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Fan Fiction: An Outlet for Creativity

Updated on April 26, 2012

Fan Fiction as a Tool for New Authors

What is Fan Fiction?: Fan Fiction is a form of fiction based on an already published work by another content creator. I use the phrase 'content creator' because Fan Fiction comes in all shapes, sizes, and mediums. There is prolific fan fiction based on comic books, movies, novels, video games, and even board games.

Why Do People Write Fan Fiction?: So why do people even write fan fiction? They write it for many reasons, but the most pervasive seems to be the desire to explore the worlds in which the stories take place from a different angle or timeline. Perhaps they read the Song of Fire and Ice books by George R. R. Martin, but want to explore the history of that world before the books take place. Or perhaps someone is unsatisfied with the ending of Harry Potter and wants to write an alternate ending or 'The Chapter After the Book is Over'.

Can I Publish and Make Money from Fan Fiction?: This is really the $64,000 question, isn't it? To be blunt, no. You could publish fan fiction with the intent of making money, but you will almost certainly be served with a lawsuit before you get your first paycheck. It is both the beauty and downfall of fan fiction. You get this great, wonderfully fleshed out and living world in which to write, but you can't collect a dime from it because, well, it belongs to someone else. Fan fiction, however, can open a doorway to original writing. A perfectly great example of that is the widely popular 'Fifty Shades of Grey' series that is currently dominating the Amazon Kindle charts. The book was originally written as Twilight fan fiction and then adapted to include only original characters and story arcs when publishers got interested in its potential. The author redrafted the entire book to make sure she wasn't using another's work for her own profit. While rare, this is certainly a possibility for any fan fiction author seeking fame and fortune between the pages of a novel.

Where Are Good Places to Publish Fan Fiction?
Blogs are a great place to start, but HubPages is a very good resource for publishing fan fiction. Make a Hub for each type of fan fiction you want to write. Maybe you love Mass Effect and want to write a prequel to the games. Or, perhaps Shoots and Ladders has always given you the feeling that there is something hiding behind the maze of slides and climbing equipment. Maybe you just want to explore Close Encounters from the point of view of the aliens. Whatever the topic or the world or the story, fan fiction lets you explore in a purely plot driven way. Give it a try sometime. You might find you enjoy yourself.

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    • buschwc profile image
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      buschwc 5 years ago from Campbell, CA, USA

      Darknezz - Good point with asking why not just write your own stuff. Mostly, in my experience, fan fiction tends to come from younger writers (10 - 17 yrs). But I think certain series lend themselves well to fan fiction. I used Harry Potter as an example above. The new Pottermore website is, from what I've heard, rife with fan fiction from the community. Interestingly enough, I've also found a big following in video game fan fiction and anime fan fiction. I think for some it is more enjoyable to explore a favorite game or tv show or book than it is to have to develop an entire world before even making it to your plot. Thanks for the comment!

    • darknezz111 profile image

      Daniel Durand 5 years ago from Southern Idaho

      I like the idea of fan fiction- that you can explore a world with your own characters and expand on the original idea.

      That being said, I have never read a single thoughtful, well-written piece if literature with the label "Fan-Fiction". I've only ever found horrid sexual fantasies, or poorly written, choppy takes on the original that just don't do it justice.

      Honestly, if a person is so creative, why not write their own story?