I've been writing fanfiction for as long as I can remember. I've also heard of tons of hate towards fanfiction for about as long.
For me, fanfiction was one of those things that first opened me up to writing longer stories. Up until that point I had written plenty of things but nothing quite felt right and I didn't feel like I was improving just writing what was in me at that time. I stepped into fanfiction without too much interest but I steadily grew to love it, posting very frequently on the most popular fanfiction website online, www.fanfiction.net.
Since I loved writing fanfiction and, to me, that was what mattered, I was generally oblivious to the hate plenty of published authors had towards fanfiction. As I began to take notice of it I was still very much comfortable in the fanfiction world, as well as easing into writing novel-length stories of my own, and had a growing resentment for those authors that were insistent that they did not want fanfictions of their works written.
That resentment is still there, I'll admit; I find it really selfish almost. But I have to admit that as time has gone on I've become to understand their feelings also. To an extent only, of course.
My characters are like my babies; my plots come about through the nurturing of my babies. Of course I don't want someone to come along, snatch them up, send their lives to hell and take credit for it. At the same time, fanfiction is fanfiction. It's in a place where it is often very clearly marked as 'fanfiction' so if you don't like it, don't read it. I would hate to see my characters interpreted the wrong way, or have changes made to them that I would hate. Then again I can always choose not to read something; that's good enough for me. Sort of like 'out of sight, out of mind'.
The authors that don't want to see their characters ruined have fair concerns in mind. I recently read a fanfiction of one of my favourite manga series. In this fanfiction, one of the lead characters was suddenly a woman who had apparently been disguised as a man for the whole series, and all because the fan wanted to play true love to one of the characters. That was horrid!
The authors who think fanfiction writers are going to get any monetary payment off of their hard work need a reality check. When posting on a fanfiction site you are inadvertently stating that this is not your universe and these are not your characters, so what's the problem? None of them really do it for any monetary profit; I know I certainly didn't!
Over the years I've seen and felt so many advantages to writing fanfictions and I think they're advantages that make a lot of authors' arguments moot.
George R.R Martin states that writing fanfiction is the 'lazy way out' of writing. I don't believe that this is so; I believe that it provides plenty of opportunities for a writer to try something that is a bit out of the box for them, in something that they don't have to commit as much time to but still give fresh ideas to possibilities.
I personally have always written original works and always written fanfictions on the side. For me, a fanfiction is a fun opportunity to try something that I wouldn't normally work with but I have the added challenge of trying to keep things in the fanfiction as close to the reality of the original series. My intentions would never be to change the entire series, but rather to tackle something that the original author may not have had enough time to flesh out.
Stephenie Meyer, writer of the Twilight series, doesn't hate fanfiction and doesn't forbid people from writing it but it does frustrate her. She says that based on the amount of talent, time and energy that some writers put into fanfictions they should probably be spending it on writing their own novels and getting them published. Fair enough. She's not wrong. It's complicated but, for example, let us say that an author wrote out a great little story that inspired me to think 'I would love to write those two characters in this sort of situation', and invent a scenario that the two characters undoubtedly encountered but was not shown in the book. To recreate those characters and give them the same background in order to run your little experimentation then you're almost plagiarising, are you not? So why not do this with fanfiction, in which you are clearly stating that the original background story and characters are not yours at all and take no credit for it?
Recently I thought two characters were extremely interesting, had a difficult and almost peculiar relationship with each other and had backgrounds that would cause them plenty of problems. I was intrigued by a scenario that they were obviously going to be in but that was kept out of the original story. I then wrote fanfictions for that because it was far more honest to do that than to recreate them almost exactly identical, because one little change would ruin everything, and technically plagiarise work.
As previously said there are also numerous other appealing factors of fanfiction. I love to write oneshots! It's the only time when I can write anything in short! My own novels become novels almost because I have so much to do and go on about that they become that length! Oneshots are fun and creative ways of working with someone else's characters, write an interesting little story and do all that without having to explain absolutely everything!
Also, I find it increasingly perfect practice that helps me keep characters in character! Never do you have to be more careful about the way you portray a character in a scenario than when you're playing around with someone else's characters! No doubt it is frustrating to read characters that are absolutely nothing like their original and so I always aim to keep the characters in character! After all, nothing turns me, and a lot of other readers and writers, off more than seeing 'OOC' (out of character) written in a story summary. I think it's far worse when a writer knows that the character is OOC and they still insist on posting it. If you're not going to remain true to the characters themselves at least, why post it? Why write it at all? It's alright if your interpretation is different, but it has got to be understandable also.
After all this, I'm simply saying that I can understand why people, authors especially, have quite some hate towards fanfictions. Really, I do! But it's not all bad either and my position on it hasn't changed in about 8 or 9 years and, to be honest, I don't think it's going to change any time soon.
So, what is your stance on fanfiction? Do you read it, write it or both?
ABOUT THIS BLOGGER & HER BOOKS
That means it's time for an awesome book trailer to get you reading!
Here it is:
WHILE IT LASTS
Maybe driving home after a few (or more) shots of tequila had been a bad idea, but hell, he did it all the time. The cops had to have been freaking bored to have pulled him over. He wasn’t even swerving! That’s Cage York’s story and he’s sticking to it.
Unfortunately, his baseball coach isn’t buying it. Cage has a free ride to the local junior college for baseball -- or he did, until he’d gotten a DUI. Now, Cage has to decide: does he drop out and give up his dream of getting noticed by a college in the SEC, and possibly making it into the Major Leagues -- or does he give in to his coach’s demands and spend his summer baling hay?
Eva Brooks planned out her life step by step when she was eight years old. Not once over the years had she lost sight of her goals. Josh Beasley, her next door neighbor, had been the center of those goals. He’d been her first boyfriend at seven, her first kiss at ten, her first date at fifteen, and her first tragedy at eighteen. The moment she’d received the phone call from Josh’s mother saying he’d been killed along with four other soldiers just north of Baghdad, Eva’s carefully planned life imploded in the worst way possible.
Cage isn’t real happy with his closet-sized bedroom in the back of a foul smelling barn, or his daily interactions with cows, but he knows that if he doesn’t make his coach happy then he can kiss his scholarship goodbye. Only a sick and twisted man would decide his punishment was to be working on a farm all summer. No hot babes in bikinis waiting to meet a Southern boy to make her vacation complete. Just him and the damned cows.
Oh -- and an uptight, snarky brunette with the biggest blue eyes he’s every seen. But she doesn’t count, because as hard as he’s tried to charm her out of her panties - he’s pretty sure she’d rather see him hung from the rafters than let him get a taste of her pretty little lips.
** Scroll to the bottom for the giveaway **
READER REVIEW: "Both moving and thrilling, Piercing Through the Darkness is a novella that showcases Ms. Barnes' storytelling prowess and it definitely makes me want to read more from her." --Katie Jennings
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It’s on the edge of her memory like a word on the tip of her tongue, but Kandi can’t remember what it is to save her life.
Despite being a cop, Jimmy can’t protect Kandi from the one thing that haunts her. She’s in danger and doesn’t even know it. After it happened, her brain repressed her memories of the accident, and now, she’s taking a Biology class under a man who wants to see her dead. The memories have started coming back, and it feels like she’s miles away from him. How can he protect her when she doesn’t even know she needs protecting?
Can these characters pierce their way through the darkness?
READER REVIEW: "So did I like the book? Like! I Loved it Would I recommend this book?YES Would I read more of this series? Yes Please as soon as its ready! Would I read more by Emerald Barnes? Yes I Love her writing." --Sanz
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Alexia Wheaton’s problems go far beyond picking a dress and a date for the homecoming dance.
For seven years, Alex has lived with a painful memory - the memory of her parents' horrific murder. As the sole witness, she has kept quiet about the identity of the murderer to protect herself and her family and friends, but when a journalist over hears her secret and writes about it in the local newspaper, Alex is plagued with fear that her parents' murderer will soon find her - and silence her forever.
Alex is catapulted into a race against time to save her own life and bring her parents' murderer to justice. She will face many secrets, lies, and betrayals before the truth about their murder is revealed.