Opinions on fanfiction


#1

Today I am opening this post because I want to discuss about the different opinions that both authors and readers hold about fanfiction, whether they support it or are against it. I think it would be interesting to explore this subject from different points of view.

And please, keep in mind that this is about fanfic in general, not exclusively fanfic of the works of Choice of Games. Of course, you can talk about fanfic of those works if you find it useful to express your opinion but that it’s not what this thread is about.

I apologize for the English errors I might be committing, and I’m willing to correct them if someone points them out.


Opinions on using ideas from other stories and games
#2

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.


Fan Works of Choice of Games/Hosted Games
#3

Considering all my otps are either dead or never happened at all I consider fanfiction as my life saver. :sleepy:


#4

@MockTurtle
That’s a good topic.

My obvious opinion is that fanfiction community is great. But, of course, it depends on the quality of particular thing, like with any other products of human’s creativity. There are a lot of graphomaniacs :wink:

@Lexa

Amen!


#5

I’m strongly in support of fan-fiction. I think it brings people together, and it allows them to share stories with each other.

I’m of the opinion that if an author doesn’t want people to write fanfiction, then we shouldn’t share that fanfiction with the author. We shouldn’t shove it in their faces and expose them to it.

TV shows and movies based on books are technically fan-fic.

And where do the lines blur? The new series of Doctor Who, for instance, was resurrected and run by two different, huge fans of the original series. Steven Moffat used to post his fan-theories on Dr Who boards online, and then he got to take charge.

JJ Abrams, huge Star Wars fan, then got to make a movie. The new Star Trek film, could say that’s a what if fanfic of the original series. And you’ve all the various tie in novels too.

All those film adaptions of books, they’re just the same sort of thing that fan-fiction writers do. So I’m not apt to say that one’s right and the other’s wrong, even if one has approval of the original creators and the other doesn’t.

I don’t see the harm in fanfiction as long as people aren’t making a profit in it.

But real person fan-fiction, that creeps me out.


#6

This!! I see this type of stuff everyday with actors and it’s honestly so annoying. I get it, you ship these two characters but the actor has nothing to do with it. There are some really nice actors who are real babes regarding fanfiction but some of them don’t like it. I think people should draw a line between fantasy and real life. Don’t get me started on people shipping actors just because they are a TV couple (or sometimes they’re not even that).


#7

Yep! Precisely! I think that’s just so very, very awkward when people do that. When they start dragging the actors into their fantasies. I then start thinking that they need some boundaries.


#8

I think that’s the entire reason fanfiction was created in a sense.

That’s certainly what fanfiction has become, kind of. OTP’s as far as the eye can see, where you’re judged by the rarity of your OTP. Especially on Tumblr.


#9

I disagree. The author of a work doesn’t have any right to decide that. Short of profiting from the author’s ideas, people should be able to parody or expand upon their work as they like.


#10

There was this girl that wrote a Harry Styles fanfiction and it turned into a book and now she’s rich as frick. Also, fifty shades of Grey.


#11

I always considered fanfiction to be one of the biggest forms of flattery, honestly. If it exists for a particular series, then that means the author did something right that the community loves. It’s the fans showing their appreciation of the characters, lore, and complexity of the original work. It’s a tribute, and I think that, like @FairyGodfeather said, so long as people don’t start shoving fanfics into an author’s face (particularly if they state they’re not interested or if it’s erotic in nature), it can be a strong unifying bond between the creators and their fandom. Y’know, so long as people don’t start sliding porn towards the author(s) and ruin the fun for everyone. I still remember how I embarrassed I was when the Supernatural fandom kept sending the cast erotic fanfiction as if that wasn’t completely inappropriate. :sob:

I’ve written fanfiction before for video games I’ve enjoyed. Why did I write them? Because I either wanted to expand on the relationships presented between my characters (i.e. MacCready and my Sole Survivor from Fallout 4), or I was incredibly peeved at the direction a game took and I wanted to write out how I envisioned things should’ve gone. Often times, a lot of games don’t have the time to flesh out everything in a way that’ll please all fans. Heck, this even happens in CoGs/HGs. I’ve often felt that something could’ve used a little bit more oomph. Fanfiction’s one way to remedy that, or you could just correct it in your head and leave it at that. Whatever tickles your fancy the most. :joy:


#12

Yes, but there are some authors like Anne Rice who are completely against fanfiction of their works, to the point that you can’t actually post fandiction of Vampire Chronicles in fanfiction.net.

I’ve some mixed feels about that, considering that fanfiction isn’t actually hurting anyone and she could easilly avoid it if she doesn’t want to read it. But I know that personally I would never write fanfiction of her books because I don’t want to get in trouble by upsetting the lady that writes vampire novels that a lot of people love.

Is there someone here in the forums who is angaist fanfiction (or at least fanfiction about the things that they’ve created) that could offer us another point of view?


#13

When I started online there were a lot of authors who forbid fanfiction based on their works. They would have their lawyers actively send cease and desist letters to their fans, who were generally quite young. I remember fansites being pulled down, and fan-art and fan-fiction being forbidden from being online.

This was back when the story went that Marion Zimmer Bradley had lost a book due to a fan-fiction writer threatening to sue her. http://www.jimchines.com/2010/05/mzb-vs-fanfiction/ http://fanlore.org/wiki/Marion_Zimmer_Bradley_Fanfiction_Controversy

I am really glad that things are a lot more relaxed now.

I think the last time I heard of a fan-work being sued was the Axanar Star Trek movie. And I can understand that, since they were actually making money without having the license.


#14

I don’t read a whole lot of fanfiction myself, since as soon as someone writes something that conflicts with my own headcanon, the magic spell is broken and I can’t go on. :sweat_smile: My friends are really into it and have tried to pass some good ones along, though, which I have enjoyed (or not) to varying degrees. But that is what is so great about it: if it’s not your cup of tea, you don’t have to read it. Simple. No harm done and it doesn’t have to detract from your enjoyment of the original works.

I have heard from a fair number of artists and writers that they got their start creating fanfiction, which gave them the drive, practice, and confidence to go on and produce their own original stories, which is wonderful. I think it is a great outlet (especially for those frustrated at never experiencing their ships and OTPs succeed in any other capacity), as long as it doesn’t try to wrongfully take credit from the original authors or monetize it in a way that is illegal. With very few exceptions that have already been mentioned on here and in which the fanfic authors changed key character names and other details, it seems like 95% of it is put out on the web for free, just because the community enjoys them.

This reminds me of an excerpt from an interview with David Gaider (I personally LOVE his stuff), where they asked him his opinion on people making fanart and fanfic of his characters, seems appropriate here:

This was my baby for a long time, so when somebody takes something like that of yours and they have strong feelings about it, even if they gets to the point where it has a different life for them than it does for me. They believe different things about it...That’s all super. I would never want them to think that I begrudge them the sense of ownership that they have. I could pull the ball away, and I could say, no, this is mine. No. I made it for them. And if they love it, that’s a compliment. And I love the fanfiction and the fanart that comes out. And the passion that they bring to it and the different ideas. It’s very inspiring.

And for shits and giggles, his thoughts on erotic fan material: :yum:

"AH! No, it’s cool. Porn happens, right? Rule 34. I’m perfectly aware of that. You know your children are going to have sex lives. Go have sex lives, but please for the love of God don’t tell me about it."


#15

Now that I think about it I never did get around to writing that Choice of Robots fanfiction… :pensive:

Generally speaking I tend to avoid fanfiction like the plague because it tends to have a rather juvenile feel to it the way it tries to emulate the original. However I also view it as a natural phenomenon among the literary community - in its own way fanfiction is a work of art that expresses appreciation of the source material.

It really goes to show how deeply a story affects the reader on a personal level to the point that they become infatuated with the world it paints in their mind. And they wish to make their own contributions to it based on what they wish would occur in the story.

Greek mythology eventually had its own Roman counterpart, parts of Pagan mythology was adapted into Christian works, Marx’s own works adapted much from the work of Epicurus. None of that is straight up fanfiction obviously but I do think it highlights a natural tendency among us to borrow and retool previously conceived ideas we like for our own sake.

Fanfiction is what it is: natural and almost inevitable for any well known piece of cultural expression. It makes no sense in banning in, if anything it strengthens a fanbase which can only be good for the author profiting from their love and devotion to their copyrighted works, not just financially.

Does Choice of Games have much fanfiction?


#16

I received a FB message this weekend from a reader who was creating a Champions (RPG) campaign using parts of the Speckverse as the setting. I was absolutely flattered. He’s not monetizing it in any way. He’s just playing a game with his friends. They created some original student characters that they thought might attend Savior School. Plus, he made his friends all buy the game so they’d all understanding the settling.


#17

I think it’s great. When someone decides to write some fanfiction it should be taken as a form of flattery. It means you really like a story and wanna make your contribution to it. If the author doesn’t appreciate it, then you just don’t show it to them. But you do not stop writing. I know some people who had never done any writing before but that started with fanfiction after reading some great book that I do not recall. And I have written a quite long one myself. Ever heard of RWBY? That’s the only fanfiction I’ve ever done. It’s going great.


#18

I love fanfiction! The ideas that some fanfic writers come up with are so interesting and “What if"s are always fun to read, too! When I’m obsessed with a game or movies, I can never get enough of it! That’s why I like looking up fanfics on the web! I know some people dispise them, though, and I guess I understand where they’re coming from, when sometimes there may be some tropes that appear in fanfiction that they don’t like (a/b/o, maybe?). If they don’t like it, it’s okay, I will drop the topic and not force them to read. ^^”

But personally, if I wrote a book and someone wrote fanfiction of it, I would be so pleased! Even if it is crack it means someone actually took time off from their day to read my work! I would feel so appreciated. :smiley:


#19

I have plenty of my own head-canons and alternate endings and ways I’d rather stories had went. (And usually no one to discuss any of this with.) I’ve never got around to writing fanfiction itself, mind you, and I’ve read very little of it.

I will very occasionally go digging for some, usually to fill in gaps in stories, or to elaborate upon characters I liked but weren’t fully fleshed out. Or I’ll read fanfiction written by friends. Sometimes.

I’m more apt to look at fan-art than read fan-fiction though. Too often fan-fiction doesn’t capture the characters the way I interpret them. Finding fan-fiction that I enjoy is usually too much like hard work.

I’m more interested in original works written in fan-worlds. I used to do roleplaying of original characters in various worlds. I think it’s fun to play around in those settings.

I’ve had fan-art drawn of my characters and stories. I’ll admit, I am picky. Usually I’m flattered by fan-art. One of my oldest friendships started when she sent me fan-art of one of my stories and I was so flattered by it. I’d another friend who wrote a comic, with one of my characters and got them oh so very, very wrong, and that annoyed me, especially since I said “please don’t use my character in your comic” and he didn’t listen. I’d keep telling him not to use my characters and he never listened. :frowning:

I think my number one pet peeve about fan-fiction based on my own work is when the characters are turned into Americans. That’s happened to me a few times. I suppose that’s a silly peeve to have.

So I can understand authors not wanting to see their beloved characters written in fanfiction.

Aha! And I’m reminded of how Cervantes responded to a fan-fiction of Don Quixote way back in the 17th century. (First link I could find is https://www.plagiarismtoday.com/2015/05/18/how-don-quixote-handled-an-unauthorized-sequel/ )

There’s some. Heroes Rise has some I think. You have to search for it though.


#20

I support fanfiction whole-heartedly. In many ways, it’s the only way I can have the diversity I crave in the shows I love and since the ‘lesbian death syndrome’ is alive and well, I often don’t have a choice but to turn to fan content.

Unfortunately, I have become very picky about how characters are written and I find that many fanfiction authors simply don’t care enough to keep everyone in-character when it should be the most important thing. So I don’t read as much fanfic as I used to (or don’t read any at all) and prefer to keep my opinions to myself.

(I also believe that the quality of fanfiction overall has suffered greatly in recent years, though I don’t know if that might simply be due to me being older and having higher standards now.)

(In fact, I feel the same about novels.)

(So it’s probably me.)