I have a confession to make, a confession so dark and insidious that it could keep me out of the annals of legitimate writers forever if my secret should ever get out. What could be so awful, you ask? What could possibly compromise my future status as a legitimate writer? I’ll tell you, but only if you pinky swear to never tell another living soul. Pinky swear? Okay, here comes the confession- I write Fan Fiction. I use it to break writer’s block when I’m working on my crime series.
Some of you out there are asking, What the devil is she talking about? Fan Fiction- never heard of it. Others are saying, She’s gone mad. Doesn’t she know Fan Fiction is not a legitimate form of authorship? And still others are saying, Who cares? To those readers who don’t know what Fan Fiction is, hold tight and I will explain. To those who think of Fan Fiction as non-legit, I hope to change your mind. And to those who couldn’t care less, stay tuned, it could get interesting.
Let’s start with the basics. What is Fan Fiction or FF, as its writers call it? FF is fiction based on books, television, movies, comic books, and anything else people are passionate about. Chances are many of your favorite books, movies, etc. have Fan Fiction written about them.
FFs are original stories written around preexisting characters and situations. Writers keep to the characters’ original history and responses and only expound when the original author did not address an area of that character’s personhood. Some character tweaking goes on, but most writers stick to who the characters are as much as possible.
Fan Fiction stories are written by single authors or groups of authors, and exchanged between writers and Fan Fiction posting sites. Fan Fiction is not considered original work, even though the situations written around the main characters maybe original ideas. Writers will usually add disclaimers to their work, so readers will know the posted fiction is not original to the FF author.
I write fiction based on British made television series. I tend to read Fan Fiction based on British television as well. Here are a few links to my fiction if you would like to take a peek. The first link is a story based on the UK police series Wire in the Blood, and the second is based on the UK comedy/drama Doc Martin. http://www.fanfiction.net/s/7694936/1/So-Close and http://www.fanfiction.net/s/6434173/1/Such-a-Fool.
Fan Fiction is not entirely legal. US copyright laws will point out certain infringements, which the original author can claim if he wants to pursue legal action against an FF writer. However, a great majority of authors seem flattered by the attention. And as long as FF writers don’t cost the authors money or status, they will tolerate the postings, knowing most of these writers are their hardcore fans.
I’ll stop here and let you ponder. The next post will discuss what you can expect to find in Fan Fiction land. If you’re interest is piqued, check out http://www.fanfiction.net/ and http://archiveofourown.org/
See you soon. Cheers!
Side note: I won’t be addressing Fandoms, so if you’re curious Google “Fandoms.”
Do you have questions about Fan Fiction?