Wednesday, 9 April 2014

H is for Harry Potter

...and for Twilight, and Star Trek, and Sherlock Holmes and My Little Pony, and dozens more.

Today's post is about fanfiction. I think almost everyone I know who's tried writing stories has played with fanfiction at some point. A really good article I found (here - definitely worth a read!) picked up on one of the points that people often think fanfiction is not very good.

In my opinion there are several issues with this statement. First, fanfiction might be someone's first try at writing a story for someone else to read, so it stands to reason that it won't be as polished and perfect as a published, edited story.

Second, with fanfiction people have a fixed view in their heads before they read the story of what the characters are like, and so if the character does something that doesn't match those views, then of course it must be wrong. [/sarcasm] The thing is, I know several stories where I've read something that I've thought is wrong for the character, but because it's been done by the actual author and not a fanfic writer then I have to accept it. Fanfic writers don't have that luxury.

Third, most people who write fanfic do it primarily for their own entertainment, and so as long as they enjoy it, they don't really worry about it meeting other people's expectations of standards.

A final word pinched from Lev Grossman in TIME in 2011:
"They don't do it for money. That's not what it's about. The writers write it and put it up online just for the satisfaction. They're fans, but they're not silent, couch-bound consumers of media. The culture talks to them, and they talk back to the culture in its own language."

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