Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about fan-fiction. Now, I know we’ve written a good deal on the subject before, but there’s something about it that remains a compelling subject. So, here, have another one of Z’s rambling streams of thoughts in which she tries to come to a conclusion that makes some sort of sense without really causing a divide, because that stuff is just complicated.
Okay, so self-deprecation aside, I do think about fan-fiction a lot. I plan it in my head, I read some of my favourites. Even when I’m bored I start to wonder what would happen if x character met y character from z fandom. Okay, yes, so crossovers are generally my type of thing, but that’s purely on the effort that goes into making them work. Yes, as with every type of media, there’s a lot that doesn’t, but when you find the stuff that does? Ooh, it’s a sweet moment.
Even when we consider fan-fiction as just another method of expressing ourselves, there does seem to be, to be blunt, more of stigma attached to it than other form of fan media. Now, research suggests this is because with fan-fiction, there is the possibility of a fan suing an author for ‘stealing’ their ideas, and research further tells me that this has happen before. I believe this was connected to author Anne McCaffrey, but according to PernHome, she later loosened her rules on her strict fan-works ban. So, then there are creators who are uneasy about fan-works being made of their work – fan-fiction in particular – but while that is understandable, what is not so is the stigma going beyond just the creators.
Here is where I get a little academic on you. Fan-fiction is not a new creation, sprung up with the development of more visible fandom behaviours. It’s been around for years, most of Shakespeare’s – who is 450 this year – works were fan-fiction of some sort, and even some of his most famous plays have works that are essentially Alternative Universes, or unauthorised sequels. Now, a professor was asked the question about fan-fiction on tumblr, and gave their answer in a much more eloquent way than I could ever manage, so I sincerely suggest you check that out. What it boils down to is all writing is good. As long as it is well written. And even the stuff that isn’t, well, they’re trying, and you can’t improve until you make a start, and then learn how to hone your skills. Which, for a lot of people, is what fan-fiction is; a method of honing their writing skills.
Then again, for some, it’s just something fun to do to pass the time and more power to them if it is. Personally, for me, it’s a mix of both and I an tell that one is certainly more noticeable than the latter. Being able to do something creative is a good outlet when you need one, and for some, words come easier than pictures, or videos, or… well, any other of the vast variety of fan creations out there. Fan-fiction is dedication. You can have people writing novel length series, all for no profit, but because they had this fantastic idea and really want to see it through to the end. You get these short stories, that know just what words to use to create the right emotions. You get the pieces that make you laugh so hard your stomach hurts.
Words are a powerful weapon.
…Maybe that’s why people can be so odd about fan-fiction.
Z McAspurren (Just… don’t let Cersei Lannister see this. I don’t want her setting her guards on me)