Before you start- fair warning, I spoil the end of "The Hobbit" movie and book.
I like writing- obviously, if I didn’t I wouldn’t be writing this article. My favorite kind is creative fiction- usually sci-fi but there’s always a ton of fantasy too. I figured out I liked writing in the third grade so like age 9? By the time I was in the fifth grade (11?) I had learned what fanfiction was.
((To the uninitiated- fanfiction is when a fan of a published work, such as "Harry Potter," writes a story using those characters, the world they live in, or anything like that))
But from what I remember then (like god ten years ago, ugh I’m old) and even now, Fanfiction isn’t usually approved of by other classes of writers.
Sometimes, especially in those circumstances, the writers of the original content being written about isn't approved of.
((See the whole Anne Rice controversy about this, she’s better now though.))
So, why is that? What is so terrible about Fanfiction?
Well, as someone whose most popular fanfic story has over 16,000 hits and has met some amazing people through it and become a better writer over all since starting to write fanfiction, I have no clue.
I do, however, have some guesses.
Often, when people dismiss fanfiction, I usually argue that its good practice for beginning writers. For people who aren’t really sure of their own ideas, or confident in them, they can take something already made and try new things with it.
They can practice writing characters known for certain traits so when they make their own, they already have a good idea for how to do it. Same thing with developing plots and character relationships. It’s a good way to practice more descriptive writing (which I apparently am not great at) or dialogue (which I’ve been told is good).
So, what’s the issue then?
I would guess that people just aren’t comfortable with others taking an already published idea and working with it. ((See the numerous issues with legality and fanfiction—again, Anne Rice and her past issues with it)).
I would also guess that often people are uncomfortable with what characters do in fanfiction- usually. Fanfiction has a tendency to have a lot more adult themes then the canonical works.
((Canon is something that happened within the published work. Like it is canon that Harry and Ginny date, it’s fanon that Harry is actually in love with Draco))
People just aren’t comfortable with that, I would guess. Also, there are a handful of people who don’t write and don’t see the benefits of writing fanfiction from that.
And then there are writers who disagree with fanfiction, for some reasons.
Here are some and some solutions
1.When people write fanfiction, the Authors think they are losing money from a lack of sales.
Why is this? Honestly? I’m not sure. If anything, it’s free promotion.
2.When people write fanfiction, the Authors can be accused of stealing a fanfic plot.
Rick Riordan, the author of "Percy Jackson And The Olympians", has an easy solution to that- he doesn’t read fanfiction.
The biggest take away from all of this is that writing Fanfiction is fun. Reading it is fun.
(And cathartic when it’s an AU: Everyone lives, Nobody dies).
((An AU is an alternate universe. An example of an AU where Everyone lives, Nobody dies would be Thorin, Kili, and Fili all surviving the battle of Five armies)).
((Another kind of popular AU is the Coffee shop AU, where one or more characters work in a coffee shop. No, I don’t know why its popular or why it’s good, but it is.))
To conclude, and this is a popular motto among most if not all fandoms, if you don’t like it, don’t read it.