Guess what everybody? Today is the first day of Fanfic Week! It's been something I've been thinking about doing since this blog was a baby, and now we're finally there. Yay!
For anyone that doesn't know, fanfiction is exactly what it sounds like: fiction written by fans. It's when you take an existing world and its characters, and then write your own story involving them. Of course, you don't get paid for writing fanfiction and it'll never be published, since that would be plagiarism to the first degree.
However, fanfiction is a force to be reckoned with. There are dozens of websites built solely for fanfic, and like everything on the web, there are trashy places and hidden gems. It even has its own rules and its own lingo. But most importantly, there are thousands (maybe millions) of people actively participating.
Mostly because it's a glorified form of wish fulfillment. Fanfiction is fun to read and write because you can make anything happen. Romances that didn't exist before, events that were glossed over, characters with fuzzy backgrounds--all of these can be elaborated on. If the ending of a book or a movie frustrated you, there's a good chance you can find a fanfic where everything happens the way you wanted it to.
As you can imagine, the writing community is pretty split on the matter. Anne Rice has publicly stated her displeasure with fanfiction and has told her fans to go write something original. On the other hand, some authors, like Cassandra Clare, actually started off as fanfic writers before getting published.
Personally, I think fanfiction has value. This might come from the fact that I spent several years writing Kindgom Hearts fanfiction and several more years reading Stargate Atlantis fanfiction. What can I say? I'm a geek. Now would I feel differently if someone was writing fanfiction about my story? I kinda doubt it. Not only is that incredibly flattering, but it'd be really cool. Just saying.
But yes. In the next few days I'll be discussing the pros and cons of actually writing fanfiction--so look forward to it! Until then, what are your thoughts? Have you guys read or written any fanfiction? What fandom did you dabble in? Or do you think it's a waste of time and effort? Tell me in the comments.