My first encounter with fanfiction was a surprising one. The first time I read Little Women, I hated its ending. Beth was dead and Laurie married Amy. No words can describe my agony. So naturally I started consoling myself by imagining alternate ending to the story.
And that was my first encounter with fanfiction, although I didn’t know it then.
What is Fanfiction?
Well, in simple terms, fanfiction is a story involving popular characters or well-known world, written by anyone other than the original author. So, if you read a story set in the Harry Potter World but it is not written by J. K. Rowling, then you are reading a fanfiction.
What are the Problems with Fan Fiction?
There are several issues when we come to fanfiction world. The original author spent a lot of time and energy in creating a world and then others might come and distort the story to such an extend that it is disrespectful to the original material. After all, not everyone can be as good a writer as your favourite author. While this is a problem for readers, fanfiction causes problems for the author as well.
Fanfiction creates a lot of Copywrite and other legal issues. Who should get credit if the fanfiction gets popular? The fanfiction writer or the original author?
There are so many issues that make many readers and writers consider fanfiction a bane.
What are the Benefits of Fan Fiction?
This is simple to understand. The readers get a chance to stay longer in their favorite fictional worlds and enjoy their beloved characters just a bit longer. This has become so popular that almost all the famous books and even movies and TV shows have their dedicated fanfiction kingdoms.
Be it Harry Potter or Marvel movies, you will find a fan creations, be it in the form of written words or art. And it’s not just amateur writers who are writing these brand alternative stories based on popular concepts. Some famous writers, too, have written and published their creations based on other’s works.
Neil Gaiman wrote a short story – A Study in Emerald which he himself claims to be a fan-fiction based on Lovecraft/Holmes stories. And he won 2004 Hugo Award for Best Short Story for the same. His short story is a new take on Sherlock Holmes, and it is written in the form of an old newspaper article full of vintage advertisements as well. The story, along with the illustration, shows how good Neil Gaiman really is.
My Thoughts on Fanfiction
Over the years, I have read a lot of fanfictions. Some were too good to forget while there were some which were too creepy to forget. There are so many sites where anyone can upload their stories and they are not going anywhere. Basically, love it or hate it; fan-fiction is here to stay.