I'm a Fic Girl

January 15, 2014

There are a lot of people who don't understand why I would devote my time to fanfiction (Also known as fan fiction with the space.). Why not write your own book? They say. Why not go after your own dream and create your own characters? They claim. Why not make something you can profit from and make some money? They reason.


To them I say. Clearly you don’t understand my passion.


Fanfiction is often baffling to outsiders. For any normal reader it can be a little tough to see any literary merit in the crazy crossfire of the fanfiction nation. I mean, come on, only in fanfiction would you be able to write a story about Buffy taking Bella under her wings and training with Hermione to take out the likes of Darth Vader, who’s holding Edward captive in an electoral force field prison. On the other hand, some people, like myself, would argue that it has been around for centuries, tracing back to classical authors like Virgil and Sophocles who spun new stories out of old legends.


Now the legal boundaries protecting copyrighted literary works can be a blurred mess that can make things a little hard at times and other times... makes fanfiction possible. Very little legal boundaries exists because the vast majority of fan fiction is posted free, posing no clear commercial threat to the creators. I mean technically fanfiction is fair game because it differs substantially from the original and its fanfiction writers don't attempt to profit from it. So there is no direct copyright threat. 


Comically enough publishers, authors and other media companies tolerate the practice of fanfiction because they see it as a form of free advertising. Once something enters the realm of fandom it’s never going to disappear. If that were the case Star Trek, Sherlock Homes and Buffy the Vampire Slayer would be faded characters and shows of the past.


So why do I associate with fanfiction?


Truth. Because it’s fun. And clearly I’m not the only one who thinks so.


I have been saying for a while that Fan fiction has been around for a long time existing under the radar in a sort of shadowy digital parallel universe. Did you know that many of the published stars we look up to today got their start in the fan fiction? Meg Cabot, the best-selling author of the "Princess Diaries" series, started writing "Star Wars" fan fiction when she was 11 years old. Young-adult fantasy author Cassandra Clare, whose books about teenage demon hunters have sold 12 million copies, wrote Harry Potter and "Lord of the Rings" fan fiction before she broke into professional publishing.


My love of it all is best explained by Wendy c. Freis (Atlin Merrick) in the book Fic: Why Fanfiction Is Taking Over the World  by Anne Jamison. In the book she says that “we don’t fall in love with explosions or spaceships or mysteries. We fall in love with people.” This is so true, I am not in love with all things associated with High School Musical, the entire 2nd movie, but I am in love with the people. I feel drawn to these particular group of kids, they’re diverse, charismatic, come from different levels of success both financially and personally. I want to see them do well, I want to see them do other things.


One of the best things about fanfiction, also said by Wendy, is that we can write and write and write and find an audience who wants, appreciates, and absolutely relishes what we’ve made. I couldn’t agree with Wendy more “Ultimately like any passion, whether fanfiction or football, wine tasting or marathons, if it brings joy, if it grows, who cares what anyone else thinks? Joy is joy and if it brings us together it’s worthy, whatever form it takes.”


Don't get me wrong I have dreams to write and self publish my own work one day, but when it comes to fanfiction. I can’t help it. I’m just a fic girl.


Follow me on Twitter @punkpoet69


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