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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Typing among friends

Typing among friends

Nothing beats the tactile tap-tap-tap of typewriter keys as it blends in with the white noise of a coffee shop. Today my local writing group met for our bi-monthly meeting at the Surfers Coffee Bar in Wahiawa, HI.  We take turns leading the meetings, and since it’s my turn I decided I would bring some typewriters and have everyone type up a list of their ideas/works in progress. We got plenty of curious glances.  Several coffee shop patrons came up to us to inquire about the typewriters.  “Where did you get that?” many asked.  The waitress stopped to chat with me about her longing for the typewriter she left back home and told me, “I’m glad you guys came in!”   In attendance were: The black Olympia SF The cursive Olympia...

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Typecast: ramblings about writing, part xxx

Typecast: ramblings about writing, part xxx

   

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Typecast: On Adventure

Typecast: On Adventure

TRANSCRIBED This week’s write or die prompt is “Adventure”–and term that has unexpectedly become synonymous to the life that I currently live. I never dreamed, graduating high school in the expectation of becoming a professional businesswoman that the word ‘adventure’ would figure very significantly in my life. It’s always nice to have your preconceptions refuted. I’ve never done anything particularly adventurous in the common sense of the word: never sky-dived, or hiked up any treacherous heights, never jumped off the rocks into the water at Waimea beach, never traveled anywhere on my own without a guide.  Yet in the midst of all these nevers I still managed to inject some of that adventure into my life, after all;...

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The magic of books – Just call me Jack

The magic of books – Just call me Jack

  It’s difficult to convey in words what books mean to me, but since it’s Write or Die Wednesday I suppose I’ll have to try. My earliest memory of books is reading Dr. Seuss’s Green Eggs & Ham, over and over and over again, until I knew the words by heart and could recite them, line by rhyming line, like a prayer.  In some ways, it kind of was a prayer.  It was the first book of (relatively) significant length that I had ever read, and the fact that I, an ESL kid who up until recently could hardly even speak or comprehend English properly, could read this book and understand everything, was a personal miracle.  I remember relishing in that little triumph, borrowing that book from the library and keeping it beside me even as I...

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