Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Fan Fiction

There's an interesting trend in the world of fiction among wannabe writers - fan fiction.  Yes, I realize that this will offend several of you, but I despise fan fiction.  I loathe it with a passion one might normally reserve for rapists or Justin Bieber.

Fan fiction is where someone takes a world that already exists, and was created by someone else, and expands on it.  To me, this shows little creativity or effort because you're relying on a world you didn't build.  You saw something that was cool, and you wanted to add your own spin.  I get it - we all love our favorite stories.  However, I see that as little reason to claim that world for yourself.
(PS, I do indeed view this differently than sanctioned writers who expand on certain stories; let's face it - those people have talent, whereas most fan fiction writers don't)

Fan fiction also usually departs from the general storyline and creates bizarro worlds where we find the familiar doing strange things.  Sometimes we're upset that a story didn't turn out the way we wanted, so we look to "improve" on it.  This is the essence of why I say that reading tastes are subjective.

Another thing that irks me is the unwarranted arrogance of those who write this stuff.  Ever met a writer of fan fiction?  Most pretend to be experts on the worlds they write about despite not designing them themselves(this was summed up beautifully in Hot Tub Time Machine when Jacob says, "I write Stargate fan fiction, so I think I know what I'm talking about!").  They're no more experts than you or I, yet they want to be acknowledged as the next coming of CS Lewis.

I see writers of fan fiction as wannabes, ie - hacks who couldn't make it coming up with stuff on their own.  The overwhelming majority couldn't write their name in the snow, yet because they absconded with Edward or Dean, they think they're incredible writers.  In actuality, they have no original creative thoughts and can't even write coherently about the worlds they've stolen.

Am I harsh?  You bet.  I know that some fan fiction has morphed into best selling work, but that doesn't mean it's any good.  It speaks more to our own lack of sophistication than anything else.

If you want to write, then come up with your own stuff.  If you can't, maybe you should find other pursuits.

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