The Discussion Post – Fan Fiction – Love It Or Hate It?

Fan fiction is totally a guilty pleasure of mine, but should it be? or should it just be a pleasure like reading in general? Is there anything wrong with admitting you are a fan of fan fiction? Does is some how make me less of a true reader?

For those unfamiliar with fan fiction it is quite simply stories written by fans of other works, it could be books, films or TV. People take characters created by others and use them in their own works, they might base their stories in the familiar environment of the original work, or use the characters in an alternative universe, they might introduce their own characters or cross characters over from another book or show.

I’ve been reading fan fiction for years, there were definitely periods within my degree where the only reading I did outside of assigned texts and research papers was fan fiction – I even wrote some back in the day, although I wouldn’t recommend hunting that out!

For me I’m always intrigued to read other people’s takes on some of my favourite characters from TV and print, it might not always be to my taste but there are some great writers to be found on fan fiction sites, and some truly epic stories, we’re talking hundreds of thousands of words in some cases.

One huge area of fan fiction over the years has been Harry Potter, it’s still a very active area, there’s currently over seven hundred and seventy thousand stories either completed or in progress on fanfiction.net, over three quarters of a million pieces of fiction that have been inspired by that one incredible series.

Personally I love reading some of the stories that corrected an error or two that crept into J.K.’s work, I mean she’s a queen, but we can’t expect her to be perfect. So yes, in some of my favourite pieces of fan fiction Severus Snape survives, and that epilogue never happened. Sorry to all the canon fans, but I never shipped Ron and Hermione and never believed they should have ended up together, and Harry marrying Ginny who throughout the series was often referred to as looking like his dead mother is just a little too creepy and Oedipus like for me.

I also like reading stories where the author has picked up on some of the same ideas I have about characters – Just maybe Dumbledore wasn’t the kind benevolent grandfather he liked to appear as (see this discussion post for more on that), or someone who is willing to represent The Mauraders as the bullies they were and not brush over the fact because James was Harry’s dad and really they were just young boys being boys and pulling the odd prank.

I am frequently amazed by the ability and dedication of some fan fiction authors, they’ll never get paid for any of this work, they’re writing purely because they enjoy being creative and love a particular set of characters. I recently finished a story by Corvusdraconis that was posted over a year and a half and was over four hundred thousand words long, it was incredible!

These days with so many re-tellings and re-imagings is it really so easy to draw a firm line between fan fiction and other fiction – I don’t want to call in proper fiction because that takes away from fan fiction, and as I already mentioned there are some amazing writers out there – so lets call it published fiction. I know there’s a huge range of quality in fan fiction, but I guess that’s true for published fiction too. So is there really a difference between some of the great pieces of fan fiction and say Heartless by Marissa Meyer? Surely it’s just a piece of fan fiction based on Alice in Wonderland that landed a book deal? And this certainly isn’t to take anything away from Heartless, I really enjoyed it, but maybe it shows that some fan fiction and its authors deserve the same level of respect we give published authors and their works.

I think the great thing about fan fiction is that there’s a huge chance you’ll find something that takes your fancy, even if you ship some obscure coupling chances are someone else out there in the six billion or so of us on the planet also feels the same way and has written about it. I’ll admit there’s definitely some weird stuff out there, and I don’t really agree with the fiction based on actual people, there’s a lot One Direction fiction out there which I find a bit strange but each to their own I guess.

What do you think about fan fiction? Do you love it or have you never really read any? If you have any favourite authors or stories let me know in the comments!

Sarah

22 thoughts on “The Discussion Post – Fan Fiction – Love It Or Hate It?

  1. Carrie @ Cat on the Bookshelf

    I love reading fanfiction to this day. I don’t read it as frequently now so I don’t get too distracted from school and so I can read some books. I cycle through a few different fandoms and then abandon their fics, but I can always go back to Harry Potter fanfics.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Carrie @ Cat on the Bookshelf

        I used to read Vampire Academy, The Mortal Instruments, Demon Diary, Coraline, Danny Phantom and Ouran High School Host Club. Admittedly, I’m trying to find my ship in OHSHC, but that’s mostly because I’m rewatching the anime. What other fandoms have you cycled through?

        Liked by 1 person

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  3. Laura

    I’ve never actually read any fan fiction, but I always meant to. The idea of other people creating stories with authors characters really intrigues me, as it’s kind of like a collaboration. Maybe I’ll have to check some out! Great post 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Sarah

      Definitely worth checking out! You won’t love everything you come across but chances are you’ll stumble on something you’ll enjoy! FanFiction.net alone has millions of stories

      Like

  4. ShootingStarsMag

    Oh, I love fan fiction. I used to read it all the time – though the only kind I’ve ever read is Harry Potter. I love seeing different takes people have and I’ll admit I’m a total Harry/Draco shipper so those stories are great! There are some amazing writers out there. I’m in awe of so many of them. And yeah, re-tellings are pretty much fan fiction that were published…and they happen to be re-telling a classic novel no longer “owned” by anyone, unlike HP. lol

    -Lauren
    http://www.shootingstarsmag.net

    Liked by 1 person

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  6. Evelina @ AvalinahsBooks

    I remember the only thing that was worth anything that I wrote WAS fanfiction 😀 and it was fun.

    However, I haven’t really read any, cause there are just so many books. But I can totally see myself reading some, because what are, say, Doctor Who novels, than just fanfiction in print? Heheh.

    In a way, if the fanfic is good, it’s just like getting another precious episode/installment with you favorite characters, and there never seem to be enough installments with them as it is!

    I agree about Ginny. I like Ginny, but they sort of ended up together really weirdly, right? Like he’s the savior and all, and did they even have a relationship much? I didn’t feel it at all.

    Actually, you’re really making me want to read some HP fanfic right now!!

    Like

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  8. Ineamimye

    I’ve read fanfictions and sometimes I feel they are all the same to me. Though there are some very good ones out there but presently, I’m more into fictions, mysteries and writing. Maybe I would give it a try again.

    Like

  9. Arya D. @Arya's Fangirl Lexicon

    I love fanfiction too! I’ve been reading less the last few years but its always fun to go back and read some especially when something didnt go “right” in the books or t.v. show. I reread Harry Potter usually once a year and then read tons of fanfiction afterwords, to pretend my favorite characters didn’t die, I think it’s a really fun way to experience the fandom!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Sarah

      Yes! I like to pretend my favourite characters are still alive, and that Hermione didn’t pick Ron…

      I just think there are so many books out there now that are basically fanfic, I mean re-imaginings are so popular at the moment, and I enjoy them but maybe that should signal that it’s time to stop looking down on fanfic as some sort of lesser ARC.

      That said genre fiction still gets looked down on along with YA so I won’t hold my breath!

      Like

  10. bookmurmuration

    Interesting post Sarah. I’ve never read fan-fic, but I encourage people to write it (**not** to publish or publicly share unless they do so within the author’s rules!) Some people are snobby about that, but borrowing a familiar world, character or set-up can allow us to play with other parts of a text, and develop our skills. x

    Like

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