IS FAN FICTION REALLY WRITING?

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Fan Fiction.

We all know it, and know that it has some stigmas around it.

But is it really writing?   Or is it just a lazy way to insert oneself into a favorite story universe?

I’ve heard both sides of the argument.
I know there are those who refuse to read it because, they feel, it really isn’t worth their time.
Maybe they’re already familiar with the story universe.  Maybe they don’t see or like someone else dabbling in what doesn’t belong to them.
Who knows? I suppose, like anything else, it’s just a matter of perspective.

I see Fan Fiction as a way to pay homage to characters I know and love.
For me, its a way to exercise story telling skills like dialog, exposition, and writing to pre-set guidelines.
It’s also a way for me to test how well I know the material.   Do I really know and understand the characters and the story?

From Writer’s Carnival, we have the following opinions:

From Emmex:   I think good writing is good writing all around. I’m still chuckling about Doug’s quote that good writers borrow, great writers steal! You know it. Fan Fiction is cool by me, and the people who write it are among some of the best writers.

From JC Wolfe:   I was an avid fanfiction writer in my late teens, and it’s always been a form of creative writing that I really enjoy. I’d write it mostly for fun, but it was also a way for me to practice writing until I felt comfortable enough to share original works online. I think that’s because fanfiction takes away the pressure of having to create characters and settings, which is certainly fun for the experienced but can be difficult for beginning writers.

From Shanna:    I used to have a very negative view on fan fiction, then I met some uber nice people almost a decade ago on Livejournal, who changed my mind about it. I still don’t actively read it but there isn’t any reason (other than severe lack of free time) why I wouldn’t. I don’t know that I could ever see myself writing fan fic because there are only so many fandoms that I would consider myself knowledgeable enough to even take on, but I don’t rule it out as something that would never happen.

From Matt:    I confess I am not big into fanfiction on either side (writing or reading).  For writing: for me it is too much like playing with somebody else’s toys. I want to develop my own characters, my own setting, play by my own rules.

That said, fanfiction is a great way to get comfortable with the techniques of fiction writing. It can help give insights into how the relationships work and develop, how to plan out plot, and to indulge in a bit of off the wall speculation.

What’s your view?

Do you like fan fiction?

Do you read it?   Why, or why not?

Feel free to discus it in the comments below!

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