I have to admit that I am not a fan of Fan Fiction. Many people enjoy writing it. Others enjoy reading it. Still more prefer to both write and read it. My personality doesn’t fit with the idea of Fan Fiction: I want to be the creator of the character. I want to develop that character and give it life. Given how much of my writing is published at this point, I had never thought of Fan Fiction from the author’s viewpoint. A local writing friend who recently published her second book, Devorah Fox, has written a good article about the subject. She calls it the sincerest form of flattery. What are some of the things she says?
First she describes Fan Fiction:
“Fan fiction” is a term that describes stories about characters or settings written by fans of the original work rather than by the original creator. Fan fiction is rarely commissioned or authorized by the original work’s owner, creator or publisher. Writers of fan faction assume that their work will be read by other fans of the work that inspired the creativity and so readers of the fan fiction are expected to have some familiarity with the characters, setting, plot, etc. of the original work on which the fan fiction is based.
Later she describes the reactions of other authors – you’ll have to read the original for that. Then she gives her feelings about fan fiction as related to her own work:
The issue of fan faction recently came up in a Facebook group to which I belong and the general consensus seemed to be resentment. I suppose if someone were making a mint from fiction based on my characters I’d feel differently but for now I cherish the fan fiction that’s been inspired by The Lost King and The King’s Ransom. For one, I find the mere fact that my writing spurred that initiative in someone else to be validating. Isn’t awakening creativity in someone else about the highest compliment an artist can be paid?I’ve also learned a lot from the fanfic written about King Bewilliam and his world. It’s like someone held a mirror to my character, turned it at an angle and showed me a different side. I have in turn been inspired by the added dimensions that I see the character can have, the different paths that he can take. Because fanfic writers have their unique style, my character has had a chance to play in different arenas.