So, I’ll start with my opinion.
I understand the opinion that some writers have against fanfiction like a desire to keep the characters and worlds that they created as they have imagined them and not have them misshapen by the views of fanfic writers. And I especially think that we should respect the boundaries of an author: if someone doesn’t want us to write fanfic about their work, we shouldn’t.
BUT despite of that, I think that we need to support fanfiction. There are several reasons why but I think that the most important one is that fanfiction helps to create better writers, which might sound hard to believe to anyone that has read any piece of awful fanfiction from the internet.
We might have different opinions in what helps people to become better writers, but I think we can all agree that practice is always important; you can only be a good writer if you write. But why do I think that fanfic is one of the best ways to achieve this? Well, because you can’t only rely on practice to become a better writer, you need to obtain feedback.
Fandoms are large groups of people in which you can find lots of different levels of writers who can help you by criticizing your work and providing helpful advice, these people probably share your love for the fandom and they’re more willing to read your work than they’d be if you start with your original content, especially considering that you are probably not very good if you are just starting. I fact we are doing something similar here, in the forum. I don’t know if we can consider that Choice of Games on its own constitutes a fandom but it undeniably constitutes a group, there is some sense of belonging, and therefore we’re more willing to help people here.
And even if you’re already a good writer there are other reasons to write fanfiction. Maybe you just like it. And it also can help you to connect with other people in the fandom and to the original work itself. By writing fanfic we’re not only enjoying the content, we’re getting involved with it. And not only writing it is a good thing, reading it can also be good because it opens us to possibilities that we wouldn’t consider otherwise, but also related to something that is already familiar to us so we’re more likely to consider it or appreciate it.
We can explore more deeply a character from a different point of view, think about different relationships between characters, play with the gender of the characters, alternate universes, different genres… anything.
There is something particular about fanfiction that other works of fiction might not have and that is that is that it doesn’t need to pass a quality control. Of course, this might mean than most fanfictions are really bad but it also means that it provides an insane amount of freedom to do whatever we want, things that we wouldn’t be able to do if we’re actually trying to publish something.
So in conclusion, fanfic is a whole other world but ultimately a force for good. Sorry for the giant wall of text.