Monday, September 14, 2009

Fanfiction Pimping

Yeah, I'm all about fanfiction. I know I've said it here before. Just don't ask me where. I don't remember. Brain. Sieve. Dig? Anyway, like the concept of a fandom, fanfiction has been around a lot longer than fanfiction.net and Harry Potter. Remember those Trekkies? They released member zines chronicling their fanfiction escapades with their favorite characters back in the 70s. It's an old beast that's been reinvigorated.

Unfortunately, fanfiction has a pretty bad name because, well, there's a hell of a lot of shit out there. Don't believe me? Hit up ff.net under, let's say, Harry Potter and time how long it takes you to come across something that doesn't have your teeth shuddering. And I'm not even talking about the cream of the crop stuff either. Just something decent that you can get through. It's not going to be pretty.

But it is there. And I think it's a wonderful way for people not only to come together for a common bond but to enhance their writing skills, if that's what they aim to do. Otherwise, it's just fun to write.

Now I'm sure a lot of people are like, "why would you want to write other people's characters instead of creating your own stuff?" To that I say, if you're inexperienced enough but still want to learn how to write, the task of building an entire world is one hell of a daunting one. You do writing exercises using snippets from technique books that you didn't write, right? So what's the difference? It's like learning to swim. You're not going to jump right into the deep end the first time around, are you? Of course not. You're going to start off in the shallow end with your swimmies and work your way to the other side. Some people need to ease into it and I don't think there's anything wrong with that.

Then there's the whole fan side of it, where you get to expand on something that you love because you can't get enough of it. What's wrong with that? Most creators are flattered by it.

I think it's pretty cool that libraries are actually encouraging teens to write fanfiction and holding contests and leading them down the way of the non-Sues and spell check. Discouraging writing at all, I think, can be detrimental to a budding writer. Of course we don't want that person outright plagiarizing but like I said: baby steps.

When I eventually (please god) get published, I'd be thrilled if people loved my work enough to want to write fanfiction about it. I might just pee a little, to be a little too honest. Would I read it? No. Aside from the legal repercussions (as backwards as that is), I honestly wouldn't want to see what people are doing to my darlings. Maybe it's a little hypocritical but they're my babies. I'd like to dress them myself. But I'd encourage fanfiction. Why not? Just don't attempt to profit off of it.

What do you think? How do you feel about fanfiction? If it were your work, would you want someone writing fics off of your stuff?

7 comments:

ralfast said...

Funny thing is that Writing Excuses (a podcast for speculative fiction writers) last show was on how to avoid the Mary Sues. Haven't done any fanfiction in awhile (writing a full HP TV series Bible DOES NOT COUNT). I don't really know how I feel about it, although I love FanVids(AMVs).

Barbara said...

If the Earth started spinning backwards and I actually got that book published I would be flattered if people wanted to write fan fiction that was inspired by me. I'm not sure if I'd read it after all some of them are pretty out there. I still don't get the liking for incest or Wincest in the Supernatural verse but there's nothing wrong with it as long as they aren't making money off my creation.

WilowRaven said...

There's an award waiting for you on my blog - http://redhousebooks.blogspot.com/2009/09/awards.html

:)

L.H. Parker said...

I'm 100% for fanfiction. I've been a fan of fanfiction for about 5 years now (cough- Harry Potter-cough). Fanfiction is a great way for people to practice their writing or editing skills (aka: betas)--or just to sit back and enjoy reading more adventures of their favorite characters. As for me, I'd be excited if people wanted to write fanfiction about characters or a world I've created. After all," imitation is the sincerest form of flattery."

Undine said...

I was skeptical of fanfic for the longest time, but one day, my roommate finally convinced me to read one of her favorites, and I was hooked! I actually include reviews of fanfic on my blog, in a semi-regular fashion ("Fanfic Friday" - maybe it'll catch on? :D ). So yea, go fanfic!

Jessica said...

When I first started interwebzing it was fanfic that occupied my time. I think yes as you said don't try to profit but for fun because you love someone's work that it is all you think about. Because you loved it but want to see an alternate ending scene etc. I don't see how it hurts and is actually a big giant compliment.

Just Your Typical Book Blog said...

I heart me some fanfiction. About two years ago when I was super obsessed with this actor (okay, I still am), I started reading a lot of fanfic. Then I got the brave idea to write my own. It was awesome! I got feedback from people who didn't care to give me their honest opinion. I met other writers and my muse who happens to help me co-run the blog too. So yea, fanfiction rocks. And if by some weird ass miracle I was able to ever get published, I think it'd be awesome if someone did their own spin on it.

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