Fan fiction is, on a whole, regarded as one of the lower forms of writing. This may be for any number of reasons. First and foremost, simply because the idea behind it is to blatantly and without any form of pretence on the contrary use someone else’s idea. The second reason is that fan fiction is often viewed as a medium for amateur writers.There are many people, readers and authors alike, who view fan fiction as a
means for amateur writers to change someone else’s ideas ever so slightly and gain respect, renown and on rare occasions, money, from it.
I personally have to argue against this since I myself am a fan fiction writer, and I believe that fan fiction is a very useful tool for developing young writers and for expressing one’s self. I discovered it in February 2009 and have been writing fan fiction avidly since then, and have gained great rewards from doing so. What started out as a bit of fun and an idea, grew into something larger, and now, thanks to fan fiction, I know what I want to do with my life.
The majority of fan fiction is posted online, which means that feedback can be provided almost instantaneously as each chapter is uploaded. This feedback can’t be gained anywhere else, since posting your own work on the internet can be dangerous if you wish to get it published. With fan fiction there is no chance that you’ll get it published, so there is no fear of plagiarism. This provides the perfect ‘training ground’ for amateur writers. While there may be no financial profit gained from it, there is most definitely invaluable experience gained from it, and in some cases that is better than money.
Some may argue that fan fiction requires little skill since the idea is already there for you. The fact is that fan fiction requires the same skill as any other type of writing, because there is always a new idea in each and every fan fiction. Fan fiction does not mean that a storyline is copied. What it means is that certain elements of a story, whether it be characters, setting or timeline, are taken and used for something different. For example, in my fan fiction I have taken the world which my fan fiction is based on, set the story fifty years into the future, then developed my own characters and started it from there. In this way the same amount of effort is needed when thinking up an idea for a fan fiction as writing a professional novel, and anyone who says otherwise clearly hasn’t been educated very well on the subject.
There are, of course, people who do not like fan fiction for other reasons. Some authors feel that fan fiction simply spoils a perfect story, and that it represents an opinion from the readers that the story would be better off if written by others. Now this I can understand, however I do think that these authors need to remember just how valuable a tool fan fiction can be. Because of fan fiction I want to be an author professionally, and I think I owe it to fan fiction to defend it.
I constantly find myself embarrassed when I am discussing my writing with someone and I have to explain to them about fan fiction. When I do I find that people are often less than impressed, and it brings me down, because I spend literally months working on these pieces, and I personally think they’re an achievement worth recognizing.
Fan fiction is a great tool for learning and I would recommend it to anyone who wishes to write interesting tales and get great feedback from it.
Thankyou, Josh, for informing us about Fan Fiction.