What is fan-fiction?
Wikipedia defines fan fiction as “stories about characters or settings written by fans of the original work” and not by the original author. In some cases this is just an expression of fandom and admiration. As the saying goes, imitation is the greatest form of flattery.
In other cases fans use the already created world to practise their own writing skills. Writing some Harry Potter fan-fiction, for example, gives you a stage that is already set. Everybody already knows about the owls, Hogwarts, Voldemort and the rest. You can use these pre-created elements to build your story.
This makes it easier for an inexperienced or up and coming writer to pay attention to certain aspects of their writing.
Where do you find Fan-fiction?
Zen Scribe: Under the pillow of every teenage girl who reads Twilight!
- FanFiction.net: This site is dedicated to fan-fiction of every sort. Whether you are a manga or musical fan, cartoon or movie fan, you will find this site packed with the efforts of adoring fans. You are free to publish your writing and to rate those of others.
- WattPad: Wattpad is more than just a fan-fiction site. But anyone can post their fan-fiction or poems or stories here to be enjoyed and reviewed.
- Harry Potter Fan-fiction: Guess what these guys write about?! It is a www-monument to JK Rowling’s achievement!
- Archive of Our Own: Similar to the above sites except that they go for more than just writing. They also accept videos, graphic art and podcasts.
- AsianFanFics: This site focuses on Asian characters or stories that are about Asian Culture: Bruce Lee and Jet Li!
Taking it to the Next Level
New writers often use an already existing ‘world’ to practice their writing in.
- 12 Successful SF Authors Who’ve Written Racy Fanfic: Here we have an example of a bunch of successful SF authors who have also written (and published) their
- 50 Shades of Grey: This bestseller was birthed as fan-fiction of the hugely popular Twilight. A publisher discovered it and the rest, as they say, is history.
- Fan-Fiction turned into books: Here we have a list of fan-fiction works that were made into books.
Have a look! Fan-fiction might just open the door for you as well.
All of this looks rosy. But in the next part of this series, we’d take a look at the legal aspects and the attitude of authors and publishers towards fan fiction. Stay tuned!