Happy Saturday! I hope your weekend is going fantastically! For me, books need reading, assignments are piling up, and I’m one eye twitch away from abandoning civilisation permanently. But that’s just a classic day for me. Happy Saturday!
Today’s topic is one I’ve been wanting to discuss since I started this blog, and one I’m always wanting to give my opinions on. It’s a bit of a controversial topic in my opinion, so there might be some controversial things said in this post (as respectfully as possible, I promise!) So I’m sorry if I somehow hurt your feelings or challenge your own beliefs about fanfiction. Everyone is entitled to their own opinions and creative freedom. So whether you never write fanfic or write fanfic regularly, I’d love to hear your thoughts about it down below after you finish reading. Now, let’s get into the main discussion, but before I do here’s a warning:
I feel like fanfiction falls into three categories: you either hate it and never write it, you don’t write it but you understand why people like to, or you love it and love writing it (as is your right.) As for me, I fall into the first category. Gasp. Shock. Horror. Much controversy, much wow. Don’t worry, this does NOT reflect on people who write fanfiction and who love it. Let me explain why I am NOT a fanfiction person.
The main, major reason is that I am very old-fashioned. I appreciate when an author has an idea, conceptualises that idea into a book, and then has it published. Whether I hate the book they write or love it, I still consider it canon. As in, it’s what they intended to write and release. It’s there, as their work. Fanfiction, as I’m sure you know, is when a person takes the idea, characters, or story of a book and turns it around in some way, either by rearranging events, changing character arcs, setting the story in different settings, you name it. When I say I like canon, I mean I like canon. Sometimes I may disagree with the way a book turns out. Sometimes I may even think “wow, I would have written that COMPLETELY differently if I had thought of this idea”. And sometimes, I may even fantasise about a book going another way, or two characters who aren’t together and didn’t end up together as a couple. And that’s as far as I can go.
I appreciate the fact that some people (many of whom are amazing writers) can take a book and jumble things around in different, often clever ways. But I will never, ever attempt anything like that. I think that it is the author’s right to have their story exist in the way they wrote it. I’m truly sorry if this offends any of you reading this, and I want you to know that I am in no way accusing you of anything bad. You are free to write fanfiction as you wish!
There are some great benefits to writing fanfic. Some people use it as a platform to express their thoughts about how they wanted a story to go. Some people use it to creatively explore their own writing, get better and at the same time play around with some of their favourite character arcs and story plots. And I fully appreciate this. But there is one important point I need to stress: I have read some fanfics that I not only hated, but found disturbing. This is where things go downhill.
Like I keep stressing, if you want to take characters from a story and make them a couple, or adapt their story to a different setting, you’re free to do so. Even I do that, albeit in my head. But I have read some very weird stories about characters doing things I disagree with, as well as weird erotica that has turned me off fanfic for life. E.L. James famously became a very successful author with her Fifty Shades trilogy, which was originally a fanfic for Twilight. This is something I’m ok with in theory, but I do have my own problems with this (largely due to her writing skills). I mention this in another Thoughts-on post.
I think it is the experience of reading terribly written fanfic (and my own subjective thoughts on canon and story arcs) that has turned me away from fanfiction for life. I have also read some great fanfics that I have agreed with, as in “that’s exactly how I saw the story going too!” But as for writing it myself, I never will. I’m not fond of the idea, but I respect people’s rights to do so.
And that’s it for now! I’m sorry if I offended anyone and if you completely disagree, let me know below. Thanks for reading!