Before this year all I knew about fan fiction I had learned from the most recent Thursday Next book (click here for a review), but since then I not only have learned more about the world of fan fiction, but I have also figured out that I know someone who writes it.
More on that in a minute. But first an editorial statement.
It is easy to make fun of fan fiction, but it is also extremely unfair. Many writers got their start by imitating the work of others. It is a great way for writers to hone their craft. Take this article that recently appeared in The Wall St Journal. In the article entitled "The Weird World of Fan Fiction," journalist Alexandra Alter takes a serious look at fan fiction, even interviewing current bestselling authors, like Naomi Novik, who got their start writing fan fiction.
Give the article a read, you will learn a lot about this popular subculture that is having its moment in the sun. No matter how you feel about Fifty Shades of Grey, it should not be the only thing you know about fan fiction.
Now back to that fan fiction author I know.
Shaynie, who was previously featured in this post about Flash Fiction, and is a Technical Services Librarian at the BPL, is also an avid fan fiction writer. I asked her to write a short piece explaining why she writes "fan fic." I will end this post with her words. Thanks for sharing your personal story with us Shaynie.
“Why Do I Write Fanfic?”
I write short stories and poetryin the mainstream, and also in fan fiction (or -- as the writers and readersthereof call it – fanfic, or simply fic). No one asks me why I write theformer; for whatever reason, I am often asked why I write the latter.
There is no monetary reason involvedin the desire to write fanfic…in fact, fic writers know that monetary gain fromfic would actually be illegal, as it would constitute copyright infringement(without the involvement of money, it can come under the heading of what isknown as “transformative works” allowed under certain circumstances by the U.S.“Fair Use Doctrine” and the Canadian “Fair Dealings Doctrine”). The reasons Iwrite fic have to do with gains of a non-monetary nature : the pleasure ofgiving an ongoing existence to specific much-loved characters of a television showor movie, the lively interactive readership, the supportive community of fellowfic writers and fic vidders (I do also make fanvids), and the arena for polishingwriterly skills. Another very great gain, one which with the passage of timebecomes evident, is how writing fic may lead to some deep and lastingfriendships, including international friendships, between people who otherwisewould never have known each other : I have daily correspondence and standinginvitations to visit fic writers from around the world who are in my fandom.
There are, then, a number ofconnected reasons why I write fanfic…and there is the overarching reason thatconnects them all. That reason is summed up in a famous line from thepenultimate scene of a movie in my fandom (my primary fandom being the CanadianTV show “due South” [sic lower-case “d”] and my secondary fandom being thatwhich radiates out from “due South,” variously called either “Canadian SixDegrees,” “Six Degrees of due South,” or simply “C6D”) : in the “C6D” movie“Hard Core Logo,” there is famously the line “and in the end, it’s love”. So,why do I write fanfic, and why does any writer write fanfic : there are a numberof reasons, and in the end, it’s love.