Saturday, 8 September 2012

Fanfiction = Good fiction?


I was flicking through the October edition of ‘Writing Magazine’ when I noticed an interesting letter somebody had sent in.

As I myself am I big fan of both reading and writing fanfiction, it was great to discover that although there is some hate for fanfiction in the writing community, that some writers have also found it has its advantages. 

“As a writer who creates fanfiction, I know how gratifying it is to receive the comments and criticism from other subscribers. The criticism is valid and well thought out, aiding my development as a writer.”

I was excited to see this in writing. As a fanfiction writer, I can’t tell you how exciting it is to see reviews from my readers even if they do contain criticism, after all I have no novels published or reviewed therefore I don’t know whether my writing style is something that people enjoy to read. Thanks to some lovely reviews I’ve been given, I’ve been able to assertain who my main audience is and what they like the most about my writing, helping me in developing my skills as a writer.

“However, one shouldn’t lose sight of the fact that it is a lazy way of writing. The characters are fully formed, with personality traits already familiar to readers.”

True, fanfiction can be labelled as ‘lazy writing’, however isn’t that what all writers need some times? I find that I write my best work after I have taken time out to write a fanfiction. The characters in fanfiction are characters that you feel familiar to. Maybe you grew up seeing them on your screen or in a book series. They are a fully formed character and do not need you to develop their entire character for them, as they already exist. I find it is a great way, if you’re struggling with your own stubborn character, to get back into the flow of writing, before you return to your own novel.

“Take heed: there is more talent on the internet, unpaid and providing pleasure for millions, than is coming thrugh publishing today.”

This again is so true. Some of the best stories I’ve read and written have been fanfiction’s, and should anyone truly be sneered at for writing fanfiction, when it’s somebody working hard to develop their writing skills in any way they can?

For example, take E.L James the writer of the bestselling ‘Fifty Shades’ trilogy. Fifty Shades of Grey was originally uploaded on a fanfiction website before it was published, and whilst I readily admit it is not the best written work by any stretch of the imagination, it appears to be what people want to read, and if that idea was inspired by a book or film it doesn’t matter, because the idea existed and has now worked it’s way into the minds of many reader’s.

So what do you think about fanfiction? Is it just ‘lazy writing’, or is it a more important tool in the writing
 community than people realise? Share your thoughts on the subject by leaving a comment.

And if you’re interested in reading any of my fanfiction *smiles and waves* please check out my fanfiction account and leave a review if you read any: http://www.fanfiction.net/u/1723787/OldVictorianQuill

Sorcha x

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