Fan fiction: real or not real?

Hi everyone! I’m Kanra, taking over for Nat today since she’s on a vacation (and can’t answer the phone right now). I’m one of those odd bloggers who don’t really have a particular niche I stick to. Some days I’m posting about school (I’m a medical student), some days I’m posting about art (I really like painting) and some days I’m posting about random things that take up my interest. Today’s random topic of the day is fan fiction.

I’m not an avid reader of fan fiction and certainly not a writer either. In fact, I don’t think I would have been overly concerned about this topic at all if it hadn’t cropped up in a chat room I frequent. It was a writing group, where people who were either in the process of writing or editing would congregate to share their work and request for constructive criticism. It was a pretty nice group, until someone posted a fan fiction and asked if it could be reviewed.

Admittedly, it was a poorly written piece of work. I guessed the writer was maybe around 14-15 years old, merely writing out a rough draft of a fantasy or day dream they had. The writing was disjointed, meaningless details about the main character, unrealistic bullying and resultant save by ignoring the situation and focusing on the power of friendship or something along those lines. If someone asked me to constructively criticize that piece of work, I would have probably declined because there’s just so much wrong with it that needs to be fixed.

The moderator then decided to throw out the question: should fan fiction be banned from the group entirely?

I recently took an MBTI test which classed me as an INTJ, given the title of “The Architect” or “The Mastermind”. There are other characteristics of this personality type which include things like “avoiding eye contact while talking”. To be honest, I didn’t even realize I had some the characteristics I have until I read up on it, like arguing as soon as a person of power suggests something. So of course when the discussions started shifting towards a “yes, ban fan fiction”, I couldn’t help but argue against it. It’s like my inner rebel teenager came out.

The history of fan fiction is something long and messy, something we will not discuss at the moment (it involves lawsuits and copy rights). The only thing you need to know is that fan fiction is a gray domain. What fan fiction basically does is create a new story from an already published piece of work. There is almost nothing that you, as a fan fiction writer, can claim for yourself. Everything you build on, from the setting to the characters, is not yours. You can’t monetize your writing. I guess that’s why it explains why most fan fictions are poorly written wish fulfillment pieces.

Yes, I’m not going to lie. More often than not, fan fiction has disappointed me. The majority of these pieces of writing are poorly written, self insert fantasies. The occasional rare gem does show up and I couldn’t let a brash decision of “ban fan fiction” stamp these out. Not to mention the fact that most writers started out using fan fiction as a way to improve their writing before creating original content.

It’s okay to write bad fan fiction! You have to start somewhere and practicing it out with preexisting characters, universes and laws is better for hammering out the fluency of your words and polishing the entire process of writing before putting in effort to bring to life an original creation.

It’s really sad that there are amateur writers out there, who write as a hobby, dismiss fan fiction as legitimate literature. In my opinion, fan fiction involves just as much effort and skill as original content. It doesn’t matter what your idea is or how novel your plot is, if you don’t have the ability to convey ideas properly through good pacing, than what’s the point? It’s much more important for writers to focus on presentation and delivery rather than whether it’s original or not. To be very honest, the kind of attitude I see about fan fiction really makes me wonder why people focus on the wrong things. It’s just a harmless exercise that helps young writers develope their skills. If it’s not good fan fiction, then just leave it?

Personally, I like the idea of fan fiction. I watched Dexter a few months ago and in one of the seasons, Dexter is set up to almost turn himself in to the police, but of course, it doesn’t happen. When I finished that season, I wanted to know so bad what would have happened if Dexter had turned himself in. What would the other characters think? How would they react? I needed to know and I really wanted a fan fiction to answer these questions for me. Imagine how many other “could’ve been” scenarios there are out there that can be elaborated and explored through fan fiction! Isn’t that exciting? Of course, finding such literature is truly a challenge.

I normally don’t read fan fiction regularly, but there are some popular fan fictions that I’ve checked out and was blown away by and if you have zero exposure to fan fiction, then you should check it out! My absolute top favorite fan fiction ever is “Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality”. This is a full fledged Harry Potter book and it’s amazing, it condenses the plot of all seven books and years just into this fan fiction Harry’s first year at Hogwarts. It’s amazing and I can’t stress enough about how great this is. The writing style is great, the concept is great, it’s just amazing and deserves more attention!

The other fan fiction is something I came across while seeing art on Pinterest. This might sound really childish but it’s a PowerPuff Girls fan fiction called “More than Human”. Revolving around a high school (instead of preschool) where the PPGs go, it turns out the RowdyRuff Boys are there too. I actually haven’t read all of it (to be honest I kept getting the boys’ names mixed up) but it was really nice nevertheless (very slice of life, high school drama sort of thing) and there’s a lot of artwork out these from fans who loved the fan fiction, so hey! Check it out, might be your cup of tea!

What do you think about people who write fan fictions? Have you ever dabbled in this art? What’s your favourite fan fiction? Have a nice day!

I just want to say a MASSIVE thank you to Kanra for writing this post! As regular readers on my blog will know, I always love talking geeky on my blog whenever the chance arises! Although I’m not a fan fiction reader, Kanra’s post really opened up my eyes to it from both a reader and a writers point of view!

I hope you enjoyed reading her post just as much as I did! Until next time take care all and I hope you’re doing well!

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