I am not the first person to write about this topic. Just from a general Google search, I found at least 100 popular articles on the subject. I could talk about this like they did, but I am going to speak from experience and my feelings on the topic.
Fanfiction, as the new publishing frontier, freaks me out.
I came to this scientific opinion, after looking at this topic from writers, reader and marketing point of a writer.
Writer’s Point of View
I do not know if anyone out there in the void knows this, but I like to write. I have been writing for as long as I can remember. Short stories. Abandoned novels. For fun. For writing classes. Now I am attached to one idea I have been working on since high school. An original idea.
Before that, I would write fanfiction. Yes, if you go looking you might find some of my work on fanfiction.net. You know the old person place to post fanfiction. Some of my earliest writings were focused around television shows or books. In fact, I wrote a full Stephanie Tanner novelization. If you are too young, back in the heyday of Full House, there were novelizations of the adventures of Stephanie and Michelle Tanner. I read enough novels to recreate my own. I guess you can say it was my first fanfiction. Stop laughing. It’s not funny. Ok, it is a little funny.
From a writer’s standpoint, I am perfectly fine with fanfiction. I think it is an excellent way to learn character development, plot structure and a universe that is already situated and waiting for new stories. I’m a huge fan of using that to practice. When writers start changing names and selling their stories, I’m not a huge fan anymore. All they did was take that structured universe created by someone else, change the names and make money. That just seems lazy.
Create your own universe. Create your own characters. Do not take from others. If I had someone, just use my characters, my universe and make money off it? I would not be happy as an author. Use my characters for practice not to make money off my hard work.
Sadly, I would not have any control. According to one article I read, fanfiction can exist because, under U.S. copyright law, fanfiction could be transforming the original work, which makes it legal to sell and profit.
This just does not apply to fictional worlds. There is a One Direction fanfiction story being published by Simon & Schuster. This fanfiction is not part of a fictionalized world. We are talking about real people. The fact that this story was being published and the author is making money off real human beings leaves me unsettled, to say the least.
Reader’s Point of View
I am a reader of fanfiction. Not as much as when I was, a high schooler but I still gravitate towards fanfiction now if a story seems incomplete for me. So many fanfiction writers out are amazing. Some are even better than the original authors are (sorry. it’s true). Looking at it that way, having those writers work published can only give us some good storytelling. However, for every good author, there are ten bad ones (EL James ring a bell?).
Getting attention to authors that typically would be pushed out or ignored through traditional publishing methods is a huge plus. Especially for us readers that are starving for some good storytelling. As a reader, it might be needed so that we have something to read that is not horrible.
Marketing Point of View
From a marketing point of view, publishing an average joes fanfiction makes the publishing world less elusive and attainable. Yes, even you, random writer on the internet, can become a multi-millionaire like EL James. Yeah. Not going to happen (she was an outlier) but publishing that fanfiction gives off an air that publishing houses are looking past traditional methods. Which makes them look more approachable.
In fact, in a Washington Post article Jennifer Bergstrom, vice president and publisher of Gallery Books has said, “fanfiction has absolutely become part of the fiber of what we publish…this is changing at a time when traditional publishing needs it most.”
It does make sense that publishing houses are looking beyond traditional methods. Especially since most people go looking for novels on the internet, whether it be through self-publishing or fictionpress.com, an offshoot of fanfiction.net (Old writings of mine might be on there too). Grabbing these writers and sharing in the profit before they self-publish makes sense.
It is also good public relations. Talking about where this writer was found, what the original fanfiction was about and how this particular author became famous in the internet world. It is a lot more interesting to sell that type of author than the traditional kind they came to the publishing house through conventional methods.
I guess fanfiction being published is good for readers and the publishing houses. I guess the authors or subjects of these fanfictions are the ones who lose. I feel like an identity was stolen. Fanfiction is okay to write when practicing or new to the world of writing. You are supposed to grow from that and start writing and creating your own worlds. Not make money off your favorite authors! It is creepy and annoys me to no end.
Fanfiction is a tricky subject. Everyone has an opinion on it. What’s yours? Share your views below or shoot over a tweet. I love to hear from all of you on this! Until next time, the randomness has ended. Hope you enjoyed the ride.
Welcome back! Recently I was going through my Nook/Kindle apps getting rid of books that I do not want anymore. As I was going through the lengthy lists of books, I came across Fifty Shades of Grey. Yes, I own Fifty Shades of Grey. You cannot be part of a scholarly debate if you have not read the source material. I clicked through the book laughing at notes I had made at certain points. I ended up leaving the book on my virtual bookshelf, but it left me wondering about other books just like that one.
I like to call him “Pop Culture Books”. No one else does, but I do (let us make it happen all ten of you that read this blog! We have the power to make up a random name!).
Anyway, I call books like Fifty Shades of Grey “Pop Culture Books” because I do not see these types of books having any real staying power. I doubt my friend’s daughter will even know what Fifty Shades of Grey was about other than everyone had firm opinions about for a few years. Maybe she will see it on ‘I Love the 2010s’ on VH1.
It is a trend now. Many people are getting six-figure deals for taking fanfiction and rewriting it as original fiction. Even worse, people are reading these books in droves. Whether because they enjoy it or out of curiosity to see how awful the book is. Either way, we are all perpetuating this trend even if we hate the trend of fanfiction to actual published novel.
Where do I stand on this trend as a writer and reader?
Let me start with fanfiction. I am a big fan of fanfiction (repetitive much Amanda). I believe that fanfiction is a great tool for writing especially new writers. New writers sometimes have trouble knowing where to start. Being able to have set characters, worlds and plots to work with is a great starter. Slowly, writers should start to feel confident in their talents and branch out on their own.
So many great fanfiction writers out there and I encourage people to find their favorite television show, movie or book and check out fanfiction sites. It is a fun experience, and you see how talented people are in the world.
With that said, you are supposed to branch out. You need to create your characters and worlds. You can use fanfiction as an outline, but ultimately writers should be confident in their abilities to create on their own. Many of these books are just ‘copy+paste’ change the name, and they have a hit. Technically, they did not go out and create their worlds or characters. They took from an author and just changed character names. I could easily see Christian as Edward. There were many of the same ideas behind the character.
Almost like the Cassandra Clare series that was based off a Harry Potter fanfiction. As one blog post said, “Of course, Cassandra Clare’s Draco, Ginny, Harry, Hermione, etc. were not exactly canon representations, and she did make these characters something of her own. But Hermione Granger still always retains a bit of Hermione Granger, no matter how garbled an interpretation of her is”.
I think it is cheating the system.
I wrote fanfiction for Daria and Meg Cabot books (Do not try to find them). I did not turn around, change the character names and try to sell the books! I went out on my own, influenced by different writing styles, and made something original.
Original seems to be the keyword here. Are fanfiction stories turned ‘original’ novel original? I guess since the names have changed and the plot is new it would be plagiarizing, but it feels like it could be a problem.
I guess I am not sure where I stand. I do not want fanfiction to go away but at the same time, I do not want someone making money off my hard work. Where is the line? Have we crossed it yet?
While researching this blog post I came across a press release for a One Direction fanfiction turned original novel. I think I just found the line.
What do you think about the trend of “pop culture” books? Do you think it is ok to take fanfiction and turn it into a novel? Is it plagiarizing?
I am not sure myself. Either way, this trend is not going anywhere anytime soon. Maybe I should find some old fanfiction, clean it up, sell it and pay off some student loans burning a hole in my life.
For now, the randomness has ended. I hope you enjoyed.
Welcome back to the randomness! Today, my dears, I am talking about fanfiction. Yes, fanfiction. Apparently, you can write fanfiction and make a ton of money! I am looking for my middle school written Princess Diaries/Harry Potter crossover fanfiction as we speak (I will be rolling in the money…right?)
In the meantime, many fans write fanfiction for the love of the show. Whether it is to continue an episode, fix a storyline or just write some fluff for ship they love (my inner fandom geek is coming out in full force today), the fans will write what they want to write. Especially for shows that need those fanfiction writers.
We all have those shows. I am sure, when you read that sentence, at least two shows popped into your head. If it did not happen, you are among the lucky 1% that has not had their heart broken by a show.
I have curated a list of the top five shows (in no particular order) that need these dedicated fans and writers. Without them, we are left with the shattered remains of a television show. Dramatic? Yes. Does not make it any less true. I try not to spoil any shows but I just leaving a small spoiler warning…especially on one show. You will know when you see it.
Now…onto the list!
Top Five Shows that Need Fanfiction Writers
Glee is one of those shows where, from a marketing standpoint, should be taught in businesses schools. It is a true case study in how to milk a specific demographic (and their parents). From a writer’s standpoint, it is a mess of a show. The character development was non-exist. The plot would go forward one-step forward just to go two steps back. However, I was attached to these insanely unlikable characters and their weird auto tuned singing. The show never took advantage of cast chemistry, obvious storylines that would have helped grow the show and the characters and the show did not let things develop naturally. This is where fanfiction comes in. Fanfiction is needed to fill those obvious nooks and crannies the original Glee writers missed.
I challenge the amazing writers I know are out there to rewrite the whole show from season one taking advantage of all the plot threads and characters the show left behind. I bet anyone it would be a much better show and have a better natural outcome. If only the real powers that be could accomplish that.
How I Met Your Mother
How I Met Your Mother was a show with a mystery, a lot of sweet life lessons and The Slap. However…that was all screwed it up at the end. I will not go into it but it is still talked about today with fever. Mostly by me. To others on the internet. With clenched fists. Anyway, fanfiction writers are needed here to soften the blow. Yeah. I will not lie to any of you but that ending still stings. I cannot watch old episodes on Nick at Nite without thinking about it. Fanfiction is the only way this show can survive for me. Amazing writers who can give us an ending that makes sense and I don’t know… (Cough)KEEP THE MOTHER ALIVE!(Cough). Also…Swarkles for Life! Ok. I’m not over it. However, the fanfiction can fix that…if written right.
That 70s Show
That 70’s Show is a great. It got my attention for the funny, recognizable situations and characters. It also got my parents interest because they were reliving their teenage years. In general, it was a well-written and well-acted show.
Then the eighth season happened. Season 8 is a very dirty word in the fandom. A very small amount (1%, in fact…yes…it’s a fact. Don’t question me on this) liked season 8 but the majority refuses to acknowledge that season even exists. A completely new set of showrunners and writing staff and important cast member departures really screwed things up. The writers tore apart popular couples, had the characters running around with other characters that didn’t make sense and messed with established character histories. Fans were not the only ones upset by the change.
It is upsetting and does not completely ruin the show but it got pretty freaking close. Fanfiction about the characters in the 1980s has always made it easier to take that last season.
I also know that fans out there have wrote their own season eights that were awesome. Either way, That 70’s Show was a victim of their writers and it is up to the fans to turn that victim into a hero.
The Pretender is a show that not too many people talk about but it is amazing. It is about Jarod, a genius who has been living at The Centre since he was a child. He can become anything he wants and does when he escapes and plans to out the Centre for its shady policies. Chasing him is Ms. Parker and his handler Sydney. The show is not the victim of bad writing or cast departures. It was the victim of bad handling by NBC (what else is new). The show stayed never had an ending. It had two movies and a novel series after its cancellation but they left things wide open. This requires fanfiction to cover the bases (at least for me). The plot goes forward and stops for a couple of years at a time. Fanfiction writers are the ones that practically write new episodes to hold the small fan base together. Seriously though. Check out the show on Hulu. It is so well done and holds up even though it was written in the late 1990s.
This is more of a recent burn. Selfie aired on ABC and was a modern take on My Fair Lady. The characters were fun and the cast had a great chemistry going. However, it did not make it past season one. The final episodes were released on Hulu. Didn’t even get a burn off in the summer! I feel the fanfiction need is obvious in this situation.
I challenge the fanfiction writers out there to give us a season two. I’m still upset the show was pulled so quickly. I’m still hoping for a reveal on either Netflix or Hulu. Weirder things have happened. I’m looking at you Full House.
What was the point?
Fanfiction can fix many problems with any show. Sometimes fans need closure and fanfiction provides that closure. I know that fanfiction authors out there are amazing and can handle any challenge out there (cough…my fanfiction challenges…cough).
What do you think? Do you agree with my list? Can you think of other shows that deserve the fanfiction treatment?
Regardless the randomness has ended. Enjoy. Stay tuned for tomorrow when I defend the movie that no one remembers…Grease 2: Greasier.