Fanfiction writing is something that either gets people excited, makes them cringe, or they just look at you confused. However, I’m going to assume that most people know what I’m talking about (and if you don’t, fanfiction is generally stories of movies/books/tv shows that are written by fans; hence, fanfiction).
A few years ago I wrote on my personal blog about the Art of Writing Fanfiction and how I think it’s beneficial to aspiring writers. I’ll be honest, writing fanfiction is what made me grow as a writer. I look back at my old original stories and my old fanfictions, compare them to my more recent work and just… wow! What a difference!
But, fanfiction can get a bad rap. Some people think fanfiction is a waste of time. I’ll say it again, fanfiction writing is good practice because you work more on actually writing. Though I’ve seen some incredible, novel-length fanfictions in my time that would totally become best-sellers if they were allowed to publish them.
Fanfiction is also frowned upon by creators of the books, movies, etc., and I can understand why. They can feel like their work is being stolen – their characters, the worlds they created… everything. They also might not like what fans do with the characters and story-lines. I can understand that because they’re probably just sitting there saying, “that’s now how that works!” or “that’s not how this person feels!” However, as long as the general audience knows what the real story is and isn’t making money off the creator’s content, I don’t see that there’s a problem with letting fans have fun.
Personally, if I were to find someday that there was fanfiction floating around with my work, I’d be flattered. I’m not saying I’d definitely read it or that I’d like every story out there, but I would like that people enjoyed my characters so much that they wanted to continue their stories or give them a new spin (a “what if…?” prompt, if you will). Just from hearing my own family and friends question what happens to my characters at the end of Standing By makes me feel good knowing that they enjoyed this “kids” of mine.
So, fanfiction… honestly, I think it’s great. I love writing it and I love reading it. It’s a way to keep our favorite stories going even after they are over.