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What do you think of Fan Fiction? (1 Viewer)

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JC.Axe

Senior Member
I've noticed in recent years a rise in the number of people writing Fan Fiction in the amateur writing community. I've never really cared much for fan fiction, partly because I don't watch much TV and rarely watch films.


I'd always thought that the very concept of writing fanfiction was a bit uninspired and cheesy. Often writers steal ideas from other works of literature or film, but fanfiction which is categorically not based on anything the reader has experienced or dreamed up.


That being said, it cannot be denied that some authors have had great success writing fanfiction. Some have even developed fanfiction to the point that the story has taken on a life of it's own, and warped into an independent story entirely (the most obvious example being Fifty shades of grey).


Some might argue that in the same way that Shakespeare and many other prestigious authors based many of their most famous works on older stories, myths and legends, fan fiction could be considered similar.


I recall hearing about Joss Whedon producing an episode of "Buffy the vampire slayer", based on some of the fanfiction he'd seen (in which a fan writes himself into the story as an omnipotent heroic character) an example of somebody copying a copy of their own work.


I suppose for some aspiring writers, fan fiction is their first step into writing, and may provide them with a comfortable treading ground in which to begin writing. On the other hand, I struggle to believe that paying direct tribute to another writer's work by mimicking it (usually poorly), is not so much flattery, but lazy plagiarism by fantasists.


Although that being said, if fans of a TV show want to write fiction for other fans to enjoy, then why criticise? They aren't hurting anybody, and if it amuses the writer and the fans, then great! Maybe the readers will be so inspired that a new genre of fanfiction will develop called 'FanFanFiction'.


What are your thoughts? Is fanfiction lacklustre and stale? Or does it have a rightful place as legitimate creativity?


JC Axe
 

Bishop

WF Veterans
Fan fiction is fan fiction. I dislike people who attempt to use it as a stepping stone to "original" works, a-la 50 Shades of Useless, but writers who genuinely enjoy writing fan fiction and acknowledge it as so have no problem in my book. My only irk are the ones who change the names and call it something new.
 

Deleted member 56686

Retired Supervisor
WF Veterans
Yeah I was going to say. Fifty shades of grey is not a popular topic here. Never read it, don't want to


witch_5.gif
 

TKent

Retired Chief Media Manager
I read it. Silly story, but Christian Grey, the character was pretty darned hot. If nothing else, that book made me go out and seek well written erotica LOL :)

Yeah I was going to say. Fifty shades of grey is not a popular topic here. Never read it, don't want to
 

PiP

Staff member
Co-Owner
I read it. Silly story, but Christian Grey, the character was pretty darned hot. If nothing else, that book made me go out and seek well written erotica LOL :)

I'm glad you said that and not me! It was the way his pants hung on his hips...
:rofl:


I read it more out of curiosity than anything else. I now use it as a benchmark for crap writing.
 

Bishop

WF Veterans
I'm glad you said that and not me! It was the way his pants hung on his hips...

...In that way.

I read it more out of curiosity than anything else. I now use it as a benchmark for crap writing.

Same. Also, I never understood how anyone could really believe that an American college senior had NEVER used a computer. That's less possible than the sun being made out of nacho cheese.
 

TKent

Retired Chief Media Manager
I guess my only comment here, is that 50 shades was was fan fic for twilight yet it had NOTHING to do with twilight except that both of the heroines are clumsy and both of the heros are tall, dark and handsome, so in my mind it was an original work (as original as any work since almost everything has been done in some way before), but they say she self-promoted it on a fan fic site. I have no idea about that and maybe she crossed a line.

In my opinion, the whole 50 shades being 'useless' makes no sense. MILLIONS of people had a use for it (even if it was just Mommy porn). To me it is sort of like painters: a house painter, may not be able to produce art like Rembrandt, and yet a lot of people need a house painter. So if top notch literary fiction author is Rembrandt and E.L. James is the house painter, who am "I" to judge. I know I get my house painted but I also spent a full hour n front of a Rembrandt at the Louvre. They are two completely different needs that are being met.

Fan fiction is fan fiction. I dislike people who attempt to use it as a stepping stone to "original" works, a-la 50 Shades of Useless, but writers who genuinely enjoy writing fan fiction and acknowledge it as so have no problem in my book. My only irk are the ones who change the names and call it something new.

JC Axe, I'm an admitted fangirl when I really love something. I can really appreciate fan fic that manages to make me 'feel' as good as the original. So for me, I've got no complaints for fan fic. And although some fan fic is truly very similar to the original and doesn't seek to be original, some is very original that just uses a character 'type' (or types) to create an entirely different story. I think they both have their place.

At least that's what I think :)

- - - Updated - - -

And to add to that, almost EVERYTHING I do is influenced by something I have either really liked or didn't like in my past. I could almost say I have no original thoughts whatsoever. Every character, every story idea has been influenced by something I read, saw, someone I know, etc.

- - - Updated - - -

Uh, yeah, that's what I use it for too... ;)

I now use it as a benchmark for crap writing.
 

Bishop

WF Veterans
I guess my only comment here, is that 50 shades was was fan fic for twilight yet it had NOTHING to do with twilight except that both of the heroines are clumsy and both of the heros are tall, dark and handsome, so in my mind it was an original work (as original as any work since almost everything has been done in some way before), but they say she self-promoted it on a fan fic site. I have no idea about that and maybe she crossed a line.

In my opinion, the whole 50 shades being 'useless' makes no sense. MILLIONS of people had a use for it (even if it was just Mommy porn). To me it is sort of like painters: a house painter, may not be able to produce art like Rembrandt, and yet a lot of people need a house painter. So if top notch literary fiction author is Rembrandt and E.L. James is the house painter, who am "I" to judge. I know I get my house painted but I also spent a full hour n front of a Rembrandt at the Louvre. They are two completely different needs that are being met.

I'll be the first to admit: I'm a biased jerk about a lot of things, and I can be overly harsh. I try to tone it down for the WF, but much of what I say is hyperbole. In reality, 50 Shades has helped me to become a much better writer, partly because I do look at it as an example of what not to do. Despite its popularity, there's a lot that needs to be fixed, but mostly it taught me a few flaws of my own work when I saw them in that piece and grimaced. Then looked at my own and said... "Uh oh..."
 

Mistique

WF Veterans
In my opinion, the whole 50 shades being 'useless' makes no sense. MILLIONS of people had a use for it (even if it was just Mommy porn). To me it is sort of like painters: a house painter, may not be able to produce art like Rembrandt, and yet a lot of people need a house painter. So if top notch literary fiction author is Rembrandt and E.L. James is the house painter, who am "I" to judge. I know I get my house painted but I also spent a full hour n front of a Rembrandt at the Louvre. They are two completely different needs that are being met.

I agree completely.

I read 50 shades and I liked it quite a bit. I would also have to admit that I can't stand it for more than one chapter at a time, but if I read it slow like that I like reading it. It was a thing between me and my two friends. We had this really great weekend and I gave the both of them that book. Now its kinda a private joke between us, so when I visited them a week ago one of hem gave me part two. So pretty soon I will start reading part two, slowly.
 

EmmaSohan

WF Veterans
I have a friend who reads a lot of it. It seems like there is good literature in there, it's an interesting idea, it's a niche, and it's competitive. J.K Rowlings created the best characters and tends IMO to have weak plot, so she is a natural for fanfic. The fanfic for Scarlett Letter was weak. It's exciting to see where it goes.
 

Jeko

WF Veterans
I have the following concerns with the use of fanfiction by the writers and readers of it:

-It can undermine the role of the author, in that writers/readers of fan-fiction don't have to care about the dramatic choice you make at the end of your work because they can (and do) just rewrite it the way they'd prefer it to be. Why should the author care if the readership doesn't?
-It can distort the author's attempts at creating particular impressions of characters, as anyone who has read enough fan-fiction regarding one character will likely have those alternatives in their mind as they watch the real thing. J K Rowling has encountered such issues herself.
-It cannot properly prepare a writer for actual storytelling, as they are only working with the surface-level shadows of their reception of the author's work and yet may see this as the full extent of the craft (I've known a lot of writers who do).
-Similarly, the writers of fan-fiction often claim an author's work as groundwork for their own, when they are only working with a fraction of what the author had at their disposal. And yet, many readers of popular works will find longer lasting entertainment in fan-fiction than the actual work itself. It creates a celebration of satisfactory mediocrity, perhaps weakening the sphere of teenage literature overall (as that's where most of it is centred).
-Reading fan-fiction, from what I've seen, develops a preference for looking outside a text when one would be better off looking inwards.
-A good proportion, perhaps the majority, of fan-fiction is centred around self or group indulgence through the creation of perversions of the story and characters. In short, it can be considered a form of rebellious literary vandalism.

On the other hand, fan-fiction that goes into a work in order to understand it more is something I'd encourage. I recently finished an anime series called 'Clannad' that ended with a bonus episode that did, in some ways, exactly what fan-fiction does; it created an alternative where two characters got together when they wouldn't have before. The purpose of the episode, however, was to show what would have happened had one character (the one the MC gets together with) didn't exist. It ends up being a beautiful, bitter-sweet insight into the importance of that missing character, while also developing the narrative by presenting new angles and potentialities for two integral characters. It also avoids indulgence and instead favours a powerful leaning towards the 'death' of a character in the non-mortal sense.

I'd like to see fan-fiction writers use their medium for something more useful. Alas, most of them are not doing it for the story, but for themselves.
 

Folcro

Creative Area Specialist (Fiction)
WF Veterans
It was fanfiction that got me into writing (Final Fantasy VIII). Been a while, but I wouldn't trade those years for anything.

It was a good start, finding something I was interested enough in to manipulate the story to my own design. It gave me power.

Could never go back now. Too obsessed with the fantasy that is "originality."
 

Jeko

WF Veterans
J.K Rowlings created the best characters and tends IMO to have weak plot, so she is a natural for fanfic.

This is what often leads to the 'I can do better than [insert author here]' ideology among learning writers, when they obviously can't.
 

TKent

Retired Chief Media Manager
I guess it depends on intent. I actually don't have a lot of experience except for the many fanfic writers on Wattpad. Many of them are head over heels in love with the original, whether it be a character, a 'feeling' they got from the story, the story premis, etc. I've read some really creative takes on the originals. To me it is like my walls when I was a teenager...they were plastered with posters of the Osmond Brothers. Me and my girl friends acted out these very detailed ongoing fantasies where we were each married to one of the brothers (god have I dated myself). Had I had any inclination to write and they had written a book instead of music, I could so see myself writing fan fiction with such pure intent... It would be a huge testament to my adoration of the original. If I were an author, and there were thousands of others who declared their work fan fic and devoted that amount of time, discussion, tribute to my original, I feel like I would feel good about that sort of thing. That something I did had that kind of effect.

I'd like to see fan-fiction writers use their medium for something more useful. Alas, most of them are not doing it for the story, but for themselves
 

Deleted member 56686

Retired Supervisor
WF Veterans
I guess it depends on intent. I actually don't have a lot of experience except for the many fanfic writers on Wattpad. Many of them are head over heels in love with the original, whether it be a character, a 'feeling' they got from the story, the story premis, etc. I've read some really creative takes on the originals. To me it is like my walls when I was a teenager...they were plastered with posters of the Osmond Brothers. Me and my girl friends acted out these very detailed ongoing fantasies where we were each married to one of the brothers (god have I dated myself). Had I had any inclination to write and they had written a book instead of music, I could so see myself writing fan fiction with such pure intent... It would be a huge testament to my adoration of the original. If I were an author, and there were thousands of others who declared their work fan fic and devoted that amount of time, discussion, tribute to my original, I feel like I would feel good about that sort of thing. That something I did had that kind of effect.


So which Osmond brother we're you stuck with? :lol:

witch_5.gif
 

TKent

Retired Chief Media Manager
Mr mustard oddly I liked Jay _ and I was not yet a teenager now that I think about it

I went to punk rock in my teens

I happen to know we are the same age ;)
 

Deleted member 56686

Retired Supervisor
WF Veterans
Mr mustard oddly I liked Jay _ and I was not yet a teenager now that I think about it

I went to punk rock in my teens

I happen to know we are the same age ;)

Which is why I had to ask :lol:. I was a punk rocker too when everyone else was listening to Fleetwood Mac and the Eagles. Had to be different I guess :lol:


witch_5.gif
 

Greimour

WF Veterans
I guess most of my views are with Cadence.

I don't mind if fan-fic used the same characters, place and setting...but it bugs me when they rewrite the original rather than create something new.

Along with work by J.K.Rowling (which I like) and 50 shades of grey (which I never read) ... there are other stories equally unpopular on this forum. Such as Twilight.
But I did like the books when I read them the first time. I had a lot of issues with it but ultimately I liked the story.

So fan-fic: Let's say someone wished Bella was turned into a Vampire when she got bitten the first time in book one. That Edward didn't reverse the effects by sucking out the 'poison'. That would be rewriting the story and I am not in favor of it but would be super tempted to read it anyway.

Even Stephanie Meyer wished she could rewrite Twilight following Eclipse. The vampire that was granted Amnesty by the Carlise at the end of the battle (who eventually got killed anyway by the Volturi) was called Bree Tanner. S. Meyer brought out a short story called "The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner". It told Bree's story. Meyer wished at that point she could rewrite the story from Eclipse onward to keep Bree alive. She said something along the lines of: "given the choice, I would probably keep it as it is...but if I could go back in time, it would be tempting to not kill her off. Maybe instead she could..."

~~~

Then there are the other choices in fan-fiction, like; "What happens next?"

Some fans don't want the story to end, so they keep it going. Those are fanfics I like the idea of.

Still, what happened after Breaking Dawn? Did the Volturi ever attack them again? Did the Cullen coven grow again? Did Renesme ever have children with Jacob?

~~~

I loved Kung-Fu Panda. I am a big fan of Jack Black anyway but that animation was awesome. I liked number 2 equally as much and I wrote a fanfic Kung-Fu panda 3. I never shared it with anyone, it was just for me. But I don't see a problem with picking up where the writers left off. We like to imagine what happens next. I don't see any problem with writing it down and sharing it.


So I guess for me it depends on what the fans did/do.

1. Rewrite the story so it shows what they wish happened (Ugh. Bad!)
2. Write what happens next after the author finished what they planned to do.
3. Write a prequel.
4. Write something else that happened in the same world at the same time but with different characters... i like that - especially if it indirectly affects the main story in some way. For example - it was might convenient of the Eagles to show up in time for Gandalf and Co' to be rescued when being attacked by the white Orc. But another story during the same timeline could explain why/how they got there so fast. What they were doing in the area. It in no way changes the main story but it can be equally thrilling and partially enlightening.
5 [...]


What fan fiction is capable of is too much for me to sum up with a single opinion. It crosses borders of genres. It spans timelines the author may not have considered and it rarely claims to be anything more than it is. I am a believer that when a story is being written, it belongs to the writer. But when it is published it belongs to the publisher and when purchased it belongs to the buyer. At that point, it is theirs to do with what they will as long as it doesn't break copyright laws.

*Shrugs*

I am super tired with a killer headache, but think I explained what I think of it enough.


~Kev.
 
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