necessarily mean that it's a) good or b) legal.

From my own personal perspective fan fiction is just as legitimate and worth while as any other creative endeavour.

Is is lazy writing? Well yes there is a lot of bad fan fiction but there is also some really great fan fiction.  You just have to dig a little deeper for it.  But trust me it's there. 

Plagiarism and stealing? Perhaps. Though most (about 99.9 %) make no money from what they create and have no desire to do so.  They do it for love of a show/book/movie, to share their love with others, as a way of improving their own writing skill and a great many other reasons.  People with a love of art or music copy and adapt famous works all the time and no-one cries out.  So why is writing any different?

Of course fan fiction fans don't always help themselves.  Some in the fan fiction community can be pretty brutal in their defence.  It's enough to make a fangirl like me hang her head in shame at the antics of others.  Luckily there are plenty of others that make up for this and help make fan fiction a warm and entertaining community where you can share your love of whatever it is that makes you *flail*.

And at the end of the day that's what fan fiction is all about.

It's about exploring possibilities that the original author never thought of.  To celebrate a TV show/movie/book/character that another created in a way that is original to you and to share that love with others.  And that is a pretty great thing.

By the way check out Auckland Libraries latest events.  There's a discussion about Fifty Shades of Grey on next Thursday.


breve711 said...

I absolutely ADORE fanfic! Seriously, it's borderline unhealthy.
Along with, I regularly use Twisting the Hellmouth (Buffy crossover - all my Buffy dreams come to life) and AO3.
I generally read tv show fandom fics, with the exception of the Anita Blake series. It's a series I stopped reading because of reasons (I just couldn't anymore) but I love the universe LKH created and fanfic was a way I could still enjoy that universe. And I love how I can generally find in fanfic things I know I WILL NEVER GET TO SEE IN CANON NO MATTER HOW MUCH I WANT IT! *cough* sterek *cough*.

I can see both arguments, but I'm definitely on the pro-fanfic side of things. And I wish more of my friends were into it so I could fangirl with all of them over it, but I am not that lucky.

syfygirl21 said...

I know exactly what you mean.

There's something about all the endless possibilities that fanfic provides that is so addictive.

And yes like you like I love being able to read all the things that I know that the TV show will never do and all the what if scenarios.

tosca said...

I admit (with tinges of confusion and guilt) that I have mostly let go of bookish reading for fanfic. The world of possibilities it offers, and the idea that someone out there wanted to see certain storylines (and pairings) go the way you thought they would/should/could? Excite. And yes, addictive O.o