Fanfiction and the legitimacy of writing for one’s own enjoyment

Fanfiction and the legitimacy of writing for one’s own enjoyment

Fan fiction defined: a genre of writing written by fans that uses worlds and/or characters from already published fiction

My best friend is currently taking a seminar that deals heavily with vampire/horror literature (how cool is that?). During one of our conversations on this subject, we stumbled upon Anne Rice–known for her vampire series– which then led my friend and I, both long-time fandomers, to lament her dislike of fan fiction.

Growing up in the internet age, being myself a somewhat prolific writer of fanworks, and an avid reader as well, it boggles my mind to think about a writer who does not allow fans to play with her works, to create fanfiction based on the characters that they love. In an era during which creators are able to engage very directly with their readership, where such things are important–even necessary–to a writer’s popularity and success, it feels rather counter-intuitive to your restrictions on your own fanbase and risk alienating them. Having been an Anne Rice fan for a number of years in my youth, I can attest that I did feel somewhat alienated, and that it contributed to my no longer reading her books.

Unfortunately, there are famous published authors who look down upon fanfiction. Below are a few quotes from some you may recognize:

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