QOTW Week: Fan Fiction

12 Apr

Hey guys! We have a build up of Questions of the Week, so we thought we’d give ourselves a break and do a Question of the Week Week (Lol, more like Question of the Day Week) to clear out some of them.

We’re starting off the week with a really fun one from Corona:

What would your reaction be if your book got published and people would write fanfic about it? I know that some published authors out there are in a few camps concerning fanfic. Some consider it pure ‘devils’ spawn’. Some ignore it or are ambivalent towards it. Would you consider it flattery? Would you be offended? Would you want to read this fanfic?

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I would be EXTREMELY flattered if someone wrote fanfic about my characters.  It would make me so happy to know that readers had connected with my characters to such a level that they would want to have adventures with them of their own.  I think I would definitely read some of it.  However, I imagine it would give me an odd feeling, along the lines of the feeling I get when I hear a recording of my own voice.  You know how you always think, “That isn’t how I sound when I talk!”?  I have a feeling reading another person’s writing about my characters would make me feel that same way.

The Newest LTWF Member Also out on Submissions!

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Like Julie, I would be really flattered if someone wrote fanfic about my books or characters or world they live in. I think I would probably read it, and then like how I get with Harry Potter fan fiction (yup, I am not denying I still read it!), I would get sucked in and read for hours. I’d probably miss a deadline or two. 😉
But in all seriousness, I would appreciate the fact that someone, other than me, fell in love with my characters and were willing to take them to alternate universes or on different journeys.

The Writer Revising her Second Novel

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I like fanfiction a lot, good fanfiction that is. It gives people the chance to explore characters and worlds they love in more detail and in situations beyond the scope of the original work. I’d be really flattered if someone wrote fanfiction based on my book and interested to see how they interpret my characters. So I’d end up reading it. However, if the characters were out of character I’d be bothered. I think if you’re going to use someone else’s characters you should at least try to keep them acting like themselves and not turn them into Draco in Leather Pants! I would also be freaked out when Rule 34 came into effect, because it always does.

The Writer Who Just Began Querying!

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If anyone ever felt compelled enough to want to write fanfiction based on my stories and my characters, I would be GREATLY flattered! I might even start bragging about it to all my friends and family! However, I may be a bit biased, having started writing fanfiction before moving to writing my own works; but I see no problem with someone wanting to write fanfiction, no matter how drastically they change the characters or the stories. In fact, I think it would be great! I see it as a homage to any writer out there when a person writes fanfiction based on someone else’s work. I have to admit, though, that I doubt I’d ever read any fanfiction based on my work; it would be strange, reading about my characters and my stories and seeing it through someone else’s eyes. I’ll never say never of course – I have a tendency to let my curiosity get the best of me – so who knows? Perhaps I would read it. But seeing as how I no longer read any fanfiction anymore, I find it unlikely that I would read fanfics based off my work.

The Writer Writing Her First Novel

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A person who writes fanfiction is most likely writing not for publication but because the world created by another author has them at its grip. Fanfiction writers write because they want to live a moment longer in another’s world. Even though their writing might be atrocious, still, I would be more than honored that my words inspired a person in such a way. I know many people who later branched out into original fiction later. What greater compliment is there to an author than to know they’ve helped someone find their dream?

The Writer Who Got A Full Request

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Flattered out of my mind. I’d be so intrigued to see what ideas and stories people could come up with based on the universe and characters I created. What I’m working on now is the type of story that has gaps for a reason, and has an ending that leaves a lot to the imagination, so I’d be so curious to see how people would interpret the gaps and what they would do to the ending.

I don’t know if I’d be able to read it, especially since I know my characters so well and anything out of character would seem like sacrilege, but I would still think it so amazingly cool if somebody were inspired enough by my work to try to continue it through fanfiction. I mean, I’d think it were cooler if they were inspired to write original fiction, but if fanfiction is there as a gateway to that, and it’s based on my work, then that would still be awesome.

-The Writer Revising Her First Novel

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I got my start in fan fiction (Animorphs FTW!), so I would never, ever discourage someone from writing or or getting involved in it, but I think that when you get published a lot of legal restraints come into place. I asked author Rachel Hawkins (whose book Hex Hall just came out!) over Twitter about a status update she made where she said that fan fiction existed for her book, but she couldn’t read it. I asked why, and she said that for legal reasons she cannot read fan fiction about her work because if she were to later write a sequel which involved a concept or a plot point also present in a work of fan fiction, she could be legally liable. Even though it was fan fiction based off her concept! So she decided that in case that ever happened she wanted to be able to plead completely innocent, so she will never view fan fiction of her work. Ever.

Now, I don’t know if I personally could take that kind of stance because fan fiction is my background, and I love it too much. I would be beyond thrilled if fan fiction for the Antebellum series became popular on FanFiction.net, and I probably wouldn’t be able to stay away from it.

On the flip side of things, J.K. Rowling has dropped some strong hints that she reads Harry Potter fan fiction 😉

-The Writer Waiting on Submissions

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I would be thrilled if someone wanted to write Fanfic about my characters. Callie and Alex (Of Prada and Prejudice!) have so much more to do and say and live! And the ending is fairly open. The important thing is that you credit the author at all times…. so if you’ve got your own website, I would appreciate the cover for P&P, a link to my website, etc.

In my eyes it can only increase your book’s visibility. Most NYT bestsellers (especially for series!) have fansites devoted to their work, and fanfic is a natural part of that. But the important thing is it’s done IN SUPPORT of the book(s), not as a way for the writer to somehow profit from the original work.

And obviously, you should never, ever SELL fanfic based on a published novel.

The Literary Agent and Novelist with Another Book Deal!

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Audience, how do you feel about fan fiction of your work?

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You can ask us a Question of the Week by clicking on QOTW in the upper part of our website and leaving us a comment. We try to answer Questions in the order they are received, unless something is really pressing.

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13 Responses to “QOTW Week: Fan Fiction”

  1. Samantha W April 12, 2010 at 12:22 AM #

    The question is the same as Julie’s answer, oops! 😛

    I would be thrilled if my work ever inspired someone else to write fan fiction about it. And, if I were sure that particular story was completely over for me, I’m sure I’d read some of it. Fanfiction is also where I started (it was bad) and it resulted in my wanting to further my writing with original fiction. So yeah, I ❤ fanfics! 🙂

    • Julie Eshbaugh April 12, 2010 at 1:31 PM #

      Thanks for catching that little boo-boo Samantha!
      I think it’s amazing how many writers of original fiction started with fanfic. It’s sort of like a cover band that branches out into originals!

  2. Kat Zhang April 12, 2010 at 9:27 AM #

    I would be ridiculously happy if people wrote fanfiction about my work. Like a lot of you, I started really writing stories when I learned about Fanfiction.com, and I know the love and interest you have to have for a story and its characters to be inspired to write your own story about them. To me, it would be the highest compliment. (Well, unless it were satirical fanfiction, I guess, haha).

    I’d probably try to read some of it…but unless something was really good and in character, I might get put off. I really can’t imagine how that would be right now though…I’m hoping to one day get the chance to find out!

    • svonnah April 12, 2010 at 10:54 AM #

      Oh, no! I never thought about satirical fan fiction…

      • Biljana April 13, 2010 at 9:23 AM #

        Even that though! Like, it sucks, and I’d be offended, but you’d still be inspiring somebody… Just in a less favourable way :P.

        It’s like you and that author you strive to never be.

  3. Angela April 12, 2010 at 9:30 AM #

    I grew up reading Harry Potter fan fiction, so it would be hypocritical for me to say that I don’t want anyone writing fan fiction about my work.

    Fan Fiction is a great place to start at if you want to write fiction. Unlike original fiction, you don’t have to think up of the setting and characters. You can just start writing, and it will be good practice for when you want to write your own original stories.

    I’d be honored if someone wrote fan fiction based on my works. I don’t know if I’d read it though, but who knows?

    • Julie Eshbaugh April 12, 2010 at 1:35 PM #

      Angela, did you ever have to write in another writer’s voice in school? Once we had to write an additional chapter to Catcher in the Rye in Salinger’s voice. That was really great practice, too. But you would never want that to be the only voice you write in; it just helps you learn how to create “voice.”
      Anyway, I like HP fanfic, too!

      • Angela April 12, 2010 at 5:26 PM #

        No, I’ve never done that. I went to a Japanese high school, so English class was limited to reading easy passages and learning grammar. :/

        • Kat Zhang April 12, 2010 at 6:21 PM #

          Hey, Angela! I just wanted to say that I think it’s really cool you attended school in Japan. My family’s from China, but the only schooling I ever went to there was pre-K! It’s too late now, but I always wondered what it would be like to attend a Chinese school….though in reality, it would have been a terrible idea because I’m practically illiterate in Chinese!

          • Angela April 12, 2010 at 9:00 PM #

            I went to Japanese school in 9th grade, and I really struggled. Either you work hard and manage to pass or you give up and fail. It depends on the person. I failed every subject at school except English lol. It was so bad that the admissions at the high school I wanted to go to were considering rejecting me.

            But I don’t regret it. I learned a lot since I started going to school in Japan. Complete immersion is the best way to learn a language, in my opinion.

            I used to be illiterate in Japanese, but since I could understand a bit, I didn’t have as much trouble as other students in learning how to write. It’s never too late to start a new language, but it will be difficult the older you are.

            Hope I helped.

  4. Corona April 12, 2010 at 11:10 AM #

    The legal point Savannah brought up is quite interesting. I’m sure that it would make for an interesting day in court if a fanfiction writer was to sue the original writer for stealing an idea that was pitched in a fanfic. It would be kind of paradoxal!

    • Kat Zhang April 12, 2010 at 11:50 AM #

      Something like that has happened!

      ” Mercedes Lackey has taken pains to point out on her website, a fan writer was once able to wrest control (via a successful lawsuit) of part of Darkover away from its creator, Marion Zimmer Bradley. This is the ultimate nightmare of any writer, fan or professional, and drives some of the more lunatic draconian efforts to suppress fan creativity.”

      Excerpt from http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/FanFic

      • Corona April 12, 2010 at 1:10 PM #

        I don’t understand how someone like that can call themselves a fan D:

        I guess the point of disclaimers is not only to protect the writer of the fanfic but also the writer of the original.

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