What are you thoughts on fan-fiction?
Myself, personally, I’ve been writing fan-fiction since long before I knew that fan-fiction was a thing. My first real, recognizable foray into the world of FANDOM was when my two best friends introduced me to the original Star Wars trilogy when we were in the fifth grade, and from there it was only a hop, skip, and a jump before my writer-wannabe self began writing her own stories about the wondrous world she’d been dragged into. My memory is not the thing of legends, so it’s possible that I’m wrong here, but I believe the first fanfic piece I wrote was about a lost female Jedi – who didn’t know she was a Jedi – seeking out Luke Skywalker to train her after the events of Return of the Jedi.
Come to think of it…that sounds a little familiar, doesn’t it?
From there on I wrote a few other Star Wars pieces, never really finishing any of them, but just enjoying writing out the best scenes and re-reading them again and again, because I can occasionally be a little full of myself. Later on, sometime around the end of high school/beginning of college, I began to write fan-fiction again, but I moved on to different fandoms. One of the first pieces at this point was a Harry Potter fanfic set in the time the Marauders were in Hogwarts. My best friend had come across something that seemed both strange and wonderful at the time – slash fiction – and I decided to try my hand on it by writing a short story in which Sirius Black and Remus Lupin fall in love. It wasn’t graphic or anything (trust me, there’s plenty enough of that stuff out there), but rather just a sweet little tale about two school-friends realizing they had feelings for one another. I decided to post this particular piece on a new site I’d found – FanFiction.net – and to my surprise it actually got a fair bit of attention. I ended up re-writing it later on to make it a little more profession (although I imagine if I were to sit down and read it now, I’d probably want to die), and since then it has continued to garner a review or two every so often, never ceasing to amaze me that people are still finding it and reading it.
There was more, of course…I began a Final Fantasy 3 novelization, but never found the time to finish it, a few other Harry Potter bits and bobs, and several other pieces that I decided to keep personal for a variety of reasons. The long and short of it is: fan-fiction has definitely been an integral part of my growth as a writer.
Of course, there are some who will see this as a bad thing. There are definitely people out there who, for one reason or another, consider fan-fiction to be the lowest possible point in a writer’s background. And to be honest, I find that a bit hysterical. For one thing, if you’re aiming to be a writer, ANY kind of writing is good writing. It might never be published, but it’s practice, and we all absolutely, 100% require practice. Lots of it.
For another thing, though, fan-fiction has brought us an amazing number of excellent works. 50 Shades of Grey aside (gag me with a spoon), some of the best episodes of our favorite TV shows came from fans writing fan-fiction that wound up becoming a real script. Some movies have come into existence in the same manner. There are highly enjoyable books out there that are technically just fan-fiction created out of love for an older, much-loved story – look at books like Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, for example.
Mind you, I don’t ever expect any of the fan-fiction I’ve written to become a movie or a bestseller, but my point is that fan-fiction isn’t BAD, and it isn’t something to be ashamed about as a writer. It’s just something else to write, and specifically, it’s something fun that gets you excited about the writing process. And as someone who has suffered terribly from writer’s block, I can assure you that anything that gets you excited about the writing process is a damn good thing.
So I’ll ask again, just in case your thoughts changed by the end of this post: what are your thoughts on fan-fiction?