Fan fiction as a writing tool

Harry Potter

define:Fanfiction – Google Search

Fan fiction (alternately referred to as fanfiction, fanfic, FF, or fic) is a broadly-defined term for fan labor regarding stories about characters or settings written by fans of the original work, rather than by the original creator. …

There are hundreds, if not thousands of fan fiction sites dedicated to writing based on numerous book and television series. If you have heard of this phenomenon but have never read any of the wonderful stories it has produced you may believe that fan fiction is written solely by teenagers whose time would be better spent studying the grammar of the English language as some of the truly awful stories I first came across nearly convinced me. Happily this is not always the case. Many well educated adults, and teenagers, write fan fiction as a hobby. Why, you ask, might a writer benefit from writing fan fiction?

  • The “hard” work is already done for you. Because the characters you are writing about are not originally yours you do not have to spend untold hours creating the major settings and background history for the characters , leaving you more time to focus on the actual storyline you wish to write though of course your story will divert from the original author’s in some way however, if you wish to place an orignal character into the world you are responsible for their background etc.
  • There is far less pressure to complete it. If “real life” gets in the way you can stop. Your livlihood does not depend on seeing this piece through to publication . Your only deadline is the one you impose and those can modified easily.
  • It can be a tool with which you can overcome writer’s block. If you get  stuck while writing an original work take a break to play around with fanfiction. Because a lot of the work has been done for you you can let your mind go almost anywhere it likes. Maybe if your lucky it will spark an idea to put into the original work.

It has been my experience that writing fan fiction can just as rewarding  as writing an original work, sans the possibility of getting paid. They are lots of people out there willing to leave reviews that will help sharpen your craft. A final word of caution though, like paid book critics not every reviewer of fan fiction leaves kind, or even constructive criticism, a review saying your work sucked without giving any reasons says more about the other person’s lack of education than it does about how well a work is written.


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