Discussion

{DISCUSSION} FanFiction

Is FanFiction really that bad?

Fanfiction:  fiction written by a fan of, and featuring characters from, a particular TV series, movie, etc.

Fanfiction’s so popular nowadays that some fanfiction has even been published into books or made into movies (with altering of character names and whatnot for copyright purposes.) Yet, it’s a huge chunk of the fan world and its prevalence has caused some… altering viewpoints on fanfiction that I’d like to bring to the floor and open up for discussion.

Now, I have to start off by saying: ‘I’m biased’. In my high school years, I not only read fanfiction, but wrote it as well. I even posted it up on one of the most popular fanfiction sites: Fanfiction.net. But before you start hunting: don’t. My writing was trash and I know it. This segues into my argument about why people do not like fanfiction: the quality.

Quality

Many readers don’t like fanfiction because of the poor quality in which much (not all) of it is written because anyone can write fanfiction. As a result, the people writing it may not have attained enough experience to be considered ‘good writers’. This is annoying for readers because they read fanfiction to be entertained, to have all their dreams for their ship be played out because it didn’t play out in the actual book/movie/tv series. And I will say that for every well-written fic you’ll find, there are another 100 that are poorly-written.

Writers, on the other hand don’t often like fanfiction because of how little work can go into writing fanfiction. Some people, especially those who may not have much experience writing, can whip out chapters in an hour or two. Following this, they could have an entire ‘book’ written in a month and never go back to do edits because it’s already published up on the internet. This is frustrating for writers/authors because they can spend months or years slaving over a single book before it’s even ready to publish. Many writers may feel that fanfiction writers are making a mockery of writing.

Yet, in my opinion, it’s not the same thing. After all, these fanfictioners (totally making that up now and using it) are not creating their own worlds, their own characters. Rather, their taking someone else’s world and characters and twisting them to fit their idea of what should have happened. They have no claims to the original story, characters, world, etc. They can’t go out and publish it because it’s not theirs. For fanfictioners, it’s just something fun to do and share with other people and, often times, a way to make friends within the same fandom.

Changes

Of course, some writers/authors are opposed to the idea of other people using their stories and characters and twisting them around. They can’t imagine anything being different than the way they made it. They can’t imagine anyone ‘defiling’ their babies, but there isn’t much they can do about it and, in my opinion, they should be flattered. After all, if people are taking the time to fantasize about and write about your characters and worlds, you have written a good story and people love it. Be happy in that, not upset about what they’re changing.

Though, some readers have an issue with the changes fanfictioners make, as well. And they’re kind of for the same reasons. Not because they own them (though many fans do feel as though they have a claim to certain characters). Rather, it’s because the fanfictioner does something that seems ‘out of character’ or ‘unrealistic’ for a character and in so doing, they lose the authenticity of the original character. To readers, it’s like lying or cheating because the fanfictioner isn’t staying true to the best parts of the story. Though, one could argue that the changes made by the fanfictioner are simply that person’s viewpoint of the character, even if it seems different from what the character might do in the original book/movie/tv series.

Explicity

Yet, I think the biggest reason why some people don’t like fanfiction is the explicit details that some fanfictioners write. These details can be anything from smut and gore to something taboo. Obviously, this is what some people are after because there are people who write it and there are people who read it, but for other people(especially younger readers or people new to fanfiction), this kind of graphic detail can be scarring. It’s even worse when it’s both scarring and horribly written. This could be enough to deter people from ever reading fanfiction again.

It takes only a handful of bad experiences for people to be put off from fanfiction for life. Whether that’s bad writing, explicit details, frustration with changes, or something else entirely, there are people who hate fanfiction. But there are also people who love it. It may take a little longer to find what you’re looking for because you have to siphon through the bad stuff, but for those people, it’s worth it. After all, they just want to read about their OTP (one true pairing) FINALLY getting together in the perfect way possible. That’s what fanfiction is all about: enjoyment.

I’d like to add that fanfictioners aren’t TRYING to write poorly or TRYING to scar people or TRYING to ruin a fandom. They’re just trying to have fun while writing about their favorite characters in their favorite world and that shouldn’t be a bad thing, but maybe you feel differently. Maybe you think that fanfiction is a blight on the world. If so, tell me about it!

Let me know in the comments what you think about fanfiction and what your experiences with it were like! I’d love to hear from you! ^.^


And if you missed it, check out my discussion from last week:
Book Clubs

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16 thoughts on “{DISCUSSION} FanFiction”

  1. I’m a fanfiction writer for years now and I admit writing is fun. It fun and for us non-native english speakers, it’s a great way to learn and improve our command to the English language. Yes, there fanfictions are were well written, while there are some that’s bad. But if you look hard enough there are many stories out there that are a gem. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for commenting! I hadn’t thought about what an opportunity Fanfiction would be for non-native English speakers. It really does come down to how much time you want to spend shuffling through the Fanfiction to find that hidden gem.

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  2. I’ve just started writing my first fanfiction and it is devilishly fun. Some fanfiction are well written, some are poorly written, and some are purposefully poorly written (My Immortal 😄). But there’s enough out there for someone to find something interesting if they just give them a chance.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I agree with you. There is definitely enough out there for people to read, but sometimes people don’t want to take the time to scrounge through all of them. After all, time is limited nowadays and free time even more so. I for one don’t want to waste 30 min searching through fanfiction for that one that story that’s good. :/ I could do other things in that time, you know?

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  3. I completely understand where you’re coming from when it comes to the sheer level of explicit scenes in some fanfics, but I do have to disagree with the idea that fanfiction writing isn’t high-quality writing; there are a lot of authors in the world who’ve staked their claim on the fact that their love for writing stemmed from their beginning in the fanfiction world. Yes, they may have been inexperienced, but all writing is good writing! 🙂

    Besides, book deals or no deals; in a way, a lot of what writers write these days uses, to a certain extent, the same principles of casting and storyboarding that fanfiction uses too; come on, we’ve all had that one story where the leading role is our secret crush from that one blockbuster that came out when we were fifteen! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hmm… I personally have to disagree with you on ‘all writing is good writing’. If that were the case then people wouldn’t take classes in it, get degrees in it, be trained in it for publications. People wouldn’t criticize it either. I think there is such a thing as ‘bad writing’, but as you stated it’s inexperienced writing. The writer is new. They haven’t learned the mechanics of good writing and don’t have the built up experience writing, but they could have the potential to be a good writer. That’s my opinion, though. (No doubt because of the bad writing I come across in fictional novels and in scientific writing.)

      Your second point is rather interesting. I would agree that all writers have likely started in a spot where they based their characters off a crush or a favorite MC, but that again, to me, is a sign of inexperience. I personally feel that good, experienced writers don’t base their characters off other fiction they love, but are able to create new characters on their own. Only then are you able to modify them and mold them into their own unique individuality that works in the world the writer has created. Otherwise, it would feel too much like an implant from another story. Does this make sense? Would you disagree?

      P.s. Thank you for contradicting me! I love when people contradict me! They offer the best discussions. ^.^

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  4. Very good points. I also write & read fanfictions, but at first i just read them on ff.net, and yes, some of them did really suck, while some of them were truly good. But I wouldnt comdemn the fanfictions just because some were poorly written or were with characters totally “unrealistic”. IMO, those are isolated case and I personally think that most of fanfiction writers are making great effort to write a good story with IC characters. At least thats what I’m doing, & thats also what my favorite fanfiction authors are doing (and i have to admit, some can even have better writing skills than real authors)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Mm. I have to agree with you on a few points, mainly that some fanfictioners are better than authors. However, many authors nowadays are self-published, which is as easy as posting on ff.net. That being said, it doesn’t take much talent or skill to publish nowadays. :/ But I do also agree that there are quite a few good fanfictions out there. And I think a lot of the quality has to do with the fandom that the fanfiction is written in.
      Thank you for commenting! I hope you join us again this Thursday for another discussion! ^.^

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      1. IMO the fandom gas nothing to do w/ the quality. No matter the ship, if its well written its well written, that’s all.

        Buy I wasn’t talking abt self published authors. Maybe its because I read too much classical books, but I really can’t stand nowadays novels (most of them, not all of them, self published or nnot and I really think that my favorite ff authors can do greater work than most of them in the narration, description etc.

        Well, that my opinion and I don’t really wanna argue abt it

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  5. Girllll, you are talking about something near and dear to my heart. I loveee fanfiction, I read it, I wrote it, I’m a huge fan and I understand why some people don’t like it. But I have to disagree with some of the things you said. Fanfiction has evolved completely and totally from it’s original purpose. Some people still use it to create the ideal endings for their characters but for the last few years, at least the writers are follow, I read new and unique and creative stories with wonderful writing. And the only thing that makes it fanfiction are the names used. That’s why I’m not opposed to pulling a fanfiction to publish it, as long as it’s a good one not the monstrocity of 50 shades of grey. I now see fanfiction as a way for aspiring authors to spread their plot wings before taking a chance and creating their own characters

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Haha! Thank you so much for commenting, Sara! And for disagreeing with me! (That is very important in discussions.)

      I have to say that I have fallen off the fanfiction map in the past few years as I focus more on my own novels. So, I have no idea if things have changed. Thank you for enlightening me.

      And I’m glad you brought up how aspiring authors are using fanfiction as practice, so to speak. It’s a good way to start out. You get to dip your toes in writing with characters and worlds that are already formed. It takes a lot of the stress of new writers. However, I ask you this, if you’re changing too much of the world and too much of the personalities and just keeping the names, can we really still call it fanfiction?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. We can agree to disagree anytime you want hahaha
        I only read Twilight fanfiction, some Percy Jackson every once in a while haha so I can’t really say about the movment as a whole. But the authors I follow since I first started, the people I looked up to while I wrote my one fanfiction haha they are definitely developing beyond just changing the story, now there’s so much more to do: OOC, LGBTQ+, paranormal, contemporary, magic, etc. I can’t really say how much change is too much change and when you move from fanfiction to original fiction. I don’t think that’s for me or anyone to judge really. It’s impossible to gauge in my opinion, I just know I can reap the benefits of such wondrous imaginations.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Ah! And I know lots of people who hate reading fanfiction with OCs because it takes away from the original story. I guess what it really comes down to is what the readers and writers are looking for out of fanfiction as to whether or not they enjoy it.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Exactly. There comes a point where I just get tired of the same old story but I don’t want to read a book because it takes a lot more brain power, that’s where these fanfics come in, sometimes they’re just pure entertainment

            Liked by 2 people

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