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For Fanfic Writers (past and present)

Libby Drew

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Like the title says, this post will probably only be of interest to those who participate in the fandom community now (or have in the past). There's a great article in TIME titled The Boy Who Lived Forever, by Lev Grossman, which does an excellent job, I think, of broaching the topic of fandom, and fanfic in particular. Refreshingly, it's intelligent and positive on the subject.


After spending the better part of the previous decade participating in the fandom community, and much of that writing fanfic, I enjoyed Lev Grossman's willingness to see past common false impressions.


Excerpt: There are a lot of misconceptions floating around about people who write fan fiction and why they write it, so let's knock off a few of them right up front. Fan-fiction writers are not pornographers. (This perception is so pervasive that in order to avoid confusing their friends and colleagues, many of the people interviewed for this article declined to be identified by their real names.) There's plenty of sex in fan fiction, but it's only a small part of the picture. Fan-fiction writers aren't plagiarists who can't come up with their own ideas, and they're not all amateurs. Naomi Novik, whose Temeraire novels are best sellers and have been optioned by Peter Jackson, who directed the Lord of the Rings movies, writes fan fiction. "Fanfic writing isn't work, it's joyful play," she says. "The problem is that for most people, any kind of writing looks like work to them, so they get confused why anyone would want to write fanfic instead of original professional material, even though they don't have any problem understanding why someone would want to mess around on a guitar playing Simon and Garfunkel."


The author touches on several topics, such as the diversity of the fandom community, how it's human nature to push at the boundaries of stories, and the legal issue of transformative works. I honestly haven't read many fair and balanced articles on the subject, so this was a treat. His tone reminds me of Henry Jenkins (author of Why Heather Can Write [Link]), another high-profile voice for the fandom community.


Just thoght I'd pass it along for those who are interested. :D

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