There are mixed feelings on fan fiction in the writing world. Some view it as an invasion into another person’s creative brainchild, others view it as a crass manipulation of the work. There are so many different types of fan fiction out there ranging from TV shows and books to fiction about an actor or character displaced from their own reality and interjected into one of the author’s creation. I confess, I enjoy fan fiction if it’s written well. But where the good abides, so do the dark, daring, and sometimes strange. Such is life, and the same can be said about original fiction.
Here are some photos I found you may find humorous. Some fan fics are an acquired taste and what has been seen can never be unseen.
I’m sure you’re wondering what this has to do with your writing skills. Let me continue my list of confessions. I write fan fiction as do several other authors I know including Jen Bradlee. (If you haven’t seen the short Firefly/Serenity fan fic on her blog, then go take a peek HERE, especially if you’re a fan of that show. Trust me.)
But why write fan fiction? It’s not like I can publish it, right? Well, no you cannot take someone else’s idea and make money off of it. That would be copyright infringement and is frowned upon in all artistic circles almost to the point that cannibalism is in modern society. What you can do with fan fiction is post it on FanFiction.net, Archive Of Our Own (AO3), or DeviantArt. But why would I do that?
To get your name out there.
To show people around the world your unique writer’s voice.
To share your work with the world.
Even though you’re not making money off of the work, it is working for you. It allows you to spread your wings as a writer and put your name out in artistic circles. There are some fan fic authors who have huge followings. Imagine if they wrote their own fiction and published it. They would already have a base of readers who love their style. How many of us will buy a book just on the authors name without even reading the blurb or excerpt because we love what they’ve done in the past and crave more?
I challenge you this week to venture into the world of fan fiction. Choose a book, TV show, movie, video game, etc, look up a fic, and find one that speaks to you. You’ll be amazed what you can find. I will warn you, fan fiction is like the ocean. It can be beautiful and inviting from the beach, but the deeper you go, the darker the waters can become. Make sure you keep a steady eye on the shore as you wade into her warm embrace. Her siren song is tempting and dangerous.
Do you read fan fiction? If so, what are your thoughts?
Next week, I will be continuing this discussion by talking about the ways in which a writer can use fan fiction to improve their own work and their skills as a writer. Stick around. It’ll be fun, I promise.