Tuesday, March 18

Fan Fiction

Posted by Shelly Holder

Well, I'm back again. And this time I'm accompanied with profound respect for journalists and bloggers worldwide. The concept of creating new topics of discussion daily boggles my mind. I'm having a hard time thinking of subjects, and I've been around only for a grand total of 5 posts. Imagine the dedicated people on talk and radio shows that have been doing this for years! I mean, sure, they may have writers, but somewhere down the totem pole there are the poor people who have to come up with the ideas. It's really amazing.

Today I decided to talk about fan fiction, despite the potential nuclear bomb lurking underneath. For all those who do write fan fiction, any opinions expressed from here on out are my own, and not meant to offend.

I was browsing fox.com to find out when some of my favorite shows are coming back after the writers strike, and happened to come across a discussion board with fan fic. First of all, creating fan fic for a TV show had never occurred to me, and maybe took me a bit by surprise. Logically it shouldn't- I've know about fan fic for books for years. I've even come across short story versions of fan fiction for anime/manga series, which kinda surprised me in the difference of literary forms (Yes, I admit, I have read some manga, despite its generally looked-down-upon existence). Regardless, the fan fic for the TV show was a bit unusual for me (I guess I don't get out much). Second, that it was found on the official Fox website. Maybe they endorse the involvement in the show, maybe they just don't care to spend the energy to regulate the discussion posts. But the co-existence of the official and the un-official .....

I personally have never written a fan fic. I thought about it when I was younger, wishing to continue the Trixie Belden detective series. Soon though, I caught on to the potential problems with copyright, etc. and gave up the entire endeavor without having written more than a page or two. Now I don't really consider it. Realistically I'd be a fool if I denied that many of my works are influenced by other authors, many times ones whom I've just finished reading. And I'd be lying if I said I've never bought fan fiction (There's some good continuations of the Pride and Prejudice plot out there, and a really fabulous re-write of the story from Darcy's point of view, all of which reside on my shelf) or enjoyed books such as Laurie R King's twist upon the Sherlock Holmes series (The books are excellent, favorites of mine in fact- the detective ends up in a partnership with a 20 year old girl that has deductive reasoning skills and an intellect to match his). And as committed as I am to works of literature and the supreme superiority of the book over the film adaptation, I do really enjoy derivatives such as the TV show Bones (yes the one that I was looking at today) from Kathy Reich's novel series, which technically could be termed fan fiction (she's the producer though). But the actual act of sitting down to recreate a world that was first imagined by another....

I read some time ago on own of my favorite author's website that she was e-mailing back and forth with a fan of hers that wanted to write her stories from a different character's perspective. The fan consistently pumped her for background information and details, and the author responded back with perfect aplomb. But I have always wondered how that author felt about another person taking her work and changing it. And while she was alive too!!! Somehow taking the works of Jane Austen or L.M. Montgomery or Conan Doyle and writing fan fiction about them seems vastly different in my mind than writing fan fiction when the author is still alive. Even contacting the author for details and information not provided in the books!!!! Agh!

So is that to say when I become that world-famous author that I won't allow fan fiction? Well, I don't know. I can't say how I'll respond to emails asking to read fan fiction of my own work, or what I'll feel when some fan asks me to give up details that I used to construct my fictional world to furnish his own. I just don't know. I guess that's one bridge that I'll cross when I get there.

So what are your views on fan fiction? What has been your experience with this literary form? Comments? Questions? Scathing remarks on my insensitivity to the plight of fan fictioners everywhere? Leave a comment. Maybe I'll respond in my next blog. =)

Right Now:
What I'm listening to: alternating between Fergie's Big Girls Don't Cry and the remixed version featuring Sena Kingston (ha! it's the musical form of fan fiction! ha! ha!)
What I want most in the world: .... um- more time in the day. I have plenty of things to do tonight, but since all require a good solid chunk of time dedicate solely to that one activity, I haven't decided which task is of the greatest priority, and thus have accomplished nothing at all. Of course.