All over the internet, there are thousands and thousands of works covering different movies, television shows, anime, video games, etc. The authors take these original characters and put them in different situations, give them different looks or personalities, but the original content remains the same.
So should this be allowed?
There are those I’ve seen that say they would discourage fan fiction writers from writing anything about their own published work. They’re worried that the writers may be able to guess the plot.
Look, I wrote fan fiction when I was in middle school. I’ll admit it, and I’m not ashamed.
It’s natural for young writers to struggle beginning their own ideas–so they practice with what’s already there. They change up scenes and emotions, and work on keeping characters in-character, or stretching the boundaries of the original text by putting them in an alternate universe.
The intentions of fan fiction writers can’t be seen as anything other than
- Have fun writing for something they love
- Practice honing their own writing skills
There are those who are older that still write fan fiction, mostly for fun, and to share their thoughts and theories with others.
If a fan fiction author can guess the ending of your book, you’re the problem, not them. A book shouldn’t be so predictable that someone, from the first book, can guess what the last book will entail.
Maybe they’ll guess who ends up with who (or hope that it’s so), but who cares? They’ll be thrilled that those characters ended up together, nothing more, nothing less. If it bothers you that much, maybe you’re in the wrong business. If your book becomes popular enough that there are people that are passionate enough about it to write fan fiction, that’s a cause for celebration–not dread.
No one says “I don’t want fan art of my works because they might draw something that actually happens”. So treat fan fiction the same way.
There’s the other, more gray question of “What if they make money off of it?”
There’s a bit of debate about this, as well. What if they have a disclaimer? Does it still constitute plagiarism?
While there have been instances where fan fiction has presumably lead to plagiarizing, this constitutes a very small amount of the large community of fan fiction writers, if even viable.
But that’s a debate for another day. For now, the question to be answered is: Should fan fiction be encouraged? The answer, to me at least, is an obvious yes.
Yes, the original work is yours. They’re not taking that away from you. They’re using characters, maybe a bit of plot and/or setting, but the actual words–the story that they write based off of those things–is theirs.
If anything, their works will draw attention to your own series. If a popular fan fiction writer decides to write something for your creative work, all of their loyal readers will flock to read the original text so that they can understand the characters that their favorite fan fiction writer is in love with.
So, no, fan fiction is not a bad thing. It should be encouraged and appreciated, so long as the writers do not claim ownership of the original content.
Read Trust Me by M. H. Knecht now!