This post is appearing on Insideadog on November 10. I love fan fiction. I think I wrote 150 fan stories before I ran out of ideas and, anyway, people started paying me to write. But reading it is still a guilty pleasure for me, So, but many of whom I thought I'd share it with the readers of IAD, some of whom will actually be writing their own and will be familiar with Fanfiction Net, but others may never have heard of fanfic.
Hope you all like it too!
So, what happens when you’ve finished a book or a series of books and there will be no more? Well…you could always write your own. And sometimes the series isn’t finished, but there are holes you just have to plug, or stories you just have to tell about a minor character from the book. That’s where fan fiction comes in.
I have heard that fan fiction as we think of it began when the original series of Star Trek was cancelled after only three seasons and Captain Kirk, Mr Spock and other members of the Enterprise crew had swooshed off into space for the last time. Fans couldn’t bear not to have any more stories, so they wrote their own. They typed them up and shared them. Then they began to produce fanzines, collections of these stories.
Now, with the Internet, we can go to Fanfiction Net and take our pick of fan fiction based on our favourite stories. I’m looking at the web site now – OMG! Books, movies, TV shows, manga/anime, comics, musicals, even games, all turned into stories! There are books I’ve never even heard of on the books list. And others I can’t believe. People have written their own stories about Jane Eyre! I think the site has at least 100 Ranger’s Apprentice stories.
I read fan fiction, though it’s been years since I’ve written it. Some of it is truly awful, some is very good indeed, written by authors who have gone on to be published professionally. I know of one popular young adult novelist who used to write Harry Potter fan fiction which you’ll probably still find up on Fanfiction Net.
The Harry Potter fan stories range from romances between characters you’d never imagine together but someone has, to adventures, to humour, to epics. Bad boy Draco Malfoy is the hero of quite a few. Snape, that teacher you pray you will never find in your classroom, even if you cried for him at the end of the series, got the girl many times in fan fiction before we found out why he would never settle down with anyone. Girls from our world got to marry Legolas the Elf from Lord of the Rings or save Boromir’s life.
You can’t sell this fiction – that’s breaking copyright – but people don’t write it for the money. They write it for love of the books. It’s not always good, but it’s always written with passion.
And then again, there are some professional writers out there who still write fan fiction for fun. What greater tribute could fanfic have?
The pictures at the top of this post show two of my fanzine collection. The cover art of Beyond Antares was done by Marianne Plumridge, who has become a professional artist. The other fanzine contains several stories by Melbourne writer George Ivanoff, now living from his writing and the author of two novels.
Other stuff: I’d like to thank the two commenters who appeared in the post on Putting It off. They have won the first two sets of Crime Time bookmarks.
Here’s another cast member for my proposed Ranger’s Apprentice movie. For the role of Horace, how about … Lincoln Lewis?