Writer Wednesday – Fan Fiction

Is Fan Fiction a legitimate form of fiction or is it just a derivative work of others? Is it both? There was a time when doing a fan fiction was something you wanted to avoid ever showing up on your resume. Several big name authors were publicly ashamed when their earlier works of fan fiction were discovered.

On the other hand, there has been a lot of recent legitimacy. Steven Brust wrote a fan fiction of Firefly that in no way hurt his reputation. Fifty Shades of Gray was originally a twilight fan fiction reworked to avoid copyright issues when it went up for sale. Even Amazon has jumped on the bandwagon with Kindle Worlds.

It is now possible to not only write a fan fiction without it affecting your writing career, but possible to actually start a career with this sort of thing. The previously mentioned Fifty Shades has made a small fortune in fact. So what is my point?

I am not sure I have one honestly. For years there has been a stigma and a bit of a debate. The more you write, the better your writing gets, but somehow fan fictions were seen as some sort of negative. I honestly have fallen into that trap myself, seeing fan fiction as a lesser form of writing done mostly by people without the talent to do their own work.

That isn’t really the case though. When one does fan fiction, it stems from a great love of the original work and a desire to expand on the setting in your own unique way. There is something special you see in the original that you want to write about yourself, but can’t do without plagiarizing the original in some way. You are left to either try changing up details of the setting enough to seem sufficiently unique from the original, or writing it as a fan fiction.

It is going to be up to you to decide on how you feel about fan fiction. Do you see it as valuable or just people working out their own remakes of someone else’s hard work? Do you feel that you have something you want to do with it or do you think you would rather try for things you may stand a chance of greater profit out of? Do you write for fun, or do you write for some purpose? Today’s post is mostly just food for thought. I can’t really make any decisions for you after all.

What are your thoughts?

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