I have a confession to make, even though you probably could guess what it is by the title.
I write fan fiction.
Wait. There’s more.
I primarily write slash fan fiction. For those of you who don’t know, that’ fan fiction with a male-male pairing.
Heap your judgement upon me, dear reader. I am not and I never will be ashamed of my fan fiction.
I know people who seem to think that fan fiction is the lowest form of writing, that it’s lazy to take someone else’s characters instead of making your own. However, most of these people that I’ve talked to, also read and enjoy the Star Wars expanded universe. You can’t tell me that’s not fanfiction. They’re just getting paid for it. Those wouldn’t have been created if a writer hadn’t loved the universe and it’s characters enough to imagine more situations for the characters and how the characters would react in those situations. Those novels created many more fans of Star Wars and gave existing fans more reason to love the series.
I will admit that a lot of fan fiction (especially in the area I read) is not written by writers. It’s written by teenagers who love a series or a book or a movie, but aren’t too good with the whole “writer craft” thing. But I will defend fan fiction and its writers because we all start somewhere, and I started out writing fan fiction. Didn’t we all create fan-fiction when we pretended to be our favourite characters when we’re kids?
And for the record, for me it was Winnie the Pooh fan fiction. And it was adorable.
I know that I put almost as much work into my fan fiction as I do into my actual writing, almost more because I want my characters to be realistic and my prose to be good, as lots of people see fan fiction. I know lots of other fan fiction writers who put effort into their stories and who even do RESEARCH to make sure they’re being accurate to either the universe or the setting. It’s a way of expressing ourselves.
I write fan fiction because it’s like any other story: you must write it to get it out of your head. I also like writing it because I get immediate feedback most of the time and it makes people happy. I recently started writing humour fan fiction and I love making people laugh. It makes me happy that I can bring joy to people through my writing, even if I just borrowed the characters.
Read my fan fiction for yourself to decide if I’m credible (http://www.fanfiction.net/~missshallott, http://archiveofourown.org/users/Kelsey_Jaybird), but don’t diss fan fiction writers just because of what we write.