1. CrimsonWolf
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    CrimsonWolf Member

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    Fan Fiction Fan-Fiction...

    Discussion in 'By the Genre' started by CrimsonWolf, Aug 23, 2008.

    I know we have a fan-fiction section here, so I had a question about it...

    I've been interested in writing some, but you can't really get them published can you? Also, is it kind of looked down upon to write fan fiction, seen it isn't your original ideas?
     
  2. Etan Isar
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    Etan Isar Contributing Member Contributor

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    Fanfictions are a violation of copyright law, and many forums don't even allow them to be posted. They are also unpublishable.

    Though a good way to practice or enjoy a favorite story/series, it is often better to write your own story.
     
  3. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    That's not entirely true. Some fanfictions are publishable through publishers who have agreements with the authors. Still, fan fiction does pose more copyright infringement issues, and if we know a particular author expressly disallows fan fictiom based on his or her creations, suchas Anne Rice, we won't allow it to be posted here.

    And yet, the lucrative Star Trek novel franchise has its roots in fan fiction.

    As Etan says, fanfic's best use is as a practice ground. But the sooner you begin writing your own characters and settings, the better off you'll be.
     
  4. Ungood
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    Ungood Contributing Member

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    You can get them published, you just need consent from the original author or publisher to use their copyrighted work in your work if you plan to sell or distribute the work.

    You can post your fan fiction up on many web sites that support it or you could even put it on your own web site. However you MUST state who owns the work.

    I would look at the copyright laws, as many times this becomes issues.

    It depends. Good written work can be a joy to read even if the writer did not invent the characters that are involved in the story.

    Mainly Fan Fiction is looked down upon because the vast and near endless amounts of really poorly done work that is out there, not to mention the gross influx of Mary Sue's.

    But a skilled writer is admired and respected for their skill no matter what they write.

    I have received praise for my fan fictions and it made me feel very good. No shame in that.

    If nothing else, it is a great means of practice and something you can do "Just for the fun of it" with out worry about someone "stealing your idea"
     
  5. Etan Isar
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    Etan Isar Contributing Member Contributor

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    I'm not exactly sure what you think I said that isn't true. I've never heard of fanfiction being published. As far as I know, the process is that an author(usually somewhat well-known) is approached by a publisher with an offer to write within a given mythos. That is I believe, how books like those in the Star Trek and Star Wars universes are handled. So, technically, those aren't fanfictions. Though the modern idea may have originally begun in Star Trek fanzines, but those were not officially recognized by the rights owners. To that extent, it is exactly true that "fanfiction" is not publishable under US copyright laws.
     
  6. Rei
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    Rei Contributing Member Contributor

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    Fanfiction is actually very publishable. Just look at the series shelves of the science fiction and young adult sections of any bookstore. You just need permission from the people who own the rights to the original work, and for the editors and marketing people in the company to have reason to believe that it will sell. Mind you, most of these books were probably assignments.

    On the other hand, Kevin J. Anderson and Timothy Zahn have written several Star Wars novels, which I have read. They have the kind of success that probably makes it relatively easy to approach their editors with ideas. It would not surprize me at all if some of the books they wrote in the series were ideas that they had come up with themselves that happened to fit within the Star Wars universe. These are respected authors who just happened to enjoy Star Wars. When I go to the Chapters/Indigo Website and search Star Wars, only getting results for books, I get 1282 results. Sure, some are just different editions of the same book, but still. If every book had five editions, which they don't, that would still be over two hundred different books. The one thing that makes these authors different is that they already had the respect of the publishing community. Regardless, it's still publishable.

    The way I see if, if writing retellings of fairy tales, using characters from mythology, and writing historical novels about people we know existed, is respectable, there should be no difference between those and books based on more recent creations. It just has to follow copywrite laws.
     
  7. Etan Isar
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    Etan Isar Contributing Member Contributor

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    Well, that's merely a different interpretation of the facts, so I suppose there's no point in debating further. As I understand it, the books by authors in star wars are ideas mainly come up with by the specific writer, which are then edited to ensure a clean fit. So yes, the ideas do come from the authors. But whether these ideas stem from the authors passion for fanficcing(...), or come about after the assignment is a question for those authors, and unarguable here. I still think, however, that none of these authors did the appraoching, but rather were approached. So, following from that, fanfiction written before the fact is un-publishable.
     
  8. Leo
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    Leo Senior Member

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    I think the main point here is that most of the writing people do is for their own enjoyment, and if you enjoy writing fan fiction, it doesn't matter if it's publishable or not.

    And it can help develop the skills necessary to write completely original work.
     
  9. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Except that posting on a public web page is also considered publishing in many contexts. So just because you aren't making money off it doesw not mean you are safe from litigation.
     
  10. Ungood
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    Ungood Contributing Member

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    Again... please take the time to review all limitations though the Copyright office before you do anything.

    Fan Fiction may not infringe upon copyright as much as some people might imagine and more then some people suspect.
     
  11. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Also be aware that trademarks may have been registered on character and place names or other unique names. Unlike copyrights, trademarks are not automatically attached to the author. But they are geneally easier to litigate if violated.
     
  12. Ungood
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    Ungood Contributing Member

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    Good point on that Cog, look at the trademarks and patents.
     
  13. Rei
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    Rei Contributing Member Contributor

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    I am mostly taking an educated guess here, but I highly doubt they would have written the books I'm thinking of, and continued to write them, if they didn't like Star Wars. If they did come up with their own ideas, in my opinion, it's no different than a highly talented amature with the exception that these authors have the ability to deal with the copyright/trademark issues.

    And besides, like I said before, just because you didn't create the characters yourself doesn't make your work less valuable. Do people talk about writers of historical fiction in the same way as people who write fanfiction?
     
  14. Ungood
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    Ungood Contributing Member

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    Good point.
     
  15. Etan Isar
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    Etan Isar Contributing Member Contributor

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    I have no doubt they liked the books. I love many books I read, and would gladly write a related book if the oppurtunity arose. I'm not looking down on any of these writers.

    In a previous thread here, and in threads on other forums, I have stauncly defended the fanfiction genre. It can be even harder to write good fanfiction than it is to write an original story. Much more constraining.

    And yes, the only difference between a professional and a talented amateur writing fanfiction is that one has an agreement with the copyright owner. But that's the main point. Writing your own ff is great practice, but it will never be published. All power to you if you get a request. Then I might envy you.
     

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