I was having a conversation with a writer friend the other day. The topic switched to fan fiction, and I said “I can hardly wait until there’s some fan fiction for Song of Simon out there.” He agreed and said that he was looking forward to fan fic for his novel too.
The reason that I find this funny, is because of the crazy paradigm shift in the past 10 years. Fan fiction used to be something to laugh at, and for writers to condemn for infringing on their intellectual property. Now it is something that writers embrace. I would love it if people wrote fan fic. I would be honored.
Yes, it is still copyright infringement (although a case can be made for parody), but there’s no harm in it. Yes, most fan fic is pretty bad, but there is a lot of really good fan fic out there too. Valerie wrote tons and tons of fan fiction, ranging from everything from Buffy to Downton Abbey. Like everything else that she wrote, it was brilliant. I would love to send some of her Buffy stuff to Joss Whedon, but I don’t know how he would respond.
Fan fiction is also a great “starter project” for people who want to write, but are not confident enough in their own characters. I never had this problem. I had D & D, which gave me a very strong background in characterization. Others are not so lucky.
Note: aspiring writers should join at least one roleplaying campaign.
The downside? Every now and then, a stinker like 50 Shades of Grey gets out there. Meh, can’t be worse than its source material (Twilight)
Also, why do I hate Twilight? Because the protagonist is a bland nobody who lacks the ability to do anything for herself. Instead she must be saved by equally bland men. When her man leaves her, she tries to kill herself repeatedly. There isn’t a heroic bone in her body. She is the epitomy of the weak, subservient female stereotype that people have been fighting for over 100 years. She has single handedly taught an entire generation of women to look pretty, bend over and let your man take care of everything.