I’m sorry, I can’t quite leave this subject alone yet. There is so much passion about it out there and I truly believe that fan fiction is now starting to come to the attention of even more writers and readers than ever before as a result. (If you haven’t read read the originating post of all this fuss go here, because it no longer exists on the original site.)

I subscribe to a wide range of writing (esp romance writing) blogs, author websites and review sites. And the past two weeks, fan fiction and this debate has been popping up all over the place. So many people have been saying things and making me wish I’d said them first. Like this:

“Okay. I am really, really tired of professional writers – or maybe I should say published writers, since professional behavior is not these people’s long suit, generally speaking – posting rants about how they don’t like fan fiction and here are their random reasons why. (If they would just say, “It feels wrong. I don’t have a reason – it just feels wrong,” I still wouldn’t agree, but at least I wouldn’t have to question their maturity. It’s when they try to justify their feeling that they start to sound like a seven-year-old explaining why his cousin shouldn’t be allowed to come near his toys.)” From The Fourth Vine

This is a great comment from someone called “Jamie” (pun intended I’m sure) on the Chris Meadows blog post I referred to in an earlier post:

“It seems to me that there are two kinds of writers: those who believe that it’s only “real” writing if you get paid for it, and those who understand the concept of writing for love. I honestly pity the first lot, because best-sellers go out of print, and royalty checks go away, and if that’s the only sense of worth they get from their works, they’re in real trouble once their popularity wanes. More so if they help it along by spewing hatred at the very people who buy their stuff in the first place. Meanwhile, those nasty plagiarizing fanfic writers are taking their joy from the act of writing itself, from taking the what-ifs in their minds and spinning them into stories, and happily uncaring whether there’s a paycheck or even positive feedback from their peers.”

And from Aja Romano at bookshop on LiveJournal: “Dear AotW. Fanfic is not about you. I know you hate to hear it, dear AotW, but the story is not defined by the barriers you place around it. The moment you gave it to us, those walls broke. You may hate the fact people are imagining more to your story than what you put there. But if I were you, I’d be grateful that I got the chance to create a story that has a culture around it, a story that people want to keep talking about, reworking, remixing, living in, fantasizing about, thinking about, writing about. To quote Originalaudience on the post in question, “Nobody is forgetting that you created the characters. The existence of fanfiction really means that nobody is forgetting the characters you created.” ”

She also goes on to say: “We get that you think fanfic is a stepping stone to being published. You’re wrong. Fanfiction is not a set of training wheels, not some shameful awkward thing you do before you grow up and learn the ~true meaning~ of being a ~real writer.~ Fanfic is … written by some of the most incredibly talented people on the internet. Fanfic writers are bestselling and acclaimed professional authors. They are agents and editors. They are network television executive producers. They are New York Times journalists. They are Supreme Court clerks. They are PHDs and experts in their fields.”

Fan fic authors I know? Business owners. Lawyers. Pharmacists. Office managers. College students. Factory workers. PR guns. Sales managers. And so much more. From all walks of life and all kinds of backgrounds all doing it for the love of the writing, of sharing their interests and passion with others, and giving freely of their time and talent.

I’m giving the last word to The Fourth Vine again – because it made me laugh and I think it’s a wonderful summary of all this:

“…fan fiction is evil, because doing it for love is wrong, but doing it for money is right. This makes me make a frowny face, because that isn’t what they said in Sex Ed.”

Amen.

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