Fanfiction has been in existence since 1939; you read that right. 1939. Now, fanfiction has served as an outlet for many to read and write as they please within a world the original storyteller has already created. It can be broken down into many subcategories as well, like: angst, crossover, fluff, darkfic, fix-fic, hurt/comfort, shipping, self-insert, smut, songfic, and WAFF. We’ve discussed some places where fanfiction can be found on the internet (Wattpad, FicWad, Tumblr, etc.) but another outlet which some can profit from is Kindle Worlds – Amazon’s fanfiction service.
Are you a writer of fanfiction and don’t like to admit it? Well, E.L. James and Anna Todd are two successful fanfiction writers and some writing professionals have taken to fanfiction as well. We all know E.L. James – writer of 50 Shades of Grey, and currently rewriting her best-selling series in Christian Grey’s point of view. Everyone knows the original 50 Shades was Twilight fanfiction. If you’re just learning this now, you read that right – Twilight fanfiction. Another author on the rise is Anna Todd. We’ve talked about her previously as a Wattpad star, but her original series After is based on some fanfiction she wrote about the British boyband sensation, One Direction. Embrace your love for writing fanfiction…these ladies did and they’re bestselling authors now!
Moving on to a more touch-y subject, many authors who rose to their fame the old-fashioned way don’t necessary enjoy fanfiction, especially of their own works. Authors like Stephanie Meyer, George R.R. Martin, J.D. Salinger, and Diana Gabaldon see fanfiction in a similar way: some form of plagiarism, discrediting the author of original story, and not a good way to write if you want to make a career out of it. But let’s break down why fanfiction is good for the soul, according to AutumnMooncakes (a fanfiction writer) and another source:
- To clear the air, fanfiction is not technically a form of plagiarism. It isn’t a form of trademark infringement until someone decides to make profit off it. This is exactly why E.L. James drastically changed her fanfiction to become an original piece of work.
- The writing of fanfiction helps embrace the creativity within an individual. Not all writers have a sense of what they wish to write about, all they know is – they want to write. So by using a world already created by published authors, the writer can exercise their own writing capabilities.
- Fanfiction has proven to be a form of support for members of the LGBTQ+ community. The connection people have to reading LGBTQ+ type fanfiction can change a person’s life in a way. So, why wouldn’t you want to helping people not feel alone?
- And find a way to deal with the bumps in the road of writing. Fanfiction sets creative limits with the characters already made by the author, getting the minor details right, and there needs to be plenty of research to make the character accurate. Even when the original author has added onto the series (i.e. spin-off, prequels), it makes the writing process more interesting to revisit the fanfiction piece to include new details.
I respect any author who dislikes fanfiction; they’re entitled to their own opinion and demand respect for their work. It should always be remembered a piece of fanfiction can save a life, can serve as an outlet for their fans who are facing their own struggles and a way for writers to embark on their journey of writing.