2006
03.31

FanFic

Dictionary.com lists fan fiction as “a fictional account written by a fan of a show, movie, book, or video game to explore themes and ideas that will not or cannot be explored via the originating medium”.

Fan fiction has been around a while (the etymology date is 1944). I haven’t studied extensively on the subject, but I’ve heard that Star Trek had a huge following in the 1960’s, when small groups had access to each other‘s writings. This was before the age of computers. Today, fan fiction is booming on the internet, and it is becoming all too easy to publish these half-borrowed works and make them available to anyone.

It seems harmless enough, but who really owns the rights to characters? In 2000, Anne Rice lashed out at fan fiction writers, saying, “I do not allow fan fiction. The characters are copyrighted. It upsets me terribly to even think about fan fiction with my characters. I advise my readers to write your own original stories with your own characters. It is absolutely essential that you respect my wishes.”

J. K. Rowling has supported fan fiction which is suitable for children. Unfortunately, a very small percentage of Harry Potter fan fiction falls into that category. The majority of it includes sexually explicit scenes involving adults and minors (het), or characters of the same gender, which is labeled slash.

I haven’t a problem with fan fiction. However, I have not been victim to the hijacking of characters, so I cannot say how I would truly feel. I do know that I’d be perturbed if my work was being abused, especially if underage characters were put in inappropriate settings.

Since the writers of fan fiction are not seeking monetary gain, and the laws of copyright are vague, fan fiction continues to thrive.

As for the thousands of fans out there who enjoy reading about Professor Snape getting it on with Hermione… just, eww.

  1. I think that I would be very flattered if someone were to enjoy my work enough to write fanfiction BUT I’d also be very upset if the characters were represented in a way that I’d not like… like with the Hermione/Snape thing – that’s disgusting. It’s sad that people can’t just be respectful with things… ugh.
    I do have a book of Star Trek fanfiction though – and I have to say that the stories in that book are absolutely wonderful… but they’re backed by the same publishers who published the ST books, I think.

  2. My friend used to write fanfic for Star Trek. She was okay at it, but I couldn’t get into reading characters do things that the original authors did not intend for them to do.

    But she didn’t have Wesley Crusher messing with anyone. She kept that true to form hahahaha!!

  3. I never was into FF. Slash?!? Ew.

  4. Whats wrong with slash? Have you ever read any?
    I’m an RL Slash writer/reader.I’m not active in any particular fandom at the moment but I dabbled with the Pitch Black fandom and WL slash.
    There are ratings given to every piece written,and in the fandoms I’ve participated in there are age restrictions,and adult/younger child pairings aren’t exactly the given thing either.
    Slash pairings don’t always focus on the sexual relationships,moreso to the emotional side.
    Sorry Arleigh,but it seems to me that this piece is very lightweight,you obviously havent done any indepth research on this topic and it shows.
    By all means I would enjoy a substantial,indepth article on this,and would like to partake in the same level of discussion,but maybe you should have actually spoken to some writers/readers before you just googled fanfiction and came up with this pathetic piece of writing.
    Not a hightlight piece for TDE.

  5. You know how I feel about fan fic..I rarely read it, but I used to write it.

    I think the whole twincest thing is…just gross. yet people still write that. And they write it using the actors from the movie.

    I don’t mind reading the slash, but people go too far w/their slashy goodness. When they read the actual books, everything has a slashy sexual connotation. People are pissed that Lupin is actually STRAIGHT. Same w/the Harry/Hermione fans who got their knickers in a bunch, and decided not to read anymore–just stay in their little fan fic world.

    I’ve also noticed that a lot of times, they make the character “of age”(17 in the wizarding world) and that’s when they make it all sexual.

    Then we have the RPF(real person fic). Did you know people write slash about Jesus? John Kerry and John Edwards? *NSYNC? I mean, how would you feel if someone wrote a sexual story about you? It’s kind of gross.

  6. Mapping the World of Harry Potter
    Edited by Mercedes Lackey
    “To Sir, With Love” by Joyce Millman
    ISBN # 1932100598
    This is an actual book. I didn’t use Google for my research.

    “Severus Snape is living large but, still – oh how he suffers! He is hated, feared, alone. Long ago, he loved a woman. Or a man. Whatever. The point is, it ended badly. But his frozen heart has been thawed by, a) Hermione; b) Harry; c) Draco; d) All of the above. He is heterosexual, homosexual, bisexual, omnisexual, a virgin. And, oh yes- he materbates a lot. In the shower.”

    Obviously, Ana, you are upset because you are a writer of fan fiction. I generalized my article, which means I was not on any one side or the other. I have not read any fan fiction, only articles about it, because I like to read ORIGINAL works.

    I would like to know something. What piece of my article was unfounded? I’m ready to give sources, all of which are BOOKS, not internet websites.

  7. Sam on March 31, 2006 at 12:15 pm said:

    I think the whole twincest thing is…just gross. yet people still write that. And they write it using the actors from the movie.

    And I thought Snape/Hermione was bad. What is wrong with people?

  8. Sam on March 31, 2006 at 12:15 pm said:

    Then we have the RPF(real person fic). Did you know people write slash about Jesus? John Kerry and John Edwards? *NSYNC? I mean, how would you feel if someone wrote a sexual story about you? It’s kind of gross.

    It makes you wonder what copyright actually protects. Book characters can more easily be protected under copyright laws. If someone is writing about real life, what can you do?

  9. I so was into reading all of the Nsync ff back in the day. I was addicted. I read ff everynow and then when I’m really bored like about Star Wars, POTC, LOTR, QOTD or about Johnny Depp, Orlando Bloom, Stuart Townsend in general. I don’t enjoy slash tho… to each their own ;)

  10. Thats my point-you generalised it.You placed every piece of fanfic out there in a piece of badly written trash.
    The Harry Potter fandom is one I’ve never been interested in-many because reading about Mary Sue falling in love with Harry and marrying him etc isn’t my cup of tea.
    The general feeling I have for this article is that you just plucked it,at random out of the air.
    You state yourself that you haven’t actually read any fanfiction-so I still don’t get your basis or definition of the statement “ewww”
    Certain fandoms attract certain age groups-I can only imagine the the HP fandom attracts younger teens who are exploring their own sexuality.
    I am in no way upset or annoyed-My intial impression on reading this was What the fuck?This has obviously been written by someone who hasn’t a clue what they’re talking about.I actually found it rather amusing
    I’ll send you off to one of the many fanfic primers http://www.lyricalmagic.com/fanficFAQ.html
    Maybe next time you will actually do some background on what you’re trying to explain.

  11. Arleigh on March 31, 2006 at 12:30 pm said:
    I would like to know something. What piece of my article was unfounded? I’m ready to give sources, all of which are BOOKS, not internet websites.

    None of it was unfounded. Think of the definition of unfounded – “Not based on fact or sound evidence; groundless.” You didn’t say anything at all that wasn’t based in fact, and even if you did isn’t it your right to since you’re the one doing the writing? I honestly don’t get where the offense is because you’re not saying anything is bad, you’re not attacking writers/readers, and you’re not condemning fanfic – which you would still be entitled to do as this is *your* post. I thought this was a good entry – it made me think about it in a way I’d not thought of it before.
    Sorry, had to throw in my .02 on that one.

  12. Ana on March 31, 2006 at 3:40 pm said:

    You placed every piece of fanfic out there in a piece of badly written trash.

    I’m not trying to attack you or anything so don’t take this as that, please. I just don’t see how she’s doing that – I didn’t get that from it at all. She even says she has no problems with fanfic and shows a side that not many people think about – I’d be flattered if someone liked my work enough to use my characters, but I’m sure I’d not like what some people would do with them, you know? Authors should have some control over how their creations are portrayed – and that’s my opinion, I’m not speaking for Arleigh (I really don’t even know her).
    Again, I’m not trying to fight. I do like discussions, though. :)

  13. Angela on March 31, 2006 at 1:29 pm said:

    I so was into reading all of the Nsync ff back in the day. I was addicted. I read ff everynow and then when I’m really bored like about Star Wars, POTC, LOTR, QOTD or about Johnny Depp, Orlando Bloom, Stuart Townsend in general. I don’t enjoy slash tho… to each their own ;)

    nsync? ugh please say it isnt so. you’re an nsync fan? disappointing

  14. ^ former fan ;)

  15. No ones attacking anyone Miranda-Its called having a discussion-one person offers their opinion and another/others voice their own.
    It does depend on the fandom I guess-but adult/younger teen does sound a bit squicky even to me :o

  16. Yeah unfortunately I’ve learned the hard way that you have to be careful with people you don’t know because way too many people out there take any kind of disagreement as an attack.
    \\off topic – ‘squicky’ – I’d not heard that before. I love it!

  17. Miranda on April 1, 2006 at 2:31 pm said:

    \off topic – ‘squicky’ – I’d not heard that before. I love it!

    Its a slashy term-‘squicky’um best described as something not very attractive and nasty at the thought-oh wait that would be Jenn right? Oh My bad.

  18. Sam on March 31, 2006 at 12:15 pm said:

    You know how I feel about fan fic..I rarely read it, but I used to write it.

    I think the whole twincest thing is…just gross. yet people still write that. And they write it using the actors from the movie.

    I don’t mind reading the slash, but people go too far w/their slashy goodness. When they read the actual books, everything has a slashy sexual connotation. People are pissed that Lupin is actually STRAIGHT. Same w/the Harry/Hermione fans who got their knickers in a bunch, and decided not to read anymore–just stay in their little fan fic world.

    I’ve also noticed that a lot of times, they make the character “of age”(17 in the wizarding world) and that’s when they make it all sexual.

    Then we have the RPF(real person fic). Did you know people write slash about Jesus? John Kerry and John Edwards? *NSYNC? I mean, how would you feel if someone wrote a sexual story about you? It’s kind of gross.

    For fucks sake its a bunch of stories if you dont want to be put in that position then dont get famous.Everything good comes with something bad fame simply comes with obsessors and story writers but to make a huge deal out of it is extremely stupid.besides if you dont like the crap then stay away from it i wouldnt care if someone wrote some gay story about me because i know I’m not and if you’re a sensitive person then don’t put yourself in the position to have someone make fun of you or write stories about you.