What is fan fiction?
I've heard this term 'fan fiction' before, but what does it mean? What genre of fiction does it fall under?
Fan fiction is fictional stories usually with characters and worlds from various books, comics, and shows. It is the fan's version of what happened or what they wish would happen or whatever other story line they want to use. Its basically taking someone else's creations and playing with them. Fans will often cross characters from different shows or books as well.
Thanks, that's interesting. Is that considered fair use regarding copyrights? I'm curious how someone can adapt creative works from another's without infringement. I'm just wondering if there are certain limitations in creating this fan fiction. Thanks for your answer.
Just as krissalus said, no one is paid for it, its simply done for the love of writing or the author wanting to imagine they're in the world as well. There is no limit to where it can go, except in your own imagination. Just know there's no money.
Pretty much what Sunny River said, although I'll add that some people enjoy inserting their own original characters into the words as well as taking existing characters in new directions. There's a wide range.
Speaking from my own exposure to fan fiction, it's something that I've seen mostly on open-community websites where people can freely publish content, but without getting paid for it. There's a lot of gray areas surrounding fan fiction and fan art, but I think that most people agree that fan fiction written for the sake of writing is okay. When people start trying to make money off of it, that's when the problems usually arise.
Fan fiction is written by fans using the characters or setting of a professional original. The fiction is not limited to writing: there are, for instance, fan fiction movies.
There are several ways one can legally do fan fiction:
- Often, it is created as a thoroughly not-for-profit effort.
- Major franchises, such as Star Trek and Lord of the Rings, establish guidelines for what actions will not violate copyright, and then encourage fan fiction and fan movies. There is actually a series of fan fiction episodes continuing on the original Star Trek, and actors from the original series played in it. There is a movie about the story of Aragorn capturing Gollum, as well.
- Sometimes, fan fiction becomes professional fiction. For example, the Star Trek series, the Star Wars series, and other movies have spawned many novels. The right to use the world and characters was licensed to a publisher, and the novelist (who might or might not already be a professional writer, but is certainly a fan) gets royalties, and the movie studio who owns the original series gets a slice, too.
- There is fan fiction for out-of-copyright materials. I'm not sure, but it seems likely that the Sherlock Holmes stories fit in this category. And adaptations of Shakespeare certainly do.
If you are thinking of writing fan fiction, it can be good to reach out to the copyright holder for guidelines.
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Have you ever written a piece of Fan fiction and what was it about?Have you ever written a piece of Fan fiction and what was it about?
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