Wednesday, January 4, 2012

blog catch up and your opinion on fanfiction

It's January 4th! How is it already January 4th? O_O Some quick catch-ups:

First, a very happy (late) New Year to all of you! My crazy busyness is finally normalizing after the holidays, and I'm knee deep in editing (for others) and rereading my in progress novel to tweak it and get back into the swing of things.

Second, I realized I never did mention the age of my character in the Can We Guess Your Character's Age
contest. He was sixteen, and the narrator for my YA fantasy novel, My Kingdom for a Newt. I'll have more on that story later on this year. (Maybe sooner rather than later.)

Third, my kids loved their Christmas kitties. It didn't exactly go as planned. I got up, got everything ready, and tried to get the kittens in boxes for the kids. I'd wrapped boxes the night before, but no matter what I did, the kittens kept poking their heads out of any crack and then escaping. So I found one box that had a lid that fit over the box, and put my son's kitten in that, and tried to find one for the other kitten, and failed, so I finally stuck her in a box (I put this cat in a box like four times and she kept escaping) and tried to tape it shut for a moment, and I called the kids and my hubby into the room, and meanwhile, the second kitten is trying to make another break for it and I tried to hold the box shut so that my daughter could open it. I videotaped it, and that's how the video starts: my urgent voice telling my daughter, "Quick, come open this present now!' because I'd stuck the kitty's head back in the box right before she walked in and was trying to hold it closed with a bit of wrapping paper across the top. ;) Then she opened the box and the kitten jumped and dashed under the couch, and my daughter's squealing, "IT'S A KITTY!" My son then asked, "Is it real!?" because he thought it was a robot kitty or something, and as he was asking, he was flipping his box over, and I'm like, "Ahh, don't flip it!" And then he got to see his kitten. It was fun and crazy and the kids were SO THRILLED. The kitties are a lot of fun.

Now that I'm done playing catch up on my blog, I'd like to ask you all for your opinions on a subject that some really don't think much about--or know much about--and that is controversial to others.


Fanfiction, for those who might be unaware, is when someone reads a book, watches a movie, plays a video game, etc., and thinks, Hey, wow, this world is really cool! I really like this character! I think I'll write a story about him/her/it. Then maybe I'll post it online so people can read it. 

There are all sorts of stories: some people try to write a continuation of where you left off. Some people write a "missing scene." Some people are intrigued by a person's past, and will write a childhood story. Some people fall in love with the background characters, and write their idea of that story. There are one-shots (just a short, one-chaptered story), novel-length stories, stories that are only a few chapters.

There are some authors who cannot stand the thought of fanfiction. It makes them very uncomfortable to think of someone writing stories about the characters they created, digging through their sandbox, as it were, and for various other reasons.

There are other authors who welcome the idea of fanfiction, for various reasons. Promotion of their book, involvement of the readers, things like that.

But I'm very curious as to what you all think. Do you hate the idea of someone messing with your characters because you spent so much time with them and it feels wrong for someone else to touch them? Does it not matter to you? Do you like the idea because you know that you'll always have a final say in what really happens to these characters?


  1. I don't think it would bother me. Fan fiction is a great way for writers to get started, with a world already complete and realized. And how fun. I've never wrote it but I'd think an author would be honored.

  2. I have mixed emotions about it. I used to be all about fanfiction when I was young (so long ago it didn't even have that name). It's flattering to create a world and characters that people love so much they want to be a part of it with their own creativity. Think about the successful Star Wars books written by many different (and some quite well known) authors. Of course, those are written with Lucas's permission, and I think they have certain guidelines they must follow.

    And therein lies the rub. I wouldn't want people taking my world/characters to places I wouldn't want them to go. Harry Potter fanfic has all kinds of weird shipping (as in relationship) couplings, including inappropriate adult/student ones.

    I was very unsatisfied with the ending of Mockingjay. But a friend of someone in my online reading group writes fanfic, though it's usually about the Harry Potter world. She was also unsatisfied with the ending of Mockingjay and wrote a wonderful fanfic that filled in the gaps. After reading it, I can stomach the book now. I may print the dang thing out and stick it into the back of my Mockingjay book. I'd never read it again without it.

  3. I just had a run-in with fan-fiction a couple of weeks ago, which really made me wonder - would I appreciate that if someone did that to my books/characters?

    Most of it is harmless and entertaining. I knew a guy in college who really wrote some great things in the Star Trek direction (although I found this hobby a bit strange at the time.) But recently an author friend of mine showed me several things she wrote in the Harry Potter direction. I honestly found what she (and others on the site) did very disturbing.

    In general, I have nothing against fan fiction - except, I personally am completely satisfied working with my own characters, not someone else's - but as an MG writer, I have to admit, I really don't want anyone doing some of these things with my characters. It simply gives me the creeps.

    I guess there's a dark-side to everything.

  4. Laura! How are you dear? It's so great to hear that you're doing well, and things are settling down.

    Personally, as long as no one is trying to make money off of the stories, I wouldn't care. In fact, I'd be honored that people loved my stories and characters so much. Fiction is all about igniting the imagination, and how's this any different?

    But, I might be a little biased since I started on fanfiction myself. Actually, as I've said before, it was meeting you there, and your encouragement, that has made me become really serious about writing. I think fanfiction is a great thing. Not only is it writing with training wheels, but it also teaches you to finish things. To have a relationship with your readers. To accept criticism. I think what you learn there is invaluable. It has helped me so much. It has definitely helped me improve as a writer just by writing, and getting feedback.

    And like it is for you, it's a nice escape at times. It's nice to go back and forth between that and original work. It gives you a break and it's refreshing. I don't think I could ever say goodbye to fanfiction. Mainly because I know the Muse will give me ideas I have to write out. LOL. It's also given me an understanding and liking of characters when I see or try to write they're scenario. -cough Naminé from Kingdom Hearts cough-

    But fanfiction is great. It actually also gave me an interest in reading when I'd sort of fallen out of it. And as I've met a few authors there now with published books (who I never would have known or read the book of it were it not for fanfiction), it's nice to remember we're all the same. No matter if you've published thirteen books or none at all, we're all trying to write the best story we can. We all go on the insane ride together, and we need each other's feedback. LOL.

  5. Happy New Year! I want a kitty in a box too. Hehehe! As for fanfiction, it's a good tool to practice with for writers since we can get so passionate about other people's worlds. Years ago, I wrote Harry Potter fanfiction. As a writer, I'd be flattered that someone loved my work so much that they wanted to write something in that world. I know a few authors who say you're not a real writer until someone writes fanfiction with your characters!

  6. I really haven't had much contact with fan fiction. But the thought of people taking my characters some place that I know they wouldn't go, doing things they wouldn't do... I'd probably choose to ignore it.

    Though one fan gave me a picture she drew of one of my MCs, and I loved it. To capture someone's imagination so they feel moved to be a part of it is amazing.

  7. I suppose there are two ways to view it. I can see where an author may not appreciate the artistic license of fan fiction writers. (My character would never do that!) but then again, it is a pretty high form of flattery ...

  8. I've always felt that while I would prefer to keep my characters to myself, it would be hypocritical of me to take an anti-fanfiction stance for my own work, since I have enjoyed writing fanfic so much myself. Not only has it helped me hone my writing skills and given me a chance to experiment with other styles and voices, it's helped me meet other writers and make new friends.

    Plus, quite honestly, it can be a lot of fun. So although it WOULD bother me if people trashed my own characters, I would still have come down on the side of YAY FANFIC.

  9. Fan fiction is great - as long as the author remembers it is a homage to the original writer and doesn't try to make money out of it.

    I've read some great Potter fan fiction, and let's face it, Breaking Dawn was so awful it may as well have been fan fiction!

  10. Clearly I love fanfiction, as I've read and written several 100k of it, but I've never thought about people writing fanfic about MY characters. The idea literally didn't occur to me until just now. I guess...if it was someone I knew, maybe I would be okay with it? But if a complete stranger decided to write fanfic based on "Quest"...well I really don't know how I would feel about that. *ponders*

  11. "Is it real?" That's too funny! Sounds like you had an amazing Christmas.

    I am all for fan fiction. If my characters stuck with someone so much that they wanted to write about them (or even THINK about them) in their free time, I would be nothing but flattered. And know my novel did it's job. :)

  12. i think fanfiction means you have reached legendary status. if i my book/characters are so popular and liked that people want more enough to imagine themselves...crazy good!

  13. Wow - great question. I hadn't ever really thought about it from an author's perspective before. I suppose I would be flattered that people cared enough about the story and characters to be creative with them. On the other hand, I would be uncomfortable if people took my characters to places that I didn't like. For instance, I love Pride and Prejudice (really, who doesn't??) and made the mistake of reading a spinoff modern version where Darcy is a drunk with a penchant for sleeping with servant girls. It tainted my P&P enjoyment for a while, and I would hate to feel that way about my own characters.

    However, I've thought it might be fun once in a while to try out some fan fiction (never done it before). I guess that puts me on the fence about the whole issue =)

  14. The kittens sound adorable. Probably ideal to keep them out of boxes. :)

  15. I think fanfiction is really flattering toward the author. I don't have a problem with it at all.

    But, whenever I see those books following Pride and Prejudice or other novels now without copyright, I get a little mad just because the author of that fanfiction is getting paid for taking other author's characters and worlds.

  16. So glad you told us how the kittie-unwrapping went down. I saw the blog post where you were planning it, and wondered how it all turned out.

    Fanfiction - I've never been a fan. I only want to know the REAL story, not the stories other people (who aren't the real author) have made up. That being said, I've NEVER thought about this in the context of my own stories. Um.... um.. Hmm. On the one hand, it would be quite flattering that people like what I've created so much that they want to continue it/flesh it out. On the other hand, I'm not sure I want other people messing around with my characters!

  17. Interesting thought... I've never written or read fanfiction -- though my brother's been trying to get me to read a Harry Potter fanfic for a while now, says the craft is excellent...

    But I'm sure it wouldn't bother me to have someone fall in love so much with my world or characters that they want to be a part of it in their own way.

    If you have time or are interested, here's the HP fanfic link my bro sent me:

    'Here is Harry Potter:

    "This fic is widely considered to have really hit its stride starting at around Chapter 5. If you still don't like it after Chapter 10, give up." '

    Oh, & thx for the comment on my blog!


Thanks for sharing your thoughts!